meganbmoore: (fsnubw: rin/archer/beach)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 108 x Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (eps 0-12)

fsnubw-27 fsnubw-56 fsnubw-93

here ) .




(no subject)

May. 25th, 2015 05:53 pm
skygiants: cute blue muppet worm from Labyrinth (just a worm)
[personal profile] skygiants
I think my favorite thing about Martha Wells' The Cloud Roads is how it's basically just Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight if you cut out the humans and had all the emotional drama focused on the dragons instead?

I mean, the protagonists are not called dragons, they're called Raksura. But they're basically dragons. Were-dragons? Shapeshifters who have one vaguely two-legged form and one flying lizard form that is pretty much dragon. (Some of the lizards are non-flying, we'll get to that.) And the dragons come in different cool colors, and some colors are fertile so they get to be queens (female) and consorts (male) and be in charge, and some colors aren't. In Pern the dragons, while intelligent, never really have any issues about this, because having issues about biology is a job for human protagonists. But the dragons in Cloud Roads don't really care about humans and therefore get to have all their issues themselves. "I mean, I get that it's a problem that your community doesn't have any consorts right now but it's still a BIT WEIRD how the queens suddenly started dumping presents on my doorstep as soon as I showed up? PERHAPS WE SHOULD TAKE IT SLOW."

Moon, our protagonist, gets to have the most issues because his family was tragically killed when he was a kid and far away from any other Raksura, and he's been wandering around for years with no idea of what species that he actually is, other than it's shapeshifting and has a dragon form that vaguely resembles the dragon form of another EVIL species that's flying around and therefore people tend to freak out when they see it. The EVIL species is also interested in Moon, for reasons. Anyway, despite his deep-rooted conviction that he will be FOREVER ALONE!!!, Moon then encounters a Raksura colony and gets to be our audience viewpoint character for finding out all about the Raksura and being moderately uncomfortable with his new role and the societal and reproductive expectations thereof. And also with not being FOREVER ALONE!!!, since this is sort of a dramatic circumstantial shift. (Just like Lessa in Dragonflight! No, Martha Wells is certainly a better writer than McCaffrey and I'm maligning her unfairly. But the parallels are there.)

The setup flirts with some reversals of gendered expectations -- consorts are expected to be delicate and high-strung! queens fight over them and then they go with the victor! and Moon is used to being ALONE and he's not LIKE the HIGH-STRUNG PRINCESS CONSORTS that the queens were EXPECTING, excuse YOU -- but Wells is not super invested in exploring biological determinism. The evil species is pretty much EVIL, and some early dropped hints about class and role-related complications in Raksura society don't really get picked up in this book. There are two sequels, though, so maybe then? And, I mean, it's all very entertaining, I will totally read the sequels. I am very happy to read about dragons negotiating awkward social dynamics for a couple hundred pages.

(Although, honestly, my favorite characters were the two plot-relevant cranky humanoids. I would apologize for being human-centric but I'm probably just contrariness-centric.)

(no subject)

May. 20th, 2015 04:59 pm
skygiants: Sokka from Avatar: the Last Airbender peers through an eyeglass (*peers*)
[personal profile] skygiants
There are certain persons probably reading this ([personal profile] gramarye1971, I'm looking at you) whom I suspect already know everything about Kim Philby and probably have no need for another version of the same Cambridge Spies story. For everyone else, there's A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal.

I was vaguely familiar with the basic facts about Philby before picking up the book, but only vaguely, so Macintyre's version still had plenty that was new for me. For example: though I knew Philby was a double agent working with MI6 and reporting back to the Soviets, I did not know that MI6, in a move that was both ill-advised and horrifically hilarious, actually made him head of Soviet counterintelligence.

PHILBY: Wow, I ... literally am in charge of everything MI6 is ever going to do in re: the Soviet Union. I am the best Soviet double agent ... ever? Ever. Pretty much ever.
(THE SOVIET UNION: This guy is just passing us TOO MUCH information to even be believable. Triple agent, anyone?)

Though nonfiction, it's very easy to read the book like a thriller, so I'm putting the rest under a cut in case people don't want to be historical-record spoiled! )

(no subject)

May. 18th, 2015 07:39 pm
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
[personal profile] skygiants
"Frances Hardinge has a new book out!"
"How long will it be before [personal profile] skygiants posts incoherently about how much she loved it?"
"Eh. Maybe like a week? A week, tops."

In fact it was almost two weeks because I was, as you know, trapped in an endless wasteland of Sheri Tepper, but Hardinge's The Lie Tree redeems all. It's not my favorite of Hardinge's books, probably, but it's a GOOD book.

(Also there are totally lesbians in it? There are totally lesbians in it.)

The Lie Tree is Victorian historical, like Cuckoo Song was Jazz Age historical, and like Cuckoo Song it is REALLY INTERESTED in the ways that women are silenced, and the sometimes terrible ways they contort themselves to get around it. I mean, "it sucks to be a teenage girl in the Victorian era" is not a particularly novel thesis, but the more the book goes on the more Hardinge gives it knife-edges. Faith, the heroine of The Lie Tree, is quietly dull on the outside, and on the inside she's quietly dishonest and quietly manipulative and often quietly cruel, and quietly brilliant, and furious. She's got more in common with the villain of the book than she does anybody else. Her pet metaphor is a small, overlooked, vaguely torpid snake. I love her, OF COURSE.

(...and everyone else! I was just talking about this book on Twitter and I'll say there what I said here: one of my favorite things about Frances Hardinge is how she likes to sow a crop of unsympathetic women for the protagonist to hate, and then gradually forces you to admire pretty much every single one of them. I mean, she always does this. But perhaps more in The Lie Tree than ever before.)

Also, it's such an amazingly Victorian book! Like, Hardinge clearly thinks the actual Victorian era is as weird a backdrop as any of her completely made-up ones, and she's not wrong. Faith's father is a famous Gentleman Scientist, and the whole thing is wound through with earnestly terrible Victorian science, and creepy Victorian death photography (everyone loves creepy Victorian death photography!), and the stifling grip of knickknacks and rules and propriety, and the world-shattering effect of the idea of evolution on everything everyone in Victorian England has ever believed.

-- okay, the actual plot? The plot: there's a death; Faith wants revenge; her only weapon is a tree that will (maybe) grant the truth in exchange for lies. So she gives it lies, and she makes them spread. HIJINKS ENSUE, by which I mean, our heroine is directly responsible for quite a number of terrible and life-threatening things befalling other people. Sorry, Faith. You meant it for the best. (Well, sort of.)

WisCon

May. 18th, 2015 07:59 pm
meganbmoore: (inari: ot4)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
WisCon is this week, and it snuck up on me.

Thanks to an inflamed tendon, this will be a less-mobile-than-usual WisCon for me, though I really won't know how much so until I'm there and doing things. I expect I'll still be eating out at a few places close to the hotel, but I'll be sticking closer to the hotel than usual. I probably won't make it to Room of One's on at all, but will be attending the Farmer's Market on Saturday even if I have to spend the rest of the day in bed with an ice pack (munching on cheddar and chive scones). I have tentative plans to possibly go to a grocery store on Friday morning with 2 of my 3 roommates (roommate #3 isn't arriving until late Friday, WOES AND ALAS, LESS TIME WITH ROOMMATE) assuming we can figure out transportation.

That said, I want to see everyone! If anyone wants to get together, the fastest way to contact me is probably a DM on twitter, if you don't have my cell #. (Send me a PM if you'll be there and want it.)  My twitter ID is [twitter.com profile] meganbm123 .

I committed myself to 2 panels before leg issues came up, and intend to be on both, though both sets of panelists have been told I might not make it, depending on my knee that day.

My panels:

Female Protagonists In Graphic Novels and Comics Sat, 10:00–11:15 am Senate B
All Things Magical Girl Sun, 10:00–11:15 am Conference 5

This may or may not be my last post until after WisCon. I won't be taking my laptop with me, though I will have my tablet.

WisCon

May. 17th, 2015 07:12 pm
inkstone: One Piece's Nami after the time skip (Default)
[personal profile] inkstone
I never call, I never write, but I thought it'd be good to mention that I'll be at WisCon later this week in case other people are also going!

I will be on two panels:

Why All the YA Hate? on Saturday @ 10AM
All Things Magical Girl on Sunday @ 10AM.

I'm also planning to be at the POC dinner Friday night & will be hitting up the farmer's market Saturday morning.

If you want to meet up, let me know! If you want to exchange cell numbers to make coordination easier, PM me! I also check twitter religiously so if you want to contact me that way while at the con, my username is [twitter.com profile] incitata. Sending a twitter DM is best for time sensitive things, though.

(no subject)

May. 17th, 2015 09:11 am
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
OK, the first ten episodes of Deep Space Nine's sixth season have not been quite as amazing as the ending of the fifth season, because, like ... what could be?

On the other hand, serialization and mirrorverse and fanfic episodes!

Episodes 1-10 of Season Six, under the cut )
meganbmoore: (batb: ice cream)
[personal profile] meganbmoore

brief spoiler )

Meanwhile, I appear to be the only person I know who was completely disinterested in the Legends of Tomorrow trailer.  Maybe if Ollie hadn't been narrating it, I would have liked it more?  But I thoroughly disliked him by the time I dropped Arrow.

I am looking forward to Supergirl, though.

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