(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2014 08:14 am
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
[personal profile] skygiants
I've been tackling a project at work recently that has to do with the Lindbergh kidnapping case, which is one of the reasons I've been waxing extremely nostalgic about one of my favorite childhood authors that nobody else has ever heard of: Anne Lindbergh, who I didn't realize until I was much older was actually the daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow. Which has no relevance to her books at all, really, except for the cognitive dissonance; Anne Lindbergh's books are charming and SUPER WEIRD eighties and nineties middle-grade fantasies that seem about a billion worlds away from the 1930s and controversies about airplanes and fascism.

My favorite -- which I've just reread -- is called Three Lives to Live. This book has actually been a huge influence on the way I write, and also the way I edit. It's written as protagonist Garet's 'autobiography' for a 7th-grade school project, which means about a third of the book is complaints about her English teacher criticizing her for not doing what "The Professional Writer" would do. At one point the teacher complains that Garet needs to use more active speech verbs than 'said'.

Garet's response is to rewrite the offending passage, like so:

"I wouldn't want to risk it. I bet you wouldn't either," I chirp.
"I would so," she blubbers.
"You would not," I yelp.
"How much do you want to bet?" she queries.
"I'll bet a million dollars," I coo.
"You don't have a million dollars," she yawns.
"Then I'll bet anything you like," I yap.
"You don't
have anything I like," she bellows, "so I guess I won't bet after all."
"Chicken!" I grin.

I THINK OF THIS EVERY TIME I'm about to recommend to someone that they vary their word choice in a dialogue section. There's a lot to be said for the invisible said!

(The seventh-grader whose autobiography involves a lot of bodice-ripping from a love-crazed duke suggests that Garet add 'breathed throatily' to her collection of speaking verbs. I love that seventh-grader.)

...meanwhile, the actual plot involves Garet's relationship with the rest of her family: her grandmother, whom she lives with, and her twin sister, Daisy, who isn't actually not her twin sister, she just came down the laundry chute one day a few months ago. Their grandmother refused to provide any information and insisted that Garet just had to adapt to having a sister in the house. Garet is not adapting to having a sister in the house. Daisy is prettier and smarter and weirder and gets EVERYTHING, including a canopy bed and a laptop computer, ugh! (Sidenote: the book was written in 1993, and I'd forgotten laptop computers were already invented then!)

Then about midway through there's the reveal that spoilers get hilariously weird below below! )

I had not forgotten how much I loved this book, but it's nice to be confirmed in how much I love this book! I'm kind of sad now that it's much too late to nominate it for Yuletide. MAYBE NEXT YEAR.


Oct. 18th, 2014 08:02 pm
meganbmoore: (levy writes)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
1. I had 3 friends join Flight Rising during the registration window, and 2 even joined me in Water. I am very eager to see what you guys do with your lairs.

2. Speaking of Flight Rising, just as I was finally getting used to the last new genes, they came out with a new one.

3. I've now checked out Akatsuki no Yona, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Your Lie in April, and Shirobako for this season's new anime, and only have the second season of Psycho-Pass and In Search of the Lost Future left to check out. Though I probably shouldn't be starting new series when I haven't finished any of the four from last season that I'm still catching up on (Ao Haru Ride, Glasslip, Barakamon, and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. At least I ran out of Fairy Tail to binge on, at least until Hulu adds more.

4. John Grisham apologized for his comments about child pornography that were made earlier in the week, but I'm about as convinced by it as his disgruntled fans appear to be. I ranted about it a fair bitthe other day on twitter, but dude, you can't really take some of that stuff back, no matter how much crow you eat.

5. I don't have a link for it, but apparently Adam Baldwin is working on something or other for Dark horse. Oh, to live in a world where you lost jobs when you attack a woman and sic 200k followers on her and act like the death threats she receives for it were all in her head because her ex-boyfriend decided to air her dirty laundry (real or fake) and you decided she was corrupt. (I assume everyone is familiar with GamerGate. If not, just go search any combination of "GamerGate" Adam Baldwin" and "Zoe Quinn." Warning for ending up with awful anti-women/female gamers treatises, including gifs and photo edits that appear to want to portray Baldwin as a heroic hunter of women. First example google gave me. I've seen much worse, that one is mild and missable if you don't get the context.

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2014 08:18 am
skygiants: Cha Song Joo and Lee Su Hyun from Capital Scandal taking aim at each other (baby shot you down)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] shoroko has been really into spy stuff over the past year or so, and last year she recced me Your Republic Is Calling You, a Korean novel about a North Korean sleeper agent who's recalled home unexpectedly after about twenty years in South Korea.

This book is not James Bond, or even John Le Carre. The intelligence work is not the point -- though when it does show up, it's clear that it's the much quieter, long-term sort of spying that I wish I saw more of in fiction, in which aggregated information means significantly more than THE KEY PIECE OF PAPER!! at THE KEY MOMENT!!

Anyway, Ki-yong's spy story is only about a third of the book. He also has a wife and daughter, who are just kind of bopping through their days having adventures in COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GENRES while he's running around trying to get in touch with his old contacts and coming to terms with his feelings about North Korea and South Korea and the things he misses and the things he's gained and the things he's given up, and of course also wondering if he's going to be executed the minute he returns, minor detail.

Meanwhile, his wife is having adventures in torrid affairs with twenty-something hipster assholes, which ... leads some depressing places and was not my favorite part of the book.

And meanwhile meanwhile, their daughter is having a cheerful school story! Hanging out with friends! Having a crush on a boy! No real problems here!

For about 90% of the book all of these stories are almost completely separated, which is part of the point -- if there's a theme to the novel, it's the disguises people wear, and how that keeps them apart. The story's real climax comes when Ki-yong finally has to tell his wife the truth (after three hundred pages of everyone living completely separate lives), and face for the first time how the deception that he's been living has affected, not just him, but her; that scene's probably worth signing on for. I didn't love the book, but I thought it was worth reading.

Sleepy Hollow 2.4

Oct. 16th, 2014 11:15 pm
meganbmoore: (sleepy hollow: jenny x gun)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
spoilers )

The only other new TV I've watched this week is the second episode of Star Wars: Rebels. I've mostly been watching 666 Park avenue (good until the end, which was just awful) and bingeing on Fairy Tail, which is my current happy place, except that I'm almost caught up now.

demon production line

Oct. 15th, 2014 12:09 am
cordialcount: (kuroshitsuji › symbols on a neck)
[personal profile] cordialcount
Meet Sebastian's sparklier twin:

continued, images under cut )

(Noblesse, a manhwa I ran across while sorting the anime/manga category of the Yuletide tag set. In more expected discoveries, more than half of the manga-only titles nominated are BL.)
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance

Hi all,

Today another SSL vulnerability was announced. This one is named POODLE and is, while serious, much less serious than the Heartbleed event from some months ago.

Unfortunately, the only real way to fix the problem is to disable something called "SSLv3" entirely. Basically, this means that we instruct our servers that they are no longer allowed to speak version 3 of the SSL protocol (you can think of it as a language -- we ban this language from our servers). It turns out this is generally OK since most browsers don't actually speak using SSLv3 these days -- you actually use what's called TLS, which is a more modern, better way of protecting the stuff you send across the Internet.

The SSLv3 protocol is actually around 15 years old at this point, and TLS has been out so long that nearly every browser out there supports it. However, shutting off SSLv3 does mean that very old browsers -- IE6, for one -- can no longer talk to Dreamwidth using encryption. In this case, since the encryption wouldn't actually mean anything, we think it's better to not even pretend that it works.

I will be making this change sometime in the next hour or three. This really should impact almost none of you, but there might be one or two and, in that case, I'm sorry. We think it's better to do this so you know you're not actually secure than to let Dreamwidth pretend to be secure.

Edit: This has been deployed. SSLv3 is disabled on Dreamwidth.

Comments and questions welcome, as always!

manga: One Piece Vol 49-65

Oct. 14th, 2014 08:08 pm
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Most of this was one very long action sequence taking place over several locations as people kept chasing other people from one island to another.
spoilers )
Side note: I'm pretty sure OP is has the record for the most volumes I've ever read of a single manga series. I think both Bleach and Naruto lost me somewhere in the 30s, and Samurai Deeper Kyo would be the lonest series I've finished, but it wasn't quite 40 volumes total.

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2014 02:43 pm
skygiants: (wife of bath)
[personal profile] skygiants
You know that thing where no matter what hobby you have, you can write a cozy themed mystery novel series about it? Like, there's knitting-themed cozy mysteries and gardening-themed cozy mysteries and accounting-themed cozy mysteries and so on?

I don't think 'cozy themed series' is a thing for fantasy novels, because it's kind of been subsumed by urban fantasy which is a whole separate thing, but maybe it should be a thing? Actually I would kind of love if that was a thing. (ACCOUNTING-THEMED COZY FANTASY NOVELS BY THE DOZENS.) And if it was a thing, then Barbara Ashford's Spellcast and its sequel Spellcrossed would fall squarely into that subgenre.

So the basic premise is that Our Heroine Maggie goes on a road trip and accidentally gets sucked into a tiny community theater in a charming small town in Vermont, which is full of charmingly eccentric theatrical types and wacky theatrical hijinks, and also it turns out powered by the charming and angsty fairy director who uses his MAGICAL FAIRY POWERS to help all these charmingly eccentric characters put on successful musicals while coming to terms with their personal hangups and growing as people. The first book is about Maggie getting over her low self-esteem by performing as the clambake lady in "Carousel," and the second book is about Maggie getting over her parent issues by directing "Into the Woods." While falling in love with/sorting out relationship status with the charming and angsty fairy director, of course. They are basically the coziest damn things I've ever read.

And, like, OK:
- it's wish fulfillment up the wazoo
- there are all kinds of ethical problems with fairy magic cheerfully being used to futz with people's emotional states and ability to perform high-quality theater that are really very BARELY glancingly addressed
- don't go in looking for numinous because there's really very little numinous to be found
- also many of the charmingly eccentric theatrical types verge on stereotype (I cringed, for example, at the subplot about the gay actor playing Neville Craven who kept accidentally giving off incest vibes during his scenes with Archibald in "The Secret Garden") (although actually the loud and intimidating but good-hearted Chinese choreographer who SPEAKS IN ALLCAPS was my favorite and I would very happily read all about her romance with her mild-mannered Swiss-German stage manager husband)

So if you're likely to be irritated by those things, stay away, but I had massive amounts of fun. The books just kind of exude comfort -- at least if you are a person who loves musicals and loves cheesy fantasy novels, which, I mean, there's no denying I am the target audience. There is an X painted on my chest. HERE I AM.

But also I think I'm a bit cozy comfort fantasy-starved? Seriously, cozy theme fantasy can become a thing any time now.

power among the powerless

Oct. 12th, 2014 06:49 pm
cordialcount: (inception › battleground in a briefcase)
[personal profile] cordialcount
I try not to post about other people's lives on here, but this may be relevant to some fannish people who don't read in Science Fiction Author Circles: Winterfox and the writer of the blog Requires Only That You Hate have been confirmed as pseuds of Benjanun Sriduangkaew, sf writer.

Note: Descriptions of her behavior (e.g. vitriolic and graphic personal attacks-- verbal, for clarification-- on other writers and even strangers for crimes ranging from using -ist tropes oneself to mentioning liking works of fiction that included said tropes; bringing down a books-by-people-of-color review comm and some others through force of sheer toxicity; using her ethnicity/race/gender as an umbrella rationale for vitriolic personal attacks on... members of her ethnicity/race/gender; professionally courting people under one persona while slicing their reputations and emotionally sabotaging them under another) and instances of other people shading into abuse apologism, and IMO showing little enough reading comprehension to disqualify them from writing as a career, in the comments.

ETA 10/13: I did not link and did not intend for this post to be linked as a primer.

(no subject)

Oct. 12th, 2014 12:56 pm
skygiants: young Kiha from Legend of the First King's Four Gods in the library with a lit candle (flame of knowledge)
[personal profile] skygiants
I took Zen Cho's Spirits Abroad with me as my airplane book for the conference I was at this week. This was a mistake. Never bring a book this good to a conference at which you expect to be busy and without any time to read for a week, because it will present a major and distressing conflict. You are now forewarned.

If you are not right now on your way to a conference or other major conflict, however, you should read Spirits Abroad immediately. Normally when I read a short story anthology I will talk about favorite stories and stories that didn't work for me, but in this case you can pretty much assume that I loved all of them? BASICALLY ALL OF THEM. Often by the time I've finished a single-author collection I'm kind of like, 'OK, I got the patterns here now, I'm ready to be out' by the time it's over, but by the time I hit the end of this collection I was like 'OK, I got the patterns here and I would please like even more of them.' (I've read some of these stories before, but now I get to enthuse about them collectively, so that's also nice!)

Enthusing, story-by-story )

(no subject)

Oct. 12th, 2014 04:09 pm
meganbmoore: (flight rising)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
As I mentioned the other day, I'm giving a dragon to any of my friends who join Flight Rising in tomorrow's registration window, so I'm going ahead and posting the dragons ahead of time.

here ) :

Female Skydancer:

Male Spiral:

Female Imperial:

Female Skydancer:

I will give Sakura and Syaoran's first baby to a Clamp fan who understands why it was only natural that it's taken me months to find the right mate for Sakura. (And that she's an exact copy of her mother.) Claimed by [personal profile] laceblade :

Female Coatl:

There's also these nests which will produce cute babies over the next few days.  You can also look at any of my pairs on the first 5 1/2 pages of my lair if you see a pair that you think would make a baby dragon you want in the future. Most of my pairs are named after Disney and animanga pairs, with plenty of Ghibli mixed in, along with a few wuxia and childhood nostalgia pairings, so they're pretty easy to spot.

Also, if you're planning on joining, I recommend checking out this list of helpful links.


Oct. 10th, 2014 11:29 pm
meganbmoore: (sleepy hollow: jenny x gun)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
How to Get Away With Murder 1.3: I'm getting more into this now that the characters are getting more developed.

spoilers )

Madam Secretary 1/3: The things i like about this series, I like more each episode, and the political Problem of the Week was more interesting than the ones in the first two episodes. But I really just want more scenes of Tea Leoni and Bebe Neuwirth discussing White House office politics.

Sleepy Hollow 2.3:

spoilers )

Star Wars: Rebels 1.1-1.2: I probably would have passed this by, except that I liked Clone Wars. Set 14 years after Revenge of the Sith and 5 years before A New Hope, SWR is about a ragtag group of rebels. The leader is Kanan, a Jedi who survived Order 66 and went into hiding (I question how he managed to stay under the radar for 15 years, given these episodes, but moving on...) and the captain is his apparent lover, Hera, who appears to be the only member whose head is completely screwed up straight. The rest of the crew are Sabine (next in line for "head screwed on striaghtest") a teenaged girl who appears to be the group's explosive expert, and likes to graffiti things before blowing them up, and Zeb, whose characterization so far is largely 'grouchy muscleguy who is secretly soft." They also acquire Ezra, a teenaged thief and conartist, and probable future Jedi. Ezra's character seems to be directly lifted form Disney's Aladdin, and a couple scenes, based on my memories, almost look like the same storyboards from the "Street Rat" song, but altered for SciFi. (I'm not complaining, just observing.) They also have a droid, "Chopper," who seems to find them all very annoying.

I'm not sure what the target audience is-some of it seems skewed to younger audiences, and some of it less so, and the Storm Troopers are incompetent even for Storm Troopers, but I liked it. Would recommend if you like space rebels, found families, explosions, competent women (who may or may not get sidelined...we'll see), and Star Wars in general.

more of a clone Wars spoiler than a Rebels spoiler )

Strange Empire 1.1: New Canadian western series about a group of women on a wagon train who have to survive after all their men are killed.The first episode was good, but also very focused on being dark and gritty. The main characters are a markswoman who was probably an outlaw pre-series, a female doctor who appears to be high functioning autistic, and the wife of the man who killed them groups men, and who doesn't appear to like or approve of her husband at all. Warning for the death of an infant in the opening scene, and the rather gruesome murder of a young child later. (The murder is offscreen, but we see the corpse.)

PS-Unrelated to TV, I am giving a free dragon to any of my friends who join Flight Rising on Monday.

Dear Yulegoat *__* (2014)

Oct. 9th, 2014 02:57 pm
cordialcount: (stock › the rate of meeting the future)
[personal profile] cordialcount
Popping the radio silence: Best intentions fell through again, fannishly. Not the best summer. Alive and fine now, though!


Dear Yulegoat (or your preferred address here),
Truly Optional Details, in general )

Hilary Tamar )
The Culture )
Alliance-Union )
Takeshi Kovacs )

[May add fifth request. The four above are all definite.]

closing )

Flight Rising Registration Window

Oct. 9th, 2014 03:39 pm
meganbmoore: (flight rising)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Flight Rising is having an open registration window on 10/13.   Aaaaall my friends should join.  And I will give you a pretty dragon when you do.  (Well, perhaps not immediately, as some of my dragons won't be able to lay nests for a bit.  BUT STILL. Come play with us!)

Gotham 1x01-1x03

Oct. 7th, 2014 11:57 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
So far, I am still watching because I am a sucker for Batverse, but I haven't really hit it off with any of the episodes yet.

Spoilers )

Taken from sarajaychan

Oct. 7th, 2014 05:08 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Please ask me questions about my OTPs in the comments! Any questions! All questions! Deep questions! Silly questions! Ship questions. (It doesn't even really have to be OTPs. Basically, anything you know I have ever shipped. And maybe even anything I haven't. Oooh, that could actually make this MORE interesting, if you wanted to asked about things I don't/might/once shipped.)
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Rakuin no Monshou is a twelve volume light novel series that's complete in Japan, but only has two volumes currently translated into English via fantranslations at baka-tsuki. it's not a well known or popular series, so the translations are going slowly, but hopefully the translators will be able to stick it out. (Or some studio or another will decide that a relatively obscure light novel series needs to join the legions of light novels that are getting adapted into anime in recent years, and more people will be interested in helping.)

The countries of Mephius and Garbera have been at war for over a decade, and the royal families have decided to put an end to it by marrying the youngest princess of Garbera, Vileena, to the crown prince of Mephius, Gil. Prince Gil has a reputation as a drunkard, coward and bully who dabbles in illegal substances (also a rapist, though not part of his reputation) but Vileena is determined to use the union to Garbera's best advantage.

Gil, however, dies shortly before Vileena is due to arrive in Mephius, and is secretly replaced by a lookalike, Orba. Orba's village was destroyed early in the war, and he hates both kingdoms. He began raising a small army of young rebels in his teens, but was soon caught and arrested. Because of his strong resemblance to Prince Gil, a sorcerer named Fedom arranged for Orba's life to be spared and put him in an enchanted magic mask that couldn't be removed (and secretly altered his appearance to increase the resemblance to Gil) and had Orba sold as a gladiator. After Gil dies, Fedom covers it up (not even the royal family knows) and fetches Orba from the coliseum, telling him that it's only a temporary assignment. At one point, Fedom implies that Orba isn't the only lookalike, just the most successful one, though I have no idea if that will eventually be followed up on.

Orba arranges to have several gladiators he considers friends assigned to "Gil's" personal guard, one of whom serves as Orba's own bodydouble, sometimes as "Gil" in armor while Orba, as himself, works as one of Gil's guards, and sometimes as "Orba" when Orba-as-Gil has to shows his face in public, as opposed to taking advantage of Gil's reputation as a lazy bum to hide out because Orba actually knows nothing whatsoever about politics or the court or being a prince. (You can guess which version of Orba Vileena prefers and thinks is nice and heroic and is developing a crush on, and which she regards as an irresponsible bum who occasionally shows a glimmer of promise. If you can't, you don't know your tropes very well.)

A large chunk of the first volume is taken up by Orba's angsty backstory, before returning to the "present" with a plot by Garbera rebels to interfere with the royal engagement. The second volume focuses more on Orba and Vileena trying to figure out the Mephius court, while there's ALSO another conspiracy planning to use the coliseum games for rebellion and assassination. Both books have very good characterization and buildup, followed by a too-tidy conclusion that keeps them from having the "oomph" they could, but not not to the point that they detracted from my overall enjoyment.
The society is medieval-lite, but with airships (Vileena is a pilot, and female pilots are fairly common is Garbera, but almost unheard of in Mephius, which is much largely than Garbera, but also less advanced), guns, and a gladiator system pretty closely mirrored after ancient Rome's. The concept is that the world started as a human colony who lost all the advanced technology that came with them from Earth, and never managed to recreate it.
Like most of the light novels I've read, the target audience appears to be teenaged boys. Unlike most of the light novels I've read that are aimed for teenaged boys, the fanservice and infantilization of the female characters are practically non-existent. The focus in the books is primarily adventure and politics, with a side of slow moving romance. (Which hopefully won't go very far before Vileena finds out that her fiance and crush are the same person, and not the actual prince at all.)
I'm not 100% sure I should recommend everyone go and read it simply because I have no idea how long it'll take for more volumes to get translated, but I really enjoyed these two volumes.

Sleepy Hollow 2x01-2x03

Oct. 6th, 2014 10:11 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
Hello, show! I missed you in all your cracktastic glory!

Spoilers )


the_sun_is_up: Panty from PSG wearing glasses. (Default)
Sing me a bawdy song, make me merry

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