(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:40 pm
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
[personal profile] skygiants
I was resigned to waiting until October 17th for A Skinful of Shadows to come out in the US. However, [personal profile] izilen, horrified at both the long wait after the UK publication and the clear inferiority of the US cover, acquired a copy on my behalf and mailed it over the ocean -- after first warning me it was the darkest Frances Hardinge book yet.

Having now read it, I don't know that it's actually that much creepier than the first third of Cuckoo Song, or the bits of Lie Tree where Faith in her deepest self-loathing slithers snakelike through the island purposefully destroying everything she touches. It definitely has a higher body count -- a much higher body count -- but I mean it's a book about a.) ghosts and b.) the English Civil War so maybe that's to be expected ...?

Like many of Hardinge's books, it features:
- a ferocious underestimated girl struggling to hold onto a sense of self in a world that wishes her to have no such thing
- a recognition that the people you love and who believe that they love you will sometimes betray you, sometimes for reasons they believe are good and sometimes not
- a ruthless and terrible female antagonist whom the heroine cannot help but respect and admire
- a struggling journey up out of solitude towards a coalition built of necessity with the least likely individuals
- including an undead bear
- admittedly this is the first Hardinge book to include an undead bear
- it is also the first Hardinge book about literal ghosts, a lot of ghosts, a lot of very unpleasant and sinister ghosts but also some ghosts for whom I have a very deep affection, including the very bearlike bear.

I also have a great deal of affection for Makepeace - the illegitimate scion of a very old noble family that is quite confident it will be able to chew her up and spit her out, and finds itself repeatedly mistaken. I don't think I love her yet quite as much as Trista or Faith or Mosca, but that's what I said about Faith right after I read The Lie Tree, too, and LOOK AT ME NOW.

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2017 03:24 pm
skygiants: Jupiter from Jupiter Ascending, floating over the crowd in her space prom gown (space princess)
[personal profile] skygiants
GUESS WHAT it's another ... Jupiter Ascending fic chapter ....?

STILL UPDATING AT A RATE OF SLIGHTLY MORE THAN ONE CHAPTER A YEAR HECK YEAH.

AU meme time!

Oct. 8th, 2017 07:23 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Give me a fandom and an AU, and maybe a ship, and I will write a ficlet for you!

fly-by anime post

Oct. 8th, 2017 03:39 pm
meganbmoore: (12k: youko + sakura petals)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
For the first time in well over a year, I managed to stick with a new anime all the way to the end. (Unless we count Thunderbolt Fantasy, but I'm still unclear as to whether or not it's considered anime.) There were other series that I started, and some I enjoyed more than the ones I finished, but everything else I watched for anime ended up feeling like a chore to continue with. Moving on:

Sakura Quest: The latest "slice of life/unusal-in-anime-career" series from PA Works. The backgrounds and cinematography were as gorgeous as all their other series, though the character designs for their female characters are getting less distinctive (Nowhere near as bad as some other studios though. I feel I've checked out a number of series lately where hairstyle is the only way to tell characters apart.) This time, a country girl who wants to work in the city accidentally signs a contract to spend year as the "queen" (pretty much public face of) a failing tourist town. A bit slow at times, but nice and relaxing, and certainly a bit different from most slice of life series. Blessedly light on fanservice given that it's a series about a bunch of young women (and a cranky old man) pulling all sorts of stunts to boost tourism.

Grimoire of Zero
: Kinda-stereotypical fantasy anime about an anthromorphic white tiger who ends up the bodyguard of a witch who promises to make him fully human in a world where witches are outlawed. TBH, finished it a few weeks ago and have already forgotten half of it, but I was entertained throughout. The big downside is that it joins the legion of series with an adult female protagonist who gets sexualized despite looking like an adolescent. (Why must you keep doing this, anime)

Princess Principal: My favorite of the bunch. One of the many pseudo-early 20th century Europe anime, this time about a young princess who aspires to become queen of her small country, aided by a group of female spies, all but one of whom is an agent of a foreign country initially sent to work against her. If an action series about teenaged female spies with tons of angst and baggage and secrets (Princess has all those too) could be called an introspective slice-of-life series, this one would qualify. 99% certain there were no panty shots despite the premise, which includes on girl who flies with the aid of an anti-gravity device, and another (older) girl who regularly seduces guards to distract them.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome
OVAs: A leadin 3 part series for the anime that started airing this week. This was a backstory about Chise's childhood bookended by scenes in the "present".  I don't know if the story is from the manga or an original for the anime, since I've only read the first few volumes of the manga, but I am always here for stories about lonely kids stumbling across magic libraries.

This season looks promising to me.  The Mahou Tsukai no Yome is pretty much a sure deal for me, as is the Kino no Tabi reboot/sequel (not sure which) unless they end up being just badly done, and there are several other series that I plan to check out.

[Daily happiness]

Oct. 8th, 2017 01:40 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
1. Got to walk around the Panhandle, which was fun, and found a game store and an indie comics store—will have to remember to go there again to get Christmas presents for CB's niece and nephews.

2. Rewatched the musical sequences of La La Land, which are really great (Except the singing! Why?!). The opening number in particular is really impressive and all in one take too! There's something about lots of people dancing in unison that is extremely satisfying on a very deep level for me.

3. Went to CB's friend's place and had tasty prime rib and creme brulee mocha cake from 85°C and was social, which was nice.

(no subject)

Oct. 5th, 2017 11:39 pm
skygiants: Bunny-suit Kenji from 20th Century Boys saying 'this is the defender of justice who's gonna save the world from danger' (love and peace are on hold)
[personal profile] skygiants
Dear Yuletide author,

Thank you so much for signing up to write a gift for me! I have been doing Yuletide for some large number of years now and I have been delighted with my gifts for every single one; if you write something that makes you happy, I guarantee I will be delighted with it also.

I am always interested in women interacting with each other, ensemble stories, sibling dynamics, and the kind of romance where two flawed and peculiar people figure out how their flaws and peculiarities fit together. I am pretty much always down for crossovers and I'm potentially intrigued by canon-divergence AUs, but the kind of AU that transplants characters wholesale into a completely different story tends to be more hit-or-miss for me; the settings and specific circumstances are a lot of what interests me about these canons.

I don't mind canon-consistent dark themes if it makes sense for the story, but I tend not to be into graphic and gratuitous violence. I'm cool with sexual content, but I'd rather that wasn't the whole point of the fic.

Requests: 20th Century Boys, Crossroads series, Friends at the Table, Dragon of the Lost Sea series )

(no subject)

Oct. 5th, 2017 06:13 pm
skygiants: Kozue from Revolutionary Girl Utena, in black rose gear, holding her sword (salute)
[personal profile] skygiants
For the past approximately 15 years, I've been attempting to write a novel about Sir Kay, the Orkney knights, and weird Arthurian family dynamics. It's one of those things that I pick up about my extent draft of approximately every five years, think "huh! maybe with some extensive revision," get halfway through the extensive revision, realize I still haven't figured out how to do it, and put it down again. Maybe someday! With extensive revision!

Anyway it was probably about five years ago that I realized that someone had already written this book, sort of, and since then I've been hunting in bookstores for used copies of Phyllis Ann Karr's Idylls of the Queen, which I have now finally acquired and read.

This was a weird reading experience in the way that it always is when reading a book that's almost the book you would have written. About half the things that she's doing are very specific things that I am also really interested in, and it's deeply mysterious to me I arrived at them completely independently when she was already there three years before I was born. And then there are things that I never in a million years would have done, like making Sir Kay desperately in hopeless love with Queen Guinevere. What? I mean, OK, sure, but I wouldn't have ever gotten there. There must be a word for this, that weird feeling of almost-mine-but-not-quite.

Anyway, the thing that Karr does that I think is most interesting -- that I would like to do and probably will never do half so well -- is the way that she looks very closely at Arthurian stories from Malory and various lays and legends and hews very much to the letter of What Happens In Them, while also sort of shaking them inside out and looking at how that might have looked to the various different humans involved (often, especially, the women). It's really clever and a lot of fun, while also being about as disturbing as anything that takes much of Malory and various other early Arthuriana literally would have to be.

The actual plot of the book involves Queen Guinevere being accused of murder, and Sir Kay and Mordred going on a DETECTIVE SPREE ends up getting tangled up not just in Guinevere's alleged crime, but also all the weird backstory Orkney blood feud stuff of who murdered whom in revenge against whom. Eventually there's a Locked Room Denouement in full Poirot style, but first there is the TWO MOST ANNOYING KNIGHTS IN THE WORLD on a ROAD TRIP, hanging out with various Arthurian side characters like Nimue and Morgan and Sir Pelleas and Sir Ironsides and irritating the heck out of all of them, and it is honestly amazing.

KAY: I'm traveling with Mordred because he's the worst, and because he's definitely a suspect for the murder.
SOME RANDOM NORMAL ROUND TABLE PERSON: Sir Kay, why are you traveling with Mordred? He's the worst! Aren't you worried that his bad reputation will rub off on you?
KAY: Um, excuse me? I was given to understand that I was the rudest and most annoying knight of the Round Table? I'm pretty sure you should be worried that my bad reputation is going to rub off on this poor, innocent child, so why don't you lay off??

[later]

Mordred: I am totally ready to be murdered by ANYONE, probably YOU, probably TONIGHT. Here I am, LANGUISHING IN MY BEDROOM, WEAPONLESS -
KAY: CHILD! why are you such a DRAMA LLAMA

[later]

MORDRED: Now, hypothetically considering the possibility that maybe Guinevere did want to murder someone -
KAY: I'll fight anyone who accuses the queen! I'll fight you anytime, anywhere! How very dare you imply that it's even REMOTELY POSSIBLE that the Queen might have been in ANY WAY responsible for -
MORDRED: lololol look who is the drama llama! PS are you ready to murder me yet?
KAY: CHILD!!!!!

(To be clear, Mordred is like in his thirties in this book.)

[KAY AND MORDRED ARE ARGUING AGAIN]
KAY: Suddenly, I feel like shit! Why is this!
NIMUE: That's because I cast a spell of magical depression on you to get you to briefly -- oh, so blissfully briefly -- stop talking.
KAY: Mordred is the one who was ruder, why didn't you cast it on him?
NIMUE: You're the one who told me that Mordred was very emotionally fragile and I should be careful of his tender ego!
KAY: ...ugh, so I did. Ugh, and I meant it. Fine.

Basically what I'm saying is that it's still remotely possible that someday I will get my version into shape for other human eyes to see, but despite the strangeness of the experience, I'm not mad that Karr did it first.

(no subject)

Oct. 3rd, 2017 09:45 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
I've been cleaning up transcripts for Civil War-related interviews at work recently, which reminded me I never wrote up Alyssa Cole's An Extraordinary Union.

The heroine of An Extraordinary Union, Elle Burns, is very loosely based on Mary Bowser, a historical Civil War spy with an eidetic memory who worked undercover as a slave in Jefferson Davis' Confederate White House. Unsurprisingly, all the bits that feature Elle undercover and interacting with the other slaves in the household are really excellent, I would happily read twelve different iterations on Vaguely Fictionalized Mary Bowser.

The love interest ... is fine? I honestly don't remember much about him. He's Scottish with a tragic backstory, he is also a spy, he's smitten with Elle at first sight, and as a result I spent a lot of time in the first half of the book being kind of annoyed at him because I hit that thing where I'm like 'the stakes are too high for you to be making a pass here, knock it out! go back to spying!' I prefer my romantic espionage to come with a slightly higher dose of stressed-out mistrust and refusing to act on any feelings whatsoever because The Cause Comes First, and that goes double or triple when the stakes are so very much higher for one partner than the other. Anyway, once the romance is established (and I got over my irritation with the hero for attempting to pursue a romance at all under the circumstances) the Romantic Spyjinks were also very good and the heroic self-sacrifice level rose accordingly. The second book in the series is supposed to be coming out sometime in the next few months, I think, and I will be looking out for it.

Profile

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

July 2013

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910 111213
14151617181920
2122 2324252627
28293031   

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 10:07 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios