fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
([personal profile] fairestcat Jul. 21st, 2017 12:36 am)
For those who don't know, we live in an up/down duplex. Marna, Ian and I live upstairs and Lorayne has the downstairs, with two spare rooms for any guests of upstairs or downstairs.

Lorayne also has two window AC units. One of which is in her big spare bedroom. We do not have any AC upstairs, just a lot of fans.

It's been hot and humid as fuck in Ottawa for the last week. It's finally starting to cool down, but the heat is really lingering upstairs. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because of it.

So, I said fuck it and am sleeping downstairs tonight.

Dreadful followed me downstairs and was staring forlornly out the screen door, so we invited him in. So, Dreadful's sleeping downstairs too tonight.

Rayne's cats, Kina and Chakra, are less than impressed.

They've met Dreadful before, and even lived with him for a week when we stripped the wainscotting in the kitchen several years ago, so we're not worried it'll come to blows overnight or anything. They'll cope. And I think Dreadful is enjoying the change of scenery.

Also, the lack of dog.

Oh yeah, we got a dog. We've had him for about a month. Our intent was to foster him, but Marna fell in love, so now he's ours.

His name is Bogart, we think he's some sort of pointer cross, but he was rescued from the Everglades, so we can't be sure. He's about 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds. He's a sweetheart, but he has some behavioral issues we're working on.

And Dreadful has NOT reconciled himself to this new family member yet. He's never lived with a dog before, and he's not sure he wants to now. They're cohabiting relatively peacefully, but Dreadful is still keeping his distance.

ETA: and then Kina and Dreadful got in a fight in the hallway. So much for not coming to blows. So, now they're locked on opposite sides of the dog gate for the night.

*sigh*
As promised, some books I've read:

Point of Hopes (Astreiant, #1) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett -
★★★★

Complicated mystery plot in a fascinating, intricately-crafted fantasy universe.

I really appreciated the casually mainstreamed queerness in the worldbuilding. read more )

The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book has everything I loved about Sebastian's previous books. Complicated, flawed and messily human characters, a clear-eyed and intelligent class analysis and a refreshingly unapologetic queerness. read more )

Point of Knives (Astreiant #1.5) - Melissa Scott - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A satisfying mystery with an even-more-satisfying beginning of a romance between the main characters as they transition from people who sleep with each other occasionally to people who'd like to have a romantic relationship with each other. read more )

Peter Darling - Austin Chant ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An amazing queer, trans reimagining of the Peter Pan story. read more )

The Horse Mistress: Book 1 - R.A Steffan - ★ ★ ★

Enjoyable poly fantasy with a genderqueer protagonist. read more )

A Boy Called Cin - Cecil Wilde - ★ ★ ★ ★

I'd describe this book as an aspirational romance. It's a delightful, cozy fairytale of an idealized relationship. And that's not a bad thing. I think there's value particularly in queer aspirational romances. read more )

There Will Be Phlogiston (Prosperity, #5) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I picked this up because it was free and I'd heard good things about the author, but honestly I was mostly expecting a smutty, poly diversion.

What I got was so much more. read more )

Chasing Cameron: the complete series - Hanna Dare - ★ ★ ★ ★

A series of m/m novellas with a lot of sex, not all of it between, or only between, the two protagonists.

I was really pleasingly surprised by how non-mononormative this series is. read more )
One of the benefits of the new mood-stabilizer is that I'm reading again. After reading my way through a shit-ton of fanfic, I'm now switching between fanfic and pro novels.

I'm mostly only interested in reading queer stories at the moment, which has meant a lot of queer romances and also SF/F with queer characters and relationships.

I started with everything ever written by KJ Charles and OMG was that a good choice. Her stuff is AMAZING. Highly, highly recommended. She writes m/m historical romances, some straight historicals, some fantasy. One of the things I love historical queer romances because I love reading about queer people in history being happy, and Charles' books totally fill that desire.

A lot of queer historicals, or at least a lot of the ones I've read, are really interested in class and the intersection of class and sexuality and how that impacts relationships. Class differences are at the heart of almost all of Charles' books and it makes for a great lens through which to look at the various historical periods she writes in. The other thing that makes me happy about her books is that very few of her protagonists are uncomfortable with or tortured about their sexuality, which is again really refreshing to read about.

Then I moved on to Cat Sebastian's regency romances which I also highly recommend. Again with the queers being happy and not angsting about their sexualities and again with the class and anxiety about class differences being a significant factor in all the relationships.

I also highly recommend Joanna Chambers' Enlightenment series, in which one of the characters is quite guilty about his sexuality, which is possibly more realistic, but doesn't appeal to my id in quite the same way.

It was at about this point in my dive into books again that I got myself a Goodreads account, which is here, and started actually reviewing stuff as I read it.

Several people I read here regularly post reviews of the books they've read on their journals, and I think I'm going to start being one of them, I'm not going to commit to any specific schedule, but expect semi-regular book posts (the first going up directly after I finish writing this post).

The other thing I'm loving about Goodreads is having a place a list of books I've been recced that look interesting. I'm almost entirely reading digitally these days, mostly on Kobo. So, when I want to read something new I can go to my Goodreads to-read shelf and see what strikes my fancy. There are a lot of books with poly relationships in there right now, because I specifically solicited recs for queer, poly stories on twitter.

If you're curious my to-read shelf is here, and I'm always taking recs. Nothing too serious or dense right now, I'm still easing my way back into this reading gig.
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
([personal profile] isis Jul. 17th, 2017 11:50 am)
The second annual Multifandom Drabble Exchange ([community profile] multifandomdrabble) went live yesterday, and I received a gift and a treat:

Summer turns towards Autumn by [archiveofourown.org profile] weakinteraction - The Man in the High Castle (TV), Tagomi and Juliana post-S2. I do wonder what is going to happen in S3 when they eventually meet again, and this is a lovely teaser!

The Visitor by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alona - The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, Mulaghesh gen. I prompted "accidental kitten acquisition" and this made me smile because it's so in character.

I was assigned to write for [archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina:

A New Hobby - Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, Lord John/Stephan von Namtzen (okay, it's really gen, but) in a stealth fusion with an undisclosed fandom. Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.

I also wrote a bunch of treats (all G-rated):

Saucy Wench - Hot Sauces (Anthropomorphic), Cholula/ Tapatío - There's a new girl on the shelf.

My Sin - due South (TV), Frannie Vecchio/Maggie McKenzie - Licking the evidence runs in the family.

Fire - Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff, Teleri(/Connla) - Everyone in the village said they should wed, with their matching crowns of fiery hair.

The Bicycle Rule - The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Receiver gen - It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. (The Giver, chapter 2.)

One More Earthly Pleasure - The Witcher 3 videogame (actually for the DLC Hearts of Stone), Shani and Vlodimir - In which Gaunter O'Dimm doesn't banish Vlodimir at midnight.

Aboard the Psi-Ship Foxway - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, gen - 300 Fox Way IN SPAAACE.

Here are links to the main collection and the treats - a lot of tasty bite-sized fandom bits to sample. My favorite so far unfortunately points up the problem with drabbles - that they are so tiny and can only tell a very limited story - because it's a drabble sequence and therefore encompasses a lot more story than a single 100-word chunk can tell. But it's really amazing:

Forward/Back (500 words) by lalalalalawhy
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Time Traveler/Time Traveler
Characters: Time traveling OCs, Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Drabble, Drabble Sequence
Summary:
I skip through time like a flat stone on a still lake, spending days here, a few hours there, always moving forward. My love is the same, but reverse. Her lake is a mirror of mine. She only ever goes back.
A love story in five drabbles.

In other festathon news, I'm planning on signing up for both [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival, which are both open for sign-ups now! Check 'em out!
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
([personal profile] trobadora Jul. 16th, 2017 05:29 pm)
*SCREAMS*

ETA: link

Will be coherent later, for now I'm just running around screaming. :D :D :D

ET again A: The clip is now up at the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p058vj2q

*STILL SCREAMING*

Another edit - some quotes from Whittaker, Capaldi & Chibnall here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/jodie-whittaker-13-doctor
http://variety.com/2017/tv/global/bbc-doctor-who-1202496884/

OMG OMG OMG
NPT reveals have happened! It was a very short anon period, alas, but now I can actually talk about this. It was my first time writing this fandom - and it's a for a show I've loved for a long time. I used to watch The Pretender on German TV, and read a lot of (English) fanfic on the old pretender.de archive back in 2001/02, checking it almost daily until it vanished. My fic reading dropped off after that, but I never stopped loving the show, and rewatching it - my last full rewatch was in 2015 - only reinforced that. (It holds up very well, in case you were wondering. ♥)

Writing it myself for the first time after all that time felt pretty strange, but in a good way. :)

Title: Set Us Free
Pairing: Miss Parker/Jarod
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Jarod should be used to people being unworthy of trust, but some things hit closer to home than others. - Miss Parker knows how it goes when Jarod calls her in the middle of the night, but some calls are stranger than others.
A/N: This story refers to events from episode 3.04, Someone to Trust, in which Jarod gets himself hired as an arsonist and becomes close to his boss's seemingly-innocent wife. But Kristi isn't what she seems, and Jarod finds himself in trouble. Don't worry if you don't remember the episode well (or at all) - everything in the story should be clear from context.
Written for [personal profile] the_rck as part of Not Primetime 2017.

Originally posted here at AO3.

Set Us Free )
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
([personal profile] trobadora Jul. 14th, 2017 08:20 pm)
It's almost time for the Thirteenth Doctor! Announcement on Sunday!

In 2008/09, when Eleven was cast, I had very definite opinons about who I wanted it to be, and was disappointed both that it wasn't Paterson Joseph, and that it turned out to be a VERY young white bloke. (Also, OMG I hated that leather jacket look - so offputting.)

In 2013, when Twelve was cast, I didn't have specific preferences but hoped for someone who wasn't a young white bloke, and at least got one out of three.

This time? Especially after all the groundwork Moffat has been laying, if it's not a woman this time I'm going to be disappointed. If it's a white man I'm going to be disappointed and angry. And if it's Kris Marshall as has been rumoured, I'm going to be furious and will probably not watch series 11 live.

I haven't really been following the rumour mill, but I've read enough to know that unlike last time, this time round rumours about female candidates have been treated seriously by all involved, which is great. But if they don't do it this time, they'll have lost the last chance to make it mean something other than a tired old "well, better late than never, I suppose."

Cross all your fingers for Thirteen!
isis: (lego draco)
([personal profile] isis Jul. 13th, 2017 02:19 pm)
I followed a rec from [personal profile] vass in a comment to a post at [personal profile] jamethiel and hply sjot, I have fallen down a rabbit hole! I had seen references to 17776 at ffa but ignored them, because once I realized it wasn't a typo for the musical it turned out to be a multimedia web thingy about football, which is not something I'm interested in.

But it's not about football. Well, I suppose it is, on some level, but it's Calvinball-football, something called football that has one toe still in the contemporary game but "now", in the far far post-quasi-apocalyptic future, is mostly an outrageously inventive pastime for bored immortals, which we are shown through commentary by old spacecraft which have now achieved sentience, including one who has just "awoken" and so has to have everything explained to it by the others.

It is a WIP, apparently updated daily. I am not sure how much is out or how far along I am, but I just finished the Page, Arizona chapter, in which opposing teams become trapped in a canyon with sheer walls and continue battling for thousands of years. (I have been there in real life! I am amused!)

Anyway, if this description intrigues you: https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football/
isis: winged Isis image (wings)
([personal profile] isis Jul. 12th, 2017 04:31 pm)
What I've recently finished reading:

Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb - I liked the story, appreciated the way the ending called back to other elements of the series (and felt it a solid, satisfying ending), but I am not sure why this book didn't resonate emotionally with me. Perhaps it's because having read the series over such a long span of time, the characters' lives are less fresh and compelling to me. Perhaps it's because this book's ambitious scope in tying together not just the final trilogy but all the Realms of the Elderlings sub-series required so many sub-plots that it seemed an overwhelming brick with too many diversions. I enjoyed reading it, as I enjoyed most of the series (Rain Wilds, ugh) but toward the end I was feeling as though it was more a chore than a delight, and I'm glad I'm finished.

The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles - Better than the average m/m novel, but that's a low bar. The magic is interesting (and the best part of the book); the plotting is pretty good, though the ending is a bit abrupt, with a sudden influx of new characters whose villainy could have been set up better through the narrative; the romance is all right, though a bit too heavy on the size-difference kink for my taste. I'm not particularly inclined to seek out the rest of the series, though I have to say I'm intrigued by Stephen's partner Esther, who was mentioned but didn't actually appear in the story.

Dungeons & Dreamers: A Story of how Computer Games Created a Global Community by Brad King and John Borland - This readable, engaging book traces the development of multi-user computer games and non-game shared social spaces (such as Second Life) from their roots in tabletop gaming and D&D, through text adventure and then graphic action/adventure games, to current (as of writing, which is not current at all) massively networked games. I found the early chapters particularly interesting because I, too, was a D&D geek and gamer in the late 70s/early 80s (though I drifted away after early graphical games such as Spacewar, and text games Zork and Advent and their progeny); it was like reading the book equivalent of the TV series Halt and Catch Fire, the underlying stories of things which I experienced as a casual user at the time.

There is certainly more focus on certain people and game companies than others, but this doesn't purport to be a complete history of games and gaming. Instead this focus (which wavers at times, admittedly) serves to build the thesis that (most) people like narrative and social interactions, even while killing monsters. I think it's a reasonable view, though perhaps it leaves out the meta aspect of people who like to play single-player games (which I imagine are the majority of games available) but who then congregate on Reddit and other forums to share their experiences and screenshots. Anyway, recommended if you have an interest in this sort of thing.

What I'm reading now:

Right now I'm down to my audiobook, Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which I am a little more than halfway through. I'm finding it surprisingly interesting and enjoyable for YA dystopian SF. I mentioned last week that I thought I'd read a short story with a similar premise, of people split into night people and day people, and while browsing the Goodreads reviews I saw one person mention that it was sort of based on a book called The Day Boy and the Night Girl, which is an 1882 fairy tale novel by George MacDonald. I checked it out on Wikipedia and while it sounds interesting, it's not the story I was thinking of.

What I'm reading next:

I might have to read the fourth Expanse book, because B keeps blathering about the books while we watch the show. He also has been reading the Wayward Pines books and thinks I should read them. (The author is a friend of a friend.) I have some various random stuff in ebook I ought to read sometime, things I've downloaded through Instafreebie (though so far I have not been impressed), through the Tor free ebook series, and through other promotions.

What I'm watching now:

We are 6/10 through S2 of The Expanse! It is weird to me how the TV seasons don't match up with the books very well. The things I think of as being the important stuff that happened in the second book have not even occurred yet (well, one of them finally did in E6). What a pretty show, though.

What I'm watching next:

I heard a rumor that Winter is Coming. Huh, looks like summer to me.
isis: (Default)
([personal profile] isis Jul. 11th, 2017 05:24 pm)
I didn't sign up, but I looked through the collection to read stories in fandoms I know, and there are three that are really quite good and you should read them, too, if you know these fandoms:

Good and Bad Alike (We Keep Meeting) (1609 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] sevendeadlyfun

Fandom: Hamilton - Miranda
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Thomas Jefferson, Angelica Schuyler
Summary: He does not meet her at Versailles. No one, the Duc D’Orlean proclaims, meets anyone at Versailles. Angelica and Jefferson meet in Paris. They part in America.

I love the historical details, and Angelica comes alive here as the central character in her own story.

Peat Smoke Rising (3065 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] feroxargentea
Fandom: The Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle | The Eagle of the Ninth - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marcus Flavius Aquila/Esca Mac Cunoval
Characters: Esca Mac Cunoval, Marcus Flavius Aquila
Additional Tags: book canon, Missing Scene, Wilderness, Hiking, Hurt/Comfort, Sharing Body Heat, canonically ambiguous relationship
Summary: \Peat smoke rising. Two worlds entwined.

I really like this gentle story; the language evokes the book-language without feeling like pastiche, with lovely Sutcliffian scenery and descriptive details.

strawberries and sunlight (3252 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] polkadot
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Catherine Bennet/Georgiana Darcy
Characters: Catherine Bennet, Georgiana Darcy
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Flirting, Declarations Of Love
Summary: It was some four months since Kitty had come to stay at Pemberley, when she found to her great astonishment that she had not thought of young officers in a fortnight.

Kitty's slow maturity as she moves away from Lydia's orbit to Georgiana's, and then her examination of that change in herself, is lovely to see. And Georgiana's obviously blossoming here as well, from the shy and withdrawn girl in the novel to someone who has found what she wants and is patiently waiting for Kitty to figure it out. This is probably my favorite of the stories I read from this fest.

ETA: edited in author names post-reveal.
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
([personal profile] trobadora Jul. 11th, 2017 07:46 pm)
So, yeah, I know I haven't posted properly about the Doctor Who finale yet, but OMG so much squee. In fact, [personal profile] navaan and I have been squeeing a lot about Missy in particular, and while bouncing fic ideas around we had an idea for a different kind of Remix challenge.

It went something like this:
  1. The world needs more Missy!
  2. Someone should do a fest or a challenge or something.
  3. A fest where Missy gets to be in everything! Everything's better with more Missy.
  4. A Missy remix! Remix this fic by adding Missy to it!
  5. Someone should really do that.
  6. "Someone" is going to be us, isn't it?

(Yes - while our annual Doctor/Jack fest is still posting over at [community profile] wintercompanion, we're already planning the next thing ... *headdesk*)

In general terms this is how it would work:

Like in a normal remix challenge, people would sign up with the body of Doctor Who work they've written and be assigned a remixer, who gets to pick one of their stories to remix. The difference - all remixes would have the aim to add Missy somehow, for example:
  • Missy's POV on what happened
  • Missy doing things behind the scene while the plot unfolds
  • Missy directly bursting in on the story and interacting with everyone else
  • ...

(More general info about remixes.)

This is, admittedly, a very specific idea for a fest! So before we set to work, we wanted to find out if anyone who isn't us would actually be interested in taking part in a challenge like this. So let us know:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13


Interested?

View Answers

I'd take part!
6 (46.2%)

I don't know if I'd take part, but I'm interested
7 (53.8%)

Basically, a rotation curation is when there's an account set up for different people to take over. People 'curate' it for a week or so. I was on https://twitter.com/TWkLGBTQ, which as you can tell is all about the LGBTQ+ community.

It was interesting! The account follows almost 3,000 people, which is very different from my usual account's 700 or so. I ended up spending a lot of time just reading people's feeds, also seeing the same news stories (Andrew Garfield making a joke that backfired, the hot mess with Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian, people killed in hatecrimes) again and again. That last one was really upsetting.

I also spoke to a larger selection of people than I normally would have - the account follows the LGBT Conservatives account and a few other, similar people. Obviously I don't agree with them, but it was still interesting/infuriating.

Overall, I had a very good experience and would rec it! Have followed a bunch of new to me people too.
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