[sticky entry] Sticky: Fic Masterlist

Jan. 21st, 2011 01:58 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Blanket permission: Please feel free to remix, podfic, or really do anything you like with anything I've written. I'd love it if you'd drop me a link when you're done, though.

Whoniverse )

Merlin )

Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire )

Misc. fandoms: Legend of the Seeker, Discworld, Being Human, The West Wing, Warehouse 13, The Queen's Thief, Once Upon a Time )

Crossovers & Fusions )
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Meme was interrupted by the unusually clement weather, and the suspension of all activity that was not sitting in the sunshine, drinking variously flavoured ciders, and reading. Apricot cider is awesome; berry cider tastes like alcoholic ribena, and not in the good way. The Goblin Emperor was excellent; The Republic of Thieves less so.

I have not been keeping up with the news coming out of comic-con, because tumblr is the best source for it, and there's only so much infinite scroll that my ageing laptop can cope with. On the plus side, this is a marvellous mechanism for preventing tumblr from becoming too much of a time-suck. But I did see the casting news for S5 of Game of Thrones. Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell is awesome, and a thousand fancasts come to life. I am bummed, but somehow not surprised, that we don't seem to be getting an Arianne. On the one hand, I like Arianne, and I think that she's important to the narrative, but I know there are people who think Victarion Greyjoy is an interesting and narratively important character, and I think those people are wrong. But it feels churlish to bitch just because it's a character I happen to like that's being omitted this time. On the other hand, I suspect that with Arianne we'll also lose any hint that things are different for women in Dorne, and that actually disappoints me more.


Day 4. Something you made just for yourself

Here Be Dragons (Merlin/Temeraire; Morgana, Aithusa)

This is quite possibly the most self-indulgent thing I have ever written, with an intended audience of... well, me. And on that level, at least, it works.

Temeraire, I love the set-up and the world-building; I could live without the slightly forced world travel, and from book to book the plots do very little for me... but that's more than made up for by: holy cow, regency dragons! Merlin, the world building would have had to work a bit harder to be considered half-arsed, and I could have cheerfully lived without Merlin himself; but for lizard brain reasons I adored Morgana. And I was fascinated by Aithusa -- I mean, this wee baby dragon that was supposed to be a good omen for Merlin and Arthur saved Morgana's life, and became the only thing in the world that Morgana openly cared for. On a Doylist level I get that it was because the showrunners didn't know what to do with Aithusa after introducing it, and the CGI cost more than they'd thought; but on a Watsonian level-- it was fascinating.

One of the things that I wished got more time in the Temeraire novels is that there are certain dragons that will only accept female companions, and I made use of that in order to write a scene where Merlin tries to harness Aithusa, and she's just clinging to Morgana's leg going not enough nope in the world, which I justified by saying, well, that's more or less what happened in canon. Merlin's not a bad guy in this fic (although he and Morgana take against each other at once) and he ends up as Kilgaarah's captain; because there's a difference between I don't like this character and don't want to waste words on him, or even I have issues with this character that I would like to see explored more in fic, and character bashing. On the rare occasions I write Merlin I go out of my way to be fair to him, because christ on a cracker I hate that guy!

Aside from dragons, my other favourite thing are lesbians. So, yeah, Morgana is gay here. Partly because I don't think that she was straight in canon. And partly because as incoherent as Morgana's characterisation was a lot of the time, one of the defining things about her is that she has a secret, and she's afraid of the consequences should it come out. And in a world without magic - lesbianism, then.

Morgana develops a crush on Elena. Usually when I want Morgana to have a female love interest I use Vivian (there's too much baggage with Gwen, and I have rarely wanted to reach through my television and fix something so much as I did the end of Sweet Dreams.) Nothing happens between them. When I was writing this I was on a kick of wanting stories about gay characters who don't end up in relationships. Not the tragic queer cliche, no. But sometimes you're gay, and it's an important part of your identity, and you notice women's attractiveness; but you've also recently been conscripted into the dragon arm of the regency era armed forces (or, y'know, whatever...) and priorities.

Anyway, writing shamless self-indulgent id-fic is good for the soul, I think.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Day 3. Something you wrote for someone else

This is either a really easy question, because almost everything I write is for someone else, or a really hard one, for the same reason...

I almost never write fic without some kind of prompt. It's not so much that I have no ideas, so much as I have a never-ending, nebulous, increasingly ludicrous list of things I might like to write some distant day. I am indecisive and a procrastinator by nature, so exchanges and prompt memes are often the only way I'm going to write anything.

Keep the Bouquets, Throw Away the Grooms (Game of Thrones; Sansa Stark/Margaery Tyrell)

This I wrote for a prompt meme on tumblr (which means it wasn't really for anyone, because in those cases it's more like the prompter is doing me a favour) where there were a list of tropes, and people pick one and suggest a pairing. And one of the suggestions was Sansa/Margaery arranged marriage. And one of the reasons I love doing those prompt meme ficlets is that I tend to write them quickly if I'm going to write them at all, so it stops me from over-thinking things. Like, if this had been an idea I'd come up with on my own I would have gotten stuck on why would there even be arranged same-sex marriage in Westeros? Seriously? and never written it.

I'm actually kind of proud of my reasoning there, which is threefold:
1) Joffrey is basically Caligula; and decrees Sansa and Margaery have to get married for reasons...
2) Tywin and Cersei don't stop it because it keeps the Tyrells away from the throne, and strips Margaery of her power.
3) Arranged same-sex marriage as something that's super-rare and looked down upon, but does happen. Usually as a way of humiliating defeated enemies, and wiping out bloodlines.

Of course, the Lannister plot goes awry, because Sansa is happy to be marrying someone who can take her away from this terrible place to Highgarden, and Margaery quickly redirects her political ambitions towards the Starks (pragmatic romantics, romantic pragmatists, yay!)

I was asked a couple of times if I was going to write a sequel, and I very much doubt it. But, there's a bit in the books where Cat thinks that if Robb had to break off the Frey deal then she wishes it had been for Margaery Tyrell. And if I were ever going to write a coda it would be about Sansa being reunited with Cat and going : Um, so I'm married to Margaery Tyrell now, and my wife's grandmother wants to talk to you about ending the war in a fortnight.

Usually when I write fic in this universe it's book based, just because there's so much more depth to the books--

As an aside, you know that thing where people were asking if GRRM will die before he finishes the books. And yeah, that's a horrid question, and a dick move to ask him. But I genuinely suspect that we might never see a conclusion. Not because of any health concerns, but because on some level I just don't think GRRM is interested in it anymore. I think he's interested in his worldbuilding and the history of his universe - which is why he keeps writing side stories, and why the last couple of books have been increasingly meandering - but I think he's lost interest in the actual plot of A Song of Ice and Fire.

--but this is entirely show based. Partly so I could include Sansa and Tyrion's friendship (he's going to write to Sansa in Highgarden; occasionally he sends her books), partly so I didn't have to wrangle any extraneous Tyrell brothers (sorry Willas, you have been written out of existence in the name of femslash), and partly because as much as I had my issues with S4 of the show, Sansa and Margaery's friendship in S3 was done brilliantly, and made me ship them in ways the books never did.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
2. Something new - talk about a new fanwork of yours!

Well, this is timely, because my fic for this round of [livejournal.com profile] got_exchange was posted today, and you can't get much newer than that.

A Westeros Fairytale (ASOIAF; Lyanna Stark/Elia Martell)

The prompt for this was: a situation where Lyanna chooses Elia over Rhaegar, and my original idea was for an AU where Rhaegar defeated Robert, took Lyanna as his second wife to appease the North, but became disenchanted with her when she gave birth to Jon Snow rather than the daughter Rhaegar expected. I saw a glorious fan wank somewhere that the woman's name Rhaegar said when he was dying might have been Visenya. The whole thing was going to be about Lyanna and Elia learning to live with one another, raising their children together, and hoping no-one had noticed that they were the ones running Westeros as Rhaegar became increasingly fixated on prophecy and dragons.

And it would have been... fine, probably. But I was writing it in stilted fifty word bursts, and not enjoying it at all. So, I deleted what I had and started from scratch.

There's a chapter in, I think, Storm of Swords, where Meera Reed tells Bran a thinly veiled story about the tourney at Harrenhal and how Lyanna met Rhaegar. I used that as a framing device to have Meera tell Bran about the time that Lyanna Stark dressed up as a knight, crowned Elia Martell the queen of love and beauty, and ran away with her. Thus sparing everyone a great deal of trouble and upset.

I go back and forward on whether I think Lyanna Stark was the knight of the laughing tree. On the one hand I want her to have been, because lady knights are everything I want. On the other, basically two of the very few things we know for sure about Lyanna is that she was scrappy like Arya, and that she was a brilliant horsewoman. But I feel like she would have needed more than that to beat three even mediocre jousters. And I doubt jousting is a skill she could have picked up in secret, and it's so outside the feminine sphere that it would have been mentioned.

So, yeah, I wish the mystery knight had been Lyanna Stark; I think he was Howland Reed.

But, hey, it's my fairytale, so of course it has girl jousters, and female characters rescuing themselves, and happy Starks!
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
For the last month or so all my free time has been consumed by football and books. Football for obvious, world cup related reasons; and books because, well, let's be honest, there's a lot of time during football games when not a lot is happening.

So, to get me out of my posting malaise, I'm going to do that seven days of self-promotion meme that's been going around. Um. Yippee.

Day 1. Something Old.

Not Exactly Human (Discworld; Susan Sto Helit/Angua von Uberwald)

Every year since it started (and it started in '04, three mods ago, eek) I've done the annual femslash ficathon. It's probably, actually, a pretty good measure of my changing fandoms, style, and writing ability. I started off writing Harry Potter fic for it, then Buffy, Doctor Who, Merlin, and for the last few years, Game of Thrones.

And looking at my earlier fic in the more technical sense; these days I am much less prone of misspellings and typos, much fonder of the oxford comma, about as likely to skip words on account of my brain being faster than my fingers, and I abuse grammar in different, yet equally incorrect ways (if I scatter enough semi-colons around the place some of them must end up in the correct places, right?)

We're not going all the way back to 2004, because no-one with eyes needs to be subjected to my early attempts at stringing words together. Anyway, five years is ancient history in fandom terms. Fandom years are like dog years.

So in 2009 I wrote a Discworld fic for the exchange. And the thing I think is interesting about Discworld fic, is that if you're going to write it then you have to emulate the style of the books, otherwise what's the point? And I don't think that's true for all fandoms, not even all book fandoms where there is a written source to emulate. Certainly, my ASOIAF fic is nothing like in GRRM's style, because who wants to spend three paragraphs describing some armour or a food laden table. As a matter of fact, the stuff I write in ASOIAF/GoT is probably as close to my original style as anything, if that makes sense. But in Discworld, absolutely, go Pratchett or go home! Which is probably why I've only written two fics in the fandom, and why it is still, I think, a Yuletide sized fandom. Pratchett's style is fun to emulate, if very easy to miss hit. And you get to play with footnotes, which let me get my jokes in without mangling comma usage even more than I usually do. But one of the reasons to wish there was more Discworld fic than there currently is that maybe then we could have a standard way of formatting footnotes in fanfiction.

There are a couple of interesting things about Susan/Angua as a ship; namely Angua being a werewolf, and Susan being Death's granddaughter can be thought of as comparable experiences, what with having one foot in two worlds, and abilities other people don't have however much they may inconvenience you in your day to day life. I really could have done more with that rather than going the cliched quaff alcohol - hook up approach.

There's also Angua's canon relationship with Carrot. And there are a bunch of of different ways to write out a canon love interests, from having the relationship never happen in your AU, to sending them on holiday to Scotland for the duration of the fic, to killing them off. I've noticed that the less I like a canon pairing, the more gently I break them up, and the fairer I am to the "surplus" love interest. It's like a precaution against inadvertent character bashing. And I must confess that I have long been slightly skeeved by the Angua/Carrot relationship. There's an owner/pet vibe to it that I really can't dig. And it doesn't matter that that's been addressed in canon, that it's part of who Angua is, or that Carrot's a good guy who would never take advantage of it. The fact that Angua couldn't, as I recall, leave him even if she wanted to, that what she wants or thinks will always be second to what he wants or thinks bugs me.

I mean, I'm overthinking this, I know. We're talking about a canon where Carrot's only real love rival for his werewolf girlfriend is an actual honest to god wolf called Gavin. Still, it's one of those lizard brain things. So I went out of my way to have Carrot be a good guy, and a good friend, because, you know, he is. I like Carrot. I just don't want Angua with him.

In conclusion, I think it's cute, and funny, and Pratchett-y enough to gloss over the more out of character moments. But better things were to come.
netgirl_y2k: (fire cannot kill a dragon)
Pump Six and Other Stories - Paulo Bacigalupi
Kissing the Witch - Emma Donoghue
Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone
The Round House - Louise Erdrich
The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent - Marie Brennan
Iron & Velvet - Alexis Hall
Shadows & Dreams - Alexis Hall
Talker 25 - Joshua McCune
The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R. Carey
Carmilla - J Sheridan LeFanu
The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)


Not that long ago I was talking to someone about short story collections and how I have a hit-and-miss relationship with them. There are a few authors, I think, who write amazing short stories; alas, there seem to be more who use these collections as dumping grounds for their more half-baked ideas.There's also the thing, I think, where fandom has the short story-to-novella length form down to a fine art, so that's where I go when I want shorter stories. So it's kind of weird that I started the month off with two collections of short stories.

Pump Six I've been meaning to read for years, because I'd really loved The Windup Girl by the same author, and I'd heard there were a couple of stories set in that universe. So of course I'm only getting around to reading it now, when I've forgotten everything about the novel. Of the ten stories in the collection I absolutely loved nine of them. Nine of them are, like, cynical dystopias about environmental/technological apocalypses and mistrust of corporations, all good stuff. But the tenth is a contemporary story about a man who "accidentally" kills his wife. This annoyed me for two reasons, 1) it felt really out of place, like it was breaking the established theme, and 2) man kills woman, begins new life, might have been dark and groundbreaking at some point, but now it feels like it should be a square on misogynistic cliche bingo.

Back when I was talking about how much I'd liked one of Emma Donoghue's novels, basically everyone said I should read Kissing the Witch. A collection of feminist, occasionally queer, fairytale retellings, about the women trapped inside traditional fairytales. I can't image why you guys thought I would like this? Hee, yes, highly recommend.

Three Parts Dead I bought almost randomly - I had a book token, it was a pound, I vaguely recalled hearing something good about it, though I couldn't remember what or from who - and I'm delighted I did, cause I really loved it. It's a sort of fantasy steampunk thing, set in a world years after magicians have gone to war with the Gods. The world-building is awesome, it reminded me a little of China Meiville's Bas-Lag trilogy, although I liked the plot a lot more. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bas-Lag books, but I do think they coast by on the world-building. Lots of interesting, diverse characters too. I really look forward to reading more in this series. And that's kind of saying something, given that I'm currently experiencing one of my periodic bouts of annoyance at why is everything a series?

The Round House is about the rape and attempted murder of a women on a native american reserve in the 1980s (a time and place about which I know shamefully little) and the effect this has on her adolescent son. I mostly read SF/F, and I love it, but sometimes I want something different, not as a palate cleanser, as such, but just as a change of pace. And I'm so glad this was recommended to me; it's beautiful and horrible and fascinating. The thing that horrified me the most, actually, wasn't the rape, of which we only see the aftermath, but the legal purgatory the family find themselves in because the mother can't remember where, on tribal, state, or federal land, the attack took place. Anyway, if you're up to it, recommended.

The Tropic of Serpents is the continuing adventures of a pseudo-Victorian lady dragon naturalist. Much like the first one, if the words Victorian lady dragon naturalist appeal to you then you should love this, and if they don't then we can't be friends don't bother.

Iron & Velvet and Shadow's & Dreams are the first two (currently the only two; alas, I would read twelve of them) volumes in the Kate Kane series. And lesbian urban fantasy is a genre there ought to be more of, as all right thinking people would surely agree. Anyway, as urban fantasies go it's pretty standard fare: London, vampires, werewolves, magic, a supernatural PI. But damn if they didn't hit me square in the ID. Everyone is a woman; the PI, the vampire prince, the alpha werewolf, the witch queen of London; and there's this sort of love quadrangle going on. They're fun, and sexy, and silly, and sort of embrace their own silliness, and I really loved them a lot.

Talker 25 I did not like at all. Which was surprising because... dragons. It's set in a world twenty years after dragons have mysteriously appeared in the world, and people have reacted about as well as you'd expect to hundreds of giant fire breathing lizards appearing out of thin air. It sounded so promising, but it was just bad. The world-building was nonsensical and half-arsed (where did the dragons come from? why can some people talk to them telepathically? why do all dragons sound like some kind of sub-par Smaug?) The writing read a lot like the younger end of YA, then two thirds of the way through it turns all rape threats and torture porn. Bah.

I went through a zombie phase a few years ago where I read every zombie book going (I'm an adult now; I like dragons) after which I felt like zombies had been done to absolute death. But The Girl With All The Gifts was written by the guy who wrote the Felix Castor, so I gave it a shot. I ended up really liking it. There were enough twists on a familiar formulae to keep me interested; the twist about the protagonist is pretty obvious almost from the first page, but the ending is fucking awesome! Good undead stuff.

I'd been meaning to read Carmilla for ages; novella, vampires, Victorian sapphism. Yay.

The Silkworm is the second mystery JK Rowling has written under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym. This is set in the world of writers and publishing, and I very much enjoyed reading her take down of a certain type of white male literary writer (I would love to know how much of that stuff is based on her real life experiences). It was a pretty engaging mystery, and I had no idea who the killer was until the reveal. Funny thing is, I know I read the first one last year but I can't remember a single thing about it; so yeah, enjoyable if not particularly memorable.
netgirl_y2k: (sansa wolf girl)
re: my continued world cup watching - mwhaha haha haha ha

Thinking about it, things like this are probably why a lot of English people would be quite pleased if Scotland were to declare independence and fuck off.

Still. Haha.

*

A meme thing, that I have already completed on tumblr, but otherwise this post would just be me mwhahaha-ing.

list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein
2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
3. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
4. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
5. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
6. Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks - Christopher Brookmyre
7. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
8. The Kraken Wakes - John Whyndam
9. Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov
10. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood.

With the caveats that LotR was hugely influential on me as a wee thing, but adult me finds it a turgid, unreadable sausage fest; and while the Narnia books are the first books I remember properly loving, I've never even tried to revisit them as a grown up - I suspect grown up me would be annoyed by the religious stuff, and infuriated by the Problem of Susan.

That said, Scottish, geeky, lesbian, feminist, cynic, that's me in a list of books, really.

*

I am still slightly confused about using tumblr for things other than reblogging graphics. Like, I had some success posting those trope ficlets I was writing first over there, but then I felt weirdly guilty about it, because if tumblr isn't the worst venue ever for fic, it's not from lack of trying. On the other hand, it's nice when people notice that you're there, you know?

So, I shall compromise and answer a questions meme I got tagged in, but I shall do it here.

1. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Not on a pizza. Not on anything I am going to be putting into my mouth. Eugh.

2. If you care about the World Cup, tell me about your team! If you don’t, then what’s something fun you’re looking forward to in the next month or so?

I am Scottish, and thus shit at football a true neutral. This week I'm feeling good about Uruguay and Costa Rica, for reasons that have nothing to do with a certain team which may or may not have been knocked out at the group stage.

(Mwahaha, etc.)

I think the smart money has to be on a South American team. I got Belgium (of all teams, Belgium?) in the sweepstakes. And my personal favourite is Germany.

3. What were the last 3 pieces of fictional/fannish media you consumed?

I just read the first Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator book. Which is an urban fantasy in the vein of the Dresden Files or Felix Castor, only with a lesbian main character. No one will ever accuse it of being great literature, but I ate it up with a spoon.

I'm dipping into the first series of Vikings, which I'm enjoying, although I expect to remain baffled as to why anyone would make Vikings when instead they could make the Lagertha Lothbrok is awesome show.

The series finale of Game of Thrones, which despite having spent most of S4 lurching from one misgiving to another left me optimistic for S5.

4. You’re in a zombie apocalypse, and your companions are the main characters from the pieces of media you named in the previous question. So, how fucked are you?

Are you kidding? I have a half-faery with a magic sword, the fiercest shieldmaiden in Scandinavia, and Brienne of Tarth. I'm going to fucking walk it.

5. What’s your ideal holiday destination?

When I visited my sister in Germany, her flat was next door to what appeared to be a combination pub/library; if any of the books had been in English I would not have come home.

Nice things to drink, and interesting things to read. I want very little out of life.

6. Tell me about your favourite item of clothing. Photos optional.

Today I am wearing battered converse with the Thundercats on them, a pair of drainpipe jeans that I really do not have the legs for, and a man's tuxedo shirt that I had to buy when I rented some formal wear earlier in the year.

I don't have a favourite item of clothing; pickin's are slim.

7. Sort yourself into your Hogwarts House. If you don’t know the Hogwarts Houses who are you tell me why you’ve resisted the siren call of Harry Potter.

Hmm. I am the least cunning person I know, and all but devoid of ambition. I'd also be hard pressed to describe myself as clever, at least not in the academic sense.

I am probably some manner of Gryffinpuff. Kind and loyal, yes, but thoughtless and bullheaded, too.

8. Dogs or cats?

Dogs, a million times dogs. I even lean towards especially stupid dogs because I find it discouraging to have a pet I suspect of being clever than me.

9. What’s the last news item or fic you read? Link?

The last news item was somebody else mwhahaha-ing about England's ignominious departure, so I shall spare you the link. The last fic was this porny Sansa/Margaery modern AU by [profile] mautadite who is one of my favourite authors in asoiaf fandom.

10. What’s your go-to comfort food?

Beer. Cheese.

11. What’s the story behind your tumblr username?

Oh, God. I made up this stupid pseudonym when I was fifteen, with the expectation that I'd be in fandom for about twelve minutes. Well, I'm not fifteen anymore, and it's been a damn sight more then twelve minutes. And changing my fandom name would feel weird, like I was killing off this persona I've created over the past *mumble mumble* years.

It's still a stupid name, though.
netgirl_y2k: (fire cannot kill a dragon)
I have been watching a truly outrageous amount a football these last few days. With the time difference from Brazil the first game of the day starts just as I get in of an evening, and the last is finishing at about the time I put my jammies on and climb under the duvet with my teddy bear - and it is proving shockingly easy to do little else.

I actually wasn't that excited about the world cup; a combination of the controversy and upset it was causing in Brazil, and a lack of hoopla on the part of of the BBC which had suppressed my usual Scottish Oh, God, anyone but England tendencies. I've tried to explain this to my English friends, that it's not the idea of England winning that most Scots object to, it's the fact that we get the English commentators and analysts and sports news, and can't stop hearing about bloody England, even in the commentary of totally unrelated games. That, and going on past form, if they actually did manage to win we'd be hearing about it for the next three hundred years.

But a lot of the football has actually been really good. I have been turned into a Holland fan, and think if they don't top their group it'll only be because they've been too busy picking bits of Spaniard out of their studs to train. I am also supporting Germany; partly because I've really liked Germany whenever I've been there, and partly because I like it when they contrive to beat England, ideally on penalties.

I unwisely played a tiny bit of football when I was first in uni. Partly because running around a muddy field in the fresh air was a great way to shake off a hangover, and partly because I thought it would be a great way to meet girls. The reason I gave it up was threefold: 1) I was shit at it; 2) an equally effective, if not superior way to shake off a hangover was to eat a bacon roll, drink half a pint of irn bru, and go back to sleep until the Eastenders omnibus came on; and 3) well, any girl who liked the sporty type went for the actual sporty lesbians; fortunately for me there were other girls who liked the bookish, indoorsy sort of lesbian.

My presence on tumblr has become even more intermittent than it usually is. After some experimenting I have decided that the only sensible way to approach tumblr is to not even try to keep up with it. I look at it when I've got the computer on, but not actually for anything in particular, and then I scroll back until I either get bored or my browser starts struggling. And that's worked quite well for me, but right now a few people I follow are liveblogging the world cup, and more than a few are really pissed off about the Game of Thrones finale, so--

In between all the football I did manage to watch the Game of Thrones finale, largely because, like a lot of people, I was having trouble caring about the outcome of Iran v. Nigeria.

The Children )
netgirl_y2k: (bo & Kenzi huh)
-This week I got suckered into teaching my younger sister how to drive. I think I have given the finger to more people this week than I have in ten plus years of driving, or indeed the whole rest of my life. I am kind of appalled and amazed at the number of people who think that, if someone is obviously new to driving, say because they are in a car covered with L plates, and they get flustered at a junction and stall the car, then the thing to do is rev right up behind them, flashing your lights, and holding down your horn. I mean, it's not going to fucking speed up proceedings, is it?

I've never had road rage; but I seem to have driving instructor rage.

It's going quite well. The only thing is, my sister, who has many otherwise stellar qualities, is one of those people who has difficulty accepting that she is ever in the wrong. And she will patiently explain to you why she was right, and actual, objective reality was wrong. Over the years I have learned to mostly tune these explanations out-- but, 1) it really would be better if she didn't insist on explaining these things to me when we sitting in the car trying to get onto a roundabout, and 2) you are in a toyota hatchback, and he is in an articulated lorry; this is the very definition of a might makes right situation!

-I went to see Maleficent, which I loved! I liked lots of things about it, particularly I liked that it was less than two hours long and not part one of whatever. It has become a bit of free entertainment amongst my friends, of an evening, to get me started on my genuine and lasting bitterness about Desolation of Smaug.

We went for a drink after Maleficent and I was talking away about how much I'd liked it, and how feminist retellings of fairytales were pretty much my bag, anyway. Always a bit of a risk - one of my dearest friends is a wonderful woman, kind and funny, she's prone to baking me red velvet cupcakes when she thinks I need bucking up... she also uses the word feminazi un-ironically. So I got to talking about the scene where spoilers ) And I was accused of being a pervert for reading such things into a children's film. Not in a horrible way, really, just in a 'oh you, with your feminism and overthinking things, bless'

It was just interesting because I realised I was talking to my mates in the pub as though they were, well, you guys. It was a weird moment of inadvertent crossing the streams.

Also, I thought pervert was kind of a strong word. Many years ago we used to share thin-walled student housing. I know things about some of these people that no self respecting homosexual should know.

-I have been writing further tropey fic(lets)! I have now written 10k of tropey ridiculousness in a fortnight; let us never speak of this again.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart (LotS; Cara/Kahlan, Kahlan/Richard; 1200 words)

Is it still a soulbond AU if the soulbonds are more, er, guidelines than anything else? Also, I still can't write Cara/Kahlan without significant wailing and gnashing of the teeth over Richard. In my defense, Richard is a precious puppy.

Practice Makes Perfect (GoT; Sansa/Margaery; 2000 words)

I'm going to call this a sixth form college AU, because that way I feel better about having written what is essentially a high school AU. Also, I am ridiculously fixated on the idea of Sansa as a lesbian; as an identity, I mean, not just an excuse for femslash.

No Gravity, No Fallen Angels (Merlin; Gwen & Morgana; 1900 words)

Um, behold as an atheist attempts to write an angels & demons AU without ever alluding to god or religion!
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
Life Mask - Emma Donoghue
Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch
The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker
Seraphina - Rachel Hartman


So, May was a banner month for reading; only four books, but I bloody loved all of them. It's not quantity that counts, it's quality, etc.

Life Mask takes place over the ten years between 1787 and 1797, and is about all sorts of things: the tory v. whig politics of that era, the French Revolution and the effect that had on the British Left, female friendships, and coming out late in life. Maybe I'm not making it sound as interesting as it is - it's not a quick read, but I didn't find it slow, more deliberately paced - but I found myself totally immersed in the characters and the details of the period.

I think part of the reason I liked this so much is the same reason I like Sarah Waters (queer women existed in history, yay!) but mostly it was just that it was so well written. I am now feeling a pressing need to read everything Emma Donoghue has ever, well, set down on paper.

While I didn't love the first Gentlemen Bastards book, I liked enough about it (the world building is terrific, and it was, at times, hilarious) that I proceeded to the second. And Red Seas Under Red Skies I did love for two reasons, 1) LADY PIRATES, and 2) LADY PIRATES AGAIN, and 2) Locke's Magnificent Bastardry is about a hundred times more appealing to me when he's backed against a wall, and not just conning relatively innocent people to prove how much cleverer than everybody else he is.

Interestingly, one of the things that annoyed me about the first book was Sabetha - how she was talked about as having been one of the Gentlemen Bastards but was never present in any of the flashbacks. And I thought maybe Lynch was trying to tick a box marked female character without actually having to write one. But that can't have been the case, because he wrote some fucking amazing women in Red Seas Under Red Skies. So now I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming that there will be a payoff about Sabetha somewhere down the line.

Onward to book three! Although, I probably shouldn't get too excited about this series. I understand the Scott Lynch makes GRR Martin look like the soul of productivity.

The Golem and the Jinni is a book I actually felt a bit bereft for having finished. It begins in 1899 and follows the friendship between a golem and jinni in turn of the century New York; but that description doesn't do it justice at all. It's a mix of historical fiction, fantasy, fairytales, and mythology, and is just beautifully, beautifully realised, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Actually, this is the book that made me do something I've never done before. I had read it on my kindle, and while I'm of the school of thought that of course e-books are real books, I went out and bought the paperback because I wanted something to hold, and put on my shelf, and loan out.

Seraphina was one of the recs I received when I was asking for post-TGATJ suggestions. I had actually picked it up in a bookshop a while ago, and put it down with a "Pff, dragons who can take human shape, sounds a bit like sparkly vampires to me..." And I am so, so glad I decided to give it a shot, because it's not like that at all.

The worldbuilding, the characters, the writing (which could have very easily edged into being twee, but which I found utterly charming) I loved them all. It also did what I've long wished for a YA love triangle to do: Kiggs and Seraphina declared their love, kissed, then decided to take it no further both because Kiggs has to talk to his fiancé who neither of them want to hurt, and because there's giant dragon war coming, and they both really ought to be concentrating on that.

As an aside, I am choosing to believe that Selda will be chill about Kiggs' feelings for Seraphina because she's secretly in love with her lady-in-waiting.

Actually my only issue with it was the character ages - I know it was published as YA, and that all but obliges it to have teenagers as protagonists - but I was having to mentally age the characters up three or four years, because they didn't scan as teenagers at all. So that every time their canonical ages were mentioned it was a bit jarring.
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
I have been cheerfully writing tropey ficlets; of varying lengths and degrees of tropeyness.

I wrote an Emma/Regina coffee shop AU, which nobody actually asked for, the request was for a bodyswap ficlet, but I somehow transposed the numbers in my head, and wrote some tooth aching fluff about Henry Swan-Mills, his two moms, and the bakery they own. Please disregard all my previous complaints about how I find most Swan Queen fics too fluffy for my tastes as the rankest hypocrisy.

I Love To Live So Pleasantly OUaT, Henry, Emma/Regina, 1100 words


Also nearly 3k of Sansa/Margaery arranged marriage AU; I couldn't stop, apparently I really wanted to write a femslash arranged marriage AU, and on some level really do think that Sansa and Margaery should just get married already.

Keep the Bouquets, Throw Away the Grooms Game of Thrones, Sansa/Margaery, 2830 words


And my first Elementary ficlet, where Joan and Ms. Hudson get handcuffed together, but is mostly about how even if Joan moves out she and Sherlock are still platonic soulmates.

Lessons in Lock-Picking Elementray, Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Ms. Hudson, 950 words


I have more prompts, and much time to spend on trains in the next few days, so there will quite possibly be more of these. But I may have to have a strict talk with myself about how a ficlet is, like, 400-600 words.
netgirl_y2k: (nina she wolf)
I feel like writing. More than that - because a lot of what I've been writing recently has been longish, thoughtful canon fic - what I want to write is tropey ficlets.

So give me a pairing, or a character or two, and pick a number.

1. Coffee Shop AU
2. Idol/Fan
3. Anonymous Love Letters
4. Angel/Demon AU
5. Bartender AU
6. Spin the Bottle
7. Stuck Someplace Together in Winter
8. Sex Pollen AU
9. Matching Soulmate Markings
10. Deserted Island
11. Meet in a Dream
12. Arranged Marriage AU
13. Handcuffed Together
14. Stripper AU
15. Office Romance AU
16. Seven Minutes in Heaven
17. Noble/Peasant AU
18. Orphan AU
19. Vampire AU
20. Magic Spell
21. Superhero AU
22. Online Relationship
23. Mythical Creature/Human
24. Mistletoe
25. High School AU
26. Elevator Meeting
27. Body Swap
28. Genderbend AU
29. Clothes Sharing
30. Zombie AU


I have a pretty dull week ahead of me, so the more the merrier!
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
I've not long finished reading The Golem and the Jinni, which is one of those rare books that actually made me slightly leery of plunging into a new fictional universe, because I was so immersed in, and in love with the last one.

Now, nothing sitting in my to-read pile is really grabbing me, but I do have a bunch of book tokens left over from my birthday so I ask -- read any good books recently?

Some things I like are: dragons, women, lesbians, fantasy, pop-science and history. But, really, anything you have read and loved. Your obligatory rec to everyone books.

*

I was thinking about how I'm asking you for book recs in this post, and I was asking for TV show recs in my last, and films have sort of fallen by the wayside. I hardly ever watch films anymore; I haven't been to the cinema at all in 2014. The last film I saw in there was Desolation of Smaug, a film I found such an appalling waste of time that it basically broke the medium of film for me. But when I was younger I was a huge, huge nut on films. It started to drop off as I no longer got a student discount at the cinema, and then I was a carer and being unreachable for two or three hours at a time was a rare luxury -- still, movies were a formative thing for me, perhaps more so than anything else.

Everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Trek: First Contact
Galaxy Quest
All Dogs go to Heaven
Imagine Me & You
The Shawshank Redemption
The Lion King
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Trainspotting

Telly

May. 20th, 2014 11:07 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
The fourth series of Game of Thrones got off to a weird start... between some weird pacing issues (very little happening slowly, combined with it being hard to tell how much time is actually meant to be passing) and some narrative choices that have ranged from the seriously fucking offensive to the "I don't understand, and I won't respond." But the middle of the series seems to have settled into itself; or maybe my threshold for WTFery has just been raised. Whatever.

The Laws of Gods and Men & Mockingbird )

I've also been watching the latter half of S3 of Once Upon a Time, and enjoying it even though I haven't really had an awful lot to say about it, OUaT )

I agree with whoever it was that said that Elementary didn't really get out of second gear this series Elementary )

I was utterly delighted by the first series of Reign, Reign )

I am feeling slightly bereft since finishing Breaking Bad, and am wondering what to watch next. The people I was watching Breaking Bad with are moving on to True Detective, which doesn't really appeal, I've heard too much about it's problem with women. Hannibal is the other thing my friends are talking about, and I am way too squeamish for Hannibal. Seriously - I once fainted at a Final Destination film.

I'm saving up the second season of Orphan Black to watch over a weekend, and I'm planning to watch Vikings even though I know it will be neither as good nor as much about Lagertha as tumblr has convinced me it is.
netgirl_y2k: (kahlan white dress)
Two different remixes that I'd written over the last month or so de-anoned this weekend, and I thought I would self-indulgently talk about them. Because I think they're both kind of interesting in that I don't think they're as obviously by me as a lot of the things I write. I have a very distinctive style, I've been told.

So for remix_redux I remixed an ASOIAF five things fic called I Believe The Children Are Our Future, which is about various characters (Lyanna, Bran, Cersei, Arianne, Jon) being fostered out young and brought up in a different house. And each segment is basically a ficlet of a few hundred words (nothing wrong with that, I've written stories in that style myself) so my idea as to how to remix it was to expand every section into a longer fic; because why write one remix when you can write five?

The biggest change was that one of the sections (Arianne being raised in the Targaryen court in exile as Viserys' intended) was exorcised completely. Partly because I ran out of time/fannish energy, and partly because I had a lot of trouble with the idea of writing a sane future King!Viserys; I guess the you are the chosen one vibes I get off Dany are too strong, even as the narrative itself actively works to undermine those vibes. And I know it smacks of excusing my own laziness, but I think the remix works better as a four things than a five, because this way it's all about the Starks, really: three Starks who were brought up by other families, and one Lannister raised by wolves.

Hence the funky remix subtitle.

Live For Just These Twenty Years (the wolves in sheep's clothing remix)
ASOIAF; PG; 7527 words; Lyanna Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister

Political fostering, yea or nay?

(Lyanna Stark, fostered at Sunspear; Bran Stark, a ward of Pyke; Cersei Lannister, a lioness in Winterfell; Jon Snow, a southron knight)



I also signed up for the Merlin fandom remix, which could have easily gone very wrong, because Merlin fandom is even more overwhelmingly Merlin/Arthur centric than it was in my day. And it's not that I particularly object to remixing M/A, it's that my interpretation of the M/A relationship is So Very Different to the majority of fandom's that nobody who ships them really wants me remixing their fic.

For the curious, my take on their relationship can be summed up thusly: the only thing creepier that Merlin's canon obsession with Arthur, is the way fandom romanticises it.

Anyway, I was very lucky with matching that I got someone's who's oeuvre included Lessons Learned which is a post series fic where Arthur has returned, and Merlin is pre-emptively killing Arthur's enemies (Mordred, Morgana, etc.) as they rise again; only it's strongly implied that these aren't the old foes come again, they're just random people, and Merlin is just violently paranoid.

So, I made my remix explicit that these weren't the reincarnations of anybody, just innocent bystanders, and I split my remix between two perspectives. Between the boys; Arthur, and Merlin teaching him about the modern world, which I'm sure has been done in 1001 fics before, and the detective who's investigating Merlin's killing spree.

I am weirdly proud of this remix. Mostly because I don't like Merlin as a character, nor do I like M/A as a ship, but I think I managed to respect the original fic, and the ship, while making my problems with it (not just the dead women, but the co-dependence, the way that Merlin manipulates Arthur, and how Arthur doesn't realise how much Merlin controls his life) pretty explicit.

Lessons Learned (a little bit of history repeating remix)
Merlin; R; 3200 words; Merlin/Arthur

Merlin has always killed for Arthur, ever since Camelot, but they're not in Camelot anymore.
netgirl_y2k: (winter is coming)
Today I had to change all the locks in my house. Not for reasons of crime, or anything, but just because they were old and sticky and getting to the point where I could no longer brute-force-and-ignorance it. And I'm here to tell you, that is not a job that's reassuring in it's complexity. Twenty minutes and one screwdriver was all it took. I'm seriously reconsidering taking up a life of crime.

*

The [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen archive opened today (yay) and I have read shamefully little (boo) but it looks like there's a lot of awesome stuff there, and I have bookmarks coming out my ears of things to get to when I have a little more time.

I wrote my fic about Arianne Martell, a character I got progressively more interested in as I wrote about her, so that was neat, even though I think the fic itself is a little throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, you know? On the other hand, I finally managed to write something where there literally is a queen in every corner. So.

The Sun's Daughter
A Song of Ice and Fire; PG-13; 5115 words; Arianne Martell/Tyene Sand, Arianne Martell, Asha Greyjoy, Arya Stark, assorted Sand Snakes and Dornishmen

Arianne is her father's daughter, her uncle's niece, and the first Princess of Dorne since the days of the first Daenerys to not bend-her-knee to the Iron Throne.

*

As much as I would love to stay up and read more Rarewomen fic, or even wait for the remix archive to open. But I have to get up a five tomorrow morning, so I really must go to bed.

Five a.m. Bloody hell, only grown ups have to get up at five a.m., and if I'm a grown up why have I had cheese on toast for my last five meals running?

One of life's eternal mysteries.
netgirl_y2k: (winter is coming)
Excellent, we have finally achieved an episode that didn't offend or annoy me! And it's only taken half the series. Keep up the good work, show!

The First of His Name )
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
...Some of us have been waiting all year to make that joke.

Actually, this is a pretty good birthday for a geek to have, and if I were quicker with my geek references and/or puns I might have dug out my original trilogy DVDs and spent the day having a Star Wars Marathon. Alas.

As it is I haven't done much. Sunday is an odd day to have a birthday, and thirty-one is an oddly unfestive age, following as it does one of the Big Birthdays. I thought about trying to get a few folk together for beers and Captain America 2, but then I thought about it and realised that it wasn't so much that I wanted to see the Winter Soldier, as I felt that I really ought to do something, and Captain America was the film that I least didn't want to see.

So, I've decided that I'm a grown-up and I don't have to have a party if I don't want one, and also that you can't cheerfully fail to organise any celebrations and then spend the whole day sulking about how there aren't any celebrations and still claim to be a rational adult.

I've told my sister that she doesn't have to see Cap 2, as neither of us really care, but that I do plan to force her to see Malificent when it opens. I'm doing both cinema and fandom wrong, I know. And I expect I'll spend the next few weeks being bought Birthday Pints as I catch up with people individually, which if you think about it is much healthier than being bought them all in one night and then falling over sideways.

As for me, I've got a nice single malt (Talisker 10yr; dude, this is adulthood, at nineteen we were all drinking something that claimed to be vodka, but was probably 9/10ths drain cleaner) and the last two episodes of Breaking Bad which I've been keeping back specially.

Hope everyone's been having a terrific weekend!
netgirl_y2k: (power is power)
Salvage - Alexandra Duncan
The King's Peace - Jo Walton


Salvage is a dystopian YA, sort of. It's about a girl who's grown up on a deep space colony ship which has developed this deeply patriarchal culture, all the men have multiple wives, and a lot of the young boys get left behind planetside; I couldn't help but think of them as the space mormons. And when the protagonist gets kicked out of the space mormons she's got to adjust to life on Earth, both the culture, which is totally different, and the gravity, which is so much higher than she grew up with, first on a giant inhabited island of garbage in the Pacific, and later in Mumbai.

It's good, not massively subtle, but then, since when has dystopian YA ever been subtle. And all the different settings were pretty fascinating.

The King's Peace is a hold over from March that I finished in April; it's an alternate telling of Arthurian legend told from the POV of one of the king's female knights. It took me a long time to get into in, the plot meandered a lot. But I did end up liking it, certainly enough to read the rest of the trilogy. I think part of the reason it took me so long to get into it was that it was Jo Walton's first novel, and it's always a little frustrating to read an early effort by an author whose later works you adore. It reminded me a lot of The Deed of Paksenarrion, so if you liked that one--

I'm still dipping in and out of The Doomsday Book as well as Life Mask by Emma Donoghue, which I'm really liking.

*

I read so little this month, which I refuse to feel bad about. Books being one of the delights of my life which I refuse to attach feelings of guilt to. I also like scotch and cake; hard not to feel at least a little guilty about scotch and cake.

On the other hand I have finished my Remix and Rarewomen fics early, which isn't at all like me, hurrah!

I also did the Merlin remix, which I must confess I signed up for with less than the optimum amount of enthusiasm (if I have to write Merlin/Arthur I can always write five hundred and one words and then orphan it, I thought). But I'm glad I did because I ended up being quite pleased with the fic I wrote, which I can't talk about yet, but what I can do is rec you the awesome remix of my fic:

The One Where a Bear and a Dragon (and Morgana) Save the Ending From Being Eaten By Canon (The Grimm and Bear It Remix)

Which takes a daft wee OT4 fic I wrote in S2 and turns it into everything I could want about Morgana and Aithusa and the possibility of a better destiny.

*

The other things is, I've said that I'd been referred to a counsellor type person for some cognitive behavioural therapy, didn't I? So I've been doing that for the last couple of months, and my last session was yesterday.

I am now officially totally sane and normal... Well, at least as normal as NHS Scotland is prepared to pay for me to be.

I do think it's helped, though I was sceptical at first. I don't exactly feel like a bird on the wing, no, but I'm also not as paralysed by anxiety and my various neuroses as I was a few months ago. The most surprising thing is that I'm drinking a lot less now, I guess I didn't realise how much I was using alcohol as a crutch until I didn't feel like I had to, you know?

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