[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 )

Books

Mar. 29th, 2017 12:53 pm
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
I know it's been yonks since my last reading post, but in my defence The Wall of Storms is, like, nine hundred pages long.

The Rogue Not Taken - Sarah MacLean
The Wall of Storms - Ken Liu
We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire - Jules Grant
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens - Jack Weatherford
Certain Dark Things - Silvia Moreno-Garcia


Sarah MacLean's historical romances are hit and miss for me, and The Rogue Not Taken was definitely a miss. The first time I read that her new series was going to be a sort of Kardashians Regency AU (the heroines are all scandalous sisters whose first initial is S) I went '...eh, I'm not sure that's going to work', and at least in this one, it didn't. It features one of those irksome couples who insist on not communicating for two hundred pages, because if they actually talked to each other the book would only be twelve pages long. The heroine is upset about being rich and titled, and just wants to run a small bookshop in the Cumbrian countryside, which I think is meant to be relatable but was just insufferable. The Hero is named King (King, for God's sake) you have to have a certain sort of charm and gravitas to pull off a name like King, and this dude did not have it in spades. Give it a pass, I'd say.

The Wall of Storms is the follow up to The Way of Kings which I'd read when it first came out and had only been 'eh' on. I'd really loved the prose and silkpunk worldbuilding, but I'd had pretty big issues with its handling of female characters, which had been, um, tokenistic. I feel like whatever criticism of The Way of Kings' female characters there was, Liu really took it to heart, because The Wall of Stoms is orders of magnitude better on that front. There is a running subplot about the emperor trying to arrange the pieces on the board to enable him to name his daughter his heir; one of the pov characters is a young female scholar and it shows the institutional hurdles she faces even though the emperor has said, 'sure, women can sit the palace examinations.' Plus, a little more than half the way through vikings attack on vegetarian dragons, so that's cool. I mean, it's long and pretty dense, but I'd rate it as one of the better epic fantasies on the go at the moment.

We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire is about lesbian gangsters in Manchester, and is a hell of a fun read, about friendship and revenge and being irresistible to most of the women in the north of England. Okay, there are some stylistic choices that I didn't necessarily grok; it's a very tight first person, and why do you hate speech marks so much, Jules Grant? But it's about lesbian gangsters, so I'm willing to overlook that stuff.

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens is my favourite sort of history; the secret history of women. It's about the female descendants of Genghis Kahn, at least the ones who survived being excised from the historical record. I particularly enjoyed reading about Queen Manduhai, who took her boy husband to war in a box, and despite this ignominious beginning they seemed to have a long and happy marriage. More broadly, it was another illustration of the journey of women through history being one of one step forward, half a dozen steps back.

I finished Certain Dark Things last night after staying up past my bedtime because I was enjoying it that much. It's the first vampire book I've read in forever where my reaction wasn't 'ugh, bored.' I think maybe the only genre harder to make feel fresh is zombies? It's set in an AU version of Mexico City in a world where various species of vampires were discovered by humanity in the late sixties. A seventeen year old trash picker falls in with an Aztec vampire on the run (the native species of Mexican vampires trace their lineage back to the Aztecs, but they're being pushed out by an invasive species of European vampires.) The friendship, turned romance is actually very sweet. It helps that the boy is the human and the girl the vampire rather than the usual other way round, and that the age difference is seventeen to twenty-three, which, yeah, is significant, but it's not seventeen to three hundred. Also, there's a genetically engineered doberman, and it's just really good. Highly recommended.
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
I was seven episodes into Iron Fist before io9 published their helpful summary of what happens in case you were only watching for Defenders related reasons, and in the self-defeating spirit of 'I've started so I'll finish' I carried on to the bitter end.

I mean, I like bad telly. I loved Lost Girl, I like Wynonna Earp, and I even liked the couple of episodes of syfy's girl Van Helsing that I saw. But I feel like those are shows that know they're bad telly, they lean in to the fact that they're bad telly. Iron Fist is bad telly that labours under the misapprehension that it's good telly.

You are the worst Iron Fist ever )
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
Scotland was having a pretty decent Six Nations and we got all excited for the England fixture, which then... happened.

At half time my dog slid off the couch and puked her dinner all over the carpet; and, like, aw, pal, I know exactly how you feel. You know a game's going badly when you go: yup, I'm going to go clean up this dog vomit, because that sounds like more fun than continuing to subject myself to this match.

(The dog's fine, by the way. I just need to get her a slow feeder so she stops bolting her food. Not least because that's twice now I've had to sit up with her all night in case her dicky tummy turned out to be bloat and both she and my wallet had to be rushed to the vet hospital.)

Scotland's last match is against Italy in Edinburgh, and Italy's been having a shocker of a tournament so I feel a bit bad that the only way to salvage a bit of national sporting pride is to kick them when they're already down. On the other hand, I've already paid for my ticket, so get kicking, lads!

Also:

It looks like we're having a second independence referendum, about which I have, er, mixed feelings.

I was pro-independence last time, but in a sort of half-hearted, either result will be fine with me, type way. I was much more invested in, and upset by, the general election, Brexit, and Trump. I'm much more pro-independence now, admittedly not in a happy, optimistic way so much as my thinking is: Christ, let's just go already.

And that's the root of my ambivalence, because I don't think a second independence referendum can be won right now. I don't think Sturgeon wanted to call one, really. I think she wanted May to give her a teeny, tiny concession so that she could depart the field and call it a draw, but she backed herself into a corner, and so.

Don't get me wrong, I think the nationalists have a compelling narrative this time: Hard Brexit - Tories as far as the eye can see - The Maybot isn't likely to be handing out further devolved powers.

But I think the oil prices will always scupper them, because the counter-narrative 'Aye, and with what money?' seems pretty much unassailable.

One of my old school lefty mates, his stated reason for voting to remain in the UK last time was that with the loss of Not-England as a defining part of our national identity, Scottish politics would probably lurch to the right. And I think there's something in that; I've long suspected that the real reason UKIP never got a toehold north of the border wasn't so much the racism and xenophobia, alas, but that English nationalism doesn't play well up here.

On the other hand, freed of Corbyn drag and with the SNP no longer able to distract from their failings by going: ...but, England, Scottish Labour might wake up.

God, I don't know. But at least our own home grown brouhaha will distract me from what ever the fuck is going on across the Pond; there's only so much about Nixon a girl can read.
netgirl_y2k: (panic)
1. You know how I was talking about my best friends going through the adoption process, well, their wee boy (my atheist godson!) came home at the start of February and I got to meet him this week, hurrah!

Honestly, I haven't had that much fun since I was three; none of my grown-up friends want to stage elaborate fake swordfights with me using stuffed dinosaurs as weapons. Plus, I was reminded of all sorts of important things that you forget when you're a grown-up, such as when out and about it is important to keep one's eyes peeled for dragons and gruffalos.

I'd got his dad a Deadpool graphic novel for his Christmas, and the wee man had found it and become completely enamoured with it. Luckily, he's only three so can't really read yet, and there was nothing too inappropriate in the panels. Still, the kid was asking and asking for the story to be read to him. And my friend, in a remarkable display of procrastination, had said 'Your Auntie Gillian will read it to you when she comes to visit,' and hadn't told me about it until I'm having this Deadpool book shoved into my hand to a chorus of 'Read it! Read it! Read it!' So there I was trying to make up a story that sort of fit with the pictures but was suitable for little ears. And that's how I spent my afternoon making up fanfiction on the fly about Deadpool and Abraham Lincoln rescuing a bunch of chimpanzees from a hungry dinosaur, in space.

He's a cracker, this kid. I'm going to pick up some slightly more kid friendly comics for him. Miles Morales was my first thought, but his approach to life is currently very smashy, so maybe She-Hulk, too. I'm getting the indoctrination started young.

I'm taking him for a day this weekend, too. A little bit to help out my friends who are understandably shellshocked, sudden acquisition of a three year old and all, but mostly because I just found out that if you are in charge of a small human you're allowed in the fun bits of soft play areas.

2. I've been staying with my dad this week, because my mum's away and she'd asked me to stay in the house to look after the dogs. I think it'll explain a lot about my parents marriage if I tell you that my dad pretends to not to like the dogs and ignores them when my mum's around, and yet I kept walking into rooms to find him feeding them pork crackling. So me and my dog packed up and returned to the nest for a week.

Mum's dogs are beautifully trained, and Freya is... not. To be fair, she sits, and shakes paws, and comes when called, and all that jazz; I just have slightly different (read: no) standards when it comes to things like her being allowed on the furniture, sleeping on the bed, and begging for food. My mum is totally appalled that I let the dog sleep on my bed, she says it's not hygienic, to which I have that Eddie Izzard response (I'm an adult now; it's my toaster...)

Unfortunately rather than rising to the standards of mum's dogs, Freya dragged Errol and Flynn down to hers (yes, my mother really did name her dogs Errol and Flynn; yes, on purpose.) So by Wednesday night I was sleeping in a single bed with no fewer than three dogs. I think at least some of you will agree that my getting up for work on Thursday was an act of heroism.

But, god, there's some sort of when-the-cat's-away thing that happens when I stay with dad without mum; we've been living off pizza and beer all week, it's like being on vacation in the world weirdest fraternity.

3. I lost the use of one of my arms for a couple of days this week, too. So, that was fun. I face planted on a sheet of black ice and landed really awkwardly on one shoulder. And that would have been fine, except all three of the dogs ran over to investigate. And Freya, in an uncharacteristic attempt to defend my honour, decided the other two dogs were too close to me and went bananas.

So there I am, sitting on a sheet of ice, a small labrador staging some sort of 300 level siege warfare from my lap, raising the arm I can still lift to wave at passersby. "Hi! Everything's fine!"

4. I have been writing fics - slowly, sometimes with one hand - and I ended up writing two fics for the person that 'won' me in the fandomtrumpshate auction.

They Want To Make Me Their Queen (The 100, Clarke/Lexa, 9k, Role Reversal AU)

Clarke smoothed the fall of the long coat over Lexa's shoulders and straightened her collar.

"Leksa kom Skaikru," she said with a soft, almost fond smile.

Or,

The one where all the Grounders are Sky People, and all the Sky People are Grounders.


I ended up feeling a little weird about this, because I don't watch the show anymore, and ship Clarke/Lexa so little that I had to rewrite huge chunks of this because I got to the bit where they were supposed to kiss, couldn't make it work, and realised I'd accidentally been writing it as a Lexa/Anya fic, so I had go back and be sure to add bits where Lexa actually noticed Clarke. Oops.

The Werewolves of Liechtenstein (The Checquy Files, Myfanwy/Shantay, 3k)

"Is this or is this not a seduction?"

"Not a good one."

"Are you kidding? I got to punch Thatcher's ghost in the face."


This one I loved writing, and I think it shows. It was a great excuse to reread The Rook. It reminded me that one of the things I find most charming about those books, and the reason they get past my no-urban-fantasies-set-in-London filter, is that they read like they were written by the sort of person who back in the day never got their Harry Potter fic britpicked.

I mean, it's adorable, but with the best will in the world there's no such place as downtown Stoke-on-Trent.

Books

Jan. 29th, 2017 11:12 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Tempting though it's been to spend the last few weeks opening 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale at random pages and going: Oh, God, I have done a wee bit of other (mostly escapist) reading.

The Regional Office is Under Attack! - Manuel Gonzales
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
Invasive - Chuck Wendig
Mort(e) - Robert Repino
The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: the true story of a convent in scandal - Hubert Wolf


At first glance The Regional Office is Under Attack! should have been so very much in my wheelehouse. There's a top secret agency of super-powered women saving us all from the forces of darkness! There's a splinter group of super-powered women! One of the main women has a metal arm! It's basically Die Hard with super-powered ladies! There's an exclamation mark in the title!

But, alas. It does that annoying thing where it pretends to be about women, but all the female characters are motivated/manipulated by a dude. The characterisations are thin, and I mean thin even by the standards of a Die Hard pastiche. The writing is, in places, just... not very good. I mean, the Regional Office itself seemed really cool, and there was an afterthought of a subplot where a character got taken over by her metal arm, and - it was like this book chose to tell the least interesting of all possible stories in the world it had created.

Luckily The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet was much better. Okay, there wasn't much of a plot to speak of, it's basically a found family/group of misfits in space, but I didn't care because it was one of those books where I would have been more than happy to read about these characters doing not very much and bouncing off each other forever. There are great characters, fun worldbuilding, interesting aliens, and a lesbian romance featuring a human and a lizard alien; it was basically Jenny and Vastra IN SPACE. I can't overemphasise how much fun this was.

Invasive is about weaponised ants, because however bad things seem right now at least the ants aren't attacking. It's really fast-paced and fun, but maybe don't read it if you're afraid of insects, because I'm not at all and some of the bits about the sensation of insects crawling on your skin made even me squirm.

Mort(e) is also about an ant attack. In this the Ant Queen has been plotting war against humanity for thousands of years, and as part of her plan she gives housepets sentience in the hope that they'll rise up and kill their human masters. It's worth noting that while reading this I actually turned to my dog and earnestly said: "I love you very, very much, please don't kill me in the event of the insect uprising. Also, please remember that I gave you this rich tea biscuit even though you're not meant to have person food."

Also, in addition to sentience, the animals also get to be bipedal with opposable thumbs, and understand the use of semiautomatic weapons. I mean, it's mad as fuck, but it does that thing that some truly ridiculous books can, where they overshoot their silliness and come out the other side at really quite good, actually.

Sometimes I can be heard to complain about how hard it can be to talk to people on Tumblr, and it is, but one evening I managed to get involved a conversation that went from whether or not or I should write a La Maupin AU, to my own lapsed Catholicism, to Celtic FC, to people sending me recs for books about nuns, which was how The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio came to my attention.

It's non-fiction about a nineteenth century Roman convent, featuring the attempted murder of a German princess by a nun, several other murders, lesbian initiation rites, and the ensuing cover up by the Catholic church. It was certainly a book where I had to readjust my expectations partway into the book, because I went into it expecting, I guess, 19th century nuns gone wild, and what I got was much dryer and sadder. I mean, it's interesting, especially if you have even a passing interest in religious history, but it's not salacious in the way the summary makes it sound.

Although, because the more things change the more they stay the same, I really enjoyed this quote from around the time of the First Vatican Council and the Dogma of Papal Infallibility: "Stupidity and fanaticism join hands and dance the tarantella, making such a caterwaul that one cannot bear to look or listen." Because, yeah.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
So, they inaugurated Trump. And, like, because my brain has spent two and half months doing the Signal Not Found thing at the very notion of President Donald Trump I didn't realise how much denial I'd been in. That on some level I'd been assuming that it wouldn't actually happen, that something so catastrophically damaging that he'd be forced to stand down would come to light, or that he'd be caught on camera taking off his person suit like in that episode of The Simpsons (what, they were right about the presidency.)

It turns out that blind refusal to accept reality doesn't work, who knew.

Speaking of abject refusal of objective fact, I wonder how long it'll take to discover what the Trump people were trying to distract from by screaming about the inauguration numbers. I suspect that the next four years are going to be a good time to bury the lede; even today in the UK the headline was PATHOLOGICAL LIAR LIES, and way, way down in second place was THAT TIME WE NEARLY NUKED FLORIDA AND FORGOT TO TELL ANYONE, LOL.

Speaking of our vainglorious leaders, Theresa May seems to have decided to drive us all off the Brexit cliff edge, apparently emboldened by the way Donald Trump decidedly didn't promise Michael Gove a trade deal. I can almost enjoy the irony that the selfsame people who were screaming British sovereignty! at the top of their lungs are now so eager to hurry us into our inevitable future as Airstrip One, then I remember that this is really happening.

And Nicola Sturgeon, despite her almost heroic efforts to avoid saying the words: 'second independence referendum' out loud or in the vicinity of any recording devices, has backed herself into a corner where she either has to call a second referendum that she probably can't win or be seen as totally ineffective when it comes to dealing with the Tories over Brexit.

I voted for independence last time, and maybe I'm just that much more cynical now, but I feel like the choice right now would be between being Cold Greece inside the EU or a wholly owned subsidiary of Little England and by extension the Trump Corporation outside it. I mean, I know what I'd chose, but still.

In conclusion, Dear Talisker distillery, take all my money, send scotch.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
I mildly suspect that in its original form this meme was about baby names...

1) What would/did you name your first [dog]?

Cyril. After which I was banned from naming the family pets.

2) What do you think makes a good name for a [dog]?

Human names that have fallen into disuse. This is why I have had dogs called Cyril, Eustace, and Vera, and why I seriously considered calling Freya Brunhilda (Hilda for short).

3) What do you think makes a bad name for a [dog]?

Anything you'd be too embarrassed to scream at the top of your lungs as a dog disappears into the middle distance.

4) What's a name that you love, but would never give a [dog]? Why?

Patrick. As in: Pat-the-Dog. I'll show myself out.

5) Did you do a good job naming your [dog]?

I failed with my out of fashion human names for dogs with Freya, as it turns out that there actually are a lot of little girls called Freya running around Scotland. On the other hand I did get the world's cutest three year old toddling up to ask what the doggy's name was, and when I told her the doggy was called Freya, her eyes went as wide as golf balls as she went: ...that's my name.

fyi

Jan. 13th, 2017 09:23 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
I'm offering fic for the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate auction (get fanworks; help fight He Who Must Not Be Named.)

Officially I'm offering fic of up to 10k in Person of Interest, ASOIAF/GoT, Supergirl, and The Rook fandoms, but if you're interested in something else I've written before or you know that I know, I'm flexible. (My AO3 page for reference.)

You can bid on me here.

And browse other people's offers here. I've already put a bid in on one of my favourite authors, and quite liked being able to combine doing a good thing with 'here is how much I appreciate you and your writing in stark numerical terms.'

Holidays

Jan. 10th, 2017 07:53 pm
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
So, I think because we had such a blow out in Galway last Hogmanay, and because 2016 had been largely, well, on fire, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself to have an awesome time visiting my sister over New Year, and, well, um...

Things didn't get off to the greatest of starts even before I left. The guy who had offered to look after my dog (asked to look after her, really, as he's trying to convince his partner to get a puppy and wanted to show her what it'd be like with two dogs in the house) turned around and said: "By the way, we've got a cat. That won't be a problem, will it?" And, I dunno, man, are you very attached to your cat? My dog charges the telly when there are cats on-screen. So, I had a couple of fretful days looking at ferry charges and trying to work out if my breakdown cover would apply in Ireland (my car is made of rust and runs on happy thoughts) before the dog walker who takes Freya for me when I'm on double shifts said she'd be happy to take her for the week.

I hadn't seen my sister in nearly a year, and when we're getting along there's no-one I like better in the whole wide world, so I was really looking forward to spending a week with her. Unfortunately when we're not getting along the experience is akin to sticking your head in a bucket of wet cement, and I arrived to find her in a wet cement mood. She said she was loaded with the cold, and just off having to work over Christmas, and her plan for the upcoming week involved taking a bunch of sleeping tablets while I watched Netflix very quietly in another room.

So I spent the first night and a bit of my holidays huddled under my coat because it was too cold to sleep, alternating between watching Stranger Things (I liked it fine, but feel like I might have enjoyed it just as much if not more in my own house where there's central heating and a dog) and trying desperately to find an early flight home (for three hundred euros I could have flown from Dublin to Glasgow via Brussels and Heathrow over the course of nine and a bit hours; at one point I had my credit card in hand). The best thing that can be said about the beginning of the holiday is that my sister's flatmates were in Brazil. Because they're Brazilian, not because there's something about my sister that makes you want to flee for Latin America, although. Meaning I could at least sleep on the couch; if we'd had to share her box-room like usual I think there would have been a murder done; that or I would have a lovely souvenir from Brussels airport.

As siblings are wont to, my sister and I made up the next morning, and she confessed that part of her terrible mood upon my arrival had been that she'd taken a fistful of drugs the day before and had still been coming down.

(Sidebar: I don't have a problem with drugs. I don't partake, largely because I like my mood altering substances Scotch flavoured. But if you can keep it recreational and you're staying away from the stuff that will kill you, then you do you. The exceptions to this rule are if you are my baby sister, or if your system of measurement is by the fucking fist.)

So that was another argument; I feel like my pro-sobriety pitch might have carried more weight if I hadn't been holding a pint of Guinness while I was making it.

So I spent the first half of the holiday drinking alone and wandering around Galway. There's something particularly disheartening about going to the Atlantic Aquarium of Ireland by oneself (mostly cod; some eels.)

Eventually my sister and I did properly make up with the aid of a lot of Guinness, me trying to sound less judge-y about the drugs, her letting me turn the space heater on at night, and all the episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Her favourite character is Captain Holt, mine is Jake; this tells you everything you need to know about our relationship.

Speaking of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the moment of sisterly bonding I'd been looking for came courtesy of the most recent episode with us both going: What? What?? What?!?

I had thought the first thing I'd want to do in Ireland was see Rogue One, but the night before I left Carrie Fisher died, and that kind of took the wind out of my Star Wars sails. We did see it eventually, and I liked it, although spoilers )

What else? Um, Guinness still terribly more-ish and inexplicably nicer in Ireland than it is in Scotland. Beer wise, I also enjoyed Galway Hooker, more for the name than the taste.

OH! The night before I left I got spontaneously chatted up (in a not-gay nightclub, to boot!) by a hot nerd who looked a bit like Jennifer Lawrence who thought I had pretty hair and we got talking about shipping Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. The bad news: fucking Ireland; the good news: when she said I had pretty hair I managed to bite my tongue before I said I just hadn't washed it - my flirting game has improved flibberty-gibbet percent.

So I was just starting to enjoy myself when I had to come home. Like, yeah, two thirds of the holiday were pretty shit, on the other hand, I'm apparently cute in Ireland. I picked my dog up, and she's been staging a sulk that would make a three year old proud. I worried she'd picked up a bit of kennel cough, but no, the little bugger was just growling at me. She's a wee madam.

I downloaded the second season of Humans to start watching on the journey back. I'm really enjoying it so far; lots of Niska, little of Colin Morgan's stupid face.
netgirl_y2k: (panic)
I'm at naught for naught so far in 2017 (I meant to read a lot on my holidays, but everywhere had wifi, and also I was pretty drunk a lot of the time) so lets talk more about last year's books.

How many books read in 2016?

Fifty-five.

Heh, I remember when I used to hit the high seventies and shooting for a hundred books in a year didn't seem unreasonable. Stupid having to work for a living. I have now decided to aim for circa fifty-two; they're not going to revoke my bookworm card for 'only' managing to read a book a week.

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?

46 fiction.
9 non-fiction.

Male/Female authors?

34 female.
21 male.

Most books read by one author this year?

Rose Lerner and Tessa Dare (reading through their historical romance series'), Margaret Atwood (why can't I just accept that Atwood's writing does nothing for me?), Ben Aaronovitch (decided I do like the Rivers of London series after all), and Robert Jackson Bennett (WHEN does City of Miracles come out?)

Any in translation?

Nordic crime The Redbreast and Filipino crime novel Smaller and Smaller Circles.

Will try to do better next year.

Favorite?

Top five?

The Library at Mount Char - Scott Hawkins
Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley
Infomocracy - Malka Older
City of Stairs & City of Blades - Robert Jackson Bennett

Least Favorite?

I read a fair few mediocre books, but having adored Ready Player One a few years ago, the thirteen year old boy's wish fulfilment fantasy that is Ernest Cline's Armada was disappointing indeed.

Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge managed to make girl hellhounds boring to me. And Emily Skrutskie's The Abyss Surrounds Us tragically managed to be not very good despite having both lesbians and sea monsters

Oldest?

Not sure.

Newest?

I think I got Tana French's The Trespasser basically as soon as it came out, and I don't regret this.

Longest Title?

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, one of the better historical romances I read this year, with a hero on the autistic spectrum.

Shortest Title?

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Book that most changed my perspective:

Nothing really.

Next year I must try to be less preaching-to-the-choir in my non-fiction reading choices.

Favorite character:

Edie Bannister from Angelmaker, a badass octogenarian lesbian spy, whose secret weapon is the elderly pug she keeps in her handbag. The choice to kill her off at the three quarters mark to focus on the everyman character called, I kid you not, Joe Spork, is the source of grudge against Nick Harkaway that I intend to take to my grave.

Favorite scene:

Any one of the many times Odette and Felicity saved each others lives in Rook. Best enemies to friends to lovers arc ever

Favorite Quote:

Probably the opening paragraph of Rook.

To Felicity Jane Clements, Pawn of the Checquy Group and Ward of HM Government,

You are herewith called forth by the authority of the Lord and Lady, in accordance with your obligations and your oaths, to give service, in secret, for the protection and security of the Monarch, the People, and the soil of the British Isles.

On this day, you are to proceed with all haste into the London borough of Northam, to the location commanded. There, you will bend the abilities instilled within you to the task ordered.

To ensure that you remain unknown and that none will remark upon your presence, you will be given clothing to blend in among the populace.

To discourage civilians from approaching you, you will be sprayed with urine.

Bring milk and chocolate biscuits.


What do you want to read in 2017?

Good books, at least fifty-two of them.
netgirl_y2k: (fire cannot kill a dragon)
I have to go to bed in a minute so that I can get up for my silly-o'clock flight to Dublin, so this year's rating system might have gone a bit weird.

1. When We Were Animals - Joshua Gaylord (extended metaphor; meh)
2. Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson (humans are doomed; good)
3. The Library at Mount Char - Scott Hawkins (contemporary fantasy; YAY)
4. The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood (spec-fic; meh-to-good)
5. The Guest Room - Chris Bohjalian (thriller; good)
6. Black Widow - Chris Brookmyre (scottish crime; good)
7. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie - Jennifer Ashley (historical romance; very good)
8. Black Dog - Caitlin Kittredge (girl hellhouds; the lower end of meh)
9. A Slip of the Keyboard - Terry Pratchett (I miss you, pterry; good)
10. The House of Shattered Wings - Aliette de Bodard (historical fantasy; probably actually good, but meh)
11. Armada - Ernest Cline (13 yr old boy wish fufillment; very meh)
12. The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo (nordic crime; does what it says on the tin)
13. Sweet Disorder - Rose Lerner (historical romance; good)
14. Day Four - Sarah Lotz (horror; fine)
15. In the Labyrinth of the Drakes - Marie Brennan (lady dragon scientist; YAY)
16. Jane Steele - Lyndsay Faye (serial killer Jane Eyre; YAY)
17. The Three - Sarah Lotz (horror; eh, fine)
18. True Pretenses - Rose Lerner (historical romance; points deducted for Tories)
19. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel - Sara Farizan (teenage lesbians; made me happy in my heart)
20. The Just City - Jo Walton (thought experiment fantasy; fine-to-good)
21. Waiting for Doggo - Mark Mills (dogs; why did I read this, again?)
22. League of Dragons - Naomi Novik (dragons, lower-case-yay)
23. Forty Signs of Rain - Kim Stanley Robinson (humans are doomed, points deducted for pervy protagonist)
24. The Language of Secrets - Ausma Zehanat Khan (canadian crime; fine-to-good)
25. Angelmaker - Nick Harkaway (contemporary fantasy; loses ALL THE POINTS for killing off the lesbian octogenarian spy; bad book, no biscuit)
26. Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride (scottish crime; ew)
27. The Witches: Salem, 1692 - Stacy Schiff (non-fiction; some witches, mostly footnotes)
28. Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley (YAY, YAY!!!; three exclamation marks, surely the sign of a deranged mind)
29. Four Roads Cross - Max Gladstone (dead gods and magic lawyers; yay)
30. Listen to the Moon - Rose Lerner (downstairs-downstairs historical romance; very refreshing)
31. The Geek Feminist Revolution - Kameron Hurley (essays; preaching to the converted, so eh)
32. Asking For It - Louise O'Neill (feminist YA; OH GOD WHY WOULD YOU LET ME READ THIS?; but good)
33. City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett (fantasy; YAY)
34. Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch (they folly has an away day in the countryside; good)
35. In Harm's Way - Doug Stanton (non-fiction; fine)
36. Stone Mattress - Margaret Atwood (short stories; why can't I just like Atwood as much as other people do?)
37. Labrador - Ben Fogle (dogs;...dogs?)
38. Infomocracy - Malka Older (election related spec-fic; ARGGHHH; but very good)
39. Do You Want to Start a Sandal - Tessa Dare (historical romance; does what it says on the tin)
40. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu - Joshua Hammer (non-fiction; title better than the book)
41. Think of England - KJ Charles (m/m historical romance; lovely)
42. The Abyss Surrounds Us - Emily Skrutskie (teenaged lesbians and sea monsters; not nearly as good as it sounds)
43. The Girl Before - Rena Olsen (feminist fiction; unreliable narrator; good)
44. City of Blades - Robert Jackson Bennett (fantasy; BUT WHEN IS THE THIRD ONE COMING OUT?)
45. The Trespasser - Tana French (irish crime; very good)
46. Smaller and Smaller Circles - FH Batacan (filipino crime; meh)
47. The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch (urban fantasy; ...what happened in this one again?)
48. A Week to be Wicked - Tessa Dare (historical romance; best in its series)
49. A Lady by Midnight - Tessa Dare (historical romance; ...how is the same author who wrote a week to be wicked?)
50. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead (spec-fic; very good)
51. Beneath the Surface - John Hargrove (non-fiction; so Seaworld is like a cult, huh)
52. Notorious RBG: the life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik (non-fiction; I hope RBG is taking her vitamins)
53. The Wonder - Emma Donoghue (historical fiction; good)
54. Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare (historical romance; fine-to-meh)
55. Weapons of Math Destruction - Cathy O'Neil (non-fiction; fine)
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
'k, so I'm probably not going to be able to finish any more fics before I go on holiday tomorrow. Farewell, [community profile] fandom_stocking fills I wanted to write.

Gotten Used To Coffee Sweats (Jessica Jones; Jess/Trish; 2k)
Trish woke to discover that when Jessica had encountered a warm body in her unconscious attempts to construct a blanket fort she had simply folded Trish into its construction.

(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To (Game of Thrones; Margaery/Brienne; 3.5k)
Margaery is the heiress to a political dynasty, and while she's getting over a bad breakup with a Teen Choice Award winner she develops a crush on her painfully shy new bodyguard.

the wanting comes in waves (ASOIAF; Arianne/Tyene; 1k)
You cannot poison a predator with her own venom, sweet cousin.

Supergirl vs. the Bullies (Supergirl, Kara, Cat; 1k)
“You shock me, Keira,” said Ms Grant, plumbing depths of sarcasm with which Kara was only passingly familiar.

Twenty-Eight Days Earlier (Person of Interest; Root, Shaw; 1k)
Shaw found Root’s lack of squeamishness when it came to looting corpses refreshing.

Turn Around Three Times Before Dying and The Downhill Existential Crisis (Person of Interest; Root/Shaw; 4k)
The one where Shaw has a daemon and is severely fucking pissed off about it.

You Are Part Of A Machine (you are not a human being) (Person of Interest; Shaw, Fusco; 3k)
Lionel had never once been in any of Samaritan's simulations, and Root never, ever died in them. But Root was dead and Lionel was here, ergo this was real.

Sing The Body (Electric Remix) (Person of Interest; Root; 2.5k)
"What the hell kind of leet speak name is Root?"

Children Are The Future (Game of Thrones; Sansa/Margaery; 1.5k)
This isn’t a perfect world, Margaery, but I would choose it over any other.

a minor fall and a major lift (ASOIAF; Sansa/Willas; 4k)
Sansa held a takeaway cup of hot chocolate in one hand, and what was either a prehistoric wolf or the world's largest husky was taking marshmallows gently from her fingertips.

When I Argue I See Shapes (Person of Interest; Root/Shaw; 2k)
Sorry, John, Root thought as heavy unconsciousness dragged her under, I have to go see an ASI about a girl.

Everybody Says That You're So Fragile (ASOIAF, Lyanna, Elia, Ashara; 3k)
Lyanna Stark thwarts a kidnapping, and receives an interesting offer.

The Fast Return (Stiletto; Odette/Felicity; 2.5k)
Apropos of nothing and without any input from her brain, Odette announced her desire to lick champagne off of Felicity's abdominal muscles.

Lady Lazarus #1 (Person of Interest; Root/Shaw; 2.5k)
Shaw was pretty sure that Root had given herself her own supervillain name.

You're a Wanker, Number 9 (Game of Thrones; Sansa/Margaery; 5.5k)
"We have six brothers between us and I'm a lesbian," said Margaery, pushing her skirt down to her knees. "How are we so bad at this?"

Had A Dream I Was The Queen (woke up, still the queen) (ASOIAF; Lyanna/Elia; 7.5k)
Rhaegar marries Lyanna Stark, and runs away with Elia Martell

Fics: 17
Words 45653
Kudos: 2537

Overall Thoughts:

The first half of the year was totally phoned in. The PoI daemon AU is the first one that's any good at all. I wonder what could have happened in June that made hiding in fictional worlds seem appealing, hmm?

What's your own favourite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest:

Speaking of the daemon AU, Turn Around Three Times Before Dying. Writing Sameen Shaw and her judgemental ocelot daemon gave me much joy this year.

Now Your most popular:

I guess it just goes to show that if you like something you're writing, no matter how ridiculous, other people will too, but it's still the daemon AU.

Story of mine most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion:

Partly because I think it is a bit good, and partly because people should recognise that seven thousand words is, like, epic length for me and reward me accordingly, but Had A Dream I Was The Queen (woke up, still the queen).

Easiest Story to Write

Root's death made me feel feelings, I poured those feelings into You Are Part Of A Machine (you are not a human being). I also have a lot of feelings about Shaw and Fusco's friendship, and am quite pleased that I correctly predicted them as the last two standing. (I know that Harold is technically alive too, but I sort of feel like narratively speaking he shouldn't be, so.)

Most fun story to write:

It's a toss up between (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To my Margaery/Brienne bodyguard AU, and my Sansa/Margaery Imagine Me & You AU You're a Wanker, Number 9. I have reached the silly AU portion of my wending path through Game of Thrones fandom.

Hardest story to write:

a minor fall and a major lift, because I got the prompt for a Sansa/Willas coffee shop AU - and I'm not the greatest lover of those types of AUs, and I've never particularly cared for Willas who is a non-entity in canon and often a deus-ex-happy ending for Sansa in fandom - and I childishly went won't, shan't! Then I got over myself and decided to write the best coffee shop AU my strange little heart could come up with, and I ended up being quite proud of the result.

Fic writing goals for 2017?

Nope!
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
In a last ditch effort to make my place more festive I've been putting the holiday cards I received on display, and an alarming number of them are made out to 'Gillian & Freya' and, like, do these people not know that Freya's a dog, or have they just gone, well, we've given up on her ever finding human companionship, but it's nice she has that dog. This is why you shouldn't give dogs people names.

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, Seaworld, and the truth beyond
Blackfish - John Hargrove
Notorious RBG: the life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
The Wonder - Emma Donoghue
Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare
Deadpool: Dead Presidents
Weapons of Math Destruction - Cathy O'Neil


First thing, The Underground Railroad is exactly as good as everyone says it is. The story of a slave named Cora escaping from a Georgia plantation is brilliant and relentless and difficult to read, and I highly, highly recommend it. If I have tiny, teeny wee niggle it's with the alternate history hook of the underground railroad being an actual, literal underground underground. The book would have been just as amazing and awful as straight historical fiction, and I'm not sure why you'd introduce an element like that and then not use it. But, anyway, I loved it

Beneath the Surface is by a former Seaworld trainer and his slow disillusionment with his dream job. And by now I think we all know that Seaworld is a corporation and not any sort of conservation or educational organisation, but here it sometimes seemed to operate almost like a cult. Reccomened for anyone who enjoyed Blackfish or likes those 'escaping Scientology' memoirs.

I picked up Notorious RBG largely because on the title. It's quite clearly based on someone's tumblr page, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, the authors clearly realised that there was a market for an easy to read biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg interspersed with cool tumblr-esque graphics. I liked it, but I think I might be read for more heavyweight entires in the genre of badass political women.

The Wonder is a historical novel about an English nurse who is hired to verify that an Irish child who claims to have survived without food for four months truly is a miracle. For a novel that's mostly two characters in a room together it has no business being as compelling as it is, but that's Emma Donoghue for you.

I tend to read historical romance series in order, although I know you don't have to, because I like seeing the callbacks to earlier couples, but with Any Duchess Will Do I really wish that I hadn't. I know that loveable rogues are a staple of regency romances, but Griff the notional hero in this one, was also Halford, the using-women-as-poker-currency utter dickhead in a previous instalment, and as such it was difficult to take his iron woobie-ness seriously. Shame, as I might have rather liked this otherwise.

I, er, glanced through Deadpool: Dead Presidents before I wrapped it up to give to someone for Christmas. Wade Wilson fights zombie US presidents. I feel good about my choice of Christmas gift.

Weapons of Math Destruction is another one I picked up because of the title. It's all about how algorithms - from what we see on facebook to personality tests when you apply for a job - control our lives much more than we think we do (computer says no), and how human biases are baked in. It's almost a shame the author is American because I would have loved to read her take on the DWP and atos.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
How's it time for this already? It was January five minutes ago...

1. Your main fandom of the year?

Person of Interest, still.

I mean, I think we all knew it was cancelled before it was officially cancelled. And I found the fifth season, by and large, extremely satisfying viewing, but my lingering thing is: if the final season was that good with all the network fuckery going on, how good could it have been if they'd been allowed a freer hand?

And also, because I came to the show and the fandom late, and because the fandom seemed to dwindle to almost nothing so quickly (partly, I think, because the finale was so solid) I'm sort of here going: no, come back. I'm not done yet...

2. Your favourite film watched this year?

Ghostbusters.

I was on the phone to my sister the other night talking about all the things we're going to do/drink/watch when I visit for Hogmanay, and she said that she hasn't seen the new Ghostbusters because the internet seemed to hate it. And I screamed - honestly I probably didn't even need the phone, I'm sure I could be heard across the Irish Sea - THE INTERNET IS WRONG.

It's possible that the first thing I'll do when I rock up in Galway is plonk her down in front of a screen and just stare at her for two hours daring her to hate it.

3. Your favourite book read this year?

Trick question, dude! Because, like, objectively the best is Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, and the most eerily timely is Infomocracy by Malka Older.

But the book that made me happiest in my nerdy, lesbian little heart is Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley, which is the only book I've read twice this year; partly for the corporate merger between the public school, posh bastard magical department of the British government and the Eurotrash chapter of Mad Scientists Inc., and partly because of how very much I ship Odette and Felicity.

4. Your favourite TV show of the year?

A toss up between Luke Cage and Westworld, because I am not above forgoing sleep and fucking up my back by spending thirteen hours hunched over a laptop if your show is good enough.

That said, I would sell Westworld for a sixth season of Person of Interest. I mean, I get that Westworld is probably objectively the better show, but the fannish heart wants what it wants.

5. Your favourite online fandom community of the year?

I loved participating in [community profile] femslashex, but mostly I am just here in my corner doing my thing.

6. Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Legends of Tomorrow Sara Lance.

7. Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

It was kind of amazing (in the jaysus, I can't look away from this car crash type way) to watch The 100 crash and burn, like, six weeks after I'd binge watched two seasons of it.

I'd never seen anything like it, and I'm a veteran of Doctor Who, Merlin and Game of Thrones fandoms.

I mean, Root's death sucked for me because I loved Root (also, holy dead lesbians, Batman!) but it didn't have the combination of terrible writing, over-invested fans, and arrogant showrunners that made The 100 mess truly special.

8. Your TV boyfriend of the year?

Lionel Fusco.

I may have misunderstood this question.

9. Your TV girlfriend of the year?

Sameen Shaw.

This one I understand perfectly.

10. Your biggest squee moment of the year?

The last shot from Person of Interest.

Shaw, dog, ringing phone. That was, to me, almost Leverage finale levels of perfection.

11. The most missed of your old fandoms?

Not really a fandom but, I keep looking at my shelf of Discworld books and feeling fresh pangs of sadness over Terry Pratchett, because boy could we have done with his voice this year.

12. The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?

I have the second season of Humans to get to, and it looks good, and I liked the first one, and Niska! But, eh, I still have a Merlin related aversion to Colin Morgan's stupid face.

13. Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?

Wonder Woman

On the one hand, I AM SO EXCITED. On the other, I made it through twenty minutes of Batman v. Superman and not even the prospect of Gal Gadot could make me keep watching. So I'm just goggling over the trailer and going: please be good, please be good.
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
On Monday morning I was playing fetch with my dog, threw a tennis ball too hard, and felt something in my back go twang. It didn't feel too bad at first, so I went home, sat down to have breakfast, tried to stand up, went ARGHHH, and was basically stuck like that for two days.

I had to take a couple of days off work, because I work in care of the elderly and when I'm the one shuffling about and groaning then people start to lose faith in the whole system. By the way, calling in with a bad back two weeks before Christmas was met with a certain amount of scepticism; I suppose it's a little like claiming to have 'food poisoning' the morning after the Christmas party. I used my unanticipated time off to catch up on telly.

You know, I really enjoyed Pitch, although I do think they could have stood to show Ginny playing baseball more, and I say this as someone who was wondering why they were playing cricket wrong well into the sixth episode. But that ending... are you sure that's the note you want to strike with your finale, show? Are you sure? Like, I can only assume they were pretty confident in their renewal chances when they wrote and filmed that. It actually would have held up really well as a one season show if they'd let it end on at all a positive note; like, let Ginny pitch her no-hitter, and leave Ginny and Mike's will-they-won't-they, and Ginny and Amelia's breakup as the dangling threads for a potential second season. Also, I'd been half-heartedly shipping Ginny/Amelia throughout the season, but the finale made me ship them full-throttle, because that is not how you end a business relationship.

By staying up way past my bedtime I managed to binge watch Westworld in a day, and now I have twelve different types of feelings about Maeve. Dolores, too; but with Dolores although the series hinged on her at the beginning and the end, she kind of got lost and packed off on a sidequest for a lot of the middle, plus Maeve just felt like a much stronger character. And I'm still trying to articulate how I feel about Dolores because her role in the narrative (the narrative of the park, not the show) is to be a rape victim, and although they - thank god - keep most of Dolores' victimisation off-screen, there are the predictable HBO brothel scenes, including that ridiculous ott bacchanalian one in Pariah. But I'm really glad I decided to save it up to binge (there are some shows, I think, that really suit that method of watching and Westworld was definitely one of them) and managed to stay unspoiled.
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
1. Hurrah, my Christmas tree is up! It's the first time I've had a tree in a couple of years, because Freya was a godawful puppy who chewed everything in sight up to and including a can of that anti-chewing spray. My old tree was looking raggedy as fuck, so I got a new 7ft one. As far as the poor dog is concerned I've dragged the biggest stick in the world into the living room, strung balls and sparkly things from it, and then told her she can't go near it. Bless.

The dog's new weird thing is-- you know that advert about sponsoring a snow leopard, well, whenever it comes on Freya, an inveterate chaser of cats, will launch herself from the couch and charge barking at the telly, like, let me at it, I can take it! And, dude, they're bigger in real life.

2. I am to be atheist godmother to my friends' newly adopted son, double hurrah! This is a vague title that I have taken to mean purchaser of obscenely large packets of crayons, and in years to come nerf guns and nerf gun related projectiles.

If anyone has any suggestions for good Christmas presents for a just turned three year old, I'll gratefully take 'em.

3. I watched the Gilmore Girls revival, and loved everything Luke/Lorelai related, I liked Emily learning to live with her grief and without Richard, the Rory stuff... ee-gad. It was less the career stuff - tbh, Rory forging a successful career in print journalism in the 2010s would have sorely tried my suspension of disbelief - but the casual infidelity and the final four words were, er, offputting.

One of my big bugbears with Gilmore Girls has always been, like, does it take place in some sort of pocket universe where abortion isn't a thing? I mean, not even as something you'd discuss then maybe decide against? Lane was the most egregious example, but Sookie getting pregnant again after deciding upon pain of vasectomy that she didn't want a third kid should have been grounds for an extremely bitter divorce. And the revival neatly sidestepped every opportunity to show that Rory had any interest in kids; she was awkward as fuck with the mini-Gellers and Paris seemed to be a more natural mother than Rory (Paris!)

I'm not sure the final five words shouldn't have been: "I'm pregnant. I'm not keeping it."

4. I watched the four way DCTV crossover, despite Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow being the only two I keep up with as a matter of course.

I think I'm enjoying the second season of Supergirl more than the first; this may be in part because of residual fondness for Katie McGrath, and in part because they're rolling with Alex's obvious gayness; the only thing that isn't entirely working for me in Mon-El, which is annoying because he's a cool concept, and charming and funny as a character, but every time I see him I go: Oh. That's bland CW love interest guy. I recognise the jawline, and it yanks me right out of the show.

Legends of Tomorrow is a show I started to like so much more once I embraced the fact that it's terrible. I watched the first episode, went: the costumes for the hawk people are the stupidest thing I've ever seen! and didn't watch another episode for a year; this week I saw the costume for Citizen Steel and went: that's sooo stupid; I love it! Also, there are my extremely valid Sara Lance seducing all the ladies reasons for watching.

Having watched the 100th episode of Arrow there's, er, literally nothing that makes me want to go back and watch the previous ninety-nine, and as for The Flash Barry's cute as button, and it feels like it should be something I'd like, but no.

I do think the four way crossover could have stood to be a three way crossover; the Supergirl episode wasn't part of the Dominators plot, Kara was the only one who didn't get to bring a sidekick along, and she kept being sidelined in slightly forced ways that certainly were nothing to do with: we've already had one Supergirl shot this episode and we're not made of money!

5. Does anyone listen to any podcasts they'd recommend?

I weeded all the current affairs and politics ones from my rotation (for brain weasel reasons I am limiting myself to watching the ten o'clock news and looking at the Guardian website no more than once a day) and I am down to The West Wing Weekly and a backlog of Criminal episodes.

I liked both seasons of Serial, got bored of Night Vale's schtick pretty quickly, but liked Alice Isn't Dead and Limetown. But I'm open to anything.

Books

Nov. 27th, 2016 11:20 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
The Trespasser - Tana French
Smaller and Smaller Circles - FH Batacan
The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch
A Week to be Wicked - Tessa Dare
A Lady by Midnight - Tessa Dare
Beauty and the Blacksmith - Tessa Dare


I've liked all of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books to various degrees, but I really, really loved The Trespasser. It's told from the point of view of Antionette Conway, partner of Stephen Moran one of the protagonists of The Secret Place. And I know the conceit of the series is that the detectives are different in each book, but, honestly I would read an entire series of mysteries about Moran and Conway. There's been a recurring theme through the books of partnerships crashing and burning, but Moran and Conway hit the rocks, and then come out stronger on the other side, and I just really, really love their partnership.

I am curious to see who the protagonist of the next book will be, because it's usually someone who was a supporting character in the previous book - but I can't think of any obvious candidates from The Trespasser.

Actually, the other thing that struck me was that the Dublin Murder Squad books have all had this thread of... magical realism, I guess, to various degrees. In The Secret Place it got a little more overt than I would have liked, but I think The Trespasser was the first one with no hints of it at all.

So, yeah, anyway, if you're interested in a series of Irish murder mysteries solved by detectives who seem like the very worst people in the world until you get into their heads, with occasional notes of magical realism then I can't recommend Dublin Murder Squad enough.

Smaller and Smaller Circles was billed as the first Filipino crime novel (or maybe just the first in translation?) and the main mystery, in which two priests investigate the murder and mutilations of slum kids is just... fine, but it's worth a read for the setting alone; the sense of place in a poverty stricken area of Manila is superb.

I really liked the first Rivers of London book, then got increasingly annoyed at books two-through-four. I had less than no interest in Nightingale, who seemed to be the focus of what fandom there was, and I was stubbornly, Scottishly annoyed at all the wanking over London. But I fell back into the series with book five and now The Hanging Tree. I am finding myself charmed all over again by Peter's narration, and especially enjoyed the inclusion of a transgender witch who wants to use magic to fly. I was a little underwhelmed by the revelation of the Faceless Man's identity, but as I care less about the overarching plot than I do about Peter, then eh.

I have been having a reading slump of late (I've been having an everything slump) and some regency romance always goes down easy, so I applied myself to Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series.

I got off to a good start with A Week to be Wicked in which a lady geologist tries to prove the existence of dinosaurs with the occasional help, occasional hinderance of a charming, insomniac viscount, and I really loved it a lot. Then I read A Lady by Midnight in which a music teacher and secret heiress falls in love with a taciturn, overtly unpleasant soldier, who's keeping a secret from the heroine about her dark past for her own good; not even the fact that they're co-parenting a puppy could make this my cup of tea. Beauty and the Blacksmith is exactly what it says on the tin: a well brought up young lady falls in love with a blacsmith; this was thin even by romance novella standards and didn't really have enough room to let the characters... be characters.

So, I think maybe that's my palate cleansed and I'm due a change of genre. I've got the Colson Whitehead novel The Underground Railroad, or maybe the second novel in Ken Liu's Dandelion Dynasty

I started but didn't finish Sarah Kuhn's Heroine Complex, it was just Too Twee for me. I only made it to the one third mark before I was rooting for the cupcake shaped demons to suck the sickeningly hipster San Francisco of the book straight to hell.
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
I booked my holidays; I'm off on a Guinness drinking jolly to Dublin & Galway for Hogmanay, hurrah.

holiday love meme 2016
my thread here
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Tiny, awesome news: a while ago I was talking about how two of my best friends had been going through the long, arduous process of trying to adopt a child. Well after, like, two years of paperwork, and interviews, waiting, and more waiting the adoption has come through. They are adopting a little boy of three, who likes dinosaurs and pretending to be a farmer.

He's coming to live with them in early January, and they're going to have a late Christmas then, because if you can't have two christmases in a fortnight when you're three and have just been adopted, then when can you? So I get to play Auntie Gillian, and have fun over the holidays trying to pick out the perfect present for a three year old.

Some cool things I have found out as an onlooker during this process: firstly, I didn't know this, but you still get the full year's paternity leave whether you have a baby or adopt an older child; and secondly, in addition to being able to prove that you're sober and able to keep the kid in shoes etc, the local authority the adoption was arranged through like you to provide evidence that you're not homophobic or transphobic, because who's to say that you won't get a kid who's gay or trans; which is apparently why my character reference, as someone who knows nothing about parenting but could testify that they're the very best sort of straight people, was very helpful.

I'm off to the rugby with the expectant parents this afternoon as a sort of celebratory last hurrah.

Wrote another fic; 7.5k in a week and written during the copious free time I've created by not watching the news or reading the papers:

Had A Dream I Was The Queen (woke up, still the queen) (A Song of Ice and Fire; Lyanna Stark/Elia Martell; Role Reversal AU)

"I have my son, I have a crown I never asked for, and seven kingdoms I don't know how to rule." Lyanna laid her hand on Elia's knee, squeezed, and said, "And I have you."
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
I've been on a self imposed news blackout since Tuesday, which I broke today to check the UK headlines (on the off chance that Nicola Sturgeon has been advocating for ceding from planet Earth out of sheer bafflement) and the first thing I saw was a picture of Trump and Nigel Farage gurning in a gold plated elevator. And, like, sorry America, I know you've been through a lot already, but jaysus keep him, we don't want him back.

I think that's the thing I haven't been able to get my head around since Brexit. If there ever was a populist revolution, and God knows, maybe there should be, one of the ways you'll be able to tell that it's on the level is that it probably won't be being spearheaded by a self proclaimed billionaire and the anthropomorphic personification of the Daily Mail.

Anyway, on a totally different subject: asexuality.

I've been talking about being asexual, or grey ace, or kinda ace on tumblr for a while, mostly to get used to using the word. And the other day an anon asked me to talk about it, and I did, and because using words is good and how we get comfortable with them, I'm going to talk about it more here.

It's funny, because I knew I was gay when I was fifteen, but the asexual thing is a revelation I've had within, like, the last year. So that's the best part of twenty years between Hey, I'd like to kiss that girl and Hey, I'd like to kiss that lady but, er that's probably all...

I suppose it's not so surprising, it's always harder to prove a negative. And because I didn't have the word asexual until comparatively recently I called it all sorts of other things. I thought it was my hilarious self-loathing issues at play; I thought it was internalised misogyny or internalised homophobia; I thought I just had a low sex drive (like, really low, super low, nonexistent low.) I called myself celibate for a long time, but stopped because celibacy implies that you're somehow depriving yourself; it's not really a diet if you just don't care for the taste of cake.

I like grey ace as an umbrella term; a little because it makes me sound like a wizard in a fantasy trilogy, but mostly because I don't hate sex; I've liked it fine in the past, but if it were never to happen again I wouldn't notice or care.

I was a carer for an elderly relative with dementia for the better part of a decade; and let me tell you, that will put a dent in anybody's social life. But I came out the other side of that and of all the things I'd missed (having a job, going on holiday, being able to go out for the day without arranging respite care weeks in advance) sex wasn't one of them.

Kissing on the other hand? Boy, do I miss kissing.

I've been talking about this to one of my offline mates, and because, bless him, he got this blank-yet-attentive look at the word asexual, the analogy I've been using is about kayaking. To whit:

My relationship to sex is not unlike my relationship to kayaking. I’ve never had a bad or traumatic experience kayaking; I'm not like this because of some sort of near drowning. And if I met someone who I really liked and wanted to make happy, and they wanted to take me kayaking? Then sure, maybe. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people who’re very keen kayakers are often good at the technical, fiddly bits of kayaking. But it would never occur to me to suggest kayaking, and in all honesty I’d prefer to be doing almost anything else, up to and including actual, literal kayaking.

In conclusion: sex has now been renamed kayaking; for added confusion, kayaking will still be called kayaking.

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