[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: (brand new day)
1. My little sister is visiting from the Republic of Ireland. She was in a pub in Dublin, and a couple of people asked her what she was doing in Ireland, and she said: "I'm British. I've come to take your land." And then she had to go to the airport and flee the country immediately. Well, no. I mean, yes but no. She's on loan back to a Scottish university to work on a project she doesn't want to be on, for a senior academic that she doesn't much like, for a grand total of zero pounds sterling (something holding references and publications over her head something something.) Sometimes I think about the difference between having a job and having a career, and at the moment I think it's that when I have to do things I don't want to do, at the behest of people I don't like, I at least get paid for it.

On her first day back, she was on a bus where somebody threw a bicycle at the driver, who stood up and chased him down the street. And because she hasn't been living in Glasgow for a couple of years she considered this 'weird' and 'frighting', and not 'a good reason to be late for work' or 'a tuesday'. So I've been loaning her my car, and as my car is held together by string and happy thoughts (that, of course, being the other big difference between having a career and a job) I'd warned her to keep an eye out for any of the engine management lights coming on. Anyway, cue later that night when she called frantic because there was a light on the dashboard that wouldn't go off. It was the handbrake light. She hadn't let the handbrake off, and it was the handbrake light. I love her.

2. I have had Freya - ridiculous mostly labrador, much loved bane of my existence, and reason for getting out of bed on mornings when I just want to go nope - for three years now, and to celebrate my mum made her a birthday cake. Liver & kidney, which, yes, is as disgusting as it sounds. It's worth noting that I have passed thirty-four birthdays on this green Earth, and my mother has yet resisted any temptation to make me a birthday cake.

I've actually been having some behaviour problems with Freya. Earlier in the summer she was attacked by two Vizslas (a couple of stitches in her eyelid, a bad fright, and me nearly coming to blows with the owner.) But ever since then she's been determined to get her revenge in first with almost every female dog she meets.

In almost all respects I think dogs are better than people, but you can't explain female solidarity or internalised misogyny to a dog; then again, you can't explain those to most people, so maybe we'll call that one a draw.

And she's still a total pet with people, so.

3. It occurred to me that I'd never actually made use of the Netflix free trial. I watched Below Her Mouth (porn, basically), a bunch of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (the best hangover telly there has ever been or will be), two seasons of You Me Her (actually really good), a season and a half of iZombie (I thought the first season was awesome; during the second I thought that the joke that Liv basically becomes the person whose brain she'd eaten was wearing thin, and I didn't give a rat's ass about anything that was going on with Major.)

I tried the first episodes of Santa Clarita Diet (too gross) and One Day at a Time (too much laugh track) but nah.

But the bigger thing was that Netflix has half-assed its crackdown on vpns, so while you can't watch anything, you can see how much better the US version is, kind of killing any desire I had to shell out for the clearly inferior UK version.

4. I have been on this thing of writing for more exchanges in 2017, and honestly, I'm not sure this has been leading to my best work: Exhibit A: my contributions to [community profile] auexchange

Truth, Justice, and a Really Good Dental Plan (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superhero AU)

"What I'm saying is: do you think they're trying to Avengers Assemble us? Collecting New York's finest superheroes, and---"

The elevator doors dinged open, revealing Hitchcock and Scully.

"--'Kay," said Jake. "Never mind."


The Morning After the War Before (Person of Interest, Everybody Lives AU)

Sometimes Root wasn't sure that they hadn't lost the war after all, and that she wasn't living out some digital afterlife in the best simulation the Machine could come up with.
netgirl_y2k: (kahlan white dress)
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters by [personal profile] st_aurafina (Person of Interest; Root/Shaw, Reese/Finch, 52k, Sentinel AU)

In 2001, Harold advised on a project called Cascade, not knowing he was a Guide himself. Years later, he and John, a Sentinel on the run from Cascade, must help Shaw, who has just lost her own Guide when the Project turned on her. Complicating matters is Root, searching for Harold's Machine and interfering with their rescue of Shaw.

THIS IS SO GOOD, YOU GUYS. I don't know the sentinel & guide trope from adam, but this slots it into PoI canon super neatly without ever feeling like it's being explained to you. And is basically just long, and in character, and really super delightful.

Perimeter Oscillations by [archiveofourown.org profile] architeuthis (DC movies; Lois/Diana; 14k)

On the trail of a mythological beast, Diana runs into Lois Lane, who is pursuing her own investigation.

Lois Lane is the saving grace of the DCEU's take on Superman, and this gives such good Lois.

Etta Candy's Last Stand by [archiveofourown.org profile] sanguinity (Wonder Woman; Etta/Diana; 2k)

This is the way Etta is going to die: trapped between a bed and Diana Prince’s breasts.

If you are having a bad day and puppy pictures just aren't cutting it for you, read this fic, I promise it will make you feel better. It is just super delightful.

Books

Sep. 7th, 2017 12:34 am
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
Behind the Throne - KB Wagers
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Humans - Matt Haig
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
Mongrels - Stephen Graham Jones


I really wanted to like Behind the Throne. It's about a gunrunner who is dragged back home to become empress of her Indian inspired matriarchal space empire; I should have liked it, but it's just... not very good. Firstly, it's meant to be set in a space faring society, except this has little to no relevance on the plot, and on the rare occasions that they actually mention spaceships or aliens it actually throws you out of the story because you have to stop and go 'oh yeah, they're in space, I'd forgotten'. There's literally nothing to distinguish it from a generic, earthbound fantasy story; they're fighting saxons, for fuck's sake. At least there's palace intrigue, I told myself; bland, predictable, telegraphed from a mile away palace intrigue. The heroine is a hyper-competent, green-haired, natural leader, who everyone instinctively follows; so far so generic YA heroine, and the fact that she's thirty-eight does nothing to change this. Did I mention that her full name is Hailimi Mercedes Jaya Bristol (My Immortal flashbacks, anyone?), and yet she's thirty-eight, and this book appears to have been marketed towards people who aren't thirteen?

Yeah, I didn't like it.

Luckily Children of Time was an excellent pallet cleanser. So, thousands of years in the future a decadent humanity decides to seed a planet with some monkeys infected with a virus that will accelerate their evolution and intelligence enabling humans to have monkey butlers when they finally colonise the planet. Except. Except all the monkeys die on impact, the humans never arrive, and the virus infects the local spiders. The book follows the developing spider society as they discover God, atheism, and gender equality (the male spiders would like the females to stop killing them after sex, please and thank you). Intercut with this are the last refugees from a dead Earth, navigating a hostile universe, and slowly realising it's the planet of the spiders or extinction.

I was Team Spider, but you should make up your own mind.

The Humans is about an alien who takes over the body of a mathematician without knowing anything about life on Earth and has to navigate his baffling life in Cambridge. It was also written following the author's struggle with depression, and is an ode to how life can seem awful and baffling and pointless, but there are always dogs, and peanut butter sandwiches, and Beach Boys songs, and maybe the little things can be enough until you get a handle on the big things.

I can see how some people might find it twee, but I thought it was lovely, not least because one of my coping methods for brain weasel attacks genuinely is: but, dogs!

Sleeping Giants is about parts of a mysterious, impossible giant robot being found buried under the earth and the quest to assemble it, and is told pretty much exclusively through interviews with a shadowy man-in-black figure. Two things, 1) this was a super quick, super fun, super well-written read, and 2) it's the first instalment of a series, and I can easily see how the aliens planted a giant robot on prehistoric Earth storyline could easily go off the rails, so I'm reserving judgement.

I will for sure read book two though.

Mongrels was a time jumping, steam of consciousness tale about a boy coming of age in a family of werewolves. Now, I know I'm not interested in stories about young men coming of age, and I hardly ever like werewolf stories as much as I think I'm going to, so it's no surprise I didn't love this, but I can see how it would work hella well if this was more in your wheelhouse.

(Graphic novels were Wonder Woman: Love and Murder which is exactly as bad as you'd expect Diana written by Jodi Picoult to be, and Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More, Stay Fly & Alis Voltat Propriis which started fun and charming, and then went off the rails giving me a taste of what it feels like when a story you've been merrily following gets highjacked by an event you haven't the foggiest about.)
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Eight episodes was probably a good length for The Defenders, both because it made for a quick watch and because it was, like, an inch deep.

The Defenders )

Given the way this season has been going I should probably talk about the last couple of episodes of Game of Thrones before the finale either leaks or some intern at HBO accidentally posts it.

GoT, eps 5 & 6 )
netgirl_y2k: (doctordonna)
My dad's just recently retired and he needs something to do, so he's been going round asking us all what we do for hobbies. And because 'I scream about fictional lesbians on the internet with like minded strangers' seemed like the wrong answer I suggested he could maybe get a dog. Dog ownership is very relaxing, I assured him. Unfortunately I said this shortly after telling him a long, elaborate story about the time I took Freya to Skye for the day, and she charged into the sea in pursuit of seals, freaked out when she was hit by a wave, and I had to wade in hip deep to rescue her.

I stand by my larger point that dogs, by and large, are relaxing. I just happen to own the rarer highly stressful, if often hilarious variety.

I think I've said before that Freya's small for a labrador (that pesky spaniel ancestor again) but she is still the size of a springer spaniel. And although I had her neutered ages ago (the thought of a house full of little Freyas made me want to weep) there's obviously something about her that brings all the boy dogs to the yard. Her latest suitor is a teacup chihuahua x pomeranian called Sid, who I am seriously concerned Freya is going to squish if she doesn't realise he's behind her with his nose up her arse and sits down on him. God loves a trier, as my granny always said. And if Freya hadn't had the op I would be tempted to get the wee guy a stepladder and just wait to see what the puppies turned out like.

And tragically not dog related, a fic I have written:

The Princesses in the Tower (Elia Martell & Arianne Martell; ASOIAF)

King's Landing swallows Dornish princesses and chokes on their bones.

Or,

Rhaegar wins, Elia lives, and is not a happy bunny.
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
My work is meant to have four shift patterns: early, backshift, split shifts, and nights. For the last six weeks I have been working secret option number five: bizarre shifts, which is just a grab bag of random shifts, with no rhyme or reason to them. Maybe it was that, or maybe it's been the Scottish summer weather, unpleasant humidity interrupted by occasional torrential downpours, that resulted in my having a brain weasel attack the other week.

Someone showed me a picture they'd taken of me; it was of two large dogs trying to sit on my lap at the same time, and I looked at it and thought: that would be a cute photo if not for the giant troll woman in it, and then I thought: huh?? because I thought I'd dealt with my self loathing issues, except of course I haven't. I live in a house with no mirrors and don't let anyone take my photograph. That's pretty much the opposite of having dealt with it.

The really annoying thing is that intellectually I know I'm not actually a troll. I'm on the goofy looking side of normal looking. Interesting looking, if you like that kind of thing. And more importantly I'm kind, well intentioned, good with dogs, and generally hilarious. And yet. I see one picture of myself and I'm too depressed to leave the house for two days.

The second really annoying thing is that as much as this is in my head, it's also very much not only in my head. There's a fair amount of societal reinforcement that's gone on. The first time I remember being called fat happened round about the age that I was old enough to start remembering anything at all. Then there's the cat calling; I haven't been traditionally cat called since my student days, but what I always got more of was the version where guys would pretend to puke at the sight of me, which was as lovely as it sounds. And it comes from the same place as all other cat calling: that your appearance is there for public comment, regardless of how unwanted, unsolicited, cruel, or actually frighting.

Anyway, so that was a two day brain spiral that I could have lived without. And I'm fine now. As much as the internet is a warren of terrible mental health advice one of the things I've found legitimately useful is anthropomorphising my unhealthy thoughts as brain weasels. I'm much better now at going: disregard that thought, it wasn't real. Bad weasel! Go away!

Books

Aug. 1st, 2017 01:36 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
To Kill the President - Sam Bourne
Out on Good Behaviour - Dahlia Adler
Six Four - Hideo Yokoyama
Under the Udala Trees - Chinelo Okparanta
New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson
Marriage of a Thousand Lies - SJ Sindu


To Kill the President does exactly what it say on the tin: fictional!Mattis and fictional!Preibus plot to kill fictional!Trump. And you kind of have to admire an author who back in November when the rest of us were still going wait, what? went: if I start writing now I could be crying into my royalty checks by this time next year, so.

My preferred sort of romances are regencies, but given that no one wants to write me lesbian duchesses in love (why don't you love me, publishing?) I will grudgingly settle for Out on Good Behaviour, a contemporary romance about a pansexual college student and a closeted southern lesbian navigating a relationship. It was actually very sweet, I just really want the lesbian duchesses.

I'm assured that Six Four is a very popular Japanese crime novel. Maybe it lost something in translation, or maybe I just wasn't here for six hundred pages of the internal squabbling of the Japanese police department. Ah, well, sometimes trying to broaden your reading horizons doesn't work. It's always good to try.

Under the Udala Trees is set in the aftermath of the Nigerian civil war, and follows the life and loves of a lesbian in the newly united country. It gets dark in places, but never as dark as I worried it would; I was really worried about sexual violence, which thankfully didn't happen. And it actually ends as happily as it possibly could given that it's still not safe to be gay in Nigeria. Recommended.

I find Kim Stanley Robinson's books hit and miss, but New York 2140 I totally loved. To summarise: it's a century in the future, sea levels have risen until New York is largely underwater, lets all fuck capitalism! Highly recommended.

Marriage of a Thousand Lies is about a marriage of convenience between a gay Indian man and the lesbian daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants, except it wasn't really about that nearly as much as I wanted it to be. It was a lesbian romance about reconnecting with your first love, except it wasn't about that either. It was about life as second generation immigrant, except that kind of got lost beneath the other two go-nowhere plots and a third unnecessary storyline about a missing sister. It wasn't a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, it was just sort weightless and screamed debut novel.

I continue dipping my toe into comic books with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe and Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia. Despite being a newcomer to all this I am miffed (miffed, I say!) that the actress cast as Doreen Green is skinny.

nvm

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:01 pm
netgirl_y2k: (doctordonna)
Disregard everything I said last night about no longer caring about Doctor Who, I care so much I've just had a little cry from how much I care.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
1. I have a guest dog this weekend. An acquaintance from the park had to go down south all of a sudden because of a death in the family, and as she had enough to deal without trying to wrangle a dog sitter I offered to take him.

Barnaby is an Australian Labradoodle, and so cute that I've been googling pictures of puppies from breeders, or at least I was until I saw the price tags attached to them, at which point I remembered that one of the reasons I got Freya in the first place is that I was offered her for the low, low price of free to a good home.

The other reason I've only got one dog, despite the fact that ever since I switched from split shifts at work I've thought that it might be nice for her to have a friend, is that Freya is a jealous wee besom. She's been sharing her toys and treats fine, they've been drinking out of the same water bowl, but every time I go to pet Barnaby she'll walk between us and shoulder him out of the way. Earlier he got brave enough to come up on the couch with me and Freya jumped up and bowled the poor little guy off as though he was a skittle.

This is why, despite Barnaby feeling like a literal cloud, I've barely gotten to pet him.

Barnaby is currently curled up on Freya's dogbed, and Freya is up next to me snoring like a freight train. I guess guarding me 24/7 from other dogs I might like to pet is tiring work.

2. They're announcing the actor for the Thirteenth Doctor after the tennis tomorrow, and I will be tuned in despite the fact that I haven't actually watched very much of this last season. I watched the first two or three episodes, and I've liked Capaldi as the Doctor, and Bill seemed cute, but I have harboured a dislike of Matt Lucas ever since Little Britain was fucking everywhere, and I couldn't get over them making fucking Nardol a backdoor companion.

Anyway, if they announce Pheobe Waller-Bridge (or, really, anyone who isn't a white guy) I will gladly jump back in, and if they announce Kris Marshall I can close the door on this part of my fannish life with nary a look back. I actually think Marshall is a better actor than a lot of people do (he's been serviceable tilting into good in Death in Paradise) but the casting of another tall, goofy looking white guy would represent such a failure of imagination on the part of the showrunners that it'd make it really hard for me to care.

3. For those of us who missed Remix, [community profile] remixrevival is here. Yay!
netgirl_y2k: (kahlan white dress)
Modern Magic Formula (Legend of the Seeker; Cara/Dahlia & Richard/Kahlan, HP AU)

School was a long time ago, and out here in the real world it's practically acceptable for a Slytherin to have a crush on a Hufflepuff.

Written for [community profile] everywoman, for [personal profile] shopfront who at the same time was writing me the most frickin' delightful Sara Lance fic (Etiology). Good times!

Brother, It's Cold Outside (A Song of Ice and Fire; Renly, Stannis & Robert)

One of Renly's earliest memories was of Robert threatening to beat the tears from his eyes. Stannis had replied that Renly had not eaten a full meal in a year on account of Robert's fool rebellion, and if Robert struck Renly, then Stannis would strike Robert.

Later, Stannis had beaten the tendency to weep from Renly himself, but Stannis and Robert's relationship had never recovered from that first, shocking display of fraternal defiance.


This was written for the GoT AU exchange, and was the result of of my unsuccessfully trying to game sign ups to get a different assignment, and having to write a fic about three characters I'd never given a second thought to, and I accidentally gave myself feelings.

(Note to self: stop trying to game sign ups; if you want to write something that badly, write it as a treat.)
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
I suspect I might not be the only person who saw the reviews for Netflix's Gypsy, and thought that sounds terrible, I must watch it at once! Well, if you want to know how bad it is before watching, then pull up a pew.

Gypsy...Oh, boy )

Books

Jul. 2nd, 2017 01:15 pm
netgirl_y2k: (brand new day)
Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff
Everything Leads to You - Nina LaCour
Into the Water - Paula Hawkins
Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
American War - Omar El Akkad
Giant of the Senate - Al Franken
Hunger - Roxane Gay


Fates and Furies, or A Portrait of a Marriage Between Two Terrible Heterosexuals Who, Quite Frankly, Deserve Each Other. Lotto and Mathilde (and the fact that their names are Lotto and Mathilde tells you everything you need to know about them) are an upper middle class couple whose twenty year marriage is based on them having quite a lot of sex and both being mildly dreadful. Lotto (short for Lancelot, fucking Lancelot) is an eternal manchild, failed actor, and playwright so self-involved that he spends more than a decade failing to notice that his wife is rewriting his plays while he sleeps. Mathilde is the chick from Gone Girl, only lacking in any of the things that made the chick from Gone Girl compelling.

The writing is intermittently beautiful, and the rest of the time drips with pretension so thick you can practically taste it.

File under: fuck off.

Everything Leads to You was meant to be a palate cleanser, a sweet lesbian romance. Not unrelatedly, why are most f/f romances so shite? Even without the romance it hit one of the things I hate most in YA: characters who're still teenagers, yet live the lives of thirty year olds. The protagonist in this was still in high school, but she was also a set designer in Hollywood. Aye, right. And most of the book focused on her getting tapped to work on an indie movie. Now every time this indie movie is described you get the impression that all the characters and the writer herself think that this is some sort of cannes festival winning level genius, but everything you see about it makes it seem so twee that it would be laughed out of day one of an intro to screenwriting class.

Oh, and when we first meet the protagonist's love interest, she's homeless. But not real, actual homelessness where it's traumatic, and stressful, and terrifying, the type of homelessness that only exists in not very good novels where homeless shelters are like sleepaway camps, you make lots of new friends, and get cast in a not very good indie movie.

I mean, the spelling and the grammar is all correct, which hasn't always been true of all the f/f romances I've tried to read. But you could also have achieved the same effect by just writing the word MEH in five hundred point font.

Into the Water, or Another Book by that Woman What Wrote The Girl on the Train, was about a suspicious suicide and it was... fine. It got a little baggy in the middle in that way a lot of second novels do when the writer worked on their first book for ten plus years, and then had eighteen months to write the follow up. But while it could certainly have used a bit more tightening up, it wasn't so noticeable as to be a dealbreaker, or even particularly distracting.

It was more overtly feminist than The Girl on the Train, which I liked, but without the oh, fuuuck gotcha moment that made that book such a big hit. The twists here were all fine if guessable. If Paula Hawkins doesn't just want to retire and live off her The Girl on the Train swag then she has a bright future in front of her writing okay-ish thrillers.

My local library has found some money from somewhere to make themselves all fancy (and here I was thinking that the magic money tree only gave out to the DUP and the bloody royals) and as a result now has a pretty cool graphic novel section from which I picked up Nimona, a charming graphic novel about a young girl who apprentices herself to a supervillian, oh, and she can turn herself into a dragon when the situation calls for it. It was funny and lovely, and also seems to have been the thing that finally unlocked whatever it was in my brain that was stopping me from parsing graphic novels.

(That lock picked, I also read and enjoyed the first two Ms. Marvel trades and the first collection of the female Thor, which I'm mentioning in an aside because for esoteric and inexplicable reasons I'm not counting them towards my yearly total. Though this may change if I feel like my numbers need to be artificially inflated come December. Also, I don't really have anything to say about them except that, yeah, I consumed them and enjoyed doing so.)

American War was the first book in a while that I have really, really loved. The basic setup is that the US government has banned fossil fuels (seems unlikely given recent events, I know, but just go with it) causing several southern states to band together and declare independence kicking off the second civil war.

It's not about the war, per se, but about life as a refugee, and the indoctrination of child soldiers, and acts of terrorism, and it handles all of these topics with grace. Highly, highly recommended.

More than ten years ago I bought Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them to give to my sister as a birthday present. Just as I was coming out of the bookshop I ran into a boy who I'd met for the first time at a party a few nights before. Because we were at uni together we decided to go for a quick pint to bitch about our upcoming exams. At four in the morning I crashed through my backdoor; us having hauled the Franken book around a number of bars and clubs for twelve hours, and one or both of us having been sick in the bag with the book in it. And that's the story of how I met my best friend, and also the story of how I had to buy the same Al Franken book twice.

In the years since Franken has become a senator, which I didn't know about because pre-Trump I didn't follow US politics with an ever mounting sense of WTF??? But once I realised he wasn't joking, he really is a senator, this was a read I really enjoyed. It's interesting, and funny without being facetious, and even if it wasn't those things it would still be worth reading for the Ted Cruz bashing.

Hunger is Roxane Gay's memoir about all the weight she gained after being gang raped at the age of twelve and fucking ouch. It's important and raw, and if you can read it you should, but fucking ouch.

I also DNF'd The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend which was about a Swedish tourist opening a bookshop in small town America, which I was expecting to be like a cross between Gilmore Girls and The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and had the charm of neither.
netgirl_y2k: (annie strong)
One of my shameful nerd/feminist secrets is that I bounced pretty hard off Margaret Atwood's writing. Like, I love Margaret Atwood as an idea, and I'm delighted that she exists out there in the world, but I've never especially enjoyed any of her books. In fact the only one that's ever really done anything for me is The Handmaid's Tale, and most of what it did was scare the bejesus out of me.

The other thing is that I have a new rule for watching telly, where if a season is, like, ten-ish episodes I'll wait till it's finished its run then I can consume it all over a week or so. This works well for shows like Orphan Black which work better for me when binged, but not at all when it came to The Handmaid's Tale, a show that needed some built in recovery time, and to be watched from behind your fingers with a strong drink to hand.

nolite te bastardes carborundorum )
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
I had a big, long post about the election planned, except it basically boiled down to: well, that was weird. Good weird, I think. I'm not sure.

I'm glad I got to keep my SNP MP, because she has been A Good Egg. But it turns out that my newfound evangelism for Scottish independence was soft, and based on the presumption of a permanent tory majority in Westminster, because as the night wore on I realised that I honestly wouldn't have cared if the SNP had lost all their seats, so long as they had all broken for labour or the lib dems.

Thirteen tory MPs in Scotland. There goes a perfectly good panda joke. I mean, fuck's sake, hating tories was the one thing we were good at up here. I blame it entirely on Ruth Davidson and her un-tory like ability to act like a real, actual human being. On the other hand the constituencies that went conservative were old school tory seats, so maybe things aren't weird, maybe this is the closest to normal we've been in years?

In conclusion, I have no conclusion... Let's talk about books.

City of Miracles - Robert Jackson Bennet
The Power - Naomi Alderman
Peggy & Me - Miranda Hart
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud - Elizabeth Greenwood


City of Miracles is the final book in the Divine Cities trilogy, which has been brilliant, is about the aftermath of people killing the gods, and which is not shy of killing off characters that you would have thought had plot armour. This is a satisfying conclusion to the series, in which divine offspring make their appearance; it's maybe the weakest of the three, but that's largely because the first two set such a high bar, which it ju-st fails to clear. But if you've been waiting to read them until the series was concluded then don't walk, run. Highly recommended

The Power just won the Bailey's prize, so if you believe the Bailey's panel, maybe read it, if you believe me, probably don't. In it women develop a vestigial organ that allows them to conduct electricity, and suddenly we're the dominant sex. The thing that never worked for me is... like, while I believe that given a sudden biological advantage women might well be shit to men, what I couldn't buy was that they were immediately shit to men in the style of 1970s misogynists. As straight sci-fi I don't buy it and think it lacks imagination, and as metaphor I think it's too on the nose. The one thing I thought it did really well was of all the rotating povs only one was a dude, a Nigerian journalist, and his incremental fear and realisation that his bodily autonomy wasn't necessarily inviolable was extremely well done.

Memoirs about people's lives with their dogs are one of my guilty pleasures, and Peggy & Me has the benefit of being genuinely hilarious.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay has been sitting in a pile of unread books for, oh, years, and I had a hankering for a physical book after a run of ebooks. I assume I'm pretty much the last person in the world to get to this; it's about the golden age of comic books, but it's also about the second world war, and being gay in the 1930s, and families both biological and of choice. I loved it. It's nearly seven hundred pages long, meanders all over the place, and is essentially a boy book about boys, and still I loved it. So there you go.

Playing Dead is about people who've faked their own deaths. Except it's not about that, it's about the author whinging about her boring life, and student loans, and the google 'how do you fake your own death' rabbit hole that she went done. The problems with this book are numerous: 1) the writing is rubbish, 2) it's not a book, it's an eminently skippable internet article, 3) about a fifth of it is about people who believe Michael Jackson is still alive, which appears to have only been included to inflate it to the minimum wordcount for publication, 4) the author's personality really came through in the writing, this was not a good thing.
netgirl_y2k: (fire cannot kill a dragon)
I very rarely go to the cinema; it's so expensive, telly is so good these days, and there's so much of it. I think the last thing I went to was Ghostbusters, and I'll probably go again for Atomic Blonde. I feel like as I spend a not inconsiderable amount of time bitching about the lack of female led properties I should throw some coinage at those which come my way.

Which brings us to, ta da, Wonder Woman.

I was dismayed to look at the rota, and see that I don't have a proper day off until late next week. A week and a bit before I could see Wonder Woman. Anything might happen. All the cinemas in Scotland might lose their copies of the film. The internet might decide that it was shit and preemptively ruin it for me. The fandom might come and go without me.

Yes, I could have gone after work, but I've read too many articles about how long it's okay to leave a dog on it's own before you're being unkind. For what it's worth, I don't hold with the view that you shouldn't have a dog unless you're home all day; capitalism is a thing, and I'd guess that there are more dogs needing good homes than there are pensioners, stay at home parents, and people who work from home put together. Still, I think seeing a three hour film after being at work all day anyway is a bit much to ask of the dog. Plus, Freya has some Springer Spaniel in her heritage, and if not sufficiently entertained is wont to, ahem, entertain herself.

Anyway, while sulkily poking at cinema listings I noticed that my local, crappy, suburban cinema was doing midnight screenings last night, and for half the price of waiting and going to the big cinema in town next week. It hasn't cost me a fiver to go to the cinema since I was buying under-12s tickets. And it turned out that the crappy suburban cinema has gone upmarket since I was being taken to see All Dogs Go To Heaven twenty odd years ago - who woulda thunk it? - at least far enough upmarket that they sell wine now. The screens are still pretty basic, but it was actually a relief to just go to a 2D screening without having to scan fruitlessly through 3D listings and ones where, idk, your chair gives you a massage during the film.

I might have slightly scared the boy at the concession stand where I was buying half a bottle of wine and an obscenely large bag of M&M laced popcorn; I'd already come out by myself at midnight on a wednesday, might as well go the whole hog, you know?

"Are you looking forward to Wonder Woman?" he asked.

"ONLY SINCE I WAS THREE," I bellowed, in case the M&Ms, wine, and solitary middle of the night presence weren't clues enough.

Anyway, onto the film:

Wonder Woman )
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
In life it is important to always read any and all signs posted. For example, there is a sign in one of the parks that the dog and I occasionally frequent saying that all dogs must be kept on their leads around the pond; this is for the eminently sensible reason of stopping dogs from picking fights they can't possibly win with parentally enraged swans. I did not heed this sign, and guess what the dog did?

Yup. Charged barking at a swan with two cygnets. The worst of all possible swans to antagonise. The swan reared up to what, I swear to god, seemed like twelve feet tall with a wingspan that would have put those eagles in The Lord of the Rings to shame. The dog quickly realised that she'd made a huge mistake and bolted behind my legs, shaking and whining to be protected. The swan charged, and I did what anyone would have done if called upon to defend woman's best friend from a vengeful proto-dinosaur; I abandoned the dog and dived sideways through a hedge.

The dog was located twenty minutes later mooching around the ice cream van, presumably shopping for braver owners. There have been no sightings of the swan.

You know, if it wasn't for Freya I might give this whole 'outdoors' thing up as a bad lot.

The annual telly renewals/cancellations hoopla happened, and I was bummed to see Pitch and Sweet/Vicious go, both because I was really enjoying them, and because it felt like part of some sort of one step forward, two steps back, anti-representation backlash. But maybe I'm just projecting like whoa? Pitch is the one that really irks, because I read an interview with the showrunner where he said that the show only ended on that cliffhanger because they were that sure of their renewal prospects. And I can't help thinking that if they'd ended it with Ginny pitching a perfect game it would have worked perfectly as a self-contained mini-series.

I was super relieved that Brooklyn Nine-Nine got renewed, because, boy, would that have been a sucky note to end on; also, it's awesome. And I saw that Elementary was renewed, but only for a half-season, which I'm guessing means it'll be the show's farewell outing (I watched Person of Interest, I've been here before.) If so, I'm actually less bummed by this than I would have expected. The Shinwell arc never really worked for me, the Kitty reunion fell flat, and the last couple of episodes with Sherlock hallucinating his dead mum seemed symptomatic of a show fatally short of ideas.

The only thing I'm really excited for in the new glut of shows is Star Trek: Discovery. My new litmus test for stuff I really should check out is: are sexist eejits screaming about it on the internet? If so, hard yes.

I stopped watching Supergirl at the S2 hiatus, because my tumblr experience was naught but relentlessly negative on it. But after the finale I caught up with the back half of the season over a couple of days, and, unpopular opinion: I don't see any real difference in quality between seasons one and two.

It probably helps me that I don't miss Cat Grant. What can I say, corporate feminism does nothing for me. But by the same token, I can't get in to Kara/Lena either; I get stuck somewhere between 'what accent is Katie McGrath actually trying to do?' and 'I'm sure there's good fic for this pairing somewhere, but I can't find it for the dreck.'

I don't know, the pacing was borked, with too many competing storylines (Cadmus, Daxam, did we ever do anything with the fact that the president's an alien? or that Jeremiah's still alive?) The Kara/Mon-El romance couldn't have been any more generic without actually being a Nicholas Sparks novel. Actually, I've decided the perfect role for Mon-El in S2 would have been as Winn's love interest; that way Winn could still have been having quite a lot of sex with someone who doesn't understand Earth ways, and Mon-El could have had mentor-student shenanigans with Kara when the plot called for it. The show obviously doesn't have the foggiest what to do with James Olsen now that he's not the designated love interest in a way that's borderline offensive. And while I frickin' adored Alex's coming out and the slow burn of Alex and Maggie getting together, I was less sold on them as a couple; they were by turns too twee (the prom episode) and dysfunctional (Maggie's secrecy and Alex's total lack of boundaries) but I can't tell if the show was doing that on purpose or not. I would actually be open to Alex having a different love interest in S3 having learned that spontaneous proposals of marriage to people you haven't actually been with all that long are not the way to go.

S2 had it's problems, and it was definitely a soft reboot from S1, so that probably sucked for people who loved the first season more than I did. But, surprise surprise, tumblr was being hysterical when people were screaming about it having turned into some sort of misogynistic hellscape.

I liked it; I thought it was, by and large, fun and cute.

Books

May. 14th, 2017 04:49 pm
netgirl_y2k: (kahlan white dress)
A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers
A View From the Cheap Seats - Neil Gaiman
Of Fire and Stars - Audrey Coulthurst
Within the Sanctuary of Wings - Marie Brennan
Want You Gone - Christopher Brookmyre


A Closed and Common Orbit is the second instalment in Becky Chambers Wayfarers series, and it took me a wee bit longer to get into than the first, only because I was that wistful that we weren't rejoining the crew from that book. Although it picks up with a couple of minor characters from the first book this one could be read as a standalone (although you really ought to read Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, because it's lovely). It's about found families, and sentient AIs, and transcending sucky circumstances. Cosy sci-fi that doesn't skip on the worldbuilding - I have my fingers and toes crossed for more in this world.

It's not a secret that Neil Gaiman's fiction does little for me (it always reads as oddly flat) but I do like his brain; I've loved the things he's written about the importance of libraries, and of creating things. So I picked up A View From the Cheap Seats, a collection of his non-fiction. And, yeah, about 15-20% was that, but the rest of it was reprints of intros he'd written to other people's books, and that can seem kind of circle-jerky at the best of times, but at least when the author is talking about things you've read you can agree or not with them, or where your tastes overlap you might discover new things to check out. But Gaiman's tastes are a bit too... 'boy nerd' to be helpful to me. So this was largely a collection of intros to books and comics I haven't read, and have no desire to read, as such... meh.

Of Fire and Stars is a YA fantasy where a princess travels to a new kingdom to meet the prince she's been betrothed too since infancy, only to find herself falling in love with his sister. And the f/f romance was lovely, it was a slow burn hate-at-first-sight to love that was, alas, trapped inside a painfully generic YA fantasy. If you were to write a YA novel using a write-by-numbers kit this is the book you'd write. The characterisation of the central pairing was thin (one is nice, the other is feisty) while the characterisation of the secondary characters was non-existent. Even the prince, upon discovering his fiancee in bed with his sister, manages to react with a little less feeling than a dead dodo. The worldbuilding lurches between the non-existent and nonsensical, even by the standards of YA fantasies.

My thing with this book was, like, imagine someone had written the book of your dreams, but it was shite.

Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the final instalment of the Memoirs of Lady Trent series, the outrageously delightful adventures of a pseudo-Victorian lady naturalist who specialises in dragons.

(I say final instalment because I read somewhere that Marie Brennan is working on a book set in the same world but a couple of generations down the line, which I am leery of because I am wary of diminishing returns, I mean look what happened when the Parasol Protectorate time skipped like that. But the Lady Trent series is complete, and, as mentioned, de-fucking-lightful.)

There is twist in this final instalment, that I don't want to give away, but in the hands of a different writer could have come across as straining suspension of disbelief but in Marie Brennan's made me look back on the previous four novels and go ooh, that's clever. I give the entire series a solid A.

While I'm on the topic of series that know, or don't, when to end: Christopher Brookmyre is one of my favourite writers, and Jack Parlabane my favourite of his creations. But this eighth instalment in the Parlabane series is an inadvertent argument that Jack should have been put out to pasture with, probably, Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks. Although, Black Widow was a good take on a reporter of legally dubious methods in a post Leveson world, but showing Jack back on the top of his game in Want You Gone kind of undercuts the value of that outing.

Also, Brookmyre has generally done a good job of moving Parlabane with the times, and as middle aged Scottish blokes go, he's pretty progressive, so the scene where the middle-aged Jack sleeps with twenty-five year old bisexual with an undercut kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

Basically, authors, know when to let your self-inserts go.

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