maureenlycaon_dw: a thorn for the holy ones (Default)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
Deep Throat stamped his foot. 'A conspiracy like this...a conspiracy investigation...the rope has to tighten slowly around everyone's neck. You build convincingly from the outer edges in, you get ten times the evidence you need against the Hunts and the Liddys. They feel hopelessly finished - they may not talk right away, but the grip is on them. Then you move up and do the same thing at the next level.

All the President's Men, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

FMK #13: First Book in the Series

May. 23rd, 2017 05:30 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's F winner was Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm! Should be interesting; it's one where I have no idea why I own it or why I kept it. K was Alas, Babylon.

Since I will be away from my book collection for the next two weeks, there will be an FMK break; next poll should go up June 12. I will keep reading and possibly posting reactions, though - the plan is to take the K books that I really wanted to read first with me on the trip, and leave them there.

This week's poll: Books where I own only the first book in the series (and have read none of them.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Banks, Barnes, Cherryh, Czerneda, Doyle & MacDonald, Eddings, Gardner, Hines, Lynn, McGuire, Niven, Scott & Barnett, Weber )

Knitting project!

May. 23rd, 2017 02:57 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I finished knitting my first sweater! It's a lopapeysa (= sweater knitted out of loosely-spun unplied Icelandic wool, usually knitted bottom-up in the round with a circular yoke and patterned stranded colorwork.)

Here are pictures of my beautiful models!

a very grumpy cat wearing a beautiful wool cat sweater

a different cat in the same beautiful cat sweater flopped over with her legs straight out like she is petrified

(Sorry about the photo quality, I promised them they would only ever have to wear it long enough for one good picture each and then my camera's phone app kept freezing and I felt guilty.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
recent Tumblr post reminded me of one of the reasons that people who aren’t packrats don’t understand packrat behavior. Packrat behavior is sometimes clinically defined in terms of controlling anxiety. The biggest anxiety in question, and the one we mention least often, is economic anxiety. And the thing about economic anxiety that is most misunderstood is that it is not irrational...

(The rest of this post is at FontFolly.Net.)
trailer_spot: (Default)
[personal profile] trailer_spot
War for the Planet of the Apes     HD720p 88MB   HD1080p 168MB
Final trailer for the the third chapter of the franchise reboot. Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. Judy Greer and Steve Zahn are also part of the cast. Like the previous one, again directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).
Title seems very fitting. It really looks like a war movie.

The Limehouse Golem     HD720p 11MB
Thriller set in 1880 in London's notoriously seedy Limehouse district. A serial murderer, whose horrendous acts soon have the city in a panic, is on the loose. The crimes are so disturbing that many attribute them to the shadowy golem of Jewish legend. An inspector (Bill Nighy) is brought in to solve the mystery and calm the population. Attending the trial of Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke), a music hall performer accused of poisoning her husband (Sam Reid), he delves deep into the case and is soon hot on the trail of a deranged killer whose scribblings litter some of the books in the august British Museum. Douglas Booth, Eddie Marsan, Daniel Mays, Maria Valverde are also part of the cast.
Looks like a must-see for fans of Nighy.

Home Again     HD720p 61MB
Modern romantic comedy in which a woman (Reese Witherspoon) who recently separated from her husband (Michael Sheen) decides to start over by moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles with her two young daughters. During a night out on her 40th birthday, she meets three aspiring filmmakers (Nat Wolff, Robb Derringer, Pico Alexander) who happen to be in need of a place to live. She agrees to let the guys stay in her guest house temporarily, but the arrangement ends up unfolding in unexpected ways. Her unlikely new family and new romance comes to a crashing halt when her ex-husband shows up, suitcase in hand.
It does have an unconventional premise.

Tramps     HD720p 23MB
Deal-gone-wrong movie about an aspiring chef (Callum Turner) whose hustler brother asks him to complete a job for him. It all seems simple enough: meet a driver with a briefcase, proceed to a rendez-vous spot and exchange one briefcase for another. But he swaps the wrong bag, sending him and the driver (Grace Van Patten) on a two-day odyssey through the boroughs and suburbs of New York City.
I'm a bit late for this one, it is already streaming on Netflix. But I really wanted to mention it because there's actually a lot of nice to watch flirting and banter going on between the two leads while they run through the greater New York City area. I'm sure we'll see more of the them in the future.

Woodshock     HD720p 68MB
Described as a hypnotic exploration of isolation, paranoia, and grief that exists in a dream-world all its own. It's about a haunted young woman (Kirsten Dunst) spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug. Joe Cole and Pilou Asbæk are also part of the cast. Marks the directorial of sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, founders of the fashion label Rodarte.
Looks visually interesting. But too early to tell if it will indeed be "immersive, spellbinding, and sublime, becoming a singularly thrilling cinematic experience".

Random observations

May. 22nd, 2017 08:56 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
• I've ordered, from Japan, a tenugui towel with an udon noodle design. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and to be fair the shipping was only £1.50. All the designs are amazing, but I was particularly struck by this. (Tell me that Yuuri Katsuki doesn't take one to the rink with him.)

• I also seem to be buying excessive quantities of culottes. (Well, two pairs, but you know.) For once I'm on trend. I know I have to buy now, before they disappear for another twenty years. I hate the fashion cycle.

Victor isn't the only one who has a phone case of himself

• This weekend I'm going to Belgium, and it's now clear that it's going to be boiling hot, like 28C/83F on Sunday. Currently reconsidering my packing list, plans, life choices, etc. (Don't laugh, people from elsewhere.) I still plan on climbing the Wall of Geraardsbergen but I'll have to do it early in the morning. And, you know, on foot. Needless to say.

Peace and quiet in Cambridge

May. 22nd, 2017 08:28 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
We've just had a few days in Cambridge - couldn't believe the volume of tourists. Definitely more than in our day. Lovely to go back to my old college; it's seen many changes but they're all for the better. A real haven of peace and tranquillity. (And the second largest collection of women's art in the world.)

IMG_1681

2017-05-21 10.41.39-1

IMG_1680

 
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I keep trying to write up my response to Castle in the Air but basically I really liked it a lot and it was great, also there was a very angry kitten, and the things I want to talk about it end up being complicated structural/worldbuilding questions that go beyond just this book. So I think I will just do a short three things capsule and save the drafts for more pondering:

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones )

Contrast this to the other YA series I finished in the last couple weeks, Laurence Yep's Dragon of the Lost Sea series, which has been my nemesis since I was about nine because the library had ONLY THE THIRD BOOK, which BEGAN AND ENDED AT CLIFFHANGERS, and twenty-five years later I had still only managed to find one of the others, plus Yep kept publishing books with "Dragon" in the title that were super-realistic stories about the Asian-American experience and I am sure they were great and all but they did not have actual DRAGONS in them so that was a terrible bait-and-switch, Mr. Yep. Anyway I finally went wait, I am a grown-up and a librarian now so I can just ILL them if I want.

Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep )

I also read Captain Blood for FMK yesterday! It is another one that I really liked, and tbh I liked it too much to want to think about it in a critical way as opposed to a squee way. So here are three things for it too:

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini )

Also despite 1922 Captain Blood was way better on both race and gender than the community theater production of Peter Pan I went to see a friend in yesterday, so, you know, that was a thing where they had elementary school kids wear feather headbands and say "ugh" lot, it definitely was.

Last weekend I also saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Dr. Strange, because I have the best friends.

Guardians of the Galaxy )

Dr. Strange )

Also I now really really need the story where Thor is fucking his way though all the Infinity Stone bearers. I may possibly even need to write it myself. ;_;


Let's see, what else have I been meaning to post about here? Oh! I did read Makt Myrkranna and Pale Guardian, did I post about them?

Makt Myrkranna, the early Icelandic Dracula translation, managed to be a better Dracula story than Dracula, I think. Vilma was great. Also possibly helped by the fact that Iceland has much more of a living tradition of revenants, maybe, so it felt more like it was part of a vampire tradition? IDK. Also I apparently now know enough Icelandic that I could immediately tell when the translation footnotes were screwed up and referenced to the wrong part of the text.

Pale Guardian was the new Ashers novel. 1) That continues to have the best vampire worldbuilding I have ever encountered, and she always follows it to the logical conclusion and makes it work, and she made it work on the front in WWI too; 2) The way James just accepts the fact that the London vampires basically treat him as one of their own at this point was really good character development? 3) He REALLY needs to catch up with the other two and realize he is in a poly triad not a poly V already.

...and that is probably enough.

Before I leave for Iceland on Sunday I still have both Becky Chambers books and two FMK to read and also to decide whether to actually read that Falco book I checked out right before I read the last one and she made it weird, or return it unread.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
The Vampire and the M.D. J.P.Bowie
Gay - Paranormal Romance
File Size: 1332 KB
Print Length: 173 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: MLR Press (April 19, 2017)
Publication Date: April 19, 2017
Amazon: The Vampire and the M.D. (The Vampire and #3) J.P.Bowie

When Dr. Blake Farnon hits a shadowy figure with his car, he is astounded when the man almost instantaneously recovers from the accident. But Daniel Vale is no ordinary man, as Blake soon discovers. Daniel is Vampire, and not only that, works for the US government in a secret department of the FBI.

At first wary of the undeniably handsome vampire, Blake cannot resist Daniel's allure for long. From the moment Daniel shows up at Blake's apartment with a poisoned silver sword imbedded in his side, Blake is hurled into an adventure he never dreamed he would be a part of.

Demons, ancient gods and a vindictive goddess determined to tear apart the fragile fabric of world peace after the Middle East War, can only be stopped by other supernatural beings--vampires. And Blake finds himself caught up in the fight, whether he wants to be or not. Can his fledging relationship with Daniel possibly survive? He'd thought it crazy enough he'd fallen for a vampire, but the rest of it? What would his mother say?
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
Evan Sent J.P.Bowie
Gay - Erotic Romance
File Size: 3207 KB
Print Length: 198 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing (May 30, 2017)
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Amazon: Evan Sent J.P.Bowie

Fiction and reality become intertwined when a young movie actor playing the role of a detective finds himself in a real-life drama that threatens to bring a sudden end to his career.

Evan Ericson is young and beautiful, a former fashion model and a gifted actor. When he is offered the role of a detective in a new film noir indie movie, he jumps at the chance, certain that this is his opportunity to leave behind the notoriety of appearing in porn movies and his dependence on drugs.

Mark Henderson is an out-of-work actor searching for his big break. When, by sheer chance, he lands a part in a new indie movie, he can’t believe his luck. Nor can he believe it when he meets Evan Ericson. Sparks fly at their first encounter. When rehearsing their roles, Mark’s world is rocked by Evan’s kiss and a new Hollywood romance is born.

But things thought long buried in the past have a nasty habit of rearing their ugly heads, and being stalked and threatened by a manic drug dealer is not something either Evan or Mark envisaged in their future together. Will Hollywood magic be enough to keep them safe or will Evan’s bad-boy reputation tear them apart?
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[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
Rigo Rider Jacobs
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Rigo's Cartel (Book 1)
Paperback: 106 pages
Publisher: Independently published (March 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1520701829
ISBN-13: 978-1520701820
Amazon: Rigo Rider Jacobs

They say if you live by the gun, you die by it. I say that is for the slow and weak. I shot my first person when I was ten. My uncle knew then he had found an heir to his cocaine empire. In this life family is everything, My uncle was determined I was a piranha in a sea of goldfish.
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[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
Silver Moon (A wolves of Wolf’s Point Novel) Catherine Lundoff
Lesbian - Fantasy
File Size: 1497 KB
Print Length: 271 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Queen of Swords Press; 2 edition (May 15, 2017)
Publication Date: May 15, 2017
Amazon: Silver Moon (A wolves of Wolf’s Point Novel) Catherine Lundoff

Becca Thornton, divorced, middle-aged and trying to embrace a quiet life, discovers that there are still plenty of surprises to be had when her menopause kicks in with bonus lycanthropy. And she’s not the only one. The seemingly peaceful and dull town of Wolf’s Point has its own all-female werewolf pack and Becca has just become its newest member. But it’s not all protecting Wolf’s Point, midnight meetings at the Women’s Club and monthly runs through the woods. There are werewolf hunters in town and now they've got Becca and the Wolf’s Point Pack in their sights.

As if that wasn’t enough, Becca’s cute lesbian werewolf neighbor, Erin, is starting to haunt her dreams as well as her doorstep. What’s a newbie werewolf to do, between the hot flashes and the unexpected physical transformations? Can Becca overcome her fears and help the werewolves defeat their greatest enemy?
kjata: (polymorphous and demoniacal faces)
[personal profile] kjata
Made my last post private. Thank you to everyone who offered support, but I'm super embarrassed that I went splat like that so totally gonna make private and pretend it never happened now.


MY HEAD IS BETTER. Still have the usual headache, and I still have to wear sunglasses when the sun is up, but right now? Dead of night? I CAN LOOK AROUND WITHOUT WANTING TO VOMIT. It's so great, you guys. I feel so magical, so free.


I started on the third episode of The Last Door tonight. LMAO at the eye in the keyhole actually scaring me, I quickly leaned back with my arms thrown up in an X in front of me. If that's not an indication of watching too much anime as a kid, I don't know what is.

Probably going to push for finishing it tonight, then do episode four tomorrow. I love the atmosphere of this game, but the story hasn't really hooked me, if that makes sense. Like, no investment whatsoever in the outcome, but I'm playing because it's doing a good job being creepy? Idk. I like it enough to get the second game when the Summer Sale hits, at least. And the music is fucking fantastic, so glad they give you the OST along with the game so you can rock out to eerie violins at will :D

Now that my eyes are starting to track again I managed to play a bit more of Bioshock. I forgot I had a security drone hacked and following me-- how I forgot, I've no idea, cos those things are fucking loud-- but I was trying to sneak around to get a good angle on the Splicers downstairs before I opened fire, and whoops, there went that when the drone started rat-a-tatting along. Eh heh heh heh.

Also started Dishonored now that it's finished downloading. Holy crap this is like playing a China Mieville novel, I'm in love. Though totally laughing that because this is Arkane Studios, of course the story starts out inside of a prison. Of course it does.


Usual reminder, Stony Trumps Hate has begun and runs through the 27th. If you or someone you know likes to ship Steve/Tony and also likes to give to charity, check it out!

Music meme answers

May. 21st, 2017 11:41 pm
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
[personal profile] stardreamer
A bit disappointed at the turnout -- I guess everyone was having a busy week. If you missed it and want to take a stab before peeking at the answers, the original post is here.

Almost half of the songs went unguessed, including some that really surprised me because they were major hits. I've provided links to the unguessed ones for the curious.

Click here for the answers! )

And as usual when I do something with a lot of links, I'm profoundly grateful for the preview function. :-)

Fate vs D&D (well, mostly Elf vs D&D)

May. 21st, 2017 09:23 pm
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
I've been looking a lot at Fate Core rpg system recently. I sponsored the "Wearing the Cape" superhero game on k'start, and I've looked at a few of the other systems.

I have a friend who's putting together a group for a game to be podcast, maybe vidcast; originally, it was going to be Hero, but wow is that troublesome for fantasy gaming (yeah, there's books, and we looked at 'em and even tried to work with them, but he wants some unique magic details, and that means writing the system from scratch, and Hero's got a lot of number-crunching once you go down that path). We looked at GURPS, which I love - he thinks it's okay, but again, would need to rewrite the magic system. Right now, he's looking at 5e, and seems to think that the magic system is easier to twist into what he'd like than those two. I'm trying to pitch Fate, because I think he wants a strongly narrative game more than one where your stats define what you can do.

Key point: If you want a D&D game, play D&D. If you want a D&D-esque setting but do not want classes, levels, initiative rolls, and saving throws - don't play D&D. Find a system that covers the style of play you want, and use that.

This is mostly me grumbling about D&D )

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

May. 21st, 2017 09:17 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Six Wakes

3/5. Locked spaceship mystery in which six clones wake up with missing memories on a generation ship lightyears from earth in the bloody wreckage of their prior deaths.

When I say that this book is "fun" and "a palate-cleanser" it should be understood that includes stabbings. Lots of stabbings. And six cagey, pissed off people running around an enclosed space alternately feeding and attempting to kill each other. There's this vague philosophical underbelly going on about the things you might expect – immortality and the ways it changes you – but let's be real, I was here for stabbings and plot twists and revenge schemes.

But I mostly wanted to talk about the fact that the author reads the commercial audio. This is a thing that is happening more often, and I get why it seems like a good idea. But you know what? Audio narration is a skill, and it takes practice, and probably also some innate talent. Mary Robinette Kowal has been doing it for a while, and she was pretty good reading her own stuff. Same with Emma Newman, who has extensive experience and who really knocked her own Planetfall out of the park (and who has the advantage of a lovely voice to work with). Lafferty does podcasts, but that really isn't the same thing as performative reading, and well. She's just not that good. She's also not bad, but she's a little affectless, a little forced. And this is how she'll get better, I guess, but it really pointed out how a mediocre narrator can make awkward writing truly thud. The dialogue in this book is, well. How do I put this? A really good, seasoned performer probably could have saved a lot of it with effort. Lafferty could not.
selenay: (Default)
[personal profile] selenay
Not Like Drowning (Just Like Drowning) (955 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Bill Potts
Additional Tags: Character Study, Episode Tag
Series: Part 5 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: Almost suffocating in the vacuum of space is nothing like drowning and exactly the same.
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
When the Moon Was Ours

2/5. A girl with a complicated past grows roses from a wound in her wrist; the local "witch" girls want the roses for their own ends.

Well, on the plus side, this is a great example of a book where representation works so much better when it's not done on the 'one and only' model. There are two trans characters in this book who are in very different places in re their identities, their bodies, and their transitions. And because there are two of them, it is so much easier to take each of them where they are, as a person, rather than – unfairly but inevitably – as some sort of comment on trans people in general, or transition in general, or or or.

On the other hand, this book is 70% symbolism by volume, with a plot tossed over top. These are not the proportions I like my fiction to have. I spent this whole book like, "Wait, that wasn't a metaphor, the pumpkin literally turned to glass? Oh-kay . . . what does that mean? What do the paper moons mean? What about the – oh, for fuck's sake."

Either this novel really ought to have been novelette length, at most, or it is so so so so not for me. Or both.
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
For a pal who asked what he might have recognised, this might have looked familiar, at least in part:

IMG_1653

 

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