The Raven and the Reindeer by T Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon: this is a very cute Gerta/Little Robber Girl retelling of The Snow Queen. It's in a light, fairytale style but has a bit more modern fantasy novel to it than the original 19th century children's short story. There also a bit more gore than I remember, of just the sort I like but other people may not. I haven't read the original in years so can't say how much is changed in general, but was attached to the Kay/Gerta friendship which is much more unhealthy here, I think it works really well as a new story but was still slightly sad to lose the old one. Also there's that undertone of slightly smug tweeness that tends to underlie all of Ursula Vernon's work, and it took me a while to get into it for some reason. Still, lots of well drawn, endearing, mostly female characters, and a cute fantasy story that hasn't lost the fairytale atmosphere, bittersweet bite and sense of place of the original.
(putting above the cut because "f/f fairytale" is relevant to a lot of my readers' interests :))
Aso, while I'm here: Steam is having a sale on anime themed games and I at least didn't get an email about some stuff on my wishlist which is discounted. So, check your wishlist!
( More books and some tv )
Friday just splurged on a late birthday present that should show up by the end of next week…
- PuiPui, The World’s Most Stylish Bunny
- Cool Science Pics!
- Wonder Woman Has Cellulite Too. I can’t remember if I’ve shared this one before, but I don’t care. It’s worth sharing again.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
In the past week he had both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston on. ( Read more... )
Lastly, if you've ever been inspired to climb Hiddleston like a tree, apparently this wee leopard cub decided to do just that.
2) Color me surprised -- I've started (slowly) going through my old meta and putting tidied versions up at AO3. I was amazed to find a notice in my email this morning of 5 kudos. Given their age and a general disinterest in meta, I really wasn't expecting anyone to see them (but I do want all of them in one easily found place).
3) I think this makes at least four fiction books about fanfic writers that I know of. Not its own genre yet but I'll bet it gets there someday.
4) Are they serious? First weddings, then proms and children's birthday parties -- it seems there's nothing free from this sort of commercialism and escalation when it comes to costs and personal competitiveness. My niece argued with me that a child's elaborate 1st birthday party made sense because it was the parents' celebration that they'd weathered a difficult time together. It seems to me that's what their anniversary is for.
5) This discussion of American Psycho as seen by Wall Streeters reminded me of an "On Point" segment last week. The guy who said it was a critique of capitalism came close but I thought he was still a bit off the mark. ( Read more... )
Speaking of On Point and being an American psycho, they were discussing Trump this morning and one supporter called in saying "This is a mean world, and we need a mean president." I guess that does explain a lot about why he's succeeding among Republicans. Apparently she felt the dog-eat-dog verse is upon us since 9/11 happened, though how Trump is supposed to be a solution for this, you've got me.
This was exactly what I expected from the trailer: a well made, entertaining superhero film with great fights, nice character moments and utterly repulsive political subtext. On the plus side it abandons it's pretense to ~realism about halfway through and becomes purely character/explosion driven, at which point I stopped thinking "bloody Americans" every five minutes and was actually able to enjoy it.
Since we got to see it earlier than a lot of other places, and I know I was curious to know if the politics were going to be as annoying as they seemed from the trailer. tl;dr: they are.
2. Today was Alexander's birthday so we went out to lunch and karaoke. For lunch we went to ROC Sawtelle and it was so good, especially their "three cup chicken" and pickled cucumbers. We got there in between lunch and dinner so it wasn't crowded at all.
3. I didn't do much translating today, but I finally finished a big project I've been working on for a while, another collection of one-shots by Nishioka Kyodai. The scans haven't even been cleaned yet, much less any progress on typesetting, so I have no idea when we'll be releasing it, but I feel good about getting my part of it done.
4. We bought a few things while at Costco today and they gave us a box that is open on three sides and when turned upside-down makes an excellent fort for kitties. We call it the Fortress of Catitude.
Argh, yes, this a thousand times. When I picked up my last bicycle, the guy in the shop kept steering me towards the pink and purple helmets, and it was like pulling teeth to get a black one to try on.
Oh, yeah: 33 Things I hate about this Election. SO TRUE.
This is one of the most amazing/horrifying stories I've seen recently. I guess this is how conspiracy theorists get made?
This article about bassist Carol Kaye reminds me I need to watch that documentary about The Wrecking Crew (even if that wasn't really their name!).
OMG this looks like the best thing ever. Daveed Diggs as Hobbes! ::loves::
Chernobyl, 30 years later. Jeez.
In other news, I finally watched Steven Universe and OMG Peridot is basically Rodney McKay. ::facepalm:: Anyway, how long until the next season? I am totally hooked.
I also watched Over the Garden Wall last weekend, and that was lovely.
I'm also finally watching Man in the High Castle and it's pretty interesting, even if I can't quite tell what's going on half the time. I think a lot of spycraft is too subtle for me. (I would be a terrible espionage agent, I'm just saying.)
ok, and now to bed.
As we go through this strange sensation of Déjà Hugo, I had a few requests to put out there.
1. Don’t tell me, or anyone else, how to vote.
If you want to talk about deciding how you’re going to vote, great. If you want to put forth an argument for No Award or for avoiding the No Award option or for how to treat blatantly rabid nominees vs. trolling nominees vs. human shields or whatever else, fine. But I’m already starting to see people doing the, “If you vote this way (or don’t vote this way), you’re an asshole” thing.
Let me put it this way. The rabid puppies were able to make this year’s mess by lining up and following their voting orders (a tactic which hopefully won’t work very well in the future). Do you really want to follow that guy’s strategy of trying to tell people how to vote?
Some people will probably choose to No Award the whole slate. Others will try to evaluate every work on its own merit. Me, I’ll try to read and evaluate them all, though I’ll probably be more skeptical of most of the rabid works.
I’m not complaining about discussion/debate on how to respond to the rabid puppies this year. I just don’t appreciate people trying to dicktate how I should vote.
2. No asterisks, please.
I did make a crack about asterisks and the Hugo last year after the trophy was released. And I think a lot of people had a mental asterisk over the whole thing, because let’s be honest, last year was anything but normal for the Hugo awards. So yeah, I definitely get it.
But at last year’s Hugo award ceremony, they handed out wooden asterisk plaques, and later sold additional wooden asterisks.
I don’t believe this was done with malicious intent (though I obviously can’t read anyone’s minds). Maybe it was an attempt at humor, and/or to acknowledge the elephant in the room. I appreciate that the sale of the asterisks raised several thousand dollars for a good cause.
Whatever the intentions, it resulted in a lot of people feeling hurt and attacked. I know from experience how nerve-wracking a Hugo ceremony can be in a normal year. Last year, and this year, tensions and anxieties and fears are exponentially higher. And for many of the people in attendance, the asterisks felt like a big old slap in the face.
Like I said, I don’t think that was the intention. (Others will disagree, and have gleefully pointed to the asterisks as “proof” that “the other side” is evil and nasty.) In this case, I don’t think intention matters so much as the impact it had, including hurting some good, talented people.
3. Don’t be an abusive doucheweasel.
For example, here’s a conversation from last year where Moshe Feder had to delete someone’s comment calling for the Sad Puppies to kill themselves. WTF, people?
Or here’s someone suggesting the Sad and Rabid Puppies be rounded up and dropped into Daesh territory.
Then there’s the vitriol directed at the nominees themselves. Particularly at the women on the ballot. (I’m sure we’re all shocked to hear that women tended to get the most and the nastiest of the attacks.)
As one nominee noted last year, “We have been called assholes, bitches, mongrels, yapping curs, talentless hacks and so many more things that I can’t even name them all. I have seen at least one suggestion that all of us should be euthanized.” Another talked about the “helpful” emails they received, saying things like, “If you don’t reject the nomination, you will be forever linked with those people. Always hated.”
And whatever choice the nominees made about withdrawing or staying on the ballot, there were people who would attack them for it, calling them gutless, comparing them to Nazi sympathizers, and worse.
I’m not trying to say anyone can’t or shouldn’t be angry, or trying to stop anyone from expressing that anger. But there’s a difference between expressing anger and harassing people. There’s a difference between criticizing people who are actively trying to “burn the Hugos down,” and attacking everyone and anyone who might in any way be connected with — or being used by — those people.
I’m also not interested in debating whether one “side” was worse than the other. I’m simply pointing out that this shit happened. These are some of the public comments. Some of the emails/messages sent directly to folks were far worse.
Finally, I know there are people who delight in being abusive doucheweasels, and nothing I write here is going to change that. I guess I’m just asking the rest of us, myself included, to be careful, and to remember Wheaton’s Law.
Thanks for listening.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I discovered last night that Barbara Hambly has a new Ben January short story out AND a new story for her Bride of the Rat God characters. (Which, incidentally, is my other favorite of her books, besides the Ben January ones, even though almost no one has heard of it. It feels slightly dated now, especially the "cursed Chinese artifact" that MacGuffin-fuels the plot, but it's still a delightful little slice of 1920s Hollywood. It was the first of her books I ever read, back in the early '90s, and I'm thrilled she's still interested in writing in the 'verse.)
There's an interesting economics lesson in this, though. When she first started writing these and selling them off her website, a number of years ago, I didn't bat an eye at paying $5 a pop for downloadable PDFs that I had to read on the computer. Her prices haven't changed, but now that ebooks are big and there's an accepted pay scale for them, it feels weird to pay $4.99 for a novella-length story. I'm still happy to buy them and support her, but it's just interesting to me, because several years ago it felt perfectly reasonable to pay $5 for a self-published short story, and now there's a different price scale in effect, and I'd only expect to pay a buck or two. An object lesson in the dangers of undercharging, perhaps.
Anyway, I've already read the Ben January one and it is a delight as always. Looking forward to the other.
( Spoilers for the basic premise and political subtext stuff, but not the rest of the plot or the ending )
Ain't No Grave (Can Keep My Body Down) (107093 words) by spitandvinegar
Fandom: Captain America - All Media Types, Marvel
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Natasha Romanov, Tony Stark, Clint Barton, Phil Coulson, Original Characters, Pepper Potts, Matt Murdock, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Claire Temple
Additional Tags: Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Drug Abuse, Homelessness, Jewish Bucky Barnes, Catholic Steve Rogers, Religious Imagery & Symbolism, Artist Steve Rogers, Identity Issues, POV Alternating, Not Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie) Compliant, because I am a desert pony that runs as wild and free as the wind, Period Typical Attitudes, Masturbation, Tupac - Freeform, Past Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson Is a Good Bro, original kid characters, original mean old Chinese lady character, a coupla goddamn kids, Pinkberry, Past Rape/Non-con
Series: Part 2 of Ain't No Grave
It's six in the morning, and Steve is heading out on a run when he nearly trips over a bouquet of sunflowers on the front steps of his brownstone.
For a second paranoia takes over, and he kicks the flowers a little, waiting for them to explode. They don't. They also came with a card, which he picks up. The front of the card has a tasteful picture of the Brooklyn bridge at sunset. It's very nice and sedate, like the kind of card you would buy to give to your boss. On the inside someone has written a short message in big, shaky block letters.
I AM SORRY FOR SHOOTING YOU.
Steve sits down hard on the steps.
2. I can sleep in tomorrow! I'm looking forward to that. We have plans in the afternoon, but the morning is completely free for sleeping.
3. I love the look on Molly's face here: