sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Okay so I spent a few days in June reading a bunch of Courtney Milan. Apparently she's a "betcha can't eat read just one" kind of author for me. I read ten. Most were rereads, which I don't have anything new to say about, but this time I did get around to reading a few books of hers that I hadn't read in November when I last did this. Namely: the Carhart series, the first romances that Courtney Milan ever published! This was back when she was being conventionally published by Harlequin instead of being a self-published author.

This Wicked Gift, by Courtney Milan (Carhart #0.5)

cut for discussion of rape )


Proof By Seduction, by Courtney Milan (Carhart #1)

And so I continue with the Carhart series despite the extremely inauspicious beginnings. This one, well, at least it didn't have a rapist main character? I still didn't love it though. I dunno, I didn't write down my thoughts soon enough after having read it so I don't remember all the reasons. But it doesn't have the things I like about later Courtney Milan (such as strong female friendships and interesting families) and also doesn't have a romance that I enjoyed reading about. And the leading man was pretty uninteresting to me, and the leading woman kept making baffling life choices.


Trial By Desire, by Courtney Milan (Carhart #2)

The Carhart series continues to improve! This one was actually mostly enjoyable. I liked the leading woman's mission in life, and I enjoyed the nature of the romance being one of having to develop a relationship between a husband and wife who don't really know each other and have been on different continents for years. But although this is closer to the Courtney Milan I know and love, this book just didn't get me excited the way her later books do.

(no subject)

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 20:14
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] rmc28!

(no subject)

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 13:09
newredshoes: midcentury modern swallow (<3 | circumnavigator)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Please allow me to just scream for a minute that my Wonder Woman/WWI story got linked by SyFy?!?!???

Also today in link round-ups, a new Things I'm Verbing: Cultural memory, peanut stew and how to be a better gentrifier.

Also related to Wonder Woman, if you've heard all kinds of Jew-hating bullshit about Gal Gadot "notching her rifle for Palestinians she's killed" and the like, this is a good rebuttal and full explanation of what Gadot's ~support for the IDF actually entails. See also. Yes, I'm still cranky about the Chicago Dyke March bullshit. This op-ed has a quite harsh take on intersectionality itself, but the basic point, that intersectionality as practiced is often antagonistic or indifferent to Jewish issues, is true to my experience. UGH. Okay. Gonna go draft that essay on Jewishness and who gets to be beautiful that I've been mulling over ever since Jenny Slate got together with Captain America.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
In case anyone's got some spare cash they found down the back of the sofa:

The National Immigration Law Center have donation-matching up to $100,000 to help them create a Rapid Response Fund:

Donate to NILC

Planned Parenthood Action have donation-matching up to $350,000:

Donate to PP

The Climate Science Legal Defence Fund have matching up to $50,000:

Donate to the CSLDF

The National Network of Abortion Funds have matching up to $50,000, and their solicitation e-mail ends "Let’s fund abortion, build power, and radically love each other," bless them (they're also the only organization I've encountered where a staff member has their preferred pronouns in their sig, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy):

Donate to the NNAF

If you know of others, please comment!

(X-posted to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished A Banquet of Consequences, and, okay, family that makes the Starkadders look like the Waltons at the centre of the plot. But at least Havers is somewhat on the way to rehabilitation and not being transferred, and while I am not convinced by Lynley's new affair (I consider his new squeeze is entirely prudent to maintain high boundaries), I don't think I ever wanted to have at him with a codfish at any point in the narrative.

Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (2013), found in a local charity shop. Raced through it though on reflection not sure that it wouldn't be better read in doses.

Gave up on the romance about marrying an earl.

On the go

Max Gladstone, Two Serpents Rise (2013) - still not quite feeling it for the Craft Sequence - it's well-done, it's not doing anything I dislike, and yet somehow I feel unabsorbed.

Also picked up in a local charity shop, Jeremy Reed, The Dilly: A Secret History of Piccadilly Rent Boys (2014), which is really, really, annoying. It could be a much better book if the author wasn't so in love with his gosh-wow prose and his vision of the sexual outlaw, not to mention, checking his bloody facts - there were two chronological bloopers in the first 20 pages, a Tory politician described as a Labour MP, a confusion between the Stones' Hyde Park concert and Altamont. Also, how can anyone possibly tell if 'most' late Victorian homosexuals were being blackmailed? The book comes from a publisher I had previously considered reputable, but does not seem to have been copy-edited (this might have done something about the Did Not Do His Research factor and the annoying repetition of favoured phrases) or proof-read, and given that some passages appear to have been written while stoned and there are sentences which are not and places where you think, that is so not the word you want there, this would have improved one's reading experience considerably. There's some really interesting material there but unfortunately the generally cavalier attitude to checkable facts makes me a bit sceptical about his ethnography of gay London, or rather, the gay West End, from Wilde to the era of AIDS. I'm also wondering whether there is any unacknowledged debt to e.g. work by Matt Cook and Matt Houlbrook.

And, finally released this week as ebook (there were hard copies at Wiscon but I was in travelling mode), Liz Bourke, Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2017).

Up next

No idea.

New Atlantis Comic Series 2

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 21:29
esteefee: (chibijohn_by_crysothemis)
[personal profile] esteefee

Chuck and Walter having offworld adventures


Ronon is a troll as usual

How did I not know American Mythology released the first issue of the new series of Atlantis comics last month? I am not tapped in.  Here Chuck and Walter are trapped on an Earthquake planet having gate technician adventures!

The second series is called Hearts and Minds. (First edition print or with Premium Cover). It’s also available at ComiXology in digital.

If you haven’t read the first series, Back to Pegasus, I’d advise reading those three first, they are awesome. Lots of team!  Be careful buying because they have alternate covers, so it’s easy to accidentally buy dupes (but I love all the covers so I ended up buying dupes on purpose).

Please support so we get all three volumes of the second series!  Also, if you’re into SGU, they have the first comic of the series out, Back to Destiny, as well (print only).

[Art by Greg LaRocque. Colored by Gene Jimenez. Story by Mark L. Haynes and J.C. Vaghn]



This Week in Fandom, Volume 54

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 15:21
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff in [community profile] otw_news
This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom: Harry Potter's 20th anniversary, a legal victory for fair use, an academic survey on fanfiction, and more: https://goo.gl/92BZZt
newredshoes: midcentury modern swallow (<3 | circumnavigator)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Okay. Okay, this thing that I've been pouring hours into for more than month -- it's here. It's finally live. I am so proud of it. I am already thrilled and overwhelmed by its reception!! It definitely started with a late-night annoyed tweet, and now it's a 2,000-word examination of how and why we form and curate cultural memory. Thanks, Wonder Woman!

"Why Do So Few Hollywood Movies Take Place During WWI?" - Pacific Standard (a very big deal!!)
Going to the movies became a ubiquitous means of participating in patriotic culture closer to World War II. The Great Depression halted most memorial-building in its tracks, as memorials required huge local investments. In the 1910s, when movie palaces were still new, they became sites of moral panic for civic and community leaders concerned about sexual looseness and the corruption of American youth, even as only about one-third of the total population attended each week. However, by the 1920s, that number rose to half, and, by the 1930s, two-thirds of Americans took weekly trips to the movies. During WWII, studios supplied hundreds of fictional films torn from the headlines.

Simple, hagiographic narratives about the war predominated. In titles like So Proudly We Hail! (1943), Hell Is for Heroes (1962), and Saving Private Ryan (1999), WWII was "the good war," waged by the U.S. to crush fascism and imperialism. Hollywood did work closely with the War Department to produce pro-war documentaries during the war. But, historically, even films that are not government-funded, or those that have questioned American wars, have largely refused to condemn those who fight it. It is perhaps easier for film studios to sell a vision of Americans as principled heroes fending off all-threatening evil, rather than naïve young men fighting in a conflict of ambiguous nobility.
There's so much more! I got to talk to some amazing people! My job doesn't pay bupkis but the work can be so good!! (And if you feel inclined to share, you can credit me at [twitter.com profile] ejbergdahl.)

Sidebar wonky on reading and tags page

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 17:14
carisma_sensei: (Default)
[personal profile] carisma_sensei in [community profile] style_system
Hi! I'm having a bit of a problem here. I wanted to edit a layout I made for a friend to use on her community. It has a fixed navigation at the bottom of the page which I don't know if could be causing this problem, but the sidebar looks right on recent entries page but it looks wonky everywhere else.

I have it testing here so you can look through the css. If you could help me out a bit D: I would be very grateful.

Build it and they will come?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 13:54
oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

I don't know if anyone else has been aware of the hoohah over the Chalke Valley History Festival, an event which has not been on my radar even though it has been going since 2011, though when I see that it is sponsored by A Certain Daily Rag of Which We Do Not Speak, unless we really have to, I would guess that it's NQOSD. Certainly no-one has come begging yr hedjog to address the crowds on ye syph in history (with or without my sidekick Sid, now available as a keyring), Dr Stopes, the inner meaning of the 1820s cartoons of Ladies Strachan and Warwick canoodling in a park or towsell-mowsell upon a sopha, wanking panic over the centuries etc etc.

But anyway, there has lately been a certain amount of OMG History of Dead White Males (and a few queens) and the fact that it is overwhelmingly DWM d'un certain age giving the fruits of their knowingz to the audience:
Historian pulls out of Chalke Valley festival over lack of diversity
(and, cynically, I wonder how many of the 32 women historians are Hott Young Thingz researching queens, aristo ladies, and so forth, though I may be doing them an injustice.)
The lack of women and non-white historians at this year’s Chalke Valley festival sends out a worrying message to Britain’s young

There have been defences made of the event by saying that you need to have Nazis and Tudors because that is what pulls in the punters, and maybe eventually get them onto something else not so overdone and ubiquitous.

However, only today there was a piece in The Guardian about the Bradford Literary Festival: Irna Qureshi and Syima Aslam have upended the traditional festival model to create a 10-day cultural jamboree that holds appeal across the city’s diverse communities

(Okay, does have the Brontes, and why not, but does not, alas, have ritual mud-wrestling by the Bronte Society...)

'They have upended the traditional literary festival model and attracted a demographic that is the dream of all forward-looking funders.'

So it can be done.

(no subject)

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 09:45
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] coalescent!

decide for me

Monday, 26 June 2017 23:44
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I am supposed to go to rounds every Tuesday from 6 to 7 at the raptor rehab where I volunteer. It's good to be up-to-date on protocols, and to get the news about the cases. On the other hand, there is always a lot of information I don't need, and there are other ways to get the information I do need.

Tomorrow night there is a storytelling event at a coffee house from 7 to 9. "The event will showcase a selection of community storytellers sharing stories on the theme of food and farm. We’ve invited six storytellers — writers, poets, performers, journalists, speakers — to prepare true, personal stories and share them in front of a live audience." I'd like to go. I am always interested in anything that could help me become a better storyteller.

I could skip rounds.
I could leave rounds 10 minutes early and go to both, but I hate getting up when everyone else is still sitting patiently, and also that would be a very long evening for me.
I could just stay home. Staying home is always good.

two books, neither alike in dignity

Monday, 26 June 2017 22:42
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
It's book talking time!

Coincidentally, I have recently read two separate books about French spy-courtesans in the 1920s 19th century. One was Alexander Chee's The Queen of the Night. The other - well, I call it a book, but it is an incomplete series, by Jo Graham, beginning with The General's Mistress and continuing in The Emperor's Agent and The Marshal's Lover.

Alexander Chee, award-winning author, is interviewed about TQOTN in Vogue and reviewed in the New York Times. Jo Graham is interviewed about her books in Amazing Stories and reviewed on, well, Goodreads. There is a great difference in the height at which your brow is meant to sit while reading these books.

Which just goes to show why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The Queen of the Night is rapey-er than Game of Thrones, and you will not collect that from reading any of those interviews or reviews, but holy shit, it's grim and unrelenting. There is a lot of sex in this book - never let anyone tell you that Serious Authors don't write sex. What Serious Authors don't write is enjoyable sex, because that has the filthy female whiff of romance about it, and Chee will have nothing to do with that trap: enjoy 561 pages of bleak fucking, at best survival sex, at worst violent rape. But it's described like opera! So, you know: it's Art.

Whereas if on the other hand you like slumming, you could read a page-turner of a picaresque sex-and-war-and mysticism perspective on the Napoleonic Wars that is super, super interesting for someone who has tended to read about it from the English perspective! It reminds me very much of that Roger Ebert quote that's been floating around Twitter:
There's a learning process that moviegoers go through. They begin in childhood without sophistication or much taste, and for example, like "Gamera'' more than "Air Force One" because flying turtles are obviously more entertaining than United States presidents. Then they grow older and develop "taste,'' and prefer "Air Force One," which is better made and has big stars and a more plausible plot. (Isn't it more believable, after all, that a president could single-handedly wipe out a planeload of terrorists than that a giant turtle could spit gobs of flame?) Then, if they continue to grow older and wiser, they complete the circle and return to "Gamera'' again, realizing that while both movies are preposterous, the turtle movie has the charm of utter goofiness--and, in an age of flawless special effects, it is somehow more fun to watch flawed ones.
Both books are preposterous. But Jo Graham's books are cheerfully preposterous, with love at first sight being based on mystical reincarnation through the ages and a vow between Cleopatra's handmaidens or some such thing; and Alexander Chee's characters blankly drift through the ludicrous motions of a musicless opera plot because, as The Worst Bestsellers likes to say about characters in books like these, they are lizard people. Human motivations and actions are foreign to them! They hatched from eggs and now they are wearing human skin suits and that's why the author acts like their entirely, artificially plot-motivated behavior is normal and requires no explanation. It is normal, for lizards!

Whereas Jo Graham's books involve people having difficult but ultimately productive conversations about ambition and infidelity and polyamory - they don't have that vocabulary, but the ideas are definitely there - and people who aren't entirely good or bad, and an enby protagonist, and conflicted feelings about children, and the fear of aging and death, and politics that are rooted in the deep personal urge for freedom, and yes - magic, and sex, and fun! I got the third one as part of a StoryBundle, which was annoying as it spoiled the first two, obviously! But the moment I finished it I bought the other two anyway. Spoilers don't matter that much - they're not mystery novels, if you're writing about the Napoleonic Wars the interest of your story had better not depend on the reader not knowing how things turn out. The Queen of the Night I got from the library, and I tried to finish it, I really did. It just wasn't giving me anything to work with. It is the kind of book where spoilers matter - my loan of it ran out before I made it to the end, and I placed a hold on it to check it out again just because I did, honestly, want to know the answer to the mystery. But when my hold on it came due, I admitted that I did not want to know enough to drag myself through to the end of a very, very, very boring book, and I never checked it out the second time.

And, incidentally, between the grim, boring, rapey book, and the picaresque, sexy, fun book? The fun book is the one that's based on a real historical person. Maria Versfelt was a Dutch adventure star, as she is delightfully described in that Dutch website (thanks Google Translate), and her published memoirs are the basis for Graham's books. I think the reincarnation thing is invention, though.

no totoro

Monday, 26 June 2017 20:35
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Jesse and I went to go see "My Neighbor Totoro" at the theater. We get there and it's very nearly sold out; we get the last two tickets that someone was refunding. Neither of us are quite trained into the new system where you are supposed to always buy your tickets ahead of time, having lived our whole lives as spontaneous movie-goers.

I get some snacks and we settle into our seats. The movie starts, the cute song and the little girl walking. Soon we realize, we are seeing the Japanese version with no subtitles. Someone alerts the staff and the movie plays on. I'm happy to watch it this way-- the story is very simple and to me, not understanding the words only plays into the dream-like quality of Miyazaki movies. But not long into it, the movie pauses and the manager comes in, to apologize. He says that they got the wrong version, and they will be playing the English dubbed version. Some people in the audience object. My friend a row below us calls out for people to clap if they want the dubbed version vs. if they want the Japanese version. It's about evenly split.

Well, they must have decided to do the dubbed version because they stopped the film. We decided to leave and get our refund.

Anyways, that is our Totoro story!

today is my birthday!

Monday, 26 June 2017 21:34
the_shoshanna: kitty icon with cake, hat, and streamers (birthday kitty)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
It's been a lovely day. I slept in, for moderate values of "sleeping in," and then had as brief exchange with the person at the press who is managing my current editing job, which ended up with me basically being told to take the rest of the week off while they try to catch up to the work I've already done on the manuscript. Okay then!

Then I had a long phone call with my best friend, whom I hadn't had a chance to catch up with in a while. I got on the treadmill for half an hour of the first real exercise I've gotten in weeks; I'm just getting over a wicked cold that settled in my lungs, and before that I was crazy busy for a couple of weeks.

And then Geoff and I went round to the local independent canoe and kayak and general boating outdoorsiness store and picked up our new kayaks! Geoff's been wanting to get them for a couple of years; he grew up sailing, and we went kayaking when we visited his brother and brother-in-law a couple of years ago, who live on a waterway. Now we have kayaks and life jackets and paddles and a roof rack for the car, and we took them all down to the edge of Lac Saint Louis (which is really just a wide spot in the Saint Lawrence River near us) and launched them! We spent about an hour paddling around, seeing ducks and making jokes about playing pirate on the occasional sailboat and just rocking gently in the waves. I expect my shoulders will be achy tomorrow, but we calculated we have to go out about twenty times before buying becomes cheaper than renting, so we will keep it up!

We came home, figured out how to get the kayaks off the roof rack and into the back yard, and -- after showering the river water off -- went out to dinner, because by that time it was almost seven. And when we came home I sacked out on the couch while Geoff made a loaf of banana bread with not only extra bananas but a good half cup or more of rum. It is hot and moist and delicious and we may eat the entire loaf before we get to bed, I'm just saying. (Not all the alcohol seems to have cooked out, but since Star Trek: The Final Frontier is on TV, that may be a good thing.)

So far, this year of my life is going pretty well!

AO3 Celebrates 25,000 Fandoms!

Monday, 26 June 2017 14:41
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff in [community profile] otw_news
partial screenshot of AO3 homepage showing 25000 fandoms with the AO3 logo above the text




AO3 has reached 25,000 fandoms! To celebrate, we've put together info about fandom tags and how all tags work: https://goo.gl/W4wPxH
turlough: confrontation between Party Poison & Korse (Gerard Way & Grant Morrison), SING video, Oct 2010 ((mcr) you’re here with me)
[personal profile] turlough
Gerard can't find Observation Room 4, and after a few minutes of aimless wandering, and several dirty looks from people he keeps passing over and over, he finally asks someone.

"Korse went that way," the guy answers, before Gerard can get his question all the way out. It makes him a little paranoid that this guy already knows who Gerard is looking for.

"Thanks, Mikey," he says.

"Michael," the guy corrects, and Gerard sees it clearly on the nametag clipped to his shirt.

"Sorry," Gerard says, "I don't know why I -" and then he trails off. The guy stares at him, and scowls. Gerard hurries off in the direction he pointed, and finds Korse, looking at his watch.

"Close the door," Korse says, when Gerard steps into the room. As soon as the door clicks shut behind him, Korse says, "Come here, Gerard."


- [archiveofourown.org profile] jjtaylor's Workplace Appropriate Attire
oursin: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
[personal profile] oursin

10 Famous Book Hoarders

(I think we may contest the term 'hoarders' for people with lotsaboox, hmmmm?)

In most of those cases I think we do see a real love of books, though I'm not sure about Hearst and whether 'ostentation' was not on his mind rather than use?

In some cases those appear to be the personal libraries that have fetched up in public collections, and one wonders whether there was a certain amount of weeding and selection at the point of accession. (I'm not saying that Houdini or Arendt also had vast collections of pulp westerns or school stories or whatever, but I'm not ruling out that choices were made at some point.)

And indeed, while calling your private collection 'the Library of the History of Human Imagination' is indeed quite a long way along the pretentiousness scale, I look at that picture: 'It has three levels, a glass bridge, floating platforms' and feel a certain covetousness.

And even if it's ponceyness turned up to 11, it's not as cringe-making as this, which crossed my radar pretty much on the same day: Meet The App That Revolutionized Book Reading For 2 Million People

We sort through the approximately 2,200,000 books published worldwide to find the best nonfiction books out there. Then, our subject specialists, writers, and editors identify the key ideas from each of these hand-selected books and transform them into smart, useful summaries of insights we lovingly polish and refine until they are nothing but the absolute most essential elements of the writer’s main ideas. We do the filtering for you, then we share those ideas with you the way your dream-friend would.
Tonstant Weader called for a stiff drink.

*'Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his [Gordian II's] inclinations; and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than for ostentation.' Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol I.

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