isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
Remix Revival authors have been revealed, at least for the main collection, so I can now post a link to my story!

To Paint a Symphony (Arrangement for Solo Piano) (1527 words) by Isis
Fandom: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Keita Mori/Thaniel Steepleton
Characters: Keita Mori, Thaniel Steepleton
Additional Tags: Synesthesia, Music, Established Relationship, Precognition, Remix
Summary: Possible futures, with musical accompaniment.
Remix of: to paint a symphony by [archiveofourown.org profile] Arzani

I actually matched on Black Sails, but none of [archiveofourown.org profile] Arzani's fics in that fandom gave me much of an idea, partly because I'm not a Flint/Silver shipper. But The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is such an interesting canon - I've written a couple of stories for it already - and when I read "to paint a symphony" I immediately wanted to tease out the thread in which Keita plays the different compositions Thaniel might make in the future based on what choices he makes about Grace, and Thaniel sees them in different colors, and write my version of that story. (If you haven't read the book, this won't make much sense. But it's been nominated for Yuletide again this year, if you're thinking about reading it. It has a m/m relationship and a mechanical octopus.)

I Have Discovered Fashion

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:28 pm
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
I went looking for costume pieces. I'm aware that my chances of finding the kind of costume pieces I want are low, and it's likely to take more than a casual search to find the kind of things I want within my budget. But I wanted to at least get a sense of what's available.

One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.

And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.
neotoma: Bunny likes oatmeal cookies [foodie icon] (foodie-bunny)
[personal profile] neotoma
Sons kimchi, tiny bartlett pears, arlet apples, lamb ragu, spinach & ricoota ravioli, smoked paprika pappardelle, pita, Greek chickpea salad, spanakopita, crabapple verjus (suddenly several Tudor recipes become possible!), shishito peppers, figs, and pawpaws.

Ran into [personal profile] temve and [personal profile] ell finally -- they shop much later than I do usually, but I had an early eye doctor appointment. I need to start planning autumn outings, as the Noir City DC film fest is coming up, as well as VelocityDC Dance, the new Synetic Theater season, the Takoma Park Street Festival and probably a dozen other things...

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:28 pm
lurkingcat: (Tech Support)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
I'm exhausted which may explain why I've been sitting staring at the latest XKCD in disbelief and delight for a good ten minutes.

[personal profile] battlehamster has gone to a Larp this weekend, leaving Kheldar in charge of the house. It's probably good timing because I had to work late today and I'll have to go back into work on Sunday. As long as the building security guys remember to call me that is. If they don't then I'll have go in at Far Too Early O'Clock on Monday instead. There's some power work being done on the building so everything had to be switched off and unplugged before I left the office this evening - coffee machines, classroom kit, the entire server rack, eeeeverything.

I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend fretting until they call me and tell that the sparkies have finished and I can go and power everything back up again. We have a course starting on Monday that can't run without internet access so I'm really hoping that all the ISP and Corp team kit boots back up okay. On the plus side most of what's in the rack is less than a year old so shouldn't have died from shock just because it's been shut down.

New Worlds discusses rites of passage

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:00 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

The general theme for this month has been stages of life, and we close that out with rites of passage. Next week, because the Patreon passed one of its funding goals a while ago, will be a fifth (bonus) essay, on the more theory-side aspects of worldbuilding!

Comment over there.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

wednesday reads 'n things

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:34 pm
isis: (head)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb, a short story with a lot of trans and/or gay characters and a demon (who turns out to be actually pretty nice). I enjoyed it all right but it didn't really make much impression on me. The worldbuilding's rather vague and there's not much in the way of plot, but I expect it resonates more with trans people. It's been nominated for [community profile] yuletide and is free online at http://thebooksmugglers.com/2017/08/avi-cantor-six-months-live-sacha-lamb.html

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (abandoned). I like the idea of presenting the story as excerpts of conversation, magazine articles, books, and so on. But it didn't work in the ebook format with minimal formatting, and also, it just didn't work for me in the more conversational sections because I felt as though I never got to know any of the characters enough to care about them. Though I appreciated the cleverness of the idea that the spirits of the dead are unaware that they are dead, glossing over the strangenesses in their new selves and referring to tombs as "sick-homes" and coffins as "sick-boxes", the general absurdity just didn't appeal to me and I found the slow pace boring.

What I'm reading now:

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan, the second book in the Trials of Apollo series, because after I realized I could either wait forever for the ebook, or pick up a physical copy from the library RIGHT NOW, I opted for the latter. I am still loving this series so much, especially since one of my favorite characters from another series, who showed up at the end of the first book, is a major character in this one. (skip) Leo Valdez! ♥ And Calypso! With whom Apollo has a history, so it's hilarious. Also, I'm impressed with how Riordan manages to have gay and bisexual characters in a way appropriate for middle grade, too.

I'm not listening to Airborn since I've been sick, and audiobooks are for exercise, but hope to get back to it soon now that my lungs are coughing out the last of the phlegm.

What I'm reading next:

While I was at the library I also picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has been recommended to me by a number of people. Also the second volume of Saga.

Other than that, still playing Dragon Age: Origins (in Orzammar now). Mostly I'm writing fanfiction :-)

Catching up on New Worlds

Sep. 19th, 2017 03:37 pm
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

My Patreon is trucking along, but I haven’t been good about linking to it here. So have a list of recent posts!

This week’s post (sneak preview!) will be on rites of passage, followed by a bonus post on the theory of worldbuilding, since that’s one of the funding goals we’ve reached. Remember, this is all funded by my lovely, lovely patrons — and if you join their ranks, you get weekly photos, plus (at higher levels) opportunities to request post topics or get feedback on your own worldbuilding!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Early Morning Surprise

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:33 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
The changing light patterns outside are waking me up before my alarm goes off at the moment. Which isn't great for my sleep patterns. It's totally brilliant if you're Kheldar though because he usually manages to sneak into the bedroom when I get up and go to the bathroom.

Today it was not so great for Kheldar. I woke up about 45 minutes early and he got to hop into the space between me and the edge of the bed and have a good wash and go to sleep and then... then my alarm went off.

I got out of bed, trying not to tip him off the duvet on the way, and turned the alarm off. Meanwhile Kheldar's Loud Noise Threat Assessment System attempted to wake the rest of the cat up. What mostly happened was a thud as he hit the floor and then nothing. I looked down. Kheldar's head tipped up so that his eyes could look at me. His eyes were open but I don't think he was really seeing anything. He'd frozen in place with one hind leg off the floor and one front leg off the floor because loud noise had now stopped and his body didn't know what it was supposed to be doing any more and most of him was still asleep anyway.

So I picked him up and put him back on the duvet and he kind of fell over sideways into a cat cushion and went straight back to sleep. He'd clearly had a busy night and I thought at least one of us should get the opportunity of some more sleep.

He's still mildly disgruntled about the whole business this evening.

IMG_20170919_214114
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
I harvested two of the candy roaster squash today -- on was 8lb and the other was 13.5lb.

Someone stole the third one out of the garden sometime in the last week -- so I have a terrible neighbor, somewhere.

The table gold acorn squash are progressing well. I might harvest one of those soon as well.

remix and other festathons

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:30 pm
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
Hopefully if you're planning on signing up for [community profile] trickortreatex you've already done so, as sign-ups close in under 3 hours. (Of course, you can always write treats!) I've been diddling with my offers but I think I'm set. Ordinarily I think of it as warm-up for [community profile] yuletide, but considering that I've been doing a lot of exchanges recently (maybe too many) it's not exactly that for me this year!

Speaking of exchanges-in-progress, I've got the next two weeks to finish my [community profile] femslashex fic - I finally got a good grip on what I want to write and it's going like gangbusters now - and to incorporate beta changes into my [community profile] crossovering fic. Then it will be time to write whatever I get assigned for [community profile] trickortreatex, and to sign up for [community profile] yuletide. Whew!

But one exchange is done and dusted, and that is [community profile] remixrevival! There are two remixes of my work, one in the main exchange and one in madness, both in Raven Cycle fandom, and I have no idea if they are by different people, though each was done with a different approach. And even though this isn't a gift exchange, I'm delighted by both of them and happily ticked the "link to this related work" button, because they're both great, and I enjoyed reading them even though I'm not really in the fandom any more.

But to return, and view the cheerful skies (1727 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Ronan Lynch/Adam Parrish
Characters: Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Long-Distance Relationship, Murder Squash Song, Remix
Summary: Come visit, Adam didn’t say, because at some point before he even met Ronan, he had set himself this idiotic challenge: he would do everything he could to prove to himself that he could make it alone.

This is a sequel to a ficlet I wrote for [personal profile] jain a few years ago for [community profile] fandom_stocking, but it also stands alone as an exploration of the same basic idea (so therefore it's a legit remix), and the author very subtly brought it into compliance with the last book in the series, which hadn't been published at the time I wrote the original. Stylistically it's fabulous (and exactly the style I love to read), the details are delightful, and the ending made me grin a little and tear up a little and I'm not even in the fandom any more.

Disappearing Act (the Smarter than I Look remix) (950 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Noah Czerny/Joseph Kavinsky
Characters: Noah Czerny, Joseph Kavinsky, Ronan Lynch, Richard Gansey III
Additional Tags: Non-Consensual Oral Sex, Ghost Sex, Supernatural Elements
Summary:

Kavinsky's still around, which means he's still dangerous. There are ways to change that. But they're not fun.

This is a remix of a nasty little noncon story I originally wrote as a kinkmeme fill, but what's brilliant about it is that the author used a POV shift to completely change the meaning of the original story, revealing the original POV as an unreliable narrator. This is one of my favorite devices in fiction - it's a feature of the brilliant Iain Pears book An Instance of the Fingerpost, and I've used it in remixes before - and it shows that Noah has agency, rather than being the victim.

While I'm talking remixes, have a few recs:

Underworld (the Etruscan pottery remix) (5 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Etruscan Mythology
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Female Character/Original Female Character
Characters: Original Female Character(s), Vanth (Etruscan Mythology), Karun (Etruscan Mythology), Tuchulcha (Etruscan Mythology)
Additional Tags: Digital Art, Fanart, Etruscan mythology - Freeform, Red-figure vase painting, Underworld
Summary: "I could not leave you here alone," Thana said./Velia folded her hands over Thana's. "I wanted you to live, my love."/"I know," Thana said. "But I could not leave you here."

This is beautiful fanart, which makes a bit more sense after you've read the (linked) original story, which is a sort of f/f Orpheus story, also very good and makes sense even if you're not familiar with Etruscan mythology.

Down the Garden Path (and what Alice found there) (4517 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Additional Tags: Dreams and Nightmares, Dreams vs. Reality, Non-Linear Narrative, Board Games, Pastiche, Poetry, journeys, Nursery Rhymes, Werewolves
Summary: Alice throws a six, and finds herself on the square of the hypotenuse. But she's been here before, and she'll be here again, and perhaps she's already here...

This amazing expansion of the original ficlet is fantastic, in both literal and figurative senses. The early bits are perfect pastiche of Carroll's nonsense, and then the later chapters are really quite transcendental, bringing sense to the nonsense and gathering all the elements together in a lovely way.

Of course I wrote something for the exchange as well, though it's unlikely that you'll stumble over it unless you know the fandom. I'll post about it when works are revealed next week.

neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
I went with [personal profile] greenygal to Small Press Expo today. [personal profile] pleasance was supposed to come put came up sick; [personal profile] greenygal got her hardcopies of Check Please!.

There was, as always, a lot of incredible talent on display! The stand-out for me was the art for Return of the Dapper Men (available from TopShelf)-- I talked to the artist Janet Lee brief, and looked a some pages of artwork she had brought. It's decoupage!

Also, I picked up an A to Z minicomic of dinosaurs. It was adorable, and I wound up talking to the artist about opposite birds. There weren't nearly enough dinosaur or science books this year, in my opinion, but I admit it's a niche interest.

When we were gearing up to leave, we chatted with a librarian from NY (city or state, I don't know) about some of the middle-readers we'd seen. She was there on a press pass, so I hope she can get a good story and write-ups for some of the more interesting books into the library trade publications. There are a lot of really interesting and diverse works out there that need more exposure.

Dear Trick-or-Treater!

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:59 pm
isis: (harry punkin)
[personal profile] isis
I like: historical (if appropriate) and worldbuildy detail, scenery porn, what-if AUs, original characters, time travel, bodyswap, ghost/afterlife stories, mythological and supernatural elements, and magical realism. I like gen, het, slash, and femslash. In general I'm not a fan of AU that completely changes the setting, but if you have a brilliant idea, go for it; I would prefer "interesting" to "mundane" AUs, e.g., in SPAAAACE yes, coffeeshop no. (Coffeeshop in SPAAAACE, okay!).

In fic: I prefer past tense to present tense, though don't feel constrained by this preference if your story really wants to be in present tense. I don't really care for second-person narration, but again, feel free to slip this preference if you have a fantastic idea. I'm happy with epistolary fic. I like lots of dialogue. If you want to create IF, go for it!

In art: I like both serious portraits and funny little cartoons. I have a soft spot for art in which one character is doing something typical-but-alarming, and the other is rolling his or her eyes, or reacting with horror, or getting ready to douse them with a bucket of water, or whatever. Stylistically, I love interesting and experimental compositions, unusual perspectives, emphasis on textures such as hair and clothing, and scenery porn (Mountains! Trees! Cliffs with water crashing on them! Brooding ruins of an ancient castle!) and I like line drawings as well as full color.

Tricks I would like: ghost stories (either scary or sweet), supernatural elements, afterlife stories, relationships between living characters and ghosts/spirits/supernatural entities, meddling deities, magical objects that do surprising things. I don't care for explicit horror, but I like mildly spooky things. In general I prefer happy endings, but see individual fandoms.

Treats I would like: romance, friendship, wacky hijinks, first kisses, first times (of anything), comedy of errors, matchmaking. Please don't add in any unrequested background non-canonical relationship. Explicit sex okay, non-explicit sex is okay, no sex is okay, but any sex should be in believable language for that era or fandom. UST, gen, whatever. It's all good. I certainly like explicit sex in fic, but I prefer more focus on the emotions than the physical mechanics, and my preferences are fairly vanilla: mouths, hands, genitals, toys, all are fine, but I'm not into BSDM or bloodplay or watersports or anything that might get a special tag.

I would prefer not to receive explicit horror (fic or art), any kink you'd specifically tag, or artwork that depicts explicit sex (NSFW R-rated is fine, NC17 showing genitals is not). I do not want any fic focusing on pregnancy, children, or with the A/B/O trope.

And now onto the specific fandoms. Please note that prompts may be spoilery. Also, I tend to go rather light on prompts, because if I had particular ideas, I'd write them myself! If none of my vague ideas appeal to you, I assure you that as long as you incorporate things I have said I like, and avoid things I have listed as dislikes, I will be happy with whatever you choose to create.

17776: What Football Will Look Like in the Future - Jon Bois (Juice, Nine, Ten) )

The Mark of the Horse Lord - Rosemary Sutcliff (Conory, Murna, Midir, Phaedrus) )

Old Kingdom - Garth Nix (Original Clayr, Lirael, Nicholas, Sameth) )

The Shining Company - Rosemary Sutcliff (Prosper, Faelinn) )

Wiedźmin | The Witcher (videogame) (Cirilla, Cerys, Sylvia Anna | Syanna) )
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
I got them done, so go me!

Stargate Universe
Characters
?! Nicholas Rush
?! Camile Wray
?! Vanessa James
?! Lisa Park
An American in Paris (1951)
Characters
?! Adam Cook
?! Henri Baurel
?! Milo Roberts
?! Lise Bouvier
The Limehouse Golem (2016)
Characters
?! John Kildare (The Limehouse Golem (2016))
?! Dan Leno (The Limehouse Golem (2016))
?! George Flood (The Limehouse Golem (2016))
?! Lizzie Cree (The Limehouse Golem (2016))

I figure that someone else will nominate the Goblin Emperor and Gargoyles (tv), but I'm likely to be the only one interested in An American in Paris (what happens to ANYONE else in the cast after the end of the movie?!) or The Limehouse Golem.

So...

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:31 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
... this new laptop business is working out well. I mean, I have done other things today but there's certainly been a lot of marvelling at the wonders of a top-notch piece of new technology compared to the old faithful beast that I've been bumbling along with.

There's also been a certain amount of amusement in the discovery that I hadn't been hearing some of the newer albums in the household properly due to the sound of the fans. I'd gotten so used to the noise that machine made that my brain was mostly ignoring it. Today's been a bit of a revelation.

In other news Special Agent Kheldar would like to register a complaint about the repeated incidents in which water fell from the sky and interrupted his patrols.

Tidying Up

Sep. 14th, 2017 11:46 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
I spent part of yesterday tidying up my old laptop and transferring files onto a USB disk. Including the stuff that I transferred across to that laptop eight years ago, meant to do something about and never did. I'll get to that folder one of these days, really I will.

Today I got to spend time with [personal profile] teebee again and... the new laptop arrived a day earlier than originally anticipated. I am going to bed any minute, really I am. I just need to install... er... actually quite a bit. It's amazing how much two factor authentication I've got switched on these days. My poor phone isn't used to receiving so many texts.

And I'm leaving this link here mostly to remind myself to read it later because I had a game tonight and it's looong. Jenny Trout's review of Handbook for Mortals, the first few paragraphs of which made me giggle. And which also contain a useful link to a write up of the whole NYT bestsellers list scam.

Yuletide nominations are almost over!

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:46 pm
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
[personal profile] dorinda
I definitely let time get away from me--Yuletide nominations end on Friday! (It actually technically ends at 5am Saturday morning, US Eastern Time, but of course I like to sleep Friday nights, so it'll have to be by bedtime on Friday night.)

Who else has nominated so far?

Only three fandoms, as usual. Hmm.

Okay, looking at the nom self-report spreadsheet, someone says they've nominated Almost Human, including John and Dorian. So that takes a load off my mind! And, happy surprise, someone who isn't me nominated Sinbad (TV), including Sinbad and Gunnar (and others). Whew.

Someone reports having nominated Space: Above and Beyond, which is a delight to hear--but, the characters they nominated were West, Vansen, Hawkes, and Damphousse. Without McQueen in some fashion, it's hard for me to get interested. {{{McQueen}}}

Someone reports having nominated the 1958 movie The Defiant Ones! So good, so upsetting, so slashy. I had a vague story idea for that once upon a time. Not sure I'd be able just to throw myself open to write someone else's request, especially given the historical context and serious racial issues one would perforce have to grapple with, but I'll keep it in mind.

I'm thinking I'll nominate Rejseholdet, since that remains so very rare still (even though I have had some wonderful stories written for me, which I wholeheartedly recommend! I am just also v. greedy. :D ).

Dare I gamble that someone else will nominate Master & Commander? (Or the O'Brian books, though I don't feel as confident when offering to write bookfic, for fear of people requesting het and/or Diana.) Maybe I should, just in case.

For a third, many choices jostle in my head. The Sting, of course, which is a best beloved (and also, being a movie, provides a nice short canon for people in a hurry, whether pinch-hitting or trying something new or whatever. :D). Shetland, though I'm not sure who else wants the kind of stories I'd want to offer/request (Jimmy/Duncan, anyone?)

A Trip to the Zoo

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:42 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
We went to the zoo yesterday and the British weather managed to mostly not rain on us.

Cut for photos )

wednesday reads 'n things

Sep. 13th, 2017 03:25 pm
isis: winged Isis image (wings)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol. Short graphic novel that is a bit darker than I had expected. Well done and a quick, entertaining read.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan, which is book 1 in the Trials of Apollo series. I didn't even know about this series until someone mentioned it in relation to the Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase books! I love how these book series interweave. Riordan's genius is in humor that is both silly and poignant, with heartfelt sentiment at its core. The god Apollo may be a total jerk, but as a human teen he is forced to confront his egoism and poor choices of the past, and maybe he'll come out of it a better, er, god. (Also, I am so pleased by the setup for the next book, and am anxiously awaiting my library hold to come through!)

What I'm reading now:

I'm still sort of poking at Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, but if it doesn't grab me soon I'm ditching it.

I'm also somewhere in the middle (I have no idea how far in I am, really, because my waterproof mp3 player has no display) of Airborn by Matt Cruse, which is reminding me more of Steampunk Tom Sawyer than anything else. I'm enjoying it, though some of the events (the volcano that happens to start erupting as they go by!) make me roll my eyes.

What I'm reading next:

I have a couple of things people have mentioned nominating for Yuletide on my phone to check out. Also, I may give in and read the last of the existing Expanse books. (But then there won't be any more! Not for a while!)

What I just finished watching:

Finally saw Ex Machina, which I mostly liked but really, I wanted more scenery porn. Apparently it was filmed in Norway. Beautiful! Oh, yeah, AI robot plot and mad scientist type, whatever.

We are thinking of starting Westworld, speaking of AI robots.

What I'm playing now:

Still Dragon Age: Origins, which continues to be excellent entertainment. I have a golem companion now, who is a hilariously sarcastic pigeon-hating pile of rocks that is good at bashing enemies. Also I can't manage to make my character be anything other than basically lawful good. I am terrible at choosing objectively awful responses to things, even when they look like they might have interesting results!

What I'm playing next:

I bought the second Witcher game for $3 from a Humble Bundle promotion, so I will give that a try next.

So. much. TV.

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:12 pm
swan_tower: (*writing)
[personal profile] swan_tower

I watch a surprisingly large amount of TV these days, because there is so much out there, and so much of it good. But I wind up almost never posting about any of it, because I have all these thoughts and then I don’t get around to writing the big long in-depth post. In lieu of that, have scattershot thoughts about things I’ve watched in the last year.

* I didn’t like the second season of Supergirl quite as well, due in part to me having zero interest in Mon-El. But man, that show is not remotely shy about wearing its politics on its sleeve, with episode titles like “Resist” and “Nevertheless, She Persisted” and plots about protecting resident aliens from attempts to deport them. So even though they have the occasional episode where everybody is phenomenally stupid in order to give Mon-El a chance to look smart (seriously, that one was so bad), it is balm to my soul.

* Frequency has hooked me surprisingly fast, with some good dialogue and a clever twist on what might otherwise be a bog-standard serial killer investigation plot: because the SFnal conceit is that the cop heroine is in communication with her cop father twenty years in the past, when she has him follow up on a lead, half the time she winds up changing the evidence out from under her own feet, e.g. going to a suspect’s house only to find out that in the new timeline he moved away nineteen years ago. Also, it turns out to be based on a film — but among other changes, they turned the father/son setup into father/daughter instead. Woot! Sadly, because everything I like gets canceled, there’s only thirteen episodes of it. (Currently we’re seven in.)

* The Defenders was decent, but distinctly uneven, in no small part because my god Danny Rand is just. not. interesting. (As I said on Twitter a while back, Iron Fist bored me so intensely that I didn’t even get far enough in to hit the unfortunate racism.) And unfortunately, he’s kind of at the center of the plot. On the other hand, watching the script take the piss out of him at absolutely every opportunity was kind of entertaining. And you could make a fabulous montage just of the reaction shots from Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

* I have no idea what they’ll do with the second season of The Good Place, but dude, somebody made a comedy show ABOUT ETHICS. Like, actual philosophical discussions of what constitutes ethical behavior and how the various models of that differ. I am so there. Again. (I can’t believe it got a second season.)

* The Musketeers is far more entertaining than I expected it to be (though admittedly, my expectations went up when the opening credits told me it had Peter Capaldi). Of course it bears only a general relationship to the novel, being an episodic TV series, but it doesn’t have to warp the concept too far out of shape to work; the basic engine is the running political conflicts between the King’s Musketeers and the Cardinal’s Guards, with invented incidents to keep that rolling along. Capaldi is an excellent Richelieu, obviously scheming and ambitious without being a one-note villain (sometimes he and the Captain of the Musketeers work together). And the episodic format gives them some time to explore the individual characters. Much to my surprise, Porthos — usually my least favorite of the set — is really good here, in part because the actor is black and that is relevant to the character’s life story. A Porthos with depth, rather than just being the drunken comic relief? What is this madness??? Also, it’s doing reasonably well by its female characters, including making sure that the invented incidents have women in them, so you’re not limited to the recurring trio of Constance, Milady, and the queen. Yeah, okay, so I’m pretty sure Constance bears only the most passing resemblance to her novel incarnation — but since I like this version of her and have no particular attachment to the novel incarnation, I’m fine with that.

* Ascension was interesting, but flawed. Basic concept: A generation ship got sent out in the ’60s and is now halfway through its 100-year-journey, with tensions rising. The worldbuilding was intriguing, even as I wanted to beat characters about the head for some parts of it (seriously, who thought class stratification in a society that small and enclosed was a good idea?), but the end felt like it was a cliffhanger for a season 2 that, as near as I can tell, not only doesn’t exist but was never intended to.

* I feel like the seventh season of Game of Thrones was distinctly better than the sixth, transit time silliness notwithstanding. It registered on me as a better balance of major plot movement and the little dyadic interactions, which have always been one of the show’s strong points: the writers’ ability to put two characters together and have a fabulous scene happen, whether the flavor is hilarious banter or a flaming train wreck. Plus, Olenna Tyrell may have claimed the title of Most Badass Moment for the entire series. I mean, it was horrible. But it was also this phenomenally powerful, vicious interaction that played out as a quiet conversation between two people alone in a room, without any action spectacle whatsoever. Kudos.

* I enjoyed the first season of Lucifer, but the second took off like a rocket. Seriously, were the writers on a sugar high all season long? They just cranked everything up to eleven, and the result came to life for me in a way the earlier episodes hadn’t. I’m sad they lopped off the last couple of episodes to put them on the beginning of season three, because it meant I got less of what I was enjoying last spring, but from a narrative standpoint I can absolutely see why they did. That comes back in a few weeks and I’m looking forward to it.

* Also, more of The Librarians. One of the few things I fell in love with that hasn’t gotten canceled, even if I don’t think the third season was quite as good.

Has anybody else been watching these? Any recs for shows you’ve been enjoying? I’m primarily interested in stuff that is either SF/F or historical, and skewed more toward the “fun” end of the spectrum than gritty greasy grimdark. I am almost completely burned out on police procedurals, unless they’ve got a strong metaplot or a substantial twist from the usual model.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
I made a quick marinara sauce by browning the hot Italian sausage I bought yesterday, adding a 28oz can of crushed tomato, garlic, dried oregano, a fresh bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. When it was finished and the pasta was al dente, I hand shredded the basil over the pasta, and then ladled on the sauce. It smells wonderful, and I will have delicious lunches all week!

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