Sep. 1st, 2016 05:10 pm
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I've been terrible about posting here, so I don't know if I'll be better elsewhere either, but like a lot of people, I have an imzy now:

Say hello if you have an imzy too, and if you don't, I have a whole bunch of invites that I'm happy to hand out to whoever wants one.

opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I wrote some fic because this video was too batshit to go without. (I know, somewhat belated, but that's just how I am. I.e. slow.)
i can feel it in my bone(r)s (1732 words) by opusculasedfera
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Gabriel Landeskog/Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Characters: Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nathan MacKinnon
Summary:Gabe's clandestine motel room sex kink never actually stops being ridiculous.

Also I've been showing Aria Due South, which is a fun rewatch. I'd forgotten what a different show it was in S1 and 2. Additionally, two random things I've noticed: has Jonathan Toews secretly been attempting to base his career on Mark Smithbauer? You know, what with the coming from the frozen north to bring hope to Chicago's shitty hockey team, and also the inability to not check small children to the ice in order to WIN FOREVER? Granted, he's yet to take money to throw a game, but he has taken all of their money in order to play, and he's definitely there on the stupidly playing through injuries front.

Secondly, and less amusingly, the Inuit stories are increasingly frustrating now that I know something about First Nations storytelling traditions and it's not just that it's sort of awkward that the writers made things up and presented them as First Nations wisdom, but also you're not supposed to tell these things without giving names of either who told you them or who's in them (unless asked not to) and it's just weird as hell because it goes against everything Fraser is supposed to be that he doesn't. Obviously, the answer is that the writers didn't give a shit, but it's now really jarring to me. :/
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No disappointment like discovering a new volume by an author you admire and then realising it's actually just a bizarre reorganisation of some of their previous work. I know why the publishers do this, but why on earth do libraries fall for it? I'm not even talking about publishing selections from an author's massive, hundreds of pages long corpus, which is perfectly logical, but making selections from two already quite short volumes, or even publishing something as selections from a single volume, which was already only about 200 pages long and has now been cut to the much more reasonable...150 pages. Don't the libraries have something better to spend their (as they keep reminding us) extremely limited budgets on, when they already own copies of every single word in this new volume, in formats that are no less convenient for even the average reader? Or at least hint in the description that it is, in fact, selections from this other book, so we don't waste your money ferrying the volume between libraries for me to find that out for myself.
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Absolutely loved Nicola Griffith's Hild. The beginning of a set of novels about the Abbess Hilda of Whitby, what we get here is Hild as a child who is supposed to be a seer, knows she is not, and nevertheless learns to give useful political advice to her uncle, one of many infighting kings in 7th century England. The politics are impressively drawn, as is the point of view, which remains firmly planted in space and time. Even when she's observing nature with pin-point accuracy and coming to conclusions that feel scientific, her frame of reference is still limited. She's not stupid, she never seems stupid, but she's working things out from first principles, it's not a surprise she only gets so far. Griffith is also very good at making sure that Hild isn't uniquely special in her ability to observe. She sees a little more than many because she has the time and inclination, but a large part of her skill is gathering information and putting it together: it's not that other people can't see, it's that they don't have the larger picture.

The thing I loved most was how much work we get to see everyone do. Women spin and weave constantly because it takes a long damn time to make anything. Hild is a seer and this means she has some different duties, but she also does all of the chores that women did in her period because royalty here still doesn't mean rich enough to do no work, it just means you don't have to do the very worst work. Designing your own weaving patterns is the fun part, and Hild knows that, even though she's also allowed to have moments when she's bored by textiles or doesn't feel like it right then. The other people around her are also allowed to have complicated feelings about work, while still knowing that work is important to keep everything from falling down! Gosh!

It's a fun read too, not just a Worthy Tome of historical accuracy about medieval work practice. Politics are going DOWN and because this is the 7th century, they're going down with some violence, and also some rapidly shifting allegiances. In some ways, I kept thinking that this is the kind of book GRRM thinks he's writing, with the complicated politics and the refusal to make a ballad out of the unpleasant task of cutting someone's throat, except that Hild doesn't just make the most unpleasant thing happen every single time there's a choice to be made, because people are assholes, but they aren't actually mustache-twirlingly evil. Also Hild knows she has no magical powers and is sighingly resigned to turning political philosophy into prophecy in a deeply endearing way. I'm looking forward to the next book tremendously.

I've also been enjoying the hell out of Allan Berubé's sadly small amount of historical writing (Coming Out Under Fire, which is USian queer people in WWII, and My Desire for History, which is collected essays) though he may have ruined me for more academic queer history. He has so many feelings! Which seems like a rude thing to say because his intellectual rigour is fantastic, and his research is thorough! But he's not trying to be the kind of formal writer who hides their perspective and it's really nice to hear about how much he cares about queer and labour history! It's not even that he talks a lot about his feelings on a personal level, but it's so obvious, even when he is writing about military policy, that he has an emotional attachment to the idea of queer communities, that it makes history written by people who are at pains to hide that attachment feel lacking.

I don't precisely mean to criticise people who are presumably attempting to get their work taken seriously by editors and academics who don't feel as I do, and it's not that they're being at all offensive, or that their rigour is substandard. These are not bad books. But Berubé did such a fantastic job of centering people in his analysis that it no longer seems adequate to begin with medicalised discussion of homophobia disassociated from even the people who propagated it. It just seems depressing to read now because I've had such a clear and well-presented example of how it could be done differently. Historians don't have to have affection for their subjects in all cases, but damnit, if we're going to get so many awkward biographers crushes on the deeply unappealing, then I want a whole team of Berubés with their affection and charm, and am terribly sad that he's dead and we will have no more of his incredibly compelling work.
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
The trouble with things getting very busy in a tedious work and family medical issues way is that when you return, you have zero interesting things to say to fandom and posting continues to not happen. I was doing sort of well with trying not to forget DW/LJ beforehand! Bah.

I did get my hands on Pratchett's Raising Steam's a Discworld novel. If you like those, you've probably already decided to read this one. If you haven't read any, don't start here, it's basically "I like trains and here are many characters I hope you're already attached to." I am, in fact, attached to many of them, so I won't deny that I enjoyed that bit, but otherwise, it's a little flat, though perhaps less so if you're already as devoted to trains as he clearly is.

However, let us discuss the strange things he's decided to do with gender lately. So Spoilers for both Raising Steam and I Shall Wear Midnight )
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Oh, Brooklyn Nine-Nine! You were doing so well! I was just having a conversation about how easy it would be for you to fix your minor flaws and you do this!

spoilers for s1e21 )
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I watched all the Brooklyn Nine-Nine that exists so far in about two days, so it's that kind of good. I am interested in the fact that it doesn't hit my giant embarrassment squick anything like as badly as it could have, despite being the story of a bunch of people who are very, very interested in embarrassing each other. This confuses me! Even Benton Fraser's refusal to be embarrassed by anything he did didn't always prevent me from cringing on his behalf! But everyone is so good at taking on the embarrassment, clearly hating it, and then moving the fuck on while actively demonstrating that there aren't consequences beyond people being a pain in the ass.

On a more general note, as everyone has already said, the show does a good job having a decently diverse bunch of cops who generally don't get to do horrifically illegal things on a whim. Being too cool for paperwork is an issue that fucks you over, even if paperwork is boring. You have to do just as many extremely boring cases as you do exciting ones, and it's all important work.

I could do with less Peralta, it's definitely not deconstructing the white cisdude=protagonist trope anything like as well as Community does, but at least there's a reasonable amount of screentime for all the other characters, who I mostly adore. I still think he wins just a smidge too often to get away with the shit he pulls, but at least he does get called out sometimes. Everyone else is pretty delightful (or if they're awful, usually the writers clearly agree), which does make up for it some.

I don't know if I could be fannish about it, but I could do with a regular 20mins of fluffy tv that generally doesn't make me angry.

Finished Dawn French's memoir, Dear Fatty*. Not a surprise that she's funny and charming and delightful, but I was particularly struck by her ability to tell funny stories about inexperienced sex had with entirely the wrong person in a way that was both humourous and not so caught up in making it funny that it sounds like she's never had mutually enjoyable sex in her life, which is an astonishingly rare skill in published autobiographical writing, for reasons I've never been able to fathom. Of course, there are also lots of fantastic showbiz stories and amusing family ones (and some sad family ones, told affectingly), and in general, recommended.

*Fatty=Jennifer Saunders, her comedy partner, and is an affectionate and consensual nickname. Not a book at all about weight issues, if that's a concern for you!
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A Good Head on His Shoulders and a Terrible Fucking Plan Anyway (2286 words) by opusculasedfera
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Michael Del Zotto/Steven Stamkos
Summary: It's hard to offer to blow a guy to take his mind off things when he won't admit that they're on his mind in the first place.

Wrote some reality-ignoring Olympics break fluff. The real question is, can I call it hurt/comfort? It was trying to be! They just failed miserably, in an entirely lulzy, non-angst way. Which matches up really well with all the other tropes I've started for trope-bingo that are mostly people failing to live up to the trope! The question is, could I do a full bingo of people failing to trope or would it be a handful of random fics, as per usual? Otoh, does that matter?
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I really wanted to make a nice rec post about Max Gladstone because I enjoyed his Three Parts Dead a lot, but I don't think Two Serpents Rise lives up to it. This isn't an anti-rec, but the first book was so good at building up this world of complicated magical/religious politics, magical essence as currency, corporate magic, gargoyles and social revolution (with multiple female protagonists to boot!) that it was a bit of a let down that the second book, set in a completely different city with different protagonists more or less felt the same as the other one, despite the first city being something more like fantasy!modern-Europe and this one being supposed to be fantasy!Aztec. There were some things that worked, like the local sports teams playing what were clear descendants of Aztec ball games, but the feel of the city suffered a lot in comparison to his first book because it was so similar so I'd seen it all done before. Sense of place isn't always the most important thing in a book, but it is a little bit important when it's a book about people running around trying to keep a city going, and when, for example, your cool magical gambling system seems to be used to play very typical European card games, you've missed a trick. There's a point to be made about colonialism if you're talking South American civilisation analogues, but I don't think he made it very clearly, and these were clearly flourishing Aztec-analogues who happened to have made European-analogue contact some time ago, not built off the current South American situation, so either colonialism didn't happen, or you actually have to explain why it turned out differently here. (It's secondary world fantasy, not an alternate universe, I should note, but nevertheless.)

Some of the issues, not Gladstone's fault. I assume he had nothing whatsoever to do with the pale guy on his book cover when he does describe the protagonist consistently as dark-skinned. On the other hand, I think it would have helped some if the fantasy!Aztec-ish protagonist wasn't called Caleb for no discernible reason, especially when it was something of a plot point that his father was a bit of a traditionalist. I mean, someone please correct me if this is in fact a false cognate, but I kept wondering why he had a Christian Biblical name.

Also, while I appreciate that the protagonist's best friend was a lesbian, probably you don't need to be quite so heavy-handed in how often she explicitly reminds him, especially when her girlfriend shows up a fair bit as a far more subtle hint, and especially when it turns out that we were being reminded eighteen thousand times so that in the end angry spoilers )

The first one I still like a lot, and I will probably read whatever he writes next, but it's a shame that this one wasn't quite as good when city politics over religion and the water supply with both considered equally important is so exactly my kind of thing. MORE URBAN PLANNING, LESS DADDY ISSUES, PLEASE.
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Just discovered that gmail has been helpfully marking lj comments as spam for no reason I can discern. >:( I'm letting the conversations in question lie as it has been a few months for most of them, but this is a general apology to anyone who thought I was ignoring them: sorry about that, I didn't see it.

Ridiculously, gmail has never once marked actual spam comments on my lj as spam email, but apparently long threads containing full paragraphs and complete sentences, it hates?
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
Why does everyone keep bringing up the fact that pseudophedrine can be cooked down into meth when they talk about Olympic athletes not being able to take it? A) Nicklas Backstrom didn't test positive for meth. B) Meth doesn't make you extra good at sports, so probably athletes are just taking pseudophedrine straight if they are taking it, instead of doing a bunch of chemistry first.

This is a perfectly reasonable thing to bring up if we're discussing why it's a controlled substance in general, but it doesn't actually make anyone's use of allergy medication more suspicious. He's not also running a meth ring, guys! Even if he was, it wouldn't actually make him ineligible to win a medal under the doping rules! (Any other rules, I'm not touching, but he's not running a meth lab, so it doesn't matter.)

...probably I should have some other takeaway from the Olympics than this, but not really, except for being angry on PK Subban's behalf. Also I want fic, but I think everyone knows that, so you should just talk to me about it already. ;)
opusculasedfera: Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in copper and blue Oilers uniforms hug on the ice after a goal. (hockey)
Edmonton, Apparently, Is (3831 words) by opusculasedfera
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Jordan Eberle/Taylor Hall
Series: Part 2 of Some kind of Ontario STD
Summary: More genderswap, in the interests of what I am choosing to call fairness.

Also, let us all begin planning the Olympics porn, as increasing numbers of photos come out of the single beds and multiple roommate arrangements, ditto hints at roommate combinations. Pretty much all I want out of the Olympics is unexpected ships, honestly. Well, and good narrative. I'm not very good at patriotism.
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I was going to make a post about being undecided about this season, but then episode five happened. So I'm pretty pleased about that. )


Jan. 20th, 2014 06:24 pm
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I have succumbed to the allure of a trope bingo card.

card )

Somehow I'm not sure I need pushing to write more wingfic, but everyone should come try to convince me to write things/discuss my options!
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
"One should not enlarge on one's animals - but I thought you might like to know what a charming pair [of cats] attend us."
-Sylvia Townsend Warner to William Maxwell

The life philosophy of the internet, is it not? Particularly when you know it comes at the end of a lengthy letter detailing her cats' charms: one of many in this small volume. I have been reading Warner and Maxwell's letters (the collection is The Element of Lavishness, edited by Michael Steinman) and they are most delightful. Literary - they began to correspond when he was editing her short stories in the New Yorker - but also a record of a warm and loving friendship. The writing is beautiful and they're funny and charming and just a joy to read. Much admiration to the editor because there must have been quantities of stuff cut out (they wrote constantly between 1938 and 1978 and yet the book is barely 350 pages, and no one could have achieved that degree of quality unceasingly, surely?) and it still feels like a smooth narrative without gaps. They talk about books and major political events of the period and family life, and it is all immensely enjoyable. Highly recommended.

And I wrote some fic:
Basic Lagomorph Persuasion (2892 words) by opusculasedfera
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Beau Bennett/Robert Bortuzzo
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Always a Different Sex, Crossdressing, Halloween
Summary: Robert's life is very difficult and this outfit doesn't even fucking fit. Because there wasn't nearly enough porn about their halloween costumes.
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I love pissy and inaccurate marginal annotations in library books. This one has angrily crossed out the "state" in "state school" to write "provincial", which is a sort of correct as the school in question is in Ontario, but the author is from the UK, is writing for a UK audience, and clearly means "government-run, i.e. not privately owned." GOOD JOB, ANNOTATOR.

Less inaccurate, but equally endearing are the people who correct typos in library books. It's just so entirely futile and certainly doesn't improve the look of the thing, and we never seem to be talking about misprints that entirely change the meaning of a sentence, but a 'the' transposed to 'teh' which, honestly, I am just as likely to miss entirely as the copyeditor did if you don't draw attention to it with your pen scribbles.

(Underlining and highlighting in public books on the other hand is a social evil, and I will have no truck with it.)
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
Cautiously pleased with this week's Community!

spoilers )

Definitely feeling better about everything than I was!
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How is it that after two days of sitting down to write this tropey porn, I have instead achieved only <2.5k of lead-in that wants to have issues in it?

Also way to not write the other porn that you wrote a bunch of lead-in to already.

On the other hand, the co-written WIP is now over 100k so everyone had better be really into Shea Weber's ridiculous feelings, I guess.
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I don't know how I feel about the latest episodes of Community. For me, Community works best when it's about a real community college, even a surreal one. One that has ridiculous classes because there's a mandate to try and boost enrollment and someone said "sailing!" and someone else said "Who's the Boss!" but those are still real classes where someone is trying to teach you something about media and tv via outdated sitcoms. I like a lot of the character changes they've done - Troy and Abed moving in together and adding Annie, Jeff having to adjust to not being a wealthy lawyer, Shirley actually moving toward her dream, for just a few - but I feel like the show is at its worst when it doesn't want to be about a community college (which is of course a different thing than being a community college that is additionally an extremely serious Pillowfort Battlefield, or Law and Order spoof.) Also, there's a difference between being aware that your college lacks prestige and funding while containing messes and bad paperwork, and a school actually being a nonsense.

spoilers )

What do you guys think?

Also, entirely unrelatedly, I wrote a thing:
Congrats on Your Everything (Not You, Jeff) (2359 words) by opusculasedfera
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Elias Lindholm/Ryan Murphy/Jeff Skinner
Summary: Porn, set after the Canes' Dec 6th game against the Sharks.
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
I've been listening to more podcasts recently, and I like the idea of the You Are Not So Smart one, but also I want a rule (in life, not just in podcasts) that if you are studying something anti-social that people do, you have to study the effects. Not just the specific instant responses, but long term effects. Hopefully this would prevent people like David Buss from genuinely saying, in response to a question about warning signs of jealousy that people can look for, "well, if you're being abused, you're in more danger of being murdered by your partner." I do believe that he doesn't think doing terrible things out of jealousy is good, but it's kind of astonishing to me that he can study this and genuinely think being cut off from your social circles or "having your self-esteem lowered" are just warning signs for murder rather than actual abuse in their own right with massive consequences, and it skeeves me the fuck out about his research if he can do this much work on abuse and not know this. THIS IS WHY NO ONE LIKES EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGISTS, BRO.

I am, however, enjoying Amanda Downum's Necromancer Chronicles very much. A+ lots of queer relationships! Well integrated socially too: it's not just one queer couple and a lot of talking about how no one minds, there are lots of past and present queer couples, and people discuss operas featuring a variety of different relationships. And trans* characters! Also spoilers for very excellent trope )

Plus complicated politics and magic and people who actually feel like they have long histories, not just in their most deep and serious relationships, but equally in people they've known casually for ages, or unimportant shit they've done, and that kind of thing. Highly recommended.


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September 2016



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