muccamukk: J'onn bends his head while Kara kisses his brow. (SG: Forehead Kisses)
Title: Vid: Brighter Than The Sun
Author: [personal profile] shinyjenni
Music: Colbie Caillat
Fandom: Star Trek (Beyond-focused, but all of it)
Characters: Everyone!
Rating: G, some fast cuts.
Summary: "Lightning strikes the heart", or, me/Star Trek OTP
Notes: It's just so happy! It makes me so happy! Also, I love "This is where it starts" over Uhura->Troi->Janeway.

Title: Savage Lovecast Episode 69: Pounded in the Butt By Savage Lovecast Episode 69 [Transcript]
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Edonohana
Fandom: Savage Love (Podcast) RPF/Chuck Tingle - WORKS
Characters: Dan Savage, Caller
Words: 2,100
Rating: Mature
Summary: Dan Savage: So you’re getting pounded in the butt by your own concept of linear time. Caller: Right. Dan Savage: What is that like? Caller: Well, Dan, it’s kind of confusing. On the one hand, it’s fucking amazing hardcore gay action. On the other hand, last month I was double-teamed by the sociopolitical implications of Putin influencing the American Presidential election in order to install a tiny-handed fascist Cheeto in the White House, and by the historical precedents of Trump’s demagogic takeover of America for the purposes of personal profit and destroying all the best ideals of our nation.
Notes: There's also a podfic.

Title: Welcome Home
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] ShibaScarf
Fandom:
Characters: Ted/Booster, Michelle, Rani
Words: 1,700
Rating: Teen
Summary: Ted comes back to life, courtesy of Waverider. Who the hell is Waverider?
Notes: I'm basically happy to read Ted/Booster fixits until I die. This is a great one.

Title: Rivers of Ankh-Morpork
Author: [personal profile] melannen
Fandom: Rivers of London/Discworld
Characters: Peter, Angua, Vimes, Lady Sybil, Nightingale
Words: 6,300
Rating: Teen
Summary: The Faceless Man miscalculates, and Peter Grant falls into a river. ...well, more onto a river, really. He may have bounced.
Notes: Fun crossover with a nice bit of h/c towards the end.
muccamukk: The silhouette of Sam as the Falcon cutting across other pictures of Sam. (Cap: Falcon)
What I Just Finished Reading
Reread a bunch of classic JLI as well as the 2004 run, which is still the same old mix of really funny, really sexist and often oddly touching.

A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, narrated by Bronson Pinchot
If you want to know about the astronauts of the Apollo Program, this is the best book I've read. It really digs into their lives and what it was like to work in space in that period. The book is funny and interesting, and covers a lot of the technical challenges, the training, and how the crews worked together.

It does not try to cover any other aspect of the Apollo Program. Mission Control is mentioned as a place that exists, but mostly in so far as the astronauts interact with it. An engineering team probably designed the rockets.

I would skip the long rant at the end about how modern NASA sucks, which seems obligatory in every Apollo book.

The narrator was a mixed bag. His dialogue was excellent and he often added a lot of humour, but he also did this breathless "They're going to THE MOON!!!" thing rather more than was needed.


The Burning Page (The Invisible Library #3) by Genevieve Cogman, narrated by Susan Duerden
The usual action packed adventures and daring do, with humorous asides from our heroine who'd frankly rather be reading a book and her winsome young draconic sidekick.

While this book certainly raised the threat level, and travelled to a number of exciting new locations, this one felt a smidge as though it were spinning its wheels. The big bad was ingeniously done, and I liked his evil plan, and the moral quandary it put our heroine in, but the ending felt a little pat. And for the first time in the series, Irene was able to say "because storytelling," which she'd managed to avoid previously. I also felt like Irene's relationships didn't really advance much, we didn't learn a whole lot more about the world building, and the love triangle that's shaping up is making me side eye. More winsome, less possessiveness, sidekick!

I still really enjoyed it, just not as much as the first two.


Apollo, the Race to the Moon by Charles Murray & Catherine Bly Cox
Very well written and enjoyable. Though it doesn't have room to be comprehensive, it gives good coverage to the program design that led up to Apollo with special attention to Mission Control. It's full of interesting and often funny stories, and weaves the technical challenges in very well. Doesn't cover the later missions basically at all. It also doesn't cover the astronauts, so pairs well with Man on the Moon.

Would read again.

Interesting with the two Apollo books, especially the Murray-Bly Cox one, I can see where the women from Hidden Figures fit in, but they really just aren't mentioned more than once in passing.

What I'm Reading Now
Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak on audio, which is wonderfully ficcy and angsty (he forgot his boyfriend! He has magic powers?), which I'm reading as a break from Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius by Marc Seifer which is really dry, though is narrated by Simon Preable, which is always nice. Some day I will finish reading Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear: Russia's War with Japan by Richard M. Connaughton, though today is not looking good for that.

What I'm Reading Next
I'm going to try read one book a week for Black History month. I have a bunch on Audible, and more on the shelf.
muccamukk: Jaime's family laughing and hugging him. (DC: Family hugs!)
Title: Stuck on the Flip-Side With You
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: DC Comics (Justice League International) (Ted/Booster)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 4,500
Notes: written as a pinch hit for [archiveofourown.org profile] HSavinien for [tumblr.com profile] boostle-giftathon. Thank you to Kore for beta reading.
Summary: Bad enough that Ted's Hooray-I'm-Not-Brainwashed trip to Paris lands them both in Antarctica, but why does Booster have to be sulking?

The other four pics and stories are super cute as well. You all should check out the collection.
muccamukk: Wanda of Many Colours (Marvel: Scarlet Witch)
[personal profile] resonant asked: What do you remember about the first comic you ever read?

The first serialised comics were probably in the papers, and we only got the papers our groceries were wraped in, and we only get groceries once a month, so following say Prince Valiant was definitely a lost cause.

At some point my brother got a subscription to Nintendo Magazine, which had a monthly instalment of what I can only imagine was a deeply middling comic about either Starfox or Super Mario Brothers, depending on the month. I remember reading these out loud to my mother, who displayed an unusual amount of patience with this project, probably because I wasn't reading much yet, so she was happy with whatever I chose. The actual content... they rescued Princess Peach? Yoshi only said "Yoshi" and was my favourite. The Starfox one had a scene where Falco had to knock out Starfox to keep him from going on a mission (or the other way around?) that appealed to my burgeoning h/c fascination. Otherwise, I got nothing.

The first superhero comic I read was an Essential X-Men I got from the library after seeing the first X-Man movie and falling madly in love with Rogue. It was probably one of the '70s Claremont runs, and I remember mostly being confused by all the characters, but liking the team dynamic. There was an issue where Kurt went to hell, which was suitably angsty, and made me happy to see him in X2. There was also the famous scene where Magneto is about to kill... everyone? Something, but he sees that he's injured Kitty Pride and repents. I liked the art, which being Essential was all black and white and clean bronze-age lines. Storm and Professor X looked enough like their movie versions to satisfy me. The second or third fic I wrote was a Rogue&Wolverine h/c tag to X2, but I was a still movies only fan.

I didn't go back to comics until someone lent me the collected Frank Miller Batman books in about 2005. I dipped my toe into that fandom, then backed slowly away. (I think War Games was the event that summer, and I was impressed by the feminist rage surrounding it, but nothing made me want to get into comics.) Marvel eventually sucked me in for good with Captain Britain and MI:13.
muccamukk: Ray and Mick sitting in a car, not looking at each other. Text: Feelings? Yes. (LoT: Feelings?)
Hiatus is killing me, man. Come talk to me about my show! Pretty please with feelings on top?

I don't know, just anything: Favourite characters, moments you loved, fic you want, fic tropes that drive you nuts, ships you want to happen, ships you don't want to happen, best character interaction beats, time periods you want to the team to visit, missing scenes you wish we'd seen, fanon, pet theories, speculation. Whatever.
muccamukk: Ray and Mick sitting in a car, not looking at each other. Text: Feelings? Yes. (LoT: Feelings?)
Happy Thanksgiving to US folks. Hang in there, eh?

Watched Spotlight by myself, and thought it was very good, well written and acted, and let the story speak rather than over dramatising everything. It was already very dramatic! It was about a story I remember hearing about, but didn't remember the details of, so educational as well. Nice to see McAdams in a serious role.

Watched the first Blade movie with Nenya, which I don't actually think I'd seen all of before. Hey, remember when Marvel movies starred black actors and were violently anti-authoritarian? (I'm actually mildly shocked at how anti-police stuff could be in the '90s). Enjoyable, but bloody. Will probably check out the sequels at some point. I remember Trinity having a fandom.

Rewatched Star Wars: TFA with Nenya, which is still like Basket of Kittens: The Movie.

Still loving Class, still don't have much to say about it, though I'm sad there's only two more episodes. I hope it gets another series. It's the first time in a while I've really loved a Doctor Who property.

Finding both by DC shows a bit frustrating. I liked the '80s episode of LoT, especially the subplot with Todd which fleshed Amaya out a bit, but I'm seriously allergic to Westerns, and wanted to set that episode on fire, except maybe the Captain Sara stuff. It was really out of continuity for Mick, and just... Westerns. Ugh. *wanders off muttering about genocide*

Over on Supergirl, I'm loving the Alex plot, liking the J'onn plot, but feeling irritated with most everything else. Spoilers up to 207. )
muccamukk: Sara in a beret and a lot of diamonds glancing back over her shoulder. (LoT: Undercover)
Title: Free Hugs
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Daylight
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow
Characters: Mick, Team
Words: 1700
Rating: Teen
Summary: Five times someone hugged Mick and one time he hugged someone else.
Notes: For those who want more hugging: a solution. I'm especially fond of the Rip scene, but they're all lovely.

Title: Breaking the Cycle (Two Birds of Prey)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] navaan
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow
Characters: Sara/Kendra
Words: 2,400
Rating: Mature
Summary: The steps that took them there had been the opposite of destiny. Perhaps that was why they had forged stronger ties. Get Together and Future!Fic
Notes: I know this ship has sailed, but I remain entirely fond, and of this AU, which is lovely and does what I always wanted to happen with Kendra, and has some great set up for comics fans.

Whew, that me caught up to last time I did recs. People are writing fic! Some of it's even for my pairings <3 <3 <3
muccamukk: Dressed for the 1860s, standing in a field, Sara stares of at the sky in exasperation, while Mick watches. (LoT: Here We Go Again)
I'm continuing to really like this season of Supergirl. I think they're doing a log of necessary set up if they're changing themes, and I like the new characters. The big change they're doing this year as talking about aliens as immigrants, and to do that, they have to comment on aliens being criminals and/or terrorists all last season.

Spoilers )


Meanwhile, over on LoT, tptb have given Mick/Ray shippers a mighty gift. Well, four mighty gifts. Sometimes rarepairs strike it big. Spoilers )

Yes. This.

Nov. 3rd, 2016 11:16 am
muccamukk: Supergirl determinedly flying forward. Text: "Here we go again!" (DC: Here We Go Again)
There's a new Wonder Woman trailer out. My reaction was to get slightly teary in the way I get when Éowyn takes her helmet off and says, "I am no man." Or any of the other iconic woman in armour scenes, like Alice leading the army in the otherwise pretty terrible Tim Burton movie. There's some kind of very fundamental lizard brain recognition happening, that goes, "Hello, old friend. It's been a while." I blame being raised on fantasy by women in the '80s and '90s, and then not seeing that much since.

I also realised that the release date has been pushed forward to 2 June 2017, which means I'll get to see it when it comes out!. I'm going to be in town in late May anyway (another wedding). End of June was out of the question, but arranging to be in town the next weekend. Sure! I can do that.

Now step the fuck up, Marvel.

TV Reviews

Nov. 2nd, 2016 03:49 pm
muccamukk: Sara in a beret and a lot of diamonds glancing back over her shoulder. (LoT: Undercover)
I'm enjoying Class a hell of a lot more than I've enjoyed Doctor Who in a very long time. I pretty well love everyone in this bar, and think there doing some very interesting things with the story. Also, hey, a cast of of six with exactly zero straight white dudes. Huh.

I don't have many episode-specific thoughts, but would like to see more tie ins to known Doctor Who stuff. Can we get Jo Grant? She's great.

Behind on Supergirl.

Legends of Tomorrow 2x03 - "Shogun." You know, as soon as I saw the title, I went, "Oh, god, here we go," and this episode was pretty much exactly that, or possibly slightly worse. Spoilers )
muccamukk: Sara in a beret and a lot of diamonds glancing back over her shoulder. (LoT: Undercover)
I made an icon.

Anyone else feel like between Sara's existing queer lady action and CW's A New Gay Every Season promise that DC TV may be rubbing the MCU's nose in it a bit? Like is Jeri the Hot and Amoral Lawyer still the only canonically queer character over there? I'm behind on AoS.

So you know how they said they were going to make LoT "More serious" this year, and I was all worried. HAHAHA! Well, they did not. I mean, in the first episode alone spoilers )

Meanwhile, over on Supergirl network mandates have struck, some for good, some for ill. Spoilers )

Looking forward to next episode, which I guess I'll see tomorrow. Yay! Shows are back!

2 LoT Recs

Sep. 22nd, 2016 06:51 am
muccamukk: Constance smiling and looking completely adorable. (Musketeers: Cutest!)
Title: just because it burns
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Liu
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow
Characters: Ray/Mick
Words: 2,900
Rating: Teen
Summary: Mick could never quite explain why he was so drawn to fire. Ray never really understood where his life-long nightmares about burning came from.
Notes: A different take on reincarnation than the shows, but one I really like. I love the tentative connection that starts to grow, and the writing is lovely.

Title: Unholy Matrimony
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Sholio
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow
Characters: Team
Words: 500
Rating: Teen
Summary: Rip keeps a running tally of how many times each person on the Waverider has managed to get themselves accidentally married and/or betrothed in various time periods. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.
Notes: Hahahaha. Oh God.
muccamukk: Apollo and the Midnighter kissing in space. Text: The End. (DC: The End)
Title: And All Through the Dungeon...
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow (Ray Palmer/Mick Rory)
Rating: Teen (various public sex acts, sadly not participated in by our heroes)
Word Count: 1,700
Notes: Written for [community profile] fandomgiftbox 2016. Thanks to Nenya and Wren for beta reading, etc.
Summary: "Just because you're here with me," Mick growled, "doesn't mean we're together. Got it?"

"Sure, Mick," Ray said, the same as he'd said when Mick had told him, "This doesn't mean I care," after walking two days through a sand storm to save Ray from pirates.
muccamukk: Joan Watson highlighted in purple and black. (Elementary: Joan)
What I Just Finished Reading
The Food of a Younger Land: The WPA's Portrait of Food in Pre-World War II America edited by Mark Kurlansky
The editor found a stash of unpublished WPA files about food culture, and put them together as a shorter book. I read the North East Eats section, and then sort of skimmed the rest. The South part was pretty damn racist, which we were warned for, but there was also a wall-to-wall sketchy treatment of Native Americans, as so many traditions were casually looped back to early America, and well... Anyway, interesting as it went, and some good recipes and history, with the occasional humour bits, but probably better read a bit at a time rather than straight through.

"The Year of the Crocodile" (Cyclone #2.5) by Courtney Milan
(I'm puzzled by the numbering as #2 isn't out yet). Short story about Blake and Tina's parents meeting for Lunar New Years. This was hilarious, and exactly what I needed to read on a down night.

Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe, narrated by Donna Postel
Detailed and insightful look into the lives of three non-combat soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq during the recent wars. I liked how the book covered how they integrated into the military, their service and what happened to them after the got home. Lots of things to think about.

Status Update (#gaymers #1) by Annabeth Albert
Made of 100% fluff, and very enjoyable for it. Manic Pixel Dream Boy rescues archaeology professor from the closet. It was cute and often funny. The ending dragged on far too long, and could have used fewer dogs.

Midnighter Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando
Midnighter is almost as good a go to for wanton violence and gore as Ares, though also more gay, which is nice. This had a pleasing amount of carnage in it and at one point the Midnighter kidnapped Dick Grayson to go on a coffee date and then they ended up handcuffed together, which was not the least slashy thing I've ever read.

The plot was pretty nonsensical, but I'm not super invested in that. As a long term Authority fan, I've got to say "The Midnighter Dumps Apollo in Order to Find Himself" is a little played out, especially since we never seem to get an Apollo book out of all that.


Do Shut Up, Mister Simms by Rachael Acks
Absolutely charming novella about the dashing steampunk captain's stalwart right hand man, and the adventures he really doesn't want to be having, especially not with his captain's love interest (entirely incidentally, the captain and the love interest are both women). Very funny and enjoyable. Unfortunately it's the last in a series and while it reads fine on its own, I can't seem to find the rest of the series anywhere. I gather the publisher went under. (I e-mailed the author, and she said that she was waiting on a new publisher. So I've subscribed to her mailing list and will hopefully pick them up when they're out.)


Lost Recipes of Prohibition: Notes from a Bootlegger's Manuall by Matthew Rowley
I could have used more text and fewer pictures of illegible pages from history, as the actual content was probably about fifty pages, but this was still a fun, light and often interesting read. It probably wasn't news to people who know a lot about the Prohibition in the US, but I learned a lot about the technical side of bootlegging.

I appreciated that the author didn't just lean on his found manual, but pulled recipes and techniques from other period books, and tried to translate how they worked (or didn't!) into modern terms and explained what the originals actually meant. I'm not invested enough in cocktails to start making ingredients, but still enjoyed it.


Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices #1) by Shelley Adina
Steampunk novel about the daughter of a Marquises who doesn't want to be a proper lady, but wants to go build steam engines. I lasted twenty pages, and failed to care. I think I got it for like a dollar though, so oh well.


What I'm Reading Now

Just started Icon (Persona #2) by Genevieve Valentine, which I'm enjoying so far, though it's been so long since I read the first one that I've forgotten a lot of the politics.

Still listening to an audiobook of A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, which almost everyone I know didn't like (except [personal profile] likeadeuce?), but I'm really enjoying. I think it does better on audiobook, where you can just let it flow by all lyrical and stuff, and not worry that plot is occurring at and exceptionally slow rate, if at all. I'm also enjoying all the religious conflicts and plotting.


What I'm Reading Next
I'll be in town, so something off my e-reader? Probably finally getting to the new Martha Wells book (which I've been saving), and maybe continue my alphabetical by author treck through the contents. Saladin Ahmed next, at least.

LoT Rec

Sep. 14th, 2016 10:13 pm
muccamukk: Kate kissing a smiling Ranee's shoulder. (DC: Shoulder Kisses)
Title: i'm a little mixed up, but i'm feelin' fine
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] pirateygoodness
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow
Characters: Sara/Kendra, Ray/Kendra
Words: 5,700
Rating: M
Summary: Kendra kisses Sara and it feels inevitable, like they’ve been orbiting towards this since the Waverider abandoned them here.
Notes: Another Stuck in 1958 fic, which is one of my favourite genres! This has a great balance of grumpy, angry Sara who hates that period, and really smoking sexual tension with Kendra. Does contain infidelity.

Here's some really pretty Kendra/Sara art, too. If you like that pairing.
muccamukk: Cap pulling Iron Man to his feet. Text: "Help you stand." (Marvel: Help You Stand)
For the Imzy Multifandom Drabble Exchange:

drabble: On Contemplating the Figure of a Wounded Partner (AO3)
Legends of Tomorrow: Gen (Martin & Jax), Teen.
Prompt: Firestorm h/c (someone gets kidnapped/hurt again?)

drabble: Far Seers (AO3)
The Lord of the Rings Books: Pre-LotR, Het (Denethor/Finduilas), Teen, character death.
Prompt: Denethor/Finduilas: fighting the long defeat.


Title: Shellhead and the Captain
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Marvel Fairy Tales (Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, OC)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 1,100
Notes: Written for [tumblr.com profile] Lilian_Cho's beautiful tiny reverse bang art Somewhere Between Reality. Also for my Stony Bingo free square. There is a canonical Avengers/Peter Pan fusion. I love comics.
Summary:As Stevie watched the sea turn purple and pink and orange as the sun rose and the morning came, he noticed a boy flying beside him. Or, how the Captain met his first Lost Boy.

Nenya: To be clear, you want to do a 500-word fill for a picture prompt on tumblr, so you're reading J.M. Barrie in the original Klingon?
Me: TRB has a 250-word minimum.
muccamukk: Steve and Tony standing side by side looking into a blue background. (Marvel: Into the Blue)
Title: What I Wouldn't Do For You, Baby
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Legends of Tomorrow (Ray Palmer/Mick Rory, Team)
Rating: Mature (violence, etc)
Word Count: 5,000
Notes: Written for as a pinch hit for [community profile] rarepairfest 2016. Thanks to [tumblr.com profile] MassiveSpaceWren and [personal profile] healingmirth for 11th hour beta and comments.
Summary: Mick's undercover, and Ray's trying to be helpful, but neither of them is sure how that led to pretending to be a couple.


Title: Just Dreaming of You
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Marvel Adventures: Avengers (Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, OC)
Rating: Teen, some blood, some vampires.
Word Count: 1,800
Notes: Written for [tumblr.com profile] MassiveSpaceWren's gorgeous tiny reverse bang art The Alluring Scent of Iron. Also for my Stony Bingo square: "I Hate Magic."
Summary: Figured that Steve showing up in Tony's lab just in time to help with minor-explosion clean up and possibly make out was far too good to be true.
muccamukk: Supergirl determinedly flying forward. Text: "Here we go again!" (DC: Here We Go Again)
The Last Witch Hunter trailer.
Nenya: A) when is it in theatres? and B) so this is the one where Vin Diesel got to do his live action D&D campaign?
Me: A) Now, B) yes.

We saw Supergirl when it leaked and both really liked it. Mean to rewatch now that's it's officially out though. It was silly but had a good heart and a good cast, so I'm there.

Speaking of silly, a bunch of nonnies over at FFA are doing a reread of those middle-grade Star Wars prequel books, the ones about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan back in the day. If that's the kind of thing you're interested in, copies have been made available. Here's the thread for book two, which is as far as they've gotten.

The Rising Force (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice #1) by Dave Wolverton
I'm not even going to rate these. Are they literature? Not exactly. Are they extremely satisfying h/c-laden idtastic comfort reads? You bet! I've read this book three times in the last ten years, and it never gets old.

This is the one where Qui-Gon won't take Obi-Wan as his apprentice and they're both sad about that, and have many feelings. Then there's pirates and dragons. And they can feel each other via the Force! But they still can't work together! Because feelings!

The Dark Rival (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice #2) by Jude Watson
Still not rating these.

This one dragged a bit, but it was the one where we get the tragic backstory of Qui-Gon's tragically broken tragic heart, so it was pretty satisfying on that level. Plus Obi-Wan was kidnapped and had to escape from slavery. And the title character was hilariously evil.


The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I kept meaning to give Jemisin another go (having disliked 100,000 Kingdoms), possibly from the library, but then I saw the map she posted on her blog, the fantasy map with the tectonic plates, and that bumped the book up from "Maybe someday," to "Buy it when it comes out!"

I'm so glad I did. This whole book is absolutely breathtaking. There's so much going on here, but it never seems busy or over run with plot, and though almost every chapter gives the reader another chunk of information, and often another game changer, the plot and pacing flow incredibly naturally. I think it is at heart an incredibly character driven story, even though it's actually about the end of the world.

It's also pretty dark. The main characters spend most of their lives as slaves; there is child abuse (emotional and physical on page, sexual off page), body modification, coerced sex and rape, eugenics and genocide. For all that, I wouldn't call it a pessimistic book. It reminded me a lot of early Octavia Butler in how it looked unflinchingly at the awful moral choices faced by slaves, but still didn't write off the human race as irredeemable.

It's also about science! I love science! I was cackling with glee at this science.

I also really liked the book's approach to diversity. There are many different ethnic groups, and there are inter-racial tensions and imperial connotations, but they don't map neatly on to those of our Earth today. There are also a couple of key bisezual characters and a transwoman, which is always nice to see.

Unfortunately, the book ends on something of cliffhanger, and the next book does not have a publication date. Argh!

(Seriously, someone give this book a Hugo.)
muccamukk: Delenn breaking the staff of the grey council. Text: Like a Boss (B5: Like a Boss)
This is such great fan art of Bree Newsome. Nice WW costume variation too. I always liked the Roman kilt thing (the name of which I look up every time I need it for a story, but which I cannot remember now. Looking it up again: probably pterugres.)

Now I need more coffee.

ETA: kettle boils faster when you turn it on.

Having aquired more coffee, one of the most impressive things about the Bree Newsome demonstration, other than how courageous she is, is how god damn careful she was. I mean, not just wearing a helmet and safety gear, so she didn't fall off and die, but her relation to the police. She's wearing such a tight outfit to keep out of the way of climbing, sure, but also so that she can't possibly be carrying a concealed anything. She has it filmed. She has a white guy helping her. She says multiple times that she's prepared to be arrested just as soon as she comes down. This is a black woman doing everything she can to make sure she's not going to get the crap beat out of her by the cops.

Like with Rosa Parks, it's the act that counts, sure, but there's a hell of a lot of planning and preparation that goes into it.

ETA2: I cannot practically get more library books, but when I can, I should remember these two:
The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow by Donnie Williams
The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
muccamukk: Faiza makes a bloody mess of some vampires. Text: "an unrepentant act of wanton violence and gore!" (Marvel: Wanton violence and GORE!)
I watched the first three episodes of Daredevil, about which I have mixed feelings. It's really violent, like blood everywhere and wow I did not need to see that compound fracture, that did not add to my day. Matt is torture happy, and it's in the magic alternate universe wherein torture gets useful information and results. Also, the first episode is wall to wall women in jeopardy, and the core cast is white and American while many of the gangs are foreign and/or PoC, though Ben Urich and the Night Nurse, who have been in one episode each, are black and black/latina respectively in this universe, and are both excellent. Also excellent is Karen, who is fierce and brave and needs a hug, and Matt/Foggy/Karen, which seems to be lifting out of Daredevil Yellow for their dynamics. It's ADORABLE. I also like Matt's relationship with his dad.

The relationship with the MCU is fascinating. I'd been wondering how something set in 2015 was going to sell Chelsea as a crime-ridden gangland, because, haha, no. So making NYC fall back towards 1980s crime levels as result of "the incident" wiping out a good part of the city is a cool touch. I'm happy to see normal people dealing with the fall out of the big budget stuff.

Nenya's more or less peaced out due to violence, but I'll probably trudge through that for the cute.

I read the first issue of Black Canary, which is both cute with great art and intriguing . I like the cast so far, and will probably stick with for a few issues. It's both a band AU, and an off shoot of regular continuity.

I'm a little less hot on the first issue of Justice League 3001. I liked all the Fire/Ice stuff of course, but I'm not sure why Lois is evil? And the gender stuff around Guy is kind of squiffy. Like, why don't they just ask Guy what Guy wants to be called? Instead they're arguing pronouns for humour value, and it's... not that funny. Supergirl next issue anyway.

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
Gorgeously written. Like, I don't know what's with modern litfic's war on the quotation mark, but there's passages in here that are stunning, and I could sort of feel the emotions of the characters like water pooling or boiling under the surface of the characterisation.

I really liked how the book dealt both explicitly and thematically with colonialism, and the range of voices that spoke to it, from different cultures, but also different genders and opinions. I loved how Viv, our Englishwoman wasn't shown as being modern, but a woman of her time, and how the story wasn't in the end about her redemption, but about Diwa and Najeeb and the people at the edges of the Empire.

Tying in Ancient Persia and Greece with the dying days of the Ottoman and British Empires gave it this wonderful pan-national time and place feeling, but Shamsie never let the book feel preachy, or artificial.

Excellent book, and I'll be looking for other things by this author.

(I actually got this because Dad ordered most of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist, which is why I love my dad. Expect the best from your elders!)


Bessie by Chris Albertson, narrated by Robertson Dean
Well, that was certainly comprehensive. I was mildly interested in Bessie Smith, mostly from a queer history point of view, though I do like her singing, and now I consider myself very well informed. (As an aside, was anyone in the classical blues/jazz scene and/or the Harlem Renaissance straight? Signs point to "no.")

The writing is a little dry, and Albertson seems to feel that since he spent thousands of hours listening to every one of Smiths recordings while working on remastering them for rerelease, he should tell us about each in detail. That sort of thing is probably more interesting to music buffs. We also get to hear quite a bit of detail about all of her tours, which makes the section covering the height of her career a bit repetitive. Plus the more or less endless profanity and domestic violence was a bit hard to take, though I'm glad the Albertson didn't smooth any edges, even if he left out the bit with the German Sheppard.

I did like the way Albertson went out of his way to lay out the context of Bessie's career, both in terms of what was going on with black culture and music industry practice, as well as comparing her to her peers and what was happening in their careers. I had some period knowledge going in, but this book did a good job of filling in areas I wasn't familiar with. I also liked how upfront Albertson was about the race divide between himself and his subject, as well as between himself and most of his sources, and how that could tilt the story, though he had done his best to work past it. He used Bessie's own words, and those of her contemporaries as far as he could, for example.

The narrator was mostly pretty good, and did us the favour of mostly not trying at regional accents he couldn't manage, but his sort of nasally rasp for women's voices did wear thin by the end.

(Albertson does not seem to have liked the movie. The only reference I could see to it on his blog was: "As for the HBO film, Queen Latifah's singing and Music Director Evyen J. Klean's instrumental setting lend an authenticity to the music that is rarely captured in biographical films and nowhere else hinted at in the rest of this crude travesty of Bessie Smith, her era, and her life." Which doesn't sound exactly positive. The movie certainly forced her life into a more conventional shape, giving her a third act breakdown that she didn't have, and making her more business savvy, less promiscuous and also less violent. I've seen bigger liberties taken with history, for sure, and the movie was written and directed by a black woman from Tennessee. I'm not invested enough to take sides on that scrap).


Mostly for my own reference, library list of doom. Agh. )

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