muccamukk: Boromir with a blue filter. (LotR: Boromir Blue)
What I Just Finished Reading
The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien, narrated by Christopher Lee
About 80% of my positive feelings about this are because of Christopher Lee reading the audiobook. He seemed to be having a good time, and I enjoyed listening to him. The other 20% is for a couple added characters and the general prettiness of Tolkein's writing. 0% is for Turin, who I've never liked, and this book makes even more unlikable. The entire story always struck me is completely pointless. I was never sure what the curse was meant to be? Was it just inflicting Turin on as many people as possible? The man had no redeeming features other than he was pretty and good in a fight, but all the decent characters kept getting in fights over him like he was the best thing ever. In any case, it was certainly a very effective curse. I don't know why Morgoth didn't just curse all his enemies and let them finish each other off.

Updraft (Bone Universe #1) by Fran Wilde, narrated by Khristine Hvam
Very different from the short stories I've read by Wilde (which tend to creepy), but still really enjoyable. I've never read a setting quite like this, and the details and practicalities of it seem very well thought out. I liked how the language shaped around the air world. The origins of the world aren't explained at all, but I hope future books will get more into what the towers are and where they came from.

The culture built on the world was shocking in its brutality. The contrast between the physical beauty of the place and the ruthlessness of the laws worked really well. As is usual for heroines of YA dystopias, our girl is the right person at the right place at the right time, but it worked for me here more than it often does.

Our Heroine was an interesting character. She was easy to identify with her ambitions and hopes, but was occasionally frustrating to read as she rarely seemed to think a proposition through and only felt moral quandaries when she came at them face to face. Which I suppose is not unlike many teenagers. She did seem to be learning by the end? (I'm not sure if this is an offshoot of an uncritical heroine or editing errors, but there seemed to be continuity errors where the same thing would occur to her for the first time more than once.)

Really looking forward to the next one.

Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington, narrated by Noah Waterman
This is essentially 100+ pages of pamphlet trying to raise funds for his school, and is thus relentlessly optimistic and positive. I think the only things he said he didn't like in the whole book were lynchings and unions.

I found Washington as he presents himself here somewhat difficult to relate to, but still found this book compelling. It's certainly an ode to bootstrapping and respectability politics, but on the other hand it's very hard to speak against the sincere effort the man put into doing as much good as possible, for as many as possible. At one point, he's asked what he does for fun, and he basically says that for fun he likes to get his work done early in the day so he can do more work later in the day. Which I believe. He seems to have married a series of workaholic women and produced with them an equal number of workaholic children. We hear very little about his interior life, though the sections about his anxiety and love of gardening were touching.

I'm very interested to read an outside look at his life, as so much of this book was positioning himself very deliberately in the political situation of 1900. Which was probably the most interesting part of the book, though I'm somewhat lacking on context.

(I'd queued up a bunch of these books for February, then ended up not listening to many of them.)

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells
Our Hero in this is a pretty standard Wells character: The lost young person with out a family or home, who falls in with a new group of people and has to decide who they are in relation to their new circumstances. We saw it with Moon in the Raksura books, and all the way back to Cade in The Element of Fire. This book crams a lot of emotional journey and backstory into a very small space, but when we meet the Murderbot (no name, no gender), it's already in the middle of its story, already traumatised, newly free, it mostly just wants to hang out and watch tv, and not interact with people at all ever. Given my recent brushes with depression, boy do I feel that damn Murderbot. The secondary characters are pretty vague and I mostly couldn't keep them straight, but I think that was mostly a sign of how little the Murderbot cared about them.

I've heard a couple different opinions on where the story goes from there (I was spoiled on the ending going in). It's certainly a different place from where I would have thought it was going to go, based on having read a fair bit of Wells, but for me the ending worked. It especially resonated with my interaction with depression and coming out of depression. I'm interested to read the next one.

(ETA: SPOILERS for this in comments)

What I'm Reading Now
Library: A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby with Mary Louisa Plummer. I'm somewhat stalling out as it's really bleak, but she's just gotten sober, so I hope the rest of her life will be less horrible.

Audio: Guest of Honor by Deborah Davis, about Booker T. Washington's dinner at the White House. Just started it, so far retreading Up From Slavery as context.

What I'm Reading Next
May continue my abandoned black history month reading and hit Souls of Black Folks on audio. Also library books.
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 [ 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.


Aug. 1st, 2016 10:46 pm
muccamukk: Susan in a white shirt with her uniform jacket slung over her shoulder, looking tired. (B5: Done with the day)
I come bearing recs. First among them the story I got, which was...

Title: First Memories - The Sensory Remix by Anon for Now
Remixed from: First Memories by
Fandom: Babylon 5
Characters: Susan/Talia
Words: 1,500
Rating: M
Summary: "Tell me about the first time we made love. I want to remember." "How–" Susan's voice can't quite make it there, and she has to clear her throat. "How about I show you instead."
Notes: Remixed from a bit of [community profile] fandom_stocking comment fic, and turned into something lovely and sensual.

Title: The Dating Rituals of Superheroes (The Role Reversal Remix) by Anon for Now
Remixed from: The Moon Don't Hang Quite As High by .
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Characters: Maria Hill/Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanoff, Tony Stark
Words: 5,100
Rating: Teen
Summary: In hindsight, when Maria asked Sam out, she shouldn’t have brought flowers or aimed for the traditional dinner invitation. After her first attempt failed, she shouldn’t have enlisted Natasha as a matchmaker.
Notes: Ahahaha. This is hilarious Avengers dating shenanigans with Maria attempting to woo Sam, and Natasha attempting to Be Helpful. A+.

Title: Pieced Together (The Memory Remix) by Anon for Now
Remixed from: Memories by .
Fandom: Babylon 5
Characters: Susan/Talia, OFC
Words: 2,400
Rating: Teen.
Summary: There are some things that Talia can't call to mind. But she remembers all the truly important things.
Notes: It's like I won the B5 lottery this fest. This is a gift fic for me remixed into a new and awesome fic! Huzzah! It's a look inside Talia's head after she got reprogrammed a bunch of times, and is now free, but still has the shadows of the Psy Crops messing with her head since she was wee. Creepy and excellent, with a very sweet relationship with Susan.

Title: Water by Anon for Now
Remixed from: Thirst by sophinisba.
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkein
Characters: OFC/OMC, Merry
Words: 2,000
Rating: Teen
Summary: Scenes from the last days of the war: a woman of Minas Tirith and the fountain in her courtyard.
Notes: Wonderful extra character and world building bit that Tolkien fandom does so well. I love her backstory and her interactions with canon. It's touching and real.
muccamukk: Rommie wearing a party hat and holding a noise maker. Text: "Warship" (Andromeda: War/Party)
I got some really lovely things. Lots of greetings and pictures and stuff, especially of lighthouses (so many lighthouses!), which was really great. Fandom is the best. Also, icons of naked ladies, lighthouses, a lighthouses, more lighthouses, even MORE lighthouses, and Misty Knight, a sweet Jess/Luke drawing, adorable Jess/Trish fic, adorable Brig&Liz&Three fic, a Sinbad/Gunnar drabble, a podfic of my Quantum Leap fic, and an Emma/Shalimar wallpaper.

I also wrote some things:

Title: Zen and the Art of Hair Maintenance (stocking link)
Fandom: Babylon 5 (Susan Ivanova & Delenn)
Rating/contents: G
Word Count: 275
Summary: Missing Scene from 2x07 "Soul Mates."

Title: Caught by the Light (stocking link)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien (Gimli/Legolas, Glóin)
Rating/contents: G
Word Count: 555
Summary: A lot of unexpected things happened at the Council of Elrond, but not even the Wise could have predicted this. (Soulmate AU)

Title: The Winter Soldier, in the Kitchen, with the Cybernetic Arm (stocking link)
Fandom: Highlander/Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Duncan MacLeod, Bucky Barnes)
Rating/contents: Teen (canon-typical violence)
Word Count: 795
Summary: Or, Five Times the Winter Soldier Killed Duncan MacLeod, and One Time Duncan Almost Killed him Back.

Title: Passing Fancies (stocking link)
Fandom: Doctor Who (River Song/Eighth Doctor)
Rating/contents: G
Word Count: 300
Summary: Snippet of River and Eight crossing timelines.

Title: Eight Notes from the End Times (stocking link)
Fandom: Jessica Jones (Jessica/Trish, Jessica/Luke, Malcolm)
Rating/contents: Teen (apocafic)
Word Count: 880
Summary: Jessica never expected to hear from Luke again, so it pretty well figured that this was what it took.

Title: Old Stars, Burning Bright (stocking link)
Fandom: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Original Character, Leia, Poe)
Rating/contents: G
Word Count: 810
Summary: The Resistance's newest pilot meets an old hand.

Title: Courting Gifts (stocking link)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien (Arwen/Éowyn, Arwen/Aragorn)
Rating/contents: G
Word Count: 1,025
Summary: Historically, the path to true love between Human and Elf never did run smooth.
muccamukk: Arwen in a white dress in the candlelight. (LotR: Evenstar)
Fandom Snowflake Day 4

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something.

So I'm working on this odd little ficlet thing for f_s, and around when I was going to bed last night, I was like, "Wait a minute, I remember Éowyn using thee/thou a bunch of times. Was she being archaic or familiar?" Which everyone else in this fandom probably figured out years ago, but had literally just occurred to me. So I poked through the books, and eventually found this from Appendix F:
Hobbits indeed spoke for the most part a rustic dialect, whereas in Gondor and Rohan a more antique language was used, more formal and more terse.

One point in the divergence may here be noted, since, though important, it has proved impossible to represent. The Westron tongue made in the pronouns of the second person (and often also in those of the third) a distinction, independent of number, between ‘familiar’ and ‘deferential’ forms. It was, however, one of the peculiarities of Shire-usage that the deferential forms had gone out of colloquial use.

[footnote]: In one or two places an attempt has been made to hint at these distinctions by an inconsistent use of thou. Since this pronoun is now unusual and archaic it is employed mainly to represent the use of ceremonious language; but a change from you to thou, thee is sometimes meant to show, there being no other means of doing this, a significant change from the deferential, or between men and women normal, forms to the familiar.

God bless Tollers and his footnotes. So the answer is both! I did a search for thee/thou/thy and it's interesting to see where it does pop up.

I'm excluding actual poetry, but I thought it was interesting who used it ceremonially and who used it familiarly.

Galadirel, Elrond and Arwen all send messages to Aragorn using thou, but it's probably a case of poetry.

Faramir: Recounts his dream of seeing the boat, saying, "Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir!" which probably falls under poetry too.

Éowyn: Both. She says to Théoden: 'Ferthu Théoden hál! Receive now this cup and drink in happy hour. Health be with thee at thy going and coming!' which is most likely ceremonial, but she also goes from using 'you' towards Aragorn to 'thou' when she's begging him to take her on the Paths of the Dead: 'Neither have those others who go with thee. They go only because they would not be parted from thee – because they love thee.'

Aragorn: Almost always uses you, especially when Éowyn is theeing and thouing, but once she's safely engaged he does say to Éowyn: 'I have wished thee joy ever since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss.' He also says to Faramir: 'That office is not ended, and it shall be thine and thy heirs’ as long as my line shall last. Do now thy office!' which is probably ceremonial since it's in the middle of a coronation.

Denethor: uses you to everyone all the time, except during the pyre scene, when he starts calling Gandalf thee/thou as though speaking to an inferior: 'Since when has the Lord of Gondor been answerable to thee?' and continues to do so until he dies. Proving that, if nothing else, he was slightly petty to the end.

Lord of the Nazgûl: Calls Éowyn thou, probably in the same speaking to an inferior line: 'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!' (He uses you when talking to Gandalf two scenes earlier.)

Mouth of Sauron: Same, initially, to both Aragorn and Gandalf, probably to annoy them, but then switches to you for the rest of the conversation.
muccamukk: A sunrise over the ocean. Text: Dawn Is Ever the Hope of Men (LotR: Hope)
Talk to me about Denethor as a character! ([personal profile] mithen)

Two caveats:
1) I'm only talking about book Denethor, because movie Denethor makes me want to stab myself in the eye, and I always skip his scenes anyway, so I can't especially comment on them.
2) I'm not going to try to defend Denethor's appalling treatment of his sons, because that was fucked up, man. I totally get people who just can't stand the character on any grounds because of it. I find him interesting because of his politics, his situation, and the way he interacts with the themes of LotR. (Though I have to say that his treating his sons the same way he resented being treated by his father, doesn't lessen the inherent tragedy of his story.)

To me Denethor always felt like a man in the wrong genre. His failure was a failure to hope against all odds, a failure in a belief in miracles. If he'd been in A Song of Ice and Fire, not The Lord of the Rings, he probably would have done a lot better.

It's not unreasonable that he gave up (though it was certainly wrong), given the pressure he was under, and had been under for at least forty years. As far as he could see, he had no allies, was surrounded by the enemy, with more enemy coming up the river, and further enemy massing in Mordor in case they survived this round; everyone and everything he loved was dead or dying, and it was his fault (all this underlined by several decades of off and on mental contact with Sauron), and yeah, no, done. Which is understandable, but wasn't what everyone else was doing. And as I said, I'm not excusing his actions, especially not in regards to Faramir, but I've always felt a good deal of sympathy for a pragmatic man who didn't realise he was in a heroic story.

(I mean, Gandalf and Faramir are like, Okay, so we gave the most powerful weapon in history to a four-foot-tall member of a peaceful landed gentry, and sent him and his gardener into the enemy stronghold. Don't worry! It'll be fine! And Denethor has some doubts on that score, for some reason.)

I also really like the horror aspect of how the book actually reads. We hear A LOT about Denethor before he shows up on page.

We see him first through Boromir's eyes, as the leader of an embattled city, and a master of lore, then through Gandalf's as a somewhat unfriendly man of little patience, who is beset on every side, but who has also literally read almost every book in Minas Tirith: “If indeed you look only, as you say, for records of ancient days, and the beginnings of the City, read on! For to me what was is less dark than what is to come, and that is my care. But unless you have more skill even than Saruman, who has studied here long, you will find naught that is not well known to me, who am master of the lore of this City.”

We again and again see Boromir's absolute faith in his city and by extension his father, and his desperation to protect both, that eventually drives him mad. And you can see the expectation placed on him, the eldest son of the city to save it at any cost. Théoden and Gandalf talk about Minas Tirith as a stronghold, and again treat Denethor as synonymous with that. When we meet Faramir, we see him talking about Denethor managing battles, Faramir talks about him sitting in his high chair, waiting for news, and again more or less treats him AS the city. He talks about Denethor's pride and loyalty to the city, and to his role as Steward. He's people and his line are talked about as hardy, wise and brave.

In the build up to meeting him, Gandalf talks to several layers of guards about the City, and it's pretty clear that Denethor is involved in every aspect of siege preparation. Finally, Gandalf says to Pippin, "Denethor is of another sort, proud and subtle, a man of far greater lineage and power, though he is not called a king."

So he's this fixture, like the city: immovable, strong, wise and very proud. When we meet him, Pippin immediately compares him to both Aragorn and Gandalf.

And then the cracks start to show, and it's horrifying, because he's the one holding the City together, and if the City falls, literally everyone on earth is screwed. Especially since it's from Pippin's point of view, there's this deeply terrifying, oh, god, the captain of this ship is losing it, and he's going to take us all down with us. And that to me is the fix of it, the fall is so much more powerful because of the set up.

I was talking to someone over on F_FA about what would have happened if Denethor had held on and survived the siege (with his mind intact, which isn't super likely given the extended use of the Palantír), and I honestly couldn't see it. Because he IS proved wrong about everything, miracles did occur, everyone was saved by the unlikeliest person imaginable, and I'm not sure how his pride could have handled Gandalf and Aragorn/Thorongil being right, and himself being wrong.

Plus there's the whole issue of Aragorn not having a legal claim to the throne, but very much having the support of the City, and having just helped save the world In Accordance With Prophecy, which I don't see Denethor doing that well with either, especially given their rivalry as younger men. I can't see him leading a side in a civil war, especially not at that point, but holy resentment, Batman. I think it would be very, very difficult for him to live in the same city with Aragorn, but at the same time I can't see him ever leaving Minas Tirith after giving his whole life to it.

That said, I'd be interested in reading that fic.
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (DW: Bookworm)
Re-reading childhood favorites - do you do this? And what where your experiences? ([personal profile] thady)

I think my childhood favourites were almost entirely Star Trek and '80s SF/F novels, which I would honestly LIKE to reread, but never seem to find the time. Here's three I've gotten around to though.

Star Trek: Best Destiny by Diane Carey
I loved this one as a kid almost entirely because it had one of my favourite tropes: I thought you were dead! In my favourite variation too, which is Father Thinks Child Is Dead. It also had father son bonding, of which I am fond. Hit it up recently for the h/c value, and found that I Carey's writing was a little more melodramatic and cliché than I'd remembered, but the h/c was still gold. If it read it for the first time now, I probably wouldn't like it as much without the nostalgia factor, but still enjoyed it.

StarBridge by A.C. Crispin
Entirely fantastic series about humans and aliens learning to get along. It was great then, it's still great now. I notice it being heavy handed a bit more, but eh. Would rec is as YA space novels to anyone. I need to get around to rereading the rest of that series.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I honestly get more out of this every time I read it. I love it passionately, and it never gets old. I could stand to read it again, actually.

Which is pretty good, but I'll admit that there are books I loved when I was younger that I more or less let lie because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like them as much, and why spoil the memory. The collected works of David Eddings and Mercedes Lackey spring to mind.

(Still lots of talking meme days left, if you like)
muccamukk: Han Solo, Leia Organa, C-3PO, Chewbacca watch from the bushes. (SW: We're Watching You!)
Title: Forty Leagues and Two
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Rating/contents: Teen
Word Count: 330
Notes: written for [ profile] bold_seer for [community profile] trickortreatex.
Summary: Between Pelargir and Minas Tirith, Aragorn waits.

The Hidden Past (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice #3) by Jude Watson
So this is the one where Obi-Wan almost gets his memory erased and Qui-Gon has an amazing amount of feelings about that. Also, it's Obi-Wan's birthday and Qui-Gon gives him a rock! Also, there's like a revolution and stuff, but that's not really what we're here for.

The Mark of the Crown (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice #4) by Jude Watson
Nice picture of Qui-Gon on the cover. Not much H/C in this one, but they did do a passable attempt at having a plot with court politics, so points there. Plus Qui-Gon leaves a thirteen-year-old in charge of an entire planet's electoral process, which was hilarious.

The Defenders of the Dead (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice #5) by Jude Watson
In which Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan get in a terrible life choices war which climaxes in betrayal, abandonment and a cliff hanger. Plus everyone on that planet is totally wacko, and there are a lot of feelings.

Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1) by Dahlia Adler
Not really my cuppa. I'm mostly reading this because there are supposed to be lesbians in the sequel, but on it's own it didn't do much for me. It wasn't the writing which was good, and the characters and their emotions were believable, but I didn't really buy into the scenario. The Hollywood stuff all felt pretty fake, and I'm not really down with anything where the female character spends the last act being berated about how she done him wrong.
muccamukk: Misty running hard. Text: Got to Go (Marvel: Got to Go)
Again, I'm Muccamukk over at NaNoWriMo, if anyone wants to be buddies. I'm making the rest of this fast so I can get to my word count.

[community profile] fandomgrowthexchange is looking for pinch hitters. That's 2k due by Friday, for those who haven't run into them before. I'm already working on one, but there's some good ones not claimed.

Here are some short shortfic recs from Trick or Treat exchange, by fandom:

The Queen of All the Living - Chronicles of Narnia, Susan Pevensie, G
At age sixteen, Susan Pevensie starts a girl gang.

A Beginning - The Lord of the Rings, Éomer/Lothíriel Éowyn & Lothíriel, G
Lothíriel surprises Éomer in the middle of the night before he leaves to go back to Rohan.

Off Color - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Illya Kuryakin/Napoleon Solo, Teen
Illya and Napoleon go undercover in a drag bar. Illya...tries to cope.

Just Us Three - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Illya Kuryakin/Napoleon Solo/Gaby Teller, Gen
Napoleon, Illya and Gabby find some time to celebrate together. (Illustration/art)

Taking Care of You - Marvel Cinematic Universe, Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson, Explicit
Fanart: NSFW (also involves bondage and pain play)

and then, and then - Pacific Rim, Mako Mori, G
It’s at the Shatterdome, they say, and so she goes.

Hallowe'en in the Delta Quadrant - Star Trek: Voyager, Tom Paris & Naomi Wildman, G
Tom volunteers to take Naomi Wildman trick or treating.
muccamukk: A sunrise over the ocean. Text: Dawn Is Ever the Hope of Men (LotR: Hope)
They passed Tarlang’s Neck and came into Lamedon; and the Shadow Host pressed behind and fear went on before them, until they came to Calembel upon Ciril, and the sun went down like blood behind Pinnath Gelin away in the West behind them. The township and the fords of Ciril they found deserted, for many men had gone away to war, and all that were left fled to the hills at the rumour of the coming of the King of the Dead. But the next day there came no dawn, and the Grey Company passed on into the darkness of the Storm of Mordor and were lost to mortal sight; but the Dead followed them.

Stern now was Éomer’s mood, and his mind clear again. He let blow the horns to rally all men to his banner that could come thither; for he thought to make a great shield-wall at the last, and stand, and fight there on foot till all fell, and do deeds of song on the fields of Pelennor, though no man should be left in the West to remember the last King of the Mark. So he rode to a green hillock and there set his banner, and the White Horse ran rippling in the wind.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day’s rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing
To hope’s end I rode and to heart’s breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!

These staves he spoke, yet he laughed as he said them. For once more lust of battle was on him; and he was still unscathed, and he was young, and he was king: the lord of a fell people. And lo! even as he laughed at despair he looked out again on the black ships, and he lifted up his sword to defy them.

‘We will come,’ said Imrahil; and they parted with courteous words.

‘That is a fair lord and a great captain of men,’ said Legolas. ‘If Gondor has such men still in these days of fading, great must have been its glory in the days of its rising.’

‘And doubtless the good stone-work is the older and was wrought in the first building,’ said Gimli. ‘It is ever so with the things that Men begin: there is a frost in Spring, or a blight in Summer, and they fail of their promise.’

‘Yet seldom do they fail of their seed,’ said Legolas. ‘And that will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again in times and places unlooked-for. The deeds of Men will outlast us, Gimli.’

‘And yet come to naught in the end but might-have-beens, I guess,’ said the Dwarf.

‘To that the Elves know not the answer,’ said Legolas.
muccamukk: Stacker and Mako evaluating candidates. (Pac Rim: Grading)
Leaked episode titles for Jessica Jones, and they fill me with JOY. Especially one. I bet you can guess which. I think the series is coming out in October/November/December, which is when many good things are set to come to pass.

I made a feed for Hakai Magazine ([syndicated profile] hakai_magazine_feed), because they post things about the sea and I like reading about the sea (Disclosure: I have a friend who edits for them, and probably know people who have submitted articles to them).

I also made a feed for The Seattle Review of Books ([syndicated profile] seattlereviewofbooks_feed), because I like books, and they post good links and essays as well as reviews.

[community profile] rarepairfest is looking for pinch hitters.

One day left to nominate things for [community profile] femslashex.

Listened to "The Many Deaths of Jo Grant" again. That may become my h/c pickmeup show. Also listened to a couple episodes of Merrison Sherlock Holmes, "The Six Napoleons" and "The Three Students" both of which were excellent.

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien, narrated by Martin Shaw
I have complicated feelings about this book. On one hand, I love getting so many of the stories behind the references in trilogy, and there are so many great snippets and character moments, like Heleth leading her people, and little interactions between family members. I haven't read it in fifteen years, and had forgotten how many great women there are. A lot of the language is very beautiful.

I had not forgotten how dreadfully dull other sections are, with long lists of family members with similar-sounding names (usually three to fie different similar-sounding names) and descriptions of places that don't even show up, and quite a few battles involve no characters in whom I hold any investment. The central story is sort of, "these people were cursed, and then the curse acted upon them and they all died," which isn't that interesting. Plus there's a lot of Daddy God Knows Best and ugly = evil and other toxic stuff from that era.

Having it on audiobook (which you can get legally for FREE!) really made a difference this time around. Martin Shaw does a great job at making even the dull sections as interesting as one can, and has A LOT of fun with everyone's voices and the sarcastic bits. I have it in printed version as well, so I can always look up the maps etc as I need to.

Lady Susan by Jane Austen, narrated by Harriet Walter, Kim Hicks and Carole Boyd
A couple of hours of light entertainment. I hadn't read this one before, and definitely enjoyed it as an audiobook. This production had different voices for the different letter writers, which made it feel more like a dramatisation, even though it just stuck to the text. All of the actors were very good.

The title character is of course a terrible person, but Austen often was at her most entertaining when she let awful people run a muck. Watching everyone else scramble to deal with Lady Susan, while Susan and her bestie planned to outsmart them all was Grade-A fun. I totally ship Lady Susan and Mrs. Johnson.

Unfortunately, Austen seems to have gotten tired of the story and sort of haphazardly finished it off. It just kind of ends, and doesn't have much of a conclusion, which was a bit disappointing. (As was finding NO femslash for this fandom).
muccamukk: River Tam piloting the Serenity. Text: Albatross. (Firefly: Albatross)
Title: Lies and Loaded Dice (The That's How It Goes Remix)
Remixed from: give or take a night or two by evewithanapple.
Fandom: Daredevil (Karen Page/Claire Temple, Matt, Foggy, OCs)
Rating/contents: Mature (contains implied/referenced violence against women, some wounds and blood, and some sex)
Word Count: 1,600
Notes: Thanks to Nenya for beta reading, and to Likeadeuce and Valtyr for support. I think my structure fell over, but oh well.
Summary: It's funny, Karen thinks, the situations I get into by trying not to back myself into a corner.

Title: Only Held by Gravity (The Chronal Navigation Remix)
Remixed from: A Star Among the Moons by theladyscribe.
Fandom: Firefly/The Lord of the Rings (Boromir/River Tam, OCs)
Rating/contents: Teen (contains some mental health issues, isolation, Doom)
Word Count: 2,700
Notes: Picked this up as a pinch hit, and then my Internet died, and then I made the fest late. Thank you again to Nenya for beta reading.
Summary: Time is definitely a problem. Not that River's lost in time, she knows what to do about that by now, but that she can never tell one jump to another when she is.
muccamukk: Bodie sneaking into a house, gun in hand; Doyle leans against the wall behind him, unconcerned. Text: Team Work (Pros: Team Work)
Did you know that you can download an audiobook J.R.R. Tolkein's The Silmarillion legally and for free? And that it is read by Martin Shaw (Ray Doyle from The Professionals), who does a very good job with all the silly Elvish and the thees and thous? Well you can. This is good, because I've been avoiding rereading for about fifteen years, even though I vaguely feel I should, but now I have a plotbunny that requires more Silm knowledge than I've managed to hang onto. Win/Win all around.

Listened to The Companion Chronicles 7.09 "The Scorchies" by James Goss. Which was an evil episode of the Muppets, complete with silly songs, staring Jo and Three. I now have "We Killed Him Dead" as an earworm; thank you, Big Finish. Completely hilarious. Katy Manning does quite a good Three voice, though her Brig could use work. Jo Grant is rapidly becoming one of my favourite companions.

Watched Quantum Leap "Maybe Baby" which has always been a favourite of mine because it's just so gosh darn cute. Lots of shirtless Sam holding a baby, and the heroine of the episode is shown to be a compulsive liar, promiscuous, and a bit flighty, but still 100% a hero and good person.

Also watched a bunch of Firefly because I was in a mood, and hadn't seen it in a while, ended up binging through "Safe," "Ariel," "Objects in Space," Serenity, and bits of "War Stories." I'm far less amused by the stupid fake Chinese than I was when I first watched it, and of the Confederate mythology, and, well, it's pretty hard to look at Adam Baldwin these days. However, I still love River and Simon and the absolute unbreakable tie there, and Zoe and Wash, and Kaylee, and the wisecracking and jokes. I am very fond of much of that story.

Watched the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee version of Sense and Sensibility which does a rather remarkable job of adapting the book. I think better than any of the P&P adaptations I've seen. I'm always very interested in how adaptations change things and slim them down for the movies. This one stripped out about half of the background characters (Lady Middleton, her kids, Miss Steele, almost everyone who lived around Barton Cottage) and also dumped the scenes in the middle with Edward visiting, and the duplicated ball in the London section. It also pretty well took out the parody of Gothic stories, by ditching the would-be non-deathbed non-confession and making Brandon's backstory less hilariously over the top. Mr. Palmer and Mrs. Dashwood (the mom) were both more sympathetic and reasonable. I did not recognise Imelda Staunton.

They tried to push the romances forward by having Alan Rickman pretend he could smile (no go), and frontloading the film with Edward's scenes (somewhat more effective). I think Edward/Elinor worked better for me than in the book in that they actually got screen time together, but Brandon/Marianne still did absolutely nothing for me, even though they seemed to make Marianne twenty or so, and put Elinor in her thirties. Shipped Elinor/Brandon slightly less than in the book, mostly because they cut a bunch of the scenes where they hung out post being ditched by their love interests. For all that, the relationship between the sisters is still the core of the story.
muccamukk: Milady with her chin on her hand, looking pensive. (Musketeers: Thinking)
In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

I picked this up from an excellent and thoughtful list by [personal profile] intrigueing, and when I first started to think about this, I joked in their comments, "I mentally tried to do this list and MORE OR LESS came up with a list that was wall to wall smarm and h/c tropes. I think we all already know that about me, so..."

But then I started thinking of the list I'd done off the top of my head, and how it was actually kind of an odd result.

They're all or almost all fic that I read when I was in college or in the period closely surrounding. They're almost all fic I read before I myself got serious at writing, or at least good at writing. Maybe it's because I started thinking of one of those stories and then that led to associations from the same period, but I tried to think of fic that I sort of had the same feelings about from more recent fandom years and more or less drew a blank. Which is weird, because it's not like I don't still love fic, but maybe leaving an impression needs someone more impressionable? It's possible I'm doing this wrong.

So the following is a list of ten fic that left an impression on me probably in terms of the way I think and feel about fic both in relation to canon and in relation to my own writing. They're stories that helped me sketch out the boundaries of what fic could do, or at least what I wanted it to do, and what I wanted to do.

The list is also almost entirely gen centring on male friendships. Largely because that's what I was reading at the time, though I was reading and writing m/m slash and some het as well, so idk. I think part of it is that my discussion of my tastes in explicit fic is a whole other post, and that post is not one I'm like to actually write. But I guess a lot of these also cut to interactions I like in a way that fic that make those interactions sexual do not. Or something?

The list is posted in the order that I thought of them. The links go to AO3 where I can find them, rather than to where I originally read them. I have not reread the stories in order to make this list because I wanted to catch how I felt about them then, without my current PoV complicating my feelings.

It's also not entirely a positive list. All of the stories on it are well written, but a couple of them crystallised for me what I did not want, or stayed with me because they really bothered me. This is probably not a done thing, but eh. It's all old news by now. It's not a rec list, in any case, as much as a reflection on fic.

There will be discussion of depression and sexual violence. I'm going to cut the longer posts for those just want to see the titles.

1. Phoenix Burning by Yahtzee (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy/Angel)Read more... )

2. Outside these Walls by Jael Lyn (The Sentinel, Jim & Blair)Read more... )

3. Lovely by Martha (The Sentinel/Stargate: SG-1/Cthulhu Mythos - Lovecraft, Jim & Blair, Jack & Daniel)Read more... )

4. Home is Where the Heart is by Kimberley Rector and Martha Wilson (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules & Iolaus)Read more... )

5. The World at Large by Cherry Ice (Stargate: Atlantis, Aiden Ford, background McKay/Sheppard)Read more... )

6. Monsters by March Hare (Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle/Cthulhu Mythos - Lovecraft, Holmes & Watson)Read more... )

7. The Captain and the King (AO3) by plasticChevy (The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R Tolkein, Boromir & Aragorn)Read more... )

8. Invasion by Astolat (Aubrey-Maturin Series - Patrick O'Brian, Jack/Stephen)Read more... )

9. Postscript by Rebelcat (Starsky & Hutch, Starsky & Hutch, Starsky/OFC, Hutch/OFC)Read more... )

10. Written by the Victors by Speranza (Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard)Read more... )
muccamukk: Arwen in a white dress in the candlelight. (LotR: Evenstar)
Title: As Though at Sea
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Éowyn/Lothíriel)
Rating/contents: G
Word Count: 444
Notes: Written for [community profile] femslashficlets's theme #001: Begin.
Summary: Lothíriel finds many things in Rohan unsettling, but none so much as her future sister in law.
muccamukk: Boromir and Faramir grinning and hugging. (LotR: Squee!)
[community profile] trickortreatex is open!

I got a great fic and two super cute pictures, and am now feeling a little guilty for only writing one thing (well, and another thing under a sock).

Title: August Ancestors
Author: Unknown at This Time
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow (TV)/Carnivale
Characters: August Corbin, Jenny Mills, Abbie Mills, Iris Crowe
Rating: G
Word Count: 531
Summary: Undisputed matriarch of the family, August Corbin's gran was slightly mad and entirely beloved.
Notes: I shook this gift and was terrified that the author was going to make August and Justin the same person, but it does something way better in terms of setting up Corbin's background and motivation, and has nice moments with both Mills sisters.

Art: against the odds by unknown (G). Super cute line art of Gimli and Legolas fighting ghosts.

Art: silken strands by unknown (G). Same of Gimli braiding Legolas' hair.

Now I just have to do [community profile] intoabar Donna Becket meets Stacker Pentecost, and shameless Porthos/All the Ladies porn for [personal profile] seascribe. Oh, and there's a wrap up and discussion post for [community profile] femslashex over here, for those with suggestions on how to build a better mousetrap fanworks exchange.

We don't really do Halloween out here, other than dressing in silly hats, eating pumpkin seeds and playing board games, but I did carve a fannish pumpkin.
Thus: )

On the space theme, read another space book.

My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer by Anousheh Ansari, with Homer Hickam
Possibly a bit fluffy, or possibly the author is the most positive person in the world. In either case, it made a fast read, and I enjoyed following her along as she got to do what we all really, really want to do. The sections on training in Star City and on cosmonaut culture were especially interesting, and the writing was engaging enough that I was rooting for her to get through and get to space. Fun book, and interesting to read a completely different perspective on the space program.


Jul. 9th, 2014 08:46 am
muccamukk: Arwen in a white dress in the candlelight. (LotR: Evenstar)
I must say that today's xkcd is rather charming, or rather I'm charmed by the author's dedicated stenning of female chess players.

Title: On the Cold Hill Side
Author: [personal profile] marycrawford
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkein
Characters: Legolas/Gimli, Aragorn, Original Male Ent, Arod.
Rating: G
Word Count: 25,000
Summary: In the end, Gimli thinks, Legolas will steal his heart and sail away with it, and even the wonders of the Glittering Caves are not enough consolation for that loss. But when Aragorn calls for Gimli’s help in dismantling the hidden traps of Orthanc, everything changes.
Notes: This is pretty much 25k of high-grade pining with one of my favourite pairings, also, speak to me, my id!. Not only that, it's a lovely slow build with missing scenes and adventures through cave, forest and tower. I love the voice, which is close enough to Tolkien to get the point across, but doesn't try to copy the language.
muccamukk: Boromir and Faramir grinning and hugging. (LotR: Squee!)
[community profile] fandom_stocking is live!

I got so much great stuff! Eighth Doctor Icons! More Eighth Doctor Icons! Babylon 5 Icons! A Nine/Rose wallpaper! Adorable mini fics for B5 and DW! A really lovely bit of teamy!gen with Nine, Jack and Rose! Oh, and art of that time Misty Knight Was a Pirate (totally badass, but then of course she is)! Greatings from all kinds of people! So pleased. Icons are shareable, if anyone would like them. As far as I'm concerned, at least. Should probably check with the creators, if you'd like one.

I also wrote things. Kind of glad for the late reveals (though not the calamitous weather out East), as I had time to write more things! Also, apparently I like Rose Tyler. WHO KNEW!?

Title: Decided Between Them (Stocking Link)
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005) (Nine/Jack/Rose)
Rating/warnings: Explicit (so much porn)
Word Count: 4,500
Notes: Happy darkest, coldest part of the year to [personal profile] feathermoon_scarletsky! I hope you had a great holiday, and that you enjoy this fic. Huge thank you to Nenya for the beta.
Summary: Rose has had a long day, Jack and the Doctor try to cheer her up.

Title: First Memories (Stocking Link)
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Babylon 5 (Susan/Talia)
Rating/warnings: Teen for sexy times
Word Count: 400
Notes: Happy darkest, coldest part of the year to [personal profile] ariestess! I hope you had a great holiday, and that you enjoy this ficlet.
Summary: Susan has paperwork; Talia wants to reminisce.

Title: If You're Still Bleeding (You're the Lucky Ones) (Stocking Link)
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)/The Lord of the Rings (Movies)
Rating/warnings: Gen
Word Count: 1,600
Notes: Happy darkest, coldest part of the year to [personal profile] afireinthesnow! I hope you had a great holiday, and that you enjoy this fic. Huge thank you to Nenya for the beta. Title from Daughter's "Youth."
Summary: Rose and Nine visit the island of Tolfalas, near Gondor, where they find a mysterious grey boat and its passenger.

Title: Shattered Into Ash (Stocking Link)
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005) (Nine/Rose)
Rating/warnings: Teen for angst and discussion of genocide. Spoilers for "The Day of the Doctor."
Word Count: 1,200
Notes: Happy darkest, coldest part of the year to [profile] seasights! I hope you had a great holiday, and that you enjoy this fic. Huge thank you to a Nine/Rose-loving anon for the idea, and to tsukinofaerii for the beta.
Summary: An interlude in Rose's search for the Doctor and Donna. Following a broken timeline, she finds finds a different Doctor then the one for which she was looking.
muccamukk: Storm laughs in the thunder and rain. (Marvel: Exultant)
Day Fifteen: In your own space, share a favourite memory about fandom: the first time you got into fandom, the last time a fanwork touched your heart, crazy times with fellow fans (whether on-line or off-line), a lovely comment you’ve received or have left for someone.

I've had so many wonderful times staying with friends I met through fandom. The earliest was [personal profile] rohan_lady, who I met in a romance roleplay board on Tolkien Online. Our characters dated for years, but never got past first base. She turned out to be this wonderful, effervescent Aussie chick, who came to visit me here and we roadtripped across the province. It was amazing. I remember hanging out at this Hostel in Jasper and sweet-talking this English guy and a Kiwi (who hadn't met before either) into driving us down the Icefield Parkway, and just spending the day all four of us going Holy Fuck! Mountains!

My first about six months on LJ, I was into Master & Commander fandom pretty seriously. I had seen the film but was just starting to read the books and like [personal profile] cruisedirector, [personal profile] esteven, [personal profile] seascribe and [personal profile] sparowe were about my only friends (and we're still friends!) The only one gone of that crowd is Bronzelionel, who I still miss fiercely. I used to enter in the drabble challenges over at [ profile] mandc100, I think Pullings was my favourite character, so I used to award all my rum to him (you got a virtual shot of rum for every drabble that fit the prompt), and everyone was so friendly and lovely even when I hadn't read the books at all.

I stayed with [personal profile] esteven and saw windmill museums and the Wall and ancient churches full of modern art, and watched Starsky & Hutch and The Professionals

Later, I was hovering at the edges of SGA fandom and [personal profile] svmadelyn hosted the Summary Ficathon: The SV and SGA Version, where people wrote terrible, terrible summaries then other people wrote stories for them. I didn't even get a story but I still had a fantastic time. I hadn't written anything in an age, and my story wasn't even very good by crack standards, but people liked it, and I loved reading all the other stories.

Immediately hitting it off with [ profile] artemis_rain at a party because we both loved Ianto in that TW ep where he thought he was a serial killer, and then dating her for eight months and staying friends to this day.

I spent a week with [personal profile] linaelyn and her beautiful family, and we went to the Computer History Museum to watch a working model of Babbage's Difference Engine, ate wonderful food, and watched Iron Man.

Then there was comics fandom. Man, that's been my fannish life for years now. I remember the excitement of writing again, writing because I loved it, Sea Stars taking shape under my fingers as I inhaled canon and altered as I went. Getting and leaving reviews and reading all the fic I could find. Deciding to step up as co-mod of the ship comm and meeting two wonderful friends in my sister mods. Having to stretch myself as I learned to run challenges and moderate a quickly growing community of fellow fans. Still wanting to write and read all the fic imaginable.

I visited [personal profile] culurien and [personal profile] marinarusalka and went on tall ships, and lighthouses and city tours, and had more amazing food and watched SPN and read comics and lost at Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit.

Going to WisCon, stayed with [personal profile] garrideb, my first convention ever, and the amazing feeling of wow, this is my species. Here's a conference of a thousand fannish women and men, who I can talk to and who want to hear what I have to say and who think so many fascinating shiny things. We stayed up too late and got up too early every day, and being absolutely exhausted by the end. We read piles of comics and watched Buffy and... god, I don't even remember. STUFF! It was amazing. I ate so much fried cheese and drank so much local beer. Wisconsin is AMAZING.

And of course I met Nenya through fandom. Oddly neither of us remember which one. Possible The Lord of the Rings, through the PPC. She's sitting across from me reading Doctor Who/B5 crack fic, and I love her very much.

Thank you, fandom.
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (LotR: Grey Pilgrim)

Now I just need to figure out how to get a copy on my computer so I can sub the bastard. ETA: Nenya's way ahead of me on this.


muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Default)

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