muccamukk: Pepper standing at a workstation displaying a 3D model of Stark Tower (Avengers: Working)
Hi!

I don't always add people back, but mostly because I'd never keep up. But do feel free to chat and comment and stuff.

Also, you're just in time for me being pissed off that Milady won't be in series three of The Musketeers. IDK if I'll even watch now.

In a quest for more maturity and female characters than may be provided by Andy Weir, I'm listening to Susannah Harker read Sense and Sensibility, which is pretty good. I hadn't read it before and had thought that the feeling I always had that Elinor Dashwood and Col. Brandon should end up together was a casting issue with the movie, but nope. They have more chemistry than any other couple in the book, either. Also, his backstory is creepy and weird. Anyone have fic recs for Elinor/Brandon? (Preferably ones that don't kill off Marianne.) Does Col. Brandon have a canonical first name?

[community profile] ladybusiness: Five Ways to Add More Diverse Writers to Your White Male Dominated Reading Lists. Which is a good article, but, idk, is anyone even trying to do this? I've mostly run into people who are already reading pretty diversely and know all this, or people who don't care and just read white dudes (and get in fights with me on facebook for suggesting anything else).

The linked essay by [personal profile] renay at Strange Horizons is reminding me of a passage from Between the World and Me where TNC is in college and is convinced that if he reads the entire black intellectual canon, everything will fall in line and make sense to him, so he reads and reads and reads, like three books a day at the Howard University library, and finally realises that... no one actually agreed with each other, and there is no unified canon, and it's not going to make sense. I don't know if I've ever empathised with someone so much in my life.

I think you just gotta go with what you can read, and figure things out on your own. I liked the comment Tansy Rayner Roberts over there:
The thing is, the terrible/wonderful truth, is that you can't catch up. No one can. What you also can't do is compete on "contextualised reading" because you can't replicate the experiences that many older SF fans have in common. You can never go back and read Heinlein in the 1970's or Asimov as a twelve year old (boy) if they didn't do it already. Just like my elder daughter read Harry Potter differently to me, and my younger daughter will read it differently again.

But this LITERAL IMPOSSIBILITY to have the same experience with someone else's canon is quite freeing because you get to make your own history. Your own essential canon. And if you really want "proper context" well, that's what history books are for.

I keep trying to play catch up and feeling intimidated by people like [personal profile] kore who are so smart and well-read, when I've only scratched the surface of SFF/Canadian history/theology/feminism/writing. But I figure I've got to read what I like and what I feel gives me more balance and strength, and fill in gaps in my knowledge as best I can, and keep moving forward.

Sorry no Middleman tonight. It's been too busy. Hopefully tomorrow.
muccamukk: Eight from Night of the Doctor, looking sombre and beat up. (DW: Battered)
No birds this edition.

Continuing with Eight and Lucie, listened to the pretty okay "The Skull of Sobek" by Marc Platt, which did have some amusing bits with monks, and some good Doctor and Lucie banter, but mostly was boring stuff about evil crocodiles, and blah, blah no one cares, plus Lucie was mind controlled for half of it. However, the planet was entirely blue, so it would probably be Nenya's favourite episode ever could she see it.

"Grand Theft Cosmos" by the always reliable Eddie Robson, however, was wall to wall delightful. They're all trying to steal things! Lucie's pretending to be royalty! So is the Headhunter! There's a programmable hypnotiser thing! And a golem! And trains! And the king of Sweden! SO SILLY! Probably one of my favourite episodes.

"The Zygon Who Fell to Earth" by Paul Magrs, however, not so much. It's a good plot, though a common one, with a former warrior trying to go to ground and live a peaceful life, and in so far as that goes it was well done, but there's pretttttty much no reason for the Doctor have concealed a certain bit of information from Lucie, save for it to cause drama later, and it more or less stripped what agency she had left after being replaced by a Zygon most of the episode. Plus the cute gay Zygon died.


Over in the realm of The Musketeers we face an equally mixed bag, or some things I liked, and SO MUCH RAPE. I'm caught up now, and I think I'll just review the last three episodes together, behind a spoiler cut )

I don't know how this show went from my favourite forever OMG! (excepting Sinbad, of course), to something I'm actively considering not watching next year. Though, that's not true. I'm pretty sure it was all the rape. Though, who am I kidding? I'll be back for Howard Charles' laugh and Milady.
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Musketeers: Faded)
In the pouring rain of late, there's been some pretty good incidental bird watching. About a thousand American robins, ruby-crowned kinglets and Rufus hummingbirds, as you'd expect, but still the odd varied thrush and northern flicker mixed in, and we've also had a western meadowlark and a red-wing blackbird. Oh, and I saw a yellow-rumped warbler last week. Most of my birdwatching is done out of my windows, so I can stay try, so the habitat is a patch of lawn, my rose bush, a western hemlock (usually full of chestnut-backed chickadees), and a marshy bit of garden.

In the garden, the daffs are finishing (save the paperwhites), and we're on to forget-me-nots, bluebells and tulips. I have bedding plants under lights indoors, and am attempting to start delphiniums.

I listened to Doctor Who "Robophobia" with Seven, which was pretty good in terms of plot twists, and a bottle plot with a sense of menace (everyone trapped on a ship with possible evil robots), and had a nice mix of whimsical and dangerous Seven (who I mostly wanted to punch, but that was what he was going for). It also totally blew the ending due to complete science fail (like Space Dragon in the Moon, level), and only had one female character who I'm pretty sure was only female because she was playing companion of the week. She's also going to show up in Dark Eyes, which was why I was backtracking for her, and was pretty great. This episode was also a direct follow up to "Robots of Death" with Four, which I haven't seen, but mean to catch up on.

Also listened to "1963: Fanfare for the Common Man" with Five and Nyssa, where the Beatles were replaced by... well, you'll see, which was aces start to finish. It had great use of time travel, and a bit for everyone to do, plus Liverpudlian accents that didn't sound like perodies, and one hundred and one nods to history. Fantastic.

Then I started back on the EDAs with "Dead London" by Pat Mills, though it felt very Ben Aaronovitch, with its shifts between different periods of London history, and general shenanigans. I liked the guest characters a lot, especially Sophie, who was an obvious nod to Jack Sheppard, and liked that Lucie got to figure things out and generally take things in stride. Oh, and they didn't use Jack the Ripper when they totally could have, so yay! I'm not sure about the ending though. I don't understand why the Doctor didn't just use the TARDIS to put everyone back.

I've always said that the Top Gear send up "Max Warp" by Jonathan Morris is one of my favourites, and it still is. Lots of fun, some very hard jabs sent towards Clarkson, and all kinds of female characters. Oh, and aliens that are actually alien. Lucy was a bit clueless, but the whole thing was played for laughs, and she did rather turn out to be right a lot. Plus her mocking the TARDIS was aces.

"Brave New Town" by Jonathan Clements is kind of a filler episode, but it's got a good plot, and I liked the character and how the mystery turned out. I remember being surprised and delighted the first time around. One does wonder what happens to the town after the end though. I don't think we ever hear about it again. Lucie is also slightly trending towards ditzy here. I'm really hoping this isn't her characterisation for the series, though I honestly don't remember.


I'm on my dismal plod to the end of series two of The Musketeers. Though I did actually like "The Return" quite a bit, even if it did have way, way too much rape, and Porthos' "plot" continued stupid. On the other hand, we got away from stupid Rochfort and the stupid court politics for a week, and also got the hilarity of no one giving a shit about Athos' manpain. Plus some cute Athos/d'Artagnan scenes, and a couple interesting new characters and bits of backstory. Of course the one thing I really want to know remained a mystery.

Milady was pretty much the saving grace of "Through a Glass Darkly" which otherwise had Two Face kidnapping the king, and a lot of boring stuff. Though Milady being AMAZING and the Constance/Anne bits made up for it, plus there were some nice Porthos/Aramis bits, and Athos and Traville hanging out. I love that Traville is still living in his office, because he has no where else to go. I'm so sick of Rochefort and how he and the plot are treating Marguerite.

"A Marriage of Inconvenience," on the other hand, had a good, non-boring plot and fantastic guest stars, and some lovely h/c. Which really makes up for all things, doesn't it. Though it also had domestic abuse, and way too much Rochefort being tiresome and awful, and Aramis being a dick. I'm enjoying how Milady and Athos are getting along, or not, this series, and am hoping that Milady gets to bad murder kill her way to the top. More of the dreaded Porthos "plot" next, which I'll try to watch tomorrow, along with the rest of the series.


I read the intro, notes and appendixes of Landmark Herodotus, which were very informative, especially the sections on navel warefare and Scythia. I would recommend it as a companion to any version, or as a way to read it on its own.

Also read, Valour and Vanity (Glamourist Histories #4) by Mary Robinette Kowal, which I maybe just wasn't in the mood for. I liked a lot of aspects of the book, especially the development of Jane and Vincent's relationship, and how they're continuing to negotiate what their marriage means. I also liked the secondary characters such as the nuns and the glass artists, though including Byron as a character felt even more self-indulgent than the persistent Doctor Who cameos. The setting was cool and well-used, and I'm enjoying the expansion of glamour technology.

I guess I mostly didn't feel like the main plot held together that well. All the dots technically connected, but I never felt that engaged in it. Heist plots, especially written ones, are difficult to pull off, and this one didn't quite make it for me. This author perhaps does better with more emotionally-based main plots. Still I'm looking forward to the next book, and conclusion of the series.
muccamukk: Peggy, with briefcase, entering a room, the light of the hall silhouetting her. (AC: Silhouette)
Thank you making me a thing! I love presents, and putting work into something for me makes me very happy. I'm pleased that we have fandoms in common, mystery author, and I look forward to seeing what you end up doing.

Below are general likes and squicks, followed by chatter about fandoms. Obviously, I'm not expecting all, or even any, of the following, but if you're looking for ideas I hope it will help. Since you clearly have excellent taste in characters, I trust to your judgement.

Likes and Squicks )

Fandoms: Babylon 5, Marvel Comics, The Musketeers, Quantum Leap, Sinbad )

Again, thank you for writing me a story, and I hope this post gives you ideas, but if you want to go in a totally different direction, do that! I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever you want to write about these characters.
muccamukk: Porthos laughing victoriously. (Musketeers: I Win!)
The Musketeers has been renewed! There was much rejoicing. Even if this series hasn't been the best so far, I'm still extremely fond and want it to get ten series and a movie.

Over on [livejournal.com profile] bbc_musketeers, people have been making wish lists for what they'd like to see next year, and I thought I'd crosspost mine here.

Spoilers, mostly thematic, for up to 2x04. )
muccamukk: A close up of Porthos' profile. (Musketeers: Eye)
There goes my theory about stealing episode names from last series. There weren't any people named ones.

I am, however, a mostly happy panda in regards to this episode. I had a few problems with it, most of them Rochefort and Aramis related, but otherwise the show is pleasing me this week.

Spoilers, etc )
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (McGann: Evil Phone Sex)
Somewhat negative review to follow. I liked a lot of the character beats, but mostly the plot had me headdesking.

Read more... )
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Musketeers: Faded)
So, are they just going to do riffs on last season's titles for the rest of the year? So far we have, including next week's title:
Friends and Enemies - Keep Your Friends Close
A Rebellious Woman - An Ordinary Man
The Good Soldier - The Good Traitor

Anyway, mostly positive spoilers, save for not liking Aramis, to follow, behind the cut )
muccamukk: Porthos laughing victoriously. (Musketeers: I Win!)
I am a failboat at writing this year, but um... look at all the things I got!

Icons of Milady de Winter, Porthos, Jeff Sinclair and the Raksura books! Pictures of lighthouses! More pictures of lighthouses! An amazing Quantum Leap story about Donna and Al! An amazing Avengers/Pacific Rim crossover about Natasha and Sasha! Podfic of one of my stories! Inspirational pictures of Porthos that make me feel guilty! Many photos and good wishes!

To conclude: Yay! Also, anyone who wants to share icons that I got, is welcome to them.
muccamukk: Constance smiling and looking completely adorable. (Musketeers: Cutest!)
In which I got two and a half(ish) of my wishes already! (Also, I don't like Aramis, so you have been warned).

Many spoilers )
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Musketeers: Serious)
Spoilers for past series, but not anything from the promotional materials for series two.

  1. Milady backstory. Generally, really, but specifically what went on when she killed Thomas. I have a depressing feeling that we're meant to think she was lying about her motivation, but I'd like an answer either way. I also want to know where she came from and how she met Athos.

  2. More Porthos. Generally, really, but specifically getting an arc plot that doesn't revolve around class. It kind of feels like "Poor black(ish) kid" is all we know about him. I really want to see how he met Treville.

  3. Constance and Anne of Austria doing things together. Many things. Like having adventures.

  4. Any and all Athos/d'Artagnan moments would be appreciated by the masses me. Especially hugging. Actually, general hugging between almost any 2-5 characters would be nice. Yay! Hugging!

  5. More French politics stuff. I realised recently that my two favourite episodes from last series are "The Good Soldier" and "The Exiles" which are both episodes that focus on plotting over swordfights and dashing about (they're both also Aramis episodes, which is funny because Aramis is the character in whom I'm least interested, out of all the credited cast). I really appreciated that someone on the writing staff, say, looked up where Savoy was, if not how long the ruler had been in power or which of his kids would be alive in the year the show was set, and I loved that there were usually nods to the politics of the time. I really want to see what Louis is going to do now, too. Word of God is that he's not gay in this version, which is frustrating, but I think he's going to be more than a comedy relief character this year, so I'm looking forward to his plots.


I won't get to watch until tomorrow, so don't spoil me!

Oh, there was a Musketeers fest thingy on tumblr (which I'm now staying off of because bandwidth and spoilers, plus massive time sink when I should be writing), and I only did one day, but here's the questions and my answers.

Day One: The Four Musketeers (Insert fancy graphic here)
Day Two: Favourite character (Porthos)
Day Three: Favourite episode ("The Good Soldier")
Day Four: Favourite quote ("Nothing that suffers can pass without merit in the sight of God.")
Day Five: Favourite relationship (Milady and Richelieu)
Day Six: Favourite guest character (Marie de' Medici, played by Tara Fitzgerald in "The Exiles")
Day Seven: Series One (Insert fancy graphic here)


On a note completely unrelated to Musketeers, [community profile] babylon5_love is doing a mini-rewatch, and is looking for people to suggest their favourite Babylon 5 and/or Crusade episodes and movies. Not a good exercise for people who are first time watchers, as you need to begin at "Midnight on the Firing Line" and watch straight through (and anyone who tells you you can skip season one is full of shit), but if you're feeling nostalgic or into hanging out with fans of similar interest, go check it out and maybe submit your suggestions here.
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Musketeers: Touched)
Spoilers for series one of The Musketeers to follow.

So there's a prompt I'm eyeing over on the kink meme that goes to the effect that when blackmailed by Thomas (rape threat not mentioned, and I think that was after the prompt showed up anyway), that instead of killing Thomas, Milady just assumed that Athos wouldn't believe her, and took off (hopefully kicking Thomas in the tenders on the way out). Athos still quits counting and commences drinking and Musketeering, due to the love of his life leaving him, and they meet in Paris later on and sparks fly.

The prompt somewhat slants to the impression that it softens Milady's story to the point wherein it's possible for Athos to take her back (even asking that Milady not be a murderer, but rather a thief, when she's married to a professional killer), but the temptation in it for me is that it would soften Athos to the point where Milady could take him back. Book!Athos can fuck off and die (ALSO, I LOVE YOU!), but show Athos generally doesn't cross the asshole line as far for me, but it also seems impossible for them to work it out as they are in the show. They love each other, but they also hate each other, and it's too dysfunctional for me. (Other writers have done, I'm sure, good things with it). However, the story of two very brittle people falling back in love as an older couple has a great deal of appeal. Only possibly not that brittle.

As much as I generally somewhat follow along with Our Heroes, I really want Milady to get a happy ending, and I also don't want to imply that her tragic ending is because of something she did when it was at least as much Athos' fault.

One possibility would be for the AU point to be that either she didn't kill Thomas, but Athos found out and exiled her instead of killing her, then falls into drinking and Musketeering because he failed both what he saw as his duty to the law and as his duty to his wife, or she DOES kill Thomas and ditto.

ETA: Apparently this is the kind of thing I think about on Christmas Eve. Sorry?
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (RoL: The Folly)
Another trailer for The Musketeers. Porthos' laugh at the end brings a large amount of joy to my heart. vague spoilers based on the trailers, which are more speculation than anything ).

Tumblr is depressing me by being about 80% Aramis and hardly any Porthos. It's a good thing I like Athos, is all I can say, as he gets okay representation, and at least I can look at pretty pictures of someone I like. There's a bit of Anne, Anne and Constance too, but not much d'Artagnan or Treville. Bah, tumblr, why are you failing to cater to my precise interests?

I bought "The Hanging Tree" song from Mockingjay and listening to it makes me want to rewatch the film (DVD is too far off!), which was excellent, my favourite so far. I remember hating what comes next, at least when I read the books, but we'll see what the film does with it. I really like Julienne Moore.

Have finished "The Web of Fear" which was highly enjoyable, though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it was good, because well, they're fighting robot Yeti in the underground, and Victoria basically does nothing but wander around looking for the Doctor and getting kidnapped, plus everyone making fun of the Welsh. However, I like Anne Travers a lot, and the Doctor and the bb!Brig got good stuff to do. Are there any woobie!Brig serials? I might need to see them. For research.

[personal profile] selenak's post about Babylon 5's weaknesses is excellent, as usual. I'm hanging out in comments with the other Lochley fan. I need a Lochley icon. Though the post is making me mopy about Michael O'Hare all over again. It doesn't take much to make me mopy about Michael O'Hare.

Just listened to the audiobook of Midnight Riot/Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, which is very well read indeed. Amazing how much of this I'd forgotten in three years.

I think this is still my favourite book in the series. It has the best Nightingale stuff, and the humour is freshest. It also seems to be a series where I like the odd-numbered books the best. It's interesting to go back and see where Peter started out and how much he's grown over the years. The low-level sexism was higher than I remembered, possibly considering how things went in the rest of the series. It's also kind of a builder of expectations of things that we won't get, or won't get in more than small doses, such as building relationships and even expanding the magical world, partly because our one narrator is kind of emotionally constipated.

I really hope that someone does something with the TV rights (Elliot Knight for Peter!), as I'd love to see the world built by other voices.
muccamukk: Two stuffed bears looking at a star chart. (M&C: Stars)
Have pulled a list of [community profile] fandom_stockings to fill, but have two other projects on the go. Mostly write last-minute anyway.

I've been reading O'Brian again, well again for the first time. I only ever got up to Treason's Harbour the first time I was reading the books, so I picked back up there. It's one of those series where I should have all kinds of problems with, say, imperialism, but wow I really just love these books and everything about them. They're just so charming

So finished Treason's Harbour, making Nenya read all the funny bits, and started Far Side of the World. The thing with that book is that my brother got it for me for Christmas the year the movie came out, thinking it was the first in the series, and I gamely slogged through it, not having a clue what was going on, and concerned that there seemed to be no plot whatsoever, and further perplexed by things like ten-page digressions on the workings of the 19th-century whaling industry, and wait, what do you mean there isn't an ending? and generally going, wtf even is this book? Now, having caught up to it again, I'm back to completely charmed, even by the whaling digression.

Made Nenya watch the movie, which she'd seen before but hadn't known about the Royal Navy or heard of the books. May have traumatised her.

We're also watching Doctor Who "The Web of Fear" which has Two, Jamie and Victoria, and introduces the Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart (soon to be the Brig). They also fight robot Yeti in the London Underground. We're four episodes in, and, man, Nick Courtney was a dish when he was thirty eight. He doesn't quite have the voice yet, though. I hope they find Episode 3, but the reconstruction isn't bad.

There's a trailer up for the new series of The Musketeers all is well with the world.

Oh, finally finished listening to Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, as read by David Hyde Pierce (Niles from Fraser, among other things). That was a lot of cranky-pants conservatism to wade through for moments of brilliant parody and some decent fantasy world-building (though I can't tell if it's aforementioned conservatism, a lack of imagination or it just being 1726 that led pretty much every culture to have exactly the same political structure and gender norms).

David Hyde Pierce did a decent job of livening the story up with amusing amounts of pompous windbaggery, but even so the chapters and chapters of What's Wrong With Kids and Women These Centuries really rather dragged. On the other hand, there were some great moments poking fun at scientific explanations (especially on the floating island), and an amusingly petty grudge against the Dutch, plus a surprisingly on the nose thrust at colonialism right at the end. So, had it's moments, glad that's over with.

Though I've got to say, and I'm not cutting spoilers for a book published almost three hundred years ago, I think there's an interesting counter narrative to be told of the last book in the novel. Gulliver just seems to lose it when he's with the Houyhnhnms. He's always been cranky about how England was run, but there he grows to hate his homeland and species, and is cheerfully making sails out of the skins of children by the end of five years there. It doesn't seem like living with benevolent horse gods would be enough to do that on its own (even if he may have showed signs of falling for another culture after Brobdingnag). It's possible that Swift was just growing more grumpy by the time he got to that book, or that he just wanted to tear down his own book into absurdity, taking the rest of travel narratives with it (I'm sure that I could find any number of discussions of this), but the creepy implications are compelling. We're only hearing his words, and he seems to be an increasingly unreliable narrator. What happened to him on that island?
muccamukk: Doctor Rao studying while everyone else parties. (Marvel: Study Hard)
Pity on those who are in Musketeers fandom and want to remain unspoiled while still going on tumblr. Auntie Beeb has cheerfully spoiled the whole second series, and there is a current tumblr debate regarding tagging. Since the show uses the term "Plot" pretty loosely, and I'm not on tumblr when I'm home anyway, I remain unperturbed. If you're likely to be bothered, possibly stay off the tag until like March.

Anyway, being in Musketeers fandom plus being on this Queen Anne research kick has reminded me that I know very few ancient writers. If you give me a list of "Classical education" type stuff, I've read Homer, Gilgamesh and the Bible, and middle one doesn't even count because it wasn't found until the 19th century. So I keep running into things like, "Napoleon called Alex Dumas 'Horatius Cocles'!" which is the kind of thing contemporary-to-me writers will expand, and Johnathan Swift assumes I know. I just feel like I have such a gap when dealing with people who grew up memorising this stuff. Lack of classical knowledge also stops one dead when dealing with the later Romantics, and I do want to read more poetry.

So every so often I think that I ought to work my way through at least the major stuff, and then I poke at lists and go, "Herodotus wrote how much?" and my interest again peters out.

BUT! I've had luck with MP3 books, so now I'm wondering if I could indeed slog through nearly thirty hours of Greek-Persian wars and come out ahead. (On the other hand, I'm currently stalled out on Gulliver's Travels because I was finding that dull, but maybe Histories is super interesting! Who knows?).
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Musketeers: Action Man!)
Still vaguely plodding through Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars, which is still funny, but, well, I know the whole thing is an "ironic" take on old radio Westerns, but the colonialism jokes are a bit thick on the ground in some places. As far as I'm concerned, it will always be too soon for a Trail of Tears pun. May switch over to the paranormal Thin Man send up for a bit.

Two weeks behind on Sleepy Hollow but caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I'm loving this season, even if Hunter is vaguely irritating. Evil Tim DeKay! Skye! My baby! Let me hug you and keep you from making poor decisions! Fitz/Mack and Bobbi/Jemma forever! Hugs all around! I really want Mama May to come back. Can that be a thing? Still pissed off about Lawless.

Elementary! Which has plots about Joan! That don't involve Sherlock wondering around slut shaming her! And do involve another female regular on cast! I'm a fan.

Dropped Doctor Who two weeks ago, having distinct lack of squee, but no real spoilers. ) It's not even that I don't like it. More that I don't care. I miss Richelieu.

Speaking of Musketeers!

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
Like a Musketeers novel, but historically accurate and set in the Napoleonic era. This was a fantastic adventure story above all else, and the writing was very funny and engaging, and well end noted for details.

The framework of race relations during the revolution and rise of Napoleon was very helpful a I'm only somewhat familiar with the period, and find some of the politics confusing. This laid it all out very clearly so that it was easy to follow along and see how it affected the main character. I could have used a little more detail on the Haitian revolutions, but I suppose that would be another book.

I really appreciated all the original documents, sources of where the author found things, and discussion of conflicting accounts and conjecture. I wish all historical non-fiction was as open and clear as this.


Currently ignoring a depressing book on Scientology in favour of some equally depressing books about the history of coffee.
muccamukk: Porthos looking down and smiling bashfully. (Musketeers: Bashful)
Title: Thy Part in Some Disguise
Fandom: The Musketeers (2014) (Athos/Porthos)
Rating/contents: Teen (Contains: references to alcohol abuse, unrequited identity porn, and at least one anachronism.)
Word Count: 1,800
Notes: Written for [personal profile] byssheshelley for [community profile] trickortreatex. Thank you to [personal profile] seascribe for beta reading.
Summary: Porthos propositions a stranger at a masque; Athos realises that he's in real trouble.
muccamukk: A close up of Porthos' profile. (Musketeers: Eye)
Made an icon from this picture of Howard Charles, who has excellent eyelashes.

Rewatching The Musketeers, and the whole thing with Athos' almost Reform morality is interesting. Good people do good things, therefore Porthos, Treville and d'Artagnan are good and anything they do is good (or, in d'Artagnan's case, fundamentally not a good idea, but coming from a good heart). Bad people do bad things, therefore Milady, the Cardinal and he himself are bad and mostly what they do is bad. And you're watching this going, Oh, sweetie, no, because narratively, he may be right, but it's such a terrible idea. It's this kind of thinking that got you fucked up in the first place.

Similar to Joe Dawson from Highlander's knee jerk defence of his friends, and but you tend to see more how poorly that works out for him, in that he makes some pretty unfortunate friends over the years, and really should step back when they... turn into international arms dealers and/or start murdering people. Joe usually eventually did sort out his feelings, but the loyalty stuck until he was pressed pretty damn hard.

I have a loyalty kink, which I tend to sum up with the line from Christopher Moore's Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings: "I have pretty strong feelings about loyalty." And I tear up at that bit in the Star Trek vid "Long Live" when they hit the line "Take a moment and promise me this: that you'll stand by me forever" over Picard and Guinan, Janeway and Tuvok, Sisko and Dax, couples who were friends across time and space and generations, no matter what (all inter-racial, inter-species, cross-gender friendships that we don't see the start of). And I love that, the idea of an unbreakable bond, though life and death and life beyond death. If you give me a story that's that straight up, I'll be a happy pumpkin.

But I also love stories where someone has that kind of loyalty and is wrong. I was just showing Nenya random bits of Les Mis 2012, and the whole Javert character is a study in misguided loyalty to... something (the state? the law? god?). Look at Joe's death count for believing in the wrong person at the wrong time, which he only periodically deals with. Look at Gunnar from Sinbad, who used to murder civilians as a way of life, and didn't question it, until the day he did.

Usually, a character is introduced the week they turn out to be WRONG (see Marsac or Charon in The Musketeers, anyone Riker ever previously worked with on TNG), so the conflict of to whom Our Hero will remain loyal isn't super drawn out. However, there can be this perfect moment in fiction where an entire character's life falls apart because they realise that they were absolutely dedicated to the absolute wrong thing (then usually die "redemptively," which I hate with the burning fire or burningness).

I love watching someone rebuild after that. It's some of my favourite character development: someone who trusted absolutely, learned that trusting absolutely was a bad idea, and now has to figure out if it's ever safe to trust again, and if so how much and who.

It's probably why I'm enjoying Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as much as I am this year, tbh. Skye is my baby, and she's not learning the right lessons in there somehow.
muccamukk: Thor looking at a coffee cup. Text: why is the coffee gone? (Thor: Why Is the Coffee Gone?)
I was watching the BBC documentary Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity in one of my periodic and haphazard attempts to understand how all that works. My main takeaway is that Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was pretty cute. -sighs-

[community profile] femslashex fic is with beta. It even has a title. Woohoo! I should finish up my Trick or Treat thing, and maybe do extras for that. Everyone else is doing extras.

Also pretty cute, Porthos from BBC's The Musketeers. Anyone else notice that in "Homecoming" Athos and Flea are the only ones who believe completely that he didn't do it? Well, Charon does, because he saw who did do it, but Aramis just flat out doesn't care if he did or not, and d'Artagnan questions (and gets bounced off a wall), but Athos and Flea are like, "Nope, didn't happen." Also, Howard Charles' FAAAACE.

The word "Groceries" gets Nenya out of bed at an earlier hour than she'd usually be up. I don't know for sure, but I suspect "Mail" would also do it. [She just made an equivocating hand wiggle at me, so perhaps not.]

Saw a snow goose on the lawn a few days ago, and at least one grey whale is still around. Fall continues.

I need to stop ordering library books. I'm up to having a list again (or will have if we do in fact get mail). So much for my reading list.

In completely related news, I'm now considering Space Program AUs for all of my fandoms.

In not unrelated news, I've befriended the owner of one of the local coffee companies, and it was absolutely not so I could borrow coffee history books from him to write that 18th-century Coffeehouse AU that I've been threatening for years now. (It actually wasn't, but hey, benefits of networking!)

Need to finish watching Nikita. Nenya and I started, then got sidetracked on a bunch of other things, and are now onto Murdoch Mysteries for some reason.

Should go make that coffee I promised Nenya.

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