muccamukk: Pepper skips off with a glass of champaigne. (Avengers: Drink in My Hand)
What I Just Finished Reading
Not one thing.

I did finish the Great Courses on World War II, which was competently done, even if the prof was way more interested in describing battles than I was, and mostly talked about the Americans. It did set the chronology better in my mind.

I also listened to a radio play of Copenhagen by Michael Frayn with Alfred Molina as Bohr and David Krumholtz as Heisenberg (it undoubtedly worked better on the radio!), which I liked very much, even if it shaded Heisenberg into being a bit of a woobie. But it was two hours of three people yelling at each other about science, which makes me happy, and the acting was good. I also watched the tv movie version (for which I can't find subs to save my life, which is too bad as I think Nenya would enjoy it) with Stephen Rea as Bohr and Daniel Craig as Heisenberg. This dewoobied Heisenberg, but also cut quite a bit of yelling about science, and removed my favourite line from Margrethe. It also had to struggle to make itself visually interesting, given the change in format, which worked about as well as it could. I'd like to see the play on stage at some point.

What I'm Reading Now
Still The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela, which I don't seem to be very interested in. I'm not sure if I don't like it, or if I'm just not in the mood for litfic.

I'm listening to Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron, which is pretty charming, but needs to lay off the slut shaming.

What I'm Reading Next
May send all litfic back to library in despair? Then read romance novels forever. Once I've finished editing this fic.
muccamukk: Han Solo, Leia Organa, C-3PO, Chewbacca watch from the bushes. (SW: We're Watching You!)
I realised that I haven't done anything in this line for a bit, so here goes...

[personal profile] rohan_lady and I saw Sancho - An Act of Remembrance by and staring Paterson Joseph in Oxford, where I believe it was premiering. A quick google seems to have it running in various places in the US for the rest of the fall, so I'm not reviewing theatre entirely into the void. Anyway, we both really enjoyed it. The plot drifted slightly to message heavy, but for the most part it it was absolutely engaging. It managed to do what a lot of biopics to not: fit a life into a story, and one told in the subjects own words, without feeling as though it were compressing or bending for time, while still having an emotional arc. I think that's mostly down to Joseph's acting, which was dynamic, and man solo shows are a lot of work. Anyway, you should check it out if it's in your city.

On the plane, Nenya and I watched Mad Max: Fury Road, which we liked a lot. I'm of course as in love with Furiosa as the rest, and loved that Max mostly got to side kick and function as a helper person, but the conclusion was a bit disappointing. I guess the action climax didn't hold together that well for me.

I also watched the new Pixar movie Inside Out, which was amazing and adorable and very sweet. I'm very pleased that they finally managed to make a movie with three female leads, and none of them was a princess, and that it was about the value of feelings and how difficult and isolating a move is, and actually stared Amy Poeler as JOY, so that was a thing. Would watch again.

And (it was a long plane ride!) I watched Furious 7, which was about what you'd expect it to be. I love all of those characters, I don't really care about the car chases. I wish there could be a franchise with all the hugging and large, muscle-bound men talking about honour and family that wasn't about car chases. Like, I really like the emotional content of the telenovela series thing, but the action movie part bores me. Anyway.

Then since we got back we managed to hit opening nights of The Intern and The Martian, both of which we liked.

The Intern was pretty iddy for me. I'm more or less completely invested in calming father figures telling ambitious young women that they're awesome and that they can do it, whatever it is. It's a whole movie of almost entirely that, with humorous shenanigans thrown in. I'm reasonably sure that the big business dicesion was not pertaining to how small businesses actually work, but whatever, handwaves. Basically, it was long on you-go-girl style feminism and Robert DeNiro being paternal and calming; so if you like, go watch; if you're not interested in those things, never mind.

You will remember that I didn't really care for the book version of The Martian (complaining about it here, here and here), but was looking forward to the movie because I felt like Hollywood saming would lean on the bits I liked (SPACE IS PRETTY! Actors being woobie and/or charming) and ignore the annoying bits (Mark being a jerk, sexism). It did. I was happy. They still got a lot of the NASA culture stuff that was wrong in the book wrong, though mostly nit-picky stuff, and they had less of Mark being a Rebel Outsider. I mean, it's a pretty straightforward survival story, and there isn't a hell of a lot of emotional depth (though there is quite a bit more than in the book), but we lose the terrible prose, and get Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover and Sean Bean, so yay!

I watched it twice. Would watch again. Would rec 3D for the Mars vista bits.

Nenya is ridiculously excited about the Back to the Future marathon movie thing. I'm mostly wondering why, if it's 21 October 2015, I do not yet have a flying car.
muccamukk: Jeff sitting in his quarters, talking to Talia, who looks like she doesn't want to be there. (B5: Awkward)
I was getting a bit burned out on Sparks Nevada, Marshall on Mars, so I thought I'd switch over to The Thrilling Adventure Hour's WWII line, with mixed results. I haven't listened to the most recent Jefferson Reid yet, but have heard everything else with them in it.

So here's the thing with TAH: The funny is based on taking vaguely obnoxious tropes and pushing them one step over into funny, and it often works, especially when your characters are played by Nathan Fillion, who has made his career on earnest self-deprecation. However, sometimes it just reads like... more of the obnoxious tropes (also, things about which you should not make jokes: Japanese Internment Camps). The WWII episodes are pretty straight up Allied propaganda pieces about horrible Nazis, and sure it's meant to be ironic, but mostly it's kind of dull? Though some of the sweeter moments are love stories between the German characters (the commander and her translator, the couple travelling through time to argue about who ate the last sandwich), for the most part, the stories are intentionally flat and moralistic. Plus, based on audience reaction, a lot of the humour is in the actors' movements and expressions, which I can't see because it's a podcast.

Which means they're resting on the likeability of their main characters, which is fine, I'm a character-based listener anyway, but the characters are also played pretty straight (and I do mean straight). Nathan Fillion can get away with that as Jefferson Reid, for the most part, on charm alone because he's just so gosh darn likeable and see above about his career. Autumn Reeser has a bit more trouble selling it, and I think I had higher expectations for time-travelling bisexual Amelia Eahart. Bisexuality, for one, but other than the time that she goes back and flirts with Joan of Arc, and few words with her dispatcher, who is canonically dating Jefferson Reid, we don't get much of the queer aspect. I'm not even sure why? They're pretending to be a 1940s radio show, but it's 2011-15! Aside from that, the time travel plots just aren't clever enough to be funny, and are too clever to take seriously. Plus, I know it's a comedy series, and it's supposed to be bad, but they really don't have many/any of their Earhart facts right. I probably shouldn't be listening to this having just read her biography though, so that's on me.

I don't know. I mean, time-travelling bisexual Amelia Eahart! I should be so there! But I'm not!
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (DW: Lips)
The Humble Book Bundle right now is Big Finish Doctor Who plays. Mostly they're about Daleks, which aren't really my thing, but they are voiced by David Tennant, who I do like, and the Colin Baker ones look cool (if you're not aware, Big Finish!Six is about eight times better than TV!Six). I may hold out to see what the extras are.

While in the realm of radio plays, anyone else catch Cabin Pressure? FEELINGS! (SPOILERS IN COMMENTS?)

How's the Good Omens thing? Can you listen if you haven't read the book? If I (generally) don't really like Neil Gaiman, but (generally) do like Sir Terry, is it likely that I'll enjoy it?
muccamukk: Athos looking up with an ironic half smile. (Musketeers: Wry Look)
Doctor Who: Feeling a bit ambivalent about it this year. I really love Clara, which is a surprise, because I had disliked her before, but Twelve is grinding my gears; way past the asshole line for me. I don't want a total asshole Doctor. I want him to go deal with whatever his problem is and get back to us.

Sleepy Hollow: Still loving all the characters and laughing at all the plots. Still hoping the show runners do something with Katrina, like show her being a witch. Ever.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Um... I don't really have any comment past I'm enjoying it and am interested to see where they're going this season.

Listening to a bit of Thrilling Adventure Hour which I got into post WtNV crossover. It's fun so far, though I've decided to follow individual stories through, so am just listening to the Sparks Navada stuff.

Also listening to the radio play of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which started inauspiciously by highlighting one of my least favourite character types: girlfriend who is so career focused that she's a bitch to everyone, and oppresses her poor nice guy boyfriend. God forbid women pursue their careers, or even care about them, or struggle with work-life balance. Nope, they're all horrible heartless people. ANYWAY, I'm an hour or so in, and so far am not deeply gripped, and am wondering if I should press on or give it up as a bad job. I don't usually like Gaiman's writing, but I do usually like adaptations thereof, and am fond of Magical London stories, so I'm surprised had how little investment I have in this.

Nimona is finished, more or less to my satisfaction, though final judgement will rest on the epilogue when the hardcopy comes out in March. I would prefer a little more resolution than we got.

Here is a super cute Amigurumi of Athos from The Musketeers.
muccamukk: Jan flying joyously. (Marvel: Flying)
The recent developments in the webcomic Nimona are Very Concerning. I just want the happy Gay Dads, AU, okay? Can that be an ending? And I'd like Goldenlion, should he survive (he better survive!), to not be Symbolically Disabled, because I'm pretty not okay with that symbolism.

Watched the Hallow Crown version of Richard II with Ben Whishaw as Jesus the title character (seriously though, what was with all the Jesus symbolism? Is that the only way we're supposed to understand the Divine Right of Kings, or what?) Anyway, it had a good start, dragged quite a bit in the middle, then a good ending. Not enough Patrick Stewart though. I'd be interested to see the David Tennant version. Oh, how is Rory Kinnear supposed to turn into Jeremy Irons when he grows up? I'm confused.

I'm trying to watch more Shakespeare though, as I've only seen film versions of a dozen or so of the plays (in three or four different versions for some of them, and some filmed stage productions), and want to work though the lot. I seem to make it to the Fringe a lot more than I hit regular theatre, which is fine, but they're more meta commentary than original versions (the only Shakespeare I've seen live was a college production of Twelfth Night and a pro version of The Taming of the Shrew set in the wild west, which... didn't make it better, really). Though the dude who did the one-man version of Romeo and Juliet at the Fringe was both very, very pretty and very, very energetic.

Listening to an audiobook about the shootout at the OK Corral. So far, I'm rooting for the Apache. They weren't actually involved in those specific events, but I feel as though someone ought to be rooting for them, and the author clearly is not.
muccamukk: Eight smiling and buttoning his shirt. (DW: Delighted)
Tantor Audio has a sale on most of their classics section, so if you ever wanted to listen to Middlemarch or any of Dickens, might be a time to look into it. I've listened to a number of things by them, and their readers are usually very good. It's actually worth wondering over just to see the range of stuff they've recorded. About a sixth of Project Gutenberg seems to be up there. Do check the prices though, as some things are not on sale.

Big Finish Audio has a series of anniversary sales. Unfortunately, I missed the first of fifteen days, but the second day may be found here. You can find therein a couple of plays that I've reviewed, and they're on pretty cheap.

Back at Carmanah and can log into DW again. I'm going to post more Estevan pictures when I get my act together.
muccamukk: Girl sitting on a forest floor, reading a book and surrounded by towers of more books. (Books: So Many Books)
Rewatching season one of Nikita with Nenya who seems to be enjoying it. I'm liking it more the second time around as well, and have ordered the other three seasons. Behind on all other TV.

Also made Nenya watch A Man for All Seasons, a film of which I will never tire.

Finally caught up on "The Debate," the second Welcome to Night Vale live episode, which was excellent and hilarious. They're going to be in Vancouver in July with the third show, but I won't catch them. Ah well.

Listened to The Scaryfiers episode "The Thirteen Hallows," which is the most recent one. I still bitterly miss Lionheart, but otherwise this was my favourite episode other than "For King and Country." The show just does the steady escalation from pretty silly to completely frigging ludicrous so well. You start out with an amusing haunted chess set, and by the end well... it goes through Merlin making Star Wars jokes and thousand-year-old Welsh knights going to the optometrist, and then it gets sillier. Can't say the show does women well, unfortunately.

Listened to the audiobook of London Falling by Paul Cornell, which I still loved to bits, though man, it's much more horror than fantasy. I was hoping to read the new book in the series, Severed Streets, but I finally got the Canada Reads book from the library, so that will have to be next. Ah well. In the meantime, I read the following:

Fly into Fire (Extrahumans #2) by Susan J. Bigelow
Follow up to the first book, with most of the surviving characters from that. Read it in a day and found it highly enjoyable. I'm probably predisposed to enjoy superhero shenanigans, but the characters are just so much fun to read about.

This was the one with the trans point of view character, and I liked how she was handled.

Copy editing issues persist, and one character is starting to feel a bit like a deus ex mechina, however, I can live with it, and am looking forward to the next book.

The Spark (Extrahumans #3) by Susan J. Bigelow
Still really enjoying this series. The depiction of life in a military dictatorship, and how freedom fighters can totally fail to find traction was especially strong here. The plot meandered a bit, and didn't seem to have any real structure past the adventures of one character over the period of a few years, but it was interesting and engagingly told enough that I didn't feel lost or bored. Though the plot did rest on one character not telling another something that I never believed that she wouldn't have, no matter what the reason, and the whole thing leans a little too heavily on "In accordance with prophecy" for my liking. Also, needs more lesbians. Copyediting has improved. Looking forward to the next book, which I hope will come out soon, and I'll try the author's other series in the meantime.

Can't Take the Heat by Jackie Barbosa
Short and enjoyable. Though it did skate over consent issues re the amnesia plot, but otherwise handled it differently enough to stray away from the usual: she gets amnesia, he lies to her, she fiends out and gets mad at him for lying, she gets her memories back and they get together. Which was great to read. I liked the Vegas setting, and it was nice to have a firefighter lead whose career mattered to her. I'm still indifferent to Barbosa's porn, but it was better than other stuff by her, and the story didn't lean as hard on it.
muccamukk: Marcus looking unimpressed. Text: "do tell" (Elementary: Do Tell)
Managed not to see any movies while in town, surprising no one. Which means that I have to wait for the dvd on Cap 2. Oh well.

Did manage to keep up with Elementary. I'm kind of resigned to this season being about Mycroft with a side order of Sherlock's feelings about Mycroft, and not much Joan, so given that the last two episodes were fine. I guess. Next season better be more about Joan.

I am VERY CONCERNED about recent developments in Welcome to Night Vale. Spoilers for Company Picnic ahead: Read more... ) I really hope this plot resolves soon, though I'm kind of thinking it might not until the second anniversary episode. Haven't had a chance to listen to "The Debate" yet. I see there're live shows in Canada in the summer, but not when I can get to them, which is too bad.

My wedding survival fandom was Cabin Pressure, of which I'd previously caught the odd episode, but never listened through nor dipped into the fandom. I think this is going to be one of my burn through all the stories and then move on fandoms. I really love the canon; I'll always really love the canon, and maybe I'll revisit the fandom after the finale, but those of you who know me know I'm not BC's biggest fan. The canon's great, for the most part, possibly because one doesn't have to look at him, but well, I think that 1/6th of the fic being crossovers with Sherlock is a bit telling of the fandom's interests? Which do not happen to be my own. So there's that, and that's too bad, but so it goes

Went to actual live theatre, as produced by professionals, even (it's always a bit of a shock to see actual production design and costumes after spending so much time at Uno Fest and Fringe). The play in question was Equivocation by Bill Cain and went straight to meta and never left. The production was on a stripped down stage made to look like a modern backstage (steel girders and a curtain arch), with several chairs and a movable table, a cloak and a crown as the only props. Actors did get costumes in early Stuart period (though fewer codpieces than one might expect), and since six actors were playing ten characters as well as most of them acting as actors in various parts in bits of plays within the play, most everything was leaning pretty hard on characterisation and acting. This of course was deliberate as it was about Shakespeare, or rather about what history, politics, plays, playwrights and family mean in relationship to the truth. There was a character called Judith Shakespeare, she hated the theatre and thus broke the forth wall (and was the only one to get soliloquies). There was a lot of commentary on Shakespeare's plays themselves, that didn't shoot them down but didn't hold them up as the greatest thing in the world, either (I loved the actors' reaction to the first run through the Heath scene in Lear). The play did a good James I, which I always appreciate, and though Robert Cecil was oddly Italian (ish?), I thought he was well done. Overall: a few too many daddy issues, and Bob Frazer didn't convince me as Shakespeare, but it was thought full, funny and committed, so I'd see it if it hits your town.

Only read two books, both short:
Voltaire's Calligrapher by Pablo De Santis (translated by Lisa Carter)
I loved the setting, the style and the plot. The whole thing is just so wacky and committed to its detachment from reality that it comes off a something along the lines of Le Pacte Des Loups (to pick another story set in France in that period). The whimsical magic elements probably could have told me the author was South American on its own, without reading the author bio. At times, the Márquez-style magical realism in 18th-century France got a bit twee, but mostly it worked, and the over all atmosphere floated between horror, fantasy and a fever dream.

The book was also quite funny, which I appreciate, and those Voltaire himself was more of a cameo than a major character, he seemed well done.

I'd give this book four or five stars were it not for the women. There are four major named women. All of them are sexual objects, one's an actual sexbot, two drive men literally mad with lust, two are murdered, none get to make their own choices. The best thing that can be said about the female characters in that they're not in the story very much.

Broken (Extrahumans #1) by Susan J. Bigelow
Wow, this was a wild ride. I got it after reading the author blog about trans rights (no trans characters in this book, but I believe there is in the second one). It's small press, very small press, and could have used another go around with copy editing (several little formatting errors and typos, and the paragraph indentation was sporadic), but it's also inexpensive and drm free, so it balances out.

I read a lot of comics, so I loved the future with aliens and government-controlled superhero setting. Earth has slid into a dystopia (wherein New York is a ruin and Australia rules everything!), and extrahumans with powers to heal, fly, see the future etc are all either dead or working for the rising dictatorship.

Except the ones that aren't. This was not your average small band of superheroes take on the evil empires story, and I won't say more than that because spoilers. I liked how the book managed having a point of view character (a fourteen-year-old boy with run lola run style glimpses of people) who could see the future while still having a plot with twists. The other point of view characters were an alcoholic ex-hero who'd escaped the extrahuman union, the head of said union, and a few incidentals. It all wove together neatly, and one ends up liking most of them.

I'm definitely checking out the rest of the series.
muccamukk: Kate kissing a smiling Ranee's shoulder. (DC: Shoulder Kisses)
but we feel this should somehow work its way into our wedding.

BEATRICE Will you go hear this news, signior?

BENEDICK I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes; and moreover I will go with thee to thy uncle's.

muccamukk: Text: "We're way over our daily quota of emo." (RoL: Daily Quota of Emo)
I happened to be listening to the radio when they announced the Canada Reads panel this year, and decided to try read all the books. I'm not sure if I'll listen to the program, as I'm not that interested in listening to people argue about which is most important: immigrants, First Nations, genderqueer people, the environment, or people of colour (or however that's going to break down).

I've already read Half-blood Blues, and just finished Annabel by Kathleen Winter, about an intersex kid growing up in the '60s and '70s rural Labrador (is there non-rural Labrador?). The writing itself was gorgeous, and I love how Winter drew her characters, slowly building them up, but still letting them have a few surprises. The main character's father was especially well-drawn.

I'm not sure how this would read to someone who knows nothing about intersex people, but it seemed a little paint by numbers as far as Wayne/Annabel's story went. No trope got a miss, including, unfortunately, a graphic sexual assault scene, that I honestly could have lived without. It all felt a little pat, and occasionally as though Winter were writing about an Intersex Person, but not an actual character.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I'm glad the book exists and is getting some attention, but it felt a little shallow to me.

Listened to Doctor Who "Zagraus" with Eight and Charley (and the entire rest of the cast of DW, OMG!), which was as trippy as I remembered it. It is perhaps "overlong" and "melodramatic," but the voice acting is lovely, and Eight suffers beautifully. Plus the hail! hail! the gang's all here! aspect is delightful, and we get to see the generation of Romana/Leela (must listen to Gallifray), and all the random little side adventures like Eight, the Cat and the Lead Box, are pure fun. SO DRAMATIC though. May take a break from Eight and Charley, especially as the next one is a kick in the head.

Also heard the very first Big Finish episode, "The Sirens of Time" with Five, Six and Seven. Apparently I have trouble telling Peter Davidson and Colin Baker's voices apart, though my desire to punch Six in the nose usually determines who's talking in the end. It was a pretty solid episode, and I always love multi-Doctor stories (see above). I liked the plots all leading together, though the ending was a bit easy. I will say I felt the antagonist was underused. It was a really great concept, and I hope it pops up again, because what a perfect foil for the Doctor!

Listened to the second and third episodes of The Scarifyers, which really just are excellent entertainment all around.

Four Recs

Nov. 11th, 2013 01:45 pm
muccamukk: Jubilee hugging a bewildered Laura in a photo booth. (Marvel: Girl Hugs)
Title: Mad Science
Author: [ profile] queerlittlething
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Characters: Carlos, OCs
Words: 2,700
Rating: G
Summary: Charlie joined Carlos' team hoping to gain some practical experience, contribute to his field, maybe get a paper published. He definitely wasn't expecting... well... Night Vale. (A series of vignettes about everyone's favorite scientific researchers and their handsome leader.)
Notes: Really fun look at behind the scenes on the science team, with background Cecil/Carlos and a lot of other pairings too.

Title: Why Reanimating Dinosaurs Is Never A Brilliant Idea
Author: [ profile] AstridV
Fandom: Marvel Comics
Characters: Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton, a dinosaur
Words: Art!
Rating: G
Summary: Avengers/Hawkguy/SHIELD crack fanart for a prompt by Ratcreature, who wanted “something Jurassic Park like because dinosaurs are always fun, i.e. someone thought reanimating dinosaurs was a brilliant idea and SHIELD has to deal with it getting out of hand.”
Notes: Does what it says on the tin, super cute.

Title: The Importance of Accurate Moaning
Author: [ profile] dsudis
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Characters: Cecil/Carlos
Words: 5,500
Rating: Teen
Summary: "I didn't realize what that meant. We didn't have dissonance storms in California." "No?" Cecil said, and then, with a slyly amused look, "I suppose the mountains blocked them?"
Notes: Really sweet bit of h/c which combines the scary weirdness of Night Vale with the humour from the show. Nice character voices too. Both these recs are via whoever's driving for WtNV over at [ profile] crack_van this month.

Title: Caribou Can't Solve Everything
Author: [ profile] Sproid
Fandom: due South
Characters: Ray Vecchio/Benton Fraser
Words: 2,600
Rating: Teen
Summary: Ray’s in a foul mood, and it’s not just because he’s having a bad week. No, it’s because he’s having a monumentally awful week, and Fraser doesn’t even seem to notice.
Notes: More h/c with snuggling. This fic is like getting a hug.
muccamukk: Pepper skips off with a glass of champaigne. (Avengers: Drink in My Hand)
Pacific Rim is basically a flawless cinematic experience. Well, the lead character could have been played by Adam Beach and the dad could have been played by whatever the Aussies have that’s equivalent to Kate Mulgrew, but otherwise, that was everything I want in a movie.

Saw a play, or sort of play, called From the Heart, which was about non-aboriginal attempts to reconcile with First Nations. Sort of. It's about history and what to try to do in the face of it? You walk through this labyrinth in a small group, and as you do, different scenes meant to help you understand First Nations-Settler relations take place, and by the end of it, you're supposed to have more empathy? I think. Or at least know more obvious ways to be less of a dick. It seemed kind of 101 level at times, and I do wonder if people who are willing to go see a 90-minute art piece play about reconciliation are perhaps looking for something more advanced. On the other hand, some of it was very effective, and it was really nice to see allies trying to teach other potential allies how to do it right. And they did reseach the hell out of it and had a fair few First Nations consultants (and adjusted accordingly from First Nations input when people saw the play.

Also, my delightful** ex was playing someone who was a dick about social justice issues, and she was doing it so well. I know she's a total sweetheart, but mostly I wanted to punch her in the nose. I told her that, and she took it as a compliment re her acting abilities.

Just finished Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, of which I had the saddest copy of this ever. It had been moved across the country several times and was literally falling apart. Bits kept falling off the cover while I was reading. I'm also sad because this is the last Vimes book that I haven't read (I've read Discworld completely out of order), and now there probably won't be any more.

The dwarf gender politics were as tiresome as ever, though this time around, I had a better view of what he was trying to do with them, even if it wasn't working for me. I have no idea what was going on with Angua.

However, the Vimes and golem plots were well done, and the plot came together well. It hit all the ticks I'd expect from a City Watch novel, and I'm glad that my last one was a good one.***

Oh, got wedding rings. Or picked and ordered them anyway. Toronto designer that we really like. Silver, but super pretty. Now we just need to figure out what the fuck we're doing for dresses.

*Line not actually in the movie, but it could have been.

**Word used entirely unironically; she's lovely

***Anyone have recs for police force in a fantasy setting books like the City Watch series, Rivers of London or London Falling?
muccamukk: Charissa looking down at someone. Text: Yeah (Sarcasm Implied) (A-Team: Yeah...)
Play we saw last night was When That I Was, the reminiscences and ramblings of an out of work actor hanging out in the now closed Globe Theatre in 1658. Mostly it was about the life of Shakespeare, and what it was like to work in Babbage's theatre company as a boy in girls' parts. It was pretty fun, often very funny, but wasn't quite as touching as it was trying to be, I think. Enjoyed but didn't blow me away.

Just finished The Impossible Cube (Clockwork Empire #2) by Steven Harper [note the v rather than a ph], which took me three times as long to read as the first one because I kept being annoyed at it. I can't tell if I would have liked this book if my expectations hadn't been so high from the first one, or if it just wasn't very good.

I felt very frustrated for the majority of it that all the clever shifts in gender dynamics were basically dropped. Gavin went from Manic Pixy Dream Boy to Tormented Hero Charged with Saving the World (with bonus domestic abuse), and also picked up better mechanical skills, thus making Alice somewhat redundant. Alice alternated between Worrying About Her Man and being a Wounded Healer Trying to Save the Children. Everyone else got a lobotomy between books. Plus the Chinese sidekick character was treated rather shabbily throughout.

There were even more secondary gay men, who again didn't get a hell of a lot to do, but were non-evil and non-dead, so that was nice.

The main drive of the plot: we're trying to get to China and everyone else is trying to stop us, relied heavily on the British Empire... not wanting to have a tactical advantage any more, or something? Which was pretty dumb, and relied on their competent commanding officer turning into a total psycho with daddy issues. Gavin also got surprise daddy issues.

I almost gave up a couple of times, though it did pull together for the finale. I don't think I'll read the next book, but may try the fourth, which has new characters.

I have challenged myself to write 750 words a day, these are about a hundred of them from yesterday.Read more... )
muccamukk: Faiza makes a bloody mess of some vampires. Text: "an unrepentant act of wanton violence and gore!" (Marvel: Wanton violence and GORE!)
Three plays in, I thought I'd write down some thoughts before I forget.

Yesterday, we (by we, I mean [ profile] artemis_rain and myself, Nenya being too deaf to get much out of live theatre) saw White Rabbit Red Rabbit, and bit of experimental theatre more or less about communication and conformity. The play is read cold by an actor who has never seen it or read it before, and incorporates that author and the audience into the story. Part of the play involves someone from the audience reading the last two pages, which [ profile] artemis_rain did very well (I just got to be one of the rabbits, though fortunately not the one pretending to be a cheetah pretending to be an ostrich). She got to keep the script, which she lent to Nenya, who thus got subtitles, after a fashion. So that was cool. I liked the connection and the discussion about identity and connection, how effective it was to have an author speaking directly with another's voice and interacting with that voice. I didn't find the conformity plot worked as well. It would have been interesting to see the another actor do the same material.

Today we saw SPIN which was about the intersection of feminism, commercialism and the bicycle. Very cool. On a personal note, the performer was a smoking hot gay lady, and just had such amazing poise and conviction. She talked and sang about Francis Willard, Amelia Bloomer "Annie Londonderry" and her granddaughter, and herself, and the possibilities of liberation and the cost and traps tied up in that. Plus some dude played a bicycle as musical accompaniment. Liked that very much.

Tonight we went to Underbelly a straight hour of spoken word art about William S. Burroughs, about which I have mixed feelings. The poetry, the acting, and the sheer art of it was almost breathtaking (incidentally the same actor as we saw in Rabbit). However, it was a lot like spending an hour listening to William S. Burroughs, who I don't like, and never have. Granted, the play was not trying to make me like it. [ profile] artemis_rain (who did like it and also likes things like Hannibal and The Wire) said it was a portrait of a monster, a man who for more or less no reason destroys himself and takes out every one in the vicinity while he's at it, then spends the rest of his life trying to justify himself by saying everyone else is as bad as he is (with some nice Ginsberg cameos). Which is true; it was. I just don't care? I just don't see the value in spending an hour with someone like that. Rich white dude is self-destructive and and horrible: News at 11. [ profile] artemis_rain then asked why, that being the case, I had gone to a play about William S. Burroughs? Where upon I attempted to blame it on her for saying she liked the writer/actor's other productions, while admitting to myself that that decision did lack a certain amount of self awareness and/or foresight. I think I was secretly hoping that he'd have some kind of redeeming quality, but NOPE.
muccamukk: An eye painted purple and green. Text: Hulk. (Avengers: Lady Hulk)
Just finished the latest Peter Grant mystery by Ben Aaronovitch. If you haven't read that series yet, you should. It's Doctor Who and Urban Fantasy and London Police procedural, all in one, with actual diversity. The latest book, Whispers Underground was a little lighter than the past one, and much more humorous, but didn't really advance the arc plot too, too much. I hope that gets going next book. Still, I enjoyed every page.

I was poking around the author's blog to see when the next book would be out (not soon enough), how many there would be in the series (no set limit, but six contracted so far), and if there will be a glossy BBC tv adaptation (no word), and I found that Aaronovitch was posting songs for different characters. Nightingale is one of my favourites (I HAVE A TYPE, OKAY!), and I'm absolutely fascinated by Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Power of Love" as his song. I assume that the relevant lyrics are "I'll protect you from the hooded claw/Keep the vampires from your door/When the chips are down, I'll be around/With my undying death-defying love." One assumes that the You therein is either Peter (platonic, one hopes) or the population of London generally, but it then occurred to me that other with his... "friendship" with Molly, we haven't heard a hell of a lot about Nightingale's dating preferences. If he has any. There is already a kickass lesbian character, but man would I love it if the stiff upper lip mentor character turned out to be queer.

Apparently Mark Waid is going to be writing a comic about the globe-trotting adventures of Bruce Banner (and Hulk) and Maria Hill. Huh. Pending reviews, but that sure sounds like something I'd enjoy.

Read two books by Sherry Thomas: Not Quite a Husband I dropped because of issues with rape (sold as kink in a way that really wasn't my kink), but I quite liked His at Night. It was kind of a Scarlett Pimpernel riff (only set in the 1890s), but dealing with the personal cost of being a public waste of space (to the point where even your very close brother doesn't know you're having him on). The sex in that was a little more pushy than I often like, but not too bad. Mostly it hit the right balance of humour and angst, with a decent mystery/adventure plot thrown in.

Read The Laramie Project which I really admired in terms of message and structure, but found really depressing. I would recommend it if you're interested in LGBT rights and history, or in the technical structure of playwriting, but not if you're already feeling down.

Daredevil has been AMAZING lately. I think I said that last post, but it bares saying again.

I'm way behind on M&C. I just haven't had the time, I'm afraid :(
muccamukk: Connor and Duncan hugging. Text: "Clan MacLeod" (HL: Clan Hugs)
Day Two: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create. See if you can rec fanworks that are less likely to be praised: tiny fandoms, rare pairings, fanworks other than stories, lesser known kinks or tropes. Find fanworks that have few to no comments, or creators new to a particular fandom and maybe aren't well known or appreciated. Appreciate them.

Two Three Four points on this rec list: I didn't rec anyone on my flist; I tried not to rec anything I've recced here before; I'm doing fic because that's what I'm most familiar with and what I have a memory longer than a goldfish for, and a depressing number of fics I wanted to rec have vanished from the face of the Internet :(

Title: To His Image Did I Devotion
Author: [ profile] kindkit
Fandom: Shakespeare – Twelfth Night
Words: 1000
Rating: Teen
Summary: "His life I gave him, and did thereto add / My love without retention or restraint, / All his in dedication"
Notes: I thought of this fic first, when it came to beautiful, perhaps overlooked fic from small fandoms. This is, I think, the story that I wanted to read since I saw the play, the pull of Antonio, who is left behind in all this. The voice is lyrical and in character without trying to mimic canon, and the author packs a lot into their thousand words.

Title: Taking Down Tinsel Town
Author: [ profile] frimfram_sauce
Fandom: DC Comics (Justice League International)
Words: 14,500
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Prompt: Boostle, Cyrano style! Booster agrees to help Ted woo the girl of his dreams.
Notes: This is not so much about Booster helping Ted woo an (admittedly awesome) OFC, as it is about Booster facing up to the idea that his life is unsustainable, and trying to cope. In that this is Booster, the coping is more avoided than implemented. Also, this fic has two things I love 1. Completely in character humour, and 2. Grade-A Pining. Seriously, the angsty pining in this fic is amazing. You all should go read it immediately.

Title: Those Poor Suckers
Author: [ profile] Iambic
Fandom: DC Comics (Booster Gold)
Words: 400
Rating: G
Summary: So who had the stroke of genius to make Booster Gold a father, anyway?
Notes: I just found this yesterday (optimistically hitting AO3's Rip Hunter tag), and I think it's just great. It's been completely Jossed, but I still think it's a brilliantly hurty take on Rip's relationship with Booster. Canon may have gone a different way, but this is a fascinating dynamic and well worth the read.

Title: The Uncommonly Happy Disposition of Kono Kalakaua
Author: [ profile] Doqz
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Words: 1,600
Rating: G
Summary: Life always works out in the end, if you put your mind to it.
Notes: Most Kono fic that I've found is very much in the line of Fuck You, she's awesome. This is pretty much an ode on that theme. I love her relationship with Chin, and with the police force, and how she just does what she wants because that's what she wants to do and the rest of the world can just deal.

Title: The Vorlon Gift
Author: [ profile] atsammy
Fandom: Babylon 5
Words: 31,000
Rating: Mature
Summary: The Vorlons return something that Susan thought she’d lost forever.
Notes: I think this is something of the way canon would have gone had not various actors moved on. I wish it had worked out like this. It's such a perfect story of love in a time of war, of people finding themselves, and hey, amnesia, yenta!Vorlons, supertelepaths and lesbians! What's not to like?

Title: The Road More Travelled
Author: [ profile] AraSigyrn
Fandom: DC Comics (Justice League International)
Words: 2,100
Rating: Teen +
Summary: Bea and Tora get another chance at the morning after the night before.
Notes: This is the only Bea/Tora fic that I've ever found. I think this is too bad, as they're adorable and incredibly slashy. However, what a wonderful fic it is. It's morning after, timeloop pining fic. Which is like three of my favourite kinks rolled into one happy, angsty ball.This fic just makes me happy.

Almost Home

Jun. 5th, 2011 10:23 pm
muccamukk: Starsky and Hutch looking at each other with mischief in their eyes. Text: "Two's trouble." (S&H: Two's Trouble)
I'm in Victoria, should be packing to leave tomorrow, but eh.

I still have that god-damned cold. If it doesn't cause Nenya to murder me in our bed so she can get some sleep, it'll be by god's grace alone. Drugs help.

Nonetheless, I had a fun time visiting my aunt and uncle in North Vancouver. We went and did all the fun cultural things: Granville Island (where I spent money like a drunken sailor), the Art Gallery (where I was impressed by the Surrealist exhibit, right until we hit the mutilating women's bodies part, which I'm kind of not down with, even for art's sake; but disappointed to learn that the Emily Carr collection was off travelling somewhere, what the hell BC Art Gallery? You have now have no works the greatest west coast painter in Canadian history?), and saw a play by Sarah Ruhl called Eurydice (which went well with the previously mentioned Surrealists, but left me with mixed feelings).

Saw X-Men: First Class tonight, which I liked very much, though it really could have done without the race fail, I mean, seriously? Gender issues too, actually. Which combine to make me feel slightly bad about the pure sensual pleasure I gained from watching Erik and Charles stride about being badass and in love, and all the team building antics that I love so much. I have a great weakness for training montages. However, even the Russians got to be sympathetic, and I did love this Mystique. Also, Erik, sharp dressed man with actual facts decent reasons for angst. Stick it, Loki.

Home tomorrow.
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (H:TLJ: Romance)
Pick 15 of your ships and write down a quote for each of them. Let your f-list guess. Looking them up on IMDb or Google is cheating.

Read more... )
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (SGA: Dance)
I haven't updated for a while. It's been kind of busy. [ profile] artemis_rain was stage managing the first Toaster Oven Productions (lesbian theatre group) play over the weekend, and I was her stage hand, which was a lot of fun. It's amateur theatre, but I thought it went very well. The author and her partner flew in from Boston to see both nights, which was pretty neat.

I'm still doing more research for the Sherlock Holmes story and hope to start actual writing soon. Due Mid September, so want to get going as I'm a slow writer.

Work is going well. Learned how to use the chainsaw sharpening machine, and some of the paperwork upfront. One of the office guys is going back to school, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to learn enought to replace him by September.

We saw The X-Files: I Want to Believe with [ profile] artemis_rain and her best friend (both fans of the show) today. Not my favourite summer movie (still Hellboy II, actually), but I think it was better for people who watched the show more than occasionally, as I wasn't really invested in the characters, and thus concentrated too much on the plot (which I understand was not really the point of the MotW episodes). spoilers )


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

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