"We wondered if he thought a planet full of women could ultimately rebuild society and sustain itself once again. Vaughan was surprisingly optimistic on that front. "Yes, I do think it could. There were a lot of people early on in the first year who complained, "Wow, this is such a misogynistic book to say that, because the men died, the women can't get the electricity running all over the world and the airports up and running again." I think that's an extremely complex, extremely difficult thing to deal with. When three billion people die, I don't care what their sex was, that's an incredibly difficult thing to come back from. I will say that the world would be better off than if it were just the men left. I think that would be an even more dire situation. I think there is hope for the planet."
( Read more... )
Currently working on finishing Beach Boys Book 3 (out next week with luck), the Basilisk novel (out in the next fortnight with luck) and a short story (off to a more-patient-than-I-deserve editor early next week), a bunch of freelance commissions, and editing Holly’s book. I tried to put together a linkblog, but frankly I haven’t even been looking at enough interesting links to fill one recently. Normal posting should resume soon.
The place she's in was really nice. I swear if it were offered as a 1BR apartment for rent, I'd seriously consider it after my lease is up in 2019. Even though it was somewhat swampy this morning, I drove us over to the rose garden at Colonial Park since I thought it would be a nice place to stroll while many of the roses were in bloom. I'll have to visit again this summer to see if other pretty roses bloom but here's a few pictures from today's visit:( Pretty flowers )
After the short walk, we stopped back by so she could "check out" as it were and we went for lunch at Noodle GoGo where we stuffed ourselves silly. One thing that was especially delicious was a Peppercorn Tofu which was more of a salt-and-pepper tofu similar to this recipe. I am SO getting that again. It was crispy and flavorful on the outside and creamy on the inside.
Then it was time to see her off for her trip. Hope all goes well on the rest of your journey, Mojo!
⌈ Secret Post #3824 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 00 secrets from Secret Submission Post #547.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 1 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
"The Game of Rat and Dragon" has stuck better in my memory, but at some point in college I was delighted to discover that there were more Instrumentality stories. The one that I remembered, years later, as being particularly interesting was "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal." Peculiarly, I remembered that it had an unusual narrative structure/format, but not anything useful about its plot. Cue yesterday when I actually reread it, having checked out the posthumous collection When the People Fell from the library, and being bemused to discover that this story was almost certainly, before I ever heard of fanfic on the internet, my introduction to mpreg.
A spoilery discussion of the story follows beneath the cut.
 My high school library's sf/f holdings were very eclectic. They had a couple decades' worth of Analog under Stanley Schmidt. I read every page of every issue available, and remain fond of the zine although I have not read it in over a decade. They also had old classics like John Wyndham's Re-Birth, amusing curiosities like a litcrit book on the best fantasy novels by Michael Moorcock (possibly with a co-author; I no longer remember) in which he immodestly listed his own Stormbringer, a number of old Nebula anthologies, and a copy of Harlan Ellison's (ed.) Dangerous Visions that I read two or three or four times before someone else stole it or, more charitably, checked it out and lost it. (Years later, I still think Philip José Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage" was insufferably boring, and Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah" makes zero sense when you are barely aware of what sex is.) They had Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, which is where I encountered them. On the other hand, the librarians were very friendly, and for a number of years, because my sister and I were the only ones who made use of the request box, we pretty much got them to buy whatever we wanted to read for the year.
( Read more... )
"I'd read the two BROTHER POWER THE GEEK comics as a small boy, and thought they were seriously weird. Rereading them as an adult they were still seriously weird, and funny, and touched with a sad, strange nostalgia. I'd been reading some Ken Kesey, and somehow the idea of Brother Power as a final remnant of flower power began to possess me. 'At least you didn't bring back Prez,' said my friends, relieved. Little did they know."
--Neil Gaiman, Midnight Days
Mild gore on one page.
( 'Like where did the beeeautiful people go?' )
She told me she's not really looking for fanfic right now because she'd probably have to wade through too many fics written by 11 year olds with horrible SPAG.
And then she closed by telling me that one time she accidentally found some drawings of skeleton porn where they had ectoplasm genitals which is the funniest thing ever.
2. Downton Abbey watch continues. ( spoilers )
3. Fiona's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be four!!!!!!!
4. I am exhausted in the last two weeks, like way more than usual. My energy levels have been good for awhile, and I'm wondering if my thyroid levels have dropped. I hesitate to move up my August 31 endocrinologist appointment; I've done so every year for the past three years when I've had worsening symptoms, and the tests have always come back with a "Nah, not sick enough for us to do anything" verdict. I'm on the verge of starting my period, so I'm wondering if that's a factor. If I don't start to feel better in the next week, I guess I will up the appointment. I just feel so beat, and working out is a chore. :( This is definitely not normal.
5. I am done teaching for the semester! Whoooo! Grades are turned in, and now all I have to do is relax and work on the novel.
Other than a somewhat jolting experience at the opening ceremonies, which made it clear yet again that many of those who have always assumed their perfect safety in any circumstance (and who thus find argument entertaining) simply do not comprehend the paradigm for those who have always had to be wary, to at least some degree, while maneuvering in public spaces. I trust that learning happened.
After that, things went so very well. So many great conversations, over delicious food. Interesting panels, lovely weather. Another thing occurred to me: I so seldom get that quick-back-and-forth of conversation, as my social life is about 95% online, that I found myself frequently behind a couple steps. At least, I think it's due to that and not (I hope) to me dulling with age.
The con was splendid right to the last moments: my return train was to leave Mpls. at ten-ten that night, and I did not particularly look forward to sitting at the Amtrak station for six hours, but I didn't have the discretionary cash for adventuring about. However after delicious ice cream sundaes (yum, yum, yum!) carbonel generously offered to take me home, then drop me at the station, though it was not even remotely in her way.
My six hours passed so pleasantly it was emblematic of the entire weekend for me: after the fast pace it was so nice to sit quietly, watch some BBC animal planet documentaries . . . and, to my utter delight, the resident kitting--after doing considerable showing off by leaping to wall and ceiling beams and down again--curled up in my lap to purr. When you realize that I rarely get to see cats except in youtube vids when the news is too fraught, you will understand how that was the perfect close to an excellent weekend.
Thence an equally lovely train trip back, much reading and some writing achieved.
And this morning, I hauled my aged bod to yoga, for a much-needed session. This last couple weeks has been all about the head. Exhilarating, but not good for the bod. I used to be so active, until the arthritis turned all my joints into a constant ache; now exercise is something I have to do, so I've some tricks to keep my lazy ass in gear.
Anyway, it occurred to me as I sweated and stretched that the fundamental good of yoga is to strengthen all those muscles we otherwise do not notice that hold the body upright. Especially someone like me with rotten posture (I've had the child-abuse shoulder hunch all my life, and when young fought against it in dance, constantly hearing, "Shoulders down, Smith!" The only time I didn't have it was in fencing, oddly enough) it's easy to turtle. But I feel much better and stronger overall when I keep up with the yoga.
So--that, and to my desk to catch up!
A bit of writerly stuff to pass on: an indie writer I met through a fantasy bundle project last summer, C.J. Brightley, has put out a call for fantasy stories of the uplifting sort, and asked me to pass it on. Submission data here.
Meal plans this week were mostly based around what was in the freezer and the cupboards. We always seem to have so much stuff in, one of the neighbours jokingly called us the corner shop as if they run out, we generally have whatever it is they need. So in a bid to use stuff up and maybe save money here are this weeks plans.
Sat 24th – Veggie burgers and chips. Fake meat double cheeseburger for Mr CK and fake chicken for me. We will have these with chips, onion rings and some little macaroni cheese bite things we have in the freezer. I’ll make a quick cucumber pickle and pick some salad from the garden just to add some freshness to what could be a bit of a beige meal.
Sun 25th – Sweet potato nut roast, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, mashed sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, peas and cauliflower with a red wine jus.
Mon 26th – Brinner – veggie sausages, fried eggs, hash browns, potato & Mediterranean veg fry, baked beans, roasted tomato, mushrooms and bread and butter.
Tue 27th – Paneer tikka massala, chana dahl, rice and chapatis.
Weds 28th – Mushroom and tarragon pithivier with boulangere potatoes and whatever veg we have around.
Thurs 29th – My world famous (maybe not but it should be) 3 bean chilli with rice and garlic bread.
Friday 30th – Chickpea balls in tomato sauce, these little herby balls are browned then baked in a rich tomato sauce with slices of mozzarella, served with pasta.
In other news, the house is slowly moving on, the tiling is progressing. Slowly as it has been a tad warm for physical labour.
The garden is blooming, my raspberries have flowers, my tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and squashes are growing at an alarming rate. The broad beans are sadly getting nibbled by something, but I hope at least a few will survive. I have aubergines and chillies to plant out soon, so hopefully in a few months time we will be having some more home grown.
Poor poochie has been in the wars, first we thought we’d have to have her put down. Thanks vet one, then we went back for another opinion, much more positive and gave us antibiotics which cleared up the disgusting smell. Third vet suggested surgery, which we decided to go for as she made it sound much better than the first one did. Dog is now home, a bit wobbly, but alive and snoring and gurgling away. Hopefully she will perk up over the coming days.
This weekend is handmade parade, so expect loads of pictures.
Essentially, it consisted of the jubilant announcement that I have at last finished my entry for the Hero's Journey Matryoshka Challenge. It was definitely a challenge!!! I definitely enjoyed it nonetheless.
Then, an apology for the absence because I was travelling in Europe with my mother.
Then I ranted a bit about my writing projects, which were basically:
- Camp NaNoWriMo this July. An 80k word overhaul of my 2016 attempt.
- Golden Point Awards entry (a Singaporean literary competition).
- Writeup of my Russia trip.
- Writeup of my Europe trip.
- Completing my first 'villain treatise' (which is basically a quasi-analytical rant)
And then I mentioned the books I'm currently reading now that I have time - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, and The Unfinished Tales by Professor Tolkien.
Sorry for this slapdash summary, I'm so heartbroken about that lost post and it's too late to write it nicely again :(
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I wanted to like this so much. Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. Ilium and Olympos are among my favorite books ever. Hyperion is delightful. Drood is wonderful.
The Fifth Heart is okay.
I think maybe the problem is that I'm not a Sherlock Holmes nut and so much of the intricacy of the story is probably lost on me. I also don't know much about James or the other historical/literary figures in the text.
I was also a little disappointed that at no point was anything the characters in the novel think is funny actually funny to me. Mark Twain is funny. His writing makes me laugh. Mark Twain in this novel is not funny. I would think that's the point, that the funny man is not actually funny, except that the other characters all seem genuinely amused by his stories.
This one was not for me.
I did enjoy the ending, especially the epilogue, with James standing arm in arm with Holmes on the deck of the ship the way he's always wanted to stand with someone else.
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