[Silmarillion] Tribute for the Queen

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:03 am
chestnut_filly: (Default)
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(Crossposted @AO3)



Title: Tribute for the Queen
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] LiveOakWithMoss
Reader: [archiveofourown.org profile] Chestnut_filly
Cover Artist: [tumblr.com profile] StygianAcrimony
Fandom: The Silmarillion
Pairing: Lalwen/Queen Berúthiel
Rating: M
Summary: "Berúthiel honestly doesn't know why she puts up with Lalwen. (Except, no, she totally knows why.)"
Length: 4:26

Mediafire download link
.

This podfic was posted for Day One of Tolkien Femslash Week 2017, for Sappho's fragment 16A:
"Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing on the black earth. But I say it is
what you love."
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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Reading Wednesday

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:30 pm
muccamukk: Bill standing in front of the TARDIS bookshelf. (DW: Queen of Books)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading

Still No Word by Shannon Webb-Campbell
I read this slowly and several times. I have trouble writing about poetry, but I liked the clarity and feeling here.

Chalk by Paul Cornell
Hard to know what to rate this one. I think it does what it's trying to do with great effectiveness, but I'm not really interested in what it's trying to do? The story does claustrophobic, creepy and bleak, pretty well wall to wall, which I think is very true to the author's experiences, but like with Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane (with which this shared a lot of elements), I'm not that invested.

I liked a lot of the struggle for significance in the face of meaningless cruelty, and the storytelling itself was delightfully creepy (for those into horror), but it was a hard read.


The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell Scott
I knew very little about Mrs Roosevelt and nothing about Pauli Murray going in, and loved finding out about them. The book primarily focuses on Murray and her life, with the interactions with ER highlighted and context of ER's life at those times added. It doesn't shy away from their weaknesses and mistakes, which is nice in a positive bio. I felt that it gave me a strong understanding of both women, and of how their interactions with politics changed over the years. I now want to read bios of all the other amazing women they crossed paths with along the way.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, narrated by Kate Burton
I really enjoyed this. It's sort of meandering and reflective, with time jumps and backstory, but I just liked spending time living with these characters. There was a core of good intentions and kindness in most of them, even if most of them didn't always live up to that. The period setting was phenomenal.

The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Meigs, Lincoln's General, Master Builder of the Union Army by Robert O'Harrow, narrated by Tom Perkins
Perhaps a little heavy on lauding our hero, rather than letting his achievements stand on their own, but absolutely fascinating for all that. I would have liked more on the mundane logistics of the Civil War supply system, and maybe a bit less building things before the war, though the War Department politics were very interesting.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin
I can't figure out if this book is not as clever as it thinks it is, or if I'm just not smart enough to get it. A problem I have with a lot of litfic, to be honest.

I was initially cooler on it, but reading some interviews with the author gave me a better idea of what he was doing, and that helped my appreciation of the book.

I admit that I did not find the surface narrative of Cora's escape that interesting, though I liked Cora herself, and it was kind of neat to pick out threads from various real slave narratives. The alternate history elements in the Carolinas were also pretty neat, though they didn't really tie into the railway being an actual railway, which frankly I don't get the point of.

There were themes of story telling and who gets to have a voice/tell the story of enslaved people, which I didn't really pick up on myself, but appreciated after hearing the author talk about it.

All in all I liked it, but don't really get the buzz.


Adrift on the Sea of Rains (The Apollo Quartet, #1) by Ian Sales, narrated by Jeffrey Schmidt
Competent alternate history, which is mostly enjoyable because of the massive amount of NASA nerdery. Though props to the author for starting the series with such an unlikable protagonist (the kind of man who thinks he's the best ever, but is clearly not someone who should be in charge of a gas station, let alone a moon base). The tech conceit was a bit handwavey, but it got the story where it was going, and I enjoyed how it unfolded.

The Eye With Which The Universe Beholds Itself (The Apollo Quartet, #2) by Ian Sales, narrated by Jeffrey Schmidt
Again with pleasing NASA nerdery (though stop explaining abbreviations! anyone this far down the NASA rabbit hole knows what LEO stands for, let alone USAF! I liked the conflict between civilian NASA and the Air Force space corps.

However, the hero is more or less why I don't read SF by dudes unless it's recced. His entire character is basically Sad Because His Wife Left Him. There are no significant women in the story other than the ex-wife.

I also didn't believe the central plot point, which I won't spoil, but will say was a handwave too far in terms of science. You can't just wave the word "Quantum" around and expect me to believe it. I might not have minded as much if I'd liked the hero, but here we are.

Then Will The Great Ocean Wash Deep Above (The Apollo Quartet, #3) by Ian Sales (Goodreads Author), narrated by Trina Nishimura
I mean, It's always nice to read an AU where the Mercury 13 got to go to space, even if they continued to get screwed over by NASA, but I didn't find the plot of this one very compelling. Sales clearly couldn't think of much to do with female astronauts other than have them do the same stuff all the guys had done and then cheat them out of the moon walk, so half the plot is about a male deep-sea diver who is looking for a spy satellite's cargo. I basically felt like I was reading a non-fiction book about the US spy program, with a Korean War AU on the side. Thin on both characterisation and plot. Author describes make and model of every plane, train and automobile in story. Does not need to do this.


Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan, narrated by Suzanne Toren
I know everyone read this when it came out ages ago, but I admit to having read the preface and then skipped to the bits about T.E. Lawrence, at the time, so this is my first go through.

I really appreciate the historical perspective, and how the author kept focused on the conference, but provided the background for each of the major regions and disputes. The personalities of all the diplomats were very well drawn, and I liked the heavy use of quotes and original sources. They helped keep me engaged in the storyline.

The conclusion regarding the spin out from the peace conference was very interesting, and I'll have to check out more books on the topic.


What I'm Reading Now
Theoretically a couple things, practically not much.

What I'm Reading Next

No idea.
Going on a trip starting tomorrow, so probably a lot of romance novels. *remembers to charge e-reader*

Gender in Comics

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:23 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I found this analysis of gender in comics to be fascinating.  In many categories, I've written against the mainstream pattern, such as having females with super-strength and males with psychic powers.  In a few areas I may have replicated the pattern; with pheromone control and prehensile hair, I could only think of female characters, although I'm sure there are males with pheromones.
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[personal profile] opalsong posting in [community profile] amplificathon


Title: Thrall
Author: Lys ap Adin
Reader: Opalsong
Fandom: Katekyou Hitman Reborn
Pairings: Bianchi/Yamamoto Takeshi
Rating: Explicit
Length: 27:16
Size: 37.7MB
Music: Poison Scorpion, Bianchi by Toshihiko Sahashi
Cover: Opalsong
Summary: In which Yamamoto has cause to go undercover with Bianchi and discovers something about himself.

Link: mp3

Thanks to Paraka for hosting!
Thanks to Lys ap adin for having blanket permission!!

cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3

Archivists: Please do not archive this work.
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[personal profile] opalsong posting in [community profile] amplificathon


Title: Quid Pro Quo
Author: Lys ap Adin
Reader: Opalsong
Fandom: Katekyou Hitman Reborn
Pairings: Bianchi/Dino
Rating: Explicit
Length: 10:06
Size: 8.1MB
Music: Danyism by Toshihiko Sahashi
Cover: Opalsong
Summary: Dino Cavallone has a broad-minded sense of fair play.

Link: mp3

Thanks to Paraka for hosting!
Thanks to Lys ap adin for having blanket permission!!

cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3

Archivists: please do not archive this work.
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[personal profile] opalsong posting in [community profile] amplificathon


Title: Shōtō
Author: Lys ap Adin
Reader: Opalsong
Fandom: Katekyou Hitman Reborn
Pairings: Xanxus/Squalo, Xanxus/Yamamoto, Yamamoto/Squalo
Rating: Explicit
Length: 6:10
Size: 5.0MB
Music: Ame no Keishousha by Toshihiko Sahashi
Cover: Opalsong
Summary: Xanxus figures it's probably better not to ask too many questions, just in case he doesn't like the answers.

Link: mp3

Thanks to Paraka for hosting!
Thanks to Lys ap adin for having blanket permission!!

cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3

Archivists: Please do not archive this work.
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[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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Hard Things

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:32 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

This Week in Fandom, Volume 56

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:44 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
This Week in Fandom

This week in fandom: Reaction to the 13th Doctor, Photobucket & SoundCloud problems, and stats on female sports fans: https://goo.gl/gCTfC1

Yet Another Book Meme

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:46 pm
stardreamer: Baby Got Book! (books)
[personal profile] stardreamer
50 questions about books!

1. You currently own more than 20 books:
2. You currently own more than 50 books:
3. You currently own more than 100 books:
Let's just lump all these together under HELL, YEAH.

4. You amassed so many books you switched to an e-reader:
Not really. I added the Kindle app to my phone for traveling convenience, and because of a few things I wanted which were only available in e-form. But I still prefer hard-copy overall.

5. You read so much you have a ton of books AND an e-reader:
That would be me. I should note that I also have a TBR stack on my Kindle app.

6. You have a book-organization system no one else understands:
Mostly it's pretty straightforward. Where people might disagree is some of my judgment calls.

7. You're currently reading more than one book:
Generally speaking, yes.

8. You read every single day: Yes.

9. You're reading a book right now, as you’re taking this book nerd quiz: No.

10. Your essentials for leaving the house:
My belt-pack and cellphone. I don't have to carry physical books any more because of the Kindle app.

11. You've pulled an all-nighter reading a book: Yes, many times.

12. You did not regret it for a second and would do it again:
If that refers back to #11, yes.

13. You've figured out how to incorporate books into your workout: Workout?

14. You've declined invitations to social activities in order to stay home and read:
This happens in the other order. I decline a social invitation because I don't want to go, and then I end up staying home and reading instead of doing something else.

15. You view vacation time as "catch up on reading" time:
Not as a rule. If I've spent money to go somewhere and do something, I'm going to do it. Reading may happen during travel time or in the evenings.

16. You've sat in a bathtub full of tepid water with prune-y skin because you were engrossed in a book:
No -- reading in the bath isn't compatible with showers.

17. You've missed your stop on the bus or the train because you were engrossed in a book:
No, but I did miss a fork on the interstate once because I was listening to an audiobook. That was the only time I ever tried to listen to an audiobook while driving.

18. You've almost tripped over a pothole, sat on a bench with wet paint, walked into a telephone pole, or narrowly avoided other calamities because you were engrossed in a book:
No! I loathe people who aren't paying attention to what they're actually doing.

19. You've laughed out loud in public while reading a book:
Yes. And then glanced around to see if there was anyone nearby who'd be likely to appreciate the joke.

20. You've cried in public while reading a book (it’s okay, we won’t tell): No.

21. You're the one everyone goes to for book recommendations:
Only some people. It's pointless to solicit recommendations from (or make them to) someone who doesn't share your taste.

22. You take your role in recommending books very seriously and worry about what books your friends would enjoy:
That's putting way too much emphasis on a matter of opinion.

23. Once you recommend a book to a friend, you keep bugging them about it:
I may ask them, once.

24. If your friend doesn't like the book you recommended, you're heartbroken:
Disappointed, sometimes. Heartbroken... no, I don't invest that much of my ego into it.

25. And you judge them. HELL, NO.

26. In fact, whenever you and a friend disagree about a book you secretly wonder what is wrong with them:
I would wonder what was wrong with someone who actually did this.

27. You've vowed to convert a non-reader into a reader:
No, I don't tilt at windmills. If it's going to happen, it'll happen with or without me.

28. And you've succeeded: n/a

29. You've attended book readings, launches, and signings: Yes.

30. You own several signed books:
Many! I even use "autographed" as a tag on LibraryThing.

31. You would recognize your favorite authors on the street:
Some of them, because I know them socially from cons.

32. In fact, you have: If you include "at a con", yes.

33. If you could have dinner with anybody in the world, you'd choose your favorite writer:
Maybe. Still stiff competition from Howard Shore, though.

34. You own a first-edition book: A few.

35. You know what that is and why it matters to bibliophiles:
It's about rarity and historical interest. And bragging rights, for some of them.

36. You tweet, post, blog, or talk about books every day: No.

37. You have a "favorite" literary prize:
I take more interest in the Hugos than I do in other prizes, but I'm not sure that translates into "favorite".

38. And you read the winners of that prize every year:
Not necessarily -- even for the Hugos!

39. You've recorded every book you've ever read and what you thought of it:
I try to keep up-to-date with entering books into LibraryThing, but that's partly to make sure I don't re-buy a book that's on my TBR stack. Sometimes I write reviews, but I don't feel compelled to do so.

40. You have a designated reading nook in your home:
Not really. Mostly I read either at the table while eating, or in my favorite chair, but I don't think of them as "reading nooks".

41. You have a literary-themed T-shirt, bag, tattoo, or item of home décor: Yes.

42. You gave your pet a literary name:
Of the current pride, Grey Mouser, Sunfall (of Ennien), Spike (from the Toby Daye books), and arguably Loki and Kitsune are literary-related; Spot, Winnie, and Catgirl aren't.

43. You make literary references and puns nobody else understands:
Yes, and usually my friends understand them.

44. You're a stickler for spelling and grammar, even when you're just texting:
Mostly. In casual writing I'll allow myself some leeway, and I don't beat myself up over the occasional typo.

45. You've given books as gifts for every occasion:
Every type of occasion, probably. But not every single one of any type.

46. Whenever someone asks what your favorite book is, your brain goes into overdrive and you can't choose just one.
No. I have "all-time favorite" which doesn't change, and "current favorite" which does. I do sometimes get snarky and respond with, "You want me to pick ONE?" Especially since I like different books for different reasons.

47. You love the smell of books: Meh.

48. You've binge-read an entire series or an author's whole oeuvre in just a few days: Yes.

49. You've actually felt your heart rate go up while reading an incredible book: Probably.

50. When you turn the last page of a good book, you feel as if you've finally come up for air and returned from a great adventure:
Sometimes. When I do, I frequently go back and re-read it immediately.

July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, Session 2

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:43 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl is once again open.  We're reusing the original post with its donation button and ticker. However, please place new prompts below THIS post, because the other one is already so full that comments are collapsing, which makes them harder to read or search.  You may prompt in this session IF 1) you did not prompt in the July 4 session OR 2) you donated to the July 4 session.

I will do the best I can to fill new prompts and pick up some from the previous session.  I have no idea how long it'll take.  My body is being kind of cranky after last week's adventures, and the internet is a bit iffy although nowhere near as bad as it was earlier this month.  Witch me luck, eh?

Wynonna Earp

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:15 pm
muccamukk: Wynonna makes a disgusted face. (WE: Ugh)
[personal profile] muccamukk
I need to rewatch season one, probably. I should get the DVD.

I'm just really invested in the OT3.

Normally with a show, I'm fairly come and go on canon ships working out, obviously it's very nice when there's gay ones and they go well, and it's even nicer when there's gay ones and it's troup soup with a happy ending. But normally I'm like, will they get together? I hope so? I guess? (Phryne and Jack being a possible exception for canon ships.) Mostly I just hope for a minimum of aggressive stupidity.

And then my usual response to love triangles is A Plague on Both Your Houses! Become a Lesbian!

But this show, man. I'm going to be REALLY upset if Dolls turns out to be a jerk and Wynonna picks Doc, or if Doc dies and she picks Dolls by default, or whatever stupid reason is brought up to shuffle one dude off and make her choose the other one. Not because I'm tired of stupid love triangle logic (which I am), but because I really want her to end up with both of them. There's no reason she couldn't. They're both hard core into her enough to be okay with it (Doc certainly, Dolls... needs work but I can see it). Wynonna publicly does not give a shit for conventions, and is nuts for both of them. I FAIL TO SEE A PROBLEM.

(Plus Dolls and Doc seem to have taken up flirting, and when their backs aren't up about the stupid love triangle, they genuinely get along.)

I know I won't get an actual triangle, but we could at least have a Dolls\Wynonna/Doc? Right? That's a thing you can do on weirdo horror westerns set in Calgary?

This show is going to break my heart, isn't it?

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