ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
Or: what DIDN'T you read this week?

We all have things we mean to read, but never quite find the time, whether it's a bunch of unopened tabs, or an ever growing pile of books by the bed.

What's on your to-be-read list this week?

New Fic

May. 27th, 2015 12:03 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Trapped in the quiet coach on a Virgin train to London without Wifi I put the finishing touches to

Episode Two: Beruna

Fandoms: Cabin Pressure, Chronicles of Narnia
General Audiences
Author chooses not to warn.

MJN Air fall into Narnia.

For [personal profile] kalypso and [personal profile] clanwilliam

A goodbye (of sorts)

May. 27th, 2015 08:50 am
nymeth: (Default)
[personal profile] nymeth posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
I could start by saying this will be my last post here at Lady Business, but I hope that would soon prove a lie.

It’s been nearly five years now since Renay, Jodie and I first started talking about starting a blog together, and during that time my life has changed considerably. Five years ago I was getting ready to start my MA in Library and Information Management; although that was a busy period for me, I was much better able to manage my workload and still write regularly than I am now that I have a rewarding but often exhausting full-time library job. Add to that my perpetual confidence issues when it comes to writing for a more polished and professional venue and the result was a level of contribution far below what I hoped for when Lady Business was first launched. In its turn, this led to a permanent state of angst and guilt over not being able to be more involved, which brings us to where we are today. I’ve been on hiatus since the start of the year to make sure that whatever decision I came to in the end would be the right one for my life, and I’m now as certain as I think I’ll ever be.

I’m sad to announce that I’m stepping away from my formal role in Lady Business. Read more... )

Meme: Ten Fics That Stayed With You

May. 27th, 2015 09:44 am
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
[personal profile] selenak
From [personal profile] intrigueing and [personal profile] muccamukk:

In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

I'm sure I could come up with ten more, but these are the ones that came immediately to mind (and which I could find again online!):

1.) From Me To Q by Julia Houston (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek in its first three incarnations is one of my oldest fandoms, and the time when TNG and then DS9 were broadcast was when I started to get aquainted with fanfiction, first via fanzines and then via the earliest online archives. Finding this particular story was like striking gold. It's TNG; it's plotty, like a well written episode complete with ethical dilemmas; it's Picard/Q (which was what I was looking for when finding the story) but uses the entire TNG ensemble well; it takes the most reviled of fanfic clichés, the Mary Sue, and gives it a highly original twist. (Well, back then it was original, for all I know, it's been often imitated since.) Also, the dialogue sparkles. In short, I fell in love, so much so that I gave Voyager, which I had almost given up upon, another shot, simply because Julia Houston back then was also writing Voyager reviews and I adored her writing that much.

2.) Last Set Before Closing, by Kat Allison. (Highlander: The Series). HL was another early online fandom of mine, and this story left me shaken and breathless the first time I read it. On the surface, not much happens in this tale, which is set several years after the series ended; Joe Dawson is very old, not far from death, and his mind has started to wander; Duncan visits. Behind that simple description hides one of the best and most gutwrenching stories I've read in any fandom, which at once gives us the relationship between Joe and Duncan, and how both of them relate to Methos, about friendship, about mortals and immortals, and at the same time manages to say something very personal to anyone who has an older relative. (Until then, I don't think I had ever read fanfiction tackling a rl subject such as aging, its physical and mental decline, so unflinchingly, and with a beloved character, no less.) Another reason why I love it is this: at the time when it was first posted, its take on Methos was pretty much unique and went directly against how most fans then wrote him. (Probably still does.) And yet I find it entirely plausible.

3.) Changed Utterly by Parda (Highlander: The Series). Another HL story. Parda was a writer I interacted with a lot during my HL days, both as a reader and as a writer. This story is still my favourite of hers, and at the time it was first posted struck me as one of the best meditations onf grief and surviving I had read i nthe fandom. It's set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate, when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.

4.) Father's Heart by Fernwithy ( Star Wars). Still my favourite Star Wars story, many years later (this was written shortly after The Phantom Menace was released). Set between trilogies, it pulls off something a lot of people tried since, and does so in a credible way: Vader and the child and later teenager Leia forming a tentative friendship, which falls apart with a vengeance as she grows older and experiences the Empire at its worst. In addition to a terrific take on Leia and Vader, Bail Organa and his wife (who in this version is one of the former handmaidens, Sabé) as well as some original characters are compellingly written. ( Not to mention it caters to two of my narrative soft spots: non-romantic intense relationship, relationship that breaks up because of politics and ethics (and rightly so). ) I was only ever at the periphery of SW fandom, not least because I happen to like the prequels, but this story made me search for and read a lot of SW fanfiction for a while. It was years before I found its match.

5.) Freefall by Penknife (X-Men movieverse). This is an X2 AU, ensemble story, Scott pov, and one of the earliest [personal profile] penknife stories I read. X2 had just been released. As after X1, I hunted for stories that weren't Wolverine/Rogue. Hard to imagine for current day fans, but back then it was actually difficult to find Magneto/Xavier stories, or stories that featured Mystique in a prominent role, or stories that featured Scott at all. Bingo, thought I, when I found this one, and little did I know I had also found a favourite writer in many fandoms more. Oh, and I think this was the first AU I really liked (the twist is that Scott realises a bit sooner what's going on during the prison visit at the start of the movie, with the result that he and Xavier end up as fugitives together with Magneto and Mystique; it's Jean who gets captured instead). Until then, I had avoided AUs. After reading it, I gave them a shot.

6.) Ten Thousand Candles by Andraste. This is another early story by a future favourite writer; Charles Xavier post X2, trying to cope with all that happened (read: spoiler for big X2 twist )). Back then, Charles Xavier centric stories were incredibly rare; stories in which he wasn't either the wise mentor type or trying to win Erik back were even rarer. What he experiences in X2 is pretty horrifying, and I loved finding a story which addressed that. Of course, Andraste turned out to be the biggest Xavier expert in the planet, but I didn't know that then. :)

7.) Bed of Bones by Roz Kaveney (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I had spotted Roz on a couple of Buffy discussion mailing lists (remember those?), but this was the first BTVS or fanfiction in any fandom tale of hers that I had read, and it was sharp, poetic, and made the First Slayer(about whom at this point we only knew what Restless had mentioned) into a fascinating character. I was wowed. It also raised my standard of expectation re: fanfiction creating mythology in present day or futuristic fandoms to no end.

8.) Queen of Spades by Astolat (James Bond: Casino Royale): Ah, ye golden days when the Craig Casino Royale had been released and for the first time in my life I actually went and looked for Bond fanfiction, because Dench!M and Craig!Bond dynamic in that movie had gripped me in and fascinated me. (I had also loved Eva Green as Vesper and her relationship with Bond, but not in a way that made me look for fanfic.) And again, I hit gold. I think this probably was the first Bond/M story online. It set a most pleasing trend - for the next few years, you could rely on Yuletide including some great and sharp Bond and M fanfiction. (And then came Skyfall which brought the avalanche of Bond/Q and the Bond movies were no longer qualified for Yuletide, but that's another story.) Now, most combinations that have one character in a position of power over the other character are hard to sell to me as pairings, but there are exceptions, and Queen of Spades made me realize Dench!M and Craig!Bond were such an exception for me, because wow. (It also made me realise that I had a new story or rather old story archetype, not necessarily always as pairings, I love the gen variations, too, but: Morally ambiguous queens and their morally ambiguous battered knights, bring them on! Though only if the Queen is the older of the two. Read: Dany/Jorah does nothing fo rme.)

9: Working Order by Eatscissors (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). John/Cameron is a pairing that intrigues me but which I find more interesting on the actual show than in most of fanfiction, because, imo as often, fanfic tends to simplify and dispense with much that makes this particular relationship so layered, starting with the fact that Cameron is a machine, no matter what she looks like.Some spoilery ramblings about John and Cameron on the show ensue. ) Working Order, by contrast, addresses this and the other issues between them head-on while also being one of those stories where the explicit sex is part of the character exploration instead of reading as just being there for its own sake. For a reader like me who often finds sex scenes (both slash and het) reading like involuntarily funny gymnastic mannuals, with the participants interchangable to other fandoms and thus not very interesting, this was an eye opener. Really well written.

10.) Petrarchan Sonnets from the Vatican by Petra (The Borgias): I was and am grateful for all the stories I got in exchanges, and often loved them to bits, but this one will always remain special. Its just that awesome. It's a story in the guise of a fake article about the discovery of sonnets between L.B. (now who could that possibly be in Borgias fandom?) and person unknown, female and apparantly her tutor. Complete with the sonnets. And the commentary. Absolutely delightful, needless to say, poetic (my Yulewriter's ability to compose Petrarchan Sonnets with clever allusions to events from the show's first season still stuns me), and full of subtlety, and the wit and love for language that the characters in question display on the show as well (and did in history). (And now I'm grieved again that the Lucrezia and Guilia relationship post s1 fell by the wayside on the show, but never mind me.) If I could ensure that just one bit of Borgias fanfiction survives, this would be it.

Daily Happiness

May. 26th, 2015 11:25 pm
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got a lot done at work today.

2. I may have to work overtime a bit tomorrow to get everything done that I need to get done, but I don't think I'll have to go in on Thursday.

3. I got some translating done this evening and even posted some manga!
sineala: (Avengers: Steve/Tony: Red Zone)
[personal profile] sineala
Breaker of Horses (47943 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Historical, Alternate Universe - Ancient Rome, Alternate Universe - Gladiators, Centaurs, Romance, Interspecies Romance, Drama, Action/Adventure, Angst, War, Slavery, Happy Ending, Additional Warnings In Author's Note, Community: cap_ironman, Cap_Ironman Reverse Bang Challenge 2015
Series: Part 1 of Breaker of Horses
Summary: What do you do when the Roman Empire you were raised to love consigns you to the sands of the arena? Antonius is a prince of the Dacians, captured in war and sold as a gladiator. He yearns for his freedom. Stephanos -- the last living centaur -- is his fellow slave and trainer. Centuries old, disillusioned by a Rome that has become a shadow of itself, Stephanos has all but given up on life... until he meets Antonius, and both of their lives are forever changed.

It's my Reverse Big Bang fic! It's my millionth word of fanfiction! Hooray!

There, have some centaur fic! And then have Bareback, the centaur/human porn sequel. Look what you made me do, fandom.

I hope people like it. I have been kind of a nervous wreck about it this evening. I'm just going to post this and then probably not think about writing anything for at least a week.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 01:39 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I'm up right now because I ate too much at dinner. That was a good five hours ago, but things won't settle enough to let me sleep. I also couldn't get my mind to settle down, either.

Since it's after 1 a.m., I will refer to the 26th as yesterday from here on out. Why not?

Scott and I didn't get up until after 9. I think it was closer to 10 by the time Scott emerged from the bedroom. Neither of us were very motivated to get moving, but he was feeling considerably better after a good night's sleep.

We had lunch at Totoro. Parking was difficult. Scott found a space right in front of the restaurant, but he started at a bad angle and kept bouncing off the curb and nudging the car in front of us. Some random guy came by and yelled at Scott for that (as far as I could tell, it wasn't his car).

After lunch, we went to the Secretary of State's office so I could renew my driver's license. It took less time than it might have because they were sorting out the easy things and giving them to a new employee, and a driver's license renewal was considered easy. I expected a written test and an eye exam, but they did neither, just had me sign a couple of forms and pay them. The photo for the license wasn't great, but I didn't think we were likely to get a better one by trying again.

Scott made a quick trip into Plum Market before we headed back into town. He forgot that Huron had construction, so he took Dexter instead of Miller, and that dumped us onto Huron which was one lane only for a very, very long way. At least, it was one lane going in the direction we needed.

Scott dropped me off at Bubble Island as there was no parking. I got bubble tea for all three of us. Unfortunately, I didn't hold onto the tray that the drinks had come on firmly enough, so it, with Cordelia's bubble tea, slid off my lap and onto the floor. The cup split, so we had lychee flavored green tea all over the car floor. We ended up just not telling Cordelia we'd had bubble tea and making sure that we had finished ours well before she got home. (I also had to put my shirt in to soak because it had gotten strawberry green tea all down the front.)

It was Tuesday, so Cordelia didn't come home until 4, and she brought two other kids with her. Those two come every Tuesday and Thursday. The three kids played until the other kids' father came to get them, around 5:30. Then Scott dragged Cordelia off to wrap presents while I talked to my brother on the phone.

Some time after 6, we headed out to Red Lobster. They weren't at all crowded, so we were seated immediately, and our food came fairly quickly. We all ended up with leftovers. I managed to drop food on myself at least twice. I really wish I was better at not doing that.

After dinner, we went to Dairy Queen. I wasn't sure it was a good idea given Scott's cold and the fact that Cordelia seems to be coming down with it, too, but Scott seemed to think it would be okay. Scott and Cordelia had small chocolate dipped cones. I had a small Heath blizzard.

When we got home, we discovered that my step-father had called while we were out. That surprised me because he and Mom pretty much never remember anybody's birthday (they didn't acknowledge Cordelia's in any way). Then one of my sisters called (the other one is 23 years younger than I am, and I don't think she has the slightest idea when my birthday is).

After I got off the phone, I opened presents. Cordelia had been making faces at me and pointing at the clock while I was on the phone because she knew it was her bedtime, but she still wanted to see me open presents. (She was eager to get to bed because she was feeling sick.) I got two books, two CDs, and two DVDs.

After Cordelia went to bed, Scott and I watched last night's episode of Antiques Roadshow. We were in bed with the light off by 11:15. And then, I couldn't sleep.

Hopefully, now I can.

More Books

May. 26th, 2015 09:13 pm
ase: Book icon (Books 2)
[personal profile] ase
The Cyberiad (Stanislaw Lem) (1965 / English tans. 1974): A collection of short stories about two Constructors, Trurl and Klapaucius, in a parable or fairy tale mode.

Trurl and Klapaucius are robots, by the way. It took me a few stories to figure that out.

(It took me about a story and a half to mentally model Trurl off Rodney McKay and Klapaucius from Radek Zelenka, but that is neither here nor there.)

Works in translation are a tough read for me, as I am generally keeping in my mind two layers of interpretation: what the author is trying to say and what the translator thought the author was trying to say. Add in the complications of '60s writing translated into '70s vernacular read in the 2010's, on a smartphone, and see where that gets you. I found the prose tough going, having been spoiled by recent reading. But what I liked, I really liked. Mad scientist robots! The lurking humor nearly destroyed in translation! Every now and then it would break though. I particularly loved the hypothetical dragons, the treatment which starts "dragons are impossible, of course" and then uses the language of abstract mathematics to bring the hypothetical dragons into the world. I really want to reread this on paper, preferably in a better translation.

Being Mortal (Atul Gawande) (2014): Nonfiction. Dying in America and the first world. The thesis seems to be: the current system for caring for the aged grew out of mid-20th-century hospitalization, and as such answers to the metrics of hospitals. Safety is valued over autonomy. However, studies are showing that self-determination is correlated to better quality of life, and sometimes even longer quality of life, so rearranging The System to allow people to be the "authors of their own stories" as long as possible might correlate with reduced end-of-life costs, better quality of life, and even a bit of an edge on length of life. Some of this is very good, and rings very true to my experiences. Gawande echoes a thirdhand quote that "we want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love," (p106 HC) which seems like a trenchant observation. But sometimes the arguments get a little too tidy, a little too slick, as when Gawande talks about the Ars Moriendi, a guide to an "ideal" death. I detect the whiff of English classism in adherence to this standard, which made me a little more dubious of Gawande's arguments, no matter how compelling.

The Price of the Stars (Debra Doyle, James D. MacDonald) (1992): Being, as the cover so flamboyantly proclaims, Book One of the Mageworlds. It's absolutely classic romantic space opera, Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off. There's an assassinated Domina, her grieving smuggler-turned-war-leader husband's charge to their free-trader daughter to find the identity of her mother's killer, which eventually draws in psychic Adepts, the Domina's other two children, some dramatic faked deaths, a mysterious and slightly sinister man incongruously known as "the Professor", and, of course, dramatic space-chases.

Stuff blows up really well. I append the stamp of beach reading approval, and look forward to tearing through the rest of the series (long out of print) when I can scrape it up from used book stores.

Meme: Ten Fic That Stayed With You

May. 26th, 2015 07:57 pm
muccamukk: Milady with her chin on her hand, looking pensive. (Musketeers: Thinking)
[personal profile] muccamukk
In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Written by the Victors by Speranza (Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard)Read more... )


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