musesfool: wendy watson in a wetsuit with a gun (come at me bro)
[personal profile] musesfool
Dear co-workers:

* I cannot finish your urgent project in a timely fashion if you keep interrupting me to ask when your project is going to be finished! Please stop!

* We have already done Thing based on all your requirements (and with your approval!) last quarter. We can just update it instead of spending so much time trying to come up with a new way to do it (only to come up with basically the exact same Thing). There is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel!

* You have to decide whether you need a meeting to happen ASAP or if you need everyone involved present, because it's July coming up on August, and half the people you need will be out on vacation at any given moment and I have no control of that.

* I don't want healthy snacks in the vending machine. If I am driven to getting food from it, it's generally because I want Frito Lay corn chips or terrible plasticky cheap chocolate, not some sort of chip made from beans or some kind of granola bar! WTF?

no love,

me

***

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:04 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Amatka

4/5. My vacation* book. A woman goes to a neighboring colony for work, gets involved with her (lady) housemate, and discovers that there is something very, very wrong with their world. Oh, and by the way, this is on a planet(?) where objects only hold their shape/meaning if they are properly and repeatedly labeled with the right word. Trust me, it makes more sense in context. Well . . . it makes more thematic sense.

This is weird and wonderful and requires a lot of work. It's in translation (from Swedish), but it's a very skillful one, as far as I can tell. Which is necessary for a slim, intense, calculated book like this, where words really count. I keep thinking about this book – about how it intersects language and oppression, and about its explicable-if-you-work-hard ending. And the worldbuilding – it's spare but sharp as a knife, as the contours of this authoritarian democracy come into relief. For example, there's a wonderful detail that seemed to open up the whole book for me, about how poetry serves an entirely different function in this world than it does in ours.

And I really like the protagonist's slide into disobedience. Her inability to play along anymore is part old personal history, part recent stress and it makes sense. But not in a paint-by-numbers tragedy-happens-to-a-plucky-person way. More like . . . yes. That is how you slide a tiny bit out of step with your community, then a tiny bit more, and a tiny bit more, and suddenly, bam. You're in a different world.

Content notes: Discussion of reproductive coercion, some forced medical stuff by the authorities, etc.

*Vacation: in which we went to see my dying father and I don't know if I'll ever see him again, and also I retired my dog and settled her with her puppyraisers and I don't know if we'll ever see her again, and then we did some hiking. Do I know how to decompress from work or what?

Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:35 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Carpe Demon

3/5. Demon-fighting soccer mom.

There is a running joke in my household about my TBR pile. I was trying to find something to read towards the end of June [N.B.: I billed more hours in June 2017 than in any other month of my career] and my TBR was . . . dire. I was scrolling, and it was, "apocalypse . . . apocalypse with zombies . . . reproductive dystopia . . . ooh I think teenagers burn to death in that one." Yeah.

So I read this instead! Which is an extremely fluffy, comfy book about a suburban SAHM dealing with demons. She has a great best friend and a cute teenager and a dark past demon hunting for the church. Like you do. This goes the expected places – it's subliminally about the ways homemaking and running a family are like preventing the apocalypse – but it's also breezy and fun. And would make a great TV show, actually. Would watch. While collapsed half-dead with a glass of wine at the end of the week.

Never knew no good from bad

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:55 am
musesfool: bodhi rook (honor the heart of faith)
[personal profile] musesfool
I went to bed early last night and I slept like a rock. I should not still be sleepy! Arrgh!

Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished
Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey, which I enjoyed a lot, mainly because Avasarala is the best and also Bobbie! ♥ Holden still needs a lot of punching though. Ugh. Why is this guy the main character? Not only is he a dead bore, he's a ridiculously common dead bore!

I like TV!Prax better than book!Prax, I think, but I also think the show compresses the timeline in a way that means I don't get bored with a character having repetitive beats, the way I can, and do in this case, in a book.

What I'm reading now
Still, I picked up Abaddon's Gate and started it this morning, so I'm still entertained enough to continue.

What I'm reading next
The next book in this series, probably. I don't even know what the name of it is. *looks it up* Ah, Cibola Burn.

I also read two really long stories that both turned out to be in progress, which I probably should have noticed but didn't. I mean, when I see a thing is 175K words long, I figure it's done. I mean, who has that much to say in one story? But no. Sigh.

In my recent fanfic readings, I learned that I will nope out of a story if you kill off Wedge Antilles. Which was a surprise to me - how strongly my kneejerk NOPE was - but there you go. Do not want! (I mean, I don't care for any character death in my fic, and generally not in canon either! but I get that some AU premises require it. But like Bartleby the scrivener, I would prefer not to.)

I also learned that I don't really ship Bodhi with anyone but if I did it would have to be Jyn and Cassian. Gotta keep the Star Wars OT3 pattern going, I guess. I just don't find Jyn and Cassian all that compelling. *hands* I'd much rather read about Baze and Chirrut being the most married. (I think Rebels is the only place that doesn't have an OT3, but I am okay with that. I'm already bracing for Kanan and Hera to get an undeserved tragic ending.)

I also realized that in addition to believing that Luke Skywalker is asexual, I believe Anakin is demisexual, and both Leia and Padme are bisexual. Ahsoka is mostly into women except that I also ship her with Anakin (and Rex, a little), so there are exceptions? And Obi-Wan is pansexual and flirting his way across the galaxy at any given moment.

Which is probably more than anyone cared to know about my Star Wars head canons. *snerk*

***
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a typical “millennial office.” We have beer in the fridge, a frequently used table tennis table and no dress code. Most of the employees are men in their mid-20s, so shorts and a T-shirt is the go-to work look for them. As a woman, I feel like I would look silly if I started wearing dresses and more formal wear to the office even though I want to, since I usually have plans after work. I don't want to look stuffy at work, but I don't want to look like a slob when I'm out with my friends. Is there any in-between? -- No Tees in the Bar, New York City

DEAR NO TEES IN THE BAR: Get creative. You can develop a personal style that stays casual but is more dressed up than the average guy at your office. Look around. There’s bound to be someone who dresses a notch above the norm. You can also choose to dress up on occasion when you have after-work events. If somebody ribs you, tell them you have an event to attend and leave it at that. You can also bring a change of clothes to work and slip into your dress just before you head out. Most important is for you to feel confident in your appearance and clear that you can make personal choices that extend beyond the casual norm.

in the corner garden

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:23 pm
musesfool: Daisy Ridley as Rey with lightsaber (you were not mine to save)
[personal profile] musesfool
You've all been watching Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, right? Leia, Rey, Ahsoka, Padme, Jyn! They're so adorable! I might be shipping Leia and Sabine a little bit now too. At least I said, "NOW KISS" at the end of "Bounty of Trouble." *g*

I caught this week's Orphan Black.

spoilers )

Ugh I stayed up way too late last night reading and I'm paying for it now. I just want to sleeeeeeeeeeep.

***

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:54 pm
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] genarti read The Privilege of the Sword for the first time recently, because I had been telling her to since 2008, and then kept trying to talk to me about it. Unfortunately at this point I did not remember most of the things she was trying to talk to me about because I hadn't read it since 2007, so eventually I also had to reread it in self-defense.

It turns out this is still and probably will always be my favorite Ellen Kushner book. The central plotline follows Katherine, a cheerful young lady who gets invited to restore the family fortunes by going to live with her incredibly weird uncle in the big city and becoming a swordsman!

Unlike many plucky heroines, Katherine does not initially have really any interest at all in cross-dresing or becoming a swordsman. However, eventually she comes to enjoy swordfighting for its own sake, helped along by the mentorship of her incredibly weird uncle's nice ex-boyfriend, the necessity of dueling for a friend's honor, and the discovery that bisexuality and gender fluidity are potentially relevant concepts to her teen coming-of-age story.

...that's the A-plot! B, C, D, E, and F plots include:

- Katherine's mom's reparation of her relationship with Katherine's weird uncle
- Katherine's weird uncle's actress girlfriend's dreamy new cross-dressing fantasy Broadway show
- Katherine's weird uncle's unfortunate friendship breakup with his mathematician bestie
- Katherine's bff's attempts to overcome trauma from rape-by-fiance by engaging in romantic gay roleplay via letter-writing
- Katherine's other bff's attempts to overcome trauma from an abusive childhood by engaging in competitive voyeurism
- Katherine's bff's gigolo cousin's star-crossed romance with a scriptwriter/potter who is on the run from her abusive in-laws who do not appear in this book
- trade routes?? politics?????

I'm pretty sure that's not all the plots. There are so many plots in this book. It's fine because the plots are barely the point at best, the point is coming-of-age and life after trauma and thumbing your nose at Societal Conventions while getting to know and like yourself! I especially enjoy how in the end, spoilers )

(Note: emo murderous Alec from Swordspoint drives me up a wall in his own book, but is significantly more tolerable to me when he's just Katherine's incredibly weird uncle. I mean he still drives me up a wall here but it's much funnier when he's driving everyone else up a wall too.)

i'm surrounded by your embrace

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:34 pm
musesfool: han/leia from TFA (stlil crazy after all these years)
[personal profile] musesfool
Five things make a post:

A. I had a most excellent birthday dinner on Saturday evening. L and I went to Uva, which I had never been to before and it was so worth it. They have an adorable little courtyard in back, so we sat outside and drank a lot of wine (A LOT OF WINE) and ate like queens.

2. I was going to make myself a birthday cake, but then I was sad and also I wasn't sure it would be good and I didn't want to make a cake that big and have it be terrible (because then I couldn't foist half of it off on my coworkers). That would just be one disappointment too far. I still want to make it though. It looks amazing. And terrible. But mostly amazing. (I would have made fresh whipped cream though instead of using Cool Whip. I'm not much of a food snob, but fresh whipped cream just tastes better, regardless of authenticity.)

iii. The A Wrinkle in Time trailer looks fantastic.

D. Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Behind the Scenes. I might have burst into tears when Carrie Fisher said, "It's all about family," but you can't prove it!

5. I posted a story for my birthday:

Sing a New Song (@AO3)
Star Wars; Vader, Leia, Luke, Obi-Wan; AU; g; 4,130 words
In which Ben has a bad feeling, Luke makes it to Tosche Station, Leia takes control of the situation, and no one understands how hard Vader's life is.

This is the sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating but probably not the one that people were asking for. *hands* I'm probably never going to write a long involved epic AU where they actually overthrow Palpatine. I'm just not that kind of writer. I just want the fraught family reunions where the Skywalkers get to be all ~dramatic~ at each other.

I don't usually write multiple POV stories anymore, but this one seemed to require it, so we could see Luke's "Wtf?!", Obi-Wan's "I have a bad feeling about this," Leia's ability to roll with the weirdness (and also ameliorate the tension between Vader and Obi-Wan), and Vader's misguided belief that he has control of anything, let alone his kids.

As I said in an endnote on AO3, the title is from U2's "40" (and not the Mountain Goats' "Psalms 40:2"*) and I kind of feel like the title of the concluding story of this little trilogy should also come from Psalm 40 but right now it's tentatively titled "How Soon Is Now" for ~reasons. I still have to figure out how to actually write it. Because I couldn't leave Ahsoka out! The story was originally going to end with that - I felt like Vader saying "no, there's someone else" was kind of analogous to Yoda's "no, there is another," but given that it was Luke's section, I thought he ought to have the last word.

Anyway, I like how it turned out, and I'm glad some other people did too. *g*

*which I still think should have a SPN vid made to it, and from which I already used the title "If I'm Not Beyond Repair" for Bucky, or you know I'd be using that for a Star Wars story ("Lord, send me a mechanic, if I'm not beyond repair" could definitely be a Vader and Luke story, you know? Though I could probably do something with "in the burning fuselage of my days" or even "feel bad about the things we do along the way, but not really that bad" if the right story idea struck. Huh. *adds them to the list of titles to use someday*)

***

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:37 am
skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
[personal profile] skygiants
Rose Melikan's The Blackstone Key is one of the few books I've grabbed at random off a library shelf recently without ever having heard of it. Then I immediately grabbed the next two books, The Counterfeit Guest and The Mistaken Wife, so I guess they were doing something right, although also several things not right.

These books are deeply fluffy YA-ish Regency espionage hijinks starring Mary Finch, an impoverished orphan schoolteacher turned (by the end of the first book) surprise heiress with an unexpectedly encyclopedic knowledge of British law and an enthusiastic penchant for Adventures! !! !!!

Captain Holland, the series love interest, is an artillery officer who is good at mechanics and up on new military technologies. Other salient characteristics include:
- a terrible tendency towards sea- and carriage-sickness
- an ongoing resentful inability to understand all the clever literary and historical references being tossed around by the rest of the characters
- CONSTANT MONEY STRESS

I'll be honest, he won me over during the first book when Mary's like "am I a bad person for worrying about how the outcome of all this espionage will affect my potential inheritance?" and he's like "DEFINITELY NOT, if anybody tells you they don't stress about money THEY ARE LYING."

Rose Melikan is a scholar of the period and very good on British military history. She is not so good on plot. The first book is complete, hilariously convoluted nonsense involving SMUGGLERS and CIPHERS and MYSTERIOUS WATCHES and a SURPRISE CHANCE-MET DYING VILLAIN. It turns out that spoilers )

The second book is probably my favorite and definitely the least nonsense plot-wise; it's about the 1797 naval mutinies, and Our Heroine gets recruited to spy on a plotter because she happens to know his wife and will likely be in his house, which does not stretch suspension of disbelief too very wildly. (It's also sort of entertaining to watch the author do a careful dance between what I suspect is a personal sympathy for unionization and strike tactics and the fact that Mass Military Mutiny Is Definitely A Bad Thing, Our Characters Must Stop It At Any Cost.)

...then in Book Three we are expected to believe that an actual professional spy sees no better alternative for an important espionage mission than taking a well-known youthful heiress and society figure whose salient skills are, as aforementioned, a knowledge of British law and an enthusiasm for Adventure, and sneaking her off to Paris in a fake marriage with a clueless American painter while her respectable household desperately tries to pretend she's in London the whole time. At this point suspension of disbelief goes straight out the window again.

I have mixed feelings about Book Three in general; it's the darkest of the three and several sympathetic characters die as a direct result of Our Heroes' espionage endeavors including infuriating spoiler ) I'm not here for that! I'M HERE FOR THE HIJINKS.
musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
[personal profile] musesfool
Sing a New Song
Star Wars; Vader, Leia, Luke, Obi-Wan; AU; g; 4,130 words
In which Ben has a bad feeling, Luke makes it to Tosche Station, Leia takes control of the situation, and no one understands how hard Vader's life is.

Sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating. Thanks to [personal profile] silveronthetree for cheerleading!

Read it on AO3.

Sing a New Song )

~*~

Feedback is the best present!

~*~
musesfool: ultimate spider-man (what a good boy)
[personal profile] musesfool
Happy birthday to me! Maybe there'll be a story later? If I can wrangle all the characters into cooperating? Skywalkers! *hands*

I was woken up at about 5 am by the chirping of the smoke/CO2 detector. It needs a new battery. Because that never happens during the day when you could easily replace it. So I have to run to CVS in a bit to get that.

So yesterday, I did an online HIPAA training and then had my mid-year check-in lunch with boss3. Which went well but was also kind of awkward because she ordered prosecco to toast my birthday and then I had to be like, and yes, my co-op application was denied. (She wrote a recommendation for me.) So she smoothly switched to "then maybe this glass of wine will help ease that pain." *snerk* I had an excellent cheeseburger and fries (the fries at Odeon are great) and for dessert, the strawberry-rhubarb crumble with buttermilk ice cream, which was fantastic. And probably not going to be on the menu much longer as rhubarb season is coming to a close.

When I gave L. the news, she insisted we meet up for dinner even though we are going to dinner tonight, and since I was already going to be on the UWS because I was going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming (I hadn't intended to, but my niece saw it and was excited about it, and so I couldn't resist), we met up after the movie so she could commiserate with me. It was nice, despite the fact that the table behind us had three or four little kids who were completely out of control running around and shrieking. She wanted to complain but I didn't let her. I mean, if I had known, I wouldn't have agreed to take the table (there was a choice) but I didn't know, and ugh, who wants unpleasantness? Even if parents should do a better job of corralling their kids in public, especially in tight spaces. At least one of them thanked us for our forbearance when they left.

As for the movie, I liked it. I didn't think it was necessary, and as much as I love Peter Parker (and you know I do), I feel like it should have been a Miles Morales movie (I mean, was Ned not basically Ganke?) and also I kind of felt terrible for Donald Glover.

I personally really liked Amazing Spider-Man, and this movie didn't quite match the emotional response I had to that one. Otoh, in this one, the teenagers mostly looked like teenagers, and it also looked like the real world in terms of diversity in the high school.

spoilers )

I guess I better go to CVS now.

***

there's no use crying about it

Jul. 14th, 2017 12:21 pm
musesfool: sad cap is sad (too sick to pray)
[personal profile] musesfool
I spoke to the realtor a few minutes ago and my application was rejected. So I guess no amazing birthday present for me this year. He sounded shocked and baffled ("I've seen people with less stellar finances get accepted into co-ops!") and was like, "after you get your deposit back, we can start looking again" but I have to figure out what to do about my apartment, since my lease is up September 30, and I don't know if they'd be willing to do month-to-month since it's a rent stabilized apartment. Ugh, I really didn't want to have to move twice, but I kind of do need somewhere to live.

Right now I'm sad and tired but probably not as shocked as he was, because I just didn't have a good feeling when I didn't hear right away. I'll probably be angry once that wears off, at the way they wasted my time and money and energy. I guess it's better to not be where I'm not wanted, but man, I really loved the apartment.

Sigh.

Comments are appreciated but I doubt I'll feel up to answering them.

***

I have felt the edge of silence

Jul. 13th, 2017 03:55 pm
musesfool: (it's good to be the queen)
[personal profile] musesfool
Two things to look forward to:

- The Mrs. Ws from A Wrinkle in Time

- The Wakandan Royal Portrait

I AM EXCITE.

***

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:26 pm
skygiants: Hazel, from the cover of Breadcrumbs, about to venture into the Snow Queen's forest (into the woods)
[personal profile] skygiants
With Sorrow's Knot I think I have now finished reading everything from Erin Bow's backlog, which is good in that I have consistently enjoyed it all, but bad in that I have no more Erin Bow backlog.

All of Erin Bow's work (I can now say, having read all of it) is in some way about death and undeath and the wildly unhealthy ways in which human beings react to loss; however, Sorrow's Knot is EVEN MORE explicitly about this than most. The book focuses on Otter and her friends Kestrel and Cricket, who are all pretty sure they know what they're going to do when they grow up: Kestel is going to be a ranger, Cricket is going to become a storyteller (despite being a boy and getting a certain degree of side-eye for deciding to stay in the women's village at all -- everyone knows it's dangerous in the forest and boys don't have any power to protect themselves with, sorry boys!), and Otter is going to train with her mother Willow and Willow's teacher Tamarack to learn the very important job of being a binder, aka Person Who Stops The Dead From Coming Back And Killing Us All.

Then Tamarack dies -- and then Willow abruptly and without explanation decides she doesn't want Otter becoming a binder after all -- and then the knots that stop the dead from coming back to haunt the living begin unraveling -- and then more people die -- and then Otter and friends get to go on a road trip! It's not a super fun road trip and it unsurprisingly features several close encounters with the dead.

I really liked the worldbuilding and the slow and careful work that Bow does to build out the daily lives of the characters and the culture -- it's a North American-based world without European influence, and I'm certainly not qualified to comment on how well it's done, but to me it felt interesting and non-obvious. Also, Otter's world is almost entirely composed of women and everything revolves around Significant Mother-Daughter Relationships and it's great, although Erin Bow sadly had not yet discovered lesbians as of this book. (Though I feel like perhaps this is the book that led to her discovering lesbians? Like, I do wonder if someone came up to Erin Bow and pointed out that she'd written a matriarchal village where Actual Heterosexual Romance is explicitly rare and still somehow only featured Actual Heterosexual Romance onscreen, and Erin Bow was like 'WHOOPS OK SORRY I'LL MAKE IT UP TO YOU' and then we got The Scorpion Rules. Which, I mean, if this is the case, I guess I'm not complaining, I'm very happy to have The Scorpion Rules!)

I also really liked the importance of stories and storytelling and lore and bits and pieces of information shared and not shared, but the pacing of the way those stories are shared with the reader sometimes felt a little off to me; there were occasionally times, especially towards the end, when I felt like the book was leading me to expect a Big Reveal that had already been revealed. But, I mean, the point of the book is not really to Reveal, it's to examine grief -- and as I have mentioned above, Bow is exceptionally good on grief.

My Readercon Schedule

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:36 pm
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
I don't expect to make the convention Thursday evening.

Friday July 14

6:00 PM 6 Terrible... but Great. Lila Garrott (leader), Bart Leib, Natalie Luhrs, Sonya Taaffe, Vinnie Tesla. Our panelists muse on books that are really bad but in an amazing way! Genevieve Valentine's term "shitmazing" may be appropriate here. What makes something both terrible and great? Are these works worth analyzing and perhaps even emulating, or do they exist simply to be enjoyed (if that's the word) on their own merits (if that's the word)?

This should be fun. Anybody else remember Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Crazy Beautiful (HOOKS FOR HANDS), or John Boyd's The Pollinators of Eden (KILLER SEXY PSYCHIC SPACE TULIPS)?


7:00 PM C The Works of Tanith Lee. Lila Garrott, Sonya Taaffe, Emily Wagner. Tanith Lee (1947-2015) was a supremely talented writer who worked in numerous genres and forms. She wrote children’s novels (The Dragon Hoard (1971)), Vancian fantasy (the five-novel Tales from the Flat Earth series), historical romance (The Gods Are Thirsty (1996)), fantasy/horror (The Book of the Damned (1988)), science fiction (the four-novel Birthgrave series), thriller/horror (the three-novel Blood Opera series), far-future science fiction (the Drinking Sapphire Wine duology), and more, including erotica, Gothic romance, and straightforward horror. Lee was clever, manipulating genre tropes and clichés in skillful and unusual ways. Lee was poetic, writing of everything from sex to childhood in lyrical fashion. And she was prolific, writing over one hundred novels and collections. She was twice nominated for the Nebula Award, ten times for the World Fantasy (winning twice), and six times for the British Fantasy Award (winning once), and was given the Grand Master Award from at the World Horror Convention in 2009 and the Life Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in 2013. As critic John Clute wrote, "Lee encompassed every genre of the fantastic... with supple attentiveness and an ongoing exuberance of invention which transcends... genre constraints." Join us to celebrate her work.

I wrote the entry on Lee in The Encyclopedia of Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is one of the more random line items on my resume. I always enjoy talking about Tanith Lee.


Saturday July 15

2:00 PM C Lines of Consent in Fiction. Samuel R. Delany, N.S. Dolkart, Lila Garrott, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Josh Jasper. In science fiction and fantasy, consent is often handled in fuzzy, imprecise ways. Obvious scenarios of non-consent, such as the enslaved house elves in the Harry Potter books, are easily identified as problematic, but less is said about magical destiny that compels an ordinary person to become a hero; inherited magic, rank, or family feuds that empower or endanger a character without their consent; soul mates, who are forced to love and be attracted to each other; werewolves compelled to change shape under the full moon; and other strictures that are so common we've come to take them for granted. This panel will discuss work that either explicitly deals with consent or appears oblivious to its relevance, and will explore the writer's responsibility when placing characters in a scenario (or plot) that hinges on questionable consent or non-consent. Content note: this panel may explicitly discuss violations of consent and their consequences. For the purposes of this panel, trigger warnings and content notes are assumed to be valuable tools that assist the reader.

I haven't seen a convention have this panel before. It's an important panel. Let's hope we can do it right-- given the lineup, I should think so.


3:30 PM B Reading: Lila Garrott. Lila Garrott. Lila Garrott reads an excerpt from their novel-in-progress, The Journeyers.

PLEASE COME YOU'LL LIKE IT. The book is very hard to describe, especially since it's not like I've sat down and tried to write a blurb for it yet, but I promise it is enjoyable.


Sunday July 16

12:00 PM 6 Disturbed by Her Song: Gender, Queerness, and Sexuality in the Works of Tanith Lee. Steve Berman (moderator), Lila Garrott, Sonya Taaffe. Memorial Guest of Honor Tanith Lee thoroughly explored gender, queerness, and sexuality in her fiction, creating cultural pansexuality in the Flat Earth series and queering history in the Lambda Award–winning Disturbed by Her Song. Lee wrote lush, sensitive, poetic prose about people unrestricted by gender roles or cultural norms, and she did it for forty years. Were there any missteps along that span? Does her “channeled” writing as spectral lesbian author Esther Garber (and Esther's pansexual half-brother, Judas Garbah) stand out from the greater body of her sexually charged work? How did she handle her portrayals of trans people and their sexuality? Our panelists will discuss queer themes, sexual exploration, and sexual fluidity in Lee's work.


1:00 PM 5 Clothes Make the Story. S.A. Chakraborty, John Chu, Lila Garrott, Kathleen Jennings, Shariann Lewitt. Costuming says a great deal about era, wealth, status, and taboo in both the setting of a work and the time and place where that work was created. It's frequently discussed in the context of visual media, but costuming can be just as important in literature, and it's a vital part of worldbuilding for speculative works. This panel will dig into the implications of clothing choices in speculative fiction, how they age as the work ages, how they interact with diverse readers' expectations around concepts such as modesty and gender, and their use as signposts to help the reader understand how to approach the created world.

An astonishing amount of post-modernist theory centers around clothing, and I'd like to see that transfer to the conversation of SFF. Lo, Barthes did not Fashion System in vain.


2:00 PM 5 Imagining a New Normativity. Lila Garrott, Shariann Lewitt, Alena McNamara, Tui Sutherland. In the varied settings of fantasy and science fiction, writers have an opportunity to model characters who don't make familiar assumptions related to personal characteristics such as gender, sexuality, politics, race, and religion. Some speculative worlds have new defaults, such as the setting of Rose Lemberg's "Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds," in which women are expected to form families with other women; in others, the default is to make no assumption at all, as in the world of full gender parity in Tanya Huff's Quarters series. This panel will explore some of the new norms of recent works, and discuss techniques for writers interested in creating worlds with new notions of normativity.

An object perpendicular to another object is said to be normal to it. This is pretty much how I feel about the concept of "mainstream"-- perpendicular. My day-to-day life, meanwhile, is apparently so unimaginable that the details of it don't come up in art, which is ridiculous.


Also I will be around generally, and [personal profile] gaudior and Fox will be there on Sunday, though I'm not sure yet at what time or for how long.

I look forward to seeing a lot of you there!
musesfool: Reboot Uhura (never tell me the odds)
[personal profile] musesfool
Since I'm sure you're waiting almost as anxiously as I am, no, I haven't heard yet if I've been board-approved. Sigh.

I did lock in the interest rate on my mortgage, though, at the urging of my mortgage broker, who knows what she's about, so there's that at least.

***

Wednesday reading meme ahoy:

What I've just finished
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. As I mentioned last week, having finished both seasons of The Expanse, and not wanting to wait until 2018 for more, I started reading the books the show is based on.

I definitely think I like the show better, and I definitely see why they made some of the changes they did (especially bringing in Avasarala so much earlier - she's so great!). Book!Miller is more palatable than show!Miller, though I still wish they'd subverted the "hardboiled detective falls for missing girl" thing more, since it's a tired trope without any subversion. But getting his internal narrative helped a lot in making him less of a giant creepy bore.

I still want to punch Holden in the face most of the time, and I didn't think it was possible but the romance is handled worse in the book than it is on the show, where it's basically unremarked most of the time. Having Holden's internal POV made the show's underwritten version seem brilliant in comparison to how poorly it's done in the book. *hands*

I also think making the crew at odds to start was better narrative choice, though had I not seen the show first, I wouldn't have questioned the easy camaraderie in the book.

It's an old-fashioned page-turner of a space opera with some interesting ideas about space travel and humanity, but if I hadn't enjoyed the show I don't know that I'd be interested in continuing on to the next book. Choosing two generic white dudes as the only POV characters was a lazy choice, imo.

What I'm reading now
Book 2 of The Expanse, i.e., Caliban's War. I just finished Avasarala's first chapter, and she's so great. I imagine Shoreh Agdashloo eating pistachios and cursing a blue streak and it pleases me tremendously. And Bobbie's story is a lot less fraught than it was in the show, which is another choice I think the show made correctly. Or maybe it's just that I saw the show first, so it's my template for the story and the characters. *hands* Having two interesting lady narrators definitely offsets some of Holden's annoyingness. I like Prax on the show, but I'm as yet undecided about him as a book character. I guess we'll see.

What I'm reading next
I don't know if I'll be up for Abbadon's Gate next (the reviews are not heartening) but we'll see I guess.

***

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