hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 75-85


75. Laura Lam, Shattered Minds. Tor, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. Really sodding good.


76. Nancy Kress, Tomorrow's Kin. Tor, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Good, I guess.


77. Catherynne M. Valente, The Refrigerator Monologues. Saga Press, 2017. Illustrated by Annie Wu.

Read for review for Locus. I wish I'd liked it better.


78. Cat Sparks, Lotus Blue. Talos, 2017.

Read for review for Patreon. Enjoyable.


79. Malka Older, Infomocracy. Tor.com, 2016.

Read for column. Really solid debut.


80-82. M.C.A. Hogarth, Amulet Rampant, Only the Open, and In Extremis. Ebooks. 20-?-2017.

I need to figure out how to talk about these books. Continues the series begun in Even the Wingless and Some Things Transcend. Is really interested in issues of consent, mental health, power, trauma, consequences, and change, but told through the lens of space elves, space dragons, and space furries. With space opera psychic powers.


83-84. K.J. Charles, A Fashionable Indulgence and A Seditious Affair. Ebooks. Loveswept, 2015-2016.

I picked these up on the recommendation of Foz Meadows. They're historical (regency) romance featuring men who love men, and A Seditious Affair, at least, is an absolutely stunning examination of a respectful relationship between people who are opposites in almost every way.


nonfiction


85. Edward J. Watts, Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher. Oxford University Press, 2017.

I want to talk about this at greater length at some point, but for now: it's a fascinating biography and worth reading.

Much Ado

May. 26th, 2017 05:04 pm
hawkwing_lb: (Default)

Last night I went to a play.

 

It is the second play I have been to lately. The first, The Elephant Girls, I saw on the recommendation of Amal El-Mohtar while it was showing in Dublin, and that was excellent. This was a showing of Much Ado About Nothing at the Lir Theatre: a friend had got tickets through work and couldn't go, so she passed the tickets along. So my girlfriend and I stroll along last night up by Grand Canal Dock at the hottest day (so far) of the year, to see the young people of the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art DO SHAKESPEARE.

 

Wow. What a show.

 

It was a modern staging and a very high-energy one, at that: Much Ado About Nothing reimagined as the eighties/disco house party from hell, complete with high heels, shirtless men in hot print shorts and fur coats, Claudio lathering Don Pedro in sunscreen, and Beatrice reading Caitlin Moran. It was a small cast: Beatrice, Hero, Leonato (cross-cast as Leonata), Don Pedro, Claudio, Don John, Margaret, and Barachio, whose actor also played the Friar. There was some compression of characters and scenes but it did not detract from the play.

 

There were musical numbers. Scene changes were signalled by the lights going down and a couple of bars of thematically-appropriate pop music. Leonato cross-cast as Leonata is a change that works really well, and allowed the play to play with the idea of Leonata and Don Pedro having an understanding.

 

Beatrice delivered her lines amazingly well. She and Margaret, I think, were the best performers in the cast, though I suspect when they have a little more age and experience, the actors who were playing Leonata and Benedick and Don Pedro will be able to bring more presence to their performances. (Leonata leapt in presence once she had some pathos, rather than comedy, to play with.) Don John had little enough to do, but did it really well. And the stage business, the physical comedy, was exceptionally well done.

 

This staging of the play understood the misogyny that is at the heart of Much Ado About Nothing, and did not seek to minimise it: there is drinking and drug-use shown during the play, and this, juxtaposed against Claudio and Don Pedro's vile over-reaction to aspersions cast on Hero's sexual virtue, plays with the hypocrisy that is at the heart of the play. And at the scene break immediately after Claudio and Hero are agreed to be married the first time, members of the cast handed out invitations to the wedding.

Wedding invitation of Hero and Claudio

 

The text inside the cover?

 

"Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them
 

 

There is also a particularly telling bit of business at the very end of the play. All the cast are celebrating - with the exception of a hooded and bound Margaret. The cast exits, all bar Margaret, who is left in the middle of the stage, saying plaintively into the silence, "Hello?"

 

And then the lights go down.

 

They understood their Shakespeare enough to stage it well and faithfully and hilariously -- and also critique its attitudes at the same time. An excellent play.

hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 108kg approx.

Squats: 5x5 at 90kg
Seated row: 1x8 at 10 machine weights; 4x5 at 12 machine weights
Bicep curl: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Incline sit-ups: 1x10

Cardio: Rowing: 1km in 5:15
Cardio: Exercise bike: 4.3km in 10:00
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 108kg approx.

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 5x5 at 65kg.
Prone leg lifts: 5x10
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Bicep curl 3x10 at 7kg/arm
Military press: 3x10 at 4kg/arm

Cardio: cycling 5.3km in 15:00.




After two weeks tapping around and climbing a bit instead of gym sessions, and following a late night with a morning blood draw, I don't think that's too bad. (I skipped my squats in case I had dizziness: dizziness with 100kg more on your shoulders is not good.)
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 65-74


65. A. Merc Rustad, So You Want to be a Robot. Lethe Press, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Short stories. Not usually my thing, but pretty okay.


66. Nicky Drayden, The Prey of Gods. HarperCollins, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Chaotic but good.


67. Tanya Huff, A Peace Divided. DAW/Titan Books, 2017.

Read for column for Tor.com. Lots of fun.


68. Laura Lam, False Hearts. Tor, 2016.

Read for column for Tor.com. Really good near-future thriller.


69. Wendy N. Wagner, Oath of Dogs. Angry Robot Books, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Interesting science fiction with mystical twist.


70. Jack Campbell, The Genesis Fleet: Vanguard. Titan, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Campbell is not getting any more imaginative.


71. Sarah Gailey, River of Teeth. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for column. Interesting novella.


nonfiction


72. bell hooks, Outlaw Culture. Routledge Classics, 2006. (Originally published 1994.)

I'd never really grasped the ways in which bell hooks is a foundational thinker for intersectional feminism before picking up this collection of essays. It is an uneven essay collection, and its referents are now nearly a quarter-century out of date, but much of what she has to say doesn't seem radical to me - in part because over those two and a half decades, they became part of the approaches to feminism that predominate among the people from whom I learned about feminist theory and praxis. (They are still radical, mind you.)

Reading this collection has made me want to read more of bell hooks' work, which is an excellent thing for any collection.


73. Linda M. Heywood, Njinga of Angola: Africa's Warrior Queen. Harvard University Press, 2017.

I want to write more about this biography of a 17th-century African queen who just did not quit and seems to have been immensely astute as a war-leader, as a diplomatic, and as a politician overall (except possibly in arranging the inheritance of her kingdom, but one cannot blame someone for not keeping things in order after they're dead). But in brief, it is a fascinating examination of a woman who the Portuguese colonisers saw as a "devil queen," and of her context.


74. Nancy Marie Brown, Ivory Vikings. St. Martin's Griffin, 2016. (Originally published 2015.)

Brown uses the Lewis chessmen, famous pieces found on the island of Lewis in Scotland in the early 19th century, as a lens through which to examine the late medieval Scandinavian world, its trade connections, and its culture. Brown is interested in the origins of the Lewis chessmen, and sets forth the arguments for where they might have been made, although it is clear her sympathies lie with the theory which ascribes them to Iceland in the late 12th or very early 13th century. (Brown makes a persuasive stab at ascribing them to the hand of an individual ivory-carver, a women named as Margaret the Adroit in the Saga of Bishop Pall - not a saga that has been translated into English.)

Brown is a careful historian, nuanced in her treatment of the evidence, and cautiously qualifying any sweeping claims. But she is also an imaginative historian, and an evocative one. Her knowledge of the Scandinavian world and the Icelandic sagas shines through, and her ability to write both clearly and entertainingly about matters of which yr. humble correspondent knows very little is a rare gift among historians. This is fun history. I approve of it.
hawkwing_lb: (In Vain)
Books 2017: 56-64


56-57. E.E. Knight, Winter Duty (Roc, 2009), and March in Country (Roc, 2011).

I have followed Knight's Vampire Earth books for a while, though it's been a little while since I read any. I don't know how long I've had these two on my shelf, though I suspect I bought them together.

The attraction of Knight's Vampire Earth novels are the thought put into the military logistics, for me, and the fact that Knight's female military officers are competent and incompetent in ways pretty much exactly like the men. It has a grim war-slog atmosphere, and these installments are pretty like what has gone before.

Unfortunately, I'd either forgotten or not noticed at the time Knight's tendency to portray transmisogyny uncritically. "Tranny" will never not be jarringly unpleasant, and this attitude crops up in both books here.


58. Theodora Goss, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter. Saga, 2017. ARC courtesy of editor.

Read for review for Patreon. Excellent novel, truly great.


59. Timothy Zahn, Pawn. Tor, 2017. eARC courtesy of publisher.

Read for review for Tor.com. Deeply meh.


60. Dianna Gunn, Keeper of the Dawn. Book Smugglers Publishing, 2017. eARC courtesy of publisher.

Read for column. Meh.


61. T. Kingfisher, Bryony and Roses. Red Wombat Tea Company, 2015.

Read for column. SO MUCH FUN.


62. T. Kingfisher, Summer in Orcus. Red Wombat Tea Company, 2016.

Read for column. Also SO MUCH FUN.


63. Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner, Star Crossed. Ebook, 2017. eARC courtesy of the authors.

F/F interracial romance set in the American space program of the 1960s. Disappointing pays very little attention to the operation of racism and its intersection with queer womanhood, but entertaining, if slight, romance nonetheless.


nonfiction

64. Allison Glazebrook, Madeleine M. Henry (ed.), Greek Prostitutes in the Ancient Mediterranean, 800 BCE-200 CE. (Wisconsin Studies in Classics.) Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011.

I intend to have more to say about this later, but meanwhile, here is a review in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review to illuminate the contents of this volume.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 108kg

Benchpress: 4x8 at 60kg
Squats: 3x10 at 80kg
Overhead press: 5x5 at 25kg
Leg lifts: 4x10
Incline situps: 5x5
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Bicep curl: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Seated row machine: 3x10 at 10 units of weight
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 108kg

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 1x5 at 65kg, 1x5 at 70kg, 1x3 at 75kg, 1x2 at 80kg, 1x1 at85kg, 1x5 at 60kg
Squats: 5x5 at 100kg
Overhead press: 5x5 at 25kg
Leg lifts: 3x8 incline
Lat raises: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Bicep curl: 3x10 at 7kg/arm

Rowing machine: 1km
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 50-55


50. Martha Wells, All Systems Red. Tor.com, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com.


51. Michelle Sagara, Cast in Flight. Mira, 2016.

Read for column. Really fun, as usual.


52. Gwyneth Jones, Proof of Concept. Tor.com, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com.


53. Seanan McGuire, Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Tor.com, 2017.

Read for review for Locus.


54. Foz Meadows, A Tyranny of Queens. Angry Robot, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. REALLY GOOD.


55. Yoon Ha Lee, Raven Stratagem. Solaris, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Also REALLY GOOD.





I'm really not keeping up with the influx of new books, to be honest. Ten that I would conceivably read arrived today, on top of at least five last week. So, meep.
hawkwing_lb: (Helps if they think you're crazy)
Weigh-in: 107kg

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 3x5 at 65kg, 2x5 at 70kg, 2x5 at 60kg.
Squats: 5x5 at 100kg
Overhead press: 3x5 at 27.5kg, 2x5 at 25kg
Leg lifts: 4x10
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Seated row: 3x10 at ten of the machine weights which I will guess is 50kg?
Bicep curl 3x8 at 8kg/arm

Cycling: 5km in 12:20

New LJ TOS

Apr. 4th, 2017 02:44 pm
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
I'm not real happy with them, since I can't read the legally binding document in Russian. I'm probably going to disable automatic crossposts from DW soon. If you're still reading me on LJ, come over there?
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 108kg approx

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 5x5 at 65kg, 2x5 at 60kg
Squats: 5x5 at 100kg
Overhead press: 5x5 at 25kg
Leg lifts: 5x10
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Bicep curl: 5x5 at 8kg/arm

Cycling: 5km in 12:15
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 43-49


43. Emma Newman, Brother's Ruin. Tor.com, 2017.

Read for column. Entertaining, if a bit weird.


44. Marie Brennan, Lightning in the Blood. Tor.com, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. I REALLY liked it.


45. Lois McMaster Bujold, Penric and the Shaman. Subterranean Press, 2017.

Read for column. Kind of perfectly exactly what I wanted.


46. Elizabeth Moon, Cold Welcome. Orbit/Del Rey, 2017.

Read for review. Meh.


47. Aliette de Bodard, The House of Binding Thorns. Gollancz/Ace, 2017.

Read for review. THIS IS SO GOOD IT IS SO MARVELOUS READ IT READ IT NOW.


48. Robyn Bennis, The Guns Above. Tor, 2017.

Read for review. A hell of a lot of fun.


nonfiction


49. Matthew Wright, The Lost Plays of Greek Tragedy: Volume 1: Neglected Authors. Bloomsbury, London, 2016.

I will have more to say about this later - I believe I will write something about it at length for Patreon, maybe. But it is really interesting and extremely accessible, and makes me want to learn more.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 107.5kg (I appear to have dropped weight. This is peculiar.)

Benchpress: 5x8 at 60kg
Squats: 1x5 at 100kg, 3x5 at 105kg, 1x5 at 110kg, 1x5 at 90kg
Overhead press: 5x5 at 25kg
Seated row: 5x8 at 40kg (maybe)
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Bicep curl: 3x8 at 8kg/arm
Leg lifts: 4x10

Bike: 05:00 for 2km
hawkwing_lb: (Helps if they think you're crazy)
Books 2017: 37-42


37. Corey J. White, Killing Gravity. Tor.com, 2017. Forthcoming.

Read for review for Locus. A lot of fun.


38. Marie Brennan, Within the Sanctuary of Wings. Tor, 2017. Forthcoming.

Read for review for Tor.com. Great conclusion to the series.


39. Cassandra Khaw, Food of the Gods. Solaris, 2017. Forthcoming.

Read for review for Locus. Interesting. Gruesome. Really pretty good.


40. Cynthia Ward, The Adventure of the Incognita Countess. Aqueduct Press, 2017.

Novella. Read for column. A hell of a lot of fun, in a gothic style that reminds me of Penny Dreadful.


41. Aliette de Bodard, The Citadel of Weeping Pearls. Ebook, 2015/2017.

Novella. Read for column. Set in the same continuity as On a Red Station, Drifting. Really good.


nonfiction

42. Mark S. Thompson, Wellington's Engineers: Military Engineering in the Peninsular War 1808-1814. Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley Yorks., 2015.

An interesting topic: a mediocre execution. I will have more to say later.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Weigh-in: 108kg

Benchpress: 5x5 at 60kg, 1x3 at 80kg, 1x8 at 60kg, 1x6 at 60kg
Back squats: 1x10 at 60kg, 2x10 at 80kg
Front squats: 3x5 at 40kg
Seated row: 4x10 at 40kg (probably: I can't figure out the weights on the machine)
Military press: 3x10 at 5kg/arm
Lat raise: 5x5 at 7kg/arm
Leg lifts: 4x10

Bike machine: 4km in 10:40 minutes.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 4x5 at 65kg, 1x1 at 80kg, 2x5 at 60kg
Squats: 1x5 at 100kg, 4x5 at 102.5kg.
Overhead press: 3x5 at 25kg, 2x5 at 20kg
Bicep curl with bar: 5x5 at 22.5kg
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
One-leg squats: 3x5 at 8kg/arm
Leg lifts: 4x10

Bike machine: 5:00 mines, 2km.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Benchpress: 5x5 @60kg, 1x2 @75kg.

Cycling: 5.75km in 16:00
Rowing: 10:00 minutes.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 35-36


35. Nnedi Okorafor, Binti: Home. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for column. Good novella.


nonfiction

36. Eratosthenes and Hyginus, Constellation Myths, with Aratus's Phaenomena. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2015. Translated by Robin Hard.

This is a peculiar entry in the Oxford World's Classics series. It is structured oddly, such that I cannot figure if it follows the schema of one of the original authors while interspersing bits of the other, or whether the translator has separated out bits according to his own schema. However, the constellation myths themselves are very interesting as playfully literary creations, and Aratus's Phaenomena includes some really fascinating weather advice.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2017: 32-34


32. Erika Lewis, Game of Shadows. Tor, 2017. Copy via publisher.

Read for review. Er. Eeep. WTF.


33. Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, eds., The Djinn Falls In Love & other stories. Solaris, 2017.

Read for review for Tor.com. Really excellent anthology.


nonfiction


34. Ibn Fadhlan, Ibn Fadhlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North. Penguin Classics, 2012. Translated with an introduction by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone.

Ibn Fadhlan left an account of his journey from Baghdad to the court of the Bulghar khan in 921 CE. (The account of his return journey doesn't survive.) Full of precise observations and surprisingly little judgment - and a certain amount of what comes across as good-humoured honesty - this is really lovely medieval travel writing. It includes the only eye-witness description of a Viking boat funeral in the lands of the Rus.

Ibn Fadhlan's account takes up a little less than half the book. The remainder is given over to extracts from other Arabic travel writers (or compilers of geographic information) who deal with the far north or with people from the far north, such as Vikings. These are usually far less self-aware and precise than Ibn Fadhlan, but fascinating in their own right.

(I really like the Arabic literature of the medieval period, at least as much of it as I've been able to read in English translation. It'd be really cool to have a good translation of Ibn Hayyan, you know. Or ibn Rusta. Hell, Mas'udi.)

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