Game Review: Overlord

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:07 am
green_knight: (Skyrim)
[personal profile] green_knight
[expanded from the review I posted on Steam]

Review and Discussion )


Bonus review-let: Forced.

Forced, Gamification of Games, Player vs. Designer )

So, yeah. I am learning something about gaming, game design, or myself from every game I play, and I am glad I seem to have broken through the mountain of shame (OMG, so much stuff I've never played, best never look at them) and guilt (OMG, so much wasted money). I no longer feel compelled to 'give every game a fair chance' just because I once spent money on it. (Frequently, in bundle deals, I did not even set out to buy all of the games.)

Overall, I spend less than £5/month on games and, overall, I enjoy gaming. I'm not going to get the same amount of fun out of every game, but if I can average a couple of hours of fun for every £5 I pay, that's actually not bad value for money.

The Good Place: Season 2, Episode 1

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:32 pm
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Absolutely fantastic. Do not click on cut unless you've already seen it. The whole series is streaming on nbc.com.

Read more... )
yhlee: snowflake (StoryNexus: snowflake)
[personal profile] yhlee
[Note: I used Cheris and Jedao as my playtest characters when working on Winterstrike, a StoryNexus game I wrote for Failbetter Games.]

"I can't believe you didn't think it was worth telling me that we're living inside a game," Jedao was saying.

Cheris sighed. "I didn't tell you," she said, "because you wouldn't be able to shut up about it, and it's hard being a good playtest character when someone keeps ranting." cut for Ninefox spoilers, I guess? )

Oh dearie me, this guy's got form

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:41 pm
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Back in 2008, Gandhian pilgrimage that ended at Calais.

And his present (surely it is the same guy) simple life agenda has crossed my horizon heretofore.

My dearios, I give you I live a healthier life now I’m free of the trappings of modernity.

O, lucky old you, a healthy bloke with sufficient resources to undertake this project and pontificate about it. You are not just lucky to be 'born without any serious long-term health issues' - this is due to various factors including maternal nutrition and antenatal care, vaccination against common childhood diseases (even if he didn't get these, and I bet he did, he would have benefitted from herd immunity), i.e. the benefits of modern medicine and sanitation.

Also, I have no time whatsoever for anyone who dismisses other people's experiences of pain: there is a man who, we must suppose, never sat an exam while doubled over with period pain, or suffered a migraine. Not at all rare conditions. Your body is not 'always aiming for balance and health'.

And we observe that he has had a vasectomy... because one of my questions (among the many stimulated by the thought of all the technological advances that have made women's lives so much less arduous, which I remarked on when his bogosity first impinged upon my aghast gaze), wot abaht contraception?

Perhaps we might introduce him to the notion that being regularly flogged with a large codfish is a cure for pretentious woowoo?

(And do we think that his simple austere life is 'more work for other people', like the process that gets his handwritten ms - written on tree bark in berry juice, we wonder? - from his simple cabin in the woods to the Guardian website?)

Sale: Mother of Souls ebook

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:21 pm
[syndicated profile] alpennia_feed

Posted by Heather Rose Jones

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:21

Bella Books is holding one of its periodic surprise sales. This time the theme is relatively recent ebooks, so if you haven't gotten around to buying Mother of Souls yet (yes, I'm secretly tapping my foot impatiently) it's only $5.99 through this weekend. Plenty of other bargains as well!

Major category: 
Publications: 
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Posted by Ana

Title: A Skinful of Shadows

Author: Frances Hardinge

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: Macmillan / Amulet
Publication date: September 2017 / October 2017
Hardcover: 416 pages

a-skinful-of-shadowsskinful-of-shadows

This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .

Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard.

And now there’s a spirit inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father’s rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.

But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

How did I get this book: Review copy from the publisher

Format (e- or p-): Print

Review

Over the years, I have made no secret of my adoration for the novels of Frances Hardinge. I wait for every single one of them with bated breath, knowing that wherever the author decides to take me, it will be a journey worth following.

So here we are, with a new release, fresh off the presses, straight into my greedy hands. And just like every one of her books before this, I was transported into a world of wonders.

A Skinful of Shadows is the story of a girl. The story of a country in the throes of Civil War. The way these two stories intersect and diverge from one another. It’s a story about a brother and a sister, a mother and a daughter, a girl who needs to grow up. It has a unique found family, one bear, female spies, ghosts and terrible villains. It is above all, a story about trust and having faith in people.

Makepeace grew up with a dutiful but demanding mother in the house of her aunt’s family. Of her father she never knew anything, except for a heritage she never asked for and which her mother fled away from.

You see, Makepeace has a space within her where ghosts can find a new home. All her life, she has been trained to avoid possession, driven to despair by her mother who locked up her in cemeteries where the ghosts were plentiful and merciless. But keeping them at bay she did – until the day when after a fight, her mother tragically dies and full of guilt and grief, Makepeace makes herself open to the spirit of a… bear.

Now inside of her, Bear causes havoc – and Makepeace often loses track of her mind and her whereabouts. Unable to cope, her family seeks her father’s family – the Fellmotes, an ancient, powerful family – and Makepeace is taken away to the place where people know exactly what to do with someone with a power such as hers. And it’s not pretty.

And for the next three years or so, she will try to escape – with the help of a brother she never knew she had, but whose shared heritage brings them together. But the Fellmotes will not make it easy for them – for the two kids are needed for the very survival of their powerful household. The problem is: their bodies may be indispensable because of their power but who they are – or at least what makes them them – is effectively expendable.

Just like The Lie Tree, A Skinful of Shadows feels like a less extravagant and less fantastical novel because it is deeply rooted in the history of our world. Whereas Hardinge’s earlier novels were firmly set in secondary world fantasies, The Lie Tree was a Victorian mystery and A Skinful of Shadows, a story set in the beginning of the British Civil War.

This doesn’t mean that the fantasy aspects are less significant though – and in here, the side of fantastical is no less elaborate: in fact, it serves the larger plot and it is essential in the formation of Makepeace’s arc. The former lies in the way that the fate of the Fellmotes is intermingled with that of the country and how their actions play a part in the dispute between Parliament and the King. The latter, in how Makepace’s character develops, grows, transforms herself into a courageous young woman. If there is one thing that connects all of the author’s works is this: the principled, strong-willed, dynamic and fierce heroines she creates. Makepeace might not know whose side should be victor in this war, but she never wavers from righting wrongs and she will fight tooth and … claws to save the life of her brother and the lives of those she thinks deserve a second chance.

This goes deep into the character in other ways too: does she deserve a second chance? She doesn’t know but she knows she wants to live. That principle, the urge to live, shapes other characters’ motivations too and the cost can be high. To some is death. To other, losing something far more precious. The allure of power to those who don’t usually have it is looked at with down-to-earth lenses and over and over, Makepeace decides to trust people and to believe them.

She traverses her world – from one camp to another in the midst of one of the worst, most bloody moments in British history with villains chasing her, spies helping her, with fear at her back and hope at her core but always moved by:

“We believe in second chances, for the people who don’t usually get them.”

A Skinful of Shadows is yet another beautiful, multi-layered novel by one of the brightest stars in the YA sky. Highly, highly recommended.

Rating: 9 – Damn Near Perfect

Buy the Book:

The post Book Review: A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge appeared first on The Book Smugglers.

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Posted by The Book Smugglers

Old School Wednesdays is a weekly Book Smuggler feature. We came up with the idea towards the end of 2012, when both Ana and Thea were feeling exhausted from the never-ending inundation of New and Shiny (and often over-hyped) books. What better way to snap out of a reading fugue than to take a mini-vacation into the past?

Old School Wednesdays Final

Logo designed by the wonderful KMont

The Golden Compass

US Edition

northern-lights

UK Edition

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other…

Title: The Golden Compass (US) / Northern Lights (UK)

Author: Philip Pullman

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication date: First published 1995
Paperback: 448 pages

Stand alone or series: First in His Dark Materials series

How did we get this book: Bought

Format (e- or p-): Print

REVIEW & DISCUSSION

This October, The Book of Dust–the first book in a brand new “equal” (not prequel, not sequel) spinoff trilogy, La Belle Sauvage, set in the His Dark Materials world–will reintroduce us to Lyra, Will, and the world of daemons, magic, and science.

With the new book’s release nearly upon us, we decided that it was high time to reread the His Dark Materials books. HOW DID WE FARE?

For this review, we’re approaching things a little differently and answering prompts to thematic questions about the book. If you’re so inclined, we welcome you to also answer the questions and join the conversation!

Discussion Questions:

1.Let’s talk about personal reflection, and how The Golden Compass holds up to the test of time. First impressions: How does the book stack up to the memory and expectation?

Ana: I am so glad we are re-reading His Dark Materials. I first read it in 2004: I had just moved to the UK and I was looking for Fantasy novels similar to The Lord of the Rings (because at that moment in time, it was the one Fantasy reference I had) and I ended up borrowing it from the library. This was in many ways, my gateway into reading contemporary Fantasy, a first taste of YA AND the first novels I read in English. I remember reading it and thinking: wow this is better than The Lord of the Rings. As such, as I was a bit terrified about this re-read. This first book re-read was a mixed bag for me: I still really loved it but found it to be more slow moving that I was expecting? Memory told me The Golden Compass was non-stop action but really, there are very slow moving scenes/info-dump followed by action-packed ones – so in the end, I thought this first book to be rather uneven.

Thea: I actually was introduced to this series through my four-years-younger sister, back around the time I was starting to get into Harry Potter. I’d read The Golden Compass back then (early 2000) and remember enjoying it a bunch… But I didn’t continue the series. It wasn’t until eight years later, just before starting The Book Smugglers, that I rediscovered The Golden Compass and blazed through the series in a frenzy of awe and passion. I loved these books. So, rereading was a big deal–I was terrified that this first book would not hold up (and I had already been burned by that lackluster movie adaptation). 

The good news is that The Golden Compass totally holds up. Yeah, it’s a lot of info dumping and yeah, there are things that are handled in clunky fashion. But on the whole? Lyra is still the heroine of my heart.

2. Daemons are badass. What are daemons in your opinion? And what would your daemon be?

Ana: Well, in the book the impression one has is that daemons are a person’s own soul outside their bodies which is really fascinating. The world in which Lyra lives is only one from many and I love the rules build around daemons and the correct way of approaching them (it’s not polite to touch another person’s daemon for example) and how that’s integrated into the worldbuilding and in the relationship between characters. It is also fundamental to the very foundation of the series: it is the understanding of daemons and how they affect children and adults in different ways that move the Church as well as the main antagonists of the novel.

What would my daemon be? Probably some sort of a cat? But one of the fun things about daemons is that sometimes a person has a vision of themselves that don’t correspond to what their daemons are, so maybe a freaking dog?

Thea: I am glad Ana touched on the taboo of touching another’s daemon, and the intimacy of that relationship. Having just recently reread the Harry Potter books, I can’t help but compare these to horcruxes–albeit ones that didn’t require the destruction of a soul, though in spirit they are parts of the soul outside the body. But daemons are cooler, because they are the natural order of things in Lyra’s world (not products of murder) and how cool would it be to have a part of you, that intimately knows everything about you, who you can talk to and confide in, outside of your body? Like Ana, I would like to think my daemon would be some kind of enormous hunting cat, like Lord Asriel’s snow lion (mine would probably be more mountain lion or jaguar). But I would also not be surprised if it was something amphibious, like a frog or a lizard.

3. Let’s look at gender roles specifically in this novel. Why are daemons the opposite gender of their humans, for example? How are Lyra and Melissa Coulter’s roles different than Lord Asriel or Lee Scoresby’s, for example?

Ana: The daemons being the opposite gender to me reads like the ideas of anima and animus from psychology: “in the unconscious of a man, this archetype finds expression as a feminine inner personality: anima; equivalently, in the unconscious of a woman it is expressed as a masculine inner personality: animus.”

However, the gender aspect of the novel seems very fixed and binary and even though I love this world, it also begs the question with regards to other genders and how would their daemons work for trans people, non-binary folks, etc. I don’t think we ever see this at play in the world?

In terms how that divide applies to characters, I see both men and women being equally great and nurturing or equally nasty and ambitious. So equal opportunity for character development.

Thea: I agree that the novel is incredibly, frustratingly binary in its approach to gender and gender roles–I wish there had been some acknowledgement of or development of trans characters, for example, or genderqueer humans and their daemons. As it stands, when I first read the book, I loved the idea that one’s daemon would be “opposite”–but now many years later, I find it limiting, frustrating, and frankly, hurtful in it’s approach to gender.

As for traditional gender roles, however, I do love that Philip Pullman is an equal opportunist, as Ana points out. I think there are similar gender role expectations in Lyra’s world–but damn, don’t Miss Coulter and Lyra break those restrictive buckets.

4. The Golden Compass is full of binary relationships and themes. Whether it be about a woman and her lost overseas father, or the very difference between Lyra’s universe and that of her world’s interdependence on other worlds–there is a lot to unpack here. What’s your understanding of the way that Lyra’s world works?

Ana: I am not sure that the first book delves so much into all the possibilities as yet – giving us only tantalizing morsels of information and most of it is enshrouded in mystery as the characters are purposefully keeping things from Lyra. That is actually one of the most interesting but frustrating aspects of the novel: the nature of what is happening to Lyra, and how it is all moved by an unspoken prophecy that predicts a child will change the world forever but only “if she doesn’t know she is doing it”. Hence, another binary or dichotomy we can discuss is the idea of free will vs destiny: is Lyra really that important and why? The book doesn’t break away from this just yet, the plot moving along to coordinate with this very idea. The bloody, tragic ending just one of the ways that the worldbuilding fucks Lyra up.

Thea: Philip Pullman likes his binary relationships. I noticed this a lot in this first book–but I agree that Lyra is like the centerpiece of a wheel with many outward radiating spokes that represent these binary relationships. There’s her lost father, and her feelings after her world is upended. There’s the intensity of her relationship with Pantalaimon (and the things Pan knows that Lyra does not or only subconsciously notices). There’s the fascinating layered relationship with Miss Coulter, and on and on. The prophecy adds a depth to all of this and enhances these 1:1 relationships–and yes, it’s all SUPER messed up when we get to that horrible silver guillotine and everything else the horrid church and Coulter have been insidiously executing.

5. What’s your favorite thing about the novel?

Ana: JUST THE ONE? I think maybe the witches? I love Serafina even though we only see a bit of her. And also maybe the bears and how Lyra got around tricking them/saving them? I admit this is now two favourites AND ALSO THE ENDING. Ok, three.

Thea: I love the subtle flashes of OTHER WORLDS and the importance of these other universes that we only start to see in this book thanks to the Dust, the alethiometer, and Lord Asriel’s ambition. Well, that and the swing between joy (Lyra riding triumphantly with the mighty Iofur Raknison towards her goal) and horror (what Lyra discovers is actually happening and her father’s obsession).

Rating:

Ana: Torn between 8 and 9. Will go with 8

Thea: 8 – Excellent and I know it’s only getting better from here, baby.

Divider

Now over to you! Please feel free to engage with the questions (and our answers), come up with your own talking points, and/or please leave links to your reviews!

The post Old School Wednesdays: The Golden Compass/Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman appeared first on The Book Smugglers.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:49 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] italiceyeball!
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Maurice, though by now clothed, and in his right mind, lay on the bed with an arm across his eyes. This really would not do.

Once was something that could happen. Twice was – cause for perturbation. It was no longer the gratification of a passing inclination.

Why had MacDonald kissed him before leaving? Lightly, affectionately, as if they were devoted lovers facing a brief parting? It made no sense at all.

He heard several fellows come up the stairs: one, from the tittering, was Chumbell, and one – oh dear, that was Basil’s great honking laugh – and that voice that had so recently been whispering in his ear, soft words that he dared say were Scots for he did not understand them, only that from the tone, they were endearments and not the filth that some fellows liked to talk at such times – saying, oh, sure they will show the things to English milords for a little recompense – what, you have never been so far as Naples –

Basil was saying something about his desire to go to Greece - though Maurice confided that Basil liked his comforts entirely too much to undertake such a journey – and MacDonald remarked upon the very notable Greek influences in the Two Sicilies.

Oh, he would become a prime favourite in the club at the rate he was going, damn his eyes.

- you have not seen the Bexbury Bequest at the Museum? Sure, 'tis not on open display, save for a chaste vase or so, but 'tis entire possible for those of the cognoscenti to go examine the late Marquess’ very fine collections.

Chumbell was quite squeaking with excitement.

And then they were standing by the large canvas on the corridor wall just outside the door, and Chumbell murmuring about accuracy and Basil making claims for the need to make a telling composition - would they never go so that he might escape?

At length he heard them – after a deal of expatiation on various paintings – go back down the stairs. He stood up, tidied himself, smoothed down his hair yet again, and peeped out of the door to ensure that there were no onlookers.

He descended the stairs and nearly ran into Sir Stockwell. Ah, Allard, he said – he always manifested the very good ton of addressing Maurice as quite his equal, and not a fellow that he had once been wont to have for a guinea a time, when they were both younger. Come and take port with me.

Maurice had been greatly looking forward to a glass of gin – port was just not the same – but did not protest.

They went into Sir Stockwell’s private office. There was port already on the table. He motioned Maurice into a chair.

Well, he said, I am most exceeding grateful that we have prevailed upon MacDonald to join our number –

Maurice sipped his port and raised his eyebrows.

- but I confide Sir Hartley was quite right that 'twould have been premature to invite him any earlier, 'twas the proper thing to respect his mourning for Lord Raxdell. I was a little concerned about how Saythingport might vote –

Not Colonel Adams?

Adams will think any fellow that can argue about Alexander’s Greeks that settled among the Afghans and discourse on Hindu religion is a fine fellow. But I brought Saythingport to see the prudence of having a fellow so noted for sounding out mysteries among us – for sometimes we have matters we should desire to investigate but can hardly employ some private inquiry agent. I was very careful to choose an occasion when Mysell-Monting could not join us.

Maurice smiled and said he was surprised that Sir Stockwell had not joined the Diplomatic rather than the Admiralty.

But indeed, went on Sir Stockwell, I had a most particular concern of my own. He cleared his throat. I daresay, he said, that my wife will be coming to be dressed by you again, following this scandal of the silly women that were beguiled by an imposter that was neither French nor even a real dressmaker –

I should naturally be delighted, said Maurice, though I confide that she will go wherever Lady Trembourne does, and she, alas, is no patron of mine.

Frightful woman, said Sir Stockwell, if she were my wife – but that fool Trembourne quite grovels at her feet – but does my wife come to your establishment –

(Surely Sir Stockwell was not leading up to being granted very favourable terms when the bills for dressing his lady were made up?)

- I am in some suspicion that she has taken a lover. While she is at least so discreet in the matter that I have no definite knowledge as yet, is it so I should very much like to know who he is. Should not like her beguiled by some seducing rogue or brought into scandal. For indeed one would very much dislike to have to come to a crim.con. action.

Does you entire credit, said Maurice. Even does she not come to me, I daresay there may be ladies in the secret that may be persuaded to a little gossip.

Excellent, my dear fellow. He clapped Maurice heartily on the shoulder. Fellows such as we are well-advized to keep beforehand of matters.

Next morn, Maurice called in Miss Coggin to ask had they ever dressed Lady Sarah Channery, for his memory failed him in the matter.

Miss Coggin gave a loud and vulgar snort, and said, I daresay you would hardly have noticed her, for she ever came with Lady Trembourne, and even though she is better-born, one would have supposed her some poor relation or hired companion. And she is somewhat of the same style of looks –

Ah yes, now I recollect. Never required use of the discreet chamber?

Indeed not. A pathetic creature.

Maurice went to look over the books to see what further information on her patronage he might glean, and was about the task when he heard somebody mounting the back stairway with the clunking of a cane.

He looked out of the doorway. Biddy! he cried, jumping up and going to extend his arm to aid her ascent. Kissing her upon the cheek when she was panting at the top, he said, but sure we did not expect a visit from you. Here, come sit down and I will send for tea.

Biddy sat wheezing for a little while, and then said, came up to lay flowers on dear Thomasina’s grave, and do a little shopping for such matters as Worthing cannot provide. And I went take tea yesterday with dear Tibby, and sure I had heard nothing down by the seaside of this trouble you had been having.

Fie, did not wish bother you with it, the imposture is discovered, we have a deal of business on hand as a result –

I see what it is, you were ever a good thoughtful boy, did not want me to worry, bore it all on your own shoulders -

Did not so, he protested, opened the matter to Lady Bexbury –

There’s my clever boy!

- that quite entirely came at the imposture. But indeed, he said, sitting down and handing her a cup of tea, know not how I might have contrived without her intervention.

Has ever been a good friend to us, said Biddy. And her kindness to dear Thomasina – why, 'twas not even, la, can you no longer work I will go find some almshouse where you may reside so that you need not go upon the parish, no, 'twas keep her in the household among familiar faces, able advize Sophy, the best of everything. She dabbed at her eyes with a lacy handkerchief. O, sure she had savings put by, but in her state of health –

She had a good friend in you, said Maurice. And now, are you here, I should desire open to you some of my thoughts for the gowns for the coming Season, and the ladies that are coming here.

Biddy protested that sure, she was quite out of Town and knowledge of the latest styles, but Maurice confided that even did she not read scandal, she read the pages in the papers on matters of fashion more religiously than her Bible.

sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
Erev Rosh Hashanah: I misplace the keys to my parents' house and cannot help with the cooking as early in the afternoon as planned, but my brother and his family turn out to have been laid low by some opportunistic bug (the preschool year has started) and don't make it for dinner after all; my father drives their roast chicken and their challah and their honeycake out to them in the evening. We eat ours after I light orange taper candles that technically belong to Halloween because that's what's in the house. The chicken is brined and stuffed with lemon halves and fresh rosemary; the huge round challah with honey drizzled lightly over its egg-washed crust is from Mamaleh's; the honeycakes are homemade and the twice-baked potatoes were introduced by [personal profile] spatch and me. I know it is not precisely the customary use of the Shechecheyanu, but I find it useful to have a prayer thank you, God, that we've made it this far. The year starts anyway, ready or not. I'd rather recognize it as it goes by. L'shanah tovah, all.

Switch

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:22 am
[syndicated profile] mamohanraj_feed

Posted by Mary Anne Mohanraj

Anand got the toy he most desired for his 8th birthday (a Nintendo Switch) and I am not sure I have ever seen a child so ecstatic. He is trying to play the game (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) but is so happy and excited that he keeps getting up and jumping around. He can’t contain himself. He is trying to explain the game to us (he has watched many, many YouTube play through videos about it), and not spoil it for us, but he can’t help giving us hints — ‘the old man isn’t just any old man! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!’ Just now, Kevin went downstairs for something, and Anand ran down a minute later because he had gotten to a particularly exciting bit and he didn’t want Daddy to miss it.

Why I Had a Good Tuesday This Week

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:50 pm
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Posted by John Scalzi

Because yesterday I got to hang out a bit with Alison Moyet, who if you didn’t know is one of my absolute favorite singers, both in Yaz, and with her solo work. We’d become Twitter buddies in the last couple of years and when I mentioned to her Krissy and I would be at her Chicago show she suggested we have a real-life meet. And we did! And it was lovely! And brief, as she had to prepare to entertain a sold-out show (and she did; the concert was excellent), but long enough to confirm that she’s as fabulous in the flesh as she is in her music. Which was not surprising to me, but nice regardless.

(Alison has also blogged about our meet-up as part of her tour journal, which you can find here. Read the entire tour journal, as she’s funny as hell.)

I noted to some friends that I was likely to meet Alison this week and some of them wondered how it would go, on the principle that meeting one’s idols rarely goes as one expects (more bluntly, the saying is “never meet your idols.”) I certainly understand the concept, but I have to say I’ve had pretty good luck meeting people whom I have admired (or whose work I admired). I chalk a lot of that up to the fact that while I was working as a film critic, I met and interviewed literally hundreds of famous people, some of whose work was very important to me. In the experience I got to have the first-hand realization that famous and/or wonderfully creative people are also just people, and have the same range of personalities and quirks as anyone else.

If you remember that when you meet the people whose work or actions you admire, you give them space just to be themselves. And themselves are often lovely. And when they’re not, well, that’s fine too. Alison Moyet, it turns out, is fabulous, and I’m glad we got to meet.

(Which is not to say I didn’t geek out. Oh, my, I did. But I also kept that mostly inside. Krissy found it all amusing.)

Anyway: Great Tuesday. A+++, would Tuesday again.


[ObMeme]

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:27 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
By way of [personal profile] thistleingrey, because I need a break. On the bright side, I finished a short story today. :D

Read more... )

art accountability

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:19 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
Sunday's sketch of the Dragon while we were getting food:


(Dammit, I like life drawing, even if I'm too n00b to be good at it. Joe says I have been getting better since I started a few years back though.)

Pen: Pelikan M205 Aqumarine (F nib)
Ink: Diamine Eclipse

Moving on from heads to eyes and lips? )

I haven't gotten back to Ctrl+Paint because life has been busy, but yesterday my art accountability was working on a Thing in Photoshop, mainly blocking in values.

This Week in Nazi-Punching

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:15 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

A video of a Nazi in Seattle getting punched and knocked out has been making the rounds. Responses range from satisfaction and celebration to the predictable cries of “So much for the tolerant left” and the related “Violence makes us as bad as them and plays right into their hands.”

A few things to consider…

1. According to one witness, the punch happened after the Nazi called a man an “ape” and threw a banana at him. With the disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer, that sounds like assault to me. I’m guessing Assault in the Fourth Degree. In other words, the punching was a response to an assault by the Nazi.

The witness who talks about the banana-throwing also says he was high on THC. I haven’t seen anyone disputing his account, but I haven’t seen corroboration, either.

2.Remember when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, and people like Geraldo Rivera said it was because Martin was wearing a hoodie, and that made Martin a potentially dangerous “suspicious character”? Utter bullshit, I know. But if our legal system let Zimmerman plead self-defense, saying he was afraid because Martin was wearing a hoodie, doesn’t that same argument apply against someone wearing a fucking swastika?

We’re talking about a symbol that announces, “I support genocide of those who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied…”

3. Buzzfeed presents this as anti-fascists tracking a Neo-Nazi to beat him up. While antifa Twitter appears to have been talking about this guy, there’s no evidence that the punch was thrown by someone who’s part of that movement. And even if he was, the guy didn’t throw a punch until after the Nazi committed assault (see point #1).

Those Tweets quoted on Buzzfeed also suggest the Nazi was armed, which could add to the self-defense argument in point #2.

Is Nazi-punching right? Is it legal? As any role-player will tell you, there’s a difference between whether something is lawful and whether it’s good.

The “victim” has every right to press charges. But for some reason, he didn’t want to talk to police about the incident.

Was punching this guy a good thing? I mean, there’s a difference between comic books and real life. The Nazi was standing in front of some sort of tile wall. He could have struck his head on the corner after being punched, or when he fell to the ground. In other words, there’s a chance–albeit probably a slim one–that this could have killed him.

My country and culture glorify violence. I’d much rather avoid violence when possible. I think most rational people would. But there are times it’s necessary to fight, to choose to defend yourself and others. I think it’s important to understand the potential consequences of that choice.

Multiple accounts agree this man was harassing people on the bus, and later on the street. He was a self-proclaimed Nazi. Police say they received calls that he was instigating fights, and it sounds like he escalated from verbal harassment to physical assault … at which point another man put him down, halting any further escalation.

I don’t know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I see nothing to make me condemn or second-guess this man’s choice in the face of a dangerous Nazi.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
Baen's mass market paperback edition of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is coming up next week. Official launch date is next Tuesday, Sept. 26th. However, I don't think this one has a hard don't-sell-before date, so it will probably start trickling into brick-and-mortar bookstores whenever they get around to opening the boxes in the back room.

My box of author's copies arrived. Front looks like this, more or less -- Baen's shiny foil does not scan well.




The back looks like this:



They somehow got the first draft of the cover copy onto this one, and not the final one as it appears on the hardcover jacket flap. That last line was not supposed to be, misleadingly, All About Miles, but rather to put the focus on the book's actual protagonists and plot, and read, "...the impact of galactic technology on the range of the possible changes all the old rules, and Oliver and Cordelia must work together to reconcile the past, the present, and the future."

Ah, well. Most readers (who bother to read the back at all) will figure it out, I expect. Those that don't will be no more confused than usual.

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on September, 20

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