rhivolution: Janelle Monáe is giving you a low look (fuck gender: Janelle Monáe)
Well, I am back in Britain and no longer on jetlag time, two weeks later, and mostly just getting by. Glasgow has had nothing approaching 'summer', not even the British variant of summer (e.g. a pleasant temperature and not raining), which is disheartening as we come into August and I think of those Stevie Nicks lyrics* and anticipate the seasons to come.

If you needed to be convinced about climate change--and I'm hoping if you read my journal that you don't--the weather here in Britain for the last few years is quite good anecdotal evidence. Gwyneth Jones wrote a YA book under her Ann Halam pseud half a dozen years ago or so TEN YEARS AGO, says Wikipedia (Siberia), where the jet stream has moved due to global climate change, leaving Scotland a tundra, and while I don't buy that exact outcome, I do buy the notion that the weather here is becoming increasingly fucked.(Incidentally, I enjoyed that book a lot more than I have any of Jones' writing for adults. I've written about this before here and elsewhere...her issues with mothering and motherhood creep.me.out. Thinking on it more, Jones sorta is the Christopher Nolan of feminist SF for me, in that her work is very technically interesting and impressive, but I just can't quite get emotionally attached to her characters. They leave me rather cold.)

On reading! I did manage to finish Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword on holiday, and perhaps I was the only person who liked Sword better, I'm not sure. I've sorta parsed out my reasons why and hope to do a blog post one of these evers.

From a foodie perspective, I also finally read Gabrielle Hamilton's 2011 memoir (Blood, Bones, and Butter). While Hamilton's got...some personal issues that I feel could really use some deeper self-analysis...I really identify with her career narrative:
- falling into a job (cooking)
- feeling like she's not changing the world or using her potential, so going back to school (writing)
- finding out that the reality of doing that dream as a career is not great
- going back to old job for productivity and meaning and eventually developing that into a career
And then she ends up writing a top-rated memoir, publishing essays, and winning awards for her writing too, which leads me to, at least, a bit of hope for my media self. I just need to actually Do The Thing.

On fandom--thinking, very vaguely, about getting back into RPing again, because [personal profile] lizzy is convincing, but that would also mean that my brain needs to be better at not freaking out about reading friend lists/circles, thus not flaking out. I hate flaking out.

So yes, stuff is stuff, hello, tell me interesting things.

* "And the summer became the fall/I was not ready for the winter", from 'Nightbird', though the FM folk here probably guessed that.
rhivolution: Ace is pensive and/or upset (say your life is on fire: Ace)
This post sort of starts in medias res because I can't figure out how to start it otherwise: I managed to be a responsible adult last week in epic ways, before starting to come down with a cold the day after. It whinged for a while as my body threw things at it, but then I ended up so poorly early this week I had to take a sick day for the first time in two years. (Oddly enough, I was also sick, though with GI issues, in early April 2012...idek.)

So this week has pretty much been a wash. Shit has not got done outwith work. And here we are in April and Easter is next week and the US in a month or so and I am thirty... cue existential crisis

A few things I know for sure, though.

I've not seen Winter Soldier so I feel a bit left out, but carry on squeefully!

I will be at Wiscon on the Friday so make your plans accordingly? (insert Sally Field moment here with not understanding why people like me so damn much.*) I need to vid for this omg, but my idea involves going through a ton of canon which is causing much anxiety.

In a similar vein, I finally am reading through the copy of the Year's Best SF that I picked up before going to Birmingham (2009, so this'd be YBSF 2008?) and now I remember why I stopped reading SF indiscriminately. Not just because of the obvious fail, but also the more insidious things...for example, I feel like I want someone to talk with about Ian McDonald and why his work creeps me out so much. Also, it's helped me realise that I made the right choice in not touching Bacigalupi's work. (Conceptually the protagonist's work and workplace in that story is a fantastic concept that rings stunningly true to today's social media and pageclick driven journalism. But that's negated and buried under the amount of sideeye I have to do because it's just...)

so many white dudes in this omg thank fuck there's at least an Aliette de Bodard story near the end and I think Nancy Kress is in it somewhere

This is part of my project to read more, and while it's not failing, I need to push myself a little harder, I think. Or track what I read over lunch better, because I don't tweet about what I don't find amazing.

I...have run out of steam thanks to exhaustion. Ask me things, instead, maybe?

* To deconstruct this, I think this is a combination of imposter syndrome and the fact that at school/work (e.g. social situations where the group is not self-selected) I have always been deemed 'pleasantly quirky' at best and 'wtf' at worst. Therefore I believe the negatives because I am a goddamn cynic.
rhivolution: the Doctor, pointing at his shop name badge: The Doctor/here to help (Here to help: The Doctor)
Really pleased to tell you that Friends of Dennis, a fan project that dear [personal profile] wrdnrd and [personal profile] raanve have been putting together, has gone live.

Friends of Dennis deals with class and classism in speculative literature and is definitely worth watching if you're into SFF.

Much win!
rhivolution: Freema Agyeman is badass (save the time lord save the world: Marth)
Title: Optic/Nerve
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Rhi ([personal profile] rhivolution/[livejournal.com profile] rhipowered)
Fandom: Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
Rating: Mature
Warning: I chose not to use archive warnings on this, only because all of the warnings therein don't really define the sense of this fic. It's a confusing somewhat problematic shambles (in keeping with canon). Denny is underage, but that really doesn't apply to this story, so I left it out.
Relationships: Kid/Lanya/Denny
Summary: "This is not a poem. It is a very shabby report of something that happened in the year of Our Lord it would be oh-so-nice to write down, month, day, and year. But I can't."
Notes: For [personal profile] seekingferret in the Kaleidoscope Fanwork Exchange Autumn 2011. 1518 words.

Read at AO3

Additionally...this is not a fic to read if you haven't read canon. Seriously, it barely makes sense if you have read canon. I...have rarely written an unreliable narrator on purpose before, and it's a trip and a half.

And the canon...the canon is problematic-on-purpose, and not for everyone by any stretch of the imagination, certainly not for people who have assault and/or racism and/or anti-gay triggers. In his attempt to deconstruct myths both ancient and modern (of the stereotype sort), Delany plays with all of those things. Alternately, some people aren't triggered by any of that but really don't get it and find Dhalgren to be utterly hopeless and OTT.

It is, but there's a point to it--the deconstruction of the modern city and descent into chaos sort of demands that. (And the theme somehow seems exceedingly relevant to the current economic debacle.) Somehow there's seriously interesting worldbuilding going on, and a really great meditation on being an artist of any variety (Delany would probably hate to know that I didn't revise this fic much at all. If for some reason you're acquainted, please don't have him read it). I went with the latter theme in my writing, and I'm trying to decide if telling people what I meant by it is ruining the whole thing. If you're interested in knowing, please drop a comment.

I've made a Dhalgren inspired fanmix as well, but I'm too tired to upload the cover art right now as I've cooked a whole turkey dinner and am wiped. Soon.

And if you haven't looked at [archiveofourown.org profile] mific's art for me, please do.
rhivolution: band tour shirt showing Captain Picard with a guitar. Text is 'Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra September 1991' (language geek: TANAGRA '91!)
I don't really know the situation, but I really don't get the whole srs bsns reaction to the Hugos this year? I didn't think the general White Old School Winning sitch was any bigger a deal this year than it is ANY year, but apparently the ante, she has been upped.

And so I am trying to figure out what is going on before I make any judgements (I do have an initial response, but I don't know if it's accurate), but I can't FIND anything save some arguing on Twitter.

If anyone has the spoons to update me or point me in the right direction, do let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.
rhivolution: David Tennant does the Thinker (Default)
Back now. Completely wiped. Jet lag is like a hangover without the fun bit beforehand. And, in some semblance of utter dumbassery, I decided I should work tomorrow and Friday. I need to not be allowed to make decisions.

In better news, I neglected to mention that my copy of LeGuin's Always Coming Home came with me on my travels, and it's so very much a book that improves with the number of reads (I think this is my fourth). The first time or two, I was very much must piece together the narrative, and I'm finally past that point and to one where I can read it as the cultural anthropology as it's intended to be.

By the by, Matt got me the 40th anniversary edition of Left Hand of Darkness for our anniversary, bless him.

Losing coherence, but one last point: I intend to do an SOTP, if anyone from TR is interested. Please remind me to do so.
rhivolution: sepiaish image of J Brooks as Ghanima Atreides, positioned defensively against a wall & brandishing a knife (cuts like a crysknife: Ghanima Atreides)
With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lesslikepie who posted it most recently, among others.

Unbelievably white! Also male! What else is new!

Behind the cut, I have opinions. )
rhivolution: Uhura from Star Trek TOS, leaning over and laughing (oh hell yes: Uhura (TOS))
Uh, cause I can. Taken from various people. And I do not have my David Tennant Reading English Teacher icon anymore, sad day.

The book I am reading:
Madhur Jaffrey's memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees. It's a reread, but there's a lot to it I didn't remember, and I'm looking at it in a new light--how she grew up both privileged and colonised. I also have a bunch of things queued up, most notably The Knife of Never Letting Go.

The book I am writing:
Exists mostly in my head, where it's lived since 2005, and in about 6K of Word file that's two years old. Fail. It is sort of a future version of Heroes meets Maximum Ride (which I haven't even read) with a side of China Mountain Zhang.

The book I love most:
Uh, I can't pick just one. I need to find my copy of The Stand: Complete and Uncut when I'm back in the US in August. I miss it terribly. I also connect a lot to Nicola Griffith's Slow River for some reason, and if you'd asked me this question ten years ago, my answer would have been The Mists of Avalon.

The last book I received as a gift:
Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, which I still need to read. Books I own end up at the bottom of the pile, sadly, compared to library books, which is part of why I only buy things I've read.

The last book I gave as a gift:
Lols. I gave Patricia Finney's kids book Jack and Police Dog Rebel to Matt for Valentine's Day, because he has the first one (I, Jack) and wanted it for ages.
Fun fact: when he was wee, Matt wanted to be a police dog.

The nearest book on my desk:
There aren't any, I'm at the dining table. SAD DAY. I will randomly pick one from Matt's bookshelf right behind me: Naomi Klein, No Logo.

Also, I would like to add, because I want to promote someone...

The last book I bought for myself:
Julian May, Intervention, used at the Oxfam bookstore in Victoria Road. Now, Julian May (who is female, by the by) is the most awesome science fiction writer you have not read. She's not exactly feminist, per se, and she is probably not without problematic things. But her SF books are like if someone took Anne McCaffrey's Talent series and crossed them with X-Men, then gave it teeth. Intragroup issues and benevolent aliens who still might kill you for the greater good and family problems and a whole planet colonized by Scots that is not ridiculous Caldos, thx TNG. (And that's just the prequel series to the original, which has that stuff and one-way time travel and evil alien overlords...I do think the prequel is a bit more sound, but ymmv.)

So yes, SF fans should read Julian May. Her fantasy books aren't bad either, I just like SF.
rhivolution: the Starfleet emblem, on black background (undiscovered country: Star Trek)
A couple of random points:

- I am nearly done with Professor Layton and the Lost Future. The plot of this one is a massively convoluted WTF on the level of last week's Community, but it's fun. One really annoying point is Read more... )

- That reminds me that I totally need to pick a PB for Bonnie Macfarlane before 1 December. White US American, blonde, late-20s, NOT girly...any suggestions?

- [personal profile] onceupon is looking for book recs both here and at LJ. I am no help because I'm really in the same boat she is (I read non-fiction and SFF almost exclusively of late), so read her post and help me too.

- I didn't have the heart to start a flame war while she can't moderate go tell the dude in her LJ post that I don't think his list of authors is appropriate in light of what M says in her post about what she likes to read, except for a bit of William Gibson, so I'm saying it here. They're all postmodernist white dudes, and while some postmodernist white dude writing is okay, it would not be my exclusive go-to list of reading material. Also, I had a hell of a time schlepping through Iain M Banks (I will try again soon, seeing as most UK SF sections are at least one-third Culture novels), and Jonathan Lethem's SFy books are just way too esoteric. It's like he can't decide whether or not to be Bradbury or Vonnegut but with that style that's just so very...90s hipster.

You know what I mean. I may have read too many of those sort of books in high school. They don't have ENDINGS. I'm looking at you, Chip Kidd.
rhivolution: the Starfleet emblem, on black background (undiscovered country: Star Trek)
Right, so I found this post, Gods and Monsters, by [personal profile] vito_excalibur, really interesting from a thinky perspective, both in interpreting the Terre D'Ange books but also from the questions posed at the end.

quote begins I'd quite like to see fantasy books in which the power religion wields is like the one it wields in this world: a great and effective social power, but not one in which clerics actually receive powers or knowledge from the gods. quote ends

I don't agree with the person in the comments who insists that active faith/religion is considered a necessary trope in fantasy, but I don't really have the energy at the moment to argue.
rhivolution: Freema Agyeman is badass (save the time lord save the world: Marth)
Since I know some of you might be interested/qualified and might not be on Twitter...

SFF publisher Tor Books (a division of Macmillan) is looking to hire an editorial assistant in their New York office.

No specific experience required, just good writing skills, the ability to work under pressure, and an understanding of genre and non-SFF lit.

If I was near there, I'd totally go for this, but instead, I pass it on to you.

(h/t [personal profile] badgerbag)
rhivolution: David Tennant does the Thinker (Default)
Thought of the day: what would steampunk dairy farmers look like?

The Gunnerkrigg Court laser cows are all that comes to mind, most likely because I've read all of that through this past week while ill.
rhivolution: the Starfleet emblem, on black background (undiscovered country: Star Trek)
So apparently some dude at The Channel Formerly Known as SciFi came up with a list of the sixteen most intelligent SF films to date, and [personal profile] tanyad asked for opinions here.

I have many, and they are generally pissy ones. You may see them behind the cut.

Disclaimers and then point-by-points. )