Phoning it in

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:27 pm
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh dear, another blooper from David Mitchell in this week's Observer New Review.

Or, at least, a classic case of writing about something before reading it properly.

The first was that Cambridge University lecture timetables are being labelled with “trigger warnings” about the plots of various literary works, including The Bacchae and Titus Andronicus. So English literature undergraduates are being protected from the knowledge of, among other things, what one of Shakespeare’s plays is about, in case it upsets them.
That is so not what the furore about this that I saw across my bits of social media was: what I saw was the push-back against the elitist assumption that eny fule already no that Titus Andronicus contains murder, rape, mutilation, and involuntary cannibalism (not to mention massive amount of racism).

And trigger-warnings aren't about protecting people from the knowledge that works of art contain disturbing material: they're precisely about letting people who haven't yet encountered them know that they contain material some people may find upsetting. Like the warnings you see at the beginning of a movie, just so you know what you're letting yourself in for.

And I'm really not sure that one can assume general cultural familiarity with one of the less-produced of Shakespeare's plays (the one that suggests that, had he been writing in the 1960s, he'd have been working for Hammer Horror - while some of the early comedies suggest also possibly moonlighting for the Carry On films, but I digress). Okay, there has been a movie version of the play itself, and Theatre of Blood alludes to it in one of the vengeances taken against the critics of the protag. But I doubt it's all that well-known to the individual on the Clapham omnibus.

(no subject)

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:02 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gryphynshadow!

New Fic!

Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:54 am
vaznetti: (crossovers! yay!)
[personal profile] vaznetti
SO here I am, posting new fic for the first time in years. I had an excellent [community profile] crossovering exchange. I wrote TWO stories, and I received something really amazing in return. First, my gift:

a wolf age ere the world falls (10031 words) by wnnbdarklord
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies), A Song of Ice and Fire - George R. R. Martin
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor (Marvel), Bran Stark, Ned Stark, Lyanna Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Natasha Romanov (Marvel), Background & Cameo Characters
Additional Tags: Crossover, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Infinity Gems, Memory Alteration, Memory Loss, Time Skips, Background Character Death, Canonical Character Death, references to canon typical violence and sexual assault
Summary:
The boy in the weirwood dreams of another world, where heroes exist that can help save them all. He reaches through and pulls. Blue light fills him as the universe tears apart. The world changes.

---

An MCU/ASoIaF crossover where the Avengers are pulled into Westeros to help with their White Walker problem. Except they get overshot and get sent farther back than intended. What else is Tony Stark going to do but build his way out?



I have wanted some version of this crossover for years, and this was wonderful beyond my wildest dreams. Everyone in it is perfect, especially Tony, but really, everyone. It is perfect!


Meanwhile, I wrote a SPN/SW story as my assignment, which was a lot of fun, but also challenging because I've never written SW (barring some 30-year old Mary Sue drawerfic) and it's been a long time since I've written SPN, and I really didn't want this to be like the last time I wrote Winchesters in Space. Also, it took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that in this universe Sam and Dean would name their spaceship Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell.

Paved with Bad Intentions (The Road out of Hell) (7815 words) by Vaznetti
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Original Trilogy, Supernatural
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sam Winchester, Han Solo, Dean Winchester, Chewbacca (Star Wars)
Additional Tags: Crossover, Action/Adventure, Pre-Star Wars: A New Hope, SPN S3
Summary: Sam finds a way to save Dean from Hell; it involves sending them both to a galaxy far far away. Set in SPN Season 3, and some time before ANH.

I also wrote a very last-minute treat crossing over Game of Thrones and the Vorkosigan books, which in the way of last-minute treats was very well received, and now I might have to write more of it.

Winterfell Tales (2615 words) by Vaznetti
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Game of Thrones (TV), Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan/Miles Vorkosigan
Characters: Miles Vorkosigan, Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan, Sansa Stark, Armsman Roic, Tyrion Lannister
Additional Tags: Crossover, crossovering treat, Game of Thrones spoilers
Summary: It's like something out of an old story, Miles thinks: a Betan's idea of what Barrayar was like.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Politico: Young subscribers flock to old media

What's particularly fascinating is the way in which it's directly correlated with people wanting to support news organizations as a way to resist Trump:

“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”

Keep up the good work!
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
Today was very pleasant but very tiring. It has been a sleepless week, most of yesterday was a migraine, and I feel exhausted to the point of stupidity. In lieu of a movie I really need my brain for, here's one I can talk about while wanting to pass out.

Last October I watched but never wrote about Norman Foster's Woman on the Run (1950), a famously near-lost noir painstakingly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Film Noir Foundation and released last year onto home media as a double bill with Byron Haskin's Too Late for Tears (1949). Part of the delay is that I liked but did not love the former film as I did the latter with its stone cold antiheroine and uncompromising final shot; this one suffers more from the congealing sexism of the nascent Fifties and as a result its emotional resolution leaves a tacky taste on my teeth and an inchoate longing for the advent of no-fault divorce. If you can bear with its limitations, however, Woman on the Run is worth checking out as a thoughtfully layered mystery and a fantastic showcase for Ann Sheridan as an unapologetically bitchy, unsentimentally sympathetic protagonist, a rare combination in Hollywood even now.

The 1948 source short story by Sylvia Tate was titled "Man on the Run" and the film begins with one: late-night dog-walker Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) who takes a powder on learning that the murder he conscientiously reported—and witnessed at close enough range to know the killer again—was connected to a high-profile mob trial. A failed artist with a bad heart and a marriage that's been on the rocks almost since it launched, he looks tailor-made for the dark city, a loser coming up on his final throw. The camera doesn't follow him into the night-maze of San Francisco, though, to face or keep running from his demons in the kind of psychomachia at which an expressionist genre like noir so excels; instead the point of view switches almost at once to his estranged wife Eleanor (Sheridan), wearily deflecting the inquiries of the hard-nosed Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith, who will always look like Lieutenant Brannigan to me) with flat sarcastic cracks and an indifference so apparently genuine and total, it can take the audience a beat to recognize the depths of anger and resignation that underlie lines like "No, sometimes he goes to sleep and I walk the dog." Ever since Max Ophüls' The Reckless Moment (1949), I have been wary of assuming the limits of women in noir, but Eleanor still stands out for me in her flippant, abrasive intelligence and her willingness to look bad—she knows it shocks the conservative inspector that she isn't all housewifely concern for her man and she needles him with it, referring to the dog as their "only mutual friend" and dismissing the bare kitchen with "He's not particular and I'm lazy, so we eat out." Faced with the possibility that Frank has taken his brush with the underworld as an excuse to run out on his marriage, she's more than half inclined to let him. But she's not inclined to let him get killed, especially not playing star witness for a police force whose last star witness got whacked while Frank was watching, and so in the best traditions of amateur detecting, complete with dubious Watson in the form of "Legget of the Graphic" (Dennis O'Keefe), the flirty tabloid reporter who offered his services plus a thousand-dollar sweetener in exchange for exclusive rights to Frank's story, Eleanor sets out to find her missing husband before either the killer or a duty-bound Ferris can. He's left her a clue to his whereabouts, a cryptic note promising to wait for her "in a place like the one where I first lost you." In a relationship full of quarrels and frustrations, that could be anywhere, from their favorite Chinese hangout to the wharves of his "social protest period" to the tower viewers at the top of Telegraph Hill. Let the investigations begin.

I like this setup, which gives us the city as memory palace after all: Eleanor's memories of her relationship with Frank, what it was like when it was good and where it failed and how it might be reclaimed again, if she can only find him alive. She is almost being asked to perform a spell. And while I suppose she could have done it on the sympathetic magic of a Hollywood backlot, it is much more satisfying to watch her revisit real statues and sidewalks, real crowds unaware of the private earthquake taking place in their midst. Hal Mohr's cinematography is a street-level document of San Francisco in 1950, with a cameo by our old friend Bunker Hill; he can organize shadows and angles as effectively as the next Oscar-winning DP when he needs to, but he keeps the majority of the action on the daylit side of noir, the lived-in, working-class city with Navy stores and department stores and parks and piers and diners and lots of California sun, which only looks like it shows you everything. The literal roller-coaster climax was filmed at Ocean Park Pier/Pacific Ocean Park, last seen on this blog in Curtis Harrington's Night Tide (1960). Back at the Johnsons' bleak, hotel-like apartment, Eleanor mocked Ferris for "snoop[ing] into the remains of our marriage," but increasingly it seems not to be as cold a case as she thought. Going back over old ground, she discovers new angles on her missing person; nondescript in his introductory scenes and ghostly in his own life, Frank Johnson becomes vivid in absence, hovering over the narrative like Harry Lime in Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) or the title character of Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) until his wife begins to see a curiously attractive stranger in the place of a man whose familiarity had long since bred hopelessness. To fall in love with someone who might already be dead, to find someone in the process of losing them, these are the kinds of irony that noir thrives on and Woman on the Run derives as much tension from the audience's fear that irony will carry the day as it does from the actual unknowns of the plot, the killer's identity, Frank's status, Eleanor's own safety as her sleuthing calls for ever more active deception of the police and reliance on Legget, who keeps saying things like "I'm sorry I was so rude a moment ago, but it's always discouraging to hear a wife say that her husband loves her." He is another unexpected element, not without precedent but nicely handled. In most genres, his pushy charm and his genial stalking of Eleanor would mark him as the romantic hero, or at least an appealing alternative to a husband so avoidant he couldn't even tell his own wife when he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Here, with a triangle already established between Eleanor and the husband she knows and the husband she doesn't, the reporter is a fourth wheel at best and the audience hopes he accepts it. Without a reciprocating spark, it's not as cute as he thinks when he encourages Eleanor to call him "Danny Boy" ("People who like me call me Danny Boy") or leads her casually under the same wooden coaster where he used to bring dates, his contribution perhaps to the film's romantic psychogeography.

Honestly, I don't even dislike the resolution on the strict level of plot. By the time Eleanor realizes that the place where I first lost you isn't a bitter dig at a bad memory but a hopeful allusion to a good one, the audience is sufficiently invested in the reunion of these long-fractured lovers—despite the fact that we've never once seen them together, even in photographs or Frank's sketches and paintings—that to frustrate it would feel deliberately unfair, although of course in noir that never rules anything out. They're both taking chances, not just with their lives but their hearts. Frank who always runs away is standing his ground, risking being found by a gunman and a partner he's disappointed. Eleanor who has built such prickly defenses is lowering them, making herself reach out rather than preemptively rebuff. You want to see that kind of bravery rewarded, even when heart conditions and prowling killers aren't involved. What I dislike in the extreme is the film's attitude toward this conclusion. In its examination of the Johnsons' marriage, the facts of the script assign plenty of blame to Frank, an artist too scared of failure to try for success, a husband who retreated from his wife as soon as he felt that he'd let her down, a man who could talk about his feelings to everyone but the woman he was living with. The dialogue, however, insists repeatedly that the ultimate success or collapse of a marriage is the woman's responsibility—that it must be Eleanor's fault that her marriage went south, that she wasn't patient or understanding or supportive enough, that she has to be the one to change. It's implied in some of her encounters; in others it's stated outright. Inspector Ferris constantly judges her as a wife and a woman, even once asking "Didn't your husband ever beat you?" when she tells him to back off. He's the dry voice of authority, the hard-boiled but honest cop; I want to believe that Eleanor is decoying him when she apologizes for not believing his criticism sooner ("I guess I was the one who was mixed up—a lot of it's my fault anyway—I haven't been much of a wife"), but I fear we're meant to take her at face value. He's too active in the film's ending not to be right. Hence my wistful feelings toward California's Family Law Act of 1969. Sheridan's acting carries her change of heart from resolutely not caring to a clear-eyed second chance, but I almost wish it didn't have to. At least she has a good rejoinder when Frank queries their future together, wry as any of her defensive cracks: "If this excitement hasn't killed you, I'm sure I can't."

The movies with which Woman on the Run links itself up in my head are Robert Siodmak's Phantom Lady (1944) and Roy William Neill's Black Angel (1946), both stories of investigating women with ambiguous allies and ghostly romantic patterns; Sheridan's Eleanor is a harder, less conventionally likeable protagonist than either Ella Raines' Kansas or June Vincent's Cathy, which may account for why the patriarchy comes down on her with such personified, decisive disapproval, or it may be the distance from wartime, or it may be some other idiosyncratic factor that still annoys me. The fact that I can read the ending as happy rather than rubber-stamped heteronormativity is due almost entirely to Sheridan, who never loses all of Eleanor's edges any more than she slips out of her angular plaid overcoat into something more comfortable, plus the final cutaway to the Laughing Sal on the lit-up midway, rocking back and forth as if a husband and wife embracing is some great joke. Maybe it is. What makes this couple, so fervently clinging to one another, so special? He writes a nice love-note. She climbs out a skylight like nobody's business. They named their dog Rembrandt. This reunion brought you by my particular backers at Patreon.

Woman on the Run

More booky thoughts

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:42 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin ranting tonight a bit (charmingly) about wishing his class was broader than just European fairy tales but he also appreciates that it is focused and grounded in particular history.

I was thinking how I came up against that wall around the same age, a bit earlier, and went looking for "world" stuff or just anything not English, US based, "western culture" wanting to see anything possible. Anthologies were good or looking by specific country or ethnicity. I would root through any library or bookstore. Encyclopedias too. The indexes of books were super instructive. It took just years for me to have any real handle on the depth of the problems of histories but it was clear from the beginning that A LOT WAS WRONG. I didn't go into that (right now it is better if I listen to him than talk about my own thoughts)

Anyway! I'm so, so proud of Moomin and his excitement about scholarly things. I feel like no matter what he does in life he will have that kind of love of books and knowledge and stories.

He also really loved Gilgamesh so I am going to show him those awesome debates online between Hoe and Plough, Fish and Bird, etc.
umadoshi: (tomatoes 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today's main accomplishment: getting a decent amount of manga work done despite being drained enough to wind up taking two accidental naps this afternoon. >.< I got close enough to a draft on the chunk of script due Monday that I expect that deadline'll be fine even if doing some garden work (planting bulbs and bagging up the tomato plants for compost pickup, mainly) takes up more of our time than expected tomorrow.

There are theories at the office about how much longer this stint of Casual Job will go, but what have we learned about attempting to make predictions? We'll see how it plays out.

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I have now made it as far as episode 3 of Star Trek: Disco, and we're also up to date on The Good Place. Given my work schedule(s), I'm counting it as a partial win. I really want to start in on The Gifted, though.

I haven't watched any of the anime for The Ancient Magus' Bride (either the OAV or the recently-started TV series), but in the last several days I've seen it mentioned quite a few times here and on Twitter, and that delights me. The manga series is fantastic--definitely one of my current favorites of the things I'm working on. (The other being Yona of the Dawn.) In theory I really want to watch the TV series, but realistically, I said that about the My Love Story!! anime too, and like so much other media I ~really want~ to consume, it keeps not happening.

For the longest time it felt like there weren't anime versions of any manga titles I've worked on, but it's never quite been true. I mean, Sgt. Frog had a (pretty long-running!) series and movies and all, although I gather the plots rarely adhered closely to the manga (and with that series, there's no need for them to, really); also, DN Angel got animated in some capacity (TV series?), but as I only actually worked on the final two volumes that Tokyopop released (vol. 12 and 13, I think?), it never sank in and felt like "my" series. And X has been animated twice, but I actively loathe the movie and am deeply grumpy about the TV series...

...and then there're the newer things that I keep wanting to see, but not finding time for: Arpeggio of Blue Steel, My Love Story!!, Yona of the Dawn, and now Magus are all out there. (Okay, no--I did see an episode or two of My Love Story!!, and that was wonderful.) (I feel like I might even be missing one. And now I suddenly really want someone to animate Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer.)

Will I ever make it as far as checking those shows out for real? No idea. (I even have an ongoing Crunchyroll subscription, but I don't exactly make use of it. [Terrifying media-to-consume list, etc. etc etc.])

Last night was my fourth aerial silks class, so we're halfway through. It wasn't *bad*, but I also don't feel like I managed to do a whole lot )

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are so utterly out of the gardening habit at this point. We don't have anything planted specifically for autumn, and we gave the tomato plants up for lost a couple weeks ago when I kept hearing that there was an overnight frost warning and last-ditch tomato harvesting should happen. So we did that, but since then I've been seeing local photos and stuff from gardeners carrying right along with harvesting their tomatoes etc. Next autumn we won't be so quick to say, "Oh, I guess we're done now."

A lot of the tomatoes we brought in at the abandoning-them point were still very green, but those all seem to have ripened up nicely. There's just one left now; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose has been working his way through them. The plants did produce some more fruit, but [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose's experiment in eating one of those post-final-harvest tomatoes wasn't tasty, for whatever reason.

As a result of wandering off from dealing with the tomato plants, I should admit we've also completely slacked on dealing with the flowers. >.< Which isn't so bad for the potted annuals, because they have an expiry date, but we really need to double check what to do about the perennial bed and the potted raspberry shrub.

And whatever else happens, those bulbs need to get planted. *determined*

I know it is the nature of things

Oct. 21st, 2017 11:31 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
But I am a little surprised there don't seem to be ebooks of the Pliocene Saga. Or a North American edition younger than about twenty years.

head medicine

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:46 pm
kore: (Beth Gibbons - music)
[personal profile] kore


The Source feat. Candi Staton (Now Voyager mix 2006)
kore: (Brain fail)
[personal profile] kore
As Susan Tschudi, marriage and family therapist and author of Loving Someone with Attention Deficit Disorder, would explain to me....ADHD is basically an allergy to boredom.


....ahahaha this is EXACTLY how I have been describing myself most of my life ("low boredom threshold," "I need a book going to calm down and think," "allergic to boredom," "if I get bored I will get in trouble"). Haha! //cries

(Yeah the treating the ADD thing has kind of gone by the wayside because I was on Vyvanse!, and Vyvanse! was motherfucking expensive and seemed to peter out, and they were also all hassling me about my blood pressure ((which is FINE)) and then a later doc terrified me about being overweight and taking stimulants and heart failure. sigh. I dunno. It also seemed to kind of set off my hypomania. On the other hand I've been napping every three hours again so....)

My FemslashEx story

Oct. 21st, 2017 05:18 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I had tons of fun with FemslashEx, and highly recommend browsing the archive.

My recipient was [personal profile] iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:

Female Revolutionary/Princess

Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.

Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.

I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...

Mermaid points

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:22 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin convinced me that the HCA Little Mermaid story is actually amazing because she just feels her feelings but isn't an asshole, doesn't get married, and becomes foam on the sea and an air spirit who helps people so basically her story NEVER ENDS and she is a SUPERHERO who flies around with air powers, doing good in the world! I started out with the complete opposite point of view on this story.

Also when he said he thought of me in relation to her feeling like she is walking on knives..... i actually think of that sometimes so that kind of touched me.

He is also reading Gilgamesh and some Bible stuff for philosophy class and seems to be keeping up in his other math class! So nice to have him here even for a day. <3

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:09 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Black-footed kitten in case you need some cute today.

(I'm at an annual party where all our friends congregate and socialize, boardgame, and LAN game for 3 days and it's nice but GAH THERE ARE PEOPLE EVERYWHEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE)
rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
which I have been hiding from for nearly a year owing to its close temporal (and partially causal) association with my major mood dip at the start of the year.

Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.

I will accept praise and validation.
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay, this guy is clearly in a state of confusion: I’m in a kind of love triangle and am so confused about what to do.

But, really:

It has got to a point now that I have told my girlfriend that we need to have a break so I can sort myself out. She has moved out and I do miss her a lot.... The space away from my girlfriend, I hope, would make me realise that she is the one for me and come back to her in a happier place where I feel I can be happy and give 100%.

Whereas she is probably busily blocking his number and any contact they have on social media and telling her friends not to pass any details on.

I mean, I think Annalisa Barbieri is right that probably neither of these women is The One and he is just trying to make one of them The One because he wants to Settle Down, but I do wonder if at least the girlfriend, if not the ex, is going to wait around for him to get his head together, and it's not so much a question of he should break up with both of them, but that he is likely to find himself broken up with.

Let him go, let him tarry:

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:55 am
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.

[Daily happiness]

Oct. 21st, 2017 12:20 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
1. Was in Berkeley for a conference, and it was nice to be around campus again!

2. Had braised meat rice for lunch, then got pastries from the Chinese bakery and pearl milk tea, yum. And the lunch place was playing Cpop and made me slightly homesick for Taiwan.

3. Watched The Snake Prince, a Shaw Brothers movie, with CB and [personal profile] jhameia and it is... quite a thing. Let's just say there was much more disco music and dancing than I had expected.

Query

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:04 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
All my life I've been niggled by the worry that the Egyptians were right about the afterlife, and that everybody we've excavated is now wandering around naked and hungry.  Anybody else? 
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