X-Men recs?

May. 27th, 2017 06:53 pm
yhlee: chessmaster (chess pieces) (chessmaster)
[personal profile] yhlee
If I wanted to read X-Men with an emphasis on Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost (not necessarily all at once--for example, I'd love to read about Emma all by herself), where are good places to look? Comics continuity confuses me. I read New X-Men a long time ago but that's pretty much where my knowledge begins and ends (unless you count the MMO, which I haven't played for some time because I don't have time to play computer games these days :p).

I prefer things I can get as trade collections because there's pretty much zero chance I can afford to chase down individual comics. XD

(This has been brought to you by wasting time by reading Cyclops' TV Tropes page.)

Requiescat in Pace

May. 27th, 2017 12:48 pm
onyxlynx: Some trees and a fountain at a cemetery (A Fine and Private Place)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
On Saturday, too.
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Carter and father to Mika (TV reporter)
  • Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame pitcher (perfect game) and (*sigh*) conservative Senator from Kentucky
  • Gregg Allman, musician (Allman Brothers Band). Full story as it unravels.

at WisCon

May. 27th, 2017 02:39 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I'm at WisCon right now, and leaving early Monday morning! Right now I'm preparing for the Tiptree Auction, which is tonight, about 7:30pm-9:15pm. I am not on any panels this year. Please feel free to say hi if you see me!

FMK # 2: Gothics!

May. 27th, 2017 12:22 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. Kill is actually "sudden death" - I read a couple paragraphs or pages, then decide to donate or reshelf (or read) based on that. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them. Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments.

Italics taken from the blurbs. Gothics have the best blurbs.

Poll #18418 FMK # 2: Houses Are Terrifying
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 24


Castle Barebane, by Joan Aiken. A series of lurid murders... a roofless ruin with crumbling battlements... nephew and niece callously abandoned in a slum... a man of mysterious origins and enigmatic habits... dark emanations from London's underworld... Mungo, an old sailor...

View Answers

Fling
10 (41.7%)

Marry
9 (37.5%)

Kill
5 (20.8%)

The Five-Minute Marriage, by Joan Aiken. An imposter has claimed her inheritance... a counterfeit marriage to the principle heir, her cousin... family rivalries festering for generations... a shocking episode of Cartaret family history will be repeated.

View Answers

Fling
14 (60.9%)

Marry
5 (21.7%)

Kill
4 (17.4%)

The Weeping Ash, by Joan Aiken. Sixteen-year-old Fanny Paget, newly married to the odious Captain Paget... in northern India, Scylla and Calormen Paget, twin cousins of the hateful Captain, have begun a seemingly impossible flight for their lives, pursued by a vengeful maharaja... elephant, camel, horse, raft... The writer has used her own two-hundred-year-old house in Sussex, England for the setting.

View Answers

Fling
8 (33.3%)

Marry
9 (37.5%)

Kill
7 (29.2%)

Winterwood, by Dorothy Eden. The moldering elegance of a decaying Venetian palazzo... pursued by memories of the scandalous trial that rocked London society... their daughter, Flora, crippled by a tragic accident... Charlotte's evil scheming... a series of letters in the deceased Lady Tameson's hand

View Answers

Fling
12 (54.5%)

Marry
2 (9.1%)

Kill
8 (36.4%)

The Place of Sapphires, by Florence Engel Randall. A demon-haunted house... two beautiful young sisters... the pain of a recent tragedy... a sinister and hateful force from the past... by the author of Hedgerow.

View Answers

Fling
11 (47.8%)

Marry
5 (21.7%)

Kill
7 (30.4%)

Shadow of the Past, by Daoma Winston. An unseen presence... fled to Devil's Dunes... strange "accidents..." it seemed insane... the threads of the mysterious, menacing net cast over her life... What invisible hand threatened destruction?

View Answers

Fling
7 (31.8%)

Marry
2 (9.1%)

Kill
13 (59.1%)

rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The winner of FMK # 1! Alas, I did not fall madly in love with it, but I did enjoy it. FMK is definitely off to a good start, because God knows how long that book has languished unread on my shelves. I'm pretty sure at least five years and possibly ten. But I'm very glad I finally got to it.

Twelve-year-old Lucy returns to the small English village of Hagworthy, which she hasn’t visited since she was seven. There she stays with her aunt, reconnects with some childhood friends and finds that both she and they have changed, and looks on in growing alarm as the well-meaning but ignorant new vicar resurrects the ancient tradition of the Horn Dance, which is connected to the Wild Hunt.

The premise plus the opening sentences probably tell you everything you need to know about the book:

The train had stopped in a cutting, so steep that Lucy, staring through the window, could see the grassy slopes beyond captured in intense detail only a yard or two away: flowers, insects, patches of vivid red earth. She became intimate with this miniature landscape, alone with it in a sudden silence, and then the train jolted, oozed steam from somewhere beneath, and moved on between shoulders of Somerset hillside.

This is one of my favorite genres which sadly does not seem to exist any more, the subset of British children’s fantasy, usually set in small towns or villages, which focuses on atmosphere, beautiful prose, and capturing delicate moments in time. Character is secondary, plot is tertiary, and there may be very little action (though some have a lot); the magical aspects are often connected to folklore or ancient traditions, and may be subtle or questionable until the end.

You can see all those elements in those two sentences I quoted; the entire subgenre consists of inviting the reader to become intimate with minature landscapes.

This is obviously subjective and debatable, but I think of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper (especially Greenwitch), and Robert Westall as writers with books in this subgenre, but not Diana Wynne Jones. The settings are the sort parodied in Cold Comfort Farm. Hagworthy is full of darkly muttering villagers who kept making me think, “Beware, Robert Poste’s child!”

In The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Lucy’s parents are divorced, and her mother is now living in another country with a baby brother Lucy has never met. This is mentioned maybe two or three times, very briefly, which is interesting because so many books would make a much bigger deal of it. Lucy returns to Hagworthy for a vacation with her aunt, a botanist.

Of her childhood friends, the two girls have become horse-mad and have nothing in common with Lucy. The boy, Kester, is now a moody misfit teenager, and Lucy, who is also a bit of a moody misfit, becomes friends with him all over again. They wander around the countryside, fossil-hunting and stag-watching, periodically getting in fights over Kester’s refusal to discuss the thing hanging over the story, which is the new vicar’s revival of the Horn Dance to fundraise at a fete. This is very obviously going to awaken the Wild Hunt, and Kester has clearly been mystically targeted as its victim. Though there is a ton of dark muttering about what a bad idea this is, no one does anything about this until nearly the end, when Lucy finally makes first a misfired attempt to stop the Horn Dance, then a successful one to save Kester.

The atmosphere and prose is lovely, and if you like that sort of thing, you will like this book. Even for a book that isn’t really about the plot, the plot had problems. One was the total failure of any adult to even try to do anything sensible ever, for absolutely no reason, until Lucy finally manages to ask the right person the right question. This could have been explained as some magical thing preventing them from acting, but it wasn’t.

The other problem I had was that nothing unpredictable ever happens. Everyone is exactly what they seem: the blacksmith has mystical knowledge, the vicar is an innocent in over his head, the horse-mad girls have nothing in their heads but horses, and so forth. I kept expecting something to be slightly less obvious—for the vicar to know exactly what he’s doing and have a nefarious purpose, for the horse-mad girls to not be as dumb as they seem or to have their horsey skills play a role in saving Kester, for Lucy’s aunt to know more about magic than the blacksmith, etc—but no.

I looked up Penelope Lively. It looks like her famous book is Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I think I also own.

There’s an album of music based on the book which you can listen to online. It’s by the Heartwood Institute, and is instrumental and atmospheric.

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane posting in [community profile] wiscon
Per today's Momentary Taste of WisCon newsletter - "WisCon is proud to offer live-captioning services — available all weekend long, at request, for (almost) any panel....would you like to have CART for a panel you’re going to attend? Our CART providers will be hanging out in the Green Room (2nd floor) all weekend long. Check with a Green Room volunteer to see if the CART provider is available. Or you can email access@wiscon.net!"

Culture clash in Canada

May. 27th, 2017 10:44 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2017 09:42 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] redroanchronicles!

Culture Consumed Saturday

May. 27th, 2017 09:04 pm
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
OKAY, SO. My brain has been doing things, and not good things, so it's been 7 weeks since I last updated this, and I'm getting into one of those ruts where I can't talk about new stuff because I haven't talked about the old stuff, and it's all getting confusing. SO, I'm just going to make a list, and if you guys want to talk about one of the things, you can comment.

Books

Finished Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon's Gender Failure. (memoir/book version of a show by two non-binary performers, about being non-binary.)

Finished Martha Wells' All Systems Red. (science fiction novella. MURDERBOT.)

Finished Rose Lemberg et al's Alphabet of Embers (anthology of SFF short stories with illustrations)

Finished Kate Elliot's Black Wolves. (fantasy novel)

Started Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion. (science fiction. living ships, body horror, pregnancy, cannibalism, women (principally defined here as "people who menstruate and give birth",) very good if you can cope with etc)

Started Audre Lord's Sister Outsider, have so far just read the Russia chapter. (feminism and anti-racism and memoir, essays.)

Started Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems. (poetry, some of it very good and some of it well-intentioned but INCREDIBLY ill-considered.)

Comics

Started reading Arthur Horner's Colonel Pewter (1950s Australian serialised comic about the adventures of an eccentric retired military gentleman and his grand-nephew and cat. And aliens. The edition I'm reading is a Lever Arch folder of strips my father cut out from the newspaper as they came out and stickytaped to the paper and filed.)

TV and Movies

Saw The Eagle Huntress in the cinema (documentary, sports, a girl and her giant eagle, highly recommended if you can cope with animal harm etc)

Watched DVD of Saving General Yang (2013 historical action film directed by Ronny Yu, based on the Generals of the Yang Family. Now have the terrible urge to dive further down this rabbithole and read/watch ALL THE THINGS about the Yang family. Am resisting.)

A few more B99 episodes. Met Kevin!

Started watching this BBC Watergate documentary (hattip to [personal profile] rydra_wong), am halfway through and enthralled

Music

Played David Teie's Music for Cats for Beatrice and Dorian. (album, music composed for the benefit of cats.) Dorian seemed uninterested. Beatrice sometimes turned her ears around slightly, and might have breathed a bit faster at some points. It made me sleepy, though.

Listened to Janelle Monáe's The Electric Lady. (album, science fiction, third installment of the Metropolis series. Yes, good, love.)

Re-listening to Rhapsody's Dawn of Victory. (album, Italian symphonic metal.) Love the music, would like to listen to some symphonic metal that is a) less of a cishet white nerdboy power fantasy, and b) specifically less rapey now please.

Games

Agreed to join a play-by-post Legend of the Five Rings game, because I haven't RPed in too long and a friend was starting one up.. Realised belatedly that I had NO IDEA what I was getting into, this is some graduate level roleplaying right here, there's over (in meta terms) over ten years of setting, and (in game terms) two millennia of setting, with complicated etiquette etc. Asked for and received GM's permission to join in later once I've disambiguated my arse and my elbow a little more. Am sloooowly reading the handbook and trying to find my bearings.

Have mostly kicked the Stardew Valley habit. Dipped into the Kittens Game briefly for the first time in over a year, then returned to my senses.

Podcasts

Caught up on The Strange Case of Starship Iris (SF series) and The Hidden Almanac (fantasy series) and listening as they come out now.

Listened to a few episodes of Glittership (audio versions of queer SFF short stories)

Really enjoying One From The Vaults at the moment (trans history), still listening in order and not caught up yet.

Re-listening to a lot of old Jay and Miles X-Plain The X-Men (comics recaps) and Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap (drunken reviews of convenience foods) for comfort while falling asleep.

Crafts

Made a dinosaur toothbrush-holder, as seen in a lot of different crafts and/or autism pinterests and blogs. This just involves buying a $3 plastic dinosaur from KMart, and cutting a hole in its back, just large enough to poke the end of a toothbrush into. That's it, that's all that's involved. Tried making a harness for the dinosaur to hold the toothpaste as well, but this just looked sloppy, so I ended up cutting another hole for the toothpaste. This looks less neat than the toothbrush hole, but is at least functional.

Make a notebook.

Garden

Basil everywhere. Capsicums growing. I should be planting kale and daffodil bulbs right the fuck now, but have not gotten up the energy yet.

Other

I made breakfast for tumblr. You're welcome?

Cats

The Douchecat Combined Armed Forces chiefs of staff have moved into their winter headquarters, the chair with the heating pad on it. It's nice to have a warm base on which to smack each other.

Also tried out the toilet paper tube method of cat enrichment. It does seem to be making them eat slower, and may or may not be enhancing their enjoyment of dinner.

Fess up

May. 27th, 2017 12:04 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Which of you mentioned "cultural appropriation" to Orson Scott Card?

Also, are Irish accents really as hard as all that for Americans to understand?

Spectacular sunset over the lake

May. 26th, 2017 08:18 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

One of the benefits of being on a higher floor of the hotel, even if this also means a lot of rather tedious waiting for lifts. I was going to take and post a photo, but I really don't think that my present state of tiredness is a good state in which to get to grips with DW photo posting. Also, on essaying to take a photo for later presentation, realised that the grimy marks on the window would be rather obtrusive.

Quite a full day, which started with waking up rather earlier than I had hoped, but not horribly so.

Socialising has taken place. There was going to be a walk, but then it started to rain (I wouldn;t say there was no chance of a walk that day, but not at that particular time).

Also have been on one panel, which I think suffered a little from ambiguity in framing its terms but nonetheless evoked some interesting discussion.

Observations of note: in the stuffed toy and knickknackery shop just around the corner in State Street, there is a stufft swan, right at the front of the window display: also an inflatable pool version. However, I should eschew props for my reading.

#TWiBprime Ep. 945 | "SELF! GO F***!"

May. 26th, 2017 11:24 pm
[syndicated profile] blackingitup_feed

#TeamBlackness talks attack on the press, literally, attacks on Black Women and the most crocodile of crocodile tears. We're not amused. 

Featuring Elon James White (@elonjames), Dara M Wilson (@daramwilson)

 

  • Opening Theme: Enter the Blackness by Jasiri X feat. Willie Evans Jr. & Elon James White
  • Closing Theme: Blackberry Remix by Macarone feat. Willie Evans Jr. & Elon James White

 

galacticjourney: (Default)
[personal profile] galacticjourney

by Victoria Silverwolf

In recent days the eyes of the world were focused on the most important event yet during the administration of President Kennedy. No, not Scott Carpenter’s successful, if suspenseful, orbiting of the Earth, so ably reported by our host. I’m talking about Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to the leader of the free world in a skintight beaded dress that drew at least as much attention as her little girl's voice.



In other musical news, after three weeks at the top of the Billboard's Hot 100 with their smash hit Soldier Boy, the Shirelles, pioneers of the girl group sound, have yielded the position to British clarinetist Mr. Acker Bilk with his performance of Stranger on the Shore. (Bilk is only the second artist from across the pond to make it to Number One on the American pop charts. The first was just slightly less than a decade ago, when Vera Lynn reached that position with Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart. I suppose we'll have to wait another ten years before the British invade the Yankee airwaves again.)

Bilk's haunting, melancholy melody could easily serve as background music for the cover story in the June 1962 issue of Fantastic.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

Welcome to Books: FMK

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
[personal profile] melannen has been culling her bookshelves by playing "Fuck Marry Kill" via poll. In the interests of doing the same, and also getting back to posting more book reviews, I have decided to join her. (I am doing "fling" rather than "fuck" just because my posts get transferred to Goodreads and I don't want EVERY post of mine on there littered with fucks.)

How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. (That could be a very long time.) Kill means I should donate it without attempting to read it. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them.

Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments. For this particular poll, I have never read anything by any of the authors (or if I did, I don't remember it) and except for Hoover and Lively, have never even heard of the authors other than that at some point I apparently thought their book sounded interesting enough to acquire.

Poll #18415 FMK: Vintage YA/children's SFF
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 47


The Spring on the Mountain, by Judy Allen. Three kids have magical, possibly Arthurian adventures on a week in the country.

View Answers

Fling
16 (44.4%)

Marry
10 (27.8%)

Kill
10 (27.8%)

The Lost Star, by H. M. Hoover. A girl who lives on another planet hears an underground cry for help (and finds chubby gray cat centaurs if the cover is accurate)

View Answers

Fling
22 (57.9%)

Marry
11 (28.9%)

Kill
5 (13.2%)

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. Lucy visits her aunt in Hagworthy and is embroiled in the ancient Horn Dance and Wild Hunt.

View Answers

Fling
26 (63.4%)

Marry
5 (12.2%)

Kill
10 (24.4%)

Carabas, by Sophie Masson. Looks like a medieval setting. A shapeshifting girl gets accused of being a witch and runs off with the miller's son.

View Answers

Fling
17 (44.7%)

Marry
11 (28.9%)

Kill
10 (26.3%)

Of Two Minds, by Carol Mates and Perry Nodelman. Princess Lenora can makes what she imagines real; Prince Coren can read minds, but everyone can read his mind. (Ouch!)

View Answers

Fling
21 (53.8%)

Marry
10 (25.6%)

Kill
8 (20.5%)

A Day in the Life of Jack The Fox

May. 26th, 2017 01:53 pm
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . .Darling amiga, Austin Slim sent me this.  It's so purrfect it must be further shared
"A fox looks like a dog, purrs like a cat, but in fact it is neither."
"The have the nicest nature of any animal I have ever met."

 

 

"Sometimes he may do naughty things.  But not to those who are nice to him."

 

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 09:41 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] aedifica and [personal profile] the_rck!
[syndicated profile] aichildlit_feed

Posted by Debbie Reese

In 2013, Simon and Schuster published The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend. White people loved it. They bought it. They praised it. It became a New York Times Bestseller. White people love The White Man's Indian. 

And so--unsurprisingly--Simon and Schuster decided they ought to make it available to young people, too. The "young readers edition" came out in February of 2017 from Margaret K. McElderry Books. It was adapted for young readers by Kate Waters. 

(An aside: as I write this post, I throw down snark--and then delete it--again and again.)

Shall we take a quick look? First is the subtitle "The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend." 

Untold? What does that mean?! To me, it means that Drury and Clavin see themselves as saviors. Gonna tell the world, they are, the "untold" story of Red Cloud. Untold... to what person, in particular? 

Oh, I get it... What they mean is a different kind of story about Red Cloud! Their book, we are expected to believe, will be different than the 2,272 books that came up when I searched WorldCat using "Red Cloud" in the search box. 

Is it, though?

I have doubts, because being Good White People means... lot of blind spots! 

Like how Drury and Clavin think of him, right there, on the cover. To them, he is "an American legend." Would Red Cloud call himself an American? 

The dedication page tells us that the book is dedicated to "the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation." Oh. Ok. Sounds a lot like all those ways that White people think they honor Native people. Dedicating books to us, donating a percentage of their sales to us, creating stories about us... how nice! (Yeah, that "how nice" is me being snarky). 

So, let's think about a Native kid, maybe even one of "the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation" who picks up this book. One thing that kid is going to come across is the word "brave" to refer to Native boys, men, and elders... Here's an example from page 14: 
Veteran braves grunted and yipped in approval.
See that? They grunt. And yip. 

Frankly, I don't want to finish this book. I looked at the professional reviews at Barnes and Noble's website. The unsigned Kirkus review says (all their reviews are unsigned):
This adaptation will diminish Red Cloud's legacy, perpetuate negative stereotypes, and provide incorrect information to young readers: skip." 
I concur with Kirkus. Kudos to their reviewer! The review by Laura Simeon at School Library Journal says: 
"Not recommended for purchase. Consider Joseph Marshall III's In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse instead for a fictional look at a Lakota leader."
Laura is right! Get Marshall's book instead! 

I hope you didn't order this young readers edition because the adult version did so well. You should take a look at this essay in Indian Country Today: The Heart of Everything That Isn't: The Untold Story of Anti-Indianism in Drury and Clavin's Book on Red Cloud.  

In short, I do not recommend the 2013 or the 2017 editions of The Heart of Everything That Isn't by Drury and Clavin. 

_________________
Update: I'm glad people read my blog. Within a half hour of loading this review, I got a comment from Jamalia Higgins that I'll paste here so I can respond to it:

Excuse me? "White people loved it. They bought it. They praised it." Do you have any statistics to back up these claims? Were white people the only buyers of this title? The only ones who loved it? 
I do not disagree with your review of either version of this title, but this language is extremely concerning to me and other POC who are readers, book buyers, library users, and book review readers and writers.

The call for statistics to "back up" a claim is familiar. She does ask a question that I can toss back out as this: does anyone think that it is Native and People of Color who made this 2013 edition a best seller? I could just say "People loved it." Shall I go back and say that? She's right, though. I'm sure some people of color loved it. In children's lit and elsewhere, people disagree about things. Institutionalized racism is everywhere.

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