Gratitudes

Jun. 28th, 2017 09:12 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
1. Days when it is not yet dark out at 9pm. I mean, it's no longer daylight? But it's not completely dark.

2. Watching the sky change. My wee solar-powered lights against the backdrop of the changing evening sky.

3. Glass of rosé. I think this may be the Summer of Rosé for me.

4. Having an ARC of a book I am totally totally psyched to read. (Alas I am exhausted and am not going to stay up to read it tonight, but I have hopes of reading more of it tomorrow.)

5. I got my ticket to Vividcon! I'll be there Thurs-Mon this year, and I already can't wait.

Book Recs and News

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:49 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
News: If you missed it yesterday, there are going to be two more Murderbot novellas for a total of four, and 2, 3, and 4 are all coming out next year.


***

(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


Short story: The White-throated Transmigrant by E. Lily Yu


* Miles Morales - A Spider Man Novel by Jason Reynolds
Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He's even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he's Spider Man.


* Bright Thrones by Kate Elliott
An exciting e-novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Court of Fives, from World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott!


* Drawing Dead by SM Reine
The vampire slayer is turning into a vampire? Over her dead body. Dana McIntyre has been bitten by a master vampire. She's infected with the venom. And after killing hundreds of vampires to keep Las Vegas safe, she'd rather die than turn.


* Kangaroo Too by Curtis C. Chen
On the way home from his latest mission, secret agent Kangaroo’s spacecraft is wrecked by a rogue mining robot. The agency tracks the bot back to the Moon, where a retired asteroid miner—code named “Clementine” —might have information about who’s behind the sabotage. Clementine will only deal with Jessica Chu, Kangaroo’s personal physician and a former military doctor once deployed in the asteroid belt. Kangaroo accompanies Jessica as a courier, smuggling Clementine’s payment of solid gold in the pocket universe that only he can use.


* The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture...a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes. But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.


* Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones brings readers a spine-tingling Native American horror novella. Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.


* Shattered Minds by Laura Lam
Carina used to be one of the best biohackers in Pacifica. But when she worked for Sudice and saw what the company's experiments on brain recording were doing to their subjects, it disturbed her—especially because she found herself enjoying giving pain and contemplating murder. She quit and soon grew addicted to the drug Zeal, spending most of her waking moments in a horror-filled dream world where she could act out her depraved fantasies without actually hurting anyone.


* The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata
carred by war, in pursuit of truth: Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.


* Mars Girls by Mary Turzillo
What Nanoannie and Kapera find at the Smythe’s Pharm is more than the girls bargained for. The hab has been trashed and there are dead bodies buried in the backyard! If that wasn’t bad enough, the girls crash the rover and Kapera gets kidnapped by Facers who claim her parents are murderers! Between Renegade Nuns, Facers, and corp geeks, Nanoannie and Kapera don’t know who to trust or where to go. Kapera only wants to find her parents so they can get to Earth Orbitals and she can be treated for her leukemia. Nanoannie wants to help her friend and experience a little bit of Mars before selling her contract to the first corp that offers to buy it.

today is my birthday!

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:34 pm
the_shoshanna: kitty icon with cake, hat, and streamers (birthday kitty)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
It's been a lovely day. I slept in, for moderate values of "sleeping in," and then had as brief exchange with the person at the press who is managing my current editing job, which ended up with me basically being told to take the rest of the week off while they try to catch up to the work I've already done on the manuscript. Okay then!

Then I had a long phone call with my best friend, whom I hadn't had a chance to catch up with in a while. I got on the treadmill for half an hour of the first real exercise I've gotten in weeks; I'm just getting over a wicked cold that settled in my lungs, and before that I was crazy busy for a couple of weeks.

And then Geoff and I went round to the local independent canoe and kayak and general boating outdoorsiness store and picked up our new kayaks! Geoff's been wanting to get them for a couple of years; he grew up sailing, and we went kayaking when we visited his brother and brother-in-law a couple of years ago, who live on a waterway. Now we have kayaks and life jackets and paddles and a roof rack for the car, and we took them all down to the edge of Lac Saint Louis (which is really just a wide spot in the Saint Lawrence River near us) and launched them! We spent about an hour paddling around, seeing ducks and making jokes about playing pirate on the occasional sailboat and just rocking gently in the waves. I expect my shoulders will be achy tomorrow, but we calculated we have to go out about twenty times before buying becomes cheaper than renting, so we will keep it up!

We came home, figured out how to get the kayaks off the roof rack and into the back yard, and -- after showering the river water off -- went out to dinner, because by that time it was almost seven. And when we came home I sacked out on the couch while Geoff made a loaf of banana bread with not only extra bananas but a good half cup or more of rum. It is hot and moist and delicious and we may eat the entire loaf before we get to bed, I'm just saying. (Not all the alcohol seems to have cooked out, but since Star Trek: The Final Frontier is on TV, that may be a good thing.)

So far, this year of my life is going pretty well!

Raksura and Other Stuff

Jun. 26th, 2017 07:15 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
Yesterday was the anniversary of the day I found out The Cloud Roads sold to Night Shade, after two years of visiting and being rejected by various publishers.

So I posted: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/162255829557/something-else-ive-been-meaning-to-post-the The entry on the Three Worlds from Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection for the Cushing Library exhibit.

I got my author's copies of the trade paperback of The Harbors of the Sun on Friday, so it should start showing up soon. The hardcover will probably be a week or so later, and the ebook will drop on July 4.


***


Murderbot got a really nice review on The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/25/15837368/all-systems-red-murderbot-chronicles-martha-wells-book-review

Our protagonist got its name after killing a bunch of company employees on another planet a couple of years ago, but while it has a bit of a bloodstained history, this isn’t Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a dour security bot that likes to watch steamy soap operas, and would rather be left alone. After its murderous rampage, it hacked its own governor module, not wanting to fall victim once again to hardware manufactured by a company that cuts corners to save a buck.


Ann Leckie also liked Murderbot:

http://www.annleckie.com/2017/06/23/recent-reading/

I’m not kidding, I can almost guarantee that my readers will enjoy this. I have already pre-ordered volume 2, which is out in January.


***


The Authors Auction for the victims of Grenfell Tower is going until June 27. My item is https://authorsforgrenfelltower.com/2017/06/23/signed-copy-of-the-murderbot-diaries-all-systems-red-by-martha-wells/

and the whole list of items is

https://authorsforgrenfelltower.com/items-for-auction-2/


***


If you need a quick break today, "Night at the Opera" is still free at Podcastle in text and audio:

http://podcastle.org/index.php?s=night+at+the+opera

It's a prequel to The Death of the Necromancer


***


I'm doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder By The Book in Houston, TX, on Saturday, July 15, at 4:30, and you can order our books and get them signed and personalized and shipped to you: http://www.murderbooks.com/event/wells-caine

All we do is fade away

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:07 pm
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
[personal profile] gwyn
[personal profile] goss has created a cool new community for fan artists called Drawesome. If you're an artist or just interested, go check it out. I keep thinking about trying to learn to draw--I'm completely wihtout talent, I can't even draw stick figures, and I really don't know how to even go about it, but I'm surrounded by artists and they're always grousing at me that anyone can learn, you don't have to be born with talent. I don't believe this, but I still want to learn, at some point.

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists



___

I haven't been making this public much yet, but I feel like I have to, just so everyone knows what's going on. They found a cancerous tumor during the colonoscopy Thursday, so…yeah. Guess who has cancer. Did you guess me? You're correct!

It's weird, I've been expecting this for years, but not this one: I figured it'd be melanoma or the thing that killed my twin sister, ovarian cancer. This one is my ultimate nightmare--I'm phobic as hell about bodily functions, and there's so much awful stuff that results from colon cancer that I'm completely freaked out about.

I don't see the surgeon till Thursday so right now I don't know much. I had a CT scan yesterday to see if there's more cancer anywhere else and additional bloodwork, and then I had to put on my everything's normal face and go do a guest lecture at the UW. This one woman waited till I was saying thanks goodbye to pop up with a question, and to say she had resting bitch murderface is to put it mildly; I wouldn't be surprised if her whole family was axed to death and they're buried in her basement. And she asked this totally angry, pissed off question and I just didn't have spoons to answer so I was like a deer in the headlights.

Anyway, my biggest fear is that this means I can't go to Vividcon. Like, I care way less about my life, especially these days, and am totally willing to wait till after so I can go. I have a feeling they will not like this. But it's the one thing keeping me together. Not to mention very expensive nonrefundable tickets. The doctor kept stressing how early they'd found it and how good that was. But he also smiled when he said I might have cancer so who knows what's going on with him. Oh and also I got notice that the insurance I have through the ACA is going away next year--the only reason I was able to afford the colonoscopy was that this insurance was really good, and the only other decent one doesn't work with my doctor and clinic. So even if the fucking republicans take everything away in two years, I'm out for 2018 just when I need it most. (And they're such fucking liars, they blame this on market volatility and say it was such a hard decision…no, it's not, you just want more money lining your bonus pockets.)

I'm turning off comments, even though yes, I am really sad and depressed and feeling very lonely. My family's all gone, and most everyone lives far from me or useless (like, I love my BFF, but he's useless) so it's a lot to expect of people. It's been hard just doing day to day stuff like I'm fine. But I have a lot of this in my future so I have to get used to it. I hate the not knowing the most, though.
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2sQ52mP on June 25, 2017 at 10:38AM

Tags:IFTTT, Fauxthentic History, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

Vidding history project help needed

Jun. 24th, 2017 06:18 pm
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2t70xqo on June 24, 2017 at 11:12AM

Tags:vidding, fan vid, fandom history, vidding history, dwcrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2s81L05 on June 24, 2017 at 08:10AM

Tags:not a reblog, activism, politics, affordable care act, disablity, PDWCrosspost2

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 10:39 am
nestra: David Hewlett, resting his face on his hand. (sleepy Rodney)
[personal profile] nestra
I have had my main Yahoo account for almost 20 years, I think, and Yahoo is making themselves so irritating that I'm considering dumping it. Switching between multiple accounts has become complicated. They really want me to log in via my phone rather than in a browser (which I tried for two days, and no). I can't log in unless I turn off my ad blocker for that page.

I know it will be a pain to find some variation of "myname" at Gmail, and Google already owns a lot of my life, which I don't love. And oh my god, the maintenance I'd have to do to change everything to a new address. But I use my Yahoo email way too much to curse every time I use it.

Maybe I just need to get rid of my alternate accounts, and then I'd never need to worry about the login page. Hmm.

Anyway, yeah, that's my life. Except I did just get back from Europe (summary: fun time, also exhausting post-back surgery, no more southern Europe in summer). Now I have the mental room to get excited about my next trip to the UK in October! I've never been to Scotland, or to many other places in England except London, so I can't wait. Which means I should buy a plane ticket or something.

I'm about five weeks post-surgery, and everything is mostly fine. The scar tissue is tight and a little tender, which causes vague twinges of pain occasionally. The more irritating thing is the hamstring in my right leg, which has decided to tighten the hell up. I can't stand or walk for long periods, though if I sit down for just a minute or two, it kind of resets and I'm fine until it happens again.

I'm trying to be diligent with exercise, and if it doesn't get better, I see the surgeon again next month, and maybe it will be time for more physical therapy. But the surgery definitely fixed the problem it was meant to fix, and walking for short periods of time is certainly better than not walking at all.

Chapter Update: Celluloid Hero

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:37 pm
gwyn: (steve rogers shield)
[personal profile] gwyn
Celluloid Hero (29728 words) by gwyneth rhys
Chapters: 6/?
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Golden Age Hollywood Actors
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers, Bette Davis, John Garfield, USO Tour Dancers (Marvel), Original Characters, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney, William Powell, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Jack Warner, Delmer Daves, Ida Lupino, Hedy Lamarr
Additional Tags: Golden Age Hollywood, Hollywood Canteen, World War II, The Star-Making Machinery, Propaganda, someone's going to get his V-card punched, and by someone I mean Steve, Letters, Minor Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers, First Motion Picture Unit, Pining Steve, Period Typical Everything
Summary:


The talk of the town last night was Captain America’s star-spangled appearance at the Hollywood Canteen, where the ladies swooned and the gentlemen cheered. Rumor has it he will be meeting with studio heads to discuss bringing his patriotic man with a plan to the silver screen.



Chapter 6 finally posted! In which Steve doesn't do well at his own premiere, learns how to play the Hollywood game, gets to know Ida Lupino and Hedy Lamarr, and receives a very important envelope.
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2tWNh4y at June 23, 2017 at 07:55AMAnalysis | What the Senate bill changes about Obamacare
Tags:not a reblog, affordable care act, politics, activism, PDWCrosspost
Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
June 23, 2017 at 07:55AM

Friday For What It's Worth

Jun. 23rd, 2017 07:13 am
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
This has been a week of extreme highs and lows. The high points were awesome but the low points are...low.

I've got news I can't share yet so this is kind of a boring post. I need to get back to my book rec posts but Fridays are kind of a bad day for them.

We were supposed to have a hurricane but it turned and is now torturing a different part of the country.

Oh, I did a Reddit r/Fantasy AMA yesterday, and got a great question on Worldbuilding:

Question: One of my favorite things about your books is the incredible detail and authenticity to the cultures and societies you create. I've read City Of Bones and your Raksura books and I am always immediately engaged when the characters travel to a new city. The residents, architecture, customs, languages, and overall presentation feel well rooted and historical. It really adds an incredible flavor to your writing and inspires me to improve my own.

Are you willing to describe the process in which you develop a new city? When you sit down to create a new location, how you start the vision and do you have a system in how you begin to add layers of detail until the city/town/society feels authentic?

Me: Thank you so much!

I use different methods for different types of book. For the Ile-Rien books, where the locations are based more on real-world places, I did a lot of research into cities in similar cultures, climates, environments as my imaginary city. For the Raksura books, I tried to think of a neat setting for a city, then tried to make it as weird and extreme as possible. Like the Turning City, Keres-gedon, which started out as just a camp in the mountains.

Basically it's a process of coming up with an element you want in your city, like canals. You look at cities with canals, like Venice, and maybe Angkor Wat. What are the canals used for? Transportation, a reservoir, entertainment, defense, etc. You think about how the environment and climate of your city is going to affect your canals. Can they freeze over? Are they affected by drought? Sewage? Plant growth? Underwater monster issues? Etc. Why or why not are they affected by these things? Once you make all those decisions, you decide how they affect the inhabitants of the city, their culture, their everyday life. It can be simple or complicated, and ideally, it leads to ideas that can further characterization and plot. And the big thing to remember is that the reader doesn't need to know everything you know about your canal system. They'll be able to infer a lot from the bits and pieces they see as your characters move through the story, and the sense that the city is operating by a logical system is more important than knowing the exact details.

I also don't usually figure out too many of the details of my settings in advance, since I'm going to concentrate mainly on the parts my characters are interacting with. Like most of the city may be sketched in, but the characters are going to need this little train system and this temple hospital, so those bits are going to get more attention and development. Also keep in mind that cities change over time, with new buildings, new roads, and what stays in place and what gets built over or torn down all say things about the people who live there.

It also helps not to set too many boundaries. You never want to tell readers that there's nothing over the mountains, because it's going to make the world feel closed in, like a puddle instead of a huge mysterious ocean. And if you keep writing in this setting, you may eventually need those empty places to put things in.

I hope that helps!


***

Also:

I have a signed copy of The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red in the Authors for Grenfell Tower Auction: https://authorsforgrenfelltower.com/2017/06/23/signed-copy-of-the-murderbot-diaries-all-systems-red-by-martha-wells/

There are tons of other great items up for auction to benefit the tower fire victims. Please check it out or pass it on.
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2sI3Lhq on June 22, 2017 at 11:00PM

Tags:not a reblog, vidding, accessibility, fanvids, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:47 pm
nestra: (pushing daisies)
[personal profile] nestra
I just rewatched "Four Weddings and a Funeral" on a plane. (Except for the Auden part, because I did not wish to cry on a plane.) I had thoughts.
  1. Boy, this was just peak Hugh Grant.
  2. They're lucky they had Hugh Grant, because the character's actually a pretty terrible person.
  3. Andie Macdowell. Yeeeeah.
  4. I started out mentally substituting Amy Adams for her. Then I decided to substitute Haley Atwell, even though it made no sense, with the character being American. Then I decided to substitute no one, because she is also an awful character.
  5. The movie really shows its age with the Simon Callow/John Hannah relationship. No one ever says the word "gay", they never kiss, and John Hannah is introduced at the funeral as "his closest friend."
  6. I almost wish for Kirsten Scott Thomas' character to end up with Hugh Grant, except not, because as noted above, terrible.

Fic Mountain gifts, triple!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:26 pm
dorinda: Fat Pony appears in a blaze of light! (Fat_Pony)
[personal profile] dorinda
Duuuudes the Night On Fic Mountain 2017 collection is open, and I got THREE PRESENTS. \o/ Almost Human, AND Rejseholdet, AND a Jack & Stephen treat! Check this out:

...oh wait, huh, weird. I only just now noticed that two of these pieces have no "Share" button at the top. But it shows up on the third one. So the 'share' function can be disabled? I've never seen that option. What's that about, I wonder?

Anyway, no biggie, I shall share the first two the old fashioned way, uphill both ways in the snow:

First, a really lovely romantic piece of John/Dorian art called "Halfway Till Bliss". I adore the differing expressions, and the subtleties of their faces, and Dorian's eyelashes, and John's hair. And KISSIN. <3

https://archiveofourown.org/works/11205894

Then, a wonderfully grounded and real-feeling Rejseholdet story, "The (Irregular) Right Direction": it's set ten years post-canon, with Fischer permanently settled in EU law-enforcement bureaucracy, but with something unsettled and restless humming deep within him. Hmmmm, I wonder what he's still missing? :D

https://archiveofourown.org/works/11209839

And finally, a touching and nuanced Master & Commander (and/or O'Brian books) Jack & Stephen story, "Why Darwin Discovered Evolution", which has a Share button, thusly:

Why Darwin Discovered Evolution (1113 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: London, Evolution, Moths, Night On Fic Mountain 2017, Night on Fic Mountain 2017 Treat
Summary:

1815: Napoleon surrenders, and is exiled to St Helena. The British Navy, after seventeen years of war, retires ships, crews and captains. John Barrow, Second Secretary to the Admiralty, begins a programme of exploration which will last until 1845 and will include, in 1835, Charles Darwin's five year voyage of discovery in the Beagle.

In England, Jack Aubrey languishes on the Captains’ List, and Stephen Maturin chases moths.



Oh, Stephen. He loves Jack SO MUCH. ♥____♥ (And vice-versa, of course. Sigh!)
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2sYA3HW on June 22, 2017 at 08:22AM

Tags:not a reblog, activism, politics, PDWCrosspost2

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

Vid beta?

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:00 pm
gwyn: (vids)
[personal profile] gwyn
Would anyone be interested in betaing a Star Wars vid? I have some tweaks to make but if everything goes well on the (ugh gross awful) colonoscopy tomorrow, I should be able to have a copy ready by tomorrow evening. The bad part is that it's due on Friday, so I kind of don't have a lot of time.

It's the original trilogy and Rogue One and The Force Awakens if that matters.

Artificial Condition Quote

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:28 pm
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
Trying to get photos to post here still seems really wonky, so here's a link to a tumblr post with a quote from The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/162086407182/for-book-quote-wednesday-bookqw-on-twitter

This was for Book Quote Wednesday on Twitter.

September 2015

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