Actually, they could speak for themselves

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 02:10 pm
oursin: George Beresford photograph of the young Rebecca West in a large hat, overwritten 'Neither a doormat nor a prostitute' (Neither a doormat nor a prostitute)
[personal profile] oursin

I was a bit irked - apart from my previously stated historical-accuracy nitpicks - by the representation of women in The Limehouse Golem - no positive ties between any of the women characters, apparently either bitches or victims (even if the denouement complicated that), and the idea that Gay Men Were Their (unsuccessful and even deluded) Saviours.

And then I read some interview with I think Peter Ackroyd himself about the original novel and the film (cannot remember whether it was in the paper or online somewhere), and the opinion was expressed that in 1880, only a man dressed as a woman could speak for women.

A dubious proposition, I contend, in that there is also a tradition of drag as a way of expressing misogyny.

But women in 1880 were not silenced: this was a mere 3 years before the campaigns against the Contagious Diseases Acts (and when people are talking about statues of women, when will we have one for Josephine Butler?) obtained the suspension of the Acts, which were repealed in 1886. The 'Shrieking Sisterhood' as they were described in the hostile press, were very much not silent and not inarticulate.

Nor was this entirely about middle-class women. I'm pretty sure that women music hall performers expressed certain dissatisfactions with the state of things as they were in gender relations. There were also the drag kings of the day sending up men, if only by gentle subversion.

I can see it makes for a powerful narrative to have a woman so silenced that she can only make a protest by violent physical means, but I don't think that can be turned into a master-narrative for the entirety of society at that era.

Horizon, by Fran Wilde

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 07:03 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Review copy provided by Tor Books. Also the author is a personal friend and all-around nifty person.

This is the culmination of the trilogy that started with Updraft. If you're the sort of person who needs to know that something has a definite-and-for-sure ending before you buy that thing: here you are, here is the ending, it is a really-truly ending that ends. (I really want to encourage people not to do that, because it's a good way to make sure people don't get to have their endings published--especially people like Fran who have given you nice volume endings in addition to the larger series ending. But I know that such people exist, so! Here is the information you were looking for: ending!)

I don't recommend starting with Horizon. This is clearly a culmination, and there are only two books before it to give you the plot and character arcs Fran is weaving together here; it's not like you have to read twelve bugcrushers to get to what she's doing here. Kirit and Nat and their friends and relations--and grudging allies, and adversaries--are back and struggling for survival--trying to figure out, from page one, what shape their survival can even take.

For that reason, it's hard to review Horizon in very concrete terms, because there's so much that it's doing that depends on the previous books. It's exciting from the first page, it's all engineering and all social and all heart, all at once. Fran's weaving threads and perspectives together in ways that she didn't in previous books--rather than resting on previous successes, she's doing this book in a new way, and it works. It's the way this book would have to work, but I love to see that in a first series, rather than copying the structure of a first book that's had as much success as Updraft has, I love to see an author following the story and doing what it needs even if the structure isn't the same. The previous volumes didn't pull punches, and neither does Horizon, but it does that in its own way.

The ending is satisfying without being overly tidy, without being one-size-fits-all for characters who have spent this whole trilogy coming in different sizes. And...I really appreciate the way people with common goals don't always trust each other, don't always like each other--and are sometimes very grumpy at the compromises they have to make with each other. The world is like that; the world of fiction too often finds it difficult to be both satisfying and realistic, but I think Horizon manages both. With lots of astonishing creatures and feats of derring-do in between.

Please consider using our link to buy Horizon from Amazon.

Still yucky

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 07:51 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 63 F, dew point 60, scattered clouds, wind south about 5 mph. Tied another record high yesterday.

Moral panic

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 06:21 am
supergee: (monster)
[personal profile] supergee
Amazon is not The Anarchist Cookbook

Thanx to Slate Star Codex

Welcome: the Re-Welcoming

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 10:46 pm
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide
This is an informal community for chat about Yuletide, which was started up by participants and has now (2017) been passed over to mods. Official announcements are given at [community profile] yuletide_admin and [livejournal.com profile] yuletide_admin (which has a feed at [syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed).

This is intended to be a Dreamwidth equivalent of [livejournal.com profile] yuletide.
sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] sovay
Our house smells like the sea. A sea-fog came in through the windows before midnight, as strong and salt as standing on the docks: I was lying on the couch and thought that if I looked out the windows, I would see water moving under the streetlights, and first I got Jacques Brel's "La cathédrale" stuck in my head and then I fell asleep. I was saying elsewhere in a discussion of dead zones/waste lands in weird fiction that someone must have set a weird tale in the deep anoxic waters of the Black Sea because it's too uncanny an environment to pass up (the millennia of preserved shipwrecks alone), but I can't think of any examples. I hope I don't have to write one. See previous complaints about research.

English suites no. 3

Monday, September 25th, 2017 08:37 pm
calimac: (Haydn)
[personal profile] calimac
I'd started with Gustav Holst, so one's thoughts then turn to his close friend and colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams. VW is, to my ear, the greatest of all 20C British composers, but he wasn't as keen on the suite as a form as Holst was.

He did write a few, though, and a highly characteristic one is the Charterhouse Suite for strings. This has an unusual origin. VW wrote it for piano, an instrument he was not often drawn to. It was arranged for strings by another hand, but it still sounds a lot like VW, in part because the arranger was good, he worked under VW's supervision, and also because much of the music is modal, typical of his work.

The six movements are Prelude (0.01), Slow dance (1.44), Quick dance (3.40), Slow air (5.57), Rondo (9.40), and Pezzo ostinato (11.43). Enjoy the attractive views of the English countryside on the visual side of this file, too. Since RVW was pre-eminently the composer who caught the spirit of the land ("cowpat music," those who didn't like it called it), that's appropriate.

Stories. Liked by me. Recentlyish. Like ya do.

Monday, September 25th, 2017 09:54 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
You know how this goes by now: I make no pretense of comprehensive reading, even of the magazines for which I've linked a story. This is some stuff I've read and liked. If there's something you've enjoyed lately, please feel free--encouraged, in fact--to link to it in the comments. This is just a roundup of stories (and maybe a poem) I thought well of. Yay! If you thought well of some stories (and maybe a poem or two) since last time I did this, by all means please share.

Feeding Mr. Whiskers, by Dawn Bonanno (Fireside)

Dire Wolf, by Michael J. DeLuca (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Man-Size, by Gwynne Garfinkle (The Sockdolager)

The Last Cheng Beng Gift, by Jaymee Goh (Lightspeed)

We Came Here to Make Friends, by Martha Hood (The Sockdolager)

If a Bird Can Be a Ghost, by Allison Mills (Apex)

And Sneer of Cold Command, by Premee Mohamed (The Sockdolager)

Plain Jane Learns to Knit Wormholes, by Wendy Nikel (Flash Fiction Online)

Birth, Place, by Brandon O'Brien (Uncanny)

Stories We Carry on the Back of the Night, by Jasper Sanchez (Mithila Review)

Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny)

You Can Adapt to Anything, by John Wiswell (Daily Science Fiction)

Guess who has two thumbs

Monday, September 25th, 2017 10:07 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
And was in a vehicular mishap that got him to work two hours early?

radio silence

Monday, September 25th, 2017 09:20 pm
readinggeek451: (Sleeping bear)
[personal profile] readinggeek451
Sorry to have dropped off the planet the last couple of weeks. I've been tired and unmotivated, so there isn't any news. Except that it's been summer again the last week or so. This is the first time in the 28 years I've been here that it's been hot enough for air conditioning after the middle of September. (Even second week of September is kind of unusual.) It' supposed to cool down again by Thursday night; here's hoping this is the last of the too darn hot. I hate summer.

Meme: No surprises here

Monday, September 25th, 2017 08:04 pm
affreca: (Books)
[personal profile] affreca
I Am A: Lawful Good Halfling Wizard (5th Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-9

Dexterity-11

Constitution-8

Intelligence-18

Wisdom-12

Charisma-11


Alignment:
Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.


Race:
Halflings are clever, capable and resourceful survivors. They are notoriously curious and show a daring that many larger people can't match. They can be lured by wealth but tend to spend rather than hoard. They prefer practical clothing and would rather wear a comfortable shirt than jewelry. Halflings stand about 3 feet tall and commonly live to see 150.


Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

(no subject)

Monday, September 25th, 2017 08:33 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Rash assumption, I know, but I presume people remember that the Korean War ended without a peace treaty.

(no subject)

Monday, September 25th, 2017 07:44 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I've been trying to find time to write a proper post today, but things keep coming up to distract me. Also, if I don't write something by the time Cordelia gets home, I may not have privacy to write on my laptop. I'm writing this on my phone.

(no subject)

Monday, September 25th, 2017 03:41 pm
madrobins: It's a meatloaf.  Dressed up like a bunny.  (Default)
[personal profile] madrobins
“The Road South," written by me with Becca Caccavo (aka younger daughter), will be appearing in Welcome to Dystopia in early 2018. It’s Bec’s first fiction sale, my first collaboration, edited by the estimable Gordon Van Gelder, and including many names far more illustrious than mine (like Ron Goulart, Eileen Gunn, Janis Ian, Yoon Ha Lee, Lisa Mason, Barry N. Malzberg, David Marusek, Mary Anne Mohanraj, James Morrow, Robert Reed, Geoff Ryman, Harry Turtledove, Ray Vukcevich, Ted White, Paul Witcover, and Jane Yolen).

And it's available for preorder. Just in case the times we live in aren't dystopic enough for you.

http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/welcome-to-dystopia/

Meanwhile

Monday, September 25th, 2017 05:43 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

While everyone is nattering about the NFL, remember Puerto Rico.

(no subject)

Monday, September 25th, 2017 01:40 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
I got some cleaning inside done yesterday, unloaded the dishwasher, and reloaded it, cleaned out part of the fridge, just puttering, but it helps reduce the mass of things to be done.

Today, diabetic eye appt per my doctors request.

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