FMK #18: Writers of Color

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:11 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's F win was a tie between The Dragon and the George and Goblin Quest. I am waffling over which one to pick. Goblin Quest had discussion in the comments, but on the other hand, reading it would break my unbroken streak of not having read any of the many Hines novels I own.

K winner was the Callahan. I am going to keep Callahan's Crosstime Saloon but this may be the nudge I needed to just drop the rest.


Anyway, this week's FMK theme is SF by Anglophone Writers of Color. We will pretend the reason it was tough to get a set of ten together for this is that when I get one of these it doesn't linger as long on the to-read pile. (Actually, it was tougher than I expected because finding out race for a lot of SF writers - especially older and more obscure ones - is not simple. There does not seem to be an easily accessible and accurate masterlist of SF Writers of Color out there. And at some point, for some of then, I found myself thinking that if they aren't interested in making their ancestry part of their public bio, I need to not be looking this hard. I never did figure out if Philip Jose Farmer is actually in any way Hispanic.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Butler, Delany, Hamilton, Hurston, Martinez, Mosley, Reynolds, Takei, White, Wilson )

FMK: Discount Armageddon

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:25 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Poll post coming soon! But first, I have finished Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire!

It was fun! I enjoyed it! The characters were great! Much like the other McGuire I have read, I felt like the more I thought about it, the less there there was there! (I can't think of a single piece of internal evidence other than Verity's word that it took place in Manhattan instead of, like, Columbus, Ohio. The Price-vs.-Covenant thing really doesn't work with the logistics that are set up in the book. Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice. Etc.)

And I did really like the variety of cryptids and the cryptid community, but the "cryptozoologist" thing still bothers me, in that a cryptozoologist is a very specific thing situated in a very specific time and culture - it is not something like "witch" that has enough meanings with enough history you can basically go with whatever - and I would really really love to read an urban fantasy about cryptozoologists - and Verity Price is really really not one. (I mean, you could make a cool backstory about how the Prices and allies adopted the terminology ironically in the 60s to further distinguish themselves from the Covenant - or that Sanderson got himself in WAY over his head with a Price girl at some point and came out very confused, which is a fanfic I would definitely read - but she does not seem to be doing that.)

But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that. (I would also enjoy the fanfic about how Price family sex education includes a unit about how part of their mission is to introduce the urban fantasy community to the idea of "affirmative consent" which it had previously lacked entirely.)

I have Down Among The Sticks and Bones on its way from the library, but I have learned it is NOT about the Skeleton Girl (with that title how is it not about the Skeleton Girl?) so I find I am not that excited about it coming.

Norður

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:24 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
It's that time in the summer when I start to dream about being somewhere far to the north, with a view of the sea. To be fair, I also dream about the north in the depths of winter. To be even fairer, the weather here has been cool and rainy, so maybe that's made me think about northern climes.

If I were for some reason forced to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a hotel, I would go to the Fogo Island Inn, off the northern coast of Newfoundland.

Or maybe a less ridiculously posh place with bonus icebergs, the Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat, Greenland.

I remind myself that I've already got a weekend booked in Iceland on my way home to the States in December. And I can sit and enjoy views of the cold sea from a lovely steaming hotpot at any number of municipal pools. And my room probably has a view of the harbor!

But that's a long ways off. I'm pondering whether to plan an August long weekend somewhere in the UK, and whether it would be worth the faff to travel somewhere more northerly, as opposed to just going to Brighton or something. I'm very fond of Scarborough. I also have this weird desire to see the Isle of Man after watching the national road race championships a few weeks ago.

Also worth pointing out that I'm going to Saint Petersburg at the end of August, and perhaps that counts as northerly if not quite with an unobstructed ocean view? I'm rather tempted by Kronstadt...

Coding resources?

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:58 pm
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
[personal profile] zulu
Anyone out there on the ol' flist have any suggestions for tutorials or books I can read (hopefully from the library) to help me learn how to work with node webkit programming?

I'm a tinkerer and when I say "learn code" I usually mean "make it break in interesting ways until I--nearly accidentally--cobble together something that works".

Specifically what I want to do is this.

I used Twine Wrapper to make an app out of my Twine game.

I can see in the app.js file that it is possible to add, remove, and edit menus and menu items.

I'd like to change the menus so that "Edit" and probably "Window" are hidden (but not disabled, in case people still want to copy & paste...???). Then I want to add a "File" menu with "Redo" and "Undo" as menu items. These items would then have the same functionality as the Undo and Redo arrows/buttons in the Twine game itself.

From looking at the HTML source, I see that these buttons trigger "Engine.goBack" and "Engine.goForward" commands. But how to get a menu item to do that? I don't even know what that is.

For reference, a page like this is way over my head. I am definitely looking for the "For Dummies" end of the tutorial spectrum. To be really, really clear, I am asking to learn how to program, and I don't even know which programming language I'm asking about.

Thank you anyone who can point me in a direction!

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:05 pm
lexin: (Default)
[personal profile] lexin
I read an entry from [personal profile] brithistorian which came originally from [personal profile] spiralsheep.

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***

I don't mind arguments as long as they don't descend into name calling. I do ask that if you make a comment you stick around to defend your point of view, and don't drop a lighted match into the petrol of life, and then slope off.

FMK: Mélusine and Juniper Time

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:50 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Mélusine by Sarah Monette is a very long, very good, very fucked-up H/C darkfic in a canon I don't know.

That's not necessarily a criticism, by the way, it's enough my id that I have spent many a delightful lost weekend voluntarily reading exactly that sort of thing.

Read more... )

Anyway, I enjoyed it enough that it is getting kept (after all, some day I might not be able to find fanfic like this on the internet anymore) but I don't think I care enough about the non-id parts to go looking up the canon. (If I did I would probably just end up really liking Shannon, anyway, and like I said it's really obvious there is like 0 fic about him.)

And still very annoyed that it had exactly nothing to do with Mélusine; if someone tried to name a fantasy novel Cinderella and then not have anything to do with Cinderella except, like, the ruling family having a shoe in their heraldry and also there was a fairy godmother as a minor character in one chapter, nobody would let you get away with that.

Also, it got me re-reading a bunch of old Doctor/Master fic just in time for me to be mildly optimistic about the show again, so there's that.


Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm was not a bad book, and I'm glad I read it, but I also don't think I need to keep it, and I didn't particularly like it. It gets the "if you like this sort of thing, this is probably the sort of thing you will like" rating, with a caveat for me being unsure about its portrayal of First Nations people. The first thing that struck me is that it didn't feel like a SF novel, or even a genre novel at all really. I spent a lot of time thinking about why. It's a story about the building of an international space station and first contact with aliens set amid the collapse of Western capitalist civilization, so it ought to be an SF novel. It's definitely at least partly just the writing style. But I think it's mostly a question of what the book thinks is important, fr. ex: not the space station or the aliens or even particularly the collapse of civilization except as they affect the two main characters' many personal issues, which are the only thing the narrative actually seems to think we might be interested in. Whic isn't to say I don't like a character-focused SF novel, but an SF novel where one of the main characters is an astronomer who spends half his time in space, a) I would expect it to spend more than five pages actually in space, and b) I would expect him to not spend all of those five pages thinking about nothing but his marital issues. Also, you know, I 100% don't care about the dude's personal issues and am only mildly interested in hers.

Read more... )

I am glad I have read this but am pretty sure I will never desire to read it again, so K pile it is. And it inspired me to finish Always Coming Home, so it was definitely worth it.

FMK #17: Humorous SF

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:51 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's winner was Enchantress From the Stars! Looking forward to it. From discussion in the comments, I think I attempted to write that story once when I was about twelve.

The loser on overall K votes was Pebble in the Sky, but I'm invoking the rule that says a K winner must also have a majority for K votes, which Pebble in the Sky didn't have, and giving it to the Stasheff instead.

(I also just noticed that I never announced a K for the LGBT-themed week. No book in that poll had a majority of K votes - or anything close to a majority, even - so I'm not calling a K. The overall most K votes was the David Gerrold book, but it had almost twice as many f/m votes as K, so I have added it to the F pile instead.)

Responses to Mélusine and Juniper Time coming later today, I promise.

This week, a friend assigned me Humorous SF, so here we go!

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week. That will leave me only four books behind, whoo.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Brust, Dickson, Doctorow, Foster, Gardner, Hines, Jones, Laumer, Martinez, Moore J, Moore MJ, Pinkwater, Pratchett, Robinson, anthologies )

Musings on mum

Jul. 15th, 2017 02:02 am
busarewski: (Default)
[personal profile] busarewski
Here I am again, almost five months later. Mum died on February 19th, she took her last breath at the hospital, with me and my sister by her side. Life became so much emptier when she left us. She never did regain consciousness after those last words to me in the living-room on the 18th of February - "Det blir bättre" - "det blir bättre".. it's mum in a nutshell, but how can it get better? Time pass, and now it's not everyday that I start crying because I see or hear or find something that reminds me of her, it's not even every week, but then something happens, and the loss is there. The realization that I will never speak with mum again, that she won't answer, even if I will continue to talk to her.. 

I logged on to livejournal for the first time since mum died and went back and read old posts. So very few were tagged "mum" even if she was mentioned in many more. Dad's illness came and took over, he was, and is, always the one that got the most attention. But mum was always there, and she was our steady rock, the one that fixed everything, that made life bearable, that made the house beautiful, the one who got all my literary talk, who finished my sentences, and who had the best laugh ever. How on earth will we be able to celebrate Christmas this year? she was so ill last year, and she didn't really manage to do her usual stuff, but she was THERE, she sat in the sofa, and we got our hugs.. it was terrible to have Easter and Midsummer without her. Mum's and dad's wedding day passed and we could only be happy that they got to celebrate their 40th anniversary last year.All these special days that now will have to be remembered in another way..

In some ways it's been extra good that we still have dad to take care of.  We haven't been able to wallow in sadness, which at least I probably would have done otherwise. Dad misses mum a lot, but I think he was more prepared than we were, since mum apparently talked to him several years ago. In hindsight I can see that some of his anxiety over where mum were probably came from this. But sometimes I think he forgets that she's gone. And it feels terrible to have to tell him she isn't here. 

I haven't been able to write about mum's death until now, and it still feels inadequate and quite strange to make this post. But I think I need to try to write about it a bit more. Mum, and life after mum. The strange sensation I had in the weeks just after her death of someone touching my feet to wake me up in the middle of the night, and then waking up and hearing dad crying. Mum continues to look out for him, and her love is around inside us. Finding old postcards with her handwriting. Bickering with my sister over what to save and what to throw away. Not being able to make those decisions so instead putting quite a lot of mum's stuff in boxes in the attic instead. Crying tonight when we watched Father Brown and they sang Christmas carols, since I realized I'd never visit St Andrew's Anglican church with mum for their carol singing at Christmas again..

So many small things that just won't happen again. 

In mum's obituary we quoted one of her favourite poems by Emily Brontë, it's mum for me in so may ways:

No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world´s storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven´s glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

random non-spoilery TdF observations

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:51 pm
naraht: Chris Froome and Peter Sagan chatting (other-HelloFroomey)
[personal profile] naraht
I've been feeling inexplicably unwell so I finished work early this afternoon and spent it lying on the couch watching the Tour de France...

• One of Britain's top cyclists from the 80s, Philippa York, has just publicly come out as trans during the Tour. Apparently she had been avoiding public life for some years, but people in the know were aware that she'd transitioned. What's heartening is that the reception from the cycling world has, as far as I can tell, been extremely supportive. She's been guest commentating on ITV for a few stages now, and I haven't heard a single stumble over name or pronouns. Chapeau, Philippa. It must have taken a lot of courage.

• David Millar gets so into the tactics. You get the feeling that he doesn't care so much who wins (or does a good job of covering it up, unlike Carlton Kirby, who has his crushes), but he gets passionately angry if he disagrees with a team's choices: "why are they doing that??!? It's ridiculous! What are they trying to achieve???"

Yet when Ned Boulting asked, he heartily and believably denied having any desire to be out on the mountain himself: "no, no, a thousand times no."

• I've managed to get my parents into watching the Tour. They're both backing Froome. What did I do to deserve this?

• As always, a special thanks is due to whoever at ITV does the end-of-show montages. They are always superbly on point and they almost always choose great music. Today I owe them particular thanks for introducing me to the music of Jacqueline Taïeb, a French singer of Tunisian origin from the 60s.

Apart from being a great song, Bravo just makes me think of the "Carlien Daten?" saga. (Spoiler: after the date they "decided to just be friends.")

I don't get the feeling that Taïeb pities (or particularly respects) the hero, though perhaps I'm reading too much into it...

(French lyrics)



• ETA: What have I learned from the Orica Backstage Pass so far? That Esteban Chaves is reading a Danielle Steele novel and that (unrelatedly) Matt Hayman has had to explain to him what a "bromance" is.

Question thread #54

Jul. 14th, 2017 08:47 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.

Pretend play

Jul. 14th, 2017 08:13 am
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
[personal profile] zulu
L has just started, within the last day or so, to do a new kind of pretend play. He's been playing "I'm cooking" or "I'm driving", activities that happen in real life, for months. But now he's adding in, "I'm a kitty!" or "You're a puppy!" and acting it out by meowing or crawling on all fours.

This morning in the car, he said that he was a kitty and I was a puppy and he was my mama. I said, "L, if you're a kitty, how can you be my mama if I'm a puppy?" Sidestepping this logic, he said, "Mama, you a SAD puppy and I'm your mama." I made some sad puppy sounds and then said, "Mama, how are you going to make me feel better?" He said, "Here's Kitty!" (meaning his beloved stuffy). So I hugged Kitty and gave her back (always give Kitty back!). Hugging Kitty solves all problems, so that was that, and then he went on to other details of our commute ("There's a gas station! There's a cement truck!").

Kids! Development! So weird and cool.
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