[syndicated profile] powerpopulist_feed

Posted by pplist

Almost exactly how we feel at this precise moment.

Well, it appears the only way we're getting another post done is to eschew verbiage and get right to free and legal downloadables we've found and loved. Like Antonio, we know we're personally "your bad entertainment" but trust the music won't be.


Knightingale

God Damn Youth (Debut Album) by Knightingale

This Singapore band's debut LP was

SDCC News

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:37 pm
rathany: Person of Interest (Default)
[personal profile] rathany posting in [community profile] cranky_old_fangirls
Comment here with geek news you found interesting from Comic Con this weekend!

Here, I'll start.

* Josh Whedon to write Batgirl.

* Ready Player One trailer.

* Bright trailer.

Gleefulness!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:16 pm
brooksmoses: (Default)
[personal profile] brooksmoses
I just looked at the Schlock Mercenary comic for tomorrow, and the sound effect for firing the Very Large Gun that was introduced a storyline or two ago is making my vibrate and clap my hands with utter glee.

It works well as a standalone strip even if you're not familiar with the comic, too, so I'm going to make you click through to see it rather than spoiling it.
roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (ScottPilgrim.Scott - Reversal!)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice

V.E. Schwab — A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light

March 6, March ??, and July 10

I plan to head directly into the weeds on this review, but I'll make a brief pit-stop at concision before I hit the road: I definitely recommend the first book of this series. It's fast, bold, and slick — just weird enough to grab your attention (a stacked-worlds cosmology where the only constant is London? What??), and more than competent enough to hold on to it. I'm more ambivalent about the other two books, but A Darker Shade of Magic actually stands alone pretty well anyhow.

Speaking of which, HEY, let's talk about trilogies! There are several different ways to put three book-sized objects in a row, and this series uses what I think might be the worst. I don't have a proper name for it (duologies behaving badly? party in the front, sweatshop in the back?), but it's that same thing Garth Nix did with Sabriel and Lirael/Abhorsen:

  • Start with one standalone, book-shaped book, with tight plotting and characterization and some deep-but-restrained worldbuilding.
  • Follow it with a much larger and more sprawling sequel, arbitrarily split into two volumes. (Book 2 usually ends on a cliffhanger of some kind.)

Recognize it? Contrast with the "three book-shaped books" trilogy or the "one continuous scroll" trilogy, both of which work better.

Part of the problem is just setting up an expectation of book-shaped books and then flubbing it. But I'm also starting to think that two books out of a trilogy is a uniquely awkward and unbalanced story unit, and should be avoided categorically. In all the examples I can think of, the sprawly second story has major plot and pacing issues that didn't afflict the first book and could only be addressed with major story surgery.

In this case, most of book 2 is dedicated to a shōnen manga tournament plot. This is a time-tested device that works really well in a long-running combat-focused comic, because it provides a lower-stakes pause in the main action (during which you can cut to machinations in the background as needed), it's guaranteed to take up a good long chunk of serialized time, and it's a good way to demonstrate how various characters have progressed or not progressed, especially because it lets you pit allies against each other without having to completely deform the story.

But tournaments usually work so well because they take up like an eighth or a tenth of a tremendously long comic. This one is like a quarter of the damn trilogy, and while yes, it's cool to see how badass Lila is now, it basically shoots the pacing all to hell.

Also affecting the pacing: The villain of the second story seems to spend an inordinate amount of time just twiddling his thumbs out in the distance. And he's just a lot less interesting than the confluence of villainies in the first book! He kind of sucks, tbh. (Note that I had this same beef with Lirael/Abhorsen. Is this a weird secondary effect of the structure?)

I had some other plot beefs. There's a death in book 3 that just kind of comes from someone acting out of character for no good reason, plus a few other things... not gonna go super deep into this, it just felt like things generally got a little sloppy.

Finally, there's a central character unironically named "Alucard," even though the only proper use of that name is to tell the reader with a big fat wink that this is Dracula's depressed son. (This story has nothing to do with Draculas, and IDEK how Schwab managed to not realize what she was doing there. Are there truly people who Don't Castlevania?? [yes])

IDK. I did enjoy the second book quite a bit, but it's not a complete unit, and I got bored partway through book three and just put it down for several months to read other things. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but it's flawed and uneven compared to book 1's mirror-bright polish.

Martha Wells — The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red

May 7

Yay, new Martha Wells! Spoiler, I liked it.

This had a more-than-passing resemblance to her short-lived Emilie series — it's more stripped-down than a lot of her other books, with more straightforward plotting and a more parsimonious approach to characterization for the supporting cast (not flat, but with most of the depth gestured rather than rendered, if that makes sense). It's an old-fashioned sort of feel, and one that suits both series' niches (Emilie was a deliberately retro pre-"YA" subgenre of youth lit, and Murderbot is a novella, which is sort of a coelacanth format just now coming out of a long hibernation).

Anyway, this is short and enjoyable and cheap (in its native ebook form, at least; the "tor.com" imprint has been publishing pretty nice tpbs of their novellas, but they're so overpriced that I get the impression we're not actually meant to buy them), and you should check it out.

Re: recent comments about how to structure a series: this is definitely the start of a larger story (note the beautiful last-minute left turn to avoid "happy ending"), but it's nicely contained, setting the stage for a next bit without any cliff-dangling. Which, again, I always greatly appreciate.

Jason Turner — Fir Valley (comics)

July 13

I liked this! It used this really aggressive POV shifting to get kind of a cubist every-angle-at-once view of the town of Fir Valley. And the town felt pretty legit; idk, I was reading this at the same time as Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, and they both do interesting things with the, like, sensation of being in the Pacific Northwest.

Tonally, this was all over the place in a way I kind of loved. Gruesome murder, young people making music, ghostly conspirators with animal heads, drunken idiocy, all kinds of stuff in here, and all presented with this kind of goofy big-hearted cheer? Turner has cited Twin Peaks as an influence here, and I can definitely see it. He isn't following Lynch's aesthetic, but the method seems familiar.

Anna-Marie McLemore — When the Moon Was Ours

June 11

I liked this, but I don't really feel like talking about it. It was good.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:16 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Reasons for a time traveller to keep funds in an arrangement administered by others - future selves can tap it without paradox. If the ones keeping an eye on it only need to keep the paperwork straight and never need a coherent narrative for why the money goes in and out, it simplifies things for the time traveller.

Also if the traveller gets legally dead, or actually dead, then arms length finances for their younger or more alive versions would be super handy.

So somewhere to keep the money, password protected or otherwise slightly impersonal for plausible deniability, is much more useful than one persistent identity trying to check their balance every week.

Oh dear

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:00 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
I have learned that there is a whole world of DIY kits for steeping/infusing your own bitters, that come with all of the "bitter" herbs and spices in the correct proportions. Just add them to alcohol with whatever fruit, flowers, or spices you want, infuse for a couple of weeks, strain out the solids and simmer them with some water, mix the two liquids together, and bottle.

I am very, VERY tempted by this. Because no one is making rose bitters right now, and I am almost out. HOW AM I TO MAINTAIN MY FANCY EXISTENCE WITHOUT ROSE BITTERS, I ASK YOU?

I know, I know, I don't need any more hobbies. But rose bitters! And it's not like I can enjoy rose syrup any more ...

Call for Themes

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:48 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I've reached the end of scheduled themes for the Poetry Fishbowl project.  It's time to brainstorm some new themes!  These are a few that I've jotted down earlier, ones that I've thought up or people have suggested, to give you an idea what kind of stuff might be suitable:

* Help and Helpiness
* Otherkin
* Pirates and Brigands

What other themes would you like to see me write about?  Suggest them in a comment below this post. 

Later on I'll collect the suggestions and do some polling.  The most popular topics will be added to the schedule for future fishbowls.  Previously, I have just dumped all the proposed themes into a big poll.  The more themes people suggest, the less well this works.  I have an idea for fixing that problem.  This time, I'm going to run the first large poll with checkboxes so you can express interest in as many themes as you like.  I will then either pick from the most popular ones, or use that information to pull out the favorite themes for a smaller poll to select the ones which will appear in upcoming fishbowls.

You can also help by linking to this post so that more people will see it.  Everyone is welcome to suggest themes.  Everyone will also be able to vote for them later; prompters and donors will get extra votes.  If you link to the call for themes, you can reveal a verse in any open perk poem:
"Testing the Metal
"Dangerous Refuges
"The Marble and the Sculptor
"The Golden Peaches of Peace
"Leaves Upon the Water"
"The Quick Brown Fox"
"Lead Us in Peace"
"We Will Fade into You"

PEDTM: Day 22

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:25 pm
mirabile: (Arthur)
[personal profile] mirabile
Saturdays are Mother's days, so I put together a little picnic for us (chicken salad sandwich, pickles, Bud) and took it to her along with her clean clothes. I started doing her laundry back in late April and it's working out well: I pick them up on Thursday, I wash on Friday, and return them on Saturday. I feel better about doing it myself than having the assisted living facility's laundry do it because Mother has such nice clothes, plus some pieces had disappeared. Now if they disappear it's my fault :)

When I arrived, she was still in her nightie but in her recliner. They had brought her breakfast and she'd eaten that, but she still ate one of the cinnamon rolls I'd made. She said she was tired and not feeling quite right, so we just sat and talked and listened to some Doris Day. My sister and her wife called as usual and we chatted for quite a while. Mother just closed her eyes and listened for most of it. Around noon I brought out the picnic and she ate about a quarter of the sandwich, some pickles, and drank almost all the Bud. I stayed until around 1:30 and hated to leave, but I was tired and a bit worried about Webster. I reminded her, as I always do, that she could have one of the nurses call me if she wanted. Ach. It's so hard to leave.

Anyway, came home and found Webster had had a very quiet day, too, which he certainly needed after the stress of the last two days. I had left him a sandwich so he had that and soup, and for dinner I made waffles. I needed some comfort food, you know? And I love waffles.

That was really my day. I did practice a little ukulele and played one song on the piano, but that was it. I finally watched Hidden Figures, which was excellent but hard to watch -- I had to stop several times and walk around because it was so upsetting.

Oh! I wore my new My Favorite Murder tee shirt! It says: Stay Sexy, Don't Get Murdered. Mother got a kick out of it. She must have asked me three times what it said and each time it made her laugh. Don't get murdered! she'd say; that's good advice!

Five Things

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:12 am
ashnistrike: (Default)
[personal profile] ashnistrike
 I've been somewhat neglectful here. So, a low-stress post in which I don't try to go into anything in depth, because cramps, and because the summer's round of one-thing-after-another doesn't actually finish up for another month.

1) Readercon was awesome and a thing I want to go back to. I wasn't on program this year, which is something I want to change next year but on the other hand it was really nice to have one of the summer's Things be basically relaxing. I hung out with [personal profile] gaudior and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and [personal profile] mrissa and Greer, and had a useful lunch with my agent and editor, and picked up a large stack of books, and generally had a great time. And then read at Pandemonium after the con with Fran Wilde and Chris Sharp, and that was also great, and the large stack of books that I had to deconstruct in order to see the audience reduced quite satisfactorily by the end of the event.

2) I have my mostly-final schedules for Necronomicon and the Baltimore Book Festival, which I will post once they're final. I also know what I'm doing at the Outwrite queer literature festival, except that I can't find the time for my panel now, so that will be here later too. But it's in DC on August 5th and promises to be a fun time.

3) It's that time of year when we've finally set a date to pick up our new cow--longhorn this year, shared with the same two people I've been splitting cows with for a while now. They each take a quarter of the cow, my large family of mostly carnivores takes a half, and we all enjoy the discount that comes from buying a whole cow. But this means the freezer damn well has to be empty by mid-August, which means in turn that all the weird bits of the last cow, and other odds and ends that have filled the empty space as 500 pounds of meat gets down to the last couple of packages, need to get used up. Thus there's currently heart marinating in the fridge, rump roast in the slow cooker, and a large bag of miscellaneous poultry organs out to thaw. (We also have a lot of vegetables in the house, but they rarely get to the point of freezing. The Mysterious Manor House goes through a weekly CSA box pretty handily. Except for the rutabaga.)

4) Things I have loved lately: 
  • Theodora Goss's The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, which is about the daughters of Doctor Jekyl and Mister Hyde teaming up with Justine Frankenstein and Catherine Moreau and Beatrice Rappacini - together they fight crime and build a found family. And the whole thing is written up as a novel by Catherine, but everyone else is playing peanut gallery over her shoulder so she transcribes their objections and questions in little asides, and impatiently explains to them the literary conceits that she's using. 
  • Arrival, which I watched on a long plane flight and promptly moved to the top of my Hugo list for Dramatic Presentation Long Form, and I can't believe they actually managed to film that but they did.
  • Jupiter Ascending, which I watched on the same long plane flight and adored in completely different ways: it's as delightful and cracktastic as everyone told you on Tumblr.



5) And now I need to put down Dreamwidth and go fix a small continuity error and an anachronism for the Winter Tide paperback.

Classical doodles

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:11 pm
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Wednesday after work LB and I hiked in to the lake. We took a more strenuous route than usual, over rough ground, but nothing requiring high endurance -- or so I would have thought. The moment I got home, however, I lay down on the couch and did not rise until night.

The last few days have been like days of recovery from illness -- not soreness or fatigue so much as a sort of muzzy-headedness I dislike much more than pain.

Therefore, I have not done much writing or reading.

I did manage to read Insomniac City, Bill Hayes' memoir of his relationship with Oliver Sacks. It's a lovely, gentle book, a kind of idyll of daily life in New York -- lots of drinking wine on rooftops and talking to strangers in the park. Hayes invokes the sensory detail of their life together with the attention you'd expect of someone who could properly appreciate Oliver Sacks.

I'd read Hayes' description of a piece of music -- Beethoven's Op. 133, say (The Great Big Fugue) -- then cue it up on YouTube and listen -- or look up a meal they ate or an artist Hayes admired. In this way, the book became a delightful multi-sensory experience.

Reading or writing for work and other projects, though, did not seem to be on.

When writing is too difficult, I draw. One of my comfort activities is attempting loose copies of the exquisitely strange radial creatures from Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature. Listening to Beethoven' bright, angular notes, I thought -- why not try to draw this as well?1

Under the cut are a few creatures drawn out of the music, though they are not perfect synaesthetic renderings of these pieces or anything -- more a fusion of what I was looking at, what I was hearing, and what I could actually draw.


Musical Drawings )

{rf}

1. I do see a little colour to music, but it's a very limited palette, shading from blue-white through golden brown to dark brown, and probably has more to do with the colour of the piano whereon I failed to learn to play music as a child, rather than any intricacy of brain connections.

Poem: "Chipped"

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu. It also fills the "bisexual" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some fractious content. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features crowds, frustration, floundering over cape identity, rude people, obnoxious language, sex/gender bigotry, bigot-baiting, questioning aspects of personal sexuality, and other challenges. But mostly it's fluff. It's also a humor-based choking hazard. Do not read with your mouth full! If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Remix Revival 2017!

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:48 am
[syndicated profile] yuletide_feed

Posted by remixrevivalmod

Link: Remix Revival on AO3; follow us on Dreamwidth or Tumblr for reminders and updates.

Description: Remix Revival is a new panfandom remix exchange, welcoming both authors and artists! If you're unfamiliar with remix exchanges, the idea is that you take someone else's fic or art and write/draw it the way you would have. To qualify for Remix Revival, you must have three 500 word fics, five 100 word fics, or three completed drawings in each fandom you request. The minimum wordcount for assignments is 1k, while art must be a complete piece. There will be a Madness round that allows sketches and shorter fics running from September 10-25.

Dates:
Signups begin: July 15 (ongoing now!)
Signups end: July 30 11:59 PM ET
Assignments out by: August 5
Assignments due: September 10, 11:59 PM ET
Collection goes live: September 17
Remixers revealed: September 24



Connecting Nerdish Dots in Star Trek

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] dewline
Noting that Netflix isn't doing business inside mainland China, but they are offering their services in Traditional and Simplified Chinese langages anyway in assorted other markets.

Also noting that Star Trek: Discovery is being carried outside of the US and Canada by Netflix.

One of the supporting cast ships in the new series is USS Shenzhou NCC-1227.

Wondering if the dedication plaque will credit the Dalian Yards in mainland China for that starship. Dalian is where mainland China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaonang, was refitted to their navy's requirements.

Another effort from art class

Jul. 22nd, 2017 07:40 pm
marinarusalka: color pencils arranged in a circle (marinarusalka: drawing)
[personal profile] marinarusalka
Trying to learn how to do a landscape...

Drawing of a Paris street scene

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:02 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I want very much to respond to comments on some fics that are still anonymous. I could respond anonymously, but reveals are tomorrow, and I'd rather respond as myself. I've gotten recipient comments on four of the five stories, and the fifth person hasn't responded to any of the three stories they got but appears to have been prompt about responding to past gifts, so I'm assuming some sort of offline life thing has happened.

We're on our way home from Scott's parents' place now. If we weren't, I'd start the next story with a due date.
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