2019 in Fandom

Your main fandom of the year?

I haven't really had one. Not since Game of Thrones limped to its deeply unsatisfying conclusion at any rate. That's probably part of the reason (along with brain weasels and pesky real life stuff) that I haven't been around much.

Your favourite film you watched this year?

I think my favourite film was the one I went to see last New Year's Day: The Favourite.

Aside from that, I was delighted that Captain Marvel made all the money in the world. Rocketman gets an honourable mention. And Avengers: Endgame and The Rise of Skywalker were both films that I...saw.

Your favourite book read this year?

I read very little this year (brain weasels, rl, etc.) but I frickin' loved The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

Your favourite album or song to listen to this year?

According to Spotify my most listened to song was What's Up Danger. I listened to the Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack a lot. Like, A Lot.

Your favourite video game of the year?

Just by sheer number of hours played it's probably Borderlands 3. Look, sometimes I just want to mindlessly shoot dudes in the face. I'm not proud of this.

Your favourite TV show of the year?

2019 was the year I dropped a lot of shows. I never watched the last season of Elementary because I felt like the season six finale had been entirely satisfying. I stopped keeping up with Legends of Tomorrow because for whatever reason the introduction of magic just didn't work for me in the way that the time travel hijinks had.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

That said, in an effort not to be inadvertently reminded of the existence of Boris Johnson I have been trying a lot of new shows on streaming over the last few weeks. Particular highlights have been The Expanse, The Witcher, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

"Who has a better story than Bran the Broken?"

I DON'T KNOW, TYRION. HOW ABOUT LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE.

Ahem.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?

Amos Burton.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?

Sadie Adler.

I know Rockstar doesn't do single player dlc anymore since GTA online made all the money in the world, but what I wouldn't have given for a Mrs. Sadie Adler, bounty hunter expansion.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?

Every time Chrisjen Avasarala said fuck.

The most missed of your old fandoms?

Er...

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?

I want to read the book series The Expanse is based on. After having enjoyed the show I want to give playing The Witcher III another go, see if I can't get into it this time.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?

Picard - they got me with Seven of Nine.

Wonder Woman 84, Black Widow, and Birds of Prey. Okay, I'm only properly excited about one out of those three (WW) but I'm getting a kick out of feeling like I'm the target audience for mainstream superhero movies.

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Slow Fade Into Obscurity...

It's irksome to come up with a much better title for a fic after it's already been up for a week. I should have called this The Warfare of Ghenhis Khan; even it's working title Sansa Stark and the Oncoming Stockholm Syndrome would have been better than the title I ended up using.

The Red Tent (GoT; Sansa Stark/Daenerys Targaryen)

The terrible thing was that being hostage to Daenerys Targaryen was not that bad. Cersei had taunted her, Joffrey had tormented her, and later Ramsey had tortured her. The dragon queen mostly let her be.

Daenerys' cruelties burned cities and toppled kingdoms, but she had no interest in pulling the wings off flies.


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Words, She Worded Wordily

It belatedly occurred to me, in, like, early September, that I've been in the doldrums for most of 2019. Not badly or anything, but the year has had a miasma of ...meh about it. This has mostly manifested in my not reading. That's why I haven't been making my usual books what I've been reading posts. I've been picking up books, and totally failing to read past the first ten pages; I've been opening fics, staring at them like they're written in elvish, and closing the tabs unread. And writing has just been an absolute non-starter; the amount of time I've wasted staring at a blinking cursor, like, what am I supposed to do with that, play pong? So I just stopped trying.

Anyway, I've been having that thing where you only realise you've been feeling like shit once you start feeling better, and I figured that a good way to get out of a reading slump would be to reread books I'd liked ages ago but hadn't revisited in ages. So I reread the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey; I read four books in the space of two weeks, more than I'd read in the preceding three months, and I got to to the end and went: I want to write fic about this.

The only fic I've actually wanted to write in more than a year and it's about a background pairing from an urban fantasy series from more than adecade ago that I think only I remember at all fondly. Er, yay?

If Looks Could Kill They Probably Would (Felix Castor; Juliet/Sue; 4k)
The canary yellow Maserati Spyder haphazardly mounted the pavement, and there was a Maserati sized gap between two ambulances as though that had been where the car had been until Juliet remembered that not parking in ambulance bays was one of those inexplicable human niceties that Sue liked her to observe.

That was assuming of course that Juliet still cared about human niceties, or about Sue.


There was something weirdly liberating about writing a fic that I already knew had an audience of one, and that one was me, it took away the weird pressure that I didn't even know I'd been putting on myself. Plus, I wrote the first thousand words in a coffee shop on the back of an outpatient dental surgery appointment letter, which was I guess so outside the context of how I used to write that it side-stepped whatever mental roadblock had been tripping me up.

I hope that's the hump of my writer's block over, because I really, really want to do [community profile] femslashex. I've done it every year since it started in, I think 2007, and I'd hate to miss it just because my brain weasels have been procreating. But on the other hand, what if I can only write now when I can convince myself that no one is watching? I wouldn't want to sign up just to drop out. So, you know, hopefully.

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Misc.

It's weird to me that the Game of Thrones finale was only two weeks ago and it has almost completely fallen out of my head. Like, if I'd hated it I would still be writing thousands of words of angry fixit fic, and if I'd loved it my brain would still be running in happy little loops, but I've barely thought about it at all. It feels like it happened years ago and not just two weeks. It's just such an odd way to end a fannish obsession of more than a decade. And, yes, I know that technically there are still the books, but come on, does anyone honestly think that even in the unlikely event that we do get The Winds of Winter we'll ever get A Dream of Spring? And while it's hilarious to imagine that somewhere GRRM is frantically back-buttoning going: 'well, people seem to hate that, better change everything.' I'm pretty sure the book ending will be the same, and now that I know the destination I'd find it pretty hard to care about the journey. Ho hum. Actually, the one thing I do want to read the book version of is this: Is Bran Stark really king, or is the ancient eldritch horror possessing the helpless body of Bran Stark king? Because that seems like an important distinction and one I'd like some clarification on.

*

Like most lesbians I know I am currently totally obsessed with Gentleman Jack. My two favourite things about it are 1) Suranne Jones' swagger, and 2) Gemma Whelan's strategic eye rolling. The first requires no further explanations. The second... like, I admire that the show isn't trying to make Anne Lister all that likeable, and that outside her relationships with Miss Walker and her aunt she can be really quite unpleasant and is mostly made bearable through Marion being so completely done with her. I admire that it's making me root for this character, who as much as I enjoy her I don't much like, to get one over on the Rawsons and get gay married in 1832. I also admire Anne Lister's dedication to being a huge lesbian in 1832; I for one would have become immediately discouraged in the face of all those petticoats.

*

One of my horses in Red Dead Redemption 2 is called Gentleman Jack, the other two are called Annie Oatley and Johnny BeGood. Sometimes when I'm playing I will growl 'you're alright girl' at my telly in my best Arthur Morgan voice and you can hear the confused thump of my dog's tail because she isn't sure if my talking to her or not. I spent half an hour in game last night playing what amounted to Fishing Simulator 2019. I've spent most of my play time recently doing chores around camp in attempt to get my honor level up, even though I've got an entire house full of things that could be described as 'boring and repetitive chores that have to be done in order to improve the endgame' and I've not done any of them because I'm busy doing my chores in Red Dead. Sometimes the auto-aim in combat feels so generous that it's like Rockstar don't trust you to play the game properly and just want you to sit and watch the game play itself, and at other times they included three separate button prompts to open a drawer.

So, Red Dead Redemption 2: a game I'm pretty immersed in, I'm certainly playing a hell of a lot of it, and I honestly couldn't tell you whether I'm enjoying it or not.

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I had some thoughts about the Game of Thrones Finale...

A lot of them were: '...huh.'

Others were: 'isn't it interesting that Yara's still professing loyalty to Dany?' and 'you know if this wasn't the last ever, seriously, we have star wars checks to cash, we're never looking back episode I would be, like, 98% sure that Dany wasn't really dead.'

So,

Everywhere I Look Someone Dies (when will it be my turn) (Game of Thrones; Dany/Yara; 2700 words)

"Why did we never do this before?"

"Jon Snow's cock."

"You didn't come to Winterfell."

"You and your dragons didn't come for the Iron Fleet."

Or,

Dany survives; Drogon drops her off on the Iron Islands.


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Misadventures in Gaming

I was playing Tomb Raider with my mate. He likes multiplayer shooters like The Division and Destiny and I like story driven single player games like Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn, so the Tomb Raider games are the one thing we can agree to play together.

So we're playing away, passing the controller back and forth, and he goes: "Have you ever noticed that you keep shooting the bad guys in the penis?"

And the worst part of it is, now that's he's pointed it out, he's right, I do like a good dick shot.

As for Tomb Raider, I liked it. I can see why Lara/Sam was a femslash flash in the pan back when it first came out, and I wish they'd kept Sam around for the subsequent games. There were too many quick-time events though, and I spent too much of the game going: 'that was a cool action scene, I wish I'd been involved in it somehow.' It was probably a better Tomb Raider movie than that last Tomb Raider movie, if only because I dig femslash potential more than daddy issues.

I played the free demo of Monster Hunter World last week. By the way, every time I'm given a character creator my character comes out looking like a cross between Daenerys Targaryen and a member of the Icelandic women's football team. That probably tells you more about me than you really needed to know. The character creator might actually have been my favourite part of the game because I got to create my own little cat companion, wearing a little cat cap and aviator's goggles. And you could hang around the hub world getting a posse of cat chefs to make you drool worthy looking food, and by that point I'd forgotten all about hunting monsters.

And the thing about the actual monster hunting was that if the fight goes on for a bit the monsters will try to run away from you, they limp and hold their wee eldrich claws up, and cry to themselves, and at that point I don't want to kill them, I want to befriend them and nurse them back to health.

The other thing is, and this is why my mate has utterly failed to get me into looter shooters, the gameplay loop of: 'kill stuff to get better gear to kill more stuff to get better gear to kill more, etc, etc.' does nothing for me. I need a hook, a plot, characters that I can care about. I expressed this to my mate and found a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 pressed into my hot little hands.

I've only just started it so I don't really have much to say except that the button prompt to wish someone a jaunty good day should not be the same button prompt as the one to shoot them in the fucking face.

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Game of Thrones finale; or, ...huh?

If Leverage is an example of a show that absolutely stuck its landing, and How I Met Your Mother is a show that absolutely blew its, then Game of Thrones is neck and neck with, like, Lost.

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I wish my writing mojo would come back. It feels like now would be a good time to be the writer of heavy on the feminism GoT fics. I feel like there's an audience for that right now.

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