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The End of the Fandom Meme, Aren't We All Relieved [Apr. 19th, 2018|11:39 pm]
List and link to 5 fanfics you are currently reading

I don't really read fics long enough to require tea breaks, but here are some I have read and enjoyed recently, according to my A03 bookmarks:

shut up, kiss me, hold me tight (Legends of Tomorrow; Sara/Ava)

and miles to go (Legends of Tomorrow; Sara/Ava)

stay here wasting my time (Legends of Tomorrow; Zari/Helen of Troy)

As you can see I have been on something of a Legends of Tomorrow kick, and because there are disappointingly few LoT fics that do it for me (oh, migratory femslash fandom, I'm glad you're having fun and all, I just wish you cared more about things like canon or characterisation, or that I cared about them less) I also enjoyed this Hawkguy fic:

A Good Dog's Guide to Brooklyn (fraction!Hawkeye; Lucky AKA Pizza Dog)

Is fraction!Hawkeye what people thought they were getting in Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye? because otherwise I don't get it.

Actually, though, there is a longer fic I've been dipping in and out of:

Forgotten Adventures in a Disenchanted Land (Once Upon a Time; Mulan/Aurora)

It has been many years and many fandoms and I am still bitter about the way the Mulan and Aurora stuff panned out, and this fic should be everything I want, except it's only posted on Fucking Tumblr, and I find writing an epic length fic and only posting it on Fucking Tumblr baffling in the extreme.

List and link to 5 fanfiction authors who are amazing

Names pulled at random from my A03 subscriptions, k.

[archiveofourown.org profile] dollsome
[archiveofourown.org profile] lareinenoire
[archiveofourown.org profile] mautadite
[archiveofourown.org profile] fahye
[archiveofourown.org profile] paperclipbitch

Is there anyone in your fandom who really inspires you?


But I suspect I might be chronically uninspireable.

What ship do you feel needs more attention?


What is your all-time favorite fanfic?

So...top 5?

heaven is where you build it (hell isn't that bothered) (Person of Interest; Root/Shaw)


Reports May Have Been Exaggerated (Spy; Susan/Rick & Susan/Rayna)


& a past life in the trunk (Daredevil; Karen is Daredevil AU)

I love these sorts of AUs. I call them Backwards in High Heels AUs.

Ladies Who Organise (Discworld; genderswapped Vetinari)

I also love a good genderswap. And this is a GOOD genderswap.

Pair Dadeni (Merlin; Morgana/Vivian)


If someone was to read one of your fanfics, which fic would you recommend to them and why?

Like, I ended up not being a fan of the Eleventy era, and this fic was Quite Popular while I was busy not being a fan, so I got a bit sick of it for a while, but if I have contributed to any sort of net increase in people's happiness in fandom I suspect it was by writing The Care and Feeding of Tiny Humans (and slightly larger Time Lords).

Archive Of Our Own, Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, Fanfiction.net or Tumblr - where do you prefer to post and why?

Say what you like about browsing AO3, and I can say quite a bit, but uploading fic to it is a dream.

I used to backup to DW, but don't anymore, which will bite me in the bum if AO3 ever goes away.

ff.net - I still have flashbacks to trying to format scene breaks in a way that ff.net couldn't balls up.

LJ - why?

tumblr - WHY???

Do you leave reviews when you read fanfiction? Why/Why not?

I do, and then I get out of the habit, and then I feel guilty and start commenting again.

We are currently in a commenting upswing.

Do you care if people comment/reblog your writing? Why/why not?

Of course I care, but like, I also have no time for those people who compose tumblr screeds about how authors are owed comments, or how kudos are taking away from comments.

FYI, there never was a golden age of fandom where it rained comments, and kudos are a grand invention.

How did you get into reading and/or writing fanfiction?

Logically, I know there was a time in my life when I didn't know about fic and fandom, but mildly terrifyingly I couldn't tell you when that was.

Rant or Gush about one thing you love or hate in the world of fanfiction! Go!




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Doggos [Apr. 10th, 2018|11:10 pm]
I have been loaded with the cold all weekend, and that made me remember a cool thing about my dog, which is that she can tell the difference between being my properly sick and having a hangover. When I am actually sick she will do her business uncomplaining in the garden and then curl up on the couch with me to watch old episodes of Criminal Minds; when I'm hungover she will lick my eyeballs until I get up and put my trainers on.

Speaking of sick people telly, do Sky really believe that there are all that many people who want to watch incomprehensibly edited episodes of Criminal Minds at eleven am on a weekday? Is part of their business model based on catering to people with moderately high fevers who can't find the remote control?

Sorry, I am still full of cold medicine.

Anyway, when I was last talking about the dog, she'd just had her surgery to have her adamantium leg fitted and was in pretty poor form. Sixteen weeks later and she has one wonky leg, a limp that gets noticeably worse if anyone is eating cheese on toast in her vicinity, and an undiminished urge to lunge wildly at the local fauna (squirrels, cats, foxes, a field of dairy cows, a paternally enraged pair of swans, that police horse that one time.)

Every day she is more and more like her old self, and every day I remember that her old self was a total pest. I had not missed the ten pm squeaky toy chorus every day, and I had forgotten all about her habit of licking my pillows while I'm out so that I go to lie down and go 'ew, why is it all wet!?' I think she can smell my shampoo. At least, I hope that's what it is.

On the plus side, now I get to call her Hopalong Freya and sometimes she turns left without meaning to like a shopping trolley with one wonky wheel, so that's pretty funny.

Really, she has been a brave little toaster all the way through this, and has seemed pretty happy ever since the injunction on her being allowed up on the furniture was lifted - she is a pup of simple wants. It's understandable, really, as she's not the one who's going to have to pay the vet bill, which I have still not gotten. It goes to the insurance people first, and then the remainder comes to me. Fear not, I have smelling salts and a fainting couch at the ready.

I've still got my dog, though, so I suppose I can't really complain. Although, I will.

The other cool thing going on right now is that I have a standing playdate with a puppy. The people next door got their first ever dog, a little border collie pup who is as cute as ten thousand buttons, and already smarter than all of us. I fell for that one too; my first dog back when I knew nothing about dogs was a collie, and though I loved the bones of that dog, for ten years she ran absolute rings around all of us, and now the first thing on my doggy must have list is that it definitely has to be dumber than I am. So after years of being on nodding/sorry, am I in your parking space? terms with the neighbours they went, I guess in a fit of panic when the puppy was eating their brickwork, I think the girl next door might know something about dogs.

The upshot being that I now have half an hour carved out of every day for puppy cuddles and fetch - I have tried to interest Freya in playing fetch, but alas she isn't interested in chasing anything that isn't going to struggle if caught - and it is doing all kinds of good things for my mood.

I had forgotten how non self-conscious puppies make me, too. For instance I have started running with him, and normally I would be too embarrassed to run where I live, because 'fat lady tries to run' is a mortifying internet video waiting to happen, but 'unfit lady and puppy who is 80% legs try to run and BOTH fail' is a whole different thing and is hilarious.

This whole thing has also cured me of the desire to get a second dog. For a while there I'd found myself thinking 'maybe Freya would like a friend?' Well, if I have learned nothing else from introducing her to the puppy it's that she's ridiculously possessive of HER human and would very much NOT like a friend. Also, the thought of a four figure vet bill x2 was pretty sobering, too. And other people's puppies are like other people's children: they're great fun, but when you get bored playing with them you can just leave them in a crate with a bowl of water.

This entry was originally posted at https://netgirl-y2k.dreamwidth.org/188019.html with comment count unavailable comments. Please comment wherever you prefer.
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Fandom Meme, The Fic Questions [Apr. 3rd, 2018|12:12 am]
I hadn't written any fic in, like, six months, because I was either nursing a sick dog back to health (by the way, I think that in another life I would have made a very good vet nurse) or more recently picking up every spare shift going because there's no such thing as an NHS for dogs.

But I have far too many Legends of Tomorrow feelings which resulted in incl. one (1) existential crisis; do not mix with alcohol or a broken heart (Sara/Ava; not dealing with the clone thing.)

Now that I am back properly I can crack on with my fandomtrumpshate fics (Hi, gentlemen. Thank you for your patience :) And I am giving very serious consideration to doing fandom5k.

What was the first fanfic you ever wrote?

It would have been a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic.

I don't want to talk about it.

Is there anything you regret writing?

All of it and at the same time none of it. I contain multitudes.

Name a fic you’ve written that you’re especially fond of & explain why you like it.

Well, today I like How to Ruin Your Life and Disappoint Your Loved Ones, because it goes: what if instead of dying pre-series to make sad dudes do things Lyanna raised up an army and changed the entire course of westerosi history.

What fic do you desperately need to rewrite or edit?

All of them. I mean, I'm not going to. But all of them.

What’s your most popular fanfic?

Living Arrangements

How to write a popular fic, by netgirl_y2k

1. write one of the first fics in the pairing
2. get a bunch of kudos so that it always comes top when people sort by kudos
3. accidentally predict the series finale
4. get a bunch more kudos, creating an ever reinforcing infinity loop of kudos
5. never manage to do it again

How do you come up with your fanfic titles?

Look, my most recent fic has a semi-colon in the middle of the title, and I don't think it's even correctly used.

What do you hate more: Coming up with titles or writing summaries?

I have a foolproof method for coming up with summaries:

[Totally out of context excerpt from the fic,


pithy description of what it's actually about.]

Titles, on the other hand, are tricky beggars.

If someone were to draw a piece of fanart for your story, which story would it be and what would the picture be of?


Do you have a beta reader? Why/Why not?

The thing you have to understand is that I have reached the same point in my fandom career as I have in my actual career, and that point is: Fuck It, Close Enough.

What inspires you to write?

Fandom not catering to my whims. A general sense of DON'T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE AND WRITE THIS MYSELF, SO HELP YOU. LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO

What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said about your writing?

People have said remarkably kind things about my characterisation, my prose, how I've made them laugh. A couple of people said that they'd picked up The Checquy Files books because they saw I'd written for them.

But my favourite of late has been the person who said this: On a minor note, awesome job on having no grammatical errors! Because no one had ever said that to me before, admittedly with good reason.

Do you listen to music when you write or does music inspire you? If so, which band or genre of music does it for you?

Most recently I wrote while listening to a playlist of Seth Meyers' a closer look videos on youtube.

Do you write oneshots, multi-chapter fics or huuuuuge epics?

Oneshots. Sometimes I wish I could write longfic because it seems like Proper Writing, then I remember that there are three, maaaybe, 50k+ fics that I've liked, and literally hundreds of sub 10k ones that I've thought were brilliant.

What’s the word count on your longest fic?

20k, but that one was an outlier and should not have been counted. I am happiest in the 3-5k range.

Do you write drabbles? If so, what do you normally write them about?

No, but I am prepared to die on the hill of A DRABBLE IS ONE HUNDRED WORDS EXACTLY. FIGHT ME.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

Feminist propaganda, feat. background or indeed foreground lesbianism.

First person or third person - what do you write in and why?

Tight third person, because I have internalised that it is the Done Thing in fic. I would like to use omnipotent third sometimes, though, because more than once I have gotten stuck because I was in the wrong person's head.

Do you use established canon characters or do you create OCs?

I mean...the Dead Ladies Club all kicked the bucket pre-canon, so basically all interpretations of them are equally valid, but I use canon names.

What is you greatest strength as a writer?


What do you struggle the most with in your writing?


Sex scenes.

The thing where you sit down and make words.

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March Books [Mar. 31st, 2018|07:50 pm]
Gnomon - Nick Harkaway
Places in the Darkness - Chris Brookmyre
Dark Matter - Blake Crouch
H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald
The Dry - Jane Harper
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right - Jane Mayer
The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch
White Houses - Amy Bloom

Gnomon is so. fucking. weird. It's Nick Harkaway channelling China Mieville to write The Raw Shark Texts by way of Cryptonomicon. It's a near future dystopia where Britain is a surveillance state monitored by an all-seeing AI known as the Witness, where an inspector of the Witness is investigating the death of a suspect in custody. Except it's also about this greek banker being haunted by a ghost shark that lives in the stock market and eats corporations. Except maybe it's also about a greek alchemist from six thousand years before that who's trying to use magic to bring her son back from the dead and talks like an East End landlady. Except also it's about about an Ethiopian painter who escaped certain death as a political prisoner by walking through walls. Except, except it's about a mad God called Gnomon from the end of time, or it's about a poor, mad woman who's had her brain carved up to protect the Witness.

It was a seven hundred page doorstop of a library hardback where I not infrequently had to move my finger along the page as I read as though to force the words into my brain, and yet I couldn't stop reading because I had to know what the fuck was happening. I still don't know what the fuck was happening.

And I sincerely and entirely hope some of you read it. If only so you can explain it to me.

Christopher Brookmyre is my favourite author of what the book reviewing youth will insist on calling tartan noir, and although he's edged towards writing sff before Places in the Darkness is his first out and out sci-fi novel. It's a technopunk mystery set on a space station, where the god-cop-turned-corrupt detective (think Lionel Fusco, only hot, a woman, and bisexual) is forced into a redemption arc when she has to team up with her new, goody-two-shoes, stick up her bum, maybe because she's just a stickler for the rules or maybe she's secretly an android boss. They have a really neat enemies-to-friends-to-wait, were they flirting in that last scene? arc that plays out as they're forced to work together to, in the first instance, solve a brutal murder, and in the second instance, deal with the the fact that even in space corporations are bastards and not to be trusted.

It's a solid, good sci-fi novel. It's a solid, good buddy cop mystery. I liked it a lot. I have but one complaint, and it's that no one in it was Scottish. If Brookmyre was ever going to write a book set in space then I wanted it to be more Scottish. I'm talking the entire populations of Glasgow, Paisley, and Dundee just on the moon, and it's never explained; I'm not saying that humanity's future in space would be glorious or long-lived, but God would it be fun while it lasted.

Holy sentence fragments, Batman! was most of my reaction to Dark Matter a story about a man lost in the multiverse trying to get back to his wife and son. The alternate universe hook has been handled in more creative and interesting ways in pretty much every sci-fi show ever, yet the characters were drawn too thinly to make it a compelling character or family drama. It was, idk, baby's first science fiction by way of James Patterson's prose?

Its saving grace was that it was a super quick read that I never felt tempted to DNF because almost as soon as I started it I was nearly finished, possibly because of all the sentence fragments. Holy cow!

H is for Hawk is a memoir in which Macdonald, an experienced falconer, processes her father's death by purchasing and training a goshawk she names Mabel. And when she's talking about her life, her grief, her relationship to Mabel the book is really good, really compelling. But for reasons I still don't understand she intercuts this with a mini biography of the life of TH White and a recap of White's book The Goshawk and every time the book steered back to that I went …but why? and put it down for the rest of the day.

I judge crime novels by three metrics: 1. Do I like the detective? 2. Did the setting work for me (bonus points for not being London)? 3. Did I guess whodunnit?

And so to The Dry. 1. I liked but didn't love Aaron Faulk; as a rule I prefer female leads. 2. It was set in rural Australia, not somewhere I'd ever seen a mystery set before, so bonus bonus points. 3. Nope, hurrah.

I also judge crime novels on whether they have gratuitous sexual violence, and generally don't finish those that do. I DNF a lot of crime novels that way. Anyway, The Dry merely nodded in that direction, and was generally very good.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is set in London in the 1880s, and features a Japanese watchmaker who can remember the future, a dispirited civil servant, and a rare female oxbridge graduate. It reminded me of Sorcerer to the Crown because of the time and place; it reminded me of Angelmaker because of the clockwork; it reminded me of Witches of New York because of the magical realism; it reminded me of The Night Circus because of the writing, and it wasn't nearly as good as any of them.

It was very much a damp squib.

Dark Money traces the origins of kochtopus in US politics and how citizens united gave it a shot of steroids. A straightforward and compulsively readable account of something that must have originally taken an army of forensic accountants to uncover. Stops before the 2016 election, so you can only imagine how much worse it got. Generally excellent if you are at all interested in this kind of thing

My thing with the Rivers of London series is that in small doses I really love Peter's first person narration, and in larger doses all the proselytising about London gets to me, so as a novella The Furthest Station was just right!

I don't know if there's much I can say about White Houses. I feel like you're either the sort of person who wants to read published Eleanor Roosevelt/Lorena Hickok RPF or you're not, and you already know where you fall on that. For what it's worth I'm on the yes, please side of the divide. I will also say that the writing was stunning.

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Jessica Jones and the Law of Diminishing Returns [Mar. 24th, 2018|10:57 pm]
But first, a totally subjective and non-scientific ranking of all the Marvel Netflix series to date:

1. Jessica Jones, Season 1
2. Luke Cage, Season 1
3. The Punisher, Season 1
4. Daredevil, Season 1
5. The Defenders
6. Jessica Jones, Season 2
7. Daredevil, Season 2
8. Iron Fist, Season 1

We'll see when the second season of Luke Cage comes out in the summer, but so far only some egregious miscasting on the part of Iron Fist is saving the sophomore outings from being dead last, and I say this as someone who I think liked Jessica Jones S2 more than a lot of people did.

Jessica Jones S2Collapse )

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More Meme Questions, Mostly About Shipping [Mar. 17th, 2018|10:03 pm]

See, I have different sorts of otps.

There are flash-in-the-pan otps, like how I am currently totally obsessed with Sara/Ava (and fandom missed a trick when we decided that we were going to call that pairing avalance and not sharpe lance, just sayin') but expect to be fully over it by the time that it turns out that Ava is a robot or whatever.

Then there are not-really-an-otp otps, like Donna Noble/her memories, or Morgana Pendragon/getting the hell out of Camelot, doing some pet therapy with her baby dragon, and meeting a nice girl.

And all-the-dudes-in-canon-are-awful otps. All the dudes fandom wants to ship Sansa with are a) terrible, and b) usually fifteen to thirty years older than her. Dany's taste in men is inexcusably dreadful, being entirely rapists, Jack Sparrow cosplayers, and nephews. A good 90% of my asoiaf femslashing is rooted in one or both of these things.

The closest thing I have to a traditional otp is Root/Shaw, where I'm interested in the canon and characters outside of the ship, but I'm not interested in either character being shipped with anyone else.





It's mostly bitterness, tbh, because I don't like it and it was 80% (when the fandom first took off) to 99.8% (now) of everything there was. At the time I could have given you what I thought were quite sensible reasons why Merlin (the character) was the worst and his relationship with Arthur was toxic and awful, but thankfully I never went too far down the rabbit hole of hating things for great justice.

See also how the fandom managed to ruin Supergirl for me with that nonsense.

After all, sometimes you just hate someone's stupid face and it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that.


I kind of really like that the post series Team Machine is Shaw and Fusco (and Bear!) S5 was pushed for time, I know, but I did wish we'd got to see Fusco's reaction to Shaw being back, because as much as he'd grumble Fusco was All In for her after she saved his son, and I like to imagine Shaw's horrified realisation, after they've been working the numbers together for a while, that not only has she become the sort of person who has a best friend, but that it's Lionel Fusco.

Is there an obscure ship which you love?

Back in my Buffy days I didn't like Willow/Tara and overlooked Buffy/Faith and instead glommed on to the largely non-existent Tara/Anya.

Gwen/Morgana was kind of fine, but during Merlin I shipped Morgana with basically every other female character more, even though they were exclusively one episode nonentities or her sister.

Everything would have been better if Elia and Lyanna had just run off together. I mean, Jon Snow might not have been born, but that would have been...fine.

Are there any popular ships in your fandom which you dislike?

Buffy/Spike, Willow/Tara, Arthur/Merlin, Jack/Ianto, Ten/Rose, Sansa/Sandor, Jon/Dany, Rhaegar/Lyanna.

My history in fandom is a long and distinguished one of going: but why isn't fandom catering to my exact tastes?

Who was your first OTP and are they still your favourite?

I'm pretty sure it was Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres from Star Trek: Voyager, so no.

What ship have you written the most about?

According to AO3 it's Gwen/Morgana, which is funny because I didn't actually ship them after the first season or so. It's not that I wasn't into Morgana being redeemed by the love of a good woman, I just wanted it to be a woman whose face she had been less irredeemably awful and murder-y to.

Fannish momentum was the reason I wrote so much for them, I guess.

Is there a ship which you wished you could get behind, but you just don’t feel them?

During the recent run of Star Trek: Discovery I wished that I could have gotten into Burnham/Georgiou, for which there was at least some fic, rather than Burnham/Tilly, for which there was not.

Any ships which you surprised yourself by liking?

It's never more than a passing that would be cute, but boyslash pairings. Before I gave up on Supergirl I had soft, fuzzy feelings for both Winn/Mon-El and Winn/James.

How did you get involved in your latest fandom?

It's Legends of Tomorrow, and it was a gif of Caity Lotz's abs.

What are the best things about your current fandom?

It feels pretty free of a lot of the negativity that even from a distance seems to swirl around the other Arrowverse shows. For the moment, at least, There's still that Ava maybe being a robot thing coming up.

Is there a fandom you read fic from but don’t write in?

Ooh, loads. Most recently The Good Place and Legends of Tomorrow. There's already a plethora of Version 218 fics, and Legends of Tomorrow gives me most of what I usually look for in fanfic in canon.

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Meme, part 1 of 4 [Mar. 13th, 2018|01:29 am]
In service of my actually being around a bit here is a meme I have nicked from [personal profile] nostalgia, there are more questions than these but I shall answer them at a later date.

1. What was the first fandom you got involved in?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

It's a bit funny because recently people on tumblr were reblogging things celebrating the 25th anniversary and I realised that, nope, still don't want to even look at anything to do with that show. As well as being my first fandom it is also the fandom that I fell out of with the biggest thunk. It wasn't like Merlin where I hung around for years being cross and ruining things for other people; I got to the attempted rape, salted the ashes, and never thought about the show or fandom again.

2. What is your latest fandom?

Legends of Tomorrow.

It is so relaxing to have a show that I just like. That I don't want to think too critically about or engage with too deeply (I know this is technically an option for all shows, but let's be real, if we were wired like that we wouldn't be in fandom). Where there's never going to be an out of left field plot development or bit of characterisation that will ruin the show for me with its stupidity, because of course it will be stupid, it's all stupid, it's meant to be stupid. That's the whole point.

It is a show that makes me happy in my heart.

Also, it has Sara Lance.

3. What is the best fandom you’ve ever been involved in?

Person of Interest was good times.

Root/Shaw was exactly the type of pairing I wanted to write after years of writing pseudo mediaeval ladies versus the patriarchy. The extended gap between seasons four and five gave me lots of time for reading and writing while the binge watch was still fresh in my mind. And despite the filler episode and pacing issues of season five it gave me lots of good Root/Shaw content. At least it did up until Root died, but I mostly managed to sidestep that wank, partly because pacing issues aside I thought that was a good and fitting end for that character, and partly because the people screaming the loudest didn't seem to care about PoI so much as they were still mad about Lexa and looking for a And Another Thing...

4. Do you regret getting involved in any fandoms?


Not so much getting involved, as sticking around being a Negative Nellie for so long once it became clear that both show and fandom were For Other People To Enjoy.

5. Which fandoms have your written fanfiction for?

Doctor Who, ASOIAF/GoT, Merlin, and Person of Interest are the big ones.

Agent Carter, The Checquy Files, Discworld, Jessica Jones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Kushiel's Legacy, and The 100 all feature at least once.

While I didn't scrape my Buffy and Harry Potter fic from the face of the internet none of it is on AO3. The Buffy fic for the aforementioned crashing out of fandom, the HP fic because it was bad.

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February Books [Mar. 6th, 2018|12:14 am]

Red Clocks - Leni Zumas
Disobedience - Naomi Alderman
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit - Jaye Robin Brown
The Wanderers - Meg Howrey
Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah Vaughan
A History of Britain in 21 Women - Jenni Murray
The Seagull - Ann Cleeves
Utopia For Realists: and how we can get there - Rutger Bregman
Null States - Malka Older

I keep reading about how there is a new wave of feminist dystopia novels coming. Gosh, I wonder why that might be. Red Clocks is set in a US five minutes from now where a president most people didn't vote for and a number of ideologically driven governors amend the constitution to ban any and all abortions and make fertility treatments really hard to come by. The thing I really liked about it is-- Like, The Handmaid's Tale is scary, but it's allegorically scary, it wouldn't happen like that, not exactly like that, and not that quickly; but this, the idea that there could be this huge sweeping reduction to women's rights, and there would be some grumbling, and some protests, but mostly life would just chug on, that's more insidiously frighting, because that's possible in the short to medium term. And because the tragedies that come from it - because you can't force a woman to go through with a pregnancy she absolutely doesn't want, all you can do is force her into taking stupid risks, and come down like the fist of a vengeful God on terrified teenagers - are small and intimate and not a large scale horror movie, people just, kinda, get used to it.

The bit of world building that really fascinated me was the Pink Wall, where the US has somehow strong-armed Canada into turning any woman suspected of seeking an abortion back at the border. It got me thinking about about the Repeal the 8th vote coming up in Ireland, and how my sister who's lived in Galway for years thinks that there would have been a vote ages ago if not for the fact that it's so easy (not easy, no, but there's no one turning you back at the airport) to go to England, allowing people to just... keep not thinking about it.

There are four pov characters: a teenager who's pregnant and doesn't want to be, her teacher who can't get pregnant and desperately wants to, the mother of two young children, and a weirdo who lives in the woods and knows more about the gynaecological uses of plants than the authorities are comfortable with. It's actually a very good literary dystopia, with a dystopia that feels all too possible.

I read two books about religion and lesbianism in quick succession, and my reactions to them probably tell you more about me than it does about the books.

Disobedience I picked up because of the Rachel Weisz adaptation coming out later this year (trailer here), and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it someone on that basis. The trailer makes it look the movie will focus much more on the relationship between the two women; in the book their relationship is pretty incidental to a study of grief and an insular religious community. I also wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for a book about a happy f/f relationship; the two women don't end up together, and I don't think as a reader you were meant to want them too. But if you're interested in a very quiet, very British, room-with-a-view-with-a-staircase-and-a-pond type novel about the orthodox Jewish community in London then I can quite honestly recommend it.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruits is a YA novel set in, well, Georgia where the out daughter of an evangelical preacher agrees to go back into the closet for a year at the behest of her father, and then, dun dun dun, meets a girl. It is bright, it is cheerful, it is well written, it has a happy ending where the two girls end up together. And it left me feeling squirmy and uncomfortable and particularly British. Maybe it's the generally hangdog vibe of the anglican church, maybe it's that nothing will cure you of catholicism quite so thoroughly as thirteen years of catholic school, but there's something about evangelical religion, particularly US style evangelical christianity which makes me, well, squirmy and uncomfortable.

Anatomy of a Scandal is a courtroom drama about a disgraced politician accused of rape. With plot twists that wouldn't be out of place in a soap opera and some really questionable punctuation choices I barely finished it.

The Wanderers is about three astronauts participating in a simulated mission to mars for a private corporation, a la space x, to help work out the logistics for a later manned mission. But as the simulation continues and becomes more and more elaborate they start to wonder if maybe they haven't been sent into space for real. It's claustrophobic, and ambiguous, and paranoia inducing, and I really liked it a lot.

A History of Britain in 21 women was by the lady what does Women's Hour on the radio, and I'm not sure who the intended audience was? Each chapter was a precis of the life of one british woman from Boudica to Nicola Sturgeon; it was too much stuff I already knew about the women I was familiar with, and not enough information on the ones that were new to me. I'm just not sure who this book was actually for.

I've never really been able to get into the Vera novels before, even though the the TV show is excellent, with a top-notch line in dramatic shots of the Northumberland countryside, and grouchy upper-middle aged lady detectives. With The Seagull I finally cracked it, you've got to pretend Brenda Blethyn is reading it to you. If they're not having her narrate the audiobooks then they're missing a trick.

In Utopia for Realists Rutger Bregman advocates for a universal basic income, a fifteen hour workweek, and a world without borders. And, look, I am totally convinced by his arguments in favour of a universal basic income. Partly because I work in social care, and my retirement plans are a) universal basic income, or b) that comet that wiped out the dinosaurs, I guess; and partly because you can tell that UBI is what Bregman is passionate about, it's what he's thought most deeply about, and where his arguments are most cogent.

He's pretty good at making the case for a fifteen hour workweek too, and I can't tell if the fact that I was less convinced was because his argument was less refined, or because my lived experience of mcjobs and bullshit jobs has made me a cynic, because that seems to me distinctly more utopian and less likely to happen in my lifetime than UBI. By the time Bregman gets to the section on universal free movement... well, he throws in some statistics in support of his case, but you can tell that he hasn't really tuned his giant, empathetic brain onto the subject with any kind of focus.

So the book starts strong and fades, but there's still lots of food for thought there, and I'd really recommend it.

I'd really freakin' adored the micro-democratic world-building of Infomocracy where people are governed in clusters of ten thousand people, and your government may be totally different from the government two streets over. So I was so disappointed when most of Null States took place outside the world of micro-democracy. This is the second book in a series; murders were committed and then never solved, plot arcs were set up and then barely advanced an inch. It was a second book so second book-y that it made me not want to read the third book.

I will say that the first book, Infomocracy, was really good and didn't feel like it needed a sequel.

I started but DNF'd The Woman in the Window having decided that I'd liked it better back when it was called The Girl on the Train.

(February Graphic Novels:

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat!: Careless Whiskers
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: BFF

I have decided to embrace that what I like in comics are bright colours, simple stories, localised happiness, and female characters aplenty. Sorry, dude who's my only rl friend into comics, but I am never going to read The Killing Joke.

AKA Hellcat! was easily my favourite of all the comics I've read so far. I'm bummed that it's finished, but also not bummed because I feel like three trades is a complete story and plenty for me to treasure forever.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur was super lovely, but I feel like I got it and don't need to read more. I shall certainly look forward to the upcoming animated show for mornings when I am hungover and/or sad.

The other thing I've decided I like in comics is things that are off to the side and don't get hijacked by the main continuity. Like, I don't care that She-Hulk got taken out of commission in whatever smash-bang comic book event was going at the time, she should have been able to continue being bffs with Patsy in AKA Hellcat!, goddammit!

This is true of the movies too. I keep saying that I don't care about the MCU, even though I've liked-to-more-than-liked the last three that I've seen (Homecoming, Ragnarock and Black Panther), when what I really mean is that I don't care about Steve, Tony, Infinity Stones, or Thanos.)

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Legends of Disco [Feb. 22nd, 2018|12:20 am]
The two shows I've been making a special point of keeping up with are Legends of Tomorrow and Star Trek: Discovery.

Legends because, well, it's just fucking delightful, isn't it?

Time disaster best friends societyCollapse )

Discovery is not the show I got a Netflix account for, but I did wrangle the use of someone else's for it... I wonder if I don't mention that the season is over I can hang on to the password till Jessica Jones S2 drops?

star trekkin' across the universeCollapse )

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Black Panther [Feb. 19th, 2018|07:59 pm]
I haven't been getting out since early December, not for funses anyway-

(I did try to distract myself with The Last Jedi the day that they built the dog's bionic leg, but the fact that I was fretting like mad and had a death grip on my mobile phone ready to bolt from the cinema if the vet called meant that it was hard to enjoy. Nothing to do with the film, which I liked fine the first time, and more on my second viewing. I think it helped that I am not a Star Wars fan so much as I am a person who goes to see Star Wars movies.)

-so getting out for the pictures, a pint, and a bag of chips I was just happy to be out. It helped that Black Panther was totally delightful.

Hot TakesCollapse )

In conclusion: Black Panther is a feast for the eyes, the brain, and the loins, and you should watch it even if you are, like me, a sceptic of the wider MCU.

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