starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
I've deleted my LiveJournal, a good seven years after I should have. For those of you still crossposting: be aware that posts made under lock on LiveJournal are not secure, as the site no longer allows https browsing/posting, per this comment from [personal profile] mme_hardy

LJ no longer allows access to its https site when browsing/posting, which means that any information you send to that site is readable by every other site that cares to eavesdrop. This means that anything you post under friendslock is still being read by any site that chooses to spy on Livejournal communications; you can safely assume that at least one Russian-government entity is.

I just double-checked, and the payment page *is* protected by https, so that at least should be secure.


In the meantime, I leave you with the trailer for the horror movie that is 2016. The only problem with the fact that this is clearly the worst year since 1939 is that 1939 was followed by 1940-45. 


starlady: (crew)
Only Yesterday (1991), dir. Takahata Isao
I caught this in the second-run theater in Oakland that has beer, and I was so glad I did. It's one of only two Ghibli movies I hadn't seen (we don't talk about Gedo Senki), and it was so, so good and so Ghibli. 27-year-old Taeko takes a vacation from her office job to work on a farm in Yamagata, and maybe change her life. This release, for the 25th anniversary, was one of the ones that Disney decided to spend money on, so Taeko was voiced by Daisy Ridley, who was very, very good, and the film is still a delight, even as Japan in 1991 seems like a very bizarre and distant country from the perspective of 2016: all the sleeper trains are gone, all the train displays in Tokyo are digital, the plight of farming communities is in some ways better and in some ways worse. But Taeko's experiences and her thoughts on them, and the fact that they're presented as worthy of note and consideration, are timeless.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), dir. Miyazaki Hayao
One of my favorite Ghiblis, and the only one I could get tickets to in the Saturday matinee film series downtown. I still love this movie, and what it says about art and craft and work and life and finding yourself by getting outside your comfort zone, and the possibility of flight. Ah, Kiki. ♥
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Yuletide! My first time participating since 2013 has yielded a delightful Nimona story:

Take a Step Back and Start Again (5356 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Nimona (Webcomic)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ballister Blackheart/Ambrosius Goldenloin
Summary: A story about two partially broken, mostly fixed men; a small child and a cat.

I wrote one fic this year, in a fandom that I have never written before. If you somehow guess what it is, I will be very impressed.

I hope everyone celebrating has a good Hannukah, and that everyone celebrating has a very Merry Christmas. My only wish for next December the twenty-fifth is that we're all still here, and that the next year won't be as bad as I fear.

starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
My roommates have been making their way through the middle three Star Trek series (they're not watching ENT like sensible people and I can't convince them to watch TOS, like highly illogical people), and the penny has finally dropped for me that DS9 is in many ways (particularly in the first three seasons) playing off B5, while VOY is playing off Farscape. Or rather, both VOY and Farscape are dealing with very similar setups and issues, but Farscape explicitly goes about dealing with masculinity in a way that VOY just…doesn't, in the initial seasons. Masculinity and its fragility are consistent problems on Voyager, and Janeway and Torres (and to a lesser extent Kes and even Seska) are consistently forced to deal with the problems they cause, but VOY doesn't really do anything about them the way Farscape does; the Star Trek show treats the symptoms rather than the root causes.

In so many ways I'm glad they made DS9 when they did, because they could never make it now, but for VOY it's just the opposite, and I really wish it had been made in this era rather than 20 years ago.

ETA: And of course Stargate: Atlantis is the unification of both these strands of sci-fi: space station + we've been flung to the far side of the [$very large unit of space]. Note, of course, that neither SGA nor VOY could maintain that isolation forever.

starlady: The Welcome to Night Vale Logo, with clouds over the moon (welcome to night vale)
One weird trick for getting over jetlag: have it merge with your post-election stress insomnia so you just don't sleep or just don't sleep enough.

I don't recommend this one weird trick.
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
source: Star Trek (2009)
audio: Glee cast, "Don't Stop Believing"
length: 2:41
stream: on Vimeo
download: 205 MB on Dropbox
summary: A Blu-Ray remaster of [livejournal.com profile] arefadedaway's awesome vid, which is no longer available online.

tumblr postAO3 page


password: trek

Notes )
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
I'm not surprised, per se, but I am terrified and horrified. This feels like 9/11 + the day when my mother was diagnosed with the cancer that killed her put together. I can't decide whether it's worse that Hillary won the popular vote or that the election was clearly turned by the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act. Either way, I have never felt more ashamed to be a white American. I study fascism; I don't need to live through it.

Two weeks ago I stood in the Jewish Museum in Berlin and wondered again how anyone could have stayed after 1933, despite the fact that I know why people did, and the fact that half of German Jews had in fact fled by 1939. I don't blame anyone for leaving, but I know that as a white woman I will be protected for a while (they won't repeal the 19th Amendment because they can't and because they emphatically need white women, so that's something), and I am determined to fight, though I'd be lying if I said I had any real idea how to do that at this point. Even in the best-case scenario at this point (to the extent that any scenario can be gamed out, which is minimal) we'll spend the rest of my life digging out from the hole we've just dug, with the waters literally rising all around.

I went into campus and talked with a carefully edited list of people who made me feel, if not better, at least less alone; gave and received hugs. I even ate food, after more than 18 hours of feeling too nauseous to do so. Please take care of yourselves; we're going to need all our strength.
starlady: Toby from the West Wing with a sign that says, "Obama is the President."  (go vote bitches)
That you get to help smash the patriarchy and cancel the apocalypse at the same time.

#ImWithHer

starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
First things first: Happy Halloween.

What got me fired up to write about Gaudy Night was, ironically, the fact that the BBC adaptation of it is rather crap. It's a crying shame, because the cast is stellar, but the ways in which the adaptation not only cuts out significant chunks of the book but also misses the point of large parts of it is equally parts irritating and telling.

Still preoccupied with 1935 )
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Dear Festividder,

First off, thank you for making me a vid! I love vids, and quite honestly I would be happy to see a vid in any of these fandoms. I have suggested music for some pf them, but please don't feel bound by what I've suggested, and I have no qualms about oft-vidded songs, either.
Tintin, Fraggle Rock, Ghostbusters, Miss Fisher, Spy, Star Trek: The Animated Series )
Thank you, Festividder! I am super excited to see whatever you come up with, for serious.

<3 and vids,
Me

starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Okay, so we're doing this.

First, thank you so much for participating in Yuletide this year! Second, thank you for agreeing to write a story in a fandom we both love, or at least remember fondly. I'm genuinely interested to see what caught other fans' interests about all of these sources, so please don't feel that my prompts are too binding. I'd rather have an inspired story than slavish devotion to my requests. If you're looking for more of a sense of me and my tastes, skimming through the last twenty entries on my DW will probably give you a good idea; most of the entries in general are unlocked.

I hesitate to say what I do or don't like in fic--I don't have any major squicks, and no firm principles as to what I will or won't read. That said, it's my general sentiment that Yuletide is not the place to go looking for PWP, at least for me; which isn't to say that I wouldn't want sexytimes, as it were, in any story you write, but which is to say that I generally like my sexytimes to go along with plot and characterization. And as you may have guessed from these requests, I do really like women being awesome. In some ways, really, my own fics demonstrate both these preferences very well.

Peter Wimsey, Nimona, Solar System anthropomorfic )
I hope you can find enough information in here or in the fandoms to inspire you, Yuletide writer. Thank you so much!
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
I said when I started reading the Wimsey books that I was reading them explicitly by way of an obituary for the United Kingdom, for whatever it will be post Brexit is not what it was before, which admittedly has probably put a different spin on these books than many people bring to them, but which for me highlights the fact that Sayers is, by the era of MMA and T9T, cropping the action of the books very carefully, in a way that can't help but draw attention to what's going on outside the frame. I imagine her readers didn't need to be reminded, and frankly as a historian and a person with a heart and a brain in 2016 I don't need a reminder either. But by T9T, even for a book that is isolated and insular, things far outside England are shown to be on everyone's minds: Mussolini and the Showa Emperor are name-checked explicitly, and the much-maligned League of Nations is the subject of a running joke between Wimsey and the nameless sluice-gate keeper.

No more water, but fire next time )
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
Batman (1989), dir. Tim Burton
The Alamo in the Mission is doing a Tim Burton series because of the forthcoming Miss Peregrine; I haven't seen this movie all the way through in this millennium or maybe ever, so I went with a friend. I tried to watch it after The Dark Knight (2008) but couldn't because the juxtaposition was just too much to handle. This time around I noticed just how much that movie, and Nolan's movies in general, are stealing from this one. Sam Hamm, the screenwriter, actually did a Q&A before our screening, and one gets the sense from his answers that had the writers' strike not kept him off the set, some of the many script weirdnesses would have been ironed out. It's an extremely heterogeneous movie--none of the elements are really all pulling together, from the Prince songs to Vicky Vale's outfits to the set design to everything else--but it's weirdly, utterly compelling nonetheless, and Keaton is definitely great as a guy who is definitely not on the same wavelength as the rest of society. I find Jack Nicholson extremely grating in general, and he's not so much playing the Joker as playing Jack Nicholson playing the Joker, so I wasn't much interested in his relentless heterosexuality or taste for bad jokes. That said, even more than being a Batman movie, I would argue that it is above all a Tim Burton movie; there's a lot of stuff that's in there because it plays to Burton's id, not because it has any prior place in the Batverse. Batman Returns (1992) is definitely much better.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), dir. Sergio Leone
My dad is an old Clint Eastwood fan, despite the increasingly obvious divergence between our politics and Eastwood's, so I've seen large chunks of the films of the Dollars trilogy, but not this one. Despite the fact that it runs 2:45, it is completely compelling, and I was particularly struck by the obvious influence of Kurosawa on the gunfights in particular: the interest is all in the buildup, not in the actual event. About the 2/3 mark I also realized that I was watching the source text for Steven King's Dark Tower sequence, in sound and color, on the big screen: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." It's the opening line of The Gunslinger, but it's also a summary of about half of this movie's plot. Pretty cool.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), dir. Stanley Kubrick
Well, I'm glad to have seen this, despite the fact that I didn't particularly enjoy it. It's a fascinating cultural document in that it's a flawless record of what white dudes of a certain level of privilege imagined the future would look like in 1965, and much like the stories of Ted Chiang, I'm very happy that this particular patriarchal fantasy never came true. Our screening incorporated the intermission, during which we agreed that we were all rooting for HAL because he has feelings, whereas we literally couldn't tell any of the white dudes apart. If nothing else, this movie makes many, many more later science fiction movies much more comprehensible, in particular the much-maligned Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
source: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
audio: Kesha, "Out Alive"
length: 3:30
stream: on Vimeo
download: 189 MB mp4 on dropbox
summary: No one makes it out alive without friends.

My first Club Vivid premiere!
tumblr post


password: vivid

Notes )
starlady: (bibliophile)
I am working on Wimsey posts! I have a boatload of deadlines this week, and they have unfortunately gone on the back burner. Also Murder Must Advertise has a perfect ending, which is somewhat intimidating, ngl.

In the meantime, I have swiped the book meme, with coffeeandink's variations:

What I've read from [personal profile] renay's 60 Essential SFF Reads:

Bold = read, italics = read another book by the same author, strikeout = didn't finish

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
Tithe by Holly Black
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The God Stalker Chronicles by P.C. Hodgell
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff
God's War by Kameron Hurley
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Ash by Malinda Lo
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Legend by Marie Lu
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
The Thief's Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Pearl by Karen Traviss
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Farthing by Jo Walton
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

22/60 books, 34/60 authors.
starlady: (bibliophile)
So here's the other semi-secret reason that I wanted to finally read Sayers: Garth Nix has talked about having read her books, and now that I have finished The Nine Tailors, I am quite confident in saying that there is quite a bit of Sayers influence lurking in the Old Kingdom novels, which I love forever. Thematic spoilers )
Speaking of Lirael, I also think that there's something of Shrewsbury in the Clayr and their Glacier. Like Shrewsbury, the Clayr's Glacier is an all-female society, and it displays the same instinctive solidarity for which Peter commends the Shrewsbury dons and which thwarts the poltergeist who wishes them ill. Like Harriet, Lirael spends a good chunk of time longing for that community, but unlike Harriet, she also suffers a good deal because of its solidarity, which she is on the outside of through no fault of her own. And like Harriet, Lirael does flourish on the outside of that community eventually (and in a romantic relationship between equals).
starlady: (bibliophile)
I called my father this afternoon, who commented that I sound tired. Well, yeah, because I'm staying up way too late reading Wimsey pretty consistently. In that vein, I'm trying to put together my thoughts on the second half of Murder Must Advertise, which is difficult because it's a perfect book.

Sadly my Samsung phone is too full of bloatware to make catching Pokemon feasible for me at this point, but there is a Pokemon Go community on Dreamwidth now, for those who might be interested in that sort of thing:

PokeStop - a Pokmon Go community
starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
As previously stated, I love Sarah Monette's posts on the Wimsey books—they're what got me to read these novels—but occasionally as a historian I have to shake my head in despair over English majors, and Murder Must Advertise is one of those times. Monette is very right to point out the elements of class conflict as symbolized by the lethal iron staircase and the ambiguous anarchy of the company cricket match, but there's a whole other level on which this novel is working: namely, a critique of capitalism.

Capitalism and the tarot )

And I haven't even gotten to the cricket match yet. It is, in other words, an entirely brilliant and deceptively straightforward book.
starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
A month ago when I was in New York I went to see Hadestown at the New York Theater Workshop. It's an expansion of a folk opera of the same name by Anaïs Mitchell, which I've never heard and which I'm given to understand is different in a lot of ways, particularly in the addition of Hermes to the cast who retell the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, including Hades, Persephone, and the Fates. "it's an old story, but we're gonna tell it again," Hermes says at the start, and it's a tribute to the power of this version that I honestly did hope against hope, despite everything, that maybe this time Orpheus would get it right and succeed in bringing Eurydice back to life.

The production is great and the cast is stellar, particularly Patrick Page, who is frankly terrifying but also completely magnetic as Hades. Everyone in the cast is frankly amazing at bringing the gods to life, and though Orpheus and Eurydice are younger and less experienced, they are portrayed in no less accomplished a manner. The semi-immersive staging just makes it easier to get caught up in the story, which is told in a kind of 30s Dust Bowl/New Orleans jazz Americana style which doesn't sound like it should work but totally does, and the show also has no fear about making contemporary political statements, which are most obvious in the song that could be about Trump, "Why We Build the Wall." The performance also leads hard and brilliantly on the particular power of the Greek conception of the gods, which is to say that they are both metaphors and examples of the forces they represent. And though the story is ostensibly that of Orpheus and Eurydice, the complicated, bittersweet marriage of Hades and Persephone is just as important to the plot, and frankly even more engrossing on some levels; we know how the former story ends, but the other is less clear. The costuming is brilliant too; we particularly loved the Fates, who carry their respective tools of the trade--scissors, a ruler, and thread--on their persons in the manner of weaponry and sing in harmonies that recall the Pointer Sisters. I can't wait for the cast album to be released next year.
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
I am continuing to blaze through the Wimsey books. I'm just into the beginning of Have His Carcase now and adoring every second of it, but what's really interesting to me is how neatly the series divides at the halfway point.

Where my Wimsey takes me )

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starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
Electra

August 2017

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