silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (_support)
So a few things:

1. I'm running an exchange with jadelennox, called Lost Library (h/t to morbane who named it!) and which is for writing excerpts of works mentioned in canon, but never made. Think Averil's Atonement, that sort of thing. If you think that'd be up your alley, nominations are open! Here's the link: http://invisible-ficathon.dreamwidth.org/9228.html

2. I went to the symphony yesterday to hear Mussorgsky and it was really good! We sat near the double bass and there were like seven of them and oh boy, you can hear them good from there. I think they would make great backings for sepulchral sounds (though I think they form the backbone for most orchestral things.) I really like programmatic symphonies - where the music paints a picture - and this one was excellent. The music for the gate of Kiev is such a great way to end it! The one part I thought was weird was the one where the troubadour is serenading his beloved - some of that sounded downright creepy. There was also a Liszt concerto and I discovered that in fact I don't hate all concertos, I just really dislike Rachmaninoff. Liszt's concerto was extremely virtuostic (no surprise there!) and lively and the interaction with the symphony was really great - sometimes you get concertos where the orchestra really has to back off to let the piano play and so it's less satisfying. There was also Berlioz's Corsair, which was such a fun romp. At this point, where Berlioz goes, I'll follow...

The other thing that happened at the symphony is that a girl down a few seats fainted sometime during the piece. During the unofficial intermission so the piano could be brought out, her boyfriend (?) half-carried her out D:

I also went last week to see Verdi's Requiem which was in one word FABULOUS. It was incredibly operatic, actually, and the tenor especially did a lot of gesturing with both arms (although personally I wondered at his diction. Maybe it was because of my seat, which was almost over the orchestra on the balcony, so the sound was directed away, but a lot of his consonants were inaudible.) Also, for a requiem, it was very - irreverent? It ended with "Libera me"! Not even a single amen anywhere! The mezzo and soprano were really good, and the parts (in the sequence, I think) where they sang together they actually sounded good - sometimes you get weird friction when the vibrato interacts. And the dies irae was stunning. After its introduction at the beginning of the sequence, it was immediately recognizable when it popped up. Even without knowing it's a dies irae, you know it's heralding the apocalypse!

I wonder if there are musical settings of dies irae that preserve the meter of the poem? I guess that wouldn't leave much rhythmic freedom, but when you read it you can see how it would really bowl along. "Mors stupebit et natura/Cum resurget creatura,/Judicanti responsura." Something like the rhythmic speed of Carmina Burana.

3. I finally got over myself and re-read The Silver on the Tree (I re-read the other four much earlier, but I was putting off the last because it's the last! and then there would be no more!) and ahhhhhh. I'm not going to go into what I love about the book (I love everything, and you know the Mari Llywd is terrifying) but instead I am going to say that the part with John Rowlands SPOILERS )

YULETIDE!

Dec. 25th, 2014 04:38 pm
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
I got the most awesome fic for yuletide!! For all the Kushiel's Legacy people on my flist, you have to read my gift! It's an AU divergence, if Dorelei didn't die, and had a child called Aniel, and Moirin was born to Morwen instead and was a witch, and omg these are the AUs I dream of reading. Kushiel shows up! There's magic! AHHH! I don't want to spoil it though, it's 8k and plotty and seriously, you should go read it!

Kushiel's Keys (8009 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Kushiel's Legacy - Jacqueline Carey
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Moirin mac Morwen, Aniel de la Courcel, Morwen
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence
Summary:

It is not wise to meddle with D'Angelines in the affairs of love - but the Great Bear Herself is not cowed by shining birds. A story of a world, and a witch, that might have been, if Morwen had succeeded in getting a half-D'angeline child to balance out Aniel, if Dorelai had lived and Imriel been much more fastidious with his croonie-stone, and his love with Sidonie had no time to develop a strong foundation before she was ensorceled, if he had been far away in Alba with his young son when the curse was cast. This is the story of a brother and a sister, of hybrids and heritage, of forgiveness and ghosts.

silverflight8: watercolour wash with white paper stars (stars in the sky)
From [livejournal.com profile] sherrilina:

Hit me up with any of my fandoms and I'll tell you:

my "FOREVER" pairing
my "sometimes" pairing (if i'm in the mood)
my "friends-with-benefits" pairing
my "adele” pairing ("WE COULD HAVE HAD IT AAAAAALL")
my "hate sex” pairing
my "working on it” pairing
my favorite threesome / poly ship
my platonic "their friendship is too precious to mess it up with romance" ship
my "i love it but don’t want it to happen" pairing
my "it started out crack but now it's serious and i regret everything" pairing
my endgame pairing
my "across time and space they will always find each other" pairing
my "settling for second choice" pairing
my "I don't want to ship it but I do" pairing


(and for easy copying in comments):
silverflight8: stacked old books (books)
I'm rereading JS&MN at the moment (Norrell's running about with Drawlight in London; I'm not far in.) I wonder if there are enough JSMN fans on my flist to do a read along? Does anyone want to do a read along? There are about seventy chapters, so I could put up a post each week for chapters 1-5, or something. The details that are packed into footnotes means that any review or discussion I have of these books pretty much covers 1% of the novel.

(I'm totally fine with any of you guys spreading this/people dropping in to chat, and I'm happy to do it even if only one other person wants to. I really love this book.)
silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
I saw the Lego movie today! I really love Lego; when I was a kid I built a town with my little brother, called, er, "Lego town" and they fought regularly against bad guys.

The animation! I have to mention this first. It was perfect. The main character has the ordinary Lego minifigure face--two dots for eyes, a curved line for a mouth, yellow plastic head. The animators did a great job of making expressions for him though. He never acquires pupils but like other real minifigures his mouth and eyes changed, his eyebrows moved up and down, etc. His hair was almost like the ones you can get (smoothed down in a bit of a dome and swept to the side a bit, here's a picture) but had a cowlick sticking up, but it still looked exactly like the kind of hair you could buy for a figurine. And a lot of this fidelity extended to other characters and the landscape. The capes worn by some of the characters--looking at that animation you know it's the sort of plasticky fabric they shipped the toys with.

Spoilers! )

I really liked it! I recommend it, especially if you already like Lego or their animation elsewhere. It's also very funny, very self-aware and good-natured despite it.
silverflight8: stacked old books (books)
Poetry: On [community profile] poetry [personal profile] thegorgon posted Why a Man Cannot Have Wings by Afian bin Sa'at. It was in response to the many Icarus poems that have been circulating in the community for the last few days: http://poetry.dreamwidth.org/348721.html

Full text under cut )

If you follow the link I commented and said I liked the poem, but I read it (another three or four times) and now I completely disagree.

This makes me sound like a silly optimist, but how is "but then people will use it to hurt you" a good justification against flying? Do you remember when it was 1999 and people were making predictions and, well, I do, I still have a book put together by students K-12 over what they thought would happen in 2020 and so many of them drew and wrote flying cars, new worlds, new technology. I mean, maybe we should stop making implants because then people will tear them out. Or we should stop making medicines because someone might steal them. Or we should stop making beautiful clothes because people will steal them. And put together sumptuary laws to prop up existing social divisions. Etc.

I don't believe that answering a question, making dreams reality, ever erodes dreams. (I see this argument in science/religion debates, to be honest.) We fly in planes, but people still dream of flying--not only wings but they fly in gliders, in hang-gliders, in parachutes, in all sorts of really scary things. We've been to the moon but people dream of going to space. When has discovering a new species, a new place, a new archaeological site, ever stopped others from dreaming of others? Dreams aren't a finite resource. Making a dream a reality doesn't mean you never dream again--you step onto that new block and reach for higher dreams.

There's an argument here to do with destructive technology and responsibility but flying? Come on.

I did like his comment about everything being a metaphor for the Fall of Man.

--

Fic: So I investigated the Georgina Kincaid fics on FFN and sadly there was nothing that I really wanted (I didn't read the last book because I knew what was going to happen with Seth and I'm really meh on him. The most interesting part about him was his sister and his nieces. They were really cute.) I need to remember to request this for yuletide.

In Kiesha'ra--ok, it's enormous! It's got 200 fic! I don't remember there being so many! But then I realized that I started in 2009 and if you go back, yeah, it's been four years, people have added more. The main types of fic people have written are:
  • Mary-Sue/self-insert fic. I am inexplicably fond of these. I mean, I didn't click on any of them advertising stuff like Olivia's long-lost wyvern-falcon-wolf sister fics, but it makes me happy to know they're there. A flourishing fandom should have Mary Sue fic, and drabbles, and pointless gen meanders, and ultra-tropey yet satisfying fic. They're not what you want if you want "the continued adventures of", but that's what fans do.
  • Retelling fics! Ahh, I remember these. I read one that narrated Hawksong from Zane's POV and I knew it was WIP (last updated: 2011) so I mean, I knew in advance, but I was still sad. Especially since, in the words of the author, she was just getting to the good part! I don't think this fandom really has the momentum to write the really big sort of fic--and I mean the fic that fills a lot of backstory, goes far into the future and past, leaves canon retellings behind and not size--but I enjoyed it way more than I should have.
  • I also found a bizarro fic in there about oranges, which I think you should all totally click on. It has 5 reviews, and 4 out of 5 are all (to varying degrees of politeness) asking what on earth it's doing in the category. No, it's got nothing to do with Kiesha'ra. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4977012/1/The-Little-Orange-That-Could
silverflight8: stacked old books (books)
I put up a stocking! It has so many exclamation marks and repetitions of the word "love" that it's faintly ridiculous, but I CARE NOT. I requested Kushiel's Legacy, Hawk of May, The Seventh Tower, The Ragwitch, Harry Potter (book or movie), and Marvel Cinematic Universe. *flutters eyelashes*

If you've never heard of the fest, it's a wonderful, low-pressure fest where people put up stockings, and other people write, make art for, or source stuff to "stuff" them. I put up one last year and got fic snippets, icons, and lots of sweet wishes, all from complete strangers. There's no limitation on fandoms/fandom sizes, so I encourage you all to sign up! The exchange opens after yuletide, too.

--

I also put up a post on kushielexchange for beta readers. If any of the Kushiel's Legacy fans on my flist were too busy/didn't want to do an exchange but did want to get involved, betaing would be awesome! This year it looks like the participants are all writers, so it'd be an editing proposition. Here is the post: http://kushielexchange.livejournal.com/2895.html

SO

Nov. 10th, 2013 07:49 pm
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
I SAW THOR: THE DARK WORLD TODAY. THIS DEFINITELY MERITS CAPSLOCK. I NEED TO RECOVER.

Major spoilers immediately )
I have SO MANY thoughts but that should cover some of them. AHHHHHHHHHHH---

(PS to anyone watching: there are two scenes at the end. One after the credits for all the actors, and one after the loooong credits. Some people left before the first, but a bunch left before the second. Stay till the very end.)
silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
*tunes her foghorn*

I'm thinking of setting up a Kushiel's Legacy fic/art exchange with kmo_lj. If you haven't seen the entry yet, I've put up one to gauge interest: http://kushiel-trilogy.livejournal.com/269713.html Please come on over and give me your opinion!

Panfandom chat, spun off from FFA: [community profile] allfandom_chat! So far so good (yay book discussion!) and I'm enjoying seeing all the icons.

danger!

Aug. 7th, 2013 04:17 pm
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
I almost got sucked into reading Alastair Reynolds today when I was at the library. There was like ten of his books all in a row, I started rereading Pushing Ice (because I like causing myself pain, obviously), and I almost, almost, almost checked another book out.

Fortunately I couldn't, because I tried and the machine told me that "Your card will expire before the loan date, please talk to a librarian" and I didn't have sufficient ID to renew mine.

Pushing Ice made me absolutely despair because it is basically about exile. Involuntary, irreversible, complete cut off. Their ship is an ice-miner ordered to follow the suspicious activity of a gas giant's moon. Once out of the solar system, the "moon" begins to accelerate and attains a speed a significant fraction of the speed of light. They get caught up in the "slipstream" without realizing--they are deceived by their parent company--and Bella, the commander, makes the call that her duty is "not to get the crew home" but to keep them alive, the chances being too low to go back.

Yeah. And The Prefect was aggravatingly lacking any sort of character arc completion. I actually cared about Dreyfus; I didn't care about the super-sentient-intelligent-thing those two fighting robots were! Maybe it'd have been more interesting to people coming from the previous series, set in the future, though.

OK, I'm done ripping on Reynolds. But still, the science fiction part is very attractive. I keep getting sucked back in, and I refuse to read books that don't have some kind of decent characterization.

I had something else I wanted to talk about but now I have forgotten.

--

Thor 2 trailer is out.



THAT SLAP. That landscape. Oh my god, I can't wait.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (_support)
So one of the lovely things about calligraphy is the ability to make really! fancy! signatures! I've been working on mine but sadly I cannot show you it because a) it's my name and b) I still haven't figured out how to fit in my last name. The capital letter is clashing with everything else. (I wish it started with A, or M, or L. I can deal with those!)

Instead I've taken to doodling characters' names on the scrap piece of paper on my desk I keep there for that purpose. I'm really pleased with how Amarante's name and byname come out (Amarante de Namarre); like I said before, I like capital A's! But I don't think the thing I've worked out suits Amarante; I just think it is pretty. I don't think she would really spend the time to do it.

But Lucius Malfoy--I think he'd have the ridiculously curlicued monograms and signatures. Don't you? Yaxley: "Peacocks..."

I'm a fan of clean lines (three images below and commentary on HP and KL and calligraphy) )
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
I've never filled all the slots for everything before! )

This is my year to read ALL of Garth Nix's work, I agree. I hadn't realized just how many... In 2008 my fannish self would have absolutely killed for The Ragwitch fic, so bad I actually wrote something (it was terrible) so here goes another attempt!

All the Old Kingdom tags were already common, and so were Han and Raisa, but every-single-other tag I had to stab in the dark to make. Better to have them all with explanatory parentheses than to get them mixed up--I thought Lyssa was a common tag, but it was attached to Star Wars.

The exchange is running at [livejournal.com profile] fic_corner or [community profile] fic_corner, if anyone wants to jump in!
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
So a couple of weeks ago Amazon announced that they are allowing the sale of fan-written fiction (fanfic, fanfiction, fic, ficcies1, etc) for select fandoms through their site. Here is the announcement: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001197421

A lot of people have talked about this. I found out on f_fa, thought that someone was pulling my leg, but nope, it's true. Here is Scalzi's thoughts on it, which come from the perspective of someone who has been published and knows a little about contracts for writing, more than fic writers probably do: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/05/22/amazons-kindle-worlds-instant-thoughts/

Right, so I'm not even going to touch the fan side of it, except to boggle: I can't believe it's happening! Just like I was surprised at the mainstream-ing of Fifty Shades of Grey, I can't believe that fic is getting out there like that. Holy cow!

No, my main thought is: who's buying2?

Like I said, I don't get where it's coming from )

---

1 *giggle*

2 In case you ever wanted to know, yes I do spend a lot of time learning/thinking/talking about economics.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
SO I just got back from Iron Man 3, oh my god--

everything under the cut for spoilers )

I was predisposed to like this movie and it definitely didn't disappoint me!
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
[livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest has closed prompting and is accepting claims/writers are posting already! Here is the post for claiming, though you're not obliged to claim in order to fill.

For this round I put up a bunch of wildly different prompts (I can never remember what I wanted when it's time to prompt!) they're visible under "Kushiel's Legacy (Jacqueline Carey) here.

Review of Freakonomics is delayed because I need to read this paper first: "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime". It's accessible here. Levitt's idea about the landmark Roe v. Wade decision affecting the drop in crime rates in America during the 1990's is one of his biggest, most important statistical analyses. They have been thrown into doubt by two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (C. L. Foote and C. F. Goetz), but I haven't read the paper yet. Reserving judgement.

From [community profile] dreamwidth_meta is this post on "Why Google+ is still not working for humans", a fascinating look into social media and how we interact with it. He writes about how Google+ is just not designed for people to be comfortable with, and expands outwards into social media in general.

There is a high entropy factor in social networks. New groups are forming all the time, and old groups die out. Creating a group or adding people to a group is driven by a positive emotion. I care about my new friend, or my new Guys Night Out group, so it feels appropriate to spend the energy it takes to create the group or add the person to my friend list. But then later – when the person is not my friend, or the Guys Night Out plan has run its course – I no longer care about it. And because I don’t care, I don’t want to spend any energy on it - not even the energy to remove it. In fact, spending the energy to delete the group might inadvertently make the other group members think I cared about it, and make them feel bad for letting the group die, etc.


This is why social networking sites tend to decay over time. Because I never remove people, my Friendster or MySpace or Facebook account has a smaller and smaller percentage of meaningful relationships in it, and as a result it becomes less relevant over time. This is also why a new social network always feels somehow better than the last one. It has smarter people, more relevant conversations, etc. It is all because your social network in the new space has not had time to decay.


He touches on a lot of different subjects; I think it's well worth a read, even though the post was made several years ago when Google+ launched. The point he raised about like vs +1 makes me wonder about LJ's "friends" and DW's "subscribe/give access". This was a deliberate decision to remove the emotional connotations, but honestly, social media networks are called social for a reason. What's the phrase? Skin in the game. You don't make friend without putting some skin in the game. DW's method is more like a feed of someone's blog; I just absorb their stuff invisibly.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
OTW approves meta hosting on AO3 announcement

My first reaction was YAY!

But then I realized that there is already a really big problem that AO3 has no resolution to, and this decision is sure to aggravate it: the fact that the filtering system is not good, and adding meta to the mix will make it worse.

In addition to all sorts of analysis springing up on various journals, here's FFA's roundup of links and discussion: http://fail-fandomanon.livejournal.com/50237.html?thread=232275517#t232275517

I confess I love these discussions about AO3. There's something in the discussion of how one should manage a project/resources that really fascinates me - some of it's venting, but there are lots of interesting comments that talk about the lack of existing infrastructure and how that's a problem. It's a great read if you're interested in that sort of thing, and they've helped crystalize a lot of my thoughts.

One of the core problems I actually have with the announcement, right off the bat, is that they said yes, meta is allowed! but they're not ready. They are so unready that they do not have a definition of meta. I know that they want to be more transparent and let us know, but telling us that 'something is approved!' while being unsure of what 'something' is is not actually helpful.

Leaving aside the issue of whether meta should be included*, there are major problems in implementation. The underlying problem of categorization on AO3 is becoming increasingly apparent: the listing of fandom names is unbelievably inconsistent, the anime/manga & comics vs visual media vs sequential art vs I-don't-even-know category name is still undecided, the inability to filter out anything using the tag system, the tag system's essential deception (telling users that they can label with whatever while doing a top-down decision on which tags to connect). All of this contributes to a site which is hard for the reader to navigate.

The thing that AO3 does really well is the writer's side of things: the posting interface is a dream, editing is easy, deleting saves you a copy, it's easy to mark up your fic as this and that. But as a reader, filtering is a nightmare. I'm lucky that I can literally read everything in the archive for my fandom, because it's small; scrolling past all the crossovers is doable. But that's an inelegant brute-force solution, and so is manually filtering out tags by search - [profile] faceofcathy had an interesting post on search vs browse: filtering using search means knowing exactly what terms are used and listing them all. Manually. And this is not to mention that filtering had to be taken offline, it was hogging so many resources before. Adding meta to this mess - meta, which is often tagged with every single fandom that the author can think of - will basically spam each fandom in turn, and make it even worse.

Given AO3's reluctance to make users do anything, it seems unlikely that the meta will be findable or filterable. AO3 does not require users use a consistent tag or even to mark their work as anything separate - you can embed videos and art, but there's no way to find them without using some kind of search if and only if (IFF!) the author has marked their work "vid" or "art". If they haven't marked their work as such, good luck wading through! Vids and art are clearly both fanworks. But fic is clearly a separate category from art which is separate from vids, and right now, we don't even have a way to clearly differentiate different mediums. It's all up to the user, and there isn't a clear way to even distinguish that - do you tag? Put it in the title? Put it in the description? Which of these will be indexed? If fic/art/vids are hard to distinguish on the archive now, how will meta/fic be filtered for? They're both text-based; at the moment, a crude way of telling is to filter by wordcount (since a vid or a piece of art won't be 50K), which isn't doable for meta.

There needs to be some way to make them findable, and making that infrastructure to support all this - and it's a fine thought, I don't deny - needs to come before the cheering.

*[livejournal.com profile] seperis's post here talks about meta and whether or not it even has a place on the archive, given its status.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
I reread The Deathly Hallows over Christmas. This was unintentional. I picked it up at random and started somewhere in the middle, got engrossed, and read all the way to the end (and then looped around to the beginning because by that point, why not?)

Man, it's been awhile. Six years. I don't think I ever re-read it, and I now question just how much of the book I understood when I first read it; I remember being pretty disappointed and put off by the whiplash of mood that occurs across the series (I still prefer the world of the first three-four books.)

What I got out of it, though, was that Hermione is seriously amazing. I've always loved the trio unashamedly, but Hermione kind of blew me away. If there's something that needs to be done, Hermione will do it - she organizes the tent and objects, she blows up Harry's face to disguise him when they get caught, she manages to preserve their things during the Malfoy Manor scene, she saves their hides from Bathilda Bagshott, ditto Lovegood's house...in short, whenever anything magical/could be solved by magic problem comes up, she does it. I get that Harry is the spiritual leader of the thing, but it's Hermione who gets things done.

FINALLY I understand the fascination about Snape. I don't like him, but I get why. Would have been interesting if the revelation of his life were expanded more upon, but the book is already long and more extensions would probably have made him overly sympathetic...though I still think he's a jerk.

And thirdly, I think I have this thing for dueling. *helpless shrug*

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