Sherlock

Feb. 8th, 2016 04:01 pm
silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
So I have watched Sherlock, everything including The Abominable Bride. Saying "watched" seems a bit paltry, because I think fell face-first into fannish enthusiasm for it, especially the whole "consume everything about it" thing. I've been rewatching (as I watched it with other people and we commentated over it) and watching the commentaries and looking at gifs on tumblr and even starting to look for fic. Which, aghgh, it has been so long that I have felt motivated to look for fic - and even longer since there's been a whole bunch of fic there. Sure, I am late to the party, but on the plus side there is tons of fic and thousands of gifs.

There are always people who haven't watched - so, spoilers! I don't really talk about The Abominable Bride and very little of S3 either, though. )
silverflight8: stacked old books (books)
I read The Sand-Reckoner the other day (the one by Gillian Bradshaw, not the one by Archimedes) and now I have all these feelings about Archimedes and Syracuse and Hieron.

The novel's about Archimedes as he returns from his studies at Alexandria - it begins with him coming home to a city on the verge of war, his father dying, and a sick sense that coming home will mean he must close off the part of him that lives and breathes mathematics, and do work he hates to support his family. Archimedes comes to the attention of Hieron, the king of Syracuse, as an outstanding and remarkable engineer - outstanding because he can devise new, original, and effective machines that work well from the very outset, because he can derive the basic principles from mathematics. With Archimedes is Marcus, his Italian slave, who looks after his absent-minded master despite conflicting loyalties. Marcus denies being Roman - the affiliation is dangerous - and Archimedes is too * and doesn't think it useful to press.

Like Island of Ghosts, which is about troops of Sarmatians - having been sent west as part of their treaty with Rome - settling into Roman Britain, this book is similarly more internal and character-driven. Which isn't to say there isn't external conflict; the book is set during the first Punic Wars (paging [livejournal.com profile] dhampyresa - though it's not really about Rome or Carthage so IDK if you're interested?) and Syracuse is caught between the two. Hieron is trying to avoid having to fight either or both of them at once, but needs siege engines to prevent either from eating his city. But he recognizes that Archimedes is brilliant - and also not an engineer by choice, merely to support his family; he knows Archimedes loved Alexandria and the Museum and Library there, and wrestles with how or if he can keep Archimedes in the service of his beloved city.

More discussion with spoilers )

Generally very recommended! I love Bradshaw's writing, the characters are all great and well-drawn (with human, sympathetic motivations), and is set in Classical antiquity if that's a selling point, though it doesn't rely on you knowing anything about it.

Ant-Man!

Jul. 20th, 2015 07:10 pm
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
I saw Antman the other day!

*Whew, I'm glad there was humour. It's such a cracky premise that I'd have been disappointed if they went for Serious Film.

Spoilers )
silverflight8: stacked old books (books)
These books were like a rollercoaster. I started yelling near the end ("WHAT!! WHAT!!") I also read them one after another so I'm not going to even try to do a book-by-book review, just a giant one for all three books. And the review kind of exploded on me. It's really long.

SO! These books!

They're all 500-700 pages by my e-reader and oh my god, I haven't had this level of can't-put-it-down for such a long time. They were magnetic.

cover of The Final Empire, with a young woman dressed in a mistcloak looking downThe first book follows Vin, a young skaa thief who is attached to a crew scaming noblemen and obligators. In Luthadel, the capital, the skaa live and work in terrible conditions, subjugated by the nobility and the Lord Ruler. Vin has survived thus far because she makes herself small and unnoticed, but also because the crew leaders have--consciously or unconsciously--picked up on her ability to make scams go better when she's around.

When she meets Kelsier, a man bent on creating a skaa rebellion, she finds out what that ability is Allomancy. She's a Mistborn, someone who can ingest different types of metal and then burn them to increase herstrength, see better, affect others' emotions, telekinetically pull and push metal, etc. Mistings--who can burn one type of metal--are fairly rare, and Mistborn, who can burn all ten, even rarer. Kelsier introduces her to his crew and starts training her both in Allomancy and to infiltrate the nobility.

Their rebellion is operated directly under the noses of the Lord Ruler, and there is the ever-present danger of his Inquisitors and the Steel Ministry. Supernaturally powerful and fast, they are the priests of the Lord Ruler and seek out and kill half-skaa Allomancers. There are the obligators, who witness every transaction of the nobility and are the bureaucracy of the Lord Ruler. And there is the power of the nobility, who "rent" the skaa for plantation work but essentially act as the owners of skaa.

The Final Empire )

The Well of Ascension )

The Hero of Ages )

The books as a whole--general impressions, thematically interesting points, etc - warning though, these books have significant twists that are discussed under the cut )

They were really good books. But I'm going to go read a nice, relaxing, fluffy novel next.

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