yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
My first introduction to Cordwainer Smith was "The Game of Rat and Dragon," which I'm guessing (alongside "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell") is his most anthologized story based on nothing more than guesswork and the fact that, for years after that story, it was the only Smith I could find. (Admittedly, this was not helped by spending high school in South Korea. [1])

"The Game of Rat and Dragon" has stuck better in my memory, but at some point in college I was delighted to discover that there were more Instrumentality stories. The one that I remembered, years later, as being particularly interesting was "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal." Peculiarly, I remembered that it had an unusual narrative structure/format, but not anything useful about its plot. Cue yesterday when I actually reread it, having checked out the posthumous collection When the People Fell from the library, and being bemused to discover that this story was almost certainly, before I ever heard of fanfic on the internet, my introduction to mpreg.

A spoilery discussion of the story follows beneath the cut.

[1] My high school library's sf/f holdings were very eclectic. They had a couple decades' worth of Analog under Stanley Schmidt. I read every page of every issue available, and remain fond of the zine although I have not read it in over a decade. They also had old classics like John Wyndham's Re-Birth, amusing curiosities like a litcrit book on the best fantasy novels by Michael Moorcock (possibly with a co-author; I no longer remember) in which he immodestly listed his own Stormbringer, a number of old Nebula anthologies, and a copy of Harlan Ellison's (ed.) Dangerous Visions that I read two or three or four times before someone else stole it or, more charitably, checked it out and lost it. (Years later, I still think Philip José Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage" was insufferably boring, and Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah" makes zero sense when you are barely aware of what sex is.) They had Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, which is where I encountered them. On the other hand, the librarians were very friendly, and for a number of years, because my sister and I were the only ones who made use of the request box, we pretty much got them to buy whatever we wanted to read for the year.

Read more... )
sturgeonslawyer: (Art)
[personal profile] sturgeonslawyer
This is, quite possibly, the best autobio I have read by a popular musician. The only one that competes with it is the _Real Frank Zappa Book_. Like FZ's book, Bruford's focusses less on the details of his life and recordings and more on the things that interest and occupy him: which are _quite_ different from those that occupied the late Zappa's peculiar mind.

Bruford meanders back and forth along a vaguely-chronological path from his first public appearance at 14 to his retirement from public performance at 59, with stops at Yes and King Crimson, Genesis and Earthworks, a path that led from solo practice to rock to progressive rock to electric rock to jazz - with, again, meanders back and forth between them (as when the not-quite-newly-minted jazz drummer returned to play with the "double-trio" version of King Crimson in the mid-'90s). He comments a little on the personalities he's worked with, but this is no dish-o-rama; his colleagues are treated, each and all, with respect. Perhaps the closest thing to a snark in the book is this comment on guitarist Robert Fripp: "On a good night, the seated man appeared unhappy about something, and on a bad night unhappy about everything."

What the book is chock full of is discourses on the musical industry; on the meaning of music in itself, in commerce, in society, and to individuals; on the contrasted working lives of rock and jazz musicians; and on what rhythm is, where it comes from, and how it works.

Even if you have no interest in Bruford's music, either in rock or in jazz, this is a fascinating read.

Five for Friday

Jun. 23rd, 2017 04:36 pm
lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34
1. Emma's baby fan musings crack me up. Yesterday, she told me she hates incest pairings (although she has to admit it makes a great deal of sense for SPN), and that while people should be able to write what they want, they should do it away from her. LOL I told her that's why God made the back button. She also told me she doesn't get why people ship pairings that don't have a lot of subtext or canonical support, especially the characters that don't interact in canon. She has gotten waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay into Undertale--as in Undertale is all she's been able to talk about for what seems like our entire lives at this point--and she cited some examples from that video game. I told her she'd have to just take my word for it that those stories can be a lot of fun.

She told me she's not really looking for fanfic right now because she'd probably have to wade through too many fics written by 11 year olds with horrible SPAG.

And then she closed by telling me that one time she accidentally found some drawings of skeleton porn where they had ectoplasm genitals which is the funniest thing ever.

2. Downton Abbey watch continues. spoilers )

3. Fiona's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be four!!!!!!!

4. I am exhausted in the last two weeks, like way more than usual. My energy levels have been good for awhile, and I'm wondering if my thyroid levels have dropped. I hesitate to move up my August 31 endocrinologist appointment; I've done so every year for the past three years when I've had worsening symptoms, and the tests have always come back with a "Nah, not sick enough for us to do anything" verdict. I'm on the verge of starting my period, so I'm wondering if that's a factor. If I don't start to feel better in the next week, I guess I will up the appointment. I just feel so beat, and working out is a chore. :( This is definitely not normal.

5. I am done teaching for the semester! Whoooo! Grades are turned in, and now all I have to do is relax and work on the novel.

Hang the DJ

Jun. 23rd, 2017 04:44 pm
orangerful: (paramore)
[personal profile] orangerful
As I drive halfway across the country and my husband flips through SiriusFM channels, I have come to the realization that I've never been a radio person.

In middle school, I was obsessed with The Beatles and listened to them non-stop. My Walkman was always on me with an album or mixtape. When I got my own car, I kept mixes on hand for driving around (thanks Napster).

I just can't stand most stuff that gets radio airplay and then the songs that I like they play so much that everyone hates them. For example, I really like Paramore and Ed Sheeran but since Tim listens to radio all the time, he hates their singles.

This also leaves a gap in my pop culture knowledge but nothing I'm upset about. I know the good stuff. ;-)

Home again

Jun. 23rd, 2017 12:29 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Home late last night after a lovely, lovely train journey up the coast to Portland, and then east to Minneapolis. Once I got there, I bumbled my way to the delicious breakfast place my daughter and I found last year (The Buttered Tin) and after that, in perfect weather--low seventies, cloudy, tiny drops of rain--made my way to the hotel for Fourth Street Fantasy.

Other than a somewhat jolting experience at the opening ceremonies, which made it clear yet again that many of those who have always assumed their perfect safety in any circumstance (and who thus find argument entertaining) simply do not comprehend the paradigm for those who have always had to be wary, to at least some degree, while maneuvering in public spaces. I trust that learning happened.

After that, things went so very well. So many great conversations, over delicious food. Interesting panels, lovely weather. Another thing occurred to me: I so seldom get that quick-back-and-forth of conversation, as my social life is about 95% online, that I found myself frequently behind a couple steps. At least, I think it's due to that and not (I hope) to me dulling with age.

The con was splendid right to the last moments: my return train was to leave Mpls. at ten-ten that night, and I did not particularly look forward to sitting at the Amtrak station for six hours, but I didn't have the discretionary cash for adventuring about. However after delicious ice cream sundaes (yum, yum, yum!) [personal profile] carbonel generously offered to take me home, then drop me at the station, though it was not even remotely in her way.

My six hours passed so pleasantly it was emblematic of the entire weekend for me: after the fast pace it was so nice to sit quietly, watch some BBC animal planet documentaries . . . and, to my utter delight, the resident kitting--after doing considerable showing off by leaping to wall and ceiling beams and down again--curled up in my lap to purr. When you realize that I rarely get to see cats except in youtube vids when the news is too fraught, you will understand how that was the perfect close to an excellent weekend.

Thence an equally lovely train trip back, much reading and some writing achieved.

And this morning, I hauled my aged bod to yoga, for a much-needed session. This last couple weeks has been all about the head. Exhilarating, but not good for the bod. I used to be so active, until the arthritis turned all my joints into a constant ache; now exercise is something I have to do, so I've some tricks to keep my lazy ass in gear.

Anyway, it occurred to me as I sweated and stretched that the fundamental good of yoga is to strengthen all those muscles we otherwise do not notice that hold the body upright. Especially someone like me with rotten posture (I've had the child-abuse shoulder hunch all my life, and when young fought against it in dance, constantly hearing, "Shoulders down, Smith!" The only time I didn't have it was in fencing, oddly enough) it's easy to turtle. But I feel much better and stronger overall when I keep up with the yoga.

So--that, and to my desk to catch up!

A bit of writerly stuff to pass on: an indie writer I met through a fantasy bundle project last summer, C.J. Brightley, has put out a call for fantasy stories of the uplifting sort, and asked me to pass it on. Submission data here.
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
Bad news: I just woke up now. Good news: I slept six hours. Frankly, after this week, I'll take it. A few things off the internet before I head out to meet [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and Fox and later [personal profile] phi

1. Solaris has put up a hexarchate faction quiz for Yoon Ha Lee's Machineries of Empire! I got Shuos, which is not what I was expecting. Maybe I flunked the trolley question.

2. Girl of the Port (1930) had almost no internet footprint when I watched it—I could find links to contemporary reviews on Wikipedia, but almost nothing by anyone closer to me in time. By now it's been reviewed by both Mondo 70 and Pre-Code.com, clearly from the same TCM showing. Honestly, this is pretty cool, even if I wish it were more like discovering and promoting a cult treasure than a thought-provoking trash fire.

3. I have been meaning to link this poem since Juneteenth: David Miller's "Hang Float Bury Burn." I wish I knew where to nominate non-speculative poems for awards.

Sign ups & mod afk

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:19 pm
evil_plotbunny: (Default)
[personal profile] evil_plotbunny posting in [community profile] fic_corner
Just a reminder that sign-ups are open. I'll be camping this weekend and may be slow to respond to queries.

Sign-up on AO3. You will need an AO3 account, but their queue is down to less than a day. Please note that you must be logged in to sign-up. Sign-ups will close on June 28th

Fic Corner Tag Set.

Dear Fic Corner Scribbler letters can be found here.

Requests

You must request at least three fandoms, and can request up to ten. You may request between 0 (any) and 10 characters. The exchange is set up to match ANY, not ALL to increase odds of matching. You may not be matched on ALL the characters you request.

By requesting Any, a participant is requesting Any characters on the fandom's nomination list. Do not be that person who requests Any in Fandom F, but writes about specifically wanting Character Z from Fandom F who wasn't nominated.

You may also request Any if you want fics focused on worldbuilding instead of a specific character(s).

Prompt URL: If you want to leave a Dear Fic Corner Scribbler letter for your writer, this is the place to do so.

Description: Optional details are optional, however, if you want to give your writer ideas, this is the place to do it, whether you write a letter or not.

Offers

You must offer a minimum of 3 fandoms, maximum of 10. You may offer up to 10 characters or offer Any.

The bucket list is enabled, so you can offer more than 10 fandoms, but any fandoms in the bucket list default to ANY characters, ANY ratings. More information about making a bucketlist offer (including a lovely diagram) can be found in the Yuletide sign-up instructions.

Don't forget to request/offer fandoms you want. If you're lukewarm about a fandom, don't request it or offer it. Chances are this will be the fandom you receive/are assigned.

Once at least five people have signed up, you'll be able to keep track of current request/offer numbers via the signup summary.

You may edit your sign up form until sign ups close on June 28th.

The Fifth Heart

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:09 pm
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Fifth HeartThe Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I wanted to like this so much. Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. Ilium and Olympos are among my favorite books ever. Hyperion is delightful. Drood is wonderful.

The Fifth Heart is okay.

I think maybe the problem is that I'm not a Sherlock Holmes nut and so much of the intricacy of the story is probably lost on me. I also don't know much about James or the other historical/literary figures in the text.

I was also a little disappointed that at no point was anything the characters in the novel think is funny actually funny to me. Mark Twain is funny. His writing makes me laugh. Mark Twain in this novel is not funny. I would think that's the point, that the funny man is not actually funny, except that the other characters all seem genuinely amused by his stories.

IDK

This one was not for me.

I did enjoy the ending, especially the epilogue, with James standing arm in arm with Holmes on the deck of the ship the way he's always wanted to stand with someone else.



View all my reviews
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_Baby lemurs 05312017 B

The Jackson Zoological Society is proud to announce the birth of two critically endangered Red Ruffed Lemurs.

On Saturday, May 27, Jackson Zoo keepers arrived at work in the early morning to discover two newborn males in the Lemur exhibit!

New mother, Nekena, arrived at the Jackson Zoo in December of 2016 from Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. She joined the Zoo’s resident father and son, Timmy and Phoenix, respectively, as part of the Red Ruffed Lemur Species Survival Plan.

“The 2017 Breeding and Transfer Plan was published this past February. At that time we had 187 Red Ruffed Lemurs in the Species Survival Plan®(SSP), where we recommended 18 males and 16 females for breeding,” said Christie Eddie, Red Ruffed Lemur SSP Coordinator at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. “We are in the midst of birthing season and these offspring are among birth reports from five SSP institutions. I expect more to come!”

2_Baby 2

3_Lemurs on a pillowPhoto Credits: EJ Rivers/ Jackson Zoo

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Red Ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra) as “Critically Endangered”. Found only in a small area of Madagascar, they are the most endangered type of Lemur in the world due to increased cyclones, illegal logging, and the illegal exotic pet trade. According to the IUCN, there are only approximately 35 Lemurs on average per square kilometer in their native habitat and declining rapidly. Less than 65% of newborn young survive to three-months of age in the wild, and there are less than 600 in zoos or refuges in the world.

“We are absolutely delighted to see these two little ones arrive, both for our park and the species as a whole” said Jackson Zoo Executive Director, Beth Poff. “More than a third of the animals at the Jackson Zoo are either endangered or threatened, and although every birth here is special to the staff, adding numbers to an endangered species is that much more precious.”

The Jackson Zoological Society participates in Species Survival Plans for many other animals, including successful births for the Pygmy Hippo and the Sumatran Tiger. The Jackson Zoo also regularly submits information and samples to dozens of ongoing international studies.

Now barely three weeks old, the Red Ruffed Lemur brothers are getting stronger every day. Unfortunately, it was the first pregnancy and birth for their hand-raised mom, Nakena, whose inexperience with newborns was apparent. Vet Tech, Donna Todd, stepped in and has been hand-raising the endangered babies ever since May 27th.

According to the Zoo, the two are like ‘night-and-day’ when it comes to temperament (one decidedly vocal, one much quieter). But both boys are eating well, have bright eyes, are jumping and playing equal amounts, and are more curious about their surroundings every day.

Special public viewings at the Jackson Zoo Vet Hospital are being arranged, and the Zoo hopes to be able to let the public “meet” them (at a distance) within the next month or so.

Visitors and Jackson Zoo members can visit the adult Lemurs during regular zoo hours (seven days a week from 9 am to 4 pm), and follow the Jackson Zookeepers on Instagram (@JacksonZoo) for close-ups and behind-the-scenes photos of all the park residents. People can also “adopt” the baby Lemurs (or their parents) for twelve months by contacting EJ Rivers at: ejrivers@jacksonzoo.org.

Reading: The Mountains of Mourning

Jun. 23rd, 2017 07:25 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
If the Miles Vorkosigan of The Warrior's Apprentice is Francis Crawford of Lymond In Space, in the novella The Mountains of Mourning he's basically Lord Peter Wimsey In An Isolated Rural District On An Alien Planet*, as he's sent as his father's representative to investigate an alleged case of infanticide in a small village in a remote corner of Vorkosigan District.

For a short book, this packs a lot in. As well as a competent whodunnit plot, the story explores the backstory of Barrayaran culture and social attitudes, particularly attitudes to disability, and more universal themes of generational differences in social attitudes. It's the sort of science fiction that doesn't really feel like science fiction; with the exception of the interrogation drug fast-penta there's no futuristic techology and it's hard to believe it's set in the far future instead of, say, the 1930s. It's an interesting and thoughtful read, and I liked it a lot (though I was a bit taken aback at "Ma" apparently being a formal honorific for older women, but maybe that's just Barrayar).

*The presence of a minor character called Pym, on a planet where most names appear to be Russian or Slavic in origin, did nothing whatsoever to dispel the Wimsey associations my brain kept making, either.

Invitation to the dance

Jun. 23rd, 2017 07:57 pm
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
[personal profile] oursin

Well, not literally.

But I have finally managed to have a discussion with the editor at the Very Estimable and Well-Reputed Academic Press whom I had hoped to get together with during the Massive Triennial Conference the other week, which did not happen for, reasons.

And they are very keen about a book I have been thinking about for ages, which is not the Major Research Project of the moment, though somewhat tangentially related, and I'm hmmmmmm about it.

Because it's a book where I haven't done more than research rather a small part of one angle of the bigger picture, but on the other hand, I do know what has to be in there and where to look.

And unlike the Major Research Project, which is large and contains multitudes, this would be a discrete project that wouldn't (I hope) keep starting yet more hares for me to go baying after.

*Wibble*

Links Post

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:47 am
wendelah1: (A better world is possible)
[personal profile] wendelah1
About saving the affordable care act: I will not lie to you. This is personal for me. I have relatives with preexisting conditions (doesn't everyone?) and I worked as nurse for 32 years, taking care of people with conditions as diverse as Head and Neck cancer, Chrohn's Disease, kidney failure, and infertility. Instead of this bullshit "Repeal and Replace," which is designed both to cut health care from the most vulnerable of our citizens and fund massive tax cuts for our wealthiest, we need a bill that will "Keep It and Fix It." But first we must stop the Republican party from shoving this massively unpopular bill down our throats.
Saving the Affordable Care Act )
Journalism )
Miscellaneous )

Dear suspiciously rotund cat

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:56 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Not my cat, not my house. Please don't be pregnant.

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