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July 28th, 2017: San Diego Comic Con was AMAZING: I met so many great and interesting readers, got to meet some people that I really admire, and won two (TWO!) Eisner Awards, for my work on Squirrel Girl and Jughead! IT WAS PRETTY AMAZING!!
Major guests are: Guest of Honor: Nisi Shawl, Toastmaster: Don Webb, Fan Guest: A.T. Campbell, III Artist Guest: Mark A. Nelson, Editor Guest: Trevor Quachri, Special Guest: Tamora Pierce
My schedule is:
Friday: teaching at writers workshop
Sat 11:00 AM-11:30 AM Room 102
(I'll probably read something from The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition)
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers' Room
J. Comer, J. Wells, M. Wells
(I'll have Raksura stickers with art by Pentapoda to give away.)
Sa1400BE Pantsing vs. Outlining
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom E
C. Clevenger*, B. Crider, N. Southard, J. Reasoner, J. Wells, M. Wells
Sa1500BE Novellas (non tele)
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom E
J. Reasoner, A. Simmons*, W. Spencer, H. Waldrop, C. Ward, M. Wells
Is the Novella just a stunted novel,a spring-board for an awful fix-up novel, or the perfect length for written SF?
Sa1700SPB Fan Guest Interview
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Southpark B
A.T. Campbell, M. Wells*, T. Wilson*
Su1100SPB Preview of World Fantasy 2017
Sun 11:00 AM-Noon Southpark B
R. Babcock, J. Miles, M. Wells*
Co-chairs and Toastmaster of the upcoming World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio tell us what's coming
Fandom(s):Harry Potter & Star Trek: AOS/Kelvin Timeline
Link(s): Story here at AO3
Summary: When long-time mates Harry Potter and Ron Weasley cannot seem to pull it together as a couple, Hogwarts Castle calls upon its awesome magic to bring a couple from the future to help them along.
Warnings: Rated nc-17 for explicit sex and bad language
Characters: Minerva McGonagall, Horace Slughorn, Madam Pomfrey; Montgomery Scott; original characters
Pairings:Harry Potter/Ron Weasley; James T. Kirk/Leonard McCoy
When I Started: Sometime in 2011
How I Lost My Shit:I intended to write this for the 2011 Star Trek Big Bang on LJ. I got into it and thought I would not hit the 10K word minimum count, so I bailed. I’ve been working on it, off and on, ever since.
How I Finished My Shit: Thank you wipbigbang!! For providing the opportunity for me to finish this fic.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. All Star Trek characters herein are the property of Paramount Pictures Corporation/CBS Studios and Gene Roddenberry. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters engaging in sexual activity are 16 years or older.
Author's Note:Many thanks to the folks at ushobrwri who are always great cheerleaders. My undying gratitude to my beta readers aome and weepingnaiad who read a bad fic and then made it so much better. Any mistakes or wtf? moments remain entirely mine. Finished on 8 July 2017 while I was sitting in weepingnaiad’s house drinking coffee she brewed for me.
Thank you to my artist, kuhlshadow for this lovely title banner!
Congrats to all the nominees!
Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
Roadsouls, Betsy James (Aqueduct)
The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)
Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff (Harper)
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
“Bloodybones,” Paul F. Olson (Whispered Echoes)
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
“Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Seasons of Glass and Iron,” Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
“Little Widow,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare 9/16)
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me,” Rachael K. Jones (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
Clockwork Phoenix 5, Mike Allen, ed. (Mythic Delirium)
Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)
Children of Lovecraft, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Dark Horse)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)
The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)
Sharp Ends, Joe Abercrombie (Orbit US; Gollancz)
On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, Tina Connolly (Fairwood)
A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)
Vacui Magia, L.S. Johnson (Traversing Z Press)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Ken Liu (Saga; Head of Zeus)
Jeffrey Alan Love
Special Award, Professional
L. Timmel Duchamp, for Aqueduct Press
C.C. Finlay, for editing F&SF
Michael Levy & Farah Mendelsohn, for Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press)
Kelly Link, for contributions to the genre
Joe Monti, for contributions to the genre
Special Award, Non-Professional
Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Neile Graham, for fostering excellence in the genre through her role as Workshop Director, Clarion West
Malcom R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer, for their publication The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume Two: Gods and Goddesses (Michael Publishing)
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny
Brian White, for Fireside Fiction Company
The awards will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention, which this year is November 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/
Headliner guests are Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, Gordon Van Gelder TOASTMASTER: Martha Wells
We swam everyday, and stood on a sandbar over a hundred yards out in the water and looked at rainstorms out in the gulf. The water was warm in the afternoon, like a giant saltwater spa. We ate a lot of seafood and had margaritas and went out in the harbor in a little boat. It was awesome.
Then yesterday I had jury duty for traffic court, got picked, and everyone there got to tell a mean, angry, scary old white guy clearly used to controlling everything around him that yes, he did have to pay his fine just like everyone else. I don't even know how someone could be this confident in his belief that he can get away with anything, but watching him change his story and lie, and have the woman DA point out the body cam and dash cam video showing he was lying, and Judge Navarro being completely fair yet also bored and unimpressed, and effortlessly cutting off the guy's attempt to rant and swear on the stand. The Judge also made the DA skip over what was probably 20 minutes of video that didn't show anything except that the guy was a terrible person, but believe me, the jury already knew that.
I'm going to try to catch up on book rec posts, and I need to do another Raksura story for my Patreon this month. (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=
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July 26th, 2017: San Diego Comic Con was AMAZING: I met so many great and interesting readers, got to meet some people that I really admire, and won two (TWO!) Eisner Awards, for my work on Squirrel Girl and Jughead! IT WAS PRETTY AMAZING!!
"WEIRD 70S GOTHICS PLEASE," I said, and Jo duly carried out her commission so well that I don't know if anybody's ever going to top it:
Portrait in Jig-Saw is apparently so obscure it doesn't even have a Goodreads page, which, having read it, I can honestly now say is kind of a shame.
Our Heroine's name is Alixander David Somerlaid MacDonald (I KNOW), otherwise known as Alisdair; she is a Strictly Sheltered Heiress who has been raised in a Freezing Castle in Complete Isolation and Solitude with only occasional visits from her father until she comes of age on her 21st birthday.
...for the record, the year is 1973.
( My legit favorite part about these spoilers is that the entire plot relies on an alternate universe where the world's most famous postmodern novelist is a Thai princess, I want to live in THAT universe! )
K winner was the Callahan. I am going to keep Callahan's Crosstime Saloon but this may be the nudge I needed to just drop the rest.
Anyway, this week's FMK theme is SF by Anglophone Writers of Color. We will pretend the reason it was tough to get a set of ten together for this is that when I get one of these it doesn't linger as long on the to-read pile. (Actually, it was tougher than I expected because finding out race for a lot of SF writers - especially older and more obscure ones - is not simple. There does not seem to be an easily accessible and accurate masterlist of SF Writers of Color out there. And at some point, for some of then, I found myself thinking that if they aren't interested in making their ancestry part of their public bio, I need to not be looking this hard. I never did figure out if Philip Jose Farmer is actually in any way Hispanic.)
How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.
I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.
Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)
( Poll: Butler, Delany, Hamilton, Hurston, Martinez, Mosley, Reynolds, Takei, White, Wilson )
It was fun! I enjoyed it! The characters were great! Much like the other McGuire I have read, I felt like the more I thought about it, the less there there was there! (I can't think of a single piece of internal evidence other than Verity's word that it took place in Manhattan instead of, like, Columbus, Ohio. The Price-vs.-Covenant thing really doesn't work with the logistics that are set up in the book. Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice. Etc.)
And I did really like the variety of cryptids and the cryptid community, but the "cryptozoologist" thing still bothers me, in that a cryptozoologist is a very specific thing situated in a very specific time and culture - it is not something like "witch" that has enough meanings with enough history you can basically go with whatever - and I would really really love to read an urban fantasy about cryptozoologists - and Verity Price is really really not one. (I mean, you could make a cool backstory about how the Prices and allies adopted the terminology ironically in the 60s to further distinguish themselves from the Covenant - or that Sanderson got himself in WAY over his head with a Price girl at some point and came out very confused, which is a fanfic I would definitely read - but she does not seem to be doing that.)
But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that. (I would also enjoy the fanfic about how Price family sex education includes a unit about how part of their mission is to introduce the urban fantasy community to the idea of "affirmative consent" which it had previously lacked entirely.)
I have Down Among The Sticks and Bones on its way from the library, but I have learned it is NOT about the Skeleton Girl (with that title how is it not about the Skeleton Girl?) so I find I am not that excited about it coming.
Cut to the last week of June. I ordered two packages that were scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, and I paid for evening delivery. As has happened several times in the past, the packages never showed up as being on the truck to be delivered. So around 7pm or so I called customer service and started a paper trail, as well as started livetweeting the whole story on Twitter.
FedEx managed to get in touch with the local facility, who told them the package was out for delivery. The driver just hadn't scanned it when he left. ("Uh-huh," I told the poor customer service rep with more than a little skepticism.) ( This gets a bit long, but it's honestly a rather amusing story. In retrospect, at least. It wasn't so amusing at the time. )
... and that's why I will never again order from any company that only offers FedEx as a shipping option.
Story Title: Hooded in Red
Sherlock is dead, but he isn't really. Molly Hooper is the only one of his old friends to still be in contact with him in hiding. The only link back to his old life, and now that link is in danger of being cut.
A story based on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood written for the Let's Write Sherlock: Challenge 2 on Tumblr and AO3
Completed for the WIP Big Bang 2017
Warnings: Some Violence
Characters: Molly Hooper, Sherlock Holmes, Greg Lestrade
Pairings: Molly Hooper/Sherlock Holmes, Molly Hooper/Original Male Character, Mostly Gen
When I Started: 7/15/2013 - Yes, over four years ago
How I Lost My Story:
The time was during the GREAT HIATUS right after Sherlock fell from the roof of Bart's Hospital and was thought to be dead. We knew that he was alive, but not what had happened to him. I planned to write about how Moriarty had to be bigger than just one man if it could threaten John from beyond the grave. Since Molly was the only one that we were certain knew that Sherlock was alive, she had to be in the story.
My push came when there was a fairy tale fic challenge. I realized that Molly would make a great Little Red Riding Hood, and so I wrote the story about her and the wolf. The problem was, how do I describe all of the machinations of Moriarty's empire. It was too big, and too complicated, so the story trailed away and died.
How I Finished My Story:
This was not easy to finish! At the end, I was changing plot points every day. I finally got it done by simplifying the plot. One point of view character instead of three. Drop the police subplot, and just mention it at the end. Find a motivation for Molly's character and cut out anything that does not advance that arc.
When I finished it, it was really stilted and hard to read. I had to open a new window, and retype the entire story to make it flow well. I was reediting sentences up until the minute of posting, and still must have lots of typos. I could not find a beta.
Even so, I am pleased with the work. I pushed through, and completed it. The story works. It still fits in canon, and I was able to link it to my current Season 4 fics by adding details that I could not have known at the time that I started it. It is a great relief to have finished it. Cheers all. Please give me comments if you can.
Patricia Tepes was totally awesome in making me exactly the art I wanted in a time frame that frankly, I didn't deserve. I loved everything she made, and she deserves heaps of Kudoes.
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur Pendragon (with Excalibur)
Content Notes: Pencil sketch created for the drawesome Weekly Challenge #4: One Object, Two Perspectives.
My choice of object was inspired by this gif set on Tumblr. I had to make up certain parts of the sword for both perspective drawings, and found this YouTube vid really helpful as a starting point: How to draw a sword in perspective.
( Click here for entire artwork )
Overall box-office revenues and the amount of theaters both continue to rise, even as the frequency of movie-going continues to fall in almost every demographic.Not exactly, but this is a long article on what theaters are doing to attract audiences and what the problems are. Daniel Barnes, East Bay Express.
Indicators are less encouraging, however, for smaller independent theaters with four screens or less. And, as ever, it’s a tough time for cinema purists and art-house aficionados, both in the East Bay and beyond.
And even David Lynch recently declared that “feature films are in trouble and the art houses are dead.”
I finally was able to start playing Mass Effect: Andromeda and have fallen back in love with the whole ME universe. I know a lot of people didn't like ME:A, but I really loved it. It's not my favorite game (that's still ME2), but I do think it might have moved to the #2 spot on my list. Could it have been better? Sure. But that doesn't mean I don't love it (and the characters) any less.
On a somewhat related note, I still love Dragon Age. I haven't been playing it as much lately, since ME has been taking up so much of my time, but I've gone back to working on fic. Which is a good thing, because DA is one of those rare fandoms that makes me want to write longfic. Even though I kind of suck at writing longfic and take forever to finish stories that are more than 5000 words.
I've also continued with my Critical Role obsession, to the surprise of nobody. The current storyline is slowly drawing to a close, and I'm expecting Vox Machina's tale to come to a close by the end of the year. Which makes me sad, since I love the characters. But on the other hand, a new story! With new characters! My chances of convincing people to start watching will greatly increase when they don't have 400+ hours to watch in order to get caught up.
Speaking of which, Dungeons & Dragons continues to eat a lot of my free time. I have two weekly games that I play in online via Roll20, one on Friday nights and one on Sunday nights. Then I have another Roll20 game on Saturday nights where I'm the DM. And then, because I have no sense of self-preservation, every other Sunday afternoon I walk over to the gaming store near my apartment to play in another campaign.
So, basically, every other week? I play four D&D games in a little over 48 hours. And even when I'm not cramming four games in, I'm still playing three. Which isn't much better.
Um, let's see. What other fannish things should I talk about?
Geek and Sundry and Alpha are behind most of the webseries that I'm watching nowadays. There's Critical Role, of course, which I've already mentioned. Then there's Eric's TBD RPG, an awesome Doctor Who RPG that just recently came to an end and was replaced with Shield of Tomorrow, a Star Trek RPG. Oh, and Sagas of Sundry which is just... gods, it's hard to describe. It's creepy and amazing and I highly recommend it.
I'm not watching Vast yet (another one of their RPGs), but I've heard good things about it. It's definitely on my list, whenever I have free time again. (I also watch The Wednesday Club, but it's a bunch of geeks sitting around and talking about comics for two hours each week rather someone I'm particularly fannish about. It's a lot of fun if you like comics, though.)
Based on the recent Doctor Who casting news, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to start watching regularly again. I managed to watch some of the episodes from this most recent series but not all of them. Still, the ones that I was able to watch reminded me just how much I miss this show. I really hope that, once Moffat is gone, it will feel more like Doctor Who to me again.
The upcoming fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels has me both excited and terrified. I want to see what happens, but at the same time... well, it's Star Wars. I know going in that there was a good chance a lot of the characters wouldn't actually live through the show. The question is this: who and how?
I really need to start thinking about Yuletide and what fandoms I want to nominate this year, since it's coming up fast. This might be the first time in years that I haven't even started thinking about it yet, though. That will deserve its own post in a few weeks, when I try to start brainstorming.
Work has been ridiculous lately. It's not really something that I can talk about in detail, but there's definitely quite a bit of tension between the higher ups and, well, a large percentage of the employees who aren't being paid six figures annually. Let's just say that the amount of work expected of most employees has gone up while salaries haven't (except for the higher ups, who magically were able to get raises when people making significantly less than them weren't), and I'm very worried the directors are going to find out first-hand just how screwed they are if a large number of people all turn in their notice and walk.
Mainly because I'm not in a position where I can afford to do that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes. Which means I'll also be somewhat screwed if anyone turns in their notice.
Add in the aforementioned extra work and the fact that several people have been out for health-related reasons, meaning our workload is even heavier, and... well, needless to say, it's not been fun.
Let's see... I should probably talk about the cats, huh?
Garrus and Percy are getting along surprisingly well. The first few weeks were a bit rocky, but once they got used to each other (and realized just how similar they are), things became a lot smoother. They're at the point where they're regularly grooming each other and sleeping just a few inches apart, which is a lot better than I was hoping for after less than two months.
I still miss Tali a lot, obviously, but the fact that Garrus and Percy are getting along so well is definitely helping. Percy is a doll, and I'm already at the point where I can't imagine him not being here. I just, you know, sometimes wish that I could have had all three of them, even though the realistic side of my brain knows that I never would have met him if I hadn't lost her.
VividCon is next week, which... I have complicated feelings about. ( Brain weasels! Aren't they fun? )
Anyway, I'm hoping that my brain weasels will go away once I'm actually in Chicago. At the moment, though, I'm not nearly as excited about the con being next week as I usually am by this point. Which makes me sad. Hopefully that will change somewhat over the next week-and-a-half?
... oh, I just realized that I never posted about my week of hell with FedEx here on Dreamwidth. I should rectify that. I want to make a separate fandom-related post first, and then I'll post the whole terrifying tale.
This one is a good book.
Julie Rehmeyer, a mathematician and science writer, chronicles how chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) crept up on her until her entire life had vanished and she was frequently completely paralyzed. While she desperately tried to find a treatment, she instead encountered an array of quacks, snake oil salesmen, nice but useless therapists, nice but useless doctors, a patients’ community full of apparent crackpots, and medical literature claiming that it was a mental illness caused by, essentially, being lazy and whiny.
In desperation, Rehmeyer finally starts listening to some of the apparent crackpots… and when she applies her scientific training to their ideas, she finds that stripped of the bizarre terminology and excessive exclamation points, they sound surprisingly plausible. With her entire life at a dead end and nothing left to lose, she reluctantly decides to try a treatment which is both radical and distinctly woo-woo sounding.
And it works.
But unlike every other “How I cured/treated my illness by some weird method” memoir, the story doesn’t end there. Instead, she not only researches and theorizes about how and why it might have worked, she interviews scientists and doctors, and even arranges to do a double-blind experiment on herself to see if it’s a real cause of her symptoms or the placebo effect. I cannot applaud this too much. (I was unsurprised to find that every article I read on her book had a comment section claiming that her results were due to the placebo effect.)
Lots of people have suggested that I write about my own horrendous illness, crowd-sourced treatment, and jaw-dropping parade of asshole doctors who told me I was lying, a hypochondriac, or crazy. While you’re waiting… read this book instead. Though it’s not the same disease and she was treated WAY better by doctors, a lot of her experience with being beaten over the head with bad science and diagnoses based purely on sexism was very similar. As is much of her righteous rage. I am way more ragey and less accepting than she is. But still. It’s similar.
Overall, this is a well-written and honest memoir that shines a welcome light on a poorly-understood illness. Rehmeyer's perspective as a science writer provides for clarity, justifiable anger, and humor as she takes apart the morass of bad science, victim-blaming, and snake oil that surrounds chronic fatigue syndrome. It's informative without being dry, easy to read and hard to put down.
Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand
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July 24th, 2017: NON-CANON
San Diego Comic Con was AMAZING: I met so many great and interesting readers, got to meet some people that I really admire, and won two (TWO!) Eisner Awards, for my work on Squirrel Girl and Jughead! IT WAS PRETTY AMAZING!!