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Aug. 17th, 2017 09:16 pm

Linkspam Confronts Hates At Home

jjhunter: silhouetted woman by winding black road; blank ink tinted with green-blue background (silhouetted JJ by winding road)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Alex Schiffer @ Washington Post: Teen tackled by bystanders after vandalizing Boston Holocaust memorial
It was the second act of vandalism in less than three months at the site, located in Carmen Park near historic Faneuil Hall.

Steve LeBlanc @ US News: Gov. Baker Signs Resolution Denouncing White Nationalism
BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker joined with Democratic leaders to sign a resolution Thursday denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.


ETA: Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP): Donate to the New England Holocaust Memorial
Read more... )
Aug. 17th, 2017 09:57 am

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK

rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I just woke up to find that somehow Steve Bannon accidentally(?) gave an interview to a left-wing political magazine and I can't cope with these things before multiple cups of coffee.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/17/steve-bannon-calls-far-right-losers-trump-warns-china-trade-war-american-prospect
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/politics/bannon-alt-right-trump-north-korea.html

I honestly have no clue if that's accidentally or "accidentally", and maybe he's trying to separate himself from the Charlottesville marchers by dismissing them as "losers" and posioning himself as more rational/reasonable than Trump on North Korea before he gets fired, or what the actual fuck. Especially given that he was reportedly delighted and "proud" about Trump's press conference statements.

seriously wtf
Aug. 16th, 2017 10:04 pm

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist...

rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Full letter with prompts to come ASAP. The letter below is incomplete.

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,

Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.

(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)

Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, and X/1999 below cut). Read more... )
Tags:
Aug. 16th, 2017 07:01 pm

Linkspam Marks Monumental Changes

jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter
[tumblr.com profile] elfgrove: [tumblr thread re: @FanSince09 tweet: "How Millennials are killing participation trophies." re: @BNONews: "BREAKING: Protesters tear down Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, where it stood for nearly 100 years"]
Yeah. I said cheap and mass produced. These statues have neither artistic nor historical value. “Why did the statue go down so easy? Many “Lost Cause” era C monuments were mass-produced in the cheapest way possible for mass distribution. There wasn’t even a layer of the most basic mortar holding the pedestal to the base. Gravity was enough for granite. Cheap, tacky crap.

Antonia Noori Farzan @ Phoenix New Times: Activist Turns Confederate Memorial At Arizona Capitol Into Participation Trophy
She immediately got to work crafting two banners that say "2nd Place Participant" and "You lost, get over it."

David Krugler @ the Daily Beast: America's Forgotten Mass Lynching: When 237 People Were Murdered In Arkansas
What made 1919 unique was the armed resistance that black Americans mounted against white mobs trying to keep them “in their place.”

Ken Schwencke @ ProPublica: Service Provider Boots Hate Site Off the Internet
“This is fucking serious. 8/12 changed everything,” tweeted Pax Dickinson, a lead technical voice for the far right, referencing the Charlottesville rally.

Nicholas Fandos, Russell Goldman, & Jess Bidgood @ NYT: Baltimore Mayor Had Statues Removed in ‘Best Interest of My City’
History could not and should not be erased, [Kaylyn Meyers, 29] said, but men like Taney did not belong on a pedestal in a nice public park, either.

[personal profile] siderea: [US] Fwd: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Address of May 19
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.
Aug. 16th, 2017 05:14 pm

3 Good Things

jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I've been in a minor funk of executive dysfunction the last few days. Today was better; here are some joys that made it so:

1. I swung by the cobbler's on my lunch break in hopes he might do leather repair other than shoes (the stitching attaching the shoulder strap on my beloved black handbag unexpectedly gave way yesterday). He initially said no, then changed his mind to yes when I showed it to him, and he did a gorgeous restitching job in time for me to pick it up on my way home.

2. The leftover carrot-zucchini cake I made for the friend who runs my D&D group (in honor of his birthday, and last night being the last D&D session of our current arc) was enthuastically devoured by my coworkers.

3. I had chicken dumpling ZOMG-so-much-spinach soup for lunch, and it was good. (I finally made the damn soup Monday night, after two weeks of stressful waffling on when exactly I'd get to it, so to have that done, and to move on to the simple pleasure of enjoying it, is very good indeed).

I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to get everything I have to get done at work this week before I leave early Friday for a few days of vacation, but I've already managed more than I'd thought I might when pulling a 12hr work day Friday wasn't enough to whittle it down to a reasonable amount.

One day at a time is enough, betimes.
Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am

Reading Wednesday

muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.
Aug. 16th, 2017 10:17 am

UPDATE: Nazis Fuck Off Rally

rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Looks like the Nazi scum saw how many people planned to show up to stand up to them in LA, and ran like the cowards they are. Apparently the Venice Nazi rally has been cancelled (but Nazi rallies are still planned in other cities). But it looks like OUR rally is still on, whether the Nazis show up or not.

I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Trump reverts to blaming both sides in Charlottesville including 'violent alt-left'

Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:

Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis

Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence

[tumblr.com profile] la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:

ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“

US.

The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.


I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.

The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder comments:

Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.

Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.

In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
st_aurafina: Shaw in Relevance, with golden lights (POI: Shaw fancy)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Title: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 52k
Characters/Pairings: Root/Sameen Shaw, Harold Finch/John Reese, Harold Finch/Grace Hendricks, John Reese/Mark Snow, Michael Cole, Robert Hersh, Joss Carter, Kara Stanton, The Machine, Bear
Warnings/Content: Sentinel/Guide AU, mind-bonding, show level violence, show level torture, emotional hurt/comfort, canon character death (Michael Cole). Some Mark/John dubcon in chapters 4 and 5. Follows some events from Ep 1.10 Number Crunch, Ep 1.23 Firewall and 2.16 Relevance.
Notes: Written for [community profile] wipbigbang 2017.

Thank you to my amazing betas: [personal profile] lilacsigil and [personal profile] musyc. You guys were awesome and got me from "I want to write POI Sentinel/Guide fic with soft face touching" to actually getting it posted.

Title is from the Elton John song. ("Subway's no way for a good man to go down.")

Summary: In 2001, Harold advised on a project called Cascade, not knowing he was a Guide himself. Years later, he and John, a Sentinel on the run from Cascade, must help Shaw, who has just lost her own Guide when the Project turned on her. Complicating matters is Root, searching for Harold's Machine and interfering with their rescue of Shaw.

Also at the Archive

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Epilogue
rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The "alt-right," aka LITERAL NAZIS like the ones who murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, is planning a protest in Los Angeles this Saturday. Here's what I found when I went looking for a counter-protest. I will be there.

Obviously, this could be dangerous. But I am not letting LITERAL NAZIS march in my city unopposed. Besides, it could be a great opportunity:



Please let me know if you're going, so we can rideshare or try to meet up or something.

Defend Diversity: Fight to Protect Diversity Policies in the Workplace!!

Public · Hosted by Defend Movement and Build the Peoples' Democratic Workers' Party

Saturday at 12 PM - 3:30 PM

340 Main St, Venice, California 90291

Aug. 14th, 2017 09:16 am

In case you haven't seen it

rydra_wong: Lisa Rands' chalky hands on the sloper on the route Gaia (climbing -- hands)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
[twitter.com profile] SaraJBenincasa THREAD: I think it would be cool if tons of folks donated to good Charlottesville-based nonprofits those Nazi jerks would really hate. So...

And on Medium

And, it occurs to me, US people could usefully call their reps and ask them to explicitly condemn white supremacist terrorism, if they haven't already.

Which should, you know, be a gimme. Say "Nazis are evil" and get kudos. It should be a fucking pushover. The fact that it isn't tells us something about where we are.

Here is a magnificant display of a certain cultural sense of humour:

https://twitter.com/JSEllenberg/status/896443928433610753

And because we need it:

Discover Magazine: Get Lost in Mega-Tunnels Dug by South American Megafauna

PALEOBURROWS. GIANT GROUND SLOTHS DUG BURROWS, EVERYBODY.

Also: [community profile] 50books_poc seems unexpectedly to be flickering back to life. Reading books that Nazis would hate seems like another excellent thing to do in this situation.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Reuters: Take cover, avoid bomb flash. Guam issues nuclear guidelines

I don't know if anyone's got a good script for US people to phone their representatives and say jesus fuck don't let Buttercup start a nuclear war oh fuck oh fuck we're all going to die (maybe that should be the script), but via [tumblr.com profile] plaidadder, there's this:

delurkingdetective's post here

If you’re worried about nuclear war, one actual thing you can do to prevent it is to call your representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act. It would require Trump (and any future president) to get congressional approval to use nuclear weapons as a first strike (as opposed to retaliation after someone uses them first). It was proposed back in January and seems really, really relevant these days.

You can check if your reps are cosponsors here:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/669/cosponsors
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/200/cosponsors

If they’re not a cosponsor, call and ask them to become one.

If they’re already a cosponsor, call them and thank them, and ask them to release a press release reaffirming their support. The more news there is about this, the more likely the GOP leadership will feel pressured to actually deal with this.


ETA: I think [tumblr.com profile] plaidadder's whole post is worth reading, particularly for her poker analysis (You don’t play poker by yelling, “I have all the cards! I have the BEST cards! I have a hand of FIRE AND FURY AND UNIMAGINABLE POWER!”) and her commentary on the way the rest of the administration all seem to be trying to walk back Buttercup's threats (Of course he means it literally, he DOES NOT UNDERSTAND METAPHOR):

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder: Buttercup's Power Failure
Aug. 12th, 2017 04:35 pm

Sticker sheets of kisses to press

st_aurafina: Shaw in Relevance, with golden lights (POI: Shaw fancy)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
I got my 50K fic off to my second beta/ameripicker. I feel weird. I, uh, finished something. It's due to be posted on the 15th. What even?

Interesting things I didn't realise until I had to edit 50K of my own writing )

I have actually written a lot of things this year!

Tinee Linkspam:
- via [personal profile] musesfool, OPI summer challenge
Leave prompts! (Please leave some more POI prompts!)
- From Facebook, Clydesdale foal leaves the stable for the first time - tinee leggy baby, big world, what do? How do you even horse?
- Also from Facebook, this terrible curse upon some burglars. CW: creepy doll faces
- From my local paper, big news in this part of the world: Giant puzzle solved. (The puzzle is literally a puzzle.)
- From McSweeney's via [personal profile] kalloway, I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe Humans Are Biologically Unfit to Have Jobs in Tech. (Rolling my eyes right out of my head at that google dude.)
- From My Modern Met, What Happens When a Bird’s Wings Sync Up Perfectly with a Camera’s Frame Rate. (I have dreams where stuff like this happens, like where the laws of physics are apparently broken)
- Free crochet pattern: Stingray purse or pal (I'm not sure why not both? I could be pals with a purse.)

Root/Shaw things from my endless tumblr wanderings while I was writing 50k of fic:
- Silver Lining - a Root/Shaw doujinshi. Pls pls [personal profile] lilacsigil, read this to me?
- POI OST You Are Being Watched - this is brilliant. Gifs from the final scene over the score for the theme.
- Winter Soldier!Shaw is kinda… Swol - I am all over this idea as an AU.
Aug. 11th, 2017 08:02 pm

OMFG this is so beautiful

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
And bringing me joy on a day that is, for uninteresting RL reasons, being kind of shitty:

The Guardian: Refugee rescue ship sails to aid of anti-migrant activists stranded in Med

(Aside from the beautiful cosmic irony: it should not be forgotten that these fuckers originally set out to murder people, by blocking rescue ships from saving drowning people because those drowning people are migrants.)

Note: Hope Not Hate have been on this one, with research, alarm-sounding, and tactical legal action.

Their latest e-mail, after noting the irony, continues:

We have long been worried about the state of the C-Star and its fitness to carry out the dangerous Defend Europe mission. We have spoken to numerous maritime experts who have studied hundreds of images of the vessel and raised serious concerns regarding the ship being substandard.

As such, HOPE not hate has drawn up a formal complaint and request for an immediate inspection known as a Port State Control Inspection. We will be reminding all port states that they have an obligation under the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MoU) to prevent the operation of substandard ships.

We will be distributing this formal complaint to the relevant authorities and will continue to work with Port Authorities in the Mediterranean.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Dekteon, a slave in fantasyland, escapes and blunders into a strange world between worlds where horses have bear paws and he gets hired by a man who looks just like him to guard him from the terrors of the night. At least, that's the excuse. But it turns out that his new employer has a much more sinister task in mind.

This odd fantasy has some very beautiful, striking images and scenes, and the first fourth or so has a wonderfully spooky, dreamlike atmosphere. Unfortunately, once Dekteon is sent to the matriarchy of cold, bitchy moon women and the sun men they rule, the magic falls away and is replaced by an annoying plot in which he gets the better of the entire society just by being a manly man and not doing what the women say. I'm not objecting just because it's sexist. I'm also objecting because it's dumb and boring.

Not one of Tanith Lee's best. Though I do love the cover, which is 100% accurately taken from the book. A woman with an ivory bow riding a horned lion is what I read fantasy for; wish she was in a better book.

It was part of the MagicQuest series, a fantastic YA fantasy imprint which reprinted (or originally published some?) books by Patricia McKillip, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Dickinson, Robert Westall, Paul Fisher, and Elizabeth Marie Pope. They had great covers and sometimes also great interior illustrations, and I haunted libraries and bookshops for them - all were reliably worth reading, though I liked some more than others. (I never warmed up to Peter Dickinson, and the Pied Piper book was forgettable.) Except for the Westall book, I read all its books for the first time from that imprint; it introduced me to Diana Wynne Jones and Tanith Lee.

I wish the imprint had lasted longer, but it only put out 18 books. Looking them up now, I see that I never saw or even heard of The Last Days of the Edge of the World by Brian Stableford.

Anyone else read MagicQuest? What were your favorites and least favorites?
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Please comment if you've read any of these or others by the same author.

Poll #18676 Oldie Children's Books
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 37


Beginner's Luck, by Oriel Malet. Jenny is sure she'll be a famous ballerina. Victoria is sure she has no talent. James (9) writes a poem: "O venerable is our old Ancestor, to finance our first trip to the theater."

View Answers

Fling
10 (52.6%)

Marry
3 (15.8%)

Kill
6 (31.6%)

Cherry Ames, Army Nurse, by Helen Wells. An entry I haven't read in a series I loved as a kid; a young nurse helps her patients and sometimes also solves mysteries.

View Answers

Fling
11 (52.4%)

Marry
8 (38.1%)

Kill
2 (9.5%)

The Kelpie's Pearls, by Mollie Hunter. "The story of how Morag MacLeod came to be called a witch is a queer one and not at all the sort of thing you would expect to happen nowadays."

View Answers

Fling
15 (60.0%)

Marry
7 (28.0%)

Kill
3 (12.0%)

The Little White Horse, by Eleanor Goudge. When orphaned young Maria Merryweather arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she's arrived in Paradise.

View Answers

Fling
18 (64.3%)

Marry
8 (28.6%)

Kill
2 (7.1%)

The Magic Book, by Willo Davis Roberts. Apparently the only other sff novel by the author of "The Girl With the Silver Eyes," an old favorite of mine.

View Answers

Fling
13 (59.1%)

Marry
9 (40.9%)

Kill
0 (0.0%)

Otto of the Silver Hand, written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. A historical adventure by the author of fairy tales I used to love as a kid.

View Answers

Fling
9 (47.4%)

Marry
8 (42.1%)

Kill
2 (10.5%)

The Time of the Kraken, by Jay Williams. Thorgeir Redhair must go on a quest to save his people from the kraken, since they're too busy fighting another tribe to do anything useful. By the author of my old favorite, "The Hero From Otherwhere."

View Answers

Fling
12 (60.0%)

Marry
5 (25.0%)

Kill
3 (15.0%)

We Rode to the Sea, by Christine Pullein-Thompson. Horse story by an author of other horse stories I liked as a kid.

View Answers

Fling
13 (65.0%)

Marry
4 (20.0%)

Kill
3 (15.0%)

Aug. 8th, 2017 11:29 am

The Last Enemy, by Richard Hillary

rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The memoir of a WWII fighter pilot who was shot down, badly burned, had his face and hands reconstructed, and then somehow managed to finagle his way back into being a pilot, where he was promptly killed in a training accident (I really hope not because he was, in fact, no longer fit to fly); this book came out three months before his death, so at least he got to see it published.

The excerpt I copied in my last post exemplifies the best parts of the book, which are the chapters on flying, pilot training, and recovery. (There's less on the culture surrounding his recovery (The Guinea Pig Club) than I'd hoped, possibly because he wasn't in the hospital anywhere near as long as many people were.) A lot of the memoir is devoted to philosophical conversations and musings which I found less interesting, chronicling how Hillary went from seeing war and life as something purely a matter of individual striving and enjoyment to also having a moral dimension, and from seeing himself as something of a detached observer to being connected with all humankind. The last chapter, in which he has an encounter with a woman he digs out of a collapsed house, brings together the perfectly observed details of the chapters on flying and fighting with larger issues.

Hillary was a sharp observer with a great prose style and an understated/dark sense of humor. He wasn't a pilot who wrote one book because he had an extraordinary experience he wanted to record, he was a writer who was also a pilot. I wonder if he'd have gone on to be a noted writer if he'd survived, or a minor writer whose books a handful of people really like. If the latter, I would very probably have been in that handful.

An unhappy Amazon reviewer remarks, "Too English," and it is indeed incredibly English in a very specific way, but I grew up reading books like that and for all the flaws inherent in that very specific (colonialist, among other things) outlook, I love the style.

A number of writers (J. R. R. Tolkien and Neil Gaiman, just off the top of my head) have imagined that artists continue their work in the afterlife, creating great libraries of books unwritten in life. It's the heaven I'd most like to have actually exist.

99 cent ebook on Amazon: The Last Enemy
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
From the first chapter of the memoir of a WWII fighter pilot; he has just gone down in flames, and is floating in the ocean, badly burned and alone:

There can be few more futile pastimes than yelling for help alone in the North Sea, with a solitary seagull for company, yet it gave me a certain melancholy satisfaction, for I had once written a short story in which the hero (falling from a liner) had done just this. It was rejected.

99 cent ebook on Amazon: The Last Enemy
Aug. 6th, 2017 10:04 am

Heads-up

rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
[personal profile] thefourthvine has posted one of her RL Stories, the kind which are told in such a way that I end up literally crying with laughter:

[Real Life] Telephones

Lately, I’ve been in a bemusing battle of wills with my phone, where I tell it to sync certain songs and only those songs, and it does grab the ones I tell it to, but also randomly adds other songs from my music library, often ones I’ve never listened to. When I told Best Beloved about this, her take was that I should just live with it. I questioned the Queen of Solving Problems Right Now, Immediately, Using a Hatchet as Necessary on her surprising stance and she pointed out that she knew me in college. When I had the Let Me Call You Sweetheart phone.

Go and read the tale of the Let Me Call You Sweetheart phone.

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snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
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