copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
([personal profile] copperbadge Sep. 25th, 2017 07:24 am)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] onomatopathetically, a disabled woman trapped in an abusive and dangerous home situation. She's raising funds to relocate to somewhere safe where she can get a job; you can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[personal profile] pinesandmaples linked to a March of Dimes fundraiser being run by their friend Karen, who recently lost her infant son to a terminal birth defect. She is raising funds to help support research into infant birth defects in memory of her son. You can read more and support their walk here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

Recently I made a post about a new word I'd come up with to describe the gallows humor of Millennials, "Millennihilist", and [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara asked if she could make it into a shirt; the result is on sale now, with all proceeds going to the Hispanic Federation to help with the crisis in Puerto Rico. You can read more, reblog, and find links to purchase here.

Housing:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is still looking for a roommate; they're looking to let a bedroom just off Fulham Palace Road in Fulham for a short-term from October to 19th November for £850 per month including utilities, negotiable (length of stay also negotiable). You can read more and get in touch here.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
I've been doing less book bingeing and more reading of fic over the last month, which is probably, ultimately a happy balance for me.

Liberty and Other Stories (Prosperity, #2-4, 6) - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A diverse series of stories expanding on the Prosperity universe, both before and after the events of Prosperity. read more )

The New Born Year - Kris Ripper ★ ★

I love this series, and I really liked getting to know Ally better, but I found this a difficult and unpleasant read. read more )

Full of Briars (October Daye, #9.3) - Seanan McGuire ★ ★ ★

I'm several books behind in this series, and figured this was a good way to dip back in. Because Quentin. Who is awesome. read more )

Gun To My Head - Dira Lewis ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. First read April 5, 2017. Second read April 6, 2017. Third read now, by which you might infer that I really fucking love this book. read more )

The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★

I continue to adore this series. This second installment continues to follow Barbara and Margerit's lives, while expanding the focus to two characters who played a supporting role in the first book. read more )

The Element of Fire (Ile-Rien, #1) - Martha Wells ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. I think I first read this sometime in 2010.

This is a secondary-world fantasy set in the approximate equivalent of 17th Century France only with both sorcery and Fae creatures.read more )

Point of Dreams (Astreiant, #2) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett ★ ★ ★ ★

In some ways the murders are the least interesting part of this book. They matter, and they drive the plot, but it's the thematic stuff going on around and in cause of the murders that I found most interesting.

This is a book about relationships, and the ways they are seen and controlled by society and societal pressures. read more )

Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox ★ ★ ★ ★

This was not the book I expected it to be, but I quite enjoyed the book it turned out to be.

This is, as the cover copy stated, a just-post-WWII historical romance between an archaeologist and a vicar, both of whom came back from the war changed. It's about two men trying to fit back into roles and ways of life they no longer fit. read more )

Bound to Be a Groom (Regency Reimagined, #1) - Megan Mulry

DNF.

It's queer, kinky, poly, historical erotica. I'm pretty much THE target audience for this book. And I gave up at 13% read. read more )

Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey, #1) - Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold ★ ★ ★ ★

This was a rougher read than I expected from the ad copy. Good, but at times decidedly difficult.

This is a queer, steampunk murder mystery, but that's not really what it's about.

What it actually is is a book about institutionally-sanctioned bullying and abuse and the different ways in which adult survivors of childhood trauma cope with their past. read more )
R: [chess partner] lost one of my black bishops from the chess set last weekend.

Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.

R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity? 

Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.

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Last night, R and I watched a bunch of documentaries, including one on Willie Nelson, which referenced his smash album Red Headed Stranger.

R: In the RV park, Red Headed Stranger is the only album I feel comfortable playing over my external speaker system. It’s the only music everyone can agree they like.

Sam: Isn’t Red Headed Stranger a concept album about going on the run after murdering your family?

R: People can relate. 

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Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

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hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
([personal profile] hannah Sep. 18th, 2017 06:15 pm)
A new computer, a new keyboard, and an undetermined period of adjustment. But mostly, a new computer. It's arrived, it's booted up, and I'm blogging on it. Everything moves so fast, but I don't quite know where everything is, like a nighttime taxi ride through a new city. Which isn't entirely the worst feeling to have. My old computer is still working fine, for the most part, and as soon as I find a safe space to keep it, I'll have it as a backup.

The "most part" being that the first part of my old computer that started to show any age or depredation was its internal CD drive. Remembering the days when not everything was built in and thinking how they'd come again, I was able to get around that problem with a USB-powered one. My new computer doesn't have a CD drive to begin with, so in a weird way that was sort of forward-thinking of me to get one.

Even so, even without a sleek internal CD drive, that computer got me through grad school and the last few years safely. Seven years, six months, one week - Eureka to Silver Lake.
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
([personal profile] copperbadge Sep. 18th, 2017 07:45 am)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we start, a quick note because I've had a handful of issues with this lately -- if you want to bring a cause to my attention the best way to go about it is to fill out the Radio Free Monday form (also linked from the sidebar of my tumblr page). It's not just that I might not see a post tagged to me or that it saves me a ton of time, but also that it makes sure I get the information I need to describe the situation, link the appropriate pages, and name and gender people correctly.

The form doesn't ask many questions, doesn't pull any metadata (literally it doesn't even record the date you entered the information), and is as anonymous as you want it to be -- there are options for complete or partial anonymity for the person submitting the item.

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] prismatic-bell linked to a fundraiser for Congregation Beth Yeshurun and their attached day school, which were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, which hit two Jewish neighborhoods in Houston especially hard. The families are currently attending Temple Brith Israel, and the children from the day school have had to scatter among several schools temporarily. You can read more about the damage here, reblog here, give directly to the rebuilding fund, or purchase toys and learning materials or replacement books for the school directly through Amazon.

[tumblr.com profile] reesa-chan is preparing for surgery and gathering supplies to make recovery go as smoothly as possible, but they're coming up short on a few things and surgery is looming. They have a Amazon Wishlist available here and have their paypal giving page here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] poplitealqueen, who is trying to help her mother get some experimental medical treatment which might allow her mobility without the use of a wheelchair. You can read more and reblog here (including links at the top to Patreon and Ko-fi) or give directly to their Ko-Fi here.

[tumblr.com profile] quinfirefrorefiddle linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] niines9s, who is trying to escape an abusive home and needs funding for housing after graduation. They are offering commissions and also taking donations; you can read more, reblog, and find paypal information at their post.

Anon linked to news about a Christian group, Faithfully LGBT, who are fundraising to aid transgender people with gender-confirming surgeries as a way of atoning for religious discrimination against transgender people. You can read and reblog the story here or give directly to the Tithe Campaign here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to a post called Saving Your Grades From A Mental Health Crisis, which is about what to do if you're in college and dealing with mental illness.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
hannah: (OMFG - favyan)
([personal profile] hannah Sep. 16th, 2017 08:56 pm)
Last night my mother offered to buy me and my brother tickets to a matinée showing of Groundhog Day at two o'clock. I wanted to see it, so I said yes.

There was a library book sale today my brother and I both wanted to go to that opened at noon, so I said yes to that.

There was a meetup group for nerds and board games that started at one o'clock, and I said yes to that as well.

Somehow between hustling out the door to get to the book sale early, and moseying out of that to arrive in time to get a few games in, and skipping the almost-to-the-door line at the coffee shop, and going down to wait almost 15 minutes for the next subway train...somehow I arrived at the subway platform just in time to see a friend of mine who happened to come down to NYC this weekend. On a whim.

She had a friend with her who was also in fandom that I'd never met before. But I knew her fics and got to gush in person.

Oh, and besides that, the subway was running express, not local, so we got out to walk up nine blocks. I said we ought to walk up the next street over, not the one we were on - and my brother and I walked right into a big open air market, and got to walk right up the middle of the street.

So today was definitely something.
Wow, you guys, the me of 2014 was such a good bro, he bought an extra three years of premium-level warranty coverage on his laptop.

I wasn’t even looking for whether I was still covered by warranty, I just assumed I wasn’t, but I went to Dell’s website to get the model number of my laptop so I could look up how to open it up properly and fix the terrible groaning noise my fan is making. And Dell was like hey, here’s your model number, also your warranty is good through June of 2018. 

I’m still gonna try to open it up and fix the fan myself, but if I can’t, I can send it in and get the fan fixed AND get a repair on the housing that’s starting to crack. 

Good job, 2014 Sam. You had no idea the crazy shit that was ahead of you but by god you knew you’d need three years of warranty. You and me, buddy, we’re fucking killing it in the adulting department lately. 

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Me: R’s in town this weekend so we may meet up.

Mum: Send me a picture of you and R when you’re hanging out!

Me: Not sure when it’ll be yet but I’ll do my best. It’s a little uncertain right now.

Mum: If it were certain, I’d be worried it wasn’t really R.

She knows us both so well. 

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hannah: (Sam and Dean - soaked)
([personal profile] hannah Sep. 14th, 2017 08:15 pm)
I've got wireless set up in my apartment, and I'm slowly working through the process of getting my new computer set up for everything I need to transfer my regular activity over there. I figure another few days, maybe even as early as next Tuesday, and I can move my frustrations from wireless tech support to typing on a new keyboard.

I think a lot of the issues will smooth out when I manage to get inside stuff. If that makes sense.

Oddly enough, I spent most of the morning wringing myself out over a learning module that itself was less intuitive and streamlined than the program it was ostensibly trying to teach me how to use. It seems the "poke around and try to learn things" style is that deeply embedded in the human brain.
hannah: (Dar Williams - skadi)
([personal profile] hannah Sep. 13th, 2017 09:15 pm)
Three projects at once is two more than I usually handle. I think I can about manage it this time, since they're all doing different things. The fantasy was printed out on Monday, and I got my hands on a pair of red pens for marking up the physical pages. The science fiction is just at the very beginning of the initial composition phase, currently saved as "Czech 1.2." And the Buffy fic needs to be rewritten from the beginning, pulling in allusions here, references there, doing up scenes from scratch.

I don't quite know what I'm doing, but I know I can't let myself stop.

Quite possibly I'll get to Buffy again soon, which would be nice. The "Hellmouthy" podcast is more grating than I'd expected, but every so often there's a shining gold nugget of a character observation sifted out of the silt that is all the nasal fry and incoherent tangents. As Buffy-based podcasts go, "Buffering the Vampire Slayer" is far less mean-spirited and more light-hearted and genuinely enthusiastic, so it gets my primary endorsement. And I'm still searching for additional fandom icons. Stupid homework keeping me from fandom pursuits.

Also, I began reading Gone Girl. Having been spoiled thanks to the internet, it's an exercise in trying to see how everything is presented and put together. Which, for me, is a more compelling read than two horrifically tragic individuals. I get enough of that just going to work.
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
([personal profile] hannah Sep. 12th, 2017 08:42 pm)
London is a city without a horizon, and London is a city that will never be satisfied. It's built out of liminal spaces and it grows unconstrained, encompassing, devouring, the last remains of empire. There are no mountains, deserts, or oceans to stop it - even the River Thames is only a brief pause. When I came in, tired but ready to keep going, I saw how much London as a city spreads out, how much space it takes up, much more than anywhere else I've ever been, and maybe if I'd climbed the highest towers in the city I'd have been able to see its end, but it's so very much a city without end. Everywhere I've lived has some sort of horizon, or at least some sense of a boundary. When I left, standing at the window of an underground train car to feel the tiniest bit of wind on my face and glimpse a little bit of sky before I'd go up inside, I saw how London as a city will never be finished.

But for all that, within London, people move calmly. There's periods during the day with more intense activity, but there's so much room for people to take a moment to stop. To fully stop. There's parks all over the place, some small, some grand, with plenty of old churches turned into little open-air resting spots replete with lawns and bees working at the flowers. It's not an intense pace but it's a consistent one. The city was here yesterday, and the city will be here tomorrow. And it's accepted that whatever the state of London, it's never going to be quite real, even when you're standing right there inside of it. It's liminal.

London's so liminal it's got palm trees. They're all over the place, including a mile-long park that's wild with birds and blackberries that's also got trains shaking the air right beside it and a wind turbine dropped in the middle and a pub with palm trees tucked in a corner.

There's an urban farm with open fields and an anti-aircraft gun because there wasn't anywhere else to put it. There's parks where foxes slink around after dark, and snails hoof it across the footpaths to beat the evening chill. Just an hour in London gave me new appreciation for so much of Terry Pratchett's work: so much of his genius came from exploring the edges and the corners and finding out for himself just what lived there.

Last Tuesday I stood at the River Thames on midnight and looked at the almost-full moon cast a path on the water, on a rare clear night with almost no clouds to speak of - enough to sometimes pass in front, with the moon more than bright enough to shine through. Except when there was one so thick that when it passed by, the path slowly disappeared, fading away and then vanishing until the cloud moved on and it returned, beginning at my side of the river and opening up the way across to another place entirely. The sky itself, aside from those few clouds, was remarkably dark for a city sky; it must have been the river itself and associated zoning codes keeping the light pollution away. Just a handful of the brightest stars, and the moon.

The next night, walking through a park, the full moon sat in the middle of the London Eye. A pupil in an eye that never winked, just went to sleep when all the clouds came in.

Compared to London, Copenhagen is a town. It's settled into itself, and the ocean is the ultimate horizon line. It's a town built as a city, and it's cozy and comfortable in a way that comes from people living out their lives there, happy to settle in. Though I will say, the Bastard Cafe was outstanding and Tivoli Gardens at night was like visiting a dream.

Oddly enough, the most Danish I heard spoken was during a Jewish religious service. It was a cousin's son's bar mitzvah, and his Danish mother stood up and gave a speech in her mother tongue, and hearing it next to English and Hebrew gave me a good sensation of the tonal differences between the language. Danish melts together, all the syllables and words running smoothly into each other. English has distinct syllables, but flowing words. And even when it's sung, Hebrew makes sure you hear every sound.

I'll also say it was delightful to joke about how Denmark shouldn't be ashamed of looting, it invented it - and then England stole looting, and went on to perfect it.

I saw family on Copenhagen and friends in London, and when I came back to New York, I rode in the front of the shuttle to get to the subway and got a gorgeous panorama of the Manhattan skyline. New York City is built on reality. There's almost nothing liminal inside it: everyone brings their own, and somehow, all the reality everyone has settles together into one unquestionable mosaic. People may try to reverse-engineer it, but the reality remains. Copenhagen has no real conflicts because it doesn't need them. And London, a unique beast, is never going to be as real as the rest of the world - which is what I guess comes from when you build a city without a horizon.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Sep. 12th, 2017 07:05 pm)
So in FMK reading adventures, I finally finished the first Gor book, that was voted K early on but I decided I wanted to read before dumping just so I could say I had.

I should have trusted y'all: it was mostly just incredibly pointlessly bland, occasionally rising to actively annoying. It wasn't even really bad enough to be interestingly bad. There was a lot more flying around on giant soulbonded warbirds than I expected, tbh (somehow I had though that Tarnsman meant "man of the mountain lake country" but I think that was giving him too much credit for having a vocabulary,) but the warbirds are so badly wordbuilt and lacking in individual personality and the flying scenes so lacking in joy that the only time I actually cared about them was when the abused half-starved ones were about to eat the MC and I roused enough to cheer them on. The plot is built on bad characterization and improbable coincidences; the language aspires to basic competence; you can very easy disassemble it into its component stereotypes; and all sense-of-wonder or hints that the MC is not a sociopath are missing. Also amused that the author refuses to comment on whether it's John Carter of Mars fanfic (it's really badly done John Carter of Mars fanfic, omg.) I understand the series gets far more batshit later, but I don't think I need to read far enough to find out.

Also, thank you all for your help with picking a yuletide nomination! I shall be ignoring the clear preference of the poll, and nominating Mr. Trash Wheel RPF. He didn't win, but he did win the vote of everybody I know who has taken a selfie with him, and their votes count 10x, sorry.

(this is Mr. Trash Wheel: )

I will also be nominating Professor Trash Wheel and a five foot long West African Ball Python as characters, of course. I am stuck on who should be my fourth nom, though. A modular robotic eel that hunts for water pollution? Lynyrd Skymmer? Some other celebrity of the waters that I don't yet know about?


Clearly there's a market for Always Coming Home, though. Someone else should nominate it. (If I requested it, it'd just be as "tell me a story of the Valley", so I don't care about characters.)


Meanwhile, I re-read The Girl With The Silver Eyes to prepare to nominate. That one does hold up very well! Things I had forgotten about this book: the muumuu wearing old fat lady who lives alone with her cats and her books and gives no fucks and is #rolemodel. The fact that Katie can TALK TO CATS. The constant references to other YA fantasy/sf novels by the same imprint that she is reading. How much this book distrusts all adult men. How much this book also distrusts all non-readers. How yes they have psi powers and are super-smart, but they're also explicitly non-neurotypical in a way that read a lot more Autism Spectrum than any of the books about supposedly autistic kids that I was reading at the time, and that's more of an issue for them than the psi powers.

The book really needs an active fandom if only so we can have epic fanwars about whether they spoilers )

Anyway I am stuck for character noms there too, because I want all the kid characters but I also want Mr. C, Mrs. M, Miss K and Jackson Jones.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Sep. 12th, 2017 01:51 pm)
Last week's F winner, after a very close race, was a tie between Beguilement and Daughter of Witches! I picked Beguilement because I know I'm keeping the rest of Lyra regardless, so Beguilement is more likely to lead to me dumping several books at once. K winner was The Death of Sleep, so goodbye Lunzie!

The comics bonus round winner was Asterix le Galois. Of course the bonus round I threw in because "comics are fast and easy!" gets won by one where I'm going to have to review a whole other language first... There was no K majority for the comics round, although I'm curious about the fact that Maison Ikkoku nearly got it, because I had not idea there was active dislike for Maison Ikkoku out there.

I am going to spend two days of next week trapped in a car with a couple of cats and almost no luggage space, so it's time to finally roll out the LONG BOOKS ARE LONG poll. That way I can only pack one and be reading it all week. :P

I don't know if I'll have internet next Tuesday but likely not (we are helping sister move) so there may be another break in fmk next week.

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: Adams, Asaro, Clarke, Coville, Delany, Hobb, Hunt, Jemisin, Lynch, Melville, Michalson, Pynchon, Stephenson, Williams, Williamson )
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