"Ugh, troll bogies!"

Jun. 26th, 2017 13:05
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

[This was the review of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone” I posted on June 8th 1999, shortly before the release of “Azkaban”.]

It's been quite a while since I enjoyed a previously unread children's book as much as I enjoyed HP&TPS. At first, the book did seem to skip through genres quite jerkily: I think the introduction, an ugly-duckling story as with the start of, say, James and the Giant Peach, was a bit too long for a section so separate from the rest of the story. But the mystery part was excellent and I never guessed the secret. (It's an interesting point that there's no way you can be really evil if you have a stammer.) Considered as a school story... I'm not sure I can tell: the conventions for stories about boys' schools and girls' schools are so different, and good stories (such as this one) about co-ed schools are correspondingly so rare. Perhaps this is just my limited experience.

Incidentally, I wonder how much she was influenced by DWJ. The idea of the Ministry of Magic is very similar to Chrestomanci's department (though with different motives); you could perhaps draw (a few) parallels with Witch Week.

The description of the first few days at the school did get slightly irritating, because your attention kept being summarily drawn to a rapid succession of things which were (or seemed to be) just for show, without any obvious use in the story (e.g. the Choosing Hat): it was rather as though the author had invited you over to show you her holiday snaps. This is one of the places where I'd draw unfavourable comparisons with the subtle way DWJ has of doing the same thing; nevertheless, there are lots of good little ideas used well, with Diagon Alley and the Every Flavour sweets being especially memorable.

A few oddnesses: I'm sure Hermione's logic puzzle has more than one solution. The bizarre HM turned without warning into a bizarre moralist beside the Mirror of Erised (though you could draw comparisons with his behaviour by Harry's sick bed). Quidditch was rather run to death. Were there really no half-decent people in the whole of Slytherin? And by the way, I'm fairly sure I remember reading in Brewer that the Philosopher's Stone was pink and crumbly, not scarlet... hmm!

But it's also been a while since I've slowed down towards the end of a book because I know I'm going to miss the characters (cf. the Neverending Story). So I think I'll look out for the sequel... besides, I want to know whether Harry & Hermione get together :) . I'll certainly be recommending this to people I know who are sensible enough to want to read it.

[And a small claim to fame: AFAIK I was the first person to try to create a Harry Potter newsgroup.]

catvalente: (pic#941394)
[personal profile] catvalente

If you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve probably heard of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. If you’re not, here’s the cheat sheet straight from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas:

“The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.”

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is a juried award as well, with this year’s jury including Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon (one of Sturgeon’s children and trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate).

It’s kind of a big deal for the science fiction field. And Cat Valente is it’s latest recipient.

That’s right: Cat’s short story “The Future is Blue,” published in Drowned Worlds (edited by Jonathan Strahan) took the prize! As you may have already seen on Twitter, Cat is incredibly excited, chuffed, and all-around honored to be awarded the Sturgeon Award.

Learn more about the award and past winners at the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award’s site.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

Interesting Links for 26-06-2017

Jun. 26th, 2017 12:04
tehexile: (Default)
[personal profile] tehexile posting in [community profile] picture_prompt_fun
Written For: Picture #5 and Picture #6
Title:  It's Raining Somewhere Else
Fandom: Undertale
Character: Alphys/Undyne, also featuring Metatton and the Annoying Dog
Length: 789
Rating: T
Warnings: mild spoilers, mild language
Author's Notes: None
Summary: Undyne's attempts to engineer a date with Alphys go amusingly wrong. 

Read more... )

SuikoII, etc.

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:44
kalloway: (GaGa Just Dance)
[personal profile] kalloway
Well, I played about six hours of Suikoden II Saturday, instead of doing anything remotely productive like I needed to do (untrue? I did do a few things...) and don't regret it. ^^;; Riou is having an amusing wtf time of it all, Jowy, and Flik and Viktor do seem to have gotten married during the span between games. *grins* I look forward to more returning characters~ and all the new ones.

After finishing SuikoII, I do have both Suikogaidens, if I want to poke at them. I won't have clear data to load over, since I'm playing everything else on PS3 (the PS1 discs, I mean - I'm lazy and like my wireless controller) and I don't know if the Suikogaidens recognize NA clear data anyway... (I have had games recognize JP/NA data, unexpectedly, but I'm guessing it's the exception and not the rule.) I'm a little surprised there are no copies of the Suikogaidens available on Amazon right now... but I have had my copies for about a decade? I'm bad at keeping track of game prices/availability. Isn't SuikoII available on PSN? But used copies are still running $100 for a disc-only...

And here's some other stuff that came up in conversation with Ket:

Ages! I checked that character book that I have and while there are no official ages for the heroes, Jowy is 17, Viktor is 29/32, Flik is 25/28, and Gremio is 27/(30).

That pair of fic recs:

Unvoiced (1264 words) by Mithrigil
Fandom: Suikoden I
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Gremio/Tir McDohl
Characters: Gremio, Tir McDohl
Additional Tags: First Time, Master/Servant, good to be alive, Spoilers for the good ending, Awkward Sexual Situations, awkward flailing
Summary: Gremio returns, on the eve of the siege of Gregminster. He promised, once, that he would never leave Tir: it’s Tir’s turn to make the same promise for Gremio.

Things to Toast (4250 words) by Mithrigil
Fandom: Suikoden I, Suikoden II
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Flik/Viktor
Characters: Flik (Suikoden), Viktor (Suikoden)
Additional Tags: Drunk Sex, Friends With Benefits, Porn Battle, First Time, the beast rune can never be buggered at all
Summary: After the events of Suikoden I, Flik and Viktor have survived a hell of a lot. That doesn't make Viktor any less insufferable. Getting drunk, however, does.
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
[personal profile] wneleh posting in [community profile] as_others_see_us
The New York Times published Amanda Hess’s 'When Fan Fiction and Reality Collide,' about “FANtasies,” a new anthology web series where fan fiction about internet stars is “brought to life.” As someone who writes YouTuber rpf/rps, I am… really uneasy about this.

For Comicsverse, Colleen Etman compiled A History of Slashfiction.

From Ed Mazza in Huffington Post: Creationist Fan Fiction Features Noah Fighting Giants And Dinosaurs.

Supernatural, One Direction, lots of Harry Potter, Phil Collins, JRRT )

For USA Today, Christian Schneider wrote It's not as if gerrymandering is a new practice; according to some accounts, it predated even the American Revolution. Partisan apportionment was known to the nation's founding fathers — it is rumored that Patrick Henry actually attempted, unsuccessfully, to gerrymander James Madison out of the First Congress. (Which, in my fan fiction describing the event, ended with an old-style caning to settle the dispute.)

Los Angeles Times’s Yvonne Villarreal wrote In our own [This Is Us] fan fiction, we imagine [Ron] Howard enlisting Kevin as a last-minute addition to the Han Solo production. Hartley, though, is just crossing his fingers that more Howard cameos are in his future.

From Nuria Perea on BuzzFeed News: How Indie Movies And Fanfic Helped Me Learn How To Be A Lesbian.

Finally, in a review of an art exhibition, The Boston Globe’s Cate McQuaid wrote Yuan Runhe’s wily painted fan, “A Surface of Obtained Flaws,” depicts an envelope and a thank-you note, which says that, in gratitude, the writer is sending a painting of a fan. Is it the object itself? Perhaps, but Yuan also paints a piece of a painting of a fan. Call it fan fiction.

Daily Happiness

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:20
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Not only is it my day off tomorrow, but it's my birthday, too! That was a nice coincidence.

2. I bought a couple manga tonight and I have to say, I am so happy I finally discovered how to buy ebooks on Amazon Japan. Not only do I prefer the interface of Amazon to the iTunes store (I hate that you can only buy things through iTunes itself and not a webpage), but I can use my own credit card rather than having to get someone to buy me a gift card. With iTunes I always hesitated to buy anything because once I used up the gift card amount, I would have to ask someone to buy me one again, and I'd have to pay up front for it. With Amazon, I am really casual about buying manga, because it's just like $4 here and there. I also like how it's just automatically downloaded to my kindle app and I can load it on my device or delete it in seconds, rather than having to go through iTunes (again).

3. Jasper was being super cute and silly while he was napping tonight. He actually got even sillier after I posted this picture. (I didn't think it was possible.)

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
[tumblr.com profile] sashayed: It’s Not That Bad to F— Up While Calling Your Senator About Something Important

To prove this point, she presents actual transcripts of messages she left on her senators' voicemail, with her reaction gifs.

Sample:

Hi, uh, Sen. [Name]. And staff. [Nervous laughter.] My name is [Rave Sashayed] and I’m a constituent from [place where I vote]. I just wanted to call to thank you for standing up against the AHCA in the Senate. I–it’s an incredibly cruel and stupid and – and vicious bill. You know? And I’m not, like – a person who used to call her Senators all the time! know? I’m, like, a normal person! [Nervous laughter] But this – it’s crazy to me that this bill could become legislation. It directly affects me, it directly affects the people I love. I mean, it kicks millions of people off of Medicare for a tax break for – I mean. You know this. You’re. Uh. A Senator. So. You’ve read the bill. Um.

I would like to remind people that I phoned my MP's office and actually stated (completely incorrectly and randomly) that I lived in a place which said MP does not represent, had this pointed out to me and had to correct myself. AND YET (like Sashayed) I LIVE.

Right now, it looks like the Senate is wavering. Republican Senators are saying they "just don't know" if they've got the votes to pass the AHCA.

If you can't do phoning, you can't do phoning (I am sometimes a person who can't do phoning). But if you can, now's the time. IT IS OKAY TO PHONE AND FUCK IT UP. As long as you can communicate that you are opposed to the AHCA, that's enough.

Also, have some MOTHERFUCKING ICONS (photos of the ADAPT protestors being arrested during their protest at Mitch McConnell's office).

Ridiculous comment of the day

Jun. 26th, 2017 03:24
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
In response to this article:

White people are the only reason schools ever desegregated in the first place, so making broad generalizations here doesn't work.

0.0

That's some impressive ignorance there. I just... I don't even... wow. Thurgood Marshall must be absolutely spinning in his grave.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
we certainly have a lot of classic cars. Not just old cars, but old in very good condition and the sort that even people with no real knowledge of cars (hi!) can say "Wow, that's a nice looking car!" over.

Yesterday when I walked the dogs with Eva, we passed one such car with a front bench seat.

Me: That's a nice car!
Eva: It's weird, it doesn't even have two seats in the front.
Eva: Wait, it has three seats. COOL! So you can have six people in the car! Why don't they do that now?

I didn't know the answer, but here it is. They were an option for much longer than I thought! I'd assumed they were regulated away, but apparently not. Whodathunk? (Random tangent - I wonder which is more common in English, "whodathunk" or "whodathunkit"? Google ngram viewer is completely unhelpful here.)

Anyway, today I saw three nice Cadillacs from the 50s or 60s... though given that they were all together, there was probably a thing they were going to. And last week I ran across an Oldsmobile that I'm pretty sure is from the 40s.

So as you can see, we do have a lot of classic cars in this neighborhood that you might randomly run across.

**********************


Chatter in the deep brain spurs empathy in rats

The day after Sweden switched from driving on the left to driving on the right, 1967 (LOL!)

'50s Ladies in Kodachromes: Looking Back to Women Fashion Over 60 Years Ago

Chickens may illuminate how humans developed sharp daylight vision

The story behind the dark Times Square subway poem (Yo, that's a really long tunnel, btw.)

Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in years (I didn't know henna was an Iraqi thing, but judging from those pictures I guess so...?)

Eid al-Fitr: What you need to know (Starting this year, NYC schools take off for Eid, but they're doing it tomorrow. And then I think school ends Wednesday. This is typical of the NYC school system. It'd make just as much sense to not take those two random days off in June and then end the year last Friday, but noooooooo. Don't know why I'm complaining, I don't have to deal with that nonsense, anyway.)

Muslims in Asia pray for peace as Ramadan holy month ends (There is a girl in one of those pictures wearing a red hijab with white polka dots and Minnie Mouse ears. It is so adorable, it must be seen to be believed.)

A Middle Eastern Spin On A Classic Latino Dessert: Rose Cardamom Tres Leches (Tres Leches is apparently quite popular in Turkey nowadays anyway.)

This Common Butterfly Has an Extraordinary Sex Life (Extraordinary and a little stomach-churning.)

Famous Women Have Been Defying Gender Norms and Rocking Menswear for Years

Gay pride parades sound a note of resistance - and face some

Stories About Disability Don’t Have to Be Sad

Planes aren’t the only things with wings buzzing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The base was the first military installation to earn the “Bee City USA” designation: The number of pollinator honey bees swarming around hives has flourished five fold in two years as the bees indulge in abundant food, water and nesting sites, officials say.

Philippine, Vietnam navies play sports on South China Sea island

The decline of electric guitar

Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?

Joe Arpaio on trial over immigration actions echoing Trump's

A Battle Over Prayer in Schools Tests Canada’s Multiculturalism

A risky fix to repair a city's gutted streetlight grid

The TSA is going to look through your books but promises not to notice what you're reading (When we talk about things that we should never have accepted as normal, the TSA and their shenanigans is top of the list.)

Journalists Condemn Trump Press Restrictions, But Don’t Expect Them To Boycott Briefings

Two factories Donald Trump bragged about saving are now laying off workers

Canadian leaders have given up on Trump—so now they're going around him

Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill (No shit.)

Pro-Trump group's health care offensive warns GOP senators to get in line

The Danger of Yemen's Secret Prisons (Content note: like all descriptions of torture, this is nauseating)

Random things -

Jun. 25th, 2017 21:24
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Be with you)
[personal profile] yuuago
☆ I'm looking forward to Camp NaNo. Who else is planning to do it? I realized today that I have just over 14k to go before I hit my year's goal of 50k, and while I don't think I can manage to write that much in a month, I'm going to try.

☆ Found out that I might have the house to myself on Canada Day weekend... I'm crossing my fingers in hope that everything will turn out. It would be nice to just dogsit by myself and not do anything much. I tend to feel a little melancholy on that day, so the less time spent around people, the better.

☆ It was sooo sunny today. Maybe even a little bit too much. I'm melting. x_x I'm glad that it's so bright, but then again, little bit excessive....

☆ Have discovered that I like having breakfast outside in the mornings. Sure, I need to put on bug spray first, otherwise the mosquitoes will totally eat me, but after that... it's fine. Maybe I'll start doing this on weekends. It's nice to have the peace and quiet.

☆ I get so much joy out of seeing people get excited about their OCs in SSSS fandom... I can't put my finger on why, but it just makes me so happy. Not to mention, of course, that when people actually sit down and write these things, it opens up so many worldbuilding possibilities. Fun! (Also, I guess, seeing such enthusiasm in others makes me feel like less of a weirdo.)

Ah, summer

Jun. 25th, 2017 21:09
snickfic: Gamora profile (mcu)
[personal profile] snickfic
That time when a young-ish woman's thoughts turn to superheroes and X-Men comics and Latin rock. (This is not a joke, my interests really are seasonal like this, and those really are my regular summer obsessions.) Right now the nostalgia for last summer's MCU femslash spiral is hitting me HARD. And lo and behold, I have a new GotG movie's worth of femslash to look for!

If you've got fic recs for either of those, btw, I'm all years. (Haven't seen AoU, Civil War, Agents of Shield, or the Netflix shows, though.)
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
(and it's 87F past 9 PM, and the low's supposed to be 67F at 5 AM))

I'm mellllllllting

NO excuse

Jun. 25th, 2017 23:53
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
[personal profile] elanya
For leaving this until the last minute :p

I got 2/3 things on my to do list done - the raspberries weren't quite ripe, but I got my Nigerian food and I did a bit more writing. And there was game, and I got some answers/options for what to do with my cotton yarn.

As far as it being a successful weekend, I can't remember anything that I am supposed to do next week at work, so I think that is a win!

And now - goodnight!

Forever Knight Season 4.

Jun. 25th, 2017 23:27
melissatreglia: (forever knight (nick/nat) - happy)
[personal profile] melissatreglia
I've finally figured out exactly how I want to end my virtual fourth season and, by extension, how I think the series should have ended.

Now that I know for certain the direction I'm going with it, I'll be officially beginning Season 4 next month. Episodes will "premiere" every fortnight on the AO3.

I look forward to seeing what my fellow fans think of it. :)

last ones tonight

Jun. 25th, 2017 22:55
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why Travis Kalanick resigned as Uber president. Quote: As Axios’s Dan Primack wrote, “Someone close to Uber recently said to me: ‘It’s wrong to say that Uber doesn’t care about women. It doesn’t really care about people, and women are people. It’s incidental.’ ”

In some of the Midwest, the problem is too many jobs and not enough workers.

In NYC, fighting for the immigrants of Little Pakistan.

Liberals in strange places... like Montana.

There may be a way to kill the Trumpcare bill.

Natives on the Hill -- an antidote to homesickness for Native Americans at the Capitol.

A superhero power for our time -- handling the truth.
lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))
[personal profile] lizbee
I can't believe it's taken the show more than fifty years to use that title. Teaspoon has ... okay, only four fics using it. That's less than I expected.

Anyway.

'No, dear, those were spoilers.' )