metaphortunate: (Default)
Has a/b/o replaced Directed!verse?

(if you don't know what this means, please do not worry about it. If you choose to worry about it, the results are your own responsibility and none of my own.)
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Fic authors I have all the time in the world for: the ones who take your standard rigidly gendered canon and subvert the shit out of it.

Fic authors who can get in the fucking sea: the ones who keep the eighty-five male characters from their male-dominated canon male and turn the one and only female character genderqueer.

Oh, speaking of fic, not especially queered but wonderful anyway: I'll write you harmony in c by magneticwave. Because Mary Bennet was a woman tragically born out of her right time.
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it's hard to raise a Force user when you're not one

You parents know what I’m talking about. That would be some adorable wishing into the cornfield shit to live with.

Mostly coloring and shading practice. Drawn using Autodesk Sketchbook on my phone as with everything recently. I heard a rumor that Apple might be bringing back an iPhone of a size that would actually fit in my tiny girl hands and oh my god, if they do, someday I might have a phone with pressure sensitivity...
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It occurred to me the other day that Captain America would smoke like a freaking chimney.

(yes I have been keeping myself calm over the past week by drawing Captain America chain smoking)
(it's very soothing)
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I know, I know, you wonder what FFA is even for, but I am here to tell you: for the Great Woobie-Off.

And best of all: [personal profile] skygiants informs us that the winner, the Woobiest of all the Woobies, is, of course:

Vanyel Ashkevron. Search your feelings: you know it to be true.

On a similar note, would you like to have your heart broken, and then fixed better than it was before with gay porn? Damn, son, [personal profile] cesperanza has still got it: "All the Angels and the Saints", Captain America/Bucky Barnes. Yeah, I know this is like a year old; this isn't even my fandom, I haven't been reading in it, I ran into this randomly, and whoa.
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
[personal profile] brainwane premiered a new vid at Wiscon 2015!

It's called "Pipeline".

Because the tech industry's got a blank space, baby. And it'll write your name.


Nov. 11th, 2014 09:42 pm
metaphortunate: (I'm tasty)
When you get a wild hair to look up old fave comfort fic in a pre-AOOO fandom

and everyone's deleted or locked
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In case you're not on Twitter: have you seen this amazing Pinterest board?

Barrayar Dreaming
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Year 1: Junebug was in utero, which meant he had no choice about going where I went. Sigh. Good times, good times.

Year 2: Junebug was in his first year of daycare and handing me many, many diseases, one of which kept me at home.

Year 3: I meant to go Friday night and Saturday. Junebug, of course, came down with something Friday night. So I stayed home with him Friday night. And then I callously handed off a sick baby to Mr. E and flitted off to Walnut Creek all day Saturday. And it was WONDERFUL I regret nothing. I should also point out that despite the fact that I retroactively cancelled my reservation at the Walnut Creek Marriott, once I said "sick baby" they actually gave me my money back. Lovely people, they deserve your business.

So I showed up for my one panel, a group discussion of Nicola Griffith's Slow River, as did the rest of my wonderful co-panelists….and two other people. Both friends of someone on the panel. I'll admit I felt kind of shitty about it at first. But we abandoned the panel structure and pulled chairs into a circle and decided we were going to talk about our damn book, and you know what, it was great. We'd actually met for breakfast beforehand, and I love hanging out with my friends, could have stayed at breakfast all day, but a structured discussion is different. We had a moderator (Lisa Eckstein), and people had notes, and things we wanted to discuss, and a really interesting book, and it's just a kind of interaction that I really don't get enough of. I guess maybe that's what a book club is like when it works right? We discussed:
  • the family dynamics that made Lore such a robot
  • how Lore is fascinated by things and has no interest in people: she can talk for half an hour about the light in her apartment but her entire take on her mother and major shaper of her life is "competent"
  • the interesting plausibility of the sewage treatment stuff
  • whether that one guy was a magical POC (I don't think so, he was completely uninterested in Lore growing as a person or whatever)
  • that one terrible scene where Stella takes off her dress to confront her abusive parent and everybody freaks out about whether the vodka she dropped in the fountain might poison the fish
  • whether Lore's first sexual experience is with a sex worker or not (so ambiguous! Still not sure!)
  • lots of great stuff.

Anyway, by the end I was kind of happy other people hadn't shown up, because what if they were jerks and then we'd have to be polite and pay attention to the opinions of jerks? I know this is the wrong attitude to take to a con, though.

Let's see. Then a bunch of people went to lunch at the Japanese place, which was great especially since someone brought up The Wind-Up Girl and we ended up doing a group extempore filk on "Why Are There So Many Books About Sex Dolls?" (to the tune of "The Rainbow Connection", obvs.) Then [personal profile] cme and I killed a couple of hours hanging out in the bar and catching up. And it was so wonderful. I can't remember the last time I just hung out and shot the shit in a bar all afternoon. I was telling this to a friend of a friend yesterday who has no kids and he said, "Welp, not having one of those then." And I was like YES YES CORRECT DECISION. I mean. There are many, many compensations. But your lazy afternoons are OVER, my friend, at least for quite a while, and if you are really that attached to those, cling to them and cherish them. Don't go the other way.

Went to the UnAward banquet with my friend E, who was trying to get over the fact that she went to one of those How To Write panels that included That One Guy, who brought handouts - handouts! - of his own Very Special Writing Technique, which he handed out to everyone and then proceeded to take over the entire panel like it was the Sudetenland. That's not the part she was trying to get over. She was trying to get over the fact that she'd previously been on an OKCupid date with the guy. And then he followed her on Twitter. Is this a thing now, where you go on terrible failed dates with people and then think "Hey, I know what will make this less awkward! Following them on Twitter!"?

Went to the Liars' Panel, which was great: clear winners were Vylar Kaftan & Ellen Klages. Although I think Ellen may have violated the spirit of the panel with some stories that, although extremely funny, I believe were also true. And then I realized that it was going to be my turn to take care of a sick baby all the next day and I grumblingly and crankily went home.

One last thing to mention, though: at dinner at one point we were discussing early marriages, and someone mentioned what engagement ring you would pick at 17, and I died. Because let me tell you. If I had gotten married in my teens? You damn right I would have had an engagement ring, and that engagement ring would have had a DRAGON on it. And probably a wizard. And the diamond would have been at the end of the wizard's staff. Oh yeah. So many reasons to avoid teen marriage!

FOGcon 2013

Feb. 4th, 2013 08:22 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
Got my FOGcon assignment!

I'll be on A Great Read with Lisa Eckstein, @sairaforreal, and two more awesome people whom I see now (oops, sorry guys) are listed as "anonymous" so I won't mention them unless they say to but seriously they are friends of mine and SWEEEET. I am especially looking forward to this because we will be talking about:
Slow River, by Nicola Griffith
which is an excellent lesbian cyberpunk book about street crime, corporate crime, and sewage. And it is also pretty interesting to contrast it with Solitaire, written by Ms. Griffith's partner Kelley Eskridge, which is also a lesbian cyberpunk book; but which is less about sewage and more about being an introvert and getting lost in your own head. So to speak. Together they are the best fiction that I know of ever written about project management. Solitaire isn't officially part of the panel, but I know that at least two of us loved it, so it may come up.

Incidentally, Slow River won the Nebula award in 1996, beating out Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age; and apparently this so incensed John Scalzi's fundraising troll that 17 years later he needs to run for president of SFWA. Or something. Anyway, if you want to see what the fuss is about, pick up a copy of Slow River and come see our panel! Saturday March 9, 10:30 am.

A brief quote on the book by Ms. Griffith:
Not long after I sent the Slow River outline to my agent, she called:

"This is not a selling outline."

"Why not?"

"Well," she said, "in Ammonite Marghe had a girlfriend because she had no choice, poor thing. But why does Lore like girls?"

"Because she's a dyke, Fran," and I fired her.
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It's that time again! The time to tell the FOGcon programming committee what you're interested in talking about at FOGcon next year on March 8-10!

As always, FOGcon runs its programming on the Wiscon model, where when you think "Man, I wonder if I'll ever get the chance to see a Q&A session with Honored Guest Terry Bisson on short stories as an art form and a financially viable fiction selling model, or play a game of Eat Poop You Cat with Susan R. Matthews and other Bay Area writers, or take part in a bitter, heated public argument about whether Duv Galeni's dad was merely prescient and Barrayaran society was evolving towards the glittering tinsel of neo-fascism?" instead of just sighing wistfully and getting on with your day, you tell the programming committee! That these are things you would be interested in! Without any commitment to be on the programming or even to show up to the con, because they know that life is hard to plan for! And then all the programming is things that people are interested in and we don't end up with a schedule full of sad, 9 am five person panels on identifying alien woods.

This year's theme is Law, Order, and Crime:
New times create new crimes.

As societies change, both law and crime evolve, and punishment changes as well. Advances in technology (or the workings of magic) make possible crimes that we could never have predicted, methods of crimefighting unforeseen, prisons unlike any we have now. If a dragon is a citizen, are they allowed to eat people? How do you imprison a telepath? How does a civilization of teleporters keep from descending into anarchy? What rights do aliens or androids have? How can vast empires covering many lightyears maintain some sort of order?

The implications are much broader than the basic question of whodunnit. We are currently seeing major shifts in the balance between the individual and the state, privacy and convenience, freedom and security.

Speculative fiction has always explored questions like these, and the results have been some of our finest fictions. At FOGcon 3, we’re going to be discussing those questions and possible answers for our own future.
And once again, I got to do the program cover illustration.
FOGcon 3 cover illo - astronaut behind bars

I'm pretty pleased with it.

Note also that this year FOGcon is running a student writing contest! It's open to anyone enrolled at a Bay Area high school or university. The prize is a free membership to the con and the opportunity to publicly read the story as part of programming.

ETA: WRT the illustration, I feel like I need to mention that in my original idea, the astronaut's background was a room, and the starfield was tritely reflected across the astronaut's visor. It was [ profile] imnotandrei who had the insight that the astronaut should be imprisoned in space.

ETA 2: I of course wanted the astronaut to be gender neutral, but after that change he became Rocket Man to me. Now I get an earworm every time I see the drawing.
metaphortunate: (fandom)

FOGcon is looking for programming suggestions.

Because I had my little timesuck this year, I am not involved in organizing this year's FOGcon: except that they asked me if I wanted to do the cover again, and I said YES. Because I knew immediately what I wanted to do. Which is not what it was like last year. Last year I had the most enormous trouble getting inspired. I almost punted, actually. And if you saw last year's cover you may have noticed that it had fuck all to do with last year's theme, The City.

But this year's theme is The Body. And every single revision that I've made to my very first sketch back in September has only been trying to more clearly draw out the drawing's themes of paranoia, alienation, fracturing, vulnerability, and early 70s science fiction.

Because that is apparently what I think of when I think of The Body.

The running figure in the drawing is fat for two reasons. First, fat people should be represented in visual depictions of the world, because we exist, and no one else is going to do it, so I guess I have to. But more importantly: a fat body seems more embodied to me. I mean, there is literally more body there. But also - Le Corbusier famously said that the house was a machine for living in, but it seems to me that that is also not a bad description of the current ideal of the body. It should be sleek, efficient, speedy, featuring the hardness and lickable curves - and endlessly duplicatable aesthetic - of an Apple product. And yet it's not like that. It wobbles, it jiggles, it weighs, it sweats, it varies wildly from the spec. And fat bodies more than most. You can't ignore that about a fat body. A fat body shouts that the nature of the body is something very different from that ideal and that the reality cannot be successfully ignored for long.

What do you think of when you think of the body in science fiction? Tell the programming committee, so that we can talk about it at the end of March! Oh, I should mention that this year's Honored Guests are Nalo Hopkinson and Shelley Jackson - and Honored Ghost Mary Shelley - so there's some great places to start!
metaphortunate: (fandom)
This was a reply to [personal profile] hradzka and then I thought I would just put it here as well.
Still, fandom is currently in a bit of a self-questioning state that it doesn't seem too eager to resolve. From my perspective as a non-feminist, this is at least partially because the answers presented by much of current feminist and leftist ideology would seem to me to be *answers that fandom does not want to hear.*

Yeah, you think that, because you think that there's 1) something wrong with feminism and 2) something wrong with our (where by "our" I mean female fandom, and therefore pretty obviously elide a huge number of differences) desires. God knows there's things wrong with feminism but it's not what you're thinking here. And what's wrong with our desires is only the inevitable outcome of what's wrong with the world. Read what Sugar wrote here about her teenage fantasies and their roots. Nobody's sexual development happened in a vacuum. Every woman in this world grew up in a world where men were presented every single damn day from a variety of sources as more intelligent valuable interesting strong capable central active resourceful blah blah blah, and incidentally, in a world where white men were presented as sexier smarter faster more valuable more cultured more interesting blah blah blah than non-white men, and do people really then wonder, somehow, when writing stories about canon that are 90% about white men, that our hindbrains come up with stories and desires for stories about white men? That the bits of our brains that are looking for fun and not hard work frequently consider their comfort zone to be white men? Surprise. And does that mean that those desires are wrong?

NO. Everybody makes their own erotic compromises with the patriarchy. We're going to die while the world is still fucked. We can't put our libidos on hold until everything is sorted out. And to sort out our libidos we'd not only have to sort out the world but we'd also have to hop in our imaginary time machine and go back and fix it so that we grew up in a fair world where people cared about what happened to people who weren't rich white men and that is also going to happen on the twelfth of never so you will forgive me if I say that there is nothing wrong with the way we live with our oppression by eroticizing it. I mean that. It's a survival trait that the brain eroticizes things it's afraid of or angry about, that is one of the ways we cope. And I love our survival. I will be cheerleading it forever. And when we find ways to not only survive but have fun with the place we are condemned to take, when we turn it into art and community and squee, I want to throw a fucking party. We win.

And questioning it is not wrong either. Feminism is not wrong about interrogating the whitecockers. Because that's how things get better. That's how we work on decolonizing our brains while living in our colonized brains. You say that this fic doesn't resolve or offer to resolve feminist fandom's ongoing internal conflict, but dude, to fix feminist fandom, you would have to fix the whole world. Are you seriously complaining that a 4000 word fanfic about a tumblr doesn't finish the job? It does its job, okay? It does its little part. It's one small step for fandom. I think it's a great story.
The story in question is When Fics Take on a Life of Their Own. Fandom: RPF/Feminist Ryan Gosling.

(Though to be honest I prefer Hey Girl, It's Kstew.)
metaphortunate: (Default)
So apparently all I do now here is talk about the Junebug and second [personal profile] thefourthvine's fic recs. Which is good, because at least the baby posts are adding some value! Basically if you don't care about babies you should probably be reading [personal profile] thefourthvine instead of me. I say this in a selfless spirit of giving.

So, like the lady said, you gotta go read Only Good for Legends, by [personal profile] leupagus. Look, do you want to read some of the oldest school slash possible, by which I mean Kirk/Spock? Okay, how about if I tell you it's an AU where Spock is a police detective? Not good enough? What about if I tell you it's a Bechdel-compliant AU where both of the main characters' mothers are 1) alive 2) significantly appearing in this story & 3) significantly awesome*? Did you want to read that OH YES I THINK YOU DID. This story just flipped my shit out from about page three when you meet AU!Spock and he smiles. How creepy is that? TOS!Spock's smile creeped me out so bad! It was unnatural! He was not supposed to smile! In the series, I mean. I think it was in that episode where the flower people roofied them and it was just like, this is wrong. I loved old Spock's smile in the reboot, though, where he meets new Spock and just grins at him all, what up Mini-Me? I nearly teared up, man. I mean, old Spock - I grew up with him, and he was so repressed, and so self-hating, and his squashing down of all his emotions into a tiny little festering gob was his rejection of what he and everyone else on his planet considered his inferior human half; and then to run into him decades later and discover that he can just smile whenever the hell he feels like it now, because he's found a way to make peace with both halves of his heritage - well. I would love like hell to see an It Gets Better Star Trek video with old and new Spocks in character, is all I'm saying. Especially now that Zachary Quinto has come out. And especially since the scene would inevitably be stolen by Mr. Hikaru "It's Okay To Be Takei" Sulu and his naked, oiled chest.

But in this story Spock smiles all the time and it's great.

*I have one slightly spoilery issue with this, which is that Jim Kirk's mom takes part in that trope where she's awesome because she rejects femininity. Which as [personal profile] giandujakiss points out is infuriating in that society shoves you into these roles and then punishes you for playing those roles. But also punishes you for stepping out of them. It sucks. ("Here's what you should do, ladies! Except when you shouldn't and are a bad person for listening to us!") And it kind of sucks that Winona is portrayed as cool because she sneers at women and girl things and demands female strippers like a guy would even though there's no intimation that she's actually sexually into women at all, it's just cool because she's taking on the socially higher-status role. But! This is the exciting thing about having a story with more than one woman in it! Winona is cool like that. But T'Pring is cool in a different way! And T'Pau is badass in yet a different way, and Amanda is cool in a different way, and of course Uhura is cool in her very own way as well, and so, it's not like, Winona is how women are supposed to be cool. It's just that Winona is how Winona is cool. That's nice.
metaphortunate: (fandom)
[personal profile] thefourthvine did a recs set of Stories That Will Make You Uncomfortable And You Will Love It. And I must second the recommendation for "The Death of Narcissa Black: A Potion." Because it is amazing and terrible. And, you know, not that it resonates or anything. hahaha*sob*

The other thing I've been reading is Fearless Formula Feeder. Cause it turns out when I'm back at work I can't pump enough to feed the kid exclusively on milk. And yes, it cost me a few tears. I honestly do not think that formula is a bad thing. But I suspect there's an instinct to feed your kid and to freak out if you feel like you can't. At least until it sinks into your brain that the kid is still getting fed.

You know, though. One of the things that blogger says is a reason not to breastfeed, is that it makes the mom have to be the primary caretaker, and that it doesn't allow the other parent to bond with the baby as well. I call bullshit. You know what makes the mom be the primary caretaker? The fact that the mom is so frequently the only one who gets leave. When we brought the Junebug home from the hospital, and Mr. E and I were both on leave, I barely changed a diaper until he went back to work. I handled input, he handled output. When I was having trouble nursing: if I was nursing and crying, he was sitting next to me on the couch, holding my hand, getting me drinks, taking the baby out of the room so I could get a break and sleep for an hour. He's always been better at swaddling the Junebug and he's probably better at getting him to go to sleep. I would not be nursing today if it hadn't been for Mr. E, he was the key to making that work. My going back to work has been 1000x easier because Mr. E was actually able to split his leave and so I have left the baby home with his dad for a few weeks, which means I know he's okay as I adjust to being back at work. And so few dads have the option of being there for their families like that.
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Can I just say "decades of adventurous Mongolian book traders as skilled with sword and gun as they were at selling books."

Because I'm seeing a Good Omens historical fic with Crowley as a manuscript-thieving bandit and Aziraphale as an unexpectedly badass book trader.
metaphortunate: (Default)
  • Mr. E got me Schweddy Balls! Mmm, boycotted ice cream is the best ice cream.

  • Overnight this kid has become a tiny chatterbox. It's still the pre-babbling stage, but he is working it. It's adorable. He's adorable.

  • One of my smart flisters just made an interesting but sadly locked post about narratives of desire, and the way that longing and desire are always projected onto girls. You know how it is: could be Beatrice (Dante's or Lemony Snicket's, take your pick) or the latest Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but that unfulfillable existential longing always gets incarnated in girls in the Official Media.

    But! We are not bound by that around here! We, my friends, we have fanfic! If there is one thing slash writers have down, it is the concept of men as objects of desire! Help me come up with some recs? Stories about the desirability of men, desiring men, why we desire them, what we desire about them, and how that yearning gets fulfilled - or not?

  • If you haven't kept up with the fuckup and what's been going on with Pinboard, [ profile] jedusaur has been pulling together some amazing stuff.

  • I am back at work! It is weird. I miss the baby greatly. OTOH, it is strangely easier to think when he is not around. I like feeling competent. I like drafting! I do not like some of the things that have been going on in my absence due to the fact that we hired new people and then apparently did not give them nearly enough instruction in the company standards. *facepalm* Project for myself: figure out if I have enough power to FIX SHIT, and if not, acquire it somehow.

  • Have you read the last book in the Ender's Game series? Not like [personal profile] snarp read it, you haven't.
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