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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
2:12 am - 15 Favorite SF/F books...Today
A Facebook friend gave me a homework assignment. She asked me, casually, for a list of favorite sf/f books. She probably thinks I have forgotten or overlooked her request. Oh no, I was merely getting the other things that I am obsessing over out of the way first. Tonight this is what I am obsessing over, after the evening’s appointment television, of course. This list is my favorites tonight, in this mood, in this light when some of my shelves are blocked and I can’t see everything. I’m probably forgetting someone that’s Really Important. I decided to put the post at Livejournal because it appears it isn't possible to create Notes at Facebook anymore. Here goes. (You will notice I took the liberty of throwing in a few series and counted them as one title.)

Kage Baker – “The Company” stories starting with In the Garden of Iden
Emma Bull – War for the Oaks
Pat Cadigan – Mindplayers
Gail Carriger – the Parasol Protectorate starting with Soulless
Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Storm Constantine – the Wraethu trilogy starting with The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit
Greg Egan – Permutation City
Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere
William Gibson – Pattern Recognition
Ian McDonald – River of Gods
China Mieville – Perdido Street Station
Dan Simmons – Hyperion
Bruce Sterling – Holy Fire
Neal Stephenson – Cryptonomicon
Neat Stephenson – Snow Crash

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Saturday, August 28th, 2010
9:44 pm - Saturday is/was Read Comics in Public Day
tamiam alerted me to an unexpected day to celebrate: Read Comics in Public Day

Though I don't actually read all that many comics, this was an idea I could get behind (yes, please -- read anything in public) so I grabbed a Christmas present I got from an ex-boyfriend and headed off to Charlie's.

My reading matter was Berlin: City of Stones by Jason Lutes. I felt some chagrin in that this is exactly one of those "serious, black-and-white comics about war and art and history and social class" that the author of the article under my first link was chiding himself for unconsciously selecting to be seen with for his celebration of the day.

But see, this is exactly the kind that I should make an effort to sit down with. I find them kind of difficult to appreciate. There's no color and no fantastic beasties or landscapes to catch ones eye. It took something like this day to give it a try. So my thanks go out to John. His thought, that if it was about a) Berlin in b)the 1920s that I might want to check it out, turned out to be spot on. I'm about half-way through.

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Saturday, August 21st, 2010
10:43 pm
Reasons to watch this video: A) It's a mini-science fiction film that is B) set in an alternate 1920s (love the proto-Nintendo) and c) its soundtrack is a really fun tune.

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Friday, August 6th, 2010
11:16 pm - Indica - Vuorien taa
I found some Finnish goth! I love this. Truly, I must, because I must have listened to it 10 times tonight with all the the places I've been posting this. Begging your pardon if you're among the ones getting a multiple posting.

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
1:38 am - Rest in peace, Lynn Redgrave 1943-2010
I count myself lucky to be among the people who saw her one-woman show, Shakespeare for my Father, when she brought it to Seattle in the early 90s. My favorite part was when she was talking about her crush on Richard Burton, who was a friend of her father's. "Ooooo Mr. Burton!" [hands flutter up by her face] But particularly about the time Burton came backstage to congratulate her on a performance. "I drew a chalk circle around the spot where he had stood, labeled it "Hallowed Ground" and no one was allowed to stand there for the rest of the run." I thought she was quite genuine and very, very human.

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010
12:31 pm - For x_ice: Why people don't walk cats

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Saturday, October 31st, 2009
11:23 pm - Just right for the season
Earlier today I picked up the second to the last copy of Twilight that was left in the video rental place. Now that I have come back from viewing the costumes up on Broadway, I am going to spend the rest of the evening in unabashed self-indulgence. As cupcake_goth says: Spaaaaarkly vampires.

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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
1:34 pm - Writer's Block: Confessions of a couch potato
What is the longest uninterrupted period of time you've ever watched TV? Were you alone or with a friend/partner? Do you tend to watch more TV when you're happy, depressed, or simply bored?

Because of the internet, I actually know the answer to this question: 10 hours on April 20, 2003. I was a regular poster, at the time, in a forum that was devoted to TV topics and the post I made about my marathon is still there. I begin: I feel like an AA member coming in to confess to a bender. The TV was on from when I came home from brunch to when I finally went to bed.

My viewing included a couple hours of Food network, a couple of archaeology shows on the Discovery channel, an episode of one of Michael Palin's travel documentaries, the first installment of the miniseries Helen of Troy, two episodes of Masterpiece Theater one in real-time, one taped and a documentary about terrorist attacks. I think this adequately illustrates how cable TV gives even the bookish an equal opportunity to be a couch potato. And how, if you really want to get things done, you probably shouldn't even own a television.

I like how I closed a post about my second-longest marathon (only 8 hours that time): The checks are still unwritten for my bills, my roots are still showing and I'm going to run out of energy in about half an hour. Just in case, during the week, I wonder what *did* I do with all that time I had on the weekend, here's my answer.

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Monday, August 31st, 2009
10:42 pm - Wizard of Radio
On Sunday I listened to one of the best radio shows I've ever heard. Studio 360 did a whole show on the Wizard of Oz: books, movies and other spin-offs.


Particularly good are Salman Rushdie talking about "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and the coming about of and the differences in the Russian version of Oz. Go! Click! Listen! It's good stuff. And it is possible to just listen to parts of it.

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Thursday, May 28th, 2009
3:52 pm - Fun thing found in a book at work
From: Culture Shock! A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette: USA

Once you've accepted an invitation to a party, you must attend. If something happens to prevent you, telephone with your excuses as soon as possible. People work hard to give a party; you must remember that it's nearly always your hosts, not the servants, who have spent the day cooking and cleaning, and they can be very upset if you don't show up.

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Sunday, April 12th, 2009
5:52 pm - The good news is that I didn't have a heart attack
The Bad news is that I have yet another unneccessary trip to the emergency room to put on my credit card bill along with a ride in an ambulance and a hospital stay. It really sucks to have nuisance ailments whose symptoms imitate the warning signs of a heart attack. Carried out on a gurney in the glow of those flashing red lights, people looking out their windows to see what the fuss is about...and it's either acid reflux or a panic attack. If only there was a way to test for those things when the EMT arrives other than eliminating the fact that it *wasn't* heart-related first.

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Monday, April 6th, 2009
11:51 pm
I am rediscovering, as I do every year around this time, that I am never so interested in getting cleaning projects done around the apartment as I am when it's time to sit down and do my taxes.

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Monday, March 23rd, 2009
1:38 am - Book talk
Hey, x_ice. Noticed that, as predicted, you weren't able to make it to the March meeting for the Speculations group at Elliott Bay. Did your kitties eventually accept the intrusion of The Lonely Werewolf Girl into your world? How long did it take you to finish?

Setting speed records did seem to be a hallmark of most of the readership for the book. Me, for example. 558 page book and I not only finished in time for the meeting, I finished early. When I last saw Jim at work that week before, he hadn't even bought the book yet. He got it Saturday and finished it over the weekend. Even some of the people who didn't like it admitted that it did have a way of pulling you through the pages.Read more...Collapse )

Comparisons were made to Buffy and to the Stepanie Meyer vampire romances. The latter brought one of the mainstream ladies out of her shell to protest vociferously. Oh no, this book was NOTHING like the Twilight books, those were GOOD. I tried to get her to compare and contrast. She said that she thought Meyer's writing style was better, "I like her ideas." (???) She did admit that the basic appeal of the Twilight books was Meyer's spot-on ability to capture what pushes women's erotic buttons. And that, apparently, is what makes her a better writer.

Where the Buffy comparison works the strongest is the degree of characterization. The Lonely Werewolf characters aren't fleshed out in a way that a literature professor would acknowledge as being fully three dimensional, but they aren't completely flat either. Like characters in favorite comics they do have recognizable qualities that make people latch on to them and love them. The Fire Queen and her fashion traumas was mentioned and the cool, white, deadpan Dominil.

There really turned out to be a lot to talk about, which we kind of doubted going in. It was fun. Sorry you couldn't go. Here are my minutes. Hope this helps.

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Saturday, March 14th, 2009
8:05 pm - Gunslinger Girl
I've been having an anime orgy this weekend with the various titles available to me via Comcast's On Demand feature. I want to see as much of it as I can before I have to cancel my digital cable and bust myself down to rock-bottom basic.

One of the places that I know you can find anime is under IFC Free. (Path: Cutting Edge > IFC Free > Anime) What they have available there now is two episodes of this really unnerving series called Gunslinger Girl.


It's funny how in the world of anime there is this whole bumpercrop of kids/teenagers who suddenly become masters of the sword in some way or some otherwhere and we take it all in stride. If you watch anime you also see children/teenagers put in the control seats of giant fighting machines called mecha. Doesn't take too long to take that in stride too. But these little girls with their machine guns rat-a-tatting away is just really disturbing. You'd think it would be the same thing, but it is not. I watched the one episode just to see what it was about. I decided that I didn't need to see anymore, and I don't want to become accustomed to it.

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
4:26 pm - Chapter title found in a book at work
"Old McDonald Has No Farm: He Dies, She Dies, Sold."*

Clever. Depressing as all get out. But clever.

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Monday, March 9th, 2009
11:22 pm
Hey purple_mark...

Maybe those apocolyptic images are making the rounds in people's night thoughts. I also slept in this morning culminating in a dream that Mt. Rainier was starting to erupt. There was black smoke coming out of the top of it as we looked south and the pumice that was falling out of the sky was also black like little lumps of coal.

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Sunday, March 8th, 2009
6:03 pm - snow...
How weird for it to be snowing when half the sky is blue.

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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
1:29 am - Lonely Werewolf Girl
The March book for the Speculations book group at Elliott Bay is The Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar. Just started it this morning. I was kind of hesitant about the choice -- it's so much fatter than his other book that we also looked at (The Good Fairies of New York)-- but now that I've started reading it I've realized it's going to be a breeze.

This reads like a print version of the movie Underworld. The characters all seem to have this penchant for leather clothing and don't so much talk to each other as banter with icy wit. Lots of pop culture references. The book even has some imbedded suggestions for a sound track. Lots of fun next month, I see, without any of that worrying substance.

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Monday, February 23rd, 2009
12:04 am
Jimmy Kimmel at his after-the-Oscars show: "Slum Dog Millionaire won best picture this year. It was the favorite going in. Looked like the only way it might lose was if it picked Sarah Palin as a running mate."

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Saturday, January 24th, 2009
1:19 pm - Writer's Block: Listening In
Even if you're not actively eavesdropping, you can hear some interesting things. What's the best conversation you've ever overheard?

Walking home from the store on election day, I overhear a girl on a cell phone:

"Mom! It's 297!"

President Obama. It's still hard to believe, but wonderful to behold.

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