Linkspam: fannish/geeky/SFF, misc.

Aug. 22nd, 2017 12:31 pm
umadoshi: (Orphan Black - Cosima 01 (teaotter))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"Tatiana Maslany Says Goodbye to 'Orphan Black'". [series finale spoilers]

Sarah Rees Brennan wrote "Our Winged Brains: The Appeal of Winged Creatures in Genre Fiction" for Tor.com.

[twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a fantastic Twitter thread about the awesomeness of In Other Lands.

"'Atomic Blonde' Doesn’t Pretend Women Fight Like Men, And The Result Is Awesome".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] recessional, a Tumblr post about Atomic Blonde...which is really hard to describe without spoilers. It has to do with a plot point that many people have warned others about in advance of their seeing the film (a warning for which a lot of people have been grateful, whether or not it dissuaded them from seeing the film themselves), and offers a take on why the "this horrible thing happens [so the movie failed us/is bad/perpetuates the same bad things that always happen]!" warning is misleading and the event is in fact genre appropriate.

"Doorways to Fantasy: Rovina Cai Illustrates Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children". [Tor.com]

"You're screwing this up: An open letter to Hollywood from your mortal enemy (the female comic fan)".

"N. K. Jemisin’s New Contemporary Fantasy Trilogy Will “Mess with the Lovecraft Legacy”". [Tor.com]

"Library of America Recognizes Ursula K. Le Guin (and Science Fiction)". [Book Riot]

"Robin McKinley: A Pioneer in YA Fiction". [Book Riot]


Miscellaneous

"The masseuse who pulled my arm out". [BBC] "Life with a disability can sometimes give rise to unspoken questions and sensitivities, but amid the awkwardness there can be humour. The following is an edited version of a sketch by Angela Clarke who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, delivered for the BBC at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival."

"Confessions of a Costume Curator: As a fashion historian, my job is to learn from other people’s clothes—a task that is challenging, messy, and often spooky".

I think I may've linked this before--it's from last year--but I came across it again and still really like it: "24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear".

"Swan, Late: The unexpected joys of adult beginner ballet". [Note: the writer frequently uses the term "oriental dance" when talking about bellydance; I'm not sure if that's a standard term in those circles? It pings me uncomfortably, so I figured I'd note it.]

"‘Kids are gross’: on feminists and agency". "What I’ve come to suspect is that many feminists’ failure to recognise the autonomy of children is, at least in part, symptomatic of the way children have for many feminists become symbols of oppression. But when we are unable to separate the systematic discrimination that makes mothering a ridiculously difficult and often oppressive role from the fact that children are sentient, autonomous human beings who deserve dignity and respect, we are in danger of allowing glaring hypocrisies to creep into the way we construct and use feminist principles and ideas."

"INFOGRAPHIC: A world of languages - and how many speak them".

"N.K. Jemisin’s #AntiFascistSFF and Gail Simone’s #ComicsHateNazis Are the Inspiration You Need on This Monstrous Day". [The Mary Sue] (From earlier this month.)

"Eisner Nominee Renae De Liz Shares Short Guide for Artists on How to De-Objectify Female Characters". [2016]

"A Sweet Valley High Movie is Coming (from the Writer of Legally Blonde!)" [Book Riot]

"How to Keep a Roomba Vacuum Cleaner From Collecting Data About Your Home".

"A New Canon: In Pop Music, Women Belong At The Center Of The Story" and "The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women". [NPR] (Tori's Little Earthquakes is #27.)

Warpaint

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:42 am
[syndicated profile] ao3_mag7_2016_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/MzHxde/pseuds/MzHxde">MzHxde</a>

by

Discovering different types of paint with perhaps the same purpose.

Words: 1770, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

umadoshi: (W13 - Claudia crying (vampire_sessah))
[personal profile] umadoshi
When I posted about A Girl and Her Fed last week, I mentioned that [dreamwidth.org profile] davidgillon had warned me that the very beginning of Act 2 of the comic had a major spoiler for the as-yet-unwritten/unpublished Rachel Peng novels.

I did indeed press on, bracing myself for a spoiler. (And now I'm completely up to date on the comic; yesterday was the first new installment I read as a Caught-Up Reader. I think the only material I have left to read now is the handful of mixed comics/prose shorts on Spangler's store site, and I've made it as far as buying them all.) And many things happened, because there'd been a five-year timeskip since the first act of the comic, and I thought, "Okay, I don't know which of these things is the spoiler [dreamwidth.org profile] davidgillon mentioned, but many things happen very early in Act 2 that leave things in a very different place than they are as of the published Rachel books, so presumably it was one of those..."

Except then I read all the way back through the posts at [tumblr.com profile] agirlandherfed, and due to a couple of Asks there, the nature of the early-Act 2 spoiler was spelled out.

It was an offhand reference--a panel's worth of mention, at most--and so far the comic hasn't mentioned it again, and I completely failed to process it for what it was. But now, belatedly, I know.

And my heart broke a little.

Eclipse!

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:53 pm
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
[personal profile] owlmoose
It was only around 75% totality in my area, but still pretty cool. I'm very glad the sky wasn't obscured by fog, which was sounding entirely possible yesterday morning.

Probably I should have gotten my act together to find a place to see the totality. Maybe in 2024, where the totality is further away but closer to people I might reasonably be able to visit.

Meanwhile, have some tree shadows from the courtyard in front of my office.

Silent one, you…

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:48 am
[syndicated profile] ao3_kingarthur_2017_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/wi1dmoon/pseuds/wi1dmoon">wi1dmoon</a>

by

綠和阿薩想看亞瑟鵝,那就寫個亞瑟鵝。
意外的,是寫起來很開心的一對呢,可能是因為鵝叔如此風流甚得吾意(喂)
然後因為所以,選了有點細碎的切換方式,自己寫得很開心啦XD

Words: 720, Chapters: 3/?, Language: 中文

Bang*Bang 68

Aug. 21st, 2017 01:03 pm
[syndicated profile] bb_shousetsu_feed

Posted by ladysisyphus


cover by cloven

~*~

Sacrifice, by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美)

Off-site team-building, by Hyakunichisou 13 *

Silver Lilies, by Yuriko Toru (百合子 亨)

Hasta, by A.S. Mara

Higher Than Hay Bales, by Okō (織工 )

The Smart Girl's Spellbook of Practical Wicca, by shukyou *

* illustrated

--

Shadow of Hyakinthos, by Iron Eater

Ritual, by Fumiki-kun

~*~

Don’t miss out on one of the most memorable events of your life. On August 21st, 2017, Shousetsu Bang*Bang's 68th issue, Total Eclipse, will start in the United States, then travel out across the rest of the world.

A Shousetsu Bang*Bang issue is a rare and striking phenomenon you won't want to miss, but you must carefully follow safety procedures. Don't let the requisite warnings scare you away from witnessing this singular spectacle! You can experience the issue safely, but it is vital that you approach it smartly. No matter what recommended technique you use, do not stare continuously at Shousetsu Bang*Bang. Take breaks and give your eyes a rest!

The only truly safe way to look directly at this issue is through special solar filters or solar viewers. However, if you are willing to live dangerously, this issue can be viewed with no special equipment beyond an internet-capable device with a screen.

Always inspect a new Shousetsu Bang*Bang issue before use. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the issue, especially those contained at the issue's wiki page.

Always supervise children using Shousetsu Bang*Bang. In fact, keep it out of reach of children entirely.

If you are in the path of totality for this issue, do your part to help others view safely. Share links and recommendations on social media to prevent accidental harm done by missing the issue entirely. Leave comments for creators to honor their participation in this once-in-a-generation event.

Shousetsu Bang*Bang is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the issue and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

For more information on how to enjoy gay smut safely, visit http://www.shousetsubangbang.com, or contact your editors.

--

See this issue's entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

umadoshi: (tomatoes 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--The Sparkler Monthly Year 5 Kickstarter has only 48 hours left to go, and still needs about $5000. They've made a lot of progress over the weekend, and last year was a nail-biter too (and they made it), but ugh, this is stressful. Here's a post at Panel Patter outlining the awesomeness of the company and magazine, if you're on the fence or haven't taken a look but might be interested!

--I didn't make further Defenders progress over the weekend, so I'm still only three episodes in. But I did get StarCraft Remastered up and running!

--The one thing I miss about having a CRT monitor (yes, I hear myself) is my old document holder, which can't be readily used on a flatscreen. I've been poking around online this weekend (Amazon, Staples, Newegg), and there are so few options for holders that actually attach to the monitor and hold the document you're typing at eye level. [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose looked at the first couple of possibilities I found, and one looks like it needs more of a frame around the actual screen than my desktop monitor has, and the other sticks with something he thinks isn't likely to hold well on this monitor. I have great confidence that he can rig something up and make it work, once we go over the possibilities I've found so far, but I'm baffled by how few options there seem to be. (But maybe my dislike of having the document holder down on the desk--too low, and eating up a footprint of space on the desk surface--isn't widely shared.)

(The above means I fell into the rabbit hole of desk organizers etc. on Amazon. O_O I seem to have escaped alive.)

--AFAIK Nova Scotia won't see much sign of the eclipse tomorrow. I hope all of you who're able to see it, and who're excited about it, get a good look!

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are new enough at the whole gardening thing that it didn't occur to either of us to check on the plants after the weather yesterday. Although I suppose a lot of the reason for that is that the weather didn't seem that bad? It was windy and quite rainy, but it didn't seem that windy, and the rain seemed like it'd be good for them. *sighs* But no, a couple of the tomato plants, including the towering Sungold, toppled over. In the Sungold's case, the Smartpot stayed put but the halo and rootball tipped out. o_o

I didn't get a look at it then; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose went out without me at first when I was still hoping it'd be a case of tipping the plants back upright. I'd just been in the shower, and it was dark, and I knew the mosquitoes--which, as we've established, find me tastier--were out. But [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose didn't come right back in, so I put on a thick hoodie, hood and all, and zipped it up so only my hands and face and the tops of my feet were bare.

Hopefully the plants will be okay, now that they've had more supports added. We'll take another look tomorrow when there's light. But at the very least, I definitely have mosquito bites on the backs of both hands and the tops of both feet. Ugh. Sounds like we may have similar numbers of bites despite [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose having been outside easily twice as long as I was.

Mr. Mischief

Aug. 20th, 2017 05:50 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_thelosers_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Misshyen/pseuds/Misshyen">Misshyen</a>

by

In a world of mythical creatures, Jake Jensen is an imp sent in by his superior to extract information from a rather large, powerful company. When he meets and takes a liking to an coworker, his mischievous side takes over causing havoc as he defends his new friend from an office instigator.

Words: 4821, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Crimson Dyna-No

Aug. 20th, 2017 01:07 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_avengersacademy_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/silver_drip/pseuds/silver_drip">silver_drip</a>

by

Loki has a crush. He isn't the only one.

Words: 586, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! teddy bear (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I meant to link this earlier, as the current event is only officially running for a few more days, but hey:


For ANY medium of fanwork (fic, art, vid, pod) & ANY fandom!

Interested? Check out our info and rules.
Our first round is 10 August - 24 August.

[dreamwidth.org profile] wip_amnesty is a new community that describes itself as "a place for you to leave the works you'll never finish". The user info (which has full details) also notes, "At the moment, we're running an event from 10 August to 24 August, but generally our comm is open indefinitely." [emphasis mine]

I should probably post at least one thing for this. I started out thinking about the Newsflesh psychic wolves AU, which I've been working on for a couple (a few) years now, off and on. I'd still really like to actually finish it, because there's a lot in there I like and think is worth writing, but OTOH if I cut it loose that's a lot of mental space that could potentially be regained. I don't know. :/

It was only within the last day or so that I thought about the X (TV anime)/Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle(/xxxHOLiC) fusion I've technically had on the go for, oh...thirteen years? Very off and on, as in with years passing between spurts of working on it?

IIRC the last time I really touched it was around when, and shortly after, I was working on the scripts for the shiny (oh, so shiny!) rerelease of X (no longer X/1999, thankfully) VIZ put out a couple of years ago. I think it's safe to say that story is never getting finished, and an event/comm. like [dreamwidth.org profile] wip_amnesty is probably the best reason I'm ever going to get to toss what does exist out there.

But with both of those WsIP, I feel more conflicted than I might if I wrote things straight through, start to finish--and there's a weird, uncomfortable dissonance between the fact that if I post never-to-be-finished WsIP in any form at all, it makes sense to think in terms of "well, someone might read them" and the fact that it seems ridiculous to think that anyone will.

If I wrote straight through, it'd be simpler. There'd be the first part of a story, however long it might be, and then it'd stop and that'd be it. But no, I write in chunks and fragments, with notes everywhere, and so anything I post that's incomplete is inherently full of holes and gaps, so at the very least, I'd want to add quick notes along the lines of "[{x} event/emotional progression happened here]".

(Absolutely any input/idle thoughts on this stuff welcome. I mean, thoughts/comments/etc. are always welcome on my posts, but...you know.)
umadoshi: (Jessica Jones 01 (bangparty))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Such gross weather forecast for the weekend. (Mostly today.) [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose was going to go to the market this morning, but he slept later than intended and then got up and looked out the window, and NOPE. The amount of rain expected today isn't even that ridiculous, but it's dank and chilly and gray, etc. etc. etc.


--Last night I made it through the first three episodes of The Defenders, and might have made it further in that first stint if Iron Fist--excuse me, ~the immortal Iron Fist, as Danny insists on saying every damn time he introduces himself--weren't not only every bit as dull as expected but also a sullen charisma suck. Everyone suffers when he's on screen. The audience has to watch him; the other actors have to try to play off Finn Jones' "energy"; the other characters have to share air with him... If it weren't for Jess I might bail, honestly. But Jessica. (And Luke! And Trish!)

I want to love Colleen Wing on principle, but she's always with Danny, which...is not helpful.

Let's refer again to io9's helpful "Here's the Important Stuff That Happens in Iron Fist So You Don't Have to Watch It".

(I was just double checking Jones' name on IMDb and saw that The Defenders is only eight episodes. That seems awfully short for an MCU/Netflix property. But hey, that means I'm almost halfway through.)


--TBH a bit of me resents that Defenders is taking time I could be spending immersed in In Other Lands, but my mostly-"meh" feelings on the former don't change the fact that I don't have to worry about spoilers for the latter. Although now I'm reminded that I still have two episodes left in season 1 of Black Sails, after which I can (and yes, this is obvious) start in on season 2, where so many people start falling for it.

A lot of my mental energy is still hanging out with AGAHF, about which more later. (O_O)

ALSO, StarCraft Remastered is out, and I haven't even booted into my Windows partition to install it yet! But I really should.


--None of the above helps at all with the amount of work I need to get done between now and the end of September (and most of it by the third week of September, realistically), and there's other stuff happening between now and then too. [dreamwidth.org profile] seangaffney is visiting next week, and Hal-Con is next month, and and and...

In My Fear And Flaws.

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:14 pm
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
I recently had a conversation with my housemate about how extremely screwed up the Animorphs books were, containing the line, 'Yeah, that's not the first genocide in the Animorphs books.' It reminded me that I once wrote an Animorphs-inspired short story for school, and my English teacher called my parents because she was worried about my psychological health. (Look, we were prompted to write about nightmares! Were you expecting something nice?)

Seriously, though. There's one book where a kid's parents have been enslaved by mind-controlling aliens, so he goes, 'Well, I'll just murder this terminally injured kid and morph into him and go "look, I've made a miraculous recovery!" and then I'll have his parents,' and our heroes end up trapping him permanently in the body of a rat on an isolated island, which gets a reputation for being haunted because passing sailors can hear the rat-kid's psychic screams. One of our heroes, in rat form, is forced to chew through her own tail so their horrible plan will work. I was maybe ten years old when I read this.

Wait, are the Animorphs books the origin of my fondness for the Teenagers Suffering Horribly genre? They're definitely the origin of my writing style; the influence is really, really obvious when I reread my early Pokémon fanfiction. I've kept the 'very straightforward prose, lots of dialogue' aspects to this day. (And, on a content note, I'm still writing about teenagers suffering horribly.)


The theme of the inevitable Linkin Park segment in this entry is 'songs Linkin Park inexplicably never released on an album and don't have on their official YouTube channel EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE GREAT', because I went on a desperate hunt after hearing 'No Roads Left'. I've never heard Mike sing like this before! He usually raps or sings more gently; I had no idea he could manage something this desperate. And 'Across the Line' (warning for suicidal themes) is easily polished enough to be an album song; the buildup of the instruments is great. (The cats just had a DRAMATIC BATTLE while I was listening to it, and it made for the most incredible background music.)

Moving to some softer songs, 'She Couldn't' (again, suicidal themes) is also very good, although at least I can see why this one never ended up on an album: it was recorded in the Hybrid Theory era and wouldn't have fit with the harder sound of their other songs at the time, and the sampling might have created legal issues. And I love the instrumentation and singing on Blackbirds, although the lyrics hurt.

(Hard to think of any song from this band where the lyrics don't hurt. I'm doing a little better now (writing that horrible Until Dawn timeloop fic was incredibly cathartic and helped me claw myself out of a bad psychological dip), but it's been a really tough month. Chester's death in many ways feels like the death of my childhood, and it also got tangled up in my head with the death of a friend of mine under similar circumstances years ago, so I've been grieving on a weird number of levels.

WAIT, CURSES, I GOT SAD IN AN ENTRY AGAIN AND THE RULES SAY I HAVE TO POST SOMETHING CUTE TO MAKE UP FOR IT. Here are Chester and Joe putting on a stupid puppet show with puppets of the band members. I love the 'making fun of friends you know really well' feel of it. I also enjoyed Chester bouncing around ridiculously to a silly version of 'One Step Closer'.)
umadoshi: (Tutu/ItW "charm for a prince" (bookelfe))
[personal profile] umadoshi
There are only four days left in Sparkler Magazine's Year 5 Kickstarter, and at this point they're still only about halfway to the goal. Please do check it out if you haven't, if the thought of a wide variety of female gaze-centered comics and prose appeals to you. There's a ton of info on the Kickstarter page, including a link to a starter bundle you can download for free.


Fannish/Geeky Things

"Michael Sheen, David Tennant to Star in Neil Gaiman’s ‘Good Omens’ at Amazon". Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens, people, FFS. >.<

"Dream Daddy, a Queer Dating Sim, Might Be the Gaming Miracle of the Year". (I haven't played the game; please don't comment with spoilers.)

"Suits season 7 finale will be a backdoor pilot for Gina Torres spin-off".

"N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Book To Be Developed As TV Series At TNT".


Social Justice

Great Twitter thread by [twitter.com profile] SmartAssJen, beginning with "To my 'good' white folks scared to speak out about race: no, you won't be 'perfect', you will stumble, but silence is complicity. Speak up."

"Fat-Positive Activists Explain What It's Really Like to Be Fat: Here's how you can be an ally".

"The Recent History of Fat Stigma".

At The Establishment:

--"How To Stop, Drop, And Roll In Mental Crisis".

--"Young Adult Fiction Writers Are (Finally) Ready To Talk About Sex". [January 2016]

--"Your Global Mansplaining Dictionary In 34 Languages".

--"What Happens When Your Biggest Fear Is Something Inevitable?" [Sarah Kurchak] "Sarah, I know your parents are wonderful people, but maybe you can help me understand this,” my therapist asked during a session that happened at some point after the death of my grandmother and the loss of my childhood home but before the death of my dog and the notification that my building’s owners have applied for a demolition permit. “Why did they feel the need to explain the impermanence of the universe to you at such a young age?”"


Miscellaneous

"As a female sex worker, I'd like to propose my own Google-style gender equality manifesto".

"IKEA Releases Instructions How To Make ‘Game Of Thrones’ Cape After Costumer Reveals Actors Wore IKEA Rugs".

"This Brazilian Tattoo Artist Is Horrible At Drawing, But People Still Pay Her To Get Inked".

"Philly company digitizes 25,000 old records and they're free to download".

"Being the Crazy Friend, 101". [Mishell Baker] ["Content warning: blunt descriptions of negative emotions and disturbed thoughts."]

"Story Time: 10 Times Our Favorite Authors Told the Best Stories on Twitter". [Book Riot] (Includes both Seanan McGuire's story about the guy with the lizard in his leg and Ryan North's live tweets when he got stuck in a hole, as is only right and proper.)

"Monkeys, Mermaids and the Evil Eye. Medieval Stone Sculpture at Kilkea Castle and Graveyard". [Pilgrimage In Medieval Ireland]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple". [NPR] And via [dreamwidth.org profile] hannah, xkcd's take.

in the still of the night

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:51 am
[syndicated profile] ao3_mag7_2016_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/kyouyaed/pseuds/kyouyaed">kyouyaed</a>

by

“You are willing to risk death. Unreasonable. For what purpose?”

That was the easiest thing to answer. He could have laughed. “Freedom,” he said simply.

The terrors of the Commonwealth seem minuscule compared to being forced back into the Institute.

Words: 2340, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Series: Part 8 of lay that pistol down, babe

sarasa_cat: (vincent_dc)
[personal profile] sarasa_cat
[Originally posted on tumblr over here]

Okay. NOW I am ready to have that low-effort characterization discussion.

If anyone (plural!) is interested, just leave a reply and let me know if you have some time soon or not for a couple of weeks.

.

As a bunch of you know, I have a very large FFVII WIP that includes a sizable character arc for Vincent (told in 1st person POV). The WIP also includes other character/plot arcs.

There are a bunch of things itching my brain regarding how I want to handle and interpret certain aspects of Vincent’s canonical presentation, specifically:

Read more... )

Stubborn

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:22 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_mag7_2016_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/sofarsogood/pseuds/sofarsogood">sofarsogood</a>

by

"Was what Goodnight was saying true?"

"You know Goodnight," Faraday said, flustered. "He says all sorts of things. You shouldn't put so much stock in it, you know."

"I know," Vasquez said. "But I have my own reasons to believe him."

Faraday felt an uncomfortable tingle run down his spine. "What's that?"

"I've seen you look at me in a way that's not the way one looks at a friend."

Words: 1707, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Between North Korea and Charlottesville and everything else happening, it's hard not to feel like everything is burning down. But until the world actually ends, it's better to proceed as if it will keep on turning, so have some linkspam.

umadoshi: (nonfictional feeling (oraclegreen))
[personal profile] umadoshi
(I tried to make this post more cohesive than it is. I really did! Pretend it worked?)

At last, I know what a childhood of X-Men reading prepared me for: coping with the severe cognitive dissonance when different components of/perspectives on a fictional world are staggeringly different from each other in tone.

Except that, where X-Men (and similar) comics have passed through countless creative teams over several decades (and are a big enough thing to have all kinds of quirky sideline projects), in this case, said staggeringly-different aspects are written by the same person.

I'm now mostly caught up on K.B. Spangler's work in the A Girl and Her Fed (AGAHF) universe, which consists of the ongoing A Girl and Her Fed webcomic and five novels (so far), one of which is Not Like The Others. Oh, and the first of a planned series of novellas cheerfully (and accurately) codenamed "Joshsmut".

I came at this world...out of order, I guess, in that I started with the novels. I'd heard of the AGAHF comic and had been meaning to read it, but I do better with novels...and I didn't really realize how intertwined the projects are. Here's an io9 review of Digital Divide, the first Rachel Peng novel. (Four of the five novels currently available focus on Rachel.)

(Note: I'd heard of A Girl and Her Fed off and on for at least a few years, and had it on my to-read list before I mentally connected it to the Rachel books, but I never really looked into what it is...even though I always tripped, and still trip, over the title because I always parse it wrong. My instinct is still to read the "fed" as a conjugation of "feed", not as "federal agent", which makes no sense at all. How am I STILL DOING THAT?)

So Rachel was my gateway. Rachel as we meet her is a smart, driven, ex-military federal employee who's working as the liaison between the D.C. police force and her own federal agency, OACET, which is made up entirely of a large group of cyborgs. More specifically, a large group of cyborgs created in a catastrophically flawed project that took some of the best and brightest young civil servants from across the federal government, put chips in their heads, and left them collectively traumatized and disturbingly overpowered.

Emphasis on the "collectively". The (functionally nonexistent) "So You're A Cyborg" manual didn't have a chapter for "Welcome to Your New Hivemind! (Please stop screaming! Everyone can hear you!)"

Rachel's books start several years after all that, and several months after she's joined the above-mentioned police force, for the express purpose of helping to ease the public into the idea that Cyborgs Are People Too!, and super-useful to boot! And guys, I love Rachel dearly, so she was a great gateway for me. I kept going with her books until I discovered that the sole (so far) Hope Blackwell novel is set before Rachel's fourth book, so I opted to both read that book and finally backtrack to read AGAHF...

And it turns out that my X-Men experience is only barely up to this whole experience. cut for length; there's about as much text under here as there is above )

Two things of note:

1) Spangler is in the process of redrawing the first chunk of AGAHF. I don't know when she started doing that, or how quickly it's progressing, but the result is that the first 90-100 strips or so have been redrawn (each one linking to its original version) and have had some dialogue tightened and some plot holes smoothed out, but then you run out of redrawn art and get dropped into the original art style for a while, and it's...well, it's pretty jarring. (Here is the current/redrawn first comic; here is the original version. So you see.)

2) I'm not great at picking up things that call for content notes/warnings, unless they're pretty obvious. But one thing that bothered me, and recurred often enough that I feel like I ought to mention it, is the frequent use of "psychopath" (plus some instances of "sociopath") as a descriptor. briefly expanding on that; not very spoilery )

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Susan

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Hi! I'm Susan, I write for [community profile] ladybusiness, and I'm currently trying to post at least 100 words of fic every day.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

August 2017

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