Back from MICE

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:01 pm[personal profile] lb_lee
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
The comics con this weekend went super-well; broke my sales records, and happily spent a chunk of money on awesome queer comics.  Some highlights!
  • O Human Star vol. 2, plus an O Human Star side story and a couple fridge magnets, all by Blue Delliquanti. (Trans queer robots and disabled cyborgs in the near-future.)
  • Suspension, by my friend Laurel Lynn Leake. (Corporate solarpunk sci-fi--I just wish there was more, since it was so short.)
  • Thots with Thoughts, by Noah... Grigner?  Something like that.  Also I'm now apparently officially an old fogey because I had never heard of the term 'thot' until now.  Have any of you?
  • A tiny little pocket one-pager of trans magic sigils by Ezra Rose.
Also I printed out a few color booklets of some stuff I liked.  Every time I have to print color, I wince in pain, and this was no exception; three little floppy books, smaller than AllFam 1-3, cost me over $50, just to print one copy each.  Ouch!  But now I'll never have to worry about it again.
I am very very tired.  But happy how it went.  And now that the con rush and deadlines are no longer hanging over my head, I swear my public posts will be more than just, "NEW BOOK" and "NEW CON."

--Rogan

Thought for the Day

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:22 am[personal profile] bcholmes
bcholmes: I was just a brain in a jar (brain thoughts)

I am sick of having to suffer so a man can grow. What is this, every Hollywood movie ever made? I am tired of having to confess to someone else’s crimes. I am tired of showing up at the banquet dripping blood like Banquo’s ghost. This should be your ghost, not mine. I am not the one who should be ashamed that you have done these things. I am not here to make you see the error of your ways. I am here to get through my life every day without inhaling thick lungfuls of smoke.

Because that’s what this is. This is like getting people who have gotten cancer from secondhand smoke to come testify together as a way of solving the problem. But you are the one who needs to stop.

— Alexandra Petri, “Men of the world: You are not the weather”, The Washington Post

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

Bio-Granddad

Oct. 9th, 2017 12:43 am[personal profile] bcholmes
bcholmes: (meshes in the afternoon)

One day in the late 80s, I was back at my parents’ house, between semesters at University. “I think you look like my father,” my mother said, rather matter-of-factly, and somewhat out of the blue. She went off to another room of the house and came back with a cardboard stationery box that I had never seen before. Inside the box, she produced a large head shot photo of her father, Walter Dynes, for comparison purposes.

I’m pretty sure that I was in my early twenties. Until that moment, I had never her say a word about her father. I don’t think that she ever mentioned him again.

At some point in my life, I’d come to understand that her father had died quite a long time ago, and that the person I considered to be my grandfather was, in fact, her step-father. Certainly, by the time of the great grade 7 family tree homework assignment, the details provided by my grandfather clearly spelled out the three maternal grandparents. But my bio-grandad’s figure seemed to cast no shadow over my family: he wasn’t talked about, no photos were out, and no stories about him were ever told. When I refer to him, I often call him my “biological grandfather” — a term that feels distant and removed. But it also feels apt because he seems distant and removed.

My father’s father, Vidal Holmes, was also dead. He died shortly before I turned two. But I was aware of his absence in a way that I was never aware of Walter’s absence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)

Next morning Hannah went into the hothouses to cut some flowers to replace a bloom here and there in the vases that went droop, and discovered her brother Julius about some matter of tending pots.

He smiled at her. What, not up and about with Miss Flora?

I daresay she sleeps in, to recover from her journey.

Indeed the Channel crossing will knock one up! But – he turned around with a serious expression upon his face – has she said aught about Beauf – Sallington’s – suit to her?

Not yet.

Only – he sighed – there is some notion of the Duke’s that Beauf might set up his own establishment at Nitherholme, and he was saying, did he do so, might I not go with him and do somewhat about the gardens, that were never particular tended to, save for the herb garden when Lady Jane resided there, and have been much neglected since then, one could have a free hand in doing the thing, 'tis not like Qualling or the grounds of Mulcaster House, so there would not be established gardeners jealous of their place and saying, has always been done thus and so –

Oh, Julius, surely you would love that!

Also, Julius went on with a longing look, 'tis moorland country thereabouts, and I confide would be an almost untrodden field for the botanist –

Sure all sounds entire ideal –

- but one must suppose that his plans would be different did he intend to go marry.

One had to know Julius extreme well to know that he was most extreme concerned about this matter. Indeed it would be a considerable advancement for him, and Hannah knew how great a friendship there had ever been 'twixt him and Lord Sallington. Certainly he might fear that marriage would cause a breach – but was it Flora, that had been part of the same nursery-set? how could that create a gulph?

And then she looked at her brother and wondered. Had she not had particular opportunity to observe the very fine manly affection that existed 'twixt His Lordship and Mr MacDonald?

Why, she said, I daresay Flora will tell me soon enough.

In the afternoon she climbed once more to their meeting place, where Flora was already sitting, clasping her arms about her knees in her old way. Hannah went to squeeze in beside her.

Dearest Hannah Clorinda, said Flora, sure there is a thing I am almost frighted to ask you: but has there been with you any matter of falling in love?

Hannah laughed. Fie, who should I go fall in love with?

Why, how should I know, being away so long?

Hannah looked sideways at Flora. Well, she said, resisting the desire to teaze, I will confess that I have the greatest admiration and, 'tis true to say, affection, towards His Lordship and Mr MacDonald, that are both always so very kind to me. But they are quite out of my sphere, and naught that I would go pine for – and indeed, sure I take the entire apprehension that 'twould be a very foolish thing to set my girlish hopes upon 'em.

You were ever a sensible creature, sighed Flora. For I find myself – found myself, mayhap I will discover that matters are different when we are no longer under the Italian sun, or strolling in balmy moonlight and a little smoky glow from the burning mountain – somewhat unexpected smitten.

She sighed once more. We encountered Quintus and his friends in Venice and it perchanced I saw a good deal of Beauf, and then we went our ways, and then we met once more in Naples, and I found myself in a considerable liking to him, and indeed he to me, and there was a mention of marriage, but I said that perchance we were beguiled by the exceeding romantic setting –

- but 'twas not just that concern that halted me from saying yes to his offer.

She looked down at her hands pressing together. O, dear, Hannah, I like him most extremely, but I greatly dislike the thought of being a duchess. For one sees his stepmother, a most excellent learned lady, that I daresay would greatly prefer to spend a deal more time in her study than her duties of rank permit, and does not complain, but will sometimes let little things drop – will come in from some occasion and say she has been about duchessing, with a twist of her mouth.

And then, my dearest Tiger - she looked sideways at Hannah, who kept her face entirely straight – why, what may I call her? She would not have me call her mama, says 'tis a title she would not steal from Mama, so 'tis a pet name ‘twixt the two of us. But she says, that one should ever think when contemplating marriage that the duties of marriage will include matters to do with one’s husband’s station or profession, if only by behaving proper to that – that is, does one marry a clergyman there is a deal of proper behaviour expected in the matter of church attendance and parish duties &C, almost to act the ancillary curate, and if one marries a doctor one does not gossip upon his patients any more than he would, and must not complain is he called out at all hours to some urgent case.

She leant her head upon Hannah’s shoulder. And said, sure one may see married couples that are entire partners, like unto Mama and Papa, or the Wallaces, or the Samuels, or as 'twas with the Verikers – oh, that was sad news – but indeed, she says, a woman does not always realize in advance what will come to her, but must adapt to circumstances.

And however fond and kind a husband may be, 'tis quite out of the common that he will go encourage her ambitions as Mr Lucas does, that insists that Mrs Lucas has her own study in the rectory. That she confides he would do even was there not the matter of her fortune in the balance.

She fell silent.

Also, she said at length, I like Beauf most extremely, but I have found that I am also given to finding other fellows agreeable, if only for a while. I daresay, she went on, you have read, or mayhap heard, the marriage service? That I confide is not in particular different among Methodists from what pertains in the Established Church – sure one hears that the Quakers do the matter differently –

Dearest Flora, 'tis unlike you to babble.

- and while there is a deal of matter in’t that one could mostly happily swear to, there are some things… even more than the forsaking all others, there is that dread word obey. And Tiger says I should mind what a deal of rights the law and custom assign to husbands, and how little to wives. Sure, she said, a woman – or her prudent advisors – may tie up any fortune she has, but there has to be that forethought took, and even then, there are husbands will endeavour come around their wives by persuasion or even violence.

Hannah sighed. Indeed 'tis so.

But the thing that I always come at, Flora continued, squeezing Hannah, is that I would not wish to be parted from you. And sure I find it hard to come at any way one might marry and still have one’s dearest friend about one. I suppose you might come be my companion, but – she planted a kiss upon Hannah’s head – I should dislike to put you in that position of dependency -

Oh, she cried, but I am a selfish fool! Doubtless you have your own plans and ambitions –

Why, said Hannah, I confide that although I lead a most exceeding pleasant existence here, undertaking the flowers for the house and tending to the library, 'tis not a course I may continue entirely indefinitely. And latterly I was discoursing of the matter to Mr MacDonald, and he advanced the thought that I might go make a living by my pen -

Why, my darling, indeed you might. For Mr MacDonald had most thoughtful laid by for us copies of The Intelligencer, marked up with matters of particular interest, and Tiger was most prepossessed by those pieces of yours on historical ladies.

Hannah felt herself blushing all over. But sure I did not see quite how I might come at that.

Flora clasped her knees again and rocked a little in the old wonted fashion when she was thinking something over.

At length she said, hesitantly, you know that Tiger has a fine property in Surrey -

O yes, Yeomans, 'twas where Mama met Papa –

Say you so! – 'twas let for many years to the Ulrichs, very fine people, some connexion of the Samuels, but at present stands empty, and she does not go seek new tenants until certain repairs and refurbishments are made. And it comes to me, might we not ask her could we go live there, and devote our lives to study and writing and doing somewhat about the parlous condition of womanhood - for I apprehend that 'tis not an entire out of the common thing, for two ladies to live together and pursue their interests, like Lady Emily Merrett and Miss Fenster at Attervale –

- but are they not somewhat older ladies, past their marriageable years?

O, now, but I have heard that Lady Emily was one of the belles of the Season when they first went there, her suitors were entire desolated.

O, said Hannah, longingly, surely that would be excellent fine, but I confide that there would be objections -

O, poo, to objections! said Flora. Do I go convoke with Tiger upon the business I daresay she will come at some way it might be contrived.

Hannah clutched Flora’s hand. O, Flora! I should like it of all things.

Orthodoxy in Oxford

Oct. 22nd, 2017 08:55 am[personal profile] naraht
naraht: Orthodox church in Romania (art-RomaniaPantocrator)
One of the things that I loved most about Russia was being able to pass any random church – usually a beautiful Baroque church – and know that it was an Orthodox church. And the fact that there was usually a service going on, which meant that I could go in, light a few candles and stand for a few minutes to enjoy the architecture and the singing before going on with my sightseeing. (There's no expectation that you'll arrive on time, or indeed stay till the end, as long as you know the points of the service during which you're not meant to leave.)

Back in Oxford, I'm really missing it. I would go to church much more if it could be this simple - if I could just pop in between the farmer's market and the cafe as part of my weekend routine. In the week and a half I was in Russia, I went to more church services than I've been to in years. (Not to mention wore a headscarf more than I ever have... it was a good chance to use all the scarves I have lying around.)

Really I shouldn't complain. I know there are places, like in the American South, where you have to drive for hours to get to an Orthodox church. I grew up in a town with one, and I've just discovered that we have four here in Oxford, not two as I'd originally thought.

• the Greek Orthodox/Russian Orthodox one, the oldest Orthodox church in Oxford and the home of Kallistos Ware, which is unfortunately a long walk from my house
• the other Russian Orthodox church (Patriarchate of Moscow), which is also a bit of a hike
• a Romanian Orthodox church
• an Indian Orthodox church (Malenkara Orthodox Syrian)

Whether or not I manage to get off my couch within the next half an hour to go to church this morning, I must definitely plan to visit the latter two sometime - particularly the last, as I've never been to an Oriental Orthodox church before. We shall see...

ETA: I ended up going to the other Russian church, which I hadn't visited before in its new home, and turns out to be only 20 minutes walk. Not too bad.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
Politico: Young subscribers flock to old media

What's particularly fascinating is the way in which it's directly correlated with people wanting to support news organizations as a way to resist Trump:

“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”

Keep up the good work!

Today's biography from the Oxford DNB:
Trautmann, Bernhard Carl [Bert]
(1923-2013), footballer

Losing Our Faith?

Oct. 21st, 2017 05:52 pm[personal profile] phoenixmythos
phoenixmythos: (Ryan)
 There's been a lot of... problems, recently regarding the group's collective faith. I can't say I blame them, but it's troubling to see the inner turmoil the group's been conflicted with. I know part of it's my fault, or... it feels like it at least. 

I'm not sure that there really was anything I could've done to change the situation, but basically, here's what happened: 

A long time ago, Paul and I became... "servants" to Apollo. Before then, I worked for Hades as his Oracle/Proxy. However, Apollo basically fought with Hades for his right to "claim me". 

And now, he has betrayed me. And hurt me. And left me for dead. I saw this coming. Betrayal is such a common thing here in the Nether. The world we live in is really cut throat and always has been. Paul, however... is taking it really hard. And so is everyone else. 

They've been begging Apollo to reverse the physical damage he's done, but he's refused to do so. I can't say I blame him. The man wants what he wants and nobody's going to stop him. It's almost admirable that he's so determined, but... at what cost? 

Is it really necessary to tear me and my family apart to get it? Well... He's made his decision and I've made mine. 

At least we've persuaded the other gods to change how things work, so that something like this never happens again. I'm not sure if the other gods acting in good faith (despite Apollo's actions) will persuade the rest of my family to continue along that path or if they will choose another (or if they will refuse further service to anyone)...

I suppose that's a choice they'll eventually have to figure out on their own. I just hope Paul will forgive me. 

-Ryan

rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
which I have been hiding from for nearly a year owing to its close temporal (and partially causal) association with my major mood dip at the start of the year.

Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.

I will accept praise and validation.

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2017 10:02 am[personal profile] twistedchick
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
I am jumping on the bandwagon for The Good Place with both feet! Philosophical discussion with disasters! Veronica Mars and Ted Danson and a lot of other excellent actors in a whacked out version of the afterlife.
It is wonderful!

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:55 am[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.
keepingintouch: (Default)
It has been long, long, LONG time since my crew have permitted me to call the imaginary friends, but this is the language that is used on the internet that gives me articles to read.



http://www.chatelaine.com/health/adults-hearing-voices-imaginary-friends/

Read more... )
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)

So, much later, Hannah climbed up to the deserted attic of the west wing of Raxdell House, and out onto the flat part of the roof 'twixt chimney-stacks, to find Flora already there, changed out of her finery into one of her old schoolroom dresses.

O, Hannah, she said a little tearfully, I thought you might not come.

Why should I not come?

Sure I am a foolish creature, but I have been hearing so much about how you go take care of the library, and are quite entire Mr MacDonald’s pupil in philosophy and a deal of other matters, sure you become the blue-stocking, while I have been about the frivolity of travel.

'Tis not what your letters led me to apprehend, said Hannah, sitting down upon a ledge and patting the place beside her. Was a deal of good thinking about what you saw and society and politics and history, 'twas no account of balls and flirtations and parties of pleasure.

Why, will not deny that there were plenty of those as well, said Flora, sitting down beside Hannah and putting her arm around her as she had ever been wont. But sure I should have liked to have you there, though indeed I now apprehend why there was such a to-do when I proposed you should come.

She looked down at her feet and sighed. I have learnt a deal of matters about things that concern me and those close to me. She fell silent.

Some considerable while later she said, but I would desire disclose 'em to you, my other self, 'tis why I wished come here where we may be quite private and none may overhear.

You need not, said Hannah, is't some matter of family secrets (had she not once heard some spiteful gossip that Flora was a cuckoo in the nest, no child of Josiah Ferraby’s but of some adventure of his wife’s? She did not believe it – was there not the finest fondness 'twixt the pair of 'em, did not Flora greatly resemble her father – but mayhap she was mistook.)

No, indeed I must - 'tis a very beautiful thing – indeed I feel myself proud - She stood up and looked about her. Sure I am foolish – none ever comes into those attics save to spring-clean once a year, and 'tis not the time for the chimneys to be swept.

Why, said Hannah, one may see through the skylight, grimy though 'tis, that the attic is quite entire deserted - there is no reason for any to come nigh -

I know, I am foolish, but the secret is not all mine to disclose.

Come sit down, then, and whisper in my ear as we were wont.

Flora gave a little smile and came to sit down again. She put her arm back around Hannah and leant towards her. I am Aunty Clorinda’s child, she whispered.

Hannah turned her head. Why, now one had heard it, one saw that Flora was very much of Lady Bexbury’s colouring, and none of the other Ferrabys was so fair. And sure Lady Bexbury had always manifested the very greatest fondness for her god-daughter –

But – she began in a low voice – who –

Oh, indeed Papa is my father. 'Tis somewhat of a long story, but it came about that poor Mama was very poorly indeed after being brought to bed with Quintus – and was advised that she should have no more – and very greatly yearned even so – and when it happened that Aunty Clorinda, that was not at that time Marchioness of Bexbury, went with child, she loved Mama so much, and thought that she would make a much better mother than she would, and I should be in a family with loving brothers and sisters, that she gave me to her –

Hannah frowned a little. But one could see that Lady Bexbury and the elder Ferrabys had quite the finest affection between them, that Lady Bexbury and Lady Ferraby were an entire model of fine female friendship –

- but indeed, part of the plan for this Grand Tour was that so she and I might spend some time alone together, and that she might tell me all this – though sure she had some hesitation, 'twas not until we were come unto Naples that she brought herself to come out with it. And – o, I do not know, mayhap 'tis possible your own mama has told you somewhat of how matters were before Aunty Clorinda married the Marquess? – but indeed I could see why she might suppose it the better course.

I was a deal put about at first, Flora went on, but then I thought what a fine upbringing I had, how much I love Mama and Papa, and how loving Aunty Clorinda always showed to me and to the others, would come romp in the nursery when we were little &C.

Hannah smiled. Would come be your tiger, and your wombatt. She squeezed Flora and Flora squeezed back.

But – o, there is more that happened, and things I should wish talk over with you, but sure I do not wish to drown you. Might we convoke here again in a day or so?

One did not often hear Flora so hesitant in making a request. Hannah kissed her friend, her other self, and said, tomorrow, do you wish.

And, said Flora, I should wish to hear all that you have been about.

Hannah smiled and said, sure ‘twas arranging flowers, and keeping the library in order, and a deal of reading. Little enough to tell.

'Tis not what I hear! – that Mr MacDonald goes lecture at the college in Gower Street, and that he practises over what he will say with you, sure, my darling, you are entirely acquiring a university education.

Hannah felt herself blushing. Why, I do not think the matter is beyond the feminine intellect; and indeed we have much fine talk of history and philosophy and the progress of the natural sciences.

We must speak further of this, said Flora in her old downright manner, but indeed I must go dress, for the entire family comes dine, save of course for Josh

Do I not know it! Mama is entirely about seeing that everyone’s favourite dish is served.

Hannah watched Flora scamper away, climbing down entirely in her old hoyden-girl fashion and not as if she was a fine young lady of fashion that had travelled and was being (was Julius right in so thinking) being wooed by a duke’s son.

She sighed, and more slowly made the descent herself.

galacticjourney: (Default)
[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


By Ashley R. Pollard

With the days drawing in, marking the beginning of Autumn, and the evenings becoming longer, I know I look forward to going to the cinema more. I was very fortunate to be able to get a ticket to the premier of the first James Bond film, Dr. No, which was shown at the London Pavilion, and therefore I saw it three days before its general release to the rest of the country.

There was quite a buzz surrounding this film, but before I go into my piece let me give you some context to the books behind the movie: Ian Fleming's James Bond series.



It may be confusing to some Fleming fans to see Dr. No presented as the first James Bond film, because the title and plot are from the sixth book. So six is number one, but chronologically the first James Bond novel was Casino Royale, which came out in 1953. I understand that Casino Royale was adapted as an episode of an American television called Climax! (which sounds rather racy to my ears) and that the rights to the name of the first James Bond book are therefore tied up.

Anyway, in Britain, Ian Fleming's books have always sold well, and Fleming may rightfully be described as the inventor of the Cold War spy thriller genre, which while set in the mundane world has themes that require elements of science and technology for the plots to work.

Up to now Fleming hasn't taken American by storm, but I think that will change when Dr. No is released in America next year. It will not probably hurt that President John F. Kennedy has been quoted as saying that Fleming's fifth James Bond novel, From Russia, with Love, was one of his top ten all time favourite books.

Given that the title of the next James Bond movie is From Russia, with Love, I fully expect American audiences to take to reading James Bond as readers over here have. Last year, the ninth book in the series, Thunderball, featuring the capture of a NATO fighter, sold out of its initial print run of 50,938 hardbacks and has had to be reprinted to meet demand. Reviews have said it is the best since Diamonds Are Forever, the fourth book in the James Bond series.

To say Ian Fleming is prolific is I think over-egging it a bit, but he can certainly write, and his writing improves with each book. I have watched Fleming adding depth and character, to what would otherwise be a cipher who only served the whims of the author. Fleming has made James Bond more than that. He's the man every man aspires to be, and the bad boy that every woman wants to be chased by.



And here I am, and I haven't even started to tell you all how wonderful Dr. No is...

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

Today's biography from the Oxford DNB:
Stanley, Edward Smith, twelfth earl of Derby (1752-1834), sportsman and patron of horse-racing
phoenixmythos: (Paul)
 Chara has really been riding our ass about being "weak" and needing to "man up", that if we don't stop being so kind and don't stop "being a doormat" that the world's going to swallow us whole. And that we'll also deserve it for not being brave enough to take what we want by force. 

Today we went for a walk and they rephrased it, saying that the only way we're going to escape this hell that others have created for us is to be brave and take action. That's the part I think that maybe Chara's right about. 

Nobody's going to care about us more than we do, ever. Despite how hard it is find a solution, we have to and we have to do it ourselves. And sure, maybe it won't be easy. Nah, it definitely won't be easy. It's going to be hard. And terrifying. 

But we can't just keep letting life pass us by like this. We have to keep trying, and we have to be brave. 

And maybe... Even though we have to set the ball rolling, maybe we don't have to do it alone. 

-Paul 

Posted by Tor.com

Oathbringer front cover endpapers Dan Dos Santos

Readers of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive epic got a lush visual treat for the hardcover release of Words of Radiance: vibrant endpapers depicting more characters from Sanderson’s fantasy series! For those who are wondering if that practice will continue for Oathbringer, the forthcoming third Stormlight volume, the answer is: yes!

On Friday, October 20th, the B&N book blog Twitter gave fans a sneak peek at the endpapers for Oathbringer:

Now that they’re out there, check out the full Dan Dos Santos illustrations hiding behind the front cover of Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer!

Oathbringer endpaper Dan Dos Santos

Oathbringer endpaper Dan Dos Santos

Who are these striking individuals? Are they individuals?

And… who might be the two characters depicted in the endpapers behind Oathbringer‘s BACK cover?

We’ll find out come November 14, 2017!

Note: The comments on this article may contain spoilers from the chapters of Oathbringer currently available to read on Tor.com. Tread as thou wilt.

Posted by Stubby the Rocket

The Empire Strikes Back ending Luke Leia

“[L]et’s be honest: we never had Star Wars,” Amberlough author Lara Elena Donnelly writes on Unbound Worlds. “We had all the ephemera that unfurled from the ineffable magic of those first three films. Star Wars was—and remains—critically important in nerdy millennial circles. It’s a touchstone by which we immediately recognize our people. It’s a way of connecting with older generations, including our parents, and newbie nerds like our younger siblings, our students, and our children. But it was never ours.”

Until, that is, she saw The Force Awakens in theaters two years ago.

Despite fond memories of watching the rereleased original trilogy as a young’un, it wasn’t until she was sitting in the theater watching a Star Wars movie no one else had ever seen that she felt real ownership of the universe: “When I saw The Force Awakens, in a packed theatre at midnight, crammed into the front row with my neck craned skyward, I felt what I’m pretty sure all those nerds must have felt in 1977 when Star Wars first hit the big screen. I felt surges of joy and terror, excitement to seek out worlds beyond this one, a renewed drive to challenge evil with empathy.”

Donnelly’s essay is one of 20, part of Unbound Worlds’ A Long Time Ago series. Every weekday in October, a different author shares what Star Wars means to them, from how it affected them as a writer (at least one has gone on to write a Star Wars book!) to more personal affirmations.

Before she wrote the Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells got to play in a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, a Legends tale that pits Princess Leia against Alderaanian pirates. But first, her 13-year-old self needed to realize that there were other SFF fans out there:

I was an isolated kid in a lot of ways, and didn’t know anybody else who really liked SF as much as I did. And I’d been told over and over again that liking SF/F, or liking anything involving books and media so intensely, was weird and strange and probably bad, or if not bad, something that made me a figure of ridicule. It was especially bad for a girl to like those things, but I was sure to get over it when I grew up and stopping being silly. I knew I wasn’t the only one, I knew there were other people like me out there; all these books and comics had been written by people, for people. But before Star Wars, it was hard to believe those people really existed.

Mapping the Interior author Stephen Graham Jones talks about “capturing” narratives and characters that speak to him, and thanks Star Wars for giving him “Indian role models” and “Indian heroes” while growing up:

And Leia, with her Hopi hairdo, her homeland isn’t just taken from her, it’s turned to (space)rubble. But that just makes her fight harder. Luke, he’s been adopted out of his tribe, has been forced into (space)farming, but is always looking up to the sky for home. Is there a more Indian name than Skywalker? Maybe: Han Solo, that living embodiment of an Indian who is not going to wait to get his request to cross the reservation line approved. He just hits that hyperspace button and goes. And, like all Indians, he believes in Bigfoot. He has to: Bigfoot’s his copilot. And don’t forget Luke and Leia being twins. So many of the tribes have stories about twins either messing up or saving the world—sometimes both. It’s what they do.

And Bradley P. Beaulieu, co-author of The Burning Light, reminds us how the Star Wars universe is full of contrasts:

Now that I’m older, I can appreciate more. Like inclusivity. Here we have this vast array of characters with wildly diverse backgrounds, and yet they treat each other like … people. Just simple people, divorced from their species, their races, their religions, their sexes, and so on. Yes, some biases crept into the story (it’s impossible to be completely divorced from such things), but I always felt as though the story was rooted less in inherited bias than it was on other stuff. Like personalities: Luke’s callow impatience vs. Yoda’s initial feigned curiosity, for example. Or ideology, as in the case of the Empire as it fought to root out and defeat the Rebels. Or base commerce, as in the case of Han and Greedo, or Han and Jabba, or Han and Lando, or… well, again, you get the idea.

Unbound Worlds will continue to release new essays through the end of October, with pieces from Max Gladstone, Fran Wilde, and more coming up!

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