beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Antimony Price, youngest sister, has to deal with the consequences of her elders actions, by going undercover, while already having an identity crisis. Layers of secrets unravel and the stakes are life and death on a large scale.

Read more... )


I stayed up until midnight trying to read this all in one go, despite my sleep cycle currently thinking 0500 is a luxurious lie in. And then I read it all morning. It's a good involving read.

If you liked the others in the series then Antimony's anger towards their point of view characters might be a bit of a speed bump to liking her, but she seems plenty logical to me.

I liked this.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It’s one of those days where the sex bits in fic don’t make much sense to me.

Like oh, now they are bumping bodies. That appears to be nice for them. Okay.

I guess today I’d rather read something with intense feels about partnership but that’s about, like, liking each other? And deciding to like each other for the forseeable future? Possibly with cuddling? Or back rubs? And food?

So much stuff gets labelled romance but seems mostly about liking their body parts.

Maybe I should go find stories about forming superhero teams together. ... except those seem to involve mostly fighting, and the fic has to fill in the liking each other later...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Great big giant recurring trigger warning for suicide, since it's pretty central and many many people.

Also I can't trigger warning the other bit without giving away the ending : Read more... )



So there's a lot of aspects of this one I'm not keen on.
Some I'm even hoping I've plain misinterpreted or misremembered.



Flip side, there were many good bits, and I actually liked Nardole. Which takes good work on their part. Read more... )



So there's interesting stuff, but it was ... diluted rather, by stuff I just... don't see why they put it in there. Why they want us to buy it even for the length of a story. Why it belongs in family viewing.


I want an edited together version of That One Good Bit, and then to not touch the rest of this ep again.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Now the piano is gone I have Space in my living room
so I can move around
so I did an exercise sheet :-)

... it says repeat five times but I suspect one times was too many if you're me and I should have chosen a different set. So I am having a sit down.
But small steps is still steps.

Later I shall still have space, and also sheets of exercise, and I can choose a whole different one to do.
:-)


ETA:


Two! Two exercise sheets!
... I like the pillow workout. like, the shops try and sell these huge great weights and all, but the nhs is like, no, we know you haven't moved since you left school, just try lifting a pillow.

I don't think the mat I bought is appropriate to this task set. Oh well, it was cheap.


ETAgain:

Three! Three exercise sheets!
I win!

... I do not fit on the exercise mat lying down, even though I am not a very long human. This does not seem optimal.

Also I need to vacuum more better. Even though I did vacuum.



Some tasks are not going to work best even in the newly spacious living room.


Is cool to be able to swing my arms around and lunge though.



Imagine a fancy house with so much room I could learn swords too.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Somewhere past the end of the great and bountiful human empire, lost in space, there is the Torchwood Archive. And it's having a theme week.

Someone arrives with an alien item and a whole lot of questions about Object One. They find holographic ghosts of the Torchwood we know, still being themselves, together after thousands of years. And they get a tour of Torchwood from the very beginning.

Trigger warnings for the usual: murder, murder of friends and family, suicide, homophobic violence, things being darker and twistier than they seem.

And it's in a whole lot of little sections. They weave together. But it felt to me like a lot more plot than character, just because there's so many characters there's hardly any time for each particular one. We learn lots of neat and interesting glimpses but it's not like we can hang around to have feels.

It gives lots of answers to long running plot arcs. What the little locket was that got opened on new year's eve of the new century. What's even up with the Committee. What would Toshiko even do if she managed to be happy for a couple of days.

Spoilers, though predictable: Read more... )


Okay story. Lots of neat bits. Interesting way to pass the time.




But whatever I'm looking for in my media consumption, this leaves me still looking.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Continuum season three is getting tediously predictable in the specific area of dead women.
It is not a plot twist.
It is ongoing evidence of a failure of imagination, giving all the plot and emotional mileage to men, letting them cry over women's corpses.

How the hell does culture end up here?

How did it happen that half the human race can't seem to imagine the other half is people?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Thing I can't stand when people write poorly about disability: using disability as a metaphor, or physical representation of a moral quality.

Thing I have seen in multiple screenwriting textbooks actually assigned by colleges: the instruction to only use disability if it's a metaphor and a physical representation of a moral quality.

For instance, if willful refusal to acknowledge facts, then physical blindness.
Ablist as all hell, but somehow considered a tool to use in fiction.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It is a bit frustrating that I aspire to be some sort of writer
and yet
the part where I send my words to other people routinely makes me want to chew on my wrists.

that sort of complicates the endeavour.

ah well, for as long as this blog endures, the world gets a record of my tiny life
which is something.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Now the piano is gone I can move my chair back. The TV looks so much better now I'm at a different angle and not so close I need to worry about kicking it. I moved some other stuff around though and I definitely need a blackout curtain or blind for the living room window if I want to watch TV in the daytime. The old TV is ninety degrees away sitting in front of a bookshelf, which is more practical except for not having the wires available. new curtain is easier than new wires and new bookshelves.

Now the chair has moved the lighting is all wrong. Right in my face. And again, easier to fix the light shade than all the other parts and pieces, but, I had chosen a good one I like, so I currently want to fuss with the chair until it somehow becomes acceptable.



Continuum 3.1 finally chooses some laws of time, but they're harsh and I don't see how they're internally consistent. Interesting to see how that will play through though.

I feel like a lot of stuff in tv could be fixed by a proper bit of communication. And that's always frustrating. But dramatic.

It continues interesting.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Well that was nothingy.
It's trying to be scary but there's nothing about it that makes it a Torchwood story.
It's just a spooky voice trying to get you to look at it. Except that's a stupid conceit for an audio play because you can't get the audience involved. There's never any danger we'll see something, so, no visceral involvement.
Read more... )


There's no point doing a scary thing isolates your character story unless it reveals things about your character. The Nightmare Man did a good scary thing. This might be any attempted spook story on the radio, but not a very competent one.

Don't bother.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
We started to go to Norwich
but the car said Engine Fault
so we had to stop in a lay by which had picnic tables under a lot of green.

Employee called a colleague and made sure to get me home
and now they're going back out to see if they can fix their car.
One hour round trip but they tagged out and figured they'd stopped working when the car did.



I have decided that my cunning plan to get biscuits at the supermarket before we left is why the Fault happened so close to town.
Also it means I have biscuits.
So the evening has an up side.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I had to spend moneys to make it go away
and the piano remover spent some time poking the keys and pointing out it don't play - yes, I know, so does the shop, it's fine, it should be fine, I hope it's fine - but they picked it up and took it away!

... they said at least the older ones are light? and picked up one end each?
I haven't been able to get it to so much as budge an inch this century, but okay, it's light...

oh and the guy says he's got fifty years moving pianos
and I believe him
I thought the website meant the company, or cumulatively, but nooooo...
so a very grey haired dude just lifted my piano, carried it down the steps, and
took
it
away!

That has been here since the 90s and I don't play it.
I have been trying to get it gone for two christmases.
It was a whole piano sized piano and it took up a piano of space in my one room council flat.

I'm just saying, this is pretty cool.

... and making me feel weird because it's one of the things that have always been here
but still
cool.



... and at some point real soon now I'll start to believe they won't try and bring it back...


(gone! away!)

(I can stand at one end of the room and see the other!)

(whee!)




3367 xp on habitrpg!
receive delivery is only 35xp, that's a very valuable achievement right there!
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have a vague impression of vaguely liking F&SF, or at worst being uninterested in a particular story.
But when I add up my opinions story by story I turn out to have not quite liked a lot.


Witch's Hour, by Shannon Connor Winward.
Trigger warnings, rape and abuse and not even getting away from it by killing the dude because ghosts.
That one was unpleasant.
Read more... )
Just... wrong.

Dirty Old Town, Richard Bowes
Didn't really connect with the narrator, not my kind of thing.

The Prognosticant, Matthew Hughes
Things happen to this guy and he makes clever choices that achieve goals.
And if any emotions happen I missed them.
Story with no feels, didn't connect, not my sort of thing.

My English Name, R. S. Benedict
Story about someone pretending to be an ill, gay, human, Read more... )

A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh And Stone, Brian Trent
Uploads and backup copies, with as many new bodies as they please.
Because that action hero dude doing One Last Job becomes a renewable resource if you've got a backup copy.
Read more... )

The History of the Invasion Told In Five Dogs, Kelly Jennings
Sad post apocalyptic thing with very little hope, told through bad things happening to dogs.
Effective angle.
Don't like the whole post apoc despair thing.

What The Hands Know, Gregor Hartmann
Fight club story, therefore boring and instantly forgotten.
Tries to do worldbuilding and politics and hint at wider conflict through one man's experience
but that one man isn't someone whose head I find interesting.

The Woman With The Long Black Hair, Zach Shephard
Skillfully written, plausibly characterised, achieved its goal, just did a bunch of bad things to characters to do so. So I didn't like it.

The First Day Of Someone Else's Life, John Schoffstall
Frenetic mix of almost intelligible strangeness of near future weird social evolution
through a guy whose deal I guessed pretty much from the get go Read more... )

Neko Brushes, Leah Cypess
Boy can paint so good it comes to life. Simples story with magic cats, and also samurai and politics and twists.
I liked.

Rings, Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Okay, but, why do we need a story about women taking men as slaves to breed from?
I mean, worldbuilding, characters, feelings, certainly a lot of women but why?
If it's to illustrate the stupidity of writing off half the human race I can think of a bazillion better ways.



... I feel bad saying didn't like so often, I mean stuff like I'd rather read things that left me in a better mood than I started, but all these certainly packed plenty of characters and ideas into decently written stories.

I don't know.

If I'm not looking for these, what am I looking for?

... more women that are less evil, and a sense that problems can in fact be solved, preferably by teamwork and application of intelligence.

... and yet the one that is all guy solves problems by application of intelligence doesn't work for me at all. So, also, feels. Emotional arcs. Becoming.

I don't know. Like this but not this.



Shall see if next month.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Cleaner day is very helpful and when the cleaner is done everything is clean
I never take that for granted.

Yaay cleaners.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Every time I read something about cultural appropriation I start thinking
maybe going to Bollywood dance lessons with only one asian person, who is not the teacher, is kind of tacky
and I conclude
yes, yes it is
but I'm going to keep going anyway because it's the only sort of exercise I've ever been able to stick with,
and other dancing involves like looking at each other and holding hands and stuff.
which, no.
so.

Like, I'm not saying my need for exercise make it somehow shiny
I'm just going to go.

this is an unsatisfying conclusion
which is why I have this thought loop a lot.

Continuum

May. 15th, 2017 06:31 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
After seeing two seasons and having a think I'm frustrated with Continuum for the usual reasons.

Like, I thought it was about Kiera Cameron. She's on the cover. She's in all the episodes.
But it's like the story doesn't even know how to be about a woman.
So she's isolated in a sea of men, all her significant relationships are with men or dead, every character who gets properly developed and elaborated on is a man, and women get fridged or turn out to be evil or just kind of fade away.

Read more... )



Most frustrating is I like it plenty
but
this thing where women don't exist in networks of women needs to be fixed.

Everywhere.

Soonest.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
just discovered Continuum has a season 4 and it probably isn't being released on DVD in the UK.
*sigh*
this is why people can't be having with region locks
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I am watching Continuum some more.
It remains smart and twisty
but it's bugging me that she hasn't been using the truth serum when it would be really useful and I think she still has the whatsit that administered it.

I mean, there might be an in universe reason, but I can't remember it, and the plot would be really different if.

so, nearly smart, definitely twisty.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I used the Telephone
for the second week running
and the thing I was trying to arrange is arranged :-)

It has on several previous occasions got this far without in fact ending up happening
but
I did a difficult and it worked.


I win :-)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Bought this because it looked fun and like it would be about women.
Which, yeah, ish.
But it was mostly Being Funny, and it seemed to not like women very much unless they were hitting things. Read more... )


So that's 5/18 stories that were better than okay.


Buuuut an overall impression of :-/
and no particular desire to buy the other books in the series.


Think it's just not to my tastes.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
That was a good one. Creepy to proper scary in the middle, political, and stripped the Doctor down to basics even further than usual.

I only tentatively like the end. I have to see what they'll do. But it's already more promising than when most shows go there, because it appears to be lasting.

I didn't like the beginning so much because it was all HAVE FEELS NOW from a standing start, but okay, unsubtle but themey.

Read more... )

That was good to watch and only made me check the time when they mentioned it was running out for them. Proper Doctor Who.




Also the iPlayer on my new huge smart tv is a bit magic. I still haven't watched anything I've been recording because the iplayer works plenty good. Coolness.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I've been watching Continuum and Doctor Who, and reading about Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, so I've been thinking about time travel morality.

And it absolutely depends on the physics of time travel, in ways that seem sincerely difficult to determine for certain sure.

It's always about free will and self determination vs assorted definitions of the greatest good for the greatest number.

Read more... )




That's a very long way to say it
but
if a story does not give us the rules of time travel, we can't tell if the consequences of a travellers actions are good or bad, and we can't evaluate them in a time travel context.

If the rules aren't consistent it gets worse.

And seeing as we don't have time travel or any ability to know what happens elsewhere in the multiverse, we're pretty likely to evaluate actions in a simple way, where saving people is a good thing.

Even if it overrides their choices.

Or might butterfly all of history so whole family trees don't get born.

We can't know all that, we can't even call it a short term long term problem, so we're just going to sit there and sulk that someone could be saved so they should have.




My favourite thing that Legends failed to do? The approach I'd take with that crew? Play as much as you can in the gap between history and happened. Treat all of time as a heist where you have to avoid the cameras. Steal people out from under. Crew a ship with ghosts, whose only impact on the timeline thereafter has to be just as secret as their rescue. Steal the Acheron and make the name mean something.

Then you consider changing history to be a risk, but changing time to be a challenge.




But there's also the time traveller's dilemma, Reverse Flash edition: history says you did it. Do you change things and risk a paradox, do you fight fate and find out the hard way how it herds you, or do you consider the record to be sufficient reason to go ahead and do it? Read more... )



Time travel stories at the simplest ask: Even if we could know for absolutely certain what the consequences of our actions are, do the ends justify the means?

But time travel stories are not on the whole that simple.

So they pit free will against fate and choice against survival maths and generally get messy enough you can't tell if they've done good, and neither can they.

... putting them right back in the fog we linears have to live in anyways.





I get hung up on what we could go back and change, and should probably take a holiday from time machine stories to practice the here now a bit.

But they do allow explorations of possibilities not much available elsewise.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So, I read a story where the Earth's entire colonisation effort was something like thirty women, and they were going to get implanted with preserved embryos on their first day there because they might be the whole hope of survival for the human race.

... which bothers me on several levels.

Read more... )

Obviously if everyone is women you do what the computer tells you and grow whatever was frozen well enough. Er, whoever.

How long would they keep up the Ladies Only plan?

I mean if the plan is to get as much genetic diversity as possible out of the frozen embryo stores in the ship and there's some kind of time limit on that, you'd want to make sure there's plenty of wombs to go around. Would you get everyone out in a single generation?

If you're aiming for ten thousand colonists, even if you have multiple births routinely and soak the risk, that needs a really big first gen pool. So you'd want to keep up the embryos plan for multiple generations, without losing any of the earlier generations. You could do that with donor sperm and embryos. Or with a lot of social stuff to make sure your great grandchildren are still interested in decanting old world people.


also one of the mathier pieces says "the consequences of the increased medical risks of late childbirth have not yet been considered." It wanted to stretch the generations on a generation ship by having kids around 40, but, wow is that a biggie to leave out of your math. I mean, your chances change substantially over time.

Read more... )

But only the first 200 would be volunteers who up front believe themselves willing to act that way. The future survival of the human race would depend on their reproductive behaviour. Their choices would be severely constrained.

And to get all the embryos out of storage in the shortest generations they'd need to get their daughters to act the same way. Which seems... unlikely.

Read more... )



Hard science fiction that sets out a space colony as that baby focused without thinking through how they're actually going to feed the babies is just bad.

I mean, maybe they all get pregnant before they've got a crop going on the grounds that if they starve to death it's all one anyway, but... no.



Also the science problem in the novellette I read was far less interesting to me than the social consequences of the background setup. Read more... )


I think one big factor for viable colony size calculations is something like, if we send people who act pretty much like people of that cultural background do, how many do we need?

Like, we'd need to include murder rates from somewhere.

You do not get perfectly behaved people. No matter how you filter them at the start.



And the cultural changes would be massive even in the first generation kids. I mean how many immigrants feel like they don't really understand their children?

And if the future of the human race depends on women's reproductive choices, it's kind of more likely to work if you start with what those choices *actually* tend to be. First gen you could filter for people that want big families - though not for people that want big families once they start having them and are surrounded by them - but second gen will do as they will.

How do you design a colony socially so it does what you need genetically?



Clue: you do not stick thirty women on a one way trip and keep them pregnant from the first month they get there.




Hard science needs to at least glance at soft science or it requires the ridiculous.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I watched some more Continuum.
I think if I just read the trigger warnings I wouldn't have started. I don't know if there's a page with trigger warnings. But this season so far there has been suicide and serial killing and child sex abuse and some messing with the line of if they're crazy, all on top of the usual terrorist violence with shooting and blowing things up. Oh, and decapitation. And drug use, resulting in car crash with pov guy in the back seat. And... just, like, all the things?

But it's mostly adventures. mostly.
... I just finished watching the serial killer one and bounced off the idea of watching the next and ended up going back to researching what butterfly it could have been in A Sound Of Thunder. Which I realise is beside the point. But butterflies are very seldom recognisably violent.

Also wouldn't it be cool to have a whole butterfly themed Time Agency?
Butterflies have so many cool names, you could have admirals in charge, and all sorts.

And next I'll be designing the uniforms again. Though obviously they'd have to blend in in various eras so it would be more variations on a theme. Green gold black.



... so, I like Continuum, but sometimes it goes past my comfort zone and I bounce off into happier pictures.



I'm a bit frustrate at how she stays isolated in a sea of men even when the story introduces more women. Also how many women turn out to be evil. I mean, that's a thing.


But time adventures of the No Fate sort? still interesting.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Hrm. So. I think if this magazine were a conversation I'd find different people to talk to. Some of the stories are clever and have good qualities, but there's... stuff going on with them. The kind of stuff that says Our Kind Of People have all the smarts and the good thinking, and Those Other Sorts need to shape up and assimilate, or they're some kind of dangerous.

This is not what I look for in science fiction.

But there's other threads about listening to different views and learning better. I don't know. The big story at the start of this issue was foul so it stank up the rest.


The Girls With Kaleidoscope Eyes, Howard V Hendrix
I have said what I think of this nastiness.
I don't think I mentioned there but there was also a never plot relevant bit where the ten year olds looked 16 with "womanly curves". That creeped me out in its own distinct way.

To See The Elephant, Julie Novakova
Animal Psychologist here means mind melding with animals. Lady figures out why elephant is in distress. Turns out to Read more... )
It had neat stuff about elephant language and social groups, and the idea of animal mind melds is appealing, like all them soulbonded animal stories but with more leaving.

The Final Nail, Stanley Schmidt
On one level this is an interesting science problem. People start being allergic to red meat, and the protagonist is the guy who has enough pieces to figure out why. But it thinks it is more clever than the people it is lecturing. Read more... ) it just looks like it hasn't thought its own science through.

Kepler's Law, Jay Werkheiser
Fair play science problem, in a space colony that is 100% women.
So it has a lot going for it and I quite liked it.
It is not exactly ideal that they're all women because the colony needs wombs to grow transplanted embryos in. Read more... )
... I liked it more before I started thinking about it.


Those were the longer stories, then a ton of shorts.
Read more... )


Nothing that really stood out as making my reading time worth it.
Few things that were okay reads.




Also the cover ink continues to not last long enough for a fairly careful reader.
not best.

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