Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Batman, Catwoman (or maybe Batgirl if those are bat-ears?) and Robin
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: R-tan on DA
Why this piece is awesome: Because Steampunk - always a fave with me! But this is really great - Batman's huge and clunky with his steampunk leather and armour, and Robin's unusually troglodytic and heavy behind his goggles - you can only tell who he is by the colours he's wearing. Catwoman's in studded leather and more goggles, and the airship and Batman's bat-wings are wonderful. Enlarge it for all the excellent details.
Link: Steampunk Batman
For #throwbackthursday, here are three old Chanukah photos. The first two of these are photographs of me with my middle brother.
This one's about 30 years old. If you look closely you can see my homemade Chanukah decorations taped to the framed Calder print on the rear wall. I think this was taken the year that my parents were in Kenya over Chanukah, traveling with a friend who was a hematologist and whose work frequently took him to Nairobi. My parents traveled with a tiny chanukiyah which held birthday candles, and arranged for me to celebrate Chanukah with different family members on different nights.
And this one's from 1988. My bat mitzvah took place on Shabbat Chanukah, so my brother -- who is a woodworker in his spare time -- made this beautiful chanukiyah which holds twelve-inch tapers. We lit it at my bat mitzvah, and my parents used it for many years thereafter. People in Texas like to joke that everything is bigger there; this chanukiyah definitely fits that bill.
(That same brother is responsible for the giant mahogany dreidel which I brought to Massachusetts during my last year of college. I remember placing it on the coffee table in the house I shared with several friends that year. When I came back, one of my housemates held the dreidel reverently in his hands. He looked up at me and without missing a beat said "very large Jews have been here!")
While I'm indulging in Chanukah remembrances, I want to honor the fact that today is my maternal grandfather Eppie's 18th yahrzeit. (Here is a post I shared about him ten years ago on this Hebrew date.) This photograph was staged on the day before my bat mitzvah, which was during Chanukah - you can see my father on one side, my grandfather Eppie z"l on the other, handing the Torah to me.
I hope that your Chanukah continues to be joyous and bright!
Just follow the link on the Fansite homepage (and don't forget to check out our Christmas greeting while you're there too!).
booniverse brought cookies (and she left the extras with us!). cherydactyl brought candy and milk and vegan eggnog. I hadn't realized that vegan eggnog existed. I hadn't had anything approaching eggnog since I was about eleven because of eggs being a major migraine trigger for me, so this was a nice treat. I don't think Cordelia was very impressed, though.
We talked a lot about the FATE game. I think we reached some conclusions, but I'm kind of squishy on just what those conclusions were. Scott wanted to run the game that we, the players, wanted to play. Those of us present were concerned with trying to let Scott run what he wants. That made compromise both easier and harder.
Eventually, the other three played Bananagrams while I loaded the dishwasher. It looks like a fun game. I don't know that I could play it without panicking, not competitively, but it might be possible to play it solo. Who knows?
I've heard back from one potential beta reader. She doesn't have time to do the job. I've emailed the other one, but I'm less optimistic because this one said that she'd prefer not to beta fics over 2000 words unless there was plenty of time. Things are kind of tight right now, and my story is currently 5030 words and still incomplete. After I finish it, after my time in the library today, I'll see if anybody in Yuletide chat is able to beta for me. It seems at least possible.
I love characters that don't really understand their own feelings but have a lot of them anyway (this is probably the source of my Batman problem, let's be honest), or who are trying to puzzle them out from first principles. (I wasn't going to buy the Angela comic in singles, for example, but then I read a review that said she was "weird and complicated and dealing with her emotions in awkward ways" and now my resolve is SORELY TESTED.) Characters who are a bit weird, or secretly (or not-so-secretly) giant dorks delight my heart.
I love characters who actively choose to be heroic because it's the right thing to do, who don't just do it out of instinct, duty or obligation. (I include Buffy in this because right from "Welcome to the Hellmouth" we see her over and over again rejecting the idea that she HAS to fight evil, and then choosing to do it anyway. ♥) I love female characters whose first instinct is to try and punch their way out of their problems, and I love seeing what they do when faced with a problem they can't punch.
One trope I like is "outsiders just can't understand their love", or relatedly, outsiders not being able understand something about a character because of stuff they can't talk about. That's not very well explained, is it? Hmmm. There's a bit in Bruce Wayne: Murderer where Bruce is accused of murder and he has no alibi because he was Batman at the time, so everyone in Gotham is talking about it and he can't defend himself... this is weird, isn't it? I'm OK with that.
I don't like villains, but I do like stories about reformed villains having to prove that they're definitely a good person now. (They have to be properly reformed, and ideally not to have been too villainous in the first place - I especially like it when they've been kind of villainous by default rather than by choice.) Which actually is kind of similar to the above? And also related to how much I love characters who choose to be heroes.
I like giant sprawling universes with oodles of characters and lots of history, and I like characters who already have established relationships with each other. (This was one of the things that hooked me on Birds of Prey, and thus comics in general.) I love happy endings and kindness, and characters who care about each other and who are trying their best to do the right thing, even if they can't always manage it. I would read/watch/listen to 10000000 stories about women mentoring other women, if I could only find them.
A group of misfit heroes coming together to form a team and a family will always make me happy, as will friendships in general, especially completely platonic male-female ones. I am a sucker for a hilariously punctured dramatic moment. I really like stories that take an old trope or story type and just change it enough to make it new, especially if the change is "everyone's queer" or "...but in SPACE". (Or, ideally, both.)
Also, highly intelligent people falling over. BEST.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (Author), Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator) is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. It was on sale last December for $2.99 so this is the lowest price it has ever reached. The first book in a series, The School for Good and Evil #2: A World without Princes was released this year and The School for Good and Evil #3: The Last Ever After will be released in July 2015.
At the School for Good and Evil, failing your fairy tale is not an option.
Welcome to the School for Good and Evil, where best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.
The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.
But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are . . . ?
The School for Good and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.
At the press screening of Last Christmas yesterday, Steven Moffat revealed the title of a Series 9 episode. He’s pleased to present…
The Magician’s Apprentice.
The episode, expected to be the first of the next run of episodes, begins filming in January, but aside from that, we know very little! It’s probably written by Moffat, and we’re yet to find out whether Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald is staying or not. We shall find out this Christmas.
Whovians may recall the Twelfth Doctor saying to the Teller in Time Heist: “What do you think of the new look? I was hoping for minimalism, but I think I came up with magician.”
Here’s hoping Series 9 sees the return of an inexplicable magic that typically follows in the wake of the TARDIS, yet seemed (to me at least) to be largely missing from Series 8 – bar the occasional bit of wonder in stories like Listen, Mummy on the Orient Express, and In The Forest of the Night.
So what do you make of this, dear readers? Good title? Bad title? Excited? Or haunted by memories of that Nicholas Cage film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice…?
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: traditional-charcoal on paper
Artist on DW/LJ:n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: DA website
Why this piece is awesome:Another black and white portrait -- I have a weakness for them and though the artist says it isn't her favorite, it's wonderful. She manages to convey not only likeness, but spirit. Parker looks like she's one second from motion.
Link: the Thief
I remain un-Wham!ed.
I had grand ideas about how early I would get up. Then they met with my sleep schedule. I did arrive at work for the emergency lunch, which was enjoyable. One of the dudes there thought he recognized me from FOGcon. I mentioned a few people I knew via my professional life who were involved with organization. "And X, who is doing such notable work on [the helldesk software]!" I said.
The Emergency Class Clown (the clown from the emergency class, not the class clown who gets called in case of clown emergency) noticed that I said "helldesk software" in the same tone of voice which I'd said "Kipper/Llama", and remarked that "notable" is not the same as "good". Well-spotted.
Something in perhaps the ventilation system is squeaking. I filed a ticket.
Twitter introduced me to http://joshmillard.com/endlessjingling/
Aside from that, it was a quiet day. It had started to rain harder when Purple came over, so we said a very brief and rained-upon goodnight. My car took him by surprise; he wasn't quite sure why I was stopping. Heh.
I got up with the early alarm, with no real idea of why I was getting up, just that it seemed like a good idea. I remembered while getting dressed: oh, today was the breakfast! I arrived to find that the food trucks were still there, and had been asked to stay another half-hour for the stragglers.
Rosemary potatoes in hand, I commenced on my inbox. The font vendor thing was going okay, and I sent various updates on that. The Stage Manager emerged from "our" conference room with a chairful of cruft: namely, a large box of mixed DIMM boxes and other rubbish. Most of it looked recyclable, albeit different kinds of recyclable. He declared that local-helpdesk had used the conference room as a war room some time ago, and that they hadn't cleared up their junk, so it was time to do that, and all this stuff was now my problem. So I shelled the manuals out of the DIMM boxes and put things in places. In between that, I had a delightful chat with a colleague also from Alaska who had worked in the shadow of the big blue dish antenna, and had almost certainly seen me, due to my association with the Duct-Tape Sword Guys. ("I was the girl.")
The bagel guillotine in the new building is also a "Smushy", and I should file a ticket.
The helldesk dev team has been inquiring on a number of tickets which have to do with the terrible "Portal" green and black UI, whether the proposed "Self-Service" view in the horrible blue and white UI will suffice. Some, yes. Some, on the other hand ... the phrase "Unless the Portal view is expected to be retired, this should remain a planned enhancement to it" was deployed. I shared the conversation with my manager, who had a many few things to say, and many of them less tactful than mine.
On one of them, however, the specific one which had nearly sent me sobbing under somebody's desk with vodka, my response was the politest possible under the circumstances:
Anything more elaborate than that would have run the chance of the out-loud swearing making its way into the text.
Later in the afternoon, I inquired as to the best place to hang the disco ball. There were a variety of responses. The best one involved the long bar of fluorescents above my head. (There's a diffuser; it's not just naked tubes.) Some shenanigans later, the unit was assembled and hung. The Stage Manager, whose superpowers include being tall, helped route the little power cord. I captured the switch in a fixed location and put up a little sign, reading "DISCO!" My variously amazed and amused co-workers gathered around. The Stage Manager threw a lightswitch rave. My manager looked at it in (slightly wobbly) giggly delight.
I went and fetched dinner. When I came back, I read my email. Separate entry to follow.
The chapter dealing with Fritz Lang's Metropolis, among other artistic visions of a future society, also mentions Czech writer Karel Capek and his 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). Capek's play not only for the very first time introduces the term "robot" to describe high-functioning fictional automata. (According to Capek the word was created by his brother Josef from the Czech "robota", meaning servitude. I knew this little tidbit beforehand).
But even more fascinating, R.U.R. turns out to employ many of the concepts which decades later would find their way into both the old and the re-imagined version of Battlestar Galactica. To quote from the Wiki entry on R.U.R. :
"The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), out of synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term; these creatures are closer to the modern idea of cyborgs, androids or even clones, as they may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but that changes, and a hostile robot rebellion leads to the extinction of the human race."
Years have passed and all humans had been killed by the robot revolution except for Alquist.[...] Robots Primus and Helena develop human feelings and fall in love. Playing a hunch, Alquist threatens to dissect Primus and then Helena; each begs him to take him- or herself and spare the other. Alquist realizes that they are the new Adam and Eve, and gives charge of the world to them."
What else to say than "All of this has happened before and it will happen again." ;-)
The review is one line and there is no verified purchase to go with it. People are welcome to their opinion, but I think this (and this is the whole review):
Not worth reading. Nothing but lies and negative horror.
seems to be nothing about the book. I'm not sure how there can be lies in a fiction book anyway - I mean, I made it up, it's all fictitious, but then I don't expect to walk down the road and meet a vampire and am not trying to tell people they will, so no lies.
Does anyone fancy helping me out and giving me some honest reviews in exchange for a free copy of the book. It's only 99c anyway until the 21st, but I would very much appreciate some reviewers and am happy to give you a copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion. The other reviews are 4 and 5 * BTW in case you were wondering what other people thought of it, there just aren't that many of them.
The book is contemporary fantasy with some elements of paranormal and horror. Nasty vampires, a quest, magic etc.
The Avebury Legacy - book blurb
Love your vampires nasty and your fantasy with elements of paranormal horror? "The Avebury Legacy" is the contemporary novel for you.
Nate was hunting a vampire when he first bumped into Lexie, a witch infected by a vampire bite. When Lexie used blood magic to save him from certain death, she passed on the infection to Nate. For a time Lexie's magic has been able to keep them both partially human as they continue to protect ignorant humanity from the vampire threat, but that magic is now starting to fail.
There are legends that the ancient Avebury ritual designed to destroy Morigan of Leyland, the most powerful vampire ever known, may hold the key to the cure they need, but to perform it Nate and Lexie require the four relics from the original ritual. Enlisting the help of veteran hunter, Brian Hawker, who has his own reasons for finding the relics, they must search across continents before it is too late.
In their way are vampire nuns, a crystal cave, shape changers, a labyrinthine catacomb, mummified monks and even librarians. However, their greatest foe is Dahlia, undead sister of Morigan, who will stop at nothing to retrieve the relics for herself and to claim Morigan's power. If Dahlia reaches any of the relics before them, Nate and Lexie face a fate worse than death, losing their humanity to the blood lust.
Exciting contemporary paranormal fantasy. "Tomb Raider meets vampires" with fast paced action and engaging characters.
Author: Me aka in_the_bottle
Fandom: MCU (Thor, Iron Man)
Rating: PG for this part, NC17 overall
Summary: What if Loki was told of his adoption not long before the events in Thor? An AU where Loki and Tony literally crashed into each other and Tony discovers that his life is actually an 80s sci-fi movie.
Thanks to lefaym for beta work! And slashybits for telling me that no, its not OOC and there isn't a gigantic plot hole in the middle of it all.
Previous chapters on AO3
( Chapter 12 )
I have now officially seen four whales! One of them we spotted both at the beginning and the end of the tour, so there were a total of five sightings, which is really good for this season. Unfortunately those rolling waves got a bit much for Skuld, who ended up making liberal use of the complimentary bags. She handled the situation with cheer and fortitude, but we were both quite glad to be back on dry land.
Still playing catchup on the photos, but after finally getting to share that fantastic Hobbiton experience, here are some pics! I've tried to keep it to just my favorite few, but... it's really hard to take a bad picture in Hobbiton?
( Just look at this fantastic place! )
Square Enix looks to be using the PlayStation 4 as a way to bring the Final Fantasy series back to the forefront of gaming. First Square Enix trolled the world with the announcement of Final Fantasy VII on the PS4. In the end it was just porting the Steam edition over instead of giving the world the remake it deserved. The second announcement was that Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster would be heading to the PlayStation 4 as well.
So why is Square Enix suddenly interested in bringing more Final Fantasy games now? At the Sony Computer Entertainment press conference in China, producer Shinji Hashimoto explained it has a heavy focus with China.
“Actually, not limited to just X/X-2, we’re currently thinking of setting to have other past Final Fantasy titles playable on the PS4,” said Hashimoto. “Most of our Final Fantasy assets go up until the PS3, while most of the world has rapidly been shifting towards the PS4, and in China’s case, they’re practically starting with the PlayStation 4 as their main console,” he continued.” “For this reason, we’re keeping in mind the sense of crisis of not being able to play these masterpiece titles.”
But the important question remains. How will Square Enix be releasing these titles? While fans would love to see remakes of games like Final Fantasy VII-IX, we can only imagine games like FF VIII and FF III also being Steam ports. That doesn’t really do the game justice, especially with the power of the PlayStation 4. The worst case scenario is Square Enix trying to release iOS/Android version of games.
“However, this does not mean that we can simply transfer these games to PS4, so as content holders, we must prepare a way to steadily have them available to play on PS4,” said Hashimoto.
We can only wait to see.
Source: Sony Computer Entertainment
With a new year comes a new set in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. January 16th will see the release of Secrets of Eternity booster set, which will add support to some of the hottest tournament decks like Qliphorts, Shaddolls, Stellarknights and Burning Abyss. Older decks including Gem-Knights, Dragunity, Morphtronics, Wind-Ups, Volcanics, Monarchs, and many more will be seeing brand new support cards.
Duelists will also be introduced to a new theme type known as Infernoids, which can create some powerful and amazing strategies with older theme and cards and introduce new Ritual and Fusion Monsters to power up your decks. Official Konami Tournament store will also be holding sneak peeks of Secrets of Eternity on January 10th and 11th, where duelists can get their hands on some of these new cards and even win an exclusive Sneak Peek game mat!