Chicago! And, How Do I Fandom?

Monday, July 25th, 2016 08:28 pm
merisunshine36: white rose floating candle (Default)
[personal profile] merisunshine36
Quarterly DW post! The boy and I went to Chicago for four days, where he had never been and I hadn't been since I was 14, and then it was our 8th grade class trip. It's interesting to see the things I remember (Navy Pier) and the things I didn't notice at all (the beautiful architecture).  We were the Loop, a bit of the North, the Southside (ish? Does the Cottage Grove stop count as south?), and whatever Chinatown counts as (slightly southside??) and I couldn't help but notice how extreme the segregation was. Chinatown had way fewer idle tourists and non-Chinese people out for a good meal, and the Southside was like, no non-black people anywhere. It's funny, because at one point I thought I was done with the Northeast and wanted to move to Chicago to be back in the Midwest again. But being in Chicago made me appreciate  the Northeast that much more, even if our level of integration is often superficial. 

While we were in Chicago we saw the new Star Trek! I enjoyed it IMMENSELY but then I was sad because the last time I wanted to fandom about Trek, it was in the twilight years of LJ and Muskrat Jamboree was still a thing. Now I have no con (;__;) and no real fandom platform. I'm still on Twitter but since the implosion of hockey fandom I'm mostly there for general fangirl chitchat. I suppose I could try tumblr again, but since the Verizon acquisition perhaps even that is not long for this world. 

Lol, who am I kidding, I'm not getting on tumblr again...

Disability Linkspam: UK PhD Accessibility etc

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 01:04 am
davidgillon: A pair of legs (mine) sitting in a wheelchair (wheelchair)
[personal profile] davidgillon
Professor Farah Mendelsohn (the author) mentioned this paper in the Fans for Accessible Conventions FB group (she's a well known UK fan as well as being a disabled academic) and it should potentially interest a few people: UK PhD Accessibility, A Pilot Study I don't think there are any astounding revelations, but it does collect a bunch of stats in one place and confirm there are issues.

I've been shooting off my mouth to journalists again, and seem to be responsible for the title of :

Drop in Access to Work numbers shows DWP ‘is strangling the scheme’

TLDR: Disability employment figures supposedly rising, yet the number of disabled people accessing government support to work is actually down slightly - either employers are cherrypicking people with minor disabilities, or the scheme is increasingly difficult to access. (What makes this all utterly ridiculous, government was making £1.40 in tax revenue for every pound spent on AtW, so the Tories cut the scheme).

I won't link to anything as it's more a cumulative effect thing, but there seem to be quite a few people raising questions about how accessible Pokemon Go is. I'm not really a mobile game person, but I'm not remotely attracted by a game that requires you to walk around.

artemis fowl: a mock turtle's story by mockturtle

Monday, July 25th, 2016 07:40 pm
[personal profile] mythicmistress posting in [community profile] gensplosion

FANDOM: Artemis Fowl
FIC LINK: A Mock Turtle's Story
AUTHOR LINK: [fangathering.com profile] mockturtle
RATING/WARNING(S): G/no warnings
WIP?/WORD COUNT: ?/1829 words
MAIN CHARACTERS: Briar Cudgeon, Julius Root

FIC SUMMARY: Or, the five times Briar Cudgeon Didn't Get What He Wanted

RECCER'S NOTES: This is one of my favorite "5 times/things" fics. I like the fact that it focuses on a little-used character and how it incorporates a quote from Alice in Wonderland. Word of warning, I don't know how long the fansite it's hosted on will be active, with Artemis Fowl being over and all...
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Posted by Natalie Zutter

Samira WIley The Handmaid's Tale Orange is the New Black

Hulu has added another star to its adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black) will play a pivotal character tied to the eponymous handmaid Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) past.

In the dystopian future of The Handmaid’s Tale, the United States has been transformed into the totalitarian Republic of Gilead, where women are separated into color-coded castes based on their perceived “sins” from their pre-Gilead lives: Virtuous women get to be the Wives to Commanders; older, infertile women are Marthas, or domestic servants; other older women, unmarried and infertile, become the Aunts who train the very fertile Handmaids at the Red Centers. These women—named “Of” plus the name of their Commander, e.g., Offred or Ofglen—become part of the Commander’s household and are expected to bear the children the Wives cannot.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wiley “will play Offred’s best friend from college, her fellow handmaid-in-training at the Red Center, and a connection to life before Gilead.” That most likely points to Wiley playing Moira, Offred’s best friend who gets taken to the Red Center shortly after Offred. While Offred is considered, under Gilead law, to be an adulteress (her husband divorced his first wife to marry her), Moira’s reason for getting snatched is that she’s a lesbian. Later in the novel, (spoiler) she escapes the Red Center and eventually turns up as a Jezebel, a prostitute working at a brothel. That’s assuming that the writers (The 100‘s Bruce Miller penned the pilot) decide to stick to the book’s plot.

Atwood will serve as a consulting producer alongside executive producers Daniel Wilson (the 1990 movie version of The Handmaid’s Tale), Fran Sears (The Sophisticated Gents), Warren Littlefield (Fargo), and Ilene Chaiken (creator of The L Word). The Handmaid’s Tale will premiere on Hulu sometime in 2017.

07/25/16 PHD comic: 'Author Name'

Monday, July 25th, 2016 06:09 pm
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Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "Author Name" - originally published 7/25/2016

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

Yowapeda - Grande Rode Finale

Monday, July 25th, 2016 10:49 pm
naye: tiny raindeer in a hat making happy arms and grinning (yay!)
[personal profile] naye
We finished Season 2 of Yowapeda today, and my heart sang.

Really, this show knows where all the buttons are. And with so many grimdark and horrifying and saddening things on the news every day, it's such a relief to go somewhere the stakes are intense and emotional and... all about a bike race.

We've had a lot of fun sorting people into Hogwarts Houses - it's a neat shorthand for character types, and it's interesting what sort of discussions you can get! Some of the characters are super obvious (Onoda's the Hufflest Puff ever, Imaizumi's a Ravenclaw, Naruko's 100% Gryffindor - they're even color matched! - Kinjou's another Ravenclaw), and some are surprising (I thought for sure Manami was another Hufflepuff but NOPE he's an adorable baby Slytherin). And then some are combinations I've never seen before - like the corrupt Hufflepuff.

I mean, Midosuji's either a corrupt Hufflepuff or an eldritch horror. :D (It took most of the season to figure the former out. The latter was our theory from Day 1 - clearly he's from Kyoto because something ancient slithered out of the shadows and... for some reason decided to race bicycles.)

But now we're out of Prince of Pedal! Until January 1st 2017 when the third season starts but that's so long to wait and I like these boys and their bikes and their feelings so much.

...well, time to catch up on Steven Universe! And then we'll see.

My life.

Monday, July 25th, 2016 09:49 pm
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[personal profile] copperbadge
Well, I deliberately avoided using any kind of luck or money attracting herbs in the little charm bag I made last night, because I wasn’t lookin’ for that, but today I got a letter that I was getting a raise anyway. 

It’s a 2% raise, which is basically cost-of-living, but still nice. After taxes I’ll have enough for one really nice meal out, three decent meals delivered, or half my groceries for the month. But I also discovered many years ago that the way to make a small amount of money seem more is to convert it into a very simple unit:

My raise is SEVERAL HUNDRED SUPERBALLS PER MONTH. 

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[stories] The Librarian and the Rider

Monday, July 25th, 2016 04:18 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] tbutler.

Prompt: folk songs.

The Librarian and the Rider

High in the mountains, past the borders of fox and fae, lived a young man who tended his town's small library. He spent his days among all manner of books: books bound in dark leather and inscribed with eldritch runes, books inked upon fine silk and wound around rods of fossilized dragonbone or polished agate; books stitched together with the hair of discordant mermaids, books whose pages had once been trees bearing fruit-of-everlasting-youth. Amid the books, the man thought himself content. In the mornings he would wake to the fall of light among the books, and he spent his days bent over them, unwinding their secrets and making notes in journals of his own.

One day a woman rode out of the borders of fox and fae, and stopped in the town. The town saw few visitors, and its inhabitants opened their houses to her. She was taller than anyone in the town, this woman, and dark, with a sword peace-knotted upon her back. Truth be told, a few of the townsfolk were intimidated by her bearing, but she spoke politely enough, in the trade-tongue of the region, and her smile was kind.

The elders of the town held a feast for her the next evening. Several of the town's children told the man at the library about the feast, for their parents knew that he would otherwise have missed it. Although he was loath to leave his library, sometimes travelers brought books they were willing to sell or trade.

At the feast, the townsfolk brought forth platters heaped high with roast pheasant and bitter fiddleheads gathered from the woods, bowls of rice and barley, bowls of small wild strawberries, tea of citrons and tea of quinces. For her part, the woman exclaimed over their generosity, and returned it with her own. She told stories of lands where it rained only once a year, and the people who made mead from the honey of those short-lived flowers; of poet-priests who shut themselves up in high spires to chant their threnodies to the gods of storm and sea; of citadels whose banners were sewn with the jewel-eyes of spiders, so that their commandants might never be surprised by an invading army.

The young man sat some distance from the woman, but she might as well have been the only person in the hall. He did not hear the musicians playing zither and flute and drum, or the chatter of the people next to him. (They didn't take it amiss; they were used to him being absentminded.) A yearning woke in him that he had never before thought possible when he watched her.

Afterward the man went up to the woman and bowed before her. "I will not rest until you are mine," the man said. He had perhaps read a few too many grand romances, or transcripts of ballads.

"Then you are doomed to wander the earth's bones until the moon falls out of the sky," the woman said, "for I have no interest in romance--whether with man or woman or other."

"Nothing will soften your heart?" he asked.

"'Soften'?" she said in surprise. "I have my horse for a travel companion, and the sun and the stars to guide my path. I have all the friends I have made in every town and city I have stopped by. My heart is fine as it is."

There were a great many things the man could have said to that, many of them wrong. He could have left his library, sold all its treasures for a horse and supplies, and followed her anyway. He could have read a curse out of one of the books bound in dark leather so that her footsteps would be wracked with needles of ice and thorn until she relented. He could have gone away from her in silence, and jumped into a ravine, grieved that she would not yield to his love.

But he looked at her kind eyes, and perhaps a little of the wisdom of the best of the books lent itself to him then, for he did none of those things. "If that is the case," he said, "then will you accept one more friend instead?"

She smiled at him, and for all that the smile broke his heart, another, better part of him was strengthened. "Of course," she said. "There is no such thing as too many friends."

Q&A

Monday, July 25th, 2016 10:16 pm
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
[personal profile] liv
Nice thinky meme from a locked post a few weeks back, cos I feel like answering questions about myself. These suggest an attitude to media that isn't quite mine, but I'm rather interested in thinking about why the questions don't exactly fit as well as answering them.

30 questions with long rambly answers ) OK, that was a very long meme, I maybe should've broken it up a bit more. But definitely interesting to think about!

REASON #54235 THAT I MARRIED MY HUSBAND

Monday, July 25th, 2016 04:09 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
He displays 5 Funko Pop figurines in his office. They are:
  • Black Widow
  • Brienne of Tarth
  • Captain Phasma
  • Jillian Holtzmann
  • Jack Burton

Updatey

Monday, July 25th, 2016 10:07 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

My father should be home from hospital by now - when I texted my sister earlier she replied that she was just on the way to collect him.

***

In other news, Dept of Rus in Urbe, the other evening we spotted two urban foxes in the next street - and one of them was not perhaps a teeny fubsy baby foxcub, but presumably an adolescent vulpes vulpes. Awwwwww.

Weekend reading roundup

Monday, July 25th, 2016 09:57 pm
nanila: One of the members of Parkour Generation being awesome (exercise)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
How did your weekend reading go? If you planned on anything specifically, did you read it?

Poetry Fishbowl Themes for Late 2016

Monday, July 25th, 2016 03:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Based on an audience poll (and including some backchannel votes) the themes have been chosen for late 2016.  Next up will be August 2: "Unexpected SCIENCE Ensues."

In which Muse needs to apologise. Again.

Monday, July 25th, 2016 03:02 pm
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[personal profile] robling_t
It struck me that a bit in the most recent installment of "Trevor & Jason" had a potentially problematic reading. So I gave it some thought, and came up with a revision that I think/hope gets to the same place that the narrative needs to go, without the detour into "um, wait, or did they mean..." of the initial version. So. Live, learn, rinse, repeat.

(And it does trouble me, on the meta-level, that I do have the power to go in and alter the available text like this, which is why I mention it; it's probably not an accident that the Sekrit Project is a high-tech dystopia where they wouldn't even be aware that they had memory-holes things could drop into... and there's a certain irony in the fact that I think I lost a high-tech physical-backup of that at a free movie in a park the other night. :/ )

Finally home from Westercon

Monday, July 25th, 2016 12:50 pm
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[personal profile] davidlevine
Kate is finally home from the hospital. This is the first time she's been home since we left for Westercon. She's very glad to be home.

IMG 5525
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Posted by Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer

41kBX9EZtXL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

It’s very apparent from the comments on the last few blog posts that many readers are eager to discuss the coup. Me too! Chapters 9 and 10 lay the stage. This section is about children—Miles, Aral, Drou and Kou’s dreams, and Gregor. This section also represents a key moment for the comconsole in the library at Vorkosigan Surleau.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

SUMMARY

Cordelia undergoes surgery to transfer fetal Miles to the uterine replicator. Piotr looks for ways to deal with his fears about mutation and protecting the genome. When he fails to talk Cordelia and Aral around to sharing his concerns, he tries to kill Miles. Aral revokes Piotr’s security clearance to prevent a second attempt. Aral and Cordelia leave the hospital to finish their recovery from the gas attack at Vorkosigan Surleau. When Piotr’s second attempt to kill Miles fails, he disowns Aral. In the meanwhile, Drou and Kou have finally almost-broken their interpersonal stalemate; They had sex in the library at Vorkosigan House while Evon Vorhalas was firing a soltoxin grenade through the window, in a scene whose implications are discussed here, but not fully explored until A Civil Campaign. Kou accuses himself of rape, and tries to apologize to Drou, who thought she had enthusiastically consented. Drou slams him into a wall. They do not kiss and make up. Kou discovers that the comconsole is broken. Negri and Gregor arrive in a damaged lightflyer. Vordarian’s coup has begun.

COMMENTARY

Chapter 10 opens with Piotr in Cordelia’s hospital room. He calls her “dear girl,” which is kindly and patronizing, and thus a useful representation of Piotr’s thinking. Aral calls her Dear Captain. Piotr is trying to comfort Cordelia on the loss of that which is not lost. Piotr implies, but does not actually say, that Cordelia can have other children. He talks about losing time. Aral will pick up this issue later when he points out that soltoxin poisoning causes testicular scarring that may reduce his fertility. Cordelia informs him that any two somatic cells and a replicator will do the job, somewhere other than Barrayar—they aren’t talking about their reproductive future, but about their son. I’m planning to revisit this scene later in Barrayar and later in the series.

The Age of Isolation ended before Piotr was born, but he’s still living in it. Piotr sees his grandson as lost because of the teratogenic damage he has suffered. He can’t stand the idea that a Vorkosigan would be a mutant or a lab experiment. Cordelia attempts to re-direct Piotr’s thinking by suggesting that her son will begin his life of Vor-ish service early. His suffering may create knowledge that offers hope to other parents and other children. Cordelia finds this idea affirming; She has none of the doubts that she has sometimes entertained about Dubauer. Piotr goes with “it may yet die.”

Cordelia’s evasion of Piotr’s disapproval here and later is a strategic combination of her Betan-ness and her understanding of Barrayaran culture. She disavows Barrayar’s approach to eugenics, but embraces its ideal of service and the importance of family and memory. She’s single-minded in the deployment of any argument that might help Piotr see Miles’s value and potential. She fails. What Piotr wants more than anything else in this situation is to be in control of it. To do this, he needs to preserve the traditions of the Vor. These include the image of himself as a father figure—once he’s done patronizing Cordelia, he calls Aral “boy.” Piotr arranged Aral’s first marriage, and Aral will later admit that he wonders if his first wife’s death was truly suicide, or if Piotr arranged that, too. Piotr is certainly not averse to arranging a death. The kindly old man we met in the cemetery at the end of Shards of Honor was only ever an illusion.

Piotr’s reaction to being thwarted is an effort to cling to parental control over a 44-year-old man who controls the Imperium. Aral’s reaction to Piotr is a master class in unemotional acknowledgment of another person’s choices. This argument ends in Aral being disowned and Aral and Cordelia’s son denied his grandfather’s name. Aral makes it clear that these are Piotr’s choices. Cordelia makes it clear that Piotr is a pighead. And then a lightflyer lands on the lawn. I’ll circle back to that in a minute.

In the hands of any other author, I would see the Kou-Drou axis as comic relief. But Kou’s struggles shed light on Miles’s future, and Drou’s problems are the problems of Barrayaran women. Drou is a force to be reckoned with, and Kou is struggling with that idea. This is partly because he is jealous that she has what he has lost. Drou is exceptional, but that doesn’t keep her from being a hopeless romantic. Both of them feel guilty about screwing on the library sofa while Evon Vorhalas fired a grenade through the window. Kou’s “confession” demonstrates that he’s been pretty self-centered. Drou’s conversation with Cordelia reveals that she was hoping that sex was a magic spell that would tie her and Kou together forever. They’re both misguided, and right now, that means they’re both very sad. And not speaking to each other.

They are both still integral parts of the Aral and Cordelia’s staff, so it’s Kou who discovers the malfunctioning comconsole. This was a hot topic in the comments thread a few weeks ago. Drou carries a comm link to facilitate her work as Cordelia’s bodyguard, and the guard commander has one as well, so the comconsole in the library is certainly not the only communication device in the house. Both Piotr and Aral play important roles in government—Piotr’s security classification was the very highest until Aral revoked it to keep him out of Henri and Vaagen’s lab—I can’t imagine that they’re relying on a single comconsole in the library, even in the relatively relaxed atmosphere of their country house. It’s possible that the saboteur destroyed several devices, and the damage to the library comconsole was discovered first. It’s also possible that there was something unique about the library comconsole. Back in chapter 1, Simon and Aral talked about installing a secured comconsole in the library of Vorkosigan House in Vorbarr Sultana. We’re not in Vorbarr Sultana right now, and I can’t know for sure whether this specific comconsole was secured or not. But I believe it was. I think Negri called that specific comconsole and did not attempt contact on others because he didn’t want to disclose more information than he had to over communications channels that were likely being monitored by the enemy.

Negri and Gregor’s dramatic arrival lets slip the dogs of war. After the sturm und drang over Miles in this section, Gregor seems like an unexceptional little boy. He’s not; He’s Barrayar’s illusions about itself. Barrayar believes that he is the vessel of imperial power. He has escaped Vordarian, but Gregor is no less a hostage for being in Vorkosigan’s hands. What would Aral have done if Vordarian had captured him?

Next week we’ll look at chapters 11-13 (probably), focusing on the back country phase of the civil war. There are horses!

Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer teaches history and reads a lot.

High Stakes Sweepstakes!

Monday, July 25th, 2016 06:30 pm
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Posted by Sweepstakes

Wild Cards High Stakes sweepstakes

We want to send you a galley copy of High Stakes, the 23rd Wild Cards book, edited by George R.R. Martin and available August 30th from Tor Books!

Perfect for old fans and new readers alike, High Stakes delves deeper into the world of aces, jokers, and the hard-boiled men and women of the Fort Freak police precinct in a pulpy, page-turning novel of superheroics and Lovecraftian horror.

After the concluding events of Lowball, Officer Francis Black of Fort Freak, vigilante joker Marcus “The Infamous Black Tongue” Morgan, and ace thief Mollie “Tesseract” Steunenberg get stuck in Talas, Kyrgyzstan. There, the coldblooded Baba Yaga forces jokers into an illegal fighting ring, but her hidden agenda is much darker: her fighters’ deaths serve to placate a vicious monster from another dimension. When the last line of defense against this world weakens, all hell breaks loose, literally….

The Committee in New York sends a team of aces to investigate. One by one, each falls victim to evil forces—including the dark impulses within themselves. Only the perseverance of the most unlikely of heroes has a chance of saving the world before utter chaos erupts on Earth.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on July 25th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 29th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Pull List: Kim & Kim

Monday, July 25th, 2016 06:00 pm
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Posted by Alex Brown

PL_KimKim-feat

I think it’s fair to say that 2016 sucks. It is a year that is dark and full of terrors and getting worse by the day. There are a few bright spots scattered through the hellscape, however, and Mags Visaggio and Eva Cabrera’s Kim & Kim is one of them. Not only is it one of the best ass-kicking, patriarchy-smashing, queer-rocking comics since Midnighter, but it’s an indie comic to boot.

 

Origin Story

Kimiko “Kim Q.” Quatro and Kimber “Kim D.” Dantzler are interstellar bounty hunters hunting down the galaxy’s villains. With a retro-futuristic punk flair, battle guitar, big-ass gun, and hover van named The Contessa, they’re just two broke girls trying to make a living in a universe that doesn’t care if they fail. When they come across a bounty too good to be true, they decide to steal the catch out from under Columbus and Red, two bounty hunters working for the Catalans, a crew headed up by Kim Q.’s estranged father. Unfortunately, their quarry is neither human nor willing to go along quietly, and the Kims’ easy payday suddenly gets a lot harder.

Kim & Kim is a new on-going series from Black Mask Studios. Issue #1 dropped July 6, 2016 with Mags Visaggio as writer, Eva Cabrera as artist, colors by Claudia Aguirre, letters by Zakk Saam, and edits by Katy Rex.

PL_KimKim-break

To Pull Or Not To Pull

Speaking of Midnighter, in his blurb Steve Orlando compared Kim & Kim to a cross between Blade Runner and Jem and the Holograms, and he’s not wrong. If anything, I’d add Tank Girl to that list, and just a splash of Lumberjanes. Visaggio walks the fine line between fire and sunshine. The story itself is fairly straightforward—the Kims have to retrieve a renegade crew member from the crime syndicate run by El Scorcho before the Catalans do—but hella fun, emphasis on the “hella.” You’ve seen characters like the Kims before, but between Visaggio’s characterizations and Cabrera’s art, they stand out as unique creations with fully formed personalities.

Cabrera favors a vaguely manga-esque style that looks nothing like anything being cranked out by DC or Marvel. Think Brittney Williams (Hellcat) and Babs Tarr (Batgirl) by way of Brian Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim). Her action sequences are riotous fun, particularly with Aguirre’s vivid coloring. Moreover, no matter how revealing the characters’ clothes are, she never stoops to objectification. The Kims wear what they wear for themselves, not for anyone else. (Anyone know where I can get that “What the Hell” bra?) Aguirre absolutely nails Visaggio’s tone, favoring bold red, yellow, and orange hues and brash spotlight blues and greens. Even Zakk Saam stands out as a letterer by using speech balloons with a thin tail. The sound effects are a bit clunky and could be blended into the action a little better, but he makes up for it by writing Kim Q.’s narration in the same hot pink as her hair color.

PL_KimKim-insert

I’m a big fan of female friendship stories. Watching Holtzmann and Patty hang out was half the fun of the new Ghostbusters movie, and Kate Leth’s Hellcat is one of only a few series from the Big Two on my pull list that I buy by the issue. The Kims swap jokes while trading childhood horror stories in a way that only real friends with a deep intimacy and trust can. The Kims are BFFs of the truest kind. They accept each other’s faults and foibles and, with Kim D. being the sensible, grounded one and Kim Q. being the rough-and-tumble wildcard, complement each other perfectly. The page showing their faltering attempts at gathering intel on their bounty is hilarious and adorable all at once as they don different disguises and poorly infiltrate various demographics. It’s not their story, but even the boys are given interesting backstories and are well-developed people who are never relegated to the enemy or eye candy.

It was so rare for so long to get a solid story about women, by women, and for women, so whenever a new one comes up I automatically pick it up. The only thing that made me want Kim & Kim even more was that the leads were women of color and queer. And not only are the characters realistically, wonderfully, thrillingly diverse, the creators are as well—Visaggio is trans and the rest of the creative staff are if nothing else ethnically diverse. Basically, this series is everything I’ve ever wanted out of a comic and its publisher. I’ve complained for years that addressing diversity on the page is only solves half the problem. It’s one thing to make a Black girl Iron Man and a whole nother thing to hire two white dudes to bring her to life. Kim & Kim has no time for such half-assedness.

It matters that Kim Q. is trans, just as it matters that Visaggio is trans. Some readers may not care about the gender identity politics of their comic book characters, but it certainly matters to other trans people. Trans characters are often depicted as shape/gender-shifting aliens/mutants or as sidekicks, so giving Kim Q. a co-headline with a woman (of color!!!) isn’t just a step forward in the right direction but a massive fucking leap. Representation is lifeblood for those of us who rarely get to see our experiences portrayed in pop culture. I’m not trans, but as a biracial ace/aro woman I very much know what it’s like to never see myself fully and positively represented in media. Having diversity reflected back at us not only broadens the horizons of the majority but opens up inclusivity to the minority. Kim & Kim is exactly the kind of content I’m looking to spend my hard earned money on, and I hope to hell this is only the first comic of many.

Black Mask Studios is putting out some wicked killer titles right now (*cough* Four Kids Walk Into A Bank *cough*). With their push on diversity, strong storytelling, quirky concepts, and relatively unknown yet very talented creators, they’re definitely giving Image a run for their money. You so need Kim & Kim in your life. For reals, yo.

Alex Brown is a teen librarian, writer, geeknerdloserweirdo, and all-around pop culture obsessive who watches entirely too much TV. Keep up with her every move on Twitter and Instagram, or get lost in the rabbit warren of ships and fandoms on her Tumblr.

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Posted by Tor.com

Max Malka PS event

Don’t miss your chance to see acclaimed authors Max Gladstone (Four Roads Cross) and Malka Older (Infomocracy) discuss science fiction and fantasy, worldbuilding, and their latest works at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA on July 27th at 7:00 pm!

Max Gladstone is the author of the Craft Sequence: Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, Full Fathom Five, Last First Snow, and Four Roads Cross. You can start reading Four Roads Cross, out tomorrow, here!

Malka Older’s debut novel, Infomocracy, has been hailed as the perfect book for election season, and you can find excerpts, news, and more about the book here. Malka is a writer, humanitarian worker, and PhD candidate at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations studying governance and disasters.

RSVP here!

Just One Thing! (25 July 2016)

Monday, July 25th, 2016 02:41 pm
syntaxofthings: Two white flowers against a blue sky. ([flower] Flower under blue sky)
[personal profile] syntaxofthings posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

Quick Political Open Thread 7/26/16

Monday, July 25th, 2016 07:32 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Allow me to preface it by having an imaginary Q&A:

Q: NOOOOOOOOOOOO TRUMP IS EVEN OR AHEAD OF CLINTON IN THE POLLS

A: That’s not actually a question.

Q: WHYYYYYYY IS TRUMP EVEN OR AHEAD OF CLINTON IN THE POLLS

A: Because he got a bit of a convention bounce, it looks like.

Q: WE’RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIIIIIIE

A: Still not a question, and also, go ahead and read this from Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium (who, incidentally, has been pretty much spot on for the last few election cycles). It might calm you down.

Q: What are your thoughts about the Russians maybe hacking the DNC?

A: If it’s true, then obviously it’s troubling, especially as the timing makes it appear to be an effort to throw things Trump’s way. The circumstantial evidence is piling up that it was an act by Russian intelligence service but we don’t know for sure (and come on, probably never will know for certain), nor at the moment does it seem like the Trump folks are actively involved, even if they might be a beneficiary. So I’m not gonna blame Trump for this one.

Personally if I were the GOP candidate for president I wouldn’t want to have even the appearance of being Putin’s favorite boy. But Trump doesn’t appear to care, so.

Q: Thoughts on the contents of the DNC email dump?

A: Meh? As Vox notes, there’s not a whole lot of there there, although I understand the Dead-End Berners are het up about it, rather more than Sanders himself is (probably because unlike the DEBs, Sanders himself realizes that this point for the nation, it getting a half a loaf from Clinton is better than it being set on fire by Trump while racists and antisemites dance around the flames in a circle, holding hands). In any event Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is the appointed fall gal, and getting the boot, and apparently no one will really miss her, so, fine. Moving on.

Q: But corruption at the DNC! Favoritism! Dogs and cats living together!

A: Honestly? I kind of don’t give a shit. As I noted on Twitter, the DNC email stuff is venial sin stuff — people who were stupid enough to put things in email that they shouldn’t. Which is not exactly surprising — most people put things in email that they shouldn’t — but also not things that at the moment I care that much about. I’m rather more concerned about the Russians possibly trying to mess with our elections. While you can care about both of those, of course, I know which one of those I care about more. Your mileage may vary.

And of course outside of all of this is the fact that Trump, the worst presidential candidate in modern history, is still a presidential candidate. The DNC email nonsense doesn’t even move the needle in terms of Things That Would Keep Me From Voting For Hillary Clinton If Only To Stop Donald Trump.

Q: What about Wasserman-Schultz being made honorary chairperson of the Clinton campaign?

A: What, a face saving “promotion” with apparently no real power? You do understand how politics works, yes?

Q: Any thoughts on Tim Kaine as VP?

A: Seems okay. I understand some folks distrust his commitment to pro-choiceness, but inasmuch as he’s got endorsements from NARAL and Planned Parenthood it’s not blipping my own concern radar (please note, however, as someone who is not likely to get pregnant anytime soon, my own concern radar is not as finely calibrated as others). The two main knocks on him seem to be he accepted some gifts at one point and that he’s kind of boring. With the former let’s see where that goes, but with the latter, good. I don’t want drama, I want someone who is competent and knows how to do the gig. We have enough drama already.

Q: Will the DNC get messy?

A: Oh, probably, since the DEBs can’t let it go, and everyone loves drama.

Q: Any additional thoughts on the Dead-End Berners?

A: I hope they have fun now, because if they’re still at it after the convention, they’ll basically be admitting they’re happy to dance around the trash fire with the racists and antisemites. It’s nice for them to have the luxury of not caring if they consign others to the flames.

Q: That’s, uh, pretty harsh.

A: Not a question.

Q: Don’t you think that’s pretty harsh?

A: Nope! Or, actually, yes, it is, and? I don’t really have much time for the DEBs anymore, or the privileged stupidity of “Trump and Clinton are the same” or of “she’s just the lesser evil” (or, hilariously, that she’s worse than Trump, if you’re any flavor of liberal or progressive). Get it out of your system in the next couple of days, and then get with the fucking program already, people. It’s important.

Go ahead and chat politics in the comments, folks.


I'm back.

Monday, July 25th, 2016 03:06 pm
wohali: portrait of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
 I made it back from my Ohio trip safely, but I am completely knackered.

This post is just so that everyone knows I am home safe and sound.

I'll get a proper post up with some stories and a some photos later tonight or tomorrow.

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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