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Feb. 17th, 2017 02:49 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So, way back in, um, August, [personal profile] skygiants posted about Armed Services Edition paperbacks that were printed in special editions for serving military in WWII, and I mentioned I owned one and said if I could ever figure out where it was shelved I would post pictures.

Well, I didn't manage to find it until November, and by then I had quit Tumblr for self-defense, so my lazy method of using Tumblr as an image host wasn't happening. But DW just rolled out a gui for its image hosting! So, only six months later, here are the pictures!

The one I own is "An Almanac for Moderns", which is basically a book of 365 short essays about nature and science, to be read one a day for a year. So I was almost right when I said I thought it was a field guide, yet couldn't find it shelved with the field guides. It's pretty fun, actually, but I could never stick with one chapter a day. As you might guess for an edition that was meant to be small and was published during the WWII paper shortages, the pages are very thin and very delicate seventy years later. (And I still haven't figured out why the sideways binding; to me it makes it more difficult to read, although maybe when it was newer it meant you could lay it flat on a table to read more easily?)

An Almanac for Moderns )

(There's a few more uploaded in my dw images, if you can figure out how to get there....)

As is visible in a couple of the photos, my book has a single staple reinforcing the binding, which is a large part of what makes it hard to read. I can't tell if this was part of the standard binding or it was added by a later owner. It doesn't seem to be a later addition? It's definitely not a standard staple - you would have needed a heavy-duty stapler and staples - and the binding isn't falling apart in such a way that it seems needed. So IDK unless [personal profile] skygiants knows!

And while I am posting images of cool old books I own, if you have ever been to an American public school you are probably familiar with the idea of a Marble composition book )

(the set of books I found also included an account books of day-to-day expenses in the late 19th century. Someday I am going to figure out where the dude was living and donate it to a historical society. They came with 0 provenance, so that didn't help.)

I am actually continuing to make substantial progress on the "sort all the books" project! I may start posting polls so you all can help me decide what to read off my long-unread fiction piles next - I am thinking "fuck, marry, kill" format where you get to decide if I have a sudden night of ill-considered passion, or continue my long-term relationship with having it in my bedroom, or get rid of it unread.

And finally, here is a picture of a cat:

Media Update February 2017

Feb. 15th, 2017 11:31 am
jenavira: Crop of a picture of Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden, lounging (Default)
[personal profile] jenavira
On February 5th, I saw Diamond Dogs, a science fiction play by the House Theatre based on Alistair Reynolds's novella, with puppets by Mary Robinette Kowall. I can't remember where I heard about it, but holy god it was good. It runs through March 5; if you can get to Chicago to see it, you should go.

Also watched that weekend: Rogue One, finally. I cried. It was amazing. Bodhi Rook is a precious angel and needs to be protected at all costs. K-2S0 is the most relatable droid. I'm sorry I didn't see it earlier. I am so bad at going to movies lately. (And then came home and watched A New Hope right away; the transition between the two is seamless, A+ fanservice all around.)

Watched since then: I've been thinking about Jeremiah a lot again lately, so last Sunday I finally stuck it in the DVD player, thinking I'd watch an episode or two and move on. I'm finishing season one tonight. There are a few real clunkers ("Ring of Truth," oh my god, why; "Moon in Gemini," what the actual fuck) but there's also the TINY NERD defending his library with a shotgun, and Jeremiah and Kurdy's recruitment to join Thunder Mountain is literally on the condition that Markus help them fuck up a KKK group, and that is the kind of quality post-apocalyptic content I need right now. From what I remember about season two, it's going to fuck me up even more, and frankly I am here for that.

(I may also be preparing a tumblr photoessay on why Kurdy is the most perfect object of the female gaze, quite possibly as a direct result of writing against stereotypes of large Black men. He's a poet! He finds sex unsatisfying unless it's preceded by engaging conversation! He calls libraries more sacred than churches and punches Nazis and when offered a miracle, any miracle he could wish for, he wishes that all the guns in the world would disappear! Kurdy is pure and perfect and wholesome, we all need a Kurdy in our lives.)

New Magnus Archives episodes, MAG 50 - "Foundations" & MAG 51 - "High Pressure". We're starting to see some threads coming together, architecture/fractals/corridors/mazes/genius loci, in MAG 50, emptiness/Leitner books/wealthy lunatics/exploration in MAG 51. Also, Tim is bisexual. (Not sure if I'm happy that Tim is bisexual and it's not a big thing, or annoyed that we know Tim is bisexual because he's carrying on affairs with at least two people at the same time.) Hoping that Martin shows up in tonight's episode; I miss Martin, I want to know how he's doing.

Books - a Tor.com collection (the 2012 Best Of, which was much shorter than the more recent ones, which was honestly kind of disappointing because I was counting on that to keep me busy during boring desk shifts for at least a month); The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel, a modern gothic that was just a little too Hollywood-glossy to have as much impact as it should have; White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, which was even better than I'd been led to expect (and my expectations were high); Bishop to Queen's Knight by Bartenn Mills, my best friend's mom's first book, which was delightful in many ways (and had a het romance I didn't hate!); and Player of Games by Iain M. Banks, recommended as a good follow-up to Diamond Dogs, and my first Culture novel. I've had Consider Phlebas on my TBR shelf for several years; it's next in the queue, once I get through some of these library books.

Code push imminent!

Feb. 12th, 2017 11:07 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're about to pull the lever on tonight's code push! I'll update this post when it's finished. For a reminder of what to expect, check the previous post for the list of changes.

Update: All done! Comment here if you notice any issues that need our attention.


Feb. 10th, 2017 02:06 pm
anghraine: cassian andor and jyn erso exchanging a glance (cassian and jyn)
[personal profile] anghraine
It's the small joys!

And here's another chapter. On Tumblr, I just said "I'm so glad everyone is reading this for domesticity, emotional ineptitude, and EU-ignoring headcanons"—I genuinely thought those might be problems, LOL. Instead, it ended up getting a lot more notes than all but the first, so apparently not. I was genuinely puzzled at first, but it is longer and shippier than usual. (Blankets and touching!)

title: per ardua ad astra (6/?)
verse: Death Star
characters: Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor; Jyn/Cassian (for real! awkward-can't-express-feelings Jyn/Cassian, but nevertheless)
stuff that happens: BACKSTORY HOUR starring Quadruple Agent Cassein Willix and Princess Senator Spy Leia Organa; Jyn gets professional advice; Cassian's neatnik paranoia is not to be stopped by mere broken bones; bonding through geological facts; Jyn behaves very well under very unfair pressures.
previous chapters: one, two, three, four, five

When she murmured I’m not used to people sticking around when things go bad to Cassian, she meant it for him, thanks and explanation and apology rolled up together. As near as she got to any of them. He had to know that. He did know—he’d tilted towards her as she spoke, leaned in to listen and to promise, their steps falling into sync from opposite directions. She never saw him do the same thing with anyone else, not with his soldiers, not Bodhi, not Kay. It wasn’t Captain Andor who told her welcome home.

Jyn still didn’t know exactly what Cassian meant. She wasn’t sure Cassian knew what he meant. But it had something to do with the fact that they stood in the Death Star, Jyn all but twitching with nerves while Cassian concealed what must be agony, and they felt something like safe.

Read more... )
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 9pm PST / 12am EST / 5am UTC on either Sunday, Feb 12 or Monday, Feb 13, depending on whether you live east or west of midnight. (Time is an illusion anyway, right?)

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:

  • HTTPS Everywhere beta! Users can opt-in to have all Dreamwidth content automatically served over HTTPS. We'll post the instructions for this after the feature goes live.

  • New and improved design for the file management pages, which we were hiding from you because we were so embarrassed about them before. Thanks to [personal profile] momijizukamori for making them prettier and more functional!

  • Backend fixes to resolve problems using the aforementioned file management pages. (Did I already mention the embarrassment?)

  • At long last, international character support for journal search! Our systems guru [personal profile] alierak finally cracked this long-standing bug.

  • Support index page converted to Foundation styling, for your mobile viewing pleasure.

  • For users of the Practicality style: color properties now sort properly in the customization wizard.

  • For users of the Drifting style: the QuickReply box will now appear in the appropriate location, instead of wandering off somewhere unexpected.

  • Improved handling of word break (<wbr>) elements in user entries.

  • Allow embeds from: Facebook, CNN, 4shared.com, playmoss.com, onedrive.com, jsfiddle.net, scratch.mit.edu

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!
anghraine: jyn erso and cassian andor standing together (jyn and cassian)
[personal profile] anghraine
But I'm woefully behind on everything over here. :\

title: per ardua ad astra (5/?)
verse: Death Star
characters: Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor; some nameless OCs, but they're transitory—this chapter is definitely the Jyn and Cassian show (FINALLY)
stuff that happens: Jyn and Cassian discreetly catch up, for a Jyn and Cassian value of discreet. Also, it turns out that it takes a really long time to get around a base the size of a moon, and feels still longer when one of you has broken ribs.
previous chapters: one, two, three, four

He looked less pinched but also more exhausted; he hadn’t buttoned the jacket at all. Silently, she pointed at the bed.

With Cassian, she didn’t have to worry about some pathetic attempt at flirtation. He nodded, walked over, propped up the pillow, and carefully laid himself down. Then he said,

“What is Darth Vader doing here?”

Pathetic flirtation might have been better.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 9th, 2017 11:24 am
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So then I came down with a bad-cold-possibly-the-flu and went off to a farm for three days to help fence a sheep pasture, which is a better life decision than it sounds like, because SHEEPS and FREE-RANGE CHICKENS and BABY DONKEY and RIDING AROUND IN A CART also, like, farm. Yay for little hobby farms that might be something more some day.

Also I was thinking about Rivers of London, and about how I probably wouldn't have had the courage to write Mama Thames the way he did, because of the way she gets close to certain stereotypes that can be dangerous to play with, but also that I'd like to hope that I would still be able to have that kind of diversity in the story, and it occurred to me that probably what I would have done is made the West African lady be the Last Living Newtonian School Wizard instead of the Dangerously Sexual River Goddess-Mother.

And then I started trying to make it work, because, okay, if she's the last survivor of the Folly, then obviously the Nightingale jumped into the Thames sometime in the early 50s and then found himself crawling out with a whole new kind of magic behind him, which is also FUN, but means he wasn't there either when the last of the WWII veterans died or retired or were invalided out. But they needed SOMEBODY who could keep the agreements and responsibilities, at least until the magic had died out enough that it didn't matter. And they couldn't find anybody, except - there's this black woman, friend of Molly's from below stairs, maybe, figured out Lux on her own and then kept wanting to know, and became somebody's Eliza Doolittle project - just curious whether a pig could be taught to sing, not whether it was well done, but a secret apprentice kept him going when there wasn't much else that pulled him out of the fog, and she was good at it, and hungry to learn, and before either of them realized, she'd made mastery.

And probably her teacher took himself out not long after because dude had issues. but that meant that when they needed someone, anyone to hold the Folly - when the last few half-trained survivors of the War put their heads together and sent out a spell to search for anyone who still had Mastery and could be talked into doing the job, probably only a few years after Nightingale went into the River - she was what they got: young West African woman, maybe mid-twenties, worked as a housekeeper most of her life, but inarguably oathbound to the Folly and inarguably a master of Newtonian magics.

Obviously this would not go down well with a great many people, but magic is dying anyway, right? really all they need is a placeholder to keep things from falling apart catastrophically before they wind down, and you couldn't ask a young man from a good family to waste ten years training on something that will be useless in twenty, so why not?

So then it's just her and Molly rattling around the big old place for a long time, and probably without even the police connection to keep them busy.

Of course once it becomes clear that magic isn't dying out for good it's much too late to change their minds and there's nobody else left at all; they do start trying to send her apprentices - those nice young men from good families - but none of them are interested in working hard enough to learn, or at least not working when it's her teaching them, and inevitably they learn that a "real" Folly wizard is still alive, because the Nightingale didn't exactly die, and then they go off to the Court of the Thames to get him to back them up. And when they come back from the River they aren't interested in being wizards at all any more and usually end up moving to Herefordshire.

Until she stumbles on Peter, of course.

I don't have a plot (other than that her relationship with Uncle Thomas Thames would be very very interesting) but I did have an entire night of fever dreams based on it so I'm convinced it would totally work.


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