dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
As with Reading Wednesday posts, I'm not sure if this is going to happen every week, but I would like to make it a semi-regular feature. This week, I've got a couple of fics, a fanvid, and a playlist.

5 Easy Rules for the Children of A-List Celebrities by [archiveofourown.org profile] igrockspock (Veronica Mars, Logan Echolls, Aaron Echolls, Lynn Echolls, gen. Contains canon typical reference to child abuse).

What Goes Around (Comes Around) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Isis (Raven Cycle multipairing fic). This is only the first chapter of a five-part fic, and I can't wait to read more.

Still staying in the Raven Cycle, I made what started out as a Blue Sargent playlist, but morphed into something more Blue/Gansey. You can find it here at 8tracks, and I've got the full track listing here.

Finally, via [personal profile] goodbyebird, some great Festivids recs. My favourite was this one, Council Estate, which is for Attack the Block.
dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
This past weekend was just wonderful, without all that much actually happening. The weather was exactly as I like it, crisp, clear and bright, with the feeling of autumn in the air. While Matthias worked on his MA coursework, I pottered about, cooking, gardening, and making more fruit-infused liqueurs (blackberry-infused gin!).

I had all sorts of grand plans for lots of blogging, but in the end, the siren song of 8tracks was too much to resist. The result was this playlist:


All This Youth Makes Us Old from dolorosa_12 on 8tracks Radio.



(The description: We are only young and naive still. A playlist for the years full of promise, intensity of emotion, fragility and sharpness, when summers lasted forever and the future seemed very distant indeed.)

Speaking of 8tracks (which, honestly, is one of my favourite sites on the internet, because it's filled with people who think of music in the same way I do - as a story), this playlist is simply perfect.

I mentioned Those Who Run With Wolves, a new review website set up by Aliette de Bodard, in a recent linkpost, but what I neglected to say is that I will be contributing. I don't have anything published there as yet, although a review of mine is queued up and ready to go when it's my turn in the posting schedule. The team of reviewers is great, and I'm really happy to be a part of it.

Finally, I was having a great conversation on Twitter with [twitter.com profile] rcloenenruiz, [twitter.com profile] EPBeaumont and [twitter.com profile] tylluan (with brief contributions from others, and sparked by an earlier comment of [twitter.com profile] karisperring) about the importance of mentors and institutional and community support. The conversation moved too fast to follow, and I wish I'd been able to archive it somehow (Storify might be a possibility, but it was bouncing off in all sorts of different directions and would probably be hard to follow in that format). Twitter is great for conversations, but awful for keeping easy-to-follow records thereof. In any case, it got me thinking that I need to write something here on the subject, so consider this me keeping myself accountable on that score.
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
The 'Aims Project' is a multifandom vid album, in which each participant has made a fanvid using the music of one song from Vienna Teng's Aims album. Each vid is astoundingly lovely.

I was recently alerted to the existence of 'We Are Sansa Stark', an old essay on Pornokitsch. I don't agree with every one of its conclusions - particularly that Sansa is definitely going to end up a major political player in the series - nor do I think it's helpful to criticise fandom for pitting Sansa and Arya against each other and then...do the same. But I love Sansa and characters like her, and sometimes it's just nice to see them get a bit of love.

This post by [tumblr.com profile] anneursu takes all the sneering critics of YA literature to task, and does so excellently. Read the whole thing.

'When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami' is a short story by Kendare Blake published on Tor.com. It's set in the world of her Goddess Wars series (which I hadn't heard of but then promptly reserved at the library), and is set in a mid-'90s Miami crawling with gods and goddesses, and Lost Boys-inspired vampire wannabes.

I'm a massive fan of this animated credits to Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Stephen Byrne.

While we wait impatiently for Ancillary Sword, Orbit has put an excerpt from the first chapter up on its website.

This Massive Attack retrospective sums up all my overwhelming feelings of love for this band:

British trip hop pioneers Massive Attack are one of the most celebrated acts in the history of electronic music. Their atmospheric take on hip hop and R&B, with elements of soul, funk, jazz and electronica, was an exciting new sound in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They pioneered the genre now known as trip hop and quickly became hugely influential all around the world. Few electronic acts are held in such high regard as the Bristol-bred outfit. If they had never released their five studio albums, some of today’s great artists may never have gone down the musical paths they chose. Massive Attack are more than a band, they made us rethink how music can be created, and redefined what a band could be.

I still haven't got my copy of Unmade by [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales (Sarah Rees Brennan) and thus can't participate in all the revelry, but she has some great fanart up on her blog, as well as the schedule for her blog tour. I'll be checking out all those posts once I've got around to reading the book.

'I Don't Know How But I Know I Will' is an 8tracks mix by angrygirlsquad 'for those days where you see no way through. you haven’t failed. you are alive. everything else is bonus'.

I hope you are all feeling loved by the people you love, flist.
dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy two days ago, and, a couple of quibbles with certain narrative choices aside, thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't really have much to say on the matter, but my friends [tumblr.com profile] jimtheviking and [tumblr.com profile] shinyshoeshaveyouseenmymoves have been having a very interesting conversation about it which I felt was worth sharing. Expect spoilers for the whole film.

This review of The Magicians by Lev Grossman by Choire Sicha doesn't really make me want to read the series, but makes a couple of points about writing women in fantasy literature that really resonate with me:

“When I was writing the story in 1969, I knew of no women heroes of heroic fantasy since those in the works of Ariosto and Tasso in the Renaissance. … The women warriors of current fantasy epics,” Le Guin wrote in an afterword of The Tombs of Atuan, “look less like women than like boys in women's bodies in men's armor.” Instead, Le Guin wouldn't play make-believe, and her women were sometimes vulnerable, including physically. She refused to write wish fulfillment, even the wish fulfillment many of us crave.

The first time I read the Earthsea quartet (as it was then), the stories of Tenar and Tehanu resonated with me in a way that was powerful and profound. I was fourteen or fifteen years old, and I think it was the first time I'd read stories that gave me a glimpse of how terrifying it was going to be to be a woman. They are not easy or comforting stories, and they showed a world that I was about to enter and told me truths I had at that point only dimly understood.

Here is a post at The Toast by Morgan Leigh Davies about attending the Marvel panel at SDCC. It made me deeply grateful that my fannish interest lies in characters and not actors.

This post by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast is deeply hilarious:

Far be it from me to criticize the tactics of modern union organizers, but frankly I think the world was a better place when tradesmen organized to agitate for their rights in the workplace and practice esoteric mind-controlling spells at the same time.

The Society of the Horseman’s Word was a fraternal secret society that operated in Scotland from the eighteenth through to the twentieth century. Its members were drawn from those who worked with horses, including horse trainers, blacksmiths and ploughmen, and involved the teaching of magical rituals designed to provide the practitioner with the ability to control both horses and women.


(As an aside, if you're not reading The Toast, you're missing out.)

Samantha Shannon has some good news. Her Bone Season series was intended as a seven-book series, but Bloomsbury had initially only committed to publishing three. But now they've gone ahead and confirmed that they will publish all seven. Samantha is awesome, as is the series, so I am thrilled.

Speaking of The Bone Season, I made a Warden/Paige fanmix on 8tracks. I go into more detail about the reasons behind my choice of songs here.

The [twitter.com profile] PreschoolGems Twitter account is one of the most fabulous things ever to exist on the internet.

This particular A Softer World gives me life.
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
I wrote a review on my Wordpress blog about Peaky Blinders, a gangster miniseries set in Birmingham in 1919.

That’s not to say there aren’t tensions. The young Shelby men have returned, traumatized, from the battlefields of World War I, only to find that the women – shrewd, tough-as-nails Aunt Polly, and angry, romantic Ada – have been running things just fine, if not better, on their own. Tommy Shelby, who views himself as the gang’s de facto leader, has to reconcile his own grand vision for the Peaky Blinders with the more limited, but safer, scope planned by his aunt.

At the same time, the gang relies on its ability to control the shifting network of alliances of the streets, contending with IRA cells, communist agitators attempting to unionize the factory workers, Traveller families who control the racetrack, Chinese textile workers who moonlight as opium den operators, and, one of my favourite characters, an itinerant fire-and-brimstone street-preacher played by Benjamin Zephaniah. It’s a complicated balancing act of carrot and stick, and when it works, it works because the various players have understood correctly the psychology, needs and fears of their opposite numbers.


The review's a bit late - the first season aired some months ago - but if my description piques your interest, it might be worth catching up, as there aren't that many episodes, and the new season is due to air soon.

This is one of my favourite times of the year, because IT'S EUROVISION TIME! I have a deep and daggy love of Eurovision, but luckily, so do my partner Matthias, and many of our friends. This time last year, we had a Eurovision party, but we were unable to do the same this time around, as most of our Eurovision-loving friends were away. Our friend B did come over, and we had a great time snarkily deconstructing all the acts. My greatest triumph of the evening? Inventing the Tumblr tag 'erotic milk-churning' to describe the Polish act. Honestly, it has to be seen to be believed. I was very happy with the act that eventually won, and a good time was had by all.

ETA: I made a new mix on 8tracks. It's called 'Love Will Tear Us Apart, Again and Again and Again', and consists of the best cover versions of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', as well as the original. Because I'm cool like that. (Bizarre story from my past: one night, my dad and I did nothing but listen to every cover version of this song, drink red wine and generally work each other up into such a frenzy of maudlin feelings that we both ended up crying our eyes out. Good times, 2007. Good times.)


Love Will Tear Us Apart, Again and Again and Again from dolorosa_12 on 8tracks Radio.

dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
It appears that I didn't write anything on LJ/Dreamwidth for the entire month of April. I'm not sure exactly why that was, although I will say that I had Matthias' family staying for two weeks, which made it very difficult to find a spare moment. His sister and her fiancé stayed with us for one week, and his parents were here for two weeks, although they stayed in their caravan in a camping site nearby. The fiancé had never been to Cambridge before, so we did a bit of sightseeing, including going up onto the roof of my college chapel, from where you can see the whole of Cambridge. To get there you have to climb this very claustrophobic, winding spiral staircase. It's worth it when you get to the roof, though.

Anyway, after they left, Matthias went to Aberystwyth for four days. He's just started doing an MA in library and information studies there (via distance learning), and you need to attend a week-long course there every year. The rest of the coursework is done by distance. I really, really dislike being home alone. I find it almost impossible to sleep and generally feel unsafe at night. I can cope with it when I live in an apartment building, or at least on the upper floor of a house, but our house is single-storey, which is just about the worst for me. But Matthias had a good time on his course, and met all the other people in his cohort, who all seem a very interesting bunch. They're mostly in their 20s or 30s, and tend to have done at least a BA (and in some cases an MA and PhD) in some kind of humanities field and come to librarianship indirectly, like him. I'm interested to see how he goes with the course, as I'm keen to do it myself in a few years' time (once I've recovered from the exhaustion of doing a PhD!).

On Friday, I went to London to hear Samantha Shannon (author of The Bone Season, the first of a series of novels about a dystopian London where people have supernatural abilities) in conversation with Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish, whose film company has the rights to adapt the first book. I did a write-up on Tumblr. The event was mostly awesome, although there was one sour note. One of the main characters in The Bone Season is an otherworldly being called Warden. He's not described in much detail in the book, aside from mention of him having 'dark, honey-gold'-coloured skin. People in the audience were asked to suggest actors who fit their mental image of him. Those suggested were Tom Hiddleston and Cillian Murphy. I think you can figure out why those are appalling suggestions, but in any case, I was heartened to see that most of the fandom seems to support me in perceiving Warden as just about anyone other than a white actor. What was even more encouraging is that Samantha Shannon herself agreed with me and said she was committed to fighting against whitewashing in any adaptation of The Bone Season. I will be very disappointed if a white actor is cast as Warden, and will not see any film in which this is the case.

Yesterday, our department hosted the annual colloquium which we share with Oxford. It's for students of Celtic Studies at both universities to present papers on aspects of their research, and alternates between Cambridge and Oxford as a location. I found it interesting to note that when we went around introducing ourselves at the beginning, all the Oxford students said their individual college affiliations, whereas the Cambridge people all said the name of our department rather than our colleges. It's a subtle indication of how we perceive ourselves, I guess.

The conference was good fun, particularly as I didn't have to give a paper this year. I just relaxed and hung out with all my friends, most of whom I hadn't seen in over a month. My supervisor was there, and we were talking about my decision to leave academia and work in libraries. She asked me if I missed research, and I realised that I didn't miss it at all. Most people I know who work in academia have this drive, this single-minded obsession with whatever they research (in much the same way as authors have this drive to tell stories). I've never had it, and I guess that's another indication that I was never cut out to be an academic.

I finally succumbed to the lure of 8tracks. I'm ridiculous enough about music as it is, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I joined. If you're on there, you should add me. I've already made one playlist.


We Own the Sky from dolorosa_12 on 8tracks Radio.



In other musical news, the new Seven Lions EP, Worlds Apart, is simply glorious.

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rushes into my heart and my skull

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