pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Arthur Conan Doyle. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. The Gathering Edge (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. The Truth (e) (re-read)
Kai Ashante Wilson. A Taste of Honey (e)

Non-fiction books in progress
Michael Troughton. Patrick Troughton

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Paul Beatty. The Sellout
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1. The Multifandom Drabble Exchange is running again this year. Admin posts are on Dreamwidth at [community profile] multifandomdrabble. The nomination period for fandoms has just started. I did it last year and enjoyed it; it's a nice low-pressure fic exchange where all you have to write is 100 words. Simple, right? (This is of course a trick question: it's often very difficult to fit everything you want to say into 100 words. But I did enjoy it.)


2. Our production of The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Operatic Society production of The Mikado opens this week. I was worried about it for a while (Four weeks, you rehearse and rehearse / Three weeks, and it couldn't be worse), but it's been really coming together over the last few rehearsals, so I think we'll survive.


3. I didn't mention that while our production was in rehearsals, the club also put on its annual season of one-act plays. There were two this year, titled "Harry's Bounty" and "Kayak", which were both excellent. (Though I did think that "Harry's Bounty" was one scene too long; the final scene doesn't say anything new, just repeat explicitly things that had been strongly implied already, and loses the strong ending the play would have had if it had finished on what is currently the second-last scene.) Both plays were built around relationships of parents and children, and the director of "Harry's Bounty" is the mother of the director of "Kayak"; they were planning at one point to advertise the season under the title "Mother and Son", but they got a lot of feedback that people were getting confused and thinking that meant there would be a stage version of the popular sitcom.


4. This year's big production by the local high school that does a big annual production was Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The actor playing Belle was also the lead in last year's Hairspray; she and the actor playing the Beast were also the duo who took top honours at the drama eisteddfod last year. They both did very well in the roles, although I felt that the actor playing the Beast did better at bringing out the Beast's hidden humanity than at portraying his surface beastliness. In this he was not being given much assistance by his costume, which tended toward the minimal for logistical reasons. The actors playing Gaston and Lefou were also very good. Seeing how the stage version was adapted from the animated film was interesting; I liked how the animated furniture was handled. The songs added for the stage version are a mixed bunch; "Home" is excellent, others are good, and I cordially detest "A Change in Me": it has a nice enough tune but rubbish lyrics that lean too heavily on vague generalities and when it does get specific they're the wrong specifics. (Wikipedia informs me that it was added to the show late and in a hurry, which perhaps explains it.)


5. I'm finally filling a gap in my fannish experience and reading The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, the final collection of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. It's not as easy to come by as the earlier books, because it's still covered by copyright so there isn't the same plenitude of cheap editions, and its reputation suggested that it wasn't particularly worth much effort in seeking out, so up until recently I'd only read a few of the stories that were reprinted in anthologies. (In fact I think "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire", which was in a horror-themed anthology I read as a child, may have been the first actual Holmes story I ever read.) The stories aren't ACD's best work, and some of them give a distinct air of having been dashed off without much effort, but there are some good moments in there. (And some terrible ones: "The Adventure of the Creeping Man", which has a solution based on what I presume was cutting-edge scientific theory at the time, really hasn't aged well.) Of the ones I've got through so far, I think my favourite is "The Problem of Thor Bridge", which has some proper detectoring, some nice character work (including a character who is of a familiar type but turns out to be more complicated than he might have been in an earlier ACD story), and a solution I didn't already know and didn't find too easy to guess.
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Terry Pratchett. The Fifth Elephant (e) (re-read)

In progress
Arthur Conan Doyle. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. The Gathering Edge (e)
Terry Pratchett. The Truth (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Michael Troughton. Patrick Troughton

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Kai Ashante Wilson. A Taste of Honey
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden (e) (re-read)
Kenneth Grahame, GMW Wemyss, Markham Shaw Pyle. The Annotated Wind in the Willows, for adults and sensible children (or, possibly, children and sensible adults) (e)
Josephine Tey. A Shilling for Candles

In progress
Terry Pratchett. The Fifth Elephant (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Michael Troughton. Patrick Troughton
pedanther: (Default)
List of Completed Fics:
Ten Alternate Universes: Bernice Summerfield (481 words; Doctor Who & spinoffs)
Ten Alternate Universes: Kay Harker (606 words; The Midnight Folk et seq.)
Ten Alternate Universes: Havelock Vetinari (1062 words; Discworld)
New Flowers Bloom (100 words; Snow-white and Rose-red)
A week next Saturday at the Stork Club (401 words; Captain America: The First Avenger)

Read more... )
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Lois McMaster Bujold. The Curse of Chalion (re-read)
Lee Falk, Ray Moore. The Phantom: The Complete Newspaper Dailies volume 1
Gail Carson Levine. Fairest
Anne McCaffrey. The Ship Who Sang (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. A New Kind of War (e)
John Scalzi. The End of All Things
John Scalzi. The Human Division
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus (e)

In progress
Katherine Addison. The Goblin Emperor (e)
Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books In progress
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Anthony Price. A Prospect of Vengeance
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Ben Aaronovitch. The Hanging Tree (e)
Julie Edwards. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Terry Pratchett. Jingo (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. For the Good of the State (e)

In progress
Katherine Addison. The Goblin Emperor (e)
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus (e)

Non-fiction books
Jimmy Maher. Let's Tell a Story Together (e)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. At the gaming group, last time I went, we played 7 Wonders: Duel. There were about half a dozen people interested in learning about it, so we ended up playing in rotation, where everyone got two games against different opponents and most people (including me) won the first and then lost the second.


2. I participated in the Multifandom Drabble Exchange on Imzy, because it seemed like a good excuse to check out Imzy and a good excuse to write some drabbles. I wrote one drabble, and attempted a second based on one of my recipient's other prompts but it refused to be squished down to 100 words.

* New Flowers Bloom expands a bit on some of the events that are summarized so briefly in the happily-ever-after paragraph of the fairy tale "Snow-white and Rose-red".

* A week next Saturday at the Stork Club is a shameless fix-fic for the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.

I received two drabbles, both for the TV series Ultraviolet (yay!). Neither of them seems to have been posted anywhere outside of Imzy (which is currently still only readable to the beta testers).


3. I have not signed up for Yuletide this year, though I may end up doing a pinch hit or a treat or something. This is my usual level of engagement with Yuletide, because I find that the most daunting part of Yuletide is thinking of things to ask for.


4. Kim Newman's new novel Angels of Music (a take on the Charlie's Angels premise populated with characters from 19th century genre fiction, including the Paris Opera Ghost as the mysterious faceless leader) is now available in a variety of formats. It's also been announced that his next book will be a short story collection with a theme of monsters, featuring a brand new Anno Dracula story titled "Yokai Town".


5. Ursula Vernon's new novel Summer in Orcus is being published online as a serial, with new chapters dropping twice a week. It's her version of the old "child dragged into another world for an adventure" genre.
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Janet Kagan. Hellspark (e) (re-read)
Janet Kagan. Mirabile (e)
Terry Pratchett. Interesting Times (e) (re-read)
Noah Smith. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In progress
Diane Duane. Deep Wizardry (e) (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Maskerade (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books In progress
Adrian Goldsworthy. Augustus (e)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
William Shakespeare. Hamlet
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Lionel Bart. Oliver!
Lois McMaster Bujold. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (e)
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire (e)
T Kingfisher. The Raven and the Reindeer (e)
Tim Powers. On Stranger Tides (e) (re-read)
Manly Wade Wellman. The Beyonders (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Soul Music (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Harley Granville-Barker. Prefaces to Shakespeare: Hamlet

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
William Shakespeare. Hamlet
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
R Austin Freeman. Mr Pottermack's Oversight (e)
Russell Hoban. Best Friends for Frances
Russell Hoban. Bread and Jam for Frances
Sharon Lee. Barnburner (e)
Sharon Lee. Gunshy (e)
Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Zander Cannon. Top 10 volume 1 (re-read)
Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Zander Cannon. Top 10 volume 2 (re-read)
Alan Moore, Gene Ha. Top 10: The Forty-Niners (re-read)
Kim Newman. The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School (e)
Terry Pratchett. Men at Arms (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. The '44 Vintage (e)
Anthony Price. The Hour of the Donkey (e)
Anthony Price. Soldier No More (e)
Anthony Price. Tomorrow's Ghost (e)
Dorothy L Sayers. Strong Poison (e) (re-read)

In progress
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire (e)
Terry Pratchett. Soul Music (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Ryk E Spoor. Phoenix in Shadow
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle (e)
L S Lawrence. Horses for King Arthur
Andy Weir. The Martian (e)

In progress
Kim Newman. The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School (e)
Terry Pratchett. Men at Arms (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Anthony Price. The '44 Vintage
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr Dinosaur (e) (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Lords and Ladies (e) (re-read)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Men at Arms (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness (e) (re-read)
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time (e) (re-read)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Dragon Ship (e) (re-read)
Tamora Pierce. Cold Fire (e)
Terry Pratchett. Witches Abroad (e) (re-read)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Dragon in Exile (e)
George MacDonald. The Princess and Curdie
Terry Pratchett. Small Gods (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
John Scalzi. The Mallet of Loving Correction (e)

In progress
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Matt Fraction, Christian Ward. Ody-C volume 1
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
G K Chesterton. The Scandal of Father Brown (e)
G K Chesterton. The Secret of Father Brown (e)
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War (e) (re-read)
P C Hodgell. The Sea of Time (e)
T Kingfisher. Bryony and Roses (e)
T Kingfisher. Toad Words and other stories (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Necessity's Child (e) (re-read)
Tony Nicholls. Aladdin: The Story of a Boy (e)
Tony Nicholls. Humpty Dumpty: The Egg's Files (e)
Tony Nicholls. The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood (e)
Ursula Vernon. Castle Hangnail (e)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Dragon Ship (e) (re-read)
George MacDonald. The Princess and Curdie
Tamora Pierce. Cold Fire (e)
Terry Pratchett. Witches Abroad (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Matt Fraction, Christian Ward. Ody-C volume 1
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Tim Powers has been one of my favourite fantasy authors since I discovered his 1983 novel The Anubis Gates, which features time travel, romantic poets, and a serial killer who's rumoured to be a werewolf but is actually something even more peculiar. Last year, he returned to that setting with a novella called "Nobody's Home", which expands on the backstory of the novel's main female character. I got hold of it recently through a limited-time ebook offer on Humble Bundle, which was a stroke of luck because it seems to otherwise only be available in a small press Collector's Edition that costs half as much again as the original novel despite being less than a quarter the length. I liked it a lot, but not so much that I would have been able to forgive the Collector's Edition price if I'd had to pay it.


2. Another thing I've revisited recently is the comic book series Atomic Robo; the back issues have been re-released as a webcomic, so I'm reading the series through again from the beginning. If you don't know Atomic Robo, I highly recommend it; it's kind of like Indiana Jones with weird science instead of half-remembered mythology and also the hero is a self-aware robot created by Nikola Tesla. Robo's greatest enemy is the megalomaniac scientist Heinrich von Helsingard; his oldest enemy is his father's great rival Thomas Edison; and his most annoying enemy is Doctor Dinosaur, a talking velociraptor whose attempts to science are patently nonsensical and yet somehow seem to work anyway.


3. Speaking of web sites having significant updates that I didn't notice until they were pretty much over: after saying that Adventures with the Wife in Space definitely wasn't going to do any of New Who, Neil and Sue have apparently been talked into doing the Eccleston year. They're absolutely not going to continue on and do Tennant, though. Probably.


4. And speaking of favourite fantasy authors, I can't remember whether I've recommended T. Kingfisher's fairy tale retellings in this space, but if so they're certainly worth recommending again. There are currently two novels, The Seventh Bride and Bryony and Roses, and a short story collection, Toad Words. There will probably be another collection at some point, since she's still writing new ones, and just recently won a Nebula for one of them.

(T. Kingfisher is Ursula Vernon, who won a Hugo for Digger and then became a best-selling author of children's fantasy, which is why now when she writes something in a similar vein to Digger she has to publish it under a different name so that nobody accidentally gives it to their ten-year-old.)


5. It seems to me that it says something about the priorities of the people making Thunderbirds Are Go that when, thirteen episodes in, one of the episodes has an expert consultant credited at the end, it (a) comes as a complete surprise, and (b) turns out to be, not a physicist or an engineer, but a speech therapist. Thunderbirds Are Go is not a series where scientific accuracy gets much of a look-in. (Good on them for wanting to make sure Brains's stammer is portrayed appropriately, though.)
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne (e) (re-read)
George MacDonald. The Princess and the Goblin
Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs. Li'l Gotham volume 1
Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs. Li'l Gotham volume 2
Ryan North. Poor Yorick
Tamora Pierce. Street Magic (e)
Terry Pratchett. Reaper Man (e) (re-read)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Necessity's Child (e) (re-read)
George MacDonald. The Princess and Curdie

Non-fiction books in progress
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Tamora Pierce. Cold Fire
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo: The Savage Sword of Dr Dinosaur
T Kingfisher. Nine Goblins (e)
T Kingfisher. The Seventh Bride (e)
Sharon Lee. Carousel Seas (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Ghost Ship (e) (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Moving Pictures (e) (re-read)
Patricia C Wrede. The Magician's Ward (e)
Patricia C Wrede. Mairelon the Magician (e) (re-read)

In progress
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne (e) (re-read)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Necessity's Child (e) (re-read)
George MacDonald. The Princess and the Goblin
Tamora Pierce. Street Magic (e)
Terry Pratchett. Reaper Man (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Simon Singh. Big Bang

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Jung Chang. Empress Dowager Cixi
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger. Tesladyne Industries Field Guide
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Carpe Diem (re-read)
Tamora Pierce The Power in the Storm (e)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Plan B (re-read)
Tamora Pierce The Fire in the Forging (e)
Terry Pratchett. Pyramids (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Simon Singh. Big Bang

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. I Dare
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Terry Pratchett. Mort (e) (re-read)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Saltation (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Sourcery (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Daniel Boyarin. The Jewish Gospels
Nigel West. MI5

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Agent of Change

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