pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Baen Books has recently released ebooks of Janet Kagan's novels Hellspark and Mirabile, and a collection of her short stories (including the Hugo-winner, "The Nutcracker Coup"). Hellspark is a mainstay of my collection of comfort reads, and I'm very much looking forward to making the acquaintance of Mirabile. The short stories, too; I've only read one up to now - "Standing in the Spirit", a heartwarming Christmas tale that wears its debt to Dickens on its sleeve without going down the well-worn "visited by three spirits" path.


2. Speaking of Dickens: Still rehearsing Oliver!. I think I'm managing to get the hang of Fagin's accent now. It seems to be largely a question of holding my tongue right. (Making a face like I smell something bad also seems to help.)


3. At the gaming group this week, the main thing I did was watch a group of people play X-Wing Miniatures. There were four people who wanted to play, so they set up a big square playing area, with each player starting on one side, and drew lots to see who would attack who. The result of the draw produced two battles going on separately in opposite corners of the playing area, and then the survivors of each battle took each other on. It started out with a wide variety of different ship types (including what I was told was the main ship from Rebels, which I still haven't seen), but in the end it came down to a couple of X-Wings vs a couple of TIE fighters.

After that we played a few rounds of Hobbit Love Letter (which is like Batman Love Letter apart from the obvious, and also with an extra card, The One Ring, which is worth 0 points except in one specific situation where it's the second most powerful card in the game) and then it was time to go home.


4. It tends to be the case with movies that either I'll see them in the first week they're in the cinema or the last, because it I don't have a great and specific desire to see a movie, I'll do my usual put-it-off-until-a-deadline-looms thing. (And then sometimes it happens that when the deadline's close enough to see there aren't any screenings left I can actually get to, and then I don't see the movie at all.) I'd been putting off going to see Zootopia until today's 1pm screening was absolutely my last chance, and likewise the new Jungle Book movie - also at 1pm. Faced with that decision, I realised that I didn't particularly want to see a new version of a movie that hadn't been that much like The Jungle Book in the first place, so I'm rereading the book instead and I went to see Zootopia.


5. The Australian election campaign's started, which means it's time to start hoarding and swapping links for informed voting. (If anyone spots a good run-down of this year's minor Senate parties, let me know, please?)

Vote Compass is available again for this election. If you don't know about it, it's a nifty application where you fill out a questionnaire about where you stand on the current hot public policy issues, and then it shows you where you are compared to the announced policies of the major parties. (I always turn out to be standing pretty much where I expected to be, but it's nice to know.)
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
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
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)
1. One thing that struck me, looking back over my fiction logs for 2014, was that if you don't count fanfic (of which more in a moment), I read only two new novels in 2014 that weren't chosen for me by a book club or similar endeavour. I read both of them in April, when I had a holiday with a lot of travel time to fill and only limited contact with the book-clubs-and-similar.

Now, to be fair, I read quite a few new novels for the book-clubs-and-similar, but there was a certain lack of variety. So for 2015, I've made myself a rule that I'm going to read at least one chapter each month of something I've picked for myself.


2. The thing is, I did actually read several more novel-length works of fiction in 2014, but they didn't get into the fiction log because they were fanfic. (I read an enormous quantity of fanfic in 2014, I suspect at least partly as a way of getting some variety from all the book-clubs-and-similar, and although I was reluctant to have too many novels on the go at once, fanfic didn't trigger the reluctance even if it was long enough to otherwise count as a novel.)

Most of the novel-length fics were from the Undone Universe and Motion Practice series. They're both based on the Marvel Avengers movies, and mix novel-length works with shorter fillers and side-stories. Undone Universe mixes the Marvel multiverse, mythology, and a threat to the totality of existence; it's interesting and complicated but really, really grim. Motion Practice is an AU in which Nick Fury is a District Attorney, the Avengers are his team, and Loki is that one defense attorney whose reputation is based on being able to get anybody off if they have the money; it's a lot of fun, but also has its serious side - one of the things I like about it is the way the drama arises naturally out of the solid character work. (The character- and world-building has enough solidity that a lot of the stories in the setting arise from those rather than just being echoes of things that have happened to the non-AU Avengers.)

It seemed weird in retrospect to not be logging fiction that I'd spent so much time reading. So this year, I'm logging any fanfic I read that's at least 7500 words long (which I picked arbitrarily because it's the cut-off for novella length in the Hugo Awards).


3. I have, of course, been to see the third of Jackson's Hobbit movies by now, and I'm not at all surprised that the internet already contains at least one fan-edit that attempts to squeeze the trilogy into a single film with most of Jackson's inventions removed. There were parts of the third movie where I was mentally marking it up for edits while I was watching it in the cinema, which I think marks a failure of engagement on the film's part.

The thing that bothers me about The Battle of the Five Armies is not so much how much time Jackson devotes to depicting the eponymous battle (which Tolkien, in a sign of how important he considered it to the story, pretty much skipped entirely), but the way he chooses to depict it. All the named characters who die during the battle do so in meaningful one-on-one confrontations with named characters from the other side, some of whom have been invented for the purpose, often physically separate from the main mass where the nameless extras are hacking away at each other. I don't think I like that, and not just because it's a big departure from the book (where Thorin and Kili and Fili are in the thick of the fighting the whole time, and Thorin is killed not by a single blow from a Dramatic Archenemy but from the accumulated injuries from all the people he's fought). It's also generally a misleading thing to be suggesting about the way battles work.


4. I finally got around to watching the first episode of Leverage yesterday. It was fun, but I don't know if I'll be watching any more, because a feature that I suspect is going to be integral to the format going forward turns out to hammer one of my narrative turn-off buttons. I've been known to say that as a kid I spent more time watching I Love Lucy from behind the sofa than I did Doctor Who, because alien monsters don't inspire dread in me but what does is the prospect of someone being publicly humiliated because they thought they knew what was going on but they were wrong. And it turns out, apparently, that this happens even if the someone in question is the villain of the episode.


5. I've mentioned before that when the Modesty Blaise comic strip ended in 2001, our newspaper started running the strip from the beginning, and then in 2012 it started from the beginning again even though it had only got a third of the way through.

I recently realised something else: This time around it's printing the strip off a different set of masters. (The way you can tell is that the strip was first printed with a title block in the top left corner of the first panel, which was removed in reprints and the artwork extrapolated to fill the space left behind. Comparing the strips we're getting now to the ones we got in the 2001 re-run, many of them have differently extrapolated details.)

I have a theory that this means that there are two versions of the strip being made available to newspapers, and the reason our newspaper restarted was that they discovered they were signed up for, according to some definition, the wrong one. (Speaking historically, in the original run the distributors started offering two different versions of the strip to newspapers starting with the story "Cry Wolf" - which, as I noted at the time, is precisely the point at which our newspaper re-started in 2012.)
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Ben Aaronovitch. Foxglove Summer (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Plan B (re-read)
Tamora Pierce The Fire in the Forging (e)
Terry Pratchett. Pyramids (e) (re-read)

In progress
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Lost Prince (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. I Dare (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Guards! Guards! (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
Tamora Pierce The Healing in the Vine
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Lynley Dodd. Hairy Maclary's Caterwaul Caper
Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell. Fortunately the Milk
Catherine Jinks. Pagan's Daughter
Catherine Jinks. A Very Unusual Pursuit
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Trade Secret (e)
Bernard Marshall. Cedric the Forester (e)
Tamora Pierce. Trickster's Choice
Susie Poole. All These Things
Terry Pratchett. Raising Steam
Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury. We're Going On a Bear Hunt

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Local Custom (re-read)
Tamora Pierce. Trickster's Queen

Non-fiction books in progress
Joachim Fest. Plotting Hitler's Death

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

Top of the to-read pile
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Scout's Progress
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. All the immediate family were in town for Christmas, which was nice. We made an unhurried afternoon of it, and all enjoyed ourselves. I gave some good presents, judging by their recipients' reactions, and I received some really nice presents, too.


2. My sister brought along a Doctor Who special edition Monopoly set which someone had given her and she hadn't had a chance to play with anyone. It wasn't really a success, because once the novelty of the theme wore off it was basically still the same old grindingly slow game Monopoly has always been, and somewhere around the point where all the chance cards had been played at least once, and all the properties had been bought without anybody getting a complete set of anything, we just gave up. The most fun we had in the whole game was when my sister and I found ourselves getting into a bitter rivalry over possession of one particular $50 note, which kept going back and forward between us as rent money, accompanied by increasingly theatrical cries of "You see! It always finds its way home!"


3. Also, while my brother was in town, the two of us played a few more levels of Lego Star Wars, which seems to have become our traditional "We don't often see each other, and when we do, we don't know what to do next" activity. We're up to Return of the Jedi now, and still occasionally accidentally shoot each other or drag each other off ledges. (All part of the fun.)


4. Another thing we all did together as a family was go to the cinema and see The Desolation of Smaug, my opinion of which in one respect may be judged by the fact that I've taken to referring to it as just "The Desolation of Smaug" without according it the surtitle. I did like the way they made an effort to ground and round out the character of Bard the bowman, but most of the other additions struck me as unnecessary and poorly-suited to the material they were allegedly adapting. I think it says something about their priorities that the film begins with a completely invented scene designed to recap the premise of the plot, and then leaves out the plot recap scene that actually occurs near that point in the novel.


5. My new year's resolution for this year is, in contrast to the usual, to get off the diet. I'll still be watching what I eat, but in a more general and flexible sort of way instead of trying to tie myself down to specific numbers (which I was never all that good at, anyway).
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Last night was the annual Toastmasters Halloween-themed public meeting. (We've done it two years in a row, that makes it annual. If we do it again next year, it will be "traditional".) As we did last year, there were creepy costumes, disturbing foodstuffs, atmospheric decorations, and a mix of members and guests doing speeches or presentations on related topics.

This year, I was one of two people who did a poetry recital. Coincidentally, we both took the approach of picking, rather than a poem that was about ghosts throughout, a ballad in which all the principal characters die and then the last couple of verses are about how their ghosts are said to still haunt the vicinity: I did Alfred Noyes's "The Highwayman", and Firstname B did Banjo Paterson's "The Geebung Polo Club".

(There's a running joke in our club about how many of the members have the same first name, in particular the two stalwarts whose surnames make them Firstname A and Firstname B. Which makes another unplanned coincidence about the two poetry recitals, because I'm Firstname A.)


2. [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook's Obscure & British Comment Fest is still occasionally producing new fruit. The most recent was, to my delight, inspired by one of my own comments, and I love it.

The great disadvantage with stepping into drawings, mused Mary Poppins, was that one could never be quite sure what lay around the corner. The initial impression might very well be one of pleasant pastoral elegance, with green meadows and gently rolling hills; but on the other side of those hills might be marshes, or brambles. Or, as in this particular instance, caves. In the normal course of events, Mary Poppins didn't mind caves. A large, roomy, picturesque cavern was a grand place to be, and filled with opportunities to improve young minds. This cave, however, was dark and gloomy, and dripped constantly. In the normal course of events she would never have dreamt of stepping inside; but then, in the normal course of events, she wouldn't have been chased into it by an army of slavering orcs, either.

"Orcs." She managed to keep the lion's share of her displeasure from her voice. It wouldn't do to appear too ruffled, after all. "Orcs, Ronald?"


3. Tiny Games is a project I backed on Kickstarter that recently came to fruition. It's a smartphone app for people at a loose end, but instead of being a game you play on your phone while ignoring your surroundings, it has you answer a few questions and then describes a game you can play where you are with who you're with and what you have at hand.

("Choose and rearrange words from the restaurant menu to describe new dishes. The creator of the most revolting dish wins." "Knife beats fork, fork beats spoon, spoon beats knife. Keep playing until the toast pops, and then tally your final scores.")

One nice consequence of the publicity surrounding the Kickstarter drive was that they were invited to collaborate on an official Sesame Street app, which ended up being called Sesame Street Family Play, which uses the same mechanism but is particularly aimed at families with small children.


4. In the lead-up to the Doctor Who anniversary, the ABC is making some classic episodes available on iView. Already available are "An Unearthly Child" and "The Daleks", "The Tomb of the Cybermen", "Spearhead from Space" and "The Sea Devils", "The Sontaran Experiment" and "City of Death", and "Earthshock", with a new Doctor being added each Saturday over the next few weeks.


5. Carli Davidson's photography series "Shake" documents weird and wonderful facial expressions captured on dogs shaking themselves dry (the jowly breeds are particularly impressive). Now, there's also a video. (via)
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Maurice Broaddus. King Maker
Frances Hodgson Burnett. A Little Princess
Kelly Sue DeConnick, et al. Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight
Warren Ellis, et al. Global Frequency
Kathryn Immonen, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kevin Shinick, et al. Avenging Spider-Man: The Good, the Green and the Ugly
Chip Kidd, Dave Taylor. Batman: Death by Design
Mike Mignola, John Byrne. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (re-read)
Mike Mignola. Hellboy: Wake the Devil
Mike Mignola. Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and others
Tamora Pierce. Realms of the Gods
Adrian Ramos. Some One to See the Emperor (re-read)
Charles Stross. The Apocalypse Codex
Syd of the Funny Hat. Q de Grace

Non-fiction books in progress
David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace

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

Top of the to-read pile
Tamora Pierce. First Test
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. You probably didn't notice, but my computer's been in the shop for over a week, restricting my internet access to what I was able to get at work. (The actual amount of time required to fix it, according to the bill, was less than two hours.) Funnily enough, I hardly missed it. For all its ability to fill up my waking hours, apparently I don't really depend on the internet all that much.

2. It probably also helped that many of my waking hours for the last week that would otherwise require occupation have been taken up with preparations for the National Band Championships, which are being held on this side of the continent (and thus within a reasonable travelling distance of us) this year. We have a Resident Conductor visiting from over east for a few weeks, helping with rehearsals and fixing up our technique, and there have been a bunch of extra rehearsals and workshops to take advantage. He's been picking us up on a lot of little things, the small-but-important details that you miss out on because either your teacher didn't know about them or thought they were too obvious to mention explicitly. Personally, I've been picked up on everything from how I hold my trombone to the size of the mouthpiece to how I breathe. (That last one doesn't sound like much, but honestly it's worth the price of admission all by itself.) I've been feeling a lot of the same sense of discovery I felt when, at the age of 28, somebody finally taught me how to tie shoelaces properly.

3. And now I'm enjoying playing the trombone again, to a degree I haven't felt, except in brief bursts, for a long time. This calls for further thought, because there are other parts of my life that I don't enjoy and that seem like they might profit if I could find a way to get them similar treatment. (And also because there's an area of my life that I do enjoy, where in retrospect it's at least partly because one way and another the opportunities for self-improvement have been available in the last few years.)

4. I have now seen Les Misérables and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Short version: Entertaining enough, but on the whole I'm not entirely sure I approve (though I did like that one scene where the protagonist is given more motivation than in the corresponding scene in the source work).

5. I may be gradually getting the hang of the valuable skill of knowing when to give up on a novel that isn't working for you. Sword at Sunset, Rosemary Sutcliff's retelling of the King Arthur story in historical post-Roman Britain, is not a bad book (and it's got a better grasp of "historical" than the 2004 film that attempted the same thing, not that that's a high bar), but it's not my kind of thing. There's an essay about recommending books I read once, and wish I could find again, that posited several approaches to fiction which each reader prioritises differently. Sword at Sunset is a good book for people who read for Descriptions (of landscapes, historical details, etc.), but I'm one of the readers for whom that sort of thing is what you wade through to get to the good stuff, which for me is Plot and Character. The plot has one handicap in being derived from a familiar story, and another in that the novel is written in Retrospective Regretful (never my favourite form) so that even when the plot goes somewhere new you have a pretty good idea of how it's going to turn out. The characters I didn't find very engaging; I didn't outright say Dorothy J. Heydt's Eight Deadly Words ("I don't care what happens to these people"), but I did say something less snappy to the effect of "Particularly given that I already know what happens to these people, I'm not looking forward to wading through all this prose just to find out the details".
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
John M Ford. The Final Reflection (re-read)
John M Ford. How Much For Just the Planet? (re-read)
PC Hodgell. Honor's Paradox (e)
Sharon Lee. Carousel Tides (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Mouse and Dragon (e) (re-read)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Necessity's Child (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Scout's Progress (re-read)
Tamora Pierce. Wild Magic (re-read)
George Bernard Shaw. Caesar and Cleopatra
Patricia Wrightson. The Nargun and the Stars

In progress
Tamora Pierce. Wolf-Speaker (re-read)

Abandoned
Rosemary Sutcliff. Sword at Sunset

Non-fiction books
TA Shippey. The Road to Middle-Earth 2nd ed.

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

Top of the to-read pile
Peter Macinnis. Mr Darwin's Incredible Shrinking World
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Wreck-It Ralph is a wonderful, wonderful movie. It hits a lot of familiar plot beats for a children's movie about the outsider who just wants friends (not that children are likely to notice or care) but it hits them really well, with a lot of humour and warmth and heart.

"Paperman", the short film that runs in front of it, is also really good.


2. I still haven't seen The Hobbit or Les Mis yet.


3. [livejournal.com profile] scarfman, a cartoonist whose hobbies include mapping periods of time onto other periods of time, is marking Doctor Who's 50th anniversary year thus: He has mapped the show's 50-year history onto a single year, and on each date corresponding to a milestone like "first appearance of the Daleks" or "first companion departure" is blogging a series of one-panel cartoons marking the event.


4. Not going to do the fanfic year-in-review meme this year; it hardly seems worth it when I finished exactly one fanfic this year. (A definite winner for the "What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?" question, though.)

Once again, all the unfinished stories I had the first year I did the meme remain unfinished, though some of them did stir in their sleep. (One has actually progressed from "This needs completely rewriting but I have no idea where to start" to "I have a pretty good idea of what is needed now". Not that that means it's going get done any time soon.)


5. If anyone asks me if I did anything noteworthy this weekend, I may mention that the most noteworthy thing was something that I didn't do. (In fact, I'm not doing it right this moment. I'm not feeling any great sense of occasion about not doing it, which tends to confirm my feeling that it was the right thing to not do.) I probably won't be inclined to go into detail about it, though.
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. To anyone I haven't already, Season's Greetings! (Or General Well-Wishings, if you're one of the people who don't find anything remarkable about this time of the year.) And a happy new b'ak'tun!


2. I got some nice presents for Christmas this year, but none of those really great surprises that was exactly what you would have wanted if you'd expected to get it. I did manage to hit the target a couple of times in my gifts to others, which was just as good. And it was really nice just to get to hang out with the family for a while. (At one point we were watching Fantasia, and the narrator asserted that the dinosaurs were mostly peaceful herbivores apart from a few gangsters and bullies like T. rex. A few minutes later, [livejournal.com profile] poinketh remarked out of the blue that he could picture a T. rex rocking a fedora, but he was having trouble figuring out how it worked the Tommy gun.)


3. There has been some good stuff in the Yuletide fic exchange this year.

* I particularly liked If the Fates Allow, which is the one for anybody who's suspected that Captain America: The First Avenger (2011, dir. Joe Johnston) is set in the same twentieth century as The Rocketeer (1991, dir. Joe Johnston). Though not so much if your interest is in blazing action sequences; the focus here is on the quiet moments between the adventures (which, given that time takes its toll, are not all happy).

* The Butterfly Also Casts a Shadow is another good one for fans of underappreciated retro action movies of the 1990s, in this case the 1994 version of The Shadow.

* On a different note, What You Make of It is an epistolatory fic, consisting of emails sent between Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell and his friend Yo-less during their gap year after high school. Johnny is working at a dusty old second-hand book shop that never sells anything, which since he's Johnny turns out less boring than it sounds, while Yo-less is volunteering on a marine biology expedition and making new discoveries in the area of human biology.


4. Have I mentioned we finished our run of Snow White's Pizza Palace? Well, that was a thing that happened. I enjoyed it, and I think I'll try doing more comedy next year. The first production in the new year will be a Season of Short Plays (we're officially not calling them "one-acts" any more, because informal market research has suggested that people think that means there's only one actor). I won't be involved with that, because it overlaps with preparations for the National Band Championships, which the band is going to take a shot at because they're on this side of the continent for a change.


5. Haven't seen The Hobbit Part One or Les Mis yet, because the people I was planning to see it with are out of town. (I suppose I could see Wreck-It Ralph by myself, since the person I was hoping to see it with was [livejournal.com profile] poinketh, and I know he won't be back before it closes.) Have seen the Doctor Who Christmas special, and wasn't super-impressed; it was enjoyable enough and had some really good moments, but I'm not sure it all held together, and there are worrying signs that Steven Moffat still hasn't remembered that when people say the hero of the show is a clever, unpredictable trickster figure, they're not talking about him.
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Sean E Avery. All Monkeys Love Bananas
Tamora Pierce. Alanna: The First Adventure (re-read)
Jo Walton. Among Others
Greg Weisman, Karine Charlebois. Gargoyles: Bad Guys (re-read)

In progress
(anthology). Liavek
Padraic Colum. The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles (e)
Tamora Pierce. In the Hand of the Goddess (re-read)
Roger Zelazny. A Night in the Lonesome October (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Douglas A. Anderson, Verlyn Flieger. J.R.R. Tolkien On Fairy-stories

In progress
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

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

Top of the to-read pile
Bram Stoker. The Jewel of Seven Stars
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Ben Aaronovitch. Whispers Under Ground
Neil Gaiman, et al. Sandman: The Kindly Ones (re-read)
Neil Gaiman, et al. Sandman: The Wake (re-read)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Dragon Ship (e)
Naomi Novik. Crucible of Gold
Ellis Peters. Death to the Landlords!
Vernor Vinge. The Children of the Sky

Abandoned
Franz Kafka. The Trial

Non-fiction books in progress
Douglas A. Anderson, Verlyn Flieger. J.R.R. Tolkien On Fairy-stories
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

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

Top of the to-read pile
Greg Weisman, Karine Charlebois. Gargoyles: Bad Guys
pedanther: (Default)
1. I'm re-reading the last few volumes of Sandman along with Mark Reads Sandman. (To start with I just dipped into the books when I wanted to check a detail, then I started re-reading bits, and now it's definitely a continuous re-read.)

I don't think I've mentioned Mark Reads here before, though I keep meaning to. The general premise is that Mark reads a popular work of fiction that he doesn't know anything about, one chapter a day, and after each chapter he writes and blogs a post reacting to the events of the chapter and trying to predict where the story's going next.
Read more... )
Things Mark has read include Harry Potter, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials, and The Hunger Games. He also has a companion blog, Mark Watches, where he's currently episode-by-episoding his way through Buffy and Angel.


2. I've more or less given up on the multiplayer aspect of Worlds in Time, the Doctor Who online multiplayer game, and am working my way through the storyline as if it were single-player mode, accompanied only by the computer-operated assistants. Read more... )


3. Meanwhile, Portal 2 has an actual single-player storyline that I've been working my way through. Read more... )


4. For my thoughts on Brave and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, see my previous Five Things post.


5. I went to see Steel Magnolias mainly because I had several friends in the cast; I wasn't at all sure it would be my kind of thing. As it turned out, I liked it a lot. This suggests that there may be whole unexplored areas of fiction that have drifted by me because they seemed on the surface to be not my kind of thing. If so, I'm not sure I want to know; it's not as if I don't have a large enough pile of things to read and watch as it is.

(There's probably some clever way to tie this back around to point 1, since one of the things Mark Reads is built on is Mark discovering and falling in love with works that he'd previously drifted by because they superficially appeared to be not his kind of thing. But it's late, and I'm tired, and I'm not going to bother.)
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Verlyn Flieger. Pig Tale
Murray Leinster. The Forgotten Planet
Ellis Peters. The House of Green Turf
Ellis Peters. The Knocker on Death's Door
Ellis Peters. Mourning Raga

Non-fiction books
Verlyn Flieger. Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World

In progress
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

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

Top of the to-read pile
Di Trevis. Being a Director
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Ellis Peters. Black is the Colour of My True Love's Heart (re-read)
Ellis Peters. Flight of a Witch
Ellis Peters. The Grass Widow's Tale
Ellis Peters. A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs (re-read)
Ellis Peters. The Piper on the Mountain
Terry Pratchett. Snuff
Anthony Price. War Game

In progress
Murray Leinster. The Forgotten Planet

Non-fiction books
Verlyn Flieger. Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology

In progress
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

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

Top of the to-read pile
Ellis Peters. The House of Green Turf
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Bennett Cerf, Roy McKie. Bennett Cerf's Book of Riddles
Marianne de Pierres. Code Noir
Marianne de Pierres. Crash Deluxe
Marianne de Pierres. Nylon Angel
Phyllis Ann Karr. The Idylls of the Queen
Anthony Price. Our Man in Camelot
Brandon Sanderson. The Way of Kings

In progress
Murray Leinster. The Forgotten Planet

Non-fiction books
Declan Donnellan. The Actor and the Target

In progress
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

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

Top of the to-read pile
Verlyn Flieger. Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology

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