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
pedanther: (Default)
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
T L Garrison. The Twisted Blackmailer (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Carpe Jugulum (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
Josephine Tey. A Shilling for Candles
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Katherine Addison. The Goblin Emperor (e)
Agatha Christie. The Murder at the Vicarage
J Sheridan Le Fanu. Wylder's Hand (e)
Ellis Peters. City of Gold and Shadows (e)
Ellis Peters. Rainbow's End (e)
Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. The Memory Trap (e)
Anthony Price. A Prospect of Vengeance (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Carpe Jugulum (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

Abandoned
Gregory Mone. The Truth About Santa Claus

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

Top of the to-read pile
T L Garrison. The Twisted Blackmailer
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
(anonymous). Little Spinners: Dancing Princess
Michael Dahl, Oriol Vidal. Little Monkey Calms Down
William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (re-read)
Kim Newman. Angels of Music (e)
Daniel Pinkwater. The Big Orange Splot (e)
Daniel Pinkwater. Lizard Music (e)
Terry Pratchett. Hogfather (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. Here Be Monsters (e)
Robert Louis Stevenson. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Jingo (e) (re-read)
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus (e)

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

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

Top of the to-read pile
Ben Aaronovitch. The Hanging Tree
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. The opening night of Oliver! went well, though not without a few hiccups.

We got the feature photo on the front page of the Saturday paper, and more photos inside accompanied by a basic write-up. No review; the chap who's been covering the theatre beat for the local paper has moved on (which is a pity, because he wrote proper reviews and I was looking forward to seeing what he made of it), so the paper only sent a photographer to the dress-and-press and then had someone back at the office write the accompaniment for the photos. Which may explain how they managed to relocate the show to a different theatre a fair way across town from the one it's actually in...


2. I recently rewatched "Curious Jarod", which has always been one of my favourite episodes of The Pretender. It still is, but this time around it struck me that it was an example of one of the patterns that the Bechdel Test exists to encourage awareness of. It has an unusually large number of female characters for an episode of The Pretender, in a range of ages, ethnicities, and social positions -- and not once do we see any of them interact with each other, even the ones who are said to be co-workers or otherwise have interacted off-screen. They're all on separate spokes off the hub of the male lead character. By contrast, most of the male characters in the episode have at least one conversation with at least one other male character who isn't the lead.


3. In other old TV news, I've finished watching my way through the World War II-set drama series Enemy at the Door, which I got on DVD after [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook posted about it. I enjoyed it a lot, if "enjoyed" is the right word for a series which is all about moral dilemmas and compromises and features a large number of unhappy endings.

Since I raised the subject already, I can't remember whether it passed the Bechdel Test; there are a fair number of female characters, and they often have conversations with each other, but the ones that come to mind are about husbands or sons or boyfriends. But it does pass [livejournal.com profile] capriuni's disability representation test: one of the recurring characters, Helen Porteous, is in a wheelchair, and although the initial impetus for introducing her is clearly to give her son someone to worry about, she's depicted as a character in her own right, with her own wants and needs that never include the stock disabled character motivations of Death, Revenge, or Cure.


4. For anyone who might be interested, Kim Newman's next book has been announced as Angels of Music, a 19th-century take-off of Charlie's Angels with the Paris Opera Ghost as Charlie, the daroga as Bosley, and a line-up of Angels that includes Christine DaaƩ, Trilby O'Ferrall, and Irene Adler. It will presumably incorporate in some fashion the short story with that premise Newman wrote a while back, in which the Angels of Music were pitted against the Countess Cagliostro and an army of Dr CoppƩlius's mechanical dolls.


5. And in what seems to be becoming a tradition, another recommendation for Batman fic from the usual source: Reviving a Tomb, in which Selina Kyle meets Bruce Wayne and Batman meets Catwoman.
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Diane Duane. So You Want to Be a Wizard (e) (re-read)
Ryk E Spoor. Phoenix Ascendant (e)
Ryk E Spoor. Phoenix in Shadow (e)
Ryk E Spoor. Phoenix Rising (e) (re-read)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Interesting Times (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
Diane Duane. Deep Wizardry
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, et al. Real Science Adventures: The Billion Dollar Plot (e)
Lian Hearn. Across the Nightingale Floor (e)
Lian Hearn. Grass for His Pillow (e)
Tim Powers. Dinner at Deviant's Palace
Terry Pratchett. Soul Music (e) (re-read)
Josephine Tey. Brat Farrar (re-read)

In progress
Diane Duane. So You Want to Be a Wizard (e) (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Interesting Times (e) (re-read)

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

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

Top of the to-read pile
Ryk E Spoor. Phoenix in Shadow
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Theatre News (subclass Acting in the):

As you may have guessed from the fiction log, the Rep Club's next big production will be the musical Oliver!. I've been in a bunch of musicals for the same director over the last decade or so, so I had what turned out to be the shortest audition I've ever done - didn't need to monologue, didn't need to sing, didn't need to dance, just needed to answer one question. I was a bit disappointed about the singing, since I'd put quite a bit of effort into my audition piece, but in the circumstances I think I'll survive.

The one question was: "Do you feel up to taking on the role of Fagin?"


2. Toastmasters News:

I entered both the Evaluation contest and the International Speech contest this year. The International Speech contest is the feeder contest for the World Championship of Public Speaking, and I've never entered it before. I only entered it this year because I gave a project speech last year which several people spontaneously told me was good enough for the contest, and because being a contestant meant I was exempt from being made to help organise it.

I won both contests at the club level, but at the area level I was beaten by the respective entrants from the college students' club. In a way, that was a relief, because it means I don't have to worry about finding time out of Oliver! rehearsals to attend the division and district contests. Let alone how inconvenient it would have been to qualify for the World Championship - not that I think that would have happened; the speech wasn't that good.


4. Theatre News (subclass Going to the):

I went to Perth to see The Lion King with my sister before it closed, because I've heard so much about how it's staged and who knows if it'll ever come this way again. There were bits that didn't quite work, but it was an impressive experience and on the whole I'm glad I went. Some of the puppets were astonishing. (Also astonishing, in a different way: the antipodean actor playing Timon's attempt at a New Jersey accent, which drifted as far south as Texas at one point.)

One side-note on the trip: It was the first time I'd been on the train since my international jetsetting Christmas holiday. Until I spent all that time on aeroplanes, I'd never really appreciated how much legroom you get on the train.


4. TV News:

The third season of Sherlock has aired here - actually, it aired last year, but then it was on against Foyle's War; this time it wasn't, and I had to decide whether I actually wanted to watch it. After carefully considering everything I'd heard about the third season and the Christmas special, I decided I didn't.

Also, the third season of Agents of SHIELD has started airing here; I watched a few episodes, then realised I wasn't actually all that interested, and stopped.

In happier TV news, the revived Danger Mouse started airing here this week, and I'm enjoying it immensely.


5. Theatre News (subclass Movie):

When I went to see The Force Awakens for the second time, it was preceded by a long trailer for the upcoming Batman/Superman movie. It kind of left me feeling like I'd seen the whole movie, and pretty much confirmed that I have no interest in actually seeing the whole movie.

Which leads me to a second side-note about my recent train trip: At one point, when I wasn't feeling motivated to do anything more brain-intensive, I watched the in-flight (if that's the word) movie, which was The Man From UNCLE. I have no idea how well it serves as an adaptation of the TV series, which I've never seen (yes, it's a shocking lacuna), but at one point I found myself thinking that Henry Cavill would probably do pretty well if he were cast as Superman, before remembering that he had been.
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)
(via [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook)

Because this year, between various Yuletides and the fact that a few months ago I went through my collection of old fic and uploaded (and backdated) everything I was still willing to expose people to, there's actually some chance of being able to provide meaningful answers.

Read more... )
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
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Lost Prince (e)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. I Dare (re-read)
Tamora Pierce The Healing in the Vine (e)
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
Terry Pratchett. Eric
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. I mentioned that I was planning to keep the moustache I grew for a role last year until I found out what, if any, role I'd be playing in the Rep Club's next production, which is a season of short plays. As it turns out the role I've got is that of a director instead of an actor. This will be the second short play I've directed, and I realised after I picked the script that it has some interesting similarities to and differences from the first one. It's going well so far. (And I'm keeping the moustache, because having a colonel's moustache helps me feel like someone who is and should be in charge.)


2. I have managed to maintain fairly frequent gym-going even after the holidays ended and all my other time commitments started up again. I've even managed to schedule another meeting with the trainer without an unreasonable amount of procrastination, and was rewarded with a more challenging exercise routine.

I did slightly squib out the last time I was at the gym, though: one of the exercises requires a bit of solid flat wall, of which there isn't much in the gym that isn't rendered unsuitable by, for instance, being covered in floor-to-ceiling mirror glass, and the one bit of wall I've come to rely on is currently unavailable because they've parked a membership drive display in front of it.


3. One of the commitments that's started up again after the holidays is the brass band. So far this year, I've been alternating between playing trombone and baritone: I was moved from trombone to understudy first baritone last year, but most of the trombone section have left town and the old first baritone player hasn't yet, so depending on who shows up to any given rehearsal or performance I'm sometimes needed more in my old chair.


4. In a tiny victory against the forces of clutter, I obtained some press-seal bags and sorted all the counters and cards and tokens in my copy of A Study in Emerald so that if I ever play it again it will take a bit less time to set up. (The game did ship with some press-seal bags, but not enough to do a full divvy; I think whoever chose the number was expecting all the player bits to be kept together, but it's more useful to make a separate "here's all your starting bits" bag for each player.) My immediate reward was that I got to confirm that all the bits are present and correct, including the card that was apparently missing when I played with my brother (it was stuck to the back of one of the other cards).


5. The first two seasons of Sherlock have recently been being reaired here, with "The Reichenbach Fall" scheduled this evening. (I had hoped they'd also be doing season three, which I still haven't seen yet, but no dice: next week it's new episodes of Broadchurch.) There was an exchange in Steven Moffat's season-two episode that in retrospect strikes me as marking one of the stops on the train of thought that led to the latest Doctor Who season finale.
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
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
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Local Custom (re-read)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Scout's Progress (re-read)
Gail Carson Levine. Ella Enchanted (e) (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
Ellen Raskin. The Westing Game
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. The first episode of the new season of Sherlock has now aired in Australia, but it was scheduled against the season final of Foyle's War so I still haven't seen it. The network that aired it has watch-online service, so I expect I'll get a chance to watch it at some point in the next few days. (Although probably not tomorrow. Or the next day. These days, it seems, the world is just full of things I need to do more than I need to watch another episode of Sherlock.) That's assuming it shows up on the online service, of course; but if it doesn't, I have a feeling the world won't end.


2. Speaking of worlds ending, it's been announced that Worlds in Time, the Doctor Who online multiplayer game, will be closing down soon. Considering how much time I spent playing that at one point, I wish I could be sad, or at least surprised, but as it is I'm just kind of wistful that it couldn't have been a better game.


3. In happier news regarding beloved things with online presences, Rosemary Kirstein's novel The Steerswoman is now available in an electronic edition for Kindle, with the rest of the series hopefully to follow. I love the Steerswoman series, and I'm glad to see an opportunity for new readers to discover it. (Or old readers to re-engage; I'd buy a copy myself like a shot, if I had a Kindle to read it on.) If you do have a Kindle to read it on, it's available here.


4. Another thing I recently re-engaged with online is Akinator, the Web Genie who asks you yes-or-no questions in an attempt to guess who you're thinking of. (And then I taught it about the main characters of the Steerswoman series, but that's not why I mention it.) For some reason, one question I've been getting a lot is "Does your character have human skin?" - which always makes me wonder who somebody was thinking about that made that a useful question to ask.


5. On an entirely different note, I recently bought my first pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses. (Previously, I've had to go with tinted lenses because they didn't make polarized subscription lenses that fit spectacle frames that fit my head.) It's a bit weird - I don't know if this is usual for polarization, or if it's because they're prescription lenses, or what, but objects with shiny surfaces occasionally look like they have a sort of unreal glow about them, because one eye is seeing them as catching the light and the other eye isn't, in a way that usually doesn't happen without polarization involved. And there are certain times of day when the effect happens to the entire sky.
pedanther: (teevee)
1. The Only Connect season final was won by the team I'd been barracking for, a group of SF geeks and Eurogame enthusiasts. Yay! (Though I was a bit disappointed when they were flummoxed by the question seeking the connection between "gale", "peel", and "king". I thought that was fairly obvious.)


2. The latest season of Foyle's War has finally started airing here. Yay! I was amused to recognise Frank Shaw, DCS Foyle's former assistant in the subplot of the season opener, as Steve Turner, DC Crabbe's assistant in one of my other favourite British detective series, Pie in the Sky.


3. The latest season of Sherlock and the latest whatever-it-is (I think technically it's the back half of the first season, or something) of Agents of SHIELD have not started airing here yet. I was going to say I'm not sure I care, but obviously I care enough to think it's worth mentioning.


4. Meanwhile, I have been watching old episodes of Doctor Who. Yay! The ABC's episode synopses for Classic Who are a bit of a mixed bag: some of them are unremarkable, some of them are clearly ripped off from the BBC's official web site (to interesting effect, because what the BBC's official web site has are not in fact episode synopses), and then occasionally there's something like this: "The Doctor and Ace join the Brigadier in a battle against warriors from another dimension. They also discover that pub prices are outrageous."


5. A few years ago, there was a thing going around where people wrote program guides for fictional TV shows: describing the premise, listing the cast, and so on into however much detail the individual author felt like. (One of the ones that got my hypothetical vote for Show I Would So Watch If It Were Real, [livejournal.com profile] ironychan's Mammoth Season, ended up with detailed descriptions of each episode, a fair amount of meta about the popular fanon, and an account of the show's troubled production which led to it being cancelled halfway through the intended story arc and ultimately wrapped up as a Dark Horse comic book miniseries.)

Anyway, the reason I mention it again now is that recently, while looking for something else, I stumbled across a good one that I somehow missed at the time: Shivers, as described by [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, is an intriguing adventure show with the high concept "Lesbian Vampire Killers: as in, they're lesbians who kill vampires (and other monsters)". One nice thing about it is that the cast has a high level of diversity - apart from a good gender balance and representation of varied sexualities, as one might expect from the premise, it also does well at ethnic diversity and has a major supporting character with a non-defining disability. (The obligatory wise old mentor character is a cantankerous old woman, played by Stephanie Cole, who is a wheelchair user. And also has a walking stick, because there are situations where a walking stick is more suitable than a wheelchair, and vice versa.)

Profile

pedanther: (Default)
pedanther

September 2017

S M T W T F S
      12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 11:41 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios