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May. 31st, 2012

100 SF/Fantasy Stories 006: Leviathan Wakes, by James SA Corey

So, I mentioned this previously, but I was able to enjoy Leviathan Wakes, despite me critiquing the orbital mechanics and realizing that recent science* would throw a monkey wrench into the plot. But I'm used to that; sometimes things shape out that way.

So, Leviathan Wakes hits a sweet spot in SF for me by being about the time when humankind has the Solar System as its playground but hasn't moved to the stars.  )

* Recent science that a member of my research group is doing!

Sketches 2/2

Finished up the meme.

Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist for [info]yuuo
Jeff Andonuts from Earthbound for [livejournal.com profile] eiviiaru
Mirrim from Dragonriders of Pern for [livejournal.com profile] allicapri
Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek for [livejournal.com profile] padparadscha

Aug. 17th, 2011

An Annoying Thing

Spoilers for the Dresden Files. All of it. Even Ghost Story. I'll put up a cut past which the spoilers come.

So, we have the vampires of the White Court. They're emotional vampires -- they both incite and feed on strong emotions. They also specialize by family -- House Raith, the family we see the most of, feeds on lust. Unlike the other two houses shown (which feed on fear and despair), they can indulge in long-term feedings which slowly wear down the depth of emotions and free will of the victims.

Also, they're hurt by the Power of (Romantic) Love. No, really. It's mentioned that a wedding ring burned and scarred one, the scent of a bouquet of flowers someone was delivering to a boyfriend/girlfriend gave one the equivalent of a headcold, and they cannot feed on -- or incite emotions in -- anyone in love. Heck, the touch of someone in love will burn them if they even tried.

And here I get into more canonical examples: re: Power of Love )

Sep. 23rd, 2010

30DoS.14: What is your favorite book pairing? Dag/Fawn

Day 14 - What is your favorite book pairing? Dag/Fawn

Well, I could have named Parno/Dhulyn again, but I'm trying to keep this original and spotlight as many couples as I can.

One thing I like about Lois Bujold's books is that she is very good at doing SFF with romantic elements which further the story.  )

Sep. 21st, 2010

30DoS.12: Who had the best wedding? Magrat/Verence

Day 12 - Who had the best wedding? Magrat/Verence

Tempted to nominate Worf and Dax for this one, too. It was a pretty good wedding. But I think Magrat and Verence from Discworld have them beat. After all, there was only a symbolic attack during the ceremony.

Apologies for the art -- ended up grabbing a crop of the Josh Kirby cover for... I think Wyrd Sisters.  )

Sep. 20th, 2010

30DoS.11: What is your dream pairing? Dhulyn/Parno

Day 11 - What is your dream pairing? Dhulyn/Parno

Aw, jeez. They're making me choose. Okay, I'm gonna be obscure here, and hopefully have you guys all go out and buy books. Yay books! I totally blame Slayers for this, but I have a thing for books which feature two people (preferably at least one who is female*) for which the following is true:

1. They are partners, in the truest sense of the world. Whether they are romantic or not, they have pieces of each other's heart and soul (metaphorically speaking).
2. Their relationship is not fraught with the 'will they or won't they'? Either they are platonic, or married/in a stable long-term relationship or otherwise diffuse the tension quickly.

So, I happened along a recommendation for the Dhulyn and Parno series, and took to it like a duck to water. )

Sep. 16th, 2010

30DoS.07 Day 07 - The most heartbreaking scene? Harry/Susan in the Dresden Files

Day 07 - The most heartbreaking scene? Harry/Susan in Changes

Hoo, boy is this a spoiler. If you are a Dresden Files fan and haven't read Changes yet... for the love of god, don't click on the cut.

Fans are pretty ambivalent about Susan Rodriguez in the Dresden Files. For non-fans, she was Harry's first on-screen girlfriend (Elaine, his first girlfriend, is mentioned and later shows up, but we don't know if Harry ever dated seriously between Elaine as a teenager and Susan). The two of them started dating when she asked him out in the first book, though Harry had known her before as 'this tabloid reporter who tries to get paranormal info from me'.

By book 3, Harry was ready to propose to her... )

Dec. 13th, 2009

Bounty Hunting (For Books)

So, I'm a fan of the Basara series of manga by Yumi Tamura*. While I'm told it was the thing for people my age and sex to have read growing up in Japan, and a full English translation exists, it never caught on in America, so the later volumes had tiny print runs. As a result, there's no copies left in online bookstores, and the secondary market is gone.

I managed to collect everything except volumes 19 and 20. Now I'm stuck. So, I place the call out to you, Intrepid LJ-ers. Find me these two volumes for under $20, and I will pay you half the price of the volume. Or draw you something -- your choice.

* It is my favorite example of 'shoujo manga' != suck.
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Sep. 27th, 2009

Productive Day

What I did today:
-- Polished my presentation for the Division of Planetary Sciences 2009 meeting based on comments I got from grad students on Friday.
-- Did two sketches -- one for MAX, one for [info]mrcaex. I'll see how they look tomorrow before coloring them
-- Cut out all the pieces for my exchange gift for [info]ag_over_18
-- Finished a fic for [info]fma_fic_contest
-- Finished reading The Mermaid's Madness

What I'm going to do now:
-- See how many words I can get on my fic for[info]scifibigbang before bed

What I would have liked to do:
-- Grade the dozen essays I have to do tomorrow.
-- Go over a report to ask a colleague for help.
-- Do my dishes

Mar. 15th, 2009

Unexpected Ramifications...

Of all things, this was inspired by a MPreg rant on [info]fanficrants...

One series of Lois McMaster Bujold's books is set in a future space-opera setting. One of the technological advances is the 'uterine replicator', a device that mimics the human uterus, allowing babies to be born without anyone having to be pregnant. And I started thinking about how many different ways this shows up in the series. So I made a list.

Long, and spoilery... )
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Dec. 20th, 2008


So, I figured out why I didn't log onto the 'net at night. The insulation in the spare room's window stinks. My fingers are freezing here.

Christmas at Dad's was all right. Sadly both Dad and I had outstanding gifts towards one another -- the coffee mug I ordered got there the day after, and Dad said one of the books he got me was lost in Outer Mongolia or whatever. Anyway, I ended up with books and games, and Mom found out from Ben later that he Really Really Wants Chrono Trigger. (I got to explain to Ben why Chrono Trigger DS was not on the Best Game of 2008 -- mostly because the original is on the Best Game of the SNES Era list)

Yes, I'm playing Chrono Trigger now. I'm already on the way to get Frog back in my party. Also trying to do it without the walkthroughs, unless I get stuck.

Also reading -- I got three books by Charles Stross, and have read two. (See this is why I only brought four books with me on the plane.)

I don't know what else to say, besides that my hands are cold, and it's spreading to my toes and nose and I want to stop typing because of it. Oh, yeah, turned in my Yuletide story.

Oct. 7th, 2008

A Martian Palatte and the Matter of Earth

First off, nary a day after I give my note about 'Not reading SF until November', Ryan makes a post about how someone got the rights to Red Mars (by Kim Stanley Robinson) and is going to be doing a TV series or miniseries. Ryan mentioned the fact he read the Mars Trilogy in high school when he was just getting into planetary science. So did Briony, another friend (who shares the blog and her advisor with Ryan). So did I.

So, I had to go out and order all three Mars books, plus the short story book.  )
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Aug. 18th, 2008

Back! Also, an essay...

I'm in the mood for an essay, so here's an essay. Also, I am back.

Read more... )

Jul. 17th, 2008


One thing I rather like is when I'm rereading and I come across some inconsequential detail thrown in for background, that I notice because it relates to a future book. For example, I'm rereading The Sharing Knife: Legacy, and just found a place where Shaun mentions to Dag what he heard happen in Log Hollow when a Lakewalker patroller took up with a farmer woman. In the next book, Dag happens to run into that Lakewalker. At the time I first read that, I hadn't read Legacy recently, so I took it for granted Dag knew which camp the character was from -- stories like that get around. Now, I know that I could have as well.

Similarly, I was flipping through Grave Peril by Jim Butcher and happened on the scene where Harry and Michael were trying to bargain with Leanansidhe, a Fae member of the Unseelie Court, who had Michael's sword. Lea already had something on Harry (she was his Fairy Godmother, and he owed her a favor.), and said if she just collected, she'd return the sword. Michael offered himself in her place, but she refused, saying that he was boring. She then asked for one of his children -- mentioning that she wouldn't mind taking his oldest. Michael told her to take a short walk off a long cliff. Some six books down the line, in Proven Guilty, Michael's eldest child, Molly, is indeed kidnapped by the Unseelie Court and it's actually explained why they have an interest in her. (Not just because one of the things bad fairies do is still children.)

I don't always know if the author was planning on using it when they wrote it. Maybe sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't, and just happen in on re-reading and think 'hey, I ought to pick that up'. It's still pretty cool.
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Jun. 10th, 2008


I like my slow-cooker. The reason is that I can spend fifteen minutes shoving canned/frozen vegetables and chunks of chicken into it, add some herbs, and when I get home, dinner (with enough for lunch the next day) is waiting. The house even smells like cooking. I feel horribly domestic, except it's the kind of domesticity that I like -- the kind that takes very little work for the results.

I found a lovely passage of kitchen-witchery in the book I'm rereading (Whisky and Water, by Elizabeth Bear). I need to get a copy to [info]emilie_burns because I think she'd get a kick out of it. I'm enjoying my re-read of that series (The Promethean Age) -- there are two books (Blood and Iron and Whisky and Water) set in the modern world, with two set in Elizabethan England coming out soon. It's urban fantasy, but it feels different than The Dresden Files. While Harry has a page out of the pulp hero, the world in The Promethean Age is much more complicated. It's not the sort of thing that a guy with a quick wit and handy fireball can easy come in and make things mostly right in 400 pages. Don't get me wrong -- I like both, but they are a bit of different tastes, for all that both are clearly in the 'urban fantasy' subgenre.

Though Whisky and Water does feature the Archangel Michael in a Trogdor the Burninator T-shirt.

It says something about me that I am the sort of person who, after a thunderstorm and upon noticing that the Sun has come out, will dash outside to see if there is a rainbow. I like to think that that something is flattering.
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Jan. 13th, 2008

Book Review: Slayers #7: Gaav's Challenge

Book Review: Slayers #7: Gaav's Challenge

Spoilers! )
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Jan. 10th, 2008

Long Post is Long

I am back in New York. I apologize for not updating, but it's hard to do on a dialup connection with an ancient HP machine* -- it finally occurred to me to use a journaling client my last week there. Yeah, I know, but Mom always complains I break the computer when I visit, or infest it with spyware. This time, though, I only visited journaling sites, gmail, Gaia, and Yuletide's site. So we know who to blame if I broke my mother's computer.

* If a Moore's Law turnover time is a generation, this thing would not only be giving 'back in the day' speeches, but would be complaining that the 'young whippersnappers'' 'back in the day' speeches weren't as good as its 'back in the day' speeches. My comparison, my laptop is approaching its midlife crisis, which probably explains all its duct-tape repairs, and the fact that it needs a new battery. Working for me is apparently the equivalent of a career as an NFL linebacker for a computer. (Maybe naming it 'Fullmetal-Alchemist' was not the best idea, even though it is silver and wee**.)

** "Who are you calling knee-high to an iPod?"

Long Ramble on my life, books I've read, fairies, and New Years )

Crud, it's work time. I better go get dressed and make my lunch. Expect Fanfic Rambles after work.

Nov. 25th, 2007

December: Month of Things that Make Becca Squee

In honor of me finally spending the money I got for my birthday, I declare December the Month of Things that Make Becca Squee. As part of this month, every day (or, you know, when I think about it, since it is Christmas and I have a Yuletide fic due), I will make a post about a book or manga series that makes me squee with fannish glee.

So, if, you know you want new stuff to read, keep reading. Keep in mind, my tastes run to fantasy and science fiction.