icons: Movies

Thursday, 17 August 2017 21:02
meganbmoore: (book of life: elena)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 70 x The Book of Life
58 x Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart


here )

Free Speech and Nazis

Thursday, 17 August 2017 20:42
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Between North Korea and Charlottesville and everything else happening, it's hard not to feel like everything is burning down. But until the world actually ends, it's better to proceed as if it will keep on turning, so have some linkspam.

(no subject)

Thursday, 17 August 2017 10:53
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, I've had to tell local friends to stop sending me anti-fascist memes related to what's going on in the U.S. right now because I've just... reached the end of my cope? I've had to get off twitter for a while, because my mental health just can't keep up. But at the same time it feels like the world is burning and I desperately want to do something, and well.

I've decided what I'm going to do is just try to help people in whatever way I can, which always feels like a good course of action to me.

So, I have this Russian friend on twitter. She's fannish, her name is Sasha, her twitter account is locked. We met in Black Sails fandom earlier this year. She's very delightful and funny and lives in St. Petersburg.

This year she'd really like to get married. She and her girlfriend have been together for about 5 years. Needless to say, a marriage is not possible in Russia (or Ukraine, where her girlfriend is from). So, they've thought up a plan to travel to Denmark to get married later this year, and they've been raising money mostly through their Russian fandom friends, to make the trip possible. Russian fandom doesn't really do paypal (other money transfer methods are easier), so when I asked how I could help they basically opened an account with PP just for me.

There's no public post about this fundraiser, no kickstarter page. I honestly don't even want to link their account names on twitter to this public post, although I of course asked them what details I could share before writing about this on DW.

Anyway, if you're looking for the usual safeguards to make sure this isn't a scam - they're not really available in this case. I can only tell you that I know this person and trust them and I've helped their marriage fund and have no regrets.

So, if you'd like to throw some money their way, or signal boost this to your friends, their paypal address is: blindpilot at yandex dot ru

(Also, Sasha has pointed out that if you'd like more details about what the money is for, you're welcome to email her at that address.)

Sunspots

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 17:05
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

what i'm watching in August

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 21:10
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
here )

I've barely had tie to more than speed skim any social media the last few weeks. Too tired from work to give it or reading the time and energy I used to. Hopefully that changes soon.

returning with a bang

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 10:34
marina: (murder is the answer)
[personal profile] marina
So, London was wonderful (WONDERFUL) but obviously pretty busy. On the days I wasn't at Nine Worlds, I walked about 11 kilometers a day, on average, according to my phone (there was a day when I walked 17,500 steps). Consider I have herniated disks in my back and am still recovering - it was A Lot.

the last few days )

Short Fiction Recs

Monday, 14 August 2017 13:02
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
[personal profile] forestofglory
"That Lingering Sweetness"
by Tony Pi
I knew this story was off to a good start when it opened with a tea house. I enjoyed this take on Chinese Zodiac animals. Apparently this story is just the most recent in a series so I'm going to have to go back an read the rest.

"Waiting on a Bright Moon' by JY Yang (content note: queer characters with queer tragedy in their pasts)This such an interesting world! There is magic and space travel. The main character is an ansible who uses magic to connect her planet with the home planet. I like how this story addresses the complex and messy nature of revolution. Yang has two novellas due out latter this year which I believe are also set in this same world. I'm looking forward to them.

"Packing" by T. Kingfisher This story begins "Today is not the day I wanted to do this, but we aren’t always given choices. It’s time to pack for the new seasons." It made me cry. If you are an environmentalist it might make you cry too.

I'm about to go on a trip so I've loaded my ereader up with a fair number of novellas including Bujold's latest, and Rose Lemberg's most recent Birdverse offering. So I will hopefully have some novella recs to share when I return.

Magic ex Libris: The Next Chapter

Monday, 14 August 2017 09:30
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Some of you might remember me talking about a 15,000-word novelette I was working on between wrapping up Terminal Alliance and starting on Terminal Uprising.

That novelette is called “Imprinted,” and it’s the next Magic ex Libris story.

It’s about Jeneta Aboderin, and it’s set roughly eight months after the events of Revisionary.

I haven’t set a publication date yet. There’s a bit of work left to get everything ready, and with Terminal Alliance coming out in November, I’m guessing it will be available in January or February.

I also haven’t set a price. $2.99 would be ideal, because that’s where ebook royalty rates jump from 35% to 70%. What do you think? Does $2.99 seem fair for a 15,000-word story, or should I bump it down to $1.99 and take the royalties hit?

Finally, as long as you’re here, what do you think of the not-quite-finalized cover?

Imprinted Cover: Draft

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

when you're the weirdest foreigner abroad

Monday, 14 August 2017 09:48
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Out of the billion posts I want to make about London, let's start with a somewhat random topic. Accents. And the weirdness of my brain.

accents )

Food delivery in Perth

Sunday, 13 August 2017 18:47
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
So after vaguely noticing the rise of Ubereats I decided to investigate the options for food delivery in Perth again, and lo! They have improved enough that there are now options I can eat available in my area!

The sites I have found and how they looked for my fairly central suburb:

  • Menulog Moderate range, what I ended up using.
  • Eatnow Similar to Menulog, but website was a little less helpful regarding opening times.
  • Ubereats Largest range. But part of Uber and thus evil.
  • Deliveroo Significantly worse range than all the others.


I ended up picking Taiwanese Cafe which has a nice range of food I can eat as well as some stuff Cameron likes. And Taiwanese desserts!! I LOVE TAIWANESE DESSERTS and have had trouble finding anywhere easy to get them. The food was overall pretty good: the red bean and pearls dessert wasn't the best I've had but still satisfying, the popcorn chicken was super tasty, the teriyaki chicken bento perfectly nice, and the egg pancake a little greasy but ok. The only genuinely mediocre dish was the spring rolls.

The menulog ordering process was very painless, and the delivery guy had my number for when he got lost (our set of units has a very confusing numbering system) You're in trouble if you want ingredient lists etc, but that's true of most delivery.

EDIT for my own use since menulog has no favourites system (*plain rice available)

Untried:


Tried, liked:


Tried, disliked:

FFXII fic: "Inappropriate"

Saturday, 12 August 2017 18:11
owlmoose: (ff12 - ashe)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Title: Inapproriate
Fandom: FFXII
Rating: Teen-ish
Wordcount: 7902
Characters: Ashe/Balthier, Ashe/Al-Cid, Penelo, Ondore
Spoilers: Yes but nothing really blatant.
Notes: A few months ago, I was complaining about not having any fic ideas, and [personal profile] renay pounced on me with a suggestion of Ashe/Balthier and fake dating. This is the result. Thanks to Nay for the bunny and to [personal profile] justira for a super-helpful beta read. Also thanks to Square Enix for releasing The Zodiac Age, thereby giving me the opportunity to put the characters' voices back in my head.

Summary: Beset by advisors who are pressuring her to marry, Queen Ashe reacts by bringing sky pirate Balthier as her escort to an important state event. Just having a bit of fun at her council's expense... right?

Posted on AO3.

News from Worldcon

Saturday, 12 August 2017 14:04
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin blowing up a large blue ballon (ballon)
[personal profile] forestofglory
So the World Science Fiction convention is currently going on in Helsinki. I couldn't be there but am following events from afar.

You may remember that I was part of the YA award committee to help create a YA award voted on and given out with the Hugos. Well I'm pleased to the report that the award was ratified and tentatively named The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. The award will be given for the 1st time next year at San Jose. I plan to be there in the audience to see it.

In other great news my friends at Lady Business where awarded the Hugo for best fanzine! They've put together an excellent blog that frequently makes me think as well as helping keep my to-read list nice and long. I'm so pleased and proud. Keep up the great work!

OH MY GOD

Friday, 11 August 2017 10:31
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
[personal profile] owlmoose
LADY BUSINESS WON THE BEST FANZINE HUGO.

IS THIS THE REAL LIFE?

More when I can actually be coherent about it.

(no subject)

Friday, 11 August 2017 18:46
hagar_972: Woman looking away from the camera, smiling (Me)
[personal profile] hagar_972
My desk looks like an art store exploded. Or: my friends know what I like, so I got an obnoxious amount of art supplies (mostly pens and art-pens) for my birthday, plus three colouring books and a custom-hand-dyed silk scarf. Because (again) my friends are awesome.

Cool Stuff Friday

Friday, 11 August 2017 10:42
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday thinks this next scene needs more elephants.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Day off! (Kinda)

Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:32
owlmoose: (cats - tori sun)
[personal profile] owlmoose
My regular work schedule is officially Monday through Wednesday, but what with one thing and another I've been working a lot of Thursdays lately. But today, I am not (except for a call in a couple of hours), so I am free! (Mostly.) Currently I am doing the "laptop in cafe" thing, which is usually how I spend my non-working Thursday mornings. Then I'll head home for the call, maybe do a little work, and then I'll have a free afternoon until it's time to meet people for dinner. But I'm sure what I'll actually do is sit around and be jealous of everyone who is in Helsinki for WorldCon.

Speaking of WorldCon, have I told you all how very excited I am for next year? WorldCon in my back yard. And so many awesome people are coming. I wish I could invite everyone to my place and have a big party, but it's 1. too small for a large gathering and 2. about 40 miles from the venue, so it's not like we could just pop over. But if you are attending, and plan to spend any time in San Francisco before or after the con, let me know! I am happy to play tour guide. Everyone should come to San Jose, and we will have excellent adventures together.

July media log

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 19:54

Two Weeks later

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 20:30
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
I figure I rebuilt about 2/3 to 3/4 of my on-comp music collection. I could've probably finished today, but it's monotonous work and there's only so much of it I can take it one day. (Okay, not finished, but be way closer to done. Maybe finished if I did that dedicated from morning, but seriously. That I can manage this sort of monotony at all is progress.)

Dragon Awards Refuse to Let Authors Withdraw

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 10:56
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

ETA: Dragon Con has reconsidered.

“[O]ver the last couple of days, we got an earful from our fans and others. The issue also caused a second author to ask us to remove her book from the ballot as well. We’ve reconsidered and changed our mind.”

ETA2: John Scalzi has also reconsidered, and will now remain on the ballot.

###

The Dragon Awards were created last year to recognize the best SF/F books, comics, games, TV, and films of the year. Nomination and voting are open to anyone and everyone, and the awards are presented at Dragon Con.

The ballot this year appears to be a mix of genuinely popular work and works where individual authors or groups campaigned hard to get nominated. File 770 published an analysis looking at Goodreads, Library Thing, and Amazon review numbers of the different nominees. I trust folks can draw their own conclusions.

On August 4, finalist Alison Littlewood posted that she was withdrawing her book from consideration. She notes:

“While this would normally be a great pleasure, it has also been brought to my notice that my book has been selected by a voting bloc who are attempting, for reasons of their own, to influence the awards outcome. Essentially, the same group who set out to fix the Hugo Awards are now encouraging their supporters to follow their voting choices in the Dragon Awards.”

Two days ago, finalist John Scalzi also withdrew his book from the award, saying in part:

“The reason is simple: Some other finalists are trying to use the book and me as a prop, to advance a manufactured ‘us vs. them’ vote-pumping narrative based on ideology or whatever. And I just… can’t. I don’t have the interest and I’m on a deadline, and this bullshit is even more stale and stupid now than it was the several other times it was attempted recently, with regard to genre awards.”

Rather, Littlewood and Scalzi tried to withdraw from the award. But according to a follow-up post from Littlewood, Pat Henry of the Dragon Awards is “declining” these requests. Both Scalzi and Littlewood’s books still appear on the ballot.

Henry’s statement, as posted on Littlewood’s blog, claims:

“We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors.  While we didn’t start the Dragon Awards to foil these two groups, we believe that as we add voters, they will become irrelevant in the our awards.”

Note the false equivalence of rabid puppies, a self-proclaimed group created by Theodore Beale, with “justice warriors,” generally used as an insult against people speaking up for greater representation and inclusion. The rabid puppy slate was posted on Beale’s blog back in June. I’m curious where the equivalent “justice warrior” slate supposedly appeared…

Henry might be right that, when and if the awards add enough voters, slates might become irrelevant. Or they might not. But in either case, that hypothetical future doesn’t change the fact that right now, the awards are a mess, some of the campaigning is ugly, nasty, and hateful, and some authors don’t want to be dragged into that cesspool.

I hope Pat Henry and Dragon Con will reconsider their decision.

 

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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