painting pictures on silence

Feb. 23rd, 2019 08:24 pm
wychwood: Ronon smiling (SGA - Ronon smiling)
[personal profile] wychwood
I was going to write a long post about some miserable stuff that is going on at work and leaving me alternating between feeling depressed and as though everything I've done in the last five years is a total waste of time, and furious at the devastatingly large number of my colleagues who appear to be arguing that despite an enormous amount of evidence suggesting that they are at the very least heavily shading the truth.

But then just thinking about writing the post was bumming me out more than I already am (and frankly I am struggling a little bit at the moment with not constantly getting caught up in negative thought spirals about the whole thing) so I decided to talk about something more cheerful instead.

One of the music venues at work (because we have more than one! It's ridiculous, I know! This is the one in the art museum, as opposed to the geology museum, not one of the ones in the specialist music venue) does free lunchtime concerts, so a colleague I'm friendly with and I decided to go to one, as part of our ongoing effort to leave the office at lunchtime more often, particularly when there's so many cool things available on campus. I picked a couple of things that didn't sound terrible (it's mostly chamber music, which I'm not inherently a fan of) and she chose one, and by the time the concert date arrived we'd both forgotten what it was actually about, so it was all a bit of an adventure.

In the event, it was a slightly odd quartet (violin, cello, clarinet and piano) playing a set of modern pieces
(Oliver Knussen, Thomas Adès, John McCabe, and Ryan Latimer (a world premiere!). The only one I'd heard any of previously was Adès, who was something of a protégé of Simon Rattle's (he liked to counter-programme things, so that if you wanted to hear, say, Mahler 2 you had to listen to Asyla first, and we had Adès pieces in a number of concerts), but I'd generally enjoyed his work, and I often like new music.

I ended up sort of intrigued by my own feelings about it; I definitely wasn't rushing out to buy any of these, but I did enjoy the experience of having heard them. They're not the kind of modern music that is deliberately being offensive or alienating to the listener; there's no hummable tunes here, for sure, but - there's something weirdly satisfying in it, for me, a kind of scrunchiness in the chords at times, clashes resolving in interesting ways, a really fun part of the Latimer where the cello and bass clarinet were fighting it out underneath what the piano and violin were doing. I feel like in some ways this kind of music is doing something a bit like dubstep, lots of things combined that don't objectively sound good but which are somehow compelling when you mix them all together right.

I was saying to my colleague afterwards that we're doing Belshazzar's Feast by Walton at choir at the moment, and it mostly sounds quite jolly and melodic, plenty of tunes, but the moment you start working on individual sections of it, the entire thing is made up of horrible clashes, where the sopranos and altos are in thirds but the basses are a seventh away from them, and it really has no right to be as pleasant to listen to as it is. There's plenty of scope to introduce atonal clashes and weird noises and effects of all kinds without having to abandon the idea of your audience enjoying the listening experience.

Then tomorrow we're going to another concert (this one's not free, but the tickets were!). I told Mr Pink that we'd be so cultured by Monday that he wouldn't recognise us any more, so he suggested we should start wearing cravats to make sure everyone knew about it.

What was the name of the movie

Feb. 23rd, 2019 01:33 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Where it turned out the diverse, talented team just needed a mediocre white dude to pull them together?

(no subject)

Feb. 23rd, 2019 11:59 am
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)
[personal profile] skygiants
My roommate has a copy of Stephen Puleo's Dark Tide, the one full-length history book about the Boston Molassacre, which I'd been meaning to read ever since last month's centenary and therefore decided to use as my Space Opera detox.

It's a solid and well-researched account of the disaster, covering the period of time from the initial construction of the giant molasses tank through the end of the court case to determine who was responsible for the tank's destruction and subsequent massive amounts of death, with detours into the munitions market during WWI, the Boston anarchist movement, the Harding presidency, and the big business boom of the early 1920s.

It also has an unfortunate tendency to do the thing, you know that history book thing, where it's like "March 15, 1916: heart-rending scene in which several people who three years later will be devastated by the molasses flood think uneasily about the new tank in their neighborhood, and also about Boston's changing socioeconomic demographics, and then have a conversation about molasses." Don't give me that, Stephen Puleo! If you want me to believe someone had a specific thought or a specific conversation on a specific date, I want a footnote and a source I can trace back; otherwise, talk in broader generalities and leave novelistic internal monologues for the novelists.

On the other hand, all the novelistic internal monologues does provide a LOT of opportunities for beautifully creepy horror-movie descriptions of molasses, which I DO approve of very much:

As Isaac straddled the pipe and gripped the flange to examine the bolts, he could almost hear the molasses shifting and wriggling in the pipe, could feel it wriggling inside, like a long thick worm inching towards its home. Behind him he heard something else, an unnatural wail that sent a chill through him that had nothing to do with the weather. He tried to shut his ears to the groan and the long roll of rumbling that came from inside the molasses tank. But it was no use...

OK, well played, Steven King, I TOO feel the unearthly horror of two million tons of molasses poised to unleash destruction on an unsuspecting city.

Puleo also gets a bit hagiographic about judge Hugh W. Ogden, who eventually decided the case in favor of the claimants and against the USIA corporation that built the bank, which: a good decision! I approve of it! I don't think we needed several approving chapters about how Ogden's experience in the war and opinions about how the country needed a good dose of military discipline etc. and how all that probably maybe influenced his decision-making, but of course YMMV.

My sympathies were however very effectively engaged with Isaac Gonzalez, general man-on-call at the tank, who historical record shows not only attempted many, many times to warn the company about issues with the tank but also stressed about it so much that he went on daily 1 AM cross-town runs just to make sure everything was OK and the tank hadn't exploded in the middle of the night.

(The incident that both I and everyone involved in the court case considered most infuriating:

ISAAC GONZALEZ: the tank is leaking! everyone can see it leak! children come steal molasses from the leaks! WE ALL KNOW IT'S BAD!
CORPORATE USIA: .... ok! ok. we have heard and listened to your concerns.
CORPORATE USIA: We will therefore paint the tank brown so it's harder for people to see it leaking.)

Anyway then I rewatched the Drunk History episode about the Molassacre and got mad about how they attributed all of Isaac Gonzalez's attempts to warn the company to a random firefighter played by Jason Ritter and didn't name Gonzalez ONCE, so I clearly learned something from this book! Despite my frustrations with the writing style, an overall solid read and resource.
oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
[personal profile] oursin

Spotted via [personal profile] firecat recently, this list: The 100 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time -

(And no, contrary to my usual habit, I'm not going to go through marking read/unread/hated/dnf/read something else by author.)

- which is, is it not, a claim that can be thrown out of the window if a book is published the very next day which bumps one of the books already on that list off the list, no?

'There can be only [X]'

Or can there?

I really, really liked this apercu spotted the other day, in fact I think the very same day, on Twitter:
Rant: Our culture is far too obsessed with “the best” instead of “the excellent.”

I am so there for that. The idea that there are lots of things that are excellent/great/worthy of attention and that it is not necessary, and may be counter-productive, to try and limit them to a selection that is determined to be the [restricted number of] The Very Bestest Evah. Or to set up competitions as to which is the Ultimate In Its Class.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu

SPOILERS through end of S5, i.e., all episodes so far )

(Oops, I forgot the +1 and I can't add a poll in after the fact, sorry.)

Bring me sunshine

Feb. 23rd, 2019 12:28 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I'm fairly sure that it shouldn't be warm enough in February to go out for a lunchtime walk without a coat on, even for someone like me who tends to shed layers rapidly after 10-15 minutes of brisk walking at any time, but I'm so delighted to have some sunshine and warmth, and it does my mental health so much good, that I almost don't mind.

I am very fortunate to work very close to the University Parks; a basic circuit of the Parks from my office is just under two miles, which is about as much of a walk as can reasonably be fitted into a lunch break. Occasionally, for a change, I go exploring into Mesoptamia (yes, it's really called that; a path between two branches of the Cherwell. Oxford is nothing if not deeply pretentious) and this week I tried crossing the bridge in the Parks and discovered a circuit on the other side of the river, out to the sports grounds and back via the Marston cycle path. Everything has been looking particularly lovely in the sunny weather, and there are snowdrops and crocuses and all the winter-flowering cherries have been coming into blossom.

A selection of the pictures I've been taking this week*:



And even though it's really still February, and only the end of week 6 of term, which means that I'm exhausted and still have two weeks of term to slog through and approximately fifteen million things to get done in them, when I came back from my walk yesterday I felt full of sunshiney joy and actually, properly happy, which is a complete turn-around from a couple of weeks ago when it felt like it had been overcast for ever and I was sunk so deep in gloom it felt like I might never climb out again.

*I tend to post pictures to @sadie_whitehart on instagram as I take them, mirrored to @white_hart on Twitter, if you want to see more of them and don't already follow me on those.

[sketches &c.]

Feb. 22nd, 2019 11:44 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
Thanks again to [personal profile] eller for the markers, which have given me the gift of paying more attention to values! XD

Today's Starfinder session was very productive for drawing! I have been playing with the idea of doing a small hexarchate art zine so I figured why not take a stab at some art.



Calendrical rot.

I have to thank (a) The Non-Designer's Design Book (especially the material on alignment) and (b) Jay Edidin for helping me think about ways to incorporate text into art. Jay pointed out to me (when I admired his hand lettering, which is amazing) that since I draw, hand lettering is basically drawing letterforms. Which sounds really obvious put that way but I hadn't thought of it!

This second one I penciled during the game session and finished inking at home:



Captain Kel Cheris: The war never ends.

For lagniappe, here are some sketches of [personal profile] telophase's cat Nefer. Drawing her was an interesting challenge because the only cat I draw regularly is Cloud, who is quite differently proportioned. Cloud has a large-ish wedge-shaped head and a short tail with a kink in the end (probably from an injury, the vet tells us), while Nefer has a small head, a long body, and a longer tail proportionally.



Plus assorted other sketches (man) behind cut: Read more... )

"Every mile is two in winter."

Feb. 22nd, 2019 03:44 am
rosefox: A person in a gas mask. (illness)
[personal profile] rosefox
As is the usual way of things, posting here about being sick meant I was shortly to be past the worst of it. Tuesday I felt pretty decent and Wednesday I felt great. I slept! I got housework done! I went to PT! I took Kit to speech therapy! I shoveled snow! (My arms and shoulders are doing great and I wasn't even slightly sore the next day.) I had lovely smoochy times with J! He was a little sniffly but we assumed he was fighting off the same bug X and I had had.

Now I'm a little sniffly. And sneezy. And disproportionately tired...

😭

But it's just a little cold, nothing nearly as bad as the flu-like thing that wrecked me for the past week. I didn't go to the office yesterday because I don't want to be a plague carrier, but I got work done from home, and J and I even took a leisurely walk in the not-too-chilly evening air. I was sad to miss the nice daytime weather, the likes of which we will not see again for a couple of weeks, but the walk was a decent consolation prize. And the kosher bakery was open late, so we got jam cookies and hamantaschen and bourekas ("for tomorrow's boureka-fast", we always say, because we find ourselves very funny).

I got more housework things done today, including folding all the laundry and entirely clearing off the dining table, and the house cleaners came, so the main area of the house looks great. The Shabbat candles are burning, the machines are quiet, the cats are mostly not being jerks, the humans are mostly asleep. It's very peaceful. I'm thinking of putting on a low-key TV show or movie and doing some cross-stitch or knitting for the first time in ages. It'd all be even nicer if my body didn't have that lingering bleh feeling of being sick, but it's still pretty nice, and pretty nice things have been scarce around here lately, so I will take it.

EDIT: I got out my knitting, but I think I am too tired to knit, so I'm going to go sleep a lot.

That explains that.

Feb. 22nd, 2019 03:21 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I figured out why I wasn't getting comments. It's because somehow my email notifications of comments got disabled.

Reading comments and replying now! So now a bunch of you will get inexplicable responses to queries you had long forgotten about.
spindizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] spindizzy posting in [community profile] ladybusiness

  1. Wotakoi Omnibus 1 by Fujita [Jump]

  2. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun Volume 1 by Izumi Tsubaki, translated by Leighann Harvey [Jump]

  3. A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad [Jump]

  4. Fate/Zero Volume 1 by Shinjiro [Jump]

  5. A Lily Among Thorns by Rose Lerner [Jump]

  6. The Henchmen of Zenda by KJ Charles [Jump]

  7. The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin [Jump]

  8. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire [Jump]

  9. The Hexworld Series 0.5-3 (The 13th Hex, Hexbreaker, Hexmaker, A Christmas Hex, Hexslayer) by Jordan L. Hawk [Jump]


Read more... )

Reading Goals


Reading goal: 187/180 (13 new this post) Prose: 106/90 (10 new this post, 60/106 short fiction) Nonfiction: 6/12 (0 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 25/50 (1 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 71/50 (7 new this post; The Henchman of Zenda, Down Among the Stick and Bones, The Hexworld series. Although I THINK A Series of Steaks, A Lily Among Thorns, and The Stone Sky might count as well?)

Reading: Cabaret of Monsters

Feb. 22nd, 2019 07:25 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I've been following Tansy Rayner Roberts on Twitter for a while now, and when she posted last year that she was launching a Kickstarter to republish her Creature Court trilogy, "a dark fantasy series of books about a city of flappers, cabaret and ancient festivals", I thought that sounded very much like something I'd enjoy and signed up to back it.

Cabaret of Monsters is a prequel novella to the main trilogy. It's set in the city of Aufleur, a heady mix of ancient Rome, fin-de-siècle Paris and the Roaring Twenties, among the artists of a commedia-del-arte style theatre and the mysterious shapeshifters who spend their nights protecting the city from attack by the sky. It's an absolute delight, packing in plot twist after plot twist as well as love, friendship and a kind of default queerness that made my heart sing. I loved it and am really looking forward to reading the trilogy as well.
oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

I depose that the week in which it was revealed that Charles Dickens tried to get his (sane but inconvenient) wife committed to a lunatic asylum is not the week to hymn 'family life [as] the most successful form of social security the world has ever known'.

The guy is getting his head handed to him fairly comprehensively on Twitter, but really. The ignorance.

Quite apart from the whole noxious gender aspect - I think the response would have been rather different had it been a middle-aged son as carer for an elderly mother, which is not unknown, in fact the situation of one of my cousins, who had his own health problems at the time.

Social welfare systems are not some mimsy-whimsy snowflakey thing that we've only just discovered and put in place, some form of social welfare has been around in this country since the early modern period at least.

And people weren't necessarily cherishing their Olds in the family home: they were going to the parish authorities and asking to have them put in the workhouse. In particular, I may add, if the Olds were fathers/fathers-in-law, because I recall from Book I Reviewed Some Considerable While Ago (I think it was Wally Seccombe, Weathering the Storm: Working-Class Families from the Industrial Revolution to the Fertility Decline, 1995, but wouldn't entirely swear to it) because aged women could still be useful around the house, doing a little light childminding or domestic tasks, whereas the men were pretty much just a burden.

Plus all the various philanthropic provisions that were put in place, so that people weren't entirely dependent on their families, supposing they had a family. E.g., I remark, the Foundling Hospital, set up by Jonas Hanway after seeing so many infants abandoned by unwed mothers cast out by their families (such successful. so social welfare. much security.).

Flight of the Fantail by Steph Matuku

Feb. 22nd, 2019 08:00 am
[syndicated profile] strangehorizons_feed

Posted by Octavia Cade

I’ve been lost in the bush before. Some years back, I was tramping in Southland, through a really quite overgrown track in the Longwood Ranges. It was so overgrown that, at one point, the track seemed to disappear. I could just perceive two possible paths before me in the undergrowth. The map wasn’t much help, so I took the one that looked slightly more trampled than the other.

It was a mistake.

A couple of hours later it was getting dark and I was lost. The Longwoods used to be mining country, back in the day, and I’d been warned about holes suddenly opening up in the ground—so I wasn’t about to keep walking around in poor light. I didn’t have a tent, so I built a lean-to out of giant fern fronds and spent the night in my sleeping bag. I had plenty of food, and the New Zealand bush is thankfully free of bears and wolves and what have you. I wasn’t afraid. The next day I packed up, and navigated myself across country to the hut I was supposed to stay in. It was lovely.

Then again, I wasn’t dealing with radiation poisoning, alien spacecraft, and a dead schoolmate who, having impaled himself on the local vegetation, had come back to life as a zombie.

You could say I had it easy.

In Steph Matuku’s Flight of the Fantail, a school bus full of teenagers crashes off the road and into a river, deep in the New Zealand bush. Both adults aboard die, as do most of the students. A handful are left alive, waiting for rescue. And, river aside, the environment they’re lost in might as well be the Longwoods. It’s familiar to me, is what I’m saying, and it’s a lovely treat to have a horror story in a setting that’s so very recognisably Kiwi. (When you’re from a small country, you don’t get that often.) Plants, animals, environment … I was excited to read about all of them, and to see what these kids would do with them.

And they’re pretty resourceful, those kids—or at least one of them is. (I’ll get to Devin later.) Hunger is a deeply unattractive prospect, as is dying of exposure, so they hole up in an old mine and eat eel. Well, fern fronds too, and on one occasion even a kiwi, which was the real moment of abject horror for them and me both: “it had been stringy and tasted gamey, and everyone had felt like they were breaking some sort of sacrilegious code eating their national bird” (p. 225).

That’s the thing about survival. You do what you have to do, adapt to the situation that you’re stuck with. Survive a plane crash in the Andes, then, sure, you might end up eating a person. A kiwi seems more awful somehow (thank goodness it wasn’t a kakapo, I don’t think I could have kept reading!); but perhaps starvation could drive a person to it.

And if it sounds familiar, this story—a group of young people in the wilderness, and there’s something unnatural, something abnormal picking them off—well, it’s a horror staple, isn’t it? We know lots of stories come out of this basic conceit. That’s what makes it fun. This particular trope is so popular because we know what’s going to happen. We know there are going to be more deaths—and bloody, terrible deaths at that.

There’s something satisfyingly voyeuristic about it. It’s no coincidence, I think, that stories with this structure are often movies. It’s such a visual narrative: all those looming trees, the darkness and the terror. And something hiding in those trees, waiting to snatch you. In this case, what they snatch is mostly sanity, but the shocks and the deaths are still cinematically vivid. (If this book doesn’t get the NZ Film Commission drooling over it I’ll be genuinely amazed. It’s perfect for the big screen.)

Another kind of adaptation is what this story is really about. The ability of the stranded kids to adapt to their environment is key to their survival. They are stranded for the long haul, with rescuers not coming—or coming with their own agenda, which isn’t always that of survival—and that first, basic adaptation to living in the wilderness is difficult enough. The ecosystem they’re used to is, after all, so very different. All the real adaptation they’ve had to perform in the past has been social—navigating the currents of high school, for example—and a lot of what they confront in those contexts can feel more lethal than anything in New Zealand’s bush.

Take Liam. Seems like a good kid, initially. Strong, brave. After the bus has toppled into the river, he keeps his head and drags out one of his schoolmates, saving his life. Then he risks himself again, going back to try and save the others. He does it thinking of his dad, who used to serve in war zones, who did so because helping others mattered to him. It matters to Liam as well, but then he discovers that the only person left to save is a kid who he just can’t stomach. And for good reason: it turns out that Eugene has been harassing Liam’s thirteen-year-old sister:

“He ripped her dress and everything. Lucky Dad had taught her a few moves. She smashed Eugene in the nuts, socked him in the face and took off. I was trying to figure out how I could nail him without getting sprung. And then the chance came, and I took it. I left him there.” (p. 82)

Left him to drown, left him pleading for his life. School kids aren’t innocent here, and the survivors aren’t always nice. Some of them are, but every environment has its predators. Every environment evolves predators, in fact—and you might drop them in a remote area of the bush but the capacity to hunt, to hurt, survives.

Sometimes that’s positive. If you’re stuck in the forest and need to hunt, need to hurt, the animals around you in order to survive, well. Hunting and hurting are useful skills. It’s horrible to say, but they are. Devin, that kid I mentioned earlier, is particularly good at this sort of thing. Raised by a single dad who takes living off the land to extremes, Devin comes from a school environment characterised by ostracism. She’s called “Dozy Devin,” is the target for every bully, because she can’t quite adapt to school life, can’t quite get the hang of the cutthroat interaction of wealthy urban teens. Her dad seems a bit dozy himself, frankly, and sealed his daughter’s fate early in her school days when it got around that he fed her roadkill. Some hedgehog stories don’t need to come to light, and the culinary fate of one particular hedgehog has for years isolated Devin from her peers, when all the poor girl wants is to have a friend and achieve her modest dream of becoming a plumber. That’s the kind of ambition that gets her laughed at and looked down on by those peers, but it turns out that Devin, lost in the woods, has found the environment she’s best adapted to.

In the bush, being able to adapt gives you worth, as rugby star Rocky makes very clear. “‘Dozy Devin,’ he said, through gritted teeth, ‘saved me from drowning, got you across the stream, built a fire, caught breakfast and has just finished sewing up my leg. Dozy Devin deserves a little more respect’” (p. 42). She catches eels, catches fish, guts and cooks them. This is hunting, this is hurting, and in this environment she’s good at it. Hunting and hurting are adaptations for school life, too, but she never quite got the hang of them there. There were always other kids who did it better. Other kids who got by without being targets, whose social camouflage was more effective. Kids like Rocky himself, who rose to the top of the heap without even trying.

Environment influences behaviour. These kids live through the crash, some of them. They live through the monstrous abnormality turning the bush into something even more unfamiliar. They don’t always live through each other. Liam might not actively have beaten Eugene to death, but he’s not the only opportunist among these kids, and he’s certainly not the worst. Some people adapt quicker and more efficiently—and in different ways—than others.

Starvation and shock might lead to eating endangered birds or covering yourself in the blood and brain matter of classmates, but there’s more to adapt to here than nature—human or otherwise. That alien spacecraft I was talking about earlier? It’s half-buried in a hillside, and what comes out of it is … strange. Not aliens themselves, but a radiating kind of force that gives headaches and nosebleeds and hallucinations. That forces changes in behaviour, that makes vicious kids more homicidal, that makes lonely kids fall into dreams of romance. It resurrects the parts of them that have been previously buried over, ruthlessly exposes the parts they hide in order to fit in better. It strips them of their adaptations, and it creates new ones: Rocky’s leg, healing faster than it should; Jahmin, realising that he’s been dead for days, and has somehow been brought back, without the need to breathe, without the capacity for pain, with the ability to just … go on.

The balance of events and relationships between these kids is so well done. They read like teenagers, too, not like adults pretending to be younger than they are. And because the alien craft is, apart from its mysterious effects, almost tangential to the text, the story is closely focused on the horrific imagery of isolation and adaptation, and on how insanity and environment affect the two. It’s strange and claustrophobic and nothing like lying in the Longwoods, looking up at sky and knowing that morning is coming and you can get yourself out. It’s the bush turned unfamiliar, uncanny, an ecological estrangement that undermines all previous encounters with the environment. I wish the focus had stayed on that, but there is a thread running through of what’s happening outside this affected wilderness, and it’s not nearly as successful.

For a start, it’s simply not as believable: suddenly, this horror trope of kids killed one by one in the wilderness is smack up against the evil corporation trope … and, look, New Zealand is small and top of the anticorruption charts but it’s not perfect. My country has its fair share of dodgy companies, but this one’s been studying the ship for generations and has enough clout to see off Search and Rescue, as well as the Department of Conservation. When the zombie kid sneaking up on the alien ship, and the murderous schoolmate who’s dancing naked before it, is more credible than the search and rescue efforts, that’s a problem. And try as she might, Matuku cannot convince me that New Zealand has adapted to the point where S&R and DOC rangers don’t look severely askance at a company saying, “Don’t search for your missing kids here!” To quote a national beer billboard: “Yeah right.”

But everyone goes along with it! The media, the government, the parents. The general public. I get that this is a device to keep the kids from being rescued too quickly, but I think there might have been a better one. This is an element that not only feels like it comes from a different country (and everything else here is so recognisably Kiwi, from the environment to the speech patterns to the metaphors—hello, fantail of death, you ill-omened creature!); it feels like it comes from a different story, one focused on mechanism rather than mystery and horror, and on how individuals adapt to mystery and horror. That adaptation is a strong and scary thing, and when Matuku focuses our attention on it, which in fairness is most of the time, her novel is genuinely compelling.


Did a nart

Feb. 22nd, 2019 02:10 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Oh dear)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
well, more of a sketch really, because I'm not patient or talented enough to do a nart properly. Still, [community profile] drawesome's current challenge is one that sparked a synapse, so:

Title: Jeremy Clarkson Test Rides the BGD 2000
Artist: miss_s_b
Rating: G
Fandom: Top Gear/The Grand Tour
Characters/Pairings: Jeremy Clarkson, a bloody great dragon
Content Notes: media: random lump of card I found lying about, Yard-o-led Viceroy Victorian fountain pen, Diamine saddle brown ink, Caran D'ache water brush, water.

image under cut )

If I had the artistic talent I might have gone with [personal profile] magister's suggestion of Saruman patiently trying to explain to a DWP employee that his universal credit has been cocked up, and that his address is no longer Isengard...

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