silveraspen: moiraine (NS comic) writing in a journal (wot: writing in a journal)
([personal profile] silveraspen 16 October 2017 09:58)
What 2017 has been doing for me is making me realize that I can’t do work in the same way I used to.

The above-linked piece by John Scalzi has a lot of good points, but I think the linktext I chose from it is really the core, for me.
gramarye1971: Old Ways (TDIR: Old Ways)
([personal profile] gramarye1971 15 October 2017 12:20)
Took me much longer than I expected to whip this fic into a final shape, but it feels good to post it now. So have a story wherein even my fake dating reads like gen-fic, and I can't stop myself from finishing with an A. E. Housman quote because I am predictable like that.


Title: A Sunset Romance
Fandom: The Dark Is Rising Sequence
Rating: G
Relationship: Merriman Lyon & Miss Greythorne (or perhaps Merriman Lyon/Miss Greythorne)
Summary: At the end of the summer season in Trewissick, the Professor has returned to stay at the Grey House. This time, however, he has brought a lady with him...and from the look of things, their relationship goes beyond anything that might be interpreted as mere friendship.
Notes: An expanded version of a trope prompt ficlet, courtesy of the ever-delightful [personal profile] rymenhild, who requested fake dating, Merriman Lyon. Once I stopped giggling at the prompt, I started to see how it might actually work! So continuing my original response, here is a few thousand words of Merriman and Miss Greythorne fake dating, set in the autumn between the events of Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark Is Rising. (Also on AO3.)

A Sunset Romance )
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
([personal profile] skygiants 14 October 2017 14:40)
I was resigned to waiting until October 17th for A Skinful of Shadows to come out in the US. However, [personal profile] izilen, horrified at both the long wait after the UK publication and the clear inferiority of the US cover, acquired a copy on my behalf and mailed it over the ocean -- after first warning me it was the darkest Frances Hardinge book yet.

Having now read it, I don't know that it's actually that much creepier than the first third of Cuckoo Song, or the bits of Lie Tree where Faith in her deepest self-loathing slithers snakelike through the island purposefully destroying everything she touches. It definitely has a higher body count -- a much higher body count -- but I mean it's a book about a.) ghosts and b.) the English Civil War so maybe that's to be expected ...?

Like many of Hardinge's books, it features:
- a ferocious underestimated girl struggling to hold onto a sense of self in a world that wishes her to have no such thing
- a recognition that the people you love and who believe that they love you will sometimes betray you, sometimes for reasons they believe are good and sometimes not
- a ruthless and terrible female antagonist whom the heroine cannot help but respect and admire
- a struggling journey up out of solitude towards a coalition built of necessity with the least likely individuals
- including an undead bear
- admittedly this is the first Hardinge book to include an undead bear
- it is also the first Hardinge book about literal ghosts, a lot of ghosts, a lot of very unpleasant and sinister ghosts but also some ghosts for whom I have a very deep affection, including the very bearlike bear.

I also have a great deal of affection for Makepeace - the illegitimate scion of a very old noble family that is quite confident it will be able to chew her up and spit her out, and finds itself repeatedly mistaken. I don't think I love her yet quite as much as Trista or Faith or Mosca, but that's what I said about Faith right after I read The Lie Tree, too, and LOOK AT ME NOW.
skygiants: Jupiter from Jupiter Ascending, floating over the crowd in her space prom gown (space princess)
([personal profile] skygiants 9 October 2017 15:24)
GUESS WHAT it's another ... Jupiter Ascending fic chapter ....?

STILL UPDATING AT A RATE OF SLIGHTLY MORE THAN ONE CHAPTER A YEAR HECK YEAH.
skygiants: Bunny-suit Kenji from 20th Century Boys saying 'this is the defender of justice who's gonna save the world from danger' (love and peace are on hold)
([personal profile] skygiants 5 October 2017 23:39)
Dear Yuletide author,

Thank you so much for signing up to write a gift for me! I have been doing Yuletide for some large number of years now and I have been delighted with my gifts for every single one; if you write something that makes you happy, I guarantee I will be delighted with it also.

I am always interested in women interacting with each other, ensemble stories, sibling dynamics, and the kind of romance where two flawed and peculiar people figure out how their flaws and peculiarities fit together. I am pretty much always down for crossovers and I'm potentially intrigued by canon-divergence AUs, but the kind of AU that transplants characters wholesale into a completely different story tends to be more hit-or-miss for me; the settings and specific circumstances are a lot of what interests me about these canons.

I don't mind canon-consistent dark themes if it makes sense for the story, but I tend not to be into graphic and gratuitous violence. I'm cool with sexual content, but I'd rather that wasn't the whole point of the fic.

Requests: 20th Century Boys, Crossroads series, Friends at the Table, Dragon of the Lost Sea series )
Tags:
skygiants: Kozue from Revolutionary Girl Utena, in black rose gear, holding her sword (salute)
([personal profile] skygiants 5 October 2017 18:13)
For the past approximately 15 years, I've been attempting to write a novel about Sir Kay, the Orkney knights, and weird Arthurian family dynamics. It's one of those things that I pick up about my extent draft of approximately every five years, think "huh! maybe with some extensive revision," get halfway through the extensive revision, realize I still haven't figured out how to do it, and put it down again. Maybe someday! With extensive revision!

Anyway it was probably about five years ago that I realized that someone had already written this book, sort of, and since then I've been hunting in bookstores for used copies of Phyllis Ann Karr's Idylls of the Queen, which I have now finally acquired and read.

This was a weird reading experience in the way that it always is when reading a book that's almost the book you would have written. About half the things that she's doing are very specific things that I am also really interested in, and it's deeply mysterious to me I arrived at them completely independently when she was already there three years before I was born. And then there are things that I never in a million years would have done, like making Sir Kay desperately in hopeless love with Queen Guinevere. What? I mean, OK, sure, but I wouldn't have ever gotten there. There must be a word for this, that weird feeling of almost-mine-but-not-quite.

Anyway, the thing that Karr does that I think is most interesting -- that I would like to do and probably will never do half so well -- is the way that she looks very closely at Arthurian stories from Malory and various lays and legends and hews very much to the letter of What Happens In Them, while also sort of shaking them inside out and looking at how that might have looked to the various different humans involved (often, especially, the women). It's really clever and a lot of fun, while also being about as disturbing as anything that takes much of Malory and various other early Arthuriana literally would have to be.

The actual plot of the book involves Queen Guinevere being accused of murder, and Sir Kay and Mordred going on a DETECTIVE SPREE ends up getting tangled up not just in Guinevere's alleged crime, but also all the weird backstory Orkney blood feud stuff of who murdered whom in revenge against whom. Eventually there's a Locked Room Denouement in full Poirot style, but first there is the TWO MOST ANNOYING KNIGHTS IN THE WORLD on a ROAD TRIP, hanging out with various Arthurian side characters like Nimue and Morgan and Sir Pelleas and Sir Ironsides and irritating the heck out of all of them, and it is honestly amazing.

KAY: I'm traveling with Mordred because he's the worst, and because he's definitely a suspect for the murder.
SOME RANDOM NORMAL ROUND TABLE PERSON: Sir Kay, why are you traveling with Mordred? He's the worst! Aren't you worried that his bad reputation will rub off on you?
KAY: Um, excuse me? I was given to understand that I was the rudest and most annoying knight of the Round Table? I'm pretty sure you should be worried that my bad reputation is going to rub off on this poor, innocent child, so why don't you lay off??

[later]

Mordred: I am totally ready to be murdered by ANYONE, probably YOU, probably TONIGHT. Here I am, LANGUISHING IN MY BEDROOM, WEAPONLESS -
KAY: CHILD! why are you such a DRAMA LLAMA

[later]

MORDRED: Now, hypothetically considering the possibility that maybe Guinevere did want to murder someone -
KAY: I'll fight anyone who accuses the queen! I'll fight you anytime, anywhere! How very dare you imply that it's even REMOTELY POSSIBLE that the Queen might have been in ANY WAY responsible for -
MORDRED: lololol look who is the drama llama! PS are you ready to murder me yet?
KAY: CHILD!!!!!

(To be clear, Mordred is like in his thirties in this book.)

[KAY AND MORDRED ARE ARGUING AGAIN]
KAY: Suddenly, I feel like shit! Why is this!
NIMUE: That's because I cast a spell of magical depression on you to get you to briefly -- oh, so blissfully briefly -- stop talking.
KAY: Mordred is the one who was ruder, why didn't you cast it on him?
NIMUE: You're the one who told me that Mordred was very emotionally fragile and I should be careful of his tender ego!
KAY: ...ugh, so I did. Ugh, and I meant it. Fine.

Basically what I'm saying is that it's still remotely possible that someday I will get my version into shape for other human eyes to see, but despite the strangeness of the experience, I'm not mad that Karr did it first.
.

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