yhlee: Animated icon of sporkiness. (sporks (rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
Lindy Mechefske claims to be doing an anthology of trans people's stories [Facebook link]. Of course, it includes this charmer:
We’d love to include some before and after photos.

Noooooooope.

In addition, I left two comments:

The first comment asked if they were planning on paying contributors. The answer was an equivocal "If there's any way to do this, yes." My second comment said that Mechefske ought to include information about the fact of payment (or non-payment) in the submissions guidelines so that people would know what they were getting into; that comment has been deleted. There was at least one other comment asking about payment, which has been deleted.

In conclusion: stay the hell away from this project. It smells rotten.

Flattened

28 June 2017 08:36 pm
rowyn: (tired)
[personal profile] rowyn
Some time-consuming family health issues have left me flattened lately. And I don't want to talk about it, but I did want to say that this is why I haven't been posting Poll RPGs for the last few weeks. I've been doing some editing, but I don't seem to have much brain for writing new stories now. x_x

But all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.

So posts will continue to be sporadic and at random and probably lengthy intervals. Y'all take care of yourselves. *hugs*

Quest to the North

28 June 2017 07:10 pm
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] book_love
Quest to the North by Tom Rogneby

Book #2 of the Minivandians. A prequel, but spoilers ahead for Tales of the Minivandians.
Read more... )
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
 A couple of pieces are out about this switch-out in Winter Hill. The first piece I saw was this one:  https://boston.eater.com/2017/6/26/15872592/somerville-bread-company-expansion-union-square

The next piece was a bit more detailed on the new space in Union--it won't have a retail piece. But---stay tuned. The new produce shop will carry the bread still.

Produce-focused piece: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2017/06/27/neighborhood-produce-location-somerville/

This one has some other tidbits: http://www.masslive.com/news/boston/index.ssf/2017/06/neighborhood_produce_supermark.html

CMV Lands at Denver Comic Con

28 June 2017 08:17 am
catvalente: (pic#941394)
[personal profile] catvalente

The Denver Comic Con is this weekend, and Cat will be in attendance! We hope you have your tickets – we hear all the weekend badges are sold out, but there are still some one-day badges available. Head over to their site if you still need membership.

If you hope to catch Cat at the con, here’s her schedule of appearances:

FRIDAY, JUNE 30

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Signing at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2

2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
Mistakes Were Made in Room 402 – Authors

SATURDAY, JULY 1

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM
The Writing Process of Best Sellers in Room 407 – Authors

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Signing at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 1

3:30 PM – 4:20 PM
Millennials Rising – YA Literature Today in Room 402 – Authors

5:00 PM – 5:50 PM
Start Short, Get Good in Room 407 – Authors

SUNDAY, JULY 2

10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
Is This a Kissing Book? in Room 402 – Authors

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Signing at Author Signing Booth 1

3:00 PM – 3:50 PM
The Best Writing Advice I Was Ever Given in Room 407 – Authors

See you in Denver! Unless we don’t. In which case, have a great weekend!

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

mama_bunny72: (Default)
[personal profile] mama_bunny72 posting in [community profile] davis_square
from my neighborhood listserv:

An Irving St resident reported that she arrived home tonight to find a young Hispanic-looking man in her house rummaging through bedroom drawers. Doesn't look like he took anything & she caught him in time. He appears to have come in through a window off of a fire escape. Guess the window lock was not in place.
Police are looking for him. Young male with a San Diego cap, about 5'4". Quite a scare. Be smart & check that all windows & doors are locked.
[personal profile] ron_newman posting in [community profile] davis_square
I saw people working inside Davis Square Donuts & Bagels (next to Community Credit Union) this afternoon, so I asked one of them about a projected opening date. She told me it should be in "about two weeks."

Hummers and Potters

27 June 2017 06:55 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Why is it (she grumped) that one can be standing at the sink washing dishes and look out to see all kinds of hummers being enchanting around the feeder, and occasionally the yellow and black bird stoking up, but as SOON as one races upstairs for the cell phone cam, they all vanish for hours?

Other than that, it's hot, but that's to be expected. At least the punishing sun is on its slide toward darker earlier, thank goodness.

Hither and yon I've seen "Harry Potter twenty years!" posts but I don't really read more than a paragraph. I read and enjoyed each book, skimming larger and larger sections as each book got more bloated; they never quite inspired a second read, though I could see that had I read them as a kid I would have loved them to bits, and I probably would have struggled with magic wand 'logic' over my own magic delivery system, had I read them early enough.

More interesting to me than the books has been their phenomenal influence on the field--finally YA became an accepted subgenre, and is now a market power house. Before Potter, many of us who said we wrote for kids were asked variations on, "And when will you write a real book?" Many of us had already written about magic schools--had read about them. But of course in those days the received wisdom was that no kid would read a book over 60 k words (though we all did), and the kids had to stay emotionally about twelve.

But this series was the one that caught the imagination of a generation.

It's interesting to see the Potter influence in the writers who grew up on the stories. Literature is always in conversation with itself, and tracing influence is fun when you read back far enough. It's especially interesting seeing the mix of film and story with Potter: in the books, Malfoy, for example, is one dimensional, always rotten except for a line or so in a late book, but the films gave him a beautiful face, and as a consequence there are so many angsty-but-beautiful bad boys with pale blond hair in YA stories written by the Potter generation. As I recall, Malfoy didn't have any angst in the books. He was just a snot. But the best of the fanfic writers gave him tons of angst as he pined for Harry, and at last seduced him--and the fanfic has been a strong influence as it developed many of these writers.

I think there is a terrific PhD thesis in this. (If it isn't already being written.)

YOU GUYS

27 June 2017 07:03 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
I scored the following used RPGs from Little Wars for a SONG:

- Mutants and Masterminds
- Wraith: The Oblivion
- Aeon limited edition
- Star Wars Core Rulebook ([personal profile] dhampyresa, do you want this? I'm happy to send it to you--it's Wizards of the Coast's d20 system)
- Mage: The Ascension (we may already have this BUT I DON'T CARE)
- Changeling Storyteller's Guide (now I just have to find the core book for Changeling)
- Wraith Player's Guide
- Battlefleet Gothic 2002 Annual (I looooooooove the aesthetic of the Battlefleet Gothic miniatures and am sorry I only own one, which is still unassembled in its blister pack)
- Earthdawn (I used to own this before my stepmother threw it out)
- Ars Magica (ditto)
- and a stray issue of Playboy July 1995 because it was sitting there lonely and I am easily amused

PLEASE, VAN, CONTINUE ACQUIRING AND SELLING USED RPGs. I WILL COME BUY THEM!!!

This is like Christmas.

Atlantis

27 June 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Atlantis_3


I promise I’ll get back to posting animal photos soon. In the meantime, here’s this.


This is a space shuttle orbiter. Back before the United States became afraid of aliens*, we used to send these things up fairly regularly. We made six of them. As of a couple months ago, I’ve seen them all.


1) I saw the Enterprise when I was very young and the family visited the National Air and Space museum in D.C. I barely remember it.


2) I saw the Columbia from afar one evening while at an outdoor concert. It was long enough ago that I don’t fully trust my memory, but I remember it going overhead on the back of a plane, the musicians and audience going silent as it flew by.


3) I saw the Discovery a few years ago at the National Air and Space museum annex in D.C.


4) I saw the Endeavour earlier this year at the California Science Center in L.A.


5) In early May, I saw Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center, which I visited because it was too windy to go kayaking that day**.


6) The only launch I saw was Challenger. I was eight years old. My mother and brother went off to school, my dad staying home with me. Since I felt awful, my dad decided to cheer me up by letting me watch the shuttle launch. I was pretty interested in space, and we had been paying attention to this particular launch because it was to be the first in a line involving civilian teachers. My mother had told us about the program and mentioned that she was going to apply, but that she’d withdrawn her application because my brother and I were so young. She hoped to try again when we were older. I was excited as I watched the launch prep on the TV, thinking about how cool it would be when I got to see my mom go to space and see a real-live launch.


Through the static of our small television, I watched the launch begin. Minutes later, I saw something that, at the age of eight, had never crossed my mind as a real life possibility.


A few months after that, NASA canceled the teacher in space project.


My mom never went to space.


She did, however, come home from school later that afternoon.


Fair trade.


———

* Yes, I meant it that way too.

** Kayak photos from the following day to come later.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
I've been interested in game design for some time, but when I started in elementary school, either there were no resources or they were hard to find. It was already hard to find books in English when I lived in South Korea. We did have Base access for a couple years while my dad was still in the Army, and then he left the Army to teach at Yonsei University and we lost Base access and, with it, access to the library. In any case, it would never have occurred to me to look for books on "game design." I don't think I heard of it as an area of study until college or possibly after. I spent a lot of high school trying to design a cockamamie chess variant, and I did read up on real chess variants (Chinese chess, Japanese chess, Burmese chess, etc.). It wasn't *good*, and the one time a couple friendly strangers over the internet volunteered to playtest it, they confirmed the ruleset wasn't any good, no doubt because I had devised the pieces' moves to be ~symbolic~ for storytelling purposes (it was worldbuilding for a fantasy novel) and I didn't know anything about board game design.

Since then I have made a point of reading books on game design when I can find them, and the occasional article on the web. While I have released a couple of small interactive fiction games (IFs) and the narrative game Winterstrike (Failbetter Games), I don't really consider myself a game designer. It's more in the nature of something I do on the side because I find it illuminating to consider alternate ways to approaching narrative; I think primarily as a writer of static fiction. And for the purposes of the hexarchate, it's research because I decided that one of the factions (the Shuos) abuses game design techniques in their pedagogy, and one of the characters (Jedao) is a gamer.

The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, ed. Mike Selinker, is a collection of essays by various designers. I was originally going to read the book through and do a report on the book overall, but I liked the essays enough to do individual reports on some of them. cut for length )

Thank you to the person who donated this book!
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

How often is the thing that brings a story to life a question of grammar? And yet, I know exactly what Linda Nagata means. Here she is, explaining how verb tenses turned out to be the key:

***

cover for THE LAST GOOD MAN by Linda NagataIf there ever was one bright spark, one bit of insight, one unexpected plot twist that brought The Last Good Man to life, I don’t remember it. What I do remember was how flat and uninteresting the manuscript felt to me in the earliest days.

This wasn’t an unusual situation for me. Beginnings are hard and it can take time to work out a tone and style that feels right. So I kept pushing forward, telling myself that if I kept going, the essential spark that every novel needs would eventually ignite.

It didn’t happen. Not for over 30,000 hard-fought words. Sure, the story was advancing but I wasn’t happy with the tone or with the way it was being told—and I didn’t know why.

I’d done my preliminary work—a lot of preliminary work. I’d been tossing ideas into the literary stew pot for months, revising my synopsis again and again. This was a very near-future story centered on a small private military company—contract soldiers of the sort hired by corporations, NGOs, and the US government. These were “white hat” mercenaries, choosy about their clients, working only for the good guys, and though they were a small force, that force was amplified by the autonomous robotic weaponry they could deploy. And I had an unusual protagonist in True Brighton.

Middle-aged women are not generally considered cool enough to serve as the lead in a techno-thriller, but I wanted to give it a shot—I wanted the challenge—so I made True forty-nine years old, a retired US Army veteran and mother of three who is still fit, strong, and agile enough to qualify for field missions.

All the pieces seemed right. For months I’d sensed the potential in this story, but still somehow the spark was missing.

Up to this point I’d been writing in third person, past tense. Then—30,000 words in and on the verge of despair—I chanced to read a novel written in third person, present tense and I was intrigued. Could I write The Last Good Man in third person present?

Present tense is commonly used with first person, where the narrator relates the story using “I” or “we.” I’d done a whole trilogy in first-person present. But I’d never written in third-person present. Inspired by the novel I was reading, I decided to try it.

And I liked the energy of it! It was just a technical change, but at last the tone of the story felt right. I continued to move ahead, writing additional pages every day in present tense, and at the end of the day I would revise my past work, gradually shifting it from past tense to present, adding detail as I did.

I was far, far happier with the feel of the story. The change in tense had given it the spark it needed—or maybe it had given me the spark I needed. Whichever it was, I never considered shifting back.

***

From the cover copy:

Scarred by war. In pursuit of truth.

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.

“…a thrilling novel that lays bare the imminent future of warfare.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

Linda is a Nebula and Locus-award-winning writer, best known for her high-tech science fiction, including the Red trilogy, a series of near-future military thrillers. The first book in the trilogy, The Red: First Light, was a Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial-award finalist, and named as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov’s, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and several anthologies.

Linda has lived most of her life in Hawaii, where she’s been a writer, a mom, a programmer of database-driven websites, and an independent publisher. She lives with her husband in their long-time home on the island of Maui.

Website | Twitter

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Tree

27 June 2017 06:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

DSC_6029


I really didn’t expect the dappled bark to show up in infrared.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
[personal profile] ron_newman posting in [community profile] davis_square
Yes, it's that time again. Broadway between Ball and Magoun Squares will be closed to traffic this Thursday, June 29, for a street party starting at 6:30 pm followed by fireworks at 9:15 pm. Before the fireworks, enjoy outdoor performances by the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, local Disco-Funk band Booty Vortex, and the Somerville Sunsetters.

Full details, including other street closures and parking restrictions, here.

(Thank you [personal profile] josephineave, who introduced this Subject line way back in 2008.)

(no subject)

27 June 2017 10:47 am
yhlee: two voidmoths at war (hxx Raven Stratagem)
[personal profile] yhlee
An interview [Lightspeed Magazine] by Christian A. Coleman. Note that the interview mainly discusses Raven Stratagem, so there are spoilers for Ninefox Gambit. I also hint at what's coming in the third book, Revenant Gun.

[story] The Ghost and Its House

27 June 2017 10:04 am
yhlee: sleepy kitty (Cloud)
[personal profile] yhlee
For P.H.
Prompt: "ghost consciousness."

The house had lain ruined for decades upon decades, quiescent at the edge of the town. Once, it was said, a fine family had dwelled there, wealthy at first, much given to parties and entertainments. The oldest people in the town still remembered the parties: the music of string quartets, and cakes decorated with spun-sugar ornaments, and couples dancing gaily through the night. But now none of the windows had glass in them anymore, save for a few sharded teeth, and the wind blew freely through the rooms where people had once gathered to gossip.

Nevertheless, the house was not entirely uninhabited. A ghost remained attached to the house, and it murmured to itself during the long winter nights, singing tuneless ghost-songs of the shapes that shadows make in the dark, and the sounds that mirrors make when no one is around to hear them, and footsteps in the distant wood. The ghost did not remember the name of the person it had been, once upon a time, but neither did this make it unhappy.

In time a pregnant cat moved into the house for the shelter it offered. The ghost did not remember much about cats, except that they liked cream, and it had no such thing to give the cat. But it had other things to offer. It encouraged the old closets to throw their doors open and disgorge their rotted linens so that the cat would have something to nest in, and it offered all house's hiding places, as well as the lullaby of the crooning wind.

For her part, the cat was a pragmatist. She did not share human prejudices against ghosts, and a ruined house was as good as any other place for her to raise kittens. She merely made sure that there were no raccoons or the like already occupying the place, and then she set to building her nest in earnest.

Cats are not the most talkative of folk, but this cat was friendlier than most. She asked the ghost why it lingered in the house, instead of going to its rest the way humans usually did. While she didn't always put credence in human stories, she had heard that ghosts usually stayed in the realm of the living because they had left some task unfinished.

The ghost said to the cat, "The only task is the task of the house itself. It was my home when I lived, and it remains my home in death."

"Then I am sorry I cannot help you," the cat said, dismayed in spite of the very pressing matter of the kittens she expected to arrive in a matter of days. "A human could help you restore the house, but I am a cat. I may have clever paws and whiskers, but they are no good for building."

The ghost's laughter gusted through the house, although it tried to keep the worst of the cold from the cat. "What do I care about restoration?" it said. "Perhaps once, when I had flesh, it would have mattered to me. But now I am a creature of shadows and dust and ash, and this house suits what I am now. I can keep it safe for you and your kittens. They can play in the house's halls and grow to adulthood without fear of being chased out by human owners; is that not enough?"

"If that is the case," the cat replied, "I shall gratefully accept your hospitality, and my kittens and I will keep your house free of mice."

"It is a very old bargain," the ghost said, "and if it suits you, it suits me."

Two days later, the kittens were born without fuss, or more fuss than the usual, anyway, and in the years to come, generations of cats made their home in the house. They probably live there still. As for the ghost, it has been busy adding the songs of cats to its repertoire. The result is noisy, but none of them mind.

Invisible 3 Release Day

27 June 2017 10:49 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Invisible 3 CoverINVISIBLE 3, a collection of 18 essays and poems about representation in SF/F, is out today! The ebook is edited by myself and Mary Anne Mohanraj, and is available at:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

As with the first two volumes in this series, all profits go to benefit Con or Bust.

Here’s the full table of contents:

  • Introduction by K. Tempest Bradford
  • Heroes and Monsters, by T. S. Bazelli
  • Notes from the Meat Cage, by Fran Wilde
  • What Color Are My Heroes? by Mari Kurisato
  • The Zeroth Law Of Sex in Science Fiction, by Jennifer Cross
  • Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities, by Alliah
  • Erasing Athena, Effacing Hestia, by Alex Conall
  • Not So Divergent After All, by Alyssa Hillary
  • Skins, by Chelsea Alejandro
  • The Doctor and I, by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  • My Family Isn’t Built By Blood, by Jaime O. Mayer
  • Lost in Space: A Messy Voyage Through Fictional Universes, by Carrie Sessarego
  • Decolonise The Future, by Brandon O’Brien
  • Natives in Space, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • I Would Fly With Dragons, by Sean Robinson
  • Adventures in Online Dating, by Jeremy Sim
  • Of Asian-Americans and Bellydancing Wookiees, by Dawn Xiana Moon
  • Shard of a Mirage, by MT O’Shaughnessy
  • Unseen, Unheard, by Jo Gerrard

Huge thanks to the contributors for sharing their stories and experiences. I’ve learned so much from earlier volumes in this series, and this one was no different.

And hey, if you haven’t seen the previous volumes…

INVISIBLE: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

INVISIBLE 2: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

If you’re a reviewer and would like a copy, please contact me and let me know your preferred format and where your reviews are published.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Infrared stop sign

27 June 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

DSC_6016


Driving in infrared can be quite dangerous.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Mama Robin

27 June 2017 08:55 am
shadowycat: (Butterfly)
[personal profile] shadowycat posting in [community profile] common_nature
 photo DSCN2264_zpsm47grdsw.jpg

A mama robin has taken up residence in a nest in a tree next to my back patio. The nest was occupied last year by a robin, too. Of course, there's no way to know if it's the same robin sitting there now as sat there last year. Regardless, I was surprised to see the nest occupied again. I didn't think robins did that sort of recycling. From what I was able to find on the subject, it's not common but does happen occasionally. Has anyone else seen this sort of reuse of old nests?

Replica

26 June 2017 08:40 pm
yhlee: Shuos Jedao (Hellspin Fortress) (hxx Jedao 1x10^6)
[personal profile] yhlee
Jenna Black's Replica is a YA sf novel that I picked up from the library one-cent-a-book discard sale along with its sequel Resistance. I have just finished Replica and have not yet read Resistance, although I plan on getting to it soon. My verdict is that this is a good novel, but it could have been so much better.

I was attracted to Replica because clones and faux!amnesia are bulletproof narrative kinks for me. You have to work to foul those up for me. Here's the back cover copy:
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake's marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the Corporate States. She lives a life of privilege, even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her every move, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image--no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he's more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She's not exactly his type...not that he can tell anyone that.

But then Nate turns up dead, and Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn't know what--or rather, who--killed him.

Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

What's good: there's a lot packed into the premise. Nadia is genteelly raised, but far from spineless, and easy to sympathize with. Nate is a closeted gay man in a social class of a future society that strongly discourages homosexuality, and one of his major motivations is to protect his lower-class lover. And Nadia and Nate's friendship with its ups and downs is believable.

Neutral: the Executive class of elites allows women to inherit, but there's a behavioral double standard as to what men and women can get away with, which is why Nadia has to watch her every move so she doesn't cause scandals while Nate can act out all he wants. The narrative states that this is some kind of throwback to the nineteenth century (Western, presumably?). There isn't much explanation given for how this developed, but I've seen sillier setups in sf so I was willing to go along with it.

What's less good, without going into spoilers: As far as I can tell, the entire named cast minus one character (Chloe, a friend of Nadia's) is white. There is lip-service paid to Chloe feeling like an outcast because she's black, and then Chloe is very rapidly shuffled off-stage and we never hear from her again.

That's not actually my biggest complaint about the novel. My biggest complaint about the novel is that it has a lot of tense action and still never manages to punch hard enough. And I don't mean this in the social justice sense of punching down or sideways or diagonally or whateverthehell. I mean this in terms of narrative impact on the reader.

I can't discuss further without spoiling the whole thing, and I am really frustrated by the fact that this fairly good novel could have taken my favorite tropes and done them even better, so let's have a spoiler cut: Read more... )

Infrared Bronx

26 June 2017 11:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

DSC_6944


Even in the concrete jungle, life finds a way.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

*facepalm*

26 June 2017 03:00 pm
yhlee: recreational (peaceful) tank (recreational tank)
[personal profile] yhlee
The moment where you see Microsoft Word's wordcount for the current story in progress saying "1701 Words" and think, Why is it 5:01 p.m.? I thought it was only 3 p.m.

The Intolerable Clock

26 June 2017 12:58 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Because there is not enough roleplaying in my life, and it's been entirely too long since I GM'd (The Black Wall, Shazrad: City of Veils, The Hidden General, etc.), I am opening The Intolerable Clock ([community profile] hexarchate_rpg), a non-canon freeform multiverse hexarchate RPG.

The hexarchate is a star-spanning polity of monstrosities small and great, where consensus reality is enforced not just by a rigid police state but by the ritual torture of "heretics" on state holidays. Lately it is not just wracked by internal dissent but by the discovery of rifts in time and space through which people from other worlds appear.

You are one of a hardy group of people--whether from the hexarchate (or heptarchate) itself, a foreign state, or another world in the multiverse entirely--who have gathered with the explicit goal of destroying the hexarchate by going back in time and preventing its creation, or otherwise seeding its destruction.

The question is, can you succeed before the hexarchate's agents catch on and eliminate you?

Interested? See the write-up for the guidelines and the character application! Hope to see some of y'all.

NYC InfraRed

26 June 2017 05:52 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

DSC_6851


This photo has nothing* to do with animals. I just wanted to show you that, in infrared, Times Square is off.


* Well, little to do, anyway. NYC does have interesting similarities to a termite mound.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

[hxx] [story] Hunting Trip

26 June 2017 10:00 am
yhlee: fox with nine tails with eyes (hxx emblem Shuos)
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] metaphormorphosis.
Prompt: hexarchate, "red pandas."

(NOTE: I promise this has a happy ending for the red panda.)

"Zoo?" High General Garit said. "Really, Jedao?"

Jedao, who was driving the car, glanced sideways to assess Garit's expression, even though the high general's tone of voice told him everything he needed to know. Garit had invited him along on this damned trip to a hunting preserve because Garit was desperate to bag a gray tiger, and alongside his record with firearms, Jedao had made the mistake of letting drop that he had grown up hunting. Jedao had tried to point out that going after pesky deer and jackalopes was not the same as gray tigers. Garit had merely clapped him on the back and told him not to be so modest. Modesty had nothing to do with it. On top of the stupid expense per round, the recoil on the ammo that Jedao was going to have to use was proportionate to something with its stopping power, and he wasn't looking forward to the ache in his shoulder.

"Just for an hour or two," Jedao said coaxingly. "My mom and my siblings wanted me to send home some vacation photos. And I promised my nieces that I would bring them back some souvenirs, and maybe the zoo's shop will have some mounted skeletons or the like."

"You spoil those kids rotten," Garit said with a snort.

"What are uncles for?" Jedao said. One of the great regrets of his life was that his job kept him away from his family for long periods of time. The girls grew so fast. "Besides, the folks down at the shop might have some tips for hunters."

Garit shook his head, amused. "You're transparent, but all right."

The zoo was not particularly busy. The two of them were off-duty, and the young woman who told them about the zoo regulations either didn't recognize them or didn't care, which Jedao found congenial. Jedao persuaded Garit to come into the zoo proper so Jedao could snap some photos.

Jedao fiddled with the manual exposure, trying to get the black panther to show up in its cave. The camera had been a gift from his brother, and was practically an antique. Jedao was not especially gifted at taking pictures that pleased his family ("These look like reconnaissance photos, who cares about all this kill zone stuff when you're snapping pics of an engagement party?" his sister had once complained) so he had resolved to do better.

"That's the oddest damned fox I've ever seen," Garit said, pointing.

Jedao gave up on the exposure and settled for a muddled silhouette in the shadows. "Beg pardon?" he asked.

They strolled closer to the enclosure Garit had indicated to have a look. A reddish, bushy-tailed creature was taking a nap in the branches of a tree. Bamboo shoots sprouted not far away. Some of them looked like they'd been gnawed on.

"That's not a fox," Jedao said, reading the enclosure's label. "Red panda. Apparently they eat bamboo. And sometimes birds and things."

"It's kind of cute," Garit said grudgingly. "Doesn't look like much of a challenge, though."

Jedao thought that coddled zoo creatures were generally unlikely to be much challenge, but he didn't say anything that would give Garit the idea of adding another kind of animal to his wishlist for this trip. "My nieces will like it," he said, and raised his camera.

"We should catch you one to take home to them," Garit said.

Jedao made a face. "Have you ever looked at the customs forms for importing wildlife? I'm pretty sure these critters don't exist on my homeworld."

"Well, I'll look into expediting it as a favor to you if you can help me with my tiger problem," Garit said.

"That's very kind of you," Jedao said, as diplomatically as he could, "but my nieces are notoriously good at killing goldfish. Let's just leave the red pandas alone and go hit up the shop so I can buy bat skeletons or fox-eared hats or something, and we can head to the hunting grounds."
catvalente: (pic#941394)
[personal profile] catvalente

If you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve probably heard of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. If you’re not, here’s the cheat sheet straight from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas:

“The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.”

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is a juried award as well, with this year’s jury including Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon (one of Sturgeon’s children and trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate).

It’s kind of a big deal for the science fiction field. And Cat Valente is it’s latest recipient.

That’s right: Cat’s short story “The Future is Blue,” published in Drowned Worlds (edited by Jonathan Strahan) took the prize! As you may have already seen on Twitter, Cat is incredibly excited, chuffed, and all-around honored to be awarded the Sturgeon Award.

Learn more about the award and past winners at the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award’s site.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

Songs of Sorrow and Hope

25 June 2017 08:01 pm
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] book_love
Songs of Sorrow and Hope: The Art of Jenny Dolfen by Jenny Dolfen

A collection of her work, from drawing to full paintings, with some discussion of techniques, quite a bit about inspirations (a lot of Tolkien), and a walk through of how one work was completed.

A lot of lovely stuff.
rdm: (Default)
[personal profile] rdm posting in [community profile] common_nature
The Quenda (or Southern Brown Bandicoot, Isoodon obesulus) is a small marsupial of the South-West of Western Australia, and other pockets around the coast of Australia.

Under threat from clearing and feral animals (due to both predation and competition for food), it was very unexpected to see one on the edge of the CBD, in Queen Victoria Gardens in Claisebrook. It was even more unexpected to see it in the middle of the day, right next to the main walk-path! 

They are listed as Endangered in Australia.

Cut for size )

Random birdies at the feeder

25 June 2017 01:28 pm
yourlibrarian: Robin sits on her nest (NAT-Robin)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature


I took these a while ago and kept forgetting to post them. Just some more photos of birds on our balcony, including a new set we hadn't seen before.

We'd been seeing one redwing blackbird for a while but later it was joined by a second one. Or possibly these were two entirely different birds given their more colorful markings

Swan Knight's Sword

24 June 2017 04:20 pm
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] book_love
Swan Knight's Sword by John C. Wright

Third and final book in the Green Knight's Squire trilogy. Serious spoilers ahead.

Read more... )

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