Rusalka, by CJ Cherryh

Nov. 29th, 2015 09:10 pm
sholio: Cocoa in red cup with cinnamon stick (Christmas cocoa)
[personal profile] sholio
This book is wall-to-wall h/c idfic, OMFG.

It was one of my favorite-ever books as a teenager, reread 'til it was falling apart, but I was concerned it wouldn't hold up since I think it's been at least a decade since I last read it. I needn't have worried. DID I MENTION THE WALL TO WALL IDFIC. And it's a pretty solid book otherwise, too.

Rusalka is set in a fantasy version of medieval Russia, with deliciously believable magic -- subtle and often deniable (is it the Yard-Thing that drinks the saucers of milk left out for it, or the barnyard cat?), but omnipresent in everyday matters of luck and superstition. Sasha is a young man who has magic powers, or at least he believes so. He can make things happen just by wishing them. Literally anything. When he was a small child, he made the house burn down to stop his father's abuse, killing both his parents -- or so he and everyone else in his hometown believe. Now the whole town thinks he's bad luck, and Sasha has desperately trained himself not to want anything, or think about things, or get angry, for fear of accidentally killing someone, retreating into a life of miserable isolation. (As the other protagonist says to him later: "That's hell you live in, Sasha." And it is.)

Pyetr is the orphaned son of a murdered gambler, cultivating wealthy friends in an attempt to rise above his gutter beginnings. He doesn't believe in magic -- or in nebulous things like friendship and love for that matter. His career of inveterate rakitude comes to a sudden and bloody end when a jealous husband stabs him near-fatally on page three. His wealthy fair-weather friends abandon him and the only person in the whole town who'll help him is fellow outcast Sasha, which leads to the two of them on the run in a winter-dead wilderness full of old, wild magic.

Pyetr soon attracts the attention of a rusalka, i.e. the ghost of a drowned girl, who can only survive by stealing the life energy of the living, although she doesn't want to. This is Eveshka, the third major character. Between this and the sword wound, Pyetr spends the entire book in various states of swooning, feverish collapse, in between getting attacked by monsters and railing against the fact that he DOESN'T BELIEVE IN MAGIC DAMMIT and WHY THE HELL IS THIS HAPPENING TO HIM. Meanwhile lonely Sasha attaches to him hard, and Pyetr starts to figure out how to be the hero Sasha and Eveshka think he already is.

The book is currently out of print and can be bought directly from the author as an ebook or as a used book from Amazon. There are two sequels, which I vaguely remember were somewhat disappointing, or at least less massively idficcy, but I'll be reading them next, so I guess we'll see.

ETA: There's an interesting about-the-book page on the author's website in which she talks about how, when she was writing this book in the 1980s, the Cold War was still going on and the reference materials on Russian mythology, plants, etc. that she needed to write the book were next to impossible to find. She ended up swapping sci-fi with Russian fans in return for reference books.

ETA2: Wikipedia article on the books talks more about them, with no major spoilers.

Books Read in November 2015

Nov. 30th, 2015 01:50 am
fandrogyne: (reading)
[personal profile] fandrogyne
~ The Whitefire Crossing, by Courtney Schafer (reread)
~ The Tainted City, by Courtney Schafer (reread)
~ The Labyrinth of Flame, by Courtney Schafer
~ Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey (reread)
~ 397 Ways to Save Money, by Kerry K Taylor
~ The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler

Currently Reading

~ Servants of the Storm, by Delilah S Dawson

(no subject)

Nov. 29th, 2015 08:40 pm
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt
I spent today baking cookies (from frozen dough because that's how I roll) to give to some of my friends and planting some chive seeds in hopes of grown up chives. I figure I've moved in enough that it's time for edible plants. If I can DIY a mini greenhouse, I can put the plants out on the balcony.

Both days of Turkey Day went well (two days because roomie worked until late on actual Thanksgiving day, so I cooked and then she cooked up a storm the following day). Oddly enough, despite the fact that we both cooked a lot and had plenty of leftovers, we really don't have a lot of leftovers! It is entirely possible we eat too much lol.

This school semester is winding down, well winding up more like because I have lab finals this week and then actual finals the week after. I knew I was going to be busy this semester with school, and I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time to write, but I was secretly hoping that wouldn't be the case. I've only written two things since this semester began. One was a drabble and the other was barely over 1k, both in a 5 minute fandom. I love said fandom, but it was like pulling teeth each time because my creative juices have been next to nil. Hopefully, I'll be able to get my writing mojo after finals. I still want to write a Yuletide treat(s).
umadoshi: (Totoro hurrying along (going_in_motion))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I was hoping to make a non-linkspam post today, but clearly that's not happening, given how soon I should be in bed to get up and go erranding/shopping with Ginny tomorrow.

In lieu of remotely-personal content, have a picture of Jinksy!bear I uploaded to Twitter the other night when he hopped onto my lap and snuggled in EIGHT HOURS AND ONE MINUTE before my alarm was set to go off. Because cats. (He got petted thoroughly.)


"Stop Reverting to Childhood on Your Holiday Visit Home".

Presented without comment, other than "wow, Buzzfeed is covering our provincial politics": "Here’s A Rundown Of The Batshit Insanity That Is Nova Scotia Politics Right Now".

"Bad sex in fiction award 2015: Morrissey goes head to head with Erica Jong".

Fandom/Geeky Things

ANN reports that "Ai Yazawa Draws Brand New Nana Calendar for Cookie Mag".

The main "Bryan Fuller's Plans For Hannibal Season 4" post at [ profile] hannibalseason4infosources. (The Tumblr does have some other posts, but it basically looks like the account exists for this one. *g*)

Via [ profile] musesfool, "Super: The Gayest ‘Stucky’ Moments in the ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Trailer". As [ profile] musesfool singled out, the article notes, "Yet if Bucky Barnes were a woman, this would be a love story, played out with all the same narrative beats. If Peggy were the brainwashed assassin kept frozen through the decades, this movie would definitely end in a kiss. Everything about the love, pain, and intimacy of the Steve/Bucky relationship on the big screen is typical of a romance, and that’s something fans are right to respond to — something the filmmakers may even be playing into, though surely not with any formal sign-off from Disney." (Do I have to note that this includes many, many trailer spoilers + speculation?)

From October, "103-year-old celebrates her birthday dressed as Wonder Woman".

"Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro comes to life with ingenious lasercut paper set from Studio Ghibli".

Back in July, Foz Meadows wrote "Juggling 8 Protagonists: Netflix’s Sense8" for

Also at "Is it Grimdark, or is it Horror?" "After reading several grimdark novels, and one most excellent supernatural horror novel that can stand up to the comparison, I realized something very important: what separates grimdark from horror is the agency given to the supernatural. / In most grimdark literature, the supernatural is a passive force controlled by humans, whereas in horror, the supernatural becomes an active entity with agency."

"The Psychology of Fandom: Why We Get Attached to Fictional Characters". [The Mary Sue]


"A woman is knitting tiny wool jumpers to keep her chickens warm". "Battery hens, which have spent most if not all of their lives in cages to maximize laying eggs, have trouble acclimatising to normal outdoor conditions once they are released."

"Drop Everything Because It’s Fat Squirrel Season". [Buzzfeed]

The Daily Grind

Nov. 29th, 2015 11:35 pm
fandrogyne: (Default)
[personal profile] fandrogyne
~ It was a pretty relaxing weekend. I slept a lot, which was both good and bad, I guess, but I liked it. It passed too quickly, as weekends are wont to do, but it was still pretty good.

~ I finished reading Django Wexler's The Forbidden Library and started on Delilah S Dawson's Servants of the Storm, which is wonderfully creepy and I'm loving it so far!

~ I tried candied smoked salmon for the first time, which is a bit too sweet to eat on its own, but when it's between two thin slices of potato-chive focaccia, it's freaking amazing! Not something I would go out of my way to buy again, I think, unless it's on the amazing BOGO sale I got it on this week, but I'm glad I took a chance on it and tried it while I could.

~ I went to view a house for rent that looked like it would be perfect for what I needed. Same price as where I'm currently staying, 3 bedrooms (or from my perspective, a bedroom, a spare bedroom, and an office), 2 bathrooms, great location that could help save me money in cabs by being so close to major grocery stores that I could walk much more easily, attached garage, fenced-in back yard. It seemed amazing!

Then I got there and it was... less than amazing.

First off, the fenced-in back yard had a large chunk of fence missing. The garage roof leaked badly, and around light fixtures. The stove's range hood was missing. The walls and windows hadn't been properly cleaned since the previous tenants left, nor the floors from other viewings, so it looked very much like cleaning up someone else's mess would be part of the new tenant's move-in chores. The 3rd bedroom was in a finished basement, which also would have been wonderful for potential future heat waves because it would be cooled down there than upstairs, but it was hard to actually see anything because there was no power running to the building and the woman showing it to me (or more accurately, letting me wander through at it my leisure while she stood at the doorway playing with her cell phone) didn't know about that and didn't bring a light source, so I tried to get what info I could by the light of my cell phone camera. But that did reveal to me that some rooms downstairs were missing wall and/or ceiling panels.

I could understand a place like that being rented for $650 a month, with all those problems, but $800? Hell no! I could understand $700 if the fence and garage roof were fixed, but that's still not $800.

But the biggest nail in the coffin was that the house was up for sale, which means that even if the landlord was willing to drop the rent to $650 a month in light of all the damage done to the place, I might still find myself in the exact same situation I'm trying to move to avoid in the first place.

So that turned into a bit of a wasted hour on Saturday. It was interesting seeing another house to possibly rent, I admit, but nothing came of it.

Back to the drawing board where that's concerned, I guess.

i thought we were gonna be honest

Nov. 29th, 2015 08:20 pm
musesfool: "We'll sleep later! Time for cake!" (time for cake!)
[personal profile] musesfool
I did mean to answer comments and do recs, but my internet has been intermittent all day, so instead you just get the terrible pictures of the peanut butter cups I made this afternoon. I think next time I will use the mini muffin cups and dark chocolate instead of regular muffin cups and semisweet, because I don't even eat pb cups but I found the chocolate ridiculously sweet, and also they are ginormous peanut butter cups.

And also, chocolate is super tedious to temper. Good lord, waiting for the temperature to drop from 115°F to 82°F before bringing it back to somewhere between 88-92°F is ridiculous. And I'm not even sure it really worked? Because when I brought the pb cups to L. and she tried one, the chocolate immediately melted in her hand, which I thought tempering was supposed to prevent. so. I don't even know.


Oof, done.

Nov. 30th, 2015 11:59 am
st_aurafina: (NaNo: Sleep)
[personal profile] st_aurafina

Final breakdown:
W13 femslash for (belated) trope bingo: 5041 (finished)
Killjoys fic for for (belated) trope bingo: 1873 (not finished)
Sanctuary fic for (belated) trope bingo: 1237 (finished)
[Redacted fandom for Yuletide treat]: 7868 (finished)
Sequel to You Can Never Go Home Again (my Tenth Doctor & Sirius fic): 11182 (finished but damn, I want to write more.)
Person of Interest fic for no reason other than it pleases me: 14740 (and not finished, will never be finished, omg had to take a break from it)
Supergirl/Daisy femslash for [community profile] femslash_kink: 2301 (finished and awaiting editing, to post soon)
NBC's Dracula which seems to be feudal lord/handmaiden Lucy/Mina with some Grayson in there, maybe Lucy/Mina/Grayson IDK: 5981 (so unfinished)
Total: 50,367

And didn't break my duolingo streak: 108 days.

And will get to comments soon, so soon.

But first cake. And sleep.

Winter Holiday Story Sale

Nov. 29th, 2015 07:20 pm
k_a_webb: (Default)
[personal profile] k_a_webb
I've got very little work on next month, although I'm hoping things will pick up, so I have time to take on some commissions for winter holiday gifts. Available, for the moment, are 10 5,000 word stories and 5 10,000 word stories, which can be set in the Many Worlds or can be something entirely different. The 5,000 worders are $25 and the 10,000 worders are $50. As you know I specialise in speculative fiction, but I can also write other genres, including romance (with or without erotic scenes) and mysteries. So if you want a mystery story set on a fantasy world then I'm your writer.

Stories will be emailed to the recipient by Christmas Day. They can be gifts. If they are gifts I can include a message from the purchaser. All you need to do is send me a PM, tell me what you want, and pay for your words. My paypal is kayleigh.a.webb[at]gmail[dot]com.


Nov. 29th, 2015 10:30 pm
tyger: Lion Sora, official art in the background, homemade sprite in the foreground (Sora - lion)
[personal profile] tyger
As usual, not long enough. But still, fun. :3

Good things:

1. I cleaned the bathroom and it wasn't that bad! Some of it was obvious, but other bits, not so much. Like, I was expecting the shower to be super gross because it usually is? BUT NO, it was mostly clean already. Hopefully this is a thing that continues!

2. I helped someone I barely even know get a shiny and ahhhhh, enthusiastic people are so great. :D :D :D I am like, super moved by it, hahaha. And I'mma get arts in return so winners are both of us!!! |D

3. I did this colouring in for Steahl today! The scales were a PITA but I'm really happy with them!

snekbirb not'gryphon!

3a. The new (to me, it's probably the best part of two years old now) One Piece OP is SO CATCHY I love it. *______* I have to get a copy, yesssss.

Perth Games Festival!

Nov. 29th, 2015 06:03 pm
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
And it was pretty great.

There was pretty good access, microphones for panelists and audience members asking questions, and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters, who were lovely. The Diversity in Gaming panel went very well, though I discovered I had inadvertently declared myself the leader by making notes haha. There were some clueless questions, and we got bogged down slightly in discussions of Gamergate, but everyone was polite, and my copanelists were 100% on the same page as me, even though none of us really knew each other, which was great. Also right at the start someone asked me in particular what my first game was, which was odd, but luckily the answer was "An Amstrad game called Citybomb in the later 80s, which I then reprogrammed" so I felt very unfake Geek Girl. Had a few people approach me afterwards to thank me for a good panel and ask extra questions.

My two hour exhibition slot went pretty well! I offered people SOON (finished time travel visual novel), Copper Rose (unfinished f/f vampire steampunk dating sim) and Northanger Abbey (very unfinished Jane Austen adaptation dating sim), people only chose the first two and seemed to enjoy them! Had some kids play SOON and realised it's a bit confusing if you don't remember 1993 because you weren't born yet, but they managed to get as far as the bad end and then happily took my card to download it and find the good one :) Was introduced to a woman who was very chuffed to see so many images of Perth in my game, she turned out to be the mayor which may explain her slightly offended look at me clearly having no idea who she was, oops. Handed out a bunch of business cards, had to apologise for their rustic hand crafted look since I misunderstood the ordering process and the professional ones I ordered won't be here until next week. If I go again next year will try and have a shiny banner, that definitely attracts people too.

Unfortunately I didn't get much chance to check out the other games since my train was AN HOUR LATE thanks to a mechanical problem, luckily I'd left myself an hour's grace but it would have been nice to spend that time looking at games instead of on the station twiddling my thumbs. The two I played were a blackmail themed word game, which was fun, and Bellus Mortem which is a very pretty game about fighting battles as a magic using cat that I was predictably awful at. Both are still in production, which made me feel more confident about showing people my in production games.

I didn't get to see any other panels for similar reasons, but they looked interesting. It was PACKED, but lines weren't generally so long as to be too off-putting and the wait encouraged impatient players to try less popular games (like mine!)

And then on the way home I found a cheap, open, wheelchair accessible Korean place (Took Bae Kee 2) then stumbled across the Maylands Markets where I had a quite tasty elderflower and basil iceypole. And once I got home I saw I'd made a sale of SOON! So all in all a good day.

Of course TODAY I am wiped, but I made sure not to have any plans until Tuesday. When I am getting some of this damn hair cut off!

Recent Reading

Nov. 29th, 2015 12:12 am
aris_tgd: Sarah Chambers, Cleric (Sarah Chambers cleric)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
Well, it's not Wednesday, but I've been reading stuff!

What have you just finished? Well, actually, several books:

Parlor Politics by Catherine Allgor is a really interesting book about the social sphere of early Washington DC, from the Jefferson administration through the Jackson administration, with a focus on how the women in town used soft power and social events to shape politics and events. It's really cool! It's a good look at the tensions between creating a new republican government and keeping the trappings of "civilization" when those trappings might encourage anti-republican sentiment in and of themselves. I mean, having listened to the Hamilton cast recording approximately one million times, my sympathies are pretty much for big government, but some of the early Federalists really were fascist assholes, weren't they. And it's interesting to see how much people feared some kind of spontaneous royalist movement. Anyway, the book itself has a lot of information but occasionally falls back into a dry, formally academic style, but I highly recommend it if you're interested in women in early US history.

She has a biography of Dolly Madison which, from her chapter on Mrs. Madison in this book, should be really fascinating, but I don't have time to dig in. Oh well.

Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire. I'll be honest, I'm having some trouble with these. I'm not sure a lot of this is going to be spoilers, but just in case. )

Discount Armageddon and Midnight Blue-Light Special, also by McGuire. It's her other urban fantasy series, the more recent one I think? And it's... better paced than the Toby Daye books, but honestly not by that much. There was a lot of going down into the sewers and then coming back up again like someone forgot their keys in that first book, is what I'm saying. Again, bought the third book, looking for improvements, but I'm enjoying it enough and the pacing isn't as bad as the others, so we'll see.

Currently reading: I'm actually in the middle of two books. We Could Be Villains by Missy Meyer is... well, it's not too bad, it's funny, but I'm also in the middle of a MASSIVE infodump section which isn't being handled very classily. I'll see how it goes once she's done explaining how everything works. Also, I don't agree with her about several of her This Is How Everything Works sections, and she made her expert character say some things about wine that pinged my bullshit alarms. So that's working against her. I'm hoping that there will be some kind of fun heist or something in the next section, or something with some real stakes.

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine is a fun urban fantasy novel about a woman who work(ed) for an international organization of elemental workers called Wardens who fight natural disasters, sometimes with the help of djinns. There have also been some large infodumps, but those are coming in the form of flashbacks inbetween her main action plot, which is consisting of running for her life while fighting occasional magical duels with the weather. Enjoying it so far! I have the next two books in the trilogy/series, thank you book sale.

Reading next? Either taking a swing at a sequel to something I've read recently, or reading the last Culture novel by Iain M. Banks. Thank you, library book sale.

Daily Happiness

Nov. 28th, 2015 11:30 pm
torachan: a kitten looking out the window (chloe in window)
[personal profile] torachan
1. It was so nice to sleep in this morning, and I can sleep in tomorrow and the next day as well! :D

2. I love how cold it is!

3. Chloe face!

umadoshi: (sleeping on a book)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Yesterday (Friday) I was pretty groggy and out of it all day, so even though I had an accidental nap in the evening (admittedly, I was then up until 2 AM or so, but that's normal), I opted not to set an alarm for this morning.


I woke up briefly around 7 or 8 or so with a headache and got up long enough to take something for it...and the next thing I knew, it was almost 1 PM. By the time I had my tea made, [ profile] scruloose was home from the market. So I had my tea and breakfast while I quickly read through DW etc., as I usually do at a somewhat more reasonable hour, and then went back downstairs to talk to [ profile] scruloose a bit before starting work.

When I regained consciousness from today's accidental nap, it was nearly 4 PM. *facepalm* At least I managed not to fall asleep again while [ profile] scruloose was out this evening; instead, I read Patrick Ness' The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which is the first book I'd picked up in two weeks. It's also really good. *^^*

This degree of tiredness isn't unusual when Casual Job is happening, but I generally think of it as taking longer to hit. We've only had two full weeks (with Mondays off), and other than the Wednesdays running their usual eleven-or-so hours, the days haven't been all that long. Given that, the sleepiness (and failure to get much of anything done) is pretty annoying. :/

And speaking of Casual Job, this bout is really not looking like it's gonna be a long one. We may even be finished by the end of this coming week. O_o

My wallet is deeply unimpressed by this prospect, since Casual Job is a high percentage of my overall yearly income, and among more usual expenses, we're planning some work on the main bathroom. more details under the cut )

Meta recs + Misc.

Nov. 28th, 2015 08:16 pm
lunabee34: (sg1: vala bondage gear by xiperita)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Check out these awesome meta posts [personal profile] endeni made about Vala's character: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. I've only read the first part so far, but this is really thoughtful meta with tons of citations from canon--a great resource on her character.

Thanksgiving week has been awesome. Mom and Dad are home safe. She didn't get sick while she was here at all, not even a weensy tummy rumble. Whooooo! And now I know exactly what to get her for Christmas (she's got to get rid of so many of her dishes, which frankly I think the tupperware that's older than me deserves a proper burial anyway). She just kept thanking me for being so attentive to detail and saying how comfortable she felt here and how grateful she was that I was willing to accommodate her new diet, and it all just broke my heart a little. I mean, what was I going to do? Poison my own mother? Sheesh.

Fi did so much playing outside yesterday that when Josh was doing her breathing treatment last night, she fell asleep. And then we couldn't wake her up to give her a bath or brush her teeth or give her any of her other medicine. LOL She slept through us putting on her pajamas and then slept for 13 hours straight. The very first thing she said to me this morning when I opened her door was, "Now I can run again!"

How has everyone else's week been?


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