Thanks to sasha_feather for the tip
Guernica is an online magazine of art and politics.
It's currently featuring two excellent essays about embodiment:
Very silly joke collection on Metafilter
Want to know all the shows coming to Hulu in a month? See their press releases here:
A beautiful comic that meditates on cultural artifacts and a hyphenated Japanese-American identity:
Here are a few recs from Chocolate Box. Making this list has been made harder by the weird AO3 history bug that hit Trick or Treat last fall, where random stories from the fest that I didn't read are interspersed with those I did. It's a lot worse this time, with 6-8 non-read stories on each page (of 20).
The Headmaster (970 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling, The Highwayman - Alfred Noyes
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Minerva McGonagall/Severus Snape
Characters: Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall
Additional Tags: Poetry, Pastiche of "The Highwayman", Chocolate Box Treat, Battle of Hogwarts
Summary: It's an HP pastiche of "The Highwayman", that's all you need to know. [my summary]
I repeat, it's an HP pastiche of "The Highwayman", that's all you need to know.
Matsushige (1519 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Cabin Pressure
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Arthur Shappey, Martin Crieff, Douglas Richardson, Carolyn Knapp-Shappey
Additional Tags: Fluff, Friendship, Hijinks & Shenanigans, MJN Air, Canon Compliant, Dialogue-Only
Summary: Arthur makes a friend, Martin defends his decision to put cats in knitwear, Douglas spends a lot of time on origami forums, and Carolyn is the only one doing her damn job. So business as usual.
Hilarious in that deadpan Cabin Pressure way. Also, there is a cat.
Thirty-Six Possible Worlds (950 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Keita Mori/Thaniel Steepleton
Characters: Keita Mori, Thaniel Steepleton
Additional Tags: Missing Scene, Pre-Relationship, Angst, Introspection, Stories within Stories, Mutually Unrequited
Summary: Thaniel listened for a while longer, because the silence was so deep and clear that he could hear ghosts of the thirty-six of thirty-seven possible worlds in which Grace had not won at the roulette, and not stepped backward into him.
A nuanced and layered look at Mori's precognition from the inside. I like the way his mind jumps from one idea to the next, the images all in a jumble as he sees them spreading out along the different possible paths.
( Links to fanworks under here... )
Anyway, I haven't done much this week, but I did finish a book!
What I've recently finished reading: The Promise of the Child by Tom Toner. Last (substantive) post I said that at 20% in, "the actual writing is very much to my taste, richly descriptive without being irritatingly flowery, and the bits of story are really interesting, but the overall story is a bit hard to piece together." It turns out that at about 40% the story starts coming together, and I was hooked.
It's hard to talk about this book without spoiling the things that I particularly liked having sprung on me with no spoilers! But. This series is set in the far future, and I mean far; it's the 147th century. And what I find really interesting (and plausible) is that in this time, humans have fractured (either through evolution or deliberate genetic manipulation, it's not clear) into a number of very different sub-species - like, think about how different dog breeds are, but they are all still dogs. It's a bit hard to tell the players without a scorecard, even though (possibly because) Toner tends to do the epithet thing and refer to characters sometimes by name, sometimes by race, but there are three main groups: The immortal Amaranthine (the oldest are referred to as Perennials) who appear to be Homo sapiens evolved into essentially superbeings, needing no food or water, not aging, able to move objects with their minds, capable of interplanetary teleportation (which has the interesting constraint that it depends on magnetic fields, so it's not unlimited x to y, which I find - not exactly plausible, but less handwavy) and so on, but also sharply limited in their sensory capacities, and with a tendency to go mad; the Melius, who turn out to have a number of subspecies, most of which are very tall and elongated, who change their skin color rather than wearing clothing, and who seem to mostly live on a single planet; and the Prism, which comprises a wide number of species (the Vulgar, the Pifoon, the Zelioceti and more) that tend to be smaller in stature, and are spread out across the "Firmament", inhabited space.
Functionally (or symbolically) the Melius seem like historical people, most of them tied to their home, unaware of the larger universe of peoples around them on other worlds. The ones who live closest to the seat of their government are venal and pompous, the worst of Roman-style excess; the ones who live farthest are like simple rural peasants. The Prism races are the futuristic SF peoples in pressure suits and spaceships. The Amaranthine are the masters of everything, who move between worlds with a thought. The Amaranthine Emperor is going senile, and the Amaranthine are divided over the man who wants to take the throne: Aaron the Long-Life, the Pretender, someone who may be the oldest Immortal - who may not even actually be an Amaranthine.
The story mostly follows three characters, each of different species, toward their eventual intersection. Each thread has dazzling worldbuilding, wide cast of characters, and not much exposition, so it's easy to get lost. But once things start happening, most details are filled in or at least can be inferred from the text. I enjoyed the complexity and inventiveness of this universe (and I'd love to give details but it's more fun to read unspoiled, I think; there is one particular reveal which, when I realized what was coming, made me grin with glee), but I do think the first part of the book is confusing, and the end is very much only the end of the first book of a trilogy.
(Anyway, recommended, but with the caveat that you will probably be going, "Cool, cool, what the hell is going on, why should I care?" for the first third of the book.)
What I'm currently reading: I'm about 3/4 through Caliban's War, the second book in the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey. It's weirdly similar to the first book in that much of the plot is driven by a character who wants to find a missing girl, although at least here she's his daughter so his obsession is a bit more rational. Very easy to read when your diet consists of drugs and herbal tea and your head is stuffed with cotton.
Since I can't hear much out of my right ear, and in any event am not running, The Hammer of Thor is on hiatus for a while.
Also, I dipped in and out of The Magic of Recluce and finally decided to abandon it.
What I'm reading next: If I'm still sick when I finish Caliban's War, probably one of the other books in the series - the third, or one of the interstitial volumes (which look like short stories). Or maybe The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins which has the advantage of already being on my phone. When I'm feeling like I have brain again I have the second book in the Amaranthine Spectrum, The Weight of the World to read.
Okay, other news! Chocolate Box Round 2 is open! I have two gifts: a spooky vignette in which Voortya haunts Mulaghesh's dreams, and an adorable crossover to my prompt about Mulaghesh meeting Lirael at a diplomatic function. (I suspect merit wrote the second. Maybe both.) Both can be found via the Divine Cities tag.
I also wrote three stories, as I did last year, although this time each is a gift for a different person. They are all widely different, and in fandoms I haven't written in before.
I actually have a few recs but I'm getting exhausted just doing this much. Time for a nap, I think.
Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:
* Image Hosting Frontend
* HTTPS Beta
* Create Entries Beta: progress report
* Selective comment screening
* Other alphabets in site search: fixed!
* Icon file size limit increased
* Dreamwidth: Did You Know?
* Team Dreamwidth
( DW News, 15 Feb 2017 )
That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page.
Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to dw_news. This was posted at 5:35AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:
- HTTPS Everywhere beta! Users can opt-in to have all Dreamwidth content automatically served over HTTPS. We'll post the instructions for this after the feature goes live.
- New and improved design for the file management pages, which we were hiding from you because we were so embarrassed about them before. Thanks to momijizukamori for making them prettier and more functional!
- Backend fixes to resolve problems using the aforementioned file management pages. (Did I already mention the embarrassment?)
- At long last, international character support for journal search! Our systems guru alierak finally cracked this long-standing bug.
- Support index page converted to Foundation styling, for your mobile viewing pleasure.
- For users of the Practicality style: color properties now sort properly in the customization wizard.
- For users of the Drifting style: the QuickReply box will now appear in the appropriate location, instead of wandering off somewhere unexpected.
- Improved handling of word break (<wbr>) elements in user entries.
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We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!