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 Today's post topic comes from [personal profile] netgirl_y2k who ask me to talk about particular books, movies, films, etc I've been into this year. 

Well first, I guess, my love of the tv show Hannibal has launched into full blown fannish obsession. The first season was great, the second season took that greatness and ran off to even crazier, dizzying heights. And I'd just like to take the opportunity to apologize right now to peeps who follow me on tumblr for reblogging so many pictures of Gillian Anderson. You probably are under the grossly mistaken impression that this show is about a flawless blonde khaleesi who spends a lot of time outsmarting everyone and drinking wine and not about a dude who eats people. But that's the show I'm watching. And it's new and different for me as a small fandomer to be in such a semi-largish fandom where people make gifs, and fanart, and there are lots of dumb fandom inside jokes. There is lots of fic, but unfortunately not about my sun and stars Bedelia. Yeah Bedelia fandom is approximately me and 8 other people. So THAT feels familiar. And the femslash is non-existant and I keep meaning to BE THE CHANGE I'd like to see in fandom, but so far I haven't really had time. Perhaps over winter break. 

I know murder tableaux and lack of femslash probably doesn't appeal to a lot of my followers, but IMO it's the best show on US tv right now. 

I've also deepened my love of The Fall, which yes has lead to more reblogging of Gillian Anderson on tumblr. In this show she plays an icy police superintendent instead of an icy psychiatrist. Stella Gibson, unlike Bedelia, is also pretty firmly on the side of the angels, so if you like shows with clear cut lady protagonists to root for, The Fall might be for you.  In this show GA fights crime and misogyny and looks effing sexy as hell while doing it. Stella is my ideal type of female character--outwardly strong with little nuggets of vulnerability that bubble up from deep inside. I was more on the fence about the first season. There were times I felt the show, with its story line about a misogynist serial killer, was trying to have its (sexist) cake and eat it too. Like they'd show Stella spouting something unapologetically brazen and feminist and in the next frame they'd have the killer committing some horrific act of violence against a woman. I re-watched it again and felt more confident that the show was actually trying to draw explicit connections between the casual misogyny directed at Stella by her male colleagues in the police department and the obvious villainy of the killer. I think this connection has become even more explicit in series 2 and there have also been less violent scenes. Highly, HIGHLY recommend. 

FYI- I had a hard time not showing this gif to my Intro to Gender Studies class when we talked about women in the media. That kind of restraint is what they teach you in PhD school. I did teach them about the Bechdel test though.

Ummmm we've also gotten into Bates Motel recently. So yes apparently I like shows with gorgeous middle-aged actresses based on horror films? Bates Motel is much less scary than either Hannibal or The Fall. It's kind of a weird mashup of a dark pay cable drama about a dysfunctional mother and son and a teen drama from the CW. Like half Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf and half Veronica Mars, at least in the first season. That combo works for me.  

I sadly have no new book series to rave about. I've read most of Rivers of London this year, and they're fine, though I prefer Felix Castor as my paranormal London detective of choice. I'm reading Hild right now, which was slow going for me at first, but I have really grown to love. It is great to have something that is reminiscent of Game of Thrones and set in the early Middle Ages which is so female centric. I had read Nicola Griffith's Ammonite earlier this year, which is classic lesbian sci fi and wow she has come a long way with Hild. Her historical worldbuilding definitely trumps her sci fi worldbuilding IMO, but you can see how they might cross-pollinate each other. 
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So, while I was madly finishing up my dissertation, I discovered a new TV obsession (TM), Hannibal, which has been airing on NBC. Peeps, this is the most strangely beautiful, visually stunning TV show I have ever seen. It also has a subtlety and a depth to it you don't really see on most network TV shows. Hands down it is the best network drama I have seen in years, and could easily compete with anything on AMC, HBO, or Showtime. And for that reason, I am terrified it is going to be cancelled, because a show like this is just too goddamn speshul to be on one of the basic networks. So, I am desperately singing Hannibal's praises to anyone that will listen, hoping to generate some buzz via word of mouth.

To summarize, it's less of a prequel to Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon (the Thomas Harris books/movies that feature serial killer Hannibal Lecter) and more of a reboot. It's a prequel in the sense that it goes back to the heyday of Lecter's career as a serial killer when he was still at large, working with the FBI. But it's kind of a reboot in the sense that Fuller is reimagining some of the canon in the present day, has changed and gender-flipped some characters, and borrows storylines from the other Harris novels. I really love Silence of the Lambs and can take or leave the other films, so I'm not some kind of rabid Hannibal fangirl by any means, and yet I still enjoy the show.

Reasons to watch )
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Trust me, I'm a Doctor. Sorta. I have some minor revisions, so it's not completely over, but basically they let me into the guild. Yay! When people ask me what it feels like, I keep telling them it's really surreal. When you devote six years of your life to something, it's very strange to have it come to a climax in one afternoon. But gradually it's sinking in. And since I do have a job waiting for me, I can honestly say that I feel ready to be a professor and no longer kept in the perpetual adolescence that is grad school. Thanks so much to all of the folks who left nice comments and cheered me on through the final lap!

Oh and so in the middle of it all, I received a lovely Rarewomen gift from [archiveofourown.org profile] ivy She wrote me the Sidonie/Amarante fic I have always longed for. Both women are so beautifully rendered. The Kushielverse has such rich female characters and it was wonderful to see these two finally get some well-deserved attention.

Trust (1809 words) by ivy
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Kushiel's Legacy - Jacqueline Carey
Relationships: Amarante de Namarre/Sidonie de la Courcel, Bérèngere de Namarre & Phèdre nó Delaunay
Characters: Amarante (Kushiel's Legacy), Sidonie de la Courcel, Ysandre de la Courcel, Phedre no Delaunay, Bérèngere de Namarre, Alais de la Courcel
Summary: Neither trust nor friendship come easily, especially when they are thrust upon you.

In return, I wrote Armistice Day, an Edith-centric Downton Abbey fic set post-season 3. It focuses on Edith's career as a novelist and a reconciliation between her and Mary. Harkening back to discussions on "id-fic" with [personal profile] likeadeuce I can honestly say that Mary and Edith reconciling and Edith having a career of her own are definitely rooted in my deepest desires for both characters. If i were Julian Fellowes, this is what I would do in season 4. Oh and I gave Edith Dorothy Sayers' life. If only I could have worked in Gwen taking a job as Edith's personal secretary....


Recs for Kushiel's Legacy, Hunger Games, Political Animals )
kmo: (phedre)

Skipping Day 9- create a fanwork- because I really can't do the fannish thing on the spot. My muse, she does what she pleases and cannot be coaxed to perform on demand. What a diva. 

Day 10: A Creator I Love- In Praise of Netgirl_y2k )


Day 11- A Canon that I Love: Being Evangelical for Kushiel's Legacy )

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Just got back from my conference late last night and I'm playing catch up on the Fandom Snowflake Challenge! Luckily the Snowflake people are as chill as their name suggests and aren't too particular about late entries. So, allons-y!

Day 2: Fic recs in Carmen Sandiego, Kushiel's Legacy, Doctor Who )

Day #3- Friend some new people. Done and done! Hi new people! Between this and yuletide, I'm still reaching out to try and friend new folks. I always welcome new followers, especially if you drop me a note just to say where you're here from. 

Day 4: Wish list! )

Day 5: Something New in New Orleans! )
kmo: (deadwood)
Yay, reveals time! I wrote 3 fics this year- my assignment, a full length treat, and a Madness ficlet. Lots of firsts for me this Yuletide: I wrote in two fandoms I'd never written in before, one of which was its first story in the archive. I wrote boyslash! I wrote an AU! I wrote a story in present tense for reasons I don't understand other than it felt right at the time. *shrugs*

Reveals )

I also decided to do the fandom snowflake challenge this year. In the spirit of the friending meme and posting more stuff, I will do fifteen days of posting about fandom and fannish things. I have some travels coming up, so some of these posts might get delayed a few days.

kmo: (joie)

It's been fun browsing the Yuletide collection while snowbound at my parents house this week. First, I'd like to put in a plug for my 4 (4!) gift fics in Greek & Roman Mythology. They are all retellings of the Orpheus & Eurydice myth and they kick ass. You can read about them in this post. 

Recs in Kushiel's Legacy, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Project Runway-RPF, Les Adieux a la Reine, The Thin Man )
kmo: (joie)
Or, in other words, how I through no fault of my own, won Yuletide this year, with FOUR (count 'em FOUR) fics. Somebody up there must like me, which is nice, because I've had a rough past month or so. Though, who hasn't really- I'm not worthy of such splendor O' Gods of Yuletide!

Anyway, my prompt of reworking the Orpheus descending myth proved quite attractive to people- I received a yuletide fic and three additional treats for it and they are all fantastic. I am seriously impressed by how well executed and very different they all are. It's basically choose your flavor of awesome:

1) Would you like to read a genderswappy retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice where they meet as lovers time and again Cloud Atlas style? Of course you would! Then try Grasping at Shadows .Bonus for being told from Eurydice's point of view and having some Eurydice/Persephone going on. 

2) How about a 10,000+ word epic retold from Eurydice's perspective set in the Jazz Age criminal underworld? Bootleggers and flappers and some seriously amazingly crafted prose. Let me direct you to Snakebit

3) Or perhaps a Delta Blues style retelling with some Vouou influences thrown in is more your style? Try Last Nickel in the Nation Sack, based on the real life experiences of Blues musician Robert Johnson, rumored to have once sold his soul to the Devil in return for his success. This one comes complete with its own soundtrack!

4) Finally, maybe these historical retellings aren't really your thing and you want to read something more modern, edgy and now. Something fresh and relevant to our present moment. go down to the netherworld (plant grapes) is just that story, told from the perspective of a goth!Persephone.

Check them out friends, because every single one of them is a winner and they all deserve more hits and comments. I feel like I didn't just get a story, somebody wrote me an effing anthology this year! Writers, if you are reading this, know that you have made me one happy girl. Wishing you all the best wherever you are. I have family things to do the rest of today, but you can expect more recs in other fandoms from me soon. Additionally, I wrote 3 stories- 2 full length (assignment and treat) and 1 madness. 2/3 have left me lovely comments so far and I have received generous comments from non-recips, too. So, yay! 
kmo: (Default)
Obligatory Sandy Update: We were extremely fortunate down in our part of Southeastern VA. Days of rain but we didn't lose power. Sandy was gentle compared to Irene- that biotch knocked my power out for a week! And now we have a house full of "hurricane supplies" (liquor and junk food)...which is both a good and a bad thing. But overall, I feel really blessed. I have friends and relatives in the NJ-DE area that don't expect to get electric back for at least a week, and it is COLD there. This is my 2nd hurricane and I can honestly say, give me a blizzard any day over this ish. 

Emma Donoghue, Parasol Protectorate, Flavia de Luce )
 
Only read 3 books this month. *shrugs* I know I had said I was going to read Dark Currents but I got all nervous that I wasn't going to like it and so I put it off. :( Maybe next month. But I just ordered Cloud Atlas for myself because I really want to see the movie and I am one of those people who absolutely has to read the book first. Well...has to read the book first if I think the book is any good. 
kmo: (Default)
I finally drafted all my job materials, including the ever so painful Statement of Teaching philosophy which is nearly impossible to write without sounding bland, insincere, and did I mention bland? Oh and I had to mail it off to the cognate member who is literally the scariest person on my committee by a solid country mile. So, I feel like I deserve a Liz Lemon-esque self high-five here.

Anywho, now that the business is out of the way, I feel like I can post some fun things, like a rec for this amazing Kushiel/Sherlock crossover fic I read- The Shattered Marque. OMG where to begin- it has Modern!D'Angelines! Sherlock's grand-mere was a Dahlia adept! Female Cassilines, people! And it's a pretty solid casefic to boot. I will be totally honest, crossovers are not my favorite genre...but when it's done well, the author really allows the two fandoms to cross-polinate and you get something that's greater than the sum of its respective fandom parts. I also say this as someone who rarely reads Sherlock fic because it's such a large fandom I find it overwhelming and a little too male oriented. 

My SO and I also took in the movie Hysteria this past weekend. I can't recommend it highly enough. The invention of the vibrator in the 1880s, clearly played for laughs, but also with some good bits thrown in about the medicalization of women's sexuality, social inequality, etc. Plus Rupert Everett being a flaming aristocratic lordling i totally would have been a beard for if I lived in late Victorian England. Good times. Here's the trailer. 
kmo: (house pride)
Yesterday I overhauled my CV to make it look more like a grown up's, so I decided to try out a new format round these parts as well. I really liked the look of the magic paper, but the column layout felt awkward to me. Anywho, since it feels like fall is in the air, I thought I'd share what I read on my summer "vacation" (major air quotes). I give you the good, the meh, and the please don't read this. 


The Good

Keturah and Lord Death, Martine Leavitt- Wow. This YA fantasy set in pre-industrial Europe was beautifully written, lush and brought me to tears several times. Young Keturah meets Lord Death in the forest and uses a story to bargain for her life. It's sort of a mashup of the Persephone and Hades myth by way of Scheherazade. I am so impressed with the way the author managed to both make it feel as familiar as a fairy tale and yet render the characters all so vividly real. I can't recommend this one enough. 

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin- Jemisin has been on my radar for awhile, and this story did not disappoint! Yeine, a warrior woman from the provinces learns she has been made heir to her world's evil empire. What follows is a tale of intrigue, murder, and sexy gender-bending fallen gods. It ticked a lot of my women-of-color feminism, post-colonial theory buttons in a good way. I can't wait to read the next two, but I will miss having Yeine as a narrator. 

India Black, Carol K. Carr- so this is the first of Carr's Madam of Espionage series. India is a madam and brothel-keeper in Victorian London who gets swept up into spies, the great game, etc, when a customer dies in her establishment. I was thrilled to hear about this and perhaps a little jealous, because I once said I wanted to write a series of mysteries starring an ex-prostitute in antebellum America. The pacing and adventure aspects were only so-so, but India is an absolute hoot- a cynical woman of the world and kind of a bitch. I mean those things as compliments. Will definitely check out the next two books. 

If You Follow Me, Malena Waltrous- as someone who spent time studying abroad in Japan, this memoirish tale of one American girl's year as an English teacher in the JET program was right up my alley. At times it was a little precious for me kind of overshary in that "oh my God, I am listening to someone's therapy" kind of way. I originally wanted to read it because when the novel begins, the protagonist is in a closeted relationship with another female teacher.

It doesn't work out for them, they both end up with men. Le sigh. But even so, I bought the protagonist's romantic journey, so it wasn't a dealbreaker for me.

Rec'd to people who like fish out of water stories, travelogues, black comedy. 

The Meh

Sevenwaters Series, Juliet Marillier- There were many things I liked about these books. Their setting in pre-Christian Ireland reminded me of The Mists of Avalon, Marillier's use of mythology and story-telling is similar to the Kushiel series and the Queen's Thief books. But overall, I found her heroines a bit on the milquetoasty side, almost borderline Mary Sue-ish. They are all so "good" and self-sacrificing and wonderful...until they meet a male love interest and then suddenly they're Tracy and Hepburn. Liadan, the heroine of the second book, is especially guilty of this. I think the first, Daughter of the Forest, is the best written. And yeah, I'm on the fence about them, yet I managed to read all three pretty quickly, so go fig. 

Don't Read This

The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova- Having really enjoyed The Historian (which is about historians, and vampires and my alma mater, so a winning combination) I was really looking forward to Kostova's new book. I really shouldn't have been. Talk about your pretentious prose. I found the male characters unlikable and the plot altogether boring, saw the big "twist" ending coming a mile away. It was so long and drawn out, but I kept reading thinking it would eventually pick up and become interesting. Alas. I don't often say this, but maybe it needed more vampires? Or more historians? Run, don't walk, away from this book. 


Recs Ahoy!

Dec. 28th, 2011 03:59 pm
kmo: (Default)
Not that I have an overabundance of lj friends, but here's a random list of recs. Yuletide has truly been a banquet and it's a pleasure to read so many fics from fandoms I love and from fandoms I never imagined even would have fic. 

There were so many excellent Kushiel's Legacy fics this year and several featuring fiction's most amazing villainess, Melisande Sharizhai. In addition to my own a-mazing gift fic- here are some others:

A Pain That I'm Used ToAn unsent letter from Melisande to Joscelin that is just so so perfectly Melisande. Merveilleux.

The Goddess Rendered Mortal Mavros, Melisande and Leander Maignard on the island of Cythera post- Kushiel's Mercy.  

ReparationsAn episode from Joscelin's harsh childhood within the Cassiline Brotherhood. With unexpected Anafiel Delaunay! This fic really captured my imagination and I say that as someone who is not a big Joscelin person. 

There were also two a-mazing Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego fics written this year, both tackling what I have always found to be a thorny part of the series for a writer, namely the issue of the Player, and the world within a world the series seems to create. There can ever be enough good Carmen fic, IMO, and both of these are excellent.

Player Status: Offline- A look into the lives of the characters when the game is not in motion. I really loved the series of vignettes. And all of the characters, especially Carmen, were at their mischievous best. 

Lead Me On A Merry Chase-  This fic is epic in a good way. The author has really done something brilliant here- a fully fleshed out backstory for the Player and a truly ingenious take on the series. Amy/The Player is so very well-rendered and real and one of the best original characters I've ever read. In many ways, this is sort of an "inside-out" version of the Carmenverse, as it takes place more in our world than in Carmen's. But that is precisely what makes it unique and worth reading.



Other Fandoms )

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