oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Not much to report back, really. It was the debrief meeting. It was mostly us examining the things you lot had reported back to us.

I fed back all the things that you folks asked me to feed back in this and this post; pretty much all of them were received loud and clear. Especially popular was [personal profile] hollymath's suggestion that we put "would you benefit from step-free access" rather than "are you a wheelchair user" on Speaker's cards; this is definitely going to be done, hopefully for spring, but if not then for next autumn.

I've been given more work to do, which is mostly my own fault for volunteering to sort shit out. Nick Da Costa and I have to redesign the end of conference survey, so if you have any specific ideas about that do let me know. Is it too long, too short, too fiddly, etc? What questions do you think should be asked, and which ones do you think should be retired? As usual, I can;t promise to act on every suggestion, but I promise to at least read and respond to every suggestion.

Specifically regarding the app, which I know a few of you talked about: there was a feeling that we've sunk a lot of time and effort into the bespoke app, and it gets better every time - which it definitely does - and the developer is very responsive to requests for changes, so Grenadine is not going to fly. The specific comments about line numbers and clock hiding and too much nesting are definitely going to be fed back to the developer, so if those aren't sorted out for Spring you can take me to one side, spank me, and call me Gerald.

I'm going to go get a well deserved drink now.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
[personal profile] hawkwing_lb
Most of the time, I'm sufficiently busy that updating the log of books read falls off my radar. But! I want to!

I am going to forget items, I'm sure.

Books 2017: 157-181


157. Jim C. Hines, Terminal Alliance. DAW, 2017.

Read for review for Locus. Fun.


158. Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull. Tor, 2017.

Read for column. Extraordinary fantasy.


159-160. Elizabeth Bonesteel, Remnants of Trust and Breach of Containment. HarperCollins, 2016 and 2017.

Read for column. Space opera. Okay, I guess.


161. Sarah Gailey, Taste of Marrow. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review for Locus and for column. Novella. Hippos.


162. John Crowley, Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruins of Ymr. Saga, 2017.

Read for review. Baffling.


163. Ausma Zehanat Khan, The Bloodprint. HarperCollins, 2017.

Read for review. Epic fantasy. Meh.


164. Julie Tizard, The Road to Wings. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

F/F fighter pilot romance. Meh.


165. Melissa Brayden, Eyes Like Those. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

F/F workplace romance. Meh.


166. Jaycie Morrison, Heart's Orders. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

F/F historical American WWII women's army corps romance. Meh.


167. Sophia Kell Hagin, Omnipotence Enough. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

F/F near-future SF romance.


168. Fonda Lee, Jade City. Orbit, 2017.

Read for review. Really good fantasy.


169. K.B. Wagers, Beyond the Empire. Orbit, 2017.

Read for review. Space opera trilogy conclusion.


170. R.E. Stearns, Barbary Station. Saga, 2017.

Read for review. Really good science fiction with pirates and murderous AI.


171. Melissa Caruso, The Tethered Mage. Orbit, 2017.

Read for review. Really good fantasy.


172. K.J. Charles, Think of England. Ebook, 2014.

M/M romance. Sad boys in love. Historical.


173. K.J. Charles, The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal. Ebook, 2015.

Linked stories about sad boys in love. Historical fantasy.


174. K.J. Charles, An Unsuitable Heir. Ebook, 2017.

Historical romance between a man and a genderqueer person. Good.


175. K. Arsenault Rivera, The Tiger's Daughter. Tor, 2017.

Read for review. Excellent epic fantasy debut. Includes epic romance between women.


176. Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole, Hamilton's Battalion. Ebook, 2017.

Three romance novellas set around the American revolutionary war. The first two, a heterosexual romance and a M/M romance, are excellent; the third romance is F/F and is entirely meh.


177. Leena Likitalo, Sisters of the Crescent Empress. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Sequel to The Five Daughters of the Moon. Read for review. Meh.


178. Tade Thompson, The Murders of Molly Southborne. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review. Strange and peculiar and compelling novella.


179. Nnedi Okorafor, Binti: The Night Masquerade. Tor.com Publishing, 2017.

Read for review. Concluding Binti novella. Pretty good.


nonfiction.

180. Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri, The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition: A Compendium of Knowledge from the Classical Islamic World. Penguin Classics. London & New York, 2016. Translated and abridged by Elias Muhanna.

This is Serious Abridgement, one slender Penguin volume for a 33-volume medieval Arabic encyclopaedia. This abridgement and translation gives a flavour of what the original might possibly contain, and makes me deeply regret the lack of proper complete translations of more medieval Arabic literature.

It is really enjoyable, though.


181. Michael Maas (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005.

Cambridge Companions aren't really designed to be read cover-to-cover, but I did. Eventually. It is a quite comprehensive companion, to be fair. An introduction to many things. Worth perusing.

My long-delayed trip

2017-10-19 11:12
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?
miss_s_b: (Politics: Goth Lib Dems)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I'm attending this meeting right now, by dialing in to the phone conference machine in the middle of the meeting room.

It's interesting to note who has a clear speaking voice and who doesn't. No, I couldn't possibly name names :P

Will report back on actual happenings later...

ETA: Have just been christened The New Gareth Epps due to my scathing comments about real ale provision; I'm taking that as the compliment it was doubtless meant to be

Which would be worst?

2017-10-19 11:58
supergee: (keystone)
[personal profile] supergee
1. The NYPD has a database that cannot be searched because they are incompetent.

2. The NYPD has a database that cannot be searched because they are afraid of what would be found.

3. The NYPD is lying.
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Day Minus Two: and this is the big one, as far as treatment is concerned. We have been told to expect to be in the clinic for about twelve hours.

At seven this morning, Karen was allowed a breakfast of one (1) glass of water, one (1) granola bar, and one (1) piece of fruit with no added yogurt. Fortunately, I was allowed all the coffee I wanted.

At nine we piled into the team bus, and came to the clinic. Access ports were opened, blood was drawn, and we sat around for an hour while they tested that for stem cell wealth.

Once satisfied, they are taking us - or at least the patient half of us - into the apheresis room, to be attached to a machine for the next four hours. Their blood will be slurruped out of them, and the stem cells fished individually (I like to think) from the blood before it's pumped back in again. Karen is rated for 117,000,000 cells. Which is quite a big number, and I want to know how they count 'em.

After that comes five hours of chemo, also through the port. Then they take us home.

Karen's been connected up, and we caregivers are not allowed into the apheresis room. So guess what I get to do for the next four hours?

Uh-huh. Fortunately, while we were making our wills and giving all our worldly goods into the possession of a trust (The Trebizon Trust, did I mention? I am convinced that in a few hundred years it'll be this megacorp, dominating human space if not in fact the galaxy), our lawyer and I had a cheerful talk about how The Count of Monte Cristo is a masterpiece, and I thought, "Ooh..."

So I'm halfway through that, and there's enough reading left to keep me happy for a day or two to come. After that, though, Lord only knows what I'll turn to next. Suggestions of long, familiar comfort-reads available on e-book will be gratefully received.

Registered

2017-10-19 11:47
supergee: (screw)
[personal profile] supergee
If they’re so young that sex with them is illegal, maybe they’re too young to be branded for life as sex offenders.

Better luck next time

2017-10-19 16:01
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
We went to see a horse this afternoon. He was a very sweet lad, owned by a teenage girl who's too busy with GCSEs.

The only thing that I didn't quite like was that he wanted to run off in canter: he came back ok when I asked him too, but he had a stronger bit than I'd like which makes me worry what he'd be like with a gentler one. (He wasn't very keen on standing still, either, but then I realised that he was only being fidgety when he was by some plastic in a partly-built drainage ditch next to the school, and later found out that it was only put there yesterday so actually he was doing amazingly well with it!)

Unfortunately, it turns out that he doesn't like men much: dad had mentioned that he wasn't too keen, and when Mike got on him he started getting nervous, which made Mike nervous, which made the horse more nervous, which.... He didn't actually do anything dangerous, but he also wouldn't do what he was being asked to.

Ah well. We will find something eventually, right?

Jo's doing much better now that she's got a t-shirt on and can't scratch. Back to the vet tomorrow to have the stitches out, and then soon she'll be able to have proper walks (we hope: she's getting a bit bouncy)!
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Our first concert of the season, last night, went really well. They normally go well, but sometimes magic happens and there is intensity and power we hadn't bargained for. Last night was like that. My brain was buzzing with it.

We had a larger audience than usual, and our roster has shifted a bit, and we were singing with only three continuo players instead of our usual instrumental ensemble. Because of the reduced forces, we were able to stand closer to the audience.

I'm not sure if all of those things, or any of them, contributed. But it was great. I could feel it from where I was, and I heard it in audience comments afterwards. I could even feel it ahead of time, a bit, as I was strangely keyed up and needed to stretch and center myself before we went on. The hour flew by.

I continue to love Schütz with the fiery passion of a thousand exploding suns.

Next up, November 15: J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 79, Gott der Herr ist Sohn und Schild; world premiere of David Carpenter, "A Love So Still," a setting of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's poem "Von guten Mächten"; Martin Luther/Ludwig Senfl, "No Moriar"; Hans Leo Hassler/Michael Praetorius, "Ein Feste Burg"; Johannes Brahms/Hugo Distler, "Es ist das Heil uns kommen Her."
rolanni: (Phoenix from Little Shinies)
[personal profile] rolanni

First, because I know y'all have been holding your breath -- two! editors give "Block Party" a thumbs-up, so that will be published to Baen.com on or about December 15, where you -- yes, you! -- may read it in all it's glory, for free.

Second, I've spent the last two days under the weather -- yes, I do wish the weather would pick on someone else, but there you have it.  Tuesday, I just threw in the towel, retired to the corner of the couch, dozed under a blanket of coon cats and read Wildfire at Midnight, possibly my least favorite Stewart, but next in publication order.  Yesterday, I started feeling well enough by evening to write about 2,000 words in a continuing direction in Fifth of Five, so that's all good.  This morning, I'm definitely feeling more the thing; still, I'm lingering over coffee, keeping  a weather-eye out, before I go off to gym.

This morning, it is quite chilly, and I am wearing the fleece-lined-flannel shirt/jacket (it has sideseam pockets, which I suppose makes it a jacket, rather than a shirt), over the "If you can read this, I have your ring" tshirt.  Steve asked how the flannel shirt felt, and after I finished cooing about how soft and warm it was, wondered if I should buy another.  And, yanno; I'm seriously considering it.  Best. Shirt. Ever.  Even if it is orange.

I may have been remiss here in mentioning that the Narbonic Kickstarter has only 11 more days to go.  They have made their nut, and are into the stretch goals, but if you were a fan back in The Day, you know you want to check this out.

And that?  Is the news that's fit to print.  I do believe I'll go to gym.

Fifth of Five still weighing in the 35,000 range, what with this and that.

Snippet

"Bitter Truth?" she asked, feeling her eyebrows rise. "Who names a tea Bitter Truth?"

"Obviously, the White Wing Beverage Company does, though in earnest or in jest, I dare not speculate."

 

Halloween lucky

2017-10-19 09:42
asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I always want to do something fun for Halloween, and then I leave it too late and don't do anything at all. This year, though, I'm hopeful I'll manage a thing: I've created good-luck cards, ten cards each in five categories of luck: lucky number, lucky creature, lucky sport, lucky ride, and lucky color. I've printed out enough to accommodate the vast numbers of children who come through our neighborhood, and now I'm cutting them.

Here are just a few:





I tell you, it was great fun picking these items! Geogemma barossii eats rust and poops magnets at 239 F, which means it's right at home in your autoclave. Or would be, if you had an autoclave.

PS: I do intend to do a few more inktobers, but stuff got away from me.

Enhanced, by Carrie Jones

2017-10-19 13:14
[syndicated profile] marissalingen_feed

Posted by Marissa Lingen

Review copy provided by Tor Books.

This is the sequel to last year’s charming Flying. It’s not a bad book, but it highlights the perils of sequels rather clearly. Flying has a clear emotional arc and core: Mana is figuring out what the heck is going on with aliens and enhanced humans and her place in the world, but her relationship with her mother and her friends is rock solid. In Enhanced, the central mystery is far smaller in scale. The basic facts of the world are known and we’re down to figuring out the details. Mana’s mother is out of commission, and her relationship with her friends is shaky for most of it.

Possibly worse, her combination of cheerleader and superpowered (enhanced, as in the title) individual really doesn’t get a chance to shine for a full three-quarters of the book. Mana is scared, uncertain, and on the defensive–which is fine, but it’s less fun to read about than Mana discovering, exploring, and kicking butt.

There are some new aliens, some new government agencies, some new developments in the world. But in general this feels like a little more of the same but less so. A de-escalation in some senses, a holding pattern. I still believe that Jones has somewhere to take Mana and her pals Seppie and Lyle, and this book is a fast read to get to the next step, but…we’re not at the next step yet, and I don’t really feel closer.

Please consider using our link to buy Enhanced from Amazon. Or Flying.

Books read, early October

2017-10-19 12:54
[syndicated profile] marissalingen_feed

Posted by Marissa Lingen

Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull. Discussed elsewhere.

Sean B. Carroll, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo. Evo devo is, generally speaking, bullshit, but Carroll is someone I heard at Nobel Conference, and he goes beyond Just So Stories; he is a good egg. And he talked in general in this volume, stuff that one could find anywhere and probably already knew if one had the slightest interest, but then also about insect wing patterns, and the insect wing pattern stuff was interesting, so basically: skim to get to the insect wings.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. Kindle. I had had such smashing success with 19th century novels lately! (Oh my Middlemarch.) And this one is set in a Fourierist phalanx and I thought, brilliant, lovely, let’s do that then, perhaps I love Hawthorne now too! Oh. Oh neighbors. No. No not so much. Poor Mr. Hawthorne. I read all the many many pages of Middlemarch, and North and South and Framley Parsonage and so on, and never once did I think, well, poor lamb, I suppose you can’t help it, it’s like being born before antibiotics. And yet with The Blithedale Romance I caught myself thinking that on nearly every page. Because it was the only way through, the other alternative was to shake him until his teeth rattled and send him to bed without supper, two punishments that would not occur to me without 19th century novelists, thank you my dear Louisa. So: he goes on at great length about how men have no tenderness really, and there is a bunch of maundering stuff about women’s work and the purity of women and how bachelors have to obsess about whether the women around them have known marriage before (hint: nope, obsessing on this topic is completely optional), there is a Dreadful Secret, he abandons all interest in the Fourierist phalanx except as background noise…oh Hawthorne. Oh Hawthorne no.

Ursula K. LeGuin, Searoad. Reread. I first read this when I lived in Oregon. I keep learning things about characterization from it, how she creates a seaside town one person at a time, how the stories link and twine and inform each other. This time, thanks to a conversation I’m having with Marie Brennan, I thought about how differently it would read if the stories were in a different order, how a character is shown novelistically though the structure looks like short stories.

Carter Meland, Stories for a Lost Child. This is a literary science fiction novel in an Anishinaabe tradition; the way that Meland uses the rhythms and patterning of language are not at all the same as the way Gerald Vizenor does in Treaty Shirts, and having more than one is really nice, I want more, yay. Stories for a Lost Child goes forward and backward in time, contemporary teenagers trying to figure things out, a grandfather writing with stories previously barely dreamed of, a space program, past pure water, all sorts of elements that fold together.

Mary Szybist, Incarnadine. This is a poetry collection focused–not in a religious-inspirational way, in a literary way–on the Annunciation. The image, the idea of the Annunciation threads through these poems, beautifully. They are beautiful poems. I was beginning to worry that they were all going to be beautiful poems and none of them were going to be heart-touching for me–that I was going to nod along and say, yes, beautiful, well done, but never, oh, oh, would you look at THIS one–and then, and then there was Here There Are Blueberries, so: oh. Would you look at THIS one.

Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless. I had previously enjoyed some of Vaughn’s short stories but not really been the target audience for the Kitty books, so I was really excited at what a complete departure this is. It’s a police procedural of sorts, with flashbacks to the (sorta) cop’s young adulthood. It’s also a post-apocalyptic novel, with a catastrophe that has led people to seriously consider their resource usage. And it’s also a relationship story that, because of flashback structure, allows the protagonist to grow past her teenage relationship, to change and be an adult. For a short novel, there’s a lot going on, and it all fits together and wraps itself up by the end. Pleased.

Enhanced, by Carrie Jones

2017-10-19 08:14
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Review copy provided by Tor Books.

This is the sequel to last year's charming Flying. It's not a bad book, but it highlights the perils of sequels rather clearly. Flying has a clear emotional arc and core: Mana is figuring out what the heck is going on with aliens and enhanced humans and her place in the world, but her relationship with her mother and her friends is rock solid. In Enhanced, the central mystery is far smaller in scale. The basic facts of the world are known and we're down to figuring out the details. Mana's mother is out of commission, and her relationship with her friends is shaky for most of it.

Possibly worse, her combination of cheerleader and superpowered (enhanced, as in the title) individual really doesn't get a chance to shine for a full three-quarters of the book. Mana is scared, uncertain, and on the defensive--which is fine, but it's less fun to read about than Mana discovering, exploring, and kicking butt.

There are some new aliens, some new government agencies, some new developments in the world. But in general this feels like a little more of the same but less so. A de-escalation in some senses, a holding pattern. I still believe that Jones has somewhere to take Mana and her pals Seppie and Lyle, and this book is a fast read to get to the next step, but...we're not at the next step yet, and I don't really feel closer.

Please consider using our link to buy Enhanced from Amazon. Or Flying.

Books read, early October

2017-10-19 07:54
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull. Discussed elsewhere.

Sean B. Carroll, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo. Evo devo is, generally speaking, bullshit, but Carroll is someone I heard at Nobel Conference, and he goes beyond Just So Stories; he is a good egg. And he talked in general in this volume, stuff that one could find anywhere and probably already knew if one had the slightest interest, but then also about insect wing patterns, and the insect wing pattern stuff was interesting, so basically: skim to get to the insect wings.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. Kindle. I had had such smashing success with 19th century novels lately! (Oh my Middlemarch.) And this one is set in a Fourierist phalanx and I thought, brilliant, lovely, let's do that then, perhaps I love Hawthorne now too! Oh. Oh neighbors. No. No not so much. Poor Mr. Hawthorne. I read all the many many pages of Middlemarch, and North and South and Framley Parsonage and so on, and never once did I think, well, poor lamb, I suppose you can't help it, it's like being born before antibiotics. And yet with The Blithedale Romance I caught myself thinking that on nearly every page. Because it was the only way through, the other alternative was to shake him until his teeth rattled and send him to bed without supper, two punishments that would not occur to me without 19th century novelists, thank you my dear Louisa. So: he goes on at great length about how men have no tenderness really, and there is a bunch of maundering stuff about women's work and the purity of women and how bachelors have to obsess about whether the women around them have known marriage before (hint: nope, obsessing on this topic is completely optional), there is a Dreadful Secret, he abandons all interest in the Fourierist phalanx except as background noise...oh Hawthorne. Oh Hawthorne no.

Ursula K. LeGuin, Searoad. Reread. I first read this when I lived in Oregon. I keep learning things about characterization from it, how she creates a seaside town one person at a time, how the stories link and twine and inform each other. This time, thanks to a conversation I'm having with Marie Brennan, I thought about how differently it would read if the stories were in a different order, how a character is shown novelistically though the structure looks like short stories.

Carter Meland, Stories for a Lost Child. This is a literary science fiction novel in an Anishinaabe tradition; the way that Meland uses the rhythms and patterning of language are not at all the same as the way Gerald Vizenor does in Treaty Shirts, and having more than one is really nice, I want more, yay. Stories for a Lost Child goes forward and backward in time, contemporary teenagers trying to figure things out, a grandfather writing with stories previously barely dreamed of, a space program, past pure water, all sorts of elements that fold together.

Mary Szybist, Incarnadine. This is a poetry collection focused--not in a religious-inspirational way, in a literary way--on the Annunciation. The image, the idea of the Annunciation threads through these poems, beautifully. They are beautiful poems. I was beginning to worry that they were all going to be beautiful poems and none of them were going to be heart-touching for me--that I was going to nod along and say, yes, beautiful, well done, but never, oh, oh, would you look at THIS one--and then, and then there was Here There Are Blueberries, so: oh. Would you look at THIS one.

Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless. I had previously enjoyed some of Vaughn's short stories but not really been the target audience for the Kitty books, so I was really excited at what a complete departure this is. It's a police procedural of sorts, with flashbacks to the (sorta) cop's young adulthood. It's also a post-apocalyptic novel, with a catastrophe that has led people to seriously consider their resource usage. And it's also a relationship story that, because of flashback structure, allows the protagonist to grow past her teenage relationship, to change and be an adult. For a short novel, there's a lot going on, and it all fits together and wraps itself up by the end. Pleased.

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