Here’s things in links that will hopefully amuse you:
Cat bones found by archaeologists – with traces that hint at their being used as fur suppliers (article in German).
InspiroBot is an artificial intelligence dedicated to generating unlimited amounts of unique inspirational quotes for endless enrichment of pointless human existence. Said quotes are not particularly good, but some of them are – yes, because of this – quite amusing.
The British Library is launching a project to preserve digital comics.
Costumes inspired by “The Handmaid’s Tale” are used for protests – and make a stunning visual.
Pineapple fibres are used to make sustainable fake leather, providing pineapple farmers with an extra source of income in the process.
In this town, bereft of any eye-catching architecture or sculpture, there is this one piano in front of the library. Outside, studded with books. Inspired! Take a picture! Pianos outdoors is a thing.
It's the Ponies Around the World event time again. I was going to take a few ponies to work, to pose with a dinosaur, but, I was le tired. Just as well, llama guy popped up just after lunch with 23 bales of hay. Hay yes! I packed my loft to the rafters. Then I went to town.
So there you have it, there are still My Little Pony fans in Canterda and at least one in Grainbee, Kickbuck. Notice, we speak Fancy in Kickbuck. Oh la la! C'est magnifique!
I haven't spent much time going through and thinking in terms of which ones are most workable for me, but there are several I like. Chosen family is one of my favorite things; "huddle for warmth" is one of those reliable classic tropes that I don't think I've ever actually written; I like domestic things, so both curtain fic and food/cooking fit... We'll see.
Anyway, here's my card:
( under the cut )
--"Mermaid Hues: A Book of Mermaids" is a project by an artist whose work I enjoyed during Mermay, so I'm glad to see it's being made available for purchase!
--Sparkler Monthly just launched their Kickstarter for year 5: "Twelve more issues of women-oriented, LGBT+ friendly webcomics, light novels, and audio dramas in our digital magazine!" Their Kickstarter page includes a lot of info on the kind of work they do and publish, and links to a free downloadable Sparkler Starter Bundle.
(I do have to note that I'm friends with several of the founders/editors [and have proofread a few of their print volumes], but that means I can tell you with confidence that they bring a LOT of experience and passion to the table as long-term manga-industry professionals and as enthusiastic, thoughtful fans of female-gaze-focused Japanese and Japanese-style media.)
"10+ Times Corgis Mixed With Other Breeds, And The Result Was Absolutely Pawsome".
"Columbus Zoo And Aquarium Welcome A Squeaky Little Small-Clawed Otter Pup".
"22 Dogs That Prove We Don’t Deserve Dogs". [Buzzfeed]
naye posted June pics of her LaPerm kitties!
"I’ve Spent Years Photographing Rats To Break The Negative Image Of Rats By Taking Cute Pics Of Them".
Via erinptah, "Senior Cat Was So Grumpy — Until He Became ‘Grandpa’ To Kittens: “I was expecting him to hiss or growl or slink away. But then one of the ginger kittens started licking Mason’s ear, and Mason sort of leaned into it and closed his eyes like it was the most amazing thing ever.”".
"Sleeps With Monsters: Stop Erasing Women’s Presence in SFF". [Tor.com]
Aww, yay! Sarah Kurchak is Writer of the Week at The Establishment.
"The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates".
Via alexseanchai, a fascinating piece of poetry/meta and commentary about translation between languages where the speakers of one have oppressed the speakers of the other. It's remarkable.
Via tielan, "5 Easy To Make Homemade Air Conditioners".
"How Clergy Set the Standard for Abortion Care: Fifty years ago, a network of religious leaders helped thousands of women find safe, comfortable ways of having the procedure". 
"'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs", a piece about becoming comfortable in her body for the first time. (I'm not sure exactly what content notes to put on this; proceed carefully if you have issues tangled up with body image.)[Note: I have not seen Glow, although it's on the LIST OF DOOM.]
Anyway, here are all my current cards: my newest h/c bingo one (one square down so far!), genprompt-bingo, trope bingo, and tic-tac-woe (apocalypses).
( Cards under the cut )
Note to self: do not sign up for any more bingo cards.
Color-coded versions for prompt picking coming soon ...
These are all great pens, but the truth is I have a fair number of great pens and these are ones that simply aren't making it into my rotation. I'd rather someone else get some enjoyment out of them!
All prices include shipping within the continental USA. Elsewhere, please inquire--I will probably have to charge you shipping at cost. I accept payment via Paypal.
If interested, either leave a comment or email me (yoon at yoonhalee dot com).
From left to right:
1. Wahl-Eversharp Doric in Kashmir (a sort of dark swirly marbled green). Lever filler. The great thing about this pen is that it has a #3 adjustable nib. It goes from Fine to Broad on the flexiest setting. The only reason I'm letting this go is that I have a Wahl-Eversharp Doric in black with a #7 adjustable nib, and I honestly don't need two adjustable Dorics.
Please note that the #3 Doric is a petite pen--unless you have very small hands, you will probably want to use this posted.
NOTE: troisroyaumes gets first call on this one. If she doesn't want it, then someone else can have it!
2. Waterman Lady Patricia that I bought from Mauricio Aguilar of Vintage Fountain Pens. He graded it a superflex, and it's a pleasurable and absolutely reliable writer; I've always had great experiences with the pens I've bought from Mauricio. Lever filler. Again, this is a lovely pen that I simply don't use--in this case because I'm busy using a different pen that I bought from Mauricio, a Waterman 52V (for which Jedao's Patterner 52 was named :p). Like the #3 Doric, this is a petite pen, and probably best used posted unless you have very small hands.
This is a handsome pen with green and brown swirls, and I love looking at it, but I really prefer for all my pens to be working pens that get used. Maybe you can have fun with it!
3. Conklin Crescent Filler--the crescent filling mechanism is not that different from lever filling and is very simple to use, and really neat if you love geeking out about different filling mechanisms. This is a wet noodle that does hairlines, if you're into flex writing or copperplate; I probably wouldn't recommend it for sketching because of the fineness of the nib, but it would make a great fountain pen for non-sketch-speed line art.
4. Osmia 34 in gray candy. This is a very flexy nib that goes from Fine to Broad, and unusually, it's in a piston filler. Please note that the material is discolored along about half the barrel (ambering)--this doesn't affect the pen's functionality, although if you care more about aesthetics this is not the pen for you. This nib has an almost painterly feel to it that is very pleasurable for writing.
5. The last two are a Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green, fountain pen and mechanical pencil set. The fountain pen is a lever filler and has a flex nib; I'm not sure what width graphite the pencil takes, although it comes loaded with one. The set is very handsome; please note that the fountain pen has a chip near the lever. This doesn't affect function but may be an aesthetic concern.
A few of the essays didn't speak to me personally, but that's fine--for example, there was one about adventure games through the lens of the Monkey Island games, which I did play, but I didn't imprint on the genre. It's not that it was a bad essay, but rather that it was a type of gaming experience I just wasn't as interested in. And that's fine; for some other reader that could be entirely their thing.
Here's a rundown:
( cut for length )
To sum up: highly recommended.
I should have posted this yesterday, but appropriately enough, I was too busy prepping for the game I ran last night. 🙂
Dice Tales: Essays on Roleplaying Games and Storytelling is out now! If you play RPGs and have an interest in them from the narrative side of things — the ways we use them to tell stories, and what GMs and players can do to make them work better in that regard — you may find it of interest. Follow the link to buy it from Book View Cafe, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo, or (in a first for me) DriveThruRPG. And if any parts of it wind up working their way into the games you play or run, let me know!
Also, the New Worlds Patreon has headed off into the wilds of rudeness, with two posts on “Gestures of Contempt” and “Insults.” The theme will continue through the end of this month before turning in a new direction for August. Remember that patrons at the $5 level and above can request topics, so if there’s something you’d like to see me discuss, you can make that happen!
Having downloaded a bunch of public domain books, I then went looking for the proper cover art. Interestingly, although I am convinced I owned mid-1970s editions of both Blackman's Burden and Border, Breed nor Birth, I can find no evidence those editions actually existed.
Another interesting thing. This is the list of science fiction books on PG and this is the list of science fiction works by women on PG.
You have probably have it happen to you – somebody you know more or less well will suddenly turn out to be surprisingly good at something that you didn’t ever connect with them. A secret superpower, so to say.
Well. I have one, too – my secret superpower is… being able to tie off balloons really, really quickly. The reason for this is my home town’s annual fair, where my parents, among other volunteers, have been selling helium-inflated balloons for a good cause for 35 years now. When I was a child, I started helping out a bit, and when my schedule allows, I still go back there to help tying off balloons.
From being a small fundraising thing, this balloon sale has grown over the years, and letting hundreds and hundreds of them fly off at the official end of the fair has become a much beloved tradition. It is a stunning sight to see more than one thousand balloons go up and off with the wind at once, balloons in all kinds of colours (though there are quite a lot of red and blue ones, that being the town’s colours). There’s an added bit of satisfaction and happiness in it for me, knowing that I’ve had a hand, literally, in getting hundreds of these balloons ready. (I’ve calculated that I have knotted at least 700, probably more like around one thousand balloons on that one day. That, at the end of the day, meant very tired fingers, a bit of skin lost even though I’ve liberally, and very early, used tape to protect the skin, and a blister in one of the weirdest spots I’ve yet had one, right on the tip of one thumb. And the pleasant feeling of having done a good job.)
And for you, here’s a little video of ascending balloons – by far not all of them are visible, as I didn’t manage to get to the best spot for filming… but you’ll get the idea.
( a bit more--not destructively spoilery (I think one cannot discuss this book at all without being *slightly* spoilery) )
As for this subject line, you know, don't you?
If you'd prefer an actualfax review to my untidy noodlings, try James Nicoll's, and if you don't mind implied spoilers for how Gambit wraps, here's his review of book two.
PSA: the ebook of Feed (Newsflesh book 1) is currently on sale at all kinds of retailers, including the Canadian Kobo site, if you haven't tried it yet and feel at all inclined to fill my heart with joy by reading it and meeting Georgia Mason. (Here's my rec post for the series.)
As it happens, now is an extra-good time to pick up any of seanan_mcguire(/Mira Grant)'s books or support her Patreon: her beloved female Maine Coon, Alice, is extremely ill. ;_;
This and the next episode was the turning point for me: up until now I enjoyed the episodes, but didn’t feel much engaged. I know it’s different for different people, just as in anything else: one friend was hooked from the first episode at the sight of MC gliding in that flat boat as he played that compelling minor key melody on the flute. Another didn’t get hooked until a certain point in the story a few eps on, and then all of a sudden got hooked so hard that they had to mainline the entire thing until the end. And then promptly rewatch it all.
For me, it was the conviction that I got through this and the next episode, which I think of as a pair, that not only was Mei Changsu as brilliant as promised, but I was going to see proved, bit by bit. That intrigued me. And that intrigue began deepening slowly, until the emotional layers of friendship, loyalty, brotherhood, hidden and obvious—all the conflicting emotional currents—gripped me.
( Read more... )
“There is a common poor attempt at a joke … that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it … as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.”
Alliah is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which came out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can order the collection at:
Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.
As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.
Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities
Growing up in the 90s and early 00s in the south-east of Brazil, all I saw in mainstream media were the same repetitive, harmful and offensive stereotypes about travestis in telenovelas and badly written comedy TV shows, and the effeminate gay men and macho lesbian women token characters whose non-conforming gender expression was grossly caricatured for cheap laughs.
As an openly queer young girl in school, I learned that I could be queer, but not too much, not too visibly. I’ve heard those laughs, and I internalized through bullying and ridicule that I should change how I presented myself to the world—which I did really fast by becoming the stock image of a non-threatening feminine girl, although I never hid my sexuality. My first awkward attempts at a masculine gender expression didn’t have time to blossom. I shoved it down some unreachable recess of my mind and avoided it for 10 years, which (along with compulsive heterosexuality and a binary cisnormative culture) is why it took me so long to understand my bisexuality and figure out my transmasculine non-binary gender identity.
Once I did, I uncovered a gender euphoria I’ve been cultivating ever since.
It took me years to understand the ways in which I inhabit my queer transmasculine genderfluid neuroatypical body, and my most powerful illumination came unexpectedly through the stories of a queer non-binary neuroatypical green witch: Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West.
I first met her in the book series The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire, where most aspects about her gender and sexuality were ambiguous or obscured between the lines, and later in fan fiction, where the depths of Elphaba’s intersectional identities (canon or not) could be explored to the fullest by writers that shared those same identities.
Despite being an avid reader of speculative fiction since childhood, it was only after these encounters with trans and non-binary characters in fan fiction during the first half of my twenties that I started researching these topics, that I found out where I belonged. I discovered a thriving community of authors from marginalized groups creating astonishing rebellious versions of every world I’ve ever dreamed of and countless others I couldn’t imagine would be paramount to my process of liberation.
I owe it mostly to the fictional characters and their creators that illuminated me—from early readings like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando to the most recent fan fiction stories about a non-binary autistic Elphaba, a genderfluid bisexual Korra (from The Legend of Korra), and an agender transhumanist Root (from Person of Interest). I wish I could’ve met them sooner. Along the way to self-discovery, I had to collect all sorts of missing pieces with jagged edges and weird fractal shapes, and figure out a way to put them together myself. I was lucky to stumble upon the stories that I did and then to be able to find the communities that I needed. That’s why representation is vital. You cannot search for something you don’t even know exists.
There is a common poor attempt at a joke (that I’ve seen in both Anglophone and Brazilian online spaces), often directed at dehumanizing non-binary people and mocking activists working at the multidimensional core of intersections, that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it, using the accumulation of these identities as a joke in and of itself, as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.
One of the things fantasy author Jim Anotsu and I wanted to acknowledge when we wrote the Manifesto Irradiativo—our call to diversity and representation in Brazilian speculative fiction—is that our lives cannot be reduced to an isolated shelf in a bookstore or a niche market, thus we cannot be constrained to discussing the realities of our identities in those compartmentalized terms. We’re so much more than single-issue stories, than the same old one-dimensional narratives constructed to serve the gaze of the oppressor without making them examine their privileges and dismantle their systems of violence.
Those single-issue stories exist and persist for several reasons concerning the maintenance of racial, economic, and social power, amongst them because there is a fear of “too much” diversity. As if a book about a bipolar asexual bigender Afro-Brazilian person, for example, would scare away or alienate the common reader—who is always presumed to be the neurotypical cis straight white default that can handle only one unit of diversity at a time, served lukewarm, unseasoned. But as Audre Lorde said in a 1982 speech at Harvard University: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
Stories matter. And we shouldn’t have the full extent of our existences cut, segregated, and dimmed in them. We deserve to live as a hyperdimensional mesh of identities when they want to flatten us, to be loud when they want to silence us, to occupy the spaces that have been negated to us, and to be wonderfully written and represented as such.
Alliah/Vic is a bisexual non-binary Brazilian writer and visual artist working in the realms of the weird and pop culture. They’re the author of Metanfetaedro and have various short stories published in themed collections and on the web. They’re currently building too many independent projects, working on their first novel, and haunting your internet cables. Find them tweeting at alliahverso and newslettering in Glitch Lung. Or buy them a coffee at ko-fi!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
A few days ago, before I rode my bike 120km in the pouring rain (I am not even kidding. I’ve never had to ride in conditions like that. At one point I was going up a hill with Jen and Ken, and it was raining so hard that the water was coursing down it, and we all looked down and burst out laughing – none of us had ever ridden “upriver” before. It was nothing short of epic. My riding shoes are still wet, a whole day later.) I hurt my finger. I was making dinner, and moving fast, and a tiny mistake with a knife put a tiny cut in my thumb. I cursed, cleaned it, whacked a little band-aid on it and thought no more about it until I sat down to knit about and hour later.
Every stitch I made hurt the cut and stuck to the band-aid, and I sat there, trying and trying, but the cut was in exactly the wrong place. The smallest little thing, bugging the snot out of me. I decided I could live with the annoyance and tried for a little longer, but then I had a pretty good idea. I went upstairs to the stash room, and came back down with this pretty bit of business.
It’s a 80/20 Merino/silk blend from Fiber Optic Yarns – an old colourway I think, called Cyprus. (That’s an old page I scrounged up on their site – might work!) I split the roving in two lengthwise, and started to spin. I’m aiming for a 2 ply lace/light fingering, and so far, so good.
A few days later, I’ve got the first half spun, and my finger is healed just fine (it really was a tiny cut) but I can’t seem to stop. It’s been a while since I was at my wheel, and I’d almost forgotten the peace of it.
Karmic Balancing Gifts? There’s a ton, so let’s bomb through a bunch! (If you’ve forgotten how this works, or you’re just tuning in now, this is a fundraiser for Team Knit – that’s Me, Cameron, Ken, Jen and Pato, and we’ll be riding our bikes to Montreal (that’s 660km) in just under two weeks – and we’re all working on fundraising goals. We’re raising funds for PWA, it’s the People With Aids Foundation, and it provides practical, essential support for people living with HIV/AIDs. What we’re doing here is simple. You help – either by donating to one of us, or by helping to spread the word, and then send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I helped”. (That bit’s important. It sends it straight to the right folder.) Tell me if you’re a knitter or a spinner (or even if you’re a non-knitter) and add your address. Then I draw names and other people who are awesome just like you send you presents. We’re balancing out the karma and making the world the kinda place we want to knit in.)
First, five lucky knitters are getting a free pattern from Emily Wood Designs. Teresa Y, Nicola R, Dana G, Carol S and Maggie S, good luck choosing. There’s some beauties.
Next up, Ann has found it in her heart to part with 8 ounces alpaca silk roving from Gale’s Art in the Scarab and Peacock colorways – and they’ll be making their way to newbie spinner Doreen S’ house.
Ann’s also letting go of 8 ounces Wensleydale wool top by Hello Yarn in Smells of the Sea colorway… and she’ll be sending that to Scharleen O.
Carrie went into her stash and found three gifts she’d like to say thank you with.
Sundara Yarn – Sundara Lace in Chocolate over Salmon, 100% Silk, 1000 yards/100g for Catherine M.
Creatively Dyed Yarn -Voodoo2, DK, in Aim. 350yards/150g for Amy F.
Brooks Farm Yarn – Solo Silk, Sport weight, Colorway: Corals & Oranges, 50% Wool, 50% Silk, 400 yards/112 grams per skein – two skeins for Donna E.
Next, a big one! Handwork Hardware (I love these guys) are donating TEN gift packs, each pack has:
– one of their chatelaines, a pouch suspended from a belt loop or knitting bag handle that holds knitting accessories and other items for a knitting project.