Seven Birthdays, by Ken Liu

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:48 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Today's favourite story.
Science fiction, plausible, near through very very very far future.
Biiiiiiiiig future, the kind that stretches the edges of your imagination and lets you think bigger.
Showed me a bunch of stuff in a row that was obvious once seen but I hadn't thought through.
Reminded me of Accelerando, but kind. And short, in word count.
The world is going to get weirder and wider than we can think, but here in very human and relatable ways.
Accelerando made me kind of give up on the idea of writing proper SF, because the future is going to be more everything than we can imagine, but this story makes me think, there will still be people.
It even makes me think I could be one of them, which is a wonder and terror right there.
I mean Highlander Immortals think 5K is an impressive age, but this one goes through to times significant on the scale of the movement of galaxies.
As a single lifetime.
Reminds me of that Torchwood fic where Jack lives so long he realises he's the only thing that can last that long, and his memory is the only way to preserve data.
(which fic was that? there was a song)(In Perpetuity, by Concertigrossi. Which took a while to re-find because LJ is just deletions far as eye can see, but Ao3 had it once I found the name. We build on digital sand, but we build.)
But in this story there's so many more minds all immortal together, which is a grander and more hopeful vision.
And what is lost can be found again.
Rather liking that idea, rather fearing the alternatives.
But more than that, here's a future where anything is possible, in some senses all the pasts as well as all the futures.

I like stories that open up possibility and make you dream again, and dream a place for yourself.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:16 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Reasons for a time traveller to keep funds in an arrangement administered by others - future selves can tap it without paradox. If the ones keeping an eye on it only need to keep the paperwork straight and never need a coherent narrative for why the money goes in and out, it simplifies things for the time traveller.

Also if the traveller gets legally dead, or actually dead, then arms length finances for their younger or more alive versions would be super handy.

So somewhere to keep the money, password protected or otherwise slightly impersonal for plausible deniability, is much more useful than one persistent identity trying to check their balance every week.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 03:53 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I been trying to think of things to do, and I wondered if I could go sleep in a castle.
As you do.
Turns out I live in the only bit of the country where this is not simples (:eyeroll:)
but Britain is very well provided with castles
especially if you count 19th century thingies with lots of glass.

I want to get a room up a tower and stare out the window and write something exciting.
... there may be a few practical difficulties if said tower doesn't have a lift, but as long as I only go up and down a couple times a day carefully, should be fine.

So I wondered if you can sleep in Eilean Donan castle
and not as such, no, but
they have a cottage and apartments with a view of it.

So I could sit in a perfectly ordinary flat, stare *at* an excellent castle, and write something exciting.

Different vibe, but doable.

Might take more planning than usual. I looked up how to get there and there was a post being all "you're in luck! it's just a two hour bus ride!"

... the picturesque bits and the accessible bits of the country maybe might not as much overlap...

Read more... )

I mean at the moment my vaguest plan gets as far as a beach, because I haven't been for ages. But there is a lot of beach. I could choose new and unusual bits of it.



... there's a bit of me that is just, like, wherever I go, I'll just be there. How different can it be?

But I went to Stonehenge and I went to see a play in original Shakespeare places and those were both excellent expeditions I still have many memories of.

... also immensely stressful, but, that happens most places. that happens sitting here...


So I'm just cranking my daydreams bigger to see what I could see.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:13 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I like the Latest Things tags, and have the Doctor Who tag open to check most of the time, but it never goes back very far. Tumblr searches are very hit and miss and mostly full of pictures, but you can search the tags, if it feels like cooperating. That bit is nifty.

Lacking a fandom newsletter and link roundup it's still really hit and miss.

I need to find comms more focused on what I'm actually watching. DC TV mostly, slow rewatch of Flash with Legends to follow.

... I'm not sure how many people are active here at all. many people just sort of went quiet.

I should check around a bit and find talky people.

Tags make that easier.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
NOVELLAS

How Sere Picked Up Her Laundry by Alexander Jablokov

The Girl Who Stole Herself by R. Garcia y Robertson

I posted about the first of these as soon as read it, considering it worth the cover price on its own, https://beccaelizabeth.dreamwidth.org/3346818.html , but the other novella was also strong.

Central female character, mostly talking to girls and women, interesting career progression very swiftly, and a worldbuild that goes out in stages that make sense but sometimes managed to surprise me. Trigger warning for attempted rape, interrupted, and several different situations where sexual contact is implied or mentioned in situations cannot be freely consented to, like women in prison or slaves or attempted underage. It's all about how messed up all that all is. Protagonist is a 'closet princess' who spends all her time on the net, whose adventures in virtual reality have practical applications and real world political consequences. Interesting, but, see triggers.

Asimov's keeps being darker like that than is my preference.

Read more... )


So that's a couple I can't see why they're SF, a lot that are darker than I'd like, and a couple of very readable ones.

So, basically, I can see Asimov's is doing a thing. It seems like a competently written thing. But it is only sometimes an overlap with things I want to read.

Still, good when it is.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:56 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
If you think you have invented an ansible
instant, faster than light, communication
and you only have one planet to test it on

how would you test?

if magic is ftl, how would they figure that out?

Gender arguments

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:25 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
The thing that makes conversations about gender and media difficult to have
is that, in an ideal world, I'd want gender to be a nonbinary system, a gender spectrum, with no particular weight or pressure to so much as pick a position on it, let alone be stuck there.

... but I am aware that this ideal world is based on what would make the world most comfortable for me, and other people want to do their own thing, so okay, I guess, they can play this two sided thing, if they particularly want.

Read more... )

We have to start by engaging with the dominant paradigm, but I get so tired of it when it is being a really intolerable paradigm.

There's no room for anyone in this thing, why even prop it up?




So what this adds up to is, the Doctor has potential to be my ideal character. All Time Lords do now. Because they can demonstrate in one continuous person the utter irrelevance of packaging.

But, because they are on the whole written by binary people in a binary system, it seems annoyingly likely they won't.

And yet it's still progress, because parity is at least twelve more Doctors away, so this is a place to start.



It's just kind of wearying knowing that saying this out loud is... pretty likely to start an argument on the fundamentals. Like, gender. What is even up with that?

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:39 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I went dancing
dancing is nice
but I ended up annoyed because New Person
and now I don't know if there's any reasonable grounds for annoyance
or if its just because New
and I'm tired.

but dancing was nice
and shopping happened
and I probably have enough foods.

NSFG

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:46 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Went to science fiction group
(first and third wednesdays every month until xmas)
had conversation, including section on Doctor Who, and me mini reviewing memorable bits of Analog and Asimov's.

hopefully i remain interesting and they don't just listen because it's difficult to inconspicuously quit a goipr of which you are the last members.

am cranky and wound up by all the background noise and the way the breeze necessarily involved the smokers balcony. but is good to talk.
seanan_mcguire: (Default)
[personal profile] seanan_mcguire

First, a…well, a disclaimer, if you will.  Some of you may be aware that Alice (my eight-year-old Maine Coon) is not doing very well.  I am thus more than a bit of a mess, and while I will still be attending the San Diego International Comic Convention (SDCC) this year, I may miss any specific program item with little notice.  You have my sincere apologies for this fact.  I wish things were different.


Onward.


Wednesday.


I will be roving the floor on Preview Night, and may have prizes for those who find me early!


Thursday.


Sixty Seconds with SFF Authors, 1:30pm, Horton Grand Theater.  Come see Paul Cornell try desperately to herd cats through this comic game of never shutting up.  Signing to follow.


Friday.


Signing, California Browncoats, 2pm.


Signing, Penguin Random House booth, 5pm.  (Also swing by the booth for totally awesome and unique Toby Daye collectable boxes.  They’re for sale, and they’re awesome.)


Saturday.


Signing, Penguin Random House booth, 2pm.


Sunday.


How to Create Your Own Novel, 10:30am, Room 8.  I get to sit on a panel with David Gerrold.  Let’s see if I vibrate myself to death.  Signing to follow.


Fantasy Novels, 12:30pm, Room 8.  I live here today.  Signing to follow.


The Alien-Predator Expanded Universe, Room 5AB.  …and now I’m on a panel with Alan Dean Foster, I can die happy.  Signing to follow.  Then sleep.  Glorious sleep.


See you in San Diego!

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 02:21 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I moved the table again :-)
even though I had a perfectly sensible plan to wait until there was a second human to lift the other end.
I... may have hurt an entirely different bit of me than last time?
which I would count as progress.
... i'm mostly fine, I'll just feel super stupid if it turns out to be a Thing.

I turned the table around because it's less pretty this way but you can tuck the chairs in better and open the fold out better, I think, without moving the thing again.

the hinges are at least shiny.
and gold enough to match the new curtains, so.
It's looking ever more according to plan around here. *xfingers*

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:29 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
today is unusual cleaner again
and I have pasta sauce on my dress
which I haven't changed because am still doing cleaning
but it is extra embarass when they don't know I'm not always so adorned.

But I've made incremental progress in the cleaning of the living room, which is excellent.

and next I'm going to vacuum the bits that are available, because it is cleaner day.

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:22 am
beccaelizabeth: Seal of Rassilon with bi pride colors (bi pride)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
The thing about fancying the Doctor is
there is a lot of the Doctor
and if you're into the person, rather than the outsides, there is some variation that might lose your interest, but mostly the Doctor is the Doctor, right?
like falling for book characters and then knowing you're almost certainly going to fancy *whoever* they cast, because you've got a run up.
And weird as it is to get one's fantasy love life recast every few years
it must be a bit weirder right now for straight women
or gay men.

Kind of a soulbonding dream

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:23 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I dreamt there was this room which made some people very, very twitchy if shut in there alone. Which would be hard to distinguish from regular hey why is the door locked twitchy. But it was like sensory deprivation, like people in that room that is Too Quiet. It shut off a sense most people aren't consciously aware of, the one mages use, a sort of reaching out part. So it filtered for people who could be trained, which was handy, but this particular room was designed for something else.

As this group found when Barry Allen closed the door behind himself, and while the world got shut out, that left them real focused on the sense of each other.

If there wasn't anything to reach outside for, certain spells, inset in the floors, could encourage, basically, soulbonding.

It hadn't been done for a while, not formally or consciously. Mick and Len were in there and had their own little bond humming away. But the more people in a bonded group, the stronger the bond, the greater the distance it worked at, the more strength each could share with the others, and the more knowledge. This room was set up for a bond of five or six, and they hadn't found rooms for larger. Which ought to be a clue this was going to get wild, but, they had an urgent need to be better, faster, stronger, smarter, and, rather importantly, able to trust each other.

Barry Allen, Mick Rory and Leonard Snart, Cisco Ramon, and... some random guy who was impressively good with curved swords. The random guy knew he was a random. But he was a random who maybe might be able to join a bond.

And since they'd found a lot of emphasis on how the bond needed maintenance, preferably daily, they thought it would be temporary.

... it's never temporary.

So Barry explained all this and how the bonding part worked and then he got naked.

... pretty sure the fic of this would be popular, with a slightly tweaked cast list.

So, bonding happened, in all the available combinations.

This was made possible partly by the designs inset in the floor. Which were a sort of hexagonal pixel grid made of sliced sections of color pencils. The wood is a traditional wand material, the colors less so, but each dot could be made of all sorts, so you could get super complex workings going on.

... no I'm not going to write up the bonding today.

But when they were done, they could hear each other at least all across the city, and showing a design to Len got Cisco level comprehension, with Len's tactical sense. And that was just the beginning, they had a lot more to learn from each other.

Mick and Len were used to just feeling really in synch and not needing whole sentences to figure each other out, but that was like texting compared to the full on experience they could get from each other now. Which was kind of like drinking from the fire hose, so they suddenly spent much less time together and latched on to others instead. Mick and Cisco, Len and Barry. Random guy is still random, it was kind of sad, there were fears of being a redshirt. But everyone got superb at hand to hand. Still, Barry kept trying to include everyone, but he also wanted to spend time with Iris, because wife. ... you kind of have to be Barry to physically manage that. Recovery times are otherwise an issue. Except everyone would get just a little share of his healing, sooo...

You'd think Barry and Cisco would be the tightest, being relatively emotionally available and actually liking each other, but they actually found the sex parts weird and Cisco was the only one with an emotional 'we're cheating on Iris' hangup, and so they mostly bounced into other orbits. Which seemed to be working out.

Except, all that about maintaining the spell? That'd be because if it gets wonky, it gets wonky for *everyone*. Any weird feelings either get dealt with or bounce back and forth until the whole group has them. And Len's first reaction, be cold and walk away, don't warm up to people, way too dangerous to care... well usually it gets balanced by Mick's fire or/and Barry's persistence running after people, but, those are now conflicting feelings on the *inside*, and then it gets weird. Random guy is still feeling shut out, except that means *everyone* starts feeling like they're shut out, spare, surplus, rejected, which compounds on the fact Len is consciously trying to reject them and emotionally as wildly possessively attached as he ever has been, as if they're all Mick now, which he can't always deal with when there's just one of it. Oh, and Cisco's feeling they're cheating? Yeah, messy.

So now they either have to deal with their emotional problems or... well, not deal with anything, because it's going to get loud in there.

The bond isn't temporary, it's *tricky*, and using it to force trust is pretty much their worst idea ever.


But it totally could work out, they've got the framework, especially if someone notices that it doesn't all have to be sex.

And in the dream Barry specifically had a conversation about Iris about how he was feeling bad because if he's poly now then shouldn't he just, like, love everyone the same? And that needs sorted out, because no two couples are the same, he needs to realise what each specific relationship means to him and work on it as its own thing.

So it's a whole thing about sex and communication and how you can't rely on sex, except with soulbonds and superpowers and being able to be five or six supergeniuses who can work at some level of superspeed even if it's just by sending Barry to read books and then redistributing the new knowledge so they each hold on to parts of it even while it mostly fades.

Many advantages, with the disadvantage of actually requiring open and honest communication about emotions.

So, team.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 08:34 pm
beccaelizabeth: Seal of Rassilon with bi pride colors (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Doctor Who casting news:
vague yaay.
don't know them, so no specific opinions, but they meet my minimum ask, for the first time, so that's nice.

I did a sorting hat quiz

Jul. 16th, 2017 12:11 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
TIME magazine offers a new Sorting Hat


83.9% Ravenclaw

15.3% Hufflepuff

0.6% Slytherin

0.1% Gryffindor

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:53 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
*finds theme written in pink on purple*
dude. dude.
did we learn nothing from the 90s?

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:30 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
i don't care what's going on
it does not benefit from leaning on the stupid air horn
ugly loud

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:21 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
well someone with a microphone said Carnival 2016
so it is indeed a carnival
... and I know he was probably talking about last year's, but I feel if there's anywhere stuck back in time and nobody notice, it would be rural market towns.

potentially time travelling carnival continues to be loud
in slightly different styles every couple of minutes
some with call and response.

there's also a number of cars objecting to the route
including a small queue that would like to get out of our building.
planning!

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