chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-09-18 08:22 pm

(no subject)

Thought for the evening:

I know that Luke Cage won't really be behind the bar at Vazac's when I walk by, but I can't help looking, anyway.
chelseagirl: (Peggy Carter)
2017-09-08 05:22 am

fanfic: love trumps hate and yuletide

I was bid on to write a Lord Peter Wimsey/Agent Carter crossover for Love Trumps Hate and have been struggling with it for months. I had a number of false starts and then started to write it through Dum Dum Duggan's voice, which I was really enjoying, until I realized that a) the problem with writing a WWII story is that I can only write the homefront; behind the lines is not something I can envision well enough to write. And also that b) my original plan -- Lord Peter, Peggy, and Dum Dum go behind the lines to rescue Lord St. George (who, according to Sayers' notes, was to have been an RAF pilot in the war) and Howard Stark -- had a fatal flaw in that Lord Peter's shellshock/PTSD meant he really is better off doing the Foreign Office/diplomacy thing. Harriet and Bunter literally told me that in dialogue!

So as to not entirely let down the bidder, who's been so cooperative and understanding, I wrote a little squib, where Peter and Peggy meet up after the war. You can read it here, should you like: https://archiveofourown.org/works/12023484

I wonder if I'm witty enough to write Wimseyfic. I keep parading Peter and Harriet into crossover stories (okay, well, twice), because they are awesome, but I'm not certain whether I'm confident enough to write them on their own. I thought I was, but now I wonder.

Yuletide nominations -- first time I've actually done this:
Strange Empire - feminist Canadian western that's on Netflix in the US, and only lasted one season (2015). Focuses on women and shows an old West, that reflects the actual diversity of the time and place instead of whitewashing, on the Montana/Alberta border, and has lots of interesting flawed women characters, a wonderful trans man, and Tahmoh Penikett being all handsome and stuff. The dialogue sounds a bit stylized, which I think is a post-Deadwood thing, but I was riveted.

and
The Bletchley Circle, perennial favorite (of mine, anyway).
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-08-11 09:48 am

(no subject)

Also, I am completely obsessed with The Defenders, even though it is a week away. Oh, Matt, Jessica, Luke, that other guy!
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-08-11 08:17 am

fannish traces . . .

I was googling myself the other day, because I got curious -- five or six years ago, an old college boyfriend googled me and found some of my fanfic from the 90s, when we innocently used our real names, assuming things on the Internet would forever be silo'ed.

[That turned out ok, because it was the now-decades old ASJ fanfic I've recently referenced. There was sex in some of them, so that actually was a bit embarrassing. I explained fanfic but since he didn't know the show, for him it was just stories. He ended up reading the whole series, and sent me emails about them over a period of six months or so, which was fun, as I hadn't thought about them in years and it was fun to have such an unexpected reader.]

Anyway, the person who ran the site they'd been republished on later removed my surname, at my request, because we don't cheerfully violate copyright under our real names these days. But I was curious if I was listed in Fanlore or anyplace like that, so I shaped a search with my name and fandom, and the answer is yes I am, attached to zine-based stories and awards. If I hadn't targeted the search, I suspect it would have been buried under my professional conferences and publications, and anyway, it doesn't really matter because fandom studies is long established as an academic thing.

I also discovered that in a recent academic book on Doctor Who fandom, a piece that I scripted and a friend drew back in the early 80s was actually cited in one of the articles, in a favorable way. At the time (just like now) I was not a congoer and the editor of the zine never sent me my contributor's copy, so I only saw the actual zine years later when the artist found a used one in a dealers' room and got it for me. (I had some xeroxes of our finished piece, meantime.) But years later, this fandom scholar had access to the zine. So very funny -- I've been cited before, but always for my critical pieces, not for a creative transformative work . . .Also, it was in a series of fandom studies books from a particular press, and I nearly bought the Dr. Who one at a conference, but ended up buying the Buffy one instead. If I had got the Dr. Who one, what a surprise that would have been, when I got to that article!
chelseagirl: (Peggy Carter)
2017-08-07 06:44 am

Fannish Trauma (featuring Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers, and Jessica Jones)

. . . and that (my previous post) makes me think of fannish trauma, which is I guess what I need to call it.

I 'ship the hell out of Peggysous -- Peggy Carter + Daniel Sousa forever, as far as I'm concerned. And yet, it rips my heart out every time I watch the end of Captain America: First Avenger and see Peggy and Steve saying goodbye and then seeing him wake up decades later. The love that could have been.

(It's also interesting that Chris Evans thinks they never got to, you know, but Haley Atwell has suggested they were at it during odd moments all over Europe. The hopeless romantic viewpoint versus the more pragmatic "they were soulmates, it was wartime, of course they did".)

And every subsequent Cap or Avengers film where Peggy is referenced. Tears me up, every single time. Because even though I love Peggy and Daniel, I mourn for Peggy and Steve. I'm a sap like that.

Meanwhile, I just rewatched Jessica Jones (for, um, the fourth time) prior to The Defenders coming out soon. And Jessica/Luke just rips my heart out, especially those final episodes where he's been Kilgraved and she thinks it's real. Where while he's unconscious, she says she never saw a future with anyone, but she could have seen a future with him, and she would have liked that future.

And then in Luke Cage, they paired him with Claire Temple, whom I adore. I have loved Claire in every one of the Netflix-Marvel shows, and she was nearly the only thing that made Iron Fist bearable for me. (Jeri Hogarth's cameos helped, too.) And Defenders previews make it clear that when Luke gets out of prison, he and Claire are back together. (Claire using his catchphrase "Sweet Christmas!" during IF also kinda made it clear they were keeping in close touch while he was away.)

Claire is so much more emotionally stable than Jessica, and she was smart enough to walk away from Matt Murdock because she saw the darkness in him. Claire is quite literally the best. BUT . . . of course there is a but.

I'm not a comics reader, and the only thing I knew about Jessica Jones going in (besides that I've always liked Krysten Ritter) was that she was Luke Cage's wife and that they had a child together. And Ritter and Mike Colter had chemistry that just burned up the screen. So when they ended up apart at the end of the series, I wasn't too worried. Heck, Claire even seemed to be shipping them, in her cameo appearance.

Except for the case of Steve Rogers and the Carters. Because (and don't laugh too much at me, if you're Marvel-literate and you're reading this), I do know that in the comics, Steve is with Sharon Carter. And that when the MCU pushed that in the last movie, it did not really seem to take for a lot people, including me. Now there are rumors about that Comic Con reel and whether Steve will try to use one of the infinity stones to bring Peggy back somehow.

But the comics' Peggy was blonde and American, not brunette and British. And she ended up with a Howling Commando, not an SSR officer. She's kind of not entirely the same character.

Which is me trying to differentiate. Because I need Jessica/Luke to be the endgame. But I don't know comics Jessica at all, and if she's less messed up than tv Jessica by the time she and Luke become a thing. I cannot imagine Ritter's Jessica as the mother of a child, at least not until a lot more character development and emotional healing happens. I do know that Luke is with Claire in the comics at one point and she leaves him because . . . well, for similar reasons to why she never hooked up with Matt. So maybe if the shows continue long enough . . . but I'm rarely the kind of 'shipper who gets this invested. What is it about Jessica/Luke for me?

The other thing I loved rewatching is the friendships. Especially Jessica and Trish. I was surprised to see there were more Jessica/Trish stories on AO3 than Jessica/Luke, because I love them so much as a friendship, complicated but so deep, and sex makes it almost cliched. (I was really disturbed to see how much Jessica/Kilgrave has been written, by the by . . . ) Also Jessica and Malcolm's friendship and how the caretaking roles reverse as Malcolm's true self emerges. So glad to see Eka Darville's name in the cast list for The Defenders; wish I'd seen Rachael Taylor's there, too, but maybe we'll get a Trish Talk cameo or something . . .
chelseagirl: (Wentworth writing)
2017-08-07 06:20 am

musings on fanfic and why I don't write it much anymore

I'm still on my revisiting old fandoms kick, or actually, trying to figure out why that one show inspired me to write so much. Especially because it wasn't actually my favorite show at the time -- it was something from the past that I was discovering and enjoying the heck out of, thanks to fannish networks, but this was at the time when the greatest show in the history of television was actually airing. Buffy. What else could I possibly mean?

Unlike many of you, I never felt the need to write Buffy, though. I did one Spike/Dru story and something silly about Harmony, and that was pretty much it. I was satisfied watching things unfold as they happened, and though I read some fic, and was interested in venues for conversation about the show, I never really felt like I needed to intervene with canon.

Because of the structure of ASJ, it allowed for a lot more fannish intervention -- since it was about two guys with prices on their heads travelling around and trying to stay out of trouble long enough for their amnesty to come through (because of course they were good bad guys, who only robbed, didn't kill), storylines were pretty much wide open. And episodic television, as opposed to arc television, doesn't leave everything you've written becoming invalidated the next season. (Plus canon had been closed for like 25 years by then, while at the same time, there was an audience.) One of the reasons I'm unlikely to dig up my old Forever Knight or Life on Mars fic to post on A03 is because most of it's gotten joss'ed; when I reread it, I see the situations I was responding to and how the fic was very much of that particular moment. It was my way of being part of the conversation about what was going on in my fandoms in real time.

I've also been thinking about it because I recently went to the first signing event for a friend who began as a fan writer, subsequently did her MFA, and just released the first book of a historical fiction trilogy with Harper!

As for me, I want Peggy Carter back on our screens like burning, in whatever format, but the fact that Agent Carter in its current format is finished makes it a lot easier to fic. Please please PLEASE have her heading up SHIELD during Captain Marvel. Have Steve use the time stone to bring her back in Infinity Wars. Somehow, somewhere, Marvel Studios, please give me more Peggy & Howard founding SHIELD, and yes, please have Daniel Sousa be the mysterious husband from The Winter Soldier. But meanwhile, I can occasionally feel a fic coming on . . . I'll never have time like I did when I was in grad school and single and could steal away an entire day or two here and there for writing. But once in awhile . . .
chelseagirl: (Peggy Carter)
2017-06-17 04:33 pm

Fanfic!

The SSR Confidential Exchange had its reveals yesterday, so I can say "hey! I wrote some Agent Carter stories!" and make a couple of recs, as well.

"Girls' Night Out" is a romp about what happens when Peggy, Rose Roberts, and Ana Jarvis decide to go out for . . . well, a girls' night out. http://archiveofourown.org/works/11148879

"The 6:30 from Grand Central Station" was written for irisdouglasiana, who wanted interesting locations in either LA or NY. As a New Yorker, I chose the latter, and really enjoyed bringing in some real life locations, as well as one of my favorite historical figures. http://archiveofourown.org/works/11120733

My gift, from cairistiona, was a friendship story about Peggy and Dum Dum Duggan in the wake of losing Steve. It's called "It's Been a Long, Long Time" and it's lovely! http://archiveofourown.org/collections/SSR_Confidential_2017/works/11054868

I was lucky enough to get to betaread Selena's "Tomorrow, in a year" which is thought-provoking and challenging and so amazing. http://archiveofourown.org/collections/SSR_Confidential_2017/works/10973406

And there's lots of other great fic there. Go forth and read!

I, myself, promised someone an Agent Carter/Lord Peter Wimsey crossover set during the war and afterwards, and that will be happening very soon.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-04-14 05:03 pm

(no subject)

In-laws here from the UK just at the same time I am doing draft conferences for all my studeents' final papers, selling an apartment (oh my goodness, we got more than asking! assuming the board approves the aspirant), and hitting all the deadlines for conference submissions. So . . . nothing much going on.

Did have Good Friday off, so went with M and parents to Coney Island today. Nice to be there out of season.

Soon I'll have time to talk about stuff again. Meanwhile, strong recommendation: read City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett -- so good!
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-04-09 08:06 am

(no subject)

So I've given the proverbial 2 weeks notice on LJ, after which I will be deleting my account. This is the first post here that hasn't been crossposted there.

So from now on it's DW and FB.

And occasionally Instagram.

I pretty much never use my Tumblr or Twitter. I suppose that could change.

And of course, Pinterest and Librarything and Goodreads.

And Academia.edu, naturally.

It's a wonder we, any of us, get anything done, ever.

I definitively do NOT have a LinkedIn.

But of course I do have an AO3.

You know, I tell my students that I will never get a Snapchat because they should have something where we're not, but the honest truth is, I couldn't handle any more social media in any case.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-03-17 01:15 pm

SSR Confidential: Dear Author

Last year I found out about this challenge late in the game, but was lucky enough to duck in as a pinch hitter. This year, I'm glad to be in from the beginning.

My request centers on Peggy and friendship. As I said in the request, I'm interested in Peggy's friendships with Jarvis and with Howard, as well as her friendships with Ana and with Rose. I ran out of tags, but of course I'm a fan of Peggy and Angie's friendship, and of Peggy and the Howling Commandos. I ship Peggy with Steve and with Daniel, but if you choose one of those, if you could emphasize the friendship within the romance, that would be great. The main thing is to center it on Peggy and her friendship with one or more of the other characters.

I'd be delighted to get a happy, positive story, or an angsty, potentially tragic one. I love both plot and character development. I'm not specifically looking for anything graphic, but I won't mind if you go that way, as long as the other requests are met. (No PWP, please.)

Thank you@
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2017-01-15 07:35 am

(no subject)

Lovely news -- our latest union contract was passed, and accordingly, I got a backdated raise for the past two years. It's clear that the first increment was the standard amount, but the second was higher.

I'd like to see that as an acknowledgment of my excellence, anyway.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Alice)
2016-12-30 08:12 pm

on the russian servers and dreamwidth

I've been crossposting from DW for awhile, though most of the comments I get still come from here. I'm backing up my journal over there, as many of you are doing, because I'm definitely nervous about the server migration. Please feel free to add me over there; same username, Chelseagirl. I know I don't post super-often; I'm afraid I'm more active on FB these days, simply because most of my RL friends are there, but I value this space and would love to keep in touch if the Great Migration happens . . .
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2016-11-05 03:21 pm

Supergirl and The Exorcist (emphatically NOT a crossover)

So Supergirl is kinda losing me this season. Here's why: Read more... )

Not sure if anyone's actually watching The Exorcist but M convinced me and it's nicely layered and complex. As long as they resolve this storyline this season and don't drag it out forever. They should do more like American Horror Story and do different possessions each season. We're an episode behind because who has the time, but omg, Read more... ) Now just play Tubular Bells every week, and I'm all-in. Also, where is all the slashfic about the two hottie priests? OK, there are only 8 stories on A03 but they're all Marcus/Tomas, so fandom has not failed me.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2016-10-23 07:19 am

(no subject)

My aunt died late Thursday night. She was with a health care aide. I'm told that when the aide came in to give her last set of medications for the night at 9pm, she said she wanted to sleep a little longer, and when the aide came back at 9:30, she was gone.

I had seen her the day before. She'd finally gone home from the nursing home/rehab center, and then fell again and was rehospitalized a week later. This time a cracked vertebrae, though it might not have been the result of the fall. I left work early on Wednesday to be with her in the emergency room, but I had to fly out to Denver the next morning for a conference I was presenting at. I got back late on Sunday, taught Monday morning, and then headed back to the hospital. They released her that night, and she went home with her primary aide.

Wednesday morning I got a call from her aide that the agency hadn't sent someone else yet. (Lorna was private, not from the agency.) She'd been there for 48 hours and was tired and stressed. So I told my staff I wasn't coming in and cancelled my appointments (I lied and called in sick, because I had been taking off so much time due to my aunt -- luckily, as long as I don't miss classes, I've got some flexibility . . . but people have been out and we've had a problematic grad student client and there are things that need to be done). I took a taxi uptown, got Lorna some food, and spent the morning and halfway through the afternoon with my aunt, who had yet another nurse coming for assessment. I also fielded quite a few phone calls from the agencies about people coming for various appointments.

Lorna needed a few days off after her 48 hour shift, so the agency booked some other people, though I'm happy that on Thursday we had Lakeisha, who was new since she'd been home and who we really liked. Someone else was with Aunt Isabel when she died. But I'm glad I saw her on Wednesday and I'm glad Lakeisha was there for most of the day Thursday.

Friday was meant to be a grading papers day, but it became a fielding phone calls and running Isabel-related errands day.

If we're friends on FB, you've seen my two posts:

#1. The two things Isabel valued most in the world were her independence and her intellect. Her physical disabilities had taken away the former -- she was going to need 24/7 attendance (luckily she had saved & invested very well and had the money for it, at least for the near future) and as Parkinsonian dementia got worse, she was losing the latter. She was tired and it was ready for her to go.

and

#2. The police sealed the apartment. So my mom, who's the executor, is coming down and can't get into the apartment. She's meeting with the funeral director on Monday, and we are meeting together with the lawyer before I go to campus Tuesday morning. And we can't get in and the police were rude and dismissive and basically treated me like a crazy person because I raised my voice. If someone told me at 5am, when I'd just lost a family member, that I could come by and pick up the keys, and then when I was there (in a rainstorm so intense I was soaked despite umbrella and raincoat) they tell me a different story, and *actually think I should have had the presence of mind to get the name of the person I spoke to at 5am when my relative just died* then they are neither kind nor logical. *Everyone* else I have been dealing with, from the agencies and lawyer and building and etc. has been super kind and helpful. But not the cops.

I went to the building anyway and expressed my concerns to the super (who had assumed she was just rehospitalized) and a coop board member who fortuitiously was taking her dog for a walk just while I was there. They reassured me and put me in touch with the managing agency, and everyone (except the police, apparently) is on my side.

But mom will have to sleep here, even though the apartment is empty, because if we break the seal, we're subject to arrest. (She's obsessive/phobic about cleaning, and you may guess my apartment has fallen into disarray. But as I've said to M, I'll vacuum and change the cat boxes, and I want her to see what all this has done to my ability to cope -- I'm grading papers this morning, not scrubbing floors.) And there are a lot of records we don't have access to. This is ironic because I have been handling Aunt Isabel's affairs since early July and everything was IN MY APARTMENT until Isabel went home a few weeks ago, when I moved her documents back to her place. Hell, I had her *wallet* in my possession for almost 3 months, and returned it when she went home.

Our lawyer is going to help us get back in. He says it's good that the original will is in the apartment (I know just where, because I found it, photocopied and scanned it, and then returned it) because we need it and the surrogates' court will have to let us in.

But *swearwords* my 82 year old mother is taking an 8 hour train ride from Buffalo and she can only stay in NYC for a few days because she is sole caregiver for my 85 year old father, who's had several strokes and walks with walker very hesitantly and sometimes falls. (Wonderful family friend Chrissy is staying with him for a few days.) And we can't even get into the apartment to get the bloody documents we need for her to start doing her work as executor. (Aunt Isabel intended to add me as co-executor but never got around to it and sometimes was convinced that it had already been done, but it hadn't. So yeah, I'll be doing all the work, but mom will be the executor.)

Also, stupid stuff. Lorna left some of her belongings in the apartment and I can't return them to her until we can get in. I spent all summer keeping Aunt Isabel's plants alive for her because she cares about them. I spent most of the summer clearing out the apartment to de-hoard it and get it made safe for her to come home to. In fact, since early July, I HAVE SPENT MORE TIME IN THE APARTMENT THAN ISABEL HAS!!! There is fresh food in the fridge (which I bought for her) which is *going to go bad*. And although her mail was forwarded to my address some time ago, a lot of it was still going there and her mailbox will explode, and her mailbox key? In the apartment.

SO BLOODY RIDICULOUS! Apparently they seal the apartment so that no one who is not next of kin can go in and take things. Except next of kin/the executor is my mother and neither she nor my cousins (who live in Ohio and near DC; I am the only local one) have any objection to my taking *anything* I want considering how much time and energy I gave to Aunt Isabel over the past four months. They've said so. But honestly, I need to get in there to get bills and financial records so we can start cancelling things (everything except the power) and save the plants and clean out the fridge and etc.

Beyond exhausted. And did not get the grading done that I thought would happen this Friday/weekend when I left the office Thursday evening.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2016-10-05 05:15 am

Luke Cage

I finished Luke Cage last night, and really enjoyed it. At the beginning, it felt really mainstream, more of a crime drama than a Marvel show -- it wasn't until we got Luke's backstory and then Claire's arrival that I felt really grounded in the JJ/DD NYC world. (Loved the Trish Talk cameo, too.)

This show has such a wealth of well-drawn women characters of color -- Misty, Claire, Mariah, Priscilla, even the precinct captain. Heck, even Connie, who I wish hadn't disappeared completely.

But in the wee hours of the night, I wondered if the Luke/whoever 'ship wars are already rumbling over on Tumblr? I'm not including Misty, because it seems they both moved on from it pretty quickly, but Claire (who is the most awesome character in the Netflix MCU) vs. offscreen Jessica (whom I adore).

Contemplation under the cut: Read more... )

In any case, I really hope this does not turn into one of those woman against woman fan battles, like the ones that made Sleepy Hollow fandom so unpleasant.

And, coming from another perspective, I paired Jessica *with* Claire for a ficathon awhile back. It's called "Better Late Than . . ." and it was written before s. 2 of DD, so it assumes Claire is still in Hell's Kitchen. Check it out if you like: http://archiveofourown.org/works/6127756
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2016-10-03 06:02 am

Yuletide: Dear Author

Dear Author:

I think you'll find I'm pretty easy-going about my preferences. I'm not really looking for darkfic over the holidays, but if it fits with my requests (with Penny Dreadful, especially), then it's okay by me. I'm primarily interested in character and plot; I really don't care if it's G-rated or sexually explicit, or anything in between, but I'd prefer that the sex is secondary to a plotty or character-exploring story.

The Bletchley Circle: Jean McBrien, Susan Gray, Lucy Davis, Millie
Anything about these ladies, during or after the war. Mostly, I prefer explorations of friendship and case fics, but Millie slashes well with any of the others, if that's where your fancy takes you.

Penny Dreadful: Caliban/John Clare, Vanessa Ives, Brona Croft/Lily Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein
My two favorite characters are the Creature/John Clare/Caliban and Vanessa -- I only *friend*ship them myself, but I'm open to something more between them in your story, if that's what you'd like to write. What I'd really like to read is either something about their friendship, or what happened to the Creature/John next after he's seen sorrowing at Vanessa's grave. Does he head back to the Arctic, as in the novel? Does he return to his (earlier self's) wife, who's regained her sanity? Does he befriend Lily? Do he and Victor meet up again?
Honestly, if we matched on this show, but this doesn't inspire you, I'd also love to read anything about Catriona Hartdegan, Dr. Seward, and/or Ferdinand Lyle, preferably having adventures . . . .

Jessica Jones: Jessica Jones, Patricia Walker, Luke Cage, Malcolm Ducasse
I'm super-interested in the Jessica-Trish friendship, and I 'ship the hell out of Jessica/Luke, so anything on either of these would be amazing. I also find Malcolm's growing friendship with Jessica interesting. (But, btw, having just finished Luke Cage, I should mention that I also adore Claire Temple; I don't mind if the romantic situation gets complicated -- read that as you will -- but I don't want to see either one of the women dissed on the other's behalf! Girl power and all that . . . )

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange, John Childermass, Arabella Strange, Stephen Black
I chose the book, but I love both book and miniseries. The women are overall better developed on TV, but Stephen Black's story is much better developed in the book. So mix and match as you please, but I'm especially interested in anything to do with Childermass, Arabella, and/or Stephen Black.

Forever: Henry Morgan, Abe Morgan, Abigail Morgan, Jo Martinez
I'd love more in this canon. I'm especially interested in what happens next when Jo turns up at Henry's door, but backstory on Henry, Abigail, and Abe is also very welcome.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2016-08-07 08:04 am

(no subject)

I'm cross-posting my Goodreads review here because I *really* enjoyed this one, and I think it might interest other folks here.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

My fondest wish is that Susanna Clarke will put out another book in the same universe as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. My next-fondest was that I'd find something I enjoyed as much. That second wish, at least, has been granted. Sorcerer to the Crown is worthy of the comparison -- it's briefer, fluffier, and not on the grand scale of JS&MN, and it's entirely fair to call it a cross between Clarke and Georgette Heyer, as I've seen written in more than one place. And it's thoroughly enjoyable.

Prunella Gentleman, one of the two protagonists, is in some ways the Jonathan Strange of the text -- her magic is instinctive; she gets bored reading magical theory. At the beginning, she wants nothing more than woman of the upper classes in her time and place want -- to make a good marriage. But the novel doesn't blame her for this -- it's the society she's raised in. And if she can convince this world to overlook her origins as the possibly illegitimate daughter of an English gentleman and an Indian woman, it's a goal she might well succeed at . . . if not for the something far better that awaits her talents and her real heritage.

Zacharias Wythe, the Sorcerer Royal, would prefer to be immured in a library somewhere with his researches, but his guardian, Sir Stephen Wythe, had groomed him as his successor. Zacharias might be the Mr. Norrell of the tale, except that he is young, handsome, and black -- a freed slave whom the Wythe family has raised. But while the Sir Stephen and Lady Wythe love him, the other members of the Thaumaturgical Society hold the usual prejudices of the day.

There are some wonderful secondary characters, and while the plot is somewhat secondary to establishing the world and its inhabitants, the whole thing is delightful. Regency(ish) England is presented as multicultural in the ways it historically *was*, and it's made clear that there is a much larger and more diverse world outside of its borders. Later installments should productively build on what's been established here, and if the stakes are raised, with the Napoleonic Wars at hand, as well as the wry, almost Wodehouse-like fairyland, anything could happen. The next installment will be a hardcover buy for me.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Alice)
2016-06-23 05:27 am

Book meme, part 2

12: Tell one book story or memory (what you were wearing when you were reading something, someone saw you cry in public, you threw a book across the room and broke a window, etc.
OK, I have this intensely nostalgic memory of reading Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty on a train in England, with sun coming through the window. Then for some reason, I set it aside for the rest of the trip, and finished it at home in New York, but I kept flashing back to that train ride, the whole while.

13: What character would be your best friend in real life? Elizabeth Bennet? (Pride and Prejudice, obviously Or possibly Dorothea Brooke, from Middlemarch, though she'd be difficult to live up to.

14: Favorite item of book merch Hmm. I have not one but two (a grey and a purple) of a Pride and Prejudice t-shirt from Out of Print. It's got a vintage cover design with lots of peacock feathers. I also have an extensive Alice collection, including a really beautiful mug that sent me with just that Alice-and-flamingo image that's in my userpic.

15: Post a shelfie. I can't remember how to post pictures to LJ. Help?

16: Rant about anything book related Why can't all ebooks have standardized pagination. I tell my students they need to use MLA citation format WITH PAGE NUMBERS and I get a lot of chapter numbers because they're reading ebooks. NOT OKAY! But I'm fine with ebooks; I just want/need those bloody page numbers! (And students to actually listen to me but that's another story.)

17: What do you think about movie/tv adaptations? Wow, that's a wildly oversimplified question. There's a whole field of Adaptation Studies, which I write in sometimes. http://www.neovictorianstudies.com/ -- go to issue 5.1 from 2012, and there's an article I wrote on Alice adaptations.

18: Favorite booktuber(s) Huh??

19: Book that you call your child. Double huh??

20: A character you like but you really, really shouldn't. Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment? The Creature in Frankenstein -- but I don't feel guilty about that!

21: Do you loan your books? Sometimes.

22: A movie or tv show you wish would have been a book The Bletchley Circle; I'd love to read about the women in the series, and maybe get more on their backgrounds etc.

23: Did your family or friends influence you to read when you were younger? Yes; my parents read to me and made sure there were always books in the house, and also took me to the library regularly.

OK, I think that's it for now!

Read more... )
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
2016-06-22 07:06 am

House of Cards (US)

I'm catching up on the American version of House of Cards -- I'd seen the British version before, but just hadn't gotten around to this one -- and I'm really enjoying it. BUT I'm nearing the end of season 4, and the notion that the First Lady would be nominated as her husband's running mate? Strains credibility.

I mean, obviously we have a former First Lady who has a good shot at being our next President, but that's not *at the same time*.

Also, Underwood was so much darker in s. 1. Obviously he's still unscrupulous, but the really dark edge is muted.

I keep thinking of the Underwoods as the Macbeths.