Fannish notes

Oct. 22nd, 2014 19:55
naraht: (other-Yuletide squee)
[personal profile] naraht
Yuletide signups are open! But then you probably already knew this.

Over at [community profile] renaultx I'm keeping and updating a list of all the Renault requests with letters.

As part of the aptly named Crueltide I've declared my willingness to receive darkfic for Yuletide and offered some further details/prompts for my fandoms. While I decided not to throw my hat in the ring for Yuleporn, this one is right up my street.

Free Speech

Oct. 22nd, 2014 11:17
otw_staff: Claudia, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Claudia)
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Posted by fanhackers

The New York Times generally presented fanfiction as a financial opportunity for the corporations that own the intellectual properties copied by fanfiction. Many articles asserted that franchises benefit from, and in some cases rely on, their fanfiction communities. For example, Harris (2008) ties the box office success of the X-Files film to the continued health of its fanfiction community, while Heffernan (2008) depicts a lack of homoerotic fanfiction as problematic for the success of any show with a large, attractive male cast. Thompson (2005) reports on the lucrative partnership between the Halo fan-film circle Rooster Teeth and Halo’s copyright holder Microsoft. This “co-opted/encouraged by industry” frame presents a view of fanfiction’s future as a marketing tool, rather than a fan-driven culture. The frame is frequently associated with the “self-branding” purpose frame; teenagers who desire to become part of their favored franchise show their solidarity with the product and fan subculture in ways which are extremely beneficial for intellectual property holders (Hitt 2008; Scott 2002).

Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education

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were_duck: Clint drinking coffee straight from the pot (Clint drinking coffee)
[personal profile] were_duck
I have read a few books recently! Wow. Who am I.

Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. This is less a history of Wonder Woman and much more a history of her creator and the nexus of influences that led to her creation. I really enjoyed this book--William Moulton Marston's secret poly family, kinkster influences, his work as a psychologist and inventor of the lie detector test, and heavy early feminist ideologies were fascinating. I appreciate that the author gives a lot of background and context to the women in Marston's life--his 'secret' wife Olive was the niece of Margaret Sanger, and Lepore devotes a lot of time to Sanger's life and influences on the Marston household. I was expecting more content recapping early Wonder Woman storylines, but found myself more fascinated by the women in Marston's life and the contexts of the comic itself. Very interesting portrait of not just a man, but a family and of a moment in history. I like that Lepore's prose was unsentimental about Marston, too. He may have been ahead of his time in terms of feminism but he was also possessed of an enormous ego and had a lot of lingering sexist ideas. That said, the work he did still fascinates us today, and Wonder Woman as an unabashed feminist icon has an even greater place in my current personal pantheon. I recommend this book--I found it fascinating and very engaging.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This book is getting all kinds of buzz and it ended up on the National Book Award shortlist. My favorite rep, one of our Random House ones, bugged me until I read this because he loves it so much. It's very literary--it takes a science fiction trope and gives it a literary treatment about fame and memory and things. Ultimately I didn't love this book as much as my rep does, perhaps because I've seen this trope a bunch of times before, but I did like it, and the writing was really lovely in a lot of places. Moments from it stick with me vividly. If you like dystopias with a strong dose of humanity, you may like this one.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley. I picked this up on its release date, wanting very much to love it. I didn't. Some spoilers... )

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie. I actually read this a few months ago, but it just came out so people are talking about it now. On first reading I didn't have the same flush of excitement for this book as I did for its predecessor, but upon reflection I really like it. It does a better job than Justice of explaining what's going on and delving a bit more into Breq's personal identity. It also has a smaller focus, so it's a bit less sweeping, but I think that is a great choice for this second book--it grounds the story and lays down some much-needed character work in advance of the next installment, which promises to be much more intense.

**I am also halfway through these books, but knowing me I probably will be too flaky to write them up later and I have an opinion right now, so let's just go with it:

I'm about a third of the way into Ada's Algorithm by James Essinger. It's a biography of Ada Lovelace!!!! If I am understanding things right, this already came out in the UK a while back, but has been slightly re-titled and is out this month in the US. The writing is very pedestrian and straightforward, a disappointment especially coming off of the richness of the Wonder Woman book, but the subject is of direct importance to me as I enter the wonderful world of Being A Woman-Type Person In Tech, so I'll keep with it. (Speaking of which, if you haven't heard of The Ada Initiative yet... go check it out).

I did stop and look up Babbage's Difference Engine after reading about him in this book, and it was pretty cool to see in motion even though I am not mathy enough to fully understand polynomial equations. I'll embed the video here so you can watch, too, if you want. Oddly beautiful:

My major complaint with the Ada biography is that the first few chapters prominently describe her father, who, being Lord Byron, was certainly a colorful figure? But it got a bit tl;dr. I'm just at the part where she and her mother meet Babbage, so I expect to start enjoying it a bit more from here out.

I'm also about halfway through Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra. This is a pop culture nonfiction book by a celebrated novelist who is also an accomplished programmer, seeking to address the connections between art and coding. It's a bit rambly and a bit partial in its perspective, but I don't really mind. As a non-white person Chandra's perspectives on tech are interesting, and the chapters on the history of coding and also the digression into the structure of Sanskrit were fascinating. I'm using this as occasional bedtime reading--thought-provoking and a bit wonderful.

I also just picked up Jacqueline Koyanagi's Ascension, which I'm enjoying more than I expected I would! This is largely down to me and my prejudice against self-publishing. However! It's queer (and, I think, eventually poly?) women of color in space! I'm a few chapters in and so far it's reading like a somewhat genderswapped and racebent version of Firefly, but in a good way. So far I'm enjoying this and intrigued to see where it will go. The writing isn't phenomenal but it's got plenty of heart to it.


Oct. 21st, 2014 11:16
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Still not updating here!

Oct. 20th, 2014 21:24
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Still pretty much just on Tumblr.

I'm just posting because I've spent much of the past couple days yelling about my Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle reread, and that's kind of the only thing I've written lately that I think likely to interest anyone following me here and not there.

Made in Fandom

Oct. 20th, 2014 11:28
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The OTW Succeeds Because of You

Oct. 19th, 2014 14:01
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Reading Wednesday on Sunday

Oct. 19th, 2014 09:41
laceblade: Sailors Moon, Mercury, and Mars. Text: Maiden Policy (Sailor Moon: Maiden's Policy)
[personal profile] laceblade
The Whim of the Dragon - I actually loved the ending, and how things worked together. Glad I read this trilogy, and glad I've already been able to find each installment used at various Half-Price Books.

Bioluminescence: Lisp - Borrowed from someone in comics club (who also drew it!). Short & sweet.
The Ink Dark Moon - Recommended to me by [profile] lavendarsleeves because I was complaining about Basho on twitter ^^;;;
And she was right in that I did like this a lot more! I preferred Shikibu's poems to Komachi's, but am glad to have read it regardless. I likely made it through in part because it's so short.

An Artificial Night - Third installment of the October Daye books. I understand why many people say this was the book to really pull them into the series. spoilers ) I continue to look forward to reading more. These seem particularly fitting to read during the month of October, ;)

One Piece, volumes 16-18 - Not much happened in these volumes except that the team obtained Chopper, the blue-nosed reindeer. I feel excited when Nami and/or Princess Vivi appear on-screen. I'm also finding this arc as they finally enter Alabasta to be interesting.

Bee and Puppycat, #1-3 - Borrowed from a member of comics club. I liked the whimsical art style, as well as the basis premise (Bee and her puppycat get odd jobs from a "Temp Bot"). I particularly liked #2's use of QR codes to associate music with a number of music boxes opened by the characters. Other than that, though, there wasn't much to grasp on to.

The Pulse, vol. 1: Thin Air - The follow-up to Jessica Jones's story in Alias. I really didn't care for the art style in this volume? But the story was good enough that I didn't mind.

The Pulse, vol. 2: Secret War - I really liked this one. Done by a different artist, which helped, but the "secret" war/SHIELD + Hydra thing is an interesting through-line to me? Also, coming to Marvel comics from the MCU means I'm always surprised when Nick Fury shows up & is white.
Neither my city nor university libraries carry The Pulse, vol. 3, and the city can't obtain it via outerlibrary loan, either. Where do people go to *ahem* US comics?

Spider-Man SP//dr - Seems to be the last installment of a five-part mini-series that's building up to a new event/crossover/series/SOMETHING. I picked it up because it was written by Gerard Way & the premise sounded interesting. If the direct influences of Neon Genesis Evangelion on this weren't clear, Asuka, Rei, Kaworu, and Shinji literally appear as the protag's classmates on one page. Way does cite other influences (Akira, Chrono Trigger[??]) in interviews I've seen, but I find it weird that Evangelion isn't mentioned at all. Maybe it was only an influence for an artist, & not the writer. I'd like to see more of Peni but am not sure what this series is jumping to now.

Reading Now:
A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt, because I was feeling a little melancholy last night and am craving her writing.

OTW Board Reports on 2014 Retreat

Oct. 18th, 2014 18:27
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laceblade: Chibi Tomoyo blushing with eyes downcast, hands clutching face (CCS: Tomoyo overcome)
[personal profile] laceblade
I LOVED the first two episodes of Akatsuki no Yona, lovelovelove.

I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying Shirobako. This review does a good job explaining why.

I remain incredibly disappointed by Sailor Moon Crystal. This review of the latest episode explains why. It's making me nostalgic for the original anime, which is something I never thought I'd say.

In addition to these currently airing series, I've been watching the Cardcaptor Sakura anime for the first time, now that it's streaming on Crunchyroll. I like this anime more than Sailor Moon. It's making me want to reread xxxHOLiC and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle in their entirety, though. I never actually finished either series, although I own complete sets of both.

Unrelated, & this is from a while ago, but I keep meaning to link to [personal profile] general_jinjur's post on capitalism and trigger warnings.
anyway. a woman in the audience asked a relatively thoughtful question that displaced fannish ethics onto a commercial capitalist setting - and that's the problem. you can't do that. i mean, that's part of why monetizing fandom doesn't work, even though people keep right on trying to package and sell us. but this was in the opposite direction. "would you consider putting trigger warnings on your work?" the answer was no. of course it was no.

Anatsuki no Yona

Oct. 15th, 2014 20:21
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
[personal profile] laceblade
W O W it has been a long time since I've enjoyed a currently-airing anime so much. Just. Wow.

I watched the first two episodes today, and it was just fan-fucking-tastic.
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[staff profile] mark posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance

Hi all,

Today another SSL vulnerability was announced. This one is named POODLE and is, while serious, much less serious than the Heartbleed event from some months ago.

Unfortunately, the only real way to fix the problem is to disable something called "SSLv3" entirely. Basically, this means that we instruct our servers that they are no longer allowed to speak version 3 of the SSL protocol (you can think of it as a language -- we ban this language from our servers). It turns out this is generally OK since most browsers don't actually speak using SSLv3 these days -- you actually use what's called TLS, which is a more modern, better way of protecting the stuff you send across the Internet.

The SSLv3 protocol is actually around 15 years old at this point, and TLS has been out so long that nearly every browser out there supports it. However, shutting off SSLv3 does mean that very old browsers -- IE6, for one -- can no longer talk to Dreamwidth using encryption. In this case, since the encryption wouldn't actually mean anything, we think it's better to not even pretend that it works.

I will be making this change sometime in the next hour or three. This really should impact almost none of you, but there might be one or two and, in that case, I'm sorry. We think it's better to do this so you know you're not actually secure than to let Dreamwidth pretend to be secure.

Edit: This has been deployed. SSLv3 is disabled on Dreamwidth.

Comments and questions welcome, as always!

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Tied up with string

Oct. 12th, 2014 17:19
alg: (Default)
[personal profile] alg
It was pointed out to me the other day that I am extremely difficult to buy for. I completely disagree. Just pay a little bit of attention. You can always buy me a book!

Like, the number one thing I want from any person is a book. A book you love. If you have time, annotate it. A book you love that you've annotated ("And this is the part that I thought was perfect when I was 15...") is precious.

This kneejerk reaction had me listing off things as I fell asleep the other night. What other stuff do I always like from people? What do I collect? Example: My mom likes horse stuff, and she wears a lot of pins. So I might buy her a pin that is a stylized gold horse. What do I have that's like that? What have I "settled into" as I've grown older?

Here's the other stuff I came up with:

- pine. Anything pine. People on a budget can buy me the cheapest pine-scented tea light candles from the dollar store and I'll be thrilled. I own tons of pine candles, actually, I am never tired of them.

- malachite. Anything malachite. Just the stones, big rocks of the stuff, jewelry. I'm a silver-tone person, my ring sizes go from about 12 to about 13, and [ profile] kimbaandjane custom-makes my necklaces and knows what I like.

- cat toys. I have three cats! Anything for my cats -- cat toys, snacks, whatever.

- yarn. From fingering weight to bulky, whatever, 400 yds or more of any yarn in any fiber, pretty much. I even like acrylic. I like purples and oranges and greens.

- donations in my name. I am big on anything that feeds children or helps people get abortions for the most part. I also really love food pantries in general. I don't really care how much the donation is. $1. There, you've given me a gift.

- a nice card that says "I love you." I mean, if that's appropriate. (Sometimes it is really not appropriate. Sometimes it's creepy. But that doesn't stop some people. And those people really need to stop, wow.)

And, I mean, money, of course, but it seems gauche to put it out there. But I just did, oh well.

I think about gifts a lot, actually, because I like to think of myself as someone who is good at giving them. But I am bad at giving them on a timetable. Give you a great gift for your birthday? Not so much, I will probably take you out for a meal instead. Give you a great gift in the middle of the week randomly? Yeah, I'm on it. I think that's mostly because I am often thinking about the people I love, and that means I often see things that remind me of them. And I tend to impulsively buy or make those things, and then I cannot wait. I cannot. I cannot wait to give my loved ones these gifts. So it's Hanukkah in October!

What gifts do you like to get?????

My first Icelandic novel

Oct. 12th, 2014 11:48
naraht: Do I believe it? No. (book-No Harm)
[personal profile] naraht
Never have I read a book with more difficulty and concentrated focus than the Harlequin medical romance that I'm fighting my way through at the moment. A ten-page chapter takes me about forty minutes.

Because this is an Icelandic translation, Barn breytir öllu, AKA Having his baby by Karen Young. (The Icelandic translator actually went for "Baby changes everything," who knows why.) I bought it for 10 kronur, about 8 cents US, from the library in Ísafjörður. I was amused by the idea, the price was right, and I thought it might just be simple enough for me to cope with. It's taken me a while to sit down and actually start reading it seriously, but I think I was right.

The vocabulary is small enough that I'm not making *too* many trips to the dictionary - or at least I can bluff my way through. (I'm learning a lot of "feelings" words, as well as obstetrical terms that I probably will never use again.) The paragraphs are short and the sentence structure is not too complex. Even so I feel like I'm improving a bit at parsing syntax; I had some trouble reading aloud coherently during the course because I wasn't thinking quickly enough to work out which words should be grouped with which other words in the sentence. If you see what I mean.

Also it's just cheesy enough to keep me going through sheer amusement. There is something deeply bizarre about reading romantic scenes in Icelandic - though I'm sure Icelanders disagree.

I've now read 58 pages out of 167. I may actually get through this one! Once I finish it I'll be going on to Just William in Icelandic, which I probably should have started with.

(Yes, I do own actual Icelandic novels in Icelandic as well, but I feel I may need to work my way up to Laxness.)


ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

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