spock: logic is sexy

LJ vs Dreamwidth

(1) If you are moving to Dreamwidth, I am igrockspock over there too. Please do add me to your circles!

(2) There is not actually any content in my DW at the moment, and I will probably not start importing/cross posting till after the school year ends.

(3) I am not deeply concerned about the whole LJ/DW TOS business, but I want to go where the people are!

(4) It is unlikely that I will stop updating this journal or flist browsing over here.
star wars: leia smile

The Great British Bakeoff

Friends, is there any show that can make me as happy as the Great British Bakeoff? Because I just consumed all the seasons that are available in the United States, and I'm at a serious loss. It was just so perfect! And so different from American reality shows, where everyone is typecast, people have to quit their jobs and squish in a house together, and it's all about the prize money. All the contestants are such ordinary people, like teachers from Leeds or firefighters from whatever-shire. The hosts make ridiculous requests like "bake 17 identical profiteroles from enriched wheat dough and join them together with royal icing in the shape of your hometown." And everyone does it! And they are all so adorable and British and modest! How kind of you to say my obscure Latvian pastry is a masterpiece, but really, I hardly know anything about baking and I'm right chuffed the judges loved it. Are all British reality shows this cute, or is this one just special?
Buffy: anya

Resist

The ResistBot uses your name and zip code to identify your Congress people. Then it turns your texts into nicely-formatted faxes and sends them in. I just used it this morning to tell my Senators that you can't be pro-life while also saying that insurance companies don't have to provide maternity care.

I'd been struggling with my activism a bit. Everything I read said that phone calls are super important, but my workday is well underway by the time my Senators' offices open, and teachers don't really get phone breaks in the middle of the day. But just because you can't do the optimal thing doesn't mean you shouldn't do anything, so the ResistBot is a good compromise for me.
hp: hermione fifty points

Two Alternate History Novels

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters
What if slavery still existed in 2017? This is the premise for a chilling alternative history novel. Imagine that the Civil War never happened. Instead, Congress ratified the Crittenden Amendments, which promised that the South could keep slavery forever. Now, Persons Bound to Labor toil in factories, mines, and plantations in the Hard Four, the Southern states that continue to allow slavery. The main character is a “soul catcher,” a black man who maintains his freedom by hunting escaped slaves in the North. He believes he’s a good man making a living in a hard world, until one strange case forces him to face his past and reimagine his future. The author creates a hauntingly plausible world in which he imagines both the tiniest details of industrialized slavery and the larger implications for US foreign policy. Yet what really makes the book shine is the distinctive voice of the narrator, a hardboiled noir detective who can’t quite stop yearning for a better life.

When I got to the end of the book, I discovered that the author is white, and I’m not quite sure what to do with that fact. On the one hand, the narrator’s POV viscerally showcases racial privilege by forcing us to recognize that many of the abuses in this fictional slave state exist in our real world today. On the other hand, why is yet another white dude getting rich selling the story of slavery?

The Book of Esther by Emily Barton
Hundreds of years ago, a Jewish warrior kingdom called Khazaria existed in the modern-day Caucasus region. Emily Barton takes this as a jumping off point for her alternate history novel. What if the Khazar Kingdom still existed at the time of Hitler’s rise to power? What kind of military technology would they have, and how would they meet the threat? The main character, Esther, is the daughter of an important government official, and she yearns to fight. There’s just one problem: she’s a woman, and Orthodox Judaism places strict limitations on what she’s allowed to do. As a world-building exercise, this novel earns five stars. The fusion of medieval and modern Jewish customs is fascinating. The language, the religion, and culture were so vivid I dreamed about them. Unfortunately, a truly compelling novel also needs other things. Like a plot. Once the sparkle of the worldbuilding wears off, reading the book gets to be kind of a slog, and the cliffhanger ending doesn’t really resolve anything.
spock: logic is sexy

Fandom 5K Letter

Thank you so much for writing for me! If we matched on these requests, I know we have a lot in common already, and I'm really very easy to please. I've written a pretty detailed letter because I find such things helpful when I'm writing. If you don't, then please pick and choose what interests you and disregard the rest (so long as you respect the DNW's). Prompts are 100% optional and can be combined, altered, or borrowed for other pairings as you wish!

I adore friendship fics because I think friendships are just as fascinating and complex as romantic relationships, so rest assured that I love my gen requests just as much as my shippy ones. For ship fic, I'm flexible. I love getting together stories, established relationships, and stories where people who just happen to be a couple go on a mission together. Feel free to include as much or as little explicit sex as you like. My tastes are pretty vanilla, so nothing kinkier than a little fun with handcuffs, please.

About those genre tags - please use them however is convenient for you! I like everything I picked, but my enjoyment of the story does not depend on whether it perfectly matches one of the genre tags.

General Likes & DNW'sCollapse )

The Force AwakensCollapse )

Star Wars Original TrilogyCollapse )
Veronica MarsCollapse )

DaredevilCollapse )

SupergirlCollapse )
Daredevil: claire veins

Luke Cage Fic: The Night Nurse (Claire/Luke)

As is my custom, I participated in Yuletide only by writing treats. I've wanted to write about Claire ever since I finished Luke Cage, so this was the perfect excuse! It was not the most popular story I've written for Yuletide, but my recipient really loved it, so that's what counts. (Well, that, and I finally knocked Sherlock off the fandom list on my AO3 dashboard, which matters a lot to me.)

Title: The Night Nurse
Rating: Teen
Characters/Pairings: Claire Temple/Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Mariah Dillard, Soledad, Matt Murdock
Summary: Claire Temple is her own kind of hero: she saves lives and helps people in broad daylight, in a costume of surgical masks and scrubs.
Word Count: 6700
B99: amy

2016 Reading List

Reflections
In 2015, I set out to spend a year reading only authors of color. Although the project was challenging, I think it made a permanent difference in how I read. This year, although I did not set any goals or do any research, 12 of the 26 books I read were written by people of color. My strategy was pretty simple: if I had a choice between two books, I chose the one written by someone different from me. This year’s selections focused less on issues of race and culture than last year’s. Many of the books I chose were memoirs about medical school (don’t ask why, I get obsessed with random subjects a lot), and the writers mentioned their ethnicity only in passing. But I don’t think the point of this project is to have a Very Educational Experience about race in the United States every time you read; it is also to see that in spite our society’s many racial, religious, and cultural divisions, certain emotional experiences are the same for everyone. (Apparently a medical education would damn near kill us all.) Other books were dystopian YA novels set in made-up worlds where American racial categories do not exist. At first glance, I thought the author’s race wouldn’t matter in that kind of setting, but when I paid attention, subtle differences emerged. For example, in An Ember in the Ashes, most of the villains were blonde-haired and blue-eyed, while the heroes had dark skin, hair, and eyes. On the other hand, in the Selection series, all the main characters appeared to be white people, especially the prettiest girls. Our society enforces racial stereotypes in a lot of subtle ways, and making white people heroes and brown people villains is a powerful one. Nothing is more likely to erode those stereotypes than including more diverse voices among our storytellers.

The books I readCollapse )