Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald

Jul. 28th, 2017 08:00 am
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Posted by Liz Bourke

Luna: New Moon (reviewed for Strange Horizons by Matt Hilliard and in The Guardian by Adam Roberts) came out in 2015 to no small amount of fanfare, with Deadline reporting that the television rights had been sold even before the publication day. Game of Thrones meets The Godfather in the unforgiving and lethal lunar environment: a libertarian paradise where possession really is nine-tenths of the law and even the air you breathe has a price crossed with the feudal politics of five intermarried corporate families—the Dragons of the moon. This is a setting filled with dramatic potential, and it's easy to see why it would have generated interest from television production companies. Unfortunately, it doesn't work quite as well for me.

The Corta family provided the greater part of New Moon's viewpoint characters. By New Moon's end, though, the family's power had been broken and most of its members killed. At the start of Wolf Moon, teenager Lucasinho Corta and his little cousin Luna survive under the protection of the Asamoah family, while Robson Corta has been adopted by the Mackenzies who murdered the rest of his family—and who're prepared to give him over to sexual abuse at the hands of Bryce Mackenzie, one of the sons of the ancient Mackenzie patriarch.

Of the adult Cortas, lawyer Ariel survives in poverty, attended by Marina Calzaghe (an Earther  who is fast approaching the day when she has to decide whether or not to go back), while Wagner Corta, the family's black sheep, runs a salvage crew on the lunar surface. Lucas Corta is universally believed to be dead. He's not. He's doing something no one born on the moon has ever done before. He's going to Earth, to cut the deals and do the kind of political manoeuvring he's good at; the kind of political manoeuvring that will let him overthrow the toothless Lunar Development Corporation and avenge his family—setting himself up as essentially the ruler of the moon.

In some ways, Wolf Moon feels more like a sprawling family saga than the tightly intricate political/corporate/criminal thriller that was New Moon. Here there is no instigating event, like the assassination attempt in New Moon, that unfolds into an escalating series of crises. Rather, Wolf Moon deals with disintegration and with consequences: the disintegration first of the Corta family and the consequences of their fall from power, the disintegration of the Mackenzie family into warring factions, after an act of malice destroys their main family holding just like they destroyed the Cortas' family seat, and the disintegration of all the old norms and certainties on the moon, as Lucas's plan unfolds. The moon has seen feuds and assassinations and ambushes on the surface and in tunnels, but what it's never seen, before now, is war.

This is a book with numerous viewpoint characters. Young Robson, freerunning in the cities of the moon, is dealing with trauma and powerlessness in his own way, while Lucasinho deals with it through sex and baking, clinging to his lover and protector Abena Asamoah in so many of the wrong ways. Ariel Corta takes on family court cases, watched over by Marina—who has put all her own needs aside to keep Ariel safe and comfortable—at least until Ariel is retained as personal counsel by the chair of the LDC. Wagner Corta, with his dark and light halves—bipolar syndrome, which some people on the moon have developed into a werewolf subculture—is trying to keep Robson safe and also fulfil his other responsibilities. Lucas is determined to survive entry into Earth's gravity, despite the chance that it will kill him. Alexia Corta, one of Lucas's Brazilian cousins, is ruthless, determined to gain wealth, and willing to do anything because Lucas has promised her … it's a pun to say “the moon,” but it's essentially true. In addition there are what seems like a dozen others among the Suns and the MacKenzies and the Asamoahs, the movers and shakers of the moon.

McDonald is extremely good at depicting a vivid world, filled with vivid and believable characters. This is a future inhabited by many different sorts of people, with many different attitudes—there is, for example, an interesting argument between Ariel Corta and youthful political science student Abena Asamoah about the applicability of democratic systems of government to the lunar environment—and most of the major players on the moon are descendants of people from Russia, China, or the global south. The world feels weird enough and lived-in enough to be plausibly real (even if the economics don't really seem to make sense). McDonald writes about killer robots racing over the lunar surface and interpersonal tension with equal aplomb.

But ultimately Luna: Wolf Moon presents me with the same problem that its predecessor did. It's filled with interesting people. But they're all either adolescents, with adolescent ways of dealing with the world (Robson, Lucasinho), or in many ways they're really just terrible people. Ariel Corta appears to possess a very well-developed personal selfishness (her codependent and verbally abusive relationship with her personal assistant and bodyguard Marina was so unpleasant that I cheered when Marina finally decided to go back to Earth) that's matched by her political ambition, but she's unusual for a Corta in that she seems to see the moon as a society rather than an atomised collection of individuals or the playground of feuding families. Lucas Corta's selfishness is of a different order: in his quest for revenge and to restore the status of his family, he's willing to kill hundreds and destroy the existing modus operandi of lunar society. His choices put his remaining relatives in danger of death as a side effect, but he's still willing to quote, “Family first, family always,” to his sister Ariel. 

Wagner is perhaps the best of them, struggling to take care of his responsibilities to his nephew and generally not being an asshole. In a novel filled with power-hungry bastards, screwed-up teenagers, and people making terrible life choices, he stands out.

Don't get me wrong. These are deeply compelling characters, despite—or more likely because of—their human flaws. But I find books whose main concerns are human selfishness and ambition—whose main concerns are the ingredients of tragedy, without the catharsis of a tragic consummation—to be very tiring to read. And that's the feeling Wolf Moon left me with: weariness and the anticipation of disaster.

It's a good book. I wouldn't say I liked it. I'll probably read the sequel.


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Posted by Nikki

Cover of Journey to the Centre of the Earth by David WhitehouseJourney to the Centre of the Earth, David Whitehouse

This book uses all kinds of insights from mineralogy and seismology to put together a picture of what the Earth’s composed of, layer by layer. Despite the author’s obvious enthusiasm, this isn’t one of my primary interests, and I did find my interest flagging at times — it seemed like some chapters were just unnecessarily dragged out and like he got off the point some of the time. Nonetheless, if this is the kind of science that enthuses you, it’s worth reading — it deals with the history of the study of our Earth as well as the straightforward facts about the composition of each layer.

The more I learn about all kinds of science, including Earth science, the happier I am. Even if it’s not my field, I’m glad I read this.

Rating: 3/5

Daily Happiness

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:25 am
torachan: nepeta from homestuck (nepeta)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I slept like ten hours and was only interrupted by cats a little bit.

2. Had a nice day off. Got a lot of translation stuff done.

3. I just found out this iOS game I really love, Oceanhorn, is out for the Switch! I've kind of been wanting to play it again, and the Switch controls can't help but be better than the touchscreen ones, so I'm pretty excited about that.

4. Just checked Facebook one last time before bed and saw that the ACA repeal bill didn't pass, thank fuck.

5. Carla managed to snap a shot of Chloe yawning. So cute!

fairestcat: naked woman reading. vintage (Reading)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Posting another book post, because I'm about to leave for a week of camping at a pagan festival. Since I'm not actually pagan, just pagan-adjacent, and so have no interest in most of the panels and rituals, I mostly end up relaxing and reading a lot. It should be lovely.

The last week has been a mix of queer romances and SF/F short stories.

Seasons of Glass and Iron - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous contemporary fairytale about women saving each other. read more )

Things With Beards - Sam J. Miller - ★ ★ ★ ★

An intriguing and unsettling sequel to the movie The Thing, this is ultimately a story about identity, what we hide of ourselves, what we reveal, and what that choice costs us. read more )

The Orangery - Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam - ★ ★ ★ ★

A striking story about predatory men and the choices women make to escape them, told through the framework of Greek myth.

A Fist of Permutations in Lighting and Wildflowers - Alyssa Wong - ★ ★ ★ ★

Gorgeous, beautifully written story about sisterhood and loss and individual choice, told through a metaphor of superpowers. read more )

Touring With the Alien - Carolyn Ives Gilman - ★ ★

I wanted to like this story -- it's certainly well-written -- but found myself fundamentally disagreeing with it instead. read more )

Spice and Smoke (Bollywood Confidential #1) - Suleikha Snyder - ★

Wow did I hate this book. Enough that I rage-quit it about 2/3 of the way through.

From the summary I went into this book expecting poly relationship negotiations and a generally happy poly ending for everyone.

What I got was jealousy, bitterness and dishonesty, with a side of "you're only sleeping around because you're unhappy," and "when you're really in love with someone you'll want to be monogamous." read more )

Madeleine - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous story about mourning and loss and memory and coming out of the dark.

Madeleine's slow, unexpected journey back from grief is just perfect.

Waiting For The Flood - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A lovely story about mourning for what might have been and finding the courage to once again dream of the future. read more )

And Their Lips Rang With The Sun - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★

A beautiful, unusual folk tale.

El-Mohtar creates a vivid mythology, filled with striking visual imagery.

The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allan - ★ ★ ★

A quiet story about memory and history and legacy set against an SF-nal background.

I liked the narrator and the stream of consciousness style, but it ultimately felt kind of unresolved.

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies - Brooke Bolander - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Short, intense, and unapologetically angry. read more )

Catalysts: The Scientific Method (Scientific Methods Universe #1) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fuck. This is so fucking hot. And kinky. But also intense and emotionally revelatory and unconventionally romantic and one of the most honest depictions of poly I've ever read. read more )

Unexpected Gifts (Scientific Method Universe #2) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★

This series continues to be SO good. read more )

Take Three Breaths (Scientific Method Universe #3) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This one's a rough read, but entirely worth it. read more )
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Posted by Ayun Halliday

M'm! M'm! Good! M'm! M'm! Good!,

That's what Warhol Campbell’s Soup Cans reconceived as Miyazaki films are,

M'm! M'm! Good! 

Brazilian-Korean designer Hyo Taek Kim has found a continuing font of inspiration in his childhood love of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films.

He has deconstructed them into a series of Pantone of color palettes and captured several favorite moments through the lens of VHS tape glitches.

Miyazaki–Special Soup Series, his latest exploratory journey into the enchanted world of the revered master animator and director–finds him reducing each film to a couple of essential flavors.

One can imagine Mom calling the kids in from an afternoon of sledding for a warm, Cream of Tomato-ish bowl of Totoro.

Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle are slightly more sophisticated flavors, that may involve leafy greens.

Princess Mononoke and Porco Rosso are Grandpa’s favorites–real stick to your ribs fare.

The subtle iconography brings added dimension to the stark product design Warhol duplicated to such acclaim.

As Kim told the Creators Project:

Simple design that works is always so much harder to create than you might expect. It’s just very fun to marry two ideas, artists and/or concepts into one big image. Andy Warhol changed the world of physical arts. Hayao Miyazaki changed the world of animated arts.

This is not Kim’s first go at Campbell’s. His earlier Supersoup Series reduced superheroes to consommé and cream ofs. Don’t forget the oyster crackers.

Posters and t-shirts of Hyo Taek Kim’s Miyazaki Special Soup and Soupersoup Series can be purchased here.

View more of Kim's soup cans online at the Creators Project.

Related Content:

Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol Demystify Their Pop Art in Vintage 1966 Film

Build Your Own Miniature Sets from Hayao Miyazaki’s Beloved Films: My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service & More

A New Theme Park Based on Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro Set to Open in 2020

Watch Moebius and Miyazaki, Two of the Most Imaginative Artists, in Conversation (2004)

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Miyazaki Meets Warhol in Campbell’s Soup Cans Reimagined by Designer Hyo Taek Kim is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

When Sandy arrives back at Clorinda’s house, he finds she has company, if Dr Quintus Ferraby convoking with her upon matters of sanitation can be counted as company. Quintus stands, shakes his hand, makes comments suitable to the situation. He also regards him with that piercing scrutiny that has made him so famed for his powers of diagnosis.

He then says, with unusual hesitation, that it is opined among the profession that 'tis more healthful to express grief than to bottle it up.

There are those, says Sandy, would consider I had cause for rejoicing rather than grief.

They both look at him but say nothing.

Clorinda breaks the silence by asking after Sukey. She is well enough in herself, says Quintus, but is in one of her melancholic fits. He sighs, and takes his leave.

Very clever, says Sandy to Clorinda, I confide 'twas not entirely coincidental you desired him to come advize on your proposed improvements about the mine?

Perchance not, says Clorinda. But, my dear, I hope you have come about to dispatch your business at Raxdell House?

He conveys to her the Viscount’s request concerning the Viscountess – Clorinda sighs a little, and takes out her little memorandum book to make a note. Poor creature, she says, I daresay she has been entire contented in county society and now feels as if she has been thrown into a pit of crocodiles.

And he gave me these for you.

O, she cries, that was exceeding kind! Sure these are the fabled pink diamonds.

And the snuffbox in which you both found such amusement, he says.

Oh, did he never show you the trick of it? She takes the snuffbox and says, do you press here beside the lid, you will see that it opens up to display a naughty device within. Have you never seen the like?

No, he says, but I would suppose that even among hidden naughty devices, that is somewhat out of the common.

Sure I have not made a study, but I quite daresay 'tis the case. I mind me that I should write to Ammerpark concerning the painting.

I am at a loss, he says, to know what it might be, for Gervase was not a great collector of art.

Why, my dear, 'tis Raoul de Clérault's fine study of a titian-haired philosopher at his desk.

It undoes him to hear this: that doubtless by some confederacy with Clorinda, Gervase had purchased that portrait and concealed it at Ammerpark all these years. He finds himself on his knees, sobbing into Clorinda's lap.

He was so much better than me, he blurts, with his sweet nature and his generosity; I that am such a crabbed sour grudging jealous creature.

Clorinda says nothing but strokes his hair.

And then coming lean upon you and your kindness –

Dear Sandy, it gives me comfort to comfort you.

He lifts his head to look at her. Can it be so?

Yes, my dear, it can.

He decides that he will believe that she tells the truth, though, for all she will occasionally murmur about Universal Law, her attitude towards truth has always had a certain flexibility about it.

And it is, as far as any state may be considered agreeable at this time, very agreeable to be anywhere that is not Raxdell House, especially when it is in such a comfortable and well-run house, and to be exhorted to make free of the library and consider it quite as his study. To have his appetite tempted by a variety of treats prepared by Euphemia – he confides that did he of a sudden declare a craving for haggis, she would be about the matter at once, while her brose would have inspired the pen of Burns.

He is not quite so certain about Clorinda’s attempts to provide treats of the mind for him – at least, that is what he supposes they are. Perchance it has been more of a custom than he supposed for Matt Johnson to come call upon her? But one day he goes take tea with her, as has become somewhat of a habit, and there is Matt Johnson, grey of hair and not one that would offer these days to pursue criminals at a run, but still with knotted problems and mysteries to do with crimes that he is delighted to unfold.

Mayhap when Jacob Samuels comes to Town for meetings of the Royal Society or the Geological Society it is entirely usual for him to come to take tea with Clorinda and give her the news of Martha and their offspring; and since he has time before his meeting, may as well undertake a game of chess with Sandy.

If Agnes Lucas comes to Town with some new poems to show Clorinda, 'tis entirely understandable that she may take the opportunity to ask his own critical opinion

Indeed, there are many of their circle are surely regular callers upon Clorinda, and quite as much friends of himself.

Does he accuse Clorinda of contrivance, he can suppose the eyes looking tearful, and quite the finest pathetic expression upon her face. But he has seen her in action so many times over these many years.

But they neither of them, he confides, expected the descent of the entire convocation, save for Josh, that is somewhere in Africa, of Ferrabys.

He has been about reading in the library – The Last Man was not perhaps the happiest choice – and thinks that must be time for tea. So he descends the stair and goes through the connecting door and observes that Hector is looking more than usually enigmatic. Glancing out of the window he observes several carriages drawn up.

Company?

Hector sighs. Not so much company as family, he says.

Sandy is very minded to turn back, but how should he fear the Ferrabys?

He had not expected the entire family, including spouses, and Hannah, to be disposed about the room as he entered, while Clorinda giggles and says, my dears, I am touched, no, very greatly touched, that you desire protect me from detrimental fortune hunters, but really, my loves, surely you cannot suppose –

Hannah is casting her eyes up in the manner of one that has been making this argument to no avail. Sebastian Knowles is also wearing a somewhat sceptical expression.

They all turn their eyes upon him. Sir Harry comes up and shakes his hand and expresses condolences, followed by all the rest: Lady Louisa, Bess and Sir Thomas, Meg and Sebastian, Quintus and Sukey, Flora and Hannah.

But, says Bess, what were we to think? Was it not ever a jest about Raxdell House about the two of you?

(Not a jest, he dares say, that either of them ever heard.)

Oh, really, my dears, laughs Clorinda, 'tis entirely a matter of antient friendship, and sure Mr MacDonald has been left a very comfortable independence, perchance you might warn him against designing widows?

But gossip – begins Sir Harry.

O, poo, says Clorinda, at our years? Is there no other scandal that society may be about? La, used to be 'twas I got into fusses and frets and would be brought to a more sober frame of mind by your dear parents’ prudent counsel. But indeed, my loves, 'tis entire agreeable to see you all, and I am in the supposition that at any moment there will be a deal of tea and many fine cakes come through the door, and I shall have a deal of endeavour to convince Euphemia that you came quite impromptu and I had no expectation of this visit.

Flora goes to kneel beside Clorinda’s chair. Dearest tiger, she says, what these foolish creatures will not come at telling you is that 'twas all their concern for me, their baby sister – as if you have not already showed most exceeding generous, 'tis not as though I should be left in want did you go change your will –

Clorinda lays her hand upon the golden head, and looks lovingly at her daughter. La, she says, did all suppose that poor Mr MacDonald would be out of a place and in want, and such a fate move me entirely to womanly pity?

There is a general air of consciousness among the Ferraby clan.

Fie, my darlings, you that all knew and loved Milord, how could you suppose that he would not have provided for one that had served him so diligently so many years? Or indeed that there are not those that would entire jump at offering Mr MacDonald a place?

Hannah coughs and says, 'twas not quite the like with my Mama and Papa, for there is the jam factory that shows so profitable they might quit service and go set up in a country mansion tomorrow did they desire. But still he showed generous.

Comes Euphemia herself with tea, followed by one of her daughters with a deal of cakes.

He is in some concern that the entire family may stay to dinner, but they have matters to be about, all except Flora and Hannah, that have come up from Surrey.

Will you not stay, my sweet wombatt? asks Clorinda.

Flora says, 'tis a great temptation – might we, Hannah?

Hannah smiles and says, 'tis not as tho’ we have left the children alone in the house, they are well attended, I doubt they will be going fall into the fire. Also, was a matter or two I should greatly wish look out in your library, Lady B-.

Why, dear Hannah, you are entire welcome: and mayhap Mr MacDonald would be so kind as to assist you to any volumes you seek.

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

... was that I got to watch Trumpcare: The Return of the Undead Shambling Horror being defeated live on twitter through the comments of the disabled Americans with most to lose.

The message to take away from this: 45, and 49 Republican Senators thought 15m more Americans without healthcare cover was an improvement.

And then the Disabled People Destroy SF kickstarter funded. Sweet!
 

fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
This month you get a double-length playlist, because there were just too many tracks to choose from.

I might have a lot of feelings about the patriarchy and the ways I'd like to fuck it up. One or two at least.

Making it double length also meant I could justify having more than one track by a couple artist.

I've put content warnings on some of these songs. Unsurprisingly, considering the subject matter, there's some discussion of rape and some use of homophobic and misogynistic slurs.

40 songs. 2 hours, 23 minutes of music

fuck the patriarchy (I will not be afraid of women)
Zip file on dropbox (211MB) or Individual tracks on dropbox

As Cool As I Am - Dar Williams
Every Mother's Son - The Pretenders
Quiet - MILCK
Who's That Girl - Robyn
Pretty Hurts - Beyonce
Me And A Gun - Tori Amos (cw: rape)
The Oxford Girl - Oysterband (cw: implied violence against women)
Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed) - The Raveonettes (cw: rape)
A Girl Needs A Knife - Flash Girls
The Maid On The Shore - Stan Rogers
Real Men - Joe Jackson (cw: homophobic language)
Lucystoners - Amy Ray (cw: homophobic language)
Big Boy On A Saturday Night - Kirsty Maccoll
Daddy Lessons - Beyonce & The Dixie Chicks
Red Dirt Girl - Emmylou Harris
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Black Water - Alina Simone
The Old Maid In The Garrett - Steeleye Span
Chill Factor - The Pretenders
Burn - Phillipa Soo
Dixon's Girl - Dessa
Getting Ready To Get Down - Josh Ritter
Manic Pixie Dream Girl - Scary Bear Soundtrack and Avid Napper
Revolver - The Donnas
Break The Sky - The Hush Sound
Cry Like A Man - Christy Moore
When I Was A Boy - Dar Williams
No Mermaid - Sinead Lohan
Drinking With The Jocks - Against Me! (cw: homophobic and misogynistic language)
Androgynous - Joan Jett
Patriarch On A Vespa - Metric
The Ballad of Mary Magdalene - Richard Shindell
Sex Is Not The Enemy - Garbage
Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks
Milford Haven - Oysterband
Seneca Falls - The Distillers
I'm In The Band - Bratmobile
Bros - Wolf Alice
Feminism Is For Everybody (With A Beating Heart And A Functioning Brain) - Anti-Flag

As usual, I'd love a comment if you download.

Also, if you like anything I post I encourage you to buy more from the artists.

Your 2017 RITA Award Winners!

Jul. 28th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

The RITAs are officially over! Before we get to the winners and a brief livestream recap, I personally want to thank every single one of you who participated. This is the first year where we’ve reviewed all of the nominees! How awesome is that? Seriously, this Challenge wouldn’t be anything without this lovely, thoughtful community of readers. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

If you missed the livestream of either the Golden Heart or RITA Award ceremonies, they’re available on YouTube! You can view the Golden Heart ceremony here.

To watch the RITA Awards, you can either click this link or watch the embedded video below. Some highlights include author Angie Fox’s missing pants, Jill Shalvis reaching 100 books written, and Beverly Jenkins’ amazing speech for receiving the 2017 Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Have some tissues handy!

ROMANCE NOVELLA FINALISTS

Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan – WINNER
Site grade: B+ from Carrie S
Grade from PamG: B

“The Husband Maneuver” by Karen Witemeyer in With This Ring 
Grade from Phyllis L: B-
Grade from Darbi: B-

Let It Snow by Jeanette Grey
Grade from TheoLibrarianD

“Let Us Dream” by Alyssa Cole in Daughters of a Nation
Site grade: A from Redheadedgirl
Grade from ppyajunebug: A-

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst
Grade from Phyllis L: C
Grade from Jillian Boyd: DNF

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe
Site grade: B+ from Redheadedgirl
Grade from NerdalisqueB

Wild in Rio by Lyssa Kay Adams
Grade from IsabelleC-
Grade from Kim W: C+

 

SHORT CONTEMPORARY FINALISTS

APB: Baby by Julie Miller
Grade from Jenica H: B
Grade from Erica: C

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash
Grade from Catherine Heloise: B+

Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major – WINNER
Grade from Megan S: B
Grade from Allison H: B-

Falling for the Rancher by Tanya Michaels
Grade from ClaireC: B
Grade from Kat M: C

Far from Home by Lorelie Brown
Grade from LauraL: B+
Grade from Vasha: B+

His Stolen Bride by Barbara Dunlop
Grade from Catherine Heloise: C
Grade from Lori A: D

A Malibu Kind of Romance by Synithia Williams
Grade from Heather S: C

Overwhelming Force by Janie Crouch
Grade from Panda Queen: B

Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst
Grade from HeatherT: D
Grade from Darbi: D

Two Doctors & a Baby by Brenda Harlen
Grade from NinjaPenguin: DNF
Grade from K.N.O’Rear: C+

 

SHORT HISTORICAL FINALISTS

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Site grade: A from Elyse
Grade from Winnay: A-

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Site grade: A from Elyse
Grade from cbackson: B-

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen – WINNER
Grade from TruusjeB-
Grade from MiddleClassManhattan: B+

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley
Grade from Phyllis LB-
Grade from B. Bradley: D+

The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
Grade from Fangirl MusingsA
Grade from ClaudiaA: B

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick
Grade from OmphaleC
Grade from ChristineC-

 

MAINSTREAM FICTION WITH A CENTRAL ROMANCE FINALISTS

The Color of a Promise by Julianne MacLean
Grade from CocoB-
Grade from Catherine HeloiseB-

The Depth of Beauty by A. B. Michaels
Grade from Erika S: DNF

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel – WINNER
Grade from Turophile: B-
Grade from ReneeGC-

Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske
Grade from HeatherMarieB
Grade from Another KateC-

 

MID-LENGTH CONTEMPORARY FINALISTS

Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton
Grade from Meagan M: C+
Grade from Mandi: C+

Barefoot at Midnight by Roxanne St. Claire
Grade from Erica: DNF
Grade from TurophileC

Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra – WINNER
Grade from ClaireC: C+

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Grade from QOTUA-
Grade from cleoB+

Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas
Grade from Kate K.F: C
Grade from IbyD

Off the Hook by Laura Drewry
Grade from Lindsey RC-

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison
Grade from JayneHB-

Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O
Grade from NoeRD: C+
Grade from Erica: F

The Turning Point by Marie Meyer
Grade from JahnaviS: B-
Grade from Another Kate: B

Wanderlust by Roni Loren
Grade from KBC

 

YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE FINALISTS

Affective Needs by Rebecca Taylor
Grade from Faellie: B+
Grade from Coco: B

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Grade from PamGC

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout – WINNER
Grade from CocoA-

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
Grade from HeatherMacB

 

ROMANCE WITH RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS FINALISTS

Close to You by Kara Isaac
Grade from HopeC-

Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher
Grade from Julia S: C+
Grade from Iola: B

My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray – WINNER
Grade from SamanthaD

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post
Grade from LauraL: B-
Grade from DonnaMarie: C-

 

PARANORMAL ROMANCE FINALISTS

Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert
Grade from Dominika: C
Grade from Ms. G: B-

The Beast by J R Ward
Grade from DanicaB

The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant
Grade from EllieMB+

Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood
Grade from Leanne H: B-
Grade from Spice: D

Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella
Grade from Samantha D: DNF
Grade from Mina Lobo: B

The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre
Grade from cbackson: DNF
Grade from Roo: A-

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy – WINNER
Grade from Malin: B-
Grade from PamG: A

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper
Site gradeB- from Amanda
Grade from PamGB

 

BEST FIRST BOOK FINALISTS

Alterations by Stephanie Scott
Grade from LibrarianJessi: C+

Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross
Grade from LeighC+

Close to You by Kara Isaac
Grade from BluetomartoB-

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Grade from Meagan MD

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison – WINNER
Grade from Beth R: B

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
Grade from Shannon B: A

 

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE FINALISTS

All the Dead Girls by Rita Herron
Grade from chezamandaF
Grade from Shannon BC

Atone by Beth Yarnall
Grade from Shana: D+
Grade from RooD-

Field of Graves by J. T. Ellison
Grade from Pepper CB-

Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin
Grade from HollyS: B-
Grade from ShanaC

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon
Grade from JayneH: B+
Grade from Malin: B-

One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso
Grade from BoxerLover2: B
Grade from Catherine Heloise: A

Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton – WINNER
Grade from JayneH: B+
Grade from The Other Kate: B

Tall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre
Grade from ShoppermomB+

 

LONG CONTEMPORARY FINALISTS

Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane
Grade from NeonailsB-
Grade from Jillian BoydB+

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long
Grade from HeatherMac: A
Grade from Crystal Anne with an E: B+

Make Me Sin by J. T. Geissinger
Grade from JahnaviS: DNF
Grade from Julia SB+

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan – WINNER
Grade from IsabelleB-

Pansies by Alexis Hall
Grade from PamG: A-
Grade from HeatherT: B-

Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne
Grade from Scifigirl1986A-

Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy
Grade from Scifigirl1986: C-

 

EROTIC ROMANCE FINALIST

The Dirty Secret by Kira A. Gold
Grade from HeatherTC+

The Master by Tara Sue Me
Grade from garlicknitter: B+
Grade from Jillian Boyd: A

Off the Clock by Roni Loren – WINNER
Site gradeB+ from Amanda
Grade from Meg: B+

Ravenous by M. S. Force
Grade from NotoriousDNF

Three Sweet Nothings by Nikki Sloane
Grade from VeronicaMcD: B-
Grade from Nerdalisque: F

 

LONG HISTORICAL FINALISTS

Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase
Site grade: B from Carrie
Grade from MiddleClassManhattanA

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington
Grade from Fangirl Musings: B+
Grade from NoeRD: B-

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke – WINNER
Grade from Shoppermom: B-
Grade from ReneeG: B-

Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York
Grade from Robin R: B
Grade from HeatherT: B-

Did you watch the RITA livestream? What you’d think? Were you surprised by any of the winners?

Sidetracks - July 27, 2017

Jul. 28th, 2017 12:09 am
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[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


Read more... )
superboyprime: (Default)
[personal profile] superboyprime posting in [community profile] scans_daily


'The "insane" -- ie, foaming at the mouth -- Joker is definitely far, far off-model from the correct portrayal of the character. The real Joker was able to keep Batman guessing because he was smart and ruthless, not because he was crazy. The latter is a lot like saying a drunk driver would have the best chance of winning at the Indy 500!'- John Byrne

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by SB Sarah

Sarah, Elyse, Carrie, and RedHeadedGirl gather to talk about successful recommendations we’ve made to new and curious readers interested in trying romance. From curating a broad selection of books as an introduction to specifically pimping books we know have a multi-level appeal, we talk about our favorite recommendations, books that seem to entice many different readers, and which books we love just for sheer crazy sauce. We also discuss how many readers are introduced to romance by a person who gives them a brown paper bag full of books. “Bag full of books” is among our favorite word combinations.

And because we’re, well, us, we talk about weird sex scenes we’ve read, wonderful and funny sex scenes we’ve loved, managing chronic pain and reading BDSM stories, and interesting female inventors in history. Plus, we discuss at length (heh) the expectations of tentacles, and what new books we’re going to end up recommending frequently.

Note: Elyse is a little fuzzy, and I think she might have been in a wind machine.

Listen to the podcast →
Read the transcript →

Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

We also mentioned:

The RWA Signing! July 29, 2017, from 3:00 – 5:00pm! 

Hundreds of romance authors in one place, and all proceeds of book sales go to literacy organizations. Some of your favorite authors are likely to be there, like Alyssa Cole, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Julie James, Cecilia Tan, Beverly Jenkins, and Jill Shalvis. And, for the first time, I’ll be signing, too – yay!

The signing is at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Pacific Hall. Saturday, July 29th from 3-5pm. And if you come and find me (I’m in the Ws near the cashiers) and mention the podcast, I have a special sticker for you – if you’d like one.  Get all the details at:  https://www.rwa.org/literacy.

And here’s Orville, Executive Sound Engineer, helping me with recording this episode:

Orville, my very large orange tabby, sprawled out across my desk with my computer, keyboard, and soundbox and mic on the desk around him. he's very very large

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle and on Stitcher, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes.

Thanks to our sponsors:

More ways to sponsor:

Sponsor us through Patreon! (What is Patreon?)

What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at sbjpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode's Music

Our music is provided each week by Sassy Outwater, whom you can find on Twitter @SassyOutwater.

This is from Caravan Palace, and the track is called “Queens.”

You can find their two album set with Caravan Palace and Panic on Amazon and iTunes. And you can learn more about Caravan Palace on Facebook, and on their website.


Podcast Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes. This New York Times bestselling series with its “heartfelt emotions, humor and realistic, honest characters [is] a fan favorite,” raves RT Book Reviews.

In this second book of the Windham Brides series, Burrowes delights Regency romance readers once again with an irresistible rough-around-the-edges Scot who takes on saving an orphanage to win over the fiery, intelligent woman who captures his heart.

As a captain in the army, Colin MacHugh led men, fixed what was broken, and fought hard. Now that he’s a titled gentleman, he’s still fighting-this time to keep his bachelorhood safe from all the marriage-minded debutantes. Then he meets the intriguing Miss Anwen Windham, whose demure nature masks a bonfire waiting to roar to life. When she asks for his help to raise money for the local orphanage, he’s happy to oblige.

Anwen is amazed at how quickly Lord Colin takes in hand a pack of rambunctious orphan boys. Amazed at how he actually listens to her ideas. Amazed at the thrill she gets from the rumble of his Scottish burr and the heat of his touch. But not everyone enjoys the success of an upstart. And Colin has enemies who will stop at nothing to ruin him and anybody he holds dear.

As Tessa Dare puts it, “Grace Burrowes is a romance treasure.” Don’t miss Too Scot to Handle, on sale wherever books are sold this Tuesday, July 25th.

Remember to subscribe to our podcast feed, find us on iTunes, via PodcastPickle, or on Stitcher.

Senate ACA Repeal bill fails (again)

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:30 pm
teaotter: (Default)
[personal profile] teaotter posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
In a dramatic late-night vote, three Republican senators join all 48 Democrats in voting down the so-called "skinny" repeal bill. (Politico)

I was following twitter feeds of some of the reporters at the Senate during the vote-a-rama, and everyone was pretty much stunned by the turn of events. For more than an hour, Republicans refused to close the previous vote so that they'd have more time to strong-arm McCain, Murkowski, and Collins. No one knew what was being said, so reporters were describing body language and hoping. I couldn't believe it was going to go our way, even when Pence left the building.

And then the votes came in.

WE WON!

(Okay, nothing's officially dead until we get a better ACA repair bill in play, but still -- this was supposed to be a done deal in January and we've fought it to a fucking standstill and I AM SO PROUD OF US, LOOK HOW STRONG WE ARE TOGETHER!)

AND IT'S A NO ON THE REPEAL!

Jul. 28th, 2017 08:19 am
goodbyebird: The Losers: Jensen finger-gunning, "I am a lethal killing machine". (ⓕ don't start none won't be none)
[personal profile] goodbyebird
Thank fuck. I was so anxious for you all. Best news ever to wake up to. You are all champions. You matter. Your hard work and activism mattered. You are motherfucking superheroes. I love you all. Now hug and hydrate and hopefully get some sleep. All the best.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

My Attempt at Casting

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:58 am
ericadawn16: (Weird)
[personal profile] ericadawn16
You know what would be fun? Casting the Young Avengers, I bet it would be super easy, too.

*FIVE HOURS LATER*

So, there were some rules...

Marvel already cast Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie


She's 9 so everyone else would have to be reasonably close...
and then Tumblr would complain about certain characters if they're too white...

so...

Nicolas Bechtel as Iron Lad



Sean Leo as Hulkling



Jaden Piner as Patriot



Elisha Henig as Wiccan



Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Hawkeye



and look at her face reacting to whatever stupid thing Clint has done now...


Dylan Garza as Speed



Jaeden Lieberher as Kid Loki



Lillianna Valenzuela as Miss America



Riley Lio as Noh-Varr



Miles Brown as Prodigy

(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:55 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
One of KM Weiland's pieces of advice in Outlining Your Novel (though this is actually in chapter "Before You Begin Your Outline") is:

"If you could have a professional reviewer read your idealized concept of your finished book and totally get it—completely understand everything you're trying to say with your characters, plot, dialogue, and themes—what would he write about your story?"

And then you, being specific, thorough, and extravagant, are that reviewer.

OKAY THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN wait how do I do that

politics, argh

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:52 pm
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
[personal profile] cofax7
OH THANK FUCK. (Re: McCain for once did the right thing and voted down the "skinny repeal" bill which would have resulted in 16 million people losing health insurance within a year.)

In other news, I may be giddy with relief, but this made me laugh like a drain.

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