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The Cost of Doing Nothing

As bush-fires rage and rage across Australia (I'm in one of the few state capitals which isn't actually being directly affected by bushfire smoke; I feel as though I'm cheating somehow) our Prime Minister keeps on banging on about the costs of taking action to deal with climate change. Apparently it would cost too much for us to change what we're doing to work to mitigate the risk of climate change. That's why we're not doing anything - because doing something would cost too much.

What's happening now, all down the east coast, and cutting the transport across the Nullarbor, is the cost of NOT dealing with it. So let's start counting that cost, shall we?

Direct Costs (as at the morning of 05 JAN 2020):

* 23 people are dead, since September. At least three of these people are volunteer fire fighters - who weren't being paid for their work (and whose compensation for extended absence from workplaces and so on is being limited to $6000 by the federal government).
* More than 6 million hectares of land burned. It may recover, it may not. We can't count on recovery. We certainly can't count on the arable stuff being able to be farmed in the next growing season, because that depends on an end to the drought.
* More than 450 million animals known to have been killed since the start of the fire season - and that's mainly the livestock, I'm guessing. The impact on native wildlife is still unknown, but we may well have entire species going extinct as a result of habitat destruction. I realise this may not seem like much to our politicians, since animals can't vote, but the destruction of biodiversity makes it harder and harder for the landscape to recover from these sorts of catastrophic events.
* 110 properties and 220 outbuildings known to be destroyed in Victoria alone.
* Destruction of essential infrastructure (electricity substations, water treatment plants, power transmission lines, water tanks etc)
* Destruction of workplaces (eg Adelaide hills wine industry - 1/3 of that has been burned; Mallacoota abalone collective (2nd largest employer in town); any number of farms; etc) which results in people being put onto Newstart (and let's not forget: the rate of Newstart is ridiculously low. It's about half the poverty line income).

Indirect costs:

* Increased mortality rates, ambulance call outs and hospitalisation rates in smoke-affected and bushfire affected areas.
* Greater rate of distress from smoke-related illnesses on the East coast, greater rate of distress from psychological illness all over the country.
* Nullarbor highway & Coolgardie-Esperance highway blocked between Norseman and Caiguna. Which means here in Perth, we're going to start running out of things which are brought over from the eastern states by truck, because the trucks aren't getting through. (Yeah, it's small bikkies. But it's still a cost we're going to be paying).

Foreseeable knock-on costs in the future:

* Rents are going to rise in Melbourne and Sydney (and possibly also Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth) as those people who have been made homeless and jobless by the fires try to find somewhere to live and something to do.
* Cost of electricity is going to go up, as all the power companies on the East Coast raise prices to cover the damage to infrastructure caused by the fires (they're going to do this even if they didn't get affected by it at all, let's be realistic here).
* Cost of water is going to go up all over the East coast, because firstly, drought; secondly, damaged infrastructure; thirdly, guess what's been thrown on the various fires all over the place.
* Cost of food is going to go up, because the amount of places which are growing it has just taken a rather substantial hit - and this means not only animal protein, but also vegetable crops as well.
* A number of communities are going to be effectively wiped out by the bush-fires, because it just isn't economically feasible to rebuild.
* Increased rate of hospitalisations and medical treatments for chronic conditions will continue to rise for at least 12 - 18 months down the track, because the impact of profound and prolonged stress on human bodies is unpredictable in the individual cases, but will probably show up in an increased rate of auto-immune disorders, stress-related disorders, and so on. Compounded, of course, by things like less healthy food choices being available to individuals on low incomes, etc.
* Increased rates of alcohol and drug-related disorders, because that's one of the predictable lack-of-coping methods people use.
* Increased rates of PTSD and complex PTSD presentations in psychiatric care situations.
* Increased mortality rate will have a "long tail" effect, covering approximately the next 12 to 18 months (because stress kills, even if it does so unpredictably).
* Insurance premiums will go up, drastically, especially for people on the East Coast.

This is just me doing a bit of thinking off the top of my head and skimming the news stories. To me, it seems like the cost of doing nothing is ridiculously high. Especially when you consider part of the cost of doing nothing is the cost of having to do all of this again next year. And the year after. And the year after that.

Surely compared to the cost of doing nothing, the cost of doing something diminishes?

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Current Mood: determined determined
On Facebook, Originality, and Billionaires

Inspired by:

Mr Zuckerberg says without allowing people to become billionaires, we won't see "innovations" and "original products" like Facebook. So, let's have a look at just how "innovative" or "original" his product is, shall we?

The original idea Mr Zuckerberg was exploiting (the "face book") was not his own - his main "innovation", if it can be called that, was transforming it from a print format limited to simply one university campus to an online database version, able to be diversified to many. Facebook (the website) came about because Harvard University created a "face book" for its first year students - a book of photographs of the first year students containing basic information such as names and majors, distributed to the first years, as a way of facilitating making contacts when one first arrived at university (rather than doing this the old-fashioned, plebian way by, for example, asking questions of classmates and dorm mates such as "hi, what's your name?"). Speaking as someone who was there in the 1990s when this was happening to a lot of things, the transformation of something in the real world to an online database was not necessarily an innovative idea - or if it was, it was an "innovation" which occurred to a vast number of different people all at the same time. Basically, a lot of people were figuring out how to use relational databases to create neat web content in the mid to late 1990s - Facebook was just one of the players.

In format, Facebook is largely a web 2.0 version of an old web 1.0 "portal" site - which means it wasn't particularly original or novel even when it first appeared. The main difference between Facebook and the old Netscape Navigator or AOL web portals is Facebook scrapes one heck of a lot more data out of your account, in order to be able to sell you better targeted advertising and make Mr Zuckerberg more money. The site has not added anything either new or particularly innovative to its framework in years. The only real distinguishing feature of the corporate entity's business practices is a tactic of "embrace and extend" ... a tactic which was pioneered by Microsoft in the 1980s.

So yeah, Mr Zuckerberg. Let's have a talk about "innovation", shall we? Starting with what it means, and how your company doesn't actually do any.

(Mark Zuckerberg did the equivalent of winning the lottery, and deep down he knows it. It's why he's so insistent on telling this story, the one where he "deserves" every penny he can get his mitts on. It's why he doesn't want to have to pay more in tax, why he doesn't want the company broken up by a monopolies investigation, why he's willing to conspire with as many people as possible in order to ensure the status quo doesn't alter. He knows he won the lottery, and the odds against him winning it the same way twice are phenomenal. He knows he can't recreate his success if it gets taken away from him, because his success, such as it is, is based on pure, dumb luck.)

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Current Mood: cynical cynical
A Household Hint

I've been made unemployed again (my contract expired at the end of last month - if you're hiring admin staff in Western Australia and need someone three days a week, let me know!) so I'm spending a lot of time at home. This is (fortunately or unfortunately) currently coinciding with a bout of rather nasty pain from my right temporo-mandibular joint, which means I'm currently drinking one heck of a lot of tea in an effort to keep things from getting entirely too painful[1]. Plus, of course, it is SPRING in Australia, and it's been about three years since the rear courtyard and steps of our place were sprayed with weed-killer. So in order to be dealing with the combined problems of a) boredom; b) too many weeds in the paving; and c) no money to spend on weed-killer, I've been using what I call "the poor person's glyphosate" on the weeds in the rear paving.

What is the poor person's glyphosate? Boiling water. To kill weeds in paving, pour boiling water over them until they start to either a) wilt; b) smell like cooking greenery; or c) both. If it's a really big, bushy weed, pour the water over the base of the plant - kill that and you'll get the rest of it, trust me.

This has several advantages over commercial weed-killers. Firstly, it's entirely non-toxic to the rest of the garden (and to the gardener, for that matter). The thing which is killing the weeds is the heat, not the chemicals - the water itself is entirely non-toxic to the garden when it cools down past boiling point. Secondly, it's not toxic to animal life (if you have pets or fish, you can use this particular weed-killer with no problems whatsoever - just keep them out of range for about five minutes while things cool down). Thirdly, it's also a nice, non-toxic way of dealing with the ants in the paving (pour boiling water down an anthill to give the ants the hint you're not interested in having them excavating Right There). Fourthly, it's cheap and easy. Or at least, it's certainly a lot cheaper and easier than buying commercial weed-killer and using that would be.

Essentially, what I've been doing is each time I boil up the kettle for a cup of tea, I've been taking the remaining hot water out the back door while the tea brews, and pouring it onto a clump of weeds. So far I've managed to clear the back steps, and I'm getting started on the paving nearest the door to the house. At this rate, I'll hopefully have everything cleared by about the end of the next week or so. Then I can get started on the front paving, and clear a bit of that.

[1] Long story short-ish: the temporo-mandibular joint is inflamed, which refers pain to the nerve on the right hand side of my jaw, which means if I'm not taking regular painkillers, I wind up with everything from my wisdom teeth to the front edge of my right incisors aching like blazes. Including the upper pre-molar which was removed a few years ago. It's a bit annoying, to put things mildly. (Actual joint pain: about a 2 - 3 out of 10. Once the teeth get involved: easily a 6 - 7 out of 10, if not higher). This only gets worse if my right ear or the right side of my jaw get cold. Hence hot liquids as a palliative measure.

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Current Mood: owwww owwww
Down with the Lurgi

I was a fool last week. We had some really frantic stuff happening on Friday, and when I went home, I thought "thank gods that's over".

I had forgotten "thank gods that's over" is the phrase my immune system basically connects with "I have finished all my major assessment, the break has started, and I don't have to do anything for at least a week, so there's plenty of time to be sick". So guess what happened?

Description of symptoms below - skip if you don't like mucous )

I'm busy trying to keep ahead of things by keeping up lots of warm to hot fluids (tea, hot water, lemon and honey, etc) to try and stop the throat-stripping cough, and mainlining Fisherman's Friend cough lollies (because they're the nearest thing I've found to a shot of Drano for the sinuses). I'm also trying to make sure my middle ears drain at night by laying with the affected ear up (of course, there's only so long I can do this... then I have to switch over to the other side, drat it). Plus I am doing my regular scheduled Bit for the profits of whoever owns the Kleenex brand this week. My voice is currently in "phone sex worker" mode, because I'm speaking with a chest voice (it is far too uncomfortable for things to resonate anywhere north of my lower jaw). Oh, and I'm very glad I bought a new tube of lip balm a few weeks back, because I just know my lips are going to wind up chapped in no time flat.

Do I actually have the time off uni and work to be sick? Do I what?? I had a tutorial presentation I had to give on Monday for uni (first cab off the rank for the semester - I figure I'm either setting a high standard or a low one for everyone else, and I'll find out which it was at the end of the semester) which required me to talk for about ten minutes (with a scratchy voice and next-to-no functioning brain). Plus work has heaps of stuff for me to be doing, because we've just switched a batch of systems over and what this means is the people who are doing my job (myself and one other guy) are manually doing what a bunch of other people used to do, and discovering all the possible ways things can go wrong. (I did some preliminary work on the subject last week - although it was mainly in the form of "drawing up a bingo card", because playing stuff-up bingo is a lot tidier than murdering people. Can you tell I used to work tech support?).

At least today everyone else in the office was working from home, so I could basically treat the office like my own personal lazar house, turn up the heating, and just settle down to baking whichever blasted virus is responsible for this lurgi out of my system.

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Current Mood: cranky as cranky as
This is Normal

I get up in the morning, get dressed, do the chores. Read the news. There's news of another mass shooting in the USA. Two of them, in fact. There's no news of a mass shooting in my country. This is normal.

I drive to the university where I study. I drive carefully because I'm aware I'm moving around about a ton of metal at speeds of 40 - 70 km/h, and that can cause some serious problems to the human body if such a thing isn't done with due care and attention. I don't worry about other drivers pulling out a gun and shooting me for bad driving. This is normal.

I get to university, and go into a classroom. I'm not looking at the rooftops for snipers. I'm not watching my fellow-students cautiously, waiting to see whether today is the day one of them "snaps". I don't look for exit routes out of the classroom if a shooter should enter. This is normal.

I go to the supermarket to pick up groceries. I don't worry about getting shot in the car-park. I don't worry about getting shot in the mall on the way to the supermarket. I don't worry about getting shot in the supermarket. I don't worry about getting shot at all. This is normal.

I'll go to work later this week, and I'm not worried about my employer (who knows of my history of mental illness) deciding they're not going to keep me on due to the potential risk to my colleagues. They also know I'm not going to shoot up my workplace. People shooting up their workplace is very unlikely in this country. This is normal.

Politicians in this country don't have much to fear from crowds - the worst is maybe a cream pie, or an egg to the head, or maybe a bit of ballistic fruit or something like that for the really objectionable ones. They don't need armed bodyguards everywhere they go. This is normal.

The police here are armed - but they face severe penalties for shooting a person in the course of their duties. They know most of the people they're going to be facing don't have access to guns, so they have to use less extreme measures of taking control of a situation. This is normal.

We still have the rare person who wants to take out a bunch of others and "go down in a blaze of glory" - usually to prove something about their masculinity to themselves. They don't tend to use guns, though - guns are hard to obtain here. They also tend to survive being arrested, and go on to get long jail sentences rather than being taken out in a hail of bullets. The most popular weapon for them these days is the car. But this is also normal.

Children in our schools don't have "active shooter drills". They don't plan what to do if there's a shooter in the building. They don't plan how to hide, how to cower in a cupboard until things are over. We have occasional bomb/fire drills where the entire school evacuates onto the oval. This is normal, too.

This is all normal. This is the way Australians live. A nation of twenty-seven million people, with a lot of different racial tensions and a growing resurgence of white supremacists, and with a conservative government in charge which probably wouldn't do anything to stop the white supremacists either. But we don't live in the constant fear and paranoia today might be the day we get shot down in the street by our fellow citizens.

The way people live in the USA is NOT normal. I just think you need to know this.

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Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
One Tweet Summarises an Election

[Eddy Jokovich; ‏ @EddyJokovich: The #Insiders panel asking “what will be the LNP agenda over the next three years”. I shouldn’t have to tell you this but aren’t these questions meant to be asked before the election? #auspol ]

What annoys me about this tweet is twofold.

Firstly, there's the whole point that firstly, the press were supposed to be scrutinising the various parties policy offerings (ALL the offerings of ALL the parties, guys, not just the big two) and providing the public with coverage of all of these. They were supposed to be doing this before the election. So clearly the Australian press have fallen down on the job, or they were lazy and didn't do their job, or they weren't trained properly and didn't know this was their job, or they were being actively prevented from doing their job. Any and all of these may apply, and all of them are horrifying to think about.

Secondly, there's the subsidiary point that we AS VOTERS were supposed to be looking into this OURSELVES. We shouldn't be relying on the press to spoon feed us everything in carefully measured sound-bites. We should, instead, be doing things like, oh, going to the various websites of the various political parties and reading their policy statements for ourselves. We should not be wholly reliant on the media to pre-digest these announcements for us. We should, instead, be doing some of our own damn legwork.

That a government was re-elected with absolutely NO policy information given, with every single question on policy matters turned aside as being "part of the Canberra bubble" or "it's all in the budget"; with ministers being missing in actions, with candidates doing their best impersonations of the invisible man or invisible woman; and with their only damn point being "look how terrible the opposition are"... this is a failure on two counts. Firstly, it is a failure of the press, who are supposed to be the public's advocates and watchdogs in such matters. Secondly, it is a failure of the electorate, because we have failed our democratic duty to ourselves.

The second is the more crucial failure, especially in this era of press consolidation and near-monopoly press control by the Murdoch media. We, as citizens in a democracy, have a responsibility to ourselves to be educated voters. To take the time to have a look at the various parties on offer, to learn what they stand for, to figure out whether we agree with this or not. Otherwise, we are failing ourselves, and we make ourselves into easy targets for the sort of exploitative, populist politics which delights in a divided electorate, and which chooses to divide and rule, pitting people one against the other. We owe it to ourselves; we owe it to each other; to create a country where we can all have a fair go. We didn't do this. We failed as citizens.

We failed.

Now, the poor, the disabled, the sick, the elderly on the pension, the parents, the children who can't yet vote, the rural populations, the indigenous population, the recent migrants, the detainees in foreign lands, and everyone else who isn't earning over $200,000 per annum in this country are going to be paying the price for our failure. They'll be paying the price in reduced services, in more punitive welfare conditions, in increased prices for those services which remain, and in decreasing quality of service as well. They'll be paying the price in discrimination, in stigma, in negative coverage in the press, and in all the various little ways they've already been paying for the past six years.

We failed them. We failed ourselves. Now what are we going to do about it?

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What The Actual Fuck?

Congratulations, Australia.

We've just embarked on a three year gamble. The Australian public, in their infinite self-centred, short-term-focused wisdom, have re-elected the Liberal-National Coalition government under Scott Morrison. I have no idea why they chose to do this - possibly it's because enough of them are deluded into thinking Australia runs on a presidential system, and they weren't happy about the idea of Bill Shorten as Prime Minister. Possibly it's because enough of them have fallen for the American way of thinking of themselves as not being members of a working class or a middle class precariat, but rather as a group of billionaires who are temporarily short on cash, so they want to do things like preserve franking credits, tax cuts for people earning over $200,000 a year, and negative gearing because one day they might, just might, get some benefit out of it. Possibly it's because they want the vicarious enjoyment of kicking the poor, which is always on the menu in a Liberal government. Possibly it's just because they don't want to think about climate change, an on-coming global recession, and any of the other big problems looming, and they think if they just hide their heads under the covers, it will all go away.

To be honest, I don't know, and I don't really care. This isn't about why the Australian people elected the government they did. It's about what's going to happen next.

The Liberal party went into this election with absolutely no new policy. Their entire campaign was "the ALP are big and scary and are going to eat your children". In the past six years of Liberal government, we have heard them, time and again, blame the ALP for every single problem which came up. It didn't matter what it was. If the problem wasn't caused by the ALP under Rudd and Gillard, it was caused by the ALP under Hawke and Keating, or the ALP under Whitlam, or even the ALP under Curtin. So we can expect another three years of hearing the ALP is responsible for whatever difficulties the government is encountering, and we can expect the government to be demanding the ALP do something about it (because of course it's the responsibility of the party in opposition to fix things, not the party in power). So there are problems waiting for this government when they get back in - things like the whole issue with the Murray-Darling scheme, and the water rorts there; things like the Centrelink robodebts and the paltry rate of Newstart; things like the lack of movement on wages in the past six years; things like the massive rip-off that is JobActive; the results of the banking royal commission, and so on. Problems they largely caused, and which they have been extremely reluctant to deal with.

Does anyone actually think they're going to do anything about those problems now?

We have a bunch of social issues which have been simmering away. There's the low movement on wages, which is making the lives of everyone who isn't already retired more difficult. There's the increasing casualisation of the workforce, which means a lot of people don't have the stability to do things like buy housing, make long-term plans, settle down, have families. There's the decay of our social support networks, and the increasingly punitive nature of our social security system. If you're applying for government assistance, you're automatically assumed to be sponging on the public purse for no good reason, and you have to jump through an ever-increasing amount of hoops in order to prove yourself a member of the "deserving poor". We have the rise of public white nationalism, and public anti-Semitism, and public anti-immigrant sentiment, and public anti-black sentiment - often led by members of the government. We have the rise of public anti-indigenous sentiment.

Does anyone think these things are going to go away?

Over it all, we have the looming spectre of global climate instability. The climate is changing. The climate has been changing for the last thirty or forty years now. It's reached the point where we can't pretend otherwise. It's starting to affect us. It's starting to affect every other species on this planet - and that's going to affect us because all life on this planet is linked together in a web. The web is starting to break. We've been told, again and again and again, that in order to deal with the problems facing us on the climate front, we're going to have to take drastic action.

We've just elected a government whose policy on climate change comes down to "if we ignore it, maybe it will go away".

So we've started a three year national gamble. We're gambling that for the next three years, nothing too terrible happens on the global economic front. We're gambling for the next three years, nothing catastrophic happens in terms of drought, floods, cyclones, bush-fires, or any of the other myriad manifestations of climate variability. We're gambling that for the next three years, we don't wind up getting pulled into a war, caught up in a trade dispute, faced with a global epidemic, or any of the other really big political problems which might crop up.

We're gambling this, because we have, with the full foreknowledge of their incompetence, re-elected a shower of MPs who have PROVEN themselves incapable of handling the challenges of government. This mob couldn't run a chook raffle in a country pub with the local CWA doing all the tricky bits for them. Why do we think they're competent to govern?

Seriously, Australia, what the fuck were you thinking yesterday?

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Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
What I've Been Reading - W/E 17 MAY 2019

Reading List WE 17 MAY 2019

Well, goodbye Bob Hawke, and I performed a gesture toward the national mourning and reminiscence yesterday by listening to "The Drover's Dog" by Redgum and having a bit of a grin. Because I'm old enough to remember when that one was relevant, and Bob Hawke was the first PM I really remember.

So, on to the reading list. I'll just mention the reading I'm doing for my cultural studies unit for last week and this week is season one of "True Detective", which is ... interesting, although I'd rather have a version with subtitles available, since all the characters are mumbling in Southern American accents looking away from the camera in dark rooms, which means the whole thing turns to a pile of linguistic sludge in my ears unless I'm throwing heaps of attention at it. I'm four episodes in, and it's sort of a melange of this, that and the other, and I think I've figured out where the plot is heading (unfortunately, after nearly fifty years on this planet, one gets a feel for the shapes of stories, and it is very difficult to surprise me with plot twists you've been telegraphing from episode one). So now I get to find out whether I'm right.

New work in progress in the Persona 5 fandom discovered this week is accidentally on fire by unsungillumination. This is a chat fic, something which is interestingly popular in this fandom (something to do with the whole thing with phones being such a Thing in the game - the meta-conceit is that most of the stuff you're doing in-game, you're doing through the protagonist's phone). So, in this fic, the conceit is that Goro Akechi's friend Ann has put him onto Tinder as a way of meeting people. Cue expected meet cute, and carry on from there.

For a couple of one-offs, found largely through checking the bookmarks of another author I'm fond of in the fandom, have Berserk by s_c_writ, which is an AU where Goro has a change of heart about certain events as they're going through the casino. I like this one because the change of heart is organic, rather than palace-related, and it makes things a bit more interesting to contemplate what might happen after that.

I'll also throw in Cupid's Chokehold by pigsocks, which I think I actually found through the kink meme. Goro/Ryuji, a "winner takes all" game of darts turns out to be a trigger for hot man-sex.

Gotham's_Only_Wolf is still writing in FF7 fandom, and this week they picked up their "Shinra's Guide to Survival" universe (the one where Cloud Strife is dangerous if he doesn't get his coffee, and has the boyfriends to prove it). The latest instalment is Shinra’s Guide to Survival feat. Zack Fair, SOLDIER Extraordinaire, where we're shown five times Cloud is given a coffee mug, and one time he gives one away. I'd recommend the whole series as a feast of giggles for anyone interested in the fandom. Nice to see this writer back to work - apparently they had to deal with Real Life (TM) for a while, and haven't been able to pay much attention to writing fic for a while.

Oh, and one last work in progress I've added to my reading list. This one's in the Persona 5 fandom; Carousel by Mazauric. This is a post-game fic, where the Metaverse has returned and things are getting nasty. Fortunately, the Phantom Thieves have a few unexpected advantages on their side. This one refers to a certain amount of the wider Persona canon for back-story and such, so if you aren't aware of the previous games in the series, you might find yourself wondering who the heck some of the characters are. Fortunately, the Persona wiki does exist, and so too does wikipedia, both of which have information on the earlier instalments in the series.

So that's the highlights from my reading list for this week. What have other people been reading?

(PS: All my Aussie readers, if you haven't already done so, today is the day to wake up, get up, get out there and vote. Don't forget to pick up your Democracy Sausage on the way out!)

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Current Mood: cold cold
What I've Been Reading - W/E 10 MAY 2019

Still busy (new job, getting everything lined up to go with the new job etc) so not reading as much as I could be. But have some items from my reading list anyway.

One of the things I've been doing recently is working my way through the [community profile] personakinkmeme, which introduced me to a few fics I hadn't read, and a couple of authors I hadn't run across. Not much of it stood out as particularly brilliant (I've apparently already found most of the good authors in the fandom, which is a bit of a nuisance).

One that stood out was Trust and Submission by BloodyJinxii. It's an interesting fic in the P5 universe, where Goro Akechi places an ad for a BDSM session, and is slightly surprised firstly by the domme he gets answering it, and secondly by which parts of what she does upset him the most. I found it an interesting exploration of the topic, and well worth it for the way it deals with a few assumptions about the "purpose" of BDSM in the first place. Let's just say Goro has some misplaced ideas about where the power is supposed to lie in a scene, and leave it at that, shall we?

In the works in progress I'm ambling through, there were new chapters in Once More With Feeling by beesandtoes, and Home For A Wayward Soul by TwilightKnight17 (each of the links goes to the latest chapter of each work). Once More With Feeling is the "Groundhog Day" AU, which is turning into an "Protagonist has a Palace" AU, and getting a bit more interesting as things go; Home For A Wayward Soul is a post-game fic with a twist - Akira volunteering at a new orphanage finds a young (approximately 3 years old) Goro Akechi, who he adopts to give the kid a second chance at life. I'd recommend both of these (OMWF is up to chapter 13, HFAWS is up to chapter 2) if you're interested in the fandom.

In Final Fantasy VII, Gotham's_Only_Wolf has picked up their May The Steel Never Dull universe again, and turned out another chapter, so if you're a fan of theirs, do take a look (link goes to the latest chapter).

Plus I've added a couple of new works in progress to my subscription list (I'm a sucker for a good work in progess). The first is A Farce at Playing House by cookietosser and literarytonguetied, which is a Persona 5 post-game college age AU, where Ryuji Sakamoto is studying physical therapy at a college in Iwatodai (and staying in a dorm building which will be familiar to fans of the Persona series) when he runs into an unexpected waiter at a diner. It has a counterpart fic from the perspective of the other party in the story (A Farce at Playing Dead) which adds to the interest of the whole story. I'll be interested in seeing where those two go. I've also picked up you will not take my heart alive by myotinae, which is an interesting twist on the game timeline (break occurs around November, for those who are interested) and stars a Goro Akechi whose heart has been changed by the Phantom Thieves, and who is not particularly happy about this.

So that's what I've been reading this week. What do other people have in their "To Be Read" piles?

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Current Mood: awake awake
What I've Been Reading - W/E 03 MAY 2019

It's been a quiet week this week, and I haven't really been reading a lot of stuff. Mostly I've been working through the re-read of Feet of Clay (starting to get to the climactic bits of the story, and I'm intrigued by the amount of action Pratchett packs into a very small space of time - the main bulk of the story takes about three days, two nights), and occasionally looking at bits of Crime and Punishment when I get a spare moment.

However, I have been looking at some fanfic along the way. For example, I've found a new work in progress - Hypnotized by liziscribbles. It's a Persona 5 "no powers" AU, where things happened a bit differently, and where Akira and Yusuke are meeting up in about their early twenties. Nice characterisation work by the author, and while I have a guess at where the plot is going to be going (it's primarily romance, so of course there's likely to be a happy ending) the way the author is performing the trick is intriguing enough that I'm wanting to go along with it for now.

On the purely frivolous side, have a chat-fic in the Persona-verse. This one is by TheGamingMonkey, and is called Basically Everybody in a Chat and is Already Done With Life. This one has the characters from Persona 3, 4 and 5 all bunged into the one chat room, and interacting with each other. It's definitely not serious, and anyone who was supposed to be dead is back from the dead for Reasons (mostly "comedic value"). Good for a smirk or two.

TwilightKnight17 has finally finished writing their "Hours 'Verse" fiction series (link goes to the series page on AO3), so if you're wanting to read the whole thing from go to whoa, feel free to have a look. It covers the events of the Persona series from the last part of Persona 3 through to the end of Persona 5 and beyond. About the only thing to be aware of is that if you're not a fan of slash, this is probably not the series for you, because the pairings are generally slashy. Overall, I'd recommend it - they're an excellent writer, have an excellent touch with characterisation, and they're also good with plot as well (plus they don't consistently refer to the protagonist of Persona 5 as "the raven", making me think of a human-size black bird in the middle of whatever's going on).

So there's my five for the week.

The new job is fine so far. The rest of my week is hectic. More news as I get a moment to breathe and such.

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 26 APR 2019

It's been a non-teaching week, plus there were a bundle of public holidays, so I've been home a lot and doing a lot of reading this week. Here's five highlights.

To start with, I finished the book I was doing a farewell re-read of (and decided to keep it) and started another one: this time, it's Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Just got started on it, and it's still in the set-up stages (I'm reading this one very slowly, since it's actually new to me - I bought the book back when I thought I should be acquiring a library of the classics, and I've not read it before now). Not sure what I think about it at this point. I'll let you all know a bit further on, when I've read more than the first chapter or so.

Most of what I've been reading this week has been fanfic, mostly Persona 5. However, there's a couple of bits of Final Fantasy VII in there: By Any Other Name by Ardwynna, a nice bit of Aeris/Sephiroth fake-ish dating; and From Cloud, With Love by Gotham's_Only_Wolf, where a mistaken number on a silly text to a friend makes Cloud a new friend, and eventually much more. Both nice fluffy pieces, without too much angst or despair, just what I need in the current climate (we're doing an election campaign here in Australia; if I want angst, despair, and existential dread, I can find plenty of it in the various policy platforms of the various parties).

On the Persona 5 side of things, I discovered a couple of new authors - firstly bubblebangbaby, whose The Body-Switching Episode is a gorgeous example of the sorts of smutty silliness that can be achieved by putting a couple of teenage boys in each other's bodies. Protagonist/Ryuji, masturbation, and Ryuji!feels galore, absolutely glorious to read. Let's put it this way: I grinned and laughed out loud reading it, so it's not just smut, there's some humour in there as well.

The other author in Persona 5 fandom I discovered (and went through their back history like a dose of salts last night) was ThirtySixSaveFiles. I'm going to recommend their lovely AU-ish fic where the lost get found as something for any interested readers, because I think this one captures their writing style (and the characters) best of all. It's an adult-aged (character age ranges would be from 22 - 24 years old) no Personas Detective/Thief AU, where Goro Akechi is a young and up-coming detective in the Tokyo police force, Akira Kurusu runs a coffee shop by day and leads the Phantom Thieves by night, and it's a glorious romp to read through.

Also, in other news: I have a new job, doing clerical work two days a week for a total of eleven and a half hours a week. I start on Thursday. So I expect my rate of reading to go down a bit. Let's see how things go.

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 19 APR 2019

Relatively quiet week this week. I'm still working my way through Feet of Clay at about 5 pages a day at present. All the pieces are on the board now, and we're watching them move around into interesting combinations. The plot is thickening nicely, and the complications are predictably cropping up.

So, over to fanfic. In fully new stuff, there's [recipes for sorry] by Feather - part of her "[to see you there]" series, where we see a fairly clear picture of just how neurodiverse Tony Stark is, and how much trouble this can be to live with. (If you're still unsure how being neurodivergent can be disabling, go through this story... and then think about having those thoughts and feeling those feelings without several million dollars as a personal and social buffer between you and the consequences thereof).

In updates, well, one of my favourite Persona 5 AU fics at the moment, AyuOhSeki's wonderful To Catch A Tiger Cub, One Must First Enter the Tiger's Lair has had its final chapter posted (today, in fact - I'm cheating a little). Note to anyone who likes happy endings: this is not the fic for you. It is bittersweet all the way through. It is, however, brilliantly crafted, and a wonderful ride the whole way. I strongly recommend it to anyone reading in the fandom.

A couple of new chapters this week in a couple of fics which are slow to update: Delicious Danish updated their fic He Can't Talk And I Can't Walk (Persona 5, actually mute protagonist in a relationship with Ryuji, post high-school); and Alexilulu updated their fic Black & Red (Persona 5, trans protagonist dating trans Haru).

So that's what I've been reading this week (actually haven't been reading much - most of my time has been spent running in twenty-seven different directions at once for other reasons. I'll explain why later).

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 12 APR 2019

Have another five from my reading list for this week.

First up, I've finished re-reading "Making Money", and moved on to "Feet of Clay. Since this one doesn't have chapters, I'm reading it out loud to myself, and stopping when I get through a couple of scenes. It's about five pages a night, or thereabouts.

Next, for uni, I've been required to read Lovecraft, for the first time. "The Call of Cthulhu" and "A Shadow Over Innsmouth". Which means I've now seen the origins of a great amount of the strangeness of the internet, and possibly due to being desensitised by long exposure to the internet itself, I haven't turned into a gibbering wreck. I do see where Bob Howard gets his comments about Lovecraft's purple prose from, though. All the shades, from aubergine through heliotrope to palest, palest lilac. Plus lots of focus on the "uncanny", as well as a lot of the racism and xenophobia for which Lovecraft is rather infamous. Seriously, if the guy hadn't been so absolutely and pathologically terrified of the idea of anyone who wasn't a white male upper-middle-class American from the North-Eastern US states having any access to anything by way of knowledge or power which he didn't have, he might have been a reasonable bloke to know. As it is, reading his stuff reminds me of a lot of reading memes from the alt-right bits of the internet - same sense of gibbering terror at the very notion of difference.

If H P Lovecraft were alive and writing today, he'd be a virulent blogger for the far right. If we were very lucky, he'd have been one of the Rabid Puppies and would currently be involved in a virulent argument with Vox Day about who was more hardcore and genuine, and therefore performing a service to mankind by keeping the two of them focussed on each other and out of everyone else's hair. I can admire the craft of his writing, while disliking a lot of the content.

I also had a look at one of the Hugo-nominated short-stories, mainly because it's a T Kingfisher story I hadn't seen before: The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society. Like many of her stories, it takes a fairytale trope, and turns it on its head, in a rather humourous way. I think if I ever wind up with money, I'm going to see about buying as much of her stuff as I can lay hands on (or get delivered to Australia).

So, final item, and it's basically an author/series recommendation more than anything else. I got interested in TwilightKnight17's Hours-Verse series, which is a fusion largely of Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5, where the central premise is that the end of Persona 3 changes in a particular fashion that I'm not going to share, because Spoilers. It's up to 13 parts so far, one of which is currently a work in progress, and I'd definitely recommend it if you're a fan of any of the Persona games, because even the original Persona and Persona 2 get a look in. Also look at any of their other stuff - they're well worth the read, I'm finding. Good characterisation, none of the more annoying fan-writer quirks (such as describing characters solely by epithets[1]) that can sometimes get in the way of enjoying a story, and they're very good at plotting and pacing.

So that's what I've been reading (along with a lot of Persona 5 fanfic). What's on everyone else's reading list?

[1] What is it with that one? Do neurotypical people generally think of their friends as 'the tall one', 'the short one', 'the one with blonde hair' and so on? Why not just use their names?

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 05 APR 2019

This week for uni, I have to read through The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I've read it before, and I'm a detective story fan - this degree is still not really a hardship). It's a short novel, so I'm currently working through it at three chapters a night and enjoying running across all the standard detective novel tropes as they're being created. Plus one chapter each night of Making Money. My life is so difficult, I swear.

I've been reading a bit more fanfic this week, not so much because it's been a busy week for fanficcers (it hasn't, really) but rather because I discovered the Persona 5 Kinkmeme collection on AO3. So, more smut than gen this week, and mostly Persona 5 stuff.

One thing which doesn't fit into either category is the latest piece of Feather's "Settle in and find your home" series, Call it your 2.0, your rebirth: whatever. Instead, we get Maria Hill learning that she can actually cope with Tony Stark provided Tony isn't intentionally trying to be a pain in the backside. There's a lot of insights into a variety of other characters in this one as well, complete with loads of Feather's brilliant world-building, so if you like her MCU stuff, definitely give this one a look.

Now, on to the smut and Phantom Thieves.

Guiding Hands by TwilightKnight17 is a gorgeous fic in which Joker acts as sexual tutor for the majority of his teammates (don't worry, the cat isn't included; also it's consecutively, rather than concurrently). So there are seven vignettes, each with their own particular charm in there.

Model Behaviour by kolibris is a cute one where Joker has done a bit of a porn shoot to earn a bit of cash to cover the cost of weapons and such, and Ryuji just "happens" to buy the mag where the photos get featured. Enjoyable, and the characters are all in character all the way through.

Bajingo, also by kolibris, is a gorgeous bit of fic which subverts the whole "Joker is suave and cool and has it together at all times" trope which is endemic in this fandom - when Ryuji gets zapped by a gender-change effect in Mementos and has to wait for everything to switch back, Akira doesn't really know where to look or what to do.

So, that's the edited highlights of my reading list this week. What have other people been reading?

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So There Went My Productivity...

A bit of background here: my old "main" laptop, Orac, has been a faithful companion. However, I purchased him in about 2011 or thereabouts, and he's getting on for a bit of electronic hardware. Recently he had the electronic equivalent of a stroke - started needing to check the hard drive every time he booted each morning, and went from taking about five minutes to boot to taking something like fifteen. It was time for a replacement.

So I went looking around. Now, Orac is a laptop with a fairly large screen, but even so, this is not a huge amount of screen real estate, so I decided to get a proper desktop machine this time around (I want a screen I can actually read without needing to pull out a magnifying glass for fine print). Which led me to the all-in-one machines, and to the Dell webpage, where they were having a 20% off sale a couple of weeks back.

Say hi to "Slave" (because I'm keeping the Blake's 7 naming trend going, but since this is a lower end machine, it's certainly not Zen). Slave has a 24" screen, which is a real shock after years of working on Orac's 17". All of a sudden I can see more than four tiles across in the file manager, and my Scrivener workspace is so much bigger.

Of course, I'm dealing with the standard problems which come with things like getting a new machine set up - namely the software install two-step, and the whole fun business of transferring over a bunch of bookmarks which are stored on the hard drive of one machine to the hard drive of a different machine (I swear, one of these days, I'm just going to give up and do a quick & dirty P2P nyetwork with a bit of Cat5 from the old machine to the new one and copy things over holus bolus), as well as setting things up and configuring them so they make sense again. Which has eaten seriously into my plans for the day (which originally started with things like "finish up a couple of assessments so I can at least go at my gaming on Saturday with a clear conscience").

One thing I'm learning today: my old-fashioned mindset where I don't trust a hard drive I can't physically access to hit with a hammer is not helpful when it comes to migrating PCs these days. In order to be able to physically migrate files, you have to know where they are (and what they look like) - Firefox doesn't come with a nice, neatly labelled file saying "bookmarks", and Thunderbird doesn't seem to have anything politely labelled "email archives" either. Plus it looks like Yahoo isn't going to accept me using POP mail any more (damn it) which on the one hand means I always have a backup of the files on their server... but on the other hand, means if they decide to take away the server, I lose all my email. Mumble.

Oh well, new schmick toy, nice big screen. Just got to download the Steam client and give it a reboot, and we should be home and hosed.

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Selections from my AO3 fic list as an album.

Meme snagged from [personal profile] muccamukk

This is very much "Disc One: All My Greatest Hits"[1] here

1. The popular, catchy one: Rainy Day in Radiant Garden (Kingdom Hearts-verse, Leon/Cloud) - This one is the one which has the most hits on my stats on AO3, so I think it probably fits the bill. More "slice of life" than actual slash.

2. The obscure early one no one bought at the time: Mutants (X-Men) - A look at the sorts of mutations which don't grant superpowers, and the ways people try to survive them.

3. The "experimental" one, written when you were possibly on some substance: Paying the Price - Prologues 1 and 2 (Pirates of the Caribbean). This was a bit of an experiment in writing the same story two ways, and trying to get working on a bit of PWP (this was all the plot, the porn was going to come later). The PWP didn't materialised, and eventually I published these two prologues rather than having them knock around on my hard drive forever and a fortnight.

4. The sluashy one: Purity: A Smutfic in Four Acts (FF7). I don't usually write explicit stuff, mostly because I'm just not that good at getting into the right frame of mind for things. This is one of the rare exceptions to the rule, and is another of the most popular pieces I've written.

5. The brash, loud one, mid album: Bad Jokes (LOTR) - On the road with the Fellowship, as a couple of the nine walkers start swapping bad jokes to keep their spirits up.

6. The one born of your depressive introspection: Mary Mordor Sue (LOTR). This one could fit in about three categories, but I'll put it here, because it was written when I was in a rather bad depressive spot.

7. The bitter one about your ex/former manager/cat: Nesa Conway's Notes for New Staff (FF7 Crisis Core) - this one counts mainly because when I wrote it I was bitter about not having been employed for about a decade.

8. The one only you like, you insular weirdo: Do Not Go Gently - A crossover between "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "El Mariachi". I liked the idea of bringing Jack Sparrow forward into the present-day world,

9. The genre-hopping crossover hit: A Laundry-Verse A to Z (Laundryverse) - Crossing over Charles Stross's "Laundryverse" series with kids A to Z books. Sparked by a comment thread on his blog - someone else had the idea, I just grabbed the ball and ran with it.

10. The one where you tried to be "modern": Remediation (FF7, FF7: Crisis Core) - Because I was trying something experimental when writing for uni, and I was able to get away with writing fanfic as assessable material. Aka the one where the author notes are longer than the fic and have their own separate chapter.

11. The anthemic final track: Coffee Habit (FF7, Cloud/Zack) - the Coffee Shop AU fic, because why the hell, I had to write one.

[this is something I added myself] 12. The secret bonus track: (From the FF7 Anonymous Kink Meme)

[1] Reference is to a track by Barenaked Ladies, "My New Box Set"

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 29 MAR 2019

It's been a non-teaching week this week. So I did a bit more personal reading than usual.

First up, I finished reading "Going Postal", and switched over to "Making Money" (Terry Pratchett, ISBN 978-0-385-61101-5). I'm re-reading this one at one chapter a day as well, to try and spin it out over a longer time period, rather than just blitzing through it in an evening. It's one of my favourite Discworld books - although this time it's looking at what makes a finance system go round. It also looks at the cost of obsession, and the cost to other people of one person's obsession, as well as the problematic nature of the Assassin's Guild scholarship program and what it turns out.

On the fanfic side of things, I picked up a few new works in progress in the Persona 5 fandom (to replace the two which had finished, it seems). First of these is If My Voice Is Reaching You, by iamnotafraidofspiders, which is a time-travel "save the cutie" fix-it. It has an interesting-to-me premise, even if it isn't particularly original, and of course, as with all such fic, the attraction isn't so much in what the premise is, as in how the trick is going to be done this time - what does this magician/writer bring to this particular trick/plot which will make it interesting?

The second is Campout, by Mishiman, which is a polyamorous camp-out fic set during May, where the Phantom Thieves (a gang of five at this point) wind up trapped by rotten weather inside Madarame's palace. It's marked as "explicit", but they haven't exactly got up to the point where anything I'd mark as "explicit" is happening just yet. It's more about group dynamics, and the various frustrations of Panther's catsuit at present.

I've also started reading Shatter Me by NekoK96, a New Game + fic, which starts its New Game from one of the "bad ending" variants from the point of view of Goro Akechi. Which is a variation on the theme I haven't seen before, and it makes for an interesting story.

Finally, I've picked up Unexpected by Blackwings91, which is (predictably for this author) a Protagonist/Ann getting-them-together fic, but which picks up about six or seven years on from the events of the game, and carries on from there. So, adults in an adult world.

So that's what I've been reading this week (usually when I should have been working on my assessments). What have other people been reading?

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 22 MAR 2019

It's been a slow reading week (mainly because most of the reading I've been doing lately is for university). Have three highlights from my reading list

Kissing It Better by Batsutousai - FF8, 5 + 1 times fic - five times Seifer kissed Squall, and one time Squall kissed him back. This one is a bit of a comfort re-read for me, being an old favourite which I love to bits. Batsutousai is one of the better writers out there for FF8 longfic, in my opinion - this is short for her, being only two chapters rather than fifteen or sixteen. Then again, it's largely set pre-game and post-game, rather than being a longfic AU. Do read her stuff if you like Final Fantasy VIII - she's got a good handle on the characters, and writes them really well.

Drink our coffee on the run by Feather (Lalaietha). The latest instalment in her "Settle in and find your home" sub-series of fic branching off from her wonderful "your blue eyed boys" series, and well worth the wait. Feather's original characters are brilliant, her writing is incredibly well-researched, and she has a deft touch with her characterisation of the canon characters as well (sometimes not the standard fandom perceptions of various characters, but always believable and human). If you haven't read her stuff, and you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, go have a look - you're missing out on something wonderful. (NB: her canon stops dead at the end of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". Pity about that meteor hitting Marvel Studios dead on, right?).

Flunking by volti - Persona 5 fandom. This is a longfic which covers a few months of the canon game, and which is focussed around Makoto Nijima and her relationship with Akira Kurusu during those months. I've been reading it as a work in progress; Volti finally finished it this week, so if you're into the Persona 5 fandom, but don't enjoy WIPs, give this one a go. Volti has a brilliant characterisation of Makoto in particular, but also of her first real relationship - the characters are believably seventeen and sixteen, which makes things all the better.

Like I said, it's been a slow reading week - I'm still working my way through "Going Postal", but I'm rationing myself to one chapter a day, to remind myself of why I like it so much. Mostly, it's been comfort reading. So, over to my readers: what do you read for comfort?

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 15 MAR 2019

Once again, a pick of five things from my reading list for the week, with a bit of reviewage.

First up, I've finally finished re-reading Frederica by Georgette Heyer, and have moved on to Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday hardback edition, 2004, ISBN 0-385-60342-8). It's one of my favourite Discworld books, and I'm rationing it out by reading myself one chapter each night. I find this one of the best books ever, simply for the depth of analysis Pterry does of the ways that corporate robber barons can destroy enterprises, and indeed societies, simply by trying to extract every last penny out of a system, or a product, or a process, or an employee's labour. As Lord Vetinari points out, the post office failed when it stopped being treated as a public good for the betterment of everyone, and started being treated like a money box. There's a lot to be learned in this one - I feel like I'd want to be assigning it as reading to Commerce and Management students, just so they had a chance of seeing an alternative picture to the one being offered by their coursework.

There have been a couple of the fanfic WIPs I've been following which have finished this week. The first of these was Just Like New by Piano, which is a Final Fantasy VII fanfic, set in a world where Zack Fair is a mechanic, and Cloud Strife is a discarded android he's found on a scrapheap. If you're the type of person who isn't fond of WIPs, well, it's all finished now; do go have a look at it. I found it a bit schmoopy for my tastes, simply because I'm not that fond of chronically shy and retiring Cloud Strife, but overall, it's a reasonably well-thought-through idea, and the villain everyone in FF7 fandom loves to hate (Hojo) dies at the end, so it's all good.

The second completed WIP was in Persona 5 fandom: Phantom Stardust by TheWabbajackX. This one is essentially a retelling of the original game story, with a fully fleshed out heterosexual relationship between the Protagonist and Ann Takamaki. It's not bad... but I wouldn't be writing home about it either. There's a bit too much emphasis on the sexual side of things with the characters for my preference, and it does tend toward a certain degree of "stations of the canon" as well (which is great if you're the sort of person who's into that, or who can deal with the spoilers if you haven't already completed the game). Basically, given the P/Ann part of this fandom tends to be either excessively cutesy, or excessively pornographic (in best "plumbing manual" porn style - insert tab A into slot B, remove, reinsert, repeat with emphasis on dimensions, directions, actions and lubricant descriptions until completion), this story does make a nice change from the bulk of them.

I decided to re-read Equoid by Charles Stross, because after a few weeks of early Realist literature for Constructing the Real at uni, I was in the mood for something which manages to blend together H P Lovecraft (I have to read "Call of Cthulhu" for this course... if nothing else can be said for the course, at least the reading list is surprisingly cheap for university level study, since everything on it is out of copyright), Stella Gibbons, and the Laundryverse, with side references to Pterry and to Peter Shaeffer. Because if I'm going to be dealing with purple prose, I may as well have it with a good side order of weird biology, strange things from the depths of the subconscious, and enough geek references to sink a battleship.

mystiri_1 has published a couple of new bits of fic in the FFXV fandom, both of which were really good. I'm linking to Chef's Special because firstly, it's here on Dreamwidth, secondly, it's a piece which uses a couple of very minor characters in some rather interesting ways, and thirdly, it covers a period in the timeline which I haven't seen tackled before. I've always been a fan of mystiri_1's writing since I first ran into her stuff in the Final Fantasy VII fandom, so it's good to see it here in Final Fantasy XV.

In other news, the arc of the weather here in Western Australia is busy tending toward winter, and I'm starting to need to put on leggings in the early morning to keep warm in bed. Not quite cool enough yet to merit switching over to the winter-weight quilt, but certainly starting to get cooler in the mornings.

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What I've Been Reading - W/E 08 MAR 2019

A change this week. With uni starting up, I've realised that keeping track of everything I'm reading isn't going to happen - I just do not have the spoons for it, I'm too tired, and my brain is using this as a reason to beat me up. So instead of giving you everything I've read, I'm just going to give a "five highlights from the list" post, with a bit more of a review attached than usual.

To Catch a Tiger Cub, One Must First Enter the Tiger’s Lair by AyuOhseki - P5 WIP, Crow/Joker. I would seriously recommend AyuOhseki as a writer in the Persona 5 fandom - they're good with characterisation (haven't seen a single bobble or even vaguely out of character action from them in any of their works I'm reading) and they have a good touch with character development. This one is going in some rather interesting directions when it comes to things like relationship decisions. Definitely worth reading, and I'm interested in seeing where it winds up.

It’s a Compliment, Really by Moczo - P5 WIP - the "porn parody" one, no actual pairings. I'm putting this on the list because it is an absolute hoot, it makes me laugh every single chapter, and I'm just thoroughly enjoying the absurdity and silliness of the whole thing. The characterisation is gorgeous, and I definitely get a "Muppet Show" feel out of it - that sort of "okay, starts strange, and just gets sillier and weirder (and more hilarious) as we go along". The bad porn is so bad it's brilliant. Definite fanfic therapy for the stressed out reader. 11 out of 10, have definitely re-read multiple times.

In The Spotlight by Symxalia - P5 AU post-game, online media fandoms. Just discovered this one this week, and it's a gorgeous, low-stress piece of fluff. Basically, the various characters from Persona 5 have survived the whole business, and they're now making names for themselves as YouTubers, game streamers, Instagram photographers and so on.

Tale of A Filigree Prince by ammehsuor - P5, post-game fix-it, Akira/Goro. Goro Akechi has (miraculously, with the assistance of both of his personas) survived the events of the Engine Room, and is working to rebuild himself after everything. Then he bumps into Akira Kurusu in the park, and things get... complicated. This is a really well-written fic, with a complex view of the characters, and an interesting twist on the sorts of D/s narratives which usually show up for this pairing.

The Flip of a Coin by Ztluh - P5, WIP, new game +/groundhog day fusion fix-it. Just found this one this week, and it's an intriguing look at things. The essential conceit is that the protagonist (Akira) has been living the events of the game over and over and over, restarting every time. This time around, he decides to let random chance (or fate, whichever's listening, I suppose) get involved in some of the decisions, by flipping a coin to decide things. This one is going in some interesting directions, since the protagonist by this point has been around for a fair few years. My curiousity is piqued, and I'm going to keep following it.

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