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August 2019
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Back March 16th, 2019 Forward
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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