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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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 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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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) 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?
 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 muccamukk
This is very much "Disc One: All My Greatest Hits" 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 sl
uashy 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)
 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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What I've Been Reading - W/E 01 MAR 2019
Finished off The Body in the Bath House and put that in the bye-bye bag; started off Damned Whores and God's Police by Anne Summers (Penguin 2002 revised edition, ISBN 0-14-028876-7)
Still plugging away at Frederica, but I'm having to put it on the side for Madame Bovary for my uni studies.
Dickens, Charles (1836). Sketches by Boz, London, (publisher unknown), "A Visit To Newgate".
Earnshaw, Stephen (2010). Beginning Realism, Manchester & New York, Manchester University Press, pp14 - 37 (Chapter 1)
Plus the first 166 pages of Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Penguin 2003 edition, ISBN 978-0-140-44912-9). I have to be at least halfway through the book by the beginning of the week after next (university week 3, this was week 1).
(I still have a chapter out of "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell to be reading as well, plus another chapter of the book for my creative writing course).
( Under the fold for politeness )
So that's what I've been reading this week... and I've also been trying to clean the house in time for a rental inspection on Thursday morning next week, and come up with ideas for a presentation about living independently while autistic and how this might differ from doing so while neurotypical (presentation happens in uni week 4, so I have a couple of weeks to pull things together). Everything happens at once around here...
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What I've Been Reading - W/E 22 FEB 2019
Still making my way through A Body in the Bath House.
Still technically re-reading Frederica, although I haven't actually picked it up all week.
It's O-Week, and my readings for classes start this week because I needed to have them done for class on Monday. You get these ones in my best APA format-equivalent, because I'm taking them from the headers of my uni notes:
Arnold, Andrea (dir) (2009). Fishtank, BBC Films.
Beale, Nigel (2008). "The ancient art of keeping it real", The Guardian Books blog, 21 OCT 2008. https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2008/oct/21/aristotle-james-wood-realism-mimesis
Burroway, Janet, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French (2015) Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (9th ed), Boston, Pearson, pp1 - 20 (Chapter 1)
Earnshaw, Stephen (2010). Beginning Realism, Manchester & New York, Manchester University Press, pp1 - 13 (introduction)
Yes, there's a film in there. I'm doing Cultural Studies, films count as texts and readings.
Once More, With Feeling by beesandtoes Ch 6 and Ch 7 - The P5 "Groundhog Day" one - dangerous coping methods, and the collapse of the romance waveform.
Hopscotch and Red Rover by scifigrl47 - MCU AU, part of the "Tales of the Bots" universe, and Harris MacIntyre does not have a normal life by any means.
Never Settle for Less Than Gold by Gotham’s_Only_Wolf - FF7/MCU crossover AU; do NOT touch Vincent Valentine's partners if you want to survive.
New Game + by Tayani - P5, latest chapter in a WIP, the AU with the woobified Goro Akechi.
Flunking by volti - P5, latest chapter in a WIP
getting it back to good by melowh - P5, latest chapter in a WIP. Post-game AU.
Let Loose Your Glow by Gotham’s_Only_Wolf - FF7, Cloud/Barret, AU.
It’s a Compliment, Really by Moczo - P5, Latest chapter in the porn parody AU. This one still makes me laugh out loud.
Black & Red by Alexilulu - P5, lastest chapter in a WIP.
To Catch a Tiger Cub, One Must First Enter the Tiger’s Lair by AyuOhseki - P5, WIP, this is the latest chapter.
A Kind of Magic by XpaperplaneX - FF7 WIP, this it the latest chapter, and it has some plot in it.
Something in The Silver Lining by Gotham’s_Only_Wolf - FF7/MCU crossover AU - immediately post the Battle of New York.
A Den of Nibel Wolves by Gotham’s_Only_Wolf - FF7, Cloud/Barret, Cloud looks good in evening wear, and Rufus Shinra is not allowed to have all the pretty.
On Broken Wings by raisedbymoogles - FF7 post Advent Children Sephiroth habilitation fic - this is the latest chapter in a WIP, and I've been following this one for years, since the first few chapters were originally posted over on InsaneJournal. It goes by the nickname of "Fluffiroth", which should tell you everything you need to know - go check with your dentist before reading.
So that's what I've been reading this week. Expect the Uni reading section to remain in these for the next few months - semester officially starts on Monday.
Anyone read anything interesting this week?
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What I've Been Reading - W/E 15 FEB 2019
Still working through A Body in the Bath House by Lindsey Davis.
Still working through Frederica by Georgette Heyer. My copy of this one has reached the point where it can almost be shuffled rather than read, which makes reading a tad awkward, but it's still do-able.
( Lots this week - under the fold )
So, that's what I've been reading this week. How about everyone else?
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What I've Been Reading - W/E 08 FEB 2019
What I've Been Reading W/E 08 FEB 2019
Finished up "A Dying Light in Corduba", and I'm now on to "A Body in the Bath-house" (ISBN 0-7126-6964-7), also by Lindsey Davis.
Still working through "Frederica".
( Under the fold, out of consideration for people's flists )
So, that's what I've been reading. Anyone else got any recommendations?
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Oh Gods, Schoolkids.
The kids are back in school. I wound up catching the bus back from the city which was apparently the first bus home for a lot of them. Which meant I wound up having to say "excuse me" about twelve times to get from my seat (first row past the wheelchair seating) to the front door of the bus so I could get off the bus.
As a tip to any school-kid in Perth who is wearing a huge private-school-issue backpack on public transport: TAKE YOUR FUCKING BAG OFF YOUR FUCKING BACK WHEN YOU GET ON THE FUCKING BUS, YOU LITTLE SHITS.
Seriously, if you take your bag off your back, and put it on the floor between your feet, you will be a much smaller target for people who have to dodge around you. And that way, if you have to turn in one direction or another, you will NOT be hitting some poor unassuming person who just happens to have to catch public transport home between 3pm and 5pm with your overstuffed schoolbag every single damn time you do it.
(If I wind up having to head home at the same time tomorrow - unlikely, but you never know your luck - I will probably decide to spend an extra hour or so in the city, just so I can miss the schoolies hour. Because while evening peak hour is probably No Fun Whatsoever, it's still mostly going to contain adults, who have at least learned they can put their bags on the floor from time to time. Also, most adults on the bus aren't talking nineteen to the dozen about just about everything)
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What I've Been Reading - W/E 01 FEB 2019
Still on "A Dying Light in Corduba" by Lindsey Davis
Still re-reading "Frederica" by Georgette Heyer
( Under the fold for people's reading lists )
So, that's what I've been reading. What about everyone else? Any recommendations?
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Dear Brain (part V)
I realise you're trying to make me miserable. I had actually noticed the whole business with not wanting to cook for days on end, not wanting to eat for days on end, not wanting to move outside my room, and definitely not wanting to get out of the house and interact with other human beings face to face. The thing is, I have enough bloody things which can make me miserable about grocery shopping already, particularly since the car got serviced. I do NOT need you throwing your two cents in to make things worse.
Trust me, self-trepannation is starting to look like a very attractive option at this point.
Oh so very sincerely,
 Our car has had its shock absorbers replaced with shock enhancers, and the local shopping centre carpark runs heavy to speed bumps, potholes and other such impediments. Being bounced around like a pea in a drum is not pleasant, to say the least.
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