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cut, prune, weed

Nov. 12th, 2016 | 12:33 pm

ok, not that I've been interacting here all that much, but still:

I've recently been cutting back on many things, because I realized that I do a lot of stuff half-assed, some that is not even that enjoyable (I'm one of these "if I started it, then I want to finish it" people, even if the book/game/whatever ends up meh). And I find that, well, I'm getting older, in m free time I really should only interact with either things that make me better, or that bring me joy (not just "eh-well-ok-not-that-bad").

So I've been uninstalling, unsubscribing, cutting back, etc, both in RL and in fandom and in gaming. Fandom changed so much, and I miss the days of discussions (because LJ/DW is dead and tumblr is mostly for shiny). And for games, so many that I was interested in for story I realized I can just watch a "Let's Play", or look up a walk-through of the ending. Even in reading I've cut back, in that I've heavily pruned the books I own already, and will no longer keep most books once I'm done with them. I've even started to delete old fanfic that I know I'll never touch again.

I like it.

OTOH, the average level of cats I am owned by increased to 3. But, well, cats. :)

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Cats! Because why not?

Feb. 8th, 2016 | 07:18 pm

These were all taken on my (old) mobile, so picture quality is iffy, but eh. Cats!

Here's a good one that (on my monitor, at least) manages to show Puma's face.



Here's one that gives a good size comparison between Zeus and Evi (Puma is Evi's size, but thinner)



And then I discovered this Youtube channel, and Puma is _very_ interested, and Zeus is kinda interested, too. They'll even tolerate each other to watch.

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video game character preferences

Jan. 8th, 2016 | 11:44 pm

liriel_ spent New Year with me, and we took the opportunity for her to check out the character generator in Final Fantasy XIV (the MMO one), because I'm thinking of taking that game for a spin this year. And I was totally not surprised with the character she test-rolled. Which reminded me that I've been thinking for a while that it'd be fun to put all the characters I've seriously played into a post, and see the similarities, because Li can probably predict what I will roll, too.

I am talking about the looks of the character. The other part is combat role, and while I may have started in WoW with a hunter (ranged damage dealer), the toon I played seriously was an enhancement shaman (offensive dual-wield melee dps with some magic damage/heals), and I was also partial to a tanky paladin (defensive melee with some magic heals). Nowadays, I'll always go for the warrior type: melee dps, hit stuff right in the face. Whether or not it's a straight-up warrior or a more paladin-y type with tanking or some heals depends on the game.

2007: World of Warcraft




Dwarf for Alliance-side and Orc for superior Horde-side (plus pictures what they would look like since 2014, when the character models were updated).

2010: Dragon Age: Origins



Dwarf

2010: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion



Redguard

2011: Rift



Bahmi for Defiant side, Dwarf for Guardian side

2011: Guild Wars (never got very far)



no races other than Human - that's a drawback for me.

2011: Aion (never got very far, either)



whatever the race in Aion was called - there was a light and a dark variant, one for each side.

2011: Lord of the Rings Online (never got very far then, but started playing again a few months ago)



Human & Dwarf
Dwarves can only be male in game, but in my _head_, both genders look the same. I don't actually know if mine is a male or female dwarf, it's not something that matters (what matters is save-my-easily-lost cousin, who is played by Li).

2011: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim



Orc

2012: Star Wars The Old Republic



Chiss & 2x Pureblood Sith (the sith are actually the same class, too, because I really liked the romance options and stories for both genders, and both voice actors)

2012: TERA



Amani, who are a dragon-related race (I've included a shot of her armor - what there is of it - so you can get the full effect. Humans and Elves have much more ... ample assets that Amani, so they look even more ... not very optimally covered for combat)

2012: The Secret World



They changed character faces between beta and live - I preferred the look of the beta face, but it's no longer createable.

2012: Guild Wars 2



Norn & Asura.

2013: Neverwinter



Half-orc.

2013: Mass Effect



fem!Shep

2013: Kingdom of Amalur



whatever the human-equivalent race is called
(I am not fond of playing humans, but the choice there was 2 types of humans or 2 types of elves, and humans are at least better than elves...)

2014: Elder Scrolls Online



Orc mainly, but also Redguard and Dunmer to check out the other 2 factions

2014: Wildstar



Draken for Dominion, Mordesh for Exile (Best. Bitch-face. Ever!)

soon: Final Fantasy XIV



both of these are Roegadyn, but same as all races, they have 2 slightly-different-colored subtypes. I lean towards the dark version, but the light one looks better in-game.

Also coming sometime this year is Dragon Age: Inquisition, and that'll either be a female dwarf or a female qnari.

These were/are the main characters - I tend to have a lot of alts, and while I do see some common themes there, too, going into that is overkill. :) But overall, give me green/purple/blue females that are ideally also tall and muscular. Or female dwarves.

Although I do need to do that post about some characters me and Li played together for a bit, because they usually get chemistry in the weirdest combinations...

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I had planned to go to bed early today

Dec. 22nd, 2015 | 07:19 pm

but then liriel_ happened. And it escalated quickly.

Here"s a (quick and dirty) translation of itCollapse )

so, anyway, now I'm going to spend quite a big of before-falling-asleep-thinking time to work on this headcanon on how the current political landscape would view witchcraft/magic, and how this would have influenced ... well, everything. :)

(this really is just what I came up with off the top of my head. I'd probably have more sense-making thoughts if I spend more time on it...)

I love coming up with stuff like that - I remember fondly the time I was in hospital and Li, I+B came to visit me and we came up with a weird Star Gate Atlantis/Austrian Hapsburg monarchy crossover thing where the main bits I can remember is Rodney being a composer/conductor and the Hapsburg trying their usually tactic to deal with wraith - ie, marry some princesses to them.

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cat trolling

Dec. 2nd, 2015 | 10:46 am

I mentioned in my cats v2 post that Zeus usually leaves Puma alone.

Usually.

Sometimes, I think he's trolling her.

I have a very large desk, big enough for 3 workplaces, so I have my home computer one one end, space for my work computer for home office on the other, and put a pet bed in the middle, which is always in hot demand whenever I'm at the desk.

So, a few evenings ago, Puma was napping away in the pet bed. And then Zeus came along. And decided that it would be a good idea to sit down next to Puma. And then to lie down next to Puma. And then pretend to nap next to Puma.

And Puma's face was just such a wonderful mixture of "I know he's there I'm ignoring him" and "OMG WTF is he REALLY??".

Here are some pictures (it ended with him getting just a tiny bit closer and her having enough and whacking him.):









After they both ran off in different directions, Evi claimed the bed. :)

Cats. Never boring. :)

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Steve/Bucky (slash or gen with both/one or the other as the main characters) recs for rheasilva

Nov. 23rd, 2015 | 11:06 pm

because she asked and I'm on vacation.

Parallel Contructions by freshbakedlady
In the absence of orders, the man wearing the face of Bucky Barnes must figure out who he will be. The answer, mostly, is "somebody Steve Rogers can love." Nothing so easy should ever take this much work.

New Tricks by OddityBoddity
The one where Bucky busts up a dog-fighting ring.

if the bad times are coming let 'em come by suzukiblu
"I think I’m gonna have to hurt some people," Steve Rogers says, voice tight with rage. The asset assumes that will be him, then laughs at himself for the thought. He’s not people.

5 times Steve was oblivious + one time Bucky and Natasha made themselves clear by MoreThanSlightly (Steve/Bucky/Nat)
Natasha and Steve are the only two people in the world allowed to touch Bucky. Steve feels honored to be on such a short list, even if he is clearly in second place.

the nightmare from which I am trying to awake by Speranza
"You gotta bring him in, Cap." Tony Stark, distant: on speakerphone. "You can come in to me, or you can go to—well, I don't know who else is left. But you gotta bring him in."

Four times an Avenger met Bucky and didn't know who he was, and one time they were all introduced. by Odsbodkins
What it says on the tin. In which Tony is kidnapped, Clint is a fangirl, Bruce sees echoes of the past and Thor is Thor.

Mission Parameters by what_alchemy
The soldier does not find the Mission. The soldier finds a tow-headed white child, aged approximately five years, unconscious and naked amid the empty Captain America uniform lying charred and bloody in the middle of what used to be a battleground. The soldier finds an expanse of bruised flesh and stubborn cowlicks that shine through the fog in his head. The soldier lifts the child up and slings it under one arm before running.

A Little Bit of You, A Little Bit of Me by IamShadow21
"Who is this?" he asks, torn between frustration and something like fear.
"There's a warehouse on the bank of the Anacostia river," a voice whispers. "In exactly thirty minutes, it'll go up in flames. Coordinates to follow. Bring a large car or a van, something that can seat multiple civilians. Come alone." The line goes dead, and his phone buzzes a second later with a text. It's an address.

Geriatric Road Trip, 2015 by what_alchemy
Bucky was the eldest of four.

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair by tigriswolf
The man who was once a weapon (and is trying to become a man again) finds a child wheezing one night. It awakens something inside him.

build it bigger than the sun by defcontwo
"Yeah, because nothing says heteronormative like living in Dupont Circle for two years and wearing skin-tight shirts to hit on hot airmen when you go running in the morning."
"Look, I know you’re being sarcastic but I really don’t get how no one picked up on that."
Steve and Bucky try to work out their relationship. The Avengers keep getting in the way.

Poltergeists by dirtybinary
When the helicarriers blow up and the Winter Soldier goes on the run, he takes Steve with him. He's got a name written in Morse code on the inside of his arm, a ton of questions he doesn't know how to ask, and now, a new handler with absolutely zero sense of self-preservation to contend with. Life is hard.
In which Bucky tries to figure out whether he's a human being, Steve does everything he can to keep from losing him again, and there are lots of explosions.

To fill it up with something by caughtinanocean
A fateful encounter with Dr. Strange leaves the Winter Soldier transformed, and Bucky Barnes reunites with Steve Rogers in a most unexpected way.
"Steve brings the puppy inside, into the apartment that doesn't quite feel like home no matter how much he's been trying. He isn't used to being alone. Before the war, he always had Bucky, and his mother until her death. During the war, Bucky was there, too—and the rest of the Howlers, of course—but Bucky always meant home. (And well, maybe Steve's already got a name for the puppy in mind)."

to memory now I can't recall by Etharei
While on a mission storming a HYDRA facility, James Buchanan Barnes touches one of the many strange alien devices collected by the Red Skull. He does this, in fact, twice— in the past, and in the future.
Next thing he knows, Bucky Barnes is opening his eyes in the 21st century, which is full of great gadgets and coffee, and at least includes his old pal Steve. (And, inexplicably, a different Stark.) Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier finds himself in the middle of World War Two, helping Captain America hunt down HYDRA (which is at least familiar), pretending to be Bucky Barnes (which is not), and figuring out the very noisy group of soldiers who call themselves the Howling Commandos.

To Live It Again Is Past All Endeavor by trinityofone
Time travel bodyswap! Present-day Steve and Bucky wake up back in their old bodies in 1938, while past Steve and Bucky wake in a future where they're both built like comic book heroes and Bucky's got what he thinks is a swell future robot arm. Adventures are had, and the ethics of time travel are debated. Also, everyone trash talks Willem de Kooning.

I can't remember how this started by gwyneth rhys
"And this is the thing, Steve. I would rather relive this day for eternity than watch them win and you die, or see you be enslaved to them the way I was."

because a cat's the only cat who knows where it's at by tremontaine (Steve/Bucky/Nat)
Wherein Captain America is transmogrified into a small feline and finally finds the time to work out some issues. (Issues with his feelings.)

sam deserves better than these assholes by lazulisong, verity
IM SORRY BUT SAM WILSON STARING IN BAFFLED WONDER AT STEVE AND BUCKY AND HOW WEIRD THEY ARE ABOUT EACH OTHER

When You Save Me (I’ve Got Nothin' Left To Sigh For) by luninosity (plus prequel)
Above, the crumpling skyscraper quivers and groans like a dying man. Bucky, over the radio, says with perfect equanimity, "About sixty of the lizard-things comin’ up the stairs, Steve, no one’s told ’em anything about extra weight in a collapsing building, gonna have to jump—"

When the Season Comes Around by theheartischill
The other problem is that Steve loves him, and Bucky isn't sure he remembers how to love.

perfectly right wrong number by melonbutterfly
It all starts because Steve is too dumb to handle his smartphone.
A wrong number AU in which Bucky Barnes doesn't enter Steve's life (meaning: Bucky wasn't born until the eighties, but Steve is still Captain America) until Steve accidentally dials the wrong number. Wherein there is a lot of texting, some advice via Natasha and Darcy, a bit of pining, and a first date in an amusement park. Oh, and on top of being a disabled veteran, Bucky is a professional catwalker. Literally.

Somebody Get That Kid A Sandwich by toffeecape
There would come a day when Sam Wilson could no longer put off a complete debriefing session with his Momma. On that day, Sam hoped to escape the conversation alive by glossing over 'following a juiced-up supersoldier on a brainwashed assassin's revenge tour' in favor of 'convincing a traumatized war hero to come in from the cold with the power of Wilson family recipes.'

Living On My Own by rekishi
James Barnes is back in the world and finds that not only has there been 1) an alien invasion, but 2) Howard Stark had a kid. One that dispenses unsolicited life advice, no less. Oh, and 3) Captain America is alive again, after getting himself killed by his own recklessness in a move so stupid only Steve could have come up with it. In which James learns to do laundry, turns into an accidental neighborhood vigilante and makes Tony Stark a happy grease monkey, all while he figures out where to stake his claim.

For Operational Reasons by Odsbodkins
SHIELD decides that the best way of keeping the Winter Soldier as their most valuable covert agent is to let (almost) everyone think he's dead or disappeared.

My Brother, The Hero by Odsbodkins
Becca Barnes is eight years old, and her big brother can do no wrong.

Scandal by biblionerd07 (plus sequel)
Two boys are caught "getting fresh" in the Captain America exhibit, and Steve has to make a statement to the press. He doesn't quite stick to Pepper's script.

A Garden Grows in Manhattan (at the top of Avengers Tower) by Sholio
Bucky and Pepper make a garden. Set post-Winter Soldier.

barefoot by pprfaith (crossover with BtVS, Steve/Bucky/Buffy)
In which Buffy keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I love your like rlb by tolieawake
I love you like rlb has become a well-known, accepted and valuable component of American vernacular. The meaning of the letters 'rlb' is unknown, but is uniformly considered to be a statement of a great romantic love, commitment and sacrifice.

Behind the Shield by hannahrhen
the Howling Commandos, Peggy, Stark, they all knew Steve and Bucky were a thing but since this wasn't done back then they never said but one of them wrote a book "the true story of Captain America and his Sergeant" where he goes into how wrong this whole homophobia deal is and that SteveBucky made him realise this and set it to publish like 10 years after his death or sth and that time happens to be... around now.

20th Century Limited by Speranza
"Where am I? Where is this?" and he was in Brooklyn, he was on a beach, the train was shaking around him. He was in the plane, ice splintering up onto the windshield. He was in a tank, tubes trailing from his face, from his groin. Christ, he was cold. There was still ice on his fingers. He was in the Grand Canyon. He was in Times Square. This couldn't be Times Square. Where the hell was this? "Tell me! Where am I, who are you, where's—" —Bucky?

you're gonna give your love to me by irnan (Steve/Bucky/Nat, Nat-centered)
In which Natasha Romanov gets dosed with sex pollen, pines self-indulgently for her best friends, dreams a lot, and has to deal with being dated.

lonely houses off the road by Etharei
Barnes is now glaring at him for some reason. It's somewhat terrifying but also, oddly, a little reassuring— because that's emotion right there, which means there's still somebody behind those eyes. Somebody who seems to think Sam is being a bit slow on the uptake. "Time parameters exceeded. Mission failed."
"Wait." Sam narrows his eyes. "Is this some kind of... report? Debriefing?"
"Mission report," confirms Barnes, looking pleased. Well, looking slightly less murderous than before.

The Smithsonian Guard by alerian_ash
Bucky makes a friend.

Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, tigrrmilk (with posters!)
"Heil Hydra," the enemy agent shouts.
"Heil this, motherfucker," says Captain America, shooting off a rocket.
Steve and Bucky find out Hollywood has been busy since they went away. A historical survey, including but not limited to: one set of exploded genitals, a brief interlude in France, Mel Gibson and other masterworks of casting, eight Academy awards, several dinosaurs, and something Tony Stark has ominously dubbed "the masterpiece."

Breaking the Ice by Dira Sudis
It always hurt like this when he came out of the ice. Freezing to death was peaceful at the end, but waking up was fire and pain and this horrible helpless shaking every time. This was the first time he'd had someone to hold on to, though.

Miracle on Park Avenue by owlet
Should've stayed indoors, Barnes. That's where the photographers aren't.

Bucky and Mister Rogers by impertinence
Bucky accidentally becomes a surrogate brother to half the neighborhood, purely via the power of PBS.

trough smoke, solid ground by magdaliny
You take the arm off four days later.

Infinite Coffee and Protection Detail by owlet
The mission resets abruptly, from objective: kill to objective: protect

Five Times Bucky Got Permission by copperbadge
People keep trying to tell Bucky something, and he's getting very confused.

re: re: re: re: blond joke by lazulisong
Q: What do you call a brunet and a redhead in a room full of blonds?
A: All the brains in the room.

4 Minute Window by Speranza
"Look, if they catch me," Bucky muttered, "they're either going to kill me or they're going to put me in a box with a little window and—Steve, I can't."

Auld Acquaintance by triedunture
Due to magic or whatever, Steve is transformed back into his small self while pursuing the Winter Soldier on New Year's Eve. Bucky, seemingly acting on instinct, chooses to protect him despite his mistrust.
Also, Steve is a bit of a tiny powerbottom.

On The Other Side of a Downward Spiral by torakowalski
Bucky Barnes is barely functioning, let alone living, but when the Avengers find an abandoned baby girl, Bucky has to learn to look after himself, and keep the baby out of Hydra's hands. All while trying to work out exactly what kind of relationship he and Steve want from each other.

The Supersoldier's Amnesiac Groom by casspeach
Steve Rogers has always known that the supersoldier serum was a gift, and he's never been afraid to do what's right.
When Uncle Sam asks him to unite the two sides of the Cold War by taking part in a symbolic union with a fabled Russian assassin, Captain America doesn't hesitate to do his duty.
Little does he know how thoroughly his world is going to be turned upside down.

young hearts, out our minds by junko
Bucky posts a selfie of the two of them in bed to his instagram.
He hashtags it #goodmorningamerica. Sam Wilson and Pepper Potts retweet it to their twitter accounts.

I'll build a house inside of you by magdaliny
Natalia is stacking blocks very carefully when the adults come into the room. None of them look at her, because they're all looking at her father. He's wearing combat gear, and the hair on the left side of his head is slicked back with blood. He smells like smoke and something unnameable, sweet and dark and a little sickly in her nose.
Father is saying, “Don't be ridiculous. The only thing children are good at is disobeying.”

Mischief Magic by amarasu1013
The one where Loki does his thing and suddenly doppelgangers of Steve appear. In very... specific situations.

All The Leaves Are Brown by AvocadoLove
The Winter Soldier's mission is nearly complete. Howard and Maria Stark are dead, leaving him to dispatch their four-year-old child. One quick twist of the neck is all it will take, but the Soldier finds he cannot do it.
So instead of killing Tony Stark, the Winter Soldier takes him away to raise as his own.


phew, that's it (I had 2 or 3 Steve/Bucky/Tony, but since you said Steve/Tony is your NOTP, I left them out, and I also left out the plotless kinky smut). I hope this has something that's 1. new to you and 2. to your liking. :)

I have a big pile of unread Steve/Bucky, so recs for any great stories not listed here are very welcome.

(Tony/Loki coming some time later)

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Cats, v2

Nov. 23rd, 2015 | 01:00 am

Because I mentioned the cats, and I finally updated Semagic so I can upload pictures again, here they are:

I originally went to get a middle-aged bonded pair from the shelter last November, and came home with a pair plus an extra (they're 9, 7 and 6).

Puma
who decided that instead of being bonded with Evi, she wanted to be bonded only to me and is now rather stand-off-ish with Evi and not horribly fond of Zeus (because she's half his size, and he doesn't quite get that she doesn't want to play rough. So now he mostly makes a big circle around her). She's small and thin and has a kink in her tail and a cauliflower ear and hides from most people who are not me. She loves to sleep close to me, cuddle with me, or watch bird videos on youtube.





gnn, taking pictures of a totally black cat? not easy.

Evi
who really just wants head scritches (and treats). She's become much fonder of strangers since my mother trained her to equate "person going in our out of the flat" = "person passing by the drawer with the treats and will give me some". She mostly hangs around Zeus, or watches what's going on outside the window.
Puma and Evi were in the shelter for a year (Evi had respiratory issues that are mostly gone now, and Puma has some not-peeing-in-the-box issues, which seem to stem from a chronically irritated bladder, which I've worked around but made previous people give her back), so I let them keep the names, even tho they're ... not great.







Zeus
who's huge and very much not in charge and deaf and would really really like to hit the girls over the head to play with them, which they are not fond of. He's also the only one who photographs really well. He spends most of his time on the balcony watching stuff, and he's taken over my new sofa. He also comes cuddle with me, but only if there is no Puma already doing that. (It's also incredibly fun to have them all play hunt-the-red-dot, which Puma and Zeus go most crazy for, and see them run after it and realize OMG WE'RE NEXT TO EACH OTHER *JUMP AWAY MADLY*)





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20 years of internet/fandom

Nov. 18th, 2015 | 05:30 pm

I just realized it was around this time of the year, 20 years ago, when I got reliable access to internet (and thus to fandom) via uni. In two years, it'll be half my life.

Also, I've had new cats for a year now, I really should at least do a picture post of them. *is in lurker-and-devourer-of-fic mode*

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RIP Pterry

Mar. 12th, 2015 | 06:10 pm

“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.

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50 books in 2015

Jan. 2nd, 2015 | 08:32 pm

Mostly posting this for myself, to keep track: I plan to read these books in 2015. I can read others, too, but I will finish these (well, unless some turn out to be "throw across the room in frustration/anger" books).


fantasy/sf/urban/historical

  1. Aaronovitch, Ben - Whispers Underground

  2. Addison, Katherine - The Goblin Emperor

  3. Ahmed, Saladin - The Throne of the Crescent Moon

  4. Ballantine, Philippa & Morris, Tee - Phoenix Rising

  5. Butler, Octavia - Wild Seed

  6. Carr, Caleb - The Alienist

  7. Choo, Yangsze - The Ghost Bride

  8. Gladstone, Max - Three Parts Dead

  9. Hambly, Barbara - Dead and Buried

  10. Hurley, Kameron - The Mirror Empire

  11. Jemisin, N. K. - The Killing Moon

  12. Kay, Guy Gavriel - Lions of Al-Rassan

  13. Koyanagi, Jacqueline - Ascension

  14. Leckie, Ann - Ancillary Justice

  15. Leveen, Lois - The Secrets of Mary Bowser

  16. Lord, Karen - Redemption in Indigo

  17. Malan, Violette - The Sleeping God

  18. Novik, Naomi - His Majesty's Dragon

  19. Okorafor, Nnedi - Who Feras Death

  20. Staveley, Brian - The Emperor's Blades

  21. Valentine, Genevieve - Girl's Kingfisher Club

  22. Wecker, Helene - The Golem and the Jinni

  23. Weekes, Patrick - The Palace Job

  24. Wein, Elizabeth - Code Name Verity

  25. Winters, Ben H. - The Last Policeman


mm and mf romance

  1. Black, Sarah - The General and the Horselord

  2. Brook, Meljean - Riveted

  3. Charles, KJ - Magpie Lord

  4. Christo, Rose - The Place Where They Cried

  5. Gabriel, Alex - Love for the Cold-Blooded

  6. Hawk, Jordan L. - Widdershins

  7. Hennig, J Tullos - Greenwode

  8. Jenkins, Beverly - A Chance at Love

  9. Lin, Jeannie - Butterfly Swords

  10. Milan, Courtney - The Governess Affair

  11. Savage, Shay - Transcendence

  12. Scott, Melissa & Barnett, Lisa A. - Point of Hopes

  13. Singh, Nalini - Slave to Sensation

  14. Smith, R. Lee - The Last Hour Of Gann

  15. Witt, L.A. - Noble Metals


non-fiction

  1. Armstrong, Karen - The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions

  2. Bickerton, Derek - Adam's Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans

  3. Bryson, Bill - At Home: A Short History Of The Private Life

  4. Campbell, Joseph - The Power Of Myth

  5. Deutscher, Guy - Through The Language Glass: Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages

  6. Friedman, David M - A Mind Of It's Own: A Cultural History of the Penis

  7. Roberts, Tansy Rayner - Pratchett's Women

  8. Romer, John - A History of Ancient Egypt

  9. Sagan, Carl - The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle In The Dark

  10. Wendell, Sarah - Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels



all GoodReads summaries behind the cutCollapse )

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so far, so good

Aug. 2nd, 2014 | 04:28 pm

I'm back home (most of me, anyway).

Fuck cancer.

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(just in case)

Jul. 20th, 2014 | 05:41 pm

Thank you, fandom and all you people participating in it, because my life has been a lot more fun with you in it.

I'm going away for awhile. I'll (probably) be back.

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links

May. 17th, 2014 | 10:37 pm

I often mark interesting posts I see in my RSS reader so I can come back to them later (I read through my rss feeds while commuting). And then I usually forget to get back to them until some months later, when I dig through all the saved posts.

Here are some interesting ones:

There exists a historical romance novel where a tattoodd dick is a major plot point!
A revenge-tattood dick! With the heroine tattooing the _wrong_ dick!

How History Can Be Used in Fiction: The Borgias vs. Borgia: Faith and Fear
I haven't seen either TV series, but this is a fascinating article, especially re. what is shocking to modern-day viewers vs. what was actually shocking historically.

Farscape Told Science Fiction’s Greatest Love Story
damn, I need to re-watch Farscape...

Spock riding a unicorn
... do I need to even add anything? :)

Assassin’s Creed: Liberation review
Damn, I didn't need another game I want to play, but the female protagonist does look awesome

9 reasons The Secret World is the industry's best storyteller
's true, TSW has the best storytelling of any MMO I've played (ESO might come close). I just wish the combat was not so boring so I could convince more people to give it a try.

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Goodreads stats

May. 13th, 2014 | 10:34 am

No, I'm not done yet (I still have to finish going through all amazon purchases, 1998 - 2003, plus an unknown amount of books I have in various electronic formats). But, I have tagged all 2600 books I have entered so far:

all (2653)
read ‎(920)
to-read ‎(1729)

I probably have a bunch more read - there were books I was pretty sure I had read, but couldn't remember enough to be able to give them a rating, so I left them as to-read.

1couldnt-finish ‎(42)
1didnt-keep ‎(487)
1want-to-buy ‎(283)

want-to-buy needs to be cleaned out, many are out-dated. didnt-keep is going to increase when I re-sort my books once the bookshelves in the bedroom are back.

anthology ‎(70)
childrens ‎(7)
comic ‎(32)
crime ‎(229)
fantasy ‎(1159)
historical ‎(328)
non-fiction ‎(216)
romance ‎(275)
sf ‎(526)

Each category on it's own doesn't look that daunting (except maybe fantasy, and that I was using to also include urban fantasy, paranormal, etc. Steampunk mostly went into sf, tho). If I could settle on just one or two categories, my TBR pile would be so much more managable.

crime-mystery-suspense - which also includes a handful of horror - I didn't feel important enough to seperate. For me, most of these will not be rereads/keepers, anyway. I _like_ reading them, but only once. I have a pretty good memory for the plot, so they just aren't that interesting the 2nd time around.

With fantasy and historical, I went with historical even if it had some fantasy bits if it was mostly about the time/setting.

ff ‎(27)
mf ‎(325)
mm ‎(290)

Tagging for mm and ff vs. mf is inconsistent: I tagged everything I knew that has mm or ff, so books like the Nightrunner series are included. I used mf only for romances, and for books that are science fiction romance or fantasy romance, ie, have an emphasis on the romance bit. All romance novels are only romance, not historical, even tho most of them are historical ones, to seperate them from non-romance books set in the past. Hardly any mm got tagged as romance - only those that didn't fit into fantasy, sf, historical or crime-etc.

...

I like stats.

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(no subject)

May. 12th, 2014 | 06:38 am

I have a problem a library.

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um.

May. 11th, 2014 | 04:54 pm

So, I'm working to update my GoodReads list of books, because I do actually need a list of all books I own and have owned.

(I have 2 weeks off work, so apart from getting new floors/walls/furniture in 2 rooms, I am also planning on actually categorizing the GoodReads books - if you actually want to browse my hoard, wait 2 weeks if you're just interested in the mm fantasy or whatever. The only thing I've consistently done is mark the non-fiction).

Right now, since all my books are squished into my livingroom, due to my bedroom being empty except for the all new green color on the wall, I'm browsing through the "refine your recommendations" list of amazon.com and amazon.de, because that lists all books that I bought.

I am up to 1.000, and thought I'd check. So, turns out, since 1997, I bought 3.099 books (and other items, but I guess that's ~ 100).

EEP.

I really should stop buying books.

At least the ebooks do not create an additional space problem...

(I mean, I theoretically read enough, and fast enough, that I could have read all of them in that time. 's just... there is also fanfiction and gaming. I swear, I need 3 lives. Or enough money not to need a job).

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Seduction of the Desert Prince

May. 4th, 2014 | 03:05 am

OMG! I just saw that Seduction of the Desert Prince is actually *finished*.

Published: 1998-07-09 Completed: 2014-03-09 - not quite 16 years.

I guess I know what I'm rereading soon-ish.


(update on self: I'm happily reading Thor/Loki, Loki/Tony, Tony/Steve and Steve/Bucky - thank you Cap2 for making me like Steve a lot! - and playing ESO. And totally remodelling 2 rooms in my flat down to ripping out carpet and painting walls).

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well, that was a graphic demonstration today...

Apr. 29th, 2014 | 08:48 pm

so, like, if a train is pulling into a station, and you try to quickly run across the tracks right before the train, and you don't make it... that's at least 3 train cars that are going to roll over you before it stops. And then you are squishy bits beneath the train.

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personal fannish history

Mar. 29th, 2014 | 07:55 pm

So, this morning I was lying in bed, reading a Loki/Thor mpreg story on my reader, and was thinking... if someone had told me 20 years ago that I'd happily be reading incest mpreg with a side of dom/sub, I'd - well, found it unlikely. Or something. :)

I've been mentally browsing fannish history, and for some things I like, I know exactly what fandom are to blame. So I made a list, and then I had to sit down and investigate just when I got into which fandoms, because, well, it's been nearly 20 years (I went into my fanfic folders and went with the date I started saving fanfiction, which means it's probably about right).

I've dabbled in a lot more fandoms, but these are the main ones (or small ones that left an impact):

Star Trek (1995)
The fandom that was the reason I got online, just so I could find fanfiction. I'd learned about the _existance_ of fandom and fanfic and slash fanfic from a book that I probably read between 1991 and 1993 (a German book on Star Trek fandom published by Heyne).
I found fandom online using a different book (yes! a _BOOK_) about SciFi and TV series on the internet. Yes, really, a book that listed where you could find newsgroups/URLs/etc. I mean, I'm generally happy that I was outside of my teenage years when I found fandom, but sometimes, I really _envy_ fannish youth of today...
The first place I found Trek fanfic was alt.fetish.startrek (later alt.startrek.creative.erotica) plus the FTP archive at Trekiverse (yes, still exists).

Forever Knight (1996)
I saw one episode of this on German TV after midnight one night. I never saw it again, but I was interested enough that I used the book mentioned above to find out more about this series on the internet, and then read fanfiction about a show that I mainly knew about via online summaries and some pictures (downloading images in 1996? took minutes for just one image...)
It was a forgettable fandom that I spent maybe a month or two in, but it started a trend, because it wasn't until 2003 or so that internet speeds were decent enough that I could download episodes of a show within a few days of them airing.
Also, the fandom that introduced me to maining lists (FKFIC-L).

Vampire Chronicles (1996)
OMG I interacted with fandom!
alt.books.anne-rice was where I first sent out feedback to some spec writers (*waves at flambeau and versailles_rose*)
Also it introduced me to the wonderful phenomenon of "book? what book? no, never heard of Memnoch the Devil, lalala" denial and AU fic.
And theoretically depending on your view point on vampires, it taught me about double necrophilia.

X-Files (1996)
The first fandom I was pimped into (well, the Mulder/Krycek part).
The fandom that tought me about enemy slash.
Also the fandom where I read a story that made me *get* BDSM (I'd tried reading stories that featured it before in Trek fandom, but it was all meh).

Highlander (1996/1997)
The fandom where that made me visit conventions (Connexions 1998 and that HL con in London were wonderful).
The fandom where I discovered I loved pairings where one of them is old (hello, Methos/Joe).
Also the fandom where I discovered I found messed up relationships kinda interesting (hello, Methos/Kronos).

Due South (1997)
I only spent 2-3 month in this fandom, and I read Fraser/RayV. Then I fell out of it, but I had friends that stayed in it, so I learned all about the Ray Wars, and that really taught me about fannish hate over shipping.

Eroica (1997-ish. maybe)
Dating this one is difficult, because I was introduced to it via some wonderful person snail-mailing me a huge package full of printouts of the manga with English edited over the original Japanese text. Plus, of course, a huge stack of printed out fanfiction (the procedure was to make copies of everything and then send the package on, which I did, I think to Australia, even). But I have no idea _when_ exactly this was...
Still, this was my introduction to manga fandom (even if Eroica was very weird case of being an old western slash fandom that had nearly nothing in common with a usual yaoi fandom at the time)
I eventually found the mailing list, and in 1999, I met liriel there. OMG my first fannish friend in my city!

Fandom as Meta (1999-ish?)
I'm really not sure on the correct date for this one, and it's not a fandom, per se, but around this time I think was when I joined lists that talked about fandom in general, and/or slash in general.

Buffy/Angel (1999)
I am pretty sure I started reading some fic before I fully fell into the fandom, but the earliest saved stories are from 1999. I do know I really fell into it once LiveJournal really started going, because this is the fandom where I got into fandom-specific fannish meta. That would have been... 2002/2003-ish?
Also, I guess this makes it the fandom that made me join LJ.

Star Wars Ep 1 (1999)
The fandom that made slash visible (I remember there were articles written in mainstream newspapers about fandom and slash!)
The fandom that introduced me to the teacher/student thing.
Also the fandom that introduced me to the underage thing, and the reactions slash fandom had to it (because by the time that happened, I was also reading yaoi fanfic about characters that were canonically 15).

Fushigi Yuugi (1999/2000)
The show that introduced me to anime, and the fact that anime fandom is really not a happy safe place (Ep 33/34! NOOOOO!)

Gundam Wing (1999/2000)
The show that introduced me to just how seriously some people took the seme vs. uke thing (hello, 3x4 vs. 4x3. Thankfully you were not my pairing...)

X/1999 (2001)
I think I knew about the fandom and the approximate plot before 2001 (I know I saw images even earlier). Anyway, this fandom really reinforced that yes, I can fall for an exceptionally messed up relationship (hello, Seishirou/Subaru).

Harry Potter (2001/2002)
The fandom grew huge, and I think it's the first place I remember where they had fanfiction lists not just for pairings but also just for kinks. I mean, I remember a kink-specific mailing list back from OneList days, but that was an "all kinks all fandoms het and slash" list, but with HP, the more the fandom aged, the more I started to feel that people were just pushing the boundries of MORE KINK!
Also, the fandom where you really could find _every_ pairing (hello, Hogwarts Castle/Giant Squid).

Lord of the Rings (2002)
The fandom where I realized I loved small hairy guys.
The fandom where I first found Boromir/Faramir and went "hmmm..." in a slightly interested way
Also of course the fandom where the RPS became really visible, and ok, RPS made me run away screaming, but I will never not laugh at the whole "sending secret gay messages through their clothing" thing...

I tried to think if I learned anything via Star Gate Atlantis (2005) or Merlin (2009), but I already knew I like intelligent assholes, and for Merlin, I'm drawing a total blank. Then again, from 2006 onwards, I spent more and more time with gaming, so fandom took a backseat. Until...

Marvel Cinematic Universe Avengers Thor ... ok, fuck it, _Loki_ fandom (2013)
The fandom that made me use tumblr.
The fandom that made me fall for brother incest with mpreg.
And pretty much every other kink ever, because Loki.
And totally has not made me read real people fic because I totally do not ship Loki with everyone including Tom Hiddlestone. ARGH!

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And then there were none.

Mar. 5th, 2014 | 08:04 pm

Izzy's been sick since last October - shortly after Asche died, she went deaf, and started losing wheight (during November, I wasn't sure she'd be around for Christmas). That time, she came back - she was old and creaky and horribly thin, but around and interested and eating.

She stopped eating Saturday. She still hung on, interested and active (for some values of active: she'd been 18 and was down to barely 2 kg) and still drinking and snuggly at night, until sometime during this morning, when she became lethargic and uninterested.

The vet came by half an hour ago. The worst time was the waiting between making the appointment 5 hours ago and now.





The first pic is from Monday, the 2nd from yesterday - I've been working from home this week so I'd be around, and both days she spent most time sleeping next to me on my laptop backpack.

I've not been home alone for 18 years. It sucks.

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ESO Beta key, anyone?

Feb. 28th, 2014 | 12:34 pm

I kinda meant to post about Elder Scrolls Online, now that the NDA for the Beta Test has been lifted.

It's an MMO version of Skyrim - we can all debate how good a Skyrim-ish game it is and how good an MMO-ish game it is, but personally, I enjoyed what I've seen of it quite a lot.

And I got a friend key to give away for this weekend, is there anyone who'd like to give the game a try for this weekend? Drop me a reply if you're interested (have a 2nd key that I've offered to someone specific but have not heard back yet - if they decline, I will give that out here, too).

http://tamrielfoundry.com/ has a good overview of the game (classes, races).

Generally, I love the character generator (it lets me make flatchested women! beer-bellied men!), and I really like how flexible classes are (want to tank as a mage? Put on plate armor, take a sword and shield, and go), and it's very pretty.

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make love to your gaming device

Feb. 7th, 2014 | 09:08 am

I just adore that I live in a world where this game exists...

"Luxuria Superbia is a joyous game. It’s about gently moving through tunnels, touching budding flowers and bringing them to glorious life. Stroking carefully with your fingertips. A blatant allegory for the giving of pleasure, but never overtly dirty."

"This means learning exactly what each level, well, likes. What will push it to the edge too quickly, and how best to draw it back. It means trailing carefully with a fingertip just so. Or perhaps it means stroking with two fingers, three fingers or more as color pulses under them. It’s hard not to draw parallels as a player or even as an outside observer."

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Li is a harsh mistress

Feb. 1st, 2014 | 10:58 pm

whipping me into tagging my posts properly.
Tags:

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marvel: several gen, 1 Thorki, 1 Frostiron

Feb. 1st, 2014 | 10:12 pm

mainly gen, plus 1 thorki, 1 frostironCollapse )

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Marvel recs - Intro

Feb. 1st, 2014 | 08:48 pm

ok, so, I'm still mainlining Loki-centric fanfic like there's no tomorrow, and I need to get better organized.

So I'll go by the assumption of "if I felt like re-reading a story, it's good enough to make sure I can find it again", and post a rec link to it. I'll try to add comments, too, but won't promise anything.

I read mainly Thor/Loki and Loki/Tony. Basically, I like Loki and Thor and Tony, and want to read about them and sometimes will read one of them with someone else if it's well-written. Sometimes I read gen. I read incest and mpreg and alternatively-gendered Loki and fucked-up Loki and fucked-up Tony (and why is there not more fucked up-Thor? or more pregnant Thor? *pout*). Nearly everything I read has a happy end (for various definitions of happy end, also not necessarily HEA, HFN works).

In case it's of interest to anyone else here"s how I organize fanfic currentlyCollapse )

This fandom also made me embrace tumblr for more than just finding sims downloads and oogling porn: I'm arireadsstuff. I don't post much (about a reblog every 1-2 days? I think?), because I mainly just save the stuff I like, but if you want to follow, feel free.

(This fandom also made me read rps, but in my defense, the story had sexting in iambic pentameter, and that apparently trumps most of my squicks...)

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Bearded men wearing lipstick

Jan. 10th, 2014 | 09:59 pm

I am somewhat disturbed by how hot I find this.
Tags:

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het men kissing

Dec. 30th, 2013 | 03:09 pm

I'd missed this until now, but GQ Germany made a statement in reply to Russia's anti-gay stance - they filmed well-known heterosexual stars kissing each other.

(you can turn on English subtitles)

Tags:

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Merry Whatever.

Dec. 24th, 2013 | 07:35 am

I just woke up and it's Christmas (which is celebrated on the 24th here, although in the evening), and I had a dream just before waking up and it's essentially like chapter one of a yaoi manga or an m/m novel - I got a full opening scene with characters and characterization and background info and *worldbuilding* and even *visuals* - I don't usually dream in images much, if at all.

And I'm completely WTF because it's like *boom* "here, have a setting and the start of a story".

... those were very nice visuals, of some very very nice bodies.

And I think I'm a bit miffed because fuck, I want to know how the story continues!

But still. That is just ... wow.

Merry something to me, I guess. :)

...

while I'm at it, happy whatevers to y'all, too. May you all have dreams as nice as mine was.

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12 Days of Twin Peaks Christmas

Dec. 23rd, 2013 | 05:55 pm


Note: if you don't know Twin Peaks, but may want to eventually watch it, this has a significat spoiler

I had no idea this existed!

Also, I now kinda want to rewatch Twin Peaks. But I don't think I want to watch this on my own because fuck douglas firs at night and owls are fucking creepy...

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(no subject)

Dec. 21st, 2013 | 11:54 pm

Q: How many male SFF writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Tags:

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In case you're wondering

Dec. 16th, 2013 | 06:07 pm

what a 27 year old Foreign Minister (who's still a student) looks like...

http://9gag.com/gag/a75oOmz

(Man gebe mir den Übelkübel, sonst wird mir ohne Kübel übel...)

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I love falling into a new fandom

Nov. 29th, 2013 | 02:13 pm

I mean, it would have been much much better if I had timed it for 3 weeks later, so it would have hit me for the winter holidays, and not now, right when work is in the middle of end of year planning and next year budget planning and hey, let's reorganize everything in between.

Anyway.

*happy squee of shiny new fandom love*

In totally not surprising news, I am Loki-centric.

I've been reading my way through the Loki/Thor and Loki/Tony stories and just being all wheee! and gleee! and squeee! and all those feely feels of happiness.

liriel_ keeps telling me how horribly cute I am.

I am aware there are other characters and other pairings, and maybe in time I will get around to them, but... not for awhile yet.

I am horribly torn between gobbling up new stories or already rereading some of the ones I loved.

This is also the first time I'm into a new fandom and there is a vast amount of it on tumblr... I'm oldfashioned, I still mourn mailing lists, but it's interesting (and I have been using tumblr for quite some time because lots of Sims2/3 content creators moved there).

BTW, thank you everyone who gave me input on how to best get into the fandom. I'm very grateful. :) If anyone wants to point me to "do not miss this" Loki-recs, I'll take them happily (so far, I've sorted the Thor/Loki and Loki/Tony tags at AO3 by number of kudos and started to work my way through fanfic that way. It's been... pretty satisfying. *g*)

In closing, *squee*.

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help me into a fandom?

Nov. 21st, 2013 | 04:46 pm

Ok, so, I've seen enough about that new Thor movie (and Loki) that yes, I think that could be a fandom for me.

However, I'm clueless about comic/superheroes/whatever-is-the-mantle-for-all-of-this-anyway fandom (previous level of knowledge... let's just say that I had to check Wiki to see if this was Marvel or DC, ok?)

What do I need to watch/find a summary for before the new Thor movie?

I know I need the first Thor movie and the Avengers, but should I go further back and watch the Iron Mans, Incredible Hulk and Captain America, too?

Do I need anything else? I have *no* idea about Marvel comics at all...

(the goal is to be able to read the fanfic, and I suspect the Loki bits of fandom will be most shiny)

Help?

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have something non-WTF-y

Nov. 8th, 2013 | 10:55 am

I've been meaning to post this for ages: Nichelle Nichols on filming the first interracial kiss on TV:



(conclusion: Shatner is awesome)

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The internet is for...

Nov. 2nd, 2013 | 10:41 pm

We all know the internet is for porn.

And outside of porn, it's all cats.

And tumblr is for pics.

Thus, no one should be surprised by this tumblr.

The .gif that really made me *snort* was this one.

(do I have to mention that this is nsfw?)


(me, finding WTF links so y'all don't have to do it yourself)
Tags:

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It's a race for "weirdest erotica ever" on amazon...

Oct. 18th, 2013 | 04:43 pm

From the person who brought you Fucked by the Lake Monster, there is now Reamed by Ratatoskr.

Because who wouldn't want to read about sex with a horned squirrel, right?

btw, prize for "most adorable tentacle sex monster cover" goes to Galileo's Alien Gangbang.

(found via WTFBadRomanceCover tumblr)

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Game Rec

Oct. 18th, 2013 | 03:59 pm

Here's a game recommendation:

To The Moon

It's currently (this weekend) on sale at gog.com for $3.99 - it's a single-player exploration game:

Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts have rather odd jobs: they give dying people another chance to live. Literally. Using a technology that allows artificial memories to be implanted, the doctors can weave and transform the mind of a patient to help them live the life they wanted to live...

To The Moon follows Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts' attempt to fulfill the wishes of a dying elderly man, Johnny. In their attempt to do so, they travel deep through the man's memories, unfolding his curious life story before their eyes. With each step back in time, a new fragment of Johnny's past is revealed. As the two doctors piece together the fragmented events that spanned a lifetime, they seek to find out just why the frail old man chose his dying wish.

Johnny's last wish is, of course, to go to the moon.


It also has a gorgeous soundtrack, and it's not too long (4-5 hours), and it's ... well, great.


(if you don't know gog.com - formerly Good Old Games - they're a site that sells DRM-free legal copies of old games that are no longer available from the original publishers, providing everything you need - ie, the install file installs everything it needs to run, even if it's an old DOS-based game. They also have many indie games, have good prices, and I highly recommend browsing if you feel like indulging in nostalgia. If you do decide to buy, consider adding Planescape: Torment, which is just awesome and aged very well)

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Asche

Sep. 11th, 2013 | 07:51 pm

Today l came home from work and found Asche dead.

(took her body to the vet to dispose of - vet is right across the street, and she looked at the body and said that she probably went peacefully - she was lying on the floor in the position she normally lay in, on her side stretched out)

...

It was not so unexpected, she had been getting pretty weak and the last few days didn't even manage to jump on a chair. Mostly, she lay on a chair or a pillow and napped - but she still came to cuddle.

When the vet diagnosed that she was sick, she gave her maybe some months. That was 2,5 years ago, so I'm lucky she stayed around (and active and well) this long, and I'm glad she had a last summer in the sun. She always liked the summer better.

...

I'm not sure if it's quite sunk in yet.



(anyone thinking of linking rainbow bridge: I'll ram my fist up your ass if you do)


Here's a semi-decent pic I managed to take: this was how she used to cuddle up when I was on the computer (and yes, she'd suck her tail, she never got over that until the end - there was a bit of fur on her tail still smooched together from sucking when I found the body).

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Loveletter to TSW

Sep. 10th, 2013 | 05:01 pm

I’ve been meaning to write about The Secret World (TSW) for some time. I think of all the MMOs, it’s my favorite. It is, however, also one I can play only in small doses.

I *love* the world-building, the setting, the lore, the characters. TSW is a world where all myths, legends, conspiracies… are true.

I also love that TSW assumes that you are intelligent, and does not hold your hand. You have to figure stuff out – or browse for it (you can access a web-browser from within the game with a keybind – there are quest were you are _expected_ to google for information). Some things are difficult – once you get into the later areas, you’ll eventually meet mobs that will require that you change your build (= your combat abilities) on the fly. There are solo dungeons you have to go into that are difficult – if you have played MMOs before, they are like one person raids. No one explains how crafting works – either read up on it or find out via experimentation.

But that also means that TSW is not an easy, casual game. While I can log in and out wherever I am in the world, quests take time (and you can only have a very limited amount at the same time – you can have the main quest that guides you from start to finish, one main quest, one dungeon quest, and 3 sidequests), you often have to run all over the map (and some maps are difficult to navigate).

Combat can be very repetitive (the idea is that some abilities build up a resource, some use up all resource you have, and some are specials that are on cooldowns, so it’s usually 5x builder, then finisher, and sometimes you throw in a special, rinse and repeat forever). And if you don’t know what you are doing, you can end up with an ineffective build that makes questing even harder, and if you do, you can only fix it by waiting until you have earned more points that you can put into other abilities, you can never change the points you have already spent.

And while I love the world, it’s not very beautiful. If you’re used to cartoon-y WoW or bright and shiny GW2/Rift/TERA, then oh boy, TSW is different. The world is like ours, and parts of it are ugly. Some of the monsters are REALLY ugly (no, I never wanted to know what locusts look like in detail if they’re twice as big as a human. But now I do. Same for a number of other icky things). Sometimes you spend a lot of time in a zone that is all fog. And a few quests even take place in utter darkness.

And, well, the character models really don’t live up to what’s the standard in a game nowadays.

But really, none of that matters, because damn, I love the world and the lore and the characters.

Here are the the promo vids: one is the trailer from when preorders began, the other is the launch trailer. The first one introduces the world, while the 2nd is purely game footage set to music, and it does a very good job of giving you an idea of what the mood of the game is like.





I know this is not everyone’s thing, but it’s F2P nowadays, and if you think it looks interesting, give it a try.

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Gone Home

Aug. 16th, 2013 | 12:55 am

Gone Home just came out toda... er, yesterday, and I just finished playing it.

I really really really enjoyed it - and I'll just link to this review of the game, which gives you a very good summary.

(works on pc, mac and linux, and you can play it on Steam, too, if you like Steam)

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Magicka, or, the Art of Blowing Up Everything

Aug. 5th, 2013 | 09:13 am

One thing I kinda wish for is to have 3 other people for regular meetups to play Magicka - check the trailer, it's only a minute:



Because, see, you cast spells using 8 elements, and these spells influence each other and the environment (ie, if you're on fire, cast water on yourself - but *don't* immediately cast lightning before you dry off, or *boom*). If you are running around in a group, you have to be aware what everyone is doing, because if you blast a fireball at the 4 enemies and one ally in front of you, *all* of them get hit. But you do get to combine your spells!

So, really, Magicka is about figuring out how to blow up the enemies but not blowing up yourself or your friends. This is harder than it sounds, but also a lot more fun than it sounds (because blowing up friends is insanely fun... *g*)

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Skyrim mods

Jul. 10th, 2013 | 11:55 pm


(you may want to not watch this at work...)

Clearly, I fail at finding the good mods - I had no idea this was possible.

(I love how some of the NPCs are learning in and watching with interest...)

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WANT WANT WANT

Jun. 22nd, 2013 | 10:22 am

I just found out that this game will soon exist, and I'm all

WANT. NOW.

(I was tempted to put this in 72pt. font with a blink tag around it...)

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@Aph

Jun. 5th, 2013 | 07:22 pm

I see your Bunny Shifter and raise you a Penguin Shifter.

(although I don't think the penguin novel has mpreg, so maybe you win anyway...)

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like great adventure games?

Jun. 4th, 2013 | 06:16 pm

Right now (for 2 more days), The Humble Bundle people have a weekly sale for Telltale Game's adventure games. Best of all, if you pay more than average for 7 games, you also get The Walking Dead as an extra.

Right now, average is $4.33.

I only started playing The Walking Dead, and I'd been resisting for a long time, because, I don't do horror or zombies. But... *damn*, this really is a game that is all about the choices you make. Very few very easy puzzles, aside from that it's an interactive story that you influence. And your choices do matter - people react to you depending on what you said, what you did, etc. Heck, you even have timers on the choices, and not acting is also a choice...

Here's a great review, go read that.

(if you buy via this bundle, you can only play TWD on Steam. If you're opposed to that - or too late to buy the bundle - you can grab the game on the Telltale Games site. They've also done Sam 'n Max and both a remastered version of the old Monkey Island, and new versions of it. Games work on multiple systems: PC, iPad, Playstation, Xbox, even Mac. Besides TWD, the Monkey Island, Sam&Max and Puzzle Agent are games I've tried and can recommend. I also own Back to the Future, but I've not played it yet).

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published mpreg

May. 26th, 2013 | 05:49 am

Every time I fall across published novels that feature mpreg, I boggle.

It's just one of those things that I really really see as a "fannish thing". I mean, yes, of course there are people who'll like mpreg but who're not into fandom, but still.

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Reading Romance, both m/f and m/m...

May. 25th, 2013 | 10:06 pm

Lately, I've been gaming less and reading more.

However, I don't really have a main fandom right now, and while I keep an eye on old fandoms I like (I *heart* AO3's RSS feeds for new stories per fandom!), I've mainly been focussing on books.

The reason I'd maybe prefer fanfic is that I have a hankering for romance, but romance novels that work for me are ... very few. I like the idea of them, but I also want characters I can like *plus* characters that behave in a 1. historically accurate and 2. sane manner, and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find that. ... yes, I'm picky about what characters I like. I'm also not very interested in contemporaries, which limits me further.

For awhile now, my go-to place for romance recs has been DearAuthor. I'm subbed to their RSS feed, which also alerts me of any deals for chapter books - I have an amazon wish-list for books that I categorize as "maybe".

I read a really great fantasy romance last week: Assassin's Gambit (link goes to the DA rec). It really hit all the things I want in a romance: these were grown-up people! they talk about their problems! Enemies-to-friends/lovers, one of my favorite kinks!

(incidentially, that book is published by a Penguin imprint, which I suspect is the same one that just bought freece's Captive Prince. I need to keep an eye on what else they publish!)

But het romances aside, I also decided to dive into published m/m romances, and splurged on a whole bunch of novels across several websites (Torquere Books, Less Than Three Press, Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner... I think another one that I'm blanking on).

M/M romance seems to have a higher chance to hit my buttons than het romance does, or maybe it's just that it seems to be easier to find the books that I know will work for me. If a story can hit my buttons, I can overlook things that I'd otherwise find fault with - I suspect that, like both slash and m/m fanfic are much more likely to hit that "id-fic" button (see Id Vortex, because I'm not sure I can explain that coherently). Both het fanfic and m/f romance *can* hit that, too (as can f/f), but it's very rare - Assassin's Gambit did, for example. One one hand that makes me sad, but on the other, well, I only have so much time to read, anyway.

(I've had to make strict rule not to start a new story on my communte *to* work, because I really don't want to try to do cost controlling when my mind is stuck in erotic m/m fiction!)

I also found a review site that does m/m novels: Reviews by Jessewave. I've browsed through the last few months, and I suspect that I'll be spending a lot more time reading even older reviews - and buying even more books. At least with ebooks I don't have to worry that I'll have to start throwing out dishes to make room for books.

As always, a (semi-accurate, ie, I update it whenever I remember to) list of my books is on GoodReads. I still haven't entered around half the books in my flat, which scares me.

BTW, does anyone know a good site that reviews f/f novels?
Tags:

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Rift goes F2P

May. 15th, 2013 | 05:44 pm

I was kinda expecting this to happen sometime soon, but it is now: Rift goes F2P on June 12.

Rift is a really nifty MMO that is probably one of the more WoW-like alternatives that I've tried. I've stuck with the game since it came out in 2011, sometimes playing lots, and sometimes not playing for some time.

It's certainly one of the prettiest MMOs, and I really love their class system (you have 4 classes, but each of them has 8 souls that you can mix and match - so for example your Rogue can stealth-n-stab or be a ranged pet class or be a marksman-shooter or buff and heal or tank or do stuff with exploding things. And you can switch between 4 or 5 specs any time you're not in combat).

And the F2P plan looks really good: if you are a free player, you get everything that subscribers have now. If you keep subscribing, you get *additional* stuff (mainly +x% more mount speed, XP, money, etc). The only thing taken away from F2Pers is that you only have 2 character slots instead of 6, and only 3 bagslots instead of 5. Other details about what they will offer for cash are not out yet, but I'm somewhat optimistic.

If that sounds at all appealing, give Rift a try (tell me if you do, I'm currently on the Argent EU server - but you can move server for free every 3 days, so that is flexible).

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trying yet another MMO

May. 10th, 2013 | 11:44 am

In this case, Neverwinter (yes, the AD&D TSR setting - and no, nowhere near as good as Neverwinter Nights was).

I pretty much agree with this overview of the game, but right now, my half-orc guardian fighter is fun!



I also have a dwarf cleric, for playing-together-purposes with liriel_. She's so cute, she's a red-head with a faux-hawk hairstyle!

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Quinto vs. Nimoy

May. 9th, 2013 | 09:21 pm



(yes, yes, it's a car commercial, so what. *hearts old!Spock*)

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