lizbee: (Star Trek: Janeway)
...is that -- no spoilers -- at this point the show is catering to me, specifically, to such a degree that I won't even be surprised if the Red Angel turns out to be Kathryn Janeway.

I mean -- okay, this bit's spoilery )
lizbee: Speech bubble from NextWave: "Zomg. Boom." (Comics: ZOMG BOOM)
Spoilers, obvs. )
lizbee: (Star Trek: Georgiou (Section 31 apple))
I'm still putting together my thoughts on last week's Discovery, mostly because the story unfolded so differently from my expectations that I need some extra time to figure out how I felt about it. But I do have a crack theory... )

Reading

I'm halfway through The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, which is one of those books I enjoy reading over lunch at work, but never feel compelled to pick up at any other time.

The plot: a meteor wipes out Washington DC and a big chunk of the east coast of North America in 1952, this is going to be an extinction-level event in the long term, so the space program goes from "maybe a satellite lauch?" to "we need to colonise Luna and Mars by the end of the century".

This is feminist hard SF, and although it feels a bit heavy handed to me, as the heroine learns important lessons about racism and intersectionality, it seems to read more subtle to people who haven't been following those discussions in SF publishing for years. My main criticism is that it has some of the worst sex scenes I have ever encountered in published fiction. They're not graphic, but ... there are rocket metaphors. It's unfortunate (and unsexy). Fortunately I was warned in advance, and could brace myself.

(Also, I've seen it being recommended as a good book for people who want f/f romance in their SF? I'm over 50% through, and if there are any queer characters at all, so far they haven't come out to the heroine. I truly hate when media is recommended for inclusiveness it doesn't actually have.)

Watching

I'm into season 3 of Bron | Broen, the original Swedish/Danish version of The Bridge. A lot of Scandinoir is driven by coincidence, and this is no exception, but I think it's my favourite entry in the genre that I've seen -- mostly because Saga Noren is such a great character. But she has a temporary boss in this season, who is basically the Dolores Umbridge of police captains, and I'm spending a lot of time silently shouting STOP TRYING TO MAKE SAGA ACT LIKE A NEUROTYPICAL PERSON at the screen.

("Dear Ask A Manager,

My temporary supervisor is determined to make me reconcile with my abusive mother, and tricked me into attending my father's funeral. Is this legal?")

I also watched the first episode of Russian Doll, and hated it a lot. It wasn't bad, I just hated the main character, and also every single other character except the cat. So that was easy to drop, and hopefully one day Netflix will stop telling me to keep watching it.

(I mentioned this on Twitter, and a stranger popped up to tell me I needed to give it a few more episodes before I dropped it. There is no faster way to make me angry than by recommending something I already know I'm not into (see also: Leverage, where I was initially bored and indifferent and now I actively hate it), so that earned them a nice, fast blocking.)
lizbee: (Default)
Here is a list of things I was mentally shouting at the screen during A Particular Scene of this episode...

Is this what TNG would have been like if Admiral Necheyev had been written like an actual person? )
lizbee: (Default)
I always feel a bit apologetic about my love for zines -- maybe I'm a Fake Zine Girl -- because I'm less into the punk/anarchist side of zine culture, and more into the arty and fannish side. On the other hand, I can't be the only one, because I walked into the Festival of the Photocopier on Saturday with $30 in small change, and spent it all in the first two rooms.

(This was a mistake. You need to look around, decide what you like, then buy. I know this! Why did I blow all my money on ... okay, I love every single thing I purchased and have no regrets, but still.)

Highlights (with links to other people's Instas where I can find them, because I did not take a single picture of my haul, and also I'm at work):
  • a zine by a Japanese-Australian woman, covering the Instagram and zine cliches of people who have spent a week in Japan and decided they're experts now
  • (spotted, but not purchased: three zines by people who spent a week in Japan and decided they're experts now)
  • The Mass Effect Fanzine (because I will always buy a fannish zine, but it does help if it's about media that I love)
  • (I elected not to buy the glossy Voltron shipper zines, because they were expensive and ... look, some things do need to go to the people who will appreciate them)
  • Tall Sad Girl And Short Punk Girl Are Friends, a queer YA novel in a dozen pages. You can read the full text here.
  • all the cat zines
  • ALL THE CAT ZINES
  • including volume 3 of Alex c Clark's Cats of Brunswick I Have Touched
I did a lot of other things over the weekend, but I also found time to finish a zine I started a few weeks ago, start and complete another one, and begin two more. 

lizbee: (Star Trek: Tilly (caffeinated & defiant))
Just throwing some half-formed thoughts at the wall before I shower...

Spoilers do not come with house dressing )
lizbee: (Avatar: SECRET TUNNEL!)
Me: I think Discovery deserves more credit for its storytelling choices, and the work it does telling new stories about characters and places we already know.

Also me: Spoilers for 2.03 )
lizbee: (Star Trek: Tilly and Michael)
I started writing up a Disco post, then realised I'd just end up repeating myself on my blog in a few days' time.

Suffice to say, the last couple of weeks have represented a very restrained, traditional type of Star Trek, which is not inherently bad, but I was concerned that Discovery is playing it safe in season 2, and consequently pulling back on some of the things that made me love season 1.

Fortunately, this week marks a return to TWISTS and TURNS and SHENANIGANS and QUESTIONABLE PACING DECISIONS, and that only describes two of the three-and-a-half plotlines.

Remember, the term "space opera" was derived from "soap opera". I AM DELIGHTED BY EVERYTHING THIS STUPID SHOW IS CHOOSING TO BE. 

Okay, well, I do have some notes. But that's half the fun.

Also the official website is selling Section 31 merch, and I don't need it, but I want it, and I'm also very ashamed of that. 


lizbee: (Star Trek: Michael (super competent))
I really didn't use enough disco references last season.

Spoilery rambling about season 2, episode 1: 'Brother' )

Right! That's my preliminary thoughts recorded, now I'm off to have breakfast -- I have a big day ahead.
Which is going to be ... unfun for me, because sometime during the night, the excruciating bunion pain that dominated my teenage years made a triumphant return. Seriously, it's a bad sign when you're dreaming about trying to rate your pain out of ten and being turned away as a drug seeker.

(After two paracetamol, it's down to a steady four when I'm not moving, but at some point during the night, it was too painful to have a blanket or anything else touching it. Which was nice.)
lizbee: (Star Trek: Kat and the Emperor)
Confirmed: Michelle Yeoh will be leading a Discovery spin-off focusing on Section 31.

Intriguingly, the showrunners are Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt -- Kim is the first person of colour (and, I think, the first non-American? Definitely the first who is not from an Anglophone country) to run a Trek, and together they're the first young female showrunners. They seem like nice people; maybe more importantly, they wrote "Into the Forest I Go", which for me was one of the highlights of season one.

Incidentally, the Picard series notwithstanding, Yeoh is the oldest actor to lead a Trek series. And the hottest.

I'm about to finish my tea, switch off my computer and leave for Brisbane, but now that reveals are up, I can mention that I wrote "Rainfall" for the Cornwell Fanworks Challenge -- StarfleetBrat requested Kat talking to Amanda, set between "The War Without, The War Within" and "Will You Take My Hand", ie, BEFORE the happy ending. It was a great prompt, and I hope I did it justice.

Video games

Jan. 5th, 2019 08:52 am
lizbee: (Games: Chell (file))
It took about 45 hours of gameplay all up, but I finished Assassin's Creed: Origins on Thursday! (By comparison, Dragon Age: Inquisition took me about 300 hours -- the general estimate for most players was 150-200, but I'm a completionist, and I also died a lot.)

Impressions of AC:Or )

Now I'm replaying Dragon Age: Origins, this time as a dwarf noble/dual wielding rogue. Who would really like people to stop accusing her of crimes she didn't commit, and if the humans could stop assuming she is familiar with their weird worship of a lady they set on fire, that would be great, too.

(The advantage of the silent player character, I've realised, is that you can imagine her dialogue, which in this case is haughty and often mildly sarcastic.)

I have to say that, if anything, combat mechanics for DA:O are even worse on Xbox than on PC, although at least I'm not constantly sending my characters off to stand in places away from the action. Bioware definitely made some choices.

My plans this time around:
  • On my first playthrough, I recruited Wynn really, really late into the piece because my mage didn't go back to the circle, and I didn't even realise I had another party member to collect. This time, I'm gonna do the circle first.
  • Then I'm getting Shale. (Thank heavens the Stone Prisoner DLC is still available in the XBox store, and free. Life without Shale is not worth living.)
  • I'm honestly not sure I want to romance anyone. I love Alistair with all my heart, but I don't think my Warden is into humans. Zevran is too sleazy, and Leliana is too overawed (and also, my warden really has doubts about the whole Andraste-Maker thing; she is far too polite to express them, but, you know).
  • (I can't believe it took me this long to realise that Bioware did the "overawed female love interest who evolves into a ruthless, brilliant spymaster" thing twice with Leliana and Liara.)
lizbee: (Random: Daria hug)
It's difficult to articulate why I hate the entire concept of "hopepunk" and quite a lot of the works recommended under that label, because just thinking about it sends my shoulders up around my ears.

This is mostly thanks to my childhood and adolescence, and specifically my parents' friends.

TL;DR 'hope' and 'wholesomeness' are subjective and not everything needs to be commodified and labelled )
lizbee: (TV: The Americans)
My favourite non-Star Trek series of 2018 is Counterpart, the series starring JK Simmons as a mild mannered bureaucrat who comes face to face with his evil douchebag mirror universe parallel universe counterpart.

(I cannot recommend it highly enough -- the first episode has Not Enough Women, and I was really only continuing for Simmons, but then the second episode introduces ... her identity is a mild spoiler. Suffice to say, the lead female character, played by Olivia Williams, is one of the most complicated, ambiguous, ~~problematic female characters around. I plan to make DW icons at some point; in the meantime, I'm using The Americans' Elizabeth Jennings, who is not quite her spiritual sister, but they have a few things in common.)

Counterpart is set and partially filmed in Berlin, so it's often mentioned in the same breath as Berlin Station, a slightly older series -- three seasons so far -- set in the CIA's Berlin outpost. I watched the first episode last night. 

It's...

Okay, asking me to feel bad about CIA agents having all their dodgiest secrets leaked is a stretch. Ending the first episode with "The leaker isn't just a traitor! He's a murderer!" as the camera pans lovingly over the bloody body of a young woman is an even bigger stretch. Expecting me to put up with both those things, and the only female characters so far are strictly in supporting roles? No thank you. Apparently Ashley Judd joins in season 2, but ... ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

On the other hand, the scenery is very pretty, and Richard Armitage is adequate. His accent's not amazing, but better than, say, David Tennant's. Maybe the show will get better? 
lizbee: (Default)
With the influx of new people, I'm seeing a lot of introductory posts on my reading page. Here's me:
  • Liz
  • Thirty-six years old
  • Apparently that makes me part of the "Oregon Trail generation", except I had never heard of that game before the 2000s
  • Active in online fandom since age 17
  • Oh God, that's nearly 20 years
  • I got an invite to my 20 year high school reunion last month
  • I'm so old
  • I used to have so much mercy
  • Me thinking about other people: "Thirty-six is really young!"
  • Thinking about myself: "SO OLD."
Anyway, here's some stuff I've read and watched lately.

TV, movies, podcasts, books ... a couple of books. )

A podcast

Dec. 13th, 2018 10:42 am
lizbee: (Star Trek: Data)
Because we're not busy enough already, [personal profile] pixiedane  and I have launched a new Star Trek podcast! It's called Antimatter Pod, and you can find our first official episode here.

Because it's early days, and we're still refining our processes, we decided to start at the very beginning: "The Cage". We were joined by our friend Ellie when I found out she had never seen that episode before. (I'm a monster.) 

(Includes spoilers and rampant speculation about season 2 of Discovery, since at least some of the characters introduced there will be appearing. Will we get Dr Boyce? Will he turn up in his dressing gown and dispense martinis? Let's hope!)

In conclusion: #justiceforvina
lizbee: (Star Trek: Michael/Lorca (hand))
In reading order:

the meteors these days are the size of corpses (47379 words) by LizBee

Chapters: 19/19
Fandom: Star Trek: Discovery
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Katrina Cornwell/Gabriel Lorca
Characters: Gabriel Lorca, Katrina Cornwell, L'Rell
Additional Tags: Prime Lorca/Mirror Cornwell, is it love? or is it Stockholm Syndrome?, Mirror Universe, slow burn with assassinations, Fake Relationship, bed sharing, in which Gabriel Lorca is casually Jewish and bisexual and also having a very bad year, also features appearances by Emperor Georgiou and assorted others including OCs, see notes for proper warnings, vaguely consistent with the tie-in novel Drastic Measures, Kelpiens are on the menu

Summary: Trapped in the mirror universe, Gabriel Lorca makes a deal with the devil: if he works for Inquisitor Cornwell, she will find him a way home. The question is, what will he become in the meantime?


Kingmaker (3662 words) by LizBee
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: Discovery
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Gabriel Lorca/Katrina Cornwell
Characters: Katrina Cornwell, Gabriel Lorca
Additional Tags: mirror universe shenanigans, Space Politics

Summary: Kate tells herself she doesn't miss Gabriel, and sometimes it's true. But the Terran Empire has bigger problems than one woman's emotions -- the traitor Michael Burnham has reclaimed command of the ISS Shenzhou. Which is strange, because Kate killed Michael herself. And Michael has a prisoner...

welcome every trespass (64877 words) by LizBee
Chapters: 23/23
Fandom: Star Trek: Discovery
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Mirror Katrina Cornwell/Gabriel Lorca Prime, Katrina Cornwell/Gabriel Lorca Prime
Characters: Katrina Cornwell, Gabriel Lorca
Additional Tags: mirror universe shenanigans, Mirror Universe, more detailed warnings in the author's notes, other characters include the main ensemble, and assorted mirror versions, and some ocs - Freeform, and hardly anyone gets eaten this time

Summary: Seven months since the war ended, and Kat's using work to keep grief and her bruised conscience at bay -- until Starfleet Security spots a familiar face in the alien underworld: her own. What has brought Inquisitor Cornwell of the Terran Empire to the Federation? Kat will burn the whole Empire down to get her answer.



So this was my 2018. More or less -- started writing in February, finished the major work on "welcome every trespass" a couple of months ago, made a final tweak this morning. My biggest completed writing project by a long shot, and I'm pretty happy with it. 

I have just one more story to add, but I'm not going to write it until early January, on account of various things: work is busy, I'm trying to write an original middle grade novel, and I'm launching a podcast soon. 

March 2019

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