Replica

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:40 pm
yhlee: Shuos Jedao (Hellspin Fortress) (hxx Jedao 1x10^6)
[personal profile] yhlee
Jenna Black's Replica is a YA sf novel that I picked up from the library one-cent-a-book discard sale along with its sequel Resistance. I have just finished Replica and have not yet read Resistance, although I plan on getting to it soon. My verdict is that this is a good novel, but it could have been so much better.

I was attracted to Replica because clones and faux!amnesia are bulletproof narrative kinks for me. You have to work to foul those up for me. Here's the back cover copy:
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake's marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the Corporate States. She lives a life of privilege, even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her every move, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image--no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he's more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She's not exactly his type...not that he can tell anyone that.

But then Nate turns up dead, and Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn't know what--or rather, who--killed him.

Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

What's good: there's a lot packed into the premise. Nadia is genteelly raised, but far from spineless, and easy to sympathize with. Nate is a closeted gay man in a social class of a future society that strongly discourages homosexuality, and one of his major motivations is to protect his lower-class lover. And Nadia and Nate's friendship with its ups and downs is believable.

Neutral: the Executive class of elites allows women to inherit, but there's a behavioral double standard as to what men and women can get away with, which is why Nadia has to watch her every move so she doesn't cause scandals while Nate can act out all he wants. The narrative states that this is some kind of throwback to the nineteenth century (Western, presumably?). There isn't much explanation given for how this developed, but I've seen sillier setups in sf so I was willing to go along with it.

What's less good, without going into spoilers: As far as I can tell, the entire named cast minus one character (Chloe, a friend of Nadia's) is white. There is lip-service paid to Chloe feeling like an outcast because she's black, and then Chloe is very rapidly shuffled off-stage and we never hear from her again.

That's not actually my biggest complaint about the novel. My biggest complaint about the novel is that it has a lot of tense action and still never manages to punch hard enough. And I don't mean this in the social justice sense of punching down or sideways or diagonally or whateverthehell. I mean this in terms of narrative impact on the reader.

I can't discuss further without spoiling the whole thing, and I am really frustrated by the fact that this fairly good novel could have taken my favorite tropes and done them even better, so let's have a spoiler cut: Read more... )

Unexpected encounters, part 3

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:55 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was the first day at St. Bonaventure University, to which I was transferring after two years above the Adirondacks at Potsdam State. One of the girls down the hall, who had been there for a couple of years, was showing me around the campus and filling me in on which professors to take for which classes, and which to avoid because they weren't as good, and which to avoid because they hit on the students -- all good things to know.

After we'd wandered around most of the buildings, she took me to the nature trails, on the wilder part of the campus by the river. The trails had been there for a century or more, weaving through the woods and the nearby swamp; the longer trail we ended up on ran from the village to the west, past the campus, and into a park halfway to the city of Olean, on the east. It was well-worn dirt, not bad for walking, and she was talking and gesturing as we walked and I listened.

Then I looked up.

There were trees on both sides of the trail, so we were walking under the arch of their branches. And on one of those low branches -- say, 15' from the ground -- there was a bald eagle, and it was staring at me. It shifted around on the branch to face me full on.

I tried to get her attention; I couldn't manage to interrupt her, and we kept walking forward toward that branch.

The eagle lifted off, watching me the whole time, and swooped low, its claws nearly touching my head, and swung off into the woods.

The girl with me never saw a thing.

I learned later that the eagle was one that had been found injured in a farmer's field, had been taken to a branch of the Audubon Society, where they had a vet who patched up wounded birds, and rehabilitated. When she was released, she built a nest on the edge of the swamp, near the river. That wasn't a bad choice for a fish-eating bird -- that river had four-foot carp, not to mention catfish and other fish.

I used to see the eagle again, when I was walking through the trails, taking a break from class. There was a small clearing in the woods, with a stone bench that caught the sun, and it was a good place to study or catch up on reading -- I've never been able to study with other people around me. After a while, the animals would come out to see what this odd thing was that smelled like a human but didn't move like one. I would see deer fairly often, and parts of wild turkeys (you never saw a whole one -- they always kept part of a tree between you and them), and once or twice a fox. But they left when I moved, and none of them gave me the intense close encounter that I had with that eagle.

no totoro

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:35 pm
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Jesse and I went to go see "My Neighbor Totoro" at the theater. We get there and it's very nearly sold out; we get the last two tickets that someone was refunding. Neither of us are quite trained into the new system where you are supposed to always buy your tickets ahead of time, having lived our whole lives as spontaneous movie-goers.

I get some snacks and we settle into our seats. The movie starts, the cute song and the little girl walking. Soon we realize, we are seeing the Japanese version with no subtitles. Someone alerts the staff and the movie plays on. I'm happy to watch it this way-- the story is very simple and to me, not understanding the words only plays into the dream-like quality of Miyazaki movies. But not long into it, the movie pauses and the manager comes in, to apologize. He says that they got the wrong version, and they will be playing the English dubbed version. Some people in the audience object. My friend a row below us calls out for people to clap if they want the dubbed version vs. if they want the Japanese version. It's about evenly split.

Well, they must have decided to do the dubbed version because they stopped the film. We decided to leave and get our refund.

Anyways, that is our Totoro story!
cpt_kirk: <user name=cpt_kirk> (rm: your words are rich)
[personal profile] cpt_kirk posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
I've made some icons, and since some of them are Harry Potter icons, I figured what better day to post them than Harry Potter day?

10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
8 Kingsman: The Secret Service
7 Star Trek Beyond

Preview:
 photo 04_zpsogmeuh9f.png  photo HP 05_zps17njaybi.png  photo STB 03_zps8bvozv8k.png

Icons Can Be Found Here @ [personal profile] cpt_kirk

Monday Yardening

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is beautiful, mostly cloudy, breezy and cool.  :D  

Round 1, I took pictures and planted morning glory seeds.

Round 2, I transplanted some wild morning glories and started clearing weeds and brush around the purple-and-white garden. 

Round 3, I sowed more grass seed in the bare patch.  There is a chance of rain tonight.   I also cut more brush around the purple-and-white garden.  It's about half done now, I think.

Round 4, I cut more brush around the purple-and-white garden.  It's about 3/4 done, although I'll probably need to go back and touch up parts later.  It already looks a lot better though.

It's just a mountain, I can move it

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:12 pm
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
[personal profile] musesfool
I was completely useless last night after several hours of day drinking. it was a lot of fun, but oy the headache that hit around 7 pm! Even though we definitely hydrated.

Now I have version 3 of some sort of bug bite balm cooling on the counter - it uses coconut oil, which I don't really like the smell of, so hopefully the tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils will cover that up. Though I would bear the smell if it meant the itching stopped.

I know I said I was done with trying to make anti-itch cream - hot water, ice, and rubbing alcohol in conjunction with benadryl and zyrtec seem to work best, tbh - but I figured third time's the charm? And I had all the ingredients so...I guess we'll see. Or maybe I am just super itchy, since i am super allergic to bites and swell up and get all welty.

I guess that's all the exciting news from here.

***

AO3 Celebrates 25,000 Fandoms!

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:41 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
partial screenshot of AO3 homepage showing 25000 fandoms with the AO3 logo above the text




AO3 has reached 25,000 fandoms! To celebrate, we've put together info about fandom tags and how all tags work: https://goo.gl/W4wPxH
claudia79ad: (Default)
[personal profile] claudia79ad
zombeesknees:

#can people stop hiring paul bettany to be ice cold and whispery  #and hire him again to be A HYPER CON ARTIST STAND-UP EMCEE AGAIN  #pls and thnk u

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(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:15 pm
such_heights: amy deep in thought (who: amy [dust after rain])
[personal profile] such_heights
It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).

<3

Monday Update 6-26-17

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Uncertain Miracles"
Sunday Yardening
Litha
Saturday Yardening
Super-Queers
Garden Photos 6-22-17 Flowers
Garden Photos 6-22-17 Nests
Thursday Yardening
Poem: "One Familiar with Self-Defense"
Hard Things
Garden Photos 6-19-17 Flowers
Garden Photos 6-19-17 Birds


This week's half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics had only modest participation, despite having the quarter-price option. However, I do have one donor who's still picking out poetry for funds already sent, so there will be something more.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 15 new verses.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra and has 11 new verses.  Groundhog and Cassandra encounter one of the monks. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  

Weather has been cooler and pleasant here.  The nest of baby robins fledged!  :D  The cardinal nest lost its egg.  :(  Currently blooming: dandelions, carnations, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, torenia, yarrow, white and red clover, penstemon, daylilies, rose campion, coreopsis, morning glories, aster, spiderwort, echinacea, golden rain tree.  Mulberries and black raspberries are winding down.

*facepalm*

Jun. 26th, 2017 03:00 pm
yhlee: recreational (peaceful) tank (recreational tank)
[personal profile] yhlee
The moment where you see Microsoft Word's wordcount for the current story in progress saying "1701 Words" and think, Why is it 5:01 p.m.? I thought it was only 3 p.m.
dolewhip: (Tangled: Rapunzel)
[personal profile] dolewhip posting in [community profile] icons
55 Icons: 46 Disney Animated Films + 9 Phineas and Ferb

Teasers:

turlough: confrontation between Party Poison & Korse (Gerard Way & Grant Morrison), SING video, Oct 2010 ((mcr) you’re here with me)
[personal profile] turlough
Gerard can't find Observation Room 4, and after a few minutes of aimless wandering, and several dirty looks from people he keeps passing over and over, he finally asks someone.

"Korse went that way," the guy answers, before Gerard can get his question all the way out. It makes him a little paranoid that this guy already knows who Gerard is looking for.

"Thanks, Mikey," he says.

"Michael," the guy corrects, and Gerard sees it clearly on the nametag clipped to his shirt.

"Sorry," Gerard says, "I don't know why I -" and then he trails off. The guy stares at him, and scowls. Gerard hurries off in the direction he pointed, and finds Korse, looking at his watch.

"Close the door," Korse says, when Gerard steps into the room. As soon as the door clicks shut behind him, Korse says, "Come here, Gerard."


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