liadtbunny: (DC Script)
[personal profile] liadtbunny
Title: A Wealth of Currants (1741 words) AO3
Author: Liadt
Fandom: Doctor Who, Matthew Shardlake Series – C.J. Sansom.
Rating: General audiences.
Categories: Gen.
Warnings: Cake.
Characters: Matthew Shardlake, Guy Malton, Tenth Doctor.
Additional tags: Cake!fic, crack crossover.
Summary: Matthew and Guy are in a sticky situation, but Ten appreciates a change.
Notes: For the genprompt bingo prompt: artisan/craftsmen.
I will try for Teaspoon but I'm not sure about the sentences or Ten - it's been a while...

Talking Meme #8

Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:40 pm
lost_spook: (s&s - silver)
[personal profile] lost_spook
For the Talking Meme, from [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1: Since you write a lot of Silver/Liz Shaw fic, which other Doctor Who character would you put into an adventure with them?

I'm not entirely sure I have written a lot of Silver/Liz fic, but to my great joy and pleasure I have somehow caused a lot of Silver/Liz fic to be written, which is the best outcome, really.

(Well, actually, I probably have written a lot of Silver/Liz ficlets - 1 make it 4 out of 11, with 4 authors making up the total - but I would like to point out that most of mine were prompted by Pers, so I'm not sure which of us is mostly to blame for that.* ;-p OTOH, I think all of the others were written for me, so...)

Anyway, Liz/Silver was an accidental pairing that came up in a meme where you sorted your icons and paired them off, with fairly entertaining and improbable results, and then next thing you knew [personal profile] john_amend_all had written a ficlet, and then so had I... and then people were giving me Silver/Liz in [community profile] fandom_stocking and the ship is a thing. \o/


I'm unsure how to answer this question, because this is me. I would put any DW character I felt capable of writing in a fic with Silver and Liz, so narrowing it down is hard!

Three or the Brig would be natural, given Liz's era and both would probably have a lot less patience for Silver than Liz does (in the fic; she is scientifically interested in him, he is a curious part of the universe that naturally she would like to explore), so that would be fun. (I feel Three, finding an Element, would be rather like a human discovering an unexpected rat or something. It'd be at least five episodes later before he could admit that one was okay and actually kind of interesting, he'd have to be locked up in a cell with Jo before he admitted that he found them unnerving, because different Time thingies.) The Brig could end up in a very bemused OT3 situation that he would never ever mention again. It did not happen. Liz humours him kindly. She has some sympathy for being bemused by Elements.

But then there is the whole wide universe of Doctor Who! I wouldn't put Adric in it (it would not be the sort of place Adric would be of any use, unless Silver and Liz needed some mathematical calculations doing, I suppose), and Dodo wouldn't be my first choice, and I can't claim to have watched The Dalek Masterplan enough to write much Katarina or Sara Kingdom, but otherwise the Whoniverse is pretty wide open.

Who do people think would be an interesting/good/hilarious addition to a Liz/Silver (or Liz & Silver fic)?


* Well, all right, me, probably. But Pers is definitely to blame for plenty of other things! ;-p (In the good way.)

The Blood is the Life for 23-08-2017

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

online book rec

Aug. 23rd, 2017 01:54 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Wandered across http://thefantasistmag.com/ and found some excellent novellas and short stories, if you like fantasy of varying sorts centering queer characters.

Instagram: August 22, 2017 at 06:44PM

Aug. 23rd, 2017 01:44 am
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
[personal profile] momijizukamori
Sharak is just about ready for Dragon*Con! Forgive my appalling calligraphy skills. #saiyuki #sharaksanzo #cosplay

journaling in august

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:26 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Good things today, yesterday, this past weekend:

Basically the whole camping trip. Though not the getting ready for it, which was a Thing.

Especially the ocean. Ocean!!!

The gift of time, and listening, and care.

...

Solar eclipse!!! Eclipse glasses in the mail, not a day too late. Early grumpy wake-up. Dawn while driving dark winding roads; morning by a wild river. Stopping at a camp store on a highway deep in the woods. Rambling around, looking at the sun through trees, judging angles. A book, a fern meadow, a cup of hot coffee, a path by a pond, a return just in time. Unexpected friends with a telescope!

An orange bitten circle, crescent, sliver, shrinking.

Ripples of auroral light along the road. Dusk over the pine trees, and a planet shining in twilight blue. A blazing ring around the dark circle, and light expanding to impossible brightness. The sun revealed again.

Seeing friends; visiting their farm; horses, chickens, dogs, alpacas!!!

A tuft of alpaca wool. A handful of blackberries. Cold water given in hospitality.

...

Getting some chores done. Fine sandpaper, good work gloves, and other tools. Cookies.

A favorite sweater.

Uncertainty. It may be uncomfortable, but it is a gift.

(I'm going Out East to a funeral, with S, and when I come back it'll be the new school year at work, and there's so much I was going to get done that I haven't, and so many experiences I've had that I would not have traded away. I'm not feeling ready, but I'm not totally lost either, I think...I have some hope, and some foundations to build on, and some goals, and some good reassuring things; what I don't have is clarity. I guess I'll muddle on ahead.)

...

And oh, the light...

Amsterdam – Canal Barge & Rijks

Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:36 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
On the previously mentioned trip to Amsterdam, the bloke and I stayed on a canal barge in the Westerdok.

This was the much bigger cousin of the holiday barges that pootle up and down our Worcestershire canal. The main bulk of the hull served as the home of the bloke who ran the B&B. We were in the wheelhouse, overlooking the canal. The docks seem to serve as pretty much permanent moorings for the barges in this area. Each one had a small garden, and there was even a floating children’s play area.

It was surprisingly quiet given that the location is a mere 15 minute walk from Centraal Station. We could hear a distant roar of traffic, but mostly we heard the hangry cheeping of two adolescent coots and the occasional quack of a duck. We also found a great crested grebe nesting a few boats down. It was definitely brooding, as we never saw the nest unoccupied.

Urban great crested grebe nest
The nest itself was a rather wonderful construction, being a mix of urban rubbish and plant detritus, with a few hollyhocks artfully arranged around the edges. The grebe had two female mallard bodyguards, who immediately came to circle the nest at a careful distance, giving me the side-eye when I hopped down on to the dock from the pavement to take photos.

The barge proprietor tiptoed in every morning to leave us breakfast on the table next to the wheelhouse. It included a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice, muesli, yoghurt, and hardboiled eggs nested in knitted cosies. Much as I wanted to sleep in, the prospect of getting that into my belly when I heard his footsteps got me out of bed pretty early both mornings. We received so much food at breakfast that we were able to make sandwiches from the bread and cheese to squirrel away for later. We ate these in the Vondelpark on the first day, and for supper on the second after the lunch at Rijks.

Apart from the sheer pleasure of walking around Amsterdam, we also indulged in a trip to a Michelin-starred restaurant for a very belated birthday treat for me. We spent three and a half hours eating lunch at Rijks, which is next to the Rijksmuseum. The bloke had mentioned that it was my birthday when he made the booking. As a result, in addition to our pudding, I got a white chocolate candle with sorbet and a little message inside. We sampled both white and red wines, all by Dutch winemakers “from everywhere in the world” (e.g. New Zealand and South Africa).

Photos from Rijks behind the cut.

+++ )

[story] The Statue Beneath the Sea

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:23 pm
yhlee: Flight Rising Spiral dragon, black-red-gold (Flight Rising Jedao baby Spiral)
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] storme.
Prompt: dépaysement.

The Statue Beneath the Sea

Once upon an ocean, a statue dwelled beneath the waves. In days past the statue had been brightly painted and crowned with gilt, with jewels for eyes and jewels set in its magnificent wings. It remembered dancers crowding its plaza and lovers exchanging promise-poems beneath its benevolent gaze, parades of helmeted youths and prophetesses giving speeches in the sinuous language of time unwound.

It had never met the general whose victories it was meant to commemorate, although it knew that some statues had that privilege. But it had their smooth face and their smile, and even though the jewels of its eyes had long ago been stolen by treasure-scavengers, it had something of the general's vision. It knew the stories of the general and their honored lover the lady scholar, and how they had built the old city to a precipice of grandeur.

Those days had passed long ago, however, and the wars of weather-mages had sunk the city below the sea. No one now living remembered the city's name the way it had been spoken by its inhabitants, although it lingered in distorted whispers and siren-songs that wound through the tides. The statue remembered its people and yearned for whatever scraps of myth it could gather from the gossip of gulls and sailors.

The fish and the anemones, mindful of the statue's melancholy, spoke with it little. In truth it would have welcomed their chatter. But when it asked them for stories of war (in honor of its general), they could only share tales of cannonades and blood staining the foam, so different from the swift chariots and dust-clouds it knew of, and its melancholy only deepened.

At last an entourage of dragons, distant cousins of the Dragon King Under the Sea, visited the sunken city. One of the dragons, hardly more than an eggling as dragons reckon time, especially liked to explore vanished civilizations. She was particularly taken by the statue's eroded marble surfaces, seeing in them the litany of years gone and years to come.

The statue told the dragon of its vanished city, and its general's victories--more fable than truth by this point, not that there was anyone to correct it--and the dragon listened eagerly. She began telling the statue's stories to the sharks and the seahorses, the terns and the turtles. Soon the creatures of the sea came to listen to the statue as well, and to honor it with their tribute.

It wasn't long before the statue's old plaza was surrounded by nets woven of pirates' beards, and strands of coins marked around the rim with praises to octopus gods, and bits and pieces of filigree armor snatched from soldiers fallen overboard. The creatures of the sea, not to mention the dragons, began frequenting the statue's plaza, and carrying out their own ceremonies there.

While the statue knew that the people it had once known would never return, and that the old city was dead in truth, it found some comfort in seeing a new one arise where the old had been.
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Ars Magica is probably the definitive game of medieval magic - one of these offers is a repeat, the other is all new:

Ars Magica 5 Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ArsMagica5-2017

"The Bundle of Holding and Ars Magica go way back. We offered the current (Fifth) edition of the Ars Magica rulebook in our August 2013 Bundle of the Ages, a collection of historical RPGs, and in March 2014 we presented a collection of vintage ArM supplements that supported the earlier Fourth Edition (1996-2004). We admire Ars Magica hugely and regard it as one of the field's seminal designs. It was a harbinger of the acclaim awaiting both its designers, Jonathan Tweet and Mark Rein-Hagen. We're proud to revive this large assortment from August 2014 supporting the current edition, which is widely regarded as the finest yet. (This is the third revival of this offer; the two previous revivals were May 2015 and February 2016. This third revival is a first, so to speak -- we've never revived the same offer three times.) The new companion collection of supplements, ArM5 Wizards & Power, has lots of additional material to expand any Mythic Europe saga. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$125. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Ars Magica Fifth Edition: The complete, current 240-page rulebook.
  • Covenants (retail $15): The essential guide to help players improve the homes of their magi.
  • Houses of Hermes: True Lineages (retail $12): A detailed treatise on four powerful Houses of the Order of Hermes.
  • Apprentices (retail $7): Become a young student of the Art of Magic.
  • The Living Covenant: As a convenience to our customers, we present over two dozen free characters and setting files from the Atlas Games website, collected here in one handy 42-page booklet.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Storyguide's Collection with five more titles worth an additional $70:
  • Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults and Societates(retail $15 each): The second and third treatises on the Hermetic Houses.
  • The Lion and the Lily (retail $15): The Normandy Tribunal sourcebook about the many active covenants in densely populated northern France.
  • The Broken Covenant of Calebais (retail $10): The first-ever ArM adventure, originally written by Mark Rein-Hagen and Jonathan Tweet, now updated for the current edition.
  • Tales of Mythic Europe: Nine short adventures that push your saga to the limits of Mythic Europe.

Ars Magica 5 Wizards and Power Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ArM5WizardsPower

"This all-new companion offer presents all four Realms of Power supplements about the sources of magic in Mythic Europe, along with several sourcebooks about the Hermetic Tribunals in various regions from the Rhineland to Transylvania.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two offers' designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first Realms of Power book (Magic) and two Tribunals -- Against the Dark (Transylvania) and The Sundered Eagle (Theban).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $60,, including Guardians of the Forests (about the Rhine Tribunal, first of them all) and the remaining three Realms of Power books: The Divine, The Infernal, and Faerie.

At least one title will be added after launch: When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased that offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Ars Magica resources

Learn much more about Ars Magica Fifth Edition and get free downloads at the Atlas Games website. The Project Redcap wiki is the best starting point for fan resources. And check this RPG.net forum thread, "Let's Read Ars Magica Fifth Edition," and this RPG.net forum post by user cj.23 listing ArM resources. (That last one is in a topic called "Ars Magica Bundle of Holding -- do I want it?" You can answer that for yourself.)

 


If you're taken up the previous Ars Magica offer the Wizards and Power bundle is something you're likely to want. If not, I'd suggest trying Ars Magica first, then going for Wizards and Power if you find it useful. They're both running until September 11th so there's a little time to decide if you like it, but remember that prices will probably rise.

I'm not going to download this stuff because I don't really play fantasy RPGs any more, but if I did Ars Magica would be high on my list of possible systems, and the pricing looks pretty good. But as usual your mileage may vary.

Fig and Ibid

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Are surrounded by cats used to other cats and thus not necessarily alarmed to see new ones. Ibid is content to sniff noses with the bolder of his new housemates, whereas I think Fig is affronted by their lack of timidity.

I still have not seen the orange kitten I was warned could be an issue. It's afraid of people but likes to tussle with older cats. I expect Ibid will like this and Fig will not.
spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Rainbow over the Westward Ho beached on Ynys Echni, aka Flat Holm, in the Bristol Channel.

Rainbow over the Westward Ho beached on Ynys Echni, Flat Holm, Bristol Channel 10-16

Rainbow seen from Ynys Echni, Flat Holm, Bristol Channel 10-16

- Historical reconstructionist Paganism: good to see that the wolf named Hater didn't eat the Sun woman, "the sky's bright bride", in the US yesterday and I'm amused that the small percentage of neo-Pagans who're also neo-nazis were supposed to spend the day acknowledging and celebrating the victory of enlightenment over hate and haters, lol. I hope y'all enjoyed the lightshow!

- Kickass Drag Queen, starring Bob the Drag Queen, seems to be turning into an ongoing comic? The original pilot story about saving Pocket Gay (8pg), and the first episode in which there's a plot to make basic straight girls everywhere feel insecure, pt1 (9pg) and pt2 (9pg), lol especially at the pilot ep.

- Reading, books 2017: 85.

80. Bramton Wick, by Elizabeth Fair, 1952, novel (strictly probably a novella). A lightly observant account of a limited rural social circle with the sort of people who mostly don't have to work to earn their living, think four bedroomed houses are poky, and have hired domestic help even post war. As my faithful readers will have inferred from the title of this book there are lesbians within, although Miss Tiger Garrett is a marginally more subtle stereotype than Angela Thirkell's 1940 debut Miss Hampton. Her partner is Miss Bunty Selbourne and they breed dogs like all good middle class 1950s English lesbians (no reform school for these two, lol) although, disappointingly, the story reveals they have separate bedrooms. Unusually well-paced and structured for a first novel imo, which is especially difficult to achieve in a story relying much more on social observation than plot. Thanks to slemslempike for the rec. (3.5/5, goodreads = 21 ratings / 4 reviews 4/5)

A Theory of Fun for Game Design

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:02 am
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2nd ed.) has been on my wishlist for something like the past five years. I picked it up recently by ordering it through my local game store (which is technically also a bookstore and is in the process of signing on with distributors or however that goes). It is an absolute delight.

I'm glad I sprung for the hardcopy of this for two reasons: one, I like to mark up my nonfiction, and two, its formatting! The left-hand page in every two-page spread is text; the right-hand page has an illustration related to the material on the left-hand page. While the illustrations are not technically the most accomplished, they are generally extremely effective communicative cartoons or diagrams.

This book comes with a ton of blurbs, and Cory Doctorow's--"Does for games what Understanding Comics [by Scott McCloud] did for sequential art"--pretty much sums up how I feel. I've read other game design books that were insightful, or thorough, but the Koster is accessible and very interesting in its approach to what makes games games, and how to make them fun (in the instances where that's a thing--cf. Brenda Romero's Train).

One of Koster's arguments is that "with games, learning is the drug" (40)--a game that interests us is one that strikes the necessary balance of not too easy (Tic-Tac-Toe, for most adults) and not too hard (multiple failure modes possible, depending on the individual--witness me and chess or go [1]). He suggests that games (and play, which is common in a lot of young animals!) are an artifact of how we try to learn survival skills, and moves forward into making suggestions as to how to move the form forward into values/skills more suitable for the modern era than "kill things" or "jump over things" or "search for all the things."

[1] Joe gave up on teaching me go when I told him I have severe difficulty with visual patterns. In fact, I am starting to wonder if aphantasia just screws me over for this kind of game in general. :p

There's also a particularly interesting chapter on ethics and entertainment where he discusses the difference between the game system and the flavor/dressing:

The bare mechanics of a game may indeed carry semantic freighting, but odds are that it will be fairly abstract. A game about aiming is a game about aiming, and there's no getting around that. It's hard to conceive of a game about aiming that isn't about shooting, but it has been done--there are several gmaes where instead of shooting bullets with a gun, you are instead shooting pictures with a camera. (170)

The bare mechanics of the game do not determine its meaning. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's picture a mass murder game wherein there is a gas chamber shaped like a well. You the player are dropping innocent victims down into the gas chamber, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are old ones and young ones, fat ones and tall ones. As they fall to the bottom, they grab onto each other and try to form human pyramids to get to the top of the well. Should they manage to get out, the game is over and you die. But if you pack them in tightly enough, the ones on the bottom succumb to the gas and die.

I do not want to play this game. Do you? Yet it is Tetris. (172)


In general, Koster has a background in game design AND writing AND music, and he draws on all three in his analysis of games, as well as other disciplines (e.g. psychology). It makes the book a scintillating read. I can't believe I waited so long to read this--but it was exactly what I wanted to read last week, so hey. Highly recommended.

Face Off through 3.1

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:21 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Read more... )

Also, now I have an incredible desire to watch the Clone Wars cartoon so I will have to save up for the DVDs. Maybe Christmas? XD

[hxx] [story] Sword-Shopping

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:13 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
For S.B.
Prompt: hexarchate, "calendrical sword."

Ajewen Cheris and her girlfriend Linnis Orua paused outside the shop. A banner of ink painted onto silk fluttered in the flirtatious artificial breeze. Orua had grown up on a station with less naturalistic ideas of aesthetics, and found this dome-city with its aleatory weather nerve-wracking. She still spooked whenever there was a wind, which entertained Cheris because Orua also had long, luxurious waves of hair that rippled beautifully. "We were always told to be aware of strange air currents as a possible sign of carapace breach!" Orua had protested when Cheris teased her about it.

"Blades for All Occasions," Cheris read. She had been saving for this moment throughout the first two years of academy, and practicing for it besides. Orua didn't understand her fondness for the sport of dueling, but she had agreed to come along for moral support.

"Well, no sense in lingering outside," Orua said. She grinned at Cheris and walked forward. The door swooshed open for her.

Cheris followed her in. A tame (?) falcon on a perch twisted its head sideways to peer at her as she entered. The falcon was either genetically engineered or dyed or even painted, although she wasn't sure how she felt about any of those alternatives: its primary feathers shaded from black to blood red, with striking metallic gold bands toward the tips. It looked gaudy as hell and quintessentially Kel.

Orua was busy suppressing a giggle at the falcon's aesthetics. Cheris poked her in the side to get her to stop and looked around the displays, wide-eyed. Her eyes stung suspiciously at the sight of all those weapons, everything from tactical knives to ornamented daggers with rough-hewn gems in their pommels and pragmatic machetes.

But best of all were the calendrical swords. Deactivated, they looked deceptively harmless, bladeless hilts of metal in varying colors and finishes. Cheris's gaze was drawn inexorably to one made of voidmetal chased in gold, with an unusual basket hilt. It was showy, extremely Kel, and an invitation to trouble. Only a cadet who had an exemplary record and was an excellent duelist would dare carry such a calendrical sword. And besides, the lack of a price tag told her there was no way she could afford it even if she could, in honor, lay claim to such a thing.

Cheris sighed, then looked up into her girlfriend's eyes. "I wish," she said, her voice soft.

"Let me help you pick," Orua said, ignoring the sales assistant who was watching them imperturbably with his arms folded behind his back.

Cheris blinked. "I thought you didn't know anything about dueling?" she teased. Orua paid more attention to the special effects and makeup on dueling shows than the actual dueling.

"I don't know anything about dueling," Orua said, as the sales assistant radiated disapproval. "But I know a lot about you." Her eyes turned sly, and Cheris hoped that Orua wouldn't get too specific here of all places. She grabbed Cheris's hand and tugged her along to a completely different display. "Look!"

At first Cheris wasn't impressed by the calligraphy-stroke plainness of the calendrical swords on display. Then she saw that that the metal evinced a faint iridescence, like that of a raven's feather. She particularly liked the one whose textured design incorporated the first digits of the base of the natural logarithm.

Orua stooped to whisper right in Cheris's ear, "Tonight I'm going to see how many digits of that number you can recite before I get you to--"

"I'll buy this one," Cheris interrupted, very loudly, and pointed.

Unseen, the sales assistant and Orua exchanged winks.

I am fail

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:01 pm
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm not going to do it but I crave to someday write a training cruise/school/dance academy/conservatory/??? mashup disaster story.

Alas, I have this novel to work on. :p 2,000 words on Dragon Pearl today! (I'm doing revisions, but I had to rip out a few chapters that weren't working and replace them with all-new ones, always thrilling.)

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