owlmoose: (book)
So, I've fallen behind on reading. I can pinpoint two reasons for this: it's taking me a good a month to read The Stone Sky (not that it isn't very good, but I'm finding it slow going), and I find I want to spend my media time watching TV or listening to podcasts instead. There's no particular reason for this, that I can discern; it's just where my head as been at lately.

Anyway, my goals are posted here, and my last check-in, from July, is here. I have currently read 26 books, still quite a bit behind the pace to hit a goal of 50. Of these, 8 books are by authors of color, or about 30%; not great, but by author I'm at 8 out of 18, a slightly more respectable 44%. And since I've read most of the books in series I plan to read this year, I hope for that percentage to go up. Still no non-fiction (although Trevor Noah's memoir is on deck next -- I need to read it in time to give back to my aunt on Thanksgiving) or graphic novels, and I continue to fail at getting older books off my TBR. Why do great new books need to keep coming out? Why? I will never read everything ever written at this pace.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
I wrote a book review for [community profile] ladybusiness: some thoughts on Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the final book in my best beloved Court of Fives series.

There are no spoilers in that review, but if you've read it and want to have a spoiler laden discussion of all the twists and turns and that ending, bring all your thoughts right here.
owlmoose: (book -- glasses)
Just like with my writing goals, it seems like I ought to check in with my reading goals at least a couple of times through the year, and quarterly is as good a time as any.

As a reminder, here are the goals that I set for myself when I wrote about my favorite media of 2016 over on [community profile] ladybusiness:
  • At least 40 books total, not including novellas/short fiction or graphic novels/comics collections.

  • At least 20 books by authors of color; of these, at least 10 by new-to-me authors (i.e. authors whose work I've never read before).

  • At least 5 non-fiction books.

  • At least one novella and one piece of shorter fiction each month -- not just during Hugo reading season!

  • At least 10 books or graphic novels/comics collections off my existing TBR shelf.

About a month ago, I started wondering whether I should be counting novellas after all, and Twitter's response was unanimous: Yes, I should count them, and no, it's not cheating. Which I suppose makes sense, but in that case it also makes sense to up the overall goal. So, I hereby amend the first goal to 50 books including novellas, and my second goal to 25, also including novellas (my intention there was always to try for 50%). This has the advantage of making it easier to use Goodreads to track my reading, because I tend to list novellas there, but not shorter fiction.

Let's do the numbers:

So far in 2017, I have finished a total of 10 books. Of these books, 7 are by women (6 unique authors) and 4 are by people of color (all unique authors). Four were novellas, and none were graphic novels. One (Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire) was taken off my TBR shelf.

This would put me on pace to read 40 books in a year, but is a little bit behind the 50 book pace. I think that's okay, though, because I spent more time reading short fiction than I anticipate doing normally, for Hugo nominations. I'm also a bit behind on writers of color, but catching up there is entirely doable.

Not bad, overall. Let's see how I proceed.
owlmoose: (quote - questions)
I have returned! Yet another successful FogCon: in the books. Probably jamming two days into one post is too much, but no matter how much I tell myself I can wait for tomorrow to write about today, the fact is I'm very unlikely to do it.

My first panel of the day might also have been the best of the con, and certainly the one that I heard the most people talking about over the rest of the weekend. It was entitled "When Do You Pick Up A Blaster?" and was about revolution: how revolution is depicted in speculative fiction, what fiction gets right and wrong, what can we learn about real-life uprisings from fictional ones, and what is, or should be, the tipping point for the decision to use violence as a tool. One of the panelists, guest of honor Ayize Jama-Everett, suggested that there are types of violence other than physical, namely social and economic violence, and said that the "objective of violence is free the colonized mind from the colonizer. How you define violence is an interesting topic -- another panelist said that he doesn't consider property damage, like bombing empty buildings and shattering store windows, to be the same thing as violence, and although I'm not convinced I agree, it's an interesting point. (Or going back to the previous point, you could consider it a form of economic violence against the property owners). To cover the discussion property would take better notes than I took, but a few other points I wanted to consider: a definition of revolution as when the unimaginable becomes commonplace; the suggestion that you should be willing to risk dying before you risk killing; that you lose something when you fight, even when you win (sometimes it's worth it, but take the costs into considerations); revolution will always take longer than you think it will. As you might imagine, I got a lot to think about here, and took more notes than during any other panel. Lots of discussion centered around the Black Panther Party, and although I'm going to save most of my book recs for another post, I wanted to make note of one here: Black Against Empire, a recent history of the Black Panthers.

Lunch was the annual FogCon banquet, where I sat with friends old and new and chatted about a number of things -- for one, I ran into a fellow Dragon Age fan, and then we decided to stop boring the rest of the table to death and talk about the Hugos instead. Then my afternoon consisted of two guest of honor events. First was an interview with the other guest of honor, Delia Sherman, who talked about her writing process and her stories. After that, Ayize Jama-Everett gave his GoH presentation, a conversation with Afrofuturist Lonny Brooks. The theme of the talk was Jama-Everett asking Brooks to help him imagine a future that isn't bleak. A challenging project in these times, but I think also a worthy one. Some of Brooks's ideas included looking at Peter Diamandis and his thoughts on abundance, platform cooperativism (a worker-centric alternative to the so-called sharing economy promoted by companies like Airbnb and Uber), and diverse communities that celebrate difference rather than fighting against it or practicing separatism.

After dinner -- I crashed an event for members of a writing message board, and had a great chat with a doctor from Illinois whose name I unfortunately cannot remember -- was my one panel of the con, "Between the Pixie and the Crone: Middle Aged Women in Speculative Fiction". Other members of the panel included the aforementioned GoH Delia Sherman and the always-entertaining Ellen Klages, so that was not intimidating at all. Unrelated in any way to the panelists (they were all great), the discussion got tense in a couple of places, which I think is a risk with any panel on a topic that deals in a trope about women at a con that tries to be feminist -- it's going to hit too close to home for some people, feel completely off the mark to others, and it's easy to fall into talking stereotypes. But overall I think it went pretty well. Folks seemed engaged, asked good questions and made good recommendations, and almost no one left before the end, which are all positives, and I got to make most of the points I had planned, including a comment about not falling into the trap of defining all women by their relationship to motherhood, even including women who are mothers, which got a little "whoop!" from someone in the crowd. Last up was a panel on podcasting, which focused almost exclusively on fiction podcasts and never even got to fannish pop culture reviews, although I did get to rec Black Tapes and found a few new shows to look up. Afterwards I wandered by the bar, where I hung out for a little bit before bedtime.

Today I took it a little easier, as I usually try to do on the last day of the con. The first panel of the morning was the guest of honor reading, which I always try to attend and almost never disappoints. I was completely sucked in by Ayize Jama-Everett's reading and bought all three of his books (the only other time that's happened was all the way back in FogCon2, after Nalo Hopkinson read from The Chaos). For lunch I walked over to the farmer's market with [personal profile] forestofglory, and after I went one last panel on how to write dystopian fiction in the age of alternative facts. The panelists agreed that, for all the stories where false information is commonplace and fed to people by the government, no one ever saw coming that we would impose the world of wrong facts on ourselves, without a repressive regime forcing us into it. The discussion was mostly about real-world information bubbles and info overload, less about fiction, but it was still interesting. As usual in this type of conversation, I walked away convinced that librarians are more necessary than ever, and I need to do a better job of turning my information literacy skills into political activism.

Next up: WisCon! Two and a half months away, and I can hardly wait.
owlmoose: (lost - sawyer)
It's actually now the end of Day 2, but last night I was out and about and doing stuff, and I haven't had many opportunities to sit down and take some notes. Much much good stuff has happened today, too, but I want to keep this shortish as I need to get to bed soon, so for now I'll limit myself to yesterday.

Yesterday I went to four events. First up was a panel that ended up more of a round table discussion on how games of all kinds are changing. It's a pretty broad topic, but we still managed to hit the three major types of games -- tabletop (meaning board and card games), role-playing games, and videogames -- and many current trends in gaming, both good and bad. Topics included the role of Kickstarter (great for board games and card games, perhaps less suited to videogames), the rise of co-op board games and how that might relate to the popularity of Pokemon GO, and the ways in which gaming relates to learning, such as this research on virtual reality games as a potential treatment for dementia.

The next panel I attended was entitled "Looking Forward/Looking in the Mirror", regarding the ways in which stories about the future inevitably reflect the time in which they were written. The panelists freely admitted that this question has a different weight to it than it would have in early November, and there was some speculation about how speculative fiction written in the next year or so might change. One panelist freely admitted that she has much less interest in writing dark futures right now, to the point that she's trying to revise story to give it a more hopeful ending. There was quite a bit of talk about Arrival, and the ways in which it sometimes feels like we're living in a dystopia right now (to quote Debbie Notkin, "Get me out of this bad Harry Turtledove novel!"

Next up was dinner with [personal profile] forestofglory and Robyn, a writer who we'd sat next to during the previous panel. After that we went to our last formal panel of the night -- which Robyn happened to be on, although we'd already been planning on it -- which was about writing across genres. Discussion began with the question of why we have so many sub-genres in speculative fiction anyway; marketing is the obvious answer, although some panelists also talked about the value of knowing what to expect from a book before you open it. Sometimes you want a new and exciting experience from a story, but sometimes you want predictability, and ultimately there's nothing wrong with that. Of course, this brought us to one of the inherent dangers of cross-genre writing, because when readers doesn't get the experience they were expecting, the resulting disappointment can affect book sales and reviews. The panelists, who were all pro authors, each brought up various examples from their own experiences, some causing more trouble than others. Someone in the audience asked why genre bending seems to be more of an issue with speculative fiction than other genres, and after some discussion we all came up with an intriguing theory: other genres of fiction (mystery, thriller, romance, etc.) tend to be defined by their plot structures, while speculative fiction genres are defined by their elements (spaceships, wizards, being set in the future...) but can follow almost any structure. I suspect this makes specfic highly flexible but also gives the writer more places to "go wrong" in terms of reader expectations. In the end, the panelists concluded that you can't be too worried about those expectations -- write the story that calls to you, and worry about how to sell or market it later. Lots and lots of book recs out of this one.

Last but never least: ConTention, the annual tradition where a bunch of con attendees get together and argue for an hour and fifteen minutes. This year's debates included some oldies but goodies (Star Wars vs. Star Trek, privacy vs. safety) and some newer ones (The Force Awakens vs. Rogue One, what's the scariest Dr. Who monster, can WorldCon survive if it continues to be primarily based in North America).

And now it's late (and soon to be even later, yay Daylight Saving Time), so I'll come back with today's report tomorrow.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
I wrote an overview of my year in reading and watching stuff for [community profile] ladybusiness. You can find it here. I also set some annual reading goals for the first time ever; we'll see how that goes.

Although you can likely infer some of my choices :) this is not a proper Hugo recommendation post. Look for one of those later this month, after I've got more short fiction under my belt. But considering this your reminder that 2017 Hugo nominations are now open!
owlmoose: (yahtzee - out of context)
Using the same template as last year.

Your main fandom of the year?
Gotta be Critical Role (see below).

Your favorite film watched this year?
The new Ghostbusters. Arrival was objectively a better movie, and I have more fannish attachment to Civil War, but no other movie was quite as much fun.

Your favorite book read this year?
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan, the fourth book in the Lady Isabella Trent series. I love the directions this story took, and the way the ending has set up the final book in the series. I also need to give a nod to the last Temeraire book, for providing a satisfying and surprising end to one of my favorites series of all time.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
If I'm being honest, probably Hamilton again.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
Either the final season of Agent Carter (sniff) or the most recent season of Orphan Black, which returned to form after a slightly off third year. Honorable mentions: Luke Cage, the current half season of Agents of SHIELD, Top Chef season 13.

Your favorite video game of the year?
I haven't played many games this year. The only one that really sticks with me is Solstice, which I mentioned in my mid-year roundup, the new game from the makers of Cinders.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
I think you already all know the answer to this one: Critical Role. My first new fandom in the last couple of years, I spent the second half of 2016 watching the series, then re-watching it (I caught up to the most recent episode and then re-watched it a couple of days ago), wrote a handful of stories, and basically became completely consumed. A part of me is glad that the rewatch is over so I can have my life back. A part of me wants to go back and start all over again, again.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
US presidential election season finale Agent Carter not being renewed for a third season. :(

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
Matthew Mercer. Is it weird for your fandom boyfriend to be a real person? But it's true -- Matt's performance on Critical Role, both as DM and as a large percentage of the cast, is a huge part of the show's appeal to me.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
Peggy Carter, forever.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
"Anything can happen in the woods..." (Spoilers for Critical Role Ep. 72)

The most missed of your old fandoms?
Oh, I don't know, all of them? I feel very out of touch with fandom right now. But at least lately, I suppose I'm most disconnected from Dragon Age. Maybe it's the lack of new content, and also I basically quit all my replays when I started spending all my free time on Critical Role instead. Now that the catch-up project is over, I hope to get back to that.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
I never did get started in Supergirl or Star Wars, despite my interest. Solstice might have some possibilities, too.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Star Wars: Episode 8. The final Lady Isabella Trent book, and the last of the new N.K. Jemisin trilogy. The Defenders on Netflix.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
My latest TBR book review for [community profile] ladybusiness went up last night, for Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling. I enjoyed it, although I also feel like the last thing I need is another series to read. Why don't people write good standalone books anymore?

Also, sick. :P Just in time for the holidays, yay!
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
As the year comes to a close, the thoughts of the Hugo nominator turn to planning her reading for the next four months. Obviously, I cannot read every single novel that was published in 2016, not even every novel that reviewed well and/or seems likely to be a contender, even if I wanted to. The end-of-year lists are already coming out, and I'll be applying to those, as well as the always-helpful Hugo eligibility spreadsheet, but there's almost too many options there.

So I figure, why not start by asking my friends and followers, whose opinions I trust? What's your must-read book from 2016? (I'll get started on short fiction and other categories later; new series are probably more than I'm willing to tackle right now.) I'm already planning to read All the Birds in the Sky and Ninefox Gambit; books published in 2016 that I've read are here. Some possible nominee contenders there, but only one slam-dunk, so your thoughts are definitely welcome.
owlmoose: (book - key)
Today, over on [community profile] ladybusiness, I reviewed Indexing by Seanan McGuire. Take a look!

TBR Meme

Oct. 25th, 2016 04:05 pm
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
I was tagged for this meme by [personal profile] renay over on [community profile] ladybusiness.

1. What book have you been unable to finish? - No god but God by Reza Aslan. I started this book a couple of years back, and as often happens for me with non-fiction, I stalled out about halfway through, most likely because I got a new fiction book that I wanted to read more. I've picked it up a couple of times since, but once I lose my momentum on non-fiction reading, it's difficult to get it back.

More questions and answers under the cut! )

10. Who do you tag? - As always, entirely optional, but this time I'll poke [personal profile] seimaisin, [personal profile] lassarina, and [personal profile] umadoshi.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
For our special celebration of Kate Elliott and her books, I wrote a review of her most recent, Poisoned Blade. It should be no surprise that I loved it.

[community profile] ladybusiness is also running a giveaway for this book as well as Court of Fives, the first book in the series, so make sure to check that out if you're interested!
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
I haven't talked much about the Hugos this year, in part because there hasn't been as much conversation on the topic this year. Like Abigail, I blame fatigue -- this is the second or third year in a row of this particular drama, depending on what you count -- along with a whiff of despair that we're never going to escape it. Although I don't subscribe to that philosophy myself, I can certainly understand why people might feel that way. But with only a week to go until the deadline, I wanted to say a few words before voting closes.

Because two of the novels were already on my Hugo nomination ballot (and one only just missed making the cut), and I'd also already checked out some of the shorter fiction (notably Binti and Cat Pictures Please, both of which I adored), I didn't have all that much to read this year. Unlike last year, when I no-voted most of the slate on principle, this year I decided to give some of the works a shot (more details in my post on the short list), and overall I'd say the stories I chose to read were worth my time. I didn't like all of them -- some (like The Builders and And You Shall Know Her...) were Not For Me, and others (like Obits and Perfect State) had some aspects I enjoyed and others that annoyed me. But I'd rather dwell on the stories that I liked, so a few words on each of them:

Seveneves )

Penric's Demon )

Slow Bullets )

Folding Beijing )

Still on my to-do list for the next few days: I want to check out the excerpt of the Jim Butcher book that was included in the Hugo packet. I've never read a Butcher novel, despite being curious about such a popular urban fantasy author, mostly because the Harry Dresden character did not appeal to me. But this is the first book of a new series, so I feel that I should at least give it a shot. Also I admit to wild curiosity about the Chuck Tingle story, although the odds of me actually voting for it seem vanishingly small. But otherwise, this is a good place to wrap up my Hugo reading for the year. Now I can (mostly) relax and look forward to WorldCon. If you'll be there, let me know!
owlmoose: (lost - sawyer)
I haven't done much in the way of best-of lists in the past, but it seems like a good idea, especially if I decide I want to make a more thorough list at the end of the year. It would be a lot easier to write these kinds of posts if I remembered to update Goodreads in a timely fashion. Maybe making regular list posts will get me into the habit. All releases are 2016 unless otherwise noted.

Books and Comics )

Movies, TV, and Other Media )

Temeraire

Jun. 28th, 2016 12:07 am
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
I spent the last couple of weeks re-reading the Temeraire series, in preparation for the final volume, League of Dragons. This was particularly helpful for the latter half of the series -- I'd re-read books 1-4 in the past, but the others I'd only read one time each, and I both wanted to refresh myself on everything that happened, and to see how the series hangs together as a single story. Overall, I'd say quite well, although some books are stronger than others, and I found myself skimming the more detailed battle scenes. (Also, Victory of Eagles was just as hard to re-read as I thought it might be, mostly because it's such a dark and difficult chapter in Laurence's life. It's an effective book, but it's also a difficult one.)

League of Dragons was an excellent cap to the series, I thought, bringing both the war and Laurence and Temeraire's story to a satisfying conclusion. Some spoilers. ) Now that it's done, I think it's safe to say that Temeraire remains one of my all-time favorite series, and I look forward to revisiting it in re-reads, fanfiction, and any future stories to come.
owlmoose: (BMC - juno)
Busy day, and it's not quite over, but I'm taking advantage of a lull in the proceedings to make some quick notes about everything I've done so far. I went to four panels today and took notes on all of them, and I hope to dive into them more later.

First up was Female Friendship in Fiction. A lively conversation about the good, the bad, and the missing of female friendships depicted in fiction. Lots of recommendations, including a solid five minutes at the end dedicated solely to recs from the audience. Many of them can be found in the Twitter tag. Lots of my favorite examples -- Supergirl, Jessica Jones, the Spiritwalker trilogy, etc. -- were brought up, and of course my TBR continues to expand.

After lunch (back to the cheese shop!) was probably the best panel of the con for me so far: a discussion of "weaponized kindness" -- when calls for civility are used to shut down important discussions. The Andrew Smith/#KeepYAKind incident was used as an example and jumping off point for talking about why "niceness" as a code word for "sit down and shut up" is a problem (as opposed to actual niceness, which they defined as really listening to other people and caring about their feelings and point of view) and how to fight back against it. I'll definitely want to come back to this later, and maybe see if I can find other people's write-ups. For now, I highly recommend the Twitter tag for this one, too.

Next up was a panel on metaphorical minorities (such as the X-Men "mutant metaphor"), which also moved a lot into thoughts on coded (as opposed to explicit) representation followed by a roundtable on the works of Octavia Butler. I learned quite a bit from these discussions, stuff I will have to process and also probably revisit. Very glad I went to both.

After dinner, I went to the Tiptree Auction, a fundraiser for the award. I was promised a great show, and I absolutely got it. [twitter.com profile] brainwane was the auctioneer, following in the footsteps of legendary auctioneer Ellen Klages, and I thought she was great -- an evening of humor, and Hamilton filk, and smashing of the kyriarchy (literally, in the form of a "Pilates for Weight Loss" DVD), and costume changes, and serious remembrances of significant people. Well worth my time, even though I didn't bid on anything (though I did donate a little when the hat was passed around).

Now I'm headed back downstairs to check out the Floomp, the con's dance party. I'm not sure I'm feeling high-energy enough to dance, but I'm told that it's still a fun scene with excellent costumes to admire. And who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to cut a rug or two.
owlmoose: (book - key)
After years of meaning to read Octavia Butler's work, I finished Lilith's Brood yesterday, and now I want to talk about it.

In the end, I'm not completely certain what to make of this book. For an author I have so often heard described as feminist and ground-breaking, I was surprised to find so much gender essentialism and heteronormativity, along with such strong "biology is destiny" themes. In a conversation with my friend S, she pointed out that feminism in the late 1980s (when these books were written) was quite gender essentialist and heteronormative, so it may be a product of its times, but the heteronormativity, especially, struck me right away and kept bothering me throughout. Also bothersome: the pervasiveness of sexual situations wherein the consent is dubious at best. This book features coerced sex, forced pregnancy, and all kinds of invasions of bodily autonomy. Unlike with the previous issues, the idea of questionable consent is raised throughout -- the reader is forced to notice it, and think about it. So I'm pretty sure I was meant to find it disturbing and uncomfortable, but I can't be 100% sure. I'll need to sit with it for awhile.

All that said, it was an impressive book , especially for a debut novel [edit: I was incorrect about this, not sure where I got that impression, thanks to [personal profile] firecat for the correction], and I'm glad to have read it. But more than anything, I'm left wanting to discuss it, and I'm sure at least some of you have read it. So, what are your thoughts?

Other topics for conversation: the social structure of the Oankali, the book's critiques of colonialism, the implications of an Earth left bereft of technology and repopulated almost entirely by people of color, and whether human nature is really as bleak and terrible as it's depicted here.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
Just about a year ago, I posted about K. Tempest Bradford's reading challenge (no cis straight white men for a year) and my plans to attempt a modified version of it. The most significant thing I learned is that I'm really, really bad at keeping track of my reading, whatever the reason (this also includes remembering what I read and liked for Hugo nomination purposes). So I didn't track very well, which means that I don't really have anything to report. :P But I still wanted to check in.

I can say that I successfully limited my reading of cis straight white men, even through Hugo nomination season. I only bought four prose books by authors falling into this category (I decided not to count comics and graphic novels this time around), and the only one I've read so far is "The End of All Things" by John Scalzi. The others were all entries in series that I'm already reading (Jim Hines, Max Gladstone, and Robert Jackson Bennett), and I will sprinkle them through my reading next year.

As to whether I did better with authors of color, since I didn't track closely, I can't really say. I did make a point of reading several novels by authors of color -- as it happens, none of the books recommended in the comments to the above-linked post, although I did catch some of the authors. In particular, I'm annoyed with myself for not getting around to Octavia Butler, as she was the ghost of honor at this most recent FogCon, and one of the biggest gaps in my reading by SF/F masters. Still, there is always this year, and my new goal is to pick up and read at least one book by her before WisCon. The main new author of color I discovered was Zen Cho. I adored her new novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, and I want to start looking for her short fiction. But I think it's probably still fair to say that I read more white female authors than any other single category, and it's the category that continues to be hardest for me to branch from -- possibly because so many of my favorite authors are (as far as I know) straight white women.

One good side effect of this reading challenge is the diversity of my Hugo ballot. There are no male authors on my novel ballot, and two of the books I nominated were written by women of color (Zen Cho and N.K. Jemisin); the effect continues down-ballot as well, because I haven't yet listed a single white male author in any of the prose ficton categories. (This doesn't hold in the multimedia categories, though, including graphic story -- I really wanted to give The Wicked + The Divine a nod there.)

One of the biggest knocks on reading challenges like this is that they don't change anyone's behavior long-term, and I want to fight the impulse to just go back to what I was doing. The main takeaway for me is that I need to figure out a tracking system that works for me -- not just for keeping track of my own reading patterns, but to improve my contributions to Lady Business. Maybe reporting my reading there will succeed where other plans have failed. And then maybe I'll have more to say next year.
owlmoose: photo of little owl in a stocking cap (owlhat)
Not a whole lot to report, really. We spent the last few days alternating between getting out and doing stuff (the Asian Art Museum, the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, lunch out both days), and staying home and hiding from the rain (which is pounding on my roof right now).

I also managed a fair bit of reading today. I finished House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (which I liked, but not as much as I wanted to), read volume two of Wicked + the Divine (excellent, if not quite as amazing as the first, which I really wish I had read before last year's Hugo nomination deadline -- it would have bumped Sex Criminals, easy), and caught up on the last several arcs of Gunnerkrieg Court (consistently excellent -- I need to figure out which of them were published in 2015). I find it somewhat amusing that two of these works involve the fate of Lucifer as a significant plot element, if in very different ways.

Tomorrow is an off day for me, although I do have a chorus rehearsal. And then Agent Carter is back on Tuesday! I can't wait.
owlmoose: (cats - lexi innocent)
I haven't seen these making the rounds really, so I'm answering the same questions as last year (plus adding in one about videogames, which was sorely lacking in the past).

Your main fandom of the year?
Even split between Dragon Age and Marvel.

Your favorite film watched this year?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- yes, really. I need to see it again. Mad Max: Fury Road is probably an objectively better film, but nothing made me happier than watching a new good Star Wars movie.

Your favorite book read this year?
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Runners-up include Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear and Black Wolves by Kate Elliott.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
I started trying to research this question, then realized that the answer is obvious: Hamilton.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
Agent Carter just nudges out Jessica Jones and Supergirl. Agents of SHIELD was also really good this year.

Your favorite video game of the year?
Broken Age. Also, the Dragon Age DLCs Jaws of Hakkon and Trespasser, which significantly improved the Inquisition experience as a whole.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
I haven't gotten into a new fandom in awhile. But Star Wars and Supergirl are both nudging at me a little bit -- we'll see whether anything comes of either. It was nice to rediscover how much I enjoy the Star Wars and Superman universes.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
Avengers: Age of Ultron. I was able to mostly enjoy the movie as I was watching it, but the further distant I get, the more I'm bothered by its many flaws. If the film franchise keeps drifting this far from my interests, I may start focusing on the MCU TV shows, which were much stronger than the movies this year (even given my ambivalence toward Daredevil).

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
No one in particular? I did write rather a lot about Alistair from Dragon Age, though.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
Peggy Carter. Close second: Kara Zor-El Danvers.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
The opening chords of the Star Wars theme, ringing out in a darkened movie theater.

The most missed of your old fandoms?
I found myself thinking about Final Fantasy XII a lot this year, in part because of the word about an impending HD remake.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
As I mentioned, Star Wars and Supergirl (particularly Kara/James) are both tapping at my mindspace. All it wants is a strong plot bunny.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Attending my first WisCon in May!

In terms of media: Season 2 of Agent Carter. Luke Cage. Captain America: Civil War (although the anticipation there is tinged with more than a little dread). The next season of Orphan Black. Star Wars: Rogue One. The sequel to Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, which I think is supposed to come out in 2016. I'm sure there are other books I'm anticipating, but I don't follow upcoming releases closely enough to know what they are offhand. Solstice, which is the new game from the makers of Cinders -- I know a lot of folks have played this already, but I kept forgetting to pre-order and now it's too late. Maybe Kingdom Hearts 3 will appear next year? We can only hope.

October 2017

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