alias_sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
To try and tide myself over until the next episode I had a look at the AO3 Adventure Zone section, and had a surprisingly strong NOPE reaction to all the fic. So I thought about what fic I would theoretically write, and all my ideas felt kind of wrong too.

On further thought I've decided it's because of the nature of the canon.
No spoilers )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
So I am up to date on all 56 episodes of the Adventure Zone and I love it and I want MORE why do I have to WAIT?? I have a few standalone episodes I haven't listened to yet but right now I want the end to this arc not something else.

It continues to be a very funny, meta, rule-bending dungeons and dragons game, but what started out as a fairly generic fantasy plot livened up by jokes has become a really engaging and well written fantasy plot livened up by jokes, and the characters have gained some depth.

It actually reminds me a lot of Homestuck, it's not remotely as convoluted but has similar slapdash fourth-wall-breaking pop-culture-heavy humour that somehow forms a weirdly coherent and surprisingly affecting whole.

Other similarities: none of the characters have canon appearances, the creators are supportive of fanart to the extent that there's official Fanart Spinoffs, and despite being 30 something white American dudes(*) with typical dirty nerdboy humour and blind spots there's obvious attempts at diversity, specifically lots of female characters and some canon m/m(**) and f/f. There's even a canon, sympathetic, background non binary character! Who was a construct but the non binariness was never a big deal and they got canon "they" pronouns, which was nice. (Some of the guys took a while to stop defaulting to "he" but they all got it by the end)

(*)And one 60 year old dude who doesn't try as hard in this respect.
(**) hearing two brothers roleplay a date between one of the main characters and an NPC was kinda weird but I still ship it haha.
alias_sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
I am too sore to draw or concentrate right now, so have some reviews and stuff.

Books:
Finally got around to reserving some of my backog of recs through the new library, and then perused the shelves while my chair recharged.

Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang: was enjoying this noir-ish urban fantasy about a hard bitten young woman well enough then SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED TO A LITTLE GIRL and I stopped. May try and find out if the little girl ends up ok, since it was otherwise ok.

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees: Oh godddddd this was bad. I mean, maybe it'd be fun if you thought Twelfth Night needed more Feste but less jokes and didn't like ANY OF THE ACTUAL MAIN CHARACTERS. But personally I am not in the market for a joyless darkier and edgier sequel about Viola's daughter where all the characters I like screw things up and die tragically or screw things up and become moustache twirling villains and Feste becomes a perfect angel of insightful genius and NOONE EVER TELLS ANY JOKES. She even managed to take the fun out of crossdressing and lesbians :( (People need to stop doing that) Gave up 1/5 of the way in.

Knave's Wager by Loretta Chase: fluffy old school regency romance about a rake falling for an uptight widow. Exactly what it says on the tin, but fun for what it was. No egregious racism and surprisingly sympathetic to the scheming courtesan the hero is working against (much more morally complex than The Fool's Girl, that's for sure, and without all the self important pretension)

Manhatten Dreaming by Anita Heiss: Just started this. Chic lit with an aboriginal heroine. So far ok but I'm not really a fan of the genre, so we'll see how I do.

Fire Logic by Laurie J Marks: Fantasy novel set in a pseudo-medieval world with Avatar The Last Airbender-esque elemental magics. Ok so far, I can't remember what in the recs I read made me decide to read it (WOC main-ish character?), but sadly there does not seem to be any mathematical logic involved :(

Podcasts:

The Thrilling Adventure Hour: The over the top retro radio serial everyone keeps going on about. Have listened to the first few episodes and it is pretty fun.

Chinese History Podcast: Accessible but idk...gave me a weird uncomfortable feeling. Not sure I'll stick with it. I did learn some things about the first Chinese emperor.

Anime:

Fresh Pretty Cure: FINALLY got around to trying this out. It is exactly as promised, a competent and endearing magical girl show with femslashy female friendships and no creepy fanservice. There's also the hints of some delicious ho-yay :D

(And woo, while writing this the heater kicked in and I am ever so slightly less sore. Also the cat is happy)
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I have caught up with Welcome to Night Vale and it is amazing. It's a good time to get into it too, since the first 25 podcasts make for a fairly well rounded little story (not that I'm not looking forward to episode 27!) What plot there is is slow and sporadic but it all holds together remarkably well for a setting combining glow clouds, angels, vague yet menacing government agencies etc. Also, there's canon m/m! The main character is unambiguously interested in men, but it is very much just one facet of his character, he is much more focussed on informing his listeners, not being eaten by station management etc.

There a cute little fandom on tumblr I haven't dipped my toes into much yet. Though as with Elementary fandom, I find myself charmed by all the adorable gen and glad people share my shipping tendencies...but kind of wish there was more kissing. *is shallow*

Not a huge focus on female characters in the show or fandom though there is definitely some. The writers feel like well meaning white guys, they do better than most of the influences they're drawing from (like Lovecraft haha) and there's a major POC character but also some weeeird stuff around American Indians. There is in general a theme of it being ok to be to be weird or damaged, it's just something you work around, which is a nice change from the "FEAR THE ABNORMAL" tone of much horror (of course they conflate missing ears with being haunted by the voices of the dead, possessed by aliens etc but hey)

Also some people find it scary but I really don't. The one exception was the morning I woke to a weirdly familiar noise and just for a second thought "OH GOD IT'S STREET CLEANING DAY D: D:"

There are transcripts of most episodes and a twitter account which posts strange little messages in addition to information about tshirts etc.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I am suuuuper tired today.

Recently:

Despicable Me 2: An ok sequel, barrelled along at an entertaining pace and was mostly sweet and funny but had some unfortunate subtext about gender and race (and a plot point which was weirdly reminiscent of a bad dream I had the night before the movie, but I GUESS I can't blame them for that)

Currently:

"Haunted" by Kelley Armstrong
Another "Women of the Otherworld" book. The romance aspects are kind of understated and meh but as a story of a somewhat amoral but kickass woman not letting death get between her and her goals it's pretty fun. I have a prediction about the villain based on tired romance novel tropes LET'S SEE IF I'M RIGHT.

Am currently listening to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, which is disturbing and funny and oddly sweet, like a radio station set in a modern US version of Fallen London.

Orphan Black: Got Cam to spoil me for anything that might freak me out, am finding it less tense and thus more watchable but still slow going. It is good! It just isn't GRABBING me.

Dalja's Spring: Kdrama about a 33 year old woman who drunkenly hires a 27 year old guy to pretend to be her boyfriend to spite an ex, increasingly dramatic shenanigans ensue. The romance feels more like a cute friendship to me but it's pretty sweet and enjoyable, though a moustache twirling antagonist has shown up who feels a bit out of place. Also she keeps going on about how OLD 33 is, IT'S NOT THAT OLD.

I tried playing Undertale, a cute RPG by Toby "Radiation" Fox, one of the key music/gaming people involved with Homestuck, but it (a)has set save points and (b)closes without asking if you want to quit when you press 'escape" (eg the "menu" button on 99% of the other games I play) Which added up to me deciding it was all too much effort.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
I keep meaning to do this when I'm not in the middle of any, but I always am. So, since people often express surprise when I mention it, here is an as-now list of all the podcasts from Berkley I've been listening to in the order I listened to them.
Read more... )

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