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: (happy dragon)
Cam is on a work trip so I have been on a so far largely unsuccessful quest for light fluffy romance to distract myself. This has taken me to some odd places.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
This was hailed in femslasher gamer circles as The First Real Yuri Game On Steam, and so even though it hit a lot of my Do Not Want buttons (including being quite expensive haha) I eventually gave in and gave it a go. And, as the subject of this post suggests, I have very mixed feelings.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
(Where that season is Summer, regardless of what most internet sites assume is globally universal)
Books, movies, anime, manga, webcomic )
alias_sqbr: exploding train (train)
SO MANY SPOILERS OMG.

So, first, off, the triggering content warning!
Spoiler: Just a line describing the trigger )

Ok and now some more detailed spoilery discussion, read at your own risk etc.

MORE SPOILERS )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
A fluffier, less morally ambiguous Farscape/Firefly-ish "found family of misfits have adventures in space" story where everyone is nice and there's a very obvious attempt at inclusiveness and diversity, including POC, queer, and disabled characters in significant roles getting to be fully rounded and happy. It's very comforting and light but still has enough narrative tension and plot to be engaging. Also, there's AIs. Overall I quite enjoyed it!

EDIT: After ranting to a friend my issues boil down to (a) It feeling pointedly Progressive while actually having a bunch of unfortunate implications (b) the author wanting the heroes to be Good People Who Do The Right Thing to an extent that felt morally and intellectually lazy especially given the author's narrow vision of what "good people" can look like.

But it rubbed me the wrong way 'progressive' speculative fiction often does )

Arrival

Nov. 12th, 2016 05:58 pm
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
This is a really good, thoughtful, humanist science fiction movie. It doesn't turn into horror or action halfway through, it's just about ideas and emotional truth. The heroine isn't badass in any traditional sense, but is still great, and gets treated like a real person instead of a Girl (eg she wears sensible clothes with her hair in a ponytail in situations where that's what any real person would do)

At times it crossed my personal line from "meditative and beautiful" into "ponderously slow" for a minute or two, and I imagine that if "linguist solves alien language problem by thinking about it very seriously" isn't your idea of a good time you'd it boring. But I loved it!

I read the original short story years ago and feel like the movie captures the stuff I loved about it (and I loved it a lot), some aspects didn't translate well to film (eg they do cut out the more technical linguistics) but other parts worked amazingly well. Knowing the plot didn't ruin my enjoyment but Cam LOVED the experience of going in unspoiled and I'm a little sad not to have experienced that.

There's very little "hard science" as in physics etc, Jeremy Renner's physicist character mainly serves as a sidekick. (I think the most sciencey thing he does to progress the plot is solve a fraction) But it's hard scifi in the sense of being about ideas. But also feelings! And a compassion for all people which is something I needed right now. It's also really visually effective, I'm glad we saw it at the cinema.

While ultimately uplifting in a bittersweet sort of way there's some very sad moments and it made me cry.

Content warning about one specific kind of sadness below. This stuff comes up in the first few scenes and I don't spoil anything past that point.
****Content warning, some spoilers**** )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
A space opera novel I wanted to like more than I did. In terms of basics it was good, I breezed through it quickly and was engaged the whole way through. But I am left feeling a bit meh now I'm done.

The things people recommended it to me for: diversity, space opera, robots, and maths.
My tl;dr thoughts on which are, respectively: good, ok, ok, and meh )
alias_sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Which is to say, things I am using to distract myself from stressing about our upcoming trip.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Comics:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 1: Good naturedly silly comic about a girl with the POWER OF SQUIRRELS balancing the start of college with saving the world from various random supervillains. Written by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics. She isn't sexualised at all which is nice, and there's understated but pervasive diversity.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Webcomics:

O Human Star: SO GREAT. A cantankerous robotics researcher wakes up in a new robot body 16 years after his death. Robots, queerness and the nature of self :D Compassionate and sweet and funny :D :D Still ongoing D: (currently mid sad flashback, but it's about the main character's death which is hardly a cliffhanger)

Games:

Read Only Memories: 80s scifi styled point and click adventure game about artificial intelligence. Only just started but so far it's charming and fun.

To the Moon: Found out the ending was very Sick Wife, removed from my to-play list.

Books and anime )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
So this I LOVED. It's exactly what I wanted: a fun reboot of the original which is funny and thrilling and charming and also feminist. Women being competent and weird and unsexualised and having complex relationships with each other and saving the world!! FORTY SOMETHING SCIENCE LADIES :D FAT LADIES :D AS CLOSE TO QUEER AS THE STUDIO WOULD ALLOW LADIES :D (which is not very queer. Holtzman flirts a little) ONE POC LADY WHICH IS BETTER THAN NOTHING I GUESS.

It was a very deliberate reversal of 80s comedy tropes, with Chris Helmsworth having a ball as the dim but pretty secretary who needs to be rescued. There's no romance, ones a little swoony over how pretty he is but seems to know intellectually that he'd make a terrible boyfriend. Instead there's just some really lovely female friendships (which are absolutely perfect for femslashing ;))
Some more thoughts, no spoilers )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
Saw this yesterday, and I liked it! Unlike the previous two, it was a sincere and mostly successful attempt to make an actual Star Trek movie: There was a mildly interesting philosophical conflict, some attempt at diversity, and a LOT of bromancey interactions between Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Although most of the film was made up of fight scenes and explosions, which were pretty. It felt a bit like an original series Star Trek episode spliced with a Michael Bay film. Sometimes that fusion felt a little strained but it was enjoyable enough. It's not SUPER scary but some scary stuff does happen.

The diversity was very pasted on, it is at heart very much a story about White Dudes Saving The Day, and while the fact there's a teeny bit of lgbt representation is nice (and it was handled ok) it's just ambiguous enough that a determined homophobe could say they were just Very Close Friends, and homophobic censors can easily cut it entirely. On the plus side I thought they were going somewhere Very Racist with the villain and they weren't, though he's still a POC-in-latex villain (with an African accent I think? I am so bad at accents) being defeated by a white hero.

Also Uhura and her relationship with Spock is so quickly sidelined it felt like the start of a slash fic. If it had actually turned into Spock/Kirk/Bones it might almost have been worth it but no, it was no homo bromance all the way. Sulu could have had more to do as well. On the plus side, the "Strong Female Characters who are competent and not sexualised but ultimately secondary to men" approach to women in this film is still more feminist than "Into Darkness". And the new female character is conventionally attractive but noone seems to notice, it all feels like brotherly friendship (I don't think we ever see her talking to any women. In general this is not a Bechdel Test friendly movie)

As someone who used to be a HUGE fan of the original Star Trek movies I did enjoy the cuddly bromacey feels. Everyone felt more in character than in the previous two, and there was in general a cuddly, optimistic feel to the Enterprise and Federation as a whole. Also, since it would have been heartbreaking given that the actor died: nothing bad happens to Chekhov.

And it really is pretty. Lots of cool science fictiony special effects.

Imzy!

Jul. 24th, 2016 12:06 pm
alias_sqbr: And yet all I can think is this will make for a great dreamwidth entry. (dreamwidth)
Thanks to [personal profile] snarp I got an invite to Imzy, a new social media platform some people have suggested might be The Next Tumblr. (Snarp herself described it as a possible successor to Reddit)

And...it is definitely not the next tumblr. THERE ARE NO PERSONAL BLOGS ONLY COMMUNITIES!! But the communities are pretty nicely set up, so I can see it being a good supplemental social media hub, assuming it takes off. I wonder if I could just make a "community" for posts by me lol.

You can make separate profiles that only you know are linked, including for anonymous comments, though I haven't done that yet. Also communities can be private, which I can see being useful.

Afaict there's no way to friend people but here's my profile anyway.

Anyway, if it sounds appealing I have five invites! Comments screened, give me your email address.
alias_sqbr: pretentious quote over a seascape (naughty shell)
So, as implied by my last post, I got Pokemon Go! As also mentioned, it tends to crash a LOT. I knew that going in but was still surprised quite how much it crashes, not just when you do anything fancy like open a menu but also just at random. And then the server doesn't let you back in like 75% of the time. It's very frustrating!

EDIT: It's free with microtransactions. I haven't spent any real world money yet but it's definitely tempting.

Other than that it's pretty fun. Pokemon show up in the world at random and you catch them, it's like bird watching. Catching pokemon is pretty easy, though it does require mild hand eye coordination. It's supposed to be an exploring game but a moderate amount show up for me staying in the one place eg bed. Unfortunately I had to turn off the cute "augmented reality" feature where they are shown as if they are in the world in front of you. It makes it crash, you see...
more details )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
A nice well behaved middle class 11 year old girl in 1920s England wakes up Wrong. Something's off about her memories. She's always hungry. Her sister keeps screaming that she's fake. Her parents start to wonder what's happened to their Nice Little Girl...

I normally don't like kid's books but I LOVED this with a FIERCE PASSION. I think all nice little 11 year old girls start to feel like there is Something Wrong With Them and Soon Everyone Will Know but this takes that experience and dials it up to a thousand and it was all very satisfying. The delightfully awful little sister is great too.

Note that this is children's horror, I found the awful things that happen cathartic but they can be quite awful.

Spoilers about what's going on and how it broadly plays out. I wanted to know, and am glad I knew in advance, but ymmv. I also mention the one thing I didn't like, which some people may find very upsetting.
Spoilers )

February 2017

S M T W T F S
   123 4
567891011
12131415 16 1718
19202122232425
262728    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Feb. 22nd, 2017 06:14 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios