helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Fanwork Recs (fanwork recs)
[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.


Recommendations included:
  • The Avengers — art (1), fic (2)
  • Avengers Academy — fic (1)
  • Captain America: Civil War — fic (2)
  • DC Comics — art (1)
  • Hamilton — art (1)
  • Hannibal (TV) — fic (1)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road — fic (1)
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — fic (1)
  • Mass Effect — art (1)
  • The Musketeers — vids (2)
  • OMG Check Please! — fic (1)
  • Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch — fic (1)
  • Smallville — fic (1)
  • Star Wars — fic (2)
  • X-Men — fic (1)


On to the recs! )

What fanwork have you loved recently?
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
This article links to spoilers for Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.

In May, Marvel released Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, chock full of shenanigans and a PR campaign full of tomfoolery. Marvel decided they could tell a ~fun story~ via controversial means and promote it consequence-free using the Power of Social Media. It's taken me awhile to come to terms with my first really big Comics Disappointment (I'm sure I have more in my future!), and the discourse immediately after was too toxic. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
How you react to the first chapter of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee is a good indicator of your reaction to all the other wild things you'll see in later chapters. (My reaction throughout: "WTF is that? WTF is this? WTF IS HAPPENING???" You start with calendrical rot and end up in a battle sequence that uses a system of loyalty to create defenses known as formations that are then used to fight bad guys and resist weapons. But don't worry: there are robots (called servitors), so at least one thing will be familiar.

It took me a solid four or five chapters to feel comfortable in this world, and that's only because I started assuming the calendar was a form of time manipulation and pushed it aside until I had more world building in my toolkit, because I never understand time travel, anyway.

Approaching sans worry about what I was missing helped because this novel isn't pulling punches or providing tons of context clues to hold your hand. It wants you to work for the world building and the characterization and the visualization, and it's like this book knew that was my weakness. "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, BOOK!", I said in Chapter 3, "I'LL REVEAL ALL YOUR SECRETS!". By the end I was grateful because figuring out how all the pieces fit together was fun and also gut-wrenchingly painful because a deep dive results in lots of empathy pain, ha ha ha. But take some advice from an extremely visual reader: if you give this novel a try, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. ♥ Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Favorite Media (favorite media)
[personal profile] helloladies
Here's all the media we've loved in the last month. What's on your favorites list from May?

Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Fanwork Recs (fanwork recs)
[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again. Plus, this week, the launch of a new reccing feature!


Recommendations included:

  • Crossover: Johnny Bravo/Samurai Jack — art (1)
  • Crossover: Legends of Tomorrow & The Flash — vid (1)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic — art (1)
  • DC Comics — art (1), cosplay (1)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition — art (1)
  • Hamilton — fic (1)
  • Legends of Tomorrow — vids (3)
  • The Musketeers (BBC 2014) — vid (1)
  • Once Upon a Time — vids (2)
  • Uncharted — art (1)


On to the recs! )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Adventures Elsewhere (adventures elsewhere)
[personal profile] helloladies
Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet recently! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D


Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Because we haven't quite managed to work out a way for us to consume ALL the entertainment yet: to keep us from emerging haggard and zombie like after regular all night box set marathons, book splurges and music overload we've set up this quarterly space where we can express our pure fannish glee at the fact that so many projects of awesome potential are continually being made. All of our past wants and desires can be found in the We Want It! tag.


Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Guest Post (guest post)
[personal profile] helloladies
Today we have a delightful guest visiting us from elsewhere on the internet! We are excited to welcome Jenny from Reading the End to Lady Business to share several bits of cool knowledge about Unreliable Narrators. Check out her excellent words below!


Whilst planning this article, people variously told me that unreliable narrators are cheap show-offy authorial tricksiness, that nobody has time to spend worrying whether their own narrator knows what's up, and WHY WOULD I READ A BOOK THAT'S JUST GOING TO LIE TO ME? (My podcast co-host, Whiskey Jenny, very much does not like being lied to.)

It's also a slippery, wobbly sort of trope to pin down. Do we include the protagonist of Emma as an unreliable narrator, since her unflinching belief in her intelligence and rightness blind her to what's happening right in front of her? (I vote no.) What about the protagonist of Karen Joy Fowler's excellent We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, who tells us the exact truth but withholds a single, vital detail until about a third of the way through the book? (Again, and very controversially at my family's Sunday breakfast, no.)

And what differentiates an unreliable narrator from one who's simply wrong? We're asked to place the worst possible interpretation on Laurent's behavior throughout the first Captive Prince book, because we're seeing him through Damen's eyes, but that ends up being because Damen, like us, is simply not in possession of a full set of facts. So in the end, that's what I decided made the difference. To count as an unreliable narrator, in the super-scientific taxonomy I am about to unveil, the narrator must have the facts available to them, and their narration must convey to the reader a skewed, limited, or biased version of those facts.

("But Jenny, doesn't We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves count under that metric?" You hush. It's only that one single secret she doesn't tell right away. Who's the captain of this taxonomy schooner anyway?)

Here's the taxonomy in a nutshell: Unreliable narrators are being unreliable either consciously or unconsciously. The facts and events about which they are unreliable are either decipherable by the reader or they are not. This creates four lovely quadrants of unreliable narrators, and if I were mathematically minded I'd make a fabulous interactive graph for you. Since I am not you will have to make do with words. Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Fanwork Recs (fanwork recs)
[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again. Plus, this week, the launch of a new reccing feature!


Recommendations included:
  • Amazing Spider-Man — fic (1)
  • Avengers — art (2)
  • Ballet Shoes — fic (1)
  • Captain America — fic (2)
  • Crossover: Pride & Prejudice/Mansfield Park — fic (1)
  • Crossover: Mulan/Sleeping Beauty — gifset (1)
  • Crossover: Star Wars/Alfred Hitchcock — vid (1)
  • Crossover: Supernatural/Adventure Time — vid (1)
  • Crossover: Thor/Guardians of the Galaxy — fic (1)
  • DC Comics — art (1)
  • Downton Abbey — fic (1)
  • Dragon Age — art (1), comic (1)
  • Final Fantasy VII — art (1)
  • Hamilton — art (1)
  • Harry Potter — fic (1)
  • Jessica Jones — art (1)
  • One Piece — art (1)
  • Smallville — fic (1)
  • Stargate: Atlantis — fic (1)
  • Star Trek: AOS — fic (1)
  • Star Wars — fic (1), vid (1)
  • Transistor — art (1)

On to the recs! )
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira
A Darker Shade of Magic photo cover_adarkershadeofmagic_zps12923fe2.jpg

Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

Friends! I bet you have figured out by now that I am the local curmudgeonly contrarian, and I don't like anything. Well STRAP IN, because I have POSITIVE REVIEW today! And for once, it's SPOILER FREE!

Yes! A Darker Shade of Magic was delightful, and I have exceedingly few complaints about it (of course it wouldn't be me if there were NO complaints).

 photo sofuckingexcitedomg_zpsjx1yby3u.gif


Like All the Birds in the Sky, this is a book of and about tropes. The setup is trope-tastic; you've heard this all before. You have your world-weary but young magician struggling with his place in the world, your dubiously moral cutpurse scrappy lady, your ruthless evil mage, your overall setting as a portal fantasy. It's all very by-the-numbers, but A Darker Shade of Magic is an exercise in colouring inside the lines and making it sing.

Read more... )
spindizzy: A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic style portrait of me. (Lady Business)
[personal profile] spindizzy
Well, this sure is a mixed bag of things I read in the last month! I'm not sure how I ended up doing this weird mix of genres, mediums, age-ratings and degrees of... Let's go with quality, rather than consent, shall we? But I think I had a pretty good run of it all told, despite the fact that at least one of these books nearly got launched across a room at one point.

Books, graphic novels and manga read:
  1. Steven Seagull Action Hero by Elys Dolan

  2. The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham

  3. Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham

  4. Small Town Witch: Love and Wonder by Alex Singer, Jayd Aït-Kaci, Ariana Maher and Jen Doyle

  5. Small Town Witch: The Art Book by Alex Singer and Jayd Aït-Kaci

  6. Stranger in my Arms by Lisa Kleypas

  7. Behind The Scenes Volume One by Bisco Hatori

  8. Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

  9. Prince's Gambit by C. S. Pacat

  10. Kings Rising by C. S. Pacat



Well, it's kind of a mixed bag. )

What's everyone else been reading since I last posted?
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
owlmoose: (lady business - kj)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Thursday, May 12th, was a day of highs and lows for fans of television shows that feature female superheroes. First came the news that Supergirl -- an imperfect show, but one with a lot of promise and a strong focus on relationships between women -- was renewed for a second season and will be moving from CBS to The CW. This change is likely a good long-term move for the show, since The CW has a friendlier viewer demographic, and several of the other DC-related shows are already there (allowing for easier crossovers). Unfortunately, I barely had time to be happy about this development before ABC announced that Agent Carter will not be receiving a third season.

Friends, this sucks. CA: Civil War spoilers behind the cut. ) Unless it's continued in the comics, or the show finds a home on another network, Peggy's story is really over. And while I enjoyed the story that she got, she deserved so much more.

So, let's talk about that story. When I last looked in on Agent Carter, we were halfway through the second season, and I was happy so far, with a few reservations. And in the end, I don't think my opinion changed much -- the show did a few things I didn't care for, but I had a good time watching it. The season held together as a single story, and it ended in a satisfying manner overall. Except, of course, the final scene, which ended the show on a hell of a cliffhanger (which may now never be resolved). But as for where Peggy herself ended up, I'm reasonably content.

Spoilers! )

There is a fan-created petition asking Netflix to save Agent Carter, with over 80,000 signatures as of this writing. I don't have high hopes for it to succeed, but who knows? In the meantime, I will cherish the two awesome, if imperfect, seasons we received, and hope for Peggy's story to continue in some form. I already got more time with Peggy Carter than I'd dared to dream, and maybe my dreams will come true again someday.
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I've been sick for two full months and am halfway into a third. I'm finally pulling myself out of the pool of lack of productivity. \o/ The less said about my reading goals (heck, all my goals, from exercise to promised favors for friends to OTW work to sorting out socks with holes from my drawers) the better. Doreen's gone on a small vacation, but she'll be back soon.

(Also, I am bad at resting and not working which probably did not help me recover. DON'T BE ME.)

I'm still boggling over our recent addition as a Hugo finalist, too. I keep stopping to check the website, going "Is this real?" I guess it's hard for me to believe because I struggle constantly with the idea that any writing I do or any editorial influence I have is only passable (especially because I am a loudmouth critic who is still learning). And the Hugo is a small award, but it's very important to the people who give it their time, money, and energy, so I can't really sit and go, "Well, they're gonna figure out I'm faking eventually and I'm not that great." because that's insulting. My therapist and I have talked a lot about not robbing people of their feelings to force my own insecurities and anxieties on them. Let people have their opinions, Anxiety Brain! You aren't the boss of them!

So, to the people who nominated Lady Business, even if nothing I did influenced your decision (I mean, I do have great co-editors who are super rad)...

Thanks. :)

Recent Reading

Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Co-Review (co-review)
[personal profile] helloladies
Transistor cover


From the creators of Bastion, Transistor is a sci-fi themed action RPG that invites you to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as you fight through a stunning futuristic city. Transistor seamlessly integrates thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, melding responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling. During the course of the adventure, you will piece together the Transistor's mysteries as you pursue its former owners.


Susan
"Buy a bundle with the soundtrack?" I asked myself at checkout. "Why on earth would I do that?!" LITTLE DID I KNOW.

Ira
LITTLE DID YOU KNOW. As the game's developer, Supergiant, is apparently wont to do, the soundtrack for this game is absolutely gorgeous and woven into its storytelling and characterization. The music is a great way to start this review because it's so much a part of the game's atmosphere and worldbuilding. The game is set in a city, Cloudbank, that is ever-changing based on the votes of its populace, from what's on restaurant menus to the colour of the sky to the weather. We start the game with Red, the female protagonist, and a man's voice coming from the titular sword, the Transistor, and we face the Camerata as our antagonists. The cast also includes a variety of diverse characters, including people of colour and queer folks, though the way the narrative treats them is... complicated. Red is a silent protagonist, but the sword talks plenty, providing narration, commentary, and interaction. This is accomplished by absolutely superb voice acting on the part of Logan Cunningham, the voice of the Transistor. It's especially effective when he has emotional moments with Red or when he's being affected by the Spines.

Transistor screenshot: stopping to hum


Susan
Logan Cunningham carried so much of the game for me, entirely on the strength of his voice acting. The man in the transistor is our narrator, our primary source of explanations and world-building, and the voice acting adds so much colour and emotion – which is really what you need in a game where the protagonist can't speak for herself. The way he says Red's name breaks my heart, there's a world of backstory in the way he says "Hello again, Sybil," his pitch-perfect reactions – Ira, I don't think I can tell you how much I liked that voice acting, and the bits you picked out are the bits that got me too.

(The other voices are good too – Royce sounds like Matthew McConnahey's character in True Detective, played back at a slower speed, Asher is the right level of awkward stiltedness for someone trying to reveal and conceal the truth at the same time, and the distortions of Sibyl are appropriately unnerving – but the man in the transistor is the stand-out part for me.)

The voice acting is also what sold me on Red and the transistor's relationship in the early stages of the game. Who and what they are to each other isn't really clear for at least half of the game – I admit, I spent the first few levels going "Please tell me he's not a charming creeper taking advantage, that is a trope I recognise" until I caught up. But through the voice acting, it's crystal clear that he adores her, even though he's essentially talking to himself the entire game.

This structure – the transistor speaking mostly in monologue rather than dialogue – means much of the story and characterisation is told in gaps. Because Red doesn't speak at all during the game, you have to actually look for her characterisation. A lot of it is done through what the other characters say about her, or through her gestures and comments on the OVC terminals – public-access computer terminals set up all over town to enable the mass voting that Cloudbank relies on – but interacting with most of the terminals is completely optional, which means that you can actually skip half of the characterisation of the game's main character. But the way it's done is excellent - she can leave comments on news items and surveys, so you can watch her type, delete, type -

("Is it following me?" she writes, but she posts something different entirely.)

Transistor screenshot: stopping to hum


And there are only two chances that I've found to have Red and the Transistor actually interact, both of which come through the OVC terminals (one I actually MISSED the first time around - when I say that it's possible to actually skip some of the characterisation, I'm not kidding!).

Ira
At this point I want to pause and consider the problem of silent women. Read more... )

SPOILERS BELOW

Spoilers )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Fanwork Recs (fanwork recs)
[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.


Recommendations included:
  • Avengers Academy — art (1)
  • Captain America: Civil War — meta (1)
  • Crossover: Captain Marvel/Supergirl — art (1)
  • Crossover: Rainbow Brite/X-Men — art (1)
  • DC — fic (1)
  • Disney — art (2)
  • Dragon Age — art (1)
  • Final Fantasy XII — art (1)
  • Jupiter Ascending — fic (1)
  • Legend of Zelda — art (1)
  • Okami — art (1)
  • Marvel — art (1)
  • Megaman — art (1)
  • Pluto — art (1)
  • Sailor Moon — art (1)
  • Shadow of the Colossus — art (1)
  • Star Wars — art (3), vid (1)
  • Transistor — art (1)
  • Treasure Planet — cosplay (1)


On to the recs! )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Xena Recaps (xena recaps)
[personal profile] helloladies
Clare & Renay's Adventures in: Xena


In a time without a Black Widow movie on the horizon, two fans in turmoil cried out for a heroine. She was Xena, a mighty female protagonist forged in the fires of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The action, the camp, the queer subtext. Her adventures will rock their worlds.


Clare: Okay, kittens, let’s talk about vampires. Specifically, lesbian vampires. As we all know, vampires are a remarkably potent sexual metaphor (thus Interview with the Vampire), but Carmilla, the ur-gay lady of the night, actually predates Dracula by over twenty years. The lady vampire as subtextual queer predator has a long and storied history. Read more... )

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Queer lady geek Clare was raised by French wolves in the American South. more? » twitter icon webpage icon

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By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay is a long time member of slash fandom and nerdfighteria who stumbled into book blogging by accident and decided she liked arguing with herself at length and in capslock — it was all downhill from there. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

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