spindizzy: Young Goku holding a candle. (Here comes a candle)
[personal profile] spindizzy posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
I think this was honestly the part where I rebelled and decided that NO I needed HAPPINESS and QUEER LEADS and if I couldn't have that I was going to have FAMILIARITY, so uh... Apparently when I rebel against the system it takes the form of "reading about queer ladies, alchemists, and fairytales."

  1. The Vision Volume One: Little Worse Than A Man by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles, and Mike del Mundo [Jump]

  2. Saga Volume Six by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples [Jump]

  3. Humanity For Beginners by Faith Mudges [Jump]

  4. 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron [Jump]

  5. Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher [Jump]

  6. Full Metal Alchemist Volume One by Hiromu Arakawa [Jump]

  7. Full Metal Alchemist Volume Two by Hiromu Arakawa [Jump]

  8. Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman [Jump]

  9. The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles [Jump]

Cover of The Vision Volume One Cover of Saga Volume 6 Cover for Humanity For Beginners

1. The Vision Volume One: Little Worse Than A Man by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles, and Mike del Mundo [Top]
I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this one, despite having transcribed the Fangirl Happy Hour discussion of it. It's... I find it to be kind of a suburban horror story, where an android has decided that the best way to get to grips with humanity is to... Literally create a nuclear family from scratch, move to the suburbs, and try to live like "normal" people? (Please come and speculate why this particular variant of suburbia is what Vision decided to build for himself.) Which is fine on the surface of it, except for the ominous introductions to the Vision's neighbours you get, that mention off-hand how some of them are going to die.

Except for the way that Virginia, Vision's partner, seems to be afraid of the Vision; of disappointing him, of him finding out anything that could suggest that his experiment isn't working.

Except for the Grim Reaper attacking the family, and Virginia having to take steps to protect the children, and that spiralling out in ways she could not have possibly anticipated.

It's good! It's unsettling rather than strictly horror; it's the sort of horror where a woman walking through the ruins of her house after her husband lost his temper so she can smile at her neighbours and return a cookie tray. It's people explaining in dispassionate tones why they lost their temper, or how distressing that their daughter kept calling for them despite them being there, and Frankenstinian attempts to fix daughters and dogs. The details picked out by the narrative and the art (an empty vase made of water, for example) tie into it in interesting ways. Plus, the fact that the narrator talks about these events as a future problem is a really good way to just... Build dread. Especially because we don't get the characters thoughts directly, we only get them through the narrator.

Like, some aspects of it feel inevitable (it's a story involving robots in high school trying to learn to be human, of course that aspect is going to end badly somehow.), but it's impressive how compelling the story is despite that. I know for a fact it's going to end in flames, and yet I am still desperately hoping that it doesn't.

... Although not gonna lie, I did expect Marvel to cancel volume two before I had the chance to find out, so...

2. Saga Volume Six by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples [Top]
I skipped volume five of Saga because my library has failed me, so I am probably missing a bit of context with what's been going on with Marko and Alana, fair warning! My understanding is that Hazel and her grandmother are in a detention centre, Hazel is attempting to pass as... not having wings... The reporters who got cursed never to speak of the story they're following have been uncursed, Marko and Alana continue to make appalling life choices, and the Prince is having none of this.

I... Still think that the art in Saga is very good, and the colouring is soothing to my soul. The relationships are interesting, even when (especially when?) half of the cast are car-crashes waiting to happen. There were aspects of it that I enjoyed (Especially "Anyone who thinks one book has all the answers hasn't read enough books." – when at least two of the characters were motivated by one specific author when I last looked, this is refreshing.), but on the whole... Eh. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Papergirls, but I am still okay with not reading any more of it because I think I was bored. Everything was exploding, characters I quite liked were being threatened, and I was... Still bored.

(This commentary on Petrichor's intro is interesting by the way, highlighting that a naked trans woman being interrogated about her gender before she even gets a name is sure a thing.)

3. Humanity For Beginners by Faith Mudges [Top]
I have reviewed this one for The Lesbrary! It was an absolute delight; it was cute and funny and cheerful and had a group of queer werewolves running a B&B in the Lake District. What more could I ask for?

Cover for 2k to 10k Cover for Jackalope Wives And Other Stories Cover for Full Metal Alchemist Volume 1

4. 2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron [Top]
I have talked about 2k to 10k before, I think I'm just periodically going to reread this every time I start writing fiction, not gonna lie, because it's really helpful.

5. Jackalope Wives And Other Stories by T. Kingfisher [Top]
I believe I've mentioned that I like T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon's short fiction before, but this is the first of her collections that I've actually read! I have a work-in-progress post about all of these stories, but I was so glad to finally read about the origin of the Grandma Harken from The Tomato Thief, and it collects some of the stories and general posts I loved and have read before (Editing, Pocosin, Wooden Feathers), and introduced me to new stories — shout out to Bob and the Unicorn, which made me howl with laughter. If you want to lure someone into T. Kingfisher's work, I think this would be a really good place to start because it shows off the range of what she can do.

6. Full Metal Alchemist Volume One by Hiromu Arakawa [Top]
I have Secret FMA Related Schemes so I don't want to vent too much about it, but Full Metal Alchemist is my go to manga rec. Whoever you are, whatever you're into, if you have ever expressed a tolerance for terrible things happening to characters you love I am going to try to force this series upon you.

The Elric brothers once attempted to bring their mother back from the dead, which cost them little things like "A literal arm and a leg" and "an entire body." They're on the hunt for the philosopher's stone, which might be the only thing that can give them back their original bodies. This volume, their search brings them to the church of Leto, where a Totally Legit Priest is using alchemy to win followers' hearts and minds, and everything goes exactly as well as you think.

Cover for Full Metal Alchemist Volume 2 Cover of Knit One, Girl Two Cover of The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh

7. Full Metal Alchemist Volume Two by Hiromu Arakawa [Top]
This was actually where I first came into Full Metal Alchemist, about thirteen years ago. I started with one of the most emotionally traumatising volumes and kept coming back, because apparently I am who I've always been.

This volume is really distressing! Especially because of the sheer... Banal evil aspect of it (Research funding! I shriek indignantly), and the way that it hurts Ed and Al. *sighs sadly* It's good, and it's a good way of showing what sort of world Ed and Al live in and how it differs from what they thought they lived in, but oh god, that's horrifying.

8. Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman [Top]
I reviewed Knit One, Girl Two for the Lesbrary, because it's absolutely delightful. It's cute and funny and believable, so if you're in the mood for a sweet romance about a crafter slowly falling in love over yarn-dyeing, cats, and fandom: this is for you.

9. The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles [Top]
Twas the week before Nine Worlds, and all through the house... Susan was having anxiety insomnia because new places and new people, so decided to catch up on all of those KJ Charles books she hadn't finished so she was ready for that author panel?

This one I'd been putting off because... Ehhhh. It sounded a bit too non/dub-con for my tastes? The titular Gabriel Ashleigh loses everything he owns due to gambling and goes to try to gamble it back from the person who won it, ????, one of the stakes ends up being sex, which sure seems like a great plan? It wasn't as skeevy as I expected, but it still isn't my preferred tropes, and it's a bit too short to really establish their characters properly — I think if I hadn't liked them both from the other books, I'd have just left this one. It's... Fine? but I wouldn't necessarily read it again.

Currently Reading

The Magic Chair by Diane James — It's a convention murder mystery, but set in the 1920s, and I am mystified and intrigued in equal measure.

Reading Goals

Reading goal: 79/150 (9 new this post) Prose: 37/50 (5 new this post.)
New-to-me female authors: 16/50 (2 new this post; Faith Mudges, Shira Glassman)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 27/80 (0 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerasfuckbookclub:22/79 (4 new this post; Saga Volume Six, Humanity For Beginners, Knit One, Girl Two; The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh)

FMA for the win!

Date: 2017-12-02 03:51 am (UTC)
xevokitty: Cats - Happy Cat (Cats - Happy Cat)
From: [personal profile] xevokitty
I've watched the original FMA, back when it was being released....somewhere....at an episode a week, translated. We've now seen FMA: Brotherhood, and I think there was another one we saw too.

It's a well-loved series, here. We just haven't seen the manga at a time when we've had spare cash.


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