vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Fourth book in McKenna's Tales of Einarinn series. It takes place simultaneous to book #3, With Ryshad as primary viewpoint character (and two or maybe three other characters as secondary POV characters). As usual, the primary POV is written in first person and the other POVs are written in third person, which works really well for me, as a reader.

Anyway, a most pleasant read. I would hesitantly recommend starting at the beginning of the series, there's a fair chunk of background, but it may be enough to sort-of catch up in this volume?

Linkspam for mid-October 2017

2017-Oct-16, Monday 02:53 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
I'm not doing regular linkspam posts anymore, but I had a pile of links to file and I thought I'd put them in one place.

Some advice for survivors and those writing about them, Leigh Honeywell (2017-10-12). Some great advice on talking to journalists that applies to situations where you're exposing any kind of wrong-doing.

Donald Trump to become first president to speak at anti-LGBT hate group gathering, Benjamin Butterworth for PinkNews (2017-10-11). Remember when people were saying "at least Tr*mp is pro-LGBT"?

[CW: rape] On predators who won't accept that they are predators, E Price (2017-10-12). "It’s important for men to question whether there are rapists in their midsts. But good men, really feminist men, need to go even further: they need to question whether they have ever been rapists themselves."

Sister Outsider Headbanger: On Being a Black Feminist Metalhead, Keidra Chaney for Bitch (2000-11-30). Good stuff about being in intersecting outsider identities.

We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made, Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton (2017-10-12). "Rick was a very talented developer. Rick could solve complex business logic problems and create sophisticated architectures to support his lofty designs. Rick could not solve the problem of how to work effectively on a team." (Other people have rightly pointed out that the author doesn't place enough responsibility on the environment "Rick" was in for allowing him to escalate his toxic behaviors, but the fact remains that some people deal with pressure by seeking help and support from others, while others deal with it by harming others in an attempt to preserve themselves.)

We Warned You About Milo And You’re Still Not Listening, Katherine Cross for The Establishment (2017-10-09). 'The hypersensitivity that reels from “trigger warnings” but thrills to Yiannopoulos’ joyful transphobia, that likens workplace diversity trainings to “gulags,” is what fuels the outrage culture about “outrage culture,” an insatiable rage that can never be sated by giving it what it says it wants. It will merely demand we make ourselves smaller and smaller until nothing of us remains. Reactionary outrage about “PC” is not a philosophy as much as it is a burning sun that demands our compliance as its nuclear fuel, consuming it endlessly until it can feed no more and goes nova.'

America Loves Plausible Deniability, Lindy West for the New York Times (2017-10-14). "When faced with a choice between an incriminating truth or a flattering lie, America’s ruling class has been choosing the lie for 400 years."

A guide to modern Nazi dogwhistles from [twitter.com profile] secretgamergrrl:
"Modern nazi dog whistles- Accusing people of "calling everyone a nazi." Specifically, doing this in contexts where it makes no sense. i.e. shouting "you call everyone a nazi!" when someone is talking about nazi book burnings in the 40s, or "everyone you don't like is a nazi!" in response to a statement like "this is a profoundly homophobic statement from this organization." The hope is that someone listening who has, in a more appropriate context, been at some point likened to a nazi will give some subtle gesture of approval, outing themselves as someone ripe for recruitment. A common variation is shouting "why do you hate Trump!?" when people discuss bigotry in contexts with no tie to Trump."

Cyrus Vance and the Myth of the Progressive Prosecutor, Josie Duffy Rice for the New York Times: "The progressive bombast is meaningless if prosecutors continue to promote the same harsh practices behind the scenes. Instead, voters must look closely at their policies and hold them to high and specific standards. We should ask: Are prosecutors opposing new mandatory minimum sentences during legislative debates? Have they declined to request cash bail in a vast majority of cases? Are they keeping children out of adult court and refusing to seek life-without-parole sentences for them?"

"Fun sexual assault fact: you only hear the stories we can bear to tell." -- [twitter.com profile] sarahhartshorne

2017 - #96, "Brute Force", K. B. Spangler

2017-Oct-13, Friday 07:23 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Takes place about a year (I would say, give or take) after the previous book in the series. What happens if you kidnap the wife of the head of a government agency, and the first child born to any two members of said agency? In front of the mother's child?

I wish I could say "hilarity ensues", but I guess "calamity ensues" has about the same ring to it. I think I've said that I like this series? Hm? You probably want to read ALL of them. Right now.

2017 - #95, "State Machine", K. B. Spangler

2017-Oct-13, Friday 07:18 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

The third book in Spangler's Rachel Peng series. This time it looks relatively innocent, "just" a murder, and some suspected theft. Unfortunately, the crime scene is in the basement of the White House. Again, a most excellent read. I could try to say more, but, you know, I can't quite figure out how to say it while remaining both entertaining and non-spoilery.

Oh, yes, there's one thing. This is, I believe, a point where the bok series forks (in one fork, the next book is Greek Key and in the other, it is Brute Force, the latter will soon have an entry all of its own).

On the whole, I quite like this series.

2017 - #94, "Maker Space", K. B. Spangler

2017-Oct-13, Friday 07:15 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the second book in Spangler's Rachel Peng series. All in all, eminently readable. It takes place a few months after Digital Divide and starts with a series of explosions "somewhere in DC" (sorry, can't be more precise, there's a specific street mentioned, but, you know, I am sufficiently unfamiliar with DC that it pretty much has escaped my mind, now that I get around to do the write-up several books and days later). Not entirely surprising, this ends up being very investigated and we get a ring-side seat, as we see Agent Peng, members of the MPD and several other Agents from OACET follow up and try to solve the crime.

Happy National Coming Out Day!

2017-Oct-11, Wednesday 11:40 am
tim: A person with multicolored hair holding a sign that says "Binaries Are For Computers" with rainbow-colored letters (binaries)
[personal profile] tim

  • I'm not transgender as in "we need cis allies", I'm transsexual as in "fuck you".
  • I'm not bisexual as in "here's my 5000-word thinkpiece on why that doesn't mean I'm not attracted to non-binary people", I'm pansexual as in "I don't eliminate potential partners based on their gender".
  • I'm not "gay" as in happy, I'm queer as in "fuck you".
  • I'm not liberal as in "universal acceptance and inclusion is possible while including fascists and white supremacists", but rather, anarcho-communist as in understanding what the Paradox of Tolerance means.
  • I'm not poly and kinky as in "understand my bizarre tendencies", I'm poly and kinky as in "almost everyone's conceptions of family and sexuality would benefit from radical change."
  • I'm not mentally ill as in "I need to be changed into a different person from who I am", I'm neuroatypical as in "other people need to accept the person who I am."


Go forward, do no harm, and take no shit.

hey, neat! (trek stuff)

2017-Oct-10, Tuesday 12:17 am
eleanorjane: The Enterprise at warp speed (vroom)
[personal profile] eleanorjane
I haven't watched Discovery yet, but I know Trek has been on peoples' minds as a result of its launch.

I have rediscovered, back in 2009, a series of posts I wrote summarising material gleaned from the Star Trek RPG then published by LUG and Decipher, as a primer to help people new to Trek pick up a bunch of canon-ish background material relatively easily.

As it's eight years old, I thought I'd give it a bump since Trek is back in the collective consciousness again.

The posts are on my canon: star trek tag. They generally haven't been updated to incorporate anything relating to AOS (except one bit), and refer almost entirely to the prime universe/timeline. Re-linked, since someone out there might find it useful.

2017 - #93, "Provenance", Ann Leckie

2017-Oct-08, Sunday 04:43 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Leckie is back! We're in the same fictional universe, but we're not in Raadch space (I think?) and we're pretty much not seeing anyone we've seen before.

Anyway, our primary viewpoint character (and, thinking about it, I think only viewpoint chaarcetr) is Ingray, the foster daughter of a Hwae politician, second in line (as it were) to be named heir, after her brother Danach. And she has an audacious scheme to further her prospects of becoming the named heir.

Then, things outside INgray's control start interfering with her best-laid plans.

Eminently readable. I can't say if I like this better than the original trilogy, or not. They're all good, so it's hard to do internal ranking here.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

What happens if you let the US Military-Industrial Complex play with biocomputers implanted in people's brains? Maybe you get cyborgs with... interesting complications. That's certainly the tack that Spangler has taken in this book (as well as in the A Girl and Her Fed web comic). And I just realised I'd left this in "compose" mode for several days.

No matter, eminently readable book. Based on this, I bought the following three volumes the other day, going "you know, it's time I read the sequels".

2017 - #91, "Alloy of Law", Brandon Sanderson

2017-Oct-05, Thursday 09:33 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is a book that takes place in (presumably) the same world as the Mistborn books. There's still allomancy and feruchemy, although it seems (FSVO of "seems") that the rules of allomancy have either changed or expanded. Or we simply had an incomplete picture in the first books.

All in all, eminently readable .All things considered, I would not mind more books tightly coupled to this one, sinc e it felt as if there were many more stories to tell, but I have not (yet) checked up on what the status there is.
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