Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Deal with the Devil

Read Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians, #1)

Nina is an information broker with a mission–she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

I love the premise of this story more than the actual telling. It was a little slow paced for me — I think the road trip format locked them into a less than ideal episodic format where basically every chapter is them stopping for the evening. Surprisingly a lot happened considering the format, so maybe it happened so quickly it didn’t mean that much? Speeding through them made them feel more utilitarian to the story than they needed to be?

I didn’t especially like the random scattered POVs from the other team members.

I don’t understand what her job was or how she made money off of it if she kept the information she bought rather than selling it on.

That said, I was delighted enough by the optimistic tone that I’ll probably read another book in the series. I really liked having a main character who is so active in trying to do good and build community (even if that was more tell than show since we didn’t really see their interactions with the community). This felt quite different from any other dystopian book I’ve read.

Categories
Science Fiction

Watched Westworld S4E1

Watched The Auguries from m.imdb.com

Seven years after the demise of Rehoboam, events are set in motion that reunite allies and enemies.

So, I have very little idea what’s going on in this show, except that apparently life sucks for everyone. Are they all living in shitty video games? Unclear. It has been a loooong time since season 3 and I basically remember a handful of character deaths and no plot.

Caleb’s wife gets two thumbs down from me: neg him for having PTSD and worrying about the family’s safety, neg him for being a shitty dad when he’s teaching his daughter things that matter to him and some of his feelings rub off on his daughter, jokingly threaten divorce instead of saying please, fuck off lady. You would both be happier with a divorce.

Surprise reappearance of a character I was wondering if they’d ever follow up on.

Categories
Fantasy

Read Iron Widow

Read Iron Widow

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

This main character was intense and unpredictable, which made for exciting reading. Didn’t bother me that it was YA, though that did mean there “had” to be a love triangle… which she subverted beautifully. Cliffhanger ending. Will be interested to see where this goes in the next couple books (I assume it’ll be a trilogy).

Beautiful cover 😍

Categories
Science Fiction Society

Personable surveillance

Liked https://mobile.twitter.com/Quinnae_Moon/status/1536207029538197504 (mobile.twitter.com)

We’ve all heard the joke about how people let wiretaps into their homes with Alexa et. al. But what about a wiretap you could empathise with? What about a wiretap that seemed so very like your dead grandmother or spouse? Relatable surveillance.

Worldbuilding (or premise) for a dystopian / cyberpunk story…

Categories
Political Commentary

Crowdfunded war

Bookmarked

A special kind of modern hell.

Categories
Science Fiction

Watched The Matrix Resurrections

Watched The Matrix Resurrections from imdb.com

Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more.

There were definitely things I liked about this movie, though it wasn’t very good, and didn’t make a lot of sense. I have a soft spot for Keanu and like most of his work (even if I don’t like the movie). It was fun that they brought back so many actors from the original — too bad Hugo Weaving couldn’t return (although he may be relieved not to be in it since the writing wasn’t very good). I appreciated that they kept Carrie-Anne Moss as the love interest.

The movie was extremely meta about being a reboot, weirdly so, and self-referential to the point of “quoting” the first movie by inserting scenes and clips. The plot often felt like an excuse to go down memory lane for the sake of seeing some actors from the previous movies, almost like a fan movie of itself. I feel like Lana Wachowski didn’t really want to make an action flick, and sandwiched some exciting action around the meta discussion and commentary she wanted. Unfortunately, the fight choreography wasn’t up to the standards of the first movie, and the final plot was so nonsensical my husband and I kept asking each other if the other was making any more sense of it. The sound mixing also made it hard to understand anything the actors were saying. I wish she could have made the movie she wanted instead of the movie the studios expected — or that they’d handed it over to a different director. This movie had a lot of interesting ideas that were sadly underdeveloped and overstuffed into something trying to mash together the highlight moments from the previous trilogy.

Loved the outfits of Morpheus 2.0. He was underused IMO. Overall there were too many characters, so you couldn’t spend enough time with any of them.

The prosthetics / makeup / whatever they used to age up a character from the first movie were uncanny valley bad.

Categories
Science Fiction Websites

Homebrew Website Club: Dystopia and IndieWeb Gifts and Commitments

Replied to Homebrew Website Club – The Americas (events.indieweb.org)

One big HWC, for anyone in the Americas(or who is just available) who wants to dial in. What’s Homebrew Website Club?
Homebrew Website Club is a meetup for anyone interested in personal websites and a distributed web. Whether you’re a blogger, coder, designer, or just someone who wants to improve …

Made it to Homebrew Website Club after a long month of NaNoWriMo!

Shared that I finished my novel rewrite and got onto the topic of science fiction. Johannes gave The Ministry for the Future a bad review — too naively detached from reality, and somehow cheating to jump ahead to everyone getting along from… today. He’d been excited to read optimistic sci-fi, but the execution failed. We agreed that it’s frustrating that so much sci-fi now is dystopian, and doesn’t offer a hopeful path forward out of our quagmire. I’ve been feeling lately, as have several of my writing friends, that we want to write optimistic sci-fi — I wonder if we can break free of our dystopian imaginations. It’s easy to imagine the worst… can we imagine the harder solution, to get to the best? Heard some writers positing that dystopia somehow feels more believable, more real, and that we critique utopia more.

David reminded us about websites 😅 and shared the 2021 IndieWeb gift calendar as well as the 2022-01-01 “commitments” to ship something on your own website. I’m tempted to do something for both / either, but have been burned by overcommitting myself before and doing too many “challenges” in a row… but also, website stuff is fun… so maybe?

I’m planning to go to IndieWeb Create Day on Christmas Day, and haven’t decided yet whether I’ll work on something for myself or do some more work on the mushrooms 🍄

For IndieWeb gifts… I wrote up most of a post of how I’ve been trying to get Indigenous working as a Microsub server through my website. But, I can’t actually post it since my subscriptions won’t show up in the app 🙃 I’m not sure what the problem is… I suspect the Microsub endpoint isn’t working properly? The endpoint isn’t showing up in Indigenous even after refreshing… But, my subscriptions do show up in Monocle if I activate the Microsub server via Aperture 🤔 Micropub is working in Indigenous, but a different WordPress widget creates that endpoint. I’m probably missing something 🤷‍♀️

Maybe working some more on my IndieWeb homepage proposal would count as an IndieWeb gift? 🤔 Someone brought it up in the chat the other day which prompted Aaron to compile a bunch of how-to and improvement resources on the wiki, and made me itchy to work on it again. What’s holding me up is not knowing how to do formatting in Markup, which is a silly thing to put me off it. I also don’t know how to add images to the wiki lol. Reminder to self: ask in the chat for someone to point me to Markup / wiki formatting guidelines, and the wiki image etiquette.

I’ve also been thinking about a more dramatic proposal for the homepage, with much shorter and more pointed messaging (feeding off interest following the Facebook / Meta literally-destroying-society-for-money-also-making-teenager-girls-suicidal crap and Web3 crypto bullshit), that would take a lot of information off and move it to an “About” page. I’ve been pondering whether it would be off-brand to make something too slick-looking for the homepage because IndieWeb is not corporate. My personal inclination as a graphic designer is to make the homepage look more in line with modern sites and less wiki-y but maybe that’s the wrong approach. What I’d really like to do is mock up how I’d design the homepage to look if it wasn’t a wiki site, but I don’t want to bother if it’s not possible to make a wiki page look flash 🤷‍♀️ I’ll probably keep it on the back burner for now, I guess unless someone pokes me about it or I need a break from editing 😂

Categories
Political Commentary Society

Our Rage is Not Hysterical

Bookmarked Our Fury Over Abortion Was Dismissed for Decades As Hysterical by Rebecca Traister (The Cut)

For as long as I have been a cogent adult, and actually before that, I have watched people devote their lives, their furious energies, to fighting against the steady, merciless, punitive erosion of reproductive rights. And I have watched as politicians — not just on the right, but members of my own party — and the writers and pundits who cover them, treat reproductive rights and justice advocates as if they were fantasists enacting dystopian fiction.

Also about how, for years, I’ve listened to Democratic politicians distance themselves from abortion by calling it tragic and insisting it should be rare, instead of simply acknowledging it to be a crucial, legal cornerstone of comprehensive health care for women, people with uteruses, and their families. I have seethed as generations of Democrats have argued that if we could just get past abortion and focus instead on economic issues, we’d be better off. They never seem to get that abortion is an economic issue, and that what they think of as economic issues — from wages and health care to housing and education policy — are at the very heart of the reproductive justice movement, which understands access to abortion to be one (pivotal!) part of a far broader set of circumstances that determine if, when, under what circumstances, and with what resources human beings might have and raise children.

In vast portions of this country, Roe might as well not exist already.

And still those who are mad about, have been driven mad by, these injustices have been told that their fury is baseless, fictional, made of chewing gum and recycled copies of Our Bodies Ourselves.

Rage works. It takes time and numbers and a willingness to express it, but it is among the most reliable catalysts of social and political change.

And this is an old article…

When I think about the religious asshole scumbag pieces of shit who want to control my body and police my sexuality, I can literally feel the rage simmering up inside me. (It’s not about the fucking babies. If it was, where is the universal health care to ensure mothers have healthy pregnancies, UBI for mothers so they can stay home with infants if they choose, funding for WIC so babies and kids eat healthy meals, healthy school lunches and breakfast free for all kids, parental leave for both parents for an actual reasonable amount of time on par with actually modern countries so that both parents care for kids and women of childbearing age aren’t discriminated against in hiring and promotions, and free daycare and preschool so women can return to work? Where is support and protection for part-time work so parents can care for kids and have a career with benefits like a human fucking being? Where are the demands for the things we know reduce abortions, like free contraception and safe sex education? Fuck anyone who wants to get rid of abortion without implementing all and I mean all of the above. They don’t give a flying fuck about babies if they don’t want to help them live healthy lives out of poverty once they’re actually born.)

Categories
Fantasy

Watched Sweet Tooth S1E1

Watched Out of the Deep Woods from m.imdb.com

A boy who is half human and half deer survives in a post-apocalyptic world with other hybrids.

Not sure about this. Saw someone described it as a bit of a fairy tale which feels true, but is a little odd for a dystopian story.

Sweet Tooth is one of my favorite comics, I think greatly underrated, so I’m glad to see them adapt it but not sold on the execution yet.

Categories
Science Fiction

Watched Fahrenheit 451

Watched Fahrenheit 451 from m.imdb.com

Fahrenheit 451 is a movie starring Michael B. Jordan, Aaron Davis, and Cindy Katz. In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young…

There were a lot of interesting and clever updates to this retelling to modernize it – the social media livestream aspect was apropos and chilling – but sadly the ending provided no closure and let important character storylines burn out without resolution. It could have been a decent movie if they’d rewritten the ending. As it was I liked the casting of Montag and Beatty but wish they’d been given better material. Disappointing.