bagheera_san: (Default)
I remain fannishly homeless, but one of the brief stops along the way during my absence from blogging was Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch series (consisting of three novels: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy). It was an actual stop, because look here, I wrote fic for it in 2016! Just one little thing which is rough around the edges, but not bad:

boundaries (bleeding at the edges) (5133 words) by Bagheera
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gem of Sphene/Translator Zeiat, Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen | Breq/Mercy of Kalr
Characters: Translator Zeiat, Gem of Sphene, Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen | Breq, Mercy of Kalr
Additional Tags: slight body horror, because ancillaries, and the Presger, this is the definition of Category: Other, but also extremely shippy, in a nonsexual way, post-Ancillary Mercy
Summary:

Zeiat expresses a sudden interest in becoming an ancillary.



With that little plug out of the way, let me say a few things about the Radch series. It's a sci-fi trilogy about an evil empire (the titular Radch) which is based on jump gate technology, sentient but enslaved spaceships which more or less require human drones and an Emperor with multiple clones of herself. Note the pronoun - the Radchaii only use she, regardless of biological gender, so one of the fun, mindbending sci-fi aspects of the novels is that either you think of everyone as female or you're sort of left guessing, through textual clues, what the human characters actually look like. The main character, however, is one of the ships, the Justice of Toren, or rather, all that remains of one of the ships: Breq, a single human drone with the ship's memories, who identifies as ship rather than human. For me, these transhumanist sci-fi elements are the best part of the story (although Leckie is also excellent at characters - her secondary characters are sometimes a bit flat/over-drawn but the main characters are lovely and complex and much time is spent on character interaction). My favorite characters are the ships (Justice of Toren and also Sphene) and the Presger translators Dlique and Zeiat (who are best described as 'other', I guess, not in the capital O, lit crit sense, but in the 'weird weird weird' sense). I also like the ending to the series, because you think it's going to be a Star Wars type situation where they take down the evil empire and that's it, but that's not what happens.

(Side note: I was also briefly into Star Wars as a fandom. Hux/Kylo Ren, yes, I know, I hang my head in shame...)

Imperial Radch, like all book-scifi-fandoms, is mostly a Yuletide affair, but it does have a decent following and it's pretty unique in that depending on how you view the gender/sex thing in regards to slash, it's either all femslash or all "???" (technically there are a few possible pairings where you could be fairly certain that it's two biological males, but slash isn't really a thing here). So if you go through the AO3 page it's full of that little back icon that means "other" with some green for gen, so that's cool :)
bagheera_san: (Ultimate X-Men lips)
On a whim today I went on Dreamwidth and looked at my profile page and saw that it was 6 years out of date. Six years? Has it really been that long since I blogged regularly? No, not quite, I was pretty active until 2013, but it sure feels that long.

Then I looked at my friendslist, and at my friendslist on LJ and I almost left again, because I'm not sure anyone here remembers me, or that we've still got things in common, and even if we do - after giving no life sign for two years (my last post is from Jan 1 2015) even the people who did know me might not care anymore. I'm a shoddy long-distance friend. This, by the way, is one of the reasons I'm making a post now: I was thinking of several friendships I had with people where I failed to keep in contact, and my LJ friends are one example. Another reason I'm here is that last weekend my boyfriend gently nudged me into this direction by mentioning that there are a lot of things I loved to do that I don't do anymore. He meant drawing and writing, I think, but blogging is also one of these things. He's right, and blogging is the thing I feel like doing, so I'm here now.

But looking at my friendslist, I also see that I seem to have come at another moment of oh-no-LJ-is-deleting-us, so maybe it's also a good time to rescue my old online presence!

I've been gone so long that I had to look up the html for cut texts... behind this one you'll find a brief summary of where I've been and what has happened in my life )

So, that's it. I think I'll give blogging another try, and see how it goes, and if I feel the itch to write some fanfic, all the better. If you still remember me and don't hate me for being MIA for years, say hello!
bagheera_san: (Default)
Hello 2015! Happy New Year to everyone :) New Year's Eve in the US is /weird/ - no fireworks! No people on the street! No noisy banging and drunken yelling all day long! I went to a pub with some friends and they had free party hats and a screening of the ball dropping on Times Square and people sang Auld Lang Syne, so that was nice, but still it doesn't really feel like New Year's Eve normally does.

Jan 1 also means that it's reveal time on Yuletide. Here's what I wrote this year:

First Steps (11207 words) by Bagheera
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Culture - Iain M. Banks
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: GOU Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints, Lededje Y'breq, Original Female Character(s), Original Male Character(s), Original Non-Human Character(s)
Additional Tags: Minds (Culture), Drones (Culture), Crimes & Criminals, Childhood, Artificial Intelligence, Surface Detail, Cameos, Meet the Family, Special Circumstances
Summary:

"Did I design you a warship or a party clown, child?"



Writing this fic was HARD (so many failed attempts!) but ultimately it all came together, and now that people have commented on it I feel very happy about it. If there was an active Culture fandom on LJ/DW, that could be my new fannish home. I love this series, and do highly reccommend it if you're a) into sci-fi and b) into socialist anarchist utopia and c) don't mind it getting pretty dark and violent at times. Banks had A++ politics, although I recommend starting with one of the later books and not "Consider Phlebas" (I reccommend "Look to Windward", "Excession" or "Surface Detail" [though this one has many triggery things, so beware] as starting points - each book has a different set of characters, so spoilers are rarely an issue). Check it out, people who like space opera like Star Trek or the Vorkosigan Saga!
bagheera_san: (Default)
OMG that was awesome. Not so much the episode itself, which was fine though, but the cinematic experience. I've seen people in academia talk about how cinema is a community experience, like theatre, and sometimes, yes, it is, when the movie does it right. And this movie? Did it SO DAMN RIGHT. It had some, let's call them framing devices right at the beginning which actually made you look at your neighbour and smile, as in, told you to do something that made sure you would laugh at each other. It broke the fourth wall, and in a very charming way - it reminded me of nothing so much as how Early Modern drama (very appropriate, heh) breaks the fourth wall especially in Prologues and Epilogues when the players as players address the audience. And this audience went with it. I have never seen an audience this friendly, responsive and engaged with the movie and each other. Good times.

Actual spoilers )

Well done, show.

bagheera_san: (Default)
Third post this week! Woohoo :D Brought on by the DW minisode "The Night of the Doctor".

I have extremely ambivalent feelings about this - about 40% YAY 60%NAY

SPOILERS... and, by my standards, an epic rant )

To illustrate the level of stupid: it's like if you watch Captain America and believe that Steve Rogers became a superhero because he got some vita-ray treatment. YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT.

Also, was there no budget for this? Or were they actually trying to make this look it was set in a Star Trek:TOS plastic cave? Though that is actually endearing, if cheap.
bagheera_san: (Default)
Just saw Thor. I think I can say this without it being a spoiler: after two movies in which my reaction to MCU!Loki was "yes... almost", this movie finally gave me the Loki I wanted :) Plus I think it's a cooler movie than the first Thor movie.

Thor: The Dark World )

Amsterdam

Nov. 12th, 2013 12:40 pm
bagheera_san: (Default)
I wanted to write a post about this yesterday, but since the German train system fucked up completely on my way home (as it usually does) I got home past midnight on Sunday and was extremely lazy/tired yesterday.

But: I spent the weekend in Amsterdam with [personal profile] x_los and [personal profile] aralias. Amsterdam is great (somewhere in my top 5 cities, I think) and seeing Katy and Erin again was even better. The reason we met in Amsterdam was an academic conference, the European Fandom and Fan Studies Conference. This was the first time I participated with a paper and a presentation and everything - I have been to conferences in Heidelberg a lot, but only as a helper/TA/visitor. But I'm now officially a PhD student! So that was exciting, and I have to thank Erin for pointing me at this conference. It was small enough to not be scary, but the people there (all of them fans in some way, although there were people talking about music and sports fandom as well as media fandom, so this was both like an academic conference and like a convention - I mean, these two types of event are always pretty similar, but this was explicitly so) were really interesting and nice and I met a German postdoc who will soon move to Mannheim, so we might stay in contact. I'm always a little anxious about choosing academia as a career, but right now I think it's the right choice :)

Amsterdam, as I said, is lovely, even in November and even if you don't do drugs (which we didn't). I think I shall go back at some point. And I talked so much about fandom this weekend that I'm really eager to get back into it now - I want to write things, but I'd also love to talk to people more. But which fandom? I'm really out of love with DW, even though I have somehow agreed to a maybe-date for the 50th anniversary which means I'm going to see an episode in cinema even though I'm pretty much guaranteed to be annoyed by it. I wish I could magically resurrect some nineties fandoms - I could really get into X-Files or Deep Space Nine right now, seeing as I'm doing complete rewatches of them with my RP group. I could get into Tatort, but that's a German fandom and if my paper on German fandom taught me anything then it's this: there's a reason I emigrated. I'm probably going to look into Blake's 7 since I heard so much about it this weekend (and got to look at and touch some genuine zines) and I'll see Thor some time this week, maybe even tonight.

Anyway - I'll probably be less busy in the upcoming months than I was last year. My exams are done, I have a regular job as a secretary/research assistant, and although I'll be working on my thesis, I think there'll be enough time to do other stuff as well!
bagheera_san: (Default)
Most of the reading I have to do for my exams is fairly boring in that it's stuff I already know about or have read before but need to revise (like gender linguistics, or Gothic literature) but some of it is also new and interesting. One of the two fields I picked for my oral exam in English linguistics is "cognitive linguistics and conceptual metaphor theory" and one of the monographies I had to read for this is a book called "The Way We Think" by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner (2002) and it's both challenging, interesting and full of weird examples that make the somewhat dry topic of cognitive operations a lot more fun. It's more a cognitive science/psychology book than a proper linguistics book, but it explains the mechanisms that underlie many aspects of language: analogy, grammar, metaphors, counterfactual statements (i.e. lies, stories, speculation) and how we manage to talk about complex, abstract or novel things by using a few simple human scale patterns.

non-fiction books I loved as a teenager, science as mythology, cognitive linguistics, metaphors, blending, hooker AUs, Turtle Starfleet, jail bait )

So, it's a really interesting book. (yes, I have been working for seven hours straight and now am too tired to finish this post in a proper way.)

Vikings!

Mar. 12th, 2013 11:21 am
bagheera_san: (Default)
My ongoing fascination with all things viking is ongoing and I have discovered by new favourite thing: History Channel's new show "Vikings"! Consider this a rec :)

Reasons why Vikings is awesome and also some ways in which it isn't, but you should still check it out if you, say, like Thor or Game of Thrones or anything medieval )
bagheera_san: (Default)
I saw a couple of people doing [profile] tropebingo, and I like tropes & want to write, so I got myself a bingo card. Bingo challenges are very relaxed in that there's not much of a word/content limit and no recipient, so if I get busy again it won't be a problem. Also, I can write ALL the fandoms!

Here's my bingo card: bingo )

\o/

Feb. 28th, 2013 05:23 pm
bagheera_san: (pic#5081202)
I survived my exams! And they were, in fact, much less horrible than I expected them to be. Translation was translation, I'm pretty sure it'll be good, English Lit was Hamlet (I was a little bit disappointed, I mean, Hamlet is SO OBVIOUS, why not choose one of the lesser known plays? But I had so much to say that I almost didn't get finished) and German Lit was also totally okay, because it was a pretty easy choice: all the poetry and drama questions sucked, so I picked the question about medieval heroic epics which turned out to be a great choice. I'm sure I passed every exam, and I'm also positive that I passed them quite well. The only horrible thing was how much my back hurt, because Heidelberg being the oldest university in Germany means that of course our lecture halls have to have these wooden bench seats that were designed as medieval torture devices and sitting on them for five hours will kill you if you tend to slouch or tense up.

But in conclusion: YAY :DDDDD
bagheera_san: (Default)
Hello! I'm not dead, in fact I still read my flist every day, I just don't produce anything worth posting. Still studying hard, and living life, and doing therapy and all that, and in the evenings, when I'm not doing social things, I feel the need for mindless entertainment, so a couple of weeks ago I thought, hey, why not check out that show everyone used to love way back in SV fandom...

Back then, I avoided Supernatural for three reasons: 1) I thought it might be too gory-scary, 2) the two main characters seemed like boring young white dudes whose main appeal to the fans was attractiveness and 3) I thought I might actually like it, maybe, and get sucked into a new fandom when I didn't want to be. Then Supernatural got more seasons, and eventually the angel storyline came around, and I sort of registered it through fannish osmosis. I like angels and demons when they're done well, such as in Dogma or Good Omens or The Prophecy or even Constantine (angels and demons were the only good thing about this movie), and I like pairings that are basically human/god-like entity (it's a mystery why I don't like Doctor/Companion, now that I think about it). But I still didn't check out Supernatural.

But a few weeks ago my resistance suddenly vanished and I decided to watch it. I watched the first episode, and while it was surprisingly okay, I wasn't really up for monster of the week episodes, so I skipped ahead to S4. S4 of Supernatural is awesome. I watched all of it, and then S5, and S5 has the most perfect ending. There are four more seasons, but I cannot bring myself to watch them, because I know they're not as good. I also haven't watched Seasons 1, 2 and 3 because I suspect they're also not as great. This has never happened to me. I watched every single episode of House even though it wasn't that great, and I stuck to SV way longer than I should have. I am watching every single episode of ST:Voyager with my roleplaying buddies (we're in S5 now) and by god, that show is so bad. (I loved it as a teenager, but now... no. Just no.)

As TV goes, S4 and 5 of Supernatural are rare in that they feel as though they have been tightly plotted in advance (with the exception of a tiny handful of fillers) and the showrunner did not cave to the tempation to draw things out just to make more seasons possible. You rarely get that except when the show is based on a book. And while Supernatural fandom is weirdly obsessed with how "painful" or whatever their show is, I find it just the right level of dark but not hopeless. Terrible things happen to the characters, but they have something that is clearly worth fighting for, and in the end, they (mostly) win. It's like Buffy S5.

In addition, Supernatural has is surprisingly funny at times, and it has great meta episodes and cool recurring characters, plus great music. The two main actors are not as talentless as I assumed (sorry, all I had to go on was the fans, and you guys mostly obsessed about their prettyness) - they're way better than most of SV's cast, but just as pretty. Plus, Dean Winchester is a pretty awesome character, and the fact that the two main characters are brothers is an interesting change from "two investigators"-pairs like Holmes and Watson, Mulder and Scully etc. where the dynamic is very different, and painful, co-dependent family dynamics play no role.

further thoughts on Supernatural, S4+5, angels, demons, tricksters, pairings, incest, favourite episodes, and things I like in TV )
bagheera_san: (Default)
So maybe you're wondering if I have any thoughts on the Doctor Who Christmas special, but I don't really, because I tried to watch it yesterday and only got through about half of it because my levels of I DON'T CARE became unbearable and I decided that sleep would be more novel and exciting than this. Not even Richard E. Grant could make me care, alas.

In other news... still reading/studying, Christmas was pretty much the same as every year (family not much into it, party with friends lovely), my mum and her partner have a new puppy in addition to our two old dogs (awesome!), I haven't read much of yuletide yet because there haven't been many recs on my flist...

Hope you all are having a good time <3 I miss participating in fandom.
bagheera_san: (pic#5081202)
Hello, this is me posting to DWidth instead of LJ, but for now I'll crosspost and I don't mind you replying wherever and however you want.

Things are going well right now, I'm continuing to study very diligently (if I had studied this effectively before, I'd be done with my degree three times over by now), I've come to terms with the fact that once I'm done with the exams, I will face my psychological issues, and I've been sleeping extremely well for the last week.

Yesterday I went to a lecture by Stephen Greenblatt (you might know him if you do English Lit or Renaissance Studies or stuff like that). We don't often have famous humanities guest lecturers in Heidelberg, so that was pretty cool. And quite thought-provoking, too, as it made me think about my own atheism (or whatever my stance on religion is... I'm mostly atheist, but sometimes I flirt with agnosticism, and sometimes I'm having pantheistic or animistic moments of magical thinking.)

If I didn't have to study so much, I'd be majorly into James Bond fandom right now. I've always been aware of Bond as a cultural THING, having seen all the films as a kid. I went to see Casino Royale at the cinema, but it didn't hook me in fannish way - Skyfall, however, did. So now I've gone back and rewatched a number of Bond movies - Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Goldeneye, Die Another Day (I hate Brosnan!Bond, really, really dislike him, but I love M), The Living Daylights and The Licence To Kill (I love Dalton!Bond and always have, he's my favourite old school Bond - the only one I find charming instead of creepily chauvinistic). Then I watched In Her Majesty's Secret Service, aka. Lazenby's one film as Bond. I think I'd seen it before, but this time was the first time I consciously watched it as "Lazenby's Bond" and seriously, Lazenby's a weird choice for Bond. He's incredibly British... and reminds me of Benton from UNIT in his hapless, somewhat awkward naivite. Also, the Sixties are weird, and still manage to make me go WTF no matter how much Sixties Who and Star Trek I've seen. I've yet to rewatch any Connery or Moore, but the way I remember it I kinda like Connery and I find Moore extremely dull.

Unfortunately, even though Bond fandom took off after Skyfall, it's pretty much 99% Bond/Wishaw!Q. I loved Ben Wishaw in "Richard II", but his Q does nothing for me. He looks too much like a hipster, and that's how people tend to write him. Besides, what I really want from a pairing with Bond in it is some sort of subversion of his womanizing, hyper-macho image, and Q doesn't really work as a foil for him in that way. I like Craig and Dalton because both of them are more vulnerable versions of Bond (but I also like Craig!Bond because he's presented as a brutal, somewhat unhinged killer rather than Prince Charming with a Gun).

Aside from pairings, what I really want is fic with M and Bond in it. I'm fascinated by the difference between M's relationship to Brosnan!Bond as compared to her relationship with Craig!Bond - in the Craig trilogy she is probably his closest friend/family, and he her most trusted asset, whereas M hated Brosnan!Bond enough to tell him he should have used his cyanide capsule when he was in North Korean captivity for a year (sound familiar? I really want some fic/meta about "Die Another Day" and "Skyfall"). I also wouldn't say no to some magical realism or sci-fi AU's that fankwank Bond continuity so that there actually have been six Bonds, or fics which examine Bond's motivation - is he a British patriot? A killer or a playboy for whom spying is a convenient outlet? An orphan looking for a parental substitute? Oh, and AUs in general - what else could Bond have been, besides a British spy.

Okay, I lied. I am really fannish about Bond right now, it just feels as though the fandom I want to exist for it doesn't exist. Recs are welcome, though, even if they will distract me from studying...

LJ death

Oct. 31st, 2012 12:10 pm
bagheera_san: (OMG)
Wow, moving to Dreamwidth is much, much easier than I thought.

You can export all your entries and your comments! And (sorta) your friends as well! ETA: okay, maybe not the comments? I hope there is a way, because that'd be sad. Also, DWs default style is nicer than my current LJ custom journal style...

This is just a preparation/trial run for a move in case I move, but if you want to friend me, this is me:

http://bagheera-san.dreamwidth.org/profile

LJ death

Oct. 31st, 2012 12:10 pm
bagheera_san: (OMG)
Wow, moving to Dreamwidth is much, much easier than I thought.

You can export all your entries and your comments! And (sorta) your friends as well! ETA: okay, maybe not the comments? I hope there is a way, because that'd be sad. Also, DWs default style is nicer than my current LJ custom journal style...

This is just a preparation/trial run for a move in case I move, but if you want to friend me, this is me:

http://bagheera-san.dreamwidth.org/profile
bagheera_san: (Two)
I may be very scarce in fandom for the next few months (until June, maybe?) because I'm finally, finally taking my final exams and finishing my degree. I started uni in 2006, so that'll be seven years on the magic mountain.

This means I'll have to study for oral exams in German and English Lit, Medieval German Lit and linguistics in both subjects, written exams in German Lit, German to English translation and English lit, as well as a 40-50 page thesis.

The worst bit is the amount of reading I'll have to do (and I'm a terribly lazy reader) - 50 texts (novels, plays, poems, secondary literature) alone for the oral examn in German lit, plus several medieval epics and accompanying secondary literature, I don't know how much in English lit, and quite a lot of stuff on linguistics, too. One of my examiners pushed me into picking Romanticism and Thomas Mann as two of my topics for the oral exam, and both of these means longish texts, otoh I'm not starting at zero there, as I'm doing with a lot of my other subjects (excepting sociolinguistics). I haven't even decided on any topics for English Lit.

My written exams are in March, my oral exams in April and May respectively and once I've finished my thesis I'll have the equivalent of an MA - or a mental breakdown. (Not kidding there. I'm not nervous during exams, but the nights BEFORE is another story).

Anyway - I'll be really really busy. Not too busy to check on fandom, but too busy for Yuletide etc, and if I write any posts they'll probably be on boring topics like stuff I've read.
bagheera_san: (Two)
I may be very scarce in fandom for the next few months (until June, maybe?) because I'm finally, finally taking my final exams and finishing my degree. I started uni in 2006, so that'll be seven years on the magic mountain.

This means I'll have to study for oral exams in German and English Lit, Medieval German Lit and linguistics in both subjects, written exams in German Lit, German to English translation and English lit, as well as a 40-50 page thesis.

The worst bit is the amount of reading I'll have to do (and I'm a terribly lazy reader) - 50 texts (novels, plays, poems, secondary literature) alone for the oral examn in German lit, plus several medieval epics and accompanying secondary literature, I don't know how much in English lit, and quite a lot of stuff on linguistics, too. One of my examiners pushed me into picking Romanticism and Thomas Mann as two of my topics for the oral exam, and both of these means longish texts, otoh I'm not starting at zero there, as I'm doing with a lot of my other subjects (excepting sociolinguistics). I haven't even decided on any topics for English Lit.

My written exams are in March, my oral exams in April and May respectively and once I've finished my thesis I'll have the equivalent of an MA - or a mental breakdown. (Not kidding there. I'm not nervous during exams, but the nights BEFORE is another story).

Anyway - I'll be really really busy. Not too busy to check on fandom, but too busy for Yuletide etc, and if I write any posts they'll probably be on boring topics like stuff I've read.

back home

Sep. 23rd, 2012 12:46 pm
bagheera_san: (tiger woman)
I'm back home in Heidelberg. 1000 km in one go on the autobahn/autoroute is the opposite of fun, but otherwise everything went just fine.

Three weeks in France with my family turned out to be not so bad :)

back home

Sep. 23rd, 2012 12:46 pm
bagheera_san: (tiger woman)
I'm back home in Heidelberg. 1000 km in one go on the autobahn/autoroute is the opposite of fun, but otherwise everything went just fine.

Three weeks in France with my family turned out to be not so bad :)

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