Goth Detectives

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2014

As is traditional, I watched/played along with this year's Big Fat Quiz of the Year. I only managed twenty points out of a possible 42, which put me lower than spoilers for the performance of people other than meCollapse ) And there's going to be a Big Fat Anniversary Quiz next week, featuring a Goth Detectives reunion!

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practically perfect

my Yuletide gifts: Trixie Belden and Frog and Toad

My Yuletide gifts are completely amazing and everyone should read them and shower them with love.

Trixie Belden and the Sorrowful Sisters (9515 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 4/4
Fandom: The Trixie Belden Mysteries - Julie Campbell Tatham & Kathryn Kenny
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Trixie Belden, Honey Wheeler
Additional Tags: Mystery, buried treasure, Wait for it, Setting: Pre-1960
Summary:

Trixie and Honey discover a mysterious message in the woods, referring to estranged sisters and a 'treasure' waiting for one of them. But all may not be as it seems... (This story intended to be accessible to readers new to the canon.)

Someone wrote me 10k of shippy Trixie Belden casefic! The best thing about it is that it is absolutely written in the style of the books, including all the information you need to read it if you haven't ever read the Trixie Belden books, but you do like vintage juvenile mystery series and best friends who are opposites.


Frog And Toad Write Fic (1113 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Frog and Toad - Arnold Lobel
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Toad (Frog and Toad), Frog (Frog and Toad)
Additional Tags: Characters Writing Fanfiction, Yuletide Is Awesome
Summary:

Frog and Toad do almost everything together, so why not Yuletide too?

It's Yuletide meta fic! Very meta, since Frog and Toad wrote this treat together while they were waiting for the archive to open, which was extremely thoughtful of them. ;)


Frog and Toad Forever (1148 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 4/4
Fandom: Frog and Toad - Arnold Lobel
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Frog/Toad
Characters: Frog (Frog and Toad), Toad (Frog and Toad)
Additional Tags: Non-Explicit Sex, negotiation, Begging, Easy Reader Diction, Friends to Lovers
Summary:

Or, Frog and Toad are Friends with Benefits.

This is an absolutely pitch-perfect mimicry of the Frog and Toad books that also includes anatomically-correct frog foreplay and frog sex. Honestly, I think that you need to read it to believe it And you should definitely read it, because it is amazing.


Fair Trade (100 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Trixie Belden Mysteries - Julie Campbell Tatham & Kathryn Kenny
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Trixie Belden, Honey Wheeler
Additional Tags: yumadrin, Drabble
And one perfect drabble in the Madness collection!


I haven't gotten to many stories that aren't mine just yet, but the ones I have read so far have been amazing.

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Mike/Psmith

Wednesday reading — schoolboys

Probably my last published fiction of the year, with Yuletide opening swift approaching!

What I've been reading

I read The Luck Stone, which was a school story that P. G. Wodehouse wrote to an editorial request for something more "blood-and-thunder" than his regular school stories. Although it's mentioned in the letters collected in Performing Flea, because Wodehouse wrote to his school friend William Townend for plot help, it was not republished before this 2006 edition, probably because it is a bit terrible at being a "blood-and-thunder" story, although it is still pretty amusing at being a Wodehouse school story.

I read The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I knew a lot of people were really excited about these books and it took me a little while to get into the first one, but by the end I was pretty thoroughly sucked in. They're pretty profligate with POVs, which I sometimes found excessively choppy, but on the other hand I think they do a really nice job fleshing out the friendships among the main characters because of how they show all of them reacting to and thinking about each other. Only now I really want the next book, and the last one just came out.

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a face like a glass of water

Wednesday reading — books, television, theatre and newspapers

What I've been reading

I read Reality Boy—I knew that A. S. King had a new book out, but I didn't realize that there was also another one that I hadn't read. It's about a boy whose life was ruined when he made a disastrous appearance on a Supernanny-style show when he was a kid, except that the real problems with his family not only went deeper than what was shown on the show, they were greater than he was able to understand until much later.

I also read Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, A. S. King's new new book. I was not expecting the title to be so literal, since all of her other books have been realistic fiction, but this one has mildly spoileryCollapse )

I reread Bring on the Girls: The Improbable Story of Our Life in Musical Comedy with Pictures to Prove It, P. G. Wodehouse's co-memoir with his collaborator, Guy Bolton. It is enormously entertaining, and the way that Wodehouse writes about how writing for the stage helped him think about how to plot his novels is really interesting.

I reread Performing Flea: A Self Portrait in Letters, a collection of letters that Wodehouse wrote to his schoolfriend and fellow author, Bill Townend. Since the last time that I read this book—and I have read both it and Bring on the Girls repeatedly—I have learned enough about the respective sports to perceive that the one that Wodehouse refers to both playing and watching as "football" is in fact what I know as "rugby". This was a wholly unexpected revelation.

I read Unmade, the third book in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy, I don't know why—completionism? Curiosity? Desire to see if I was still convinced that there was only about enough plot spread over all three books to make one reasonably-paced one? (Spoiler: yes.) Oh well.

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the ordinary princess

Wednesday reading — injustices

What I've been reading

I read While We Run, the sequel to When We Wake. (I kind of assumed when I saw that there was going to be a second book that it would be a trilogy, but no, apparently not.) It was kind of disappointing as a followup, to be honest. I didn't really take to Abdi as a narrator, and also although it's a continuation of the same narrative, it's not really the same kind of story and I don't think that it gelled. Also, even though it didn't exactly leave me wanting a third book, it did seem like it was setting one up, which is a little odd.

I read Brown Girl Dreaming and it was amazing and extremely deserving of the National Book Award win.

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Re-Elect Governor Marley

video games and controls

I've been playing the new Game of Thrones game from Telltale Games. I don't read/watch/otherwise interact with The Walking Dead, so this is my first encounter with their newly-popular brand of gaming/storytelling.

When there's fighting, directions appear on the screen showing you which key you should press to execute the correct offensive or defensive maneuver. This is helpful, since I would be unlikely to make the correct choice otherwise, save by sheer flailing chance. Even with this level of handholding, I don't always hit the correct key in time, and dying is entirely possible. Luckily, every time you die, you just get a quick screen that reads "Valar morghulis," and then you get to go back to shortly before your untimely demise and try again. Sometimes, instead of pressing a key, you have to click on a thing, reaching hastily for the mouse/touchpad.

Even dialogue selection is time-constrained. No awkward pauses are allowed in any of your conversations! (Well, that's not entirely true, as you can select, intentionally or accidentally, to say nothing, but you can't hesitate too long and then select something from the dialogue tree.) A poorly-considered choice or a complete misclick could alter the course of your game, since, as the text in the upper-left-hand corner frequently reminds you, the characters will remember what you have said to them. Although, this being a Game of Thrones game, the character that you have been informed will make a careful note of what you have said to them is entirely liable to die before they can do much or anything about it, and then you've worried about what they'll think about you for nothing.

I feel like there should be a ticky box somewhere that you can click to say, okay, pretend like I've hit all the right buttons in the fight scenes and stop reminding me that all men must die already. I also really dislike WASDing my characters around, although since a lot of the game is closely choreographed you don't have to do it that often. I mean, I know that for people who play other kinds of games, these controls are second nature to them at this point, but I specifically got into adventure-y games for the point and click action, and clicking on where you want your character to go seems like it would be a perfectly acceptable grain of control for this game, too. Oh well.

Interacting with the canon characters is the most fraught, because you know they're not going to die off before what you say to them comes back to haunt you, and also the renderings of their faces can be disturbingly melty, especially from some angles. The voice acting is good, though.

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girls kissing

Wednesday reading — sex and shopping

What I've been reading

I read Shopaholic to the Stars. I might not keep up with these books so assiduously—they're still fun, but they're not as fun as the first few—except that my mother loves them and so I always read them for mother-daughter bonding purposes. (This is funnier if you know that my mother's idea of profanity to shout at a driver who has really pissed her off is "Stupidhead!" and she is uncomfortable when they show kissing on network television, and really these books should be much too sweary and rude for her.) I'm a little bemused that this one ends on a sort of cliffhanger involving an already-baffling subplot, though. They're more the sort of books where everything is wrapped up in one giant eucatastrophe at the end.

I read Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present. I was most interested in the 18th and 19th century material, which I thought was a useful and interesting overview; the later, yay-political-lesbian stuff, not so much, but that is, itself, of course, of its own time.

What I'm reading now

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones. Fake history, yay!

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a face like a glass of water

Wednesday reading — pronouns and languages

What I've been reading

I read Ancillary Sword, the sequel to Ancillary Justice. It was fun, and I felt like I finally got a better picture of what the Raadchai are all about in their day to day existence, which was more obscure in the first book.

I read The Secret Language, which was the only book of her own that editor Ursula Nordstrom ever wrote, which was apparently highly autobiographical. It is a classic boarding school story, and I have to say, I wasn't expecting the eponymous secret language to have syntax or anything, but I still felt slightly cheated that it only has three words.

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ehwaz

Wednesday reading — gods, elves and dragons

What I've been reading

I finished The Widow's House, the penultimate book in the Dagger and the Coin sequence. As I would imagine anyone who is reading these books has been anticipating since the beginning, Cithrin finally spoilersCollapse ) I look forward to the upcoming final book.

I read the first eleven issues of Thor: God of Thunder, collected as The God Butcher and Godbomb. I hadn't been keeping up with events in Asgard that didn't pertain to Loki and thus had absolutely new idea what was going on when I picked up the first issue of the new Thor featuring a female Thor and decided that I needed to backread. Both of these trades form one long story, which is actually reasonably dense and interesting. It eventually has minor spoilersCollapse )

I read the new Peter Grant book, Foxglove Summer. It mostly backburners That Thing That Happened at the End of the Last Book in favor of a standalone mystery about missing children, but it adds a few nice bits of worldbuilding to the series, and anyway I feel like the main reason to read these books is Peter's narrative voice.

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