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July 9th, 2017

06:30 pm: You know what the problem is with me watching shows like Midnight Diner and Samurai Gourmet? They leave me wanting to try about 3/4 of the dishes...

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/469989.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

July 6th, 2017

10:32 pm: Just came home from seeing Spider-Man Homecoming.
It's fun. A nice, relaxing teenage superhero romp, with an awkward hero and a perfectly fine villain. (Also, I quite enjoyed Peter's high school in this version.)

(On the other hand, I still want Tony Stark in jail for literally recruiting a child soldier - and continuing to do it. Damnit, Tony!)

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/469612.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

July 5th, 2017

10:31 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
Guess who is going to a work conference in Paris in the fall? And who will be staying a few extra days to tourist and will be meeting up with a friend from Legends of Tomorrow fandom for those days?

What I've recently finished reading

Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman: A Twist of Fate
And they're back to the weird mythological plot themes. And changing their minds about people killed off in previous issues. Oh well, that's superhero comics for you.

Garbi Schmidt: Ebba
On one hand, it's a very well-written novel, very evocative. On the other hand - it never feels like Ebba does anything herself? Her family arranges her first job, her employer arranges her education and work. It feels like all her life choices aren't - that life mostly happens to her. Towards the end of the book she finally takes a little initiative, planning a thing - and then her sister derails it completely and we're back to where we were.

And then there's the part of me that finds it a bit odd to read an entire book about a woman bookseller and not a single reference to Kvindelig Læseforening, considering the time period.

David Kushner: Rise of the Dungeon Master
So - basically a highly condensed history of RPGs told in comic book form. It was - less interesting than I had hoped.

Makoto Yukimura: Vinland Saga book 6.
I can't help comparing the Knud in these comics to the Knud in Martin Jensen's novels - and find him wanting. Mind you, the Knud in the comics is insane, so...

What I'm reading now

Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter's The Long Utopia (the key word here is long) and Gene Wolfe's A Borrowed Man.

What I'm reading next

Possibly Himmelbjørnens skov by Britt Karin Larsen, but we'll see.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 116

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/469366.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

July 1st, 2017

10:58 pm: Movies and TV Series of June 2017
June 2017Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/468999.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

June 28th, 2017

08:20 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme - actually on a wednesday
I can't quite make my mind up about the new Pokemon Go stuff. On one hand, I have a Muk I single-handedly defeated in a raid, and I've collected more coins in the last week than four weeks previously. On the other hand, it's very hit-and-miss sticking pokemon in gyms (and I'm not even bothering attacking a full onne) - they either get kicked out after five minutes or stay for three days. And as for raids - I want to raid. But I want to fight and catch the pokemons I don't have, most importantly a Snorlax, and let's be frank: unless I'm in the library garden or maybe at Fisketorvet, if such an egg hatches, there's not going to be anybody around to help me, and it's going to suck. A lot.

So yeah, I'm ambivalent.

What I've recently finished reading

Siri Pettersen: Råddenskab
Or Råta in the original Norwegian. Second book in the trilogy and Hirka is now stuck in the world of humans. Our world. And I must admit - it's still very well-written and engaging, but I did not find it quite as engaging as the first novel. I liked a lot of it - including the detail of a fantasy novel style map of modern Europe on the inside of the cover - but somehow, it felt less original than the first. Also, it was annoying that as soon as Rime had taken the beak, he pretty much stopped having pov chapters, and Hirka's part of the novel started after she'd been living on Earth for a few months, meaning we got neither of their first glance reactions to our world. And nobody got to react to Rime's tail - damnit, kid, there better be a way to fix that!

Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London: Body Work
I must admit, I liked this a considerable deal more than most tie-in comics I've read. Partly I think it's because it's actually written by Ben Aaronovitch himself, meaning that it actually feels like a part of the main 'verse and probably counts as proper canon, unlike most tie-in comics. It feels like a nice, little, urban fantasy police procedural that might have happened while the bigger cases weren't pouncing all over Peter Grant. Of course, part of it is probably also that, since Rivers of London is not a tv show, the comic book artist didn't try to resort to that ugly, ugly photo realistic style that so many tie-in comics use. How can fan artists so very easily make lovely, easily recognizable pictures and comics of characters, but give the job to a professional and they make comics I can barely make myself look at?

Michael Flynn: Eifelheim
This could have been a really good book. It has an interesting premise - aliens crashland on Earth, except it's back of beyond Germany in the 14th century and the Black Death is getting into gear. The Krenkl are excellent aliens, even if most of their concepts and science feel too recognizably modern, and their alienness was just being giant mantisses with a hive social structure, and the village of Oberhochwald and it's characters are interesting and lively and subverts many expectations the reader might have of medieval Germany. The writing is a bit heavy, but this part of the story mostly works for me - though I could have done without the odd mix of English and the occasional German words, which feels more like characters treating it like a second language when it does appear, instead of their first.

What doesn't work at all is the framing story set in a supposed "Now", telling of Tom the Historian and his wife, Sharon the Physicist, and how they accidentally come together to discover that there were aliens in medieval Germany. First of all - it's not set in our Now. It's set in some sort of near-future or alternate Earth, where something called cliology (apparently invented in one of the author's other books - history as pure statistics and predictive models, a bit like Asimov's psychohistory. I know that there are RL approaches to history using statistics and such, but this book just - seems to assume that that is the only sort of history that matters, and that "narrative history(?)" is - quaint and bad and mostly worthless?) dominates. Where historians specializing in the middle ages don't go to the sources, but have to be literally kicked out of their apartment by a wife tired of him disturbing her ponderings on the nature of the multiverse to even consider using sources from outside the internet. WTF? (Apparently, the author is a statistician and engineer and supposedly writes hard science fiction - honestly? His concept of historians seem mostly invented by himself.) Apart from me getting annoyed with the pseudo-historian part of the "Now" chapters, they just felt - unfinished. They never seemed to provide Tom enough clues that it'd be reasonable for him to jump to the conclusion of "Aliens!" We hardly see him do any investigating.

And then there are the parts of the "Now" chapters that set up conflicts - which the book then cheerfully seems to completely forget. There's Sharon getting told to stop her research by the head of her department, who worries it'll prove controversial - which goes nowhere past the chapter. There's Tom venturing into a library - unlike apparently every other scholar in existence in this universe, making you wonder why the library even bothers with opening hours - and meets a lonely, mousy, Asian librarian - and the book keeps hinting at them almost having an affair, except they never quite do, and all the conflict never happens. The "Now" chapters are dull, and it drags the entire book down, down, down.

So, in conclusion: I like the medieval chapters. I might have liked the Now chapters more, if they had actually allowed Tom to show his work as an actual fucking historian and not some sort of weird barely-a-parody of one, and if the promise of Tom and Sharon working together to make an amazing discovery had, you know, been kept. As is, it would have been better off without the frame story. It's annoying. And now I will stop writing about how annoying I find it.

What I'm reading now

Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett's The Long Utopia.

What I'm reading next

Garbi Schmidt's Ebba, I think

Total number of books and comics read this year: 112

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/468834.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

June 24th, 2017

11:51 am: Hmmm
So - have tried spinning a gym, have tried attacking a gym, have tried getting a Gyarados returned to me with a grand total of 3 coins, and is currently waiting for a Rhydon, which I put on "my" gym (well, it used to be the PokeStop I can reach from my usual workdesk - I've got ownership feelings) yesterday to return.

Also tried a raid battle today in a group with two total strangers. Which was fun, except - there were a few other local gyms counting down for more raids and I only had the free pass. (Also, it was threatening rain - which is now falling.) I suspect this might be a potential money machine for Niantic - what with the whole if you want to raid more than once a day you need to buy a pass. For that day. And I can easily see a group wandering from gym to gym, battling and catching raid bosses. If the raids happen like they did today.

Except I still don't quite feel like actually spending money on this. Though maybe. If I was with a group of likeminded individuals in a prime location.

Hey, [personal profile] lysanatt? How goes the hunting and raiding on your end? Tried it yet? (I mean, you are my go-to Pokemon Go expert).

Anyway, apparently Fisketorvet will have a Pokemon Go event on the weekend 8th and 9th of July, which I assume will include raids (I wonder how many gyms Fisketorvet has now). See, if I knew I had a likeminded group to spend the day with, and possibly going to see Spider-Man with at some point, that might be a fun thing to do, and I'd probably be willing to throw a little money at Pokemon Go for a day-pass, at least, if I hadn't saved up the coins at that point. If I had a likeminded group.

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/468520.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

June 22nd, 2017

09:30 pm: Perhaps I should rename this: Thursday Reading Meme?
I keep being a bit late with this meme. Bad me.

Apart from reading, well, there's life. I went on the summer work excursion with my department today. We headed back home to my old town of Elsinore, had a very nice lunch at a couple of centuries old restaurant, then headed out to Kronborg, where a former colleague now works and gave us a short tour. It was nice.

Apparently they now have free-ranging actors in Shakespeare mode wandering around Kronborg. Including Andrew Jeffers as Polonius (I did not immediately recognize him - my brain went: "You look exceedingly familiar. Have I threatened you before?", but it took me a bit to place him. Guess I'm used to seeing him in a dress). Guess that's one thing the Crazy Christmas Crew gets up to during the times that are not Crazy. (Which reminds me - I should make a post with a doodle soonish, shouldn't I?)

Also still playing Pokemon Go. Keeping an eye on all those new gyms that seem to be getting ready for - something. (I'm a little annoyed that the pokestop that I could reach from my work desk is now a gym, because that means I can't spin it right now...) I'm not entirely convinced I'll love the raids and legendary stuff, from what I've been reading. Eords like "most dedicated players" (or something similar) makes me less than enthusiastic.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a reading meme.

What I've recently finished reading

Gerður Kristný: Drapa
The story of a woman who was murdered by her boyfriend, retold in the strictest of old Norse poetry forms. Not as engaging as I'd hoped, but interesting.

Marjorie Liu: Monstress: Awakening
Pretty and pretty horrible. I'm not quite sure I'll remember to look for the next volume, though...

Marie Brennan: In the Labyrinth of Drakes
Cute. Not deep literature - and I think I've managed to spoil myself for something that's going to happen in the final book - but cute and fun and an easy read.

Martin Jensen: Kongens thegn
And so it ends. Hmmm. That series had its ups and downs, and I found myself disliking Winston more and more as we went along. But it's well-written and has an excellent image of the England of Knud the Great. Now - to pick a new medieval mystery series to read, because I'm not quite medieval mysteried out (actually, already decided I want to try the one set in Elsinore.)

Robert Venditti & Van Jensen: The Flash: Savage World
Why does everybody want to eat Barry?

Hans Gregersen: Mads Lange - kongen af Bali
I thought I should read something about Bali before going there, and since a Dane played a brief, but important role in their history, I thought I'd read about him. Maybe I should have picked one of the newer biographies - this is one is pretty dry and illustrated with black-and-white photos from the author's vacation to modern (well, mid-90s) Bali - and I was still left wanting a tv series.

Mike Mignola: BPRD: The Warning
And we're back in the present - I liked the former volume's trip to post-war Berlin better.

What I'm reading now

Siri Pettersen's Råddenskab, which now has Hirka Tailless running around in our world, The Long Utopia by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett (mostly Stephen Baxter, I suspect), and Eifelheim by Michael Flynn.

What I'm reading next

Probably A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe. Probably.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 109

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/468262.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

June 14th, 2017

08:07 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
Which it seems I completely forgot to do last week.

Apart from reading things, what have I been doing? Hmmm. Well, this weekend I hung out with [personal profile] blnchflr, [personal profile] lysanatt, [personal profile] ximeria and the lovely [personal profile] dancing_serpent. Both Wonder Woman and a nice boat trip to Flakfortet were involved. Both are recommended. It was a very nice weekend. Must do again. Though maybe not Flakfortet - it's nice, but it's not very big.

What I've recently finished reading

Daniel José Older: Shadowshaper
You know, if I had not picked this up at the library at the same time I picked up Half-Resurrection Blues, I wouldn't have touched it, because that book was so generic and uninspired. Which would have been a great shame. I very much enjoyed this story about aspiring street artist Sierra Santiago and her journey of discovering that her family is part of a magical community, the birthright of which she has been denied for various reasons. It's a very nice book.

Anne Rice: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Well - that involved a lot more aliens and a lot less mermaids that I hoped for back when the title was announced.

Michelle Sagara: Cast in Honor
The more I read these books, the more convinced I get that the things I like about them are not really the things the author likes to write about. I mean, mysterious intuitive magic is all well and good, but I'm more interested in the draconic bungling at attempted courting. For instance.

Félix J. Palma: The Map of Chaos
So, this is the third book in a Spanish science fiction(?) trilogy starring H.G. Wells. The first book played with putting him in a time travel story, and in the second the Martians invaded - so, in this one he's getting chased by an invisible man. Except, as it turns out, the two previous books have each been set in different alternate worlds and oh, time travel isn't possible. What the first book had as time travel is actually jumping between different alternates, which do not match temporally. And there's a bit about a dog.

I enjoyed Wells and his wife Jane (the Wellses and the Janes, I should say), I enjoyed the general weirdness of this universe - and I hope Mrs. Lansbury got to spend her twilight years somewhere nice with her dog.

What I'm reading now

I've just started on The Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan - so, all the dragons.

What I'm reading next

Probably Drapa by Gerður Kristný.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 102

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/468158.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

June 1st, 2017

09:33 pm: Movies and Tv Shows of May 2017
Pirates, shows ending and stuffCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/467945.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

09:17 pm: Apparently, Netflix has decided to cancel Sense8.

Assholes. You can't just stop it there, you already skipped so many scenes, and Wolfgang is still captive, and you only just started opening up the wider Sensate world...

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