Star Trek: Discovery:
At Lady Business:
One of the things I loved so, so much about The Vulcan Hello, and about Michael’s character, is that both show that Discovery is in love with space. Michael’s space walk scene is a really obvious, hearts over the ‘i’s,love letter to space (as well as a clever wink to the technique of shooting Star Trek in the early days) and it is glorious. Her early scenes among the sand dunes shout ‘Yes, space is unknown and can be scary but look how amazing it is out there’ and then throw chocolates at space’s feet. Michael’s practical, exposition drop of an opening speech quickly turns into ‘I remain optimistic. It’s hard not to be in the face of such beauty.’ and a discussion of a binary star system while looking out onto beautiful space vista. Star Trek: Discovery <3’s space. Hard.
- Liz is intensely amused that there was plot justification for heavy lens flare
- There are Starfleet insignia on the boots. Like, these costumes were designed expressly to torture cosplayers, right?
- We were so busy having feelings that we kind of overlooked the plot stuff. Liz is intrigued by Michael’s upbringing and the bombing of the Vulcan Learning Centre, and is reserving judgement on the Klingon stuff. Are Klingons inherently interesting when Worf’s not around? Look, they can’t help not being Romulans or Cardassians. No one’s perfect.
- Liz was chatting to Tansy Rayner Roberts, who described the premiere as “emotionally intelligent”, and I think that’s a really good summary.
At The Mary Sue:
I’m looking forward to the far more gender-fluid future where gendered stereotypes lose ground, and anyone can be named anything that they damn well please, though we’ll still have to grapple with the cultural weight of names.
Elizabeth Bear on female characters and epic fantasy:
If women existed in the real world at the same ratios in which we exist in epic fantasy, the human race would be obliged to reproduce as do anglerfish. Which is to say, with one large female swimming along, going about her business, while a plethora of smaller males clamp their jaws onto her flanks, graft their bloodstreams to hers parasitically, and allow themselves to be dragged along with her wherever she happens to roam because it’s their best chance of having the opportunity to release a stream of milt over the eggs that she will inevitably deposit.
(Don’t read the comments.)
K. Arsenault Rivera on personal failure in fiction:
So often in epic stories the hero always makes the right decision, so often they act in the interest of the greater good. To me, it’s always been far more interesting—more human—when they choose to wallow a little instead. We might all like to imagine ourselves winning duels and pulling swords out of our loved ones, but we can all relate to making bad decisions.
A scientific study of cat personalities.
Call for Papers on classical receptions in speculative fiction.
The cat is briefly tolerant.
NK Jemisin, THE FIFTH SEASON; Jay Posey, THREE and MORNINGSIDE FALL; Ursula K. LeGuin, THE WINDS TWELVE QUARTERS & THE COMPASS ROSE; Walter M. Miller Jr., DARK BENEDICTIONS; Patricia A. McKillip, The RIDDLE-MASTER’S GAME; John Scalzi, LOCK IN; Anne M. Pillsworth, SUMMONED; Bethesda Software, SKYRIM: THE HISTORIES; and Paul McAuley, CONFLUENCE.
The cat awakes, and disapproves.
Courtesy of Tor Books: Jo Walton’s THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS, Wesley Chu’s TIME SALVAGER, Robert Brockway’s THE UNNOTICEABLES, Carrie Bebris’ THE SUSPICION AT SANDITON, and Jane Lindskold’s ARTEMIS INVADED.
What do you mean, I can’t have them back?
Visi, helpfully supervising my lunch.
Today, I have been attended by a helpful watcher. Cats. What can you do?
I had the idea that I was going to write about What I Did On My Holidays in the company of excellent people in Newcastle and Glasgow.
But I dug a hole under a flowerbed and buried my cat tonight, so I’m not feeling as cheerful as otherwise I might. Even the contemplation of Saturday afternoon at Barter Books…
Barter Books, Alnwick
and Sunday at Housesteads…
Housesteads Roman fort, Hadrian’s Wall.
in glorious company, of custard and cake in a café with pictures of cows on the wall…
A café in Hexham, after dark.
… is not able to make me a cheery human tonight. Nor the contemplation of Glasgow and lovely people and a delightful second-hand bookshop (Caledonian Books) where I found copies of Oxford Classical Texts in mint condition really cheap.
I brought things home, and the memory of good company.
Things from Newcastle.
Things from Glasgow.
But Vladimir is as cold and stiff and dead as my grandmother, and it makes me gloomy as fuck.
A leaning tower of research books, mostly. Since the cats like to come in and out the kitchen window, this presents… problems.
“Let me in!” Visi-cat complains.
I am a cruel monkey.
“I hate you.”
(Immediately after gaining entry to the house, Visi disappeared under the kitchen table and sprayed the wall. I hate you too, cat. I hope you’re happy.)
One of the neighbours has a half-grown cat called Misty who likes to come around and stare at me through the window while I’m working:
One cannot leave the window open and unattended.
Much staring. Sad cat staring.
She doesn’t like it when I try to close the window, and sits and cries.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the kitchen table, one of the resident household gods emits small snores:
“Don’t wake me, monkey, I’m busy.”
Today I met three tortoises in the ruins of the Library of Hadrian – the ruins green with spring growth of all kinds of plants I did not recognise, apart from daisies and the odd dandelion and green barley, white butterflies and at least one small red and black butterfly that could have been this or maybe this – and later, one very friendly, playful young cat.
Who wanted head-scritchings.
And to catch and lick my fingers.
And to catch my camera strap.
And generally to be admired.
So of course I obliged the youthful catling with attention and the regard that is every cat’s due (according to them).
I have been working in one lately.
This is the view of the outside of l’ÉFA’s (the French School at Athens) library building:
The French have nice premises.
This is a partial view of the inside of Salle A:
This is a lovely flowering plant that I wish I could identify:
Anyone know what the pink thing is?
And these are two of the three cats I saw in the garden at lunchtime:
White cat enjoys sunlight.
Hiding under bushes.
Two at once.
Visi, who’s taken to urinating at random all over the house.
Visi is much recovered from his recent wound, but I suspect he is under stress from the presence of Strange Cats hanging around outside. Well, poor lad, I’d be stressed too if one of them had recently put a hole in my face.
The free vet clinic found nothing wrong with him, so he gets to live in the bathroom until I can acquire soothing cat pheromone thingies to try, and see if that calms him down enough to give him free range of the house again.
Vladimir, annoyed by the fact he did not get to eat the humans’ chicken.
Mind, Vlad is as calm as he always is. Cranky, but calm.
Visi, the Younger Cat
Presently in need of fussing over, and bathing with Dettol and warm water, and treating with Sudacrem, and careful watching. Oh, cats.