However! As of my recent trip to Powell's in Portland, I finally hit the jackpot! So I've just reread the first one, The Magic And the Healing, and will be progressing on accordingly.
The heroine of the The Magic and the Healing is West Virginia vet student BJ Vaughan, who is on the verge of failing out of med school because she's just learned that she has a strong genetic risk factor for Huntington's chorea and is, as a result, incredibly depressed.
Before she can drop out of school, however, she is invited on a mysterious special rotation with Cool Professor Sugar Dobbs, who dumps a unicorn horn and some mythological material in her lap and tells her to be ready to present next week. Shortly thereafter, BJ and her classmates are making regular trips back and forth to the land of Crossroads, where Magic Is Real but Centaurs Still Might Need Prenatal Care.
Other vet students include:
Lee Ann, the extremely Southern one
Annie, the extremely Christian one
Dave, the extremely bro-y one (I feel like there's maybe a rule that all portal fantasies featuring several university students need to include one bro-y guy named Dave)
Laurie, the cool cynical older one who is not actually in the rotation, appears for literally one scene early on in the book, and towards the end is suddenly revealed to ( spoiler? )
DeeDee, the sugary-sweet one who is also not actually in the rotation, appears for all of two scenes early on in the book, and towards the end is suddenly revealed to ( more spoiler! )
So, A-plot is BJ discovering magical wonders while also dealing with depression, suicidal ideation, and the possibility of having an incurable, eventually fatal genetic disease; and then the B-plot is a jaunty story about our ragtag band of vet students jaunting between Crossroads and West Virginia, bonding with the locals and each other, and flailing about how to apply their current real-world veterinary knowledge to mythological species.
And then there is a C-plot about an invading army that wants to come to Crossroads and murder everybody in its path, but it's almost hilariously irrelevant for most of the book until you get to the end and suddenly our ragtag band of vet students have to join in pitched! battle!! for the survival of Crossroads!!! right before they all graduate and go off to join local vet practices. Like honestly you could probably just skip the occasional chapters where the king of Crossroads goes undercover in the evil army and you would not be missing a thing, nobody cares about this, get us back to the logistical challenges of getting the appropriate blood type for griffin blood transfusions already!
Anyway, spoiler alert, Crossroads is saved and BJ doesn't die. My memory of the next two books in these series is that stuff keeps on happening A LOT; I don't remember just about anything that happens in the second one, but the third one is burned into my memory for what remains (to me) one of the most bizarre romantic plot twists of all time. I'm looking forward to the experience!
Timeless wraps up the first season tomorrow. It's not brilliant SciFi, but it is very entertaining SciFi, and is pretty good at calling out how much US history has erased and persecuted POC.
Star Wars Rebels continues to be great, but I wish it would fully commit itself to the Mandalore plotline that’s been building up instead of the endless build up. I’m very much looking forward to some things in the trailer that haven’t happened yet.
I still enjoy Emerald City despite its problems, and I have so many questions about the past that can’t possibly be answered in the last two episodes without putting the main plotline on hold. At least it looks like my questions about Jane might be answered next episode, though.
The only new show I’ve checked out (or really plan to) is Powerless, which is a sitcom set in the DC universe about the employees of a security firm who work on inventions to keep people and possessions safe from superhero battles. It also falls into the realm of “really like but don’t feel fannish about” but really is a delight. Of the shows I’m watching, it’s also probably the one most blatantly anti-Trump.
I haven’t watched How to Get Away With Murder since it returned from hiatus and I haven’t watched any of this season of Jane the Virgin (I’m spoiled about That Thing in JTV, though). I’ll probably watch both when Netflix gets them this summer.
Right now, I’m mostly waiting for Underground, Into the Badlands and Brooklyn 99 to return from hiatus, and wondering if Still Starcrossed will ever make it to my screen. I think all my other shows are summer/late spring shows.
2. For a few US shows I’ve completely recently:
Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was a delight, due in large part to excellent casting and the actors’ ability to maintain an almost impossible pace for something so dialogue heavy. It’s hard to make something that requires that much dialogue and whose humor requires the narrator to step in so much to work, but they did it. My favorite character was Jacqueline, who had maybe 10-15 minutes screentime total throughout the season.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is a TV show set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi about a trio of scavenger siblings who come across a woman claiming to be a Jedi who survived Order 66, and help her look for the pieces of the kybersaber, a weapon that pre-dated the lightsaber. It’s an irreverent comedy that spends a whole lot of time mocking Palpatine and Vader, and the Empire in general. I kind of wish it was pat of the main Star Wars animated Universe canon, because there’s some good stuff in there.
I finally got around to watching the back half of season 5 of Haven now that netflix has it. I appreciated how fully it committed itself to its gothic horror roots and its devotion to the new mid-apocalyptic setting. I did not appreciate hoe it still felt th need to kill off any plot-important women who weren’t Audrey. It also somehow took an ending that SHOULD have been perfectly satisfactory to anyone and made it be awful and make no sense. Sigh.
3. I have been fairly fannish about kdramas and cdramas lately, though, but most of that portion of my friend’s list has migrated to tumblr, or are both here and there, so I forget to also talk about them here. Surprisingly, I’ve been fannish about Hwarang, which has been an admittedly fairly-average sageuk, but an enjoyable one, and utterly harmless. For an idol-heavy youth drama sageuk, it’s actually pretty decent, despite the almost universally-awful promotional material and trailers. It’s Silla-era and has enjoyable characters, and I’m easy there. It also has the worst fandom possible, largely due to stans of certain actors and their characters who believe the universe has horribly wronged them by not making the show and all the characters revolve around their favorite.
I’m also really enjoying Saimdang: Light’s Diary and Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, but despite the split-timeperiods aspect of Saimdang, both are being fairly old-school in their approaches, and so things are really just getting started. (Unlike Hwarang, both are also excellent sageuks by any standard right now, but not to the tastes or the more vocal parts of kdramas fandom. As in, there are no idols, and they’re busy being Serious Business Sageuks.)
4. Slightly related to the above, I’m glad Moon Lovers brought a lot of people to sageuks last year, but frankly, that drama was mediocre. Entertaining and with some bright spots, but mediocre both as a sageuk and as a drama in general. It’s popularity was because of the popular idols in the cast, Lee Joon Ki fans, the fact that it wasn’t set in the Joseon era, and because it hit a lot of fandom’s buttons for character overinvestment, none of which are actually related to quality. I didn’t bother finishing it when I learned that the final episodes literally killed off every single female character except for the one history said that it absolutely could not kill off. But it got a lot of younger viewers interested in sageuks, and also got some not-so-young viewers in that didn’t typically watch sageuks, but now I can’t go to any drama sites with seeing other sageuks and popular ancient cdramas compared to Moon Lovers and somehow being found wanting, with people going out of their way to find ways to compare them. Hwarang fandom is probably the worst about that. But every drama I’ve seen compared to ML in the last 6 months or however long its been has, IMO, been a better drama.
5. Completely unrelated to TV, I’ve been checking flights for WisCon and the prices are almost double what they were two years ago. Hopefully they’ll go down in the next month or so, but I’m not holding my breath. (I also have no idea yet if I have roommates or need to start asking friends if they have room. I know one of my regular roommates isn’t going, but I haven’t heard back from the other yet. I don’t think most people start worrying about roommates in February, though…)
I don't think either of the sequels is a patch on Howl's Moving Castle, really, and I thought this was the weakest of the three (the villains seemed particulary ill-developed), but even a less-good DWJ is still pretty good; it was a fun read and a nice bit of light relief after Dorothy Dunnett's plot twists and tendency to make her heroes suffer.
After weeks of watching aghast, of seeing a creationist put in command if our educational system, of watching a man who has made a career of stripping the earth placed in control of protecting it, of insults to my intelligence, my body, and my choices, this is a welcome reminder that we are, in fact, living in the future.
* knitting the garden cardi sweater now, but I need to switch to the blue hat if I'm going to have it finished in time.
That e’en after dinner (sure Arabella shows exceedingly) we have a little dancing, with Miss Millick playing the piano for us, 'tis extreme agreeable and I see quite delights Hester to watch us about it.
When 'tis done, Sandy and I are besought to undertake a little reading for the company. I have been about the library to find some plays that are not Shakspeare, to supply a little variety, and give 'em Mrs Malaprop, that is lik’d exceedingly. There is a proposal that mayhap on the morrow, we might read some play, or part of one, together? 'Tis a pleasing thought.
'Tis also desir’d that Lord O- tells us more of his adventures, that mightily impress the company. (Sure the morrow I must convoke with him about this matter of writing 'em down.)
I sleep most exceeding peacefull and wake only when Sophy comes bring my chocolate.
I ask her how she does in the household, and she says, o, Your Ladyship, most excellent well, Lorimer and Brownlee show exceeding hospitable and they sit together about their sewing and talk of their profession. And there is no saucyness from the menservants.
I am pleas’d to hear it, says I. And as 'tis still quite early of the morn, I will go take a little ride afore breakfast.
'Tis most exceeding pleasant, and I return with a fine appetite.
Sebastian K- is also at table. He says, sure 'tis shocking ton to raise such a matter during this very agreeable house-party, but he apprehends that I go visit my lead-mine, and indeed, they, that is, he and his father, would be most interest’d in establishing a business connexion in the matter, so would desire to be beforehand.
Why, says I, those matters are in the hands of the manager, an excellent fellow, one Mr M-, but do you say a little more to me concerning the business, I will open it to him during my visit there. Do you wait but a little while while I go change, and get my little memorandum book, and we may discourse a little on the matter.
So we do so, walking up and down and around the rose-garden, and proceed from a discussion of that very usefull mineral lead to how matters go with the polish factory, and about Euphemia and Seraphine’s preserves and pickles, and how exceeding prepossessing Herr P- comes on in the matter of business in Germany. 'Tis gratifying.
He then says, sure he would greatly enjoy further converse, but has been promis’d a lesson in archery that he should not wish to miss. Seems quite the crack at present.
Indeed, says I, was very popular at the Q- house-party, and Lady Emily is quite entire Maid Marian.
He goes off to where the butt has been set up.
I see that Hester has been wheel’d out in her chair to sit beside the fountain – 'tis clear she relishes this most extreme, and would sit out in the sunlight all day.
I walk over to her. She looks at my pretty muslin and sighs a little and says, you are always so well-dresst, dear C-, but sure must be exceeding dull for Brownlee to have to deal with my dull wardrobe.
Why, my dear Hester, there is no need at all for your wardrobe to be dull, just because you do not go about in Society. Sure does it not greatly elevate the spirits to be pleasingly dresst?
O, she cries, clasping her hands, do you think I might? Is’t possible?
I consider over this for a little. I daresay that one might contrive – a fine dressmaker might I confide come visit rather than you go to her – you are able stand a little, are you not? – she nods – so you might be measur’d and fitt’d at your convenience. Indeed I cannot see why should not answer. I will go about to desire Docket to advance your interest with Mamzelle Bridgette.
I perch upon the rim of the fountain and look at her. One may still see that at one time she must have been exceeding handsome. Sure, says I, perchance you might also have your hair dresst differently? And while I daresay you should not wish to paint, there are very fine washes and lotions for the complexion.
She sighs and says, for so many years has been her only aspiration to be clean and tidy, sure she never thought to primp. But, she says with determination, so be 'tis not vanity, she will be about it.
But, she goes on, now I am quite embarkt upon a course of self-indulgence, I will open to you another matter.
Why, says I, say on.
'Tis Milly, she says – Miss Millick, that has been governess here these many years, but that will be out of that place once Lou leaves the schoolroom. And 'tis not as tho’ we yet have a new generation ready to take up the horn-book &C. And, she continues a little sadly, I am like to suppose that Tony and Nan might desire a somewhat younger person that has more understanding of the modern ways. Now, my dear C-, I was in some notion to ask you was there any in your circles that might require a governess, but indeed, poor Milly’s age is against her and these days it seems more is expect’d. And indeed one hears that the lot of a governess may be very harsh -
Indeed, 'tis so, says I, thinking of that horrid D- family in which Ellie N- was employ’d.
- and already since Nan and Em have gone into Society, she has been acting somewhat as a companion to me, to fetch and carry, read to me am I too tir’d to read to myself, play a little musick, and such. Would it be exceeding selfish in me to desire her to remain in that capacity?
La, says I, did you desire a companion I am sure Lord U- would consider it entire proper, but might suppose you would desire some younger brisker woman –
O, she cries, I am us’d to Milly, and sure I should be distresst to cast her upon the world.
Why, says I, seems entire answerable.
Comes Arabella across the lawn with a tray, and Selina at her heels, saying she doubts not that Lady N- would like a little sustenance at about this time.
Oh, she says, that is so kind. And I hope that naughty puss has not been troubling you.
Indeed not, says Arabella, bending down to strike Selina’s head. What a fine cat she is to be sure. She and Lady N- smile at one another. She then turns to me and says, there is a collation laid in the drawing-room does Lady B- wish to partake.
Indeed, says I, this very fine air gives one a great appetite, so may I leave you to Selina’s company, my dear?
Hester smiles and says, she doubts not that Selina makes up to her for titbits and not for the pleasure of her company, the naughty creature, but indeed, do you, Lady B-, go partake.
I walk back towards the house with Arabella, that desires me to advance to Lord O- the desirability of certain improvements in the kitchens at D- Chase, for they are by no means as up to the mark as the ones at O- House.
Indeed I shall, says I, and upon going into the house make a little note in my memorandum book.
I find Lord O- in the drawing-room, that says, the archers have carry’d away a pique-nique to sit about and imitate the Merry Men in Sherwood Forest, but he is come to such an age and has spent so much time of necessity eating in such circumstance, that he prefers to sit in a chair, at a table.
I open to him Arabella’s thoughts upon kitchens - tho’ says I, I confide one might not be about improvements while you have company in the house.
Also, seeing that we are alone, I mention the Earl of I-, that was formerly Lord J-, and enquire whether he had any acquaintance with him. He shakes his head, but says he dares says there are some dubious dealings behind and there are fellows he might go sound out to discover more.
After a pause, he says, are you at leisure, Lady B-, perchance we might convoke over this matter of my writings?
Indeed, says I, 'tis an excellent time to do so.
So we go to the very agreeable room in the turret that he has set aside and furnisht as a study, that I exclaim upon considerable – has fine views and one may indeed see the archers. He hands me over some several pages and says, he can see himself that 'tis sad dry stuff, lacks that vigour that he has enjoy’d in the works of a certain Incognita Lady –
O, poo, says I, does one deal of curses and hauntings and horrid experiments the reader will read on very absorb’d.
But I con over his pages and indeed they lack that spark that animates the account when he tells it. I frown a little over the matter and sure I see points where I might present the thing more telling, just as I may when I scrutinize Josiah’s speeches for Parliament.
I then go ponder a little and say, sure I might come about to work this up, but I wonder, has he thought about who he goes address the narrative to? Did he perchance have some general reader in mind, and sit down to write as if conveying the matter in a letter, rather than as a scientifick report, just as when he tells his tales to the company he shapes 'em to their apprehension, might well answer.
Why, he says, indeed I think you hit it off, Lady B-. Sure there are already letters I writ to my poor brother, for altho’ was such a sickly fellow, greatly relisht the tales of my adventures. I had not thought of that, but indeed, do I go look 'em over – for he preserv’d 'em very carefull, the dear fellow. He sighs somewhat.
He then says, sure that is an excellent fine thought, and goes on, but indeed, should still be very gratefull might you look over my manuscript once 'tis more advanc’d, to see whether I have got the knack of the matter.
Gladly, says I.
He then makes a very generous offer of a donation to one or other of my good causes, that I am very pleas’d to accept.
2. Look at this silly Jasper.
Blue ink: Robert Oster School Blue
Pen: Aurora Optima blue chrome.
Red ink: Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot.
Pen: Aurora Optima 75th Anniversary.
Because Blacklist doesn't just jump the shark, it has FLYING SHARKS.
Uh, excuse my sad excuses for chess pieces. I didn't think to reference a chess set and I don't remember what the pieces look like except that knights are horses and rooks are castles. I should have done a rook instead of the bishop-thing.
Fandom: Mass Effect
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Kaidan Alenko/Female Shepard, Thane Krios/Female Shepard
Characters: Female Shepard (Mass Effect), Kaidan Alenko, Thane Krios
Additional Tags: Canonical Character Death, Earthborn (Mass Effect), Hurt/Comfort, Insomnia, Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Multiple Relationships, Nightmares, One Shot, Pre-Canon, Ruthless (Mass Effect), Soldier (Mass Effect), Tumblr: masseffectholidaycheer
Summary: Shepard's story is made up of sleepless nights, cooling cups of coffee, and conversations.
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harry Potter/Fred Weasley/George Weasley, Fred Weasley/George Weasley
Characters: Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Harry Potter
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Holly Poly, Injury Recovery, Hurt/Comfort, Incest, Not Epilogue Compliant, One Shot, Polyamory, Threesome, Threesome - M/M/M
Summary: Looking back, Harry wasn't entirely certain how he'd ended up working for the twins. With the twins. One of those, at least.
Fandom: Dragon Age II, Dragon Age - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Fenris/Female Hawke, Female Hawke/Varric Tethras, background Female Hawke/Isabela, background Fenris/Isabela
Characters: Female Rogue Hawke, Fenris (Dragon Age), Varric Tethras
Additional Tags: Friends to Lovers, Friends With Benefits, Hangover, Holly Poly, One Shot, Polyamory
Summary: Hawke hadn't seen it coming. Oh, it made sense, when it was all said and done. None of it was really all that surprising. She just hadn't seen it coming. Life was like that.
Let's see. If you bought anything from my Virtual Garage Sale post a few weeks ago and live in the States, you hopefully should have received your items by now. Let me know if they haven't arrived, and I'll try to look into it. (International people, yours will probably take a bit longer to get there.)
On a related note, that post is still up if anyone is still interested in anything. My finances are looking better for the time being, thanks to everyone's help, but it definitely wouldn't hurt for me to get a bit more money to throw at my credit cards and/or my savings account. If nothing else, it would give me more of a back-up in the future if things explode again.
I'll probably make some family- and work-related posts over the next few days, and maybe even some more fannish ones if my brain is up to it. We'll have to wait and see if it cooperates?
ETA: I mailed out the packages in batches, since I have only have a 45 minute lunch break to run errands during so I couldn't send out more than a few at a time. It's looking like a few people (two so far) who I'm fairly certain were in the last last batch haven't gotten theirs yet, despite it being over a week since they mailed out. They'll hopefully be arriving within the next day or two, if you haven't gotten your package yet, but please still do let me know so that I can look into it.