What I’m writing, 8/20

Aug. 21st, 2017 02:23 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
…Some weeks just not starting more ginormous WIPs is the real success, okay? I expended a lot of focus on absolutely positively not starting SEVERAL things this week (and… yep, that is definitely the only thing that was using up brain processing cycles this week at an unusual rate, YEP, TOTALLY).

Anyway. 

WIPs currently active: 5, because I bumped All Eternals Deck #2 off the list until I figure out what happens after the beginning.

Words written this week: 4,041

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 883, and I started writing Chapter 47 and then abruptly discovered where the floating point on the outline labeled [particular sex act redacted]? should go in the story, so. Whee!

Born in the Blood: 276, chugging along toward [more sex acts redacted]!!

Slavefic #6: 104. Okay, that looks bad? I’m at the point where I outlined things for this part of the series literally almost two years ago and now have to figure out how to hook them up with the stories that I’ve actually written, so there’s a bit of frantically-jury-rigging-a-round-CO2-filter-from-square-components going on. Hopefully none of which will be apparent from the end result. :)

Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 661

Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 2,117

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[personal profile] lannamichaels


Just now I picked up for the border of the baby blanket and I can't tell if the pick up is terrible and I have to re-do it because it's all v. v. v. scrunched together because the cable on the circular needle is too short. This is after I connected in another cable before I started picking up because I knew the original cable wasn't long enough.

Okay, so easy solution, connect in a longer cable. But even though I would swear that *I do have longer cables*, I can't find them.

Okay, so slightly harder solution, just connect in the many, many shorter cables that I can find. Except that won't work, since I could only find one cable connector and it's the one I'm already using.

So now I have ordered both additional long cables and cable connectors. And then someday I will be able to see how the pick-up actually looks, which is, honestly, probably terrible; I was having a lot of issues picking up along the cast-on edge.

I barely knit these days. I don't deserve these kinds of problems. (I keep being like "okay, switch to crochet, it seems easier on the hands", and then not doing it.)

Penric's Fox doing well

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:37 am
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
...it just hit #121 on the Amazon sales rankings this morning. I am hoping it will crack two figures at some point on its initial sales arc, but since they change hourly, that's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it proposition.

Amazon sales rankings are a snare and a delusion and clickbait, which I suppose means they're working fine for Amazon, but they are the only real-time feedback an author can have, which is a new thing in the world. One used to have to wait up to a year and a half for the first royalty report for data on how one's baby book was doing had done out there in the world.

Speaking of "Fox", I meant to post this quote from a reader who had never read any of the Penric & Desdemona tales, and kindly agreed to test drive it: "Did it stand alone? Absolutely."

I've already spotted some reviews from old readers insisting, wrongly, it must be otherwise, which makes it much like other series work I've done. The most frustrating lately was for Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, with scads of old readers putting off new ones by claiming they had to read umpty-ump other books first, and the few new ones who slipped through the net, and read the book in front of them just as it was, saying it was fine.

(The latter, sadly small, group may actually have had a better and clearer read due to not having to fight through a forest of settled preconceptions first.)

So I think it might be better to take advice only from new readers, on this point.

Ta, L.




posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

question for gardeners

Aug. 19th, 2017 02:41 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
All right, can anyone positively identify this mystery plant? It came up as a volunteer on the north side of my house, and seems to be self-seeding, because it keeps coming back each year. It blooms like this from the first week of August till frost. Bumblebees love it. Minnesota.






Pleased but puzzled, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

uncorked

Aug. 18th, 2017 06:07 pm
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
[personal profile] philomytha
This fic WILL NOT STOP. I have passed 10,000 words and it just keeps spawning new complications every time I think I've got something nailed down. It was only meant to be about 2-3000 words and the whole second half was going to be sorted out in about three paragraphs. I'm blaming MacDonnell on the Heights for some of it because it is just such a Barrayaran military song and every time it comes up on my playlist I come up with a new problem for Vorhalas to wrangle with. You know that on Barrayar they love songs about the loyal lieutenant who takes up the standard when the great general falls, and gets killed just before he can win the battle and ends up buried beside his general. But it feels like I've got about three years' worth of words coming uncorked all of a sudden; I'm fairly sure I've written more this month than I did in all of 2015. The finish line is in sight now, maybe, but there's still a lot to sort out.

The current tricky bit is, what are the practical and legal consequences if a serving officer's District Count orders him to disobey his military superiors? I ask because I had Vorhalas do this in the current draft, and then when I was writing a bit of dialogue slightly later Vorhalas outright said he would never do that, so now I have to go back and fix it, because of course he wouldn't. But I'm inviting speculation here - what would happen on Barrayar if some hypothetical count and some hypothetical officer did this, to both the officer and the count?

ot: Huge Heyer Sale

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:26 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
There's a huge sale on Georgette Heyer novels over on bn.com and amazon. Lots & lots of screens of e-books for 2.99 each.

Squee!

Hugo arrives from Finland

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:32 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
We live in a remarkable world. Does anyone else notice...?

Anyway.

Out of the box.




Some assembly required. Delayed by a hunt for a socket wrench that fit, which at length proved to be the handle that holds the other socket wrenches.




Together! Am I an engineer's daughter or what.




The front plate.




United with its siblings.




Ta, L.

Later, by request at @16, a larger group shot:



If anyone wants more data:

http://www.sfadb.com/Lois_McMaster_Bu...

Foreground needs cropped, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. It'll do for a snapshot.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

ot: Ursula Vernon in Iceland

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:31 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
Ursula Vernon, who just won the Best Novelette Hugo, stopped in Iceland en route to WorldCon. She was with her husband Kevin, his cousin, Amy, & their friend Tina. They storified the trip, here:

https://storify.com/RebelsHeart/ursula-vernon-and-friends-vs-iceland

There're lots of gorgeous photos & great snark.

What I'm reading Wednesday, 8/16/17

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:38 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Books: Currently in the middle of Abroad by Liz Jacobs, Who Is One Of Us, and about to start reading... one of the two books I still have checked out from the library about the Chicago River and what its deal is.

Books finished: I just finished rereading Persuasion and IT CONTINUES TO BE THE BEST OF THE TWO JANE AUSTEN NOVELS I HAVE EVER ACTUALLY READ.

To the surprise of no one, I did in fact mentally work out the AU where Bitty is Anne, and then [personal profile] staranise lured me into joining her contemplation of the AU where JACK is Anne and in conclusion I am definitely not writing any Persuasion AUs ever.

...Because I am totally onto "what if Jack hadn't gotten an NCAA waiver to play at Samwell after playing in the QMJHL" AUs now.

Ahem. Where was I. READING THINGS, RIGHT.

Fic: Still 15 WIPs bookmarked! [archiveofourown.org profile] maculategiraffe's Fallout 4 series updated today and IT IS GREAT AND MIGHT EAT YOUR LIFE!! I've managed to get my Marked for Later list on AO3 down to... 99! Although my "To reread" bookmark tag is up to 39.

Fic finished:

(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently--you can see all my bookmarks at http://archiveofourown.org/users/dsudis/bookmarks)

the black lake by alcibiades (Bucky/Steve, T, 9k) Ohhh boy I hadn't had my heart shredded by a recovering!Bucky story in a while, so this was. OH BUCKY HONEY. PLEASE KEEP GETTING BETTER.

In So Many Words by alocalband (Nursey/Dex, M, 17k) In which Nurse writes stories that... all... seem... to be... the same... story. And they're all about him and Dex even when they're NOT ABOUT HIM AND DEX. <3

Short Circuit by Chiyume (Bucky/Steve, E, 20k) Bucky's arm gets damaged and starts giving him an... unusual... variety of sensory feedback every time it's touched. Which would be a lot easier for him to explain to Steve if he and Steve weren't both firmly convinced that the other isn't interested in him like that. (I would love about a million more stories about Bucky's arm getting cross-wired like this, but this one was definitely A GREAT START. :D)

You Make Me Look Legitimate. by Lanna Michaels (Bitty/Jack, G, 3k) LANNA WROTE FIC FOR MEEEEE ABOUT BITTY GOING TO THE 2018 OLYMPICS AND IT IS ADORABLE AND GREAT!!! <3 <3 <3

Hugo's Progress

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:37 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
Wow, my Hugo trophy is having a Grand Tour. Although I don't suppose it gets to see much from inside a cardboard box.

When it arrives, I'll post a picture.

Location Date Local Time Activity
Philadelphia, PA, United States 08/16/2017 12:43 P.M. Import Scan
08/16/2017 7:51 A.M. Arrival Scan
Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France 08/16/2017 5:40 A.M. Departure Scan
Koeln, Germany 08/16/2017 4:29 A.M. Departure Scan
Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France 08/16/2017 4:22 A.M. Arrival Scan
Koeln, Germany 08/16/2017 12:59 A.M. Arrival Scan
Malmo Sturup, Sweden 08/15/2017 11:43 P.M. Departure Scan
08/15/2017 10:29 P.M. Arrival Scan
Vantaa, Finland 08/15/2017 9:56 P.M. Departure Scan
Helsinki, Finland 08/15/2017 9:16 P.M. Departure Scan
08/15/2017 7:16 P.M. Export Scan
08/15/2017 6:21 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release. / Your package was released by the clearing agency.
08/15/2017 6:13 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
Finland 08/15/2017 1:06 A.M. (ET) Order Processed: Ready for UPS


My nephew flies internationally for UPS. It's amusing to imagine him transporting it for me, although he more commonly flies trans-Pacific.

Best (or at least most writerly) tale he told me: the week J.K. Rowling's last Harry Potter book was released, UPS had to lay on extra flights to get all the books to the bookstores.

Now, there's a benchmark for success...

Ta, L.

Thur. afternoon update -- It has been out joyriding around Minneapolis in a brown truck since 9:30 this morning. Surely not much longer now...?

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20
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[personal profile] lannamichaels


Title: You Make Me Look Legitimate. (On Archive Of Our Own)
Author: [personal profile] lannamichaels
Fandom: Check Please
Pairing: Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann
Rating: G
A/N: This is 100% [personal profile] dira's fault and I have the chat log to prove it. :P The title is from I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory by Kathleen Edwards, which is a wonderful country song about Canadian hockey.

Summary: Eric Bittle gets the call from the national team at 3AM.


2018 Olympics! )

fairestcat: Bobbi Morse, a blonde woman standing in the rain, with a mask-like pair of glasses pushed up on her head (Bobbi Morse)
[personal profile] fairestcat
I'm really excited about this. I stepped outside my comfort zone and volunteered to write a monthly Column about Marvel comics over at Women Write About Comics.

My first post went up today and you can read it here.

This is my first time in a long time writing for an audience that isn't people I already know and I'm both nervous and excited about it. Mostly excited, I think. Ask me again when I have to put together my August post.

This week in writing, 8/13

Aug. 13th, 2017 04:19 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
So I got tagged… at least three times in the “post the first line of your WIP” meme, so… I’m just gonna post the first lines of all my WIPs in this post, and anybody who thinks posting first lines of your WIP(s) sounds like a fun time, consider yourselves tagged. :D

WIPs currently active: 6, because, oops, I started writing kidfic in a new fandom, WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN.

Words written this week: 7,066

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 307, and I think I… finished… a chapter??

First line: Steve caught up with him for the last time at the Grand Canyon. 

Because it is 2014 forever over here.

Born in the Blood: 115, and… possibly I also finished a chapter here, too? A short “holy shit guys it’s been three months but I swear it’s not abandoned here please have what I had outlined as the first half of this chapter” kinda chapter, but still! Updating soon, hopefully!

First line (which you may already know since it’s already posted but what the heck): With every lead on Bucky running dry before he could even chase it, one of the biggest effects the day of the helicarrier battle actually had on Steve, four months later, was the fact that Natasha had leaked SHIELD’s entire email directory and now the whole world knew his email address.

All Eternals Deck #2: 595. You know that feeling when you try and try to start a fic and you finally figure out the beginning and you’re like WOOOOO HERE WE GO and then you get to the end of the beginning and you’re like… what is this entirely featureless vista before me…? 

Haha, me either.

First line: Bruce always knew, unavoidably, when he was waking up after being the Other Guy.

Slavefic #6: 474. 

First line:  When Steve had been lying still and quiet for a little while, he found his ears attuned to Bucky’s breathing.

…Yeah we’re picking up about five minutes after the end of “The Sacrifice Play.”

Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 2,424

First line:  When it finally clicked, it felt like landing a jump combination after he’d fallen on it the first hundred times. 

Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 3,151, probably would have been more if I hadn’t spent the first 24 hours after I decided to start writing it obsessively searching for the right title to put on the empty word document.

First line: On the third day of Bitty’s summer visit, Jack had to go to the rink.

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new short Bujold interview at 8LW

Aug. 12th, 2017 08:49 am
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
I have a new short interview up today at the blogsite Eight Ladies Writing, in honor of the launch of the new Penric & Desdemona novella "Penric's Fox".


https://eightladieswriting.com/2017/0...


We did this a couple of weeks ago, but delayed posting till after the e-publication of the novella earlier this week. (Good heavens, that was only Tuesday -- seems longer ago already, but that's how time speeds on the internet.) This turns out to be doubly timely, in view of yesterday's happy news, as I also talk a bit about about wrangling series structures.




Also to note, the only PR push this novella is going to get is on this blog and these couple of by-chance recent interviews, so any mention folks may be moved to make about it out and around the net and elsewhere would be great. Amazon always gets plenty of reviews, and indeed by the time any prospective readers have made their way to the vendor sites the work is already done, so putting out the word in other places is more important.

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
I am extremely pleased to report that the Vorkosigan Saga has won the Hugo Award for Best Series at the 2017 WorldCon in Helsinki, Finland.

Live streaming of the ceremony unfortunately ran afoul of technical difficulties, but I'd been following print links this afternoon as they updated. Generally, if one wins people hurry to say congrats, so you find out pretty quickly; if you lose, it's crickets chirping. So the first I actually heard were two e-mails from friends that said congrats (yay!) but not what for. (Since "Penric and the Shaman" was also a nominee in the novella category, which went this year to "Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire, not to my surprise, congrats Seanan!)

I'll post a link to the ceremony recording when I find one.

Official link here:

http://www.worldcon.fi/wsfs-hugos/hug...

Tor also posts the full results here:

http://www.tor.com/2017/08/11/2017-hu...

The WorldCon's own website should have some pretty interesting voting statistics up soon, as well, for those who like to sort through the raw data. (Later: you can find them through the Worldcon link, above.)

Anyway, here are my acceptance remarks, which I gave to read to my friend and fellow Minneapolis writer Caroline Stevermer, who kindly and bravely offered to be my acceptor in and at the event. (It felt deeply weird to have to come up with these months beforehand. Hope they worked OK in the actual context.)

"Series have been a part of storytelling since The Odyssey followed The Iliad, engaging creators and delighting audiences for millennia. I have long thought that the series is an art form as distinct from the novel as the novel is from the short story, but no one studies series in the same way as novels, except those who write and read and love them. This may be more feature than bug.

It’s likely that the neglect of series in academic forums is practical: while teachers can just (barely) get classrooms of undergrads to read and compare half-a-dozen novels in a semester, there’s no way they could get them to do the same for half-a-dozen series.

Happily, free-range genre readers suffer under no such restrictions. There are still a lot of practical challenges for comparing series, especially those still under development by living writers. This year’s Hugo series category is a really interesting experiment in that direction, and I am honored that my work was among those put in the barrel for this particular roll downhill.

No writer could create a work extending over thirty years without an equal number of decades of publisher support, and it was my good luck that Baen Books and I stumbled into each other at the dawns of both of our careers. I need, as ever, to thank editors Betsy Mitchell, the late Jim Baen, Toni Weisskopf, and my agent Eleanor Wood for being my early and ongoing supporters on this long road trip.

And thank you all."

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)
[personal profile] petra posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
[personal profile] jamjar and I have had conversations on many Vorkosigan-adjacent topics. Here are two of them, for anyone amused by nattering about crossovers. In the first, we postulate the BBC series Blackadder as a Barrayaran folk tradition akin to pantomime. In the second, the theme is "What would happen if Aral Vorkosigan fell through a wormhole into the American Revolution?"
philomytha: text: Working Together for a Stranger London (Stranger London)
[personal profile] philomytha
"Cub, please stop teaching the chickens how to use the catflap."

Yes, there is a story behind this. Our neighbours are away again, and they've expanded their menagerie so it now includes half a dozen chickens as well as their cats, fish and small furries. Their back garden isn't fully secure and they don't like them free-ranging without someone around to keep an eye on things, but fortunately their back garden is also full of toys and swings and stuff, so Cub and I were hanging out there all afternoon and Cub was following the chickens around and jumping on the trampoline (and I somehow sat down and wrote a thousand words of Vorhalas having very reluctant adventures, which is a story for another day) and then I spotted Cub holding the catflap open and trying to lure the chickens inside.

Now cats and chickens don't get on the way you might expect. Which is to say, I saw the biggest tomcat in the neighbourhood streak out of the chicken's territory like his tail was on fire, chased by the smallest bantam at the bottom of the pecking order flapping her wings and squawking. There's no cockerel, just laying hens, and I hadn't expected them to be quite so, well, aggressive, but you can see the common history with dinosaurs sometimes when you watch chickens. So anyway, I don't think the cats would be happy if the chickens started using their catflap, and also I'm not sure how impressed our neighbour would be when I explained why she had chickenshit in her kitchen. Fortunately Cub was diverted into trying to see if the chickens would come and roost on his arms if he held them out straight (no, though when he sat on the deckchair they sat next to him) and so the chickens do not know how to use a catflap. Yet. They're brighter than I expected, and I wouldn't be surprised if they figured it out eventually.

For pets, I have to say chickens are by far the best value. Cub is besotted with them and got hours of fun out of watching them pootle around the garden, having dustbaths (chickens really love their dustbaths, one of them spent a full hour wallowing it it) and pecking at things and picking blackberries for them to eat, plus on top of that you get fresh eggs every day. You have to feed them and pick up their poo and all that stuff, but you have to do that with cats too and you don't get eggs. Also they eat slugs, snails and other garden pests, solving my problem of how I turn slugs into food, oh, and they adore dandelions so much there aren't any left in my neighbour's garden. So I may be tempted in that direction eventually. I think I'll wait till our neighbour takes her Christmas holiday and see whether they're as much fun in December before taking the plunge, though.

What I'm Reading Wednesday, 8/9/17

Aug. 9th, 2017 06:12 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
So I haven't done this in... six months, I think, but today has been a really good day! I did all the stuff I meant to do during my workday!! So now I'm gonna go for broke and also talk about reading stuff, WITNESS MEEE!!!

Ahem.

Books: I just in the last five minutes finally decided to stop reading Firestorm at Peshtigo, which is great but also, you know, about a whole lot of people dying horribly, and go reread Persuasion in which, afaik, no one burns to death at all. Hopefully I can make it through that without actually plotting a Check, Please! Persuasion AU but that New Fandom Energy is strong so I'm not exactly holding my breath. I also just started reading Priest by Sierra Simone, which had been kicking around my Kindle TBR collection for a year or so. I was kinda dubious about it and then read the author's note re: being brought up Catholic and still having a lot of feelings about Catholicism and spirituality and was like OH MY GOD, YOU'RE ME, so. Chapter 1 was good! :D

Books finished: ...Okay not QUITE during the past week, but the last book I finished reading was His Missing Pieces by M. A. Innes. It's M/M ageplay romance, as in one of the heroes knows at the start of the book that what he's really looking for in a relationship is someone who won't be freaked out by him e.g. wearing a diaper during sex--and since he's a college student carrying a torch for his gay-but-presumed-vanilla best friend, this all seems pretty insurmountable. (SPOILER: NOT INSURMOUNTABLE AFTER ALL.)

I was kind of ???? at a few points--Bryan's MOM knowing about his super-duper-secret kink came the closest to convincing me to stop reading--but the author seems to know what she's doing here (the mom thing is a result of overly-helpful internet-monitoring software when Bryan was a young teen, as it turns out, and his mom doing her best to be accepting and supportive). This is book one of a three-book arc in which, I'm guessing, the boys figure out how exactly to conduct a kinky relationship or indeed any relationship, but the first book was a delightful start and I'm looking forward to the second.


Fic: I have 15 WIPs bookmarked, so technically I guess I am in the middle of reading... at least 15 things? I also have 108 stories Marked for Later at the AO3, plus 29 bookmarked with the To Reread tag.

Fic finished:

(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently--you can see all my bookmarks at http://archiveofourown.org/users/dsudis/bookmarks)

Braced Myself by PorcupineGirl (Bitty/Jack, T). Ahhhhhh delicious extra-canonical angst!! Jack's anxiety being CORRECT and Jack RUSHING TO GEORGIA to see Bitty after a horrible Christmas Eve car accident, complete with beside vigil + coming out to Bitty's parents. SO DELICIOUS AND LOVELY AND GOOD YES I WOULD LIKE TEN MORE PLEASE. :D

Tony Stark and the Mysterious Marksman by Sineala (Tony/Bucky, T). Ohhh boy. Noir!Tony meets Comics-verse hot-pants wearing (nineteen-year-old SAS-trained sharpshooter) Bucky, and secret-identity hijinks and competence porn ensue. :D :D :D Plus it was written for CapRBB, so there's lovely fanart!! :D

Anywhere on This Road by Sineala (Marcus/Esca, E) Hi, it is possible I am reading, like, all of Sineala's fic this summer, and relatedly having a The Eagle renaissance?? <3__________<3 MARCUS AND ESCA ILU oh god this is so great. Esca! All suspicious and wary and angry!! Marcus! All big and Roman and trying to be kind and determinedly shameless about what he wants! ...So like basically canon but with the porn bits written out so you don't have to imagine them?? UGH, SO GREAT. (Oh man maybe I should reread Passion & Profession????)
lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (astronomy)
[personal profile] lannamichaels


File this under "this was gonna bug me if I didn't make a post about it". :P

So, 17776. This thing has a pretty cool premise and some interesting stuff. It's got cool storytelling techniques! It makes really great use of the medium! It's got space probes talking to each other without any lags! It's got suddenly the humans stopped aging! It's got terrible, terrible worldbuilding.


Problem the First: The name of it.

See, the thing is, "1776" is an important/prominent year for Americans. If you then add another 7, to invoke 1776, that's like putting Chekov's gun on the wall. And then the gun never fires. Dude, if you're gone called something that invoking of 1776, you need to do something with it. Otherwise it's an issue. A distracting issue.



Problem The Second: What football will look like.

The "football" makes no sense. And I don't mean in an "this has no relationship to current day American football except for the ball" way. I mean that in a no-human-being-would-ever-do-this way. It boggles the mind. Okay, so let's say football decided games don't have to have an end point. No one would play one football game for eight hundred or twelve thousand years. That is not how things work. That's not how people work. That's not how time works.



Problem The Third: None of this makes any sense.

I don't mean the instantaneous communication across vast distances in space or humans living forever. That suspension of disbelief is the price of admission. No, I mean the humans. Because...



Problem The Fourth: There is no sense of scale.

It is 2017. To belabor the obvious: the year 17776 is very far from now. However, nothing has changed except football. Nothing has changed in 15,000 years. Dude. No.

OK, ok, so technically, there's ~peace love and kittens~ and all that, which we are told about and never shows up as a thing at all. Especially since we're all post-scarcity and everything is awesome, but there are still beleaguered office workers? And general store owners and basically, enough signs that the current economy is still trucking along. Essentially the only difference is that football is now a game with states as end zones.

This would have worked better if this was fifty or a hundred or so years from now. That would be kinda cool. But 15,000 years?

Like, 15,000 years ago, I don't think agriculture was even a thing yet. And yet humanity has stagnated in such a way that nothing has really changed in 15,000 years except the coast looks different because some cities are underwater and we have magic nano robots to fix all injuries and everyone gets along?

"But this is just a clever little thing about how football could mutate?" okay well, then, why does he keep bringing it up and then going "lol no, that's just how it is now, no one knows why" and stuff like that? Why keep bringing it up just to dismiss it as irrelevant? Why does it spend so much time on it and Pioneer 9 asking about it?

There's any number of worldbuilding problems you can handwave off easily by just not pointing the sphere of attention in that direction. That is *not* what is being done here. It's more like "oh hey, I'll keep bringing up how bizarre and unlikely this is, just to dismiss it as a serious issue of inquiry". C'mon already. You put something under a direct spotlight and then decided to keep pointing at it and never doing anything about it. If you aren't going to explore this stuff or answer any questions, stop being a jerk about it. Going "oooh, oooh, oooh, I got a secret and I'm not telling" is probably fine for getting clicks, but it does nothing good to your story.

I mean, ffs, you don't just get to briefly sum up major accomplishments and then shrug it off with "you don't see any of those things because people didn't want them. If they advanced too much further technologically, those advances would inevitably intrude on their humanity. People wanted to walk. They wanted to take the bus that smelled like cigarettes. They wanted those precious three minutes between asking a question and knowing the answer.". (also, a minor rage that that's in an image and not text). Again, we are talking about 15,000 years. Where is your sense of scale??? Where is your basic sense of what humans are like???

(also, the idea that we've reached the ~~peak of human achievement that humans actually want to achieve~~ right now is fucking goddamn bullshit that I'm not even going to engage with. Like, the idea that we'll just press freeze on how things are now for middle class America and somehow somethingsomethingworldpeace somethingsomethingpostscarcity and not change a thing and just sit around and watch football all the time? For 15,000 years? This is such bullshit, I can't even begin.)

Like, the only way this makes any sense at all is if Pioneer 10 and JUICE are unreliable narrators and are making this entire thing up to troll Pioneer 9, except that is specifically addressed in the final chapter and denied. But I guess the question is, can we trust an unreliable narrator to admit to being unreliable? Because then there's also the title of the piece to take into account. It's just, it's such a massive part of the story, Pioneer 9 asking about this all the time. And then, no answers! Or, well, only answers that don't hold up at all. You have this mystery at the heart of it, but then you don't solve the mystery.

It's just, it's really frustrating, considering how cool some of this stuff is. :(



Oh, and also...

Problem The Fifth: Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer

This is just a minor nit, especially since it has happened IRL yet, but I feel like it's safe to assume that JUICE is gonna get thrown into Jupiter or something like that to destroy it? Why didn't they just go with the Voyagers or New Horizons or something like that? What, does the Immortalization Of Humans and somehow the Stagnation Of Human Achievement mean that the JUICE mission doesn't end?

Penric's Fox spoiler thread corral

Aug. 8th, 2017 03:02 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
It's been suggested (already!) that it would be nice for people who have already read the new novella to have a place to piffle on about it without spoiling later readers.

So here you go. Have what fun you like in the comments.

Those who want their first readings pristine, steer clear.

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

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February 2011

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