Some books I’ve recently read and enjoyed! As always, none of this comes close to anything like a review, because reviewing isn’t a thing I’m good at.
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Dr. Greta Helsing (yes, she’s related) specializes in treating London’s supernatural denizens–people whose safety might be at risk if most Londoners knew they existed, and who might not get any sort of healthcare otherwise. It’s not going to make her rich, and it’s difficult enough with her small practice to care for vampires, mummies, ghouls, and…other sorts of creatures, without someone going around trying to kill her patients.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, and am looking forward to the next installment. You can read the first chapter here.
Ack Ack Macaque by Gareth Powell
It took me way too long to read this, but that gives you some idea of how out of control my TBR stack is. Back in 2014 I was absolutely tickled when Ack Ack Macaque tied with Ancillary Justice for the Best Novel BSFA, and I was really glad to be able to meet Gareth in person at Worldcon later that year. Now I’ve finally read this! It was a lot of fun. In the wake of WW2, France and Britain have unified–look, just go with it, ok?–and a hundred years later there are nuclear powered airships, and actual monkey Ack Ack Macaque is the central character of an amazingly popular online multiplayer game. In the non-game real world, murders and skulduggery are happening and the very survival of everyone on Earth is at stake. This book is great fun, a quick, compelling read. I’m putting the sequels on my ever-growing TBR pile.
The Course of Honour by Avoliot
Okay, this one is kind of a bonus. As in, it’s free! You can click that link and find the Download button (up there in the righthand corner) and nab a copy in your favorite ebook format. Or, you know, you can read a chapter right here on your screen, and then click on to the next at whatever pace.
I want to thank Liz Bourke for tweeting about this, because I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’ve said before that I’m not much for category romance (though I do enjoy them now and again), but the fact is I’m a sucker for a good Arranged Marriage/Fake Marriage plot. And this was a good one! Jainan was married to Prince Taam of Iskat–a marriage arranged for political reasons, and when Taam suddenly dies [ahem] accidentally, the Emperor of Iskat declares that party-loving Prince Kiem will step up. And…look, I’ll just paste in the “additional tags” here, so you’ll see what you’re getting into:
Romance, Slow Burn, Arranged Marriage, Pining, past abusive relationship, space princes, Court Politics, Emotional Hurt/Comfort
Space princes. I mean. Seriously. Give it a look, and maybe leave some kudos if you like it.
Mirrored from Ann Leckie.
I'm conflicted, honestly, in the cases of memorials for people's service to the country BEFORE the Civil War, regardless of which side they served on later. They WERE Americans both before and after the war, after all, who did historical things for our country that didn't involve being traitors or slavery. But I suspected it would eventually come to this in the case of the bridge, which is city property. For the last decade my mother, a local historian, has had to argue periodically against people who assume its named that because of the Civil War; but this time it looks like that side is going to win, and if the council feels that it should be renamed...well, its probably a good idea at this point. I did read that Lee didn't want any memorials, either - he wanted the nation to heal, too, even if it was without slavery, and putting up memorials would (and did) keep the divisive hatred around.
Hey Lynx, are you seeing demonstrations at your place of work? Or are they all chickening out/not being granted permits?
The same principle behind this leads to this and this.
I told you so. I have been saying and saying that when a society starts pulling down statues, it tends to mushroom, because people get it in their heads they can destroy all the art they dislike. Sure it's tempting. Everybody loves to pull down something they hate and stomp on it. That's very gratifying. But it's a bad idea because it destroys the past and then nobody has nice things for a long time. It also sucks when other people pull down stuff that YOU like just because THEY don't, and there is probably not one piece of art on the planet which is liked by everyone.
Seriously, people, stop doing this shit. Unpopular art can be moved to a place where it won't annoy folks, but destroying it is counter-civilization.
Me: NINE HOURS OF SLEEP, STEAMY SHOWER WITH PINE AND MINT ESSENCE, NASAL RINSE, SALT-WATER GARGLE, ANTIHISTAMINE NASAL SPRAY, STEROID NASAL SPRAY, CLARITIN, AGGRESSIVE TOOTHBRUSHING
My body: —look, forget i said anything, okay?
I refuse to get sick. REFUSE. R E F U S E. J has had a horrid cough for a week and is on antibiotics and prednisone (when they prescribe prednisone to the guy with insomnia, you know it's bad), X is wrapping up a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, and J had to do that for his own throat infection last month. So far I've been fighting off all the respiratory bugs Kit brings home from daycare, but I don't take my ability to do that for granted. And I can't take most antibiotics without serious mood effects because apparently I depend on my gut flora for emotional management, so I have to be extremely diligent about my preventive care.
I'm going to go have spicy curry for lunch and drink some ginger honey tea. Fuck off, germs.
But you guys, there is SO MUCH interesting stuff about early American history that, if it were taught properly, would REALLY change peoples' perspectives on the "brave, gallant, noble" men of the Confederacy. And I'm not talking just the racism stuff, like 90% of them were whiny pissbabies and THAT is why the Civil War even existed in the first place. I shit you not. The modern Conservative Christian persecution complex has NOTHING on the antebellum Southern elite. Sure, a lot of those guys were personally brave in battle. But on a political or moral level, they were ... most five-year-olds are more mature. (I'm simplifying things a lot here and painting with a really broad brush, but it's not inaccurate.)
This meta is going to take as read that slavery=EVIL and that there is no such thing as a "good" slaveowner and that racism is horribly, horribly evil and nothing good can ever come of it and white supremacy twists and mutilates everything good it comes in contact with. You all know that, or you should, and you can find lots of places talking about that with a quick google search. Also, Blacks and poor Whites had vibrant cultures during this time period that I'm going to largely ignore because while all that is awesome, I want you to truly understand ALL the reasons why it's stupid and pathetic to glamorize the Southern elite, which means focusing on them. The South was (and is!) REALLY AWFUL AND SCREWED UP and racism is part of that but not the only part. But we will start a bit by talking about racism, because it's the root of so much other evil.
I'm sure you've heard that "race is a social construct!" Let's look at how that construct got constructed, shall we?
( How Black And White People Came To Be )
( Economic Differences And Political Boondoggles, or, How The South Learns That Temper Tantrums Are A Viable Political tool. )
( The South's Persecution Complex vs. the North's Manifest Destiny )
( Taking Their Marbles And Going Home, Then They'll Be Sorry: Civil War Edition )
( More Delusions Of Grandeur: The Whole Lost Cause Romantic Bullshit )
And I look at this and shake my head at the triumph of propaganda over reality, and also at the fact that ANYBODY, even a racist, could POSSIBLY think that those idiotic inbred delusional cretinous whiny pissbabies were cool or worthy of adoration.
Natsume's no ordinary boy. Like his grandmother Reiko he has the ability to see youkai... who flock to him and demand to have their names that Reiko stored in the Book of Friends returned. At Colors, Natsume is visited by some of our past deck releases who would like to have their cards returned!
Every week, one of the releases is picked at random. You can exchange up to five cards from that release for choice cards from that release. You will lose the cards you turn in.
For example, if the chosen release is Release 001, you can turn in an Asobot card and get a choice Logic, Dragon or Optimist card in exchange. Specials can only be gained by turning in other specials!
To get multiple cards from one deck, you need to turn in multiples from another deck as well. You can't get two Logic cards but turning in an Asobot card and a Smile card, but two Asobot cards would work.
Please use this form.
Since the prizes for this game are all choice cards and there's no need to pass them out, you can just log them after posting your comment!
This round closes on Friday, August 25th!
Now when all the games have been closed, the Colors School Festival is almost over... What's left though is the biggest event of them all, the Counting Ceremony! During the ceremony all the points collected by the teams will be announced and counted, and then we will find out which team won!
The ceremony, as always, will use a Google Spreadsheet, which can be accessed with this link! The spreadsheet will contain the chat, on which the results will be announced in real time, allowing you to comment and scream all you want. Or just watch them in silence, if you prefer. I will also be providing voiced commentary on the Colors Discord channel!
The starting time will be CET midnight / 22:00 GMT on the Saturday/Sunday night. You can find out what time will it be in your timezone with this nice countdown. See you tomorrow!
In spring, the strappy green leaves
emerge from the fertile earth
but bring no blossoms.
The leaves turn yellow,
then brown, and fade away.
In summer, surprise!
A sudden resurrection
out of the dry bare ground
raises flower stalks like magic,
pink lilies spreading themselves
in the sun like naked ladies.
* * *
Lycoris is a type of lily with many different names including resurrection lily, surprise lily, and naked ladies. Both my parents and I have these, and they're beautiful flowers.
Last week, Rei befriended Jun!
Congrats to Adelicya for winning the Bonus Crayon Lottery!
Hello and welcome to Rei's Friend Report!
You probably know Rei. She's... not a very sociable person. But if we try to find her some new friends, I'm sure she'll appreciate it. So, let's get to it! I'm sure we'll find tons of friendly people here on Colors.
In each round, I will post several clues about one of the active players at our TCG, and you will have to guess their name!
Friend Report 204:
- is at the fruits tier.
- is a participant in Colors School Festival.
- joined Colors in 2017.
- has their birthday in July.
If you submit the name of this player, you will be awarded six random cards!
There is also a bonus prize of 2 crayons for one randomly selected player who submits a correct answer.
This round closes on August 25th, Central European time!