Detwiler Fire
Wildfire struck rugged woodlands near Yosemite, causing sporadic evacuations of nearby towns and spreading smoke as far as Idaho.

[ SECRET POST #3852 ]

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:25 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
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⌈ Secret Post #3852 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

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Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 00 secrets from Secret Submission Post #551.
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copperbadge: (Default)
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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[ SECRET POST #3851 ]

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:01 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
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⌈ Secret Post #3851 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 08 secrets from Secret Submission Post #551.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
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One More Light

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:23 pm[personal profile] viridian5
viridian5: (Aya (Gone))
Two voices I loved, gone by their own hands: Chester Bennington committed suicide today, on Chris Cornell's birthday. Cornell committed suicide in May.
copperbadge: (Default)
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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Locally

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:22 pm[personal profile] viridian5
viridian5: (Rommie blue)
Part of the decor at DISH Ridgewood. I'm horrified....
photo )

[ SECRET POST #3850 ]

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:09 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
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⌈ Secret Post #3850 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 16 secrets from Secret Submission Post #551.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Posted by Rebecca Watson

Support more videos like this at patreon.com/rebecca!

Transcript:

If you know me at all, you know I like Dr. Oz about as much as I like Oprah, the woman who metaphorically gave birth to him — that is to say, not at all. I loved it when he had to testify in front of Congress about the quack cures he’s peddled and he got completely annihilated by Claire McCaskill.

So I was really pleased when I saw a video on YouTube claiming that Oz had plagiarized content from a doctor for use on his show. In the video, Dr. Eric Berg reveals that he had been booked on Dr. Oz’s show to talk about “body types,” for which he did a ton of research before the show canceled on him. Months later, he saw an episode in which Oz had another doctor on to talk about body types using Berg’s script.

I watched Berg’s video and found that he had a somewhat compelling case for being ripped off. The problem is that they’re talking about the “body types” that we’ve been hearing about in magazines for several decades: apples are fat in the middle, and pears are fat in the lower body and smaller in the upper body. So it’s kind of hard to say whether Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is ripping off Dr. Berg or whether they’re both ripping off a 10-question quiz they found in the back of the September 1994 issue of Woman’s World. “Do you tend to store all your fat in your head? You’re a lollipop!”

The “body type” conversation is never just about the shape of your body, of course. No one would have come up with it unless there was a way to market something to women based on it, so enterprising quacks came up with the idea of making women buy books and meal plans based on their body type. Like, if you’re an apple don’t you dare eat apples because you’ll only get fatter, or something like that. Morrison and Berg dress it up even more by saying that the different body shapes are influenced by hormones, and that you can eat certain foods to poop out the hormones that are making you fat. I’m not making this up. And amazingly, the two doctors disagree over what foods you should eat to poop out said hormones.

All this made me really wonder about Berg and what kind of doctor he is. It turns out, he’s a chiropractor! If you don’t know anything about them, you may be confused as to why a chiropractor is dealing with something other than spines. Well, it’s because some chiropractors only deal with spinal issues, but way too many others think that they can cure literally any disease by adjusting your spine, and sometimes by twisting it to the point that they kill you via blood clots.

Not only is Berg a chiropractor, but he’s been disciplined in the past. In 2007 he was fined $1,500 and ordered to stop promoting several bullshit weight loss and muscle-response tests that tricked patients into believing they needed to buy his herbal supplements.

I also found a blogpost from a former patient of Berg’s, who said she was cajoled into giving him over $1,400 for several weight loss “treatments” that she never actually attended and only got a partial refund on. She says that the usual course is $3,000 for 12 treatment sessions, which makes me wonder why anyone thought that fining him $1,500 would do anything at all. And by the way, the treatment plan was a low-carb diet and a few minutes in a massage chair. As a reminder, the only actual way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn, which is not just free but actually costs less than you’re spending now since you’re eating less food. Trust me, I did it once and I could have bought a new wardrobe just from the money I saved by not drinking alcohol for a month.

So yeah, maybe Dr. Oz ripped someone off, but if he did, at least this time he ripped off a fellow quack. And for that we can all be thankful.

[ SECRET POST #3849 ]

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:58 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
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⌈ Secret Post #3849 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 24 secrets from Secret Submission Post #551.
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The State of Spooky

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:44 am[personal profile] agt_spooky
agt_spooky: (AgtSpooky artist pallete)
 Hi all! Yes, I’m still alive. :-)
 
Many thanks to those several of you who have dropped me notes over the past couple of months to check up on me. I greatly appreciate you thinking about me and your concern. You’ve given me the nudge to get on here and post an update.
 
Things at the end of May weren’t too bad. I was quite busy, actually. I worked several police volunteer events, which I always love doing. Then I had five days off for the Memorial Day holiday, and I was on the go with John, running around and having fun. I was also deep in the midst of my new ebook releasing, which occupied all of my spare time with marketing and promotion. Oh, and I also started up yoga classes again.
 
Things started to fall apart in June, in regards to work. I was completely and utterly betrayed by my two oldest friends of 15 years. They lied to me, stabbed me in the back and when I confronted them about their lies they turned it all around on me. We haven’t spoken since. I was utterly devastated. Then another blow came at work as well, right on top of this and and slipped into a long state of depression.
 
I tried to rally around mid-month, for my 23rd wedding anniversary with John. Only to find out our favorite French restaurant where we were having dinner, was closing the next week. So that didn’t help my mindset!
 
Things perked up a bit at the end of June. At work, I’ve reconnected with a gal who I’ve known for ten years and we’ve become quite close. It’s been nice to have a good friend again. I had friends from Fort Wayne in visiting for three days, who I hadn’t seen in many years, so it was a great reunion. I also worked another high-profile police volunteer event (a DUI roadblock) and it was a fascinating, amazing experience.
 
I took several days off around the 4th of July and went out and did several activities with John, which was really nice. I also went to the Styx / REO Speedwagon concert with my best friend Chris. What a fabulous night! And then just last week I saw the Queen concert with Adam Lambert, which was also fantastic. Had last Friday off of work and John and I spent the day together, then Chris came over on Sunday so that we could do our on-line check-in for our cruise to Alaska next month.
 
I should have known that things were going too well for me and looking up for a change and I received three bad blows in the last few days (two work related, one writing related) that have knocked me on my ass. So after this update I might be disappearing for awhile again. But I wanted to at least jump on and let you guys know what’s been going on with me lately.
 
Thank you all again for your concern. That really touches me. I’ve got a lot of great friends here. :-)
 
I hope all of you have been doing well these past couple of months. Let me know what you’ve been up to! I’ve missed chatting with all of you!
 
{{HUGS}}
 
 
 
 

Langley Turns 100
American flight and aerospace research sprouted wings along the Virginia coast during the days of World War I.

[ SECRET POST #3848 ]

Jul. 17th, 2017 06:38 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
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⌈ Secret Post #3848 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 32 secrets from Secret Submission Post #551.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
marthawells: (Reading)
Signings and Stuff


* Here are some photos of me and Rachel Caine at our signing at Murder by the Book: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163060728297/my-friend-tooks-some-photos-of-me-and-rachel-caine We had a good crowd, even though it was pouring rain and there were tornado warnings.

* Here's a post from me on Writers Read: https://whatarewritersreading.blogspot.com/2017/07/martha-wells.html about what I'm reading now (actually what I was reading when I wrote the post)

* And I'm not in this article but I know all these people: https://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2017-07-14/writing-science-fiction-fantasy-and-horror-in-austin/



***

Books


(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Short Story: Children of Thorns, Children of Water by Aliette de Bodard


* Stranglehold by Rene Sears
Morgan Tenpenny has retreated from her painful, magical past, choosing to live quietly as a guardian of one of the gates between worlds. But her sister Gwen is married to a lord of the High Court of Faerie-and when Gwen asks her to protect her nieces, it's time for Morgan to emerge from her seclusion. The gates to Faerie have inexplicably closed, and no one knows why...


* Revision by Andrea Phillips
Mira is a trust fund baby playing at making it on her own as a Brooklyn barista. When Benji, her tech startup boyfriend, dumps her out of the blue, she decides a little revenge vandalism is in order. Mira updates his entry on Verity, Benji’s Wikipedia-style news aggregator, to say the two have become engaged. Hours later, he shows up at her place with an engagement ring. Chalk it up to coincidence, right? Soon after, Benji’s long-vanished co-founder Chandra shows up asking for Mira’s help. She claims Verity can nudge unlikely events into really happening — even change someone’s mind. And Chandra insists that Verity — and Mira’s newly minted fiance — can’t be trusted.


* Short Story: Waiting on a Bright Moon by JY Yang


* Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy (Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction Book 3) edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak


* All Things Violent by Nikki Dolson
Soon the ambitious Simon introduces her to Frank Joyce, a man who would teach her how to become a stone-cold professional killer. Laura learns her deadly trade and earns her money. Twenty-six years old and she thinks she’s found her happily ever after. Sadly it all falls apart when Simon leaves her for another. Now some other woman, blonde and polished, all shiny and new, is living Laura’s happy life.


* Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe
There are ten stories here including one readers have waited ten long years for: in new novel-la The Border State Rowe revisits the world of his much-lauded story The Voluntary State.

Chilko Lake

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:00 am[syndicated profile] earthobservatory_iod_feed

Chilko Lake
Occupying a valley carved by glaciers, the remote lake dominates Ts’yl-os Provincial Park in British Columbia.

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