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RIP, Mr. Nimoy

kon life sucks shaded_icons
I always tend to roll my eyes when people say things like 'a part of my childhood died', but... well, a part of my childhood did just die. A part of my adulthood, too, and a really awesome part of both, so let's just say it bites pretty damn hard however you look at it. You'll be missed, sir.
I finally did find some new books this last month that made me very happy, yays. Now this isn't to say that except for these books I've read nothing good recently, of course, just that all the other things I've been reading were series/authors I already liked, so the fact that I liked the new one is nothing, well, new. ;) But it was nice to have something to read that didn't come after a long wait since the last book in the series... though, for those of the following that are going to be series, now I have yet more things to wait for, darn it all to heck. *snork* 'Tis the price we pay, though, for good reads, and the reviews that follow are on books that either amused me greatly, or amused and had me a little on the edge of my seat, so definitely good reads.

  • Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers 1) by Rachel Aaron

    Aaron's an author I had on my To Read list for her Eli Monpress novels, but I hadn't gotten around to them when the first in this series hit. I don't know what about it inspired me to read it before anything else, but it made me laugh out loud in places, plus it had good characters and a fun plot, so it was a good call to read it whatever the reason. ;) The story basically revolves around two people, one of them a young woman on the run from a mob type of guy 'cause she has something he wants, and the other a young man that was kicked out of his family because he couldn't live up to his mother's expectations. They end up in Detroit and wind up helping each other out against pretty long odds... which sounds pretty trite, but when you add in the fact that the young woman is a strong magic user, the young man is a dragon that's been trapped in his human form by his mother because he's too nice, and that Detroit is one big magic free for all that's kind of like something out of Bladerunner, where everything goes except for dragons, and, well, things get less 'cliche' and more 'what happens next?!'.

    The story ended in a place that I guess you wouldn't have to read any more in the series, but I'm certainly eager for more. Which means the fact that the author has the next one listed on Goodreads as coming out in November 2015 (her date, since she's self-publishing now)... well, that's certainly not good, but there you go. ;) (Oh, and just as a note, since she's self-publishing now, there's no hard copy of the books (yet), just ebook. Since I prefer that, it wasn't a hindrance to me, but I'm just letting the luddites know and all!)

    One of my favorite lines from the book: (the setup: Julius, our nice dragon, has a brother (one of many!) who's a seer, and who has sent Julius a note about some 'test' he's involved Julius in)

    Just try to forget I'm watching your every move while silently judging you and make the decision as you normally would based on the information provided. Thank you! <3<3

    Julius didn't think the hearts were strictly necessary.

  • California Bones (book 1 but no series title yet) by Greg van Eekhout

    I picked this up knowing almost nothing about it except that one reviewer had likened it to great con/heist type shows. I was thinking Leverage, but it only turned out to be like that one in terms of humor, the rest of the story certainly darker than Leverage tended to go. And considering that the magic in this world can be ingested from bones (dinosaur relics or still living human beings, it's all the same), you can see that there's going to be off-ish parts. Oddly, though, the book was more disturbing for the people in it, or rather for the fact that regardless of all the magic in the book, people are still people, good and bad, and it's always a little disturbing to realize how bad that bad can often be. *sigh* Oh well, for all that the book unsettled me, it was always fascinating, and I wound up putting off things I usually have no problems doing (you know, little things like eating and such ;) just to finish it, so I'm definitely putting it in the win category overall.

    Usually I'm more character driven than anything else, but while this story had great characters (Daniel, our main one, is definitely worth a read, and his crew are lovely icing on the cake), it's actually a non-human 'character' that was one of the better bonuses. Because besides the urban fantasy elements of the story, or even the heist/caper ones, one of the things I liked best about it was how their Los Angeles is very similar to ours LA (even the time frame being analogous), and yet it's also an amalgam of parts of Los Angeles' history, too, with William Mulholland and Walt Disney being living characters in it. And Disney being this kind of scary guy kept alive by disgusting magic well past his years... well, that actually seems not too farfetched. *snork* There's also this recurring thing with a bunch of the non-major chain fast food restaurants around town, too, which was cute, though whenever Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles got mentioned, I had this Tapeheads moment in my mind.

    From a social point of view, one advantage this alternate LA has is that along with the blend of races and ethnicities that make up the city, it also has a fair amount more tolerance, allowing for a more diverse cast than you sometimes get in these types of stories, which makes for a nice change. I guess it might achieve that by cheating a little, what with how race is not a big issue in their world, but then if you consider that their world also has ready proof that we're all the same down to our, well, bones, you could also say there's a valid reason why it's not an issue, so not too much cheating. ;) About the only thing that I think might be a problem for some readers (once we've already accepted the slightly unsettling side of it) is the fact that there are elements of the plot that could definitely be read as an allegory for our over-dependence on oil and the damage we're doing to the planet because of it, so if you're the type that hates any potential (since I don't know for sure the author intended it) moral messages in their stories, then that might be a mark against it.

    From the ongoing series side of things, the book didn't end in a particularly happy place (though it wasn't particularly cliffhangery, either), so I would think it would be unlikely that someone would want to read this one and not continue the series. And with that in mind, it's quite the happy thing that the next one in the series comes out in January 2015. *sigh of relief*

    One of my favorite lines from the book: (setup: Daniel has been 'invited' to visit someone he used to work with, and they've come to greet him as he arrives)

    "Thank you for coming to meet me."

    Daniel forced a laugh. "You mean thanks for being assaulted and kidnapped? I guess you're welcome."

  • Jackaby by William Ritter

    This one's by a first time author, and there's no sign that it's a series at all, which is a shame. :( You go into the story expecting that Jackaby is going to be a Sherlock Holmes type and that Abigail, the narrator, is going to be his Watson, and there's some small degree of truth in that. But actually Abigail is more Holmes-like in her observations, a life time of curiosity and restraint (the story takes place in 1892, and Abigail has, except for the last half year of her life, been living the life of a proper lady, no matter how much she didn't want to ;) having made her very aware of the world around her. She's also fairly logical and wants things to make sense... which Jackaby, for all his science, doesn't really, seeing as he can see fairies, sprites, goblins, etc etc and no one else can. So while, yes, Jackaby is a detective like Holmes, and can reach some clever conclusions like Holmes, it's kind of more that he's helped along by resources he has that others don't. And it's the way the story keeps not quite fitting into the cliches you think it's going to fall into that makes the story so fun.

    Actually Abigail serves, at least for me, another purpose besides being the narrator and (to some degree) the audience as well, in that she almost takes the book from fantasy into magical realism in a way, and it's another thing that keeps the book from being too familiar. Abigail, when the story starts, is just someone looking to find her place in the larger world, to finally break free of the limitations of the life she's been living. She doesn't work for Jackaby because she has some calling to assist a detective (though it sounds fun to her, of course) and she doesn't even believe him at first when he tells her what he can see. But once she does accept that the world is full of things she thought were just myth, she just... accepts it. And that's what I mean about her sort of turning the story from one with magic in it to one of magical realism, because she's pretty blithe in her acceptance, no longer thinking about it as odd in effect, and so therefore what had been magical becomes commonplace. Ghosts in the bedroom, ducks in the third floor pond, shawls of partial invisibility, bah, it's all in a day's work for her!

    Anyway, the story was a lot of fun in both typical and odd ways, and there were some laugh out loud moments mixed in with an entertaining mystery (if not a particularly cunning one, since it's a middle/teen marketed book after all). Except for making you wish at the end that there was another book coming, it should definitely be counted in the win category.

    One of my favorite bits from the story: (setup: Abigail only has evening-type dresses left to wear in her suitcase and the dress she's wearing keeps getting in the way. Jackaby and the other inmates of his house try to help.)
    this one"s kind of long, so under a cut it goesCollapse )

    P.L. Nunn doujinshi for sale (used)

    neal gagged
    For those that like anime doujinshi, you probably already know about P.L. Nunn's work, but for those that don't, you can go here and see what's it's like: Bishonen Works (... er, though by no means all of the art, but at least some of it, at any rate, will be fairly kinkilicious (rape is a common theme, among other things) so use caution if you're sensitive!)

    Now for those that like the art work and would like some of the doujinshi, but would like it cheaper than new, I haz some goodies to sell you. The whole set of them is just $20 (for 26 books, retail for new copies would be around $260), plus shipping (if it's in the US or Canada, we can do media mail, so a little cheaper, yays, though I can do overseas if someone wants), and it includes the following:

    Weiss Kreuz:
    Last Dance
    Grausame Maskerade (1-3)
    Threads of Moonlight
    Blood Games
    Steel Engagement

    Mixed works:
    Distractions (GetBackers) & Strategies (Weiss Kreuz)
    Wordless Dance (Weiss Kreuz) & Royal Flush (Saiyuki)
    Lessons (Gundam Wing) & Sacrifices (Weiss Kreuz)
    Anthology (Saiyuki, Weiss Kreuz, Ronin Warriors)
    Yaoi Doujinshi Collection (Gundam Wing, Weiss Kreuz, Dynasty of Ghosts)
    Bishonenworks Collection (Gundam Wing, Ronin Warriors, Final Fantasy 7)
    The Edge of Consent (Ronin Warriors, Bastard, Saiyuki)
    Handcuffs and Sodomy (Rurouni Kenshin, Saiyuki)

    Gundam Wing:

    Lost Faith (1-3)

    Ronin Warriors:
    The Pack (hardcore even by my standards)

    Hangman's Blues

    Bloodraven (original work):
    Books 1 & 2

    If you want to see what the covers and sample pages look like, they're all on this page, just scroll through (and all my versions are the book form in b&w, no color).

    To buy or just to ask questions, go ahead and comment here, as all comments are screened (though do hold off on the personal info until the deal is struck, of course ;).

    May. 20th, 2014

    tokio gussan feeding nagase
    Fandom: TOKIO RPS
    Title: Either You Swim, Either You Fade
    Category: drama, paranormal, timestamp for Heirs of a Cold War, with a sprinkle of smut
    Pairing: Gussan/Nagase
    Rating: NC-17
    Warnings: none
    Summary: It’s not like I can put out a Do Not Disturb, Ghosts Especially! sign, and it's not like I get huge amounts of non-ghost time. So it was either learn to not mind being watched or do without sex altogether, and I’m really thinking that if I’d had to give up one more thing… just one more basic thing that everyone else gets to have without even thinking about it…

    Notes: Two fics in one month, yays me. ;) Okay, it's a timestamp, so maybe not as good as something new, but it's over the 2K word count, so not just a throwaway fic, either. As some people might guess, I gave Nagase an ability that I blatantly stole from the kdrama Cheo Yong (which was much of the yummy), though I did handle it in a slightly different way, so it's not a 100% ripoff... just 98%, instead. *koff*

    Oh, and the title's from Bush (from Float: it's a beautiful world, everyone's insane, either you swim, either you fade), like that's a surprise at this point)!

    Read here, or read on AO3, your choice.


    Tatsuya would have grimaced at the pain that being slammed into the office’s glass wall made, but a cocker spaniel"s face really wasn"t geared to it.Collapse )

    TOKIO Eye For the Straight Guy

    tokio weird icon
    Fandom: TOKIO RPS
    Title: TOKIO Eye For the Straight Guy
    Category: AU, Humor (crack-ish), a touch of introspection as well
    Pairing: Pretty much TOKIO/TOKIO, with some emphasis on Gussan/Nagase because it's me writing it. ;)
    Rating: R for implication and a touch of language
    Warnings: Enough asides to choke a horse (or some other less gruesome expression, maybe).
    Summary: It was always supposed to look like a surprise when that week's fashion victim opened his door and saw the five of them standing on his doorstep.

    A/N: It has been over a year and a half since I posted any fic, oi. I would have just told myself, fine, you've lost the fanfic impulse now and moved on with things, except that I kept thinking about it. Went over old story ideas, came up with new ones, started halfway writing before things fell apart again, etc etc. And my finally getting something done isn't really a sign that all is well and good, but I think we can at least count it as a sign that it's not as bad as it was. ;)

    This was supposed to be out by someone's bday (and you know who you are ;), but meeting deadlines is not my thing right now for sure. It got its start, in all its weirdness, from a) my talking to someone (last year!) about stories that had 'everyone in the group/agency is gay' type of plots and whether they were lame or not (I obviously come down on the side of not *koff*), and b) having the passing thought that wouldn't it be funny if TOKIO had a show where they had to give fashion/grooming advice and they all sucked at it (answer: yes). Enjoy!

    Read it below, or read it on AO3, your choice. :)


    It was always supposed to look like a surprise when that week"s fashion victim opened his door and saw the five of them standing on his doorstep.Collapse )


    homin still standing
    From the teaser for the new album, this is by far the best song on there for me. *sigh* But it's catchy and the mv has much prettiness (though, what, has SM gone broke so that they aren't able to buy whole clothes (the short legs on the suits, Yunho's half missing sweater ;)?), so all in all, I'm much looking forward to the promotions. And the new Japanese single has a song on it that's supposed to be more rock-ish, so hopefully I'll get better music to go with the pretty visuals soon enough. *snork*

    irrelevant post script: why am I always so on the 'wrong' side of things?, 'cause everyone keeps complaining about Changmin's hair, and I like it. ;)
    geeks by neversince
    Well, the guys in that actually did the whole flugtag competition today... and actually lived and everything! ;) No need to vote on this one, but if watching grown men sort of halfway achieve engineless flight while dropping thirty feet into the water is good for you, just sit back and enjoy the new video (well, once you click the link, anyway).

    it flies like a svelte, not altogether buoyant water fowl
    crichton jumping
    Well, it's the 8th and I had meant to get back to 'regular' posting on the 1st... but then procrastination is my default, so there. But I come to you now because I have a friend who's in need of some views and likes on a YouTube vid he put up for... well, for this special project he's doing. ;) It's one of those types of things that makes you shake your head, and I won't explain in huge detail here, but it basically involves a 'pilot' taking an engineless, well, flying-ish contraption of some type (made by the pilot and crews, and there are a plethora of designs and features that many would-be engineers (and probably a few actual engineers as well) come up with for this (and, no, the one in the video is not the actual one ;)) off a high platform and trying to get as much distance as possible before they go splat in the water (the water being necessary to insure fewer deaths and owies and stuff *snork*). The distance is never all that huge since they don't get much room for their takeoff, so it's less flying than it is falling, but apparently there are many people (and by people I mean mostly guys, of course) that find this the best idea ever, and as it's amusing to watch them go at it, I say more power to them.

    Apparently, however, there's also a video competition component of it, and said friend is looking for said views and likes to help him win, so if you have a moment (and a YouTube/Google account of some type), please to be going here to watch and like (remember the like part!). 'One minute three seconds of unbridled whimsy' awaits you! And by all means spread the word to whoever you think might be sucker enough nice enough to help out as well!

    Coming on the 16th!

    crichton jumping
    I missed them doing swing (not that I didn't like the rockabilly and stuff, but I still really missed the swing). New album, White Teeth, Black Thoughts, hits on the 16th.

    Quick note...

    ewan tomato
    Endeavour got picked up for a second series... which, really, is no surprise, because even though it lost viewers basically every episode for the first series, it was still over 5 million, so, yeah, pretty much a guarantee, but still good news. ;)

    Things to come:

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