Pixels: here I was, desperately hoping for something fun, I actually laughed at the appearance of Pac-Man, and then boom! Adam Sandler. GAH.
Fantastic Four: it might be the contrast, but this didn't look actively terrible? Not, like distinctive or necessary or anything, but not actively terrible. (It was this one; I gather others were different.) I still roll my eyes that they couldn't cast Sue as a black woman too—I mean, yes, it's absolutely possible that she and Johnny are biological sibs, rather than adopted, but actual literal visibility matters. (Yes, I'm aware about the potential relevance to Sue's powers, but still: cast a very-light-skinned black woman if that's what you're going for.)
Tomorrowland: this is the second trailer I've seen for this, and at least it gives me way more of a sense than the first one? I'm still unsure about it, though.
Ant-Man: well, this trailer was more appealing to me than Guardians, which pisses me off because it'll probably do just as well and I don't want it to, because of (presumed spoiler) and also because I still resent its existence.
I told Chad that I had pretty low expectations and it exceeded it. And in the light of day, I stick by that, but only barely, now that the high of action scenes and that last shot have worn off. I suspect one main problem of the movie may have been insoluble: Avengers couldn't even juggle six team members, and the number of characters goes up considerably here. But until now (absent Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: The Dark World, which I haven't seen), I've generally felt that the MCU has done a good job of rewriting comics canon to suit itself. Not so much this time. Add that to the "include all the things" problem, and what should have been the core of the movie felt hollow and warmed-over to me.
(Apparently there is to be a Peter Jackson-style director's cut on the DVD release, which is really something I do not wish to encourage: do it right the first time, for fuck's sake. But I admit to interest in what it might contain, I can't help it.)
Also, the levels of heteronormativity were almost literally toxic.
That said: it didn't do one thing I was dreading, in the moment I was entertained more often than not, and the very very end made me super-happy. So, on balance, exceeded low expectations.
Finally, before the spoiler cut: news articles beforehand said that there was a scene during the credits and none after, which a friend of mine stayed all the way to the end to confirm, so once you've seen the fancy credits and the extremely short scene after that, you're good to go.
Edit: hi, anyone coming here from Meg Jayanth's retweet! If you don't usually use Dreamwidth, just know that (a) if you don't have an account, you can choose the "Anonymous" radio button, but (b) PLEASE sign a name or nickname or something so we can keep each other all straight, okay? Thanks!
PS: I totally broke the game today, I got stuck in Quetta with no Fogg and no money and no way to go anywhere, it was hilarious. (Email to the developers already sent.)
The weird waviness is it being unduly flattened by the scanner, because I tried for way too long to get accurate colors with a camera and GIMP and could not.
Pattern by Teresa Wentzler (and a giant pain, it varies the height of the rows it puts in and so I had to take a ruler and pencil in lines so that I could have a proper 1 square = 1 stitch chart). Stitched over two on Antique White MCG evenweave; main stitching in silk, Caron Waterlillies, Cherry 101; satin stitch and Algerian eyelets in DMC pearl cotton size 12, Ecru (best way to do satin stitches EVER); backstitch in DMC 801 (done over one on the diagonals); shiny bits in Krenik #4 Braid Beige (013).
The colors don't quite glow the way I wanted when I saw the silk in the store, but I'm pretty happy with it all the same.
First: Free Admission to ITHACON40/Pippi to Ripley3, the Ithaca College Campus, Saturday May 2, 2015 10am-5pm. Special Guests: Bruce Coville and Laura Lee Gulledge. Free kids workshops include: comic drawing workshops, fantasy writing, steampunk art, superhero cape making, star wars armor workshop, Japanese sword, Belly Dance, Pathfinder RPG game, Game Space, and Zombie Ballroom.
7:00-9:00 Panel on Women Making Comics (Klingenstein Lounge, Ithaca College Campus Center), with Laura Lee Gulledge, Morgan McKenzie (published as “Maegan Cook”), and Danielle (Ielle) Palmer.
Pippi to Ripley is where I gave my Mary Sue talk a couple years ago; I can't make it this year, but if you can, check it out.
Second: the Tiptree Award is expanding into Fellowships, to "support the development of new work, in any form or genre, that uses speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender, especially in its intersections with race, nationality, class, disability, sexuality, age, and other categories of identification and structures of power" ($500 year, two recipients). The application process is being developed in coordination with micha cárdenas; applications are expected to be opened at the upcoming WisCon (May 22-25, 2015).
I think this comment exchange between Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Abigail Nussbaum encapsulates the struggle I continue to have over whether to put Mixon above or below No Award, which is how to prioritize the very different messages being sent by Mixon's nomination. If this is a topic that interests you, I recommend reading it.
I mentioned the mobile game 80 Days previously, but I'm really liking it and it's currently part of a Humble Mobile Bundle, where you get it DRM-free for Android if you pay more than the average (currently $4.33). As it usually retails for $5 solo, if you're at all interested in any of the other games, this is a good deal.
The author (Meg Jayanth, who wrote the incomplete Storynexus game Samsara and is British-Indian) bills it as "decolonised, multicultural steampunk," and there's a little bit more about that in this blog post. If that sounds appealing, or you'd just like half a million evocative words of AU Choose-Your-Own-Adventure very cheap, you should really check 80 Days out. (The iOS is not in the bundle, but: $5. Half a million words.)
Point to be made about public discourse about the Hugo nominations:
The "Rabid Puppies" slate, the one put forth by Vox Day (a pseudonym for Theodore Beale), is the dominant slate here. It put more nominees on (58 v. 51), and 10 nominees appeared only on it, as opposed to three of the "Sad Puppies" slate (Brad R. Torgersen). (Breakdown via File 770; don't read the comments.)
If you don't know why this matters, you can read a short, rather restrained summary of Day's views at Wikipedia (content notes for sexism, anti-immigrant rhetoric, racism, and sizeism).
I still don't care that much about the Hugos, but it frustrates me to see news articles, blog posts, etc., acting as though the "Sad Puppies" is the only slate that exists and ignoring the more significant influence of Beale/Vox Day.
Laura J. Mixon is the only person on the Best Fan Writer ballot for this year's Hugos who wasn't on the Sad/Rabid Puppy Slate. I want to urge people not to reflexively vote for her, that is, to consider no-awarding the entire category.
I assume that she is nominated on the basis of her lengthy post about Benjanun Sriduangkaew / Requires Hate / Winterfox / etc. I did not discuss this at the time—I found the entire topic disproportionately upsetting because RaceFail [*] (speaking of which, do NOT!!! read the comments)—but that post has serious issues. Yes, it managed to get widespread attention to genuine instances of threats; but it also places people on the "target" list for being called "misogynist" ("Anon, MOC Writer") or for criticizing their writing only (Kress, Adrienne; Lord, Karen). There might be more, because I haven't been able to make myself closely read the accompanying text, I just looked at the Appendices; I recall from back in November seeing criticisms of the framing of the post, but I went back through my reading list of the time and couldn't turn up anything linkable.
(ETA 2: I have now read all the text, see comments for a little more discussion.)
As a result, I have serious doubts whether this post ought to garner its author a Hugo. I encourage those voting to carefully consider the question.
(Anon comments are screened; be polite and sign your comment with a handle for continuity of discussion and I'll unscreen you. If you're new here, note that I moderate comments for gross incivility, anon or not.)
[*] ETA: It has come to my attention, in a genuinely friendly and caring way, that this could use unpacking for people not on my access list. I was upset because I believed, and continue to believe, a number of the first-person accounts of Sriduangkaew's harassment and threats, and because I believed Sriduangkaew's apologies—lousy though they were—were going to work, she was going to get a pass: every time I see, for instance, Elizabeth Bear or Teresa Nielsen Hayden lauded as being especially clueful on questions of oppression, or put on a con panel about codes of conduct (for fuck's sake!), it's like being poked in a bruise, and they never made even lousy apologies for their behavior during RaceFail. My opinion of any of the people who came forward has not changed from what it was, I do not put credit in Sriduangkaew's statements, I do not believe we interacted before her identities were revealed, and I have not interacted with her since.