ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2012-12-28 04:58 pm

Yuletide Recs: Round Two!

Adventure Time

Sunlight Peering Through the Trees
(Finn/Flame Princess)
Flame Princess is certain she's Evil. She's certain she's Good. She not really sure how to be either.
Very sweet and completely adorable.

Princesses All The Way Down
(Marceline/Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, Ice King)
Living forever changes some things more than it does others.
Captures the feel of the show's dialog and cheerfully ominous undercurrents, with all the lovely touches of adult perspective and the time and space to explore Marceline's inner life and history that make me want to seek out AT fanfic in the first place. Funny and domestic and tragic all at once -- awesome stuff.

Allstate Insurance "Mayhem" Commercials

And I'm the Obstacle You Never Expected
"He looked like a washed-up actor who had mugged an accountant on his way to the local bar." Mayhem meets his match...or does he?
Silly, yes, but TOTALLY ADORBS.

Back to the Future

Rewriting the Future
(Marty McFly, Emmett Brown)
It's 2015, and Marty McFly is unemployed with two kids in jail and still bitter about a thirty year old car accident. But this hasn't really happened yet, and if it hasn't happened yet, there's no risk of creating an alternate timeline.
I enjoyed a lot of things about this story, but honestly, it's worth reading for the "1985 Doc Brown navigates 2015 technology" aspect alone. The 2015 it references has been corrected to match more closely with the one a current audience would expect, and there's a bit with an iPod that almost killed me.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Cupboard of the Heart
(Mary Svevo/Howard Mierzwiak, Mary Svevo/Stan Fink, Mary Svevo, Howard Mierzwiak, Stan Fink, Hollis Mierzwiak)
"How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense, and love the offender, yet detest the offence?" — Pope Alexander Alexander Pope
I really enjoyed this window into Mary and her perspective on the whole sad mess she found herself dragged into. This kind of story is what I most look forward to every year when the Yuletide archive goes live -- thoughtful and complicated.

Gargoyles

It's a love story for the new age
(David Xanatos/Fox Xanatos, David Xanatos, Janine "Fox" Xanatos, Owen Burnett)

This is how the story goes:

“Marry me,” he says.

“Are you serious?” she replies.

Oh my god OH MY GOD I loved this fic so much. Such a fantastic take on Fox, her history, her inner life and relationships with Owen and David. My inner teenaged Gargoyles fangirl completely lost her shit.

The Incredibles

The Red Suit
(Edna Mode)
Perhaps Edna was telling the truth when she said she once worked with gods - or, at least, with legends.
Charming and adorable without being saccharine, and hints at a fabulously ancient history for Edna's career.

The Greatest Good
(Helen "Elastigirl" Parr, Bob "Mr. Incredible" Parr, Violet Parr, Dash Parr)
God must have one hell of a sense of humor, her mother says, to give the gift of elasticity to someone so stubborn.
I really enjoyed how this fic addresses the particular joys and frustrations that Helen's family have brought her -- always feeling cornered into being the cautious "bad guy" who discourages her kids' powers out of fear of discovery, always being the one who has to think practically, loving her husband dearly but wanting to strangle him for being selfish or self-indulgent. LOVED IT.

Jurassic Park

Trixie Seven
(Ellie Sattler, Gerry Harding)
Ellie stays behind to get a closer look at Triceratops, and discovers more questions than any actual answers. Live dinosaurs means that paleontology isn't extinct, it just has to evolve.
Lady scientist frustrated that not everyone understand the awesomeness of ferns! Nerdy dinosaur nitpicking! A Jurassic Park fic with a bibliography!

Looper

Einstein's Definition of Insanity
(Joe/Sara)
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The post-canon alternate-ending shippy Looper fanfic I never knew I wanted, but am very glad I found. Does a particularly good job of trying to expand the moderately-apocalyptal-world of the film.

Rise of the Guardians

The Center Cannot Hold… But It Can Change
(Jack Frost, Pitch Black)
Jack was the one to eventually break the silence. He said softly, "I see it. What you're saying. My center… it's the same. We both laughed just now, right? But did you laugh because the children were having fun playing in the water… or because it was funny as hell when the girl pushed the boy in?"
I was sad to see only one fic turn up for this fandom, but if you enjoyed the film -- and if you felt like Pitch wasn't really given a fair shake -- this is worth checking out! (Fair warning: there's a lot of background "sad hungry kids in Africa" othering here, so if you're not in the mood you might want to give this a pass.)

*

All right, enough of that for now -- back in Brooklyn, back to work!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2012-12-26 11:42 pm
Entry tags:

Yuletide recs: FIRST ROUND!

So one nice thing about being out of town for Christmas and away from all my productivity machines is that I had more than the usual ammount of time to read Yuletide stories! I have a long way to go, still, but here are some of my very favorites so far, organized by fandom!

The Good Wife

Chasing Names
(Alicia Florrick, Kalinda Sharma, Diane Lockhart, Elsbeth Tascioni)
Not all cases are meant to be won.
My gift this year, and I have to say -- the character voices are SPOT. ON.

The Left Hand of Darkness

Cast No Shadow
(Genly Ai/Therem HarthGenly Ai Therem Harth rem ir Estraven)
“A lack of feeling is a symptom of freeze,” he said, still grimacing. “Perhaps... well.” It was not like him to mince words, and I slowly began to worry. Perhaps this was some attempt at shifgrethor, or another incomprehensible Gethenian ritual which he assumed I knew and at which I could only balk. “To know anything of the intensity of it, I'll have to unfreeze it. To keep it from dying, if it hasn't. I've wasted enough time already; lie down.”
An excellent and thoughtful take on a tricky subject, which made me want to re-read this book SOMETHING FIERCE.

Looper

Old Things in Need of Repair
(Summer Qing/Joe Simmons)
Summer Qing learned early to love old things. She also learned early to love dangerous things.
Offers some much needed history and inner-life to one of Looper's most interesting and most neglected characters.

Planetes

Pericronus
(Werner Locksmith, Tanabe Ai, Fee Carmichael, Yuri Mihairokov, Edelgard Rivera, Hoshino Hachirota, Sally Silverstone, Kyutaro Hachirota)
Following an explosion aboard their spacecraft, it seems all but certain that astronauts Hachirota Hoshino and Sally Silverstone are dead or dying. Ai Hoshino (née Tanabe) believes otherwise, but she'll have to convince the most calculating man in space exploration of her theory, and Werner Locksmith did not get to where he is in life by doubting his own intellect.
A criminally underappreciated fic for a criminally underappreciated canon. This is a fabulous short SF story, and a great device for pitting Ai and Locksmith against eachother in a sort of Feelings Standoff that I really enoyed.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Perdendosi
(Miki Sayaka/Sakura Kyouko, Kamijou Kyousuke/Miki Sayaka, Miki Sayaka/Tomoe Mami, Miki Sayaka, Kamijou Kyousuke, Tomoe Mami, Sakura Kyouko)
Or: Three people Sayaka loved and one she never managed to
I read this on a lark, as the description and pairings weren't really doing anything for me...but MAN. This fic had some really interesting things to say, and it said them well. My series rewatch has been bumped up accordingly!

The City of Witches
(Akemi Homura/Kaname Madoka, Akemi Homura, Kaname Madoka, Tomoe Mami, Sakura Kyouko, Charlotte the Dessert Witch)
Every street in the city of witches leads to despair, but Homura Akemi will never lose her way.
I almost didn't finish reading this, as a device in the early scenes wasn't working for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Very smart, very evocative, and some fantastic post-canon scenes.

Unsounded

A Sealed Heart
(Duane Adelier/Sette Frummagem)
Someone has found Duane's organs, and is using them in a pymaric ritual to summon and bind him. Sette is not going to let that happen, though. After all, Duane is *her* attack zombie.
This turned out to be a gripping, well-paced and often kind of touching adventure story, and I really enjoyed it, but MAN! TAKE THE WARNINGS SERIOUSLY! It is for a ship with an underage character, and it is really really violent!

*

That's it for now -- MORE SOON I HOPE!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2012-11-21 10:53 am

Some Things that have been taking up my time!

Like many folks, I haven't been updating my LJ/DW as much as I once did, but in part that's because I've been pretty busy! In addition to various Chronin-related figuring out of things, I've been working really hard on two smaller projects, and now both of them are in a state that can be consumed by people who aren't me!

Space Stuff

The first is a novella-length story that I wrote over the summer, which follows a crew of six through a harrowing week on the first manned mission to Mars. I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out, and I adore the other stories which were included in the anthology it was written for: The Ships We Sail, edited and organized by [livejournal.com profile] pts. It also features stories by [personal profile] jlh, [livejournal.com profile] ladysisyphus, [livejournal.com profile] drmoonpants, [livejournal.com profile] sistermagpie and more, all of which are excellent!

I'm really excited about this project, not only because I worked very hard on my story, and because the quality of the other stories contributed is VERY high, but because I sincerely believe in small press and independent publishing and I hope this little anthology of ours can find its place in the world. My years reading and working in indy comics has given me a deep respect for the work that people do outside of "traditional" print publishing with large houses, and I hope that The Ships We Sail does its part to show that small press anthologies can be a great home for short fiction.

If you want to read a sizeable excerpt of my story, which is titled "Off Nominal," you can do so on the Ships We Sail site! I hope some of you guys check it out -- I'd love to hear what you think!

Cat Stuff

The OTHER big thing I've been working on is on the other end of the "Things Alison Does" spectrum -- an ongoing interactive webcomic, heavy on the visuals, about a cat and their adventures in a lonely forest. It's called A Stray In The Woods, and every update is based on reader-submitted "commands" -- although of course, not every command necessarily ends in the result the reader may have hoped for! The first installment is here, if you want to go check it out!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2012-01-04 12:59 am

Hooray for Yuletide! MY VERY FAVORITE FANNISH THING!

The Yuletide reveal has passed, so now I can talk about what I got up to this time around! Perhaps a couple of you will be interested? I've had so little time for writing this year, it was a treat just to have an excuse to sit down and bang out a couple stories. Which were:

Helping you is what I do. -- Moon

Eighteen years on the far side of the moon.

My recipient requested a fic from GERTY's perspective, and after reading a gigantic pile of essays about AIs (friendly or otherwise) and taking obsessive notes on the film, this is what I came up with. One part for each Sam, which means that some of them are pretty sad.

A Surfeit of Noms, in Need of Deliverance -- Glitch

The Giant, Pot, preferred to keep logistical concerns well clear of his merrymaking, and in this matter Rue was indispensable.

I was hilariously ill on Christmas, but I was DETERMINED to write at least one fic for Yuletide Madness. This absurdly silly story is what resulted.


AS FOR RECS...!!!

I'm still not entirely finished poking through the Yuletide Archive, but rather than put this off indefinitely I'm just gonna go ahead and talk a little about what I've most enjoyed so far!


Adventure Time

So we all are growing young by CherryIce

Marceline may be a thousand years old, but Princess Bubblegum has been eighteen for a very long time.

This was just a super-interesting read, particularly in how it pokes at the edges of Ooo and its history, through the lens of Bubblegum's curiosity and through what Marceline does and doesn't want to share.


Ferris Bueller's Day Off

One Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Feet by Kyra

The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"

A Ferris/Sloane/Cameron fic about college and longing and New York City and Chinese takeout. (And kissing.)


Glitch

A Glitch in Time by fourthage

There's a new creature in the world, and the giants aren't quite sure what to make of it.

The Constellations of Tii by redsnake05

Tii finds beauty in order and meaning, in knowing the details that lie under appearances. It seems that some of the other giants can't look past zir appearance.

These are both insanely adorable, and neither will make any sense at all to those of you who haven't wasted giant amounts of time playing Glitch.


Hey, Arnold!

Stay and See (What Becomes of Us) by TrisB

Fire compels, fire consumes / you are a cheater, you are fireproof / I am a smoky plume / I am up a ladder to your bedroom

I'm only passingly familiar with Hey Arnold so I'm sure I missed some of the finer details of this, but it's about Helga and Arnold and their complicated teenaged relationship, and THAT much I can certainly appreciate.


The Left Hand of Darkness

The End and the Way by Luzula

On Posthe Tuwa of the Year One in the reign of Argaven XII, Harny Sord of Gernahan gave birth to a pervert.

A fully realized short story set in the LHoD world, this was hands-down the most impressive Yuletide entry I read this year. I haven't read the original novel since I was in college, and now it's been bumped to the top of my re-read list -- in large part so I can better appreciate what the author of this fic managed!


Lilo and Stitch

All My Dreams Fulfilled by escritoireazul

Nani Pelekai falls in love.

Stuck On You by Katherine

Cobra obediently checked in his appointment book for the mentioned day (clear) before Lilo told him why.

"That's my birthday," Lilo said. "I'm having a party, and everyone is giving me bricks. That's the theme."


Someone asked for Cobra/David/Nani as a domestic OT3, and it must have hit the pinch list because several authors rose to the challenge. Leaving me in the very strange position of shipping this kind of a lot out of absolutely nowhere? BUT I AM NOT EVEN A LITTLE SORRY.


Love Actually

Alone Together by Miggy

The movie didn't give everyone a happy ending. Some of them have to wait just a bit longer.

Takes two of my least-favorite storylines and heals the narrative wounds a little.


Mass Effect

All for One by Peripeteia

The virtues of belonging stopped mattering to her a long time ago.

Basically, I really want [personal profile] hoshizora to start his Mass Effect replay so that I can go back and read this again.


The Matrix

I See With My Eyes by Suaine

A young woman wakes up from a dream and finds herself in a nightmare.

An interesting take on a trans character which feels, in retrospect, like an obvious thing to explore with this canon.


Portal

Covalent Bonds by pinstripesuit

In 1968, the United States Senate holds an investigative hearing on Aperture Science’s culpability in the alleged missing astronauts at their Enrichment Center facility. Cave Johnson and his assistant Caroline are in attendance.

Hilarious enough in places that I read large chunks of it aloud to explain why I was laughing so hard.

Test Subject Starter Kit by Vintar

The Aperture Science Bring Your Daughter to Work Day is the perfect time to have her tested.

Featuring tiny!Chel, this fic very nearly killed me. I only wish it was longer!


Terra Nova

We Are Not Heroes And This Is No Triumph by pts

In her bones, Maddy Shannon knows that the Terra Novan colonists must become a different sort of human than the species that preceded them.

I can say, with complete confidence, that this fic is the one completely good thing I have experienced wrt Terra Nova. It is charming as hell and funny to boot.


True Grit

A Living Fire by th_esaurus

Mattie had been bitten young by the spirit of adventure, and it had near killed her.

This was my Yuletide gift, and it is completely fantastic! I asked for an exploration of Mattie Ross as an adult -- how she came to be the woman that we see at the end of the film -- and I couldn't be happier with the result.
ali_wildgoose: (scar)
2011-02-08 08:31 pm

More A:TLA comics! COMING SOON!

For reals this time!

Remember, ages and ages ago, when [livejournal.com profile] yaytime and I made a trailer for the new NickMag Avatar comics we were working on? And how, because of the magazine's untimely demise, over 75 pages of brand-new completely finished Avatar comics were never published in English? Some of them never published at all?

Apparently Dark Horse is finally doing something about it!

I am super-psyched about this announcement, you guys. As much as I'm a little sad that I don't get to be more directly involved, I'm jazzed as all hell that these comics will finally see the light of day!

I'm not sure which of the stories I worked on will be included, unfortunately....fingers crossed that "Swordbenders" is among them.... *____*
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2011-01-01 03:49 pm

Yuleide recs and revelations

Reveals went up precisely at midnight, allowing me to compulsively stalk the writers of several fics I enjoyed. The passing of anonymity also means that I can mention that my own story this year was a Back To The Future story titled Alternates, written for [livejournal.com profile] drworm. It's about Marty and his father, primarily, and how the former comes to terms with the strange new version of the latter he's accidentally created. I'll crosspost it to [livejournal.com profile] wildgoosery soon (I'm not allowing myself to post any fic there until I've finished with the BSSAU) but you can read it over at AO3 in the meantime if you're curious!

I also have some recs! This isn't as complete a list as I'd like, but I'm still clambering my way through the archives as of yet.

No Reservations: Narnia, by Edonohana (Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation/Chronicles of Narnia)
I’m crammed into a burrow so small that my knees are up around my ears and the boom mike keeps slamming into my head, inhaling the potent scent of toffee-apple brandy and trying to drink a talking mouse under the table.
This was utterly hilarious and charming, and I don't even care about Narnia.

The Spiral of Lives, by Damkianna (James Cameron's Avatar)
An AU of the movie, wherein the Avatar Program never existed.
I really hope she comes back to this, because it's a fantastic yuletide fic but it could be a killer novella length story.

"Weaker" Sex, by dropsofviolet (Oglaf)
Kronar's son was named Beth, and she knew from very early on that she was different. She wore the Bow of Honor, after all, and none of the other kids got to fight wolves until they were at least three.
Deeply silly. But then, so is the comic it's based on.

Sharktopus: In His Own Words, by airspaniel (Sharktopus)
I didn't ask for any of this.
Written from Sharktopus' point of view. Listening to [personal profile] hoshizora read this aloud was a highlight of my Christmas, let me tell you.

spiral out, keep going, by heinrichfrei (Moon)
GERTY's life, both cyclical and evolving.

The Lonely Traveler, by Becky (Mushishi)
After becoming snowbound in Adashino's village, Ginko realizes it's no natural storm keeping him there.
A funny, charming little story that fits very well in the Mushishi universe.

AND ALSO, some things friends of mine wrote!

Sincerely, Cindi. by [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields (Metropolis: the Chase Suite/The ArchAndroid - Janelle Monae)
Being of sound mind and a silenced body, this is your messiah speaking.

No More Alphabet, by [livejournal.com profile] meredyd (PlanetES)
Sometimes she came up for breath and remembered with a slight shock that her feet were no longer planted firmly on the ground.

Ancient Artifacts and Modern Rituals, by [livejournal.com profile] jlh (Community)
From TV Tropes: "The Vacation Episode is a one-off episode where the characters leave their familiar grounds for a well-deserved rest. The vacation will invariably be set in a faraway and exotic location for maximum impact; given the higher costs of shooting on location, the episode will often be longer than usual, to make best use of the budget. A Special Guest or three might also be included."
or, the one where the gang go to New York City for spring break.


YEAR OF THE MK III SONICARE ULTRASONIC TOOTHBRUSH, by [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora (Infinite Jest)
Hal Incandenza struggles to find his way out of his own mind. More or less.

I am no doubt leaving out a ton of stuff, but that's a start anyway!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2010-10-28 01:26 pm

I just might be the lunatic you're looking for.

I don't usually cross-post from Tumblr, but sometimes there is a thing that's SO HILARIOUSLY AND EMBARASSINGLY relevant to my interests that I pretty much can't help myself.

Today, it's Hussalonia's cover of Billy Joel's 1980 album Glass Houses, which has changed my life forever. (You can alo listen to the first track -- "You May Be Right" -- streaming on my original Tumblr post, if you like)

From their site:

“Pop does not mean popular” is the Hussalonia motto. But sometimes pop is popular. Really popular. Take Billy Joel for instance. I bet your mom loves Billy Joel. Why shouldn’t she? He was handsome and wrote dramatically sweet pop songs like “Piano Man” and “Just The Way You Are.” But popularity wasn’t enough for Joel; he was an angry and cynical guy like you. He was a pop music scholar, like you. He didn’t want your mom’s love, he wanted your love: you, the snobby rock-critic, with your punk and new wave records. Enter 1980’s Glass Houses. Influenced by The Jam, The Cars, Elvis Costello as well good old Paul McCartney (who just made his own “new wave” record: Back To The Egg), Joel was determined to roughen up his image and earn some street cred. Instead, he earned his first number one single and a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. Sorry, Bill.

Today, Poor Billy Joel is pretty much retired. He gave up trying to please you fickle bastards. He caved in and spent the 90s pandering to the adult contemporary scene. And time hasn’t been kind to his street cred. It’s less cool now than it ever was to listen to Billy Joel. We here at Hussalonia Lo-Fi Solutions might be inclined to feel sorry him, if he weren’t so fucking rich and well loved by our moms. Nevertheless, we’re offering this: a song-for-song cover of Glass Houses. We feel that Glass Houses represents the struggle between low and high pop culture. And Hussalonia resents that struggle. We hate and love all pop music equally. So what can you expect from our version of Glass Houses? It’s lo-fi, raw, unhinged and full of musical in-jokes. Maybe it will inspire the kids to reassess Billy Joel’s career. Have we lost our minds? Is this a joke? A tribute? A parody? Are we going to get sued? Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe!

 

 

I was going to just post a little quote from that, but then I realized that it was all THE TRUTH as I would have written it, were I a talented young pair of musicians, and surrendered to the inevitable.

I grew up listening to Billy Joel. We played our cassette of Glass Houses in the car so many times that we wore it out, and had to buy another copy. I had every song on this album memorized before I knew what most of the lyrics were even talking about (I only figured out why a "walk through Bedford Stuy alone" was such a big deal a couple years ago.) Informed by a punk rock sensibility that I would otherwise never have encountered in elementary school, it directly shaped the musical tastes I would carry into adulthood. And now, covered in its entirety by a two-man rock band in 2006, it's transformed into an album that retains the excellent songwriting of the original but sheds the schlocky veneer that's made Joel so criminally uncool since the 1980s.

You can download the entire cover album (and donate, if you like it) here. You can preview snippets from (and buy) the original album here. Both are excellent and fill me with giddy, inarticulate joy.

My only complaint about Hussalonia's cover of Glass Houses is that it took me four years to find it.

(NOTE TO CLIO: the cover of "All for Leyna" is particularly great)

ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-09-18 09:57 pm
Entry tags:

ATLA fandom heads up, I guess?

Taking a break from work (or, you know, from trying to make myself work) to pimp a thing that a few of you might be interested in.

There's this new community activity thingy called [livejournal.com profile] atlaland? With a team for each nation and different kinds of challenges each week and like...you earn points? I don't know, it seemed like some low-commitment fun and I am ALL ABOUT this kind of Happy Funtime Fandom Unity Activity generally speaking.

More info over on the community profile. I am in [livejournal.com profile] the_fire_nation which is currently SUPER-UNDERPOPULATED for whatever reason. Just saying. You know. In case you wanna come hang in my internet clubhouse or some shit.

Now: back to writing the Zuko!Prequel! WHICH IS DUE IN LIKE A WEEK HAHAHAHA GOD THIS WEEKEND IS GOING TO BE SO FUN RIGHT? ;_______;
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-06-22 10:24 pm
Entry tags:

Alas, I'm not sure if this applies to me, as I'm kind of a jerk

There was some drama tonight, regarding the outcome of a poll some of us thought was about Awesome Ladies and ended up being about Adam Lambert. And you know....I love Adam Lambert! But we could all use some chatter about how ladies are awesome, in light of this and various other recent nonsense. We really, really could. And so, via [livejournal.com profile] jlh

Nice Girls Finish First

Go! Comment! SHARE YOUR LADIES WITH US. <3 Or pimp, like so:

ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-06-20 02:02 am
Entry tags:

In which "Moon" nearly destroys me with awesome

Tonight Scott and I went to see "Moon," a new film being distributed by Fox Searchlight starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey, both of whom turned in fantastic performances. It's about a man on a three-year, solo contract running a mining operation on the dark side of the moon. And it was so fantastic that I'm kind of in shock.

It's also in limited release, and I can't seem to find any indication as to what plans for wide release might be. I suspect box office numbers will help determine that? So if you live in or near New York or LA (which seem to be the only cities playing it) go out right now and buy a ticket and bring a friend and help make a Juno out of this thing. Because it was THAT. GOOD.

And...seriously, if you know me? You'll know that while there are many things I enjoy, there are actually very few that I put a hardcore stamp of unconditional THAT WAS AWESOME approval on. And "Moon" just became one of them.

Short okay not-so-short, unspoilery explanation of LOVE:

"Moon" is a hard science fiction film. It's set in outer space, and its plot is intimately tied to that setting. But it's the kind of science fiction that we so rarely see anymore -- thoughtful and interesting, a future that quietly goes about its business in the background, technology that's convincing in part because it looks like it's been used. It's a one-man moon colony but it's also a mining camp and a home -- there's dust and dirt, grey old spacesuits and rumpled clothes, photos taped to mirrors and postit notes stuck to the robots, hair that he's let grow a little too long and weird, awkward messages from home.

It's hard SF. There's no handwaving away of inconvenient details. It's neither a fluffy popcorn romp nor a needlessly high-strung thriller. I don't want to say anything else because I don't want to spoil it (I REALLY DON'T WANT TO SPOIL IT) but it never did any of the stupid, cheap things I worried it might. I can't tell you how long it's been since I felt that way about a movie that's set in space. Or a movie that has much of an SF plot at all, really. (SO. LONG.)

So, yes. The plot and setting are as straightforwardly SF as they come. (Which isn't to say they're dull or predictable, as they aren't at all.) But the movie -- the experience of watching it -- is deeply, beautifully human. And "human" doesn't mean wallowing in angst and pain and awfulness. It doesn't mean people screaming at each other for scene after scene.

Sam is a man who's lived alone on a space station for three years. His struggles make perfect sense, are real and simple and quiet and all the more beautiful and heartbreaking and satisfying because of it. He never becomes a characature; he's never forced into some mold or another for the sake of the story. He's Sam, and he's kind of lonely, and sometimes he doesn't bother to shave for a while, and he can't wait to go home and see his young daughter.

So. Yeah. GO SEE IT if you possibly can. If there's some way to ask your local indy theater to try and get ahold of it, do so.

I'm going to go see it again if anyone's interested?

(I was going to write a few specific, spoilery thoughts behind a cut, but...has anyone else actually seen this? If not, you know -- you really REALLY don't want to spoiled for this film, so I'm not even going to provide the temptation if there's no point in doing so.)

ETA: There may be spoilers in the comments! Just a fair warning!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-05-30 11:44 am
Entry tags:

I've got myself a notion / One I know that you'll understand

So [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain posted her top ten Disney songs, and I found that I couldn't actually resist that level of temptation.

I have listened to pretty much all of these soundtracks on repeat for days at a time, particularly when I was in my early teens and at the height of my love affair with Disney Musicals. As such, it was actually really hard for me to not just link to the soundrack versions as opposed to the clips from the films, because OH MAN there's all this TALKING and SOUND EFFECTS and weird editing MESSING UP THESE SONGS OF MY HEART.

I'll try to keep the commentary to a minimum because I actually do have a lot to do today AND that's a long, dark path to start down. So you know....Here are my top ten! )
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-05-04 11:39 am
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May is for Awesome Things!

So there's some stuff coming up that VARIOUS FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES are doing, and it seemed prudent to mention a couple of them here! ;3

First, the always fantastic Tom Warburton, creator of Codename: Kids Next Door, just released his first book! It's called 1000 Times No and while it's meant for small children, it's also just a really great looking book and I am SUPER EXCITED for him! We had lunch last week and I got to see a copy in person, and it looks GORGEOUS -- he fought really hard to get it just how he wanted it and all his persistence paid off.

Because he's an Animation Guy by trade, he put together a promo video for it, including the voices of his son, Parker (aawwwwww!) and Jennifer Hale (who's done a BILLION voices, including Numbuh 86 on C:KND and both June and Avatar Kyoshi on ATLA). You can find out more about how he put it together on his blog, including some of his storyboards!



If you're in the NYC area, Tom will be doing a signing of his book later this month at Books of Wonder! It'll be on Saturday, May 23rd at 2PM -- you can find out more info on it here!

ALSO!!!!

If you're an Avatar fan and you're planning to be at Anime Central this weekend, you should absolutely go to the "Avatar: The Last Airbender, Beginning and Beyond" panel that some of my friends are running! Kevin "Puppetbending" Coppa will be there, as well as Avatar Mom and Zimmay, and [livejournal.com profile] yaytime and I maaaaaaaaaay have put together a little sneak preview of the next wave of Avatar comics. And it maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay be a little more elaborate than one would expect. Because we're both ridiculous people. <3



Full flier, with all the details, behind the cut! )


So that's it! PRETTY AWESOME FEW WEEKS, YOU GUYS! GLEE ALL AROUND! :D
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-04-20 10:15 pm
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Things that have vastly improved my quality of life

- Finishing the model I was building in Google Sketchup (of the interior of a house I'll have to draw A MILLION TIMES in Chronin) which took me three days but will hopefully save me a lot of work.

- Nearing the finish line of the GIANT-ASS AU FANFIC that I've been writing/NOTPOSTING since September (endless piles of thanks and adoration to [livejournal.com profile] kittyjimjams, [livejournal.com profile] clio_jlh, [livejournal.com profile] boredgods and [livejournal.com profile] gulliblesnail for keeping me sane on that front, holy shit)

- Delicious hot dogs.

- Recovering from the stomachache that resulted from that last item.

- Having the sound of thunder and pouring rain outside my window.

- [livejournal.com profile] bookshop articulating some of the very seriously misogynistic bullshit going on in Watchmen.

- Rewatching Hikaru no Go (<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3)

- SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES HAVING A SEASON SERIES SOME KIND OF FINALE THAT WAS SO AWESOME I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

- Videos in which large groups of people dance in public places )

- ETA: fuck it...TIME FOR SOME FERRIS BUELLER )
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-03-31 11:48 am
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Believe it or not, I'm actually trying not to think about this!

I seem to be in a foxhole of freaked-out productivity at the moment, which I will hopefully dig myself out of over the course of the day. HOWEVER! I wanted to toss out a couple links in the meantime that y'all might find interesting.

As you may have noticed, I had some issues with BSG and the things it chose to be and the way it generally conducted itself. A blogger named Abigail Nussbaum has quite conveniently articulated her own thoughts on the series, nearly all of which line up with my own but are far more elegantly stated, and I'd recommend in particular a couple of her posts I read this morning: Doomed to Repeat It: Battlestar Galactica, Thoughts at the End and Out of Focus: Thoughts on Battlestar Galactica's Mutiny Arc. The latter concentrates on one story arc but, within that, talks about the larger problems with the way the writers handled questions of ethics and human emotion; the former uses the failures of the series in general and the finale specifically as a springboard for talking about what BSG's widespread acclaim might mean for SF as a genre and how it will be handled in the future.

They're both of moderate length and worth reading, but there's one quote in particular that I wanted to pull out, as it touches on an issue that I just...COULD NOT get over, and was a large part of what ultimately made the show unwatchable to me.

I'm reminded of Fred Clarke's monumental, years-in-the-making takedown of the first Left Behind novel, and his oft-repeated complaint that this book posits the disappearance of a third of the planet's population, including every single child, as nothing but a starting point for its plot, with almost no acknowledgment of the awfulness of this event or the scale of grief and rage that should follow it. Battlestar Galactica isn't quite as bad as that, but its depictions of the reactions to the destruction of humanity are on too small a scale. People miss their spouses, their children, their dogs. They're angry at the discomfort and danger they live in every day. There's no sense of the magnitude of what they've lost--not just family and friends but culture, history, art, society--nothing on the level of this passage, from just a few chapters into The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Nelson's Column had gone! Nelson's Column had gone and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry. From now on Nelson's Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind--his mind, stuck here in this dank, smelly steel-lined spaceship. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him.

England no longer existed. He'd got that--somehow he'd got it. He tried again. America, he thought, had gone. He couldn't grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York was gone. No reaction. He'd never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonalds, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald's hamburger.

He passed out. When he came round a second time he found he was sobbing for his mother.


This is a comedy. It's played for laughs, and yet Douglas Adams comes closer in this passage to what it means to lose your entire world than Battlestar Galactica has done in three and a half seasons of misery and torment.


...

Yeah.

Kinda yeah.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields for the link!)
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-03-05 01:42 am
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The internet continues to be full of WONDROUS THINGS!



So yes -- the site I'm talking about is YourFonts.com and is among the coolest internet toys I've ever played with! My only advice would be to pay very close attention to those guides they give you -- it's what keeps all the letters lined up properly.
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-02-19 04:39 am
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You don't meet a girl like that every dynasty.

In a fit of late-night insanity and under the influence of [livejournal.com profile] rawles, I have created a new community: [livejournal.com profile] you_fight_good! It is dedicated to Mulan and Shang being hot and awesome, together or separately but you know, preferably together.

If you have ever drawn a picture, written a fic, made some icons or posted some interesting meta about these kids, PLEASE feel free to go and crosspost them there, even if they're old! Especially if they're old, actually! Because seriously, having all this stuff in the same place would be LOVELY. <3

ALSO: pimping is awesome! Y'all know the drill.
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-02-13 01:35 am
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I don't normally post this much, but today there was a lot to talk about!

So for the past few months -- come to think of it, it's been the greater part of a year -- my very good friend [livejournal.com profile] jlh has been working on a story called "A Dream That Could Not Last." In her words, it's a "romantic comedy set in 1939 London, when everyone knew war was on the horizon but no one was sure when or how it would arrive — which made love of all kinds that much more important. Follow a year in the life of three groups of (mostly) Americans: pilots who joined the RAF, singers and dancers in a swing music revue, and reporters for BBC Radio."

It's also an American Idol RPF fic, which I know most of you don't generally pay much attention to. BUT! I will say that as someone who has only recently started watching Idol and isn't in the fandom for it AT ALL, I've been betaing this fic pretty intensely for most of the time she's been writing it, and it's really really good. Good in a way that goes beyond RPF and is just genuinely interesting and engaging and meticulously researched through and through.

So if you're at all intrigued by a wartime romance that just happens to be populated with fictionalized versions of real people, then I highly recommend giving this fic a try. <3
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-02-12 11:08 pm
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My heart BUUURRRRRRNS for you!

I had some people over tonight for a Valentine-themed birthday party, in which we all made cards out of construction paper and elmers glue. A lot of folks very kindly made me cards, which are now covering my fridge (I should post a photo...!) but one in particular seemed the sort of thing y'all might get a kick out of.



Yes, my REAL LIFE FRIENDS tease me about this, too... )

ETA: CHECKED MY EMAIL, and [livejournal.com profile] vermilionsun ALSO MADE ME A ZUKO VALENTINE. I THINK THE WORLD IS TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING XD
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-01-26 03:48 pm
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You might enjoy some madness for a while

If you've been friends with me for long enough you probably already know this, but it bears repeating: I really, really like Billy Joel. "Glass Houses" was burned into my soul at a tender age, and though as an adult I recognize how completely ridiculous he is I CANNOT HELP BUT LOVE HIM JUST THE SAME.

The thing about Billy Joel is that he's unapologetically dorky and relentlessly sincere (qualities I can certainly relate to) and while I know that YES, he can be so damn cheesy and YES, half the time his narrative ballads make no sense and YES, he's often breathtakingly derivative and YES YES OH MY GOD YES he is constantly singing about things he has no personal experience with whatsoever I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO CARE.

Billy Joel is hilarious and awesome, and I don't give a shit what those jerks on Slate think (nice timing, though, guys!) -- I will continue to love him, however fatally uncool that may make me.

About a week ago I rescued all my music off the near-dead ipod that had been languishing on my desk for a year. Suddenly I once again had EVERY SINGLE BILLY JOEL ALBUM EVER on my computer. So I suppose, really, this was bound to happen.



You May Be Right (I May Be Crazy)
a dweebtastic compilation of the musical stylings of one William Joel
[Download Here (28 tracks, 171 MB)]


Note that I've left off most of the songs that were ever actually popular -- no "Piano Man," no "Just The Way You Are," and DEFINITELY no goddamn "We Didn't Start The Fire." These are the songs that I personally enjoy for whatever reason -- because they're fun to sing along to, because they say something that's actually kind of interesting, because they're heartbreakingly sincere, because they're deliciously melodramatic, because they're hilariously insane, because they're inexplicably in French. (No, I have no idea what he was thinking.)

Track list behind the cut! GO AHEAD AND LAUGH, YOU SNOBS. )
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
2009-01-12 02:21 pm
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And they'll just put you in the spotlight / And hope that you'll do alright (Or maybe not)

I saw Slumdog Millionaire a couple weeks ago while in San Diego, and had been meaning to post and tell everyone else to check it out and help raise those box office numbers a little. Then it went and won Best Dramatic Motion Picture at the Golden Globes last night, which honestly could not have made me happier.

I went to see this film knowing absolutely nothing about it except for its title -- whenever possible, I prefer to experience narratives exactly how the storyteller wanted me to, and since I'd been told to see it by several people anyway I didn't even look up the summary. That was a FANTASTIC way to watch this film, but I realize not everyone's as crazy as I am.

If you're curious about it and don't mind MAJOR-if-out-of-context-spoilers, or if you already watched it and want to bask a little more, I highly recommend this fanvid (made by [livejournal.com profile] genrocks) that was posted earlier today. They did a marvelous job!



EDIT: ...and now I'm watching the (VERY SPOILERY) closing credits on youtube and sniffling and wanting to go out and see this film again IMMEDIATELY.