Books

Dec. 2nd, 2012 06:41 am
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Hermione)
I don't feel like doing a Gleeview either this week. It's too hot. 27.1°C (80.78°F) in our kitchen right now. That's at 6am! But it feels even warmer because it's humid, so I'm just sitting around in my underwear, hoping the cool change comes through before I have to turn my computer off to stop it overheating.

So maybe later in the week I won't feel too hot to think. Or too hot to have my computer on.

Because we don't have air conditioning at home, yesterday I took a bag full of books to the nearest shopping centre and just sat and read all day.

So I finished Tanya Huff's The Silvered. I love that book! It has magic, werewolves, humour, lots of action, lots of smart women heroes, and as usual in her worlds, the universe is not just full of straight people, so it has everything I love. I couldn't put it down.

Her books just keep getting better and better.

When I was in the city last week, I looked everywhere for Chris Colfer's second novel, Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, so either it wasn't out yet or nowhere stocked it. Yesterday, I found three copies in Dymocks, Parramatta, so if anyone else is looking for it, that's where you can find it.

And I have more to read now. :)
elfinblaze: (Torchwood)
My second Christmas entry, in which I detail my post-Christmas enjoyment of all gifts.

I began the day by watching this:

Miracle Day - no spoilers )

So I'm watching Torchwood again! Damn, that feels good to say. I'm finally catching up with this newest series, and I'm loving watching Jack and Gwen again.

No one spoil me, I've only seen episodes 1 - 3 so far. I'm going slow this time, unlike Children of Earth which I watched in one sitting. @_@ Never again.

After that, for a change of pace, I watched:

Glee: the Concert Movie )

And I can finally take screencaps of all the creative and different Born This Way t-shirts! I still love all the stories those shirts tell about the wearers, and yes, I am wearing my own shirt right now, but that was purely by coincidence.

Shirts! )

And after that, I started reading some of this year's Yuletide fics.

So far, I've loved The Perils of Hunting Leporidae-Chiroptera-Vampirus (Tanya Huff's Smoke series), which doesn't quite feature a killer bunny, but does feature my favourite wizard, Tony Foster (sorry, Harry). It's thoroughly enjoyable and suitably deranged.

Also, I Found My Way (Lewis), which focuses on Sergeant Hathaway's past, faith, and sexuality, as spun out from "Life Born of Fire" and "Wild Justice" (my favourite two episodes), with a tone that fits perfectly well into the series. It's a lovely, quiet little story.

Look at that: I fit Torchwood, Glee, and Tanya Huff into one post. How perfect. It should be obvious by now, but I have a deep and abiding love for all things cheesy, camp, absurd, and downright insane.
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Hermione)
- I got to watch Pop Asia this morning. It's been a long time since I've watched a music video program (not since university), but I had the house to myself and no one to care about my taste in music or judge me as I danced around several rooms to Asian pop music (although it was mostly Korean this morning).

I need to do that again some time.

- I finished The Wild Ways, by Tanya Huff ([livejournal.com profile] andpuff), with a huge smile on my face. It has all the usual good book stuff: the zany characters, the humour, the dragons, the inability to stop reading, the deliberately lost phones, the cameo by Cthulhu. When I catch myself punching the air on behalf of the characters, I know it's a good book.

- My sister counted how many pairs of shoes she has: fifty-five.

Still not as bad as [livejournal.com profile] udara_jay.

- Speaking of whom... Oh [livejournal.com profile] udara_jay... Remember this guy?

Suddenly I really feel like I'm back at uni.

- This is really creepy:
Five years ago, a relatively unknown (and unhinged) director began one of the wildest experiments in film history. Armed with total creative control, he invaded a Ukrainian city, marshaled a cast of thousands and thousands, and constructed a totalitarian society in which the cameras are always rolling and the actors never go home.
(via rm)
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Hermione)
- This is very helpful. Because I have trouble articulating anything about anxiety disorders. And although I'm always too scared to ask for help, sometimes all I want is for someone to offer it. Because it's easier to say "yes" than it is to say "please don't make fun of me for not being able to do this simple thing on my own, but can I watch you do it first so I know what to expect?"

- Guess what I have! ^___^

Yes, I have Tanya Huff's The Wild Ways! Eeee! There has been a lot of this already this week, and now there will be more:

pictures under cut )

- I had the most bizarre and yet extremely cool dream last night. Hogwarts was under attack... from Howl's Moving Castle, which was a factory for a robot army. And somehow Horcruxes were involved, but I can't remember how. My brain is awesome sometimes!

- Why wasn't this K-Pop Festival on when I might have been interested? Or Pop Asia, for that matter!

Well, at least they're on now. I'm glad Australia is getting more diverse music now.
elfinblaze: (Torchwood)
- How Do You Spot A Bully?
I've come across almost all of these at some point, both online and off.

- When I was wrapping my sister's birthday presents yesterday, all I could think was "needs more glitter".

Consider yourselves warned for this year's Christmas presents everyone. Because everything is better with glitter!

- Guess what I found? No, not more Lea Salonga, for once.

I found a fluffy red bow tie in my fancy dress stuff. I didn't even remember having a fluffy red bow tie.

I was going to give it to my (other) sister to go with her devil costume for Halloween, but she's more likely to lose it, spill something on it, have someone else walk off wearing it, etc. And I would like to keep it. Because bow ties are cool.

- Glee is back to its usual time, 7:30 on Wednesday! Hooray! No more staying up late for me! No more watching while already half asleep!

- Tanya Huff's new book The Wild Ways comes out November 1. It's a sequel to The Enchantment Emporium (aka Her Best Book Ever), and it will focus on my dearest Charlie. Can. Not. Wait!
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Hermione)
- I tend to walk around the house semi-dressed just because I can't be bothered getting dressed properly when I'm at home half the time.

But I should probably remember to put some pants on before I leave the house, shouldn't I?

- The Warblers (from Glee), performing "Fireflies". Apparently that's not the Beezelbubs but the on-screen Warblers singing. I'm kind of in love with this song at the moment.

- Tanya Huff has a new short story featuring Tony Foster (aka my favourite fictional character ever) coming out soon, in Those Who Fight Monsters, which sounds right up my alley! Occult detectives? Yes, please! It'll be out on April 30 in Canada. I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but this is definitely going on my to-buy list.

- According to this, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will be out in Australia on the 14th July. Which basically means July 13th, if I know Australian cinemas.

- This is a wonderful article about the Rebecca Black phenomenon, on pop culture in the digital age, bullying and publicity.
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
Things I'm looking forward to next year:

- More Glee (February)
- Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2 (July)
- Torchwood (July)
- The Truth of Valor, by Tanya Huff, out in paperback (later 2011)
- Wild Road, by Tanya Huff (late 2011)

Screw Christmas, what I need now is a time machine. Or better yet, a Doctor! Unfortunately, when I called the Doctor he was busy - something about the Vashta Nerada again - so I suppose I'll just have to take the long way through time.

At least I got my Christmas shopping done today. And it only took me two hours, even without the Doctor's help. I'm very proud of myself. *all organised*

In the meantime, I have a story to finish before then. It's currently kicking my arse. And just yesterday I discovered that a character who already had both hands full was indicating something. Apparently I'm really bad at keeping count of limbs.

So my project for the week: finish story in coherent manner, and hopefully I won't find any more people with three arms lurking about in it.

Oh, and wrap presents.

Link Dump

Aug. 7th, 2010 09:05 am
elfinblaze: (torchwood)
1. Via Autostraddle:

The Sci-Fi Explanation of Why Gay People Must Be Allowed to Marry

In many of the sci-fi futures that we know and love, racism, sexism, and homophobia are often scrubbed out of existence. Caprica/BSG, Star Trek, Torchwood, Mass Effect, even less thoughtful fare like Starship Troopers, depict residents of the future who are less interested in the permutations of human identity and more interested in the qualities of a person’s mind and spirit.

I love the continuum they refer to, with a progression of rights based on sapience, sentience, self-awareness, etc.

I know people complain about how conservative speculative fiction still is (it is still a bastion of the straight, white male), but it's leaps and bounds ahead of other genres. Have you ever looked for progressive crime fiction? Well, I have, and I'm sticking with sci-fi/fantasy. I suppose it's true that sci-fi is really all about the present, dressed up as the future.

2. Via [livejournal.com profile] doctorwho:

List of writers for Torchwood, season 4.

Other writers for Season 4 include John Shiban ("Breaking Bad," "Supernatural," "The X-Files"), Doris Egan ("House," "Tru Calling," "Dark Angel'), Jane Espenson ("Game of Thrones," "Battlestar Galactica," "Buffy") and John Fay (a U.K. "Torchwood" writer).

I was hoping for James Moran or Trevor Baxendale, but this is so much better! Who else thinks this series is going to be epic?

3. Via [livejournal.com profile] daily_snitch:

Emma Watson loses most of her hair in new 'do

Am I the only one who thinks Emma Watson looks hot with short hair? She looked gorgeous before too, but... Some people are just beautiful, no matter what they do.

4. Via... well, the horse's mouth, I suppose:

Tanya Huff is now writing Charlie's story, the follow up to The Enchantment Emporium, and it's due out next year, to which I say: "Hooray!" Because I love Charlie and I want a mini Charlie Gale to go in my pocket with my mini Binti Mashona.

More to read! Yay~
elfinblaze: (Blood and Smoke series)
Things I'm looking forward to:

- Asiavision! Like Eurovision for the Asia Pacific region. The countries competing this year will be: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. As a follower of Eurovision I can only say: this is going to be so much fun! I'm looking forward to it already.

- Tanya Huff's new books. The Truth of Valor (the final Valor book, and damn it feels weird to write that word without a U) will be out later this year, but I'll have to wait until next year to buy the paperback version. The next book will be a stand-alone about Napoleonic werewolves, and the one after that will be a sequel to The Enchantment Emporium, focussing on Charlie. *waves Charlie flag*

- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm guessing everyone's seen the trailer by now? My favourite part: spoilers ) These movies are going to be awesome! And I'm going to need a box of tissues in the cinema with me for the last one. I'm most likely going to be bawling my eyes out. Can. Not. Wait!

Also good news: Tom Felton won "Best Villain" for playing Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the MTV Awards. He has brown hair in his acceptance speech, if you want to see what he looks like outside of Malfoy-Blond.

- Torchwood. Yes, I'm still all squeeful since the news made me sit up in bed yesterday morning.

Why I'm looking forward to Torchwood, since everyone else is doing this list too and I am a sheep. )

Plenty to look forward to squeeing over. :)

Reading...

Jun. 2nd, 2010 08:02 am
elfinblaze: (Blood and Smoke series)
I think I'm in love with Samuel R. Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, even though it's not an easy read. It's a challenge, not least because one of the alien languages in the book uses "she" as the default pronoun, so you never know if the other character being written about is human, alien, male, female, or anything else. I tend to mentally visualise alien-with-indeterminate-gender until stated otherwise. It's certainly a mind-bender, but in a good way because you start wondering about all the assumptions you make reading other books with more conventional language use.

I can tell it's going to be one of those books that takes me months to read, though, because it's not an easy read, and I'm only a third of the way through, but I do love it and it will probably end up being one of my favourite books of all time, because I am very impressed.

Also, it has one of the most beautiful titles I've ever come across.

I also just finished reading Tanya Huff's Blood Debt, which I was trying to put off because it was the last "Blood and Smoke" book I hadn't read. And now the series is over for me. *sob* I wish I could go back and read them all again for the first time. Re-reading is not quite the same.

I finally ended up reading it because I needed some cheering up last week after sinking into a bout of NIT (News-Induced Tension). It worked, cheering me up, but now I'm done with the series. *sigh*

Two more Tanya Huff books to read and then I will have read all her (currently available) novels. I'm putting those books off for even longer. I have them, but I don't want to touch them yet because I don't want to be finished with them.
elfinblaze: (Blood and Smoke series)
From Tanya Huff's twitter:

Link 1 and Link 2.

OH GOD!

In case the links don't work for you: basically, someone wants to do a TV series based on Tanya Huff's "Smoke" trilogy (Smoke and Shadows, Smoke and Mirrors, and Smoke and Ashes).

Please let Tony be in it... Although how you'd write a series about magic without a wizard in it I don't know... but I'm sure they could manage it if they really wanted to. ;_; And please don't turn Tony straight! Please, please, please!

He's my favourite fictional character ever, so if they screw up the series... well, I can guarantee some vehement hate from this Tanya Huff fan.

Also, minor quibble: Kyle Schmid was good as Henry in Blood Ties, from the little I've seen of it; I refuse to watch more because of the blatant hetero-ising[1] of the characters. But can Henry be re-cast if this spin-off does go ahead? Re-cast as the red-head he's supposed to be? Please?

God, I'm so worried about this. Not the best attitude when you hear of the prospect of your favourite trilogy being turned into a TV series, but I'm too jaded and cynical to get excited. *sigh*

At least I have a fitting icon this time! ^_^

[1] Yes, I made up a word. Is there another word for this?
elfinblaze: (Default)
I LOVE TONY FOSTER! Best fictional character ever! Closely followed by Long John Silver, but that's beside the point.

I got my hands on Many Bloody Returns, an anthology of stories using the prompts "vampire" and "birthday", which features among others a short story by Tanya Huff called "Blood Wrapped". It's set in the "Blood and Smoke" universe and focuses mainly on Tony and his ex, Henry (vampire and illegitimate son of King Henry VIII), solving a mystery by tracking down a missing child. The ending is simply beautiful in that it offers an answer to that age old question: "What do you get a vampire for her birthday?"

Loved reading more about Tony, "ex-street hustler, ex-police informant, third assistant director on the most popular vampire detective series on syndicated television and the only practicing wizard in the lower mainland", to quote. I was sitting at work making little squeaky noises to myself as I read. It's so, so good going back to that universe.

Now to read the rest of the stories in the anthology. ^_^
elfinblaze: (Default)
So one person on my FList is dealing with family issues, one person is dealing with health issues, one person is dealing with work issues, and [livejournal.com profile] ashkitty is dealing with zombies. I'm not sure which of those is the worst, but after reading my FList I think you could all use a big hug. And in [livejournal.com profile] ashkitty's case, a big gun. *hugs you all*

Meanwhile I've been dealing with dragons. Only in fiction, thankfully; I don't need big, fire-breathing reptiles in my life too. I've just finished reading The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff.

I love it to pieces! Short summary: it's about a family of witches in Canada, specifically Allie Gale, a young woman from that family who inherits a magical junk shop from her grandmother. So she moves away from her (huge) family, into a new city, and ends up right in the middle of magical occurences that she realises she needs to unravel in order to find out what happenned to her grandmother. It seems like there's a lot going on at the same time but it all makes sense at the end.

I love all the characters. Even the minor characters are interesting; like Auntie Ruby, whom the family send down into the basement to find some apples, but what she finds is a broomstick. The next thing the family knows she's flying past the kitchen window, cackling. Then there's Charlie, who goes for a walk in the woods in Halifax and ends up in Haiti. And Joe, the overgrown leprechaun, who refuses to return to fairyland. Tanya Huff just writes the most interesting characters I've ever come across, and they're all wonderful.

And I love all the pop culture references in the book.

"My name is Jack. My mother says it is a name for heroes."
Jack and the Beanstalk.
Jack the Giant Killer.
Little Jack Horner.
Jack O'Neill.
Captain Jack Sparrow.
Captain Jack Harkness.
Those were all the Jacks Allie could recall off the top of her head."


I knew I'd love this book and I do. ^_^ Yay!
elfinblaze: (Default)
My poor sister is studying for her Masters in Psychology at the moment and is rather stressed about finishing exams and assignments for the semester. On Monday I gave her an envelope of money to find me The Enchantment Emporium after her exam (because I can't make it to the shops during working hours), and she read what I'd written on the front of the envelope: "Engaging with- what?" Enchantment! Not Engagement! The poor thing has psychology on the brain right now. ^^;;

But she found it for me, yay! It's so pretty. Shiny. *strokes it* I'm just finishing off the last couple of pages of No Quarter, so I can start reading new Tanya Huff tomorrow. *_* Looking forward to it.

*wanders off to put on mud mask and finish reading* Yes, I am vain. Shut up.
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter)
Finished Blood Pact, by Tanya Huff (aka [livejournal.com profile] andpuff), this morning. Probably the best book in the series that I've read yet. Even though Tony's hardly in it. XD But every time he was mentioned it made me smile. I love Tony. My favourite fictional character ever. ^_^

But finishing it before lunch left me with nothing to read, so I stopped by Borders on the way home and bought four new books for $23 AUD all up. Very happy with that. I bought Tanya Huff's whole "Quarters" series. I was never really interested in the blurbs but I've come to trust this writer, so I'm fairly certain I'm going to end up liking the books anyway. That's how much faith I have in her writing. Hell, I was never interested in Space-Military fiction either (apart from Heilein's Starship Troopers, which I like), but I ended up loving her "Valour" series too.

I love her humour and I love the way she writes. It's natural, and genuine, and impossible to put down. Her works are just playful; screw pretentious and angsty writing, to me there is nothing more appealing than watching an author's mind at play, regardless of what other people might think of her.

So yay, more to read.

She also has a new stand-alone urban fantasy book out this year called The Enchantment Emporium, which I'm going to have to get my hands on too.

I just wish there were more Tony books. *sigh* I love my gay wizards.
elfinblaze: (Default)
Let me share with you the first three paragraphs of Tanya Huff's Valor's Choice, in which she apparently channels Douglas Adams and Grant Naylor:

"A writer and philosopher of the late twentieth century once said, 'Space is big.' There are three well-known corollaries to this. The first is that the number of planets where biological accidents occured in the correct order to create life is small. The second is that the number of planets where life managed to overcome the odds and achieve sentience is smaller still. And the third is that many of these sentient life-forms blow themselves into extinction before they ever make it off their planet of origin.

If space is big and mostly uninhabited, it should be safe to assume that any life-forms who really didn't get along could avoid spending time in each other's company.

Unfortunately, the fact that said life-forms could avoid each other doesn't necessarily mean that they would."

Have I mentioned lately that I love this writer? Because I really, really do.

Videos

Jun. 16th, 2008 07:33 am
elfinblaze: (torchwood)
So, I taught myself the basic 8-step Tango. Why? I felt like it. I've always wanted to do ballroom dancing classes for fun and this makes me want to even more, just so I have someone to practice with. Might have to look around for some.

I've also been watching Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, which I meant to see when it was out here and never got to. Unfortunately classical ballet is one of those things I never learnt to read so I'm never sure how to interpret what I see. All I can do is appreciate the aesthetics. ^^;;

Thirdly, I spent to weekend watching fanvids and came across this hillarious Doctor Who/Torchwood video. It's set to Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" and gives both shows a completely new storyline: Jack's keeping his baby. And we thought he wasn't planning to ever get pregnant again. XD

And lastly, I finished reading Tanya Huff's Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light, which was good, although I still prefer The Fire's Stone which is the other novel in the edition I bought. I described Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light to a friend as: the Tanya Huff version of Good Omens, with slightly less crack (but only slightly), and slightly more gay (but again, only slightly). It's still a lot of fun. ^_^

This is what comes from being a nice guy. Do a friend a favour and what do you get; front row seats at the Apocalypse.
elfinblaze: (NCIS Abby/Ziva)
I'm now reading Tanya Huff's The Fire's Stone, which is one of the novels in Of Darkness, Light and Fire. I'm wondering if the world described here is the same world from which Arra Pelindrake, from Smoke and Shadows, came from. The description of wizardry is very familiar... I'm going to have to re-read the "Smoke" series.

If it's the same world, then we can see Tony Foster's potential described here. We know Tony could be a powerful wizard, if he ever learns to read the instructions before unleashing a new spell on some poor inanimate object. Like, there was the time he turned himself invisible and couldn't become visible again... and the time he set the curtains on fire while trying to draw in the air... and the time he set scrubbing bubbles loose in his apartment... and the classic time he tried to summon a beer from the fridge and the glass from the bottle ended up imbedded in his arm, and he had to tell his boyfriend at the time that he had been trying to juggle beer bottles to explain the disaster.

Still, Tony remains my favourite character from any of Tanya Huff's writing. Which would be why the "Smoke" books are my favourites.

Anyway, just a random thought. *goes back to reading*
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter)
I feel like I've been productive today. Went to the bank, finally got my birthday money exchanged (my family send my Euros over from Germany), and I have in my hands my newest books, because when I walk into a shopping centre I inevitably walk out with books or new knee-socks.

In my endevour to collect more Tanya Huff works, I now have Of Darkness, Light, and Fire, and I also found a copy of Alan Bennett's play The History Boys. Anyone who knows me should know how much both those mean to me.

I've started reading The History Boys, but after two hours I'm still not through the introduction because I keep getting distracted by interesting thoughts, so I need to put the book down and think about the ideas the writing gives me: thoughts on education, my own school life, story ideas for my own fiction, my own university experience. Does anyone else do this? You read something and because you're so into it, you have to keep putting it down to think about it? Because I read on public transport, and I often find myself gazing out the window instead of reading because whatever I've read has spawned some other thought in my mind. I never see other people doing that.

Anyway, I have a lot of good stuff to read now. ^_^

ETA 1½ hours later: Have I mentioned that that French scene in the play is my favourite scene? It cracks me up every time.

Hector: L'Anglais, c'est interdit. Ici on ne parle que français, en accordant une importance particulière au subjonctif.
Headmaster: Oh, ah. Et qu'est ce-que ce passe ici? Pourquoi cet garçon... Dakin, isn't it? ... est sans ses... trousers?

*sniggering goes back to reading*

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