August 26th, 2011

[stock] when in doubt wear red

what larks!

Five things:
  1. I finished The Hour and fell into an hour's worth of mild feelings coma. Romola's hands! Everyone's face! The way Abi Morgan writes about wartime coverage! I'm pleased (putting it mildly) to hear that it's getting a second season; but how awfully long the wait's going to be. (Before there's a next season, I'll at least be seeing Oona Chaplin on Game of Thrones, and I'm terribly pleased with that.) Besides which: never enough Lix Storm. See: new default to suit new life model.
  2. Having finished Avatar: The Last Airbender, I'm seriously tempted to write Azula fic. Who's predictable? Really, though, I just want to write all the Fire Nation Lady Squad/Fire Nation foursomes/Katara can come too for reasons of grey and of glorious Katara-Zuko parallels. But really. Azula, Fire Nation ladies' backstory, quite possibly some incest. I'm going to be shame-ridden if I end up writing porn for a Nickelodeon cartoon, but what else do I write?
  3. Back at uni in nearly a week! The Machiavelli-specialist professor that my stunning Antiquity & the Renaissance TA waxed poetically to me about (and I believe about me to her) is teaching a course entitled LOVE & WAR IN RENAISSANCE ITALY, which I found out about almost by accident and proceeded to flail my face off and make room. So: my schedule makes proper sense now for what I want to do—Russian language (intermediate), Russian lit (intro with specially commended professor), one medieval/Renaissance, one politics (comparative)—and is still nicely timed. Four for me. (The first book I need to buy for politics is Poland's Journey Toward a Market Economy. I am weirdly very excited by this. Blame Red Plenty, which I reread and which is perennially giving me all the economic construction feelings. This is new. And shiny! Overexcitation about pragmatic things!)
  4. Deeply affrighted by the idea of packing, even though all I own are dresses and books. Have decided to only bring books (other than the essentials) that I've yet to read; feel like this is a well-meaning bid to get myself to buy fewer once I get to the city. I mean, it's not going to work, but it means well.
  5. I'm reading Ekaterina Sedia's Heart of Iron and realizing how very little I like steampunk. I mean, the aesthetic, sure, I like bustles and corsets and cogs as much as the next girl who looks extra good in sepia-tint, but as a means of storytelling I feel like it universally fails in ways I find frustrating. It's empty—it feels rather like our generation's pulp form, but without the zeal behind the gratuitousness, because it's such a manner fetish. I rarely find stories there, and nearly never characters. Sedia's protagonist is so perfunctory to me, I don't even understand. And she's working off a historical AU I'd really like to tap into! Decembrists, goddamn! But she's just...not. She's doing train rides and wuxia and Spring-Heeled Jack minus legends or backstory or reasons or, frankly, much flavour. I want steampunk to be a means of rearranging history and thinking about what that would make; instead it always seems to end up stuck at "lol picaresque with airships!" Tropes sealed together with thin glue and nothing underneath.
(Speaking of books I hate, apparently The Magicians has got a sequel now? Starring Julia? I'M GOING TO HAVE TO READ THIS AND I ALREADY HATE MYSELF FOR CONCEDING.)

And a meme—I've been feeling sort of inspired, but piecey in the head (am in the middle of a MI6 piece for athermal and, of all things, a Mummy Returns fic—you know, the Anck-su-namun one I've always been threatening to write), and this :
  1. Give me a pairing
  2. An AU setting (i.e., they work at colonial Williamsburg! they are on a spaceship! they are meteorologists and a hurricane is coming!
  3. And I will write you three lines of fic.
Supersonic nonsense seems like just what the doctor ordered.