hmpf: (Default)
Discovered this game beta a couple of days ago and found it so thoroughly enchanting that I've since played it three or four times (it's only about 10 minutes long). It's a totally unique concept, and the artwork is utterly beautiful. If you need something that'll put a smile on your face, go download this:


Short impression of the gameplay: Video
hmpf: (Default)
No, seriously. Deeply fascinated. I've just stumbled across these: (not as cool as SCP, IMO, but still somewhat similar in principle)

I'm not even sure what to call this... phenomenon. It's not quite an alternative reality game; it's not quite traditional storytelling; it *is* collective world building on a massive scale.

As I said: I'm fascinated. I'm always delighted to discover all the mindboggling new forms of creativity that constantly seem to develop on the internet... Seriously, this kind of stuff, silly as it may seem, is one of the main reasons why I'd really like to see 'civilisation' continue in a somewhat similar form as it exists... (Even though I suspect that's not possible.)


There's also this:
hmpf: (fanatic)
Dicebox is back!

I was so afraid that it had joined the Choir Invisible of discontinued webcomics...

If you like worldbuilding, good character writing and beautiful art, do yourself a favour and check this out. It's one of the best. (For more examples of great webcomics, check out the ones linked in my sidebar here.)

ETA, to prevent confusion: the 'latest page' link currently leads to a fill-in comic by a different artist. For now, the latest installment of Dicebox is here:
hmpf: (best angst ever)
... is alive again. I think.

Go here: [ profile] fs_10percent.

Kick my ass if I ever let it fall out of use for so long again.
hmpf: (Default)
Fare you well, my friends - until May or so. Feel free to e-mail me, though; I will generally make an effort to at least check my e-mail, even if I drop out of most internet interactions. (Especially, feel free to e-mail me about fannish concerns; I tend to miss fandom a lot in my 'away' phases.)

One last bit of frivolity before I leave: I have to admit I'm considering ordering a copy of this just for the concept, although I'm not actually overly fond of either of the two components on their own... Sadly, I already filled my monthly "buying something just for the bizarre premise" quota yesterday by buying Towing Jehovah, which is about, well, towing the gigantic corpse of God. Last month's quota was filled in abundance by Afterdead, of course.

Speaking of which: Donna Barr has begun making The Desert Peach available online. The Desert Peach is a classic of the alternative comics 'explosion' of the 80s and 90s, and a marvel on many different levels - a complex and humane work about the moral muddle, the inner and outer conflicts and compromises that characterise individuals' lives in very nearly every social context and life situation, examined against the background of a compound of the worst contexts and situations people have managed to create (nazi Germany, the military, and war). If this sounds depressing: it isn't. Some of it is quite funny, in fact - but it's also deep and often unsettling. There are no easy answers; just questions, and then more questions. The characters breathe, and so do the backgrounds; everything feels alive and real. I've been particularly impressed with the depiction of Germany after the war, in the last few issues of the series before it morphed into the mindbogglingly psychedelic Afterdead. (I have the good fortune of owning most of the original series in print.) Those last issues remind me of the "Trümmerliteratur" (Wikipedia: "rubble literature") some of us probably remember from school, only... not. It is, of course, less focused on the whole "woe is us" aspect, which accounts for some of the difference. It feels less apocalyptic. The main difference, though, is perhaps the way in which the issue of guilt is handled, which... deserves an essay, sometime, I think. After my exams, maybe.


In other news: I had a wonderful night writing fic, the day before yesterday. Best writing session in ages - nearly a whole page in less than five hours, really moving the plot forward, all the way into madness. I'm still floating on that high. I should be really worried about my exams right now, because, to put it plainly, I'm in deep, deep shit due to some circumstances partly out of my control, but somehow I can't make myself care. Writing feels so much more important. *g*
hmpf: (fanatic)
Because three weeks before the end of your thesis writing period is exactly the right time to start a new fannish project. Of course. *g*

But first, status updates:

1.) I'm still anti-social, i.e. not properly reacting to e-mail etc.
2.) I'm still mostly cut off from the internet, i.e. staying at my parents'.
3.) Current thesis length: 52 pages. With my planned total of 80, this would mean I'd be about two thirds done. Sadly, it's looking like the thesis will end up much longer than planned, so it's more like half done; possibly not even that. I'm also badly stuck in a number of places, and have absolutely no faith at all in the parts that I *have* finished. It's all a load of very shallow blah-blah.


Right. Now for the new project:

Statement of purpose:
Declaration of biases:
First rec:

Why now, of all times? Because I'm watching loads of vids in the breaks between bouts of writing, and it's actually kind of relaxing to write up a mini-review/rec every once in a while. Gets the fannish juices going; makes me feel good. I need that, right now.


You may also expect embarrassing fic of me in the next few days.
hmpf: (yay animated)
I have a, hm, soft spot (if that isn't a contradiction in terms here) for really nasty ideas in LoM fic, which probably can be traced back to the inherent nastiness of the show's canon itself that is usually glossed over and ignored in fic (and that's okay, too, because yeah, I want to believe in the nicer, pre-2.08 LoM, too, when I'm reading fic. I just like the *occasional* reminder of the undercurrent of horribleness.)

Well, some people share that predilection of mine, and produce some beautifully nasty fic. [ profile] m31andy is one of them, and she successfully creeped me out today with this:
hmpf: (cop porn)
Insta-rec: Poor Little Greenie by [ profile] amy_wolf

No, I've not succumbed to the lure of Gene/Sam. Erotically, the pairing still does nothing for me; never will, I suspect. But the above fic tickles my sense of the surreal, plus it points out the - really kinda glaringly obvious - quasi-canonicity (is that a word?) of Sam's attraction to Gene, which I do believe in - as noted earlier, what I doubt is not the attraction but the likelihood of it ever resulting in something like a relationship.

So, go; read. In fact, read everything by Amy Wolf. Unusual POVs, slightly shifted universes, original ideas... this is Good Stuff.

(To all those who are wondering what I'm doing here, reading fic when I should be working on my thesis, the obvious answer is I'm procrastinating I occasionally need a break, and since I've been meaning to catch up with LoM fic for, literally, years, and most fic nowadays comes in small portions, and my attempt to suppress my 'need to fangirl' only resulted in the plot bunny/mindfic factory going into overdrive, which is even *more* massively distracting, I've decided to, uhm, take homeopathic doses of fic, every now and then. So, I'm on my way through the 'A' section of [ profile] lifein1973's memories once again.

There'll probably be recs, every once in a while.)
hmpf: (cop porn)
before I disappear for the weekend. Also, to make up for the excessive amount of enviro talk of the last few days.

(I'm sorry, Mikey, I meant to do this in a more organised and more... detailed way, but there just isn't a lot of time, and I'd rather get it out now than wait another week or Ceiling Cat knows how long before I have more time again.)

Hmpf Recommends, Unlikely Edition: LoM Slash I Like!

Yes, folks, read it and marvel: there actually exists such a thing. Usually, I am the most reluctant of slash readers in Life on Mars fandom. There are just so many factors, psychological and societal, that make the main pairing so massively unlikely, that it becomes very difficult indeed for me to suspend disbelief enough to really enjoy a story. Can I believe the attraction? Sure. But, in most cases, I can't believe that it would ever turn into anything worth being called a relationship. Certainly not one of the type that slash likes to describes.

So. If you want to make me believe in Sam/Gene, what do you do? [ profile] mikes_grrl knows. Take all those issues, and confront them head on.

The "Undercover" universe's version of Sam/Gene is... difficult, because Sam/Gene could not be anything *but* difficult. And some of the difficulty is in the characters; and some's due to society not being ready to accept a homosexual relationship as normal yet, with all that entails for the characters in question.

The "Undercover" universe version of Gene is gay - consciously gay, and always has been, and he's deep, deep, deep in the closet. Now, that setup removes one of my main problems with LoM slash right away: I can't easily believe raging homophobe Gene Hunt as casually gay/bisexual. A thoroughly gay, thoroughly closeted Gene, however, makes eminent sense to me.

[ profile] mikes_grrl also steers clear of another pitfall of LoM slash: her Sam is not submissive. The relationship between Gene and Sam that we see on screen is shaped largely by the ingrained desire of both men to be the 'alpha male' (although they both secretly enjoy the more or less equal partnership they factually have), and [ profile] mikes_grrl carries that dynamic over into her fic marvellously.

And lastly, [ profile] mikes_grrl is very conscious of the social background of the era, the pervasive prejudice against homosexuality as well as the beginning moves towards political activism in the gay scene. "Appearances", the story she is currently posting in installments, gets Sam involved in that a bit, and I'm on the edge of my seat. It's deeply fascinating.

There's more to say about the series - for example, I should mention that it frequently makes me laugh out loud, despite the high degree of angstiness (and that's just perfect, because the way to my heart leads along the unlikely border path between the territories of Humour and Angst) - but I really have to run now. People are waiting for me.

Go and enjoy the "Undercover" series here:

Smirk (a PWP)
Appearances (ongoing)
ETA: Appearances, now complete, here
hmpf: (reading)
There aren't many blogs I read regularly (not counting LJs), but out of the few that I do visit, BLDGBLOG is probably the most consistently fascinating. It's a blog about the intersections of architecture, landscape, futurism, philosophy and art. It feeds the part of my mind that comes up with surreal artificial environments in my dreams.
hmpf: (alive (not))
I just cut myself on a mysteriously broken glass (it basically just... broke, without any discernible reason. It was just standing beside my bed, peacefully, and broke. I wasn't even near it. *boggles*), a long cut along the length of my thumb, fairly deep from the look of it - and there's absolutely no blood!

It hurts, though.


Random fic and meta recs I meant to do days, or in one case even weeks ago:

[ profile] beccatoria, who has complicated feelings about fanfic, nevertheless produces gorgeous fic, for instance this BSG fic, written from the POV of minor character Maya and set during the Cylon occupation of New Caprica. (I like that we both write about Mayas who are such minor characters in their respective canons that they may as well be original characters in fic. *g*)

[ profile] amonitrate writes stunningly beautiful, surreal, criminally ignored Twin Peaks fic here. And I just noticed that the comment I thought I'd left when I read it at work recently apparently didn't get through or whatever, so when I'm done reccing I'll head over there and comment (again).

[ profile] sylviavolk2000 has some interesting - and amusingly phrased - thoughts about structure in her writing here. If you check a few entries back and a few ahead from there, you'll also find other interesting meta posts about writing there. All very different from how I write, and probably very different from how you write ;-) but I always find it interesting to read other people's thoughts about writing.
hmpf: (fanatic)
Despite having very little time overall in the last few weeks I discovered a new obsession. Yay! (This is actually a totally un-ironical 'yay' - I *love* new obsessions. New obsessions are like new loves.)

I'm leaving for Worldcon tomorrow and I still have some packing and preparations to do, so I can't write a long entry about my new obsession now, but I've posted quite a few enthused ravings to various message boards, so I can copy some of those and give you a few links.

First, a rec for the series in German:

Another one in German, but not from yours truly:

Now, a slightly rambling rec in English:

And another one in English, from a board I cannot link to, so I'm copying it here (it's written by me, anyway):

Read more... )


In other news I had a very nice day today, partly packing, and partly geeking out with Nager, Dune, my roommate and another visiting Scaper from the old farscaped mailing list and the sf-community boards. We watched some Doctor Who and then Dune had to leave and the rest of us later made spaghetti with tomato sauce and ate and talked (before I went back to packing again). Then my laptop broke, but at least that means I won't have to carry it to Britain and back. ;-))

As usual I'm afraid of flying... my plane leaves at 19:50 tomorrow, so think of me then and wish me luck.

I've had recurring nightmares about Worldcon recently, mostly about being unprepared for my panels, but yesterday when I finally read through the whole insanely long (99 pages! 99 pages!!!) programme I finally began to feel properly hyped. There's panels and talks on everything, and I do mean everything. Have a look:

There are very few times when there's less than four simultaneous items I would like to see. Arrgh!

So, anyway, I'm looking forward to it immensely now, though I'm also afraid it will be an absolutely exhausting experience and I may need a holiday afterwards. ;-)

April 2016

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