Have I Really Not Finished A Book In A Year? Whoops.

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 21:07
rionaleonhart: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
THE BOOKENING TITLE #17: Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers.

Here is what I wrote in 2017, in a never-posted entry draft, when I learnt this book was coming out:

I hadn't realised a third book in the Wayfarers series had been announced! It's coming out next year. Aaaaand it's about a new cast of characters again. BECKY CHAMBERS, YOU'RE KILLING ME. I just want more of the crew from The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet! Stop going, 'There's going to be a sequel! ...and it's not about those guys.'

Stupid authors, inexcusably writing the things they want to write instead of catering exclusively to me.

But I still read it, of course! And I did enjoy it, but not as much as the previous entries in the series.

This book focuses almost exclusively on human characters, and, honestly, I missed the aliens from the other Wayfarers books, although the worldbuilding was still interesting and I'm glad we got to know a Harmagian at last.

I think the main reason this didn't capture me in the way the previous Wayfarers books did, though, was that the viewpoint characters didn't really interact with each other until a few brief scenes near the end. I don't think Tessa ever spoke to any of the other viewpoint characters at all. We were following a collection of largely separate stories, and I'd have enjoyed it more if they had been more intertwined.

Spoilers for Record of a Spaceborn Few. )

Ultimately, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet made me happy, and a lot of this book makes me sad. I think there's a lot of love in both books, but Small Angry Planet felt joyous, and this book felt more morbid than I was prepared for. That isn't a flaw in this book, but it does mean I like Small Angry Planet more.

I did enjoy my time with Record of a Spaceborn Few, though, and I liked the ending scenes a lot. A solid ending can do a lot for a work of fiction, provided you enjoy the rest of it enough to get there!

Hempel's Raven Is A Stupid Argument.

Saturday, February 16th, 2019 13:13
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Having wandered away from Umineko: When They Cry for a while, I've just come back to it and finished the third instalment! Every instalment starts pretty slowly, so I forget how cool this visual novel series is and I'm taken by surprise when everything becomes gripping.

Thoughts on the third instalment of Umineko: When They Cry. )

I'm very interested to see where this goes.

I like how Umineko constantly wants to teach the reader new weird concepts (much like Zero Escape, which I feel was probably influenced by Umineko). I was already aware of the devil's proof and Schrödinger's cat, but I hadn't heard of Hempel's raven (which I hate with a sort of delighted ferocity; THE FACT THAT MY LAPTOP IS RED AND NOT A RAVEN IS NOT EVIDENCE THAT ALL RAVENS ARE BLACK) or fool's mate, the fastest possible checkmate in chess (I've never had the patience for chess, so the revelation that it's possible for a game to last under a minute appeals deeply to me).

We've Been Overruled By The Audience.

Friday, February 15th, 2019 19:31
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
It was Final Fantasy VIII's twentieth birthday on the eleventh of February, and I got a little emotional about it. I'm so glad this game exists. I'm so glad I was accidentally sold it when I tried to buy a different game. I'm so glad I played it when I was thirteen years old and I really needed it. I don't know who I'd be if I'd never met Squall Leonhart.

I really want to do something in honour of this game. Maybe I should try to finish my 'Squall is contracted to be Yuna's guardian' crossover with Final Fantasy X. It seemed too ambitious, but maybe it could work as a one-shot if I just focus on crucial scenes from their pilgrimage.

The other event on the eleventh: I attended a recording of The Unbelievable Truth! But, unfortunately, I forgot to make notes afterwards, so it's all escaped my mind. Here are a few scraps I've managed to pull out of my unreliable memory, at any rate.

The panellists were Henning Wehn, Lou Sanders, Lucy Porter and Frankie Boyle; the host, as ever, was David Mitchell. The goal in The Unbelievable Truth, if anyone's unfamiliar with the rules, is to spot the ridiculous truths concealed in a largely false lecture.

For the second time on the show, Wehn gave a lecture on Germany.

Wehn: I was quite upset to be asked to give a second lecture on Germany...
Sanders: (buzzes) I don't think that's true.
Wehn: It is.
Mitchell: I... sorry, I don't understand. You've buzzed in to say that something isn't true.
Sanders: I've forgotten the format of the show.
Mitchell: And Henning says it is true, so I think we have to give you a point for an inadvertent truth, regardless of what you actually said when you buzzed. She's cunningly tricked you into saying it was true, Henning.

Wehn's full opening line was 'I was quite upset to be asked to give a second lecture on Germany, as it suggests there was something wrong with the first.' He concluded with 'I trust that I have now given a satisfactory overview of Germany and that a third lecture will not be necessary.'

Wehn: In Germany, it is illegal to give a child a stupid name.
Sanders: They let you be called Henning.

Wehn actually made a callback to the last Unbelievable Truth recording I attended! After finishing his lecture with three points: 'I know how I'm going to play this.' (The last time he'd got three points, he'd refused to play for the rest of the game so he wouldn't risk losing them. An effective strategy, it turned out, but perhaps not the most desired one for a comedy panel show.)

Porter buzzed at one point and then agonised over whether she was making the right call. 'If it's any reassurance,' Mitchell said, 'this game absolutely does not matter.'

A line I definitely laughed too loudly at in Boyle's lecture on beards:

Boyle: Kanye West's beard is insured for eight million dollars. Every year he shaves it, sells it and donates the proceeds to a charity for helping poor, disadvantaged children... grow beards.

Wehn's second lecture was on time. One of his truths was 'Scientists have been unable to prove that time exists'.


Wehn: A casserole is a unit of time, being the amount of time it takes to cook a casserole. If your casserole becomes burnt, too much time has passed.
Porter: (buzzes) The second half of that is true.
Mitchell: Well, that's not one of the truths Henning was supposed to include, but I think you've spotted an inadvertent truth.
Boyle: Haven't we just established that time might not exist? If your casserole becomes burnt, too much heat has gone into the casserole.
Mitchell: That is true. All right, Lucy, you don't get the point because time doesn't exist.

Points aren't typically awarded for buzzing long after the fact, but Porter managed to get around that.

Porter: I know I'm buzzing late, but time doesn't exist, so...

A man in the audience occasionally heckled. Eventually, the producer interrupted the recording and had the heckler escorted from the premises.

'That was incredibly awkward,' Mitchell said after the removal, desperately.

Fanfiction: No Holding Back (Kingdom Hearts)

Saturday, February 9th, 2019 19:55
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: riku, blindfolded and smiling slightly. (we'll be the darkness)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Here is a short Kingdom Hearts friendship piece about people having bad ideas and going 'this is a bad idea' and then 'let's carry out the bad idea'.

Title: No Holding Back
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,200
Summary: Kairi and Axel's training gets a little too intense.
Warnings: I'm not sure how to describe this, exactly, but there's something close to self-harm ideation in here.

No Holding Back )

You're Only Everything I Ever Dreamed Of.

Friday, February 8th, 2019 10:44
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
I have finished Kingdom Hearts III at last! Here's a breakdown of my feelings about this game.

Final thoughts on Kingdom Hearts III. )

There were some aspects of Kingdom Hearts III I liked more than others, but, before I started playing this game, my stipulations were 'I want this to be heartfelt, and I want it to be nonsense.' It was both, and fun on top of that. I'm pleased.

Kingdom Hearts III may be in competition with Dream Drop Distance for the title of my favourite Kingdom Hearts game, actually. Kingdom Hearts II still has my favourite ending in the series, though.