annathepiper: (Book Geek)
Catalyst

Catalyst

A bit delayed on this, but it’s taken a while to get enough titles queued up as acquisitions to actually make it worth doing a post! I’ve been focusing lately on reading the books I actually own versus buying a whole lot of new ones–and as a result, I’ve actually built up a sizable credit balance on Barnes and Noble’s website. Which is kinda funny, given that I’ve stopped using them as my major source of ebooks!

But ANYWAY, here’s some recent titles I’ve picked up.

Acquired in print:

  • Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, by James Luceno. This is exactly what it says on the tin. More specifically, it’s the prequel story to the events of the movie Rogue One, getting into the backstory of the Erso family, and how Galen became involved in building the Death Star. I felt this sounded like fun, and to my pleasure, Dara gave me a hardback copy for my birthday.

Acquired in digital from B&N.com:

  • Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor. SF. Grabbed this because it’s the sequel to Binti, which I enjoyed quite a bit.
  • Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, by Seanan McGuire. Grabbed on general “because it’s Seanan McGuire, duh” grounds, but also because a) I’ve been enjoying reading novellas lately, and b) I liked the base concept of this, a ghost who’s working on a suicide hotline.
  • Passing Strange, by Ellen Klages. Another Tor.com novella (see previous commentary re: enjoying these lately), which I have grabbed because why yes, a story about queer women in San Francisco in 1940 has my attention.
  • The City, Not Long After, by Pat Murphy. SF. Got this on the strength of James Nicoll’s review of it. It sounds like a surprisingly pacifistic post-apocalyptic scenario, and given the times we live in, that feels strangely reassuring. This’ll be the second thing of Murphy’s I’ll have read and while I was ambivalent about her Hobbit pastiche, I liked it well enough that I’m willing to try another book of hers.

This’ll make five so far for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: Han Says NO (Han Says NO)

I just saw the news breaking: Carrie Fisher has passed away at the age of 60, following a recent medical emergency.

Goddammit 2016. :~(

I was afraid we’d see this, when the news originally broke about her medical emergency a few days ago. I’d been at least a little hopeful given that we then saw news that she’d been stabilized… but apparently, this shitstorm of a year just had to get in another punch and take General Organa from us.

Much has been said on the various blogs I follow about Fisher’s openness talking about her past addiction issues, as well as her capabilities as a script doctor in Hollywood, something she hasn’t gotten nearly as much credit for as she should have. But for me, of course, she will forever be Leia Organa, princess and rebel and general. Given how important Star Wars has been to me as an SF/F fan–particularly with my history of playing Han on Star Wars MUSH, which of course meant that I roleplayed with multiple people playing Leia, so yeah, the character is real important to me–it’s safe to say that she’s one of the most iconic characters of my childhood. And arguably the most important female character I encountered early on, in my initial exposure to SF/F.

Star Wars was the first movie I can consciously remember seeing in a theater. I’ve written before about the visceral memory I have of seeing that opening shot of the Star Destroyer rolling up the screen. But I also have very early memories of me and my brothers having Star Wars action figures, and my always being a little jealous and protective of the Leia figure.

And of course when Empire came out, I had gotten old enough to start crushing on Harrison Ford. Part and parcel of this, of course, was how vital Leia was as a part of that–because sure, Han was totally swoonable and all, but Leia’s part of all their wonderful scenes in Empire are just as critical to me as Han’s.

Han: C’mon, admit, sometimes you think I’m all right.
Leia: Maybe. Occasionally. When you’re not acting like a scoundrel.
Han: Scoundrel? Scoundrel? I like the sound of that.
Leia: I happen to like nice men.
Han: I’m a nice man.
Leia: No you’re not–
*SMOOCH*

Not that I’ve memorized that scene or anything. :~}

But oh god yes her lines in Star Wars, too.

“You came in that? You’re braver than I thought.”

“Will someone get this walking carpet OUT OF MY WAY?”

Fuck. Fuck this fucking year.

I think I gotta rewatch A New Hope and Empire now. I was kinda going to do that anyway after seeing Rogue One… but now, yeah.

To all my fellow Star Wars fans, many hugs.

To Carrie Fisher’s family and loved ones and all her fans, deepest condolences.

I choose to believe that General Organa has damn well gone to become one with the Force. As she damn well should, y’know, being Force sensitive and all.

Han and Leia

Han and Leia

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: Blow This Thing (Blow This Thing)
Rogue One

Rogue One

I now get to say this twice in a row: that? That was a goddamned Star Wars movie.

Dara and I went to go see this thing in 3D IMAX today, and when the credits rolled, we took off our glasses and looked at each other. We’d both been crying. And we nodded knowingly to one another as we realized that, and came out of the theater talking about how we both had ALL THE FEELS.

Because yeah, even more than The Force Awakens (which, let me remind you, I quite adored), this movie grabbed hold of everything I loved from A New Hope and brought it roaring back to life.

Open the shield for transmission because I am about to broadcast SPOILERS.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: Blow This Thing (Blow This Thing)

Dara and I, accompanied by friends Mimi and Layna, have finally seen The Force Awakens.

YOU GUYS. That? That right there? That was a goddamned Star Wars film. And let me put this in perspective for you: do you all know the last time I would have walked out of a movie theater entirely emotionally satisfied with a Star Wars film? That would have been 1980–the year The Empire Strikes Back came out.

And I can say this. Even having had a major plot point spoiled for me (and I am STILL cranky at the player on Dungeon Boss chat who blew that for me, grr), I was still full of the feels. And I have many, many thoughts on what I just witnessed, and I shall now share them with you all!

Needless to say, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS OMG SO MANY SPOILERS YOUR FLEET CANNOT REPEL SPOILERS OF THIS MAGNITUDE AND DID I MENTION SPOILERS? If you’re coming over from one of the social media networks or from LJ or Dreamwidth to read this, I beg you: please stay right on angelahighland.com if you want to drop comments. Because there will be spoilers and I want to minimize their presence anywhere this post gets mirrored. If I see you drop a spoiler-related comment on any of my social media networks where this post goes up, I WILL DELETE THAT COMMENT. Do not make Han cranky!

Han says NO.

Han says NO.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding! Let’s get to it, shall we? And did I mention OMG SPOILERS?

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Trying to clean up my tag structure around here, which means I’ll be rearranging a lot of the tags I have on forthcoming posts as well as older ones. Like, say, the book roundup posts! Which I’ll be putting under the “Other People’s Books” category now.

Here though are my last five purchases picked up from Kobo!

Honor Among Thieves

Honor Among Thieves

  • Rolling in the Deep, by Mira Grant. Because Mira Grant goes without saying. And also MUAHAHA EVIL MERMAIDS!
  • A Desperate Fortune, by Susanna Kearsley. Because she also goes without saying, and I need to get caught up on her stuff. This is her latest release, another of those dual-timeline historical-and-contemporary romances she does so well.
  • Honor Among Thieves, by James S.A. Corey. Because while the majority of Star Wars novels have been relegated to non-canon status, screw it, this one’s starring Han. Which makes it highly, highly relevant to my interests!
  • The Diabolical Miss Hyde, by Viola Carr. Grabbed this one because it was available for $1.99, and because it’s been getting some good buzz on the blogs. Steampunky followup to the famous Jekyll and Hyde story–this time starring Jekyll’s daughter.
  • Justice Calling, by Annie Bellet. Urban fantasy. Grabbed this one by way of showing her some support in the Hugo brouhaha.

This puts me at fifteen for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: Blow This Thing (Blow This Thing)
Oh good, I can crosspost again. But a couple of my recent posts got missed, so for the interested, here they are:

Book review: The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison (because I'm in the middle of trying to read all the Hugo Best Novel nominees)

Language and Star Wars geekery in the same post! (because I just watched Star Wars in French, which was huge fun)
annathepiper: Star Wars Procession (Star Wars Procession)
We interrupt my ongoing coverage of PuppyGate for this critical, and I mean, CRITICAL, report that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has just dropped a new trailer.

BRB I appear to be eight years old again, and something's in my eye. :~)
annathepiper: Han Says NO (Han Says NO)
Couple more posts on angelahighland.com:

A rant about book formatting, brought on by me having to actually dig into an ebook and fix broken layout in it

So the Star Wars movies have been released in digital, in which I am NOT AMUSED that they have taken the 20th Century Fox fanfare out of the very beginning, which is WRONG WRONG WRONG

(New icon which was entirely NECESSARY, particularly for this second post. Icon credit goes to [personal profile] rabidrainbow.
annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

Here are a few links of interest that’ve come across my radar over the last few days. Posting them here, just to clean out some browser tabs, and to give y’all an idea of what I’ve been reading on the Interwebs!

On the topic of why the notion of “Mary Sue” is oftentimes sexist, a thing which has been bubbling around in my brain for a while now:

Mary Sue, what are you? or why the concept of Sue is sexist, from adventuresofcomicbookgirl on tumblr

An Introduction to Mary Sue and Her Critical Uses and Abuses (text) from author Kate Nepveu on her dreamwidth account

On the entitlement and sexism of one particular asshat’s posting of a picture while attending a school play:

“I’m Not Apologizing for Voicing My Opinion”: Entitlement Goes to a Middle School Play from Bitter Gertrude

And on Disney’s imminent shakeup of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, relevant to my interests as an owner of QUITE a few Star Wars novels, not to mention my stint on Star Wars MUSH:

Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded universe, on arstechnica

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

Here are a few links of interest that’ve come across my radar over the last few days. Posting them here, just to clean out some browser tabs, and to give y’all an idea of what I’ve been reading on the Interwebs!

On the topic of why the notion of “Mary Sue” is oftentimes sexist, a thing which has been bubbling around in my brain for a while now:

Mary Sue, what are you? or why the concept of Sue is sexist, from adventuresofcomicbookgirl on tumblr

An Introduction to Mary Sue and Her Critical Uses and Abuses (text) from author Kate Nepveu on her dreamwidth account

On the entitlement and sexism of one particular asshat’s posting of a picture while attending a school play:

“I’m Not Apologizing for Voicing My Opinion”: Entitlement Goes to a Middle School Play from Bitter Gertrude

And on Disney’s imminent shakeup of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, relevant to my interests as an owner of QUITE a few Star Wars novels, not to mention my stint on Star Wars MUSH:

Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded universe, on arstechnica

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

Because I got no brain, pretty much, and because I want to get this draft file out of my queue.

Picked up from Kobo:

Razor’s Edge, by Martha Wells. First of a Star Wars trilogy set between A New Hope and Empire, grabbed on that grounds and also because of Leia looking badassed on the cover. Giving me new Rebellion-era adventures IS a pretty damned good way to get me to pay attention to Star Wars again, I gotta say!

(Also, I noted with glee that Book 2 has a Han-centric cover. Yum.)

And, picked up from B&N:

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch, which I still haven’t read. I actually have a copy of this in paperback as well, but I grabbed the ebook because it was available for only .99. (Still is as of me checking this evening, so if you don’t have this book already, check fast! You may be able to snag it for cheap!)

156 for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Clearing out a few more items off the wishlist backlog. Picked up from Carina:

  • Stellarnet Prince, by J.L Hilton. This is book 2 of her series with Carina, and since I liked the first one, I’m proceeding on to the second!

And, picked up from Kobo:

  • Gaming for Keeps, by Seleste deLaney. Seleste deLaney is a fellow Carina author, but this is one of her non-Carina releases, and I had to grab this one for being chock full of geekery. The heroine is a gamer and there’s action at a con! Awesome!
  • Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey. SF novel that’s been on my radar for a bit and I grabbed it while it was available for $2.99.
  • Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente. Grabbed this for being generally quite impressed by the excerpt that got posted to tor.com a while back, and because this promises to be one of the more entertaining fairy tale retellings I’ve encountered in a while.
  • The Gaslight Dogs, by Karin Lowachee. A fantasy that also has been on my radar for a while, and I wanted to give it a look for a) a pretty neat cover, and b) some alternate-history action going on that featured an Inuit-like culture.
  • The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn, by A.C. Crispin. This is the awesome Han Solo origin story trilogy Crispin did a while back, and while I’ve already got these in paperback–in fact, they’re among the few Star Wars novels I’m keeping in paperback–I wanted them in ebook too. Because they’re just. That. Awesome.
  • The Han Solo Adventures, by Brian Daley. Same notation as previous. This is the omnibus edition of the much older Han Solo adventures that Daley did, and which were in turn referenced by Crispin in her works. Great fun.
  • Before the Storm, Shield of Lies, and Tyrant’s Test, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. A Star Wars trilogy I didn’t retain in paperback but which I wanted again in ebook. Liked this one for high Han-related action.
  • Still Life, by Louise Penny. Mystery. This is the first of Penny’s series of mysteries set in Quebec, which I want to read for reasons that should be obvious to anybody who’s seen me rhapsodizing about Quebecois trad for more than two seconds in a row. ;)

122 for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Clearing out a few more items off the wishlist backlog. Picked up from Carina:

  • Stellarnet Prince, by J.L Hilton. This is book 2 of her series with Carina, and since I liked the first one, I’m proceeding on to the second!

And, picked up from Kobo:

  • Gaming for Keeps, by Seleste deLaney. Seleste deLaney is a fellow Carina author, but this is one of her non-Carina releases, and I had to grab this one for being chock full of geekery. The heroine is a gamer and there’s action at a con! Awesome!
  • Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey. SF novel that’s been on my radar for a bit and I grabbed it while it was available for $2.99.
  • Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente. Grabbed this for being generally quite impressed by the excerpt that got posted to tor.com a while back, and because this promises to be one of the more entertaining fairy tale retellings I’ve encountered in a while.
  • The Gaslight Dogs, by Karin Lowachee. A fantasy that also has been on my radar for a while, and I wanted to give it a look for a) a pretty neat cover, and b) some alternate-history action going on that featured an Inuit-like culture.
  • The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn, by A.C. Crispin. This is the awesome Han Solo origin story trilogy Crispin did a while back, and while I’ve already got these in paperback–in fact, they’re among the few Star Wars novels I’m keeping in paperback–I wanted them in ebook too. Because they’re just. That. Awesome.
  • The Han Solo Adventures, by Brian Daley. Same notation as previous. This is the omnibus edition of the much older Han Solo adventures that Daley did, and which were in turn referenced by Crispin in her works. Great fun.
  • Before the Storm, Shield of Lies, and Tyrant’s Test, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. A Star Wars trilogy I didn’t retain in paperback but which I wanted again in ebook. Liked this one for high Han-related action.
  • Still Life, by Louise Penny. Mystery. This is the first of Penny’s series of mysteries set in Quebec, which I want to read for reasons that should be obvious to anybody who’s seen me rhapsodizing about Quebecois trad for more than two seconds in a row. ;)

122 for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)

Death Troopers (Star Wars)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Y’know how sometimes, even if you know the book is probably going to be mediocre at best and is even likely to outright suck, you kind of have to read it anyway? Death Troopers, a Star Wars novel by Joe Schreiber, was like that for me.

‘Cause, okay, yeah, Star Wars plus zombies.

I know, I know. But I’m still enough of a Star Wars fan, and definitely enough of a zombie fan, that I could not resist seeing how an author tried to get a zombie story into the Star Wars universe. Plus, given that I saw a spoiler about two of the main Star Wars characters getting grafted into this plot (and it will probably not be much of a stretch for anyone familiar with me to guess which characters would pull me in), well okay yeah fine I’m there.

Survey says: overall, meh. I had two main beefs with this story: one, that the aforementioned grafting of primary Star Wars characters into this plot had no real suspense to it, since you knew they were going to survive. The story’s set before A New Hope, so there wasn’t any doubt at all that these characters would make it. Two, that pretty much every other character is thinly sketched in at best. They’re all archetypes zombie fans have seen in countless stories elsewhere.

Although, that said, the two main characters grafted into the story are the exact right characters you’d want to graft in. And, I do have to give Schrieber props for making the one female in the plot, the prison ship’s doctor, halfway interesting.

Also, props have to be given for a reasonably creepy Star Wars-based zombie scenario. Our protagonists are on board a prison ship that comes across a seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer, which has gone adrift thanks to its crew being devastated by the unleashing of a potent virus that, of course, the Empire had been trying to develop as a weapon. A Star Destroyer IS pretty much perfect for a zombie scenario; it’s huge, and there are thousands of crewmembers at your disposal to turn into undead. Since this is Star Wars, you get the added amusement value of non-human zombies–and I must say, zombie Wookiees? Okay yeah. That’s disturbing. So are the moments with the doomed command staff of the Destroyer being discovered barricaded inside one of the shuttles, where they’ve been slowly starving to death.

And to be fair, I did actually like the ending. The Destroyer zombies start exhibiting creepier behavior (I shan’t specify what, because spoilers), and the surviving protagonists (well, aside from the aforementioned two main characters who we knew were going to survive anyway) go out on a respectably gritty note.

I gave this two stars originally, but I’m bumping up to three ’cause yeah, there was some decent creepiness here.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)

Death Troopers (Star Wars)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Y’know how sometimes, even if you know the book is probably going to be mediocre at best and is even likely to outright suck, you kind of have to read it anyway? Death Troopers, a Star Wars novel by Joe Schreiber, was like that for me.

‘Cause, okay, yeah, Star Wars plus zombies.

I know, I know. But I’m still enough of a Star Wars fan, and definitely enough of a zombie fan, that I could not resist seeing how an author tried to get a zombie story into the Star Wars universe. Plus, given that I saw a spoiler about two of the main Star Wars characters getting grafted into this plot (and it will probably not be much of a stretch for anyone familiar with me to guess which characters would pull me in), well okay yeah fine I’m there.

Survey says: overall, meh. I had two main beefs with this story: one, that the aforementioned grafting of primary Star Wars characters into this plot had no real suspense to it, since you knew they were going to survive. The story’s set before A New Hope, so there wasn’t any doubt at all that these characters would make it. Two, that pretty much every other character is thinly sketched in at best. They’re all archetypes zombie fans have seen in countless stories elsewhere.

Although, that said, the two main characters grafted into the story are the exact right characters you’d want to graft in. And, I do have to give Schrieber props for making the one female in the plot, the prison ship’s doctor, halfway interesting.

Also, props have to be given for a reasonably creepy Star Wars-based zombie scenario. Our protagonists are on board a prison ship that comes across a seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer, which has gone adrift thanks to its crew being devastated by the unleashing of a potent virus that, of course, the Empire had been trying to develop as a weapon. A Star Destroyer IS pretty much perfect for a zombie scenario; it’s huge, and there are thousands of crewmembers at your disposal to turn into undead. Since this is Star Wars, you get the added amusement value of non-human zombies–and I must say, zombie Wookiees? Okay yeah. That’s disturbing. So are the moments with the doomed command staff of the Destroyer being discovered barricaded inside one of the shuttles, where they’ve been slowly starving to death.

And to be fair, I did actually like the ending. The Destroyer zombies start exhibiting creepier behavior (I shan’t specify what, because spoilers), and the surviving protagonists (well, aside from the aforementioned two main characters who we knew were going to survive anyway) go out on a respectably gritty note.

I gave this two stars originally, but I’m bumping up to three ’cause yeah, there was some decent creepiness here.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Viva Las Vegas Smug)

Remember those huge Asian pears I mentioned? Here is a picture of one of them, next to a cute little Clementine orange! (I shall be eating several of these cute little Clementine oranges, which are miniature vitamin C bombs, for the next several days as we are entering the last two weeks of a MONSTER PROJECT at work and I CANNOT GET SICK. And we have a bug going around the office AUGH.)

My keys are included for scale, and also because Chibi!Chewbacca is adorable.

Still Life With Wookiee

Still Life With Wookiee

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Viva Las Vegas Smug)

Remember those huge Asian pears I mentioned? Here is a picture of one of them, next to a cute little Clementine orange! (I shall be eating several of these cute little Clementine oranges, which are miniature vitamin C bombs, for the next several days as we are entering the last two weeks of a MONSTER PROJECT at work and I CANNOT GET SICK. And we have a bug going around the office AUGH.)

My keys are included for scale, and also because Chibi!Chewbacca is adorable.

Still Life With Wookiee

Still Life With Wookiee

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan LOL)

Hat tip to userinfoseimaisin for Tweeting about this site, a T-shirt selling site, whose shirt of the day is possibly the most awesome T-shirt I have ever seen.

Calvin and Hobbes. Han and Chewie. Two great tastes that go great together. ;>

Go check it out folks, and FAST, because this shirt’s going away in about eight and a half more hours!

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

userinfospazzkat pointed me at this last night, and I am obliged by two and a half years of playing Solo on Star Wars MUSH to share this with you all. <3 The creator did an awesome job, and apparently even won a fan film contest with it! Particular props for the voice work for Han channeling Ford quite nicely, as well as his banter with Chewie.

There's also a 3D version, but you need old-school red/cyan 3D glasses to watch that!

The Solo Adventures 2D from Daniel L Smith on Vimeo.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

userinfospazzkat pointed me at this last night, and I am obliged by two and a half years of playing Solo on Star Wars MUSH to share this with you all. <3 The creator did an awesome job, and apparently even won a fan film contest with it! Particular props for the voice work for Han channeling Ford quite nicely, as well as his banter with Chewie.

There's also a 3D version, but you need old-school red/cyan 3D glasses to watch that!

The Solo Adventures 2D from Daniel L Smith on Vimeo.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

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