borusa: (Taren)
( Jun. 10th, 2015 10:57 am)
Another bit of fiction - this was for the 75 word challenge, theme "Departures". The title is shamelessly nicked from a computer game.

Papers, Please! )
borusa: (Taren)
( Jun. 1st, 2015 10:51 am)
So, after Worldcon I joined an SFF forum - - which is really nice, except occasionally a bit reactionary. It has a monthly 75-word fiction challenge, a quarterly 300-word challenge and an almost-monthly anonymous 100 word challenge. And I find them quite enjoyable, and as a result I've written a number of short things (and one longer one), which I thought I'd repost here, sporadically.

Here's the first, written for a the anonymous 100 word challenge, for which the theme was "That Old Chestnut"

The Lost Portal )
According to my webmail client, Prezzo are diversifying in a slightly surprising way.

Not entirely safe for all works... )
borusa: (Taren)
( Sep. 30th, 2014 03:56 pm)
I just received an email promising "Mind-blowing Cashback Deals".

Seems a tad unlikely... oh... BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER, WHAT A SAVINGS!
Swimming makes me happy.

I've been twice over the last two days, and I'm kind of buzzing. I can go any time I like! And there is a pace clock and the pool is a correct length.
Being a Fan of Problematic Things
"I know the writer is a sexist, homophobic bigot but I really love this show and I can't stop watching." Statements like this are common but they cause very strong reactions with many fans feeling insulted that their idol or favourite television shows are being accused of some pretty harsh things. Others, however, feel offended that the fan is still watching despite these things. In this session we ask how it is possible to still enjoy television programmes, movies, books and the works of controversial creators when we as individuals or community groups consider the subject matter or means of representation problematic. We also ask why some fans react so badly to this criticism and if there is a way to make the bitter pill easier to swallow."

Read more... )
My question during the panel "Pew Pew! Where Have the Lasers Gone?":

"Is there any way that the disappearance of lasers from Science Fiction could be a rejection of sanitized killing?"

Read more... )
This category... caused me some problems, and much irritation. I'll explain why.

Read more... )
Everybody else(1) seems to be doing these (and is very wrong in them, except when they are right), so I thought I'd do them too. Let's start with the uncontroversial (2) category.
Read more... )

(1) Read: Some other people.
(2) Possibly "unexciting"
(3) What do you mean, "not very good at metaphors".
borusa: (snuffle)
( Feb. 2nd, 2014 08:11 am)
So, I got home on Friday night to discover a very sick [ profile] the_alchemist. Fever, shaking, coughing so much she auditioned to be the lead singer of "The News"...

"Right", said I, being all in-charge. "We're definitely not going out this weekend."

Mid-way through Saturday, guess who starts shivering and coughing and generally making a palaver?
borusa: (Taren)
( Jan. 1st, 2014 05:22 pm)
So, for the first year ever I wrote more than one story. In addition, I wrote two of them significantly before the deadline.
Read more... )
borusa: (Taren)
( Dec. 18th, 2013 11:42 am)
Trying to search for music by "The Band" on Deezer (thing like Spotify, a bit, I get it "free" on my phone).
borusa: (Taren)
( Dec. 13th, 2013 02:19 am)
"In your status update LJ post, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take but a few minutes, and don't think too hard -- they don't have to be the "right" or "great" works, just the ones that have touched you."

1. A Rag, A Bone and a Hank of Hair - Nicholas Fisk. More in terms of tone than in terms of plot. I remember this scaring and enthralling me. Strangely, I don't own a copy, which means I've probably only read it three or four times.

2. The Magicians - Lev Grossman. Covered in LJ posts passim.

3. The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper. I shouldn't need to explain.

4. I Flew With Braddock - possibly Gilbert Lawford Dalton. My Dad had a copy of this - it's boy's own adventure stuff, set in the second world war, from the 1950's. It's a link to Dad, and great fun, and I've read it about a thousand times and there are NO PROBLEMATIC ELEMENTS HERE AT ALL. (There are problematic elements. There are also some pictures of planes and a nice reassuring blue cover and a contents page. That's all).

5. Dragonsinger: Harper Of Pern - Anne McCaffrey. Yes yes yes I /know/. But still!

6. Shadow Man - Melissa Scott. Sure, the setup is a little obvious in its metaphor (as a result of radiation exposure received during a colony ship flight, mutations mean that there are five genders. There are twin planets, one of whom does not officially recognise this fact), but the play out of the social consequences is excellent.

7. The Dispossessed - Ursula Le Guin. More than the Left Hand Of Darkness, I think because it spoke to issues I felt more strongly about when I was a teenager and read it for the first time. I think its power rests in the advertised ambiguity. Owes a fascinating debt to Stranger In A Strange Land.

8. Citizen Of The Galaxy - Robert Heinlein. The Heinlein Juveniles aren't as controversial as the "adult" books, but in some ways they're purer storytelling. This one has one message: slavery is wrong and bad, and pretending it doesn't exist is the privilege of the rich, who benefit from it.

9. Among Others - Jo Walton. I read this almost immediately after "The Magicians". It's just the most magic book about being an outsider and finding a home amongst SF fans. And there are fairies, maybe, and odd parents and strained relationships and everything.

10. Fire And Hemlock - Diana Wynne Jones. I think this is the densest and most interesting (if far from the safest) of DWJ's books. It's the one that I go back to and worry away a plot details, at relationship moments, at moral questions. I'm not sure that it's perfectly structured (HMC has a much better structure, for example) but there are layers upon layers in it.
borusa: (Taren)
( Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:37 pm)
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.