hoursgoneby: (hourglass)
Oh, god, I honestly can't believe it's 2017 already. Thank whatever powers might exist that the clusterfuck of 2016 is over - and that's honestly all I want to say about the past year. Pretty sure most people agree with me.

But! Snowflake is back! :D This is honestly one of the highlights for the start of the year and I'm grateful to everyone who stepped up as a new mod because I really needed this. That's definitely not a criticism of [personal profile] akamine_chan and co-runners! I understand they've had a tough year, and I also get that if you don't have the spoons, you don't have the spoons and need to step back and engage in some self-care. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and whoever tells you otherwise is lying. *hugs for you all*

Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerDay 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


I'm still pleased with The Longest Night, a LoTR fanfic I wrote in 2015 for the International Fanworks Day challenge over on [livejournal.com profile] lotr_community. It came in 2nd place in the Tree and Flower Awards 2015 for Favorite Story Featuring a New Author, which was a most pleasant surprise!

Honesty, an SPN fanfic that I really need to remember to post on A03, is one I think I include in this challenge every year but it's one of my favorites. It's a drabble based around Dean and Future!Cas' conversation in the truck during 'The End'. Future!Cas breaks my heart, he truly does.

Through the Gates, a Goblin Emperor fanfic written for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest Round 19 and based on the prompt 'It's not quite love, but it's not just duty, either.' It's about Maia and Csethiro's developing relationship, because I wanted to see more of that, dammit!

Calling Frequency, a Dead Space fanfic also written for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest Round 19 and based on the prompt 'Trapped on Tau Volantis after the events of Dead Space 3, an injured Carver has to rely on Isaac for help.'. This one was challenging because a) I've only played DS3 single-player and thus only really know Carver through cut scenes and b) it's mostly dialogue and I had a hard time remembering to include actions and descriptions and not wind up with something that read like, as How Not to Write a Novel says, two disembodied brains in a jar having a conversation. But I succeeded!

For the curious, previous versions of this challenge are at the following links: 2016, 2015, 2014.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Title: Through the Gates
Author: Hours Gone By
Fandom: Goblin Emperor, The (Katherine Addison)
Pairing/Characters: (use full names rather than initials) Maia/Csethiro
Rating/Category: PG
Prompt: It's not quite love, but it's not just duty, either.
Spoilers: (if applicable) Takes place after the end of The Goblin Emperor.
Summary: It's not quite love, but it's not just duty, either. Maia and Csethiro’s relationship develops.
Notes/Warnings: (if applicable) Fun fact: my spellchecker kept trying to change Csethiro to ‘Cset Hero’ and ‘Csevet’ to ‘Clever’.

Written for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest Round 19, June - July 2016.
***
Read more... )
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Today it gave me two! Behold: ask lowercase cala and ASK CAPSLOCK BESHELAR. Oh, and they'll occasionally interact with one another.

Glorious.
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What I Just Finished Reading: The Last Wish, by Andrej Sapkowski. I thought it got a little bit awkward and stretched with what it was trying to do near the end, but I also liked Geralt a lot better at the end of the book than the beginning. You could see more of his personality beyond 'silent deadly merc sorceror'. I'm interested in seeing what the other two books are like.

Magic's Pawn, by Mercedes Lackey. I got partway through this and thought, "okay, so it's a coming-of-age story, about a kid escaping from his family that doesn't understand him and finding out who he really is." It certainly is that, but the crisis of it was a lot more dramatic and shocking than I expected it to be. I didn't really get into it until about halfway through, and it picked up after that. I did get a little impatient with the teenage drama and Vanyel sulking like, well, a teenager, and yet another fantasy land with anti-LGBT+ prejudice - though I recognize that that may not have been such a trope when the book was written and there are people who can use a fictional character with their problems to identify with. I would have adored this when I was a teenager, and god knows I still empathize with Vanyel on the 'not having a name for what you are' front even though those days are thankfully long past. Still, it interested me enough to read the 2nd book in the trilogy which so far seems to be a lot less teen drama and angst.

The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. I meant to read the above trilogy all in a row and not be a literary magpie this time, really I did, but my ereader ran out of battery power and shut itself off, so I had to go to physical books and this will always be one of my immediate fallbacks. :) Maia's such a good character, and so kind. I'd hug him, but while Kiru might just haul me off by my ear, Beshelar would gut me first and say it was his job immediately after. (Anyway, a glance at TGE fanfic gives one the impression Maia goes on to have impressive amounts of sex with pretty much everyone, so I'd say he's OK on the physical contact front. :P)

What I'm Reading Now: Magic's Promise (Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage #2), by Mercedes Lackey. This takes place well after the first book, which I found a little jarring. I see from Goodreads that it's The Last Herald-Mage #2 but Valdemar #5, chronologically, which accounts for it, though that sort of thing is something I associate with comics rather than novels. It's not that events aren't referenced, but they're referenced sort of offhandedly and while the characters understand what's going on, the readers could have used a bit more explanation. Vanyel's much older, and calmer, and less prone to drama (so far, I have a feeling drama is incoming) and it talks more about magic and creatures, which I like.

What I'm Reading Next: Magic's Price (Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage #3), by Mercedes Lackey. Apparently we're saving the world?

Academ's Fury (Codex Alera #2) by Jim Butcher. Well, it took me a couple of books to get into The Dresden Files too, so I'll give Codex Alera another shot or two. Thank goodness for libraries.

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black, by E.B. Hudspeth. I can't remember who recommended this to me, or if it was recommended to me, or if I just happened to like the cover. I borrowed the ebook from the library so it could even be a recommendation algorithm tossed it my way. I'm really hoping the illustrations show up well in my ereader.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads: Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge bannerDay 13

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Formality by lightningwaltz
Fandom: The Goblin Emperor
Summary: Beshelar is distressed by an attraction to Maia. He's even more aggravated when he realizes the attraction is mutual.
Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Category: M/M
Additional Tags: Pining, Mutual Pining, Loyalty, Resolved Sexual Tension, Power Imbalance, consensual polyamory

I like the additional depth the author gives to Beshelar, and though she only makes a brief appearance, I quite enjoy her Csethiro as well.

Anna Hart's Letters by CenozoicSynapsid
Fandom: The Bone Key
Summary: Old love letters can still be compelling reading. Unfortunately.
Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Category: Gen
Additional Tags: Lost Love

I can't really pin down why I enjoyed this one, but I did.

Ephialtes by Harukami
Fandom: The Doctrine of Labyrinths
Summary: Felix leaves Malkar, but Malkar won't ever leave Felix.
Archive Warnings: Creator Chose Not to Use Archive Warnings, Rape/Non-Con. I'm adding physical, mental, and emotional abuse. The Doctrine of Labyrinths series contains a lot of material that could potentially trigger someone. If you're not familiar with it you may want to tread carefully.
Category: M/M

I've always been curious about how, exactly, Felix slipped the bonds of the obligation de sang with Malkar, and this does an excellent job of filling in the missing events. Mind you, it's not an easy read.

I'll also leave a link here to my 2015 recs for the challenge, and here and here for 2014.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
I'm a couple of weeks behind on this, aren't I? Oops.

What I Just Finished Reading: Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward. It contains a lot of standard fantasy tropes, but does so on purpose. The main characters are on a typical quest and they know it. I wouldn't go so far as to call it outright satire of the genre, more something poking good-natured fun at it. It kind of reminded me of The Flying Sorcerors by David Gerrold, which does much the same thing with light SF.

Hellboy: The Fire Wolves, by Tim Lebbon. It...does what it says on the tin, really. Hellboy fights fire wolves. I like that it was set in Italy, but I wish it would have done more with the setting of Pompeii, which is pretty much just there for background. I would have also have liked it to include more B.P.R.D. members than just a couple phone calls to Liz Sherman. (The books follow comic canon, so Liz and Hellboy aren't dating.) A big part of why I like Hellboy is his interaction with Liz, Abe, Roger, etc. and it was mostly missing.

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson. I haven't gotten anything done since the weekend because I've been busy reading this book. Fantasy, a truly alien world with alien flora and fauna (not just humans plunked down somewhere where everything has different names: the plants have rock shells and can move and retreat into themselves for protection; the 'dogs' are some kind of insect/crustacean/thing, etc.), references to fallen civilizations, an incoming disaster, engrossing characters, lost tech...sign me up! :D I enjoyed all the characters, but I'll be honest and say that Kaladin is my favorite. I may have neglected other character's chapters in order to skip ahead and find out what happened to him. Like Otherland it has several characters' storylines running in parallel, but it moves much faster.

What I'm Currently Reading: The Very Best of Tad Williams. Otherland didn't grab me, but I enjoyed Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn and Tailchaser's Song just absolutely broke my heart. This anthology has a bit of everything, but I think my favorite so far is Child of an Ancient City, which features an Armenian vampire!

What I'm Reading Next: Still might go back and read The Doctrine of Labyrinths again, although now I'm also thinking of rereading Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. Or just trying to work down The Stack.

Oh and, speaking of Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor has been nominated for a Locus award, and is also up for Best Novel at the Hugo Awards this year. *crosses fingers* (Yes, I know about the problems with the Hugo nominations this year. Which is why I think it'd be a lovely thing for a novel written by a woman to win. And that is all we will say about that.) Love to see that get more attention. I had a very happy moment the other day when I saw paperback copies of it (so glad I didn't wait for that, I would have waited a whole year!) in the book section at the drugstore. Sandwiched in among the cheesy romances, but hey, at least it's there.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
What I Just Finished Reading

Otherland: City of Golden Shadows by Tad Williams. It definitely picked up in the last third of the book, with the various story threads coming together. The first two thirds are a lot of very detailed worldbuilding and I imagine the second book, more than the first, sees the payoff. Still debating reading the second one, but I've been told things pick up in the rest of the series. Might give it a go - once I've read down The Stack, anyway.

The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth by Sarah Monette. Still frightening and wonderful! There are more short stories about this character scattered around the web, and I believe the author is hoping to release a second volume once she has enough material. Definitely looking forward to that.

What I'm Currently Reading

The Goblin Emperor by Katherin Addison. I do usually read faster, yes, but somehow this became my 'upstairs' book and since upstairs is where my office - computer, music, knitting, more books - is located I become, shall we say, easily distracted. Besides, it's good to go back and read things at a leisurely pace.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. Yes, it arrived! Just started yesterday evening. ^_^

What I'm Reading Next

I tend to read series in sequence so most probably The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kusher. Then, to make definite headway on The Stack!
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
What I Just Finished Reading

Doc Sidhe by Aaron Allston. If you're looking at the title and thinking of Doc Savage, you are on the right track entirely! Doc Sidhe is a fantasy novel (duology, with the sequel, Sidhe-Devil) and an homage to the pulp magazines of the 30s. Most of it takes place on the Fair World, a kind of alter-dimensional twin of Earth (called the Grim World) that was the basis for our legends of magic and elves. The technology runs about 60 years behind ours, so you have magic and airships, elves and iron-framed skyscrapers. And yes, the inhabitants of the Fair world are allergic to iron, which is a plot point. It's not steampunk, though - in fact, some of their tech is greener than ours. The story is excellent, the pacing tight, and all the characters are distinct and definitely have their own voices.

The link up there will take you to the full novel, available online for free from Baen eBooks. The first seven chapters of the sequel are up as well, but for the full version you'll have to hunt down a (sadly out of print) copy. (Never know, you might be surprised; my copy of Sidhe-Devil has an inscription from the author.)

What I'm Currently Reading

Still working on Otherland: City of Golden Shadows by Tad Williams. It has started to pick up in the latter half of the book, with the disparate threads starting to weave together and make more sense. I may reconsider not reading the second one in the series. We'll see.

The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth by Sarah Monette. Set in an unnamed city during the early twentieth century, this is a series of 10 short stories about the title character (Booth, no one calls him Kyle) and the bizarre and horrifying events that find him after his first unwilling brush with the occult. Booth isn't a typical protagonist: he's painfully shy, awkward, clumsy, stammering, uncertain. These are not bad things; they make him feel like a real person who gets dropped into situations most people only have nightmares about. I think I've only had this a couple of months and I keep rereading it! it's just so perfect.

Continuing on a theme, apparently, I'm also rereading The Goblin Emperor by Katherin Addison (pen name of Sarah Monette). I didn't mean to, I just took it down to verify something in a fanfic and got (willingly) drawn in again.

The book centres around Maia, a young half-elf/half-goblin who is the youngest son of the reigning Emperor and who unexpectedly inherits his father's throne when his father and brothers die in an airship crash. Maia was the fourth son, and has been effectively living in exile under the care of a cousin since the death of his mother, the Empress Chenelo. Unprepared for the role, and unprepared for court, the plot centres around Maia's growth into becoming Emperor and the mystery behind the crash of the airship.

What I'm Reading Next

The list remains the same from last week: either, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente, sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, or Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner if it's delivered before I finish Otherland and/or pick up another book.

Swordspoint has not been delivered, but The Privilege of the Sword came today. So I have that to look forward to as well. (And a book stack that may soon be tall as I am...)
hoursgoneby: (hourglass)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

The Doctrine of Labyrinths
DoL is an excellent series, but it contains a lot of disturbing themes. If you want to read it, or just read the fanfic, you may wish to note the warnings.

Lighthouse Maintenance by Tremaile
Category: Gen | Additional Tags: Post Canon
Summary: There's an accident at the lighthouse, and it brings about a moment of closeness between the brothers.

Your Name by Marmolita
Categories: Gen, M/M | Additional Tags: Character Study
Warnings for: Underage sex, rape, forced sex work including underage sex work, torture, and mentions of incest. Also includes mentions of BDSM though nothing explicit.
Summary: A series of glimpses into Felix's life and journey toward self-acceptance.

tracking mud by Pitseleh
Category: Gen | Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, POV First Person, Blood, Backstory
Warnings for: Graphic depictions of Violence
Summary: What if Methony had made a different choice?

Alone at the Edge of the World by Lusa
Category: Gen
Summary: What's the point of a lighthouse without a little haunting?

The Golden Ones by Ankaret
Category: M/M
Summary: On the road to Corambis, the past catches up with Felix and Mildmay.

Art!

Felix, by mocknot on Deviantart )



The Goblin Emperor - That's a link to all 6 fics on AO3 and you should read all of them because they're all excellent.



James Asher Vampire Series - Again, a link to all 5 fics (under that tag, clicking on character names will get you more but I haven't gone through them all yet).


Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn

If the witches don't eat you, it's home by xavie
Category: F/M, M/M
Summary: How could he tell his father that his son was a coward? Afraid of a woman? He couldn't. He wouldn't. It was as simple as that. An owl hooted and had to watch its prey scurry into the leaves as Isgrimnur shouted out his frustration.
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Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 7

In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Trope: Pretty much anything that falls under the umbrella of Cosmic Horror Story. Anything by Lovecraft is an example and if you really want a mindscrew, go for Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow. For me this trope works better in print, because in visual medium there's too much of a tendency to show instead of hint and cosmic horror is always worse when you have to use your imagination.

Cliché: Love at First Sight, although I prefer it when people fall for each other but we still see them have to work at it to maintain the relationship. You know, like in real life. I even like it if the relationship doesn't last - hey, just because you don't end up with the person doesn't mean you didn't love them. It just means it didn't work out. Enchanted has a good treatment of this: it's not impossible but you should get to know the person you've just fallen for before committing to them for your entire future.

Kink: Long hair. Mmm. Especially on men. Examples would be Lord of the Rings, of course, and A Brother's Price which, taking place in a gender-flipped world, has long hair as a masculine trait and short as a feminine one. I also have a voice kink, although that one's a little harder to pin down and define. Some voices should do it for me and don't, some are unexpected.

Motif: Pretty much any fairy tale motif, especially if they involve dragons and/or female characters who win through by being clever. One of the first books I ever had headcanon for was The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch; I liked to pretend that at the end of the book Elizabeth managed to rescue another princess and they went off and had adventures together. Another favorite is All-Kinds-of-Fur, also known as Donkeyskin, Catskin, Cap O' Rushes and more. All-Kinds-of-Fur is beautifully put together as a comic by Erstwhile and is available here. (Seriously, check out Erstwhile, they do gorgeous work.)

Theme: Works that deal with the balance between good and evil. There's a lot of these, especially in fantasy. Eve Forward's Villains by Necessity is downstairs in my 'to-read' pile and it looks to have an interesting treatment: the good guys have won over, screwing up the balance and from there it does what it says on the tin. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I also like works that don't have a great overarching stop-the-world-from-ending theme but deal more with people and their development. I'm going to rec The Goblin Emperor for this because it's an amazing book and deserves all the love. In fact, that link will take you to an online excerpt of the first four chapters and I would be happy to see people come back and comment 'dammit, now I have to read the rest of it!' :)

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Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Day 2

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.


1. I'd love to see more fanfic and fanart for smaller fandoms, especially:


  • The Goblin Emperor

  • The Doctrine of Labyrinths

  • The Bone Key

  • James Asher

  • The Iron Elves (Seriously, there is 1 fic for this and I wrote it; won't someone come play with me? :P)

  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn


2. Fic/pic recs for any of the above. I've been through AO3, Fanfiction.net and just general web searches but had little luck.

3. And for anyone reading this, something for you: I want you to go do something that makes you happy. Anything, fandom-related or not. Spoil yourself a little, you deserve it!
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
My god, this book. If you know Katherine Addison as Sarah Monette, her real name and the one she used with her previous publishing house, you already know you're in for an amazing read. (According to Monette, the pen name was required by the new publisher because "publishing is deeply weird".)

The book centres around Maia, a young half-elf/half-goblin who is the youngest son of the reigning Emperor and who unexpectedly inherits his father's throne when his father and brothers die in an airship crash. Maia was the fourth son, and has been effectively living in exile under the care of a cousin since the death of his mother, the Empress Chenelo. Unprepared for the role, and unprepared for court, the plot centres around Maia's growth into becoming Emperor and the mystery behind the crash of the airship.

There's court intrigue, light magic, political maneuvering, steampunk, fantasy, and just a smidgen of clockpunk. I stayed up all night reading it by flashlight, then read it over again. I don't regret picking it up in hardback (indeed, probably the best plan since I know I'll read it over and over again) but a quick peek at Chapters.ca shows me the paperback is available for preorder if that's more your speed.
hoursgoneby: (Hourglass)
Betrothal Negotiations by atheilen
Category: F/M | Rating: Not Rated
Summary: The Emperor's nohecharei never leave him alone.

The Emperor's bride has her own thoughts on the matter.

Four Sisters by Alkallabeth (WiP, 2 of 4 chapters)
Category: Gen | Rating: General Audiences
Summary: Short scenes from the lives of four (half-)sisters, the unacknowledged daughters of the Great Avar.

Give My Hands True Purpose by nooziewoozie
Category: F/M | Rating: Teen and Up
Summary: "The morning of Csethiro’s wedding found her beating her nerves to death." Maia and Csethiro, post-book.

Learning the Rules by Brigdh
Category: Gen | Rating: General Audiences
Summary: Maia is still adjusting to the ways of Court, but now he has some help.

Service by atheilen
Category: Gen | Rating: General Audiences
Summary: Isheian was grateful to serve. But that didn't mean she did not want more.

Sufficient by atheilen
Category: Gen | Rating: General Audiences | Additional Tags: Deaged Character, Fluff and Crack
Warning: Implied/Referenced Child Abuse
Summary: As soon as Cala came out to the outer chamber and the door was shut behind them, Deret rounded on him. “This is thy fault,” he barked, knowing it for truth.

“My fault? What makes thee think—“

“I know thee, fool of a maza! I may not know how, or why, but I know this is thy doing, and I know that thou must fix it.”

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