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16 January 2015 @ 09:17 am
If you want to find my fic, the best place to look is at my user page at AO3, where all my fic is archived. There is also a chronological index of the Vorkosigan fic, which is most of it. Or you can look through the tags here.

I am no longer updating this list, but I will keep it in case it's useful to anyone.
Fic hereCollapse )
Sometimes living in the future is great.

The seal on our shower screen is giving up the will to live. On my most recent trip to B&Q - a regular occurrence when you have all unknowing married someone whose favourite words are 'no, we don't need to call anyone out, I can fix that myself' - I was instructed to find a new one and given dimensions. Of course they don't have anything with the precise dimensions, so I get the closest of the four available options and bring it home. It doesn't fit, and so Mr P suggests there's probably a website called shower seals dotcom where I can find every possible variety of shower seal and they'll have one that fits our shower. I laugh in his face, because this is obviously ridiculous.

My friends, there is such a website, with a trifling variation of name (just in case you are ever in this particular situation, it's showersealuk.com) and they do have every possible shape and style of shower seal. Including one that will fit our shower, which is now in the post to us. I am just delighted that this is a sufficiently common problem that some enterprising person has discovered that he can buy up stock of every kind of shower seal imaginable, list them all on one easy-to-use website, and sell them across the country in sufficient numbers to, presumably, make a living. There are times when I am annoyed by the modern world, like when Philomythulus discovered that if he types the words on his favourite marble run box into Google image search he can find 10,000 other marble runs that he would like me to buy, but this, I have to say, is excellent.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/163734.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
03 July 2019 @ 10:41 pm
Which I've already talked about a lot, but hey, how often do you find an amazingly tropey sf/crime drama that's this much fun and also has a delightful active fandom on DW? This is basically a long casefic-type slashfic that got filmed in its entirety and then had all the actual sex and kissing deleted but everything else kept in. Especially the h/c, you've never seen anything like this show for long, long, delightful h/c sequences and more protectiveness than you can shake a stick at. Tearjerker ending, subtitles much more painful than Nirvana in Fire, but well worth it. Oh, and the leads are beautiful. Also watching it is expanding my knowledge of Chinese, which is currently very un-useful due to NiF: I know lots of phrases like 'yes, your highness' and 'princess' and 'the emperor is leaving' and 'KILL! KILL! KILL!' but a bit less on the 'thank you' and what you say when you answer a phone.

Gentleman Jack
Only watched the first three episodes so far but I am absolutely delighted with it and I so, so, so need Anne's coat. I love all the shots of her striding around Yorkshire in it so much, and I love everything about her really and she can break all the hearts she likes as far as I'm concerned. Also I really like how Marion is shown: we see that she's annoying Anne, but at the same time, she's definitely a person of her own with her own opinions and abilities.

Crazy Rich Asians
Good popcorn fun, and the chemistry between Rachel and Eleanor was fantastic. The romance between Rachel and Nick was okay, but come on, Rachel only accepts Nick's proposal when he uses Eleanor's ring, and all the most interesting scenes in the film involved Eleanor. I was very pleased when I looked at the tiny fandom and saw it shared my opinion on this. The mahjong scene was amazing too.

The Favourite
I was surprised by how much I liked this. It seemed like it was going to go off into the cringe/gross side of comic, but it didn't, and instead it was fantastic, a bit surreal, but somehow felt more like real period life than your average period drama. Also I am so in love with the Duchess of Marlborough that I don't even know how to describe it. If I was Anne I'd let her do whatever the hell she wanted too. The scene where she shot Abigail! Mostly, though, I loved seeing women having recognisable-to-me emotions all over the place, and a story in which men were entirely painted and frilly accessories to a complex and fierce emotional three-way tug-of-war between women.

Smiley's People
A 80s tv drama that I saw on a list of really good TV. I am not convinced, and by not convinced I mean the pace was so leisurely that I struggled to stay awake and had no idea what was happening at any point during the story. Admittedly this is my usual response to Le Carre; I never can make head or tail of any of the plots he writes even when they get filtered through a scriptwriter first, I had the same reaction to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and while I've read a lot of his books I don't understand any of them. I guess it's a testament to the fact that he does something right that I keep reading them anyway. I did sort of understand The Constant Gardener, I guess? Anyway, the show was very atmospheric and Smiley was fantastic and I really enjoyed the scene at the end when he breaks the Russian diplomat, but I spent the vast majority of the time wondering what was going on and why.

Also I have just finished a slow rewatch of Nirvana in Fire, this time with my husband, and he has never, ever, ever done this before, but as soon as we got to the end he said we had to watch it again so we're now back on episode 2.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/163415.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
03 June 2019 @ 07:28 pm
Sorry to be suddenly all Guardian all the time, but I have just watched episode 34 and 35 and I am officially DEAD now. cut in case anyone wants to watch this show unspoiledCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/163042.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
01 June 2019 @ 04:43 pm
So I have been watching Guardian whenever I get a spare moment, and wow, I really am enjoying how it doesn't spare the tropes. An episode without half a dozen delicious protective affectionate moments between Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan - well, that hasn't happened yet. Some highlights from what I've seen so far:

not really very spoileryCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/162764.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
To my COMPLETE SURPRISE, my wonderful gift Reportedly Missing was written by the lovely [personal profile] frith_in_thorns, who has such excellent taste in h/c that I had to write her a treat as well.

My assignment was for Rivers of London, and I wrote both Recovery Position and Beside the Seaside for [personal profile] esteliel, whose requests have left me with a WIP file full of attempts to write something for practically every tag they requested. In the end I managed sharing a bed for the first, because I've wanted Peter/Nightingale sharing a bed since forever, and shipwrecks and huddling for warmth for the second because I love ridiculous magical adventures. And I should really apologise to the Thames Barrier and the RNLI for the second fic, since I am certain that sea serpents would not give either of them a moment's bother in reality.

So there was that, and then of course I had to write something for frith, so that was Inversion featuring Aral comforting a drunk Illyan, hence the inversion.

And then there was my new fandom love, Disco, and I've been wanting to write more for that, and [personal profile] rosecake gave me an excuse with their excellent requests, so that turned into Faithful Wounds about Michael and mirror!Saru.


And separately, [personal profile] raven said I would like Guardian and they were completely right, it is adorable and lovely and a complete delight. I have only watched a few episodes as it is half term so time is limited, but I love Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan and their ridiculous adventures very very much. Also you should all go read raven’s fic meditations ex post facto which is why I started watching it and which doesn’t need any canon knowledge to enjoy.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/162305.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
20 May 2019 @ 02:18 pm
The h/c exchange is live! And I have a delightful plotty fic featuring Simon Illyan being an idiot. And I have an idea as to who might have written it, so thank you again <3

Reportedly Missing (2836 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Simon Illyan, Aral Vorkosigan, Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Alys Vorpatril
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Time Period: Vorkosigan Regency, Poison, nefarious plots, Sometimes Simon is extremely unhelpful

"So, Simon," Aral said. "Would you like to tell me why you're hiding under my desk?"

I wrote about 15,000 words for this across four fics, and maybe one of them will take 5 minutes to guess instead of 0.5 seconds, but they're all pretty obvious. What can I do if people request characters and situations I love writing h/c for? Though actually I spent most of the writing period despairing at my inability to come up with ideas or write even the most boring of sentences, and then in the last three weeks it all came unstuck and I got four of them done in the end. This has been a really fun exchange and now I get to go and read all the h/c fics :-)

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/162294.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
08 May 2019 @ 10:03 pm
I am having such fun watching the original Upstairs Downstairs, and it is not at all what I expected. I mean, it has a lot of doffing hats and servants getting lectured on knowing their place. But it is aware of class and questions it in a way that something like Downton Abbey never even tries to do, and it really plays for keeps, compared to a lot of modern TV.

vague spoilers for a TV show that's older than I amCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/161883.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
17 April 2019 @ 03:06 pm
I am reading my way through the Miss Fisher novels by Kerry Greenwood, and they are fantastic good fun, very tropey in the best way - Phryne has a wonderful tendency to pick up wounded and beautiful young men, bandage them up and then have enthusiastic sex with them until they feel better. And feed them delicious meals, this is not a good series to read when you're hungry. They're also shockingly full of cameos and in-jokes. Miss Mary Mead featured in one, and she was exactly who you'd expect her to be, but the one I'm reading at the moment is a full-blown Sherlock crossover with Phryne as matchmaker, it's incredible and is almost as much a Sherlock fic as it is a Miss Fisher story. Also I'm pretty sure I saw a hat-tip to MFU in there too, and I'm only surprised Lord Peter hasn't strolled around in the background at any point.

They are quite like the TV series, but with some interesting differences, mainly that Phryne and Jack have absolutely zero chemistry in the books; apart from Mr Butler, he's about the only man she never so much as contemplates taking to bed. Instead they have a rather lovely calm and placid friendship with zero sparks, and Phryne's true love is Lin Chung, though this in no way prevents her from sleeping with at least one other beautiful man per book. And I love Phryne/Jack in the show, they about set fire to the screen in every episode, but in the books, Phryne/Lin Chung is absolutely electric. I've enjoyed all the books in the series, but the latest one, Murder and Mendelssohn, is the Sherlock crossover and it is absolutely delightful.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/161525.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
22 March 2019 @ 11:55 am
Wow, this episode was full of Stuff

spoilersCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/161270.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
07 March 2019 @ 09:38 pm
Just finished watching the latest season of Endeavour and I don’t think I’ve ever had a character I changed my opinion of so strongly as Bright. In the first seasons I thought he was awful. Then he turned out to be unexpectedly brave and decent, but this most recent season!

spoilersCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/160984.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
Tags: ,
27 February 2019 @ 10:19 pm
spoilers for Discovery 2.6Collapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/160485.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
22 February 2019 @ 04:56 pm
A bit of random liveblogging, because I kept being interrupted while watching this anyway so why not make notes:

spoilers ahoyCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/160045.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
20 February 2019 @ 06:43 pm
Posting this here since I also put it on tumblr, a rough drabble inspired by the description of the Third Cetagandan War from GJRQ.


Sending Aral off to lead the Home Fleet felt odd. Simon was supposed to be there, a half-step behind his left shoulder for his every waking hour. Instead, he was left holding the baby. And the wife. And the planet. And, of course, the Emperor. Aral hadn’t even said goodbye, just deposited that pile of valuables on Simon’s lap and soared off to make sure there would still be an Empire. Simon hadn’t been mistaken about the look on his face: it was joy. Given a straight choice between leading a space fleet into a wormhole slugging match, or staying at his post here on Barrayar, Aral hadn’t taken more than thirty seconds to make up his mind.

It made sense. Of course you left your guard dog at home when you went away. Simon supposed he couldn’t, in all decency, lie down on his stomach at the spaceport and howl until Aral returned.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/159816.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
20 February 2019 @ 01:53 pm
I am now all caught up on Disco, and I like it a lot so far.

S2 spoilers belowCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/159670.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
18 February 2019 @ 10:06 pm
I mentioned something about falling headfirst into a new fandom? Have another fic, something a bit more substantial this time. I don't think it's going to be all Saru all the time here forever, but, well, I'm not out of ideas yet :-). I feel like I'm still getting to grips with their voices, and Trek is such a gigantic canon that I only know bits of - the only Trek I've watched all the way through is DS9 - so it's a bit intimidating to write for this, and writing for visual fandoms really isn't natural for me at all. But I have a whole lot of thoughts and headcanon about the mirror universe and Kelpiens and what was going on with everything to do with Saru in S1, and because I don't really do nonfiction meta, it's coming out in stories :-)


Title: The Lion and the Unicorn
Summary: Saru visits the Terran Emperor aboard Discovery. An extra scene from 1.14

The Lion and the UnicornCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/159265.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
16 February 2019 @ 10:38 am
I appear to have fallen headfirst into a new fandom, if the sudden, er, mushrooming of 6000 words of fic in a new DISCO.TXT file on my computer is anything to go by. And that's just from the past day or two. There is some fun fic out there for Discovery on AO3, but there is a shocking lack of what I want, which is ALL the Shenzhou-era fic about Captain Georgiou and her two misfit proteges, all the stories of Michael and Saru sparring with each other while both being desperately loyal to her. Away missions gone wrong! Moral dilemmas! All the classic Trek tropes with those three, please! Also I want everything about Saru more generally, because after seeing his little backstory thing I am even more fascinated by him and how he went from primitive village boy to XO on Starfleet's shiniest science vessel. I haven't watched S2 yet, though I am thoroughly spoiled for all the major plot twists so far since I have no self-restraint. And as I said, I've been writing fic, on the basis that if you want to read it, you've got to write it first. And the first thing I've finished is a little triple drabble featuring Michael and Mirror!Saru. Warning for slavery and general mirrorverse angst.

the regard of the proudCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/158983.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
11 February 2019 @ 09:21 am
There is a new Bujold novella out and nobody mentioned it to me! Knife Children, a Sharing Knife sequel or epilogue, a sweet little tale about Barr and his daughter. I inhaled it and am reminded of how much I love the Sharing Knife series, every bit as much as I love the Vorkosigan series. They do different things, and TSK is such a gorgeous world, I love spending time in it. And now I'm going to have to go back and reread the whole series. I often do in the spring, it feels like a spring series somehow, I think it's because of the setting of the last book. Anyway, that was a good thing to find yesterday.

And on the general theme of spring, or end-of-winter, I am going to go out today and plant another plum tree, a cherry tree, some raspberries, currants and a loganberry. I've never tried growing loganberries before, but given how blackberries and raspberries thrive on this soil, I think it'll do just fine.


Oh, and I have finished Discovery and then rewatched it with a bad cold, and I think Saru is my favourite by a hair, he is such a lovely brave Space Gazelle. But Michael! Michael learning how to human is fantastic, and I hope she gets to be happy some more. And Tilly, oh dear me I adore Tilly, and Georgiou too in both her incarnations, and I am pleased to hear that the second season is more ensemble with the bridge crew because I missed that. I was not particularly interested in Ash/Voq and his tribulations, he managed to be dull even when being tortured. I liked Lorca even though he was evil, and Stamets is fun. I feel like it's still finding its feet, but I hope it has a good seven seasons to find them in. I'd like to see more monster-of-the-week, those were the best episodes of the first series.

Due to the aforementioned bad cold I picked up a few of the tie-in novels and they were readable enough. A bit heavy on the milsf/science bafflegab in a David Weber sort of way, but some good storytelling in there too. If they were fics on AO3 I'd have left kudos on both and a comment on the Saru-centric one which had some genuinely fun worldbuilding with alien races and mysteries and all sorts. The other one would probably have been more compelling to me if I was more interested in Spock and Michael having a mindmeld to save the day, also the author started a subplot and then lost interest in it at the end and just cut it off. Still, they were exactly right for reading while dosed on cold medicine.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/158830.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
19 January 2019 @ 10:13 pm
I know there's a second season out of this now, but because I am always, always late with these things, I'm only just halfway through the first season. But I love it!

spoilers for the first part of season oneCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/158220.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
First off, Yuletide. I was assigned to valmora, who wanted Molly and Nightingale, and their prompts made me think about this exchange in RoL:

"Molly can do haemomancy," said Nightingale. "It's very impressive."

I sorted through my slim store of Greek. "Divination through the agency of blood?"

Nightingale chewed thoughtfully and swallowed. "Perhaps that's not the best term for it," he said. "Molly can help you extend your sense of vestigia out some distance."

"How far?"

"Two or three miles," said Nightingale. "I only did it the once, so it's hard to tell."

"What was it like?"

"Like stepping into the world of ghosts," said Nightingale. "It may even be the world of ghosts, for all I know. It might be possible to find Henry Pyke that way."

"Why can't we do it that way now?" I asked.

"Because the odds are five to one against you surviving the experience," said Nightingale.

And once you think about it there are a LOT of questions, like HOW and WHY did Molly and Nightingale decide it would be interesting to see what happened if Molly bit Nightingale's neck and sucked his blood? I mean, what chain of events would lead up to that? And then I stuck that together with all the weird metaphysical bits of RoL where characters are in one place and also simultaneously in some other only partially real or only partially real-in-our-universe place - and how that's different from when Peter actually literally goes bodily to fairyland. And the bits we learned about Molly's backstory in Lies Sleeping. So I decided to dive headfirst into all that and wrote five to one against. I meant to write all sorts of treats, but none of them actually got completed because wrangling metaphysics for this fic took all my brain, plus I somehow got in a muddle about exactly when Cub was breaking up for Christmas and suddenly discovered I had a week less to write than I thought I did.

And my gifts! I said I thought my Nirvana in Fire/Temeraire fusion, Seed, had to be written by someone I knew, and I was right, so thank you very much, darling [personal profile] spatz, because you really took that idea and ran with it. And the lovely [archiveofourown.org profile] greerwatson wrote me my surprise bonus treat for Mrs Pollifax, Flight at Christmas. Thank you both very much!


So now, several years after everyone else, I have started watching the new Star Trek Discovery, and wow, it definitely knows how to get my attention. I have watched the first three episodes so far, and am very sad to discover that the whole show is not going to be wonderful mentorship feels and loyalty kink between Captain Georgiou and Michael, but I am definitely enjoying the ride anyway. Also, Tilly is pure delight. I have a feeling I'm going to like this show a lot.

In other things I am watching a long time after everyone else, I have also started with the original 1970s Upstairs Downstairs, and wow, they really knew how to skewer the class distinctions back then. Really good. Again, I've only watched the first four episodes so far, but I'm very interested to see more.

Also watched the original I, Claudius which was pretty good, there was a lot I recognised from Suetonius and Tacitius as well as Graves's take on it. It was frankly a lot darker than stuff I usually watch, but anything that gets into Caligula's relationship with his sister and with reality is going to go to some pretty grisly places. Derek Jacobi was fantastic, of course, and so was John Hurt. Because it's just following the historical events, it was a bit woolly in terms of plot, it's very this-happens-then-that-happens in a way that reminds me of nothing so much as second-rate fanfic that follows canon events without making enough of them. It picked up a lot in the final episodes when Claudius is Emperor, the difference between when he's observing events and when he's actually the protagonist of them was very notable. And I loved Augustus, who was almost exactly how I picture him in the full annoying-but-good politician way. Also, I got a bit fed up of the way all the women were villains.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/158029.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
27 December 2018 @ 01:48 pm
I have a bonus Yuletide fic! I think perhaps something went wrong in the bowels of AO3, because I only got a notification and found it in my gifts this morning. It's a delightful Christmas fic about my newest favourite Mrs Pollifax:

Flight at Christmas (1145 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mrs. Pollifax - Dorothy Gilman
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Emily Pollifax, John Farrell, Bishop (Mrs. Pollifax), Carstairs (Mrs. Pollifax)

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/157930.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
25 December 2018 @ 04:13 pm
The kids are improving; this year nobody really made any noise until just before six, and we mostly kept a lid on it until seven, which is practically a lie-in on Christmas morning (or any morning, really). And they have enjoyed their presents, and Christmas dinner has been both cooked and eaten despite a cooker half the size of the cooker in the old house, so I'm willing to call Christmas in the new house a success.

And I have a Yuletide fic! I never expected anyone to take my mention of a Temeraire/Nirvana in Fire fusion and run with it, but that is what I have been given this Yuletide, and I did actually squeal with delight just from the summary when I read it. So go and enjoy Mei Changsu as a dragon, and, since whoever wrote it MUST have been here reading my and others' chatter about this fusion, thank you, whoever you are!

Seed (2815 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Nirvana in Fire (TV), Temeraire - Naomi Novik
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe/Mu Nihuang, Lin Shu & Xiao Jingyan & Mu Nihuang
Characters: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe, Lin Chen, Xiao Jing Yan, Mu Ni Huang
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Temeraire Fusion, Fix-It, Fantasy Medicine, Crack Treated Seriously, more secret identities, Hugs

He listened also with a wistful air to the story of Xiao Sheng, the emperor's minister, who swallowed a pearl from a dragon's treasury and became a dragon himself; Laurence did not understand his attitude, until Temeraire said, "I do not suppose that is real? There is no way that people can become dragons, or the reverse?"
-His Majesty's Dragon, Chapter 8

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/157612.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
26 November 2018 @ 10:19 am
Apparently I have found my writing on-switch. I hope I can keep it switched on, because I'd like to get my Yuletide fic done in good time, but for now, have some ridiculous tropefic, because people were encouraging in the comments of the other day's drabble, and while it can sometimes take me 6 months to write a chapter, other times I can write 3000 words in a little over 24 hours, or at least I can if it's Alys and Simon pretending to be a couple.

Title: Improvisation
Tags: attempted sexual assault, fake relationship, canon AU, mostly fluff, fade-to-black
Summary: For Lady Alys, it's a way to get rid of unwanted suitors. For Captain Illyan, it's a way to reduce the likelihood of usurpation plots. If there's anything more to it, neither of them have any intention of saying so.

on AO3

ImprovisationCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/157403.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
24 November 2018 @ 06:59 am
A double drabble. This was inspired by a discussion a few weeks ago about how well Lady Alys might fit into the royal women's world of Nirvana in Fire, and I suddenly thought, yes, but while all the royal consorts and concubines are trying desperately to promote their son as the Imperial heir, Alys does the precise opposite: she uses all her strategy and cleverness to make sure the Imperium and Ivan stay far, far away. And then I thought about Aral's 'fiendishly machiavellian five-year-old' line about Ivan, and realised Alys must have started early.

Title: fiendishly machiavellian
Tags: suitable for all, angst, Barrayaran politics
Summary: Ivan was not a fiendishly machiavellian five-year-old. But he did have a fiendishly machiavellian mother.

fiendishly machiavellianCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/156955.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
21 November 2018 @ 09:47 pm
spoilers spoilers everywhereCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/156747.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
17 October 2018 @ 10:28 am
Dear Yuletide writer,

Thank you for offering one of my tiny fandoms. I'm already excited to read whatever you come up with to write. Also, I'm a very easy person to please, I like lots of things in fics, including all sorts that I haven't mentioned here, so if there's something you're burning to write in any of these fandoms, please feel free to ignore my prompts and bletherings here and go ahead and write it. But if you want more guidance, by all means carry on reading.

If you want to find me on other platforms, I'm Philomytha everywhere, on AO3, here, on Tumblr.

Things I like:
- loyalty and protectiveness and trust, and problems that arise from it, conflicting loyalties
- hurt/comfort and characters caring about each other especially in small gestures
- tropefic (things like huddling together for warmth, bodyswap, soulbonding, in vino veritas, sharing a bed... that sort of thing)
- casefic and adventures and characters being competent and brave
- stoical/repressed characters communicating their emotions obliquely and in small gestures
- role reversals
- Christmassy stories where suitable for the canon
- important platonic relationships
- moral dilemmas and difficult decisions

DNW: PWPs, AUs that significantly change the canon setting (canon-divergence AUs are great)

Bonnie Dundee, Rosemary Sutcliff, Hugh Herriott and John Graham
This has been one of my very favourite books since I was a child. It's a proper Yuletide fandom: as far as I know, there isn't any fic for it, so if you write me something, you will be the first, congratulations. I love Hugh so much, how desperate he is for someone to follow and how he finds that someone in Claverhouse, how for him the person of Claverhouse trumps his familial loyalties and his own instincts - I loved the note that he would probably have liked William of Orange fine, but Claverhouse was against him, so he was with Claverhouse. For me this story is just wall-to-wall loyalty, and anything you want to write about that would make me very happy, missing scenes or canon divergence or Claverhouse's POV on Hugh or anything at all.

The Halcyon, Richard Garland
I am completely fascinated by Mr Garland and his mysterious background, his ruthless command of his hotel, his loyalty to the Hamiltons, and his unexpected kindness towards his employees, and I would love anything you want to write. Show me more about his past, how he came to be Mr Garland, about why he is so loyal to the Hamilton family. Or, the show ends so abruptly! Write me more about what happened next, the fortunes of the hotel throughout the rest of the war or afterwards, how do they rebuild and carry on? I do ship him with Lady Hamilton a bit, after the final episode, but I'm willing to go anywhere you want to take me with this.

Mrs Pollifax, Emily Pollifax
I have almost finished reading this series now (don't worry about spoilers) and I am completely in love with Mrs Pollifax. Anything at all! I love her kindness and her curiosity, her determination and her grace under fire of all sorts, and I would love to read her doing absolutely anything. Casefic, even a very small domestic case about geraniums, would be wonderful, I adore her solving problems and picking up strangers and taking care of them. I love how much Carstairs and Bishop worry about her, even as they turn around again and again to send her off to deal with incredibly complicated situations. I love Cyrus and how he cheerfully lets her get on with being a secret agent and occasionally shows up to pick up the pieces, I love John Farrell and how much he respects and loves her, actually I love all the secondary characters, but most of all I love Mrs Pollfax and I want more of her being herself.

Nirvana in Fire, Lin Shu aka Mei Changsu aka Su Zhe
I have just watched this and I am hopelessly in love with it. I'm only specifying Lin Shu and all his identities because I am equally happy to read about his interactions with anyone, from the Emperor to Tong Lu, I adore his relationship with everyone in the series. Like every other person who has just watched this show, I needed the scene where he hugs Jingyan after the identity reveal (or, you know, at any other time), so one idea would be, Jingyan or anyone else giving Lin Shu a hug. Other things that fascinate me: I would love the story of how he got the cure for the poison-yeti disease, or backstory with Lin Chen and the early days of their friendship, or anything from constructing the Jiangzuo Alliance and just how frail, sickly Mei Changsu won the loyalty of all the best martial artists in Da Liang, rescuing Fei Liu, his friendship with Jingrui, all the backstory. Mei Changsu has clearly been keeping an eye on Nihuang for years, anything of that would be lovely; and has he also been keeping an eye on Jingyan and occasionally placing his slender finger on the scales? Or of course any kind of fix-it for the ending, or missing scenes from within the story. I could go on: anything you want to write about xiao-Shu would be fantastic. Two notes: please do not ship Fei Liu with anyone or hurt him, and I really liked the romance with Nihuang, so if you wanted to write other ships with MCS, please make them in addition to her rather than writing her out or marrying her off to someone else. And a very optional crack idea: Temeraire fusion.

I hope you enjoy writing for me, and thank you again!

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/156324.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
13 October 2018 @ 11:12 pm
I have now finished Nirvana in Fire, it is amazing and the ending is perfect and I am in awe.

my ongoing comments on the final episodes, with spoilersCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/156037.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
11 October 2018 @ 11:24 am
Does anyone want more Nirvana in Fire thoughts? You're getting them anyway, because I still have tonsillitis and feel wretched and sitting on the sofa with blankets and painkillers and lemon and honey tea and Nirvana in Fire is pretty much all I'm good for, as you can tell by the fact that I am now at episode 34. Spoilers ahead.

deep in the plot nowCollapse )

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/155707.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
08 October 2018 @ 12:23 pm
I have just started watching Nirvana in Fire. The problem is now that I need to do things like sleep, not to mention all those pesky RL responsibilities that won't go away just because I want to know what happens next. It took me to about episode 6 before I finally started to reliably be able to recognise most of the characters and know which side they were on without having to pause and go and look at the cribsheets, but it's so good that I didn't care. Also I now want to see Mei Changsu go mind-to-mind with Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, as two devious-minded physically frail military/political schemers with multiple identities. Though Mei Changsu is more of a long setup sort of guy, the sort who sends a ringer into a contest just in case he might be useful months later on, and Miles is more 'oh, look, there's a plot, what fun, okay, now I will defeat it with a random guy I met in a garbage dump and a bottle of space meths' sort of schemer. Miles is better at improvisation and using his charisma to make everyone believe whatever he wants them to believe, Mei Changsu is better at very careful preparation and not missing anything. They would really struggle in a fight against each other: Miles would discover that MCS had hired half the Dendarii six years ago; Mei Changsu would never be able to predict what Miles would do next, and Nihuang is like the platonic form of Miles's type, which would be sure to cause problems.

I don't suppose there's any way to make the crossover work, is there? Maybe Da Liang is actually another planet somewhere in the wormhole nexus, and Miles meets them? I have no idea what they would do, other than plot against each other, or worse, try to plot FOR each other, that would be the ultimate clash of working styles. 'But I set the whole thing up five years ago so you could just walk in there and do the job/yes, but then I had to rescue his maid and then she helped me dynamite his house and now all his people work for me, so we got what we wanted, what are you complaining about'.

Anyway, I love Nirvana in Fire and I adore the twisty twisty plots and I adore all the loyalty and the ridiculous ninja fighting and how everyone's mother is so important to the plot and how everyone lovingly wraps Mei Changsu in fur cloaks while he mocks them mercilessly and I adore everything, really. I highly recommend hanging on to a cribsheet if you follow up on this rec, there are a lot of characters with similar-sounding names and a lot of them have several sets of names and titles to make it even more complicated, and as I said, it took me half a dozen episodes to have just the main characters clear in my head, but there are lots of secondary characters too. Also the subtitles could be better: they're very translationese in places, and sometimes I am not convinced they've picked the right register, as when on screen someone is bowing solemnly and intoning something serious-sounding, and the subtitle is 'alright'. Maybe that is the best English representation of what they're saying, but I have my doubts.

It can be watched here and this is a good cribsheet for all the characters and this is a very enthusiastic person talking about some of the main characters, which is what initially sold me on watching it, along with a rec from [personal profile] spatz. As well as the twisty plots and the wonderful characters, it's also visually stunning, the costumes are incredibly gorgeous, the sets are beautiful, it's a delight to look at.

Though, as of now 10 episodes in, I think Mei Changsu should be hammering Prince Yu into a slightly more moral person and making him the next Emperor instead of Prince Jing, who may be righteous and brave but sucks at politics. Perhaps we will see more of how Prince Yu is actually evil and/or incompetent, but he's seeming like a fairly good fit for the job at present, and surprisingly willing to learn. Prince Jing is a delight, but I'm not yet convinced he will make a good Emperor.

And also, Fei Liu is adorable and reminds me of Philomythulus if Philomythulus were a fictional martial arts prodigy. He would love to fly up onto roofs and sit there munching snacks and occasionally jump down to kick people who are annoying him.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/155549.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
03 October 2018 @ 10:24 pm
The Mrs Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman
I love these SO MUCH! Mrs Pollifax is the best, I love everything about her. I love her eye for people and her determination and her kindness and friendliness and I love watching Carstairs and Bishop point her at people and then spend ages panicking over what she's done next. She's not a bit like Miles except in the way she gets twenty times more results than anyone asked for. I love Robin and Farrell, I like her romance with Cyrus even though IMO she had way more chemistry with Tsanko (my favourite of the secondary characters, I think). I haven't finished the series yet, and I'm buying them in dribs and drabs because I don't really want it to end. But I think they will easily stand up to going back to the beginning and starting again, so that's a comfort.

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
I devoured this one sleep-deprived day and thoroughly enjoyed it. JKR really does have an eye for character, every single person she conjures up in this is utterly believable in the best way. I've heard people say it's underedited, but not, I think, in a bad way. It's meandering and slow-burn and has tons of side plots and diversions (is there any need for the nephew hospitalisation plot? not really) but it works like that, it feels spacious and luxurious rather than bloated and overdone. And Robin and Strike are as delightful as ever, and, well, this book does advance the will-they-won't-they, but not all that much really. I do enjoy these books very much. My only quibble is that I detest the thing in detective stories where someone spots a vital clue or understands something, and the narration teases you with it, exchanges that go I've just had an idea that explains everything/what is it?/he told her, but nobody tells the reader. Fortunately in this book it doesn't last long, it's not like the thing in Five Red Herrings right at the start. But I still don't like it, it's like finding a complicated quiz embedded in the book and you're not allowed to proceed until you've answered it. I don't read detective novels to try to solve the plot on my own. I mean, I like guessing and forming theories and looking at the clues, but I'm not seriously trying to solve the mystery, I'm watching the detectives solve the mystery and that's where the fun of it goes. I like seeing their thought processes laid out for me; I don't want to have to do all the thinking myself, if I want a complicated problem to solve I can try and figure out how to get Philomythulus to reliably use the toilet. But that was my only real complaint with this. It's great. I especially love how the title makes sense at the end, that's the kind of thing I adore in detective stories.

Bodyguard (no spoilers)
I enjoyed all of this, though my interest flagged a little after the thing that happened halfway through. But the plot was compelling enough to carry it, though I did admit to finding all the suspense a bit overdone in the last episode. The final twist was great, though I wouldn't have minded seeing a bit more clue about the motivation behind it. And the ending was good.

Singin' in the Rain
They don't make them like that any more! I'd never seen this, and it was wonderful and delightful and happy-making. Very nice dancing, too.

The Third Man
Continuing to expand my cinematic education, another classic I'd never seen. It reminds me of the quip about Hamlet, that it was all quotations - I could see so many places where I thought 'oh, that's what they were riffing off' in so many other films. I have to admit I got a bit tangled up in the plot, though I suspect this was probably because I was trying to mend some jeans at the same time and was looking down at critical moments. But definitely worth watching.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/155202.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
17 September 2018 @ 10:45 am
Dear Trick-or-Treater,

Thank you for offering one of my fandoms! This is a short fic exchange, so I'll be brief. I love all the fandoms I've requested, I love the characters, I love shipfic or gen or anything in between, I love short fics and long fics. I DNW major character death (excluding canon deaths, it's fine to write about Leo or Aral's deaths, for example) and underage. And I'm not very interested in totally-different-setting AUs, though I'm happy with canon AUs, and adding magic/supernatural elements to a non-magical canon. Beyond that, feel free to write absolutely anything that takes your fancy! If you want more guidance, my bulletproof, never-fail-to-please tropes are everything to do with loyalty, and hurt/comfort.

Tricks: ghosts and monsters, angst, dark canon AUs, dangerous adventures, psychological horror
Treats: fluff, domestic fic, hurt/comfort, cheesy tropes, friendly monsters and ghosts

Chrestomanci - Christopher Chant
Anything! A little adventure, a snippet of life in Chrestomanci Castle from any time period, something from Christopher's younger adventures or when he is teaching Cat and the others, anything at all.

The Halcyon - Richard Garland
I am completely fascinated by Mr Garland and his mysterious background, his ruthless command of his hotel, his loyalty to the Hamiltons, and his unexpected kindness towards his employees, and I would love anything you want to write. If you want to go in a Halloween direction, is the hotel haunted? How would Mr Garland deal with the guests from hell, literally or figuratively?

Mrs Pollifax - Emily Pollifax
I'm only partway through reading these books (up to A Palm For Mrs Pollifax as of now, but I daresay I'll have read them all by Halloween) and I am completely in love with Mrs Pollifax. Anything at all! I love her kindness and her curiosity, her determination and her grace under fire of all sorts, and I would love to read her doing absolutely anything.

Rivers of London - any character
I love all the characters for this and I would love to see them doing anything, whether it's dealing with supernatural problems or enjoying a quiet relax. I love the magical system and the magical world we gradually uncover in the books, I love Peter and his relationships with all the other characters, and I want to see more of it - you can't go wrong here!

Vorkosigan - Simon Illyan
I love everyone in the Vorkosigan series, but I guess it's not a secret that I love Illyan best. Write me anything! There's no shortage of scope for darkness and horror in his story, and plenty of opportunities for some well-earned fluff too, and I'm happy with any ships you want to include.

The West Wing - Matt Santos
I've been rewatching this and really loving the Santos campaign and election. I'd love a glimpse of Santos in the early days of the campaign, when it's just him and Josh in budget hotels not really sure what they're doing, or later on when he's grown into the role. I adore the way Josh finds his guy in Santos, and the way Josh believes in Santos before Santos believes in himself, and if you wanted to expand on that, I'd love that, but I'd also love to see a bit more of the Santos marriage and family life, or him handling a political problem, or future-fic during his presidency.

And thank you again!

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/154713.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
12 September 2018 @ 09:58 pm
I'm up to date again, and I won't give any spoilers here beyond saying that I don't think the thing that happened in episode 4 is going to be reversed later, I think it really happened. No idea who the bad guy is in all of this, and if Line of Duty is anything to go by, it's possible that by the end I still won't be completely sure what happened.

The Buccaneers
A TV adaptation of the unfinished Edith Wharton novel. Nicely done, very pretty costume drama, and while they're fictional characters, it's fascinating to think that these women are about to find themselves in the twentieth century and a different world. I liked the interlocking romances and parallel stories, and I especially loved the governess character, she was such a sweetheart. It was a bit of a shock seeing Sr Julienne as one of the men's mistress, though.

That was a good show. Also when we had a social worker, she was pretty much of Miriam's calibre (less the drinking problem) and I loved her dearly, so of course she got promoted somewhere else and now we have a call centre instead. Anyway, Kiri. I loved all of it. I loved Miriam warts and all, I loved Tobi, I loved the dynamics of the social work team and the girl with the crush on Miriam, and Julie, and all of that. I loved the constant paparazzi presence. As a crime drama it was a bit lacking, I feel like Peter would have investigated that a hell of a lot better, but as a drama about social work, class and race, it was fantastic. Mr P was a bit miffed by the setting, because he's from Bristol and it was done well enough that he now feels unhappy about his favourite bit of the Downs being a crime scene!

The Husband Hunters, Anne de Courcy
Another non-fiction history on the same theme as The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau. This was a bit more general, with more background details of the social context and more examples of differing situations, but correspondingly less of an intimate look at a few women's lives. Still, loads and loads of fascinating details about everything from the founding of Worth's to the discomforts of the transatlantic crossing.

The Shuttle, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden for grown-ups, as recommended by [personal profile] adrian_turtle. I liked it, though I did start to skim the lengthy discursions on LIFE and primeval forces and healthy young animal natures and all of that. If you've read The Secret Garden it will all be familiar to you, but it was tedious there and it's tedious in this, though also strangely sweet in its sincerity. But at heart, this is a rather lovely story about a woman helping her sister to escape from an abusive marriage. I recognised the landscapes of my childhood, oasts and hopping and the red-tiled buildings, and the politics and international attitudes too. I have been liking this little foray into the history of American women moving to England, it's helping me ground my own life in other people's stories.

Queen Bees, Sian Evans
A biography of six leading interwar society ladies. Some I'd heard of before, some I hadn't, some were the same American heiresses I've read about in other books, which was an interesting touch. It wasn't a great book for picking up and putting down, because I continually forgot which one was which, but all of them had fascinating lives and fascinating influences. Mrs Ronnie Greville, who set up Elizabeth II's parents, for instance, and a huge amount about the Abdication Crisis which I knew almost nothing about. Lots of German sympathisers, leading up to the war, and the book handled that very clearly, not overly sympathetic, not overly condemnatory, it helped me make sense of that part of our history and showed the extent to which people didn't believe there could be another war. And I loved the detail about Laura Corrigan and her Paris Resistance activities. I'm really enjoying these glimpses of history through the eyes of a few particular characters.

The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman
Where has this book been all my life? You are all fired for not forcing me to read it a decade ago! Mrs Pollifax is my very favourite new heroine, and if you haven't had the pleasure, go and read it straight away, I'll wait. Mrs Pollifax is an elderly widow who is bored and tired of her life volunteering in the hospital library and tending her geraniums. Instead of jumping off the roof of her apartment building, she wangles her way into the CIA headquarters and volunteers to be a spy, where due to a slight mix-up she ends up getting sent on a very simple bit of spy work. Of course, it isn't so simple, and ... well, all else I will say about Mrs Pollifax is that she is a woman who, on discovering that the guard commander of the secret prison she is locked in suffers from back pain, gives him a back massage. I love her and am impatiently waiting for the next three books in the series to arrive in the post.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/154412.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
07 September 2018 @ 12:45 pm
So I've just inhaled the first three episodes of Bodyguard on catch-up, and I can see why it's getting so much attention. I mean, what's not to like? The abrasive, morally dubious Home Secretary and her troubled, peacemaking bodyguard and their complicated relationship of loyalty and sex. The writers have taken every trope they can find and they're throwing it ALL in and giving it a good stir. Three hours in, and we've had a quick-take-mine wardrobe malfunction, bloodstained hand-holding, Andrew Marr playing himself, secret missions, betrayals and non-betrayals, a lot of sex, the thing where you wake the PTSD-ridden veteran unexpectedly and he tries to strangle you, four terrorist attacks, and using your body as a human shield, repeatedly. If you like powerful women, loyalty kink, bodyguard drama and politics, you're in clover here.

The only thing that completely destroyed my suspension of disbelief was the SEN plot, because if they are giving out special school placements, even with the Home Secretary putting her finger on the scales, to children who apparently have very little going on apart from difficulty reading, then this is really an extreme AU of the UK. But that aside, it's a great show, and I am looking forward to the next three episodes and will probably nominate it for Yuletide too if someone else doesn't get there first.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/154228.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
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21 July 2018 @ 06:19 pm
Not Prime Time is revealed, and I don't suppose anyone will be in the least surprised to learn which fics I wrote. I picked up the pinch hit because I've been meaning to write some of [personal profile] karanguni's wonderful Aral/Simon prompts for ages, and in the end I came up with two ideas that made it all the way to completion, Spectator Sport which is outsider POV on Aral/Simon, and The Economy System which is Aral/Simon trying for sex without the chip recording it. I had a blast writing them both, though I did get into a pickle with the Jole section of Spectator Sport when I realised I'd misremembered precisely how Aral and Jole got together in canon, I had them getting together while they were at the Hegen Hub, but in canon it was before then. So I had to do some emergency rewriting there, but it worked out in the end. So that's kept me out of trouble for the past few weeks :-)

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/153749.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
19 July 2018 @ 05:44 pm
I don't think it's Wednesday anywhere any more, but last night I was too brain-fried to post anything, so here you are today, what I've been reading lately.

Recently Read

Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer
Another Heyer murder mystery. This one was perfectly readable, but it didn't charm me the way Heyer usually does. None of the characters were particularly likeable, and while a long familiarity with Heyer's tropes meant that I recognised Randall as the romantic hero and definitely not the murderer, even he didn't particularly appeal to me. The murder was clever, but I felt that the choice of murderer with the whole blackmail plot was less than perfect, it was a bit tacked-on to the intricate family drama Heyer's set up. Not quite 'the butler did it' but close.

Brothers in Arms by LM Bujold (audiobook)
As ever. It is fun reading the series in publication order and seeing Bujold develop the characters and their backstories and interconnections. I think the series gains a lot from being written out of chronological order, it adds richness to the chronologically earlier books. BiA is still my pick for the most perfectly plotted book, I adore how it all leads up to the pivotal scene where Mark shoots Galen, and then unwinds from there, every action matched with a reaction and every plot thread accounted for.

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau by Julie Ferry
This was great. It's the history of how wealthy American heiresses married into the English aristocracy, told with a fairly tight focus on the lives of a couple of women who married English aristocrats themselves and then, for a generous fee, performed introductions and set up encounters between other young women they deemed suitable, and impoverished heirs to assorted titles. Lots of detail about upper-crust society in New York and London and on the Continent, lots of fascinating detail about how the social networks worked and how women climbed and fell and what their motivations were. It makes me wonder if this is a setting much used for romantic novels, and if not, why not. Also it makes me want to read the works of Edith Wharton, who is much quoted in the book for her novels which apparently contain thinly fictionalised versions of many of the historical women, who were her contemporaries and in some cases friends.

ETA: this book apparently now is titled 'The Million Dollar Duchesses', for mysterious reasons, so if you want to find it you might need to search for that instead

I did also skim-read Gentleman Jole for fanfic reasons, no prizes for guessing which fics I wrote in a recent exchange... It was pretty readable, perfect for a really hot, sleep-deprived day in which 'nothing happens and everyone is fine' was a positive bonus.

Currently reading: not sure whether to pick up a history of the Roman roads in England, which seems likely to amuse, or a history of Bomber Command. I borrowed both from the library, somewhat in a hurry to choose anything because Cub's finished school and they don't like you abandoning your kids in the children's section while you browse at leisure, but it's hard to pick out books when someone's dancing around your feet complaining about boredom.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/153499.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
27 June 2018 @ 09:18 pm
Not a huge amount of reading this week, owing to the summer lurgy of doom. I hate it when it's hot and sticky and I can't tell whether my inability to thermoregulate is because it's ridiculously hot or because I'm running a fever. Also, I can't tell whether the room I'm in is too hot or too cold. This is not a fun virus and I'd like to be done with it now.

Read this week: Heyer's Footsteps in the Dark, as recommended by [personal profile] raven, which is a delightful hijinks plot full of mystery and ghosts. I figured out most of the plot before the characters did, but it was full of good misdirection and of course some delightful romance, plus it has the wonderful trope of 'escaped captive goes back to their cage so that their captor doesn't suspect anything', which I eat with a spoon.

Also, because I was thinking about it, I reread Cousin Kate, which is still very odd and unsettling, not least because it makes me wonder a great deal about what would have happened to Philomythulus back then. Plus the pacing is totally different from Heyer's usual, where accepted proposals, kisses, etc, are all confined to the last few pages; in this Kate agrees to marry whatsisname and there is a great deal of kissing, and my Kindle tells me I'm not even 70% through the story.

And right now I'm rereading The Warrior's Apprentice, because it's hot and I'm sick and Miles getting up to ridiculous antics is exactly what the doctor ordered.

And in non-book storytelling: all you people who've been talking about Agent Carter for ages, you are right and it is fabulous. I am here for as many iterations of Peggy being heroic and Jarvis bandaging her wounds and Sousa and Thompson gazing admiringly after her as we can possibly have. I have seen the first season, and it is the first bit of the MCU that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

We were alternating Agent Carter with something ridiculous called Mr & Mrs Murder, an Australian drama about a married couple of crime-scene cleaners who solve all the murders they're cleaning up after. I'd like this a lot more if it had fewer embarrassing situations in it, but at least twice an episode the lead characters break into someone's house to investigate them, get caught, come up with some unconvincing explanation and get into hot water, and it's making me cringe a lot. But it is light, funny murder mystery hijinks, and the characters are sweet.

Last month we watched the first season of The Good Fight, a Good Wife spin-off which I really liked. I got fed up with The Good Wife after a while and stopped watching, but this reboot has brought it back to life with a vengeance. Extremely American-political, and interesting and fun and compellingly watchable with it. Plus, it's not hard at all to get me to root for older women who take absolutely no shit from anyone as heroes, and Diane Lockhart is pretty much the standard-bearer for them. A totally different type from Catherine Cawood, but they've got the same backbone. The second season isn't available on DVD yet, so that'll have to wait, but I'm looking forward to it.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/153043.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
20 June 2018 @ 09:53 pm
This post about what you're reading on Wednesday thing seems like a good idea and I've been meaning to do it for ages, so here goes.

Currently reading

I am in the middle of Guy Adams's The Clown Service series. It's ... very readable, I think is the best way to put it. It's not excellent, or even very good, the prose is workmanlike at best and the characters are very loosely sketched out, but the plot zips along happily and the story's full of tropes I like. I picked it up on spec in the library because the cover and blurb looked interesting and reading the first few pages didn't make me put it down in disgust (which the previous book I'd picked up did after the main character, advertised on the back as a tough German cop who started her career on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall, got brutally raped in the prologue).

Anyway, The Clown Service is about Toby, an MI-6 fuckup who gets transferred to the one-man department that deals with counterterrorism as it relates to the supernatural, and together they save the world from exciting supernatural peril. The one man who's run the department solo for about a million years has the wonderful name of August Shining, and he's basically Nightingale or possibly the Doctor, and also he's gay and the book I'm currently reading - the third in the series - seems to be all about his romantic backstory during the Cold War, so that's fun. And in the first book Toby falls headlong in loyalty with Shining, who takes him under his wing and mentors him, so what with that and lots of Cold War spy plots and the whole everyday-world-plus-magic thing, it's not hard to see why I stuck with it. The first book is zombies, which I'm not so keen on but fortunately it wasn't much zombies and lots of Cold War relics coming back to bite Shining and Toby. The second book is strange magical assassinations, and I guessed whodunnit before Toby did but not how theydunnit. The third so far is Shining being interrogated about his love affair with a mysterious magical guy in Berlin, and I'm not sure if there are any more, but if there are I'll probably pick them up when I'm finished this one.

Recently read

Envious Casca and Why Shoot a Butler?, two of Heyer's contemporary-to-her murder mysteries. They're pretty good, fun reads, not as good as her Regencies but pretty good, and of course the background romances are very nicely done. Much better than Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay, picked up off the library's display of vintage crime fiction, which reads like she read Gaudy Night and tried to do the same thing only without the interesting characters or sparkling prose or romance or much of anything, really. I may finish it to find out who killed the Bursar and to see if it improves, but it's been sitting half-finished for several weeks and the library will want it back, so maybe not.

Crossposted at https://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/152463.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.