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04 June 2006 @ 12:34 am
Slashy Awards 144: Strephon's a Member of Parliament!  
I've been trying del.icio.us for a while, and I've come to the conclusion - well, it's nice to have all my bookmarks resident on the web. And it's nice to be able to put everything up there. But - well, okay. It makes me not want to do actual recommendations sets, and that's kind of why I have this journal, and it's the thing I love most. So that doesn't seem like such a great idea, basically.

And then I got to thinking - maybe there's a different bookmark system, probably not a social one, that's web-resident. Maybe someone out there knows about it! So, hey, if you do - tell me, okay? Actually, there's a few other things I'd like you to recommend to me.



You people were right about the iPod. You were right about the computer chair. I'm hoping you can be right about these things, too. My friends list thinks so that I don't have to!

  1. A (probably not social) web-based bookmarking system. Where I can store my bookmarks. And access them anywhere. But that won't give me Recommending Ennui or Need for Shyness (because you can't put spoilers in the description, and you can't really put your honest reaction sometimes, and I'm generally not ready to give an opinion when I bookmark something).

  2. A firewall. One you like, I mean. I hate my current one. I liked my old one, but it conflicted with nearly every piece of software ever coded. I want something that is highly configurable, something that has a lot of flexibility and allows me a lot of control, something that does not declare war on every other program on my system the second I install it. I am willing to pay for this. I mean, I paid for the piece of crap I have now, so.

  3. A spam filter. Here, my requirements are a little less stringent; I just really want a spam filter that filters out spam. Norton, my current filter, has not yet implemented this little piece of functionality - instead, it filters out stuff kind of at random. And it occasionally decides that one of the women I work with is a spammer, even though I've put her on the allowed list maybe eight times, and that's not good. Tell me about a spam filter that actually does its job, if you will; I'm tired of the lazy bitch I have going through my inbox right now. The thing acts like it smoked way too much pot before it came to work, and it's all, "What? Big pupils? No way, man. My eyes are just naturally blackballed." And I'm all, "Yeah. And those 18 emails from Sleepwalk X. Baghdad and Crushing J. Pendleton that you let into my inbox? Are those just natural, too?" And the spam filter's like, "Whoa. Chill, dude." And then I resort to threats. It isn't pretty.

  4. Your favorite fandom newsletters. sga_newsletter has totally spoiled me; I look at newsletterless fandoms and get all whiny: "I don't waaaaaaant to have to find links all by myself! I want them handed to me on a plaaaaaatter!" As a result, my reading is really heavily biased in favor of SGA right now, and not just 'cause I love the fandom (though god knows I do). It's also 'cause it's easy. (Yes, I'll cop to being lazy. This is why I want a spam filter that isn't. And also why I want someone else to do the work of, you know, finding stories for me. I just want to lie back and let the FF roll over me. Maybe you could recommend someone to print it out and hold it up in front of my eyes, too, while you're at it.)

  5. The best fan fiction you've read lately that wasn't SGA, Supernatural, or RPS. I need to broaden my reading horizons. (See also: newsletters, dependence on.) So now is the chance to tell me about that great Doctor Who x Pride and Prejudice story you read last week, or about this fantastic new fandom you're a part of. (One Tree Hill does not count, estrella30. Or, okay, it only counts if you can find someone totally sane to pimp it to me.)

  6. The best non-fiction book you've read lately. I'm big on travel essays, myself, but I'm pretty omnivorous when it comes to reading. Like, once Best Beloved was trying to come up with a book that I wouldn't read no matter how well it was written, and we had the following conversation:

    BB: A natural history of water?
    Me: Oooo! I'd definitely read that.
    BB, sighing: How 'bout floods? A history of floods?
    Me: Potentially depressing but very gripping. I would totally read that.
    BB, in slightly desperate tones: A history of flood insurance, then.
    Me: OMG SO FASCINATING.
    BB: You would not read that. You wouldn't. No one in her right mind would.
    Me: I -
    BB: Oh, right. We're talking about you.
    BB: *hand wavy gestures*
    Me, looking offended: I-
    BB, crossing arms and looking menacing and dangerous: Okay. Fine. What about actuarial tables for flood insurance? Big ol' book of nothing but actuarial tables.
    Me, in a very small voice: Actually, actuarial tables are quite interesting.
    BB, staring: Remind me. What do you call your home planet?

    My point is, if you think it's good, I'm willing to give it a shot. I'm not picky, here. Non-fiction! You! Me! It's a date!

    Hmmm. Got derailed somewhere in there. But my point is: tell me what you're reading, folks.

  7. Something Best Beloved should watch. Bonus points if it's anime!


Anyway. My point is, for those of you who have just read through the cut tag and have thus forgotten what the hell this post is about, even, is: del.icio.us is sapping my will to rec. So I says to myself, says I, "Return to the classics. Crossovers will bring meaning back to your journal!" And then, just to throw in even greater incentive, I lifted my usual stricture on crossovers. I mean, normally I get all on my high horse and say, "There shall be no repeats in any of the crossed over fandoms in a given crossover set." But life is too short, people.

The One That Is a Delightful Blend of Two Tasty Flavors of John. Plus Added Hotness in the Form of Claudia Black, Which Is Just Never a Bad Thing. Flying Low at Night, by cofax7. Farscape x Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Aeryn Sun. Have you ever found yourself standing in a TV on DVD aisle saying, "Sci Fi channel series about guys named John with special Ancient mojo who are stranded in distant universes. I wonder what the difference is?" Well, okay, first: if you have, don't admit it. You will bring shame on all of fandom. Just read this story and you'll be able to tell real, real well. A quick cheat sheet, though: Farscape has the John whose life kind of defines "out of the frying pan, into the fire." (And almost no one writes stories about his hair.) Whereas Stargate has the John whose life kind of defines "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." (And his hair has about the same number of fans as he does.)

So what I love about this story is that it - no, okay. I need to be honest. I love a lot about this story. I mean, I adore that it starts after the crossover - way after, in fact. We don't worry about how John (Hair-John, as I will be calling him for the rest of this summary, so as to avoid confusion) got to the Farscape end of the universe. He's there, and it's pretty consistent with the way his life has gone thus far, so that's fine. We pick up with him after years in Farscape, in fact, and we get to see what it's done to him. (Basically, it's turned him back into the guy in Antarctica. With about four hundred years' worth of added world weariness.) And then we get to see him cope with the other John's (Can I just call him Crichton? I'm getting kind of lost amongst all the Johns, here.) situation. It's just...wow. But what I was going to say (just re-read the beginning of this paragraph; if I go into it again we'll never get out of here) is that most of all I love the ending. It's hopeful and it's - it's just - god. I want a million more stories telling what happens after this, because I think that part of the universe is in for some very interesting times.

The One in Which Charles Gunn Is Confused about Why Everyone in Pegasus Speaks English. Right There with You, Gunn. Outward Bound, by Hth, aka hth_the_first. Stargate: Atlantis x Angel the Series, Charles Gunn/Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Charles Gunn/Ronon Dex. Before, we had a character from SGA sucked into another universe. Now we have a character from another universe sucked into SGA. And this...okay. First, let me just admit that I couldn't face watching any of Angel after season one - frankly, I think it was very brave of me to keep watching after Doyle did his Flying Wallenda - and so I never really got to know Gunn that well. I didn't ever meet Fred, or follow the whole Arc of Incredibly Complex Complexity that characterized Wesley's, um, last few seasons. But I love this story anyway.

Hth makes an excellent point, here - the Angel crew and the SGA crew aren't that different. They're both operating without much of a plan, and sometimes they both fuck up royally. And all the characters in both have kind of grown accustomed to living in greater danger - a higher state of alert, if you will - than most humans even know is possible, from creatures that aren't supposed to exist. So, you know, I wasn't too sure about this concept at first, but then I realized it is perfect. Plus, Gunn and Ronon get it on. Pretty much your ideal universe, right there. Well. If you discount the very high probability of death, and I totally couldn't, but I think Gunn and Ronon have both reached the point where "constant threat of death" equals "situation normal" in their minds.

The One That Explores Humanity's Basic Inability to Follow the Rules. And Isn't That What Makes People Great? The Sound of One Hand Clapping, by Gale, aka iphignia939. Firefly x Stargate: SG-1, gen. (Ha! I bet you totally thought this would be another SGA crossover. But once again, the hand was quicker than the eye!) Um. I am unfamiliar with Firefly, but I think this story is about a Major Spoiler. Yes. And I'm not sure if it's the kind of thing that everyone in all of fandom knows, or if it's more of a new thing. So I'm going to slip this summary behind a cut, just in case, and can someone please tell me if it's necessary or not?

It's also about a Major Spoiler from SG1, but I think everyone knows that one by now. Basically, what we have here is the two Major Spoilers interacting with each other. Oh. Right. I'm allowed to go into detail about the spoilers now. So. A dead guy named Wash walks into a bar. And there's a dead guy named Daniel there. And Daniel proves that "non-interference" is not a term in your average earth human's vocabulary - not the average earth human who gets to ascend, anyway - and then Wash backs him up. (And incidentally probably provides the impetus for yet another defection from Team Glowy Squid. If the Ancients keep beaming up modern humans, it's eventually going to start raining naked amnesiacs, I'm thinking.) And then there is a reunion scene. I found it touching even though I know absolutely nothing about any of the characters reuniting. That is pretty much the definition of a happy ending, no?

The One That Gives a Lot of Depth to a Certain Hair-Bedecked Guy Named John. And, Hey - This Totally Explains That, Too, Come to Think of It. Just As Required, Without Excess, by liviapenn. Stargate: Atlantis x DCU, gen. (Yep, it's the all Stargate crossover set. If you wish this trend not to continue, check under the first cut tag.) Okay. This story made me swoon with joy. When I tried to write up a description in del.icio.us, I ended up with a lot of exclamation points and random squealing. (Of course you can squeal in print. I'm not saying it's pretty, but it can be done.) I'm not sure if it'll be quite the same orgasmic experience if you don't know the DCU, but if you don't recognize the crossover character, Livia provides a helpful link at the end. And I'm pretty sure it will still work. Just - it's worth learning a bit about the DCU just so you can wave your hands about incoherently right along with me, okay?

You know, we all read (and sometimes write) a lot of stories trying to explain John's weirdness. (No, I can't describe it better than that. If I could, I'd write my own damn story, 'kay?) And this one did it so well. I don't really want to spoil it, and I really don't want to add another damn cut tag to this entry, but - look. This story provides a back story for John that I can absolutely and totally buy into. After you read it, I invite you to reflect upon what it says about the character (and the actor and the writers, maybe) that this had me nodding and saying, "Yeah! Oh my god YES! That so totally works! And also, RODNEY IS TIM AND TEYLA IS BATGIRL." (Lately I've discovered that all my fandoms can be translated into the Batverse. Like, Fraser is Tim and Ray K. is Nightwing and Stella is Oracle and Frannie is Steph and Ray Vecchio is Jason Todd. Um. Not that I've put a lot of thought into this or anything. Really. And I haven't even considered writing a paper about how Batman is the only character that doesn't usually have an analog, possibly because he's too fucked up for there to be more than one of him in the multiverse.)
 
 
 
peeps wanna see peeps boink: crazy space incestmusesfool on June 4th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
Well, mostly I've been reading Firefly lately, so um, The Maharani's Mocking Bird, which is about River and Simon - and is River/Simon (which is brother/sister incest, if that's a problem) - and River's been experimented on by the govt and so she's kind of a mind reader and it makes her a little crazy and she has no sense of boundaries and needs Simon to make everything better, and well, there's a reason they call it crazy space incest. Really good story, though, with a plot and everything.
tried to eat the safe banana: Orbitalthefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 09:11 am (UTC)
Well, but, see - incest is the reason I said no Supernatural. I've got an incest squick that just refuses to go away. I'd love a rec of Firefly gen, though - is there any story you can think of offhand that might work as an introduction to the fandom or characters?

If it helps, I've read a few Firefly crossover stories (besides this one, I mean), and, going by those, I think I'd be most interested in (in order of probability): Simon, Mal, River. Also possibly Kaylee (although I've hardly seen mention of her in stories, the few lines she's had have been interesting) and Wash (everyone seems to like him, but I only have slightly more data about him than Kaylee).
(no subject) - katie_m on June 4th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - musesfool on June 4th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wildgreentide on June 4th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
the girl with her many obsessionswistfuljane on June 4th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
Hmm...I don't know if you know this, but del.icio.us has a private saving feature (go setting > private saving & enable the option so that whenever you bookmark a link, you can make it private) if you want to go that route. I'll get back on you about other bookmark softwares 'cause I need to look them up.
the girl with her many obsessionswistfuljane on June 4th, 2006 08:12 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, I've seen Furl recommended, but I haven't used it myself so I'll like you to this artcle for a comparision of social bookmarking softwares (scroll down to tools).
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
Imaginary Researcher: Dubious but intrigued - oollahhannahrorlove on June 4th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
4. The only ones I read are the_cortex and house_notice which aren't spectacular but work fairly well enough for me.

5. Old, but still good: A mix - not quite a crossover - of Firefly and 'The Ship Who Sang' books. [Link to part five.]

A supernatural, surreal piece in the 'House' fandom.

Another from 'House' - gen! It exists!

6. The Quitter by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel, which is an autobiography. Before that, it'd be Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich, which is a very fast read and a lot of fun. Stiffby Mary Roach is probably right up your alley; it's all about cadavers.

7. Dead Poets Society. Witness. The Station Agent. American Beauty. The Blues Brothers. A Night At The Opera. The Squid And The Whale. Stiff Upper Lips. Roger Dodger. The Secret Of Roan Inish. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill. Porco Rosso.
tried to eat the safe banana: Black umbrellathefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 09:28 am (UTC)
4. Wheee! Thank you.

5. Further "Wheee!" And further thanks, too.

6. Yet further whee. The latter two are familiar to me, but I'd not heard of The Quitter. *adds to wish list*

7. Best Beloved has seen about half of these, but the others look interesting, particularly Porco Rosso and The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. *adds to Netflix queue*
ficbyzee on June 4th, 2006 07:54 am (UTC)
I have such insane, insane amounts of love for Outward Bound. Because... dude, Gunn. And Ronon. And--and really, yeah, that's all I got.

The best non-fiction book I've *been* reading lately is A Death in Brazil, by... uh. I am too lazy to actually go pick up the book and look at the author name. *koff* But it's really good! Trust me! Erm.

As for fanfiction, as anyone who's glanced at my journal can probably tell, I've returned to obsessing to a dangerous degree over comics. Which is a fandom I think you also follow, so I don't know if I'll be able to offer anything new, but stories I have enjoyed *immensely* lately have been Both Alike in Dignity by petronelle (yes, the pairing probably makes sane people flinch, just look *past* that) and Off Page Six by glossing (again, don't let the pairing put you off, this fic is brilliant and just HOT); on the gen side of things, I'm sure you've already read c_elisa's fucking amazing Hank fic that has been recced all over LJ-land, so I am too lazy to find the link I won't bother to repeat other fans' more coherent reccomendations of that story. Also, petronelle gives awesome Jim Gordon in Squandered My Resistance.

And... well, okay, I don't know if this will relate at all to your original request for recs, but should you have a craving for Super-people with Bat-people, I uh. I've started collecting stories of that nature under the World's Finest bundle here. Yes I know the obsession is just sad at this point, shut up shut UP
tried to eat the safe banana: Batvinethefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 09:37 am (UTC)
I loved Both Alike in Dignity. What's icky about the pairing? Kon! Barbara! There's no bad there. (And there's *really* no bad in a sweet happy Kon story, what with, uh, recent events. Now I just need a hit of Classic Tim and my happiness will be complete.)

And I also loved Off Page Six and Squandered My Resistance (OMG EEEE about sums up my reaction there). And of course I've read c_elisa's Kingdom of Heaven, and it SO GOOD. It was a tossup between two sets tonight, and I went with crossovers, but if I'd done the other Kingdom of Heaven would've been on it.

*happy sigh*

And speaking of all things comics-y, do you happen to know if there's a DCU (or Marvel, for that matter) newsletter? I remember, um, was it Minisoo? Maybe? Except probably it was really someone else? talking about starting one, but I never heard if it got going. Because there are so many great stories in those fandoms. A newsletter would be excellent.

(Of course I knew about your pervy little World's Finest collection. Wonderful idea. Super-anything plus Bat-anything does in fact equal joy.)
(no subject) - ficbyzee on June 4th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ficbyzee on June 4th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
murklinsmurklins on June 4th, 2006 08:01 am (UTC)
1. I love delicious a lot, but it took me a while to get there. I still mark everything "do not share" if I have to be brutally honest and call it like it is. Still, I would be sad to lose your social bookmarks. I sort of look at them once in a while, because sometimes you seem to go *back in time* and pull out old links, which is very cool. But yeah, do not share is my friend and it could be yours too. But I find delicious has not enough space for notes, so if you find something with more notes, I'd love to know.

4. Probably I should say the sshp_prophet because it's the one I edit, but really it's the vm_navigator because Veronica Mars fic is my guilty addiction. I can't stop reading it, but it hurts so bad. So I need the newsletter to see when fic I might be able to stand gets posted.

5. Recs. Hard to rec things to you -- not sure which ones I found out about from here in the first place.

Benevolent Sibling by fahye, BSG. Galactica's residents star in the Cylon hit reality series Benevolent Sibling. Excerpt: “You can’t activate him now,” Sharon added, obeying. “He hasn’t slept with Gaius yet.” Six choked on a peanut. “That being the really important thing, of course."

Like New by penknife, Good Omens. Crowley has amnesia and has forgotten he's a demon. Aziraphale suspects it's just a new way for Crowley to annoy him. Funny and sad and altogether lovely.

Pop Divas After The End of the World by meyerlemon, RPF and BSG. What if the resistance on Caprica were led, not by sports stars, but popstars? Crack, of course. Excerpt: "Shit, Kara," Britney said, sounding a little annoyed, "it's the end of the world. Let it go."

The Fifty-Point Scrabble Bonus by fox1013, Grey's Anatomy. Izzie plays Scrabble with rabid intensity. Somehow this leads to Scrabble porn. Excerpt: Izzie beat Cristina, 316 to 149. She followed it up with her victory dance, reserved for only the most special occasions. Cristina declared war.

I can't resist reccing RPS, but it's really old, so maybe that makes it okay?

Pancake Mouth by helpwess, Olympics Swimming RPS. Michael Phelps is the unlikely yenta in this Olympics RPF story. Excerpt: "HA, HA," bellows Pieter's subself, and capers about in glee. "You're going to die! Your feeble Dutch gay is no match for the Thorpedo!"

6. Never read non-fiction successfully. But I did like Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Everyone on the planet has read it though, so this wasn't very helpful.

tried to eat the safe banana: Stylethefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC)
sometimes you seem to go *back in time* and pull out old links

Yup, I do. If I go back to something I have bookmarked in my old folder for any reason - and because of the way I rec and read, I do that fairly often - I try to put it into del.icio.us, too. If I went once, I'll probably go again, that's my reasoning.

Somehow this leads to Scrabble porn.

*amused*

Scrabble porn! That is totally appealing. (And now, of course, I'm thinking - if I like it, that will make two stories about Scrabble in two different fandoms. Will there one day be enough for a recs set?)
(no subject) - murklins on June 4th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Robin in black and whitethefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
Invader Zim! Not quite anime, but all awesome.

*heads over to Netflix*

*reads summary*

*blinks*

Well, Invader Zim wins at unexpected. Also, Netflix thinks BB will like it, too. I have to respect any series that is somehow linked (in Netflix's recommendations system, anyway) to Red Dwarf, Trigun, Farscape, and Spirited Away.

*adds to queue*

If only the world could know *exactly* what went into "Just As Required"'s being written for me, you all would think that I had *almost* earned such a wondrous story. But not quite. I'm still over the moon about it.

*interested*

I thought it was just, you know, for your general fabulousness. Did you have to save the universe, too? Because that story is good enough that it's totally worth a universe rescue or two.

Obviously, you should write a fearless, searing expose: "Behind the Scenes of 'Just As Required': Passion, Heroism, Zeal, and the Occasional Musical Interlude."

*looks hopeful*
Paulienziplocless on June 4th, 2006 08:10 am (UTC)
4. My favourite is who_daily. A daily roundup of (it seems) all the Doctor Who links on LJ, this one can get very long though. I also like ds_weekly, farscape_weekly, hl_flash and despatches (age of sail).
tried to eat the safe banana: Sail and seagullsthefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)
I already had despatches, of course. Age of Sail cannot be denied. And ds_weekly, because Ray and Fraser will always be one of my very happy places. But I had never heard of the Farscape or HL ones. Excellent.

*adds*
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lalejandra on June 4th, 2006 08:16 am (UTC)
I was really really really dubious about One Tree Hill when ethrosdemon first tried to get estrella30 and me to watch it--but then I watched it. If for no other reason, you should watch it because the dialogue is at the same time true to the way people, especially teenagers, really speak--and isn't annoying the way people sometimes are. The characters are deftly drawn without seeming two-dimensional. Moira Kelly! (But I'm only on episode #7, so I might not be the best judge.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Adult nowthefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
*thoughtful*

Do you think it's still something I might like (and I refer here to FF, not the actual show; if I decide to start reading OTH, Best Beloved will be doing the watching of it) if I, in general, am not too keen on teenagers? (I mean, I acknowledge that it's a phase we all must go through, and teenagers have my complete and total sympathy. But I way overdrew my account at the Adolescent Angst and Drama Savings Bank in my own teen years - still paying it off as we speak - so I tend to avoid teenagers in fiction. We're always the most judgemental people who are a lot like we used to be, right? Wow. I really hope that's not just me.)
(no subject) - lalejandra on June 4th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
torch: tallyhoflambeau on June 4th, 2006 08:17 am (UTC)
I'm not very helpful on useful stuff like firewalls and spam filters, alas. My ISP has a great spam filter, so basically I never have to think about it.

But!

5, A bunch of stuff in last month's Jeeves & Wooster recs at crack_van.

6, Does it have to be just one? I love travel books, and would rec Mary McCarthy's The Stones of Florence and Venice Observed to just about anyone (there's a handy both-in-one Penguin pocket edition, too), and lately I've been rereading Wilde's Essays and Lectures (because I was rereading the plays and somehow I mind less being lectured when it's actually lectures), and Umberto Eco's How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (this one recced with a slight question mark because I've no idea what the translation to English is like, but I have no reason to think it shouldn't be good *g*), and Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading (the act, not the place), and Schindler's and Morton's travel books, and also a bunch of stuff in Swedish that isn't translated, alas. Oh, and Mark Kurlansky's book about the history of cod fishing.

7, Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Full Metal Alchemist, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Cardcaptor Sakura, Bleach, Slayers, Here is Greenwood, Yami no Matsuei, Escaflowne, Wolf's Rain. Or maybe some other stuff. *g*
out_there on June 4th, 2006 08:55 am (UTC)
Oh, god, yes, she's right about the anime. I can't vouch for Rurouni Kenshin, Bleach, Escaflowne or Wolf's Rain, but the rest of those are damn good (so I'd assume that entire list is worth watching).
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
out_there on June 4th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
Something Best Beloved should watch. Bonus points if it's anime!

I say Full Metal Alchemist because, yeah, I don't care if everyone else in fandom's already seen it, I only just started watching it on Wednesday and through a strong determination and hours staring at a computer screen am three-quarters through the 51 episodes and *desperately* wanting to know what happens next.

It's got magic. It's got anime humour. It's got Heroes on a Quest. It's also got more adult themes of government, rationals of war, and the horrible things that people will do to acheive their aims (either knowing or not knowing the consequences and costs).

It's also got continuity.

That gets bolded because finding an anime series where the character met in episode four turns out to be met again in episode 26, proving part of the governments lies and still hinting at other truths we don't yet know, is rare as all hell. This is a series where I'm paying attention to all of the tertiary characters because any of them could show up again later and it could *mean something* and good god I want to be able to *understand* it when it happens.

So, yeah, in short: Full Metal Alchemist = good watching.
Lialwdagreat on June 4th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
Whee - I just posted my rec, and laughed to see I'd been beaten to it - although I must say you articulated the reasons why it's such a good show much better than I ever could. So once I again I second - watch Full Metal Alchemist :)
(no subject) - out_there on June 4th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lialwdagreat on June 4th, 2006 08:35 am (UTC)
I don't know if these can be really compared to actuarial tables, as they're humor (although non-fiction) but I've really enjoyed Dave Gorman's "Are You Dave Gorman?" (the story of one man's quest to find all the other Dave Gormans of the world) & his "Googlewhack Adventure" (totally hilarious - this can also be obtained on DVD and should be viewed for the pie charts alone. Also, who among us hasn't woken up drunk in an airport with a plane ticket to a city we hate on the other side of the planet and no idea how we got there. And then decided to go and while there, contact a total stranger with whom you once exchanged an e-mail). Also Danny Wallace's Join Me (the story of how a personal ad created a thousands-strong cult of people with no actual cause).

If you want anime recommendations here are two:
1. Full Metal Alchemist - the story of one arrogant loud-mouth food-obsessed abrasive genius who finds himself working for the military/government after publicly displaying his genius at the age of 12, who reports to the dark haired ladies-man major-later-colonel with the mysterious past he doesn't like to speak about from a religious/power war in the desert and who likes to lounge around smirking, avoiding paper work and pulling the genius' chain, all supported by a cast of total rejects struggling to find the ultimate power source and fight off evil immortal beings trying to kill them. A story unlike any we've heard before. :) Overall, this story is sometimes funny, but mostly dark, with some interesting thoughts about life, politics, religion, family, etc.

2. Bleach - A great story with a large cast of characters you actually care about. Ichigo can see spirits, and when a dark one called a Hollow is attacking his home and the Shinigami (or Reaper) who fights them off is injured, she lends him her powers despite this being against the laws of the spirit world. Lots of fun, exciting plots & interesting characters.

Both series are described with more information at www.animeindepth.com
tried to eat the safe banana: Bookthefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
All those books sound fabulous, and I'm only sad that my library system doesn't have them. To Amazon I go.

And, ooo! thanks for the animeindepth link; Bleach and FMA are definitely proving to be the winners of the Rec Something for Best Beloved to Watch category. Must read up on this further.

*clicks with joy*
(no subject) - lwdagreat on June 9th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cupidsbowcupidsbow on June 4th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
I can't remember whether you already know about my multi-fandom rec comm or not: rec_room. I think there's over 900 recs in there, although about half of them are SGA.
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA infinitythefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
Oooo! No, I totally didn't know about rec_room. Thanks for pointing me there! (If there was a fandom-wide competition for "Fan Most Likely to Be the Last to Know," I would be a strong contender. Although I might end up losing to a fan in a coma, or one spending a year in a distant, internet-less location.)
(no subject) - cupidsbow on June 5th, 2006 09:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
anoneknewmoose on June 4th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC)
Non-fiction book recs: Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees and its sequel Pigs in Heaven (I also recommend The Poisonwood Bible). Re-reading them now and still love them.

On an entirely different shelf in the bookstore, naominovik's Temeraire series, which are (to quote the mod of the fan community) an "AU historical regency naval fiction" series. Absolutely fantastic: well-researched, fleshed out characters that feel real, funny but appropriate scenes, and a Jacobin dragon. In the Napoleonic wars.
anoneknewmoose on June 4th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
Wait. Sorry. For some reason I...thought non-fiction meant fiction. Um, sorry about that; they're great books, but definitely fiction, and obviously this means I should go to bed.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anoneknewmoose on June 4th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - flyingtapes on June 4th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
There are no really good spam filters, sorry.

I was beginning to suspect as much, but I cling to the hope that there is one and it's just really well hidden. A stealth spam filter, if you will. Ninja Anti-Spam! It sneaks onto your hard drive late in the night and dices the spam into itty bitty pieces. Then it tracks the spam back to its origin point and embeds a poisoned dagger directly into the heart of the spammer.

I would pay good money for that program. I so totally would.

The other thing I do, that you might want to consider, is that I have a gmail account that is used for backup.

This is a brilliant idea. *awed*

despatches

Abundantly familiar with it. Of course. All the Age of Sail, in one handy post! (Which, speaking of that - have you read the new Susan Cooper AoS book yet? I want to order it, but...I love her other books so much that I'm afraid my expectations are wildly inflated.)

Errr, I'm sure you read my "recent fanfic reading" posts

Yup. And thank you for re-instating those. I love them intensely. (You're excused from both the FF rec question and the non-fiction rec question, thanks entirely to your diligence with your reading lists. See? Entirely worth the effort! Well, for some definitions of the word "worth," anyway.)

"Nelson's Navy" by Brian Lavery is rather a favourite, though.

*adds to wish list*

I'm picking this totally at random from the pile of DVDs on the shelf that *I* should watch, actually -- I bought the set, watched some, then read the book and never finished watching the DVDs.

*doubtful*

I've read the book. I didn't realize there was a - movie? TV show? - based on it, though. Is it. Um. Is it any good?
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(no subject) - exceptinsects on June 5th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
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tried to eat the safe banana: Bookthefourthvine on June 4th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
There's fanfiction that isn't supernatural or RPS? Really? Where?

Oh, it's about. It's just using its natural camoflage to escape detection.

*sets up portable FF tracking device and author radio-tagging system*

The Last Shot by Darcy Frey is this absolutely wonderful book that uses basketball to talk about larger issues like culture and race and class.

Innnnnteresting. *adds to wish list*

'68 by Paco Ignacio Taibo

You know, I wouldn't know anything about this movement if it wasn't for the internet. Makes me wonder if anyone in the US knew about it when it was actually happening.

*likewise adds*

Taylor Branch's Civil Rights Movement Trilogy

Once more into the wish list!