oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

Is there anything like GoodReads or LibraryThing for short stories? This came up in the course of a conversation about keeping track of short stories and logging that one had read them and the impression they made, which of course one can do oneself e.g. in a spreadsheet, but that does not really provide the facility to recommend and promote further which those sites do for actual books.

But just because I don't know of anything doesn't mean it doesn't exist! It may simply mean that there are limits to my knowledge.

So does anyone know of anything like this? The particular context was sff and its generic penumbra.

(no subject)

Jul. 3rd, 2015 10:24 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] stardyst!

Matters of philosophy

Jul. 3rd, 2015 10:15 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Over breakfast, which I rise earlier than my wont in order to enjoy with him, Mr F- says to me, my dear, should you object were I to invite Mr MacD- for a quiet supper at home here sometime? I am most exceeding impressed with that young man, and would desire some conversation with him about the utilitarian philosophers, as I understand he frequents their circles and has even met Mr Bentham? Also he is in correspondence with Mr Owen of New Lanark whose ideas I find very intriguing tho' perhaps not entirely practicable.

O, I reply, I am very fond indeed of Mr MacD-, who has been of quite inestimable service to me over some troublesome matters. Let us indeed have him to supper and give him some of Seraphine's excellent cooking along with Mr H-'s smuggled wine and brandy, for Mr H-'s Sussex friends have a very nice taste in these, also I understand from Hector, to whom Mr H- made a present of some, that the tobacco of their trade is also excellent.

Mr MacD- ever speaks most highly of you, returns Mr F-. He is of the opinion that you prove a maxim of certain female philosophers - o, I cry with delight, there are female philosophers? (for it has ever struck me that the judgement of my own sex is by no means inferior to that of our suppos'd masters) - that a woman of your profession makes a sound honest bargain that is rather less despicable than that of women who marry for money and social rank instead of any liking and do not even hold to their bargain. Mr MacD- instanced the very recent sight in Society of young ladies of most impeccable birth and breeding in a great haste to w---e themselves to be Duchess of M-, for he cannot believe that many of them fully appreciated His Grace's qualities. I had never myself thought, he adds, that I should like a Duke so much but he is a very fine fellow indeed and has very sound notions about improvements upon his estates. Miss T- sounds a most suitable match by all accounts.

On another matter, he goes on, I should desire an interview with Docket, whose philosophy on the matter of dress has been of such aid to Mrs F-, concerning improvements to her wardrobe as we anticipate a number of visits such as we paid to N- last year. I say that I am sure Docket will be delighted, as she has such very strong opinions on the matter and has forbid me to wear certain fashionable colours and styles: because, madame, they do you no favours.

Well, says Mr F-, taking out his little memorandum book, this forenoon I have a meeting with Sir B- W- at his club, where he promises to introduce me to certain other members who will be of use to me, and we shall lunch there as he does not currently entertain at home due to Lady W-'s condition - you would think no man had ever got his wife with child before, he is so proud, and is constantly desirous to know how best to behave towards her from one that has experience in the matter. Then in the afternoon I am to the City to see Mr B- and some associates of his. Perhaps you could send a note to Mr MacD-? I see we have no engagements this evening.

Having kissed him goodbye, I go to my pretty writing desk and indite a little note of invitation to Mr MacD-, adding that I am intrigu'd to learn that there are female philosophers. I sand, fold and seal it, and then hand it to Hector desiring him to send Titus to R- House with it at once. Hector remarks that the boy is getting less idle and more into the good ways of the household, though he should stop gaping after Tibby as it makes him look quite foolish.

I am at my embroidery when Hector shows in Miss D-, who looks unusually sombre. I rise and kiss her and desire Hector to fetch some strong coffee.

She plumps down in the chair opposite me and says, my dear, the most extraordinary thing, I should never, ever, have suppos'd it probable. It was most kind of you to send me that little warning about Mr P-, who has ever held a grudge against me for refusing his suit, as I had heard that he has very nasty habits, and I have never aimed at being one that will offer to cater to gentlemen with strange freaks, tho' I understand that it is a very profitable trade (oh, says I, but one may be at the expense of implements: tho' it can be quite amusing, depending upon the gentleman in question and his particular freak). I was never convinc'd about his suppos'd reconciliation with Mr N-. Miss A- was well quit of him, the viper.

In order, therefore, to be in advance of any that might reveal the state of affairs, I determined on a full confession to Mr N- that I had been seduc'd by Mr J-'s charms (I think there was also some seduction on your part, says I, but I approve this principle). Oh yes, says Mr N- when I tell him, there have been some concerned friends that have seen you with him and have felt it their duty to inform me. But really, my dear, I know that I am something of a dull dog (for so previous mistresses have informed me), work long hours about the business of the nation, am for a little refined society such as one finds at Madame C-'s, going to the play once in a while, and an occasional game at cards, but mainly a quiet home life with my books. You suit me very well, for you run the household admirably and economically, you listen very prettily to my reading to you, but I know that it must be somewhat of a dull life for a lively young woman such as yourself. Because of my preference for a quiet life I should hate to have to dismiss you - Mrs O'C- has I think been casting eyes at me, and while it would be agreeable to have a companion that could give me an occasional game at cards at home, I hear reliable intelligence that she is not really a widow and that her husband is a fellow that is wild and troublesome and likely to bring a crim. con. action in hopes of getting paid off, so I do not greatly incline to the prospect. Could you but be a little more discreet with your actor fellow, I am quite resigned to complaisance.

Well, says I, that is a very civil way of looking at the matter.

Indeed it is, says Miss D-, and he has even increased my dress allowance.

We then proceed to her usual argosy of gossip (I have perpetually wondered that one with such an acute talent for gathering this has not been more cautious about becoming its subject), but she has nothing to communicate about Miss A- except the general report that her success is making her proud and distant. The acclaim of the crowd must sure be very pleasant, says Miss D-: but the crowd is fickle and friends should be cherished.

A note comes back from Mr MacD- to say that he is entirely at our disposal for the evening. I go to talk menus with Seraphine in the kitchen, and to look into the cellar with Hector. I then go to mention to Docket that Mr F- desires to consult with her about dressing Mrs F-. Hmmm, says Docket, while Biddy Smith does very fine work, I am not sure that she is the one that I would have dress Mrs F-, who requires a very plain style, augmented with some choice jewels. Let me give the matter my consideration. Also, there was a very fine lotion that Mrs F- sent some of a while since: I should be most desirous of the receipt so that I might make it up as necessary.

Sandy arrives in the evening neatly but not ostentatiously dresst, kisses my hand, and greets Mr F- with great warmth. He hands me over a prettily-bound book which he tells me is one of the most admirable works by a female philosopher he knows of: the author was the late wife of Mr Godwin and fatally bore him a daughter, that of recent years eloped with the poet Shelley.

Seraphine has prepared a very elegant supper, and the wine is excellent, altho' I ask Sandy (because of his nation) whether he should prefer whisky: but he says the excellence of the wines I serve (thanks to Mr H-) is well-known and he greatly anticipates trying them.

At the end of the repast I enquire whether I should leave the gentlemen to brandy and cigars (for Mr H- also supplies me with the latter). O, says Mr F-, I very much doubt that we will be engaging in coarse manly jests unfit for your pretty ears, shall we, Mr MacD-? Certainly not, says Sandy, providing Madame C- does not object to the smoke from a fine cigar? it would be quite delightful should she remain. I deny any such objection and sit sipping at a glass of madeira as they talk about Messrs Bentham and Mill, the Comte de St-Simon, Mr Owen's theories, model cottages, the evils of the truck system, &C.

It is really quite late when Mr MacD- finally takes his leave with very effusive thanks for the hospitality and good conversation. What a very excellent young man, says Mr F-, and one that Lord G- R- clearly holds in high affection, in fact I have wondered if there were some relationship; for His Lordship's late father is given out to have been a notorious lecher.

Star Trek Meme: Day 28

Jul. 3rd, 2015 10:45 am
selenak: (QuarkDax)
[personal profile] selenak
Day 28 - Your favourite friendship in Star Trek?

I have to separate this into incarnations again.

TOS: the trio, inevitably. And I do mean all three, not Kirk/Spock plus McCoy, but Kirk-McCoy-Spock, with Kirk's friendship with McCoy and McCoy's bickering friendship with Spock as important as the one between Kirk and Spock. Together with the good ship Kirk/Enterprise, this three way friendship is the emotional heart of the show, and the reason it survived that long.

TNG: I was certainly most intrigued by Picard & Guinan. We never got an episode that was all about them, but there were enough scenes to show the depth of the relationship - Picard's complete trust in Guinan's judgment in Yesterday's Enterprise, the way he confides in her in Measure of a Man, while there were also lighthearted scenes (Guinan's wry reaction to Picard's archaelogical geeking out at the start of Rascals). And of course there was the mysterious origin of that relationship. (Shame Time's Arrow, which showed how it started from Guinan's pov, wasn't a good two parter, but they never showed Picard's first encounter with Guinan from his timeline, so that's left free for the imagination.)

DS9: Quark & Dax, and I've written the fanfiction to prove it. Jadzia was the first among the regulars to hang out with Quark socially, not because she was a customer at his bar, and to unabashedly enjoy his company. (This, btw, was when her character clicked for me. The first season had played Dax serene and wise, while the second introduced the Dax who had a flippant sense of humor, loved playing Tongo with Ferengi and flirted with aliens that had open skulls. Not surprisingly, the later version was the one who stuck around.) But it wasn't all having good times together, there was a line to be crossed, which came when he did the weapons of mass destruction dealings with Cousin Gaila, and her reaction was key to giving Quark the courage to go up against Gaila and his psycho client.

Voyager: Janeway & Seven of Nine. This made me from a lukewarm Voyager watcher into, for a while, an avidly interested one. It was a prickly relationship with a great paradox at its start - Janeway forcing individualism on Seven who didn't want it (but whether or not Seven was in a state to make such a decision immediately after being cut off from the Collective was an unanswerable question) -, and their frequent clashes kept me as hooked as their moments of understanding.

Reboot: Kirk & Pike. Reboot!Pike pushed just about every fatherly mentor button I have, and whether he was supportive or chewing Kirk out, he just knew how to handle Jim K., and became apparantly the first person whose opinion really mattered to young Kirk; his inspiration, too. (I'll never fail to regret the reboot wasn't radical and had Christopher Pike remain Captain, with Kirk and Spock serving as his officers.


The other days )

Still not Wednesday

Jul. 2nd, 2015 08:44 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Because, really, I do not have anything worth making a reading post about since last week, what with 4th Street and everything (also, a lot of times when normally I would have been reading, e.g. waiting for things or in transit, I was either plotting or trying to type up on the tablet the next episode of [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan).

Partner is home - was feeling fit enough to walk home from the hospital when I collected him - although a minor operation is to be scheduled in due course. Many thanks for all the good wishes.

Still gradually catching up with myself - 12 hours more or less sleep and not having to go into work makes a considerable difference.

the_comfortable_courtesan: (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Still no visits from Miss A-. Mr F- arrives and we are all very pleased to see him, with even Titus putting meritorious effort into polishing his boots. He tells me that Mrs F- is very pulled down after the hard work they have had over the winter and the children's illnesses. It almost persuades him to move out of town away from the works, which cast a smokey miasma, but he has seen what happens when the desire to set up as country gentry overtakes the proprietors of industrial enterprizes. They no longer oversee the business properly themselves, but put in managers or think they can run it on a day or so in a se'enight. But he is sure that a spell at Harrogate will recruit her forces, and they will send the children away for some weeks to relatives that have a farm.

There is a meeting at R- House betwixt him, Biffle, Lord G- R-, Mr S-, and Mr B- concerning the projected canal from N-, and finding myself quite at liberty I take myself to Sir Z- R-'s to see what goes forth there. He is currently undertaking a portrait of Signor V-, and it is quite entertaining to see the wrangles they have between what Sir Z- R- thinks will make a telling study, and the virtuoso's desire to show correct posture, angle of bowing, placement of fingers, &C, leading at some times to hissed imprecations in Italian along with very speaking gesticulation.

Sir Z- R- breaks off for a moment to say that were it not that one hears each successive night of Miss A-'s current triumph on the boards, one would suppose her to have gone out of town, for she is quite absent from her usual haunts, surely she has not grown too proud for her old friends, hey, Madame C-? I shrug. He is not the only one who intimates that Miss A- is perhaps getting a little spoilt by the acclaim she has received.

Lady J- enters with her sister-in-law-to-be, and we do not of course greet one another, but exchange slight distant nods in the fashion of diplomats that are coming to an accord out of a state of war. Miss T-, who is looking very rosy and well, goes to her favoured study of Sir Z- R-'s Old Masters.

I see Mr P-, and remark to him that sure he was quite correct in spotting the possibilities in Miss A-. He says, in somewhat complaining tones, that he still thinks she would make a fine tragedienne if she only would. He glances over at Mr J-, that is with great vivacity recounting some tale to a group of admirers. I daresay you too have seen, Madame C-, that Mr J-'s conduct with Miss D- grows daily more shameless. I wonder no-one has informed Mr N- of the state of affairs, and am persuaded that perhaps it is my duty to enlighten him.

I look at Mr P- with a severe smile, and think that I was never quite convinc'd of his reconciliation with Mr N- after the letter concerning Queen Maud. I say, in an undertone that can only be heard of us two, o, nasty little tittle-tattlers should be well-whippt: but as I recall, Mr P-, that was very much to your taste, as a prelude to a rogering with Signor Dildo (a curious freak of his which I am certain he never disclos'd to Miss A- during their association). We all, I say, with a sententious air, have secrets that should be kept close. He looks somewhat purple in the face, but I think he has taken my meaning.

After some idle chatter with one and another I approach Mr J- in order to desire a private word away from the crowd, no, I say, I do not think that going to admire the wombatt takes us far enough away

I tempt him to accompany me to my house (the weather is almost springlike already and walking is no hardship) with a promise of some of Seraphine's dainties. I wish to know from him whether there is some time that I might accost Miss A- at the theatre and ask what she thinks she is about, without its being just before or just after a performance, which would not be auspicious moments. Oh, he says, she and I are about to rehearse some very telling bits of extra business, and gives me some notion of when this will take place.

My dear Mr J-, I go on, you are indeed lucky that Mr N- is so obtuse, but there are other eyes that are more perceptive and those that may think it their duty to open his eyes to your liaison with Miss D-. He sighs and says she is a quite splendid woman, but he knows that given the precariousness of an actor's life he cannot offer her the kind of establishment she has from Mr N-. They must be more discreet, he agrees. But also, he says, while it does me no harm to have liaisons, I fear that were I to be known to have an established mistress, let alone a wife, it would very adversely affect the devotion of my admirers. You may say, he adds, looking at my hoisted eyebrows, that this is sheer vanity and arrogance on my part, but I think also of the good of the company, for my most besotted devotees, that come to every performance, are very good for our profits.

I know, he goes on, that you suffer from such extreme stage-fright that it quite paralyses you, but I must say, my dear Madame C-, I am most impressed, as one that follows the thespian art, by the comedy you and Lord G- R- are enacting. For it is not opaque to one of my sphere where his inclinations lie, for as you know, there are very many in the world of the theatre who are of similar tastes. But it will only be those such as myself who may even hazard the guess, and of those, most will keep their suspicions close for their own sakes, or because they do not care. I am all for the ladies but I do not see how what others do hurts me.

He is unable to shed any light, however, on Miss A-'s mysterious silence and retreat from her wonted society, unless she is still melancholy over Miss M-'s desertion.

Star Trek Meme: Day 27

Jul. 2nd, 2015 06:22 am
selenak: (The Doctor by Principiah Oh)
[personal profile] selenak
Day 27 - What would you cross over with Star Trek?

Somewhat late, because I was away from any internet yesterday until late at night, but here we go. Well, considering I've already written the crossovers in question, obviously I would cross over Star Trek with Torchwood and Doctor Who, just Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars.

The advantage with Doctor Who especially is that between all the various Doctors and companions on the one hand, and all the various incarnations of Star Trek on the other, you have such a rich, infinite variety of combinations for encounters to choose from, so the two DW crossovers certainly won't be my last. It's also the crossover that's currently do-able on screen, technically (if the BBC and whoever owns Paramount now - Sony? - could ever come to licence terms), and I dimly seem to recall that there was a fannish rumor in the RTD era that a plan for such a crossover existed.

But an on screen encounter would probably not include the character interaction I'm interested in, so never mind that, and let's stay hypothetical and fanfiction minded entirely. Since time travel exists in the Star Trek universe, you can even cross it over with historical fandoms. (Fandoms with immortal characters can bring these into the ST future, of course.) So basically there's no fandom I wouldn't cross over with Star Trek. Infinite variety in infinite combinations, after all.

The other days )

Whoamcoming: minuses and some pluses

Jul. 1st, 2015 07:46 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh the ongoing appalling saga of wifi at O'Hare - due to the extreme mankiness of the website and the very unreliable nature of the connection, I appear to have paid 3 times for the same hour of really random internet connection. Grrrrr.

The flight was pretty much okay as flights go: because the lady in the seat next to me was having some kind of health crisis (and had several friends + various flight attendants on the case, so I felt that to intervene would be just intrusive), the flight attendant asked if I would be willing to move to another seat so lady in question could lie down.

Okay by me, especially as this was a move up to World Traveller Plus; the downside, however, being twits on both sides of the section leaving their window blinds up, so just as I was settling into some shuteye, dawn came up like thunder.

Presumably because I checked my bag incredibly early, it was pretty much the last one of the flight off the carousel, sigh.

However, there is now free wifi on the Heathrow Express, yay, 21st Century!

The other bit of news chez oursin, however, is that when I tried to ring partner at home from O'Hare, no reply. I later, like, just at the moment when I was going through security, got a call from his mobile (which in the circs I couldn't take), which struck me as a bit ominous, but it took quite a lot of failed calls and difficulties to finally converse and for me to find that partner had just gone into hospital for a minor, if unpleasant and rather embarrassing, condition that had suddenly arisen, and was being kept in overnight (last night).

And today the news is that he's being kept in another night at least. I walked up to the hospital (it is at least the nearest one, the downside to that being it's not that easy to get to, especially with our tube station out of commission) with various bits and bobs that he needed, in the horrible humid heat, to a hospital in which, once one starts penetrating to the wards, one realises that the airport terminal air of the very new bits exists on a substructure of workhouse infirmary and later developments and the whole thing Makes No Sense.

I have also unpacked, done two loads of washing, made bread, phoned the Aged Parent, and done various bits of outstanding personal financial administration (y o y would a major bank not have a contact number on their website for the department to speak to when they have put a block on one's card for a suspected dodgy transaction??? enquiring minds &C).

However, you know what's really, really good? Not having to go into work.

(no subject)

Jul. 1st, 2015 07:47 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday,[personal profile] marykay/[livejournal.com profile] marykaykare!

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