Reading: Gemini

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:18 pm
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[personal profile] white_hart
In the final book in Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolò series, Nicholas de Fleury returns to Scotland to try to make amends for the damage caused by his earlier actions and to safeguard his family from the enemies who have tried to kill both him and them so many times. For a while, I thought that Gemini was going to be a bit of an anticlimax to the series; several plot threads were resolved at the end of Caprice and Rondo, and Gemini is almost entirely set in Scotland, lacking the exotic locations of the earlier books. Nicholas has also changed and grown, and in Gemini is tackling the task of learning to care for people, and not just for the outcomes of his schemes. However, after a slow start, the novel gathers pace and the psychological drama is more than a match for the drama of any of Dunnett's other novels; there were just as many twists and edge-of-the-seat moments, and I found it just as hard to put down. It's a fitting end to the series, and like the ending of Checkmate leaves me wanting to go back and re-read key moments from earlier in the series in the light of the final revelations.

Fittingly, having started reading The Game of Kings on my 40th-birthday trip to Scotland, because I wanted to read something set in Scotland while I was there, I read Gemini while on holiday in Scotland once again. Three and a bit years, 14 books, at least 7,000 pages and an amazing sweep of European and Middle Eastern history in the early modern and late Middle Ages later, I can safely say that it has been one of the most intense reading experiences I've ever had. I can't actually remember who it was who made Dunnett sound intriguing enough for me to give her a try (I suspect it may have been a gestalt entity of friends and acquaintances), but it's been incredible, and in many ways I'm sorry to have come to the end. (I do still have King Hereafter to read, and will probably give the Johnson Johnson novels a try at least, but neither is going to be the same.)

Nominations Queries Post Two

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:45 pm
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (mod)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 102.5 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 1660. There are 2054 approved fandoms now in the tag set.

Thank you for your answers to the previous queries! We have some more, and some lingering:


Дуэлянт | The Duelist (2016) - We can't find Pyotr Yakovlev's brother. Could the nominator please confirm he appears in the film?

Extraction (2013) - We can't find a Victor. Could the nominator please confirm he appears in the film?

灵契 | Ling Qi | Spiritpact - This has been nominated with overlapping characters, using Japanese and Chinese names respectively: You Keika, Tanmoku Ki, Tanmoku Rakugetsu, and You Nei; and Yang Jinghua, Duanmu Xi, Duanmu Siming, and Qin Siyao. Could each nominator please confirm which media they mean, and can we please combine these character names using one of the versions?

No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?

A Place to Call Home (TV) - We can't find the character Tom. Could the nominator please give us a pointer?

Plantagenets Series - Sharon Kay Penman - For Geoffrey Plantagenet, could the nominator please confirm they mean Geoffrey V Count of Anjou, or some other character?

Six of Crows Series - Leigh Bardugo - It's not clear to us that Nikolai Lantsov belongs here. Could the nominator please give us their reasoning?

Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?

Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle - Georgette Heyer For Lady Marlow, could the nominator please confirm whether they mean Lady Verena Marlow or Lady Constance Marlow?

These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer - As far as we can tell, Dominic Alastair does not appear in this book. (He is also nominated in The Devil's Cub.) Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating him here?

Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared?


All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:
  • Gone With the Wind - All Media Types, characters: Belle Watling, Careen O'Hara, Mammy, Melanie Hamilton (Gone with the Wind - All Media Types)

  • The Martian - All Media Types, characters: Beth Johanssen, Chris Beck, Mark Watney (The Martian - All Media Types)

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish

  • The Witches of Eastwick - All Media Types, characters: Alexandra Medford, Darryl Van Horne, Jane Spofford, Sukie Ridgemont [if we don't hear back from the nominator on this one, we may go with the 1987 film]


Ensemble characters
We will accept labels like “the Council” or “the hunters” for characters in cases where the ensemble does not have different distinct characters in it. For the following fandoms, please either confirm that there are no distinct characters in the group, or pick a single character out of the group you’ve nominated.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (TV 2016) - The Rowdy 3

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy - The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

  • Velvet Goldmine - Flaming Creatures


Ineligible RPF fandoms
The follow RPF fandoms are too large and will not be approved. Nominators, please suggest an alternative category; if we do not hear from you, we may either fold the characters into another nominated category, or reject the fandoms & characters.
  • Formula 1 RPF - characters: Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna

  • Pop Music RPF - characters: Beyoncé Knowles, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake



If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your approved nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.

Nominations Queries Post One

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:31 am
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 36 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 3086. There are 1076 approved fandoms now in the tag set*.


Please help us with the following issues and queries!

Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan - Both Elan Morin Tedroni and Ishamael | Moridin are nominated; other Forsaken are nominated with their original names. Please either explain why you think they should be separated out, or confirm we can approve both tags as Elan Morin Tedroni.

Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs - As far as we can tell, Color Changing Cat is not actually from this canon, but a different exercise in considering the problems of long-term nuclear waste storage - see http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2014/05/14/_99_percent_invisible_by_roman_mars_designing_warning_symbols_for_the_nation.html. Could you please let us know if we’ve missed the cats, or if there’s another reason you believe they should be included.


Ensemble characters
We will accept labels like “the Council” or “the hunters” for characters in cases where the ensemble does not have different distinct characters in it. For the following fandoms, please either confirm that there are no distinct characters in the group, or pick a single character out of the group you’ve nominated.

  • Captive Prince - C. S. Pacat: Veretian Council

  • The Darkness (Comics): Darklings (The Darkness)

  • 終末のイゼッタ | Shuumatsu no Izetta | Izetta: The Last Witch (Anime): The Royal Guard


All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:
  • Captain Scarlet - All Media Types, characters: Adam Svenson | Captain Blue, Charles Gray | Colonel White, Conrad Turner | Captain Black, Paul Metcalfe | Captain Scarlet

  • Gone With the Wind - All Media Types, characters: Belle Watling, Careen O'Hara, Mammy, Melanie Hamilton (Gone with the Wind - All Media Types)

  • Goosebumps - All Media Types, characters: Cooper Holmes (The Barking Ghost), Drew Brockman (Attack of the Jack-O-Lanterns), Ginger Wald (The Beast From the East), Michael Webster (The Cuckoo Clock of Doom)

  • The Martian - All Media Types, characters: Beth Johanssen, Chris Beck, Mark Watney (The Martian - All Media Types)

  • Midsomer Murders - All Media Types, characters: Jamie Winter, Kam Karimore

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish

  • The Witches of Eastwick - All Media Types, characters: Alexandra Medford, Darryl Van Horne, Jane Spofford, Sukie Ridgemont


If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your approved nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.


*(NB: that’s not because we rejected ~900, but because 5058 and 3086 are totals of how often the fandom slot was filled out by nominators - whether or not they nominated the same fandom. When we approve a fandom that was nominated by two people, the total number of fandom nominations goes down by 2, and the approved fandom total goes up by 1.)

Reading: The Shortest Way to Hades

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:08 am
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
The Shortest Way to Hades is the second of Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar novels, and is very similar to the first; Hilary, Professor of Legal History at Oxford, is called in by the junior members of the barristers' chambers at 62 New Square to investigate the death of a young woman who was recently involved in a variation of trusts case in which all of them represented various parties, and which they feel was suspicious. Like the first novel, it's entertaining and contains some lovely comic scenes; I particularly enjoyed the account of how Selena, on finding herself present at an orgy, decides that her preferred pleasure is in fact reading the copy of Pride and Prejudice she happened to have in her bag (a woman after my own heart!), and, having an Oxford background, I also very much liked Hilary's justification for not taking part in examining, which was an absolutely pitch-perfect example of the Oxford don's refusal to carry out a disagreeable task couched as a favour to absolutely everyone else. Meanwhile, the mystery was well enough plotted that I didn't come anywhere close to suspecting the real murderer until the final reveal, which is all you can really ask of a mystery, after all.

I think I enjoyed Thus Was Adonis Murdered more, but I'm not sure whether that's because the second book is so similar that I knew exactly what I was going to be getting and there wasn't the pleasure of discovering something new, or if I simply wasn't quite in the right mood for it; I certainly think it's just as good a book.
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (mod)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
Final number of nominations: 5058

That means that at least 1686 people nominated.

We now move into the sorting phase. Over the next days you will see the fandoms and characters you nominated being approved or rejected. You will also see us make posts here, asking for clarification.

Whenever we have enough questions for a new clarification post, we will move unanswered questions into the new post.. This is to help us keep track of which things are outstanding and prevent us from missing comments on older posts. You can help by keeping an eye on the community and helping to answer questions. The first question post will be up soon.

The evidence post is now closed, and we'll be using the evidence to review fandoms. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit evidence.

If you are looking at your nominations page and you see that a character has been rejected, it may be that it has been approved under a different name (for example, with a fandom-specific disambiguation). Please wait until the tagset is public before raising the issue.

Lastly, please don't hammer AO3 trying to check if your fandoms have been reviewed. Doing this will only slow things down. We're not saying don’t check, but don’t sit there pressing F5. The tagset will be visible after sorting; at that point you can help us find what problems remain.

Last Day for Nominations

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:00 pm
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (Yuletide)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
The nominations period is now shorter than 24 hours.

Here is the countdown!

Here are the instructions!

Here we go!


Because there is a time delay in the IFTTT service that crossposts from LJ/DW to Twitter/Tumblr, we will not post a further warning here. We don't want participants who get their notifications that way to see 'two hours left' when in fact nominations ended two hours prior. If you still plan to nominate, please check the countdown and get your nominations in soon!

Nominations end in under 3 days

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:00 pm
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
All you need to know about 2017 nominations is at this post!

Click here for a countdown to when nominations end.

If you have a question for us, please ask it there, or here, or at http://yuletide-admin.livejournal.com, or by email to yuletideadmin@gmail.com! If you have already asked us a question, please feel free to remind us by commenting again or linking to it.

Reading: The Mark of the Horse Lord

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:07 pm
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[personal profile] white_hart
Reading Gwyneth Jones put me in mind of Rosemary Sutcliff, and as I'm off to Argyll on holiday soon I thought I would re-read The Mark of the Horse Lord, which is set in Argyll. Unlike most of Sutcliff's novels set in Roman Britain, Phaedrus, the protagonist of The Mark of the Horse Lord, isn't a Roman soldier; instead, he's a half-British ex-gladiator, son of a Greek wine merchant and a slave woman, who lived his whole life as a slave until being freed after winning a fight in the arena. By coincidence, he discovers that he is the exact double of Midir, the exiled prince of the Dalriad tribe, and is persuaded to impersonate Midir and travel beyond the northern boundary of the Empire to lead a rebellion and win back the kingdom of the Dalriads from Queen Liadhan, who has seized the throne and imposed the old matrilineal rule of the Earth-Mother in place of the patrilineal worship of the Sun-God. The plot is not dissimilar to The Prisoner of Zenda, really, as Phaedrus tries to take over another man's life and relationships and learn how to be a king.

This isn't my favorite Sutcliff; Phaedrus is a less sympathetic protagonist than the various members of the family in the Dolphin Ring saga, hardened by the years in the arena as he is, although he does become more sympathetic as the story goes on. I also don't find the society of the Dalriads, beyond the frontiers of the Empire, as interesting as the Roman society depicted in the books set inside the Empire, and, revisiting it now, I also feel that the conflict between the matrilineal and patrilineal societies is probably more nuanced than the book really suggests, and I wish we had got to see Liadhan's point of view as well as Phaedrus's.

Reading: Rainbow Bridge

Sep. 10th, 2017 05:16 pm
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[personal profile] white_hart
Rainbow Bridge is the fifth and more or less final novel in the sequence Gwyneth Jones began with Bold As Love (there is a sixth book set in the same universe, published several years later, but that appears to be a YA novel with a different main character, rather than part of the main continuity). It begins more or less where the fourth left off, in a near-future, post-oil England which has just been invaded and is under military occupation, and sees Ax, Fiorinda and Sage (Jones's near-future rockstar Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot) playing a complicated game, having to work with the invaders to try to prevent further loss of life and manipulate the global political civilisation to give the world the best possible chance of surviving the coming Dark Age.

It's taken me over a decade to finish this series, despite loving the first two; it took me a while to get round to obtaining a copy of the third, and then I wasn't reading much, because citalopram killed my ability to become absorbed in a narrative, and in any case I was scared to try to face the darkness of Jones's post-catastrophe near-future. I only returned to it after re-reading The Once and Future King left me thinking that the tragedy of the Arthur story could have been avoided if only someone had told them about poly, and I remembered that that's exactly what Jones does here.

Despite reading it so slowly, I have liked the series a lot; the narrative is odd, disjointed in places, and the structure of the novels is somewhat unconventional, veering between affairs of state and the trio's polywobbles, with parts of the political action taking place offstage and merely reported in a way that would drive the advocates of show-don't-tell as an unbreakable rule of writing round the bend, but somehow it works for me. I like the characters, too, even if I have found myself wanting to smack all of the central trio with codfish at multiple points throughout the series. And actually, like Rosemary Sutcliff's novels of post-Roman Britain, which are an obvious influence on Jones (there is a chapter in Rainbow Bridge entitled 'The Lantern Bearers', and a section called 'The Shield Ring'), while the future of these novels is dark and scary and beset with difficulties, it's not a hopeless future; what matters, mostly, is love and loyalty and being able to be flexible in some things while absolutely inflexible in others, and ultimately, it's quite a hopeful book, and ends with Jones's three heroes finally able to settle down in peaceful obscurity, away from the public eye.

Reading: Desolation Island

Sep. 9th, 2017 11:10 am
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[personal profile] white_hart
After finding The Mauritius Command rather sombre and focused more on the mechanics of the campaign than on the characters, I was pleased to find that I enjoyed Desolation Island much more. After some time working for the Navy ashore, Jack Aubrey is given command of the Leopard with orders to take her to Botany Bay and a cargo of convicts, including a spy who Stephen Maturin has been given the task of covertly obtaining information from. As neither Jack nor Stephen has been entirely thriving on land (Jack's fair and trusting nature makes him an easy mark for dodgy tradesmen and card-sharps, while Stephen has been taking more and more laundanam in an attempt to ease his broken heart) this voyage is a good thing for both of them, but after a promising start they are beset with difficulties; an outbreak of gaol-fever (typhus) kills a third of the crew, while several others are left too weak to travel and have to be put ashore in Recife to convalesce. Undermanned and unable to fight his ship effectively, Jack makes for Cape Town where he hopes to be able to recruit more sailors, but encountering a larger Dutch ship in the South Atlantic he is forced to change course and flee far south of the Cape to try to outrun her. The chase through the stormy Southern Ocean is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of writing, as is the Leopard's subsequent desperate limping journey to make landfall at Kerguelen Island (the 'Desolation Island' of the title), while after The Mauritius Command's focus on plot the emphasis is firmly back on character. If I had one gripe, it would be that the mention of Australia as a destination had made me hope to see Stephen encountering a wombatt, but even wombatt-free it's a terrific read.

Nominations 2017

Sep. 8th, 2017 08:57 pm
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (mod)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
Yuletide Nominations 2017 are open!

Your Nominations Toolset



More nominating tips
When a character could appear in many different versions across many fandoms, or has a generic name, we recommend that you put a fandom disambiguation tag after the name. For example:
-Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde (1967))
-Robin Hood (Prince of Thieves)
-Tulku (The Shadow 1994)
-Leonardo da Vinci (Da Vinci's Demons)
would all be helpful character names in their respective fandoms.


If you receive an error message that a character was rejected because it was nominated in another fandom, resubmit the character with disambiguation, as above.


If you submit a character that is new or rarely used on AO3, a suggestion from AO3 may appear in bold and in brackets (for example: Razzle (Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley)) next to your nomination once it’s submitted. This is okay, and does not mean that your nomination will be automatically changed. However, if you don't recognize the character in brackets, it is a good sign that you should edit your character nomination and disambiguate it with the fandom you nominated, i. e. as “Character (Fandom Name)”.


Some fandoms, especially short ones such as music videos, do not need character nominations. Others will not be approved without them: RPF and Anthropomorphic fandoms.


As there may be more than one character who has used a superhero name, please make sure it’s clear which character you mean - you may want to use their “wallet” name. For example: Please don't nominate Robin, but instead Dick Grayson or Damian Wayne.


Please double-check the spelling and format of your nominations, both before pressing Submit and after.


When do nominations close?
At 9am UTC on 16 September. This may be the previous day in your time zone. Here is a countdown.

You can edit your nominations until this time.


How many nominations do we get?
Three fandoms, and four characters in each fandom.



If you have questions about nominations, feel free to ask them on this post or at yuletideadmin@gmail.com. If you want to discuss your nominations with other fans, try the LiveJournal community, Dreamwidth community, IRC channel, or Discord server (invite link).
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