Characters: Ianto, mentions Jack, Team, the Doctor.
Word Count: 918
Summary: Jack has gone, vanished without a trace, and as far as Ianto has been able to tell, he hasn’t left a note or message of any kind.
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 255: Amnesty, using Challenge 145: Metal. Also for the ‘Purgatory’ square on my bingo card.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
( Penance... )
As a result of being home, I've been trundling back through my reading page, and come bearing links.
First up, if you, like me, recently watched Russian Doll and loved it, rachelmanija has set up a discussion post here. Spoilers are allowed in the comments.
I really shouldn't sign up for multiple exchanges simultaneously, but the new peakyblindersficexchange sounds right up my alley. I love the show, and definitely think we need more fic for this fandom. If you're interested in participating, the various deadlines are there in the Dreamwidth account. It seems to use OR matching, and matches on relationships rather than characters, and my impression is that if you don't see your chosen relationship(s) in the tagset you can request that they be added. Assignments are a 500-word minimum.
If you, like me, adore the 'absolute unit' meme (basically, square sheep), you will also adore bironic's latest fanvid. I've embedded the Ao3 link below.
Squares Are Everywhere (90 words) by bironic
Fandom: "Absolute unit" livestock meme
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: cows - Character, Sheep - Character, Pigs - Character
Additional Tags: Memes, Humor, archival images, Art, Video, Embedded Video, Fanvids
Series: Part 58 of vids by bironic
"In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit." Or: improbably shaped livestock.
This feels peak millennial, but I discovered this poem, 'The Ex-Girlfriends Are Back From the Wilderness' by Hera Lindsay Bird via Florence Welch's Instagram account, and I kind of love it. like too much Persephone and not enough underworld…/wearing nothing but an arts degree. I feel seen.
I hope you're all having wonderful Fridays.
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Length: 525 words
Summary: Inspector Stanley Hopkins (Met River Police) is after drug smugglers, with the assistance of PD Cedric, meanwhile Sherlock is supposed to be taking Stanley's cat to the vet.
( Are we all set )
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.
( Read more... )
I had intended just to listen. I was (am) very tired and had planned just to sit at the back of the free lecture and try not to fall asleep. But then in context of our ideas of magic versus magic in ancient Egypt, she said, "Magic is a god," and I sat up. Magic's name in Egyptian is Heka; she showed a slide of him on the boat of Ra, a rather ordinary-looking male human figure holding the tail of a serpent squiggling in protective waves all around the sun-god as he journeys through the underworld night. Magic is not trickery, blasphemy, a practice against the gods. Magic is an integral part of creation, of maintaining the world. It can be distinguished from religion, just as demons can be distinguished from gods. By humans, it's used for defensive, curative, and transformative purposes, with love-spells serving as a subset of that last; they are considered aggressive magic, forcibly changing a person. But there is no concept of black magic in ancient Egypt, though any spell practiced against the pharaoh can be banned. A magician is not someone secretive and strange but a priest, a doctor, a local scholar. Anyone who deals with the liminal world.
Which is where demons come in. We see them represented side by side with gods, but gods exist in the mythic dimension, it is their work to look out for the living and the dead, they have cults, shrines, are worshipped; demons are appeased. They protect, but they have to be asked to do it. But they are not figures of inherent evil, even though the word we use for them has picked up so many connotations of temptation, punishment etc. in its passage through Christianity from the Greek δαίμων; that is all irrelevant to an Egyptian demon. They don't possess people, either. The closest we get is the language of disease personified as a demon seizing a patient, which anyone who has ever spoken of being knocked on their ass by a cold can comprehend without needing to call in Father Merrin. Lucarelli likened them more to Plato's original definition of daimones, liminal messengers between the mortal world and the divine; she likes Gregor Ahn's term Grenzgänger, which he considers untranslatable and she thinks can be adequately rendered as "boundary-crosser." They do not polarize between good and evil as in ancient Greek religion, however; there is no such thing as an Egyptian agathodaimon. They can be either or neither or both; it can be a meaningless question. Seen in the underworld of the Book of the Dead, they are not devils of hell but guardians, protectors, dangerous only to those who approach them without the right spells. Many-named and nameless, Lucarelli called them; some have snake wands in their hands; one has a duck on his head. There is no one word for what they are.
I could not write fast enough by hand to take down the names of some demons she identified when I was also trying to copy their Egyptian names; the only one I got in full was "Face-downward, numerous of shapes" (sḫd-ḥr, ʿšȝ ir.w). Others translated to "Radiant," "Sad of voice," "One who stretches out his brow." The otherwise human-formed demon with four cobras quirked above his head like interrobangs is known as "He who protects his body," i.e., the body of the deceased: the body that is his to guard. The wooden figurine of a gazelle-headed demon twists as dramatically as a Fosse dancer, an aggressive pose, Lucarelli said; it's part of the same group, crumbling black with plastered linen, as the demon with a turtle for a head. They too are tomb guardians. To address the question of scary rather than protective demons, she called up a criminally cute cartoon of Anubis and the Devourer, whose name now appears to be rendered "Amemet." Certainly she looks like a monster to us, that hulking composite of hippo-crocodile-lion alertly poised ("She's ready to go!") to engulf the heart that drops truth's scales with its weight of sin, but in a culture that represents its gods therianthropomorphically, her hybrid nature is not intrinsically monstrous nor even necessarily ugly. The same goes for the crocodile-vulture demon with snakes in its hands, frightening off the nightmare demons—it's the ones you don't see that you should fear, the ones so bad they are never depicted, only written about, falling from the sky to fasten on the breast of the sleeper. They may be atypically represented in an image of crocodiles swarming a human form, but if so Lucarelli has never seen anything like the iconography again. More often they are the fill-in-the-blank in the oracular formulae of amulets: I/you/we shall keep him/her/NN safe from any kind of evil dead/demon . . . wanderers, disease-bringers, messengers, murderers. They can be subordinated to the goddess Sekhmet. Somewhere in here she introduced us to the headache demon Sehaqeq, scratched in black ink on an ostrakon—his name means "half-head" (shȝḳḳ), migraine. He looks like a young man with his arm flung over his face, as if he is having trouble bearing the light, but he has a tongue growing down his back. I would almost expect to find him in a collection of yōkai, but he's more than three thousand years old. It is still common to demonize illness, Lucarelli noted. Black dogs, brainweasels. It seems to help the patient. I had no idea that was what Tiny Wittgenstein was doing.
There is no formal demonology in ancient Egyptian culture as there is in Judaism. The demons in Mesopotamia seem to lean more toward the evil than the amoral. An incantation bowl is inscribed spiraling inward in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, an owl-like, bat-like demon at its center; it's Ashmedai, seen a beat later as Asmodeus in Collin de Plancy's nineteenth-century Dictionnaire infernal. (The bowls seem to have functioned as one-way fish-traps, drawing in the demon, containing it from moving around the house under whose threshold it was buried.) An amulet against Lamaštu depicts her trampling a donkey, overseen by her enemy Pazuzu, in nearly the same pose as the infant Horus trampling crocodiles under the approving eye of Bes: they look so similar and mean such different things. Everyone in the ancient world believed in demons, even if not exactly the same kind. It would have been strange only if the ancient Egyptians had not. The last slide was a modern photograph of a gazelle and a lizard hung apotropaically in the grate of a window. Demons and magic are still with us today.
There were questions afterward. Lucarelli pointed the audience toward the websites she's involved with: the interactive Book of the Dead in 3D, the snazzily named Demon Things. I tried not to mourn how badly my fast-penciled handwriting has disintegrated in the thirteen years since I was using it on the regular. The professor who had introduced the lecture wished everyone well on their way, safely protected by the right demons. I couldn't help noticing as I came home in the slushy black ice that I didn't have to wait for a bus once.
Fandom: Final Fantasy Type-0
Characters/Pairing: Emina Hanaharu, Kazusa Futahito (Kurasame Susaya/Kazusa Futahito)
Length: 3, 738 words
Warning: Spoilers through the end of Final Fantasy Type-0
Notes: Written for the "Silver Lining" square on my bingo card
Summary: The people of Orience are left to pick up the pieces. There, Emina and Kazusa meet once more.
( the land beneath us still lives )
Akata Witch introduces Sunny Nwazue, an albino Nigerian-American adolescent who discovers after moving back to Nigeria that she's part of a parallel magical society known as Leopard People. The story follows some fairly standard beats - Bullied Kid Discovers She's Secretly Magic, Makes Team of Magic Friends, Plays Magic Sports, Finds Magic Mentor, Defeats Magic Evil. It also follows some non-standard beats; for example, when Sunny finds a guidebook on How To Navigate Magic Land As An Outsider With Non-Magic Parents -- a guidebook which provides both Sunny and the reader a lot of helpful worldbuilding information -- she learns several chapters later about all the prejudices held by the guidebook's author that means everything within it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Nnedi Okorafor's interest in biased narrators and unreliable texts is something I consistently appreciate about her.
Akata Warrior is better, or at least more interesting to me, because it engages a lot more with Sunny's non-magical family (whom she's not allowed to tell about her magic powers) and the in-between-ness of her attempts to live with one foot in each world. In particular I am REALLY FOND of her stupid jock oldest brother, who gets into stupid jock trouble at college from which Sunny has to rescue him -- I love sibling stories in pretty much every configuration, but 'little sister rescues dumb older brother from his own own stupidity' is not a situation I feel like I see particularly often in fiction, and it is both refreshing and delightful.
AND THEN THERE'S A TERRIBLE SIBLING + MAGIC FRIENDS ROAD TRIP.
...and then Sunny and her friends defeat some more magic evil, in a magic battle that's a bit cooler than the magic battle in the last book and also features the gang making friends with an asshole flying animal companion, which is all good but honestly the squabbling magical road trip is a thousand percent what I'm here for.
(I am less thrilled about the endless love triangle between Sunny's brother and her friends Chichi and Sasha (the brilliant hothead members of the party), but on the other hand Sunny is ALSO so annoyed by it all the time that it makes her a very relatable narrator?)
I haven't responded to all the comments yet, tho they made me happy and I'm getting around to it :) tomorrow I will post the fic written for me and a couple recs, probably.
( Read more... )
I’m sorry, y’all; I got snowed in and then I left for Chicago and anyway, the winners got selected late and I am so sorry. The winners of two ARCs of That Ain’t Witchcraft (one each, obviously), are…
Jillian (comment #25, no last name)
Please email via my website contact form by Sunday, February 24th; please provide your full address and identify yourself as a winner. I’m giving the ARCs to Vixy tonight, so you’d better be timely to make sure they hit the mail.
Thanks for playing!
As with all recipes, you can modify it, because this is a Frankenrecipe made out of like seven different cookie recipes over several years. If you modify it to add heat, be sure to tell people the name of the recipe is "Scoville Champs" or "Scoville Chomps" so your weaker friends don't make a Terrible Mistake. I change this up all the time to make different types of cookies. This recipe is also pretty good if you replace the white chocolate chips with 1 cup of peanut butter. ( Read more... )