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13 November 2016 @ 11:21 pm
Guys, guys, I'm so excited that I finally get to share this with you! For Marvel Big Bang 2016 alphaflyer has written Seventh Crow, the third in her Avengers/007, SHIELD/MI6 series following 2013's Second Mouse and 2014's Locust Wind. Once again I teamed up with her to do the graphics and I wanted to try something I'd wanted to do from the very beginning, but was completely out of my depth: make a fanvid film style trailer. I ended up getting two years to learn how to do it and have a go - thank you to everyone on my f-list who gave me hints and tips! - as we were meant to post in 2015 but offline life got on top of us.

Now I get to present to share with you a brand new 34,000 word mission crossover epic fic from alphaflyer, accompanying graphics, and my first ever fanvid. We did the thing! I am so proud of us :D

Fic: Seventh Crow
Beta readers: inkvoices, jrbarton
Fandom/Universe: MCU/Avengers, James Bond/007 (Craig movies)
Rating: PG13
Word count: 34,000
Warnings: Canon-typical violence; swearing; two or three allusions to recent traumatic election processes
Summary: "One for sorrow, Two for joy ..." A long life in intelligence has taught M one thing above all: criminal organizations are like a tick embedded in the skin of humanity. You can never be sure you have pulled out the entire thing. What remains causes disease to take hold and fester.
Accompanying Art: Art for Seventh Crow
Artist: inkvoices

And I'm just gonna leave this here *grins*:

11 September 2016 @ 09:37 pm
I watched Morgan on Thursday night. The premise is that a corporate Risk Management Consultant is sent to an old building in the middle of picturesque nowhere because there has been an incident with an arficial, or synthetic, humanoid experiment and her job is to decide whether or not it should be terminated.

I do love a good robot or artificial intelligence story, but the set up for Morgan is more like a sci-fi thriller or horror, with the house in the middle of nowhere populated by a scientific team that may or may not be too attached to their creation, or may or may not have gone stir crazy, or may or may not be what they seem. And that's before we meet the titular Morgan. There's lots of creepy atmosphere and jumpy moments, and then plenty of flinch-worthy violence - or at least for my tastes. I've read reviews where it's said to be too predicatable or generic, but then I don't generally watch things that verge into horror territory.

But I liked the nods to things happening behind the scenes, the whys of Morgan's creation and the idea of whether or not artifical intelligence should be created with emotions and what the implications of that would be. Contrasted with how the hell do humans deal with emotion anyway?

HUGE SPOILER FOR THE ENDING BEHIND CUTCollapse ) So an Ex Machina style think piece it is not, but it gave me thinky thoughts and I enjoyed it for what it was. We also enjoyed figuring out where we recognised the cast members from.

Also, there's a reference to a past incident at Helsinki that made us think of Orphan Black - do people just like the name of the place or is it actually a major centre for genetics research? Heh.

And if you like robots and AI, excuse me whilst I throw a rec at you for the comic Descender. I recently read volumes one and two of the trade and am impatiently waiting for the third. It's a good story and the art is freaking gorgeous.

04 September 2016 @ 04:30 pm
To celebrate Civil War release day tomorrow here in the UK I bring to you a Civil War rec list! These ones have been sustaining me in my wait – and I’m going to wait a bit longer because a comic book friend told me today that they’ve over ordered the steelbook edition and a copy is mine if I want it, but I won’t see them again for a bit, but steelbook. These are my favourites of what I've read. Feel free to rec (me) more Civil War goodness in the comments!

28 August 2016 @ 09:31 pm
I finished a thing! I love it when I do that :D

Over at the be_compromised 2016 promptathon sugar_fey prompted ROAD TRIP! and I remembered that I'd started writing a Clint and Natasha post-Avengers road trip way back in the day. But I decided I didn't know America enough to make it into what I wanted, and by that point other people had written theirs and I loved those stories, so this went into the discarded folder. This week I tugged it back out, looked at it sideways, and rewrote it into this.

Title: Driver Choses The Music
Rating/Warnings: PG13 (mild self harm, f-word)
Length: 2000 words
Author Note: first posted here at the be_compromised promptathon for sugar_fey's prompt ROAD TRIP!
Summary: Clint shoves his bag in the trunk of the car – a standard, bland SHIELD undercover ride – and doesn’t ask how Nat acquired the keys. Doesn’t ask how, or even if, she’s gotten permission to take him off base, doesn’t ask what’s in the bag she shoved in his arms on their way out, doesn’t ask what they’re doing in a SHIELD garage at ass o’clock in the morning. Doesn’t care.

28 August 2016 @ 09:21 pm
Two films watched on Friday, because it was a bank holiday with a cheeky Firday off to make it a long weekend and I treated myself :)

First up: Swallows And Amazons. A family of kids go on holiday in the Lake District, camp out on an Island, and meet some pirates. I loved the books as a kid, but the stories grow up with the protagonists and the first book is a decidedly young story so for this adaption the writers tried to add a bit of spice. SPOILERS - specifically they...Collapse ) This could have worked, but it doesn't really gel with the childhood summer adventure, like they have genres they tried to mash up and it didn't quite work. The performances are average and overall the film is nothing special, but it's visually lovely and a nice, nostalgic slice of childhood - I always wanted an Enid Blyton adventure as a kid, but Arthur Ransome adventures felt more attainable, even if I didn't know the first thing about sailing.

On the other hand I saw a little girl watching it with her mum who gave me the widest grin when we were leaving that I couldn't help beaming back at her. So maybe for the intended age range it's much more magical.

Next up: Nerve. Based on a YA novel - that I haven't read, unusual for me! - so I can't tell you how it compares to the book. The story revolves around an online game where people complete dares, as voted on by their watches, for money and the ones with the most watchers and who complete the hardest dares end up in a final. Our protagonist is a teen who isn't a risk-taker and ends up partnered with a stranger.

It's a good, well-paced story, the dares escalate in a way I found believable, all of the characters are three-dimensional and shades of grey which kept any of them from being boring, it made me laugh at times, and there were some nerve-wracking moments. The ending felt...somewhat obvious in some ways, but it also had a twist that I didn't see coming. It'd be interesting to see how the book ends - my cinema buddy @TricksyLieSmith is on that. Overall I enjoyed this one, more than I thought I would.

09 August 2016 @ 11:22 pm
I'm still taking questions for the get to know your author meme if there's anything you want to ask me. I plan to write up a post with the answers at the weekend. In the meantime I am mulling them over!

And since the summer Prompathon at be_compromised is still taking prompts until the end of Sunday (nudge nudge, hint hint) I thought I'd ask you all about prompting, and things like promptathon vs leaving prompts in exchanges.

When I leave prompts in open things like promptathon, where there's no expectation of prompts being filled and there's no exchange, I don't see...fills as a gift. I like getting rid of ideas that I don't have the time to play with myself, generating new ideas, seeing what ideas everyone else comes up with, and if I manage to enable someone into getting creative that makes me all kind of happy. Then there's exchanges, where I like to give an idea of my likes and dislikes, and then sit back and forget that I'm going to get a gift until it arrives and then I'm super excited, look at what someone made for me. But as a writer I also know that it can be awkward writing for someone else in an exchange, so more recently I also think it's nice to leave some prompts as well as an but I'll love whatever you come up with. Sometimes I'll also use exchanges to hopefully try and get a particular type of story that I might fancy at the time.

How do people feel about prompts, and is that different as a reader to as a writer? Are there particular kinds of prompts that you particularly like leaving? Do you ever feel that your prompts need to fit in with the kind of prompts people are already leaving in an event, or that you can buck the trend and prompt whatever you like? Do you leave different kinds of prompts in open events than in exchanges? And basically any thinky thoughts around prompts and prompting :)

And of course if this inspires anyone to drop a few more prompts over at promptathon, well then excellent *grins*.

(Because it's fun chatting with internet friends, I'm trying to be better about posting on LJ, and there are so many writing/creating conversations we could be having!)
08 August 2016 @ 07:06 pm
Meme time! Not done one for a while. Stolen from endeni: pick from the following questions to ask me about my writing

07 August 2016 @ 09:55 pm
Non-spoilery review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reads like fanfiction - which, essentially, it is. Don't get me wrong, I like fanfiction, but if you've read a bunch of fics then there's not really anything special or unique here. Some parts I liked, some parts I was less keen on, and much of it was predictable. I did like some of the lovely magical details, there's some amusing dialogue, and some fun moments. However, this is a playscript and I imagine that there's a lot more to it - more emotions and the exposition that we miss in a script - and that it's visually spectacular. Overall I enjoyed it well enough and I won't be judging the play on just reading its script.


I've spoken to a few people now who've managed to see the play - who going in were in kind of the same place as me, who used to write fanfic and love the books, but are no longer hugely invested if a touch nostalgic - and they rate the play really highly, so there's that :)

07 August 2016 @ 09:08 pm
Upfront, I am not a DC fan, of the comics or the movies, although I do like a bunch of stuff that falls under the Vertigo imprint and the Heath Ledger Batman movie was excellent. But I like to think I went into Suicide Squad on Friday night with a reasonably open mind and, following the trailer, a sense of optimism. However I'm sorry to report that it's just...not a good film.

It lacks plot, motivations, character development...and yep, it's sexist and racist. It feels like a bunch of YouTube videos, with punchy soundtracks, strung together - admitedly a few good videos and there's some nice colours and cinematography in there - but that does not a movie make. It's not edgy, it's not what it wants to be, and it's just not good.

some more comments WITH SPOILERS behind the cutCollapse )

So. People who're more DC fans than me might like it more, but then again you might be more disappointed if your favourite characters are stuck in this mess. You'll have to let me know. In the meantime I will try and remain optimistic for Wonder Woman.