On other topics entirely, All Systems Red by Martha Wells! It's a novella-length story that I'd been hearing good things about and sounded like it was up my alley, so I read it this afternoon. I did love it as it turns out. It's been compared to Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice more than once for the way it deals with AI being more autonomous than the people using it actually comprehended and the related identity politics observed and experienced as a result. That's where the similarities end, I think, but they both do those things well so it's fair to say that if you like one, you may well like the other (as I did).
However, I have some Thoughts about All Systems Red, namely that it also works as a pre-canon, slightly AU back story for Bubbles of Questionable Content. For anyone unaware, QC is an online comic set in a world pretty similar to our own with the addition of autonomous AI robots. Unlike Murderbot of All Systems Red, Bubbles is a combat AI vs a security AI (which Murderbot specifically distinguishes between), but she's quite shy and has a very dry sense of humor. She's no longer in combat due to Tragic Back Story: after all the rest of her unit died, the memories were sufficiently traumatizing that she voluntarily had them blocked.
Bubbles has only been appearing in QC since, oh, sometime in the last year? One of the main characters got a new job and Bubbles was one of her new co-workers (I'm leaving out a WHOLE LOT about consequences of alcoholism, an illegal robot fighting ring, blackmail, welding, and tea sniffing), but she's become a major character by association and it is delightful. I immediately started picturing Bubbles shortly after I started All Systems Red and now it's firmly lodged in my brain as a fancast.
All Systems Red is an excellent story that I can recommend regardless, but I've been following QC for 2 or 3 years now and highly recommend it as well. It's a long running comic and I'm under the vague impression the earlier strips and story lines leaned heavier on the Pintsize's scatalogical and pornographic rudeness, but regardless, at this point it's a good mix with interesting story lines, a good serious/humor balance, and great characters.
NOW I have a third of the day left and need to decide which KJ Charles book I'm going to start. I read The Magpie Lord recently and loved it, but I don't want to jump into the rest of that series too quick. I have A Queer Trade (same universe, different characters, novella length) and An Unseen Attraction (different series), but there's also Think of England (also a different series) which has a coda online that I have bookmarked. Decisions decisions decisions.
A Year In Toussaint (30737 words) by astolat
Fandom: Wiedźmin | The Witcher (Video Game)
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Geralt of Rivia/Emhyr var Emreis
Characters: Geralt z Rivii | Geralt of Rivia, Emhyr var Emreis, Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, Barnabas-Basil Foulty, Anna Henrietta, Sir Palmerin, Iocaste
Additional Tags: Retirement, Toussaint - Freeform, Wine, Corvo Bianco
Series: Part 6 of Witcher works
Geralt had no damn idea what to do with a vineyard when Anna Henrietta gave him Corvo Bianco, but he figured it couldn’t be that bad.
Characters/Pairings: Clint Barton, Wanda Maximoff
Creator Links: Captain Bucky on YT
Theme: action/adventure, female characters
Summary: Wanda's journey to superhero, featuring Clint. Contains fast cuts, fast action, blinky/black card transitions, competing audio tracks (music/dialogue)
Reccer's Notes: This vid took me on a rollercoaster emotional journey, especially via really effective use of the bridge.
Fanwork Links: You to Believe In
Characters/Pairings: Clint Barton
Creator Links: TatyanaOracle on YT
Theme: action/adventure, competence,
Summary: Hawkeye character vid. Contains fast cuts, fast action, black card transitions, blur effects and flash effects. Not viewable on mobile.
Reccer's Notes: This vid is an intriguing character study. Also a fun and fast-paced celebration of Clint shooting things. *hearteyes emoji*
Fanwork Links: The Phoenix
Characters/Pairings: Caine Wise, Vladie Bolotnikov
Length: 5000 words
Creator Links: splash_the_cat, splash_the_cat, splash_the_cat
Theme: action/adventure, outsider pov, minor characters
Summary: Vladie is sure Jupiter is caught up in something, maybe something bad, and he's bound and determined to... Well, okay, let's be honest, he's probably going make it so much worse.
Reccer's Notes: This is a fascinatingly off-beat idea. Caine and Vladie unexpectedly make a fun (and effective!) team up. The connection of their shared love for Jupiter is felt, even though she never makes an appearance in the fic.
Fanwork Links: To Be Sure of You
It's been a nice but mostly uneventful few days. It's been nicely sunny often, showery at other times, but we finally seem to be pulling away from the cold days. The most important thing that happened, for me anyway, was I gave blood for the first time. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but I was outside of the weight limits for being able to give, so when I was inside of those I decided to go for it. It took a while to get an appointment as there's only one session every few months in my town, and they got filled almost immediately. But a few days ago I saw a session in a hotel close to the Asda where we go shopping, and it had appointments left, so I booked one.
I was nervous going in. I'd researched and knew the bypass wouldn't stop me donating, but I have to take iron tables, so worried about those and the other meds. In the end I had to have a chat with a nurse to make sure I was okay to give, but it was fine, and my iron levels checked out okay, and before I knew it I was being escorted to one of the banana chairs. And from there everything went great, apart from nearly being catapulted from the chair at the end. I suspect it was because my legs are heavier than most, and the nurse taking the blood didn't take that into account when hitting the switch that put the chair back into an upright position, so gravity shot me forward, and instead of a controlled sit up, I was up in an instant. It was funny more than anything, though, and I couldn't stop laughing for a while.
The people there were so lovely. The nurse asked why I'd decided to donate, and I told her how I'd had all this fantastic medical treatment for free, and wanted to give back, even in a little way, and she patted my hand and said she was proud of all that I'd done, and it made me feel good. I also wore my 'it's my first blood donation' sticker with pride afterwards. See. That I was a little disgruntled that I couldn't have my usual hot bath that night.
Yesterday I got my permanent cap fitted, and it looks so much better. It feels better, too. I'm looking forward to eating a nice granny smith apple later as while the dentist said I could eat them with the temp cap, I was worried about it falling off, and I've missed my night time snack.
Mam's been poorly again and had the doctor out on Monday, where he said if he'd gone a day later she'd have been admitted to hospital again, and as it was she was only two points on the oxygen level of being admitted anyway. He also made her promise if her daughters wanted to call for medical help earlier that she let them, as both Kayleigh and me had been trying to get her to see the doctor for two days at that point. After more steroids and antibiotics she's finally feeling a bit better, though still sleeps loads.
She's having carer issues though. Not her actual main carers, who are both brilliant. But the person who sorts out the care calls. Mam's supposed to have the same two carers nearly all of the time. Sure, there should be stand-ins sometimes due to days off or emergencies, but mainly those two ladies. Since she's been getting the carers she's had ten different people, and on three times has been knocked out of bed because they didn't know she had a key safe, or if they did know didn't know the code. She gets a morning carer because she's having issues getting out of bed, taking meds etc, so to be knocked out of bed, and made to get downstairs on her own to let them in is so wrong. Kayleigh has been furious. It's the exact job she used to do so she knows the care standards they're supposed to show, and not knowing about the key safe is failing at a big level. So she's kicked off on the phone three times now, and apparently got attitude back yesterday. Leading to mam's main carer getting a message saying the scheduler was sick of the hassle and the carer could have 'mam's surname' full time and she was sick of it. That just seems so disrespectful, even Mrs surname would have been better, but not that.
So, that happened yesterday morning, I guess I'll see what happened this morning when I go up soon.
Characters/Pairings: Johnny Jaqobis, D'avin Jaqobis, Dutch
Creator Links: bingeling bingeling
Theme: action/adventure, science fiction, small fandoms, families, families of choice
Summary: Leave some doom for the lucky ones. A season 1 vid from Johnny's POV. Warnings as listed.
Reccer's Notes: A lovely look at all the danger Team Killjoys gets up to. Especially recommended if your favourite Johnny is bad-ass Johnny, which it should be!
Fanwork Links: Brooklyn Gamma
Characters/Pairings: Daniel Sousa/Peggy Carter/Jack Thompson
Length: 16 000 words
Creator Links: sholio sholio
Theme: action/adventure, undercover as a couple, pretend couple, m/m/f threesomes, polyamory, casefic
Summary: "Due to your deplorable habit of showing up at all hours of the day and night, any useful Leviathan-related gossip from the neighbors has been replaced by speculation that 'Marge' is cheating on poor 'Dan' with a blond scoundrel -- Jack, if you don't stop laughing, I will hit you with my shoe." (Or: Peggy and Daniel go undercover as a married couple in the suburbs.)
Reccer's Notes: Really fun undercover as a couple fic, plus Jack who just can't seem to stay away. Lots of in-character banter, and the danger that seems to follow Peggy everywhere.
Fanwork Links: Pistol Packin' Mama
Characters/Pairings: Clint Barton/Bruce Banner
Length: 12 000 words
Creator Links: qwanderer
Theme: action/adventure, au: fairy tales, au: fusions, crossovers/fusions
Summary: Bruce Banner hasn't left this tower since the Incident. It's really quite generous of Ross to continue to let him live here, after how disastrously wrong the experiments went - here, where he can maybe avoid hurting anyone else ever again.
Then some guy with a bow shows up.
Reccer's Notes: This is a really fun Avengers/Tangled mashup, with Bruce as the princess who doesn't even realise that he needs to be saved. Sassy chameleon Tony Stark may be my favourite fanfic animal familiar.
Fanwork Links: Smashed
MCU Phase One (10K+)
MCU Phase One (<10K)
MCU (Phase Two)
Phase Three (Civil War)
Marvel Adventures: Avengers
And for this fandom
Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth/Cloud
:) (no i'm not dead, sometimes it just takes me a while to update but i still keep reading like crazy. it's the only way to escape reality haha)
In this big batch of bug fixes and enhancements, we sorted out several issues with collaboration on chaptered works, reduced errors when trying to download works, took another small step toward sitewide https support, and kept making improvements to our automated tests.
- Coders: Cesy, cosette, cresenne, james_, redsummernight, Sarken, ticking instant
- Code reviewers: Ariana, bingeling, james_, Sarken
- Testers: Alison Watson, james_, Lady Oscar, mumble, Sammie, Sarken, Stephanie Godden
- [AO3-4847] - To help users who are receiving abusive comments, Abuse staff can now find a commenter's IP address without having to ask for a database admin's help.
- [AO3-4999] - It is now easier to manage co-creators you collaborated with on chaptered works. When adding or editing a chapter, a list of checkboxes will suggest users who are already co-creators on another chapter. For works without any previous co-creators, you can still add users in the "Add co-creators?" autocomplete field. (This also fixes the previous behavior, where a co-creator on any chapter was getting added to the whole work.)
- [AO3-3359] - We've added a Search button to the top of the Work Search form, so you don't have to scroll all the way down if you're only using a few options on the top half of the page.
- [AO3-4885] - Challenge assignment emails can now be translated (for when we introduce that functionality).
Work Bug Fixes
- [AO3-4943] - Users kept running into error 500s when trying to download works. /o\ This deploy should fix several common causes for these errors: hyphens in work titles, a deleted parent work (i.e. the inspiration for a remix, or the original of a translation), or a deleted series that included the work. Fingers crossed!
- [AO3-4986] - We discovered that it was theoretically possible to add yourself as a co-creator to a work you did not actually co-create. We fixed this as soon as our coders found it, and we have no reports of it being exploited, or any reason to believe that it was.
- [AO3-3176] - If you were listed as the co-creator of a work and you tried to edit a chapter you were not explicitly listed on, you'd get a 500 error. Now you can edit it successfully.
- [AO3-3733] - Orphaning a co-created work would add the orphan_account as a creator to every chapter, even if the orphaning user was not a co-creator on the entire work. We've now added a check to only display the orphan_account on the appropriate chapters.
- [AO3-4174] - The same would happen for works in an orphaned series, where the orphan_account would suddenly be attached to all works. Fixed that too!
- [AO3-4963] - After a change we made to speed up the posting process behind the scenes, new fandom tags on works showed up on the wrangling interface as intended, but fandom tags on bookmarks of external works did not. Oops! We made sure all new fandom tags are treated equally now.
- [AO3-4105] - It used to be possible to completely delete a series (not the works in it!) when editing a single work in that series. We decided that this was maybe a little weird and removed the "Delete" button from that part of the interface.
Other Bug Fixes
- [AO3-4712] - Trying to filter collections by fandom would lead to an error 500. Now it actually produces a list of collections containing works for that fandom.
- [AO3-4985] - While the buttons to mark or unmark a comment as spam are hidden from everyone but site admins and the work's creators, it was theoretically possible to access those actions while logged out. We have now put in the appropriate checks.
- [AO3-4718] - In a similar vein, if they had the direct link to a tag comment, logged out users could potentially see replies to and also cancel the edits on that tag comment (not comments on works!). Now they'll see the appropriate error message if they try.
- [AO3-4956] - The redirect tool Open Doors uses to manage imported works would throw up an error 404 when being presented with a faulty URL. Now it responds with a much friendlier error message. We also extended test coverage for this feature!
- [AO3-4407] - To keep spammers at bay, the feature that lets you request invites to friends has been disabled for a while now. We've finally adjusted the code for the front page copy to correctly reflect your options in getting an AO3 account.
- [AO3-4621] - User icons, which we're storing on AWS servers, will now be fetched over https, making it less likely that you will get a mixed security warnings message on a page.
- [AO3-4863] - The message you'd get when trying to access the Reindex Work action without being logged in as an admin or tag wrangler was a friendly blue instead of the appropriately dangerous red. It will flash the right color at you now.
- [AO3-4993] - We used to test URL caching with Cucumber tests. What were we thinking! Now we're using the RSpec framework for this, like normal.
- [AO3-4992] - To start each automated test with a blank slate, we've added a little clean-up step before each test is run. Previously, that step only applied to tests of the autocomplete functionality.
- [AO3-4990] - We've added some coverage for easy-to-test parts of various models.
- [AO3-4982] - The service we use for our continuous integration needs, Travis CI, upgraded their operating system. We made sure we're still compatible.
- [AO3-4981] - We added an automated test for invitation emails.
- [AO3-4714] - We also extended coverage for the series feature.
- [AO3-5004] - And we've added a test for work URL detection in abuse reports.
- [AO3-4733] - The test for the public Wrangling Guidelines has been updated (and the related code received a small correction).
- [AO3-5003] - The RSpec test for the reindexing button available to admins was broken, and we fixed it.
- [AO3-5010] - The bookmark search test was very short and used fixtures. It is now longer (in this case, that does mean better), and uses factories instead.
- [AO3-5014] - We now use the same factories for unit and feature tests. If this means anything to you and you have some free time on your hands, shoot us a message and join the team!
- [AO3-4942] - The code for viewing and editing locales on the Archive included some unused cruft. Now it's all neat and tidy. (Or neater and tidier, anyway.)
- [AO3-4480] - We've added caching to the redirect code for imported works and made sure the cache gets updated when a work is deleted.
- [AO3-4978] - Cleaned up duplicate definitions.
- [AO3-5009] - We had a /docs folder that hadn't been used for anything in years. It sleeps with the fishes now.
See our Known Issues page for current issues.
Gerard's closer, stepping into Frank's space. "You lose them?"
He's not supposed to ask, and Frank's eyes squeeze shut automatically at the intrusion. Gerard's hand is on his elbow, and Frank forces himself to look at him.
"Yeah," he says, because Gerard asked and you aren't supposed to ask, and fuck him, if he keeps pushing, he's gonna get the whole story, the whole fucking ugly truth. "Rock block fuse went bad," Frank says. The short version. It leaves out so much it's almost like a lie. "They went back to check on it and ...I was the man outside. Saw them go up."
Gerard's fingers tighten on Frank's elbow and instead of turning away like Frank expects, turning away from the blame that's all over Frank. Gerard leans in, so close the sides of their faces are together, the wind whipping Gerard's hair so it dances over Frank's cheek. "We lost part of our crew," Gerard says.
- jjtaylor's Born to Motorbabies
Beneath the cut you will find all stories and artwork for this round. They are in the order in which they were posted.
Please let me know if there are any errors.
In the meantime sit back, grab a drink and enjoy the art and stories!
( masterlist )
Characters/Pairings: Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Thor, Bruce Banner, Loki, Clint Barton
Creator Links: avengergasm, on youtube
Summary: victory's within the mile/almost there, don't give up now/only thing that's on my mind/is who's gonna run this town tonight. Contains fast cuts, fast action, stuttery/strobey effects (multiple cuts within the same scene, black cards between frames).
Reccer's Notes: So this song is pretty overused as action vids go, but I promise you won't even notice! The vidder does a lot of cool things with the musicality of this song, harnessing the unsettling bits and the ominous minor chords really well. They even manage to keep up with Jay Z, who's got the best percussive flow in the rap game. (If you don't know, now you know.)
Fanwork Links: Run This Town
Characters/Pairings: Oliver Queen
Creator Links: mrseclipse555, on youtube, tatia_martynova
Summary: oliver queen || “I thought the universe owed me one”. Contains fast cuts, fast action, stuttery/strobey effects (multiple cuts within the the same scene, black cards between frames), some light flashes.
Reccer's Notes: I've recced this vidder before, but I think their dynamic work fits perfectly into the theme. Contains lots of the fun action parts of Arrow, but doesn't lose track of the narrative parts. In this case, how hard Oliver works for his city, whether anyone actually notices or not.
Fanwork Links: Hall of Fame on YT
Hall of Fame on tumblr
Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Rebecca Sentance, who volunteers as chair of the AO3 Documentation Committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I'm a co-chair with the AO3 Documentation committee, also known as "Docs", which handles the user-facing documentation for Archive of Our Own -- things like FAQs, tutorials and screencasts. You can find our work over on the Archive FAQ page. Our job is to make sure that there's clear and accessible documentation explaining the different functions of the Archive, which users can consult if they run into any issues.
For this we work closely with the Support Committee, making sure that our docs address the user queries that they're getting; Accessibility, Design & Technology, to take interface changes and feature updates into account; and Translation, who make our documentation available in all sorts of languages.
I also wear another hat which is as a layout editor for the Transformative Works and Cultures academic journal, where I'm responsible for HTML tagging articles for publication in each issue. I've learned a lot about the world of academic HTML in the process!
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
Every week is a little bit different. I do the bulk of my work for Docs at the weekends, so during the week I'll take care of smaller tasks like replying to and resolving comments on documents I'm betaing, checking in with the newer members of Docs that I'm mentoring in my capacity as chair, and looking over documents on "Free For All" -- that's the last internal beta stage our documents go through, where everyone in the committee goes over them with a fine-tooth comb and provides feedback.
Then every Saturday, Docs chairs will have a meeting to touch base and discuss anything that needs our attention. There are three of us, based in Australia, the UK (me!) and Canada respectively, so finding a time of day that works for all of us is a fun task! On the plus side, it means one of us is always awake and available if we're needed. We also have committee-wide meetings about once every two months.
At weekends I'll sit down to do more in-depth beta and drafting work. Drafting is the process of creating a document from scratch, after which it passes through five beta rounds which focus on different areas: Testing, Accessibility & Internationalisation, Coherency & Consistency, Readability and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). From there a doc moves into Free-For-All, and finally into External beta where other committees will take a look and provide feedback. My favourite beta stage is Testing, because I'm a hands-on sort of person, and I like to poke about with the Archive and find out what works and what doesn't!
What was your path to becoming chair of AO3 Docs?
Haha, to be honest, it was a path I hadn't even realised I was on at the time. Right from when I joined the committee, I was interested in training to be a chair someday, but imagined it would be a long way down the line. But I was proactive in volunteering to help with any admin tasks that needed doing, attending committee meetings (I love meetings), and offering my opinion on issues to do with the committee's direction and future. I was also keen to get involved with the wider OTW, which is a plus point for a prospective chair.
This must have caught the eye of our incumbent chairs, because eight months after I joined Docs I was approached about training to become a chair, and I delightedly said yes. That was in April of last year, so from then on I became a "chair-track trainee" (as we like to call it) and carried out hands-on training with my fellow chairs, Sammie and Claire, and in January of this year I was officially "chaired up" to the level of a full Docs co-chair. However, I still consider myself a "junior chair" and there's always more for me to learn.
User-facing documentation uploaded to the Archive between 2014 and 2016 by the AO3 Docs team. The Docs team is responsible for creating and editing help documentation in multiple formats, from text-based FAQs and tutorials to video tutorials, or 'screencasts'. Revised refers to existing docs that were rewritten or amalgamated, and New refers to brand new docs that were created from scratch. Statistics start midway through 2014.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
The best thing about being a chair in an OTW committee - and about being part of the OTW as a whole - is the feeling of doing something tangible to give back to the fannish community. That was the reason I applied to join Docs in the first place, and the reason that I pour so much of my time and energy into the OTW.
Docs is also the perfect committee for me because I'm a writer and editor in my day job, and I get a lot of joy out of tinkering with language and helping to improve the way something is communicated. The Docs committee is a haven for word nerds, and we have members who love to delve into the intricacies of spelling and grammar or spend ages debating the perfect wording for a single sentence. I used to be a beta reader for fanfiction, which I got into because I love to edit and help improve the quality of someone's writing. Docs work is really similar, but with a bigger team -- and we're in the business of creating as well as editing.
Plus, I get a kick out of knowing that the documentation that we create is the same documentation that countless Archive users refer to whenever they have a problem, or want to learn about a feature. So we contribute directly to helping people use the Archive -- which is a big responsibility but also very cool.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I've been an avid reader and writer of fanfic ever since I was a teenager (well, there were also a few fanfics I wrote at a younger age before I discovered the wider online fanfic community, but we won't talk about those...), and fandom has always been a big part of how I spend my free time. I started out reading fanfic on Quizilla, which was written as a second-person narrative with occasional responses to choose from, sort of like a fanfic choose-your-own-adventure. From there I progressed to Fanfiction.net, LiveJournal and AO3. My early fannish experiences were mainly in anime fandoms and Harry Potter, but I've since dabbled in all sorts of fandoms from The Road to El Dorado to Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Inception.
In the past I've written some journalistic articles about fandom and fanworks for Paper Droids, an online magazine for geeky ladies. I also love to read about fandom, and record my fannish recollections over on Fanlore.
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.