Literary links roundup

A Pterry note:

There’s a thing I regularly hear people say about Terry Pratchett, even across wildly different contexts…

“Was he always perfectly sensitive about my identity? No. Would he even really understand my life and experiences? Probably not. But if I got to sit down and talk with him, it feels like he would genuinely listen. And take what I said to heart. And support my right to live an authentic and fulfilling way, whether he got it or not.”

Life goals, seriously. I can only hope readers in 50+ years will be saying the same about me.

Kickstarter is crushing it:

November 2020: “Although 2020 isn’t over yet, Kickstarter is reporting the crowdfunded comics on their platform have already amassed $22 million in pledges. That is over 30% up from 2019’s $16.9 million, with two months still to go in 2020.

July 2021: “…it almost beats Kickstarter comics’ entire 2019 ($16.9m), and is well ahead of its revenue for the first six months of 2020. If this trend continues, it would break the $25.7m record set in 2020 – possibly even getting at or above an even $30m.

So these are a bummer:

N.K. Jemisen, 2013: “All mythological creatures have a real-world root. Dryads are trees + humans + magic. Mermaids are fish + humans + magic, or maybe porpoises + magic. Unicorns are deer or horses + magic, maybe with a bit of narwhal glued on. Dragons are reptiles + magic, or maybe dinosaur bones + magic – paleontology. So again: what are orcs supposed to be?

2020: “Before we get into the results of the data analysis, let’s play a game to see how well you recognize gendered descriptions. Here are several character descriptions from actual books. For each one, select whether you think it describes a man or a woman. Don’t think too hard about it—just react!”

2021: “[What happened to Isabel Fall] has been held up as an example of progressives eating their own, of the dangers of online anonymity, of the need for sensitivity readers or content warnings. But what this story really symbolizes is the fact that as we’ve grown more adept at using the internet, we’ve also grown more adept at destroying people’s lives, but from a distance, in an abstracted way.

But this is fun:

A Lois McMaster Bujold quote I’m constantly coming back to: “The writer should always reserve the right to have a better idea.

“Well now, thanks to Nicholas Love’s neat cover generator, you can create both Penguin Classics and Oxford World Classics covers for any book (or movie, or concept) your heart desires, avian gatekeepers be damned!

Tamsyn Muir is doing a whole extra Locked Tomb novel. We’re getting a 4-part trilogy, folks. Can’t think of another ongoing series I’d be happier to hear it for.

Aaaaand spoke too soon

Made a post last night about how I think the computer is okay, came home from work this afternoon to find it did this again. I know, I know, I jinxed it.

Dell Diagnostics hardware scan

No issues found! You didn’t find any issues the last four times, either! Why do you keep doing this.

Gaaaah. Should I even try to do a full reinstall? Contact Dell customer service and sit through however many hours of troubleshooting they’d want to do? Or just give up and live like this?


…and, in a completely unrelated bonus vent:

Chris Chan, long-time Webcomic Person and generally infamous Internet Personality, has been trending on Twitter for a bit. For entirely horrible reasons. If you don’t want to read about elder abuse and mental illness, don’t go digging.

But given that she has like a 20-year history of being egged/goaded/manipulated by trolls into doing awful things for their entertainment…my first thought on hearing bad news about her is “wonder which sociopath talked her into thinking this was ok.”

(For anyone who wants receipts, there’s a comprehensive documentary series on YouTube that goes through the trolling in detail. And by “comprehensive” I mean “59 parts so far, each about 40 minutes long, and it’s only caught up through 2017.” The creator just put it on hiatus, because they don’t want to seem like they’re taking advantage of a terrible situation for hits — which is a principled move, good for them — but here I am linking to the back catalog anyway.)

Seriously, in a better healthcare system Chris would’ve been taken into some kind of professional care at least a decade ago, for her own safety. Let alone anyone else’s.

And I hate how sure I am that the instigators are never gonna see any consequences ever.

(it’s the camera)

At some point in late June/early July, I ran a Windows update on New Computer, and the camera stopped working.

As in, the device is now fully convinced it doesn’t have a built-in camera. I tried the “delete the drivers to make the computer reinstall them” fix, and it didn’t reinstall anything, because why would it need those if it doesn’t have a camera? (Can’t download them manually from the website, either, it assures me Windows will handle this automatically.) I follow various troubleshooting steps, and when I get to the point where it says “choose Camera from the list of hardware to troubleshoot,” there is no Camera in the list at all, because what camera?

Not an urgent problem — Old Computer is still totally capable of picking up Zoom duties — but still a pain. (Now I’m using Old Computer once or twice a week, instead of once or twice a month.)

Fast-forward to July 22, and New Computer’s new trick is to reboot in the middle of the night — which, yeah, Windows 10 was already doing. I’ve hunted down and turned off every permission I could find and it wouldn’t stop. (It does its best to re-launch all the programs it unwillingly shut down, and mostly succeeds…)

But now, instead of booting like normal, it spontaneously loads into Dell Support mode and runs a full diagnostic.

There’s no screensaver in this mode, so once it finishes, it just sits. With the words “No hardware issues detected” on a full-brightness blank white screen. For howevermany hours go by before I wake up and get back to using the machine.

So naturally I figure this might be related to the camera problem. Maybe it’s getting worse? Seems prudent to go ahead and pull the trigger on a System Restore, undoing the last few weeks of updates, to before when the problem started.

Only reason I didn’t do that already was the fear that it would break the system worse, going from “tolerable pain” to “total disaster.”

Reader, it broke worse.

Now all I can get into is a troubleshooting utility that says “your options are (1) totally reinstall Windows while trying to keep your files and data, (2) totally reinstall Windows without trying to keep your files and data.”

So the good news is, this does rebuild a working, booting OS. It even keeps all my files intact! And it either remembers or does better with a few settings — notably, System Restore isn’t set to “feel free to fill up 100% of the disk space with your data” the way it was the first time.

All my programs are gone, but it generates a helpful list of “programs removed” (as an HTML file on the desktop). The amount of reinstalls I’ve had to go through at this point, I already maintain a full list of Things I’ve Installed + Backup Settings + Registration Codes + Saved Copies Of Installer Files + Also All The Fonts, but it’s cool to see Windows actually taking a little of the prep effort on itself now.

A few hours of reinstalling, re-signing-in, and re-syncing later, New Computer is 90% back to the state it was in a month earlier.

That was a week ago, and the rebuild has yet to spring any Horrible Surprises on me (knock wood), so we might actually be in the clear. At least, until some exciting new system failure comes along in another 8 months.

…guess what still isn’t working, though. Go on. Take a totally wild guess.

Erin Watches the egg disaster

It is verrrry rare these days that I start watching an anime while the season is still airing, but I did it with Wonder Egg Priority.

The internet was saying s many good things after the first few episodes! It sounded so complicated, and so interesting, that I wanted to keep up with the discussion in realtime! Didn’t want to put off the episodes for later, and risk being spoiled for who-knows-how-much by the time I got to them.

…without spoiling anything too specific — whoo boy, this show went so downhill so badly.

And now I’m just gonna link all three Anime Slushie recaps, because they do such a satisfyingly thorough job of picking it apart.

Including highlights for all the times when it was like “they almost have something here, they’re brushing up against what could be a really profound and meaningful commentary, here’s what we could’ve had in a better show that was going there on purpose.”

(I know they’re long, but if you’ve got time to listen to the whole set, it’s worth it.)

(…definitely a better use of your time than actually watching Wonder Egg.)

Murderbot fic recs (that’s right, no multifandom today, just Murderbot)

  • The Murderbot Diaries | Murderbot, 3 | G | Phase Choice
    Without a governor module, how does a SecUnit know what to do, what to choose? With help from Murderbot, ART and an unseemly number of humans, Three learns that ‘not knowing’ is just a phase.
    fic:one-shot,series:murderbot diaries,genfic
  • The Murderbot Diaries | ART, Seth, Iris | G | cognitive development
    Iris==small. Seth bring Iris closer.

    It wasn’t the reaction Seth had expected, although in retrospect maybe he should have. Iris wasn’t just a new person, but a new concept. It was natural that the AIs would find her novel.
    genfic,fic:one-shot,trope:kidfic,series:murderbot diaries

  • The Murderbot Diaries | ART, Murderbot | G | Scaring Them
    ART maybe gets a little TOO excited about getting to threaten Murderbot’s ex-company, but instead of using its debris deflection systems as a threat, its got a SecUnit…
    fic:one-shot,pairing:art_murderbot,series:murderbot diaries,genfic,trope:hurt-comfort