arachnekallisti: (amy pond and the poly agenda)
2012-10-04 02:28 pm

Other Books By The Same Author

I'm not the only one who knew about the A J Williams oeuvre. This is brilliant. It's touching, sweet, metatextual, and it gives our Amy the send-off she deserves. It's so good it has to be true.
arachnekallisti: (bamf)
2012-09-30 05:11 pm
arachnekallisti: (river song)
2012-07-06 02:54 pm

Deathwatch (Sex, Surrealism and Beige Remix)

The Official Version
From the records of Watch Station Erioch:
"...The source of the psychic plague affecting the Deathwatch Librarium was eventually traced back to the Laeran artefacts discovered in the ruins on the world of Iphigenia. It appears that the work of Inquisitor Albertine Hoffmann and Brother-Codicier Ardashir in studying the sonic weaponry that had been recovered exposed them to the corruption carried within the very language of the Laer.

Kill-Team Claritas Pennata pursued the daemonic infestation tirelessly: first destroying the corrupted Brother-Codicer Ardashir and purging Watch Station Andronicus of the taint he had introduced; then purging the daemonic taint from the library of the Sisters Dialogus at Babel XVII, whilst cleansing corruption within their own Kill-team; later hunting the daemonhost that was all that remained of Inquisitor Hoffmann to the battlefleet near Iphigenia, where they succeeded in not only destroying it but recovering the Emperor-class battlecruiser that she had commandeered and rooting out an infiltrator within the ranks of the Deathwatch itself.

Finally, under the command of Brother-Chaplain Siegmund Salenar, they pursued the taint back to the Laeran sites on Iphigenia, ran the Tau blockade, succeeded in destroying Watch Station Skapula in order to keep it out of the foul xenos' hands, and succeeded in destroying all three Laeran sites. Brother-Librarian Agravaine reports that it appears that the Laeran ruins appear to have been sucked into the Immaterium, and that the Warp appears to be uncommonly still and calm in the vicinity of Iphigenia.

Kill-Team Claritas Pennata and the Kill-Marine Tacitus, last seen hunting a Tau Ethereal in the vicinity of Iphigenia, are presumed missing in action. They are remembered as heroes of the Deathwatch. May the Emperor's light shine upon their souls."


The Secret History )
arachnekallisti: (Bernard Black)
2012-06-16 10:23 pm

Prometheus: Who was it said Earthmen never invite their ancestors round to dinner?

Prometheus is very nearly good. I found it both incredibly compelling and incredibly frustrating. I'm feeling fannish as all hell about it, but mainly about the potential it had rather than the actuality. It does look amazing though.

In short, if you like cracky dark sci-fi involving extraordinarily pretty people being extraordinarily crap in the face of alien threats, this'll keep you going nicely until the next series of Torchwood.

Contains massive spoilers, quite a lot of pics (some of which are even tangentially relevent to the film), body horror (some of which is pregnancy related), project management rage, existentialism and tasteless jokes. If that hasn't put you off, click here. )
arachnekallisti: (act her age)
2012-05-07 03:36 pm

Well Wicked!

So, I've been on a Seven & Ace binge recently. I honestly think that era was the best Who has ever been - even better than Four & Romana (although there's not much in it). It has character arcs, and emotional moments that aren't sentimental, and cool surreal bits, and huge amounts of femslashy subtext.

So anyway, here are some selected highlights of my Seven & Ace fanfic reading:

1. Killing Time Seven & Ace & Romana. Versus some Daleks. It is brilliant. Angsty in places, hilarious in others, with some lovely bittersweet shippery bits.
2. A Still More Terrible Night Awaits Us A creepy little slice of psychological horror and historical RPF. In which the line between cosmic wonder and cosmic horror is very fine indeed...
3. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy A horribly plausible look at little Dorothy's screwed-up relationship with her mother.
4. The War of the Roses In which A Charitable Earth branches out. And Gita Chandra's life gets even weirder. Charming and fluffy as only an SJA crossover can be.
5. An Evil Memory Lingering Dorothy's first encounter with Gabriel Chase. Great character moments and really clever use of Ghost Light references.
6. Protect and Survive A chilling alt-history take on the Cold War and the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Particularly horrible if you're a child of the 80s.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2012-02-14 11:28 pm

Top Ten: Robot Love

Ah, 14th February comes round again. At this time of year I find myself wandering round the town centre feeling more than usually like a badly-programmed android who does not understand these strange human emotions of yours. Good job some people like that kind of thing...

1. An Pierle - Are 'Friends' Electric?
Acoustic piano cover of a Gary Numan song. Stylish in a Blade Runner-esque cyberpunk cabaret kind of way.

2. Apoptygma Berzerk - Kathy's Song (Victoria Mix by VNV Nation)
"Kathy" is Stephen Groth's computer, and "Victoria" is one of the OSX text-to-speech voices. Because who could know you better than your computer, after all the clicks and keystrokes it's seen?

3. Jonathan Coulton - Better
A cautionary tale about the strain transhumanism can place on a relationship.

4. Goldfrapp - Strict Machine
According to Alison Goldfrapp, this is a song about wireheading.

5. Oh Land - Human
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] monarda_if for introducing me to this one. Isn't it just crying out for a GLaDOS/Chell fanvid?

6. Voltaire - The Sexy Data Tango
Contains some of the geekiest innuendoes I have ever heard, and that really is saying something. In fact, this song is entirely made of geeky innuendo.

7. Add N To (X) - Metal Fingers In My Body
This is what happens when you combine vintage synthesizers and filthy minds. The video is thoroughly NSFW.

8. Freezepop - Robotron 2000
The lyrics are an absolutely straightforward little slice of retro SF. Apocalyptic war. Robot boyfriend. Could have come out of Astounding Science Fiction in the 50s.

9. Thermostatic - Metal Skin
Like a videogame soundtrack from the 80s remixed with proper synth and sweet, playful vocals. Chiptune FTW.

10. Duran Duran - Electric Barbarella
Another absolutely lyrically straightforward song - it's about falling in love with a sexbot. Used a fanvid here because the original video kinda squicked me - this one has the technofetishism without quite so much sexism.

Videos under the cut... )
arachnekallisti: (bamf)
2012-01-09 01:32 pm
Entry tags:

Fic Rec: Notes on a Scandal

A sadly Jossed fic in which the superb [livejournal.com profile] prochytes writes a rather different take on Irene Adler. Which I think I rather prefer.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-11-07 04:17 pm

Review: Marat/Sade

So...Marat/Sade was actually rather good. Well-acted, ingeniously-staged, and blisteringly topical, with visual references to the Arab Spring, the UK riots, the surveillance state and Abu Ghraib. As far as I could tell, the script was essentially unchanged, which meant that all the references to bankers, class warfare and ill-advised military adventurism were actually there in the 1960s version, merely updated with contemporary references (I have ordered a copy of the script off Amazon and found the 1967 version on YouTube - I intend to do a proper comparison later).

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade (just to show I do actually know the full title) is an incredibly self-aware, meta piece, a play within a play in which the audience on stage and the audience in the seats are both part of the spectacle. It's an extended dialogue between idealist and cynic, between Marat's faith in the revolution and de Sade's nihilistic individualism. Both of them are given their chance to speak their piece, and make their case as convincingly as possible, then savagely cut down. Marat's revolution becomes a pointless bloodbath that never makes a difference to the poor, and Sade's pursuit of passion degenerates into a Bacchanalian frenzy (the single most viscerally horrible part of the play, actually). And in case you thought reason and moderation might yield some kind of middle way that might lead you out of the mess, the Director of the asylum turns out to be every bit as corrupt as anyone else. In the end, the play turns to the audience, shrugs, and asks "Well, have you got a better idea?"

It was stunning. It was horrible. In case you're planning on Googling it, it should probably come with every trigger warning under the sun.
arachnekallisti: (act her age)
2011-10-25 03:05 pm

The Legend of the Seeker Drinking Game

As invented by me, [livejournal.com profile] the_night_wind and two-thirds of a bottle of port last Saturday night.

Drink whenever:
- Richard forgets about the whole urgent mission to save the world thing and goes off on a sidequest,
- Darken Rahl or one of his minions is surprisingly competent at Evil Overlording,
- Richard and/or Kahlan do something really daft,
- Richard leaps at something with a sword,
- Kahlan Confesses someone
- Zedd appears to be very, very stoned,
- Richard and/or Kahlan get tied up,
- Richard takes his shirt off,
- Kahlan takes her dress off,
- Richard and/or Kahlan disguise themselves as D'Haran troops, and look rather good doing so,
- Richard and Kahlan stumble across some kind of magic that will enable them to shag without magical repercussions, and then don't,
- Whoops, there is a Mord-Sith.

Frankly, I'm amazed we both still have livers.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-10-01 08:13 pm

All is forgiven

Oh, Moffat.

You magnificent bastard.

I never should have doubted you for a second.
arachnekallisti: (river song)
2011-09-30 10:58 am

Breaking the Silence

So, it's the Doctor Who finale tomorrow! Let's speculate wildly about it.

Spoilers... maybe? )
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-09-21 02:17 pm
Entry tags:
arachnekallisti: (river song)
2011-08-30 02:58 pm
Entry tags:
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-06-21 12:10 am

Top Ten: Comic Songs

Not all of these are obscene, but probably best not to listen at work without headphones. I am fond of the sort of song that you might happily be tapping your foot to until you realise "Good heavens... was that what it was about?!"

As a handy example:

1. Fascinating Aida - Dogging
It's a song about... exactly what it says on the tin. Filthy, hilarious, and sung in a wonderfully motherly way by Dillie Keane.

2. Tom Lehrer - Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
An absolute classic. Prior to the recording, the pianist had seen the sheet music, but without the lyrics or title. He recognised the style ("Oh, it's a waltz") and seemed perfectly happy about this. However, when the conductor announced the title ("Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, take one") the pianist shouted "WHAT?" and fell off his bench. Lehrer merely commented "I had never seen anything like that".

3. Half Man Half Biscuit - Lord Hereford's Knob
An affectionate parody of innuendo-ridden folk songs, and the Welsh mountain also known less hilariously as Twmpa.

4. Jonathan Coulton - Re: Your Brains
Possibly the funniest song ever written about a zombie apocalypse. Middle management become the walking dead. Would anybody notice?

5. The Darkness - English Country Garden
A hurricane of puns and knob jokes. This is the point where the Darkness veer from quasi-parodic rock god status right into open comedy.

6. Voltaire - The USS Make Shit Up
I love Trek, but I will admit that Voltaire sort of has a point here. An incredibly earwormy tribute to the joy of technobabble.

7. Mitch Benn - I'm Proud Of The BBC
Difficult to pick one of his songs; he's so damned good at topical musical satire. This is catchy, affectionate and a sentiment I thoroughly endorse.

8. The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - 20 Minutes of Oxygen
A darkly funny short sci-fi story. The video is even funnier than the song alone. Very Red Dwarf.

9. Professor Elemental - Cup of Brown Joy
A chap-hop tribute to the joys of a good cuppa.

10. Lemon Demon - The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
Another classic. Points for sheer, joyous absurdist invention.

Videos under the cut )
arachnekallisti: (act her age)
2011-06-14 01:46 am

Top Ten: Popcorn Variations

You could make a case that it was in 1969 that synthpop as we know it was born. The first time that it occurred to someone that you could make purely electronic music that you could dance to. That case would be a track called "Popcorn", recorded by Gershon Kingsley on his album Music to Moog By.

"Popcorn" has gone on to become something of a synthpop standard. It's been covered by everyone from Aphex Twin to the Swedish Chef. There's at least 79 versions around, but these are my personal favourites:

1. Gershon Kingsley, 1969.
The original, and possessed of a certain retro charm. Quite different from later versions - the melody's slightly different, and it doesn't have the chorus in.

2. Hot Butter, 1972.
Arguably the definitive version, and the basis for all subsequent ones.

3. Marsheaux, 2004.
Probably my favourite. Chilly and ethereal.

4. Muse, 2010.
Prog-rock version with lots of guitar.

5. Fiddler's Green, 2003.
Folk-metal version. THIS IS AWESOME.

6. Aphex Twin, 1992.
Uncompromising experimental electronica version.

7. The Popcorn Orchestra, 1972.
Actually Jean-Michel Jarre, before he was famous.

8. The M & H Band, 1987.
Not actually Jean-Michel Jarre, although they're doing a pretty good impression of him.

9. Guru Josh, 1990.
Live acid house version. Quite fun, but goes on a bit.

10. Necronomikids, 2009.
Surf rock thrash version. Fast, fun, but over a bit too soon.

Videos under the cut. )
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-06-01 12:58 pm

ESA changes: putting the boot in to the mentally ill

The ATOS work capability assessments, as they exist, are unfit for purpose. Even one of the people who designed them thinks so. They're particularly badly designed for taking into account invisible disabilities and variable conditions; the idea appears to be that if you can get dressed and drag yourself into the interview, then you should have no problem holding down a job.

Warning: contains discussion of depression and suicide )

Sue Marsh at Diary of a Benefit Scrounger summarises the problems with the welfare reforms here. Please write to your MP and let's hope we can get this stopped before it ruins more people's lives.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-05-20 11:25 am

Fic: Strays (Doctor Who/Portal, G)

Title: Strays
Author: Arachne Kallisti
Fandom: Portal 2/Doctor Who
Rating: G. Actually quite fluffy.
Characters/Pairing: Doctor/TARDIS, sort of TARDIS/Wheatley if you squint
Disclaimer: The Whoniverse belongs to Auntie Beeb, and everything in Aperture Laboratories belongs to Valve.
Summary: Nobody can travel with the Doctor for very long without something about him rubbing off on them.

Author's Notes: Massive spoilers for Portal 2 and Who 6x04 "The Doctor's Wife". Beta-read by the superb [livejournal.com profile] chaosdeathfish.

She never took him where he wanted to go, but she always took him where he needed to. )
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-05-06 06:04 pm
Entry tags:

Fic: Leaving the Nest (Portal, PG)

Title: Leaving the Nest
Author: Arachne Kallisti
Fandom: Portal
Rating: PG. Angst, emotional cruelty.
Characters: Chell, GLaDOS, Caroline
Disclaimer: Nothing in Aperture Laboratories belongs to me.
Summary: Two goodbyes, over a century apart.

Author's Notes: Massive spoilers for Portal 2. Seems that I hadn't forgotten how to write, I was just waiting for the right fandom to come along. Beta-read by the superb [livejournal.com profile] chaosdeathfish.

It had been a stupid, stupid idea, and now she was stuck with it. )
arachnekallisti: (amy pond and the poly agenda)
2011-05-03 02:48 pm

Talent borrows, genius steals

I thought there was something hauntingly familiar about the denouement of The Day of the Moon, and finally I've dug it up: check out Eight O'Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson and tell me if you can see the similarities too.

Note: anxiety of influence and all that aside, I'm not calling the Moff a rip-off artist or anything like that. I just think it's an interesting intertextuality/influence/shout-out to a fairly obscure bit of SF history.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
2011-04-20 01:13 pm

RIP Lis Sladen

Lis Sladen died last night. It's been a terrible shock - she was filming Series 5 of SJA only recently.

I'm going to miss her terribly. Sarah Jane was one of my favourite companions, and such an inspiration to me. From what I've seen of her from interviews and con reports, Lis Sladen was warm, friendly, enthusiastic and charismatic. We've lost one of the good people.

There's a rather lovely tribute to her over at i09.