November 26th, 2006

Xander reading

Happy birthday, penwiper26

All the best people have birthdays in late November, except for the ones with birthdays in late February. And early December. And mid-August, and... Where was I?

Today is the birthday of esteemed Professor Inman, known around here as penwiper26. I call her Professor for a complicated set of reasons dating back to my teenaged years running wild in a pack of fellow book fiends. We called each other professor. Poor Ms Inman doesn't know this; I just inflict the nickname on her puzzled self. But it's by way of saying, aha, kindred mind!

The thing you should know is that penwiper26 writes fanfiction, mostly BuffyVerse-ish, mostly Giles-ish. A whole bunch of it. And that these stories are good stories, well-crafted, smooth on their surfaces but with depths of allusion to explore if you wish.

You will recall, dear reader, that I've said before that feedback is the bestest present to give a writer on his or her birthday. In fandom, anyway. Once they've gone pro, you buy their books. But consider the benefits:

1. It's free! Your investment is time spent reading a good story, which is why you're here.
2. Feedback makes writers grin like silly people, and encourages them to write more stories for you to read. Which is why you're here.

"But! There so many stories to choose from!" I hear you cry. "And so many of them are long!"

What? You're complaining about the good part? The generosity that leads a writer like Professor I to wrestle with something as large and unwieldy as a novel, defeat it, and drag it to you for your entertainment? Oh, all right.

If you're here, you're a Giles fan, probably. So start with "Situation Normal", a little post-"Flooded" story of Giles sitting up waiting for Buffy to return from haring off to be Angel. Or how about "Five Variations on an Urban Legend", a little thing about Giles and Buffy and what they're doing. Or one of my very favorites, "Strictly Library", in which Buffy cajoles Giles into teaching her how to dance. If you're going to read only one, read that one, okay?

But if you're finally admitting that I'm right here and you have to read everything penwiper26 has written, settle down with her Big Story, Shadow Though it Be and feel Sunnydale come to being around you.

Happy birthday, L!

PS: Any anecdotes told in the course of this birthday recommendation may be entirely made up. Watch out or I'll inflict a nickname on you.
  • Current Music
    Lanterna : West Side Highway : Sands
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Two links and a note

Least Wanted. Mug shots, police lineups, identification cards, the debris of more than a hundred years of American law enforcement. Interesting source of names and faces for bit characters, perhaps? And fascinating in its own right, for the little views of lost humanity.

Google's latest endlessly-beta project, Search Mash, looks decent. All Ajax-y. I'm only considering it because the jerk who writes InquisitorX has discontinued Camino support. And after I paid for my copy, too. Inquisitor makes the search box in the upper right of your Safari sing and dance in various niftytastic ways.

Random aside: At 3pm sharp, Mr Pedia starts hassling me about when he's going to get to watch the new Torchwood. I believe I have watched one episode of Dr Who from start to finish in my life: the one with ASH. I have no idea how many he's watched. Wait... he says zero. I'm sure we're missing huge swathes of backstory. The Wikipedia article has the usual obsessive nerd details, but I dunno if I actually want to read them. The series should stand or fall on its own, perhaps.
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    Oliver Prime : Mind Games (Original Mix) : Upfront Trance
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Wimsey cogito

Thoughts about filmed entertainment

1. Saw tonight's Torchwood. Was wasted opportunity in some ways. In others, makes me frustrated with the quality of writing in TV horror/SF. Can't you guys hire some writers who know the territory and can do something other than the shallow and the obvious with the widget of the week? And yet... still quite interesting.

2. Casino Royale. Many thoughts about this film, about the take on Bond, about the goodness of the return to the plots of the novels, about the set pieces. (And the shedding of the camp elements.) Strongest reaction I had while viewing was to the soundtrack. Title sequence was fantastic aside from the horrible, bad, awful song they had over it. Soundtrack teased deliciously with the Bond theme, giving us tastes of the instrumentation and the intervals at moments when Craig's character is being Bond-ish. But we wait, on tenterhooks, for that Bond theme until just before the end titles, when Craig finally gives us the most famous Bond trope. Then, boom, we get it in full, no teasing, no screwing around with modernity. Well done. Excellent establishment of intentions for a new sequence of Bond films.