Monday, September 1, 2014

Anonymous said: Hi! I love your blog and its left me craving more! do you have any recommended reading for someone looking to delve deeper into the worlds of fashion and costume, respectively? There's a lot out there and its hard to know where to start. thanks!

i’ve read vanishingly few fashion/costume books and can really only recommend The Internet and Wikipedia. (sorry.) in terms of fashion-fashion stuff, the documentaries “the september issue” and “bill cunningham new york” are both interesting?

tim-sum said: What were your highlights of the Edinburgh Festival?

(n.b. every year i go to the Edinburgh Fringe theatre/arts festival, which lasts for most of the month of august. this year i was reviewing for broadway baby.)

i was so busy during Festival season this year that i didn’t go to nearly as many shows as I would have liked. and because i was reviewing, i obviously didn’t get much of a chance to see things recreationally, based on recommendations or reviews from other people. i think next year’ i’ll probably just go for a couple of days, for fun rather than for work.

the BEST two fringe shows i saw in terms of all-round quality were Riders, a Czech dance/physical theatre performance inspired by birds, and A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts by the Lyric Secret Theatre company, which was incredible and I’d highly recommend to anyone who has a chance to see it. very exciting to watch, and experimental without being pretentious or difficult to understand.

other good shows included The God That Comes (a one-man cabaret musical retelling of the Bacchae myth), and Eden Gate (an immersive theatre experience about an apocalyptic plague). I also very much enjoyed Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, which I would definitely see again if i happened to be in the right place at the right time. (this particular performance included a man suckling on the nipple of Cecil Baldwin from Welcome to Night Vale, which was unexpected.) 

The last show of my Festival season was also one of the most memorable: a staging of Delusion of the Fury by the composer Harry Partch. I was expecting this to be a predominantly musical performance (Partch is known for composing on a 43-note scale, using instruments of his own devising), but instead it was very visual, including fire, a waterfall, huge inflatable balloon-mountains, interesting costumes, and aspects of physical theatre. i feel very lucky to have seen it because Partch’s music is hardly ever performed, and this company literally had to hire someone to build an entire set of his instruments from scratch. 

(i didn’t see anything truly heinous this year, although i did go to one performance art show that involved sitting in a small portacabin and watching a man give himself a coffee enema, and my first review of the fringe was a one-woman play about the performer’s dead mother, and i was the ONLY person in the audience.)

rob0t-ic said: Hello! I ran into your blog a few weeks ago while looking at Winter Soldier stuff, and loved it. You are a really good writer, and as a wannabe character designer, I adore your costume analyses. I suppose my question is, what kind of books do you like to read, and what are your favorite books? Thank you!

hi! and thank you! :))) 

i enjoy a pretty wide range of genres, tbh. i probably have more ~favourites~ in the autobiography/memoir section, but my all-time favourite books as an adult are the Lymond Chronicles by dorothy dunnett. my reading goal for the immediate future is to read more superhero comics and well-reviewed sci-fi/YA novels, because i keep seeing stuff in those genres that i Simply Must Read, and then getting distracted. the next specific book i intend to read is a long biography of Tove Jansson that was recently lent to me by a friend who loves Tove Jansson as much as I do (i.e. A Lot).

right now i’m reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, which I inexplicably have never read, despite being obsessed with Hannibal as a teen. Red Dragon is interesting to read for the first time after having watched the Hannibal TV series, because so many male characters were turned into women for the TV show that the book now feels like an unrelenting sausage-fest.

Anonymous said: Could you rec some CATWS fanfic? I'm about to spend 5 hours on a train. <3

if you want something that lasts 5 hours then i’ve heard great things about Morgan Leigh’s “Middletown,” although i haven’t read it yet myself because it’s so long and apparently Very Emotional. otherwise i can’t remember a lot of specific titles off the top of my head, but i’d rec all of astolat’s steve/sam fic, and anything by  or . also “memories are made of this" by eleveninches. 

i’ve read about 90000000 CATWS fics but unfortunately i’m disorganized and didn’t bookmark anything properly. i’m Bad At Recs, sorry.

edited to add: try my fic recs tag.

Anonymous said: why has no one ever done a stockbroking sterek au? it could be called teen wolf of wall street and would clearly be awesome.

a question for the ages.

mattthewitchking said: A while back you mentioned that people are animated by stardust and caffeinated beverages, and I tell people that all the time. It's one of my favorite things to say.

I just had to google that phrase because I have no memory of writing it, but hey, it turns out I totally did! Glad it stuck with someone, haha. ;D

evayna said: Do you think getting a white streak of hair would look cool? Like Rogue? Or just weird? Asking for a friend

It would look incredibly cool and is A Good Idea.

auslandischwasser said: Hello! After a long period of creative dormancy, I've found fandom to be enormously empowering and invigorating. Yours is one of my favorite fandom blogs, so thank you for what you give back to fan culture. I was wondering how you got into fandom, and where you envision yourself going with it in the future.

hi! :) i’m glad you’re enjoying my blog! <33 what a lovely message.

I got into fandom thru Harry Potter when I was about 11, but I was always kinda nerdy and so are my parents, so it was probably inevitable. As for the future… Well, I’m the managing editor of a small press that publishes original novels by fanfic writers, and our first book is coming out later this year!

pterriblepterodactyls said: I was going to ask if you've seen Person of Interest, but you made a comment about that in someone else's answer, so I guess I'll ask your opinion of it

I really like Person of Interest, but I understand that it’s not for everyone. It’s written on a very mainstream American network TV model with clunky dialogue and a crime-of-the-week episode structure, but IMO the background worldbuilding and central character relationships are VERY strong. It’s also got some fantastic science fiction writing backing it up, but because it’s not billed as a sci-fi genre show, that tends to get overlooked.

The basic premise of PoI is that there’s a super-computer that collects surveillance data and informs the US government about terrorist threats. Essentially, this is PRISM. This Machine also spits out “irrelevent” details about civilian crimes, which the main characters in PoI fight as vigilantes. So the main over-arching plotline is about surveillance and police/government corruption, while the episodic plots are more like action/adventure stuff, with a touch of realistic cyberpunk surveillance stuff thrown in.

The first half of season 1 is incredibly cheesy but once the relationship between the main characters kicks in, it becomes INCREDIBLY compelling. Also, the show has done a really good job of cycling in new characters in later seasons, particularly Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi, who I’m hoping will become the main protagonists this season. The soundtrack is brilliant and the showrunner is Jonathan Nolan, who is similar to Christopher Nolan in many respects but is apparently way, WAY better at creating female characters.

Anonymous said: If there was one moment in tv history you'd want to rewrite to your own whims, damning the consequences and future events that may come, tv show would it be?

I tend to abandon shows if they really disappoint me (with the exception of Doctor Who, which I sort of feel like I ~have to~ watch), so I can’t really think of any that had a pivotal scene that I’d really wanted to change. Most TV shows are imperfect, and those imperfections can’t be healed with one single moment.

On the whole, if there WAS a specific moment I’d want to change, it wouldn’t be something with no consequences, it’d be something where the consequences were IMPORTANT, you know? Possibly with Hannibal I’d have killed off Zeller or Price instead of Beverley Katz last season. Or I’d have Sherlock actually explicitly state that he’s asexual in BBC Sherlock, although I’m sure Steven Moffat would just fuck that up by the end of the season anyway.

In Deep Space 9, I’d have made Garak and Bashir a canonically queer couple, which would have been hugely helpful to television in general because Star Trek is so high-profile and influential. It would have set a precedent for other shows in the future. (Xena would be another option in that context, and actually got a lot further than DS9 in terms of moving Xena/Gabrielle from subtext to text. But in the end I think Star Trek’s iconic nature would be slightly more useful.)