(no subject)

Sep. 26th, 2016 11:51 am
baranduin: (pic#6413115)
[personal profile] baranduin
So, is it possible to watch the debate tonight while sober?

Doesn't seem like it would be a positive experience otherwise though I suppose it's going to be obnoxious either drunk as a skunk or sober as a judge.

But I think I need to watch it on account of some weird feeling I'm getting of needing to be there for Hillary, who has to stand on that stage with that misogynistic, racist, xenophobic orange asshat for a couple of hours.

Seriously, anyone planning on watching? I'm going to try but I don't think I'm going to last through it all.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The plumes are estimated to rise about 125 miles (200 kilometers) before, presumably, raining material back down onto Europa's surface. Europa has a huge global ocean containing twice as much water as Earth’s oceans, but it is protected by a layer of extremely cold and hard ice of unknown thickness. The plumes provide a tantalizing opportunity to gather samples originating from under the surface without having to land or drill through the ice.
rakasha: (Default)
[personal profile] rakasha
via http://ift.tt/2d12tuR:
freudsblog:

Deadliest Poisons Used by Man

Arsenic

Arsenic has been called “The King of Poisons”, for its discreetness and potency – it was virtually undetectable, so it was very often used either as a murder weapon or as a mystery story element. This king of poisons has taken many famous lives: Napoleon Bonaparte, George the 3rd of England and Simon Bolivar to name a few. On another note, arsenic, like belladonna, was used by the Victorians for cosmetic reasons. A couple of drops of the stuff made a woman’s complexion white and pale. Just perfect!

Botulinum Toxin

The Botulinum toxin causes Botulism, a fatal condition if not treated immediately. It involves muscle paralysis, eventually leading to the paralysis of the respiratory system and, consequently, death. The bacteria enter the body through open wounds or by ingesting contaminated food. By the way, botulinum toxin is the same stuff used for Botox injections!

Cyanide

A fatal dose of cyanide for humans is 1.5 mg per kilogram of body weight. It’s a rapid killer: depending on the dose, death occurs within 1 to 15 minutes. Also, in its gaseous form – hydrogen cyanide – it was the agent used by Nazi Germany for mass murders in gas chambers during the Holocaust.

Mercury

Elemental mercury is the one you can find in glass thermometers, it’s not harmful if touched, but lethal if inhaled. Inorganic mercury is used to make batteries, and is deadly only when ingested. Organic mercury is found in fish, such as tuna and swordfish (consumption should be limited to 170g per week), but can be potentially deadly over long periods of time. A famous death caused by mercury is that of Amadeus Mozart, who was given mercury pills to treat his syphilis.

Polonium

Polonium is a radioactive poison, a slow killer with no cure. One gram of vaporised polonium can kill about 1.5 million people in just a couple of months. The most famous case of polonium poisoning is that of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Polonium was found in his tea cup – a dose 200 times higher than the median lethal dose in case of ingestion. He died in three weeks.

Dimethylmercury

This one is a slow killer – a man-made slow killer! But this is exactly what makes it all the more dangerous. Absorption of doses as low as 0.1ml have proven fatal; however, symptoms of poisoning start showing after months of initial exposure, which is definitely too late for any kind of treatment. In 1996, a chemistry professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, spilled a drop or two of the poison on her gloved hand – dimethylmercury went through the latex glove, symptoms appeared four months later and ten months later, she died.

Belladonna

This was a favorite of the ladies! That’s because it was used in the middle-ages for cosmetic purposes – diluted eye-drops dilated the pupils, making the women more seductive (or so they thought). If ingested, a single leaf is lethal and that’s why it was used to make poison-tipped arrows. The berries of this plant are the most dangerous – consumption of ten of the attractive-looking berries is fatal. 

goth cosplayers fight evil

Sep. 26th, 2016 11:21 am
cypher: inoue masahiro smiling (being a sex god is hard work you know)
[personal profile] cypher
I keep thinking I'm doing a good job at keeping up on posting here and then I look and it's been a week, or more than a week, and I just don't even know how time works.

Last night we put on the start of Garo: Gold Storm Sho, since Ten hadn't seen it before and my appetite for it is endless, and gosh. What a good time. What deliciously sexy villains and what a good bunch of themes around temptation and falling to darkness. *sparkles* I love that the Makai Knights know that's their worst enemy—not any of the Horrors they could face off against, but their own potential to fall from grace. I find it fascinating how much more conscious of that the Knights seem to be than the Priests, and I wonder if there's worldbuilding in any of the series that touches on why; for all that they act in parallel they clearly are getting different lessons from their own orders. I want the self-confidence of the Priests we see in-series to be misplaced, especially given how haughty Rian comes across when she addresses Horrors. Gald gets a smackdown for his arrogance but Rian gets away with "I don't have any evil thoughts, neener" and there's no questioning it. ...I want all the sexy corruption stories, basically. I'm pretty sure that comes as a surprise to nobody.

The one thing I don't love about the show is that part of making it "adult" is putting a lot of women in sexualized danger; most of them survive but it's still wearying. One of those things where I don't really expect any better but wish I could.

Anyway, it's one of my Yuletide fandoms this year; I'll be surprised if I get it but I can hope, right?

I want other people to watch it tho mostly, cause dang.
oursin: Photograph of Stella Gibbons, overwritten IM IN UR WOODSHED SEEING SOMETHIN NASTY (woodshed)
[personal profile] oursin

On the one hand we have Introverts! Get Over Yourselves! Get Out There And Socialise! (do we think that the writer thinks that MANNERS would also require submitting to unwanted embraces from relatives, etc? because it would Hurt Their Feelings if you didn't.)

This intersects just so much with the standard female obligations to grease the wheels of social life.

On another, we have these people who want small talk to be banned. Well, I am no great fan of small talk, which I am very bad at, but I also resist the ukase to speak only on those topics traditionally Banned in the Mess (sex, religion, and politics, as I recall).

Also, this reminds me all too much of Mr Mybug going around asking women 'do women have souls', which he presumably thinks makes him look DEEP.

***

And in other news, have spent far too much time over the past day or so endeavouring to give my mobile phone provider moolah so that I can have a new phone with more memory and, I hope, a better turn of speed, and I keep getting a transient message saying 'Please check the page for the following errors', without, you know, actually describing what the errors are, after I have put in my card details and clicked continue and it shows all the signs of transaction going through.

Several attempts, tried different cards, different browsers, and if doing it via tablet made a difference. Also ringing my card provider to confirm that their initial security block had been lifted.

I tweeted about this and so far the response has been, does your local store have the model in stock? (they do, but I can't even do click and collect. Also, I was rather hoping not to have to trek to a physical shop.)

Tell me again that this is a society of instant gratification.

Monday Works Roundup, 9/26/16

Sep. 26th, 2016 03:22 pm
[syndicated profile] erinptah_feed

Posted by Erin Ptah

But I’m A Cat Person
Bonus Being Impressions (art | Poe, Walker, Cub, Jany, Blake | worksafe)
Bi Visibility 2016 (comic | Cohen/Jessica, Cohen/Bennett | G)

Leif & Thorn
Fancy Katya (art | Katya | worksafe)
Embassy Gem Flirting (art | Sven, Del, Iona, Ragnild | worksafe)
De-aging potion (sketches | Leif, Thorn | worksafe)

Hello From The Magic Tavern
The Wizards of Foon (art | Jyn’Leeviyah, Usidore, Spintax, Can, Jamillious, Aerobud, Telphys, Dark Lord, Blorth | worksafe)

Oz books
Ozma has a Type (art | Betsy/Ozma/Dorothy | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Homeworld Pearls (art | Pearl, misc Pearls | worksafe)
Bunny Garnets (art | Sapphire, Ruby, Garnet, Sardonyx | worksafe)
The Pearlrose Waltz (art | Pearl/Rose | worksafe)

Voltron: Legendary Defender
My metal arm brings all the geeks to the yard (sketch | Shiro/Pidge | worksafe)
Making out in a robot lion (sketch | Shiro/Keith | worksafe)
The Conspiracy Swing (sketch | Keith/Pidge | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Virgil (reward chibi, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Sparrow gets an unexpected visitor. Bennett is offensive, and for once he isn’t trying to be.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Leif finally realizes that he isn’t as unbiased and impartial towards Thorn as he’s supposed to be.


Filed under: Works Roundup
[syndicated profile] tordotcom_feed

Posted by Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer

Bujold-WarriorsApprentice

This week, the re-read delves into chapters 10-12 of The Warrior’s Apprentice. The Dendarii go recruiting, and their new trainees have some very important questions. Miles does his best to distract them with an air of authority, a rigorous training schedule, and some fortuitous rumors about Betan rejuvenation treatments.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

SUMMARY

Overwhelmed by the demands of keeping the Ariel’s crew prisoner, Miles introduces them to the Dendarii mercenaries and makes them recruits-trainees. The former-Oseran now-Dendarii crew has some questions about their compensation. When Miles’s tiny fleet arrives at Daum’s rendezvous point, a refinery, they discover that it has been captured. A combat force led by Bel Thorne re-captures it. Arde rams the RG freighter into the Oseran ship that counter-attacks, bending the Necklin rods.

COMMENTARY

Finally, Miles makes the connection between mercenaries and money. Really, he should have made it long before, but he’s only posing as a mercenary himself, and money has never before been an actual concern for him. The fact that they get paid is literally in the definition of the word mercenary. Of course they’re worried about their pensions—that’s their money. Miles’s visions of military service turn out to have very little to do with monetary compensation. If he’d gotten into the Academy straight away, he probably would have been shocked by the existence of his first paycheck. Miles has been heavily influenced by the stories of Vorthalia the Bold. Miles will discuss this further in Komarr when he admits that Vorthalia the Bold, Legendary Hero from the Time of Isolation was the subject of a holovid drama, and that he can still sing all nine verses of the theme song. Nine verses is a lot for a theme song; I infer that Barrayaran audiences are expected to have long attention spans. Miles gets a chuckle out of imagining Vorthalia the Bold demanding a whole life policy from the Emperor. That sounds completely realistic to me. The recruit-trainees’ entirely logical questions about their salary and benefits point out that distracting these prisoners is rapidly becoming very expensive. It’s a good thing Miles is in the Pelian system—he’s on the verge of making his delivery and getting paid.

I’m not really sure why the RG freighter is crawling so slowly towards the refinery. I know it is not fast, and there must be significant distance between the wormhole and the solar system, or there would not be a solar system, but this is still taking much longer than similar trips did in Falling Free. Long enough for a General Inspection of the captured Oseran ship, and a funeral for the dead pilot. Long enough for Miles to rewrite the Imperial Service Regulations and pass them off as Dendarii corporate material. Long enough for Elena to get a lot more experience as a hand-to-hand combat instructor. I believe that this is not so much a function of the limitations of the aging freighter’s in-system drive, but rather a concession to the needs of the plot. If the Ariel’s crew was within a day’s training of being an effective fighting force, Miles wouldn’t have been able to take down that drunk guy in the last section, or to take over the Ariel. I’m inclined to think that Bothari would still have had a pretty easy time of it, but I have a lot of faith in Bothari’s combat experience.

At this point, Miles, acting as the public face of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, holds one freighter, one Illyrican cruiser, and the weapons in the hold of the freighter. His holdings, and the associated problems, are about to expand. The Pelian capture of the Felician refinery is a setback. Taking the refinery back with a small force is pretty impressive. Bel gets all the credit for the planning there—Miles made him do it. Bothari insisted that Miles remain on board the Ariel so he’s stuck waiting in the briefing room. His ingenuity and captured Oseran Captain Auson’s knowledge of Oseran codes will have a major influence on the battle anyway; Miles uses the time to interfere with enemy power suit controls. He is very impressed with his own cleverness. I am too. I especially like the suit he programs to perform every third command on a half second lag and fire ten degrees to the right of aim. I hope the Oserans are carrying a chiropractor for the soldier whose suit helmet was locked in the fully torqued position.

Bel’s plan to take the refinery is sound, but the Dendarii have not planned for backup. It’s fortunate that Arde was there, and that he is so deeply committed to feudal duty. Remember, just a few weeks ago, Arde was Betan. At the end of this battle, Miles has added a small dreadnought and a refinery to his holdings, and 46 former prisoners to his crew. He awards Bel command of the Ariel, and Auson command of the impaled dreadnought. This looks like winning. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with Miles’s exit plan.

Arde’s decision to be a right-and-proper armsman has major consequences for his Necklin rods. These are not replaceable; They are no longer being manufactured. This renders Miles’s plan to dump his prisoners and head for the hills moot; the freighter can’t go. He’s going to have to take one of the Oseran ships, and he doesn’t have anyone in his inner circle who can fly one of those. The situation is so dire, Miles contemplates calling his dad for help.

But while she doesn’t want to stay in the Tau Verde system (or at least she doesn’t say she wants to stay), it’s starting to look like Elena Bothari might not want to go back to Barrayar either. She’s having a great time doing new things and seeing the galaxy. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Baz is falling in love with her. I imagine this experience has a permanent impact on Elena’s views on travel. I wonder what galactic family vacations will be like for the Bothari-Jesek clan.

Elli Quinn made her first appearance here, asking about benefits, and was burned in battle. She will require major reconstructive surgery. The Dendarii have captured Admiral Tung. We will be seeing more of both of them next week, when Miles proves that I was totally right about space-fighting.

Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer teaches history and reads a lot.

Twig-killing Bugs

Sep. 26th, 2016 01:02 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Two types of beetles cause whole twigs to fall off of trees.  Some cicadas have a similar effect.

[Linkspam] Monday, September 26

Sep. 26th, 2016 10:38 am
tim: A bright orange fish. (fish)
[personal profile] tim
'Ladies' Is Gender Neutral, by Alice Goldfuss (2016-09-15). "I hope this has opened some people’s eyes to what it feels like to be excluded, and how something so simple as a shirt that fits can make an impact."

My Childhood Was Appropriate For Children, by Annalee for The Bias (2016-09-23). "Bisexuality is perfectly appropriate for children, because many children are bisexual. Treating bisexuality as an ‘adult’ topic? As if it’s a deviation kids couldn’t possibly understand? That’s what’s not appropriate for children."

Valuing chronically ill graduate students, by Sarcozona for Tenure, She Wrote (2016-09-22). "None of my colleagues would ever say to me that they think I shouldn’t be a scientist or that chronically ill and disabled students should be barred from academia, but when there isn’t (adequate) funding for sick students, chronically ill students are effectively excluded from academia."

ADHD Tipping Points: Why people with ADHD suddenly seem to fall apart, and what you can do about it, by Emily Morson for Mosaic of Minds (2016-09-15). About why people with chronic illness (whether that illness is categorized as mental or physical) often seem to function normally up to a point, then fall apart during adulthood -- writte about ADHD, but I think it can apply just as well to C/PTSD and probably many other illnesses.

[CW: rape] Cockblocking Rapists Is A Moral Obligation; or, How To Stop Rape Right Now, by Thomas MacAulay Millar for Yes Means Yes (2013-10-20). Lots of good points in this, including the importance of noticing boundary-pushing, and this: "What can people do with unsubstantiated accusations? Quite a lot, actually."

Two pieces on the trash fire that is Out magazine's decision to profile professional harassment campaign organizer Milo Yiannopoulos:

Occupy Wall Street, five years on: fire in the dustbin of history, by Laurie Penny for the New Statesman (2016-09-17). 'Being on the left is, in some ways, an exercise in learning how to fail. Of course, all resistance movements eventually fail, because those which do not succeed in overhauling the existing order invariably become the existing order. Wilson, writing as Bey, reminds us that the Temporary Autonomous Zones are, by their nature, ephemeral. “Such moments of intensity give shape and meaning to the entirety of a life. You can't stay up on the roof forever — but things have changed, shifts and integrations have occurred — a difference is made.”'

Take the Cake: Fat Fury, Fat Love — Claiming 'Fat Space' In Activist Communities, by Virgie Tovar for Ravishly (2016-09-08). "I too feel intense pressure to be perpetually kind, patient, and educational whenever I write or speak about fat discrimination and body image. Often, I do genuinely feel kind and patient and educational. The problem is that when I don’t feel that way, I am expected to bypass feelings of anger or disappointment in favor of sublimation, with the idea being that this sublimation benefits me/all people (since I am a subset of all people)."

Why I Quit My Job To Live Off My Private Wealth, by Fiona Pearce for Reductress (2016-09-20). "Life is about choices, and you only get one life to live. The only way to take control of your destiny is to decide how you really want to spend your time—which is why I chose to quit my job and live off my vast personal fortune."
[syndicated profile] tordotcom_feed

Posted by Emily Asher-Perrin

stardust-movie

After the success of the 2015 Good Omens radio play and 2013’s Neverwhere, BBC Radio is in the process of adapting Neil Gaiman’s Stardust… and another Neverwhere-ish special feature.

Dirk Maggs, who directed both of the previous Gaiman radio plays will be back for Stardust, following the adventures of young Tristran Thorne and Yvaine–a fallen star that Tristran intends to bring back to his beloved. Set for a holiday time slot in December, the play will star Matthew Beard as Tristran and Sophie Rundle as Yvaine. BBC Radio 4 recently Tweeted this photo of the whole crew:

BBC Radio 4 Stardust cast

But that’s not all! If you can’t wait until December, another play will be coming in November; fans of Neverwhere will be pleased to hear that an adaptation of “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back” is also in the works. This is particularly exciting as Paterson Joseph–who played the Marquis de Carabas in the very first production of Neverwhere back in 1996–will reprise the role. The production is said to include surprise cameos, and will also feature Bernard Cribbins (Doctor Who) resuming his role as Old Bailey, which he played in the 2013 radio production. Here is a picture of the cast:

BBC Radio 4 "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" cast

You can take a peek at the official press release and cast breakdowns over on RadioTimes!

The Rains

Sep. 26th, 2016 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] tordotcom_feed

Posted by Gregg Hurwitz

the-rains

In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.

Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen—and Patrick’s birthday is only a few days away.

Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites—and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.

The Rains is the first young adult page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz—available October 18th from Tor Teen.

 

 

Entry 1

It was past midnight. I was still working in the barn when I heard the rolling door lurch open. I started and lost my grip on a block of hay. It tumbled off the baling hooks.

It was creepy out here with the wind whipping across the roof, fluttering loose shingles. Bits of hay strobed through the shafts of light from the dangling overheads, and the old beams groaned beneath the load of the loft. I was plenty tough, sure, but I was also a high-school sophomore and still got spooked more often than I’d want to admit.

I turned to the door, my fists clenched around the wooden handles of the baling hooks. Each hook is a wicked metal curve that protrudes about a foot from between the knuckles of my hand. The barn door, now open, looked out onto darkness. The wind lashed in, cutting through my jeans and flannel shirt, carrying a reek that overpowered the scent of hay. It smelled as if someone were cooking rotten flesh.

I clutched those baling hooks like a second-rate Wolverine, cleared my throat, and stepped toward the door, doing my best to deepen my voice. “Who’s there?”

Patrick swung into sight, his pump-action shotgun pointed at the floor. “Chance,” he said, “thank God you’re okay.”

My older brother’s broad chest rose and fell, his black cowboy hat seated back on his head. He’d been running, or he was scared.

But Patrick didn’t get scared.

“Of course I’m okay,” I said. “What are you talking about?” I let the baling hooks drop so they dangled around my wrists from the nylon loops on the handles. Covering my nose with a sleeve, I stepped outside. “What’s that smell?”

The wind was blowing west from McCafferty’s place or maybe even the Franklins’ beyond.

“I don’t know,” Patrick said. “But that’s the least of it. Come with me. Now.”

I turned to set down my gear on the pallet jack, but Patrick grabbed my shoulder.

“You might want to bring the hooks,” he said.

 

Entry 2

I should probably introduce myself at this point. My name is Chance Rain, and I’m fifteen. Fifteen in Creek’s Cause isn’t like fifteen in a lot of other places. We work hard here and start young. I can till a field and deliver a calf and drive a truck. I can work a bulldozer, break a mustang, and if you put me behind a hunting rifle, odds are I’ll bring home dinner.

I’m also really good at training dogs.

That’s what my aunt and uncle put me in charge of when they saw I was neither as strong nor as tough as my older brother.

No one was.

In the place where you’re from, Patrick would be the star quarterback or the homecoming king. Here we don’t have homecoming, but we do have the Harvest King, which Patrick won by a landslide. And of course his girlfriend, Alexandra, won Harvest Queen.

Alex with her hair the color of wheat and her wide smile and eyes like sea glass.

Patrick is seventeen, so Alex is between us in age, though I’m on the wrong end of that seesaw. Besides, to look at Patrick you wouldn’t think he was just two years older than me. Don’t get me wrong—years of field work have built me up pretty good, but at six-two, Patrick stands half a head taller than me and has grown-man strength. He wanted to stop wrestling me years ago, because there was never any question about the outcome, but I still wanted to try now and then.

Sometimes trying’s all you got.

It’s hard to remember now before the Dusting, but things were normal here once. Our town of three thousand had dances and graduations and weddings and funerals. Every summer a fair swept through, the carnies taking over the baseball diamond with their twirly-whirly rides and rigged games. When someone’s house got blown away in a tornado, people pitched in to help rebuild it. There were disputes and affairs, and every few years someone got shot hunting and had to get rushed to Stark Peak, the closest thing to a city around here, an hour and a half by car when the weather cooperated. We had a hospital in town, better than you’d think—we had to, what with the arms caught in threshers and ranch hands thrown from horses—but Stark Peak’s where you’d head if you needed brain surgery or your face put back together. Two years ago the three Braaten brothers took their mean streaks and a juiced-up Camaro on a joyride, and only one crawled out of the wreckage alive. You can bet Ben Braaten and his broken skull got hauled to Stark Peak in a hurry.

Our tiny town was behind on a lot. The whole valley didn’t get any cell-phone coverage. There was a rumor that AT&T was gonna come put in a tower, but what with our measly population they didn’t seem in a big hurry. Our parents said that made it peaceful here. I thought that made it boring, especially when compared to all the stuff we saw on TV. The hardest part was knowing there was a whole, vast world out there, far from us. Some kids left and went off to New York or La. to pursue big dreams, and I was always a bit envious, but I shook their hands and wished them well and meant it.

Patrick and I didn’t have the same choices as a lot of other kids.

When I was six and Patrick eight, our parents went to Stark Peak for their anniversary. From what we learned later, there was steak and red wine and maybe a few martinis, too. On their way to the theater, Dad ran an intersection and his trusty Chrysler got T-boned by a muni bus.

At the funeral the caskets had to stay closed, and I could only imagine what Mom and Dad looked like beneath those shiny maple lids. When Stark Peak PD released their personals, I waited until late at night, snuck downstairs, and snooped through them. The face of Dad’s beloved Timex was cracked. I ran my thumb across the picture on his driver’s license. Mom’s fancy black clutch purse reeked of lilac from her cracked-open perfume bottle. It was the smell of her, but too strong, sickly sweet, and it hit on memories buried in my chest, making them ring like the struck bars of a xylophone. When I opened the purse, a stream of pebbled windshield glass spilled out. Some of it was red.

Breathing the lilac air, I remember staring at those bloody bits scattered on the floorboards around my bare feet, all those pieces that could never be put back together. I blanked out after that, but I must have been crying, because the next thing I remember was Patrick appearing from nowhere, my face pressed to his arm when he hugged me, and his voice quiet in my ear: “I got it from here, little brother.”

I always felt safe when Patrick was there. I never once saw him cry after my parents died. It was like he ran the math in his head, calm and steady as always, and decided that one of us had to hold it together for both of us, and since he was the big brother, that responsibility fell to him.

Sue-Anne and Jim, my aunt and uncle, took us in. They lived just four miles away, but it was the beginning of a new life. Even though I wanted time to stay frozen like it was on Dad’s shattered Timex, it couldn’t, and so Patrick and I and Jim and Sue-Anne started over.

They didn’t have any kids, but they did the best they could. They tried their hardest to figure out teacher conferences and the Tooth Fairy and buying the right kind of toys at Christmas. They weren’t cut out to be parents but they did their damnedest, and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters. Patrick and I loved them for it, and they loved us right back.

That doesn’t mean my brother and I didn’t have to grow up in a hurry. There was plenty of work to be done around the ranch and more bellies to fill. Jim had a couple hundred heads of cattle, and he bred Rhodesian ridgebacks and shipped them off across the country as guard dogs at two thousand a pop. Sue-Anne made sure to have hot food on the table three times a day, and she read to us every night. I vanished into those stories—the Odyssey, Huck Finn, The Arabian Nights. As we got older, Patrick grew tired of it all, but I kept on, raiding the bookshelf, reading myself to sleep with a flashlight under the covers. I think I hid inside those fictional worlds because they kept me from thinking about how much I’d lost in the real one.

By his early teens, Patrick was clearly a force to be reckoned with. He and I didn’t look much alike—strangers were usually surprised to find out we were brothers. Not that I was ugly or weak or anything, but Patrick… well, he was Patrick. He got my dad’s wide shoulders and good looks, and he could ride herd and rope cattle alongside the best ranch hand, chewing a piece of straw and never breaking a sweat. The girls lost their mind over who got to wear his cowboy hat during lunchtime.

Until Alex. Then it was only her.

I didn’t like math so much, but I loved English and science. I didn’t have Patrick’s skills as a cattleman, but I wasn’t afraid of hard work. I was pretty good behind a hunting rifle, almost as good as Uncle Jim himself, but the one thing I was better at than anyone was raising those puppies. Ridgebacks are lion hunters from Africa, the most fearless and loyal creatures you’ll ever meet. Whenever we had a new litter, I’d play with the pups, training them up from day one. By the time they hit two months, they’d follow me anywhere, and by the time they were half a year old, I could put them on a sit-stay and they wouldn’t move if you tried to drag them from their spot. It was hard fitting in all the work around school, but somehow I managed, and if there’s one thing Dad taught me, it’s that the Rains don’t complain.

When it came time to stack the hay, Patrick always finished his part early and offered to help me on my share, but I made sure I finished it myself. Even if it was at the end of a long day. Even if it meant I had to stay up past midnight, working alone in the barn.

Which was what I was doing after the Dusting, the first time I’d seen Patrick nervous for as far back as my memory could stretch.

Considering everything that had been going on lately, I couldn’t blame him.

But hang on. Let me start where it makes sense, one week ago. Not that any of it makes sense, but if I lay out some of what I learned later, maybe you’ll be able to keep up.

I do need you to keep up.

Your life depends on it.

 

Entry 3

It began with a hard, slanting rain. And soon there was fire, too, but it wasn’t fire. Not really. It was the pieces of Asteroid 9918 Darwinia breaking up above Earth, flaming as they entered the atmosphere.

It exploded twenty-four kilometers up, a bright flash that turned night into day. There was a boom above Creek’s Cause and a wave of heat that evaporated the drops right out of the air. Jack Kaner’s garret win dow blew out, and the rickety shed behind Grandpa Donovan’s house fell over. The surge of warmth dried the pastures and the irrigated soil.

Fist-size fragments kicked up the powdered dirt in the field lying fallow behind Hank McCafferty’s place, embedding themselves deep below the earth. A late winter had pushed back harvest, and so the fields were still full. McCafferty had been working sweet corn and barley through the fall, but this one empty plot, depleted by a recent planting, had been layered with manure to set up a double crop of alfalfa and oats for the next summer.

The soil was rich, primed for roots to take hold.

Or something else.

One of the meteorites struck Pollywog Lake at the base of the rocky ridge and burned off a foot of water. Another rocketed straight through Grandpa Donovan’s cow, leaving a Frisbee-width channel through the meat as clean as a drill. The cow staggered halfway across the marshy back meadow before realizing it was dead and falling over. The coyotes ate well that night.

We came out of our farmhouses and ranch homes, stared at the sky in puzzlement, then went back inside, finishing the dinner dishes, watching TV, getting ready for bed. Living in a land of tornadoes and deadly storms, we were used to Mother Earth’s moods.

We’d learn soon enough that Mother Earth had nothing to do with this.

Creek’s Cause was originally called Craik’s Cause, after James Craik, George Washington’s personal physician. Sometime in the early 1800s, someone screwed up transcribing a map, and the wrong name took hold. But to this day we shared a pride in the purpose for which our town was named. After all, Craik had kept Washington healthy through the Revolutionary War and the following years, remaining at the first president’s side until he finally died on that damp December night.

Standing there in the sudden heat of the night air, blinking against the afterimpressions of those bursts of flame in the sky, we couldn’t have known that more than two hundred years later the opening salvo of a new revolutionary war had been fired.

And that my brother and I would find ourselves on the front lines.

The rains continued through the night, pounding the earth, turning our roofs into waterfalls. At the edge of town, Hogan’s Creek overflowed its banks, drowning the Widow Latrell’s snow peas until minnows swam shimmering figure eights through the vines.

Since McCafferty’s farm was on higher ground, his crops weren’t deluged. Narrow, bright green shoots poked up from the moist soil of his fallow field, thickening into stalks by the third day. At the top of each was a small bud encased in a leafy sheath. McCafferty lifted his trucker’s cap to scratch his head at them, vowing to borrow Charles Franklin’s undercutter to tear those strange-looking weeds from his land, but Franklin was not a generous man, and besides, there was corn to harvest, and so it waited another day and then another.

The rains finally stopped, but the stalks kept growing. The townsfolk went to check out the crazy growths rising from the soil where the meteorites had blazed deep into the ground. Patrick and I even stopped by one day after school to join the gawkers. By the end of the workweek, the stalks were taller than Hank himself. On the seventh day they towered over ten feet.

And then they died.

Just like that, they turned brittle and brown. The pods, which had grown to the size of corncobs, seemed to wither.

Some of the neighbors stood around, spitting tobacco into the dirt and saying it was indeed the damnedest thing, but there was nothing to do until McCafferty finished his harvest and tamped down his pride enough to ask Franklin for the loan of that undercutter.

McCafferty was at the bottle that night again after dinner. I can picture the scene like I was there—him in his rickety rocker on his rickety porch, the cool night filled with the sweet-rot smell of old wood. He had put his true love in the ground three summers ago, and you could see the grief in the creases of his face. His newer, younger wife fought like hell with his two kids, turning his house into a battleground, and he hid in the fields by day and in the bars by night. On this night he was rocking and sipping, letting a sweet bourbon burn away memories of his dear departed Lucille, when over the sound of the nightly bedtime squabble upstairs he heard a faint popping noise.

At first he probably thought it was a clearing of his ears or the drink playing tricks on him. Then it came again, riding the breeze from the fields, a gentle popping like feather pillows ripping open.

A moment later he tasted a bitter dust coating his mouth. He spit a gob over the railing, reached through his screen door, grabbed his shotgun, and lumbered down the steps toward the fields. From an upstairs window, his son watched the powerful beam of a flashlight zigzag across the ground, carving up the darkness.

The bitter taste grew stronger in McCafferty’s mouth, as if a waft of pollen had thickened the air. He reached the brink of his fallow field, and what he saw brought him up short, his mouth gaping, his boots sinking in the soft mud.

A dried-out pod imploded, releasing a puff of tiny particles into the air. And then the seven-foot stalk beneath it collapsed, disintegrating into a heap of dust above the soil. He watched as the neighboring pod burst, its stalk crumbling into nothingness. And then the next. And the next. It was like a haunted-house trick—a ghost vanishing, leaving only a sheet fluttering to the ground. The weeds collapsed, row after row, sinking down into the earth they’d mysteriously appeared from.

At last the pollen grew too strong, and he coughed into a fist and headed back to his bottle, hoping the bourbon would clear his throat.

Early the next morning, McCafferty awoke and threw off the sheets. His belly was distended. Not ribs-and-coleslaw-ata-Fourth-of-July-party swollen, but bulging like a pregnant woman five months in. His wife stirred at his side, pulling the pillow over her head. Ignoring the cramps, he trudged to the closet and dressed as he did every morning. The overalls stretched across his bulging gut, but he managed to wiggle them up and snap the straps into place. He had work to do, and the hired hands weren’t gonna pay themselves.

As the sun climbed the sky, the pain in his stomach worsened. He sat on the motionless tractor, mopping his forehead. He could still taste that bitter pollen, feel it in the lining of his gut, even sense it creeping up the back of his throat into his head.

He knocked off early, a luxury he had not indulged in since his wedding day, and dragged himself upstairs and into a cold shower. His bloated stomach pushed out so far that his arms could barely encircle it. Streaks fissured the skin on his sides just like the stretch marks that had appeared at Lucille’s hips during her pregnancies. The cramping came constantly now, throbbing knots of pain.

The water beat at him, and he felt himself grow foggy. He leaned against the wall of the shower stall, his vision smearing the tiles, and he sensed that pollen in his skull, burrowing into his brain.

He remembered nothing else.

He did not remember stepping from the shower.

Or his wife calling up to him that dinner was on the table.

Or the screams of his children as he descended naked to the first floor, the added weight of his belly creaking each stair.

He couldn’t hear his wife shouting, asking what was wrong, was he in pain, that they had to get him to a doctor.

He was unaware as he stumbled out into the night and scanned the dusk-dimmed horizon, searching out the highest point.

The water tower at the edge of Franklin’s land.

Without thought or sensation, McCafferty ambled across the fields, walking straight over crops, husks cutting at his legs and arms, sticks stabbing his bare feet. By the time he reached the tower, his ribboned skin was leaving a trail of blood in his wake.

With nicked-up limbs, he pulled himself off the ground and onto the ladder. He made his painstaking ascent. From time to time, a blood-slick hand or a tattered foot slipped from a rung, but he kept on until he reached the top.

He crawled to the middle of the giant tank’s roof, his elbows and knees knocking the metal, sending out deep echoes. And then he rolled onto his back, pointing that giant belly at the moon. His eyes remained dark, unseeing.

His chest heaved and heaved and then was still.

For a long time, he lay there, motionless.

There came a churning sound from deep within his gut. It grew louder and louder.

And then his body split open.

The massive pod of his gut simply erupted, sending up a cloud of fine, red-tinted particles. They rose into the wind, scattering through the air, riding the current toward his house and the town beyond.

What happened to Hank McCafferty was terrible.

What was coming for us was far, far worse.

Excerpted from The Rains © Gregg Hurwitz, 2016

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Posted by Tor.com

British Fantasy Award winners 2016

The British Fantasy Society has announced the winners of the 2016 British Fantasy Award. Winners were announced on Sunday, September 25, at the awards banquet at Fantasycon by the Sea 2016 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

You can read the full list below, with winners in bold.

Best Anthology

  • The Doll Collection, ed. Ellen Datlow (Tor Books)
  • African Monsters, ed. Margrét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books)
  • Aickman’s Heirs, ed. Simon Strantzas (Undertow Publications)
  • Best British Horror 2015, ed. Johnny Mains (Salt Publishing)
  • The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories, ed. Mark Morris (Spectral Press)

Best Artist

  • Julie Dillon
  • Ben Baldwin
  • Vincent Chong
  • Evelinn Enoksen
  • Sarah Anne Langton
  • Jeffrey Alan Love

Best Collection

  • Ghost Summer: Stories, Tananarive Due (Prime Books)
  • Monsters, Paul Kane (The Alchemy Press)
  • Probably Monsters, Ray Cluley (ChiZine Publications)
  • Scar City, Joel Lane (Eibonvale Press)
  • Skein and Bone, V.H. Leslie (Undertow Publications)
  • The Stars Seem So Far Away, Margrét Helgadóttir (Fox Spirit Books)

Best Comic/Graphic Novel

  • Bitch Planet, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV and Cris Peter (Image Comics) (#2–5)
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why, G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt and Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
  • Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
  • Red Sonja, Gail Simone and Walter Geovani (Dynamite Entertainment) (#14–18)
  • Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics) (#25–32)
  • The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman, J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart (Vertigo)

Best Fantasy Novel (Robert Holdstock Award)

  • Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Macmillan)
  • Guns of the Dawn, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)
  • Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (HarperVoyager)
  • The Iron Ghost, Jen Williams (Headline)
  • Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris)
  • Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (Macmillan)

Best Film/Television Production

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Peter Harness (BBC One)
  • Inside No. 9: The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton (BBC Two)
  • Jessica Jones: “AKA WWJD?”, Scott Reynolds (Netflix)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris (Warner Bros. Pictures et al.)
  • Midwinter of the Spirit, Stephen Volk (ITV Studios)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt (Lucasfilm et al.)

Best Horror Novel (August Derleth Award)

  • Rawblood, Catriona Ward (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • A Cold Silence, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • The Death House, Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
  • Lost Girl, Adam Nevill (Pan Books)
  • The Silence, Tim Lebbon (Titan Books)
  • Welcome to Night Vale, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (Orbit)

Best Independent Press

  • Angry Robot (Marc Gascoigne)
  • The Alchemy Press (Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards)
  • Fox Spirit Books (Adele Wearing)
  • Newcon Press (Ian Whates)

Best Magazine/Periodical

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. Scott H. Andrews (Firkin Press)
  • Black Static, ed. Andy Cox (TTA Press)
  • Holdfast Magazine, ed. Laurel Sills and Lucy Smee (Laurel Sills and Lucy Smee)
  • Interzone, ed. Andy Cox (TTA Press)
  • Strange Horizons, ed. Niall Harrison (Strange Horizons)

Best Newcomer (Sydney J. Bounds Award)

  • Zen Cho, for Sorcerer to the Crown (Macmillan)
  • Becky Chambers, for The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Peter Newman, for The Vagrant (HarperVoyager)
  • Steven Poore, for The Heir to the North (Kristell Ink)
  • Marc Turner, for When the Heavens Fall (Titan Books)

Best Nonfiction

  • Letters to Tiptree, ed. Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History, ed. Stephen Jones (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books)
  • Fantasy-Faction, ed. Marc Aplin and Jennie Ivins (Fantasy-Faction)
  • Ginger Nuts of Horror, ed. Jim Mcleod (Jim McLeod)
  • King for a Year, ed. Mark West (Mark West)
  • Matrilines, Kari Sperring (Strange Horizons)

Best Novella

  • The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn,” Usman T. Malik (Tor.com)
  • Albion Fay, Mark Morris (Spectral Press*)
  • Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Bureau of Them, Cate Gardner (Spectral Press*)
  • Witches of Lytchford, Paul Cornell (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Short Fiction

  • Fabulous Beasts,” Priya Sharma (Tor.com)
  • “The Blue Room,” V.H. Leslie (Skein and Bone)
  • “Dirt Land,” Ralph Robert Moore (Black Static #49)
  • “Hippocampus,” Adam Nevill (Terror Tales of the Ocean)
  • “Strange Creation,” Frances Kay (Tenebris Nyxies)
  • “When The Moon Man Knocks,” Cate Gardner (Black Static #48)

* now published by Snowbooks

Several of the winners shared their reactions on social media. Usman T. Malik posted a heartfelt response to the win on his Facebook page:

I didn’t get a chance to note here that some of the best writers in the world were on the BFA ballot. Mark Morris (I read his novel “Toadie” in one electricty-less night in Wadee Neelam when I was 13 years old and loved it) was my peer and competitor in my category. That is so surreal. So were Cate Gardner, brilliant writer and wonderful person whom I’m thrilled to call a friend; Nnedi Okorafor whose novel “Who Fears Death” is an enchanting and fearsome beast I consumed in 2 weeks of commuting between Gainesville and Orlando; and Paul Cornell, another spellbinding storyteller. I would have been honored to lose to any of them and you should buy their books and devour them as quickly as you can.

Congrats again to the winners and finalists. Thanks, Ellen [Datlow], for taking this story and making me polish it to a shine. Thank you again, Vince [Haig], for agreeing to accept the award on my behalf and for sending me this lovely picture. And thanks, all, for continuing to supports writers and artists. We need your eyes and your love.

The Twitter account for Gollancz Fest Writers snapped this photo of Best Newcomer Zen Cho accepting her award…

Zen Cho British Fantasy Award Best Newcomer Sorcerer to the Crown

…with Cho offering her own context on Twitter:

And Ellen Datlow responded to the win both by tweeting

…and by posting this rather appropriate photo to Facebook, with the caption “My dolls approve!”

Ellen Datlow The Doll Collection British Fantasy Awards winner best anthology 2016

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[personal profile] rakasha
via http://ift.tt/2du3mYx:
the-haziest-pony:

the-great-and-powerful-satsuki:

mayormccheese:

goluxexmachina:

the-great-and-powerful-satsuki:

My friend sent me this after she won 3000 dollars off a scratch off. Reblog so that you can have good luck too

that’s a lot of dollars

IT WORKES I GOT PAID THREE DAYS EARLY

THAT’S FUCKING AWESOME

Pleeeeeease he needs the new laptop

A couple of link-things!

Sep. 26th, 2016 12:36 pm
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[personal profile] newredshoes
New piece up on [wordpress.com profile] screwballheroine: "Let's Go Visit the Swans." This is about animals and memory and continuity. It's also about my mom, and it's also about getting outside yourself again. Dogs are dopey and great. I like the pictures in this. Hope you enjoy.

If you're desperately trying to avoid thinking about the presidential debates tonight, so am I! I've got some coping strategies available at my RealName.com, as well as interesting links about architecture, Ralph Nader and pockets.

Also, if you can see it, I wrote some pretty personal stuff yesterday and would actually love to talk it through with anyone who's up for it.

Finally, I discovered [etsy.com profile] ParlorTattooPrints last night, and I just want so many of them for my walls. I don't know if I'm settled/un-skittish enough for a tattoo myself (yet), but I love flash-style art, and the lovers, the melancholic flapper, the female boxer, the sailor's girl, ugh there's just something so alive and intriguing about this artist. There are a bunch of other very cool prints, including daemon-like portraits with corvids, a bunch of Sailor Jerry-style takes on classic horror movies and a whole series of fancy barbers. (I found some other good finds and shared them last night on [twitter.com profile] magpiewhale, if you dig majorette uniforms, spiderweb cardigans and pins of the witches from Hocus Pocus. &halloween;!)

Art I did for Fandom Giftbox

Sep. 26th, 2016 11:26 am
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[personal profile] telophase
Here's the art I did for Fandom Giftbox...

Lacernella Rubra
Little Red Riding Hood
Read more... )

Maker's Breath, not again
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Cullen/F!Lavellan
Mildly NSFW for implications
Read more... )

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November 2014

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YOU NEED A BOOK

A POEM EVERY DAY

The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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