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Posted by Carrie S

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Alex + Ada: The Complete Collection

by Jonathan Luna
November 16, 2016 · Image
Comic

Alex + Ada is a series of three graphic novels by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn. The series is a love story between a man named Alex and an android named Ada. Over the course of the story, there are many parallels with past and current civil rights movements, as well as explorations of how, specifically, a rights movement for sapient androids might play out. It’s a tender, sweet story with moments of horror and tragedy but also with a truly enduring and endearing romance.

Alex is mooning over his ex-fiancée when his grandmother decides to get him an android companion. Alex’s grandmother, who is a constant source of comic relief, expresses great and uncomfortably explicit delight with regard to the success of her own android, Daniel. One day Alex comes home and finds a surprise from Grandma – an android named Ada.

Alex is quite creeped out by Ada’s complete lack of agency or interest in anything other than whatever he orders her to seem interested in. He is polite to her but can’t figure out how to interact with her (and no, he doesn’t have sex with her). Alex finds an online forum about android rights and learns that androids were built with the ability to be sentient, but have had that ability locked away. Unlocking an android is a difficult and illegal task but a person in the forum offers to unlock Ada. Ada would be a fully conscious person albeit still in an android body.

From this point on, Ada has agency and more of the story is told from her point of view. Unfortunately, unlocking a sentient is extremely illegal, as is simply being a sentient robot. Alex and Ada try being friends and try being lovers, while they also figure out what their lives can be like as a couple and individually given that Ada’s sentient state has to remain a secret.

Ada and Alex almost kissing

The art in Alex + Ada is very simple, but I thought it fit the story. There’s no panel tricks here – everything is drawn inside uniform rectangles and the color palette is subdued. This allows the focus to remain on faces. Even when Ada is standing still and not speaking, it’s easy to tell when she is sentient and when she is not.

The focus of the story is very much on Alex and Ada, but I loved the side characters as well. The only problem is that the more villainous characters are too one-sided whereas the more sympathetic characters are either allowed more complexity or are simply more pleasant to be around. There are multiple examples of healthy, happy relationships that involve a variety of races, ages, gender preferences, and human or non-human statuses. I’m especially fond of a character with a prosthetic leg who wants to upgrade and hang his older prosthetic leg on the wall. His wife is generally supportive, but in an aside to Ada whispers, “That’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.”

robot love. The older model robot lacks certain parts but, says his lover, is very good with his hands. The robot says I can vibrate.
Tee hee hee

This isn’t a very complex story and it doesn’t say anything we haven’t heard before about what makes a person a person. It’s also pretty brief and could use more elaboration about the world and other characters.

However, its very simplicity makes it emotionally focused. While everyone in the story is worried about society and the place of sentient robots and whether sentient robots will kill people and how to catch them, Alex and Ada just want to live their lives together. The story is affecting because of the relationship between Alex and Ada, and between their friends. There’s tough going at the end of the story but it ends on an optimistic note, with Alex and Ada poised to be the slightly boring suburban couple they always wanted to be.

staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I just went through a new Elizabeth Wein book in 24 hours flat. *glows* The Pearl Thief is set in 1938 and features a fifteen-year-old, bisexual-as-fuck Julie Beaufort-Stuart.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S1

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:15 am
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
Actually took me a bit to watch this because in between, first the Dragon inhaled Voltron: Legendary Defender, and then Joe (who had apparently seen the original Voltron?) watched out of curiosity and got sucked in and inhaled Voltron: Legendary Defender, and he WOULD NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT until I watched it, and then I got sucked in and inhaled it in like four days and NOW I WANT MORE. But that's another post for another night.

cut for spoilers )

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:10 am
masakochan: (Default)
[personal profile] masakochan
Massive spoilers under the cut )

Non-spoiler summary: Aside from a few major FUCKING minor quibbles- it's an okay sequel, but I still like the 1st movie way more.

[personal profile] archangelbeth on cats

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:19 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Cats can reproduce by budding. Make sure to dispose of all brushed fur properly.

Context needs to comb her cat more often.

New shingle color selected

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:43 am
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
The colors available were: Slightly Browner Than Current and Gray. I picked gray, because okay, the roof will be patchwork for a bit, but eventually we're gonna hafta re-do the whole thing, so it might as well match the siding better, and this way, it will be VERY easy for roofers to tell which parts need re-shingling in the future.

The roofing will happen over the weekend.

Kid is going to move into the front bedroom for the duration of the roofing.

Friskie went to the vet today, and has some severely ulcerated gums! Which were fine last visit! But no, they are not fine. So she will get tooth cleaning, hopefully no removals (but possible), and I am feeding her powder to help with the tooth cleany bit. She hates it. I shook it all up on her food and nooooooo yucky powderfood ewwwww. But she will eat most of it when she is hungry.

Flicker gobbles it up because she is a glutton. Percy eats it fine because he can't smell anything. Dickens stares at it and then at me, looking BETRAYED, till I give him some plain food as well.

If you play STO, be sure to log on to get the Discovery uniform. It's pretty snazzy looking. (Elbow wrinkles in the top! Very impressive.)

Havva Quote
C_______ stares at textbook.
C_______ says, “Talking about risk response strategies.”
C_______ says, “Avoid - change the project such that the risk isn't even applicable. Mitigate - take steps to reduce the probability or impact of the risk (add more testing, more redundancy, etc.). Transfer - farm the risk out to someone else (buy insurance, warranties, etc.).”
---------------------Quoted by C_______---------------------
"A response to certain risks such as fire, property damage, or personal injury (i.e. pure risks) is to purchase insurance."
------------------------------------------------------------
C_______ says, “ONE WOULD HOPE YOU'RE DOING SOME AVOIDING AND MITIGATING AS WELL.”
--from the MUSH. And, indeed, one would hope.


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
umadoshi: (Tohru & the pretty boys (flamika))
[personal profile] umadoshi
We have a window in our bathroom! (A skylight, technically, since the exterior bathroom wall slopes outward and is shingled.) Except I have yet to see the window, because it's on the front of the house and I came in through the back door when coming home tonight, and there's still a bathroom wall between the room and the window/exterior wall. Getting the actual window in was the only time-/weather-sensitive part, and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and the contractor agreed that the drywall would stay intact for now. (I wasn't here for the discussion, so I don't actually know if that's because [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I haven't finalized what we're doing with that part of the room (the extra floor space we could gain by removing the existing interior wall and just having the sloped wall), or because of time constraints, or because that's just not being part of what that contracting company does...? *shrugs* But we have a window.

K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."

In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)

I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.

*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.

The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-

So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.

9/22/2017 Point Reyes

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:50 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
I left Berkeley at 7 am with U and MF for a long and excellent day at Point Reyes. We stopped briefly at Park Headquarters, where we saw several large coveys of quail, a song sparrow that stumped us because it hadn't gotten its song together properly yet, dark-eyed junco, Brewer's blackbirds, and a bobcat that apparently has been hanging around the picnic area for several days. Kind of worrying for the animal. Next brief stop was where Sir Francis Blvd crosses the northern end of Drake's Estero. There we saw great egret, song sparrow, Savannah sparrow, several red-tails, what were probably a couple of Say's phoebes and heard, off in the distance, greater yellow-legs and clapper/Ridgway's rail. Then it was on to the first really cool spot, the old RCA site, labeled on google maps as the Cypress Tunnel, a long avenue of tall, old cypress trees that leads to a more open area with a few buildings, varied vegetation, and usually fabulous birding. Tragically someone had turned off the water leak and torn out all the vegetation around it that used to be an amazing draw for migrant birds, even a swamp sparrow one winter, but despite this misstep we had a great time there. Four warblers! Birds of the RCA site: )

Next stop was the Fish Docks, where I got a fifth warbler and a few other species. Birds of the Fish Docks: ) Bird of the day was here, a broad-winged hawk on migration.

There were other things up in the cypress but I could not pull them out. And of course we could see, and often hear, the elephant seals hauled out in Drake's Bay. We then went out to the lighthouse, where we saw the local peregrine, some cliff swallows, sundry sea birds (pos Brandt's cormorants) from a great height, and a few humpback whales. It was after 2 pm when we finally ate lunch at Drake's Beach beside a bank of willows from which we heard Bewick's wren, wrentit, song sparrow, California scrub jay, a Steller's jay faking a red-tail badly and, just before we left, presumably from the marsh behind the willows, a Virginia rail. Additional species seen along the road were Canada geese, wild turkey, tri-color and red-winged blackbirds in amongst the dairy herds, a Cooper's hawk, many red-tails, and an American kestrel. Somewhere we heard killdeer. Also saw deer and coyotes, but no elk.

Winter is over

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:01 am
ironed_orchid: "axial tilt is the reason for the season" (axial tilt)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
At least until next time.

This winter really kicked my arse. I had colds and flu three times (April, July, and August). And generally struggled with energy and motivation.

As of today I am taking a week of annual leave, and the only thing I need to do today is be awake and at home during the hour my groceries are scheduled to get delivered. This is a good amount of responsibility to have.

Over the next 9 days I want to do the following 3 things:

1. Take laptop in for repairs
2. Book and have an appointment with osteopath
3. Spend a night at my dad's.

Also do some chores around the house, but not to spend more than 2 hours a day on them.

Also finish The Stone Sky and start on The Shepard's Crown.

Also some Ingressing if the weather is nice.

Also lots of naps.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:05 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I didn't remember this remark at all.

Alex: “I just never cared much for things."
Evan: "I know. And it shows. I think these rich people, some of them anyway, find it intriguing."
Alex: "Most of them find it annoying. I know my mother always did."
Evan: "I think it's honest."
Alex: "Yeah?"
Evan: "At least you never pretend. I never realized how much difference that could make. I'd go out with you.”

...Really! Under what circumstances, I wonder?

Yuri/Otabek fic recs, part two

Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:36 pm
ignaz: icon by me, art by anne taintor (Default)
[personal profile] ignaz

GET YURIO LAID! He’s a very good boy and he’s had a very tough year. This is all healthy, life-affirming porn here:

[less than three] - angelsaves

Explicit, 1570 words. Texting turns into flirting turns into sexting. Cringingly realistic depiction of teenage awkwardness and nervous excitement, and so funny (and so, so hot). Comes with a smutty sequel, [eggplant emoji].

The picture comes out pretty good, Yuri decides, slapping a filter on it and sending it before he gets cold feet. He'd do himself, probably. Maybe Otabek would do him too.

He puts his shirt back on and buries his face in the pillow. Ugh, feelings. They're the worst. Why does Otabek have to have that serious, cute, seriously cute face, and that ass? Why does his opinion have to matter so much to Yuri?

When his phone dings, Yuri has to take some deep cleansing breaths before he can look at it. But when he does --

holy shit. I want to make you look like that

a slow invasion of the heart - radialarch

Mature, 5007 words. Another long-distance phone sex fic, in an alternate timeline where Yuri doesn’t medal at the GPF, and Otabek does. Achingly lovely.

After that, Otabek starts sending Yuri more pictures of himself. Shots at the rink; a video clip, short and shaky, of him not quite landing a quad Lutz. In front of a Tim Hortons, making a face at a cup of coffee while two girls laugh at him. That one, Otabek captions, don’t worry, they’re dating each other. Yuri sends back do you think you’re funny, and, because words alone cannot capture the depth of his disdain, refuses to answer Otabek’s messages for three days.

He doesn’t send back pictures often. Otabek follows him on Instagram, anyway, and it seems like admitting something to take photographs just for him. So he mostly just talks: short, idle thoughts he drops into the ether. What’s Canada’s deal with this Tim Horton guy. Beat Georgi at nationals. Do you like cats.

i walk my days on a wire - idrilka

Explicit, 14526 words. More long-distance fic, in which Yuri keeps dropping hints. Suuuuper hot, and also comes with a deliciously dirty sequel, you catch on like a bonfire.

Otabek looks at the clock; it’s past two a.m. in Saint Petersburg. He had no idea they’ve been talking this long.

“Do you wanna—” Yuri starts at the same time as Otabek says, “Are you planning on staying upright tomorrow in practice? Because that might be a problem if we keep this up.”

Yuri snorts unattractively. “Please, I could keep myself upright in my sleep. My balance is amazing.”

Otabek remembers the wide-eyed, bird-boned boy, executing a perfect arabesque so effortlessly it almost made him cry, the shame of his own inadequacy burning in his throat.

Of course.

Cures for Burning - stutter

Explicit, 15485 words. Three years on, Yuri is living with Victor and Yuuri when he confesses something to Otabek. Gorgeous pining, flawless characterization, and one of my favorite Yuuri+Yurio scenes EVER:

Katsuki watches him carefully. “Teach you,” he repeats, like a statement rather than a question.

“Yes. How to…how to do that. Everything you know.” Yuri swallows, and then reaches out and rests a couple of fingers on Katsuki’s knee. Those big, dark eyes go wide suddenly, as he realizes what Yuri means.

To his credit, Katsuki a couple of years ago would have probably jumped a foot in the air, screamed, left a pig-shaped hole in the farthest wall in his haste to get away. But he's changed since coming to Saint Petersburg. He's more relaxed, smiles more, makes more stupid jokes. Even so, he draws in a long, unsteady inhale, and says quietly, “Oh, Yurio, no.”

Welcome to the Friendzone - mischiefmanager and Jillian_Bowes

Explicit, 10456 words. Otabek is clueless, so Yuri decides to make his meaning clear by taking Otabek “on the date of a lifetime … He’s going to date the shit out of Otabek.” Funny and awkward!

“Are you actually going to eat any of that?” Otabek asks when Yuri buys a large popcorn, Milk Duds, an Icee with every flavor, and a questionable-looking hotdog.

“I’m going to eat all of this,” Yuri says. “In about thirty seconds. As soon as we sit down.”

They find their seats. Otabek moves to push the armrest between them down and before Yuri can even think about it, he backhands it into the upright position. The corners of Otabek’s mouth turn up very slightly, but he doesn’t say anything about it.

BONUS:

Mission D - Ren

General Audiences, 5799 words. Yuri and Otabek are dating, but Yuri hasn’t gotten laid yet. The gang attempts to help. No actual porn, but a hilarious ensemble fic, in which everyone is delightful.

v-nikiforov: The purpose of this chat is to get Yurio laid!

yuri-plisetsky has left the chat.

Go forth and shower these writers with praise!

vulgarweed: (cockcoin_by_slasheater)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
https://books.pronoun.com/journey-to-the-center-of-desire/

The latest Circlet Press anthology: our steamy tales based on the works of Jules Verne, and one of them by yours truly (as [personal profile] evadare_volney). $3.99 ebook from your fave retailers at the link.

Mine is based on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Established-relationship (kinky) Aronnax/Conseil, and a bargain struck with the passionate, insightful, and devious Captain Nemo which totally doesn't involve a steampunk tentacle fucking machine, oh wait yes it does..

All the other stories are incredibly good. Please consider a review at Amazon or Goodreads or whatnot if you read it and enjoy it.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:51 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I was updating Mint today. When I got back to the beginning of the year and saw the garage bill I was like, “What on Earth happened to my car in January?! ...Oh, right."

By the time I had listed all desired car repairs to my (awesome) mechanic, I had to finish with, "Oh, and the windshield is cracked all the way across; sorry about that. It's getting replaced tomorrow." He was like, "Wow, I hope everyone's okay." I just looked at him for a second before I realized he must think I'd been in an accident. "Oh," I said, "Yeah, it's fine. It happened while the car was parked in the driveway."

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:38 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Alex: “We should eat something. What do you feel like?"
Evan: "I... Whatever you want is fine with me."
Alex: "Well, what I want is for you to pick a place."
Evan: "Did you have anything specific in mind?"
Alex: "No. I want you to pick something you want. It's not rocket science, Evan. You do it all the time anyway."
Evan: "What do you mean by that?"
Alex: "You're always making the decision what to eat and when."
Evan: "That's because you get so busy you forget to take care of yourself. Someone has to."
Alex: "So you make decisions all the time. You're only getting angry now because I told you I wanted you to pick something you want, instead of something you think I want."
Evan: "I'm not angry. I just don't see the need to make such a distinction. If you want me to find a place for us to eat, that's fine. Why do you have to make a point about whether or not I want the same thing?"
Alex: "You know, you are the hardest person to be nice to sometimes."

--Kristine Williams, Madness
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