extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
I'm a Finnish fanficcer and University student. I write stuff occasionally. The best way to find my works is on AO3: [archiveofourown.org profile] ExtraPenguin . I also have a tumblr: [tumblr.com profile] extra-penguin. I can also be found as ExtraPenguin on #thegoblinemperor and #yuletide on SlashNET. I'm a he. (Probably.)

I mod the [community profile] space_swap and [community profile] coronationceremony exchanges as well as the past few iterations of the Bujold Fest.

Transformative works: I give blanket permission to remix, podfic, make fanart of, etc. any of my fics, provided that you list it as a related work on AO3 or otherwise make me aware of the result.

Main Fandoms For Which I've Produced Stuff:
Vorkosigan Saga (Lois McMaster Bujold)
The Goblin Emperor (Katherine Addison)
Honor Harrington series (David Weber)

I've also written the first english-language Yoko Tsuno fic on AO3 and some other one-off stuff. All of it's on AO3, even the stuff prompted and originally posted on Tumblr, DreamWidth, or #thegoblinemperor on SlashNET.

My fandoms are near-exclusively SF novels. Other interests include horses, feminism (in the non-Tumblr-SJW, non-academic way), symphonic metal, vicariously experiencing emotions via the rants of others, stroking my hateboners for some things, and writing origfic.

If I do socially step on your toes/kick you in the face, please tell me so that I can not repeat it. Asperger's means I missed all the social cue stuff growing up.

(Last edited: 15 Jul 2017)

fandoms, a nonexhaustive listing of sorts – awareness more than participation )
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extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
Shadow work: the reason why you're so exhausted. Essentially, in addition to whatever work one actually does, one is expected to be a cashier, gas station attendant, etc. in this era of tossing customer service responsibilities on the customer.

Stuff that's happened since last update: I have come out to my parents via e-mail. They were ... well, imagine a pair of clueless cishets trying to be supportive.

gender = confusing )

I finished my listen of Battle Beast's discography. Bringer of Pain has a new songwriting team, but the end result is similar (upbeat-ish power metal) and also good. I liked Straight to the Heart, King for a Day, Familiar Hell, and Dancing with the Beast. I have a slightly sore throat, and singing along to all of these probably hasn't helped. :P

Do people enjoy me reccing music to them? Who cares, I've got a Music Monday Meme tag, and everything there is a rec! Also collecting stuffs for next year's Jukebox, bit by bit.

Also, the original torus Earth.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
2. A song with a number in the title
Epica - The Second Stone
Currently, this song (lyrics) is giving me loads of trans feelings. For all my life, I've tried to act the girl/woman, and tried to drag the gender role with me into the (rather masculine) place where I exist. However, I can no longer bear the myriad small reminders that I do not belong. I can't wrap femininity and womanhood around my shoulders as a protective mantle of rising to the challenge and destroying from my path those who doubt my competence and ability. When I've been accidentally gendered as a man, my heart has leaped. I like the masculinity presented by etiquette manuals, both in manner and in dress. The template for femininity crushes my soul whenever it rears its ugly head.

I choose not to maintain the sweet fiction of I'm-just-an-average-girl. There is a me-shaped strand of masculinity almost in my grasp.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
1. A song with a color in the title
Schwarze Sonne, E Nomine.
Translation of lyrics into English.
I've no idea what it's "supposed" to be about, but trying to come up with relationships that fit it is an interesting exercise! The best I can come up with is "kid was conceived to bring down sperm donor daddy, is messed-up due to being raised as a weapon", which is certainly an idea that someone somewhere should write.

complete list )
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
Things I should do: Read more of the Hugos stuff. At least the novellas, gdi. Install Tinder and try to find a date.

Things I have done:

Gone through Seta's site, reading all the stuff. A lot of the Finnish-language terminology is either cringeworthy or actually in English, but there is something to be said for "you exist, you're allowed to exist" being said in Finnish. There's a place for you here. I should probably go attend a meeting or something/get sort of involved with the community, but I am a socially anxious misanthrope. I need backup.

Relatedly, this Tumblr convo on bisexuality and "passing privilege", and how it results in life sucking for bi people even more.

Also, prosthetics as augmentation, rather than replacement.

I went through Battle Beast's third album, Unholy Savior, and in the realm of upbeat power metal, I rec I Want the World … and Everything in It, Far Far Away, and Push it to the Limit.
On a semi-related note, I tend to interpret songs as being all F/F, even if there's a mention of a dude. I Want the World? Totally a thing a woman'd belt to her girlfriend! Covered by Roses? The most femslashy anthem of ever! No, I have no idea where these associations came from. Perhaps just being bored by het + female singer? Ah well.

I have yet to wash my hair since Wednesday (I'll do that this evening) but it seems that the color's already fading slightly just from wear. On the one hand, I knew that with my slippery-smooth, untreated hair, the number of washes I'd get would be 5 at most, rather than the advertised 5 to 10. On the other, I'm a bit sad, since I liked the color. On the gripping hand, I get to do more hair dye experiments soon?
extrapenguin: (honor)
I've taken to reading self-improvement stuff lately. The Centre for Clinical Interventions has some self-help information packs/modules. I've been reading through the self-esteem one and finding it insightful in the best way: "Here's some stuff you already sort of knew, except contextualized slightly differently. Also, explanations for why the things you do that help, work, and some additional things that help." In the same vein, The Art of Manliness has a series on resilience that covers a lot of the same stuff, but from a more self-improvement angle. (As a tangent, I prefer the Advice For Men over Advice For Women, since the For Men is more gruff self-improvement, whilst the For Women stuff tends towards the neurotic, and I would rather encourage the gruff I-can-do-this-if-I-try attitude within me than the neurotic this-will-be-hard one.)

One of the things I've learned (via Resiliency, pt III) is that feeling in control – even of a houseplant! – will improve one's life. Now, the hair dye discussion over at the good ol' TGE chatroom had already gotten me in the mood for trying some hair dye, so, a tube of L'Oréal Colorista Washout in Aqua later, my hair has some teal-ish stripes. I am satisfied: I have visibly changed the universe. I have interacted with matter!

As for the actual dyeing procedure, my hair is waist-length and thick. Getting all of it would've required at least 4 tubes of the dye – rather pricey for 5 to 10 washes (tubes are 7.45€ apiece here). I used to have light, golden brown hair, but the last hurrahs of puberty and spending less time in the sun have darkened it to what I would call a flat brown. (Too dark to be liver pâté/maantie, but most of y'all would still probably think I'm a blond.) As a result, the aqua/turquoise pigment is more teal green-looking, but it's still flattering imo. It's also quite subtle in places, though I chose the 20min setting time (as opposed to 15min) after spending half an hour squeezing out the hair dye cream thing.

In other news, I've also started to exercise more regularly. Just yesterday, I intended to run a small path beside a lake, then accidentally ran around the whole lake instead, oops. The scenery was very rewarding, though! Gender remains confusing, but apparently there's a local helpline. I'll call there the next time I'm having a bad evening. My job remains satisfying when there's actual things to do – one of the things the media doesn't tell you about is that an experimental scientist's job is mostly waiting for reactions to occur/things to pump/equipment to cool/measurements to finish/etc. I've also been reading Judith Tarr's SFF Equines series of posts on Tor. It's quite interesting, and reminds me of my horse days.

Also, this says Love your crooked neighbor with your crooked heart. W.H. Auden.
extrapenguin: The famous Earthrise photograph, cropped (moon)
This week, one of my roomie's friends stayed over. She's only just back from a period of student exchange abroad, and her rent contract begins today. (My roomie has been living out of town for summer, so as to be nearer to her summer job. Just me and Friend.)

Apparently, Roomie and Friend are childhood friends who still keep in touch and call each other semiregularly. Perhaps I moved too often to nourish and keep such friendships, but – in a way I like that I could shed my skin and form anew. I was certainly a bit of an oblivious idiot socially back when I was young.

My current batch of friends, I like enough to be friends with. Stay friends after graduation, perhaps – but with the eventual fragmentation of everyone to their more permanent living situations and then kids, I doubt I'll get to hang on to all of them. Like my previous friendships, these too shall whither. Like my previous friendships, these too have given and shall give me fond memories. Have we no love for transience? The cherry blossoms bloom for a week, and then are gone. No-one denies their beauty and the worth of seeing them.

Don't get me wrong, I do currently want to find a locus of stability and do the whole married-forever thing, but even things only experienced once are still worth experiencing.

I like Friend. As I type this, she slips out of my life forever. I am sad, yes, but I liked talking to her. I'll slot the experiences of enjoying her company with the rest of the people lost from me in time's mists.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
It's 2004, so probably out of date, but Andrew H. Knoll is good at writing.

Life on a Young Planet is nonfiction about Precambrian life on Earth! It had lots of interesting stuffs about bacteria and other micro-organisms, as well as weird Ediacaran life. The prose was also nice, and it clearly explained a lot of new stuff, like life preferring to use carbon-12, and thus the carbon-12/carbon-13 ratio being a useful measure of life's presence. It also explained shortly some blind alleys of thought, as well as why scientists went there.

All in all, a very intriguing "What" book on an interesting subject, with brief forays into and mentions of "Who", "How", and "Why", to give better texture. It's also given me a few ideas to toy with in origfic.

Additionally, [tumblr.com profile] shiftingpath gave what was maybe the best explanation of the appeal of exploration narratives ever in TGE chat. (Repeated small stories of tension and release in small adventures.) I am toying with it in the aforementioned origfic.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
Using Poem Line for Title as a prompt again, I got Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life, from Sarah Williams' The Old Astronomer.

I would not have called myself cold, but one of the things I've noticed since saying "Sayonara, sucker" to my ex is that I've rediscovered my joie de vivre. Life is fun, and happiness is nice. I no longer embrace the misery.

Work is nice. The best feeling ever is when one's been taught to do something new and then one is asked to do it independently without any great fanfare. Trust is the emotion I most like receiving.

Hugos reading has stalled. Oops.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
I have bought my first binder from gc2b. It's gray, tank-length, and will be here in 2 to 4 weeks. I used a discount code that's valid until the 23rd.

I am thrilled and terrified. How much longer shall I go "nothing to see here, move along"? (Forever. That's how long.) Will I ever try to make a statement or be a trans or indeed be anything but protective camouflage from society? Why is life so hard.

Also, soon enough it'll be the solstice, and then the nights'll get longer and maybe in July I'll be able to sleep.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
So, Jukebox author reveals have come and gone. My amazing gift, Trajectory was written by [personal profile] weakinteraction, whom I've been assigned to in a number of recent exchanges. (They have most excellent taste.) The story itself is 7k of science fiction of quality good enough to be in a Best Of anthology, and is ridiculously well tailored to poke at my "science fiction of vaguely thought experiment bent". Like, if you like Greg Egan, you'll probably like this.

Other stuff from the collection that I liked:
Doomed to Repeat, <1k, poetically written and about the cyclic nature of history
The Face In The Jar, <1k, compact and precise, on life after hope's death
Danse Macabre: Five Interviews from the 2013 Tarantella Epidemic, ~2k, hilarious interview-format fic from after the most innovative apocalypse I recall seeing
Saving Isobel, ~7k, a look at a dystopia of sorts where they're literally at war with nature
Or just read it all.

As for what I wrote, well, I wrote 4 things, all between 1k and 2k:

testing out Flamebyrd's Post to DW bookmarklet )
I've also started tagging all my "five-minute fandom" works with Original Works, after authors have been revealed. It's more for internal bookkeeping, but hey, why not?
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
I linked y'all to Poem Line For Title some time ago. Well, I decided that today I should try to come up with some writing, so off to my topic generator I went. My dataset gave me "But she was not made for any man", which is from Edna St. Vincent Millay's Witch-Wife.

The line crystallizes what I need before I can like a female character: she must exist for her own purpose, not be made as a prop for a male character. Indeed, I'd rather insert in a female OC than try to salvage what little undreadful there might be from those love interests who exist only because the dude needed a love interest. That's why a lot of Tumblr-style objections to people writing about male characters fall flat: I want interesting characters who happen to be women, whereas the thought seems to be that I should find characters interesting because they are women. (Now, some character types and tropes I have a greater tolerance for if the genderedness is reversed, but that's more novelty value than anything.) Additionally, the character traits I like and identify with and admire and grok tend to be given to men, since men are ~logical~ and other cultural BS.

On the subject of women without men and characters I grok, I won Jukebox with an amazing gift: Trajectory is T-rated femslash – indeed, over 7k of it – with such wonderous tags as "Xenobiology", "Transhumanism", and "Outrageous Cosmological Speculations". It's as if the author had a direct line into my brain and produced something that would not feel a bit out of place in a Best Of SF collection. Go read.

I don't think I'll be able to cobble together a proper Jukebox rec list (colds: not recommended), so let it just be said that there are a lot of good ones and here's a link to the collection. I'll link to the stuff I wrote on Thursday, when authors have been revealed.

Again on the subject of women without men: Has anyone seen Wonder Woman? Is it a feast of butch/warrior women flexing their muscles in shows of strength? Is there F/F loyalty kink?
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
Here are my thoughts on each of the graphic stories. Grading out of five, where
0 = this is a terrible piece of shit
1 = I didn't click at all and wish for that time back
2 = You Tried, but not my thing
3 = okay enough, could be someone else's 4 or 5
4 = a good story that I engaged with
5 = mind=blown, excellent

I admit, this category was strong.

Black Panther
The pacing was a bit choppy/condensed, but I liked the political intrigue and the fact that it had at least the trappings of an unfamiliar-to-me culture. 3/5

Intriguing and intoxicating, and the art style – the lines and expressions and panel composition – is amazing. The narrative pacing and storytelling, too. The world is enthralling. 5/5

Ms Marvel
An enjoyable romp that touched upon some important stuff. A bit teen-y and light. 3/5

Paper Girls
I liked the sort of recursive mind bend intrigue. The use of color was excellent. 4/5

Not My Thing, but the parental love was nice. I liked Prince Robot IV, and the science fantasy world was sorta cool, but not that into the lots of nudity or the main het couple. 2/5

The Vision
A sad story, but the storytelling and narration was very effective and haunting. 4/5
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
Here are my thoughts on each of the novelettes. Grading out of five, where
0 = this is a terrible piece of shit
1 = I didn't click at all and wish for that time back
2 = You Tried, but not my thing
3 = okay enough, could be someone else's 4 or 5
4 = a good story that I engaged with
5 = mind=blown, excellent

The Art of Space Travel, Nina Allan
First up, we have a tragedy-tinged litficcy tale. Mostly bleak. I recognize why it's in the SF awards, but I'd rather that it were elsewhere, such as in the world of literachoor, that is, the story felt insufficiently SFnal despite taking place in the future. 1/5

The Jewel and her Lapidary, Fran Wilde
Intriguing worldbuilding. I'd have liked the story better without the Travellers' Guide excerpts – let it stand alone without doing the ~but what if it was a legend~ or ~the hero succeeded in her goal~ dances. I'd also have liked it better if the girls had been actual adults and not teens, and also if they'd have been of the Honor Harrington mindset of sacrifice, but this was a story that danced very close to my Honor and Loyalty buttons but didn't press anything. Also, the femslash should have been much more developed, rather than "oh they kiss bye". 3/5

The Tomato Thief, Ursula Vernon
I liked all of the characters, especially Gramma, and also the desert and the vast quantities of casual worldbuilding. (The world was intriguing.) 4/5

Touring with the Alien, Carolyn Ives Gilman
Avery's job sounds intriguing and I want all of her job stories. The story was in some ways very reminiscent of the hard SF/Asimov/Egan that I like, in that it was the set-up for a thought experiment on consciousness. It also had lots of nice observations within, like speaking English vs speaking Human, and the ending was narratively satisfying and had weight. 5/5

You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay, Alyssa Wong
This one suffered a bit by being the second desert fantasy story of the bunch. It was also sadder, and while I did like some features, Girl Does Thing Because She Loves Boy is argh. 2/5

Alien Stripper Boned From Behind by the T-Rex, Stix Hiscock
An enjoyable romp, and also fucking hilarious. Our protagonist's narration is refreshingly analytical and #relateable, in that if I were to write such a story, I would write it in that exact style. The protag's enjoyment of the dancing bit was also nice. 4/5
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
And once again, I spent a week without posting anything, whoops.

Jukebox reveals are just around the corner. Before that, I'll try to read through some more of the Hugos voter packet. This year, I aim to get to do the zines.

The title is from loading up an old project of mine, Poem Line For Title, which just RNGs a poem line to be used as a title. View the page source (Ctrl+U) to see the pool from which it chooses. The random's choice was rather apt, as today at work, we did a "science demo" to some schoolkids (well, teens) involving putting roses into liquid nitrogen, then giving them to the kids when thoroughly frozen, and letting the kids shatter them onto a tray (to minimize clean-up). Chatting with the new co-worker today about the liquid nitrogen and the flowers (scientists: people who never grew up past the age of 5 and see no reason to), I recalled this Tumblr post about Romace Tokens vs the actually romantic. (Romance Tokens: stuff society sees as romantic. Actually Romantic: something that is tailored to the recip's desires.) I do not like flowers. Culture says I should like them, but I don't. They aren't that pretty, and also, they only last for a bit before having to be thrown away. Stuffing a bouquet in liquid nitrogen and then shattering the flowers, one by one, on the other hand is much more appealing. Indeed, I might even call it enthralling. By liberal application of liquid nitrogen (which boils at -196°C, or 77 K, or -320°Fake, whichever you prefer), Appreciation Tokens transform into something I can have fun with. (Liquid nitrogen is fun by itself, too, of course. After the roses ran out, I quickly – quickly! – dunked fingers in and out*, and also got to play with exhaling into the container, which generated a vast cloud of tiny ice crystals like frost, and made the air currents visible.)

Hm, I wouldn't have gotten all that without my prompt generator. I'd have just left it at "I got to play with liquid nitrogen at work – it's still cool!" and not had the red thread of the roses throughout. Perhaps I should try to use it as self-reflection and writing prompt more often.

* The way this works is that my finger is warm enough (c. 37°C) that it evaporates itself a protective envelope of gaseous nitrogen, which is a worse conductor of heat. Done quickly enough, the envelope doesn't dissipate. Don't leave the finger in.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
  • ENTROPY. It increases constantly.
  • Relatedly, the eventual heat death of the universe.
  • One day, the Sun will expand into a red giant.
  • Needles.
  • What if the universe just keeps expanding forever, never to bring forth a Big Crunch that might set forth a new Big Bang and thus potential for life?
  • What if aliens don't exist and we're alone in the universe?
  • Like seriously, the laws of thermodynamics. One is playing a game where one can only lose? And we can't quit?

Ah well.
extrapenguin: (honor)
I appear to have actually done it.

The target: a guy who actually respected my opinions and wanted to hear me out (this part is mandatory, I think), probably had Asperger's, and was the son of a person in the anti-gay marriage league (so his opinion was at least partly hereditary).

(I mention the Asperger's because I think that without it, he'd have got the "gays are bad" part that is the unacknowledged backdrop of most anti-gay marriage sentiment. As-is, the papered-on-top excuse objections were his actual objections.)

How I actually did it: in a chat program I, in as noncombative a way as possible, explained my position, and gently informed him that his concerns on gay couples' kids were wrong (research round-up) and also I side-eye the "but the definition of marriage is ~Christian~" position, since no-one complains hugely about or constantly proposes a new term for civil weddings.

Evidence that I did it: he dropped the issue and shortly removed the "marriage = man + woman" page from his likes on FB.

It is a heady feeling, to know that people can change for the better and know that one has caused that oneself. So, uh, there's your daily positivity. I should probably feed myself.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
So, if you have something you've got to do that is even remotely time-sensitive, just set an alarm.

This piece of wisdom brought to you by me doing an unavoidable thing outside the house with hours to spare, then getting kidnapped by friends who wanted for me to have fun. (Don't worry, I've recovered almost completely!) Otherwise fine, but I ended up opening the Space Swap collection two hours late (sorry everyone) in a fast food place's washroom (that had run out of toilet paper). (Other piece of advice: remember to eat before you get to the "I am unsure whether I am going to faint, cry, or bite someone's head off, yet I am utterly and totally Zen about it" phase.)

Also, consider going to sleep before 4 am. It's as if I'm drunk without the fun parts.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
Nabbed from [personal profile] cloudsinvenice

Give me a fandom I'm in (partial list findable in my sticky) and I'll tell you:

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is mostly like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn’t
my ship that never sailed
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
I do not regret reading it, even if it did end up in a rather dark place. What bothered me the most was the sheer hetness of the thing: Diziet Sma's "ahh yess I had a nice time with THE MENZ – not the laydeez, the MENZ" and just the reminders that the main characters were het, every time there was a sort of sexual situation, and a lot of them sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Just ... have the characters be het and engage in hetsex, no need to go all Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today about it.

small amount of spoilers )

Skaffen-Amtiskaw is a treasure.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
WBEX reveals are here! link

My giftfic the most perfectest thing:
A Century of Savvy Travelers: A Look Back at the GSST Project, 100 Years On (G, gen, 5.8k)
It's a retrospective book thingy with multiple travelogue excerpts in different styles and it's AMAZING. Words cannot describe how much I like it!

Periwinkle, Daffodil (T, multi, 2.4k, TGE)
This in-universe book review is well worth the read just for the descriptions of the books. (Also, I want that cape.)

Policies of the Dynasty (G, gen, 2.7k, TGE)
A look into the succession laws and such that made Maia Emperor. Features a deserved shutdown of Chavar.

Child of Ulis (T, gen, 7.9k, TGE)
An excellently-written look at pre-canon Thara Celehar, when he chooses his life of prelacy.


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