“Solo Exhibition”, Corrupted

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This is out March 8th and includes my story “Solo Exhibition”, in which cookbook writer Usha plays Scheherazade for her foreign rights agent (and definitely not boyfriend) Jory. You can buy it at Amazon and various other outlets, or secure a review copy by contacting the publishers at hello@sexylittlepages.com .

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“Just Typical”

Here I am in The Lancet, talking about the origins of typology.

“We bandy “Victorian” about as a disparaging description of thinking and behaviour, but like unrecognised bastard sons in a three-volume novel, we are inheritors of far more than we realise. The 19th century gave us the foundations of modern psychiatric practice and intimately connected ways of analysing the world and its people. Western Victorians sought to understand life better by mapping and classifying it, generating organised taxonomical hierarchies that have remained with us. Although we are beginning to question some of the underlying assumptions of these hierarchies thanks to new genetic evidence, we still retain the concept of an animal kingdom sorted according to the post-Darwinian phylogenetics that evolved out of Carl Linnaeus’ 18th century work: the categorical grouping of forms of life.”

Article Here

 

 

 

End of Year Writing Review, Award Eligibility

AWARDS

Kirk Drift has been long-listed for the BSFA this year, which is cool, and I’m possibly eligible for the Hugo for fanwriter or related work, so, consider me, I guess?

‘Related Work’ is a broad church that should maybe go to a full volume or larger project, though, and ONCE AGAIN I think this should go to Black Spec Fic II, the 2016 count (see last year’s argument for that). Given this, ‘fanwriter’ is probably the better shout. I also consistently admire Maureen K. Speller and Aishwarya Subramanian‘s contributions to the field. If you were looking to recognise someone or something great, these would be good picks. Last year I said Nussbaum, and so did you, so I now believe firmly in my own magical predictive power.

END OF YEAR WRITING REVIEW:

STRANGE HORIZONS:

2017 In Review Part One  (my part: 212)
God that’s bad, re: SH. I hadn’t realised I’d done so badly by them this year. Must do better this one.

***

OTHER PUBLICATIONS:

*homed my Love and Friendship and my Pride and Prejudice and Zombies pieces*

Where Are All the Gay Valentine’s Day Movies?, Screenrant (866)

ACADEMIC:

Student Support: A Tale of Two Libraries (2017) (hah)
Draft of magical charm chapter (34937)

– DICKENS:

David(s) Copperfield, paper for HFRN (first version 3843)
Five Dickens Articles: the JoJo/Ridiculous Dog Edition (4592)
Dickens’ The Cricket on the Hearth, 1845 (8479)
All Adaptations of Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’ (1992)
David Copperfield: Timeline of Events (ACTUALLY MOLLY KATZ, SOME NOTES FROM ME)
Dickens’ The Battle of Life (1846) (8839)

For the Dickens Society Blog:

GAMES:

NONFIC TOTAL: 151,526

 

***

FICTION:

Bacchae, Big Echo (1540)

Golem (761)
A Year Without the Taste of Meat, Sharp & Sugar Tooth (forthcoming) (2343)
Couched in a Curious Bed, Manifold (forthcoming) (8322 at latest edit, something like 10k in the longer version)

Currently Homeless SFF:

if the sky holds (965ish)

EROTICA:

Dinner Plans, Gluttony (6687)
Rereading, Owning It (out imminently) (5257)*
Solo Exhibition, Corrupted (OUT FEBRUARY) (4594)*
*Not SURE I didn’t write these at the end of last year? But they’re re-written and placed now, so eh.

Currently Homeless Erotica:

Lawful Evil (6996)
Rumpelstiltskin (9286)
“For who are so free as the sons of the waves?” (9295)
“she would cast him to the Wolf, the Wolf should have him” (6344)
Coming Alongside (5013)
Senbazuru (4025)
Bunkmates (8046)
Post-Production (6926)

***

FANFIC:

aha a tough question.

I ended up writing 5k more on B——–.

 

***

Total fiction: 96298

Personal story planning, correspondence, essays and private-lj blogging: so much

TOTAL (minus the substantial last category): words this year, ‘published’ in one form or another: 247,824

WAY down from last year, damn.

 

 

Christmas 2017

 

Christmas Eve food—French onion dip and pimento with handmade mayo, mince pies, pate, meat, cheese, crisps, nuts, dried fruit, oranges, membrillo. Katy made bacon and walnut fougasses. (That’s Samira’s hand, she and her sister Namu came over.)

 

Christmas breakfast: pumpkin gingerbread waffles with buttermilk caramel rum syrup I made.

 

Courtesy of my sister Meghan, the cats have enjoyed the cat advent calendar, cat stockings and cat Christmas Dinner (well, Sasa hates the dinner, but.). Also, Sasa’s Compliments of the Season!

Peking duck with trimmings, goose fat roast potatoes, mutton kottu roti stuffing, orange cranberry relish, pigs in blankets, Italian Parmesan Brussels sprouts, sweet potato wedges.

 

Cutting into the Christmas Cake I made (I did not go easy on the home-made marzipan).

My gifts to Katy. The vase is late Victorian vaseline glass.

Katy’s gifts to me—the red vines apparently got her to the shipping charge. 🙄 I had a conniption at the zine she had made. And she got me these, which have already seen the front lines in the syrup wars.

Gifts from my family to me! Inexplicable cake pop molds?? HIGHLY EXPLICABLE TEA AND USED FOLIO BOOKS!!

2000 AD, 1987 Annual (review)

Unless you Were There or have really read up on comics lore, trying to read a 2000 AD annual is a work of anthropology. Which of the many pieces are snippets from long-running serials? Are the pieces within the annual largely so short because the comics as a whole were only comprised of very short pieces, or because only short pieces were selected, to give the annual a sense of breadth and variety? Is this content reflective of the magazine in general, or of the annual’s (presumably) child-friendly project? I understand, from the range of content presented even here, the world of Dredd as a dystopia, ably interrogated by the stories set within it, but how does that interact with Dredd’s status as a quasi-heroic ‘protagonist’ of a long-running narrative, and how did creators and viewers receive the comic’s totalitarian-fascist content, which was so poignantly relevant in Thatcher’s Britain?

Unfortunately I was 0 when the 1987 annual was published, and am not deeply in this fandom. It’s hard for me to know what I’m looking at, and harder still to become informed on these matters. World Book Night did an anthology collection of Dredd’s alternate-universe Dark Judges stories, and at the very end was a snippet of the Terra-Meks Robusters story “The Eve of Destruction”. This really engaging story cut off at an inconvenient point, but what should have been an advertising teaser was instead something of an invitation to hell.

Even with the internet it is bloody hard to figure out how to read 2000 AD. Where was this story in the comic? Was a base form of it online? Not that I could find. What would I have to buy, and could I buy it? No clue. I had to send Lawrence Miles phone pics, and he kindly lent me this annual, but ffs, by the time I have to ask someone who’s written for the damn comic to tell me what I want and to lend me his, you know your Discoverability to interested new readers is through the floor, lingering somewhere down in the magma layer surrounding the Earth’s core.

Why are comics LIKE this? For a long time, due to my general interest in closely-related British SFF products and things like the Who comics and audios’ homage/parodies of 2000 AD (Izzy Sinclair’s fandom for ‘Courtmaster Cruel’), I’ve wanted to explore the comic. The only real chance I ever got was the sodding World Book Night title: a well-collated, singular narrative I could follow from a point of no knowledge. I can’t come to 2000 AD as a researcher, let alone a reader, without serious work on my part. FFS, make it easy for me to get into this and spend money on content that’s lying around, doing you no good!

Let’s talk about Everything Else, then Terra-Meks story, the biggest and best item in the annual.

Annuals, for non-Brits, are a whole genre of–I think?–Christmas books for children, often about a pre-existing property: Doctor Who, or a comic strip, or a sports’ team, that sort of thing. They’re colourful and jaunty, and were sometimes produced for screamingly inappropriate titles, like Blakes 7, due to a vague popular understanding that all SF was inherently child-friendly–even a show that famously began with its protagonist being framed for child molestation. The closest American analogue for an annual I can come up with is a cross between an old children’s magazine and the bright booklets at a grocery story check-out, but seasonal, and mostly About a given thing–not like Frozen, but a longer-running, established Thing. There’s a lot of knowing play with the structures of British media in these strips–a Dad Joke about Postman Pat, a mock-up of the Sun’s coverage of the comic’s plot events. Again, I’m not connecting with all this because I lack context, and Advanced Britishisms often miss me. The fanart section makes this feel like a club newsletter, a Christmas wrap-up for a set group of fans.

Colour and non, a lot of the frame compositions of these panels and page designs just please me. The action is conveyed in surprisingly effective ways. The panels are full but not to the point of becoming screaming noise. This strikes me as quite connected to the tone of the whole project, which is variously deeply dystopian (in an unsettling way, in that I’m not quite sure how to read its intentions) and SFF pulpy, even going so far as to borrow visuals and story structures from Golden Age content. I think my uncertainty about 2000 AD’s politics comes more from the specificity of my weird atypical encounter with the text, a lack of context and the fact that in order to be satirical, the comics need to deal with uncomfortable subjects. “Strontium Dog”, for example, does neat work following the ‘mutant’ group outside a Megacity, positioning them as sympathetic and deeply wronged, and the Justices’ efforts to or complicity in rooting out mutants as fairly mindlessly evil. There’s a rich density of background or story-enabling worldbuilding detail, casually well-done, and the camp register the stories can inhabit is really enjoyable.

There’s some weird recurring fatphobia shit, and some wincy stuff with women (not unfeminist, but too Basic–the “Ladies Night” strip in particular, which isn’t transphobic so much as evidence that British people perennially find men in drag funny as fuck), but otherwise I’m not blindsided by rogue depressing awfulness, at least in this annual. I can’t blanket-vouch, not having read enough. It’s good that we’re telling a series of stories about an awful society without re-enacting the isms and inflicting them on the audience, if that makes sense?

The “Golem” story from Anderson’s Psi Division was intriguing (though I’ve got questions about why the Golem didn’t work properly as a Golem, a protective creature, and why the recipe they were using to make it was in English and not, idk, Yiddish), but it exemplifies the tendency of the annual’s stories to end before they’ve begun.

Critically I guess I’d say that the story of Charlie the shipping robot and Northpool is simplistic, a bit rah-rah. But fuck it, this is exactly my crack and I like, tear up reading it. It’s a really elemental story about love and community. It’s hard to be down on it at all when simplistic though its message is, it remains so deeply relevant. Because it’s SO hard to track down via other means, I’ll include it here.

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PS: Lawrence gave me some very helpful context on the annuals!

“[S]ince it never became mainstream the way Marvel and DC did, [2000 AD] remains rooted in a specific time and place [.] But it should be noted that the 1987 “2000 AD” annual, like most of the annuals, is largely a bag of dog-ends. The fact that the best story’s a reprint is telling: the editors were given minimal budgets for the annuals, which means they tended to use left-over scripts and second-tier artists. Which is my way of saying that “2000 AD” in its heyday really *was* better than this. [A/N I’d assumed the annual was always like, ALL reprint content.]

Historical footnote: “Terra-Meks was originally published in February 1979, three months before Thatcher came to power. So a little ahead of the curve. Its author, Pat Mills, was perhaps single greatest driving force behind early “2000 AD”. And he *always* did the black-comedy anti-Tory thing. It was marvellous.

[…]

In fact, it took several years for the “2000 AD” editorial team to get even *this* much control over the annuals’ content. Annuals were a different department of IPC, so the earliest examples (from the late ’70s) had almost no input from the weekly comic’s editorial staff, which meant – for example – badly-drawn “Judge Dredd” strips written by people who had no idea who Judge Dredd was. By modern standards, this is inconceivable. So while this is what “2000 AD” actually looked like in 1978 (exciting, dynamic, vaguely topical)…

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…this was the cover of the 1978 annual.

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Before “2000 AD”, most of the “boys’ comics” published by IPC were war comics. “2000 AD” inherited some of the better staff from these (Pat Mills first earned distinction on a strip for “Battle” called “Charley’s War”, a strip about the First World War that shocked everyone by actually being an honest portrayal of the First World War), but it’s notable that even before “2000 AD”, the artists on these titles were clearly getting sick of having to draw Tommies shooting at Germans. There’s a strip in “Battle” that’s meant to be about English vs Japanese, but the Japanese wear demon masks in combat because THE ARTISTS REALLY LIKES DEMONS.

However, the less-great staff from the war comics were the ones who tended to end up working on the annuals. This means that while the makers of proper “2000 AD” tended to be leftists with a sense of irony and a penchant for macabre humour, the makers of the early annuals… were still fighting the Battle of Britain.

My favourite example of Annuals Weirdness is a “Harlem Heroes” strip. Now, in the comics, “Harlem Heroes” was as ’70s-hip as a strip could get: a sport-of-the-future story about a black American aeroball team from the mean streets who end up winning the championship despite evil corporate machinations. All good so far.

And then, in the annual:

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Ah. Suddenly the Harlem Heroes are up against a German team. You can tell they’re German, because. (N.B. Note that the annuals were so cheap, they didn’t even use a proper letterer.)

Check out the German side’s fans.

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They just keep doing this ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE STORY.

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[Me: Did they like think this was edgy and funny, or?]

No, this is a war-comics hack trying to do a “2000 AD” strip without any editorial input from the “2000 AD” creators. German = evil. Even if it’s set in 2070. This is just *normal* for a British comics writer pre-1977.

Whereas the proper “Harlem Heroes” strip at least *tries* to be subtle in its portrayal of racial issues in corporate America, the annual version… just goes there.

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Since I’m making the broad point that “2000 AD” was actually *good*, I feel I should show you what the real “Harlem Heroes” strip looked like in the same era. The difference is crippling. (Art by Dave Gibbons again, as with “Terra-Meks” and “Watchmen”.)

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In 1977, “2000 AD” had better art, better composition, better ideas, and better storytelling than literally anything else on the shelves. It really *was* a massive deal. But everyone else caught up with it (not least because IPC was such a terrible employer that most of its best creators emigrated), and by 1990 it was all over. But that, as you can probably tell, was My Generation of comics.”

a rough tweet review of the RSC “Antony and Cleopatra” at the Barbican

The RSC Antony and Cleopatra at the Barbican tonight was probably in the bottom 5 of Shakespeare performances in my life, &I’m counting all the amdram, Fringe shit, etc. The direction was so bizarre I don’t want to say that Simon was unequal to the role, but she was doing a weird Eartha Kitt impression the entire time, like that was her Character.

They played it as a weird farce, like Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings, which dramatically shifted the stakes, but simultaneously wanted to keep the gravitas of the important moments. The farce thing isn’t bad as like a thought experiment, but as a whole staging?? Antony’s death was supposed to be hilarious in this. It didn’t work (I’d have more sympathy if the comedy had ever *worked*), but that was what we were doing. Over Anthony’s dead body Cleopatra makes a sad hand gesture that resembles wanking his corpse off—is it supposed to? WHY? At one point when they were kissing ages a kid was like gross!! and all the bougie attendees were SO PISSED but tbh /you trained audience expectations for a farce/. Also if u freak out at audience reactions early modern theatre is not the fuck 4 u go watch netflix alone again.

The language, which I’m typically really down with, was super difficult to follow here. The music started comically atrocious, but then segued into a good initial bit! I was like, ‘maybe it’s okay!!’ but then they played like a 1950s movie ROMANS!! leitmotif everytime they showed up and I was like are you the fuck serious. The set was so fucking expensive but terrible. Lots of LEVELS. Guess something in the production had to have some. The Barbican is always an awful venue too, I mentally dock 5 points for shit being there, either hall.

Cleo does an affected baby voice to mock someone like 3 times, it becomes some kind of weird Thing she does. You could play her as WAY more rational, idk. She also kept interrupting people with relevant info, I felt it as a bit of an ‘aha women amIrite??’ The focus fell primarily on the Romans&only minimally on Cleopatra, &because she was always erratic she came off shit. Anthony wasn’t compelling really, sort of a weird Russel Crow as played by Mark Gatiss thing. Cleopatra’s preparing for death was good but too little too late.

We were supposed to like Feel Something re the slave dying for Antony but Antony manhandled the shit out of him&got violent 5 seconds before, soooo? For no reason the slave death scene was super homoerotic, though we’d had 0 of that before. I AM ALL FOR HOMOEROTIC SHAKESPEARE HELLO HAVE YOU MET ME but u need an arc&shit, all the characterisation&blocking felt impressionistic&disconnected, I was like ‘bitch did you DEVISE THIS?’

Someone told them the Globe went bawdy so they tried that but it ended up at just like, weird humping all the time. Octavian is punchable as ever, but also they play his sadness over Anthony as super earnest rather than a political posture?

SERIOUSLY wtf is this a review OF??

I started to wonder whether based off the 1 ‘eh’ Globe staging&this it’s actually a truly awful play about awful fucking morons no one could care about with a handful of good lines. Why the fuck are these people in love?? They just come off as like—’in lust bc they are in lust; which is no goddamn answer. Katy’s like ‘well they both like a good time’. Ok sure, but is that the stuff epic passions are built on?

Cleo’s like oh the cool things about Antony were—*lists a bunch of generic Roman shit* Girl that’s never what you liked about him?! You got pissed w him for doing it, barely participated &fucked it up? Why is your big list of reasons Antony was great all about shit that idk you didn’t want him to do but then it ruined your life idgi. Also you’re weirdly listing like Caesar ass shit so ??? ‘Good at conquering’ um Marc Antony? I—guess??

By the end I was just like ‘oh my god could like literally every character? also die??’

a terrible journey into really really digging ‘nirvana in fire’: episode summaries, part 1

EPISODE 1:

Just watched Nirvana in Fire ep 1&HOLY SHIT, fill up the big pipe, this is the crack for me

EPISODE 4:

Nirvana in Fire has salted the slugs, it has fertilised my crops. I used to have TB but this show cured me.

EPISODES 9 & 10:

Watched 2 eps of Nirvana in Fire. In the first Mei told Jing his army wasn’t well-disciplined and Jing wept with shame on the inside until he drowned.

Also if you’re a person who liked the Gallifrey audios, I’d get in on Nirvana in Fire for the next-level backstabbing&reveals!! action.

EPISODE 12:

This week on Nirvana in Fire, Nihuang finally called Mei on his metric ton of bullshit, then cried a lot. Jing was super keen on exposing tax evasion in shipping. The Ministry of Personel is trying to dodge an audit bc Civil Service is ancient&forever.

EPISODES 13, 14, 15 & 16:

This week on Nirvana in Fire, @MollyRKatz begged me to stop calling the Artist Formerly Known as Tigger “Tigger”. ‘It’s Yujin! You can remember it like Eugene Wrayburn!’ This is absurd as they are nothing alike, so of course I will remember it until the day I die.

So it’s New Years, which is Mandarin for Christmas Special. Knowing this makes some sense of the sequences of all the regulars peacefully eating dumplings&idk seasonal shit. Once again I try to figure out how MANY people Dickens would have killed for this ‘write the novel, manage the TV show&do the Not Christmas Special’ gig as Yujin has touching reconciliation with Daoism Dad&an unexpected character arc.

What’s more Christmassy than a murder mystery involving dead palace eunuchs? Absolutely nothing. Meng gets flogged a LOT bc the Emperor is a crap manager, but flogging seems to be essentially a hangover. Meng spends many days v curious as to location of aspirin. Lady Detective is on the case. Prince Jackass (No the Reasonably Competent One) tries to get on the case, but trips over his own robe in doing so. Jing is still interested in civil service. The Empress decides to tighten security. Her assistant is like ok chief we got some low level skivers some poisoners, shit to look into, various degrees of unco–

‘FLOG THEM ALL TO DEATH’
um
‘Y E P’ (bc of course Yu’s adopted mom is Like This, should have seen it coming).

Mei is using Jingrui’s native goodness to force him to investigate his own family without realising he’s doing it. Meanwhile Yujin, OF ALL PEOPLE, is like heeeeey, what if–what if Mei? is not? actually on team Prince Jackass? What if he KNOWS Yu sucks?? They whisper ‘woah’ at one another in Mandarin for perhaps an hour.

Oh also there was a big Thing about Jingrui’s birthday and would Mei come, &Mei got his ‘I will 💯 ruin your birthday’ face on. Idk what the plan is but it’s not to jump out of a cake. We didn’t see what Jing was doing over New Year’s, but earlier hateful Yu invited him to his party, so i imagine that hilarious awkwardness went down.

EPISODES 17, 18&19:

Today on Nirvana in Fire, we watched like 4 episodes. Mei had a weird house party with a weaksauce game, &Fei Liu literally scared badass Banruo by jumping out at her. Meng&Nihuan didn’t respect my boy Jing enough&Nihuan left the narrative to get her hair done or something. Yu killed 125 people bc Banruo said it was an awesome opportunity, Jing did disaster relief & Consort Jing had to put up with her absolute bullshit husband’s self-indulgent crap.

Prince Start Some Shit from Southern Chu is here trying to get something going&powder his nose, with many holiday and Lady terms. Jingrui’s Mom may have fucked the Southern Chu ambassador back in the day??

The music swells&the last ep ends on the promise that Mei will INDEED fuck up Jingrui’s birthday 🍰 . WHAT THE SHIT IS HE GOING TO DO AT THIS PARTY 🎈 THAT MERITS A 4 EPISODE BUILD UP?!

I’ve learned a lot from Nirvana in Fire for ex if you’re having a conversation you’re not feeling rn you can stop it mid-sentence hell mid-WORD by just going ‘ninwaaaaaaaah’ & showing a picture of a ship.

EPISODE 20:

Well is was finally Jingrui’s birthday and never never ever invite Mei to your birthday party. Gong played an emo song, and [Jingrui’s] 1st mom felt the tunes. Then Jingrui’s 2nd dad nearly got exposed for murder. Then the Princess of Southern Chu said she was Jingrui’s sister bc 1st mom DID INDEED fuck Prince Ambassador.

‘But how does she know when Jing could be either family’s baby in the G&S-ass baby swap plot?’

BINCH U R MISTAKEN. Jingrui’s always BEEN 1st mom’s kid for realz&she may have switched the babies&gotten his–bro? doppleganger? her BFF’s son? KILLED ON PURPOSE? BC HER CRAY DUBCON HUSBAND WAS TRYING TO KILL THE ILLEGITIMATE SON IN HIS MERCILESS QUEST FOR POWER?? BUT HE ‘DID IT ALL FOR HER’??

So anyway Gong’s dad was the assassin, the Marquis has 800 soldiers of pissed, and Prince Fuckface Yu is parked in an alley like ‘sup’ LOVING this opportunity to wear his Wartime Colour Scheme&take down the crown prince’s chief adviser.

I know like only @MollyRKatz has ever seen this show but BY GOD IF I TALK ABOUT IT LONG ENOUGH ONE OF YOU BASTARDS WILL TRY IT!

EPISODE 21:

THIS WEEK ON NIRVANA IN FIRE: arrows fly as Mei firmly cements his status as Jingrui’s Least Favourite Cousin, plummeting the MySpace ranks.

The instant the Marquis sent for backup to sliiide between the troops you could see Mei track-changing onto ‘worst case scenario’ in his brain. Also, Jingrui spent this ep in the sunken place, in full trauma coma, his hair: terrible, for the 1st time in his life. Evil Marquis Not-Dad traps 15 characters in an ornamental pagoda, where they’ve run, or in Mei’s case, where they’ve walked sloooowly. Battle Barbie Prince Yu teams up with Boy Detective and Daoist Dad, but it’s Dowager Princess Auntie Badass who saves the day. Dowager Princess Auntie Badass skewers Battle Barbie Yu on a dagger so her bitch nephew will listen to any other human for 5 min together, then the scene just cuts. Nin-fucking-wan until next time. ⛵️

No one got to eat at this shit party, EXCEPT ACTUALLY I THINK IN THE FIRST SCENE WE SAW MEI CRAMMING DOWN SNACKS BC THAT BITCH PLANNED ALL THIS&KNEW HE’D BE *STARVING*?

SIDE NOTE:

it is NOT well-written /as an English document/, but for a fic someone genre-shifted NiF from a historical romance to a period-analogous Shenmo story https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gods_and_demons_fiction

The intro is a history of Daoist semi-divine magic use and its formalisation as a system that at the end turns out to have been written by a dead historian via planchette consultation? I respect the labour involved.

EPISODES 22, 23 & 24:

THIS WEEK ON NIRVANA IN FIRE: with the worst birthday ever finally over, Mei has to pretend to let Yu figure something out. This excruciating process over, he sits in a cell with Evil Marquis&gets the dish, which the Marquis serves hot.

Mei stations prince Jing and Dong in the next room so they can hear that Dong’s boss&this fuck set up Mei’s family and killed Dong’s husband. Jing wants to give Dong a hug but she’s like ‘no, Jing, I’m too butch for that’ so he just stands near her in a supportive fashion.

The marquis is fucking LUCKY that his wife likes him like honestly it’s an inexplicable gift from god. She offered him the chance to kill himself w honour but this cray motherfucker is clinging to life w his teeth. Even peacing our into exile he’s still a dick to his sons.

Dong shows up to be like

Yu has a new outfit for the new year, and is altogether too pleased with himself about it.

Jing is STILL CRYING ABOUT HIS BOYFRIEND 12 YEARS LATER HE IS THE FUCKING PENELOPE OF THIS NARRATIVE, he’s like Mom I’m *sniffle* so gay&she’s like there there baby, I know.

Jing tells Mei he wants to act on the info they’ve received and clear his dead bf’s name (aka Mei, who is Not As Dead As Rumoured) whatever it takes&Mei doesn’t jump him or cry but it’s a near fucking thing. They also discuss horse provisioning. Anyway.

GREAT GRANDMOTHER DIES!!! her last words are slash dragon from merlin level trolling. Mei hacks up a lung in distress&he&Jing angrily fast. Yu&Crown Douche can’t hack it, bitchily share snacks in about the funniest scene thus far.

Ninjuang shows up to get cried on. Moist.

Jing enjoys his mom’s medicinal soup, which sounds unlikely but it’s her birthday so all respect to him for saying so. Emperor Toxic Masculinity has to show up&make it about him/put everyone on edge. Jing’s handmade soup cools as he presents mum w jade ornaments she didn’t want.

SIDE NOTE:

I thank god every day that there’s not a big English language Nirvana in Fire fandom because it keeps me safe from the ‘I lurve Avon, I HATE BLAKE’ fannish impulse that would cause me to kill again.

‘Prince Jing was annoyingly hot headed, impulsive, and yet towards the end he showed his gentleness and maturity around his best friend.’

jump directly into the sun thx

It’s ASTOUNDING how exactly the same fannish character reception dynamic will play out LITERALLY ANYWHERE, K/S did this A LOT, B7 with Blake and Avon, Buffy fandom could HATE Buffy when Spike was involved, &it SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE re NiF but of course: wobble selected.

EPISODE 25:

THIS WEEK ON NIRVANA IN FIRE: Banruo’s spy network gets eroded by Mei. We learn that she inherited it from a Princess of a kingdom this one absorbed, &they have an epic Revenge of the Colonised plot. It’s tough bc the tribe’s being Sinicized. Banruo’s 4th sister ponders the value of revenge, &what could be enough. They’ve gotten the 70k person army that conquered them killed. Banruo won’t stop until the Kingdom breaks up, even though she knows she CAN’T reform their tribe. You could say it’s an uneasy parallel of Mei’s Good, Lateral, Masculine Revenge (powerful to powerful) versus Banruo&her ‘sisters” Bad, Horizontal, Feminine Revenge, but idk if it’s that simple, or if this colonial situation is fully viewable through a contemporary lens. Yes&no?

Yu visits Mei unexpectedly, Meng gets stuck in the Secret Passage for hours&Jing shows up to share it with him awkwardly. They try to read the same book, it’s a tube commute basically.

Katy claims Jing smiles ‘for the first time in the whole program’ when his shitty dad gives him permission to visit his mom whenever he wants. Palace Ladies shade one another about soup while Consort Jing is 1000 yrs too old for their shit. Duke Mu sulks.

SIDE NOTE:

Woah, the SHOW Nirvana in Fire is thus far super oblique about Yu and Banruo’s Thing, but the novel (meh fan translation, nothing else is available) is blatant.

Very Unfulfilled

This is a fucking Fanfic Avon description I am going to need this novel to 🛑

When will this get professionally translated I’m like on a WordPress fansite? And NOT ALL THE CHAPTERS ARE TRANSLATED?

YOU HAVE TO WAIT
UNTIL THEY FIND SOMEONE TO DO THEM
OUT OF ORDER

EPISODES 26, 27 & 28:

THIS WEEK ON NIRVANA IN FIRE: Banruo’s still trying to spy-network-crack Mei’s place. Jing&Meng get stuck in that passage again, this time with added Fei Liu, who lets slip that Mei still calls Jing his childhood nickname. Mei covers badly, Jing’s heart shrinks a size.

Jingrui leaves for Southern Chu to meet his biodad after a fierce cuddle with Yujin. Jingrui’s leave-taking from Mei is amazing, some of the best writing/thinking in the show&strikingly different from anything I’ve seen on tv before.

Mei asks Meng to get his notebook back from Jing&Meng is about as good at delicate social requests as Trump would be at open heart surgery. Jing’s given it to his mom, who will ABSOLUTELY notice Mei’s veiled allusion therein to Mei’s mom, 1 of her 2 dead bffs. She notices. Consort Jing knows there’s SOME REASON Mei hasn’t told Jing so kind of has to go with it?? She’s all JING U MUST RESPECT THIS PRECIOUS TREASURE, LIKE, BOTTOM SOMETIMES– ‘mom, I already–‘ PROMISE!!

Jing’s all ‘mom why do you now send daily desert platters tagged ‘to my beautiful perfect daughter in law’ to my strategist?’ NO REASON!!

The crown prince finally disgraces himself&the Chief Eunuch does General Meng a solid while Meng’s like WHAT IS ‘A SOLID’ IS IT A STATE OF MATTER OR???

Jing gets officially bumped up a rank, Yu SEEEEEEETHES&chews off his own arm, the Empress attempts to shade Concubine Jing but she is as the sun&cannot be shaded. AN EPIC MONTAGE OCCURS. People are starting to realise Jing is a boss bitch.

Jing has a super hot male assistant that presumably he likes to unlustfully look at for reasons of pure aesthetic appreciation&bro-loyalty before retiring every night to cry about the Less-Presumed-Dead bb!Mei.

Jing meets with the Minister for Revenue (remember the fireworks shipping field trip? that dude) who asks him to take over disaster relief from Prince Fuckface Yu, who thinks Disaster Relief rhymes with ‘year-end bonus’. Jing TRIES, but is defeated by Yu’s greater mastery of Not Being The Cordelia.