Two links of ugh, one combination ugh/awesomeness, one pure awesomeness.
Today in topsy-turvy land: “‘We can't be outcome driven,’ said Anne Tompkins, the U.S. attorney in Charlotte [explaining why the government was opposing the release of people it concedes are legally innocent of the crimes for which they’re imprisoned]. ‘We've got to make sure we follow the law, and people should want us to do that.’” One could call this use of “follow the law” mere equivocation, but mere equivocation doesn’t keep legally innocent people locked up.
How not to think about rape: U.S. government decides to perform cost-benefit analysis on prison rape prevention programs.
Great article on race and fandom (cosplay).
serrico wrote a Charlie/girl!Dean story for me!
William Gibson, Spook Country: A former rock star turned journalist is researching a story on locative art—GPS-enabled overlays that can change the way a place looks for those with the right equipment—and finds that she might just be doing more than that, somehow intervening in a secret world of spycraft and subterfuge. There’s some physical danger, especially for one of the POV spy-types, but not a lot, and the macguffins aren’t really the point. Maybe the story we get about the target is right, but Gibson really seems to be writing about transience and the inability of one person ever to know what exactly is going on around him/her. I enjoyed it, but it’s not clear that there’s much there there.
Anna Katherine, Salt and Silver: Once upon a time, poor little rich girl Ally opened a Door to hell in the basement of the diner where she was working. Now there’s a hunter stationed in front of it, killing what comes out and fighting his sexual tension with Ally using the power of snark and condescension. But then one day the Door disappears … I liked a lot of the structural worldbuilding: the various hells and avatars, and the concepts of wish-granting Doors that distort the humans they entice. I appreciated, but didn’t actually enjoy, that the story started from the premise that Ally and her love interest had known and been attracted to each other for a while. And I think part of that lack of enjoyment was that Ally’s narrative voice is that of a sixteen-year-old girl, though she’s supposed to be a grown woman managing a business. Lots of sentences ending in questions? And repetition of how hot her dude is? This led to a lot of caricatures—although I didn’t exactly trust Ally’s perceptions, she ended up portraying most of the characters as single-dimensional at best through her narration, even as more featured characters made clear that the author wasn’t the one making that mistake. I’d try another book by this author with a different narrator.
Firefly: Still Flying: Three short stories set in the ‘verse, along with a bunch of pictures and some quotes/page-long interviews with cast and crew. Completists only (though the full-page pictures of the cast are indeed very pretty).