ninefox gambit, by yoon ha lee

Someday someone might come up with a better government, one in which brainwashing and the remembrances’ ritual torture weren’t an unremarkable fact of life. Until then, he did what he could.

ben, in the world, by doris lessing

The girl became a television star and was to be seen every day on the screens in Rio. This was a kind of happy ending, and the girl certainly thought so, at least at the beginning of her career: when she was older she was not so sure.

hunger, a memoir of (my) body, by roxane gay

She is still small and scared and ashamed, and perhaps I am writing my way back to her, trying to tell her everything she needs to hear.

all systems red, by martha wells

As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.

the secret place, by tana french

Mates mean you’ve settled, made your bargain: this, wherever you are together, this is as far as you’re going, ever. This is your stop; this is where you get off.

gray, by pete wentz

My happiness is not in the best interest of their stockholders. We are commodities now, we are the down payment on some CEO’s waterfront property. We are making another album.

broken harbor, by tana french

People you knew when you were teenagers, the ones who saw your stupidest haircut and the most embarrassing things you’ve done in your life, and they still cared about you after all that: they’re not replaceable, you know?

for real, by alexis hall

…either everything we want is weird, or nothing is.

looking for group, by alexis hall

…if they get too close together, they get a buff called Sisterhood, which heals them.

five things make a midyear reading update

  1. 82 books read so far
  2. Two excellent novellas from Tor: All Systems Red and Passing Strange
  3. Three new authors of achingly lovely queer romance: KJ Charles, Alexis Hall, Roan Parrish
  4. Most incisive depiction of the tension between friendship and real estate in modern Ireland: Tana French‘s Dublin Murder Squad series
  5. How the hell does she write so prolifically and so well award: to Roxane Gay, for Difficult Women and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (a second time honoree, she also won in 2014 for Bad Feminist and An Untamed State) (preliminary theory: she just works really, really hard) (I love her)

dishes with surprise egg of san francisco, an appreciation

The Rebel Within, a savory muffin from Craftsman and Wolves

Bacon and soft boiled egg brioche from Tartine Manufactory

Rocket Man, an arugula, garlic, chili and egg pizza from PizzaHacker

Salmon Egg Bowl from Samovar Yerba Buena and bonus Egg Jar from Samovar Mission

i would do a sport for her

“Remember, if he does anything else that makes you uncomfortable, I will rip his head off and play soccer with it. I would do that for you.”

“Yeah, Claire. Mama would play SOCCER for you.”

my friends, man

“It’s the people being unexpectedly kind to me that make me cry.”

“They’re all just returning kindnesses you’ve shown them.”

“Shut up. I’m a surly nerd amnesiac super-soldier assassin. We’ve been OVER this.”

“Yes, and Bucky Barnes doesn’t get a wobbly chin looking at the pictures in the museum.”

“Listen, I didn’t come here to be SEEN and ACCEPTED UNCONDITIONALLY, what is this, SAN FRANCISCO?”

playing robert miles’ “children” for claire

“This is literally just a kick drum and a synth.”

“In the nineties we didn’t have any musical instruments.”

“Yes you did.”

“We had two skateboards in the entire world. We had to share.”

“Mama.”

“There were only eleven of us.”

“And you were all green.”

“Yes. We were all green.”

happy mothersomething day

“Is breakfast actually under way?”

“…yes?”

“That is a fib.”

“Is it?”

“If it were a number series, it would be the Fibonacci sequence. If it were a bone, it would be a fibula.”

“Go on.”

“I think I’m done. No, wait. If it were a misspelled law enforcement body it would be the FIB.”

“They’re dyslexic but they fight crime!”

“They fight CIRME.”

dark emu, by bruce pascoe

…‘desert’ is a term Europeans use to describe areas where they can’t grow wheat and sheep.

mira’s last dance, by lois mcmaster bujold

She wants her own house? Pen tried to interpret this. Most women do, Des returned, at some point in their lives. Getting one without going through some man is made nearly impossible on purpose, I suspect.

maps out of hell

If Feather’s Your Blue Eyed Boys got me through the brutal aftermath of Mum’s death in the summer of ’14, sassbandit and were_duck’s Draculoids Will Never Hurt You is shaping up to be the essential text for this spring under Fascism. The irony is that I first read it in June of 2011 without losing myself in it. It took six more years of working for Better Living Industries to get to the point where I know I’ll die if I don’t art-bomb the Man and write punk love songs to all my friends. (Ironic twist: gonna die anyway!)

For the full immersion experience, I’ve spent the last week listening to Danger Days on endless repeat and reading The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. In the back matter, Gerard Way, who turned 40 this week (thank you, good sir, for surviving your descent into Hell), describes “looking inward, to that inner 16-year-old girl.” As a former 16yo girl myself, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those rare moments when the culture at large stops shitting on 16yo girls even for a nanosecond, let alone acknowledges them as something strong and important and worth protecting.

But Way also identifies the Man as… himself. His drive, his ambition, his ego, his death wish. I don’t know why I am even a little surprised. Every text that speaks to me on that deep level is somehow about complicity.

the likeness, by tana french

I used to believe, bless my naive little heart, that I had something to offer the robbed dead. Not revenge—there’s no revenge in the world that could return the tiniest fraction of what they’ve lost—and not justice, whatever that means, but the one thing left to give them: the truth.

a love song for the archive of our own

§ Because I am chronically behind the times, here is a Tweeter Essay about the Millennials, those 90s-amnesiac little bastards.

§ Millennials uploading their exquisite, funny, wrenching, trauma-aware love stories to AO3, for no compensation, while holding down day jobs

§ Millennials imagining a world in which relationships built on consent and vulnerability and authenticity are not the exception but the rule

§ …while finishing challenging Master’s programs in library science and psych. So dedicated they make us Gen Xers look like fucking Boomers

§ Would I enjoy even the approximation of sanity I have today without my secret Internet village of Millennials? The fuck I would

§ Whatever I achieve now and for the rest of my life, for art, for love, for the resistance: I am standing on the shoulders of giants

§ Now go read everything by lalaietha and staranise and gyzym and Avoliot and scioscribe and idrilka and Speranza and too many others to name