Book Review: Gail Carriger – Reticence (Custard Protocol)

Reticence: Custard ProtocolReticence: Custard Protocol by Gail Carriger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always look forward to a new book in the Parasolverse, and Carriger never fails to deliver something great.

This time on the romance block it’s Percy, who, I admit, I had been digging as ace or aro (and whom I continue to dig as aspec), so it was gonna take someone special to capture his heart, and mine on his behalf.

Well, Arsenic (just take a beat to love that name) did the trick from page one. She’s a perfect fit for the family of misfits aboard the Custard: quick, smart, an oddity to society, unwilling to judge others, and a big heart coupled with a laid back acceptance of whatever is happening around her.

She’s a great match for Percy, if he could only move past his lack of experience and actually get with the kissing!

The rest of the book is, as expected, ridiculous and fun. Floating cities, more new shapeshifters, tassles, fainting vampire queens, Akeldama being…well, Akeldama.

Carriger shows, as always, that she can write books set in the past (albeit a steampunk version of it) whilst refusing to cis-, het- and whitewash everything in it. Each oddball is written with love, care and respect, and I look forward to this in any new works as much as I look forward to the stories themselves.

All in all, another favourite for the reread list! And I can’t wait for the next.

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Trans Inclusivity in a Professional Environment

I’ve assisted a few people now with questions around how to ensure a professional environment, or a project, is trans inclusive, and with the latest it became clear that setting some things down for easy reference would be helpful.

Before we start:
This isn’t an exhaustive list, much of it can also be incorporated into social environments, and I will likely give it occasional updates.
There are some specific instances to which the below don’t apply, but for most professional circumstances, they will. If you’re not sure if they apply, then they most likely do and you should act accordingly.
There are some offsite links at the bottom, which are worth following to expand on this piece.
I’m happy to discuss things further with anyone who has questions – but I don’t respond to bad faith actors.
Some of the things below may not apply to every trans person, so always remember to check with individuals what makes them most comfortable, and be sure to err on the side of caution. Continue reading

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Prompt Short Story: Perspective – Hilda


(WIP, “Perspective”)


Lee Hulme

[All stories in this series:
1: Drew     2: Vicky     3: Egs     4: Danson     5: Egs & Danson     6: Nelle     7: Elliot     8: Emmeline    9: Josie     10: Nelson     11: Jase     12: Hilda     ]


The creature floated through the waves of darkness. It reached across the curtain and touched mind after mind, looking for a hook, a glimmer, a way across the divide. It hungered, and the hunger made it restless. It had been so long…

Ah! There. Something promising. It felt desperation, hate, faith. Someone called on their gods to help them. It would save their gods the hassle.


Hilda knelt in the circle of power, her tunic and plaited blonde hair dark in the shadows, drawn around the altar in blood from the ox that lay atop the cold stone, completed with runes denoting the gods of the village. Blood leaked from its neck wound as its life faded, and Hilda drew the final symbols upon herself. She prostrated herself to Tiw, the war god, taker of life, arbiter of justice, and friend to the wolves that howled in the forest that stood tall around her.

“My life and my ox are for you, Tiw, please help us, who worship you faithfully. We go against our enemies who would see us dead to take our land, topple our faith, murder us and our children. Please Tiw, grant us justice, show me you are with us.” Continue reading

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