Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twenty-Three Small Disasters

This cluster of stories is old now, but it's awesome, and it features several of my favorite writers. This is all the stuff flash can and should be. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Putting It Up Front

Catherynne Valente talks about some of her time in the apex editorial staff, and gives advice on story construction. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

War, Huh, Good God, Y'all

So the type of character set up guaranteed to least engage my sympathy is this: two people are married, but they don't like each other. They neither deal with their problems nor leave the relationship, but instead play the victim in mostly passive aggressive silence. I have read exactly one story with a premise anything like this that I enjoyed. This story is at its worst when the author transparently sympathizes with one party, and seems to expect the reader to do the same even though that person is at least as culpable as the other. There's a really easy fix for a marriage that brings zero happiness to either party.

Lately I've been finding I have a similar relationship with war fiction.

I get that a lot of people really love this stuff, but I'm finding myself at a loss as to why. Over the past week I've been reading a novel and several short stories wherein people aren't clear on their objectives, they know they can't win, their command is stupid but people follow their orders anyway, people freeze up and die, people spend a lot of time lying about what happened in war so that people are able to think war is great, and so on. Layered onto this in varying degrees seem to be the competing concepts of "this is stupid and terrible" and "this is the greatest thing that men an ever be called upon to do". I look back over what I've written above, and it sounds like great fiction on the page. Dramatic tension, loads of waste and tragedy. But the more I read of it, the more it just makes me tired and depressed, and I find myself thinking, like the marriage example above, dude, just leave. Put your gun/sword/space gun away, gather whatever family you might have left and go live somewhere else. Unless you're fighting some cartoon race of bugs/orcs, really, your side doesn't look any better than the other (and even then, many times). Life is already too short. Run away, little fictional character, and avoid dying by the faceless thousands, often of dysentery, while you wait for mediocre commanders to squander your life on objectives you don't understand and which have negligible relevance to you.    

Go be part of a happier story. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Cambist and Lord Iron

Lightspeed Magazine has reprinted one of my all time favorite stories, the Cambist and Lord Iron

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fun Artist Blog

Found this guy through Nnedi Okorafor posting the picture he'd done for her. Some fantastic stuff in here. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ted Chiang Interview

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I want to be Ted Chiang when I grow up. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Things You Can Do To Get Better Sci-Fi Movies

io9 has a lovely list of personal action items you can do to help better films be made. The comments make a nice point as well: if something good comes along, please pay for it instead of, or at least in addition to pirating it. I'm totally sympathetic to not dropping 9 bucks a ticket on something terrible, but let the people who made the good stuff know you appreciate it in the form of cash. It's the decent thing to do. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If You Enjoy Cartoon Voices

And Star Wars: Here are some really talented voice actors showing off by reading the star wars script. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oh, Japan! You so crazy!

Do you know what time it is, Internet? That's right, it's sparkly, gay, Japanese Hobbit fanart time! You can thank me later. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Into the Darkness

Check out that fantastic cover!

The story that gave this blog its name is collected in Into the Darkness, which is now available on Amazon. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

You'll Probably Guess

Hey, guess who loves graffiti, feminism, and democratic uprising?

That's right, it's me!

And apparently these very cool ladies in Egypt!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Trespass, an Anthology!

I have officially become an editor as well.

So here's what happened:

A few years back I signed up for a writing site with most of those associates you see over there on the right of the blog. In those days few if any of us were published, but we helped each other out as best we could.

So fast forward a bit, and now all of us are published, and some of us recollected in best ofs and the like. In order to continue helping each other out, we got together and bundled several of our previously published stories. Our hope is that as we make further sales, anyone who goes looking for one of us will find all of us, and hopefully fall in love with the people they hadn't seen before.

The anthology's only 99 cents- perfect try-it-out price. Don't be shy. Go pick one up for your e-book device. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Five Obstructions

Daniel Abraham talks about the benefits of restrictions applied to creative process.