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Monday, September 30, 2013

Fiction is for entertainment.

"[E]ven scientists read fiction for entertainment, not instruction.  Novels which are thinly disguised essays are rarely popular.  What's important is the human meaning of the science--how does it affect the characters?  And why should the reader care?"
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Free online:

Dean Wesly Smith's online workshops (more informative, less critique)

Shame on Shame in Classrooms

Dr. Brené Brown says, "Shame Is So Prevalent in Classrooms."

Is it?  I suspect most teachers try to support students, but they will also try to discourage unhelpful habits.  I also discourage students from ridiculing self, students, teacher or the class in the classroom, which I strongly suspect is not uncommon.  Digging through my memories of teachers I've had or watched. I cannot recall any instances--at least intentionally--of shaming students (name-calling, essentially).  Her evidence, on this clip at least, is anecdotal.

Especially troubling is the implication that this is widespread, and encourages riling parents up to be antagonistic, rather than cooperative, with teachers.  I post this in the hope that Americans not overreact and take away their teachers' ability to create a healthy classroom discipline.  It's a hard job, as is.  Please do not assume teachers are out to get your kids.

My mother was a teacher and I can only recall her personally going to bat for me once, intervening on my behalf when a teacher grabbed a story I was working on while waiting for the class to finish a test.  She did so diplomatically.  Please assume the best.  If your kid's teacher is antagonistic, often just talking with the teacher may make a difference.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Fantasy can be subversive."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

Workshops and other writing instruction

Writing the Other Workshop and Retreat Chattanooga, TN - June 9 - 15, 2014
  • David Anthony Durham, 
  • Tempest Bradford, 
  • Mary Robinette Kowal, 
  • Nisi Shawl, 
  • and Cynthia Ward
Cat Rambo online offerings

Steven Barnes' Ultimate Writer Bundle (was discounted) -- various mp3s + pdfs on writing (Hero's Journey) and fitting life into the midst.

Online Advice:
"[I]f you're a new writer, here's the question you've got to ask yourself:  Are you working as hard as you possibly can to make yourself a better writer?"
David Farland on precision:
"In order to really create a particular dog in your reader’s mind, you have to get down to details."

Oh, Internet, my Internet (the most vehement garners attention)

Overreaction now the standard reaction 
"Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Everyone is constantly freaking out, it’s like we’re a land of teenage girls."
10 photos that will make you angry (The Onion)

Marly Youmans with leavened opinion on David Gilmour (writer, not Pink Floyd dude ["Wish You Were Here"--still great voice]):
"Love one another and stay out of trouble (i.e. go read a book or write one, quick! )"

Friday, September 27, 2013

"The Subject Is Closed" by Larry Niven

First appeared in Cosmos.  Reprinted twice by Jack M. Dann, Gardner R. Dozois, and by Darrell Schweitzer, George H. Scithers.  From The Draco Tavern collection.

Aliens approached by Christian for tentative conversion, but these aliens avoid the subject because when explored many committed suicide.  Story provides one possible explanation--too easy to get in to heaven--but others may exist (Lovecraft's answer might be different--more dire).  Interesting little religious/philosophical piece.
"To be successful, genre fantasy should be familiar enough to satisfy expectations, yet different enough to be surprising and distinctive."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weightless book sales

Women and Monsters 
J. M. McDermott 

"Buy a BCS [Beneath Ceaseless Skies] ebook subscription or the new Best of BCS Year Four from, and you’ll get a coupon for 30% off all BCS anthologies and back issues at Weightless Books."


Focus on Six Writers: Andrea Barrett, Gerald Kersh, C L Moore, Frederik Pohl, Terese Svoboda, and James Gunn

Andrea Barrett

Gerald Kersh:

Frederik Pohl

Terese Svoboda 

James Gunn:

Links on Success, Short Sentences, Starships, Campus Novels and Quantum Physics

Malcolm Gladwell on success (I could listen to this guy for hours)

A success story:  "Donal Ryan, a civil servant from Limerick, Ireland, wrote two novels. He sent them to agents and publishers and got back 47 rejections over three years [until two were published and one] made the cut for the Man Booker Prize long list."

Others:  Top internet stories of 2012--Story South's Million Writers:  includes Alan Baxter, Christopher Barzak Justin Howe, Molly Gloss, Ellen Klages, Yoon Ha Lee, Mari Ness, Christie Yant,  Caroline M. Yoachim, among others.

The success of having friends write you into novels.

On the success of the short sentence.

Thursday September 26th 12 noon PDT / 3pm EDT Geoff Landis, Physicist and Science Fiction Author and Allen Steele, Award Winning Science Fiction Author, will hangout with SETI Institute scientists Cynthia Phillips and Franck Marchis (host & moderator) to discuss on the Starship Century book and symposiums dedicated to the exploration of our galaxy using a starship

50 campus novels

Quantum Physics:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"[C]oncentrate on creating believable characters in an interesting story.... [S]tart from the personal--write about what deeply matters to you, write what you feel to be true, not what you think you 'should' say."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

Quote continued (separated out to show what we have control over and what we don't):
"...[W]ith luck and skill, others will respond to it."

“Stand at Duben-Geb” By Ryan Harvey

Black Gate

Khasar and Alagh fight over whether to move the clan out into the open to new ground or remain hidden from the dreaded Sorghul.  Alagh bides his time to become the talahn through murder.  When Khasar accuses him, they have to duel.  The duel, though, is interrupted by an attack from the Sorghul, which is interrupted by something far larger.

Some cool sense of wonder here, but this loses a bit of the emotional heart of the other two Ahn-Tarqa stories--"An Acolyte of Black Spires" and "Farewell to Tyrn"--in favor of many battles.  Probably we should have built up more of Khasar's character.

"The Hanging Gardener" by Ryan Harvey

Plasma Frequencies

Hunt this one down--especially if you like exotic flavored horror.

In Babylon's Hanging Gardens are many strange plants cultivated by Seluku, "The Hanging Gardener" who has created them.  The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, easily rages against magicians, so he packs the troublemakers off on a not-so-tranquil walk among the gardens:
"The sight of this forest climbing in tiers from the edge of the Euphrates.... [M]any had entered the gardens, and never returned."
 Nebuchadnezzar hands over a Canaanite priest, who initially appears old.  Though he pities the old priest in tattered clothes, Seluku plans on the most painful deaths.  On second glance, maybe Katuwas isn't so old?  Katuwas gives a final warning, but who could believe anyone so doddered and frail?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Archetypes... are vital to fantasy."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

"The Sorrowless Thief” By Ryan Harvey

Black Gate

A drug-addicted beggar tries to talk Dyzan Ludd, a Sorrowless, out of a foolhardy robbery of the Shapers, the lords who rule Ahn-Tarqa.  He goes anyway.

His plan is bold:  to enter the caravan full of Shapers.  His plan is fool-proof... except they'd anticipated his arrival.

They have a plan for him:  to look into something darker than the Sorrow.  They may not like what he has to tell them.

An intense tale although the frame is not as strong and not yet integral to the telling.  Worth reading.  May the forthcoming novel set in the same world as these Ahn-Tarqa tales have even more reveals and splendors, and be as populated with strong heroes as Dyzan.

Farewell to Tyrn (Ahn-Tarqa) by Ryan Harvey


The mystery of the Sorrow is better explained here.  Belde discovers she is one of the Sorrowless, those whose can look into the heart of the Sorrow and yet not feel the infinite sadness.  The Shapers come to her parents' house to weed out the Sorrowless they've felt there, but they don't immediately realize that it's the daughter, Belde, who can look into the Sorrow.  They send their modified dinosaur beak-nose chasing after.  Rint, her own small beak-nose, and Belde flee.

A fun romp through the world of Ahn-Tarqa, which also appeared in WotF.  After these two stories, I'm eager to read more.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lisa Tuttle on influence

"Many writers... have written stories directly inspired by other stories.  SF is a genre in an ongoing conversation with itself.... [S]tories that annoy can be of more use to the writer than those that are perfectly enjoyable."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

Foolish Mortals by Ryan Harvey

Everyday Fiction

Looking back a decade or so, Amanda and Roger recall a new girl, Wendy Bliss, who came to school but they don't remember when she left.  They find pictures and memories they'd lost.  It is a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that brings back the strangeness of the girl, the one who seemed to tell Roger, "What fools you mortals be."

Free ebooks (Dana Stabanow, Joe R. Lansdale, Warren Murphy, Brent Knowles)

Brent Knowles:

Warren Murphy:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Whether the authors 'invented' these ideas, or were the first to use them, isn't significant.  It's how they used them, clothed them in story and made thme live, which matters.  Often a number of writers are drawn to explore the same ideas at the same time, because these are questions which are very much in the public consciousness...  Writers may consciously borrow ideas from books they've read wanting to argue or put their own spin on them, or they may absorb them unconssciously from the common culture.  Ideas get recycled, reused, and some become such common currency within SF that their origins are forgotten."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

"An Acolyte of Black Spires" by Ryan Harvey

First appeared in WotF 27

In a world where society requires masks, not signs of pleasure, Sorrow is a mysterious and oppressive power that governs its inhabitants.  Quarl is given a new helper to help his research.  However, his researcher pushes the boundaries of what is permissible.  She eventually reveals herself to be not whom she pretended to be--at the worst possible moment.  A moving work inspiring people to look outside their culture for possibilities of life.

My minor qualm, which I tend to have of stories of this nature, is the mouthful of words.  While I recognize works like this are intended to invoke another world/culture, words should be a little easier to trip off the tongue in the language they are written.

Ryan Harvey


Free Stories

Stories of Ahn-Tarqa:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Although it's good to read the classics, it's probably even more important to be aware of what contemporary SF writers are doing now."
--Lisa Tuttle, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Note:  A solid book  on the field.  The unique strength or value of this book is its analyses.  Her advice is familiar but when she breaks down her work or those of others, you'll want to listen.

DNA Stephen King, Rachel Pollack, & Invention

Stephen King's 7 pieces of advice.  Loved this:

  • "Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Five Discworld ebooks on sale (Terry Pratchett) and a ton of Arthur C. Clarke

Five of Terry Pratchett's
Discworld ebooks 
on sale for $1.99 
today only


Arthur C. Clarke 
multiple titles
$1.99 and $3.99 

Jay Lake's Process of Writing

Here's an ebook I bought immediately.  Jay Lake's Writing Process (This has a link to a contest, and to various ebook formats.  I originally thought the title a poor choice until I started reading and realized it was perfect.)

I've been friends with Jay almost since he started writing professionally--humorous, friendly, fun and  often interesting to hang with.  I fondly recall our drive to Wiscon, the conversations and The Rolling Stones marathon.  A good man in many ways.

I'll write a full review later, but it is full of Jay Lake's writing wisdom.  Frankly, his ideas on story ideas are mystical mumbo-jumbo (sorry, Jay), but I'm sure they would be useful to those with a very organic writing styles.  However, much of the other stuff has valuable writing nuggets:  names, productive lifestyles, the business, and world-building details.

For years I've wanted to move out to Oregon, to live near Jay and the Wordos workshop, but couldn't figure out a practical way to do so.  This ebook is a good substitute--it makes it feel like you're in conversation with the writer.

I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"The Face in the Cloth" by Jane Yolen from Dragonfield: and Other Stories

This first appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction; reprinted in Arthur W. Saha's Year's Best Fantasy Stories and Terri Windling's The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors.

"The Tower Bird" by Jane Yolen from Dragonfield: and Other Stories

 This first appeared in Ariel: The Book of Fantasy, ed. Thomas Durwood; reprinted in 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Terry Carr, and Isaac Asimov.
This little tale tips expectations on their head.  A king begs a bird to give him answers.  The bird only responds in riddles until one day a response out of exasperation changes everything.

The perspective change may alter the way the reader views the universe.

"The Lady and the Merman" by Jane Yolen from Dragonfield: and Other Stories

Since it first appearance in F&SF, September 1976, this has been reprinted in two anthologies edited by Isaac Asimov, Terry Carr, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Martin Greenberg.  

This simple, little tale is doubly and profoundly tragic.  A mariner has a plain child, so he sets sail.  The mother, heart-broken, dies.  The mariner, enraged, refuses to speak of his wife.  His daughter, he refuses to love.

One night the daughter finds a merman, with whom she tries to reach out to the fish of this man.  The obvious, primary tragedy can be considered not to be tragic, the less obvious, perhaps unacknowledged tragedy cuts twice.  Seek this one out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Free and low priced ebooks

by Elizabeth Hand
$1.99 (today only)


(includes stories by Kristine Ong Muslim, Rhys Hughes, David Gerrold and myself:  I send Kafka to Honduras in a tale about Kafka's imaginary exotic education)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris

Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons Jane Yolen, Robert J. Harris Open Road Integrated Media

Due to a prophecy, to keep themselves pure, Amazons must kill their second son (the first is given to the father).  Because Amazon Queen Otrere refused, she is deposed and thrown in jail.  Her adolescent daughter, Hippolyta, takes the infant second son to the father, Laomedon, King of Troy.

Laomedon accepts the child but rejects Hippolyta's idea of Laomedon taking over Amazon to save her mother.  She mocks him, and he throws her in a dingy jail where she awaits to be a late-night snack for the sea monster that attacks the city.

In prison, Hippolyta meets her first brother who wants to know about his mother.  Thinking him like their cruel father, Hippolyta rebuffs him yet craftily guides him to believe he needs her to learn about his mother.

However, when she's chained to rocks, awaiting the sea monster, she prays to the gods that hate Laomedon, giving her promise to avenge them, and a kind of deliverance arrives.  She and her savior make their way back to Amazon.  On the journey, a mysterious stranger helps Hippolyta learn control to become a better warrior.  Later, the stranger will become familiar as Hippolyta must not only battle her own goddess, who wills the death of her brother, but also another.

Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons is an adventure story.  The characters don't scrape deeply, but it's full of "one damn thing after another."  With its strong female, youthful warrior, this is likely to appeal to those whose hearts crave brave thrills battling against impossible odds.

Theme spoiler: As in The Dragon's Boy, religion as a theme appears, ringing several similar notes, but this time to let us know it should not be a part of wars.

Review: Graphic Guides samplers from Icon Books

Graphic Guides samplers on
Psychology, Postmodernism, Shakespeare and others
Various authors
Icon Books

I've always been fond of graphic-introduction books.  They're brief and immediate nibbles on often difficult subject without being tedious or dull--treating topics with images that enhance the brevity.  The samples of Icon Books' works that I read fall within this tradition and do a good job of it.

My sample ran along the rumblings of what built Postmodernism, detailing possible ways of defining the topic and treating breaks from modern representations (i.e. Paul Cézanne eroding what had been representation--thanks to photography's filling in the gap of representation).

Pick up a copy and see if it trips your trigger.  A page or two should tell you if the format works for you.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: William Gibson by Gary Westfahl

William Gibson Gary Westfahl
University of Illinois Press

This is a scholarly treatment of William Gibson.  Unfortunately, due to technological glitches, the only part of the book I received was an extensive bibliography--handy if not especially interesting.

I did check out the introductory sample from the Amazon website.  It immediately splashes his brash character in a quote that takes down Robert Heinlein.  Gibson, as you can see by the story "The Gernsback Continuum" discussed here, entered the SF scene, kicking down the Heinlein-generation's furniture and setting up a new shop.  However, Westfahl suggests that Gibson and Heinlein share more than they seem to.

Westfahl points out that Gibson, despite claims for him being postmodernist, grew up in the slums of SF, and considers himself from that turf.  To that end, Westfahl renders Gibson's biography.

The introductory analysis makes me lament the technological glitch that gave me only the back pages.  This book may be worth investigating for fans and scholars alike.

Review: The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen

The Dragon's Boy 
Jane Yolen 
Open Road Integrated Media

Jane Yolen's works have won numerous awards:  the Caldecott, Nebula, World Fantasy Award, National Book Award nomination, and Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, among others.  Reading the newly reissued ebook, The Dragon's Boy, it is easy to see why.

Despite more accoladed works, this book sticks to your ribs (and your brain) as it works on multiple levels:  The literal tale of a boy working for a dragon, the deeper tale of the boy who tries to peer through the mist on the border of truth and wisdom, and the tale for adults, the ones who bear wisdom often distorting events for deeper truths.

Artos, looking for the prized hound he is responsible for, stumbles on to a cave.  He encounters a dragon inside.  Knowing dragons to be sly, Artos doesn't trust the dragon when it offers the boy jewels or wisdom.  Artos chooses wisdom, thinking it what the dragon wants to hear.  Although jewels sound more appealing, he's afraid of becoming lunch.

Nonetheless, the dragon gives Artos a jewel, and Artos promises to return to the dragon with stew, but he does not intend to fulfill that promise as it was made under duress.  He tries to show off his new jewel but none pay attention.  Finally, guilt drives him to return to the dragon with a pot of stew after having paid for it by giving the kitchen girl, Maggie, a kiss.

Bit by bit, the dragon doles out wisdom--the art of reading between the lines in books, and the art of deception.  That last comes into play and brings the whole of the book together as Artos deceives and is deceived, and learns that such deception--the engrandizement of the seemingly insignificant--makes him wiser.

Because some readers might want to know this upfront, I will peel back a corner of the book's theme. The dragon speaks in language that ties him to Jehovah, but his reveal creates multiple possible religious themes:  1) that Jehovah isn't the aloof powerhouse he initially seems, 2) that Jehovah is a deceptive if broken necessity, or 3) that we are all flawed gods, necessarily magical in the beginning.  Some readers, however, may choose to gloss over this reading for a more secular view of maturity.  Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons covers similar thematic territory. [Review released on 9/10/13]

The Dragon's Boy is not a page-turner nor a thriller, so it may not be for reluctant readers--unless read with an adult.  Still, the literary layers enrich the telling so that readers can visit again and again.  This will also be popular with readers who love to hear the Arthurian legends retold.  If Yolen has written a better book, I'd love to know what that is.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Sister Emily's Lightship" by Jane Yolen from Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories

This first appeared in Patrick Nielsen Hayden's Starlight, and won a Nebula award.

Employing many of Emily Dickinson's lines along the way, Yolen tells of Dickinson's life and afterlife.  Dickinson has these attacks of light that blinds and causes her to faint. She fears her father will send her away.  But the roof blows and she's taken into the sky to meet a different kind of maker--a traveler.

"She had already dwelt in that greatest of possibilities for an hour....  The universe was hers, no matter that she only lived in one tiny world."
"World" here might mean Earth or remaining locked inside her house, for
"I do not need to travel farther than across this room."

A metafictional tale about the possibilities in life and literature.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Godmother Death" by Jane Yolen from Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories

This first appeared in Datlow and Windling's Black Swan, White Raven, and can also be found online here.

A man in his haste accidentally calls on Death to be his son's godmother.  He sprouts and encounters success, and she makes him a doctor.  He knows whether his patients will live or die by where Death stands near the bed.  He tricks Death once to marry a princess, but Death has a trick of her own.

This has a lovely authorial voice which is occasionally amusing:
"Ah — now you think I have been lying to you, that this is only a story. It has a king in it. And while a story with Death might be true, a story with a king in it is always a fairy tale. But remember, this comes from a time when kings were common as corn. Plant a field and you got corn. Plant a kingdom and you got a king. It is that simple."

Jane Yolen [and Lewis Carroll] on sense, sound, moral and the reader

[Quoting Lewis Carroll:] " 'Tut, tut, child!' said the Duchess. 'Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.' "
“Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves.”
“[I]t's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!”
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ 
" 'The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ 
" 'The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.” 

[Yolen:]  "I have tried to be master in these short stories.  I am sure they have morals somewhere.  I took good care of the sense.
"The rest is up to the readers--you, dear puddings."
from Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Jane Yolen

[Note:  I cut out one she did not refer to and extended the quote on another which I found of note.]

Ebooks on sale

Open Road Media is having a back-to-school sale on all children's books (click tab to see other categories).

Five Elmore Leonard novels for $2.99

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 
by Robert M. Pirsig

Coraline  (a favorite of mine--Gaiman like L. Frank Baum often has that great children's storytelling voices)
by Neil Gaiman (Author), Dave Mckean (Illustrator)

Rot & Ruin 
by Jonathan Maberry

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Angelica" by Jane Yolen from Dragonfield: and Other Stories

Since it first appearance in F&SF, December 1979, this has been reprinted in a half dozen or so anthologies by Isaac Asimov, Terry Carr, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Ed Gorman, Martin Greenberg, Marvin Kaye, Larry Segriff, and Charles Waugh.  You can read it online here.

Addie is a rebelious boy.  Despite a fever and the lateness of the night, he sneaks out but falls into a river--sure to drown, but for the kindness of an angel who spots him and saves him because his own guardian angel had disappeared.  For good or for ill.  No good deed goes unpunished.

Jane Yolen on the reading and writing of fantasy

[Quoting Lewis Carroll:  Alice said:] "[O]ne can't believe impossible things."
 "I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
[Yolen:]  "The reading of fantasy and the writing of it take that kind of practice, too."
from Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Jane Yolen

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Lost Girls" by Jane Yolen from Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast

First appeared in Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast.  Reprinted in Realms of Fantasy.  This won a Nebula award.

Darla isn't crazy about J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan because she doesn't like how Wendy did the housework while Peter and the boys fought Captain Hook.  In a dream or transported while asleep Darla encounters Peter himself where she's made into a Wendy, for he cannot be bothered to learn other girl names.  The Wendys clean while the boys fight pirates and eat more food.  Darla, the daughter of a labor lawyer, proposes the girls go on strike.  After much wrangling, they do.  Only Peter is all too happy to let the Wendys go, for new ones will come their way; and the girls are all too quickly captured.  But pirates aren't what they were made out to be.

Christmas in Venice: A Short Story by Meadow Taylor

Christmas in Venice: A Short Story by Meadow Taylor

I don't tend to read romance, but I hunted down several as I was writing one of my own and came across this bright thing.  The problem with many a romance is that the males are over- or under-idealized.  As this is a short story that opens a novel, maybe Taylor falls into the same trap.  But for this tale, she succeeds.  Her character has just arrived in an airport in Venice when a handsome if rough officer grabs and wants to know about her bag.  She makes what seems to be hard-headed foolish choices, which turn out to be was when she she explains herself.  A nice flavor of mystery/suspense stirred in.

"Mama Gone" by Jane Yolen from Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast

First appeared in Vampires.  Reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifth Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling and in Vampires: The Greatest Storiesedited by Martin H. Greenberg.

When Mama died, they didn't chop her up and fill her with garlic as thought to have, her being kin of vampires, but let her be.  So Mama comes back and tries to attack her old home.  The narrator, however, has spread garlic which keeps her away.  That for the night.  But Mama keeps coming and has to find a way to stop, to talk her back into her senses--if such is possible for a dead thing.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Links for Writing, Supporting & Listening

Contest to support the medical expenses that incurred by Ben Wolverton, David Farland's son

David Farland on creating powerful scenes:
  1. Pt 1
  2. Pt 2: Characters (rooting for the everyman)
  3. Pt 3: Setting (is a character, too)



Links to Read: Books. Interviews, SF, Perspective, Stories

Free ebook
Siren Song At Midnight by David Farland

Books and Authors
Book of Kells online (what is it? Wiki)

Jonathan Lethem gives us leads on several authors

Harlan Ellison

Kit Reed

On SF & Perspective
The lure of science fiction: an insider’s view by Tom Purdom

Teju Cole redefines words in an Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary manner.  Humorous.  Interesting, thoug,h how the politics on display could be altered if definitions were switched.  Would people still read and link to it?

New issue of Subterranean with long works by

Links: World News & Science

World Current Events
9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

9 questions about Egypt you were too embarrassed to ask

Thank asymmetry, you're alive! (among other quirks of physics)

Studying other languages puts hair on your chest--as well as a major source of 12 vitamins and minerals.  Actually, it is good for the brain's re-wiring.

Now you can play your friend's video games, too--through your friend's brain

Softly Killing Science Fiction through Science

Sunshine Technopolis: Southern California’s Utopian Futures by Gregory Benford
5 Things Mentally Tough People Don’t Do