Tobias Buckell celebrates his 6th Freelanceversary in a kickass manner. I hope he starts to wear short sleeve shirts to cons to show off his new ink.
Happy book week to Jeff and Ann VenderMeer with the release of their antho, The Weird.
What else to do with your darlings. For me? Put them into a cut file so they're easy to find.
Creating and identity for Wikia. Or, when designers go completely off their rockers.
"For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing." Mark Twain in a letter to Hellen Keller regarding the plagiarism suit brought against her. Also note, the suit against Hellen Keller is akin to the plethora of suits against JK Rowling (which are mostly, "Look, I have a book which has a 'school for magic' in it, she totally ripped me off" not of the "90+% of this work is a word for word transcription of my own book"). Or to quote T. S. Elliot, "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal." (Grokked from ChiaLynn)
I know there are people who rage over the death of their favorite fictional character, and I'll admit that when I killed the first character I cared about and liked, I had to be drug, kicking and screaming, to that point. But now I see the point made in this Tor.com article. "Often times, fantasy stories will include far too many 'easy rescues' for our heroes to keep the plot moving forward. This removes the threat level which provides a story with its tension. By killing characters that readers have considered vital, creators… remind us that the threat is real in their stories, that even heroes can die and that goodness doesn’t always triumph over all." That, and it's a good motivator for the remaining characters to survive. See, killing the bad guys is easy. And there's always red-shirt galore that can be happily dropped down the well at a moment's notice. But neither of those has the same impact on the reader (and the writer) as to take the character you like, the one you'd rather have the beer with because they'd be less Paladin-asshole-like than the protagonist, and drive a knife through their heart. One, it's realistic. Two, it let's the reader know, "Hey, nobody is safe here." Three, the reader then has an emotional need for the story. And four, well, we're back to one, it's more realistic because people we love die.
Catherine Shaffer with a good commentary about the pharma business.
Remember when conservatives all wanted government to get out of the way between you and your doctor? Ahh, the good old days. And since it's not enough to kick just women when they're down by sticking an ultrasound probe in their vaginas, we'll have to kick everybody when they're down by restricting emergency rooms from prescribing pain kills for more than 72 hours. "'They are buying them time to get the ultimate care that they are seeking,' (Ohio Department of Health director Ted Wymyslo) said. "'hey are reinforcing the fact that they are an interim step for a patient's chronic pain management, and not a place to come if you want pain control.'" You know, except for the fact that for many of America's poor and disenfranchised, the emergency room is their primary care facility. But screw them, they should pay to see a doctor in their office (said doctor who can refuse to see them if they're not insured or can't show they can pay) and miss more work time to go do that. I'm sure, though, that these people are the ones selling their drugs, so we'll solve that problem too (except they're not, but we can't have an intelligent, factual conversation on drug use in this country). See, you look at drug overdoses and immediately think it's recreational use. And that hasn't been shown conclusively, yet (yes, I'm willing to bet at least 50% are using the drugs recreationally, but I have a feeling the misuse of pain killers, and patient directed suicide takes up a larger percentage than most people want to admit).
You know those annoying things on DVDs? No, not the commentary track or opening advertisements, but those warnings of "don't you dare pirate this work" screens that you can't skip or forward through? Yeah, you're about to get more of those. Thanks. (Pointed to by John)
And speaking of people who are involved with the self-loathing, the Log Cabin Republicans are upset about President Obama's timing on his statement supporting same-sex marriage. Dear Log Cabin conservatives, ummmm… you do know which party introduced, supported, and promoted the NC Amendment One initiative, right? Now, I appreciate that just because a person is gay that they don't want a smaller government and lower taxes, and vise a versa. But, have you looked at the people around you lately? GW and Dickie boy are now all about the same-sex marriage? Hey, that's great. Maybe they could have had that epiphany when they were in office and could have done something about it. And finally, say, who is continuing the fight to keep DOMA legal? That would be the Speaker of the House. And what party does he belong to? Oh, right. Take your righteous haughtiness and STFU, thanks. Clean your own house first and we can talk. Oh, and Shep Smith? Yeah, fuck you, too. (Pointed to by Dan)
You know, it's a good thing we can engage in respectful conversation and use facts to support our positions. Oh, wait, no… That's an article about a pastor who lied in his crusade to get NC's Amendment One passed. Dear Rev. Patrick Wooden, you might want to read that book you claim to represent. When you do you'll find very little about gays and a whole lot about bearing false witness. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Michelle Bachmann applies for dual citizenship of US and Swiss. Seriously? WTF? While the Swiss reports focus in on if she's going to run for office in Switzerland, for someone who is of the USA, Fuck yeah!" crowd, bwah? Look, dual citizenship is dual allegiance. Bachmann, you're done. Please leave the stage.
Alligator Quotient: Eyes closed tight, "They're not there, they're not there."