And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Linkee-poo, some try to tell me thoughts they can not defend

On the benefits of being a slush reader. If I wasn't already over-scheduled (and really have been for the past decade, although lately has been the most extreme), I would have been working hard to become a slush reader. Many of the writers I know personally who have "broken in" did some slush reading.

Terri Windling on the green man/woman. And another good post on the dark forest.

We have always been at war with Eastasia. SF has been the quintessential phoenix of literature. There is always a new wave waiting in the wings, the purifying fire questing to burn down the ramparts. And like the western (and eastern) forests the fire quickens the seeds and clears their path for growth.

"If you’ve been successful, good on ya. I’m thrilled when any artist breaks out to making a living. But genuinely understand that survivorship bias means there are plenty of people plugging the same formulas and not getting results that look even similar." Tobias Buckell on cutting through the crap and getting to the data about publishing.

Because I gratuitously link to content on his site, we're giving some link love to Chuck Wendig. His new book, The Blue Blazes is out today and he's having a contest. That a nice stack 'o books there.

Fifty writing quotes, (actually quotes about writing).

There's an axiom of writing, "Write what you know." If we all adhered to that line literature (including genre) would be exceptionally boring. The collolory to that is "learn new stuff to know it." And sometimes you have to write what other people know. Here are five good tips on getting someone who has expertise you need to submit to an interview. Sure, it's written from the perspective of getting interviews for your blog, but the skills transfer. I guess if you also want to blog interviews (which you could do worse things with your time, and I think the number of people I've seen going from interviewing writers to being a writer who is interviewed would require me to remove my socks to count).

Google is deploying blimpnet to Africa and Asia. Gotta do something to increase those ad revenues. Yea, that was snark, considering there are some big swaths of country in the US that could use that technology as well (but I guess the FAA would have a problem with that, especially after the Comcast and Time Warner checks clear). (Grokked from Neil Gaiman)

"And that means that scenes from this B-movie — inventions dreamed up by Matheson, ad-libs by Daley or Kendrick or Robinson — will eventually take on the status of holy writ, of scripture. Jokes written for Rapture-Palooza will, a generation from now, have been absorbed into the folklore of premillennial dispensationalist 'Bible-prophecy scholarship.'" Rapture-Palooza, aw crap. Although what Fred Clark talks about here, how what is written or in movies becomes folklore and winds its way into orthodoxy. Especially when it comes to the Rapture (premillennialism), it's all a product of this process as the Rapture itself doesn't appear in the Bible. You have to shred the Bible pretty well and then glue Old Testament and New haphazardly, add a dash of inference and a willingness to see connections where none exist to get to the Rapture.

Will she sink? Like a rock, sir. Some proof that the new ways aren't always better than the old ways of doing things. (Pointed to by Dan)

Death in an individual journey, but it's not a virgin path. Millions have trod the road. Jay Lake is walking that path right now. I don't often point to his posts where he ruminates on his position. Sometimes I feel like the worst kind of voyeur while reading them. But I do so for the same reason I read a lot of the blogs of writers in different stages of their career. They're someplace I know I will be. Seeing how others fare will hopefully help my own journey on that road.

"While (Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-TN) interprets food assistance for the needy as 'stealing,' he has not similarly condemned the Farm Bill’s massive agricultural subsidies. In fact, he supported a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion over the next 10 years. Fincher has a great personal stake in maintaining these particular government handouts, as the second most heavily subsidized farmer in Congress and one of the largest subsidy recipients in Tennessee history…" Tell me again how the conservatives aren't the party of "got mine, screw you." That never gets old. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The problem with short term cuts is they tend to become long term liabilities. While the article Tobias Buckell points to is all about infrastructure spending ("In the GOP’s masterful move to 'save money' they have cost tens of millions more than the initial price tag") the same is true about social spending. Most people don't remember why we have food stamps and Head Start. There have been breathless news reports about how Head Start kids lose their advantage by 3rd grade all the while missing that Head Start was never meant to give kids an advantage, but to level the playing field for the less fortunate. This in turn lead to lower poverty rates and lower criminal prosecutions. SNAP (food stamps) were meant as a way to not just end hunger, but feed kids when their brains are most vulnerable thereby decreasing dependence on government programs. And both programs were successful beyond the hopes of the law makers who initiated them. But since we no longer remember why we did these programs (because they solved the problems) we're no destined to run into the same problems because of short sighted politicians, especially the conservatives.

"Why are temperatures warming faster in the Arctic than the rest of the world?" (Grokked from Jay Lake)

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