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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More July links

A guest blog hosted by Jim Hines. :>

Phil Athans (formerly of WoTC) creates an exercise: write cover copy. It's hard; I sometimes copy-edit cover copy, for one publisher. He has some other writing exercises too.

John Ottinger is hosting a contest, Calling All Alternauts! Note that winners are notified through Facebook. Perhaps you can ask about using email or Tweets.

It occurs to me that the Interweb is getting more graphical all the time. As in GUI. :> I mentioned the Rialto last week, and realized that I was talking to someone who'd probably never been on usenet. I wonder what we'll use to communicate in 2020?

While researching for work, I found a bookbinding dictionary of terms. How's that for awesome? Imagine having to find that in a library!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are you pondering... cons?

I've been thinking, I now live near Columbus -- relatively speaking, that is. The home of ConText. This year lacks conflict with ConClave, which is my usual problem; instead, the con's only five weeks away.

And these are the folks who are putting on WFC. I'm already registered for World Fantasy.

I could day-trip ConText; their panels look great... Tempting!

Maybe I really am too much like Miles Vorkosigan. (Naw!!!) I already have three travel plans for going solo and/or with companions. There's time to work things out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

July links

Moonie goes into the Blue Yonder with book publicity.

And from EV comes the recent Twitter panel: Do You Believe in Science Fiction?

Shared worlds... ever write one? Want to hear about someone who has? This is a lovely detailed look by Erin M. Evans.

And an essay about reading -- from reading as an addiction to unread books. Definitely enjoyable. I just realized part of why it was so enjoyable; it's by a reader for readers.

Refreshing, especially since the Smithsonian 'zine let me down with lots of "how technology will change everything" today, reading included.

And I can't but think they're a little slow to notice. =sigh= Maybe it's that I have higher standards for the Smithsonian as versus, say, TIME or Newsweek...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mystery characters & vanity.

Josephine Tey has a premise about vanity being part of the criminal mind. Typically Kevin or Alan will speak of this to a disbeliever.

Luckily for me, this gentleman has the very quote I'm thinking of from Alan Grant.

I plan to think about this some more. But I'm wondering how many criminals as characters fit. I have a feeling that Margery Allingham had several who did.

If you must motivate a character somehow, why not with pathological vanity? This would include vigilantes to some extent; any avenger -- Zorro, Batman -- has chosen to go outside the system. Isn't it vanity, and therefore hubris, to assume that Only You can solve the problem?

Last year, I noticed that one of Bujold's characters exactly fulfills this definition... probably more do, but I happened to be reading Brat Farrar right then, and it was quite a contrast!