It’s that time again; I’ve found so many fantabulous, fascinating, and freaky things in recent weeks that I’m tossing them all into a post for your amusement, edification, and astonishment. I am not responsible for coffee or tea spray on the monitor, so put your drink down before you look at some of these…
Right. *cracks knuckles* Let’s get rolling.
First up, let’s get some humor. One of my favorite webcomics is Partially Clips, begun by Rob Balder and continued so very ably by the talented Shoebox. The best of the recent offerings there, in my opinion, involve a pharmacist, a pulled-pork sandwich, and pickup lines.
Moving on to more serious matters, and acknowledging, at the same time, that it often takes me months to catch up on “current news” (by which time it’s old news, naturally)–in recent wanderings I came across Nick Mamatas’s post about why he’s retiring. The original post came out in June 2013, and I found it by way of some recent comments on Facebook. I found it a really interesting Q&A, but be warned–there are links in the post that risk dragging the unwary into an extended exploration of the scandals and debates that perennially swirl throughout the SFF community. Also be aware, if you haven’t encountered him before, that Nick is not a play-it-nice kind of guy. He’s often abrasive, even aggressive, and he doesn’t back down from his core beliefs for the sake of PC. I love reading his stuff. It’s flat-out honest and always thought-provoking, even on the rare occasions that I disagree with him. I’m sad that he’s backing off from pointing out the fuschia elephants in the middle of the living room, but he’s certainly done his part and then some; let someone else pick up the lance.
Speaking of thought-provoking, there is a series of posts by author Dean Wesley Smith that have me pondering mightily these days. They’re called “Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing“, and while I very much agree with some of them, I very much disagree with one in particular. I’ll be posting my thoughts on that separately; anytime I get stirred up, I like to take my time to think it all through very carefully, examine my own thinking for biases, etc and so on. Meanwhile, wander around his Top Ten posts. I suspect you’ll find them as interesting as I did.
Let’s see… I’m woefully behind on telling you folks about Alicia E. Goranson; I picked up her novella Supervillianz at BaltiCon this year, and enjoyed it immensely. The PDF is actually available as a free download on her web site, so go forth and grab it before she comes to her senses. There are also first-chapter samples of two of her other books, so take a moment to read those, too.
I’ve already been gushing everywhere possible about how much I enjoyed discovering Brandon Sanderson’s writing, so that’s old news. I will only note that it has proven to hold up well to re-reading; I’m going through the Mistborn series again and loving it as much as the first time through. I will also note that I never cease to be amazed at the refraction of connections; I thought I’d first encountered Brandon at ConnectiCon, but in composing this post, I realized that in fact he was GoH at BaltiCon–so I most definitely saw him there first. Go figure. I think that since BaltiCon is so big, I automatically put the GoHs there up on a “don’t even bother approaching” pedestal, and blank them out… and yet, even though ConnectiCon was much larger, I wound up on a panel with Brandon, so I finally looked him up and read his work… and now I’m totally hooked. Let that be a lesson: just because something doesn’t click at one convention doesn’t mean anything. The card could flip over tomorrow in the most unexpected way.
Hmmm. I seem to be yattering more than providing links. Here’s a rapid-fire bunch of information for you, then: I just signed up for World Fantasy Convention 2014, which will be in DC. Expennnnnnsive, but should be worth it. I will be at Capclave this year, which should be a huge blast. And I’ll be staff, not guest, at MarsCon 2014, and that’s gonna be GREAT (twisted fairy tales–what a fun theme!).
Switching over to music: I heard “Royal” by Lorde on the radio the other day, and was intrigued enough to note it down and then to look up the video. It’s an amazing song and a great video–stick with it, it makes sense by the end. Love her voice! Also check out Gorillaz, whose song “Feel Good, Inc”, you’ve probably heard already. The video for that song is just… strange…. but it suits the song well. Kind of ”The Wall” meets anime. And speaking of weird videos, there’s Cage the Elephant, whose video for “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” just… yeah. It’s probably at the top of my current bizarre chart — but god, I love the song! And once again, the video suits the song. I actually went looking for other videos, because it was so freaking strange, and found “In One Ear“, which is just as satisfyingly odd.
I’ll close this post out with some more humor. Here’s one for my music-loving friends: The Hoist by Wicked Off Kiltah. Then there’s one over at XKCD called Preferred Chat System. And I’ll toss in one more: I’ve started following Girls With Slingshots, and I especially liked this particular Ask The Cast strip.
That should be enough for now. Enjoy your web-wanders, and let me know if you find anything intriguing along the way!