So, how's that "weekly" link-collection thing working out so far, Bruce?
Heh. I didn't say which kind of calendar I'd use to define "week", did I? Or from which planet?
On to actual links:
Writing and Publishing Links:
Walter Jon Williams announced his Dread Empire's Fall trilogy, a kick-ass space opera I highly recommend, is finally available in audiobook form. (The books would also make for one helluva great series for HBO or other quality TV producers. That's a goddamn hint, Hollywood.)
World-At-Large Links (News & Politics):
The Rude Pundit, discussing the recent American Sniper film, reminds us in no uncertain terms what the Irag War really meant: "We're supposed to feel proud that men like Kyle defend us. We should instead feel intensely angry that they died in vain."
Badass Cartoon Heroes
Muddy Colors, an outstanding artists blog, recently featured "Journeys Begun: A Look Back At Two Years of SmART School" by Todd Lockwood, providing some striking examples of the jumps in quality achieved when motivated art students learn from capable instructors.
Food Links, Jackfruit Edition:
It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, a charming vegan recipe site, provides a Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich recipe that looks delicious (and even a lot like real pulled pork!) and sounds good. It's been a long time since I've had jackfruit; I recall that the flavor was on the mild side, and the fruit a bit resistant to easy chewing; as a meat substitute, it probably works well in this recipe. I'll have to pick up some canned jackfruit next time I'm at the local Asian grocery, and give it a try.
If it's available and you want to use fresh jackfruit, here's a useful YouTube video. The skin and rind of jackfruit produce a very sticky latex sap, especially when under-ripe, so take seriously the recommendation to oil your knives, cutting board, hands, and anything else you don't want to spend time and foul language on trying to clean up.
The long-long-long-running daily comic strip DICK TRACY has recently been featuring crossovers with characters from other comic strips (Daddy Warbucks from LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE is one recent crossover character). But the crossover character in the most recent story arc is...
Wait, what? Sad-sack schmoe Funky Winkerbean? Really? Did Mike Curtis, the Tracy strip's current writer, lose a bar bet?
Well, actually, it does make a kind of sense.
Considering that Dick Tracy has encountered villains with names like Pinkie, Bookie, Junky, Laffy, Shaky, Itchy, Wormy, Pantsy, Spready, Tapsy, Hairy, Bulky, Lispy, Bony, and more, should anyone really be surprised that Tracy would eventually run into someone named “Funky”?
Ann Leckie wrote this tweet recently:
Hey, kids! @-ing a writer a link to your negative review of their work serves no purpose. Unless you mean to be annoying, of course.
For 2015, I'm going to try and do a regular weekly feature of links to items I found of interest:
Kameron Hurley wrote about 2014: Some (Honest) Publishing Numbers, and (Almost) Throwing In The Towel.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch had a December trio of interesting "Business Musings" posts about lessons learned in 2014 by traditional publishers, independent writers, and Rusch herself:
- What Traditional Publishing Learned In 2014
- Things Indie Writers Learned In 2014
- Things I Learned (or Relearned) In 2014
Via James Davis Nicoll's review of Niven & Pournelle's 1974 space epic The Mote In God's Eye, I learned Robert Heinlein saw an early draft of TMIGE and responded with a long critique and suggestions for revision and improvement. Heinlein's letter to Niven & Pournelle is an excellent example of what a knowledgeable book editor (or a writer approaching a manuscript with an editor's perspective) can do for a manuscript. It covers not only "big picture" issues and suggests major cuts and revisions, but narrows in on character and background matters, and a number of minor but telling details. The letter also mentions that Heinlein used three to five working days to write such an in-depth critique. I mention that last because I occasionally see indie-authors who've paid for a book critique complain about the cost (the range for a book critique is pretty wide; I've seen figures from a couple of hundred dollars to about fifteen hundred); if they manage to find an editor-for-hire half as perceptive and detailed as Heinlein was for Niven and Pournelle, they're almost certainly getting their money's worth.
World-At-Large Links (news and politics):
Frank Serpico on The Police Are Still Out of Control
31 Days of Pie: The Matt Bites blog spent the month of December baking and photographing (Matt Amendariz is a professional food photographer) a wide assortment of pies, savory as well as sweet. (The Gumbo Hand Pies sound delicious!)
And while we're on the subject of pies, check out the Modern Farmer Pie Chart of Pies.
Japanese artist Kimiya Masago produced a 2008 art book depicting the 108 heroes of the Chinese epic The Water Margin (aka Outlaws of the Marsh). Some selections are pictured at this link; really spectacular work.