1) World’s Worst Playgrounds h/t @cstross
7) The Zero Stooges (aka The Three Stooges Minus Stooges). Video.
1) World’s Worst Playgrounds h/t @cstross
7) The Zero Stooges (aka The Three Stooges Minus Stooges). Video.
Maybe you guys have heard about The Dionaea House? It’s a story (or is it real?) told through emails, texts and blog posts, a modern epistolary novel.
And it’s spooky as hell.
Not gross, not horrible, or filled with monsters tearing people apart, or demon children, or whatever bullshit modern horror is about. It’s a smart, subtle (except where it shouldn’t be) scary story, and I highly recommend it.
It’s by Eric Heisserer, and it was popular enough that it launched his screenwriting career. The film that was supposed to be made from it hasn’t happened, for the usual reasons, but it’s supposedly going to be name-checked (or featured, not sure) in the upcoming series The Librarians. Anyway, you should read it.
The reason I mention it? Heisserer is back at it: “Information I’m Dumping Here for Safekeeping”
Read through. Open the images. Follow the updates. It’s fun.
h/t to John Rogers (@jonrog1) for the link.
1) The 50 Dorkiest Songs You Love. NB: you don’t have to tell me you personally don’t love some or all of them. I know.
2) Edgar Wright – How to do visual comedy. Video. This is excellent and shows why I find modern comedy so incredibly boring.
3) Joaquin Phoenix’s Forehead (Rotated). Video. So weird and funny.
4) Anonymous Gods. The computers at Google automatically blur the faces of famous religious statuary.
5) Netflix’s new spoiler website. #spoilers
Mind if I show some covers?
The countdown for the dark fantasy StoryBundle is about to run out. If you want to do a little early Giftmas shopping, now is the time.
Pay $3 or more, get five books.
Pay $12 or more, get all nine.
You get to choose how much goes to the author and how much to StoryBundle.
You get to choose which charity, if any, your purchase will benefit.
You can buy the books as a substantial but inexpensive gift.
Anyway, I’m trying one last push to sell some books. The more retweets this tweet receives, the more free bundles I’ll give away. If you have a Twitter account, please consider clicking that RT button.
— Gluten Dragon (@byharryconnolly) September 15, 2014
No one is ever going to hire me for my graphic design skills. Yikes.
The last Twitter giveaway got over 70 RTs, so I have hopes this one will do ever better. Thanks for clicking “retweet.” Frankly, I need the money.
Guy writes interactive novel about mystery-solving teddy bears in Venice, which is apparently not for children(?)
Reviewer gives it a mildly negative review.
Author loses his mind in comments.
This is from last May, and I’m not sure how I missed it. It’s the perfect example of the ABM, Author’s Big Mistake, in which an author takes great pains to try to school the reviewer in all their numerous errors but ends up looking like a complete tool. As it so often is, Dunning-Kruger Effect is in full swing here. The writer thinks his book about teddy bears is on the level of Keats or Fitzgerald, and nothing can convince him otherwise.
This train wreck comes to you courtesy of @Hello_Tailor, @Stacia_jones_, and @jamesdnicoll.
Hey, you guys. You know what a StoryBundle is, don’t you? There are several novels all bundled together into one package, and you can pay whatever you like for them (with a $3 minimum). If you’re willing to pay above a certain dollar figure ($12), you get extra books.
Well, currently there’s a Dark Fantasy StoryBundle running for a limited time. You can spend three measly bucks and get five novels. For $12 (or more) you get nine.
Plus, if you so choose, 10% of your purchase price can go to charity. In fact, you can support the ALS Association, the charity that has been benefiting from the ice bucket challenge, but without the social shaming issues that come from “challenging” people. If you think ALS has already received its fair share of support lately, the other options are Girls Write Now and Mighty Writers. There’s a “Learn More” link on the page to tell you more about those charities, but I just want to say that I grew up in Philadelphia and anyone who wants to throw a little love to Mighty Writers would earn my gratitude (not that the other programs are not worthy, too).
You also get to choose what percentage of the purchase price goes to the authors and what goes to the folks at StoryBundle, which is a great way to do things.
All the books are DRM-free. The other authors include a Hugo-winner and a couple of best-selling authors (as well as, somehow, me). The fiction here is *dark* urban fantasy without romance plots, so if you like my work, you might also like these other books. PLUS, it’s super easy to buy the bundle as a gift for someone else.
Anyway, if you guys wouldn’t mind helping to spread the word about this, I’d appreciate it. And check out those books. I’m downloading my bundle right now.
The Bundle will be available until Sept 17. If you’re interested, don’t put off the purchase. It’s going to go away soon.
Here are the covers:
Usually, when I see a stupid thing on the internet, I laugh and maybe tweet about it. “Look! Someone spilled a pile of dumb on the internet!” Then we’ll all share a laugh together and I’d go back to blocking “Emergency Cat” accounts. If I think the source of this particular piece of blockheadery is a pernicious sort who is actively courting the attention, I won’t bother.
But some things are annoying enough that I feel moved to blog about it. Here’s the deal: When Guardians of the Galaxy came out, a lot of people were talking about how upbeat it was, as though it was this bright, cheerful thing. They were also contrasting it favorably with Man of Steel, an objectively terrible movie no matter how thrilling the special effects were.
Me, I didn’t think GotG was all that upbeat. In fact, I thought it was pretty dark (without being grimdark) and said so.
You don’t have to click through on that link. Basically, I embedded a Kameron Hurley tweet about the movie’s success being the “sound of grimdark being over”, then I talked about the actual darkness in GotG, why it was a welcome contrast with MoS, and the piece ended like this:
So, don’t expect GotG to be light, cheerful fare. It has more than its share of darkness. The difference is that it also has clever, dedicated protagonists who are capable of prevailing in the end.
That’s it. That’s the whole deal.
I don’t know how that got interpreted as As fantasy authors Kameron Hurley and Harry J. Connolly observed, the success of Guardians of the Galaxy heralds “the sound of grimdark being over. over on io9. If I’d agreed with Hurley’s tweet, I would have just retweeted it, not written a fucking blog post. Anyway, I tried to clarify this in a comment over there, but it didn’t go and I’m too busy to fuss with blog comment systems.
And now I have this shit, in which Richard K. Morgan links to my post (and only my post) and responds to it as thought I’m personally calling for the end of the grimdark subgenre.
As anyone who’s read the actual post (rather than the io9 summary) would know, I’m not. Maybe Kameron Hurley would like it to go away forever; I’m not her so I wouldn’t know. Personally, I’m happy to see grimdark on the shelves, because I read it. Not only that, but anyone who’s picked up my short fiction collection knows I write it, too.
In fact, I have never felt the urge to call for the end of any genre. Some I read. Some I don’t. It’s no big deal. When I go into the supermarket, I see vanilla AND chocolate ice cream in the freezer. I get to choose the one I like and leave the other for someone else to buy, maybe. I don’t require everyone to want what I want. In fact, I don’t really care what you like (unless it’s my books, in which case why not buy some, please).
But all I have to do is point out that MoS was deeply muddle-headed in its attempt to be serious and grim, and suddenly I want to take away people’s favorite ice cream.
What is it with that shit, anyway? Why do these guys reflexively read any criticism at all–even of something dumb like MoS–and interpret it as “You’re trying to ban something I love!”
Anyway, that’s the stupid thing, what I would normally just tweet about for a laugh. This is the annoying bit.
Is this a constituency so totally bombproof resistant to cultural shift that they want to go back to a fictionscape dreamed up in the middle of the last century, back when women and coloured folks still knew their place, the cop on the beat was a lovely cuddly (white) guy, war was a glorious endeavour undertaken against dastardly foreign foes, and real men walked like John Wayne?
Hey, Mr. Morgan, you can kiss my fat ass for this. And if this wasn’t meant to be addressed to me directly, you should have linked to someone else at the start of your post.
Anyway, I’m sure regular readers (both of you) will be startled to discover that grimdark is totes progressive. You know those olden days, when everyone’s art was all about capital G good and capital E evil, no nuance need apply!
For the record, the only work of Mr. Morgan’s that I have read was a trade collection of a Black Widow comic, which I thought was excellent. In fact, I thought it should be the basis of the character’s first movie. The blog post he wrote is still as dumb as a sack of ice cubes.
Also, the short fiction piece of my own I consider grimdark is the title story in my collection: “Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths” even though no girls (bad or otherwise) die in the story. #spoilers
Yes, I realize that last link is basically an invitation for punitive one-star reviews. So be it.
Okay. I’m going to deal with this quickly and I’ll be out of here.
Background: Last night Amazon sent an email to everyone who had published books through their Kindle Direct Program (KDP) and since I’m one of those authors (Buy My Books) it came to me, too. You can read the whole thing here.
It’s kind of weird. I mean, I do business with Amazon. I don’t do business with Hachette. However, Hachette isn’t releasing oddball press releases via email, nor are they sending out rallying cries to garner support. Some of their authors? Yeah. And it’s weird. The company themselves? Nope.
So, let’s linkfarm this shit:
Amazon says that George Orwell was against cheap books. Accurate or selective quoting? The answer
will won’t surprise you. Unsurprisingly, this is what people are talking about, not whether Amazon is totally on your side, readers.
Should KDP authors be on Amazon’s side? Actually, higher ebook prices from big publishers helps indie authors. Why would I want to help Amazon bring their prices down to my level?
Like Chuck Wendig, I’m not terribly moved by the Authors United push.
Also like Chuck Wendig, I think Amazon’s latest press release is fucking ridiculous.
Why? Because they published the Hachette CEO’s email address and gave people a bunch of talking points to send him in an effort to make him cave on their negotiations.
Seriously. Let me state for the record that I am not going to spam anyone’s inbox for the sake of a big corporation. I wouldn’t spam someone’s inbox for a real life friend, so I’m definitely not doing it for Amazon.
Let me also state that anyone who thinks Hachette’s CEO is going to be skimming through those emails thinking “Hmm. SilverDragonLady211883 At Yahoo dot com makes a good point about her mother’s reading habits” is kidding themselves. The only people who’ll see these emails are the bored interns tasked with deleting them all.
I shouldn’t be surprised by this PR fail (after “human shields”) but I am. It’s incredibly unprofessional.
Amazon, get new PR people. Stop trying to be loved. You can’t be beloved by consumers and be Walmart at the same time. Choose between those options and live with the consequences.
UPDATE: I forgot to include this!
Giant corporations trying to enlist artists in price-fixing and profit-margin wars. We are the backstory of a hacky cyberpunk novel.
— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) August 9, 2014
UPDATE 2: I’d seen the Authors United NYTimes profile, but not the big ad they purchased. Apparently, that ad includes Jeff Bezos’s email with a request that readers spam him. Uncool, AU.
I’d never heard of GISHWES before this year, and only then because writers were complaining about an unexpected flood of emails asking for free stories.
So far, I’ve only received one request, which I fulfilled (the person who asked was very polite about it). Still, as I understand it, the stories don’t have to be unique, do they? They just have to be a story by a published author, right?
Here’s a short story for any GISHWESers having trouble finding authors to write something. It’s 139 words long.
Trumpets blared a fanfare, retainers lifted their pennants, and every eye turned toward the throne.
Misha Collins, wearing a brand-new trench coat, knelt on the gleaming marble and bowed his head.
The Queen tapped the flat of her sword on his shoulders. “Rise, Sir Misha.” Misha looked up, eyes shining with joyful tears.
The cheers of the crowd were cut off by the sound of a door slamming open. A second Misha, this one naked but for a strategically-placed bearskin hat, burst from a closet. “That’s an imposter!”
The kneeling Misha grinned and began to inflate like a balloon, tearing through his clothes. Tentacles and tusks sprouted from its body…. It was the Elopus, assuming its true form.
The creature pranced before the throne. “I’m Sir Misha! I’m Sir Misha!”
The Queen rolled her eyes and raised her sword high.
Hey, if you’re new here, why not take a look at my books. Twenty Palaces is the first book in my urban fantasy series and Bad Little Girls… is my newly-released short fiction collection (which means it’s cheap).
The series listed at the top of that page, The Great Way, has not been released yet.
Good luck with your scavenger hunt.