6) The relationship between coffee and mesmerism, and the importance of morning rituals. Video.
3) Is everything good about Minecraft gone? This piece echoes my earlier post about buying my son an Xbox, and I agree that Minecraft has changed as third parties set up their own servers. My son plays a game that’s a lot like The Hunger Games, and doesn’t build nearly as much as he used to. He still builds, but there’s a lot of PvP, too.
5) Dutch real estate broker installs mini-rollercoaster into home to give prospective buyers a tour. Video. As stunts go, this one is terrific.
6) Ugly Christmas sweaters are the new thing, so why not turn them into men’s suits? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
7) Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School Professor, Goes to War Over $4 Worth of Chinese Food. You can be very very wrong while being right.
2) Stan Lee responds to people who ask him when he’s going to retire. Video.
4) Seventeen-year-old wins science competition by building an efficient algae biofuel lab in her bedroom. I hope this kid becomes a billionaire.
5) Do you get your hair cut at a barber? How to talk your barber about the haircut you want. Includes a helpful video.
7) The novel then steps back in time to explain how Rico went from being just another one of Heinlein’s incurious teenaged dullards to an enthusiastic war criminal. In the process, it paints an interesting picture of the world Rico lives in, as well as of the contents of Heinlein’s id. James Nicoll reviews Starship Troopers.
Mary Robinette Kowal (who seems like a nice person but I know so little about her that she could be a Nazi eugenics researcher and I’d have no idea) posted a Debut Author Lesson that includes this:
I just got an email from my editor that Shades of Milk and Honey is going into its 7th printing.
Between all the US editions so far, we’ve netted 23,793 copies. That’s not counting the UK or foreign language editions.
Seven printings, but under 24K copies. For comparison, Child of Fire sold over 29k copies over the same length of time plus six months. Again, that would be lower than Pat “Maybe I’ll help Nathan Fillion buy the rights to FIREFLY” Rothfuss’s new book sells in a week, but more than many other authors might sell.
Also, we’re not talking identical formats. Ms. Kowal’s novel came out in hardback first, and those editions are more lucrative than mass market paperback. And maybe her sales numbers don’t include ebooks (my paper ed. sales numbers are ~17K). She doesn’t say and I’m not going to ask.
Because as she says, it doesn’t matter. You can’t really compare the sales figures, because they’re in different genres, different formats, with different expectations. There are probably a lot of UF books that would be considered a success at 29K ebook & mmpb sales, but Del Rey really invested in the CoF, the sequels sold significantly worse than the first, and Del Rey had high expectations.
So congratulations to all writers who are succeeding by their own standards, and supportive fistbumps to all those writers who haven’t succeeded but keep trying.
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
6) Beautiful animated gifs. h/t @keithcalder
2) If David Lynch directed Dirty Dancing. Video.
3) Black leather dragon backpack. I’d get this, but it would make the toddlers in the Starbucks cry.
4) What your favorite 80s band says about you. This is better than it has a right to be.
6) Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie: the same movie.
7) Was HP Lovecraft a good writer? Nick Mamatas makes the argument that he was.
Via Emily Blake (aka @Bambookiller) on Twitter, Nicole Perlman details her contributions as the first credited female writer of a Disney Marvel Movie (the only other one is Jane Goldman, who is credited on the recent X-Men movies). Basically, the film happened because of her. She had the chance to adapt any comics she wanted and she picked Guardians of the Galaxy because she’s a space nerd who has always wanted to work on big adventure thrillers.
Read that article. It’s interesting.
[Added later: I had no idea that people are trying to erase Perlman’s contribution to the film, claiming that nothing she wrote is in the final film. Assholes.]
The funny thing is, all that outer space bullshit is perfect camouflage for a movie about superpowers. You have all the high tech gadgets you want and alien physiology creates a fantastic excuse for outre abilities–no radioactive spiders needed.
That’s part of the reason Blade was such a successful franchise for Marvel after so many failures: the superpowers weren’t. They were just vampire abilites.
This is why I think Dr. Strange is a natural for the screen, provided they don’t make the plot a bullshit “Stop the ritual!” chase, which never works. He’s a grownup Harry Potter; it’s easy.
Anyway, Marvel has tried many times to make outer space happen in a big way and it never really lasts. For whatever reason, space stuff doesn’t play well in comics. Sure, you can have the odd adventure off-planet and more than a few alien characters, but comic book series set in outer space just don’t last.
However, they’re a natural for movies.
I only wish I’d gotten to see Glenn Close, as Nova Prime, wearing that helmet. Hey, Robert Redford said “Hail Hydra,” didn’t he?