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?
3) Scully likes Science (remix). Video.
7) CG Deadpool test footage. I’d happily watch this.
Hey, you guys. I wrote an essay for Lawrence M. Schoen’s “Eating Authors” series, in which writers describe a memorable meal. Check it out.
4) Casting letter shows alternate actors considered for ST:TNG. Jenny Agutter as Beverly Crusher? Wesley Snipes and Geordi? Kevin Peter Hall as Data? Yaphet Kotto as Picard? Huh.
7) Top 10 Most Effective Editing Moments of All Time, according to Cinefex. Video.
Still, I’m not sure why Amazon would want S&S. What does the publisher have that Amazon doesn’t? A bigger share of their author’s revenue? I suspect a great many S&S authors would rather jump ship than go over to Amazon, if only so their books would still be available in many different stores.
In other words, I’m really, REALLY doubtful that this story is accurate.
There are a bunch of (DRM-free, multi-format) sf/f ebooks available right now (for maybe another week) through the latest Humble Bundle. What’s more, as per other Humble Bundles in the past, more books will be added as the timer counts down.
This “bundle” benefits the SFWA medical emergency fund and First Book, a program that puts new books in schools full of underprivileged kids, because god forbid we should ever fund education properly.
Check it out. Even if you are only interested in half the books, you’d be getting a good deal and helping worthy causes.
Everyone’s linking to this NYTimes piece about a whole generation of writers who were influenced by playing D&D when they were young, and they offer a nice, broad cross-section of writers. It’s not just sf/f people, but literary writers and playwrights and plenty of others, too.
It’s a nice article, if a bit fluffy (which, what else would I expect, given the subject). I’ve said before that gaming had an influence over me, especially because it taught me that the characters I was so used to seeing in movies, books, and on TV did not seek advantage as ruthlessly as characters played by actual people who were invested in their success. The old standby is the spy escaping from a holding cell, knocking out a guard, and not taking anything from the guard’s body, not a weapon, communicator, key, nothing.
More interesting to me is that the authors seemed to have a much more theatrical/improvisational experience in their gaming. We spent So. Much. Time. going room to room killing things, with little more story than that. In fact, we’d play so much that it was impossible to make up an actual story, and when I tried I often found the players utterly uninterested in exploring any of it.
By the way, we played “The Fantasy Trip”, not D&D, because we though the armor class rules were incredibly stupid.
Anyway, I continue to believe that, with the right players and genre, an rpg session could be worthwhile art. Not just “I bash the orcs” sort of thing, but an actual exploration of character in a partly improvised narrative, with added random outcomes due to die rolls and an earned ending. They could even do the closeup camera thing for the die rolls, the way poker shows show the players’ hands. The two-part Tabletop episode was a good proof of concept, even if they didn’t take the narrative beyond “I swing my mace at the skeleton.”
If you watch that video (I thought it was interesting) you’ll see that the story is compelling when the players have their characters talk like themselves. When they try to talk pseudo-medieval fake fantasy stuff everything becomes stilted and awkward.
Anyway, I’m a little envious of the writers in that article, because the games I played as a kid never managed to pull together any kind of story. In college and afterwards, things were better, but not in those early formative years.
2) Ingmar Bergman’s THE FLASH. Video. #lol
4) A film from 1943 or 1944 with a British major demonstrating knife-fighting techniques. Dubbed into Greek but subtitled in English. Video.