Tuesday various

Monday various

  • Ursula K. Le Guin On Rules of Writing, or, Riffing on Rechy:

    As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them. I got my knowledge of them, as I got whatever knowledge I have of the hearts and minds of human beings, through imagination working on observation. Like any other novelist. All this rule needs is a good definition of “know.” [via]

  • At this rate, NBC’s Day One is going to end up as nothing but a blipvert.
  • 42 Essential 3rd Act Twists [via]
  • I really like this vintage ad search engine. [via]
  • And finally, Batgirl Is Now Prince. Also: Marvel Comics as Simpsons characters [via]

Thursday various

Monday various

  • Exploding Chewing Gum Kills Student. I have to admit, this sounded like a hoax or urban legend when I first read about it, but it seems distrubingly legit. At least, I didn’t find anything discounting the story at Snopes. [via]
  • Well this is disappointing and surprising: the Internet Review of Science Fiction is closing after its February issue.
  • Grant Morrison on what appeals to him about comics as a storytelling medium:

    The essentially magical qualities of inert words and ink pictures working together with reader consciousness to create a holographic Sensurround emotional experience. What else?

  • I’ve seen some talk about how 2010 is the real end of the past decade — that the decade is still going on, that is — since there was never a Year Zero. I think this is maybe true on a very pedantic, technical level, but I also think it’s a battle that was lost two thousand years ago, in Year Ten. When people talk about the last decade, they’re including 2000-2001, not miscounting. As Bad Astronomy points out [via], the argument that 2010 isn’t the start of a new decade suggests that “people [are] confused on how we delineate time.”
  • And finally, Daniel’s Daily Monster:

    Every week day (starting from 7th May 2009) I draw a little monster card to go in my son’s lunchbox.

    These are just really delightful. [via]

Wednesday various

  • Anybody need a cool jewelery box? I actually own these books. (Though a little part of me cringes at thought of any such book mutilation.)
  • Speaking of books, word on the “new” Vladimir Nabokov “novel,” The Original of Laura, isn’t exactly good [via], suggesting that it’s at best a curio for Nabokov scholars. But at least we have these neat re-imagined covers for all (well, mostly all) of his other books. [via]

    Man, it’s been way too long since I’ve read any Nabokov.

  • So yeah, Dollhouse was canceled, and I don’t think anybody is exactly surprised. I still think the show was some of Joss Whedon’s best and worst work, capable of some truly brilliant and startling moments, but also never really comfortable in its own skin or sure of exactly what kind of show it wanted to be. There’s a lot I love about it, but I won’t mourn it the same way I did Firefly (and to a lesser extent Angel), and I’ve long been resigned to its many flaws and limited chances for survival.
  • Speaking of Dollhouse, here’s an interesting look at the role of neuroscience in the Whedonverse that somehow manages to mention all his shows except for the one where people’s brains are erased and rewired on a regular basis. [via

  • And finally, Neil Gaiman on A.A. Milne and Kenneth Grahame:

    I once read an essay by A.A. Milne telling people that, of course they knew Kenneth Grahame’s work, he wrote The Golden Age and Dream Days, everybody had read them, but he also did this amazing book called The Wind in the Willows that nobody had ever heard of. And then Milne wrote a play called Toad of Toad Hall, which was a big hit and made The Wind in The Willows famous and read, and, eventually, one of the good classics (being a book that people continue to read and remember with pleasure), while The Golden Age and Dream Days, Grahame’s beautiful, gentle tales of Victorian childhood, are long forgotten.

    If there is a moral, or a lesson to be learned from all this, I do not know what it is.