Sunday Links for September 12, 2010

Jeff VanderMeer gives us his opinion on the best science fiction and fantasy of the year so far. I own a few of these books, and most of the rest are on my list, but I haven’t read any of them yet. It looks like I have a fair bit of goodness awaiting my eyes.

VanderMeer writes on his own blog about how creating a book is like cooking. In this case, he’s cooking up Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, which looks, well, delicious.

VanderMeer thinks writing is like cooking; Peter Orullian finds a relationship between fiction and music. All these writers and their analogies! The odd thing is, they all seem to fit.

Jo Walton asks, ”Do you skim?” Like Walton, I just don’t; I read every page. And I can’t stop reading a book, even one I’m not enjoying; I generally read it all the way to the end, even when I’m dreading every page. There have been a few exceptions – I stopped reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a book many rave about, only 50 pages or so from the end because I so disliked it. And just wait until you read my upcoming review of George Mann’s Ghosts of Manhattan – another book everyone seemed to like that I didn’t think much of. Am I just weird? (Don’t answer that.)

There have been so many great anthologies produced just lately – Ellen Datlow’s Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and John Joseph Adams’s The Living Dead, just to name two (reviewed here and here). But some people don’t read short fiction. If you ask me, they’re missing out on one of the best things about science fiction, fantasy and horror. The short form is really wonderful for these genres.

Tanith Lee has always been one of my favorite writers, and it’s a mystery to me why she can’t seem to find a publisher these days. The Guardian looks at a few of her books, including Death's Master, one of the Flat Earth series that I believe is her finest work. If you see any of her books in your favorite used bookstore, pick them up and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.

F. Gwyplaine MacIntyre died this past June, an apparent suicide. His story, as related in the New York Times is very sad – a tale of an eccentric recluse who was isolated from the science fiction community in his last days.

If you write as well as read, this guide to writing good dialogue might come in handy.

Did you know that Woody Allen is apparently named in hundreds of books written before he was born? Google Books seems to have some trouble with accuracy. I really think we’re messing up as a culture by putting all our eggs in the electronic data basket, folks. Think about that next time you consider buying an electronic text instead of a real live book.

Time travel movies are the best, aren’t they? I love the paradoxes they set up especially. Here’s a list of the top ten best time travel movies and shows. Do you agree with this list? It has some movies I’d dismiss as high level trash, but I find I still can’t really think of good replacements.

And last but not least, a little bit of fun. Watch this short film about a money tree and see what people do when free money is available for the taking.

Time Travel and Woody Allen

Terry, you put a sentence about Woody Allen showing up in books before he was born right before an item about time travel! Don't you think those two things might be related?


Now that you mention it...

Aha! That explains it!

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