- The MacArthur Genius grants for 2018 have just been announced. And once again I have been cruelly snubbed simply for not doing anything of any particular note. The system is rigged, I tells ya!
- A good (for certain very depressing values of “good”) essay on why people are getting poorer without necessarily losing money. (from this MetaFilter post)
- Some mad genius has posted over 13,000 playable Commodore 64 programs to the Internet Archive. I would like to hereby apologize to any and all personal responsibilities which existed up to this moment. They will be missed.
- Latest catch-all thread on Metafilter.
- A compelling list of up-and-coming Asian writers, courtesy of LitHub.
- Charles Stross put a post up on his blog asking his readers to come up with story ideas which nobody seems to have done yet. Or more specifically, What are the current blind spots in SF? The (1,000+) comments and ideas therein are very much worth reading.
* Happy 21st Century, from Charles Stross.
* The files of the SCP Foundation should be good for writing prompts and nightmares.
* The one Trump scandal which encompasses all the rest.
* Emasculated president Donald Trump, who is terrified of everyone who is not white and rich, believes all Mexicans are part of MS-13. When this was pointed out, he called it “fake news,” which is actually verification of the charge, since literally every time Trump squeals “fake news,” is it because something true was printed and he didn’t like it.
* Metafilter has posted a new catch-all politics thread. Many good links and comments therein.
* If you have a few minutes and you like simple adventure-type games, give Dicey Dungeons a try.
* This is how you give an acceptance speech: Ursula Vernon, upon receiving the 2017 Hugo Award for best novelette.
* Some words:
** “gigil” (Tagalog) – the trembling or gritting of the teeth in response to a situation that overwhelms your self-control. The powerful urge to bite or squeeze something cute.
** “Kummerspeck” (German) – lit. “Sorrow fat” or “Sorrow bacon” – the weight gained through stress eating.
* Over at Metafilter (user name: JohnFromGR) there is an excellent catch-all post covering the latest bullshit from the alt-right/neo-nazi contingent of genre fiction and fandom (Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, Happy Frogs, GamerGaters, MRAs, etc.).
* Though I have been aware of it for quite some time, I have never used Patreon. That all changed after I attended ConFusion and spoke with a number of writers who fund their writing through Patreon. Since then I have added my support to the efforts and good works of Kameron Hurley (on Patreon) and Apex Publishing (on Patreon). I really like this mode of providing support. It is a good balance to the per-project model of Kickstarter and similar services. Another way to look at it might be to say that it has the same highs and lows as Kickstarter, just smoothed out over a much larger time frame. In any event, a few dollars a month to support great writing in return for the opportunity to read that great writing, is money well spent.
* I have been following the Calvert Journal for a while now. Back in 2016 they ran an article about teens in Transnistria, which introduced me to the concept of states which are minimally recognized as such by other countries. Transnistria has been one such since the collapse of the Soviet Union. They, along with Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Artsakh, created the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations (Twitter feed). I find places like this interesting because they exist on the edges and in the interstices of power, and thus may be fertile ground for new ideas of politics, sovereignty, autonomy and empire. If they survive.
* In your copious free time, you can amuse yourself with Monster Breeder. Capture monsters. Breed them. Make new monsters!