- Tor.com’s lists of books coming out in August
- Metafilter has posted their latest catch-all thread for the increasingly irrational tenure of the increasingly irrational president iDJiT.
- The Believer, one of the best lit magazines out there, has just made its entire archive freely available online. This is amazing!
- Gaming’s Toxic Men, Explained
Between work, vacation, and illness, and recovering from all three, I have missed a few weeks. I have also missed you-all! Welcome back.
* This is a great list of over 100 Russian writers, past and present, who are worthy of consideration.
* An excellent MetaFilter post from user Kliuless, offering a huge list of links concerning the concept of authority, narratives, cultural inertia who we allow to write the stories in which we live.
* Resisters of the Rust Belt
* Speaking of Metafilter, here is their latest post concerning the increasingly despotic and idiotic tenure of the fascist bootlick Donald Trump. Many worthy links and news sources in the comments.
* As a balm for living in this timeline, I’ve been listening to a lot of Ta-Nehisi Coates lectures and interviews lately. Here are a few of my favorites:
** The Necessity of Tomorrow(s) – Ta-Nehisi Coates on Afrofutures
** Futureface: Alex Wagner and Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss racial identity
** Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks at the Harvard “Universities and Slavery” conference
** Richard Rothstein, “The Color Of Law” (with Ta-Nehisi Coates)
** In Conversation With Ta-Nehisi Coates
* The Calvert Journal is publishing Beyond the Game, a series of video vignettes exploring each of the cities in Russia which will be hosting the football during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
* TOR.com has posted nice big long lists of the major genre releases for June 2018:
** All the new Fantasy Books Coming Out in June 2018.
** All the new Science Fiction Books Coming Out in June 2018.
** All the new Genre-Bending Books Coming Out in June 2018.
* Metafilter has posted the latest catch-all thread for links and commentary concerning the presidency and administration of Donald Trump, whose daddy issues exceed even those of George W. Bush, which is an astounding accomplishment. Baby Hands and Daddy Issues would be the title of the most accurate possible biography of our current and perpetually emasculated president.
* A worthy list from BookRiot: 50 Must-Read Books with Gorgeous Writing. From this list I have read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Kite Runner, and White Oleander. Looks like my Mount Tsundoku will be growing soon.
* The Midwest Socialist has published an excellent 5-part (so far) primer on the basics of radical thought and history.
** Part 1 – Dialectical Materialism
** Part 2 – Alienation
** Part 3 – Class
** Part 4 – Value
** Part 5 – Praxis
* Goddammit so much. Anthony Bourdain has left the kitchen. Here is a good round-up of the best writing about Bourdain to be found on the web.
* 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.
* Some words: incubate, incubus, cubiculum, cubicle, purgatory
* A small selection of Afrofuturism books to get started in the genre.
* Kim Stanley Robinson: Science Fiction is the Realism of Our Time
* Metafilter has posted a new catch-all thread following the current hell-state of American politics. Much information to be had from links and comments therein.
* Some words: phenotype, phenomenon, noumenon, nootropic, phenotropic
* This week’s Politician Cut from the Same Cloth as Emasculated President Donald Trump: Viktor Orbán of Hungary. What is happening in Hungary now is the same thing that Trump and his water carriers and lickspittles are trying to make happen here in the United States. Viktor Orbán Versus the Enlightenment. Look to Hungary if you want to know what you’re fighting against. The man who thinks Europe has been invaded.
* In honor of the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, here are some interesting links:
** Capital (PDF)
** Marxist Internet Archive Library
** Happy Birthday, Karl Marx! You Were Right!
** Crises of Capitalism
** The Seventeen Contradictions of Capitalism
* Two lists from Tor.com – All the New Fantasy Books Coming Out in April. All the New Science Fiction Books Coming Out in April.
* “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” – from this comment (#26, by Frank Wilhoit) on a post over at Crooked Timber.
* An interesting, fun, and very strange article and comment thread, courtesy of Charles Stross. From the intro: “I am working (for reasons of my own) towards a comprehensive list of plausible techno-thriller plots from 2010 where the MacGuffin is named Satoshi Nakamoto.”
* Homecoming: How Afrofuturism Bridges the Past and the Present is an excellent article.
* Once upon a time I was a fan of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books. Then he starting carrying water for Ayn Rand, and the decent-but-not-great quality of his interesting-but-not-innovative stories declined sharply. Now he has distinguished himself as a jackass by publicly insulting the cover artist of his latest book. The internet, of course, is having none of this and is doing an excellent job of roasting Mr. Goodkind. It appears his behavior has cost him spots at a couple of conventions, and will likely make future business with the publishing industry more difficult for him. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
* Since students are protesting their presidentially (45) approved murder at the hands of NRA-backed second-amendment fetishists and other terrorists, members of the mainstream conservative fascist and fascist-adjacent community are sending them death threats and accusing them of being crisis actors, etc. This has not stopped the students from protesting, and indeed seems to be reinforcing their will and message. To that point it is important that students (and enforcers of student-affecting rules) know which rights are in play. The ACLU has helpfully published a page which clarifies students’ rights.
* Voyages in Sentence Space is a wonderfully strange tool which “bridges” the space between two arbitrary sentences with additional sentences along a “gradient” of meaning. From the example:
- I went looking for adventure.
- I went out on a mission.
- I shouted awkwardly.
- I stared incredulously.
- I feel desperate.
- I never returned.
- I never returned.
Sentences 1 and 7 are user input. Sentences 2 through 6 are generated to “fill the space” between 1 and 7. Here is an example I generated:
- His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god.
- His features seized his mistressmaker, and then.
- True Bailey leaped through little branches at them.
- Send Clayton taking off his shot.
- No more pictures stood in things.
- It has returned close to none.
- And none returned alive, save I.
Interesting and fun in an absurdist, surrealist way. The full article details the thought and technology behind the experiment.
* At the time of the publishing of this post, I have 1,091 books cataloged at LibraryThing.
* My partner and I have been spending our Sunday afternoons studying, writing and watching The Mind of a Chef, which is all kinds of distracting and wonderful and a purveyor of the worst kind of wanderlust. Anthony Bourdain is the executive producer and narrator of each episode. Like all of his shows, he makes even the most exotic and high-concept meals accessible (in concept, if not financially) to even the most casual non-foodie viewers.
* I spend a lot of time reading news of the literary world. To keep things organized, I use Feedly, which I picked up after Google shut down its Reader service. This is a partial list of the lit news resources I read: Book Riot, NPR Books, Brain Pickings, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Locus Online, Publisher’s Lunch, The Millions, New York Review of Books, Tor.com, Words Without Borders, Aerogramme Writers’ Studio.
* Some words: suppose, oppose, impose, depose, compose, transpose
* Metafilter has posted a good catch-all thread discussing a recently published study from the Southern Poverty Law Center: The Alt-Right is Killing People. The post, and many of the comments, provide additional links to stories which add context and nuance to the points discussed. As always with Metafilter, the comments are worth reading.
* I’ve been following The Edge for oh, about fifteen years now. It looks like they may be closing up shop, as they just asked their last question: “What is the last question?” The link goes to the (hundreds of) answers.
* The squealing cowards who oppose gun control have the blood of 32 more people on their hands. The NRA is a terrorist organization and they pull the strings of their lickspittles in the GOP. The emasculated orange coward-in-chief has, of course, done what all Republicans do and is blaming the victims. For a continually up-to-date score of the Republican-sanctioned violence in this country, see the Gun Violence Archive.
* As of the date of publishing this post, I have 631 books catalogued in LibraryThing.