Reading a collection of short fiction from any given author is always a mixed bag. Same goes for an anthology of works by different authors centered around a certain theme or category. You might like some and some, well, they round out the collection.
But when you have a “Best of” collection, especially one curated by another well known writer or editor, well then, that’s a great way to start a good library. And that’s what Tor.com talks about in this article featuring A Survey of Some of the Best Science Fiction Ever Published (Thanks to Judy-Lynn Del Rey). While I’ve read some of these, and own several, a bunch more are going on my wish list.
Recently, I was asked by the Baltic Summer University to give a lecture about how I ended up in Lithuania. I titled the lecture Stranger in a Strange Land: How I went from All-American to part-time Lithuanian. That picture to the left is from the talk.
This was all well and good until it came time to actually start to put the lecture together and I realized I didn’t really know what I was going to talk about for 90 minutes. I mean come on, even if you had Neil Armstrong come in for a lecture, he probably didn’t talk more than 60, and he actually did something important (although, if you ask him, it weren’t no big thing). Continue reading
This image is from issue #3 of Mark Gruenwald’s 1983 4 issue miniseries about Hawkeye.
For a long time, the phrase at the bottom of the frame, “Gosh, I love arrows,” has been a shorthand for me, for the lopsided pleasure that something small can bring.
In this story arc (and I highly recommend reading it), Clint Barton has a really bad day. The kind of day they write country songs about. And he doesn’t know how to carry on doing what he’s supposed to do. But then he gets some help and the clouds part a little bit. There’s a tiny ray of sunlight and he clings to it, fighting for every bit of space between the clouds until he’s standing in the noon sun again.
I think sometimes I just need this reminder. That no matter how bad the world is, no matter the set-backs personally or professionally, no matter the often encroaching darkness, that there are some good and happy moments. Small things that can bring a smile and let you know it’s okay to continue to fight.
Gosh, I love arrows.
You know I love me some science fiction. This post, over on the tumblr site Vintage Geek Culture, is a great dispelling of the “truths” of the pulp era. Like Chuck Wendig’s post about the “Sacred Cows of Writing Advice” and Dean Wesley Smith’s books on the myths of conventional and indie publishing, it’s great to see critical looks at the way we’ve always believed things to be.
While there is always a core to these “truths,” there’s also an equal number of examples which show there is more to it.
I have this theory on the evolution of the knowledge of surrealism. You start off with an appreciation of M.C. (Maurits Cornelis) Escher as you start to understand art in general. Here are illustrations designed to play with your sense of perception. His images have been co-opted for jigsaw puzzles and t-shirts and posters (not to mention set design). Continue reading
A few days ago, a piece of news came over my Facebook feed about a high school friend. It was his wife, posting on his account, that he had passed, suddenly and without warning, the night before. Now, he and I weren’t necessarily close in high school, and we were facebook friends but hardly ever interacted outside of some casual “likes” on random posts from time to time, but for some reason, his death got me thinking. Continue reading