ramblings, rants, news, ephemera, and stuff

Basil Rathbone or Peter Cushing?

Quick — which is Basil Rathbone?

Basil Rathbone or Peter Cushing

Answer: It’s a trick question. No one can tell Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing apart.

Attack of the Bug-Eyed People

Faces-of-the-Future

My, what big eyes we’re going to have.

If sci-fi movies have taught us anything, it’s that in the future we’re going to be wearing the same colored jumpsuits, probably be bald (but probably ridiculously buff), and of course have giant heads and itty-bitty Troll doll bodies. Or turn into canabalistic subterranean dwelling Morlocks.

The reality–or at least the possible reality–is that we’re going to have “unnervingly large” eyes in 100,000 years. The main cause, says artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm and Dr. Alan Kwan, will be wearable technology such as Google Glass and iWatch. According to Forbes, futurists predict that “people will seek discrete implants that preserve the natural human look–think communication lenses (a technologically souped up version of today’s contacts) and miniature bone-conduction devices implanted above the ear. These might have imbedded nano-chips that communicate to another separate device to chat with others or for entertainment.”

But our peepers won’t only be big as dinner plates–they’ll “feature eye-shine and even a sideways blink from the re-introduced plica semilunaris to further protect from cosmic ray effects.”

I guess looking like Bratz Dolls is a small price to pay so we never have to stop playing Candy Crush or checking out Grumpy Cat memes. Our eyes will be huge but our attention spans will probably be shorter than a goldfish’s.

The Big Post of Writing Advice

Write, pray, love…among other things. Sage advice from Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Gaiman, Elmore Leonard, Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood, and Pixar.

Kurt Vonnegut: 8 Basics of Creative Writing

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order
that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

(Via WritingClasses.com)

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Good Writing Practices

1. Write.

2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who
like the kind of thing that this is.

5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

7. Laugh at your own jokes.

8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

(via The Guardian)

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules

1. Never open a book with weather.

2. Avoid prologues.

3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.

5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.

6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

(Via WritingClasses.com)

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Weird Tales Issue #360 Cover

The cover for Weird Tales Issue #360 has been released. And I’m loving it.

Weird Tales #360 Cover

(This is the back cover.)

(via Weird Tales Magazine)

Can You Dig It, Suckas?

You might be familiar with Dr. FaustusAU’s other Dr. Seuss mashups, like the ones featuring characters from Batman, Star Wars and Lovecraft. But a Seussified Warriors? Yeah, I can dig it!

(via drfaustusau.deviantart.com)