thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
[personal profile] thnidu
From email I just got from SmithMag, who put up Six-Word Memoirs:
The self-publishing bible. Yours free.
If you are writing a book or planning on writing a book stop everything you are doing and download a free copy of Guy Kawasaki’s APE: How to Publish a Book. It is quite simply the most thorough, the most helpful, the most complete book about self-publishing around. And it can be yours. Free.

APE, which stands for Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, is the twelfth book from New York Times bestselling business author Guy Kawasaki. This 408 page book sells for $10 but you can download it through BookBaby for free until August 31st. Readers can choose between ePub, .mobi, or PDF format.

APE offers detailed information on:
  • Financing your book
  • Converting, publishing, and selling your book
  • Pricing your book
  • Guerilla Marketing Tactics
  • Social media tools
  • And so much more!
Ready for some serious know-how and a book you will turn to again and again?

Go to download page (

Marvel: Civil War

Aug. 21st, 2014 09:07 pm
schneefink: Young Avengers team (CC era), words "we are in this together" (ya team)
[personal profile] schneefink
Most of what I heard about Marvel's Civil War is "good basic idea, terrible execution", but I wanted to see for myself. Turns out the assessment was accurate.

Reactions with spoilers )
deliriousdeluge: (wizard)
[personal profile] deliriousdeluge posting in [community profile] fandom_icons


The rest over here @ [community profile] deliriumicons!
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
[personal profile] feng_shui_house
I did another YinYang Cockatoos yesterday. Very pleased with it.

5 pics & 2 links )
starlady: (bibliophile)
[personal profile] starlady
Books Read
Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria (2013) - I was talking to [personal profile] jhameia about this book, and about how the writing reminded me a lot of The Secret Service, and she said, "It's so sad." Which it is. And it's also, to my mind, much less about reading than other people had led me to believe. It's about travel, and being a traveler in a strange land, and yes about the power of books but also about how books aren't everything and about how they can and can't save you. It's melancholy and gorgeously written and wonderful, you should read it.

Yangsze Choo, The Ghost Bride (2013) - I enjoyed this book about a young woman who receives an offer to marry a dead man in turn of the C20th Malaya, although I am sympathetic to those reviews who complained that Choo's prose is somewhat more telling than showing at times, and the conceit that the narrator's father educated her sometimes stretches a bit thin in the face of facts about Malaya that she supplies the reader. But the narrator and her personality, and the vivid country of the dead to which she journeys, are more than enough to carry the story through. I am ambivalent about the ultimate denouement, but only because I saw someone else on DW compare the choice the protagonist faces to Aeryn's at the end of The Blue Sword. All that having been said, I really liked the book and very much will read Choo's future books.

Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) - Being spoiled for the essential conceit of this book did not make it any less awesome in the reading; at times while I was on the train reading it I had to laugh out loud. I've never read any of Fowler's work before, but this was awesome, and well deserving of all success. The narrator and her perspective are a treasure.

Kate Elliott, Spirit Gate (2007) - I started reading this, the first in the Crossroads trilogy, because one of Elliott's forthcoming 2015 books is set in the same world many decades later. I did not regret it. There are GIANT JUSTICE EAGLES and also, with two notable exceptions, all of the men are at best incompetent and all the women are badass in different ways. The setting is also entirely Asian-inspired, and the entire cast POC. I'm already 1/4 of the way into the next book.

Zen Cho, Spirits Abroad (2014) - This book was published in Malaysia, and I arranged with the author to purchase a paper copy for Loncon. I read it on the plane to Turkey and loved every second of it; I've previously read and quite enjoyed Cho's romance novella, but her short stories are also a true delight, particularly "Prudence and the Dragon" and "The Four Generations of Chang E" and…all of them, really. Many of Cho's characters speak Manglish, and having attended a few of the author's events at Worldcon, it was interesting to note bits of her personal experience reconfigured and reused throughout her work. I very much hope that her novel is picked up and published soon! 

Currently Reading
Kate Elliott, Shadow Gate (2008) - Second in the Crossroads trilogy. Has more of [spoilers] but also more of a character who I honestly wished had been killed at the end of the last book. I think I get the point of his plotline, but he's still damn annoying.

The rakugo manga - still

Book-shaped space for acquisitions
Various, Kaleidoscope (2014) - I downloaded my ecopy of this anthology, which I supported in Kickstarter, and can't wait to read it.
Hagio Moto & Komatsu Sakyo, Away vol. 1 (2014) - new manga by Hagio Moto from a Komatsu Sakyo story!!!!!

Reading next
I acquired an excellent badge ribbon emblazoned with the phrase "All power corrupts, but we need electricity" at Worldcon, which makes me want to read the book it's from, namely Diana Wynne Jones' Archer's Goon. Also probably Michelle Sagara, since I'm behind on the Cast books. Also Kameron Hurley because she won Hugos. Also Seanan McGuire because I am WAY behind on her books. Also…you get the picture.
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Yes, it’s another post-apocalyptic series opener, but it’s infused with a generous spirit—call it a utopian dystopia.

The small, walled community of Las Anclas bears little resemblance to Los Angeles, whose ancient ruins sprawl nearby. To Ross, a badly wounded prospector fleeing a powerful enemy, it’s paradise compared to what he’s used to—to its residents, not so much. Yuki misses the freedom of the wild ocean and dreams of escaping with Paco. Engineer Mia loves blowing things up, but she feels socially awkward. Felicité, the daughter of the mayor and defense chief, knows precisely what she wants: to make half of a power couple with Indra, Jennie’s boyfriend. Jennie herself is delighted to be chosen as a Ranger, the town’s elite defense corps; she’d feared that prejudice against the Changed, people like her who’ve acquired strange powers, made her a long shot. Mia and Jennie, best friends, find themselves attracted to secretive Ross. Characterization is rich and stereotype-free. For gays and lesbians, sexual orientation is neither more nor less a defining characteristic than it is for heterosexuals. Equally exceptional is the depiction of conflict. The confusing adrenaline rush of war is followed by PTSD, its lingering afterimage. The five dynamic narrators and action-packed plot deliver thrills while slyly undermining genre clichés.

A first-rate page turner that leaves its own compelling afterimage.

It Was A Day, by Ursula Vernon

Aug. 21st, 2014 02:58 pm
waywren: (mersora)
[personal profile] waywren posting in [community profile] poetry
It was a day a little bit like today
the way the clouds threw shadows over the hill
the day you realized that you weren’t going to find your future.

You were never going to go to Mars
or Pern
or Krynn
You were never going to open the door that led, inexorably, to Narnia
(or even Telmar, you weren’t picky, and you were confident of your ability
to lead the revolution.)

Inigo Montoya was not going to slap you on the back
and invite you to take up the mantle of the Dread Pirate Roberts.
There would be no sardonic Vulcans or Andorians;
you would never be handed an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

That was a strange day.

It ranked up there with the day that you realized that everybody else saw the you in the mirror, not the you inside your head. Not the you that was lean and tough and clever, not the you with perfect hair and a resonant voice that never said “Um….?”

Not that you.

No, they got the one that was fat and wobbly and stiff inside with terror, the one who was a little scared of eye makeup, the one who wore black because it was better to be freaky than pathetic.

You were never terribly fond of that you.

It was a day not at all like today
a day where the sun shone very brightly around the edges
that you realized that you could write that future.

You could blot out all those old arguments in your head by asking each character “What happens next?”
“And what do you say?”
“And are there ninjas?”

It wasn’t the old future, but it was close.
(Besides, by that point, you’d realized that Inigo probably bathed once a month and that when people stuck you with swords, you’d fall down and shriek, and also that your feet hurt. And writers get indoor plumbing
and birth control pills if they can get them.)

It was a rather odd day
though not entirely unexpected
when you met the people who were angry with you.

It took awhile to figure out. Much more than a day, in fact.
Eventually, it came to you that those people had a future, too,
but they hadn’t quite realized they weren’t going to find it
and they blamed you for the fact it wasn’t here.

You were not the sort of person that lived in their future.
You were still too fat and too wobbly and much too weird, and you laughed too loudly
like a good-natured hyena
and you were not supportive of their high and lonely destiny.

And if you were here and their future wasn’t
it was probably your fault
and if you went away
maybe they’d get to go to Mars after all
pal around with Tars Tarkas
have phone-sex with the Pierson’s Puppeteers.

They got very mad about it.
You pictured them hopping,
arms and legs going up and down
like angry puppets
when somebody pulled the string coming out of their crotch.

It was all very strange.

It was a day sort of like last Tuesday
or maybe the Friday before last
when somebody came up
with a copy of your book
it was dog-eared and they looked like they might cry
and they said “Thank you.”

It was a day.

(Original post)

Two Truths and a Lie With John Scalzi

Aug. 21st, 2014 06:48 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

First, yes, that’s supposed to be me with an old-timey mustache. That’s one hipster moment I’ll never have to have now!

Second, over at Google Play, I’m playing Two Truths and a Lie, in which I, on video, tell two stories that are true and one that is a lie, and you have to decide which is which. And while you’re there you might note all of my ebook backlist is 50% off at the moment. So, you know. Pig out.

(Also if you scroll down to the bottom of the linked page you’ll discover the answer, as to which one is the lie. It might surprise you! Or if you’ve been an obsessive reader of this site since the early days, possibly not.)

likeadeuce: (allison)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
But that's about what I have the brainspace for. Posting them, anyway, not always answering them. This is a fic-writing meme from tumblr. Give me a letter & I'll answer! (My fic archive is here or you can check my tags.

A. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
B. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
C. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
D. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
E. Share one of your strengths.
F. Share one of your weaknesses.
G. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
H. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
I. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
J. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
K. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?
L. Is there an episode section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
M. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
N. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across?
O. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose?
P. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be?
Q. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
R. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?
S. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
T. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
U. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting?
V. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
W. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
X. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?
Y. What do you look for in a beta?
Z. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
AA. How do you feel about collaborations?
AB. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.
AC. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
AD. Do you accept prompts?
AE. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?
AF. How do you feel about smut?
AG. How do you feel about crack?
AH. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con?
AI. Would you ever kill off a canon character?
AJ. Which is your favorite site to post fic?
AK. Talk about your current wips.
AL. Talk about a review that made your day.
AM. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?
AN. Write an alternative ending to a fic you've written (specify by title, link or general description].
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Rebecca Pahle

el hair

The Wasp, aka Janet van Dyne, is of course that founding member of the Avengers whom we’ve heard will be retroactively fridged in Ant-Man. Evangeline Lilly’s playing her daughter Hope van Dyne, who looks like she could be shaping up as the MCU version of that character. So Janet had to be killed in the first place because… nah. I’m in the state of not wanting to think about Ant-Man anymore. Just gonna leave these here:

Oh, to have hair that doesn’t frizz at the slightest suggestion of moisture. Though being a movie star with easy access to hairdressers probably also helps.

(via io9)

Previously in Ant-Man

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Rebecca Pahle


A friend told me a story the other day. He was discussing reboots with his wife, explaining how he doesn’t like them on principle. Until his wife had the gall to point out: “Wait, honey… you love Battlestar Galactica.”

It’s a common thing: Say the word “reboot” and you’ll get a slew of negative reactions, including groans, impassioned lectures on how Hollywood doesn’t make good movies anymore or can’t come up with new ideas, and outright refusals to even consider seeing a movie which happens to be a reboot. Well get comfy, people, because I’m about to explain to you why your kneejerk reactions against reboots and remakes is all wrong.

Put simply, the reason is this: There’s nothing about a reboot being a reboot that means it’s going to suck. Disney could reboot Howard the Duck, and we still shouldn’t dismiss it right out of the gate, because there’s more to a movie—like the director, the script, the actors—than the fact that it’s based on something else. As director James Gunn laid out his defense of remakes, posted on Facebook earlier this year, they’ve always existed. The Thing, The Fly, Casino Royale, The Maltese Falcon, The Departed, The Wizard of Oz—all remakes, says Gunn, which are “as good as or better than the original.”

“Remakes are not ‘Hollywood running out of ideas,’” he continues. “They’ve been around in film since the silent era, and on stage long before that. Also, Hollywood isn’t pushing remakes on audiences – audiences go see them, so the studios keep them coming. So if you want to stop seeing films remade, stop watching them.” *cough*TMNT*cough*

A common stone thrown at remakes is that they’re not “needed,” that “no one asked for [insert movie here].” But that doesn’t really mean anything. No remake—hell, no movie—is ever really “needed,” as independent film scholar Dave Andrews, author of Theorizing Art Cinemas: Foreign, Cult, Avant-Garde, and Beyond (University of Texas Press, 2013), explains: “This complaint about remakes and reboots shows a basic misperception of the movie industry, where movies are rarely if ever remade due to the aesthetic qualities of the original. Movies are typically remade due to a financial calculus first and the popularity or ‘fine-ness’ of the original second.”

And sure, that “financial calculus” leads to some bad remakes and reboots. Hollywood has a tendency to prop themselves up with them. It’s easy to market a re-do of Robocop, because everybody basically knows who Robocop is. He has brand recognition. With something like Pacific Rim, the studios have a tougher time getting across what it is—”There are giant robots, like in Transformers! But wait, we also want to draw in the geek crowd, and a lot of them don’t like Bayformers. ‘By the award-winning director of Pan’s Labyrinth‘? Shit, that sounds too art house-y…” It’s a numbers game—hundreds of millions are being sunk into these Hollywood tentpoles, so studios want to secure a good baseline of people who will see them no matter what. The reviews for this summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were mostly atrocious, but it dominated the box office in the two weekends it’s been out, because a lot of people are going to see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie just because it’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Ideally, if you’re rebooting a film you should have a creative reason to do it—“Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to see how the apes came to rule the planet?” instead of “What the hell, let’s do Spider-Man’s origin story again.” But that’s true of every movie ever, not just reboots, which are really just a scapegoat. There are ample creative disasters among original movies—Jack and JillBucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, After Earth—just like there are reboots that are genuinely good.

I admit to being guilty of bias myself. Hop in a time machine and ask past Rebecca whether she thought Rise of the Planet of the Apes and 21 Jump Street would be two of her favorite movies from their respective years, and she’d have laughed in your face. But that’s what people’s knee-jerk reactions are: bias. “The interesting thing about the hatred of remakes/reboots is how irrational it is,” explains Andrews:

“Fans of classic movies, no matter how low-budget, often act as if a remake will hurt the original movie in some way. Clearly, a remake does nothing to the actual movie, to the object… After all, if a remake is bad or unpopular, the critique or rejection of the remake will lead to a new appreciation of the original. This can also happen if the remake is good—and if a remake is excellent, isn’t this simply a good thing?”

That’s what it all comes down to, really. If a movie is good, who cares if it’s a remake? Dredd, The Italian Job, Star Trek, Batman Begins: All remakes or reboots (or “rebootquels,” in the case of Star Trek. Let’s not split hairs—you know what I mean). All good films*. Or, as Gunn puts it, “For me, all I care is that the movie works well, that it has heart, good characters, and a story that pulls me in, remake or not.”

So say we all.

*Your mileage may vary on what I classify as a “good film”—I know Star Trek, in particular, has its detractors. But you see my wider point.

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Aug. 21st, 2014 08:22 pm
falena: Wonderfalls: Jaye leaning against mirror; caption: help! (help!)
[personal profile] falena
[ profile] juicy_sweet84 is turning 30 next week and to celebrate she is throwing a fancy dress party. Under normal circumstances I'd be all over that sort of stuff, I love dressing up, but right now I'm not a as excited as I could be.

It's just that I am not a crafty person,I'm useless with most practical stuff and I can't see at all. So normally I need a lot of time to prepare for this sort of party - it takes a long time to find the right idea and all the 'equipment'.

This time I've got even less time than usual, taking care of an infant is e e more time-consuming than I expected; plus this week I'm stuck home with the Nugget the whole time so I can't even run any errands (F is back to work and my family are away for the hols). I suppose I could dash off to the shops at the weekend when F can look after the Nugget...Problem is I have zero ideas.
There is no theme per se but I know for a fact most people will dress up as fandom characters...I think I've seen pics of [ profile] shatzy_shell's awesome cosplay as Helena from Orphan Black.

Bottom line, do you have any suggestions? I don't want to be the lame perso who ruins the party by turning up not wearing a fancy dress.

Worldcon III: the rest of Friday

Aug. 21st, 2014 07:07 pm
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
[personal profile] hilarita
 III.i What's in a Name?
Quite a fun panel on pseudonyms. It wasn't massively deep or anything - there weren't any new reasons I'd not encountered. I was a little bit surprised about how much of it was driven by marketing, but then by how much authors would identify with the marketing pseudonym and use it to drive certain aspects of their writing. It's just a bit depressing that in the 21st century, authors in whatever genre need to use a name that codes a particular gender (or one that deliberately encodes as little gender information as possible, to allow readers to write their own prejudices across the space). Gah.

III.ii How to find the most distant quasar.
Episode I in What Is My Day Job Really Helping to Do? Since I am now involved in building a radio telescope, I thought I'd find out more about astronomy, since this is what the radio telescope will one day do (though often at a different wavelength). This was fun stuff about quasars, black holes and how far away == old, so you can look back in time. 

I had dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant, then listened to ISIHAC, Loncon-style. I was extremely glad that Seanan McGuire did not die of her plague, but seems to have survived unharmed. Some of this had set pieces, but Paul Cornell was extremely good at real-time wit. All the panellists were good, though. It was an excellent end to the day.
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
[personal profile] hilarita
 This was the first panel I attended after the epic queue, and I was on it. I think it was a bit of a tough panel for the moderator. It was more an exploration of fannish history and attitudes than a 101, and we didn't really get to grips with fannish representation or sexuality. What we did get to talk about was the fannish community, and fanon vs. canon. 
I shan't describe so much what we discussed as it was a week ago, and the precise details are a bit hazy, but I shall write down some extensions to what was discussed. One thing that struck me was how fan 'publishing' is getting closer to paid publishing. Once upon a time, fans could only publish through gate-keeping zines, and authors could only publish via publishing houses (for the vast majority of fans and authors). Then came the internet, and fans could publish their incomprehensible dribblings with no intervention. And now Amazon et al. allow self-published works to be sold. There are still publishers, still edited archives, so you can use that as a filter, but the boundaries are starting to look more like whether it's something you can legally earn money from, or not, than anything else. (After all, there are tie-in books etc...)
The other bit where fandom diverges from being A Paid Author (TM) is in the community. It's easy to comment on someone's fic - easier than it is to leave a review that an author will read. There's quite a lot of communication between writers and readers. There's quite a lot of communication between fan authors and readers, in a pretty unfiltered way. (I do get why authors might get people to read their mail and their @ mentions for them - it can e.g. filter out fuckwittery and free up time and energy for paid work. I'm not suggesting at all that they're wrong to do this. It's just different for fandom.) You can be reading something at 3am and see that someone has called for giant squid/Hogwarts crack!fic. Then you can write it, post it, and next day see three other takes on the subject. This kind of challenge-reponse doesn't happen so much outside fandom. (Apart from Stross' Equoid. Shush,) But it's that very flat relationship, based on a shared love of something, where fandom will continue to be a bit different from paid-for writing.


alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)
our roads may be golden, or broken, or lost

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