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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window

1aug2015

It's time for another “How to photograph Kristin Perkins’ work!” post. Now, since afaik only three people shoot her stuff—Larry Saunders, yours truly, and the artist herself—this howto is really only of interest to one person, namely, me (since Larry Saunders hardly needs my advice, and Kristin pays us [would-be, in my case] pros precisely so she doesn't have to learn this crap.)

Otoh, you do get to see some stunning silver and glass jewelry.

Also, there's roughly 10–15 pages between this and the last post. Admittedly, about 5 of them were for an abortive Nanowrimo for July, but the fact of the matter is I seem to have spent most of the summer prepping for travel, traveling, or recovering from jet lag. That's all done now, and I still have all of August left! With, perhaps some more art coming down the pike...Meanwile, enjoy some of Kristin's beautiful pieces.

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26jun2015

I've been in hiding away from the world, but today's news is so historic, I figured I oughta celebrate. It's kind of amazing that we reached this tipping point so quickly—I figured it'd be another decade or two.

Plus, the white house icon is just adorbs. And I happen to like the SLPC's take on the news as well.

And this little pic of the iconic flag is my offering.

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18may2015

So for various boring, assorted reasons I won't go into, Blacksad has recently been obsessing me, to the point where I've spent the last ...week or so analysing it. Blacksad is a spanish comic, detective noir, in which the characters are drawn as animals, and it's brilliant. My critique is my effort to understand why; where it works (and doesn't).

However, I doubt anyone else will be much interested, so here's some spiffy links—a 10 minute CGI short that, as the Mary Sue notes, will get you right in the feels. Yeah, I want the full length version too.

The other is this absolutely superb story about memory, and its malleability. I have always had a crappy memory—one reason I make this blog, an artificial extension. If you're wondering what a hugo-worthy short looks like, well, Ted Chiang's The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling would be an excellent example.

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30apr2015

So the rabid puppies dominate the short fiction nominations for the hugos; one exception being this brilliant story by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. It's Dutch, which I thought, cool, and Hugo-worthy, I was assured.

And in terms of construction, it is. In fact, in a lot of ways, it could be said to be a companion piece to that bugaboo of the puppies, Rachel Swirsky's “If you were a dinosaur, my love” (which did not win the hugo, last year, but a nebula; that is her fellow sff authors handed her the prize.) Like Dino, “The day the world turned upside down” is about a heartbroken person who's lost his love; even the internal structure is similar.

But I can't vote for it. (Spoilers, obviously.)

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7apr2015

Ooooh, more controversy:)

Via pharyngula, a post by scicurious, about favorite versus ‘good’ books. I know exactly how she feels. Being smarter and more disciplined than I am, she banged her head against this wall far longer than I have; I couldn't stand the amoral people in Vanity Fair, and gave it up. The biggest thrill of Tess of the d'Ubervilles (besides the admittedly fascinating bits about dairying—being a milkmaid was hard work!) was recognizing the basis for some Harry Potter characters (Voldie's folks, for those of you who are curious). I did manage Willa Cather and T.S. Eliot (I think?) and they were ok.

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6apr2015

So the latest kerfluffle taking place in the (book) sf&f world is the effort of a bunch of USA right-wing sore-losers calling themselves the sad (or rabid) puppies, who managed to stuff the ballot box during the hugo nominations. To the tune of providing nearly 70% of the slate. Because their efforts last year (which involved them being voted below ‘No award’) were so successful.

SF has two major awards, the nebulas (selected by pros, like the Oscars) and the hugos (named for Hugo Gernsback, whose 1920s mag sort of started the genre) which can be nominated by—and voted upon—anyone with a WorldCon (the biggest sf&f convention) membership. In order to open the process to poorer fans, the committee created a (non-attending) category for $40.

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