That flickering flame thing in the neighbours’ garden really is a storm lantern of some kind. The flame is pretty big, though, for a candle. I wouldn’t be surprised if some nighttime or early morning passer-by calls the fire brigade at some point.
I’m not feeling too well today, so here are some links:
On the SFWA site, Jason S. Ridler discusses the actual working conditions for writers in the pulp era. I’ve always had a huge amount of admiration for pulp writers, given the conditions under which they produced fiction, some of which holds up surprisingly well today. I remember talking about my admiration for pulp writers like Walter B. Gibson, creator of The Shadow, and their enormous word output in a university writing class and got a derisive comment from someone, “Well, a writer can hardly be Thomas Mann with such a huge output.” Whereupon I replied, “Not everybody wants to be Thomas Mann. Some of us actually want to write stories that people read without being forced to in school.” Okay, so I really don’t like Thomas Mann and never have.
Charles Stross takes on Steampunk yet again. Complete with bonus swipe against urban fantasy, which has now been taken over by paranormal romance – never mind that most romance readers consider both entirely different genres. Oh yes, and the fake Steampunk novel was written by one Charlene Stress, because obviously women only write fluff anyway. One could almost make on of those noxious bingo cards for stuff like this.
Meanwhile, on the saner side of the genre wars, here is Richard Dansky on “that crap that you like and this brilliant stuff that I like”. Wise words there, with one exception: All of humanity does not agree that Law and Order provides ideal background noise, because I hate the entire Law and Order franchise with a passion, because most of it is nasty propaganda IMO. I can’t even watch the ones with Chris Noth, an actor I normally like (and who deserves better than being remembered mainly as the trophy man of some demented fashion-crazed New Yorker chick).