It’s another of those awfully hot and humid days, so here is a linkdump for your pleasure:
James Scott Bell has a great post on dialogue as a weapon at Writer Unboxed.
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books point out this detailed analysis of the subsubgenre of paranormal romance known as Selkie romances at Bitch Magazine. This article immediately went into the PhD bibliography.
Joe Konrath, thriller author and indie publishing guru, has gotten some flak for the fact that some of his books contain sex scenes and now wonders why more people have issues with sex scenes than with explicit violence.
At Tor.com, Ryan Britt explains what is good about the prequels and bad about the original Star Wars films. Some interesting points there.
I agree that Obi Wan is a much better character in the prequels, particularly since I never liked him much in the originals. And it’s always been pretty obvious that the Jedi Council is as much responsible for Anakin turning to the Dark Side as Palpatine, since pretty much every member of the Jedi Council except Obi Wan proves himself (and they are all men) to be completely emotionally tone-deaf. The entire Star Wars series, both prequels and originals, makes much more sense if you accept that the Jedi are not the solution but part of the problem.
I disagree about the love triangle in the original trilogy, though. For starters, that love triangle exists only in the heads of Luke and Han who spend a lot of time vying for the attentions of Leia. There never is any love triangle as far as Leia is concerned, because she has only eyes for Han from the moment she meets him. She likes Luke a lot, but there’s never any sexual or romantic interest from her side. The quick kiss in A New Hope is really just for luck, while the kiss at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back is clearly intended to make Han jealous, which is obvious to everyone except Luke and Han. Chewie even makes a snarky remark in that scene. This also explains Leia’s “Yes, I know. I’ve always known somehow.” reaction to Luke telling her that they are brother and sister. She’s not so much shocked, but relieved to finally have an explanation for the fact that she never felt sexually attracted to Luke.
As for why neither Yoda nor Obi Wan feel the need to tell Luke he has a sister and prevent possible incest, Obi Wan dies too early and Yoda does not much care about incest. Jedi celibacy and inadequate sex education in the Star Wars universe aside, Yoda knows very well where little Jedi come from and what happens when you get the right people with the right midichlorians together. After all, it’s Yoda who assigns Anakin to protect Padme (even though Anakin has had a crush on her since early childhood and putting the two together without supervision is a recipe for disaster), because Yoda knows what might happen and he doesn’t mind.
Urban fantasy writer Rob Thurman is in hospital in critical condition following a car crash. I’m a big fan of Ms. Thurman’s novels. Rob Thurman is the best SFF writer you’re not reading and her Leandros Brothers series is my favourite among the books I may never have discovered if not for the PhD. Since then I’ve been recommending her to everyone who might be remotely interested. Just two days ago, I persuaded my Mom to read Nightlife, the first Leandros Brothers novel, and she’s already hooked.