Walpurgis Night Linkdump

Well, it was either Walpurgis Night or Koninginnedag.

I’d actually hoped to announce a new release today, but OmniLit/AllRomance is having upload issues today, so have a linkdump instead:

Ellen DeGeneres attempts to record the audio book edition of Fifty Shades of Grey. Hilarity ensues. Warning: If you’re at work or if there are young children in the room, you may want to click on the link at some other time. Oh yes, and you’ll never be able to look at a paddleball in the same way again.

I think that’s something else we can put in the pro column for getting a traditional big publishing deal: Having the audiobook read by a big name celebrity. But even if Ellen DeGeneres had been able to get through the book without cracking up, she’s so not the person I would have hired to read that particular book. Because IMO her voice doesn’t sound particularly sexy and she certainly does not sound like a 21-year-old college student.

From the department of subjects that keep coming back, Bryan Thomas Schmidt is looking for alternatives to A Song of Ice and Fire, since he was no fan of the depressing nature of the books. I certainly sympathize, since I don’t particularly care for the grimdark trend (and there’s worse than George R.R. Martin. Much worse) myself. I never read the Majipoor books, probably because I bounced hard off a Robert Silverberg book I tried to read as a teen, though they look like something I might like.

The Boston Globe explains why fiction is good for us. I must confess that I have never understood those people who only read non-fiction (and not even the narrative sort like memoirs but straight fact-filled non-fiction) and never watch a film or TV series. I just can’t see how they can survive without a regular dose of story. Because I get depressed and cranky without regular infusions of story.

Kate Elliot reminds us that women in historically based fantasy (and by extent in historical fiction) set during periods where women’s lives were highly restricted nonetheless had personalities and desires and that some of them found a way around the restrictions they faced. She also points out this great post by Aliette de Bodard on the subject of women in historical fantasy.

At Wet Asphalt, Eric Rosenfield analyzes several recently published and/or award nominated short stories and attempts a taxonomy.

PC Mag asks how much it would cost to build a Death Star. Turns out that the costs would eat up the entire annual GDP of our planet for 13000 years, which should give you an entire how big the Star Wars Empire really is.

Gothicked is a whole blog dedicated to the old gothic romances of the 1960s and 1970s. Lots of good stuff there, including this list of typical elements of a gothic romance.

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9 Responses to Walpurgis Night Linkdump

  1. Thanks for the signal boost, Cora. Give Lord Valentine’s Castle a try. I think it’s Silverberg’s masterpiece and it’s when he started his career again after retiring and decided to stop writing depressing, unhappy stories and write some happy, hopeful ones.

    • Cora says:

      You’re welcome. It was a very good post. I think there’s a lot of us who are sick of all darkness all the time.

      I missed a lot of good SF in the 1980s and 1990s, because in those pre-Amazon days I was dependent on whatever foreign language SF I could find on the local bookshelves and books by certain publishers were simply not available except by special order. And you couldn’t order books you didn’t know about.

      I’ll definitely check out Lord Valentine’s Castle.

      • It’s ironic that I seem to have hit on a trend. Daniel Abraham posted about similar issues recently himself and others have jumped on the bandwagon. There is definitely plenty of more positive SFF to read out there. And like you, I hope people have not stopped producing it. I’ve attempted with my Davi Rhii books to write those kinds of “old fashioned” hopeful stories and heroes which inspired me in my youth, with the concession that I refuse to create damsels in distress. My women characters take diverse roles, just like the males, and often are competitive with them in the same roles. In any case, when you do get the chance to read Castle, please let us know what you thought.

        • Cora says:

          I remember that approximately ten years ago, plenty of people complained about unrealistic optimism in the SFF genre and began to champion darker works. And now many people – in some cases the same people – complain about too much darkness and gloom. It seems that we are definitely seeing a turning of the tide and I for one am not sad to see less of the ultra-dark and depressing SFF, which is often as unrealistic as overwhelmingly positive works.

          And don’t worry, once I’ll get around to reading Lord Valentine’s Castle, I’ll let you know what I thought of it.

          • You’re right about a shift back. The editor for the new magazine Ad Astra figured a lot of nihilism would come in. But they actually were overwhelmed with positive stories and he was pleased. So I think it is shifting. I know Connie Willis and others have announced intentions to write more positive books next. I’ll be happy to see it and I certainly know GRRM is not the worst.

            • Cora says:

              I’ll be glad to see a shift back towards more positive works. Besides, there is space between unrealistic rainbows, unicorns and rose-coloured glasses cheeriness and unrelenting grimness. Let’s hope that more authors will find it.

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