Today was May Day a.k.a. Labour Day, which is a public holiday practically everywhere except for the US. We took the opportunity for a day trip to Celle, a town some 120 kilometers southeast of Bremen. So expect photos of springtime landscape and medieval architecture tomorrow. But for now, here are some interesting links:
- The Sydney Morning Herald has a profile of Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games trilogy, about whom surprisingly little is known.
- Malinda Lo has a great post about writing kissing scenes. There are a few “How to write a sex scene” primers out there, but none about kissing, even though a good kissing scene can be as powerful, if not more so, than full blown sex.
- Locus has an interesting but faintly frustrating roundtable discussion about “non-western science fiction”. Why is the discussion faintly frustrating? Because there still seems to be a conflation of western SF (and fantasy for that matter) with Anglophone SF and fantasy, which completely ignores those of us who are from western Europe, but not from English speaking countries. Not that we aren’t used to it by now. Meanwhile, English speakers from beyond the US/UK/Australia and immigrants to those countries have a hard time fitting in as well, as Karen Lord points out. The bloke who thinks that SF requires a “western mindset” and that such a thing as “non-western SF” is an oxymoron and for whom even East European SF was “too strange and foreign” is just groan-worthy. The same goes for the guy who thinks that just the mere acts of writing in English automatically makes that author part of the anglophone SF scene, since they have to share the same values. But then, several other participants call him on it.
- Insane: As if holding the 2012 Olympics in London, a city where living is already prohibitively expensive at the best of times, wasn’t insane enough, now the British Ministry of Defence wants to station surface-to-air missiles on the roofs of council estates in East London to protect the Olympic Games from potential terrorist attacks. Never mind what will happen to the residents of those council estates and the surrounding neighbourhoods when one of those missiles is launched and rains debris down on the city. Found via Charles Stross, who also presents a scary scenario of how terrorists could exploit this idiocy. Come to think of it, this would make a great Misfits plot. Just imagine what Kelly and her rocket scientist powers could do with a bunch of surface-to-air missiles stationed on a Thamesmead roof…
- The city of Edinburgh is selling off 22 blue police call boxes. Which would be merely of local interest, if British police call boxes (some of which still survive in Scotland) were not better known to Doctor Who fans worldwide as the shape assumed by the TARDIS for reasons of its own. Though the Edinburgh police boxes don’t look all that TARDIS like – they’re bigger for starters. Glasgow, on the other hand, uses the classic TARDIS model. And yes, I have a photo of myself standing next to a TARDIS. I have one with a Dalek, too.
- Finally, here is the original cover for Muse, one half of the two story bumper edition I released yesterday. I designed it, when I intended to release Muse as a standalone short story, but once I decided to bundle Muse with Crisis, it remained unused. The image is a photo I took of an after-dinner hot chocolate at a local Italian restaurant.