February Flurry Linkdump

Yes, it’s another linkdump today, because I’m not feeling all that great. I’ve got a nasty cluster of three aphthous ulcers on the inside of my upper lip. I have been struggling with aphthous ulcers since my teens and though I get them less frequently ever since I started taking zinc supplements, I still get them on occasion and this bunch is rather nasty.

And now for some links:

Over at Pegasus Pulp, I talk about a new study which discovered that comparatively few readers buy books at Amazon based upon also-boughts, bestseller and popularity lists and other algorithm driven recommendations. Which means that the popular practice of Amazon algorithm voodoo is much less effective than many writers think. In indie publishing circles, this is a very controversial topic BTW.

Romantic Times Book Reviews has a nice article by Karen Lord about the boundaries between science fiction and romance. Found via SF Signal.

The New York Times reports about the recent discovery that Dr. Fedric Wertham, archenemy of comic books, fudged the research that led to his infamous 1954 anti-comics screed Seduction of the Innocents.

“There won’t be a singularity”, says a top neuroscientist at Duke University. Found via Jay Lake. So now that it’s been confirmed that there really, really won’t be a singularity, can we please stop writing science fiction about it? Cause the singularity wasn’t even all that interesting, when people still believed that it might happen someday.

The New York Times has an interesting article about Belgium’s famous Trappist beer and how its growing fame impacted the local economy. I don’t think I’ve ever had Westvleteren 12 – my favourite Trappist beer is Rochefort 10. Chimay and Leffe Brune are pretty good as well. There are lots of Trappist abbeys in Belgium and they all make excellent beer*. Though only an American journalist could write that Liège and Genk are “nearby” Vleteren, when both cities are on the other side of the country and, in the case of Liège, also located in the French speaking Walonie as opposed to Dutch speaking Flanders, where Vleteren is located.

*I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I really like Trappist beer.

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