It’s the Dog Days of summer, the hottest and sultriest time of the year, and also the time when supposedly there are more serious disasters and tragedies than usual. Thankfully, the dog days don’t always live up to this particular aspect of their reputation, but sadly this year they do.
And now for some links:
First of all, I’ve been interviewed by fantasy writer K.J. Bryen at Take the Plunge. We talk about writing, UFOs and pirates – the seafaring kind, not the kind that illegally shares digital media.
I also made a trio of posts over at the Pegasus Pulp blog, explaining why my e-books won’t be available via Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited program, collecting other reactions to Kindle Unlimited from around the web and finally linking to some prime Amazon bashing from Germany.
In the speculative fiction community, the big topic is the decision of the WisCon committee to only provisionally ban former editor Jim Frenkel for four years after several incidents of sexual harrassment. Natalie at The Radish has the full scoop.
The Guardian has an interesting article about how the comment sections of articles about the conflict in Ukraine and recently the flight MH17 tragedy are flooded by pro-Russian comments and wonders whether this is an orchestrated social media campaign. I’ve been noticing a similar phenomenon in the comment sections of the German media. Lots of pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian comments, accusations of bias, similar wording (“murderous militias of Maidan” is a popular one) and often a liberal dose of anti-Americanism, too. There has been surprisingly little reaction to this in the German media, which is odd, considering it’s happening right in their comment sections and on their own Facebook pages. Here is a rare German language report on the phenomenon from kulturzeit. Comments are screened BTW.
John C. Wright claims to have found the secret to mindblowing perfect sex. The rest of the world begs to disagree.
German radio and TV personality Manfred Sexauer died Sunday aged 83. From the mid 1960s on, Manfred Sexauer introduced international pop music on the very conservative German public radio, which was something of a scandal at the time. Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, he hosted the popular music program Musikladen on TV, where pretty much all of the big names of the era performed live.
I’ve seen a lot of Musikladen episodes over the years, both live and later as repeats. As music programs go, it was unique with its mix of comedy, political cartoons, international top acts, GoGo dancers (often topless in the early years) and early electronic effects. Here is the opening of the first Musikladen episode ever featuring Manfred Sexauer and co-host Uschi Nerke and here is a typical episode from the disco era (1980 in this case). Musikladen eventually became a casualty of MTV like most of programs of its type, though it survived in some form well into the 1990s on TV and to this day on the radio.
Finally, here is Manfred Sexauer in 1980 together with a very young Thomas Gottschalk and Frank Laufenberg rapping to the beats of the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight (which had been performed live on Musikladen sometime before, though I couldn’t find the video). This piece was actually the first German language rap song ever.
Last but not least, here is a signal boost: Speculative fiction small press Hadley Rille Books is running an Indiegogo campaign to allow them to expand their operations.