Monday's Writing Links

Sorry about the recent hiatus from posting. I am in the process of working with an editor on my book, workshopping my next book with a friend, trying to keep up with life stuff and staving off being a complete recluse during this stretch. It’s tough. I don’t know how people do it, especially those with families and real responsibilities. My responsibilities are very minor and when I drop the ball with them, the most that happens is that Breaking Bad doesn’t get Tivo’d or our bowling team is short a man. Not that serious.

Today’s highlighted link is for a series called ‘The Kingkiller Chronicles.’ I jumped into this series after about seven or eight people enthusiastically recommended it to me. I am about half way through ‘The Name of the Wind,’ the first book of the series, and I must say it is very good. After reading a lot of ‘Game of Thrones’ in the last year or so, I’ve come to expect most fantasy to be like that, but ‘The Name of the Wind’ is more like some strange fusion of the ‘Wheel of Time’ and ‘Harry Potter’ series. I haven’t finished the first book yet, but it’s good so far and the author Patrick Rothfuss is from Madison (one of the many places I’ve called home), so I thought I’d push it anyways. If the last half is nonsense, then I apologize and I’ll come back and update the post saying so. Until then, I give a firm endorsement to the first half of the book.

– Buy ‘The Name of the Wind’ (amazon)

– Kim Butcher Interviews Patrick Rothfuss (sf-fantasy)

– SF Signal’s Podcast Explores Under explored SF and Fantasy Themes (sfsignal)

– Av Club Reviews Grant Morrison’s ‘Supergods’ (avclub)

– Jane Friedman’s Aug 11th Seminar On Doing Your Ebook Right (guidetoliteraryagents)

– SF Book Cover Smackdown (sfsignal)

– Av Club Interviews Brendan Gleeson About His New Movie ‘The Guard’ (avclub)

Monday's Writing Links

This week’s writing links highlight a myriad of subjects including Noah Wyle’s foray into Spielberg produced sci-fi television, weighing the financial pros and cons of book appearances, a new $150,000 writers grant from Yale University and unearthing where Gene Hackman has been for the last seven years (apparently writing).

The featured link (more sci-fi than literary, but oh well) highlights TNT’s new series, Falling Skies, a Spielberg produced, Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot) scripted narrative about aliens invading earth, much to the displeasure of former ER cast members. The pilot aired last night and I missed it, but I hope to catch the encore tonight.

– Reviews of TNT’s Falling Skies (sfsignal, hitflix, latimes, sfgate, ign)

– Literary Agents Try New Role as Self-Publishing Consultants (PBS)

– K. Tempest Bradford Profiles The Clarion West Write-A-Thon (sfsignal)

– The Financial Concerns Of Book Tours And Appearances (jakonrath)

– Why Does It Take So Long For Your Book To Be Published? (pimpmynovel)

– A Writer’s Estate to Yield $150,000 Literary Prizes (nytimes)

Parks And Recreation Book On Pawnee Coming In October (latimes)

– Neil Gaiman Talks Dr. Who And The 10th Anniversary Edition of American Gods (neilgaiman)

– Kayleigh Reviews Said 10th Anniversary Book (nylonadmiral)

– Alexis Grant: Why I’m Keeping My Day Job (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Gabriel Reviews The Curious Life Of Human Cadavers (gabrielreads)

Lost’s Evangeline Lilly Join the Cast of The Hobbit (imdb)

– The AV Club Reviews Simon Pegg’s Nerd Do Well (avclub)

P.S. Did anyone notice that Gene Hackman has been retired from acting since 2004 and has co-written three books in his spare time? I’m picking up Justice For None because I’m undoubtedly interested in seeing his writing style. I expect most of his characters to be stoic personalities that have screaming fits when people disappoint them/try to mutiny a submarine away from them. I must admit, I’ve always been a fan of Gene Hackman. One of the last movies he did is still one of my favorites (wikipedia).

Monday's Writing Links

I know many people are generally turned off by science fiction or genre fiction in general, even though they occasionally encounter, read and love books that fall into both respective categories. There is often a stigma attached to genre fiction that it is inferior literature chock full of cliched characterization, gunfire and explosions. While this may be true in some genre books, it does not represent the entire genre. So, today’s featured link is designed to ease you into genre fiction, specifically science fiction, with kirkus reviews’ guide on how to start reading science fiction.

One of the biggest problems with reading science fiction is that often readers are in denial that they are in fact reading science fiction. People who have eaten up the Hunger Games series will readily admit it’s YA, but might ignore the fantasy and science fiction elements, rather choosing to classify it as a literary YA novel like Lord of the Flies (which it really isn’t). The same goes for books like The Time Traveler’s Wife, which is often categorized as a romance novel, even though it’s technically a science fiction romance novel.

So, how do we get you into sci-fi and readily admitting that you’re reading such material? Well, kirkus reviews suggests that you start with the award winners of the genre. While this isn’t a bad strategy for conquering science fiction, I would recommend tackling more accessible books in the genre first (some of which are actually award winners themselves). Books like Michael Crichton’s Timeline, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Robert J. Sawyer’s Flashforward are a great place to start. They won’t bombard you with new languages to learn (Crichton can get a little technical sometimes, but it’s not too bad) overtly dense prose or complicated bloodlines or backstories. They are as I said, accessible reads. After these, I feel like you will be able to transition into heavier award winning sci-fi novels like Dan Simmon’s Hyperion, Frederik Pohl’s Gateway and Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow. It’ll be a cinch. Anyways, Links!

Writing Links:
– How To Start Reading Science Fiction (kirkus review)

– What Makes Good Sci Fi (kirkus review)

– 10 Things You Should Know About Chicago Authors (chicago tribune)

– Writers Conference: Ocean Park Writing Event In Maine (GTLA)

– HBO Greenlights 6 Seasons Of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (io9)

– AV Club Reviews China Miéville’s Embassytown (av club)

– 9 Things I Learned From Other Writers (GTLA)

– The Emptiness Of Literary Fiction And The Stereotyping Of Genre Literature (sf signal)

– Nathan Fillion Reads 3 Chapters For P.J. Haarsma’s The Softwire Audiobook (ign)

– Profile of George Lucas (flickering myth)