This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s links feature an article on bedside book stacks, advice on how writing for yourself can help produce your best writing, a review of Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchet’s The Long Earth and a list compiling the greatest YA series of all time. I also want to quickly mention that this past weekend was marked by great tragedy and I don’t want to trivialize those events in any way, so this post is going to be rather brief.

I borrowed a page from flavorwire’s profile on bedside reading stacks and used a picture of my own bedside stack for this post. I have to admit, my stack is a bit all over the place, but truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, if things were vanilla or uniformly confronting a single subject/genre, I would be rather disappointed. The sad part is that this is just my ‘currently reading’ stack and there are several other stacks from a ‘to read’ stack all the way down to a ‘someday when I’m a more focused individual I will finish you, I promise neglected third chapter dogeared paperback’ stack.

Although it shows up in my bedside book stack, I just finished Shadow Show, the Ray Bradbury tribute collection. To pay all the contributing authors a broad compliment, I would say that Bradbury’s stories always had a way of sticking in my mind long after I’d read them, usually extending from a very specific image being branded into my mind, and many of Shadow Show’s tales accomplished a similar feat. I enjoyed the stories thoroughly and would call the collection a fine tribute for the late great Bradbury.


– Beside Book Snooping (flavorwire)

Shadow Show: A Fitting Tribute To Ray Bradbury (wired)

– How Writing For Yourself Will Produce Your Best Writing (writersdigest)

– Av Club Reviews Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s The Long Earth (avclub)

– New Author Spotlight: Christopher Farnsworth (sfsignal)

– JA Konrath On Exclusivity And Free With Your Books (jakonrath)

– The 10 Greatest YA Series Of All Time (flavorwire)

– How I Got My Agent: Colette Martin (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Steven Spielberg Wants Thor To Star In Robocalypse (io9)

– Hayao Miyzaki’s New Film Will Tell The Story Of The Zero Fighters Designer (twitch)

– Warner Bros. Will Make Donations To Dark Knight Shooting Victims (entertainment)

– The Universe Could Tear Itself Apart Sooner Than Anyone Believed (io9)

This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s writing links feature an especially patriotic 10 Quintessentially American Novels list to celebrate the 4th, the late J.R.R. Tolkien’s Tips For Writers, SF Signal’s Andrew Liptak Discussing Jules Verne’s books about the moon, io9’s list of Upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies and EW’s 50 Best Movies That You’ve Never Seen compilation (which I mostly included because they put Memories of Murder on there).

In all of the previous month’s madness, I forgot to give a quick update on the Chicago’s Printers Row Lit Festival which has already come and gone. I did get a chance to attend the opening evening dinner before unforeseen circumstances curbed my attendance at the later events and it was a really nice time. The event honored Chicago author Sara Paretsky for her contributions to the city through her fiction and former mayor Richard M. Daley for his dedication to the Public Library system during his run in office. I hope if you were in the city for the Printers Row Festival, you got a chance to attend some of the events, because my limited exposure was definitely a lot of fun.



– 10 Quintessentially American Novels (flavorwire)

– J.R.R. Tolkien’s Tips For Writers (bestsellerlabs)

– AV Club Reviews Andrew Blackwell’s Visit Sunny Chernobyl (avclub)

– New Literary Agent Alert: Brenna Barr (writersdigest)

– First Look At Matt Damon In Elysium (twitchfilm)

– SF Signal’s Andrew Liptak Discusses Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and Round the Moon (kirkusreview)

– Upcoming Science Fiction And Fantasy Movies (io9)

– Lee Child’s Novel One Shot Comes To Life In The Jack Reacher Trailer (youtube)

– Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen (imgur)

This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s writing links include the release of John Scalzi’s Redshirts, the first five minutes of Aaron Sorkin’s new show The Newsroom (which in true Sorkin fashion makes you sit up and listen – language makes it slightly NSFW though. HBO has put the full first episode up for free now on youtube too), a cool tool/community to help you remember those long forgotten books and of course, a cool list of the greatest female science fiction and fantasy authors.

I haven’t had a chance to read John Scalzi’s Redshirts yet (my copy is in the mail and due on my doorstep tomorrow), but I have been intrigued with the book since it was first announced. For those unfamiliar with the term Redshirts, it is an old Star Trek reference for the red shirted crew members on the show that were more or less cannon fodder. They were the people who were there to get hit by stray projectiles that always managed to miss William Shatner while he winced and fired back blindly. The term was eventually popularized and found itself into the vernacular of pop culture.

Scalzi’s book attempts to explore the lives of these ill fatted lemmings through the tale of Andrew Dahl, one of the aforementioned redshirts, who starts to become aware of the disturbingly low survival rate for people of his rank. The book seems to be getting solid reviews and I look forward to checking it out later this week.

I am also currently chugging along on my second book, tentatively titled Illustrious Gentlemen of the Scholarly Type (which for all I know could be titled Magic Bakery Spaceship Vampire Night Cowboy Hat by the time I finish). For now though, it is a YA sci-fi comedy about a time machine. It is quite a different process writing this one compared to Exiles. Comedy, even when dark, requires such different attention and pace. I find myself paying a great deal of attention to the tone changes in the story, trying to soften some of the edges so that it is not a lump of polarized material. We’ll see how it turns out. I am also working on a screenplay. It is a Western. I will never finish it and it will always be called Gunnar. I think everyone dies in it too.



– AV Club Reviews John Scalzi’s Redshirts (avclub)

– Awesome Books To Replace Your Favorite Cancelled TV Shows (io9)

– What was that book again? (livejournal)

– The Greatest Female Sci-fi/Fantasy Authors Of All Time (flavorwire)

– Literary Agent Interview: Ann Behar of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency (guidetoliteraryagents)

– How I Got My Agent: Benedict Jacka (writersdigest)

– SF Signal Podcast: Books That Changed Our Lives (sfsignal)

– Reading Offers Brazilian Prisoners A Quicker Escape (chicagotribune)

– The First Five Minutes Of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom (youtube – NSFW)

This Week’s Writing Links

Sorry, there was a little bit of a delay on updates, but it’s been a bit busy in this neck of the woods. Either way, today we have some links including a review of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Drowned Cities (a sequel to his earlier book Ship Breaker), Nathan Bransford’s advice if you are self publishing and a list of contemporary authors that we’ll more than likely still be reading in 100 years.

In other news, Chicago’s Printers Row Lit Festival will be happening this weekend (June 9-10). There will be a number of cool events and attendees this year including Sapphire, Dan Rather and Jon Green. I’m definitely going to stop by some of the events and if you’re in the city, you should too.



– Av Club Reviews Paolo Bacigalupi The Drowned Cities (avclub)

– Hundreds Of Harry Potter Fans Abandon Pet Owls As Series Draws To A Close (yahoo)

– On Self-Publishing And Having A Chip On Your Shoulder (nathanbransford)

– What’s Hidden Inside Looper‘s Time Machine? (io9)

– 4 Reasons For Making Time To Read (guidetoliteraryagents)

– How I Got My Agent: Regina Jennings (writersdigest)

– Classic Novels And The Filmmakers Who Were Born To Direct Them (flavorwire)

– Do We Need More Optimistic Science Fiction? (io9)

– Contemporary Authors We Think We’ll Be Reading In 100 Years (flavorwire)

– Free E-book: Particle Horizon by Selso Xisto (sfsignal)

– What The New Yorker And Tin House Say About The State Of Sci-fi (io9)

This Week’s Writing Links

This is just a quick writing links post for the week featuring a review of When Captain Flint Was Still A Good Man (which I must say is a pretty cool title for a book), some nice advice on writing to express, not impress, a writer that is already being tagged as the next J.K. Rowling, a post about how great characters make great series and 10 of the best memoirs about mothers.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Lay out your best brunching attire and make sure the maternal figure in your life feels properly appreciated. And now, writing links!





– Bloomsbury Signs The Next JK Rowling? (jezebel)

– Av Club Reviews When Captain Flint Was A Good Man (avclub)

– 30 Gorgeous And Innovative Bookshelves (flavorwire)

– Sf Signal Reviews 2312 By Stanley Robinson (sfsignal)

– Great Series Are Made By Great Characters (writersdigest)

– 10 Of The Best Memoirs About Mothers (flavorwire)

– Write To Express, Not To Impress (writersdigest)

– How I Got My Agent: Beatriz Williams (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Details Revealed On Blue Origin Spacecraft Project (yahoo)

This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s writing links feature a review of Stephen King’s ‘The Wind Through The Keyhole’, the return of BBC’s Sherlock in the US this weekend, writing advice from famous authors, Paolo Bacigalupi’s interview on SF Signal and the odd possibility that asteroid mining could be declared illegal.

Stephen King returned to his sprawling Dark Tower fantasy series this past week with the release of The Wind Through The Keyhole, a tale that takes place sometime between the events of the fourth and fifth books of the series. King, who once declared that he was done with the series, it seems was drawn back to the tale of Roland, the Gunslinger. And why not? It’s such an expansive, interesting world, and I don’t fault him one bit for jumping back in. Reviews seem to be glowing so far for this book too. So, kudos again to the book writing machine that is Stephen King.

It was also a little disappointing to hear that asteroid mining might be declared illegal, seeing as that my next kickstarter project was either going to be an asteroid mining project or a mini-fridge segway attachment. Now, I guess I’m defaulted into the segway fridge all the way, which to be honest is a little bit less ambitious. This bit of information also sullies a few bits of asteroid related fiction too. It means that all the surviving astronaut characters in the movie Armageddon would have been championed as heroes when they returned to Earth, but would have been promptly arrested thereafter for space treason or whatever bit of silly legislation this legal snafu falls under. Talk about a buzz kill. Anyway, here are the writing links for the week.



– AV Club Reviews Stephen King’s The Wind Through The Keyhole (avclub)

– David Brin: The Need To Restore Optimism To Science Fiction (io9)

– Season 2 Of BBC’s Sherlock Debuts Stateside On PBS This Weekend (mcclatchydc)

– Paolo Bacigalupi Interviewed For The Drowned Cities (sfsignal)

– The New Prometheus Trailers (youtube)

– Best Piece Of Writing Advice: Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, Carl Sandburg (writersdigest)

– Asteroid Mining Could Be Against The Law (io9)

– New Literary Agent: Sarah Joy Freese Of Wordserve Literary (guidetoliteraryagents)

– The Most Embarrassing Star Wars Official Merchandise (gizmodo)

– 10 Books To Fuel Your Springtime Wanderlust (flavorwire)

– 11 Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror Books To Read For May (sfsignal)

– Indiegogo Project That Needs Help: Game Reset (indiegogo)

This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s writing links feature a review of Christopher Moore’s ‘Sacré Bleu‘, a list profiling the 10 grumpiest living writers, advice on how to write a novel people actually want to read and some not so glowing feedback on the first ten minutes of the Hobbit movie.

Christopher Moore, a very popular comedy writer much in the vein of the late great Douglas Adams, continues his impressive catalog with Sacré Bleu, a historical fiction comedy about Vincent van Gogh. I really have enjoyed what I’ve read of his work, especially ‘Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.’ Be sure to check out his books if you are looking for something that is witty and has great characters.

Also, fellow Iconic author Wayne Zurl had his launch this past weekend for his book ‘Leprechaun’s Lament.’ I would encourage people to stop by and check out his long running Sam Jenkins detective series. I don’t read too much in the crime genre outside of Michael Connelly, Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane, but of what I’ve read so far, Wayne’s stuff has been really good.



– AV Club Reviews Christopher Moore’s ‘Sacré Bleu’ (avclub)

– Writing A Novel People Want To Read (writersdigest)

– 23 Timeless Quotes About Writing (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Hemingway’s Tough Love Critique Of Fitzgerald’s ‘Tender Is The Night’ (flavorwire)

– The 10 Grumpiest Living Writers (flavorwire)

– Underwhelming Response To Screened ‘Hobbit’ Footage (ign)

– Stephen Colbert Interviews Maurice Sendak (colbertnation)

– io9’s Summer Reading List (io9)

– ‘Prometheus’ Ridley Scott Featurette (comingsoon)

This Week’s Writing Links

Just a quick batch of writing links for this week. It features a nice quote from Joss Whedon about the interpretation of art, a possible new director for the Hunger Games sequel, an announcement about J.K Rowling’s new novel and some new agents on the literary scene.

Also, if you are in Chicago this weekend, there are some cool events going on. I’ll be signing books today for ‘The Exiles’ book launch (Open Books 6:30 – 8). The Windy City Rollers, Chicago’s premiere women’s roller derby league has a bout on Saturday at 6 pm and one of my good friends Joey Murphy has a show with his band Pet Lions later that evening at Lincoln Hall 10 PM.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Andddd links.


– Joss Whedon’s Philosophy On Interpreting Art (imgur)

– 10 Must Reads For April (flavorwire)

– Finalists For The 2012 David Gemmell Legend Award (sfsignal)

– Ray Bradbury On How Disneyland Humanized Robots (io9)

– J.K Rowling’s First Adult Novel Will Be A Black Political Comedy (flavorwire)

– AV Club Reviews Brian Francis Slattery’s ‘Lost Everything’ (avclub)

– New Literary Agent Alert: Andrew Wetzel (guidetoliteraryagents)

– Author Interview: Alec Nevala-Lee (writersdigest)

– Review: The Emperors Knife (sfsignal)

– Kirkus Review’s Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews For April (kirkusreview)

– Director Picked For Hunger Games Sequel? (comingsoon)

This Week’s Writing Links

This week’s writing links feature the finalists for the 2012 Arthur C. Clark awards, the return of Game of Thrones this weekend on HBO, new agents on the literary scene, a kickstarter project that could use your help and tips on how to create great secondary characters.

Game of Thrones will start up its second season this Sunday (4/1) on HBO and for those of you that have read ‘A Clash of Kings‘, you know that it should be a good season of television. There is plenty of madness and surprise in store for the poor inhabitants of Westeros. The first season was brutal (poor little Arry) but really well done, so hopefully that trend will continue (not the brutality part, although that will continue, but the relative quality of the show). I’m really hoping that this series will continue to set the standard for literary adaptations and elevate what is expected of them in the future.

In other news, after a long hiatus from John Steinbeck, I started reading ‘East of Eden‘ for the first time and was quickly reminded how much I enjoy his writing. Sure, some people can find his stuff a little dry and all his author photos may look like cigarette ads from the 1930s, but there’s a reason that people still read his books today. His work was just that good. If you forgotten his body of work, why not go back and revisit some of it today? Or if not Steinbeck, one of your favorite authors that you haven’t revisited in awhile. If it’s truly great work, you will quickly remember why you liked it in the first place and what it brings out of you either as a reader or writer.


Game of Thrones: Introduction to Season 2’s New Characters (io9)

– Five (spoilerish) Things I Can’t Wait To See In Game of Thrones Season 2 (tor)

– Flavorpill’s March Staff Reading Picks (flavorpill)

– Everything The Hunger Games Movie Left Out (io9)

– Kickstarter Projects That Need Help: Best Friends Forever (kickstarter)

– AV Club Reviews Heidi Julavits’ The Vanishers (avclub)

– Why Literary Fiction Isn’t Boring (writersdigest)

– Creating Great Secondary Characters (io9)

– New Agent Alert: Paula Munier Of Talcott Notch Literary (guidetoliteraryagents)

– How To Find Rather Than Make Time To Write (writersdigest)

– 3 Worst Blog Writing Blunders (makealivingwriting)

– Universal Pictures Acquire Rights For E.L. James’ 50 Shades (usatoday)

This Week’s Writing Links

This Week’s Writing Links chronicle life being breathed back into the stalled Y:The Last Man movie project, how to end a novel with a punch, a literary map of the US and Jeff Bridges’ soon-to-come book of Zen musings.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Y:The Last Man movie, if not just for the possibility that it would expose the graphic novel to a new audience. I feel like that would be worth the price of a movie adaptation, even a bad one, if it exposes the book to new people. I certainly know there will be some people who disagree with me on that, especially since the early rumor was that Indy ruiner Shia LaBeouf would star in the lead role as Y. Ultimately, I think Y is a very difficult book to adapt to the screen, but if done correctly, it could be a really good film with the source material they have at their disposal. Although I would argue that it stands a better chance at succeeding if it maintained its serialized form ala The Walking Dead in a tv adaptation, a couple of movies could probably do it justice. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Otherwise, I hope everyone’s writing is going well and expect that goals are being met, revisions being made confidently and new chapters being spawned as we speak. I am personally achieving none of the previously mentioned things this week, but I am taking a break to read more, watch lots of college basketball and enjoy the unusually (and somewhat suspicious) nice March weather in Chicago. And truthfully, I do not feel bad at all for taking this time off. Sometimes you just have to take a break. And now, as promised, links!


– Screenwriters Close To Signing On For Y:The Last Man Adaptation (comingsoon)

– How To End A Novel With A Punch (writersdigest)

– 12 Great Articles That Inspired Films (tetw)

– Neil DeGrasse Tyson ‘We Stopped Dreaming’ (liveleak)

– Literary Map Of The United States (petchmo)

– SAT Vocabulary From The Hunger Games (dictionary)

– Teacher’s Job In Jeopardy For Reading To Kids From Enders Game (io9)

Star Wars Craft Book On Amazon (amazon)

– Short Film: Robots Of Brixton (sfsignal)

– AV Club Reviews Josh Bazell’s Wild Thing (avclub)

– Author Friday: Barry Eisler (catherineryanhyde)

– Jeff Bridges To Publish Book Of Zen Teachings (flavorwire)