Links (2018-09-19)

Site News

  • My area got a lot of rain, some fairly significant winds, and had constant watches and warnings and so on but, contrary to my expectations, the power only went out briefly. The worst was just the uncertainty and the length of time the storm lasted but I can’t complain. However, most of my state wasn’t so lucky and has been wrecked and some people (not just in NC) lost their lives. If you’d like to help, I came across this: How To Help Those Affected By Hurricane Florence : NPR.

Science Fiction

Birthdays

Science

Meteorology

Miscellaneous

Other

Sports

Humor

Music

Inspired by one of last week’s tunes, here are a couple of… unusual… items.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Links (2018-09-12)

Site News

  • Hurricane Florence. This was coming right at me but the latest tracks are much more encouraging for me, if not for folks further south. Hoping everything will be okay but an indefinite offline period still looks likely. So read this post slowly. 😉

Science Fiction

Birthdays

Science

Other

History

Humor

Music

First, a new track from the Queen of Rock’n’Roll and then… well, it’s indescribable – and indescribably funny.

Continue reading

Links (2018-09-05)

Science Fiction

Birthdays

Happy birthday! (Folks, go read all that Pat Cadigan stuff online and, when you’ve caught your breath and picked up the pieces of your blown mind, go buy her books!)

Science

Other

History

Music

Continue reading

Links (2018-08-29)

Science Fiction

Birthdays

Science

Other

Humor

Music

Ed King (1949-2018)

Continue reading

Links (2018-08-22)

Site News

  • Expanded Collated Contents of the Year’s Bests (2017 Stories, Links). This has been updated and is now almost completely complete (allowing for the possibility of additional stories acquiring links) with the addition of the last of the “Year’s Bests,” Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, Jemisin, ed.
  • “Links” posts. Shortly after I posted last week’s, I edited it, moving the “Science Fiction” and “Science” sections to the top and putting the others with “Music” at the bottom under “Other.” This one also reflects that order (allowing for occasional “Site News” exceptions) and future ones presumably will also.

Science Fiction

  • Northwest Smith: Some of the sturdiest pillars of Golden Age science fiction. This article has strange notions of when the Golden Age was and what hard SF is but I’ll take any promotion of CLM & NWS.
  • 100 Best Horror Novels And Stories : NPR. Not SF, of course, and some are not even fantastic but it still seems like an interesting list, especially for including short fiction. (Thanks to Tor.com for the link.)
  • Introduction – Classics of Science Fiction. As foreshadowed in “Links (2018-08-08)” (Science Fiction #1), Piet Nel and James Wallace Harris present their “Classics of Science Fiction Short Stories.” As excellent as “Bloodchild” and other stories cited more often are, any list that has “Nightfall” tied for third place has something off about its citation list and I say this not as an Asimov fan but simply as a guy who has a zillion anthologies and a zillion copies of “Nightfall.” That said, I’d strongly recommend ten of the eleven stories in the top three ranks and don’t notice a significant deviation from that ratio until the stories with six or seven citations and there are still numerous superb stories all the way down. A great reading list and great service to the field.
  • Interview: Ashley Blooms on “Hainted” : The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The author of the best story in the latest issue of F&SF talks a little about it and its neglected background.

Birthdays

Linked names above go to bios. Linked names below go to free works online.

I’m not as big a fan of Bradbury as many, but I enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and a few other stories. Tiptree (Alice Sheldon) is one of the greatest story writers of all time but her first novel, Up the Walls of the World, shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Otto Binder is one half (the greater half, so to speak)  of one of my favorite pseudonyms, Eando Binder, (with his brother, Earl=E-and-O Binder) and who wrote some interesting things, including the Adam Link stories, the first of which gave its name to the much more famous I, Robot of Isaac Asimov. Vance wrote a million things, including The Languages of Pao, The Dying Earth, and numerous other stories such as those collected in The Best of Jack Vance. McIntyre is best known for various award-winning things like Dreamsnake (which I didn’t like) and Star Trek ties (which I haven’t read) but I note her for writing the extraordinary novella, “Aztecs,” which she expanded into Superluminal. While the story worked perfectly well as a story, I was curious enough to buy the book (though it’s suffered the fate of so many and has gone years without being read).

Goethe‘s a bit of an outlier but, hey, Faust! (Much like Dante’s masterpiece, few people (and publishers) seem to realize that this has more than one part). Freas had an incredibly long and prolific career and his work has already been featured on this blog in “Review: The Trouble with You Earth People by Katherine MacLean.” And Burton has been involved in an extraordinary number of movies I’ve enjoyed a great deal. The six films he wrote and/or directed from 1988’s Beetlejuice to 1994’s Ed Wood (including Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the ’89 and ’92 Batman movies) are all good and some later ones are, too.

Science

Other

History

Politics

  • Concerns Grow About Space Force Diverting Funds from Other Military Priorities. Fitting in with the Psoviet desire to have us abuse, and become estranged from, our NATO allies, they’d also love to have us waste money and bureaucratic overhead on a “Space Force” which would not increase our capabilities in space and would degrade our capabilities on Earth. As big a fan of all things “space” as I am, this obviously has no benefits for America.

Humor

Music

This came out a few days ago…

Continue reading

Links (2018-08-15)

Science Fiction

Birthdays

Linked names above go to bios. Linked names below go to free works online.

What a difference a week makes. From almost no birthdays, to almost a dozen. And still of high quality, as Forward wrote a masterpiece with Dragon’s Egg and a near-one with Flight of the Dragonfly. If you’re a Clement fan, you have to read them. Amazing to think that those two Gregs share the same birthday. Bear could do almost nothing wrong from about 1983-93 and, in the late 80s, Egan really came on the scene as the best SF writer of his era. Diaspora should have been as big as Neuromancer and his other novels and, especially, the collections can’t be missed, either. On a different note, I’ve said before I need to read more Lovecraft but it seems necessary to mention him even if I haven’t yet.

Gernsback basically made SF a thing, with April 1926 being perhaps the most important nominal date in SF. Boucher (like Gernsback, only more so) wrote fiction but is also more famous as an editor and helped bring F&SF into existence and also edited the excellent two volume set of A Treasury of Science Fiction. And Clarke brings us Clarkesworld these days.

Speaking of Gernsback, Wesso did a lot of the famous artwork for Amazing and others, while van Dongen did a lot for Astounding and more (such as a cover for the aforementioned Clement’s The Best of Hal Clement).

Finally, Roddenberry is, of course, synonymous with Star Trek. While Cameron is involved with many things I don’t care about or for, he’s connected with three of my favorite movies (Terminator, T2, Aliens) so that’s pretty good.

Happy birthday, all!

Science

Parker Solar Probe

This sub-section is a follow-up to “Links (2018-08-01)” (Science #7). If all goes reasonably well, I expect there will be at least one big popular science book about this. History! Speed! Danger! Discovery! It’s got it all.

Other

History

Sports

Humor

Music

SouthEastern USA Special done right.

Continue reading

Links (2018-08-08)

Humor

Sports

  • 2018 NFL Preseason: Ray Lewis’ Ravens outlast Brian Urlacher’s Bears in Hall of Fame Game – CBSSports.com. The NFL has annoyed me six ways from Sunday, so I basically only watch football on Saturday now but that hasn’t cranked up yet while the NFL preseason has and I couldn’t wait. For the duration of a game, all is right with the world – or at least less wrong. (For some of my non-US readers, “six ways from Sunday” is an idiom meaning “every which way” and American professional football (not world football or what we call “soccer”) has Sunday as its big day while college football is played primarily on Saturday.)

History

Tech

  • Mapping Brazil’s political polarization online. First the bad news. Everyone needs to get off social media (FB/T) now. This examines Brazil and also takes a look at  Argentina and the United States. It doesn’t claim that it’s not just a natural development but I think FB/T is causing a lot of this. People need to stop talking to people who can’t punch them in the face when merited and need to talk to their neighbors and coworkers and the like instead. Just try to get along with different people. Experience different perspectives.
  • The oldest active Linux distro, Slackware turns 25 | Opensource.com. Now the good news. Happy birthday, Slackware! I was so into Linux and Slackware when I started that I even became a sort of open source developer in the tiniest way after a few years though I mostly just Slack on cruise control these days. So I missed the actual event but it’s not too late to celebrate.

NASA

Science

  • Earth at risk of heading towards ‘hothouse Earth’ state — ScienceDaily. Now they’re getting it. I’m honestly worried about cascading failure though I do wonder if some people just subconsciously give up when confronted with a problem of this magnitude rather than rallying and responding. Hopefully the general impetus of the human race moves positively, anyway.
  • Siberian Worms Frozen In Permafrost For Up To 42,000 Years Defrosted Back To Life | Tech Times. Hailing from “icehouse earth,” these critters are… durable. Despite their simplicity, hopefully we’ll learn some tricks for our own cryo with its medical and space exploration applications. I got this from Edward M. Lerner’s “SF and Nonsense: Curioser and curioser” which has several neat items.
  • Toward An Archaeology of Exo-Civilizations. Centauri Dreams takes a look at a book and how modern astronomy is filling in the elements of the Drake equation which argues for the existence of lots of alien civilizations at least somewhen. I think this is using the simplest form of the equation and there are additional factors which reduce the inflated numbers by orders of magnitude but I’d still never argue religiously for either 1 or >1. I just particularly liked the discussion of the Great Oxidation Event and also the note that our species only has a limited amount of fuel to build a civilization that can get us off this rock.

Science Fiction

Birthdays

Linked names above go to bios. Linked names below go to free works online.

Not very many names this week but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. Few can match the explosion of stories (and a novel) which marked the start of Varley‘s career. Persistence of Vision, The Barbie Murders (aka Picnic on Nearside), and Blue Champagne (or their later near equivalents, The John Varley Reader and Goodbye, Robinson Crusoe) are indispensable, and The Ophiuchi Hotline pretty much is as well. Those stories are How It’s Done. Stylish without being mannered, glittering with ideas, accessible yet strange, with an exuberance and speed that runs roughshod over their darkness. As far as Keyes, I link to that SFE entry but “Flowers for Algernon” is a novelette, not a novel. Yeah, it was expanded and, yeah, if it was the only thing there was, it’d be indispensable but the story is the perfect version and one of the greatest stories of all time.

Music

Instead, “Elderly Men Escape Nursing Home To Attend World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Festival – Blabbermouth.net.” Awesome. I want to be just like them if my time comes.

(Well, this sucks. After I’d added the above to this post, I came across “German Police Clarify Report About Elderly Men Who Supposedly Escaped Nursing Home To Attend Heavy Metal Festival – Blabbermouth.net”. But, as one of the commenters said, “I choose to ignore this clarification.”)

Now for the last “Links” follow-up to a Tunesday post. This time I’m posting a couple of interesting tracks from albums which didn’t make the “Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 8-9)” list. The second is more just because it’s neat to see the tight playing though I tend to prefer more flex in my tunes.

Continue reading