Note that this Mexican Comic, “The Secret of My Dad’s Success,” pins the blame for the child’s (and wife’s) starvation entirely on the slacker Dad and not at all on the economic crisis alluded to on its first page. This is life without a social safety net — the kind of life some people in the U.S. think would build our characters. Follow me to find out how Adalberto solves the problem (spoiler: it won’t involve character-building) or read it from the beginning as I translate it on Imgur.
placeholder post reminding me to read every single one of these
Psychology, self-esteem and the end of I am special culture
Building a miniature sun to power the world
via http://www.incidentalcomics.com/ via Michael Swanwick
My story Judges’ Cave is now available at Lakeside Circus! A little taste:
After the world ended, five people holed up in Judges’ Cave and started a band. Like the punkers of old they rechristened themselves as a new people for a new, post-civilized, age. The Judges played outlandish music, all jangly majors and insistent, thumping rhythms that got under your nails and down your throat until you had to dance and stomp and rave to get it out or risk bursting. People came from miles around, canoeing through the bay that was once downtown New Haven to where the raw cliff face of West Rock jutted out over the water like the ragged brow of some angry sea god, just to watch Vinson, Warren, Burger, Rehnquist and Roberts play.
House of Cards is like the anti-West Wing. Instead of a government run by a bunch of basically good people battling with the system to do what’s right, it’s a government run by a bunch of sinister people carefully manipulating the system for their own gain. In other words, they’re depictions of the same world seen through radically different worldviews.
Creative-writing pedagogues in the aftermath of World War II, without exception, read Partisan Review, The Kenyon Review, The Hudson Review, and The Sewanee Review. They breathed the intellectual air of New Critics, on the one hand, and New York intellectuals on the other. These camps, formerly enemy camps—Southern reactionaries and Northern socialists at each other’s throats in the 1930s—had by the 50s merged into a liberal consensus that published highly intellectual, but at the time only newly “academic,” essays in those four journals, all of which, like Iowa, were subsidized by the Rockefeller Foundation. John Crowe Ransom, who believed in growing cotton and declined to apologize for slavery, found common ground with Lionel Trilling, who believed in Trotsky—but how?
Intellectual insecurity is, alas, a pervasive problem in the literary world. You can find it among fans of easy-to-read commercial fiction who insist (on very little evidence) that the higher-brow stuff is uniformly fraudulent and dull, and you can find it among those mandarin bibliophiles who dismiss whole genres (on equally thin evidence) out of hand. One of the favorite gambits of people secretly uncertain about their own taste is identifying some popular book of incontestably lower quality than their own favorites and then running all over the Internet posting extravagant takedowns of it and taunting its fans. Yeah, I’m not crazy about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” either, but I’m not going to invest that much energy in proclaiming this sentiment to the world. To do so suggests you’re less interested in championing good writing than you are in grabbing any chance to feel superior to somebody else.
OR: HOW QUENTIN TARANTINO GOT HULK TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMBS
I think “never hate a movie” is my new mantra. Also, “never hate a book”.
It seems fittingly ironic that Alan Moore announces his exit from the public eye with a 16,000-word harrumph. This interview was a roller coaster of emotions for me – all negative. When I finally finished…
The future of comics
A conversation I had with Amazon customer support.
this will sound harsh but you’re probably not a writer.
writer’s writer every day. it’s ok, not everyone is.
but if you consider yourself one, get off your ass and get back to work!! write about why you haven’t been writing . anything. just write.
In honor of the just past 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the final episode of 11th Doctor Matt Smith, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about why it’s my favorite-ever television show, and specifically why I prefer to watch it than a more serious, feted drama like The Wire. (Though fundamentally, this essay could just as easily be called “Why I Like Doctor Who Better Than Breaking Bad”, “Why I Like Doctor Who Better Than The West Wing”, “Why I Like Doctor Who Better Than Game of Thrones" or pick your highly regarded dramatic television show.) In fact, I’m going to make an argument that Doctor Who is the best television show that has ever been made.
The Doctor fled from a position of responsibility, stole a spaceship (or, in this case, storytelling medium), and ran off to have adventures. Except that instead of being a Time Lord from Gallifrey, he is the designated Master of the Land of Fiction - the writer and creator of all stories. And he’s gone on the run to live the stories instead of simply writing them.
Notably, this never quite gets contradicted, even when, later in this season, this shadow theme of The Mind Robber gets done as the main plot of two episodes. Because the Land of Fiction is outside of the universe, and because the Doctor fled it into the universe, he presumably became “real” instead of just fictional. And thus he became something else that served much of the same narrative function - instead of a wanderer in the dimension of narrative, he is a wanderer in the dimension of time. The Time Lords, with their “look but don’t touch” ethos and distance from the world, are a fair enough metaphor for the Land of Fiction itself. So the fact that, outside of the Land of Fiction, he is something else is hardly an issue.
In fact, it’s to be expected. After all, we navigate time, internally, through memory and stories, through our minds, which are, of course, far bigger on the inside than the mere lump of grey matter they appear to be externally. What is a Lord of Time if not the master of all things that have happened, and thus of all metaphors and stories? Except, of course, the Doctor storms out. Why? Because the Time Lords are far too narrow-minded. They are masters only of the stories that have happened. They cannot interfere and create new stories. And the Doctor is a Lord of all stories, real or imagined.
But more important than the fact that this theory can survive almost any canon challenge thrown at it is the fact that it makes sense beyond mere continuity. What defines Doctor Who is the fact that its story never has to end. That any story worth telling can be told as a Doctor Who story, and that there is no upper bound to the number of Doctor Who stories that can be told. Of course the Doctor is the destined and designated Master of the Land of Fiction. Who else possibly could be? What other person in the universe, real or imaginary, could possibly have the job of telling every story that ever was?
And that’s the genius of The Mind Robber. It comes at one of the series’ darkest moments - when its formula seems tired, its very ethics seem to be flagging, and when the entire cultural and ideological foundation for it appears to be crumbling the world over. And right in that moment, we get explicit confirmation of something that previously we had only hoped for and suspected. That Doctor Who is an idea that cannot be brought to an end. That there is always another story. Not just because of the flexibility of the premise or because the series has gone on long enough that it’s a cultural institution that is always going to be revisited as long as we have well enough recorded history to remember that it ever existed. No. Because the Doctor is every single story there ever was and ever could be, escaped out into the universe, and running loose bringing them into being.
This is, quite frankly, as powerful an idea as has ever been thought of in fiction. An idea that is far larger than fits in any one person’s imagination, even if that imagination is bigger on the inside. Something that, quite apart from anyone’s efforts to define it and create it, has taken on a life of its own. A symbol that has real power. A thought that has begun thinking for itself. A dream that no longer needs anyone but itself to dream it.
What if, in 1963, these things did occur? What if we held them to be true?
There are, after all, truths beyond mere canon”
- —- Philip Sandifer on Doctor Who: “The Mind Robber”
More “Ice Warriors” fashion…
I do so love the costumes from the Doctor Who episode “The Ice Warriors”. Like a 60s mod clothing factory exploded all over people.
Life with cats
- "Judges' Cave" (Lakeside Circus)
- "The Spine of Worlds" (Forthcoming - Kaleidotrope)
- "The Kill Robot Hitler Show" (Forthcoming - Stupefying Stories)
- "Trials of the Dead King" (LORE)
- "Logos Ex Machina" (365 Tomorrows)
- Loghorrhea Edited by John Klima (New Haven Review)
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Literary Kicks)
- Why Robin Sloan is the Future of Publishing (and Science Fiction) (io9)
- Weird Comics (comiXology Blog)