RIP science fiction great Sheri Tepper


Science fiction great -- and 2015 World Fantasy Convention lifetime achievement honoreee -- Sheri Tepper died yesterday, at the age of 87. Read the rest

The Blot: correspondence between Jonathan Lethem and Laurence A. Rickels about Philip K Dick


A Gambler's Anatomy is the latest novel from Copyfighting certified genius Jonathan Lethem (previously) -- a book about an international backgammon hustler who believes he is psychic -- and who sports a huge tumor growing from his face. Read the rest

How pros make gradient calligraphy on iPads


Calligraphers continue to explore the possibilities of portable tablets for enhancing their craft, and few are doing more than Ian Barnard. Here's his latest tutorial, turning handwritten script into a neon-like gradient.

Bonus video: just look at this hand-lettered banana:

How to do gradient & shadowed lettering in Procreate on the iPad Pro (YouTube / Ian Barnard) Read the rest

Computer-mining poetry from the New York Times's obituary headlines


The standard format for a New York Times lead obit headline goes NAME, AGE, Dies; STATEMENT OF ACCOMPLISHMENT (e.g. "Suzanne Mitchell, 73, Dies; Made Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders a Global Brand. Read the rest

Help fund another year for excellent, diverse science fiction with Strange Horizons


Niall from the online speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons writes, "Our annual fund drive has just 6 days to run, and we still need to raise at least $3,000! Why should you, the fine readers of Boing Boing, consider donating this year?" Read the rest

Diverse fantasy writers of non-European-derived worlds: opening for novella submissions


Submissions open on Oct 12 for at least three months; they're considering 20,000-40,000 novellas "that fit the epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, high fantasy, or quest fantasy genres, whether set on Earth or on an original fantasy world" but "will only be considering novellas that inhabit worlds that are not modeled on European cultures" and the editors "actively request submissions from writers from underrepresented populations." Read the rest

Writer in 29th year of solitary confinement barred from reading his own book


Pteryxx writes, "Writer who has spent 30+ years in solitary has his own published writing censored from reaching him - and his unpublished manuscript was destroyed in moving him to a different facility. " Read the rest

Compare Trump and Clinton's debate strengths with this one weird "South Park" trick


This wonderful little video by Randy Olson lays out one argument for why as a public political speaker, Donald Trump is perceived to be such a crowd-pleaser, and Hillary Clinton gets weaker scores. It's all about narrative design. Read the rest

Really excellent advice for finishing a book


Chuck Wendig (previously) celebrates the release of his latest novel Invasive with 25 extremely good pieces of advice for people trying to finish a novel. Read the rest

The 2017 Ikea Catalog considered as dystopian urban microapartment futurism


The new Ikea Catalog is making a big bet on very small living spaces -- the kind of place that costs more than half your monthly salary but is too small for a dinner-table, let alone a separate room for your kids, who are supposed to sleep in a bunk-bed in the living room ("Why would a child on the verge of pubescence need privacy anyway?"). Read the rest

An oral history of the Suicide Squad


Zack Smith writes, "With the film of SUICIDE SQUAD out Friday [ed: alas, it looks like a turkey], you might enjoy this oral history I did of the 1980s series with writer John Ostrander and most of the artistic and editorial team from throughout the book's run. Along with some fun surprises, it includes some never-before-seen script and original art pages from the creators' personal collections." Read the rest

Report on the dismal state of black sf/f writers in the short fiction markets


Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has released a report detailing the dismal state of representation of black writers in the science fiction and fantasy short fiction market . Despite increasing efforts to boost representation of people of color generally, the prospects for black writers, specifically, have not been improving. According to the data (which is available in a publicly accessible Google spreadsheet ), out of 2,039 stories published in 2015, only 38 were written by black authors. The report is accompanied by a series of essays in reaction to the report by Nisi Shawl , Troy L. Wiggins , Mikki Kendall , Justina Ireland , and Tobias Buckell ; as well as an interview with N.K. Jemisin . Fireside's editor, Brian White, has also written an editorial detailing some steps that Fireside is committed to taking to counter our own biases and help fix this huge problem." Read the rest

100 African science fiction writers you should be reading


Canadian/British science fiction and fantasy author Geoff Ryman, author of the incredible novel WAS, has begun a series in which he profiles 100 working science fiction and fantasy writers in Africa, place by place, starting with Nairobi. Read the rest

Tactical Awareness: 100 100-word stories about the uneasy sense of living in the Uncanny Valley

TACTICAL AWARENESS is a collection of one hundred SF short stories, each of them one hundred words long.

China's "ultra-unreal" literary movement takes inspiration from breathtaking corruption


How can Chinese novelists convey the sense of unreality of living in a country where raids on the homes of civic officials uncover so much cash that it burns out four bill-counting machines when the police try to tot it up, or when it needs to be weighed by the ton to approximate its value? Read the rest

Watch this smart analysis of designing story dialogue

Rooney Mara, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network."

Writing good dialogue is a craft few can master. Lewis Criswell draws from a nice survey of recent and classic examples, both good and bad, to explain the craft of designing dialogue. Read the rest

Writing the Other: intensely practical advice for representing other cultures in fiction

For more than a decade, science fiction and fantasy writers have handed around Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward's Writing the Other, an intensely practical and thoughtful guide to inclusive, representative writing that includes people of genders, ethnicities, races, and orientations other than the writer's.

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