Quran hand-lettered in gold on transparent black silk

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Azerbaijani artist Tünzale Memmedzade spent three years writing out the Quran in gold ink on transparent black silk, and the effect is just beautiful. Read the rest

Behold, the short-lived, wonderful 19th century Waverley Type-Writer

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Typewriter historian Martin Howard (previously) writes, "I was able to pick up a rare and exquisite Waverley typewriter (1896) this summer in Scotland and have just the other day posted it to my website all cleaned and ready to show." Read the rest

Bad Sex in Fiction Award finalists

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Since 1993, the Literary Review has presented the Bad Sex in Fiction Award to "an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel." The winner will be announced November 30; below are a few of the finalists:

Robert Seethaler’s The Tobacconist “He closed his eyes and heard himself make a gurgling sound. And as his trousers slipped down his legs all the burdens of his life to date seemed to fall away from him; he tipped back his head and faced up into the darkness beneath the ceiling, and for one blessed moment he felt as if he could understand the things of this world in all their immeasurable beauty. How strange they are, he thought, life and all of these things. Then he felt Anezka slide down before him to the floor, felt her hands grab his naked buttocks and draw him to her. “Come, sonny boy!” he heard her whisper, and with a smile he let go.”

Janet Ellis’ The Butcher’s Hook “When his hand goes to my breasts, my feet are envious. I slide my hands down his back, all along his spine, rutted with bone like mud ridges in a dry field, to the audacious swell below. His finger is inside me, his thumb circling, and I spill like grain from a bucket. He is panting, still running his race. I laugh at the incongruous size of him, sticking to his stomach and escaping from the springing hair below.”

Erri De Luca’s The Day Before Happiness “She pushed on my hips, an order that thrust me in.

Read the rest

Letter to my black daughter under a Trump presidency

Image: Carla Sinclair

Hi Kid,

On Election Night, you went to bed crying, and this time, I couldn't fix it. Like half the country, you thought you would be going to bed with your candidate as the president-elect. I wiped away a big, globby tear from the end of your nose, proud of you for caring so deeply about your country. I said it was going to be OK. I explained that, "politics goes back and forth, and this year it just wasn't our turn. Remember when I was for Obama and you were for Hillary, and she lost the primary, but you ended up liking Obama?" Your thirteen year-old defiance broke through your tears, as you declared, "No, this is different!"

You then spouted off a litany of things I didn't know you thought much about:

"It's different because Donald Trump doesn't have the basic morals of everything our country stands for. He doesn't even have the morals of a normal Republican. It's not that the other side won. It's that the person who won is literally against half of the people in the country. He doesn't like Muslims, Mexicans, anyone who is LGBT, he definitely doesn't like women, or people of color. He doesn't like ME. It seems like he only likes people like himself -- white males. How can he be our president?"

He's our president because people voted for him and he won the election. I will be raising you under a Donald Trump presidency until you go to college in four years. Read the rest

How science fiction can help us survive Trump's America

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Tor Books associate publisher Patrick Nielsen Hayden found himself presiding over a "long-planned major meeting" the morning after the election of Donald Trump, and used the chance to explain why, on that day, he was "very grateful that I work in science fiction." Read the rest

Rebecca Solnit's open letter to Trump: You should really visit New York some time

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Rebecca Solnit (previously), one of my favorite writers, has published an open letter to Donald Trump, "New York City Is a Book Conservatives Should Read," which celebrates the city's teeming, messy, multicultural vigor -- something she delves into deeply with Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, a book about the "innumerable unbound experiences of New York City [with] twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays" (just ordered mine). Read the rest

Learn the Russian alphabet in ten minutes

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With Putin and Russia in the news more and more thanks to Trump and Steven Seagal, maybe it's high time to learn how to pronounce Russian text. Thanks to the instructor's lovely accent in this ten-minute tutorial, you'll be pronouncing (if not understanding) in short order. Read the rest

RIP science fiction great Sheri Tepper

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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: Tor.com opening for novella submissions

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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