Why (and how) games are art


I sat down for an interview with the LA Times's Hero Complex to talk about my book In Real Life (I'm touring it now: Chicago tomorrow, then Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Warsaw, London...), and found myself giving a pretty good account of why games are art, and how the art of games works:

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Scott Westerfeld's Afterworlds

Scott Westerfeld’s latest novel, Afterworlds is a book about a teenager who’s just sold her first book. It’s a story-within-a-story, and it works brilliantly. Cory Doctorow unpacks the nesting tales of Darcy Patel and Elizabeth Scofield.

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The Red Volume: benefit anthology of stories by Clarion SF/F workshop grads

Lara Elena Donnelly writes, "The Clarion class of 2012--known as the Awkward Robots--want to tell you a story. Or, more precisely, 17 stories. About post-singularity dreamscapes, gentrified haunted houses, and redcaps in the trenches at Verdun."

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Smart critical essays on the women of Terry Pratchett


This long-running series of essays by Australian fantasy author Tansy Rayner Roberts combine real affection for Pratchett's marvellous Discworld books with sharp critical insights on the portrayal of women in fantasy; historically, one of the more problematic genres for the portrayal of women.

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High-school English study guide for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother

Neil Anderson from the Association from Media Literacy (which has a great-sounding upcoming conference) has produced an excellent study guide for my novel Homeland (the sequel to Little Brother) -- Anderson's guide encourages critical thinking about politics, literary technique, technology, privacy, surveillance, and history.

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Lisa Tuttle on the Starshipsofa podcast

Tony C Smith writes, You can listen to the 1974 John W. Campbell Award winning Lisa Tuttle on this week's StarShipSofa (MP3) -- Tuttle is an American-born science fiction, fantasy, and horror author who's published more than a dozen novels, seven short story collections, and several non-fiction titles."

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Confronting Lovecraft's racism


Award-winning horror writer David Nickle has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to have a frank and serious discussion of HP Lovecraft's undeniable racism; people want to hand-wave it as being a product of Lovecraft's times, but it is inseparable from Lovecraft's fiction.

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On writing fantasy: it's Narnia business


Lev Grossman, author of The Magician's Land, recalls the journey that took him from a Harvard and Yale-prescribed life of reading classics to writing fantasy novels, and how much it liberated him.

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Clarion West 2015 science fiction/fantasy workshop instructor list

I'm teaching, as are Andy Duncan, Eileen Gunn, Tobias Buckell, Connie Willis and Nalo Hopkinson.

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Photos of writers at work


Ernst writes, "For over three years, I've been collecting photos of writers at work, including Hemingway, Faulkner, Didion, but also modern day authors like Safran Foer and... Cory Doctorow. My collection consists over 400 photos now." Although watching people type is canonically dull, there's a lot of motion and potential in these portraits (above: Pearl Buck)

Mary Robinette Kowal and Jane Austen: separated at birth by a time-traveller


(Left: Mary Robinette Kowal. Right: Jane Austen, photo by TV West Country/Katie Rowlett)

Mary Robinette Kowal writes regency novels like Shades of Milk and Honey that blend magic with the milieu of Jane Austen.

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An American in Yemen: unlikely and wonderful tourism


Polish-American software developer Maciej Cegłowski decided to take a holiday in Yemen's capital city of Sana'a, home to breathtaking, 600-year-old skyscrapers that look like gingerbread houses.

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Elements of Spook Style

The terrible writing and design of spook memos and Powerpoint slides have come to the fore since June 2013. However, that doesn't mean that there's not some pretty good style guides available for America's brave spooks. USA USA USA.

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Novel-writing is very energy-efficient

How much energy is expended in all the keypresses made in the course of typing a novel? Not much: "With a lot of rewrites, you might expend several kilojoules—but you'd need to rewrite every word 10 times to match the energy stored in a single AA battery." [XKCD What If?]

Jay Lake, on blogging your own death

jaylake

Simon Owens writes, "I got a chance to interview Jay Lake extensively not long before his death and wrote a long profile on him and his cancer blogging that explores the impact he's had, both on the cancer and science fiction communities. He spoke extensively on what he hoped his legacy would be and how he'd be remembered after he died."

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