Boing Boing 

I hate your censorship, but I'll defend to the death your right to censor

An app called Clean Reader lets silly bluenoses swap swear words out of the ebooks they read, an idea I hate: but I hate the idea that anyone can tell me how to read even more.Read the rest

Randomized dystopia generator that goes beyond the Bill of Rights


Sumana writes, "I was talking with a friend about trends in dystopian fiction, and about the underappreciated rights that don't get as much airtime. So I created Randomized Dystopia. You can hit Reload on the main page to get a right from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or use the Custom Terribleness page for the option of a specifically sexist or ageist dystopia."

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Fundraising for Alpha, an sf/f teen writing workshop

Lara writes, "Writing genre fiction can be a lonely business for teens. The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop brings together young writers, aged 14 to 19, for 10 days of creation and peer review critiques. At the end of the workshop, students leave with new skills and a vibrant network of support."

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Kelly Link talks about her new short story collection


David writes, "Whenever I ask guests of Between The Covers who their touchstone writers are, nobody is more often mentioned than Kelly Link. We talk (MP3) doppelgangers, rorschach tests, finding one's authentic mask, Basho, Buffy, weird writing rituals, and about her latest (and perhaps greatest) new collection Get in Trouble."

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Andy Offutt, insanely prolific porn pioneer


Chris Offutt, son of Andrew J Offutt, a golden age science fiction author, reveals that his father wrote and published hundreds of early porn novels, pioneering descriptions of the clitoris in men's stroke-books, producing at least one book a month.

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SF/F writers: apply now for Clarion and Clarion West

Applications are open for both the Clarion Writing Workshop at UC San Diego and the Clarion west workshop in Seattle, a pair of legendary, six-week intensive instructional summer workshops for aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers.

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Downpour.com: audiobooks without the DRM


I love audiobooks, but I hate DRM (actually, I think it's an existential threat to humanity), and since Audible requires all its books to be sold with DRM (even when the publishers object), that's left me with limited options -- until 2014, when I discovered Downpour.

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How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote "Remains of the Day" in 4 weeks

In 1987, motivated by anxiety over his inability to produce a followup novel to his earlier sucesses, Ishiguru made a deal with his wife Lorna: he would write every day from 9h-2230h, with brief meal-breaks, 6 days a week: four weeks later, he finished Remains of the Day.

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Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: the audiobook, read by Wil Wheaton


I've independently produced an audiobook edition of my nonfiction book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, paying Wil Wheaton to narrate it (he did such a great job on the Homeland audiobook, with a mixdown by the wonderful John Taylor Williams, and bed-music from Amanda Palmer and Dresden Dolls.

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Interview with fantasy writer Tim Powers about being a "secret historian"

Mitch writes, "I interviewed fantasy novelist Tim Powers about how he writes. We talked about working through story problems, using YouTube as a secret weapon, why he avoids social media, and his obsessively detailed outlines and research notes. 'In order to build a building, you put up so much scaffolding that the scaffolding outweighs the building.'"

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Help Spider Robinson's daughter pay her cancer bills


Writer Spider Robinson writes, "My daughter Terri Luanna da Silva, a Stage IV breast cancer patient since 2011, is now in hospice in the Palliative Care wing of Middlesex Hospital, 28 Crescent St, Middletown CT 06457-36454. She is not expected to recover. (No visitors, please. But cards and flowers are welcome.)"

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Behind the scenes at Saga

Hey, Brian K. Vaughan here with an exclusive excerpt for my friends at Boing Boing of the creator roundtable between artist Fiona Staples, letterer Fonografiks, and Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson featured in the back of SAGA: BOOK ONE, a new hardcover collection of our first eighteen issues. As the writer, I have arguably the easiest job of any of my collaborators, but check out how much I whine and complain at the scripting stage of our twelve-step process... Read the rest

Come ask me questions on IO9!

I'm doing a live Q&A on IO9 about my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free at 1PM eastern/10AM Pacific today -- come on along!

Stories are a fuggly hack


My latest Locus Magazine column is Stories Are a Fuggly Hack, in which I point out the limits of storytelling as an artform, and bemoan all the artists from other fields -- visual art, music -- who aspire to storytelling in order to make their art.

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Paolo Bacigalupi and AS King on writing


Rick Kleffel writes, "I spoke with Paolo Bacigalupi (MP3) and A. S. (Amy) King (MP3 about SF, YA and comparing their different methods of composition (MP3) with predictably entertaining and smart results."

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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. Read the rest

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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