Today’s word for Wednesday is gambrinous, an adjective, meaning “being full of beer.” I don’t know why I picked that one. Seriously, I don’t.
Books, Writing and Emoji:
The LA times Critics at Large made their choices for the Great American Novel. Because John Scalzi is one of their number, he linked to this post on his blog. It’s a fascinating list, and I am charmed by this opinionated group.
UPDATE: In Greenville, California, the “Just One Book” campaign, spearheaded by Margaret Garcia, succeeded beyond her imagining. In her blog post, she describes the process. They have received 4,000 books – so many that they will be sharing some with other low-income schools in Plumas County. It’s inspiring.
Sherwood Smith wonders what makes us invest in a character, and points out the various ways readers do (and don’t), over at Book Café Press.
While I was looking for something else, I stumbled across this old story written by Kate Wilhelm. Wilhelm was against the American involvement in the Viet Nam war, and when she heard about the American massacre at My Lai, she wrote this story. She could not get it published until 1973. It’s still powerful today. It is very violent and contains a graphic depiction of rape.
This is not genre-related specifically, but it is so well-written and so interesting that I want to share it.
I don’t usually link to my own stuff… well, I did make you all look at vacation pictures that one time… but a few people on the site asked if I would link to the post on my blog where I talk about the power of getting paid for a story. Okay, it was only one person who asked, but still. Here is it.
The Onion shares a piece explaining why the first 48 hours are critical in finding lost children who have gone through a portal to a magical land. (I know I don’t have to tell our readers that this is a satire piece).
Continuing with the fantasy-fun, various state officials in Massachusetts have been bantering about Ilvermorney, J.K. Rowling’s North American academy of magic. Commenters included Senator Elizabeth Warren and the state’s governor himself. (Thanks to File 770.)
Judith Tarr is the subject of an essay in Strange Horizons, as Kari Sperring lists the ways Joanna Russ’s How to Suppress Women’s Writing gets applied nearly chapter by chapter to this brilliant and hard-working author’s books.
Book Riot! Books about libraries… and books! Enough said. (Thanks to File 770.)
Book Riot also provides the steps for a Silent Reading party. What do you think? I think it has promise.
No, emoji will not replace English, and a linguist explains why. (Thanks, Jana!) I think this is one of the final few posts of The Toast, which ended publication last week. I will miss this lively, insightful blog.
Movies and TV:
Here’s Matthew McConnaughey as The Dark Tower’s Man in Black. Idris Elba is confirmed to play Roland Deschain, and an Aussie actor named Abbie Lee will play the “female lead,” a woman named Tirana. I, excuse me? Who, now?
The Smithsonian has restored the Starship Enterprise to pride of place in the Air and Space Museum, after some refurbishing.
Games and Toys:
Godzilla and many of his monster friends issued a formal apology for destroying Tokyo that time, er, all those times. No, seriously. This toy company’s “formal apology” action figures look a lot to me like subversive social commentary, but, um, good luck!
I’m just weird enough to think this hourglass battery is awesome. It uses gravity as the force that pumps the liquid in a liquid-flow energy system, resulting in a battery that is cheaper to produce. (Thanks to IO9.)
By the time you read this Juno will have established orbit around Jupiter. Juno will tell us about the history of the big planet, tell us how much water is there, and define magnetic and gravity fields.
Here is a video of the winner of the Best Illusion of the Year, 2016.