Kim Devereux outlines some rules for writing good sex. (But never bad sex.)
Do go for the etymological dictionary for epithets that feel historical: like, membrum virile, arbor vitae (from the late 18th century, for a type of evergreen shrub), wrinkly (early 15th century) or bole (early 14th century, from Old Norse bolr meaning tree trunk).
Wittgenstein explains why discourse on the Internet sucks. And it’s not just because of your crazy uncle.
So, language is quicksand—except it’s not. Unlike the parlor tricks of the deconstructionists who bloviate about différance and traces, there clearly are rules that shouldn’t be broken and clearly ways of speaking that are blatantly incorrect, even if they change over time and admit to flexible interpretations even on a daily basis.
Creepy robots were often at the heart of Philip K. Dick stories. The future is now: a company is building a realistic looking robot to haunt your dreams and it looks strikingly similar to the science fiction author. Electric Literature reports on the project from Hanson Robotics:
On their website, Hanson Robotics highlights their desire to “realize the dream of friendly machines who truly live and love, and co-invent the future of life.” Philip K.
Why would you want to start your day with a video about rats climbing out of toilets, what’s wrong with you?
On top of the official name change, Denali also shrunk.
I know this is everywhere, but I’m just so excited that people are talking about the Flintstone house....more
Do you ever dream of working in a bookstore? Well, in an exclusive interview with Lit Hub, the booksellers of Brookline Booksmith provide insight into what it’s like:
How incredibly complex … and never-ending, always expanding the work is. How much evolution is required to stay relevant.
But do we actually scan the written word silently? Recent neurological research questions whether silent reading actually is silent. Evidence grows that the brain interprets “silent” reading as an auditory phenomenon.
Our ancestors most likely read aloud, in public, rather than quietly to themselves in the home....more
“Chansonniers are, first and foremost, writers.” — Martha Wainwright
The Walrus has a lovely discussion of Quebecoise singer-songwriter, Coeur de Pirate (née Béatrice Martin); her latest album, Roses; the French-language chanson tradition; and the art and practice of writing songs in English and French....more
Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll interviews fantasy author N.K. Jemison about her character- and world-building processes, the evolution of her publication history, and narrative structure.
I read pretty widely, not just fantasy, so I don’t feel particularly wedded to the genre conventions.
A French novel by Grégoire Delacourt featuring a character who looks like Scarlett Johannson will be translated and published in the UK next month. In The First Thing You See, a French mechanic meets a woman who he thinks is Scarlett Johansson, but she merely looks like the famous actress....more
Radio is undergoing the sort of DIY revolution that journalism faced with the advent of blogs. If ‘Out on the Wire’ helps convince the legions of amateur podcasters that good radio is far more than recording hour upon hour of unedited gabbing, it will be not only useful and fun but that much rarer thing: a public service.
For the Guardian, Erwin James reflects on his experience reading while in prison, and how books like David Levering’s Prisoners of Honor reshaped his life:
I was without skills or abilities, but I could read. I’m sure the six books a week I was allowed from the prison library helped to keep me alive during that uncertain year, unlike the man in the cell above mine who hanged himself during my first Christmas inside.
If you like some of the things, why not read all of the things? Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer wonders why fans lose steam as we near the completist finish line:
Maybe we’re saving those final few books for a bad day… Or maybe we know that a final book is supposed to be less than stellar, and we don’t want it to mar our reverence for the author.
After reading the first two books in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, Sara Goldsmith enlisted her mother to translate the third book from Italian so that she didn’t have to wait another year for the English release. Now, for Slate, Goldsmith shares how the experience generated a new respect for the scope and craft of Ferrante’s novels, as well as how the project influenced her relationship with her mother:
For my mom and me—who, like all mothers and daughters, sometimes have a difficult relationship—the novels have given us a way to stay in closer touch and a subject to return to and discuss.
This ain’t your grandma’s boozy brunch. Stephie Gorton Murphy joins dark deity Cthulu for breakfast at NecromiCon Providence:
The gathering had the buoyant atmosphere brought about when people who know each other as online avatars finally share a physical space—and the feeling of fellowship seemed intensified by the knowledge that soon they would have to rejoin the other world, one sadly stripped of mystery.
This week in questionable decisions: the brand new showers of Auschwitz.
Dark matter is, like, SO complex.
Let’s talk about the female spies and gender-bending soldiers that helped win the Civil War.
Soo Kim’s reconstructed cityscapes (are cool)....more