What with tax time approaching and me being super busy with writing, this Monday I’m just going to share some interesting links I’ve accumulated.
First up is a rather harrowing look at the terrible destruction waged by those fools from ISIS. It’s not enough that they’re killing anyone who doesn’t practice religion exactly like them. No, these tools are obliterating history because it portrays gods that haven’t been worshipped in thousands of years.
I’ve never visited Mosul in person, but in preparation for my Dabir and Asim stories and novels I’ve researched it in depth, and I feel strangely close to it as a result. I’ve been horrified to hear about the carnage carried out as ISIS has destroyed “idolatrous” statues in the Mosul museum. Now they’ve moved against the ruins of another ancient city. Because nothing’s more dangerous to your religious opinion than a bunch of old stone statues sitting in a desert. I hope some fall on them. Anyway, here’s the link.
Here’s a great essay from Ursula K. LeGuin that you might have already seen, skewering a literary writer tackling fantasy who’s desperate to prove he’s above such terrible practices.
Lastly, Scott Dennis Parker looks at one of my favorite book sets. I must have read the Star Trek Log series three or four times when I was a kid. Alan Dean Foster wrote short stories (and, later, novels) based upon the episodes in the Star Trek animated series, and somehow he made even the weakest of them compelling while being true to the scripts. It was a phenomenal job, and I had the pleasure of say as much to Mr. Foster in person at a World Fantasy Convention three or four years ago. He was very gracious. If you’ll permit me to get technical for a moment, one of the things I liked about them, in addition to him knowing the Star Trek characters better than almost anyone else who’s ever written prose about them, is that he so ably switches back and forth between characters over the course of a scene.
These days that’s called “head hopping” and is actively discouraged. Used to, though, you didn’t have to switch chapters or put in a scene break when you traded point-of-views. Done well, trading viewpoints can be extremely effective (it’s quite cinematic), yet it’s so unpopular today it has become something of a lost art. I’ve experimented with it myself but have always had it editorially nixed. And, honestly, because I haven’t had the opportunity to practice it very much I wasn’t very good at it.