"It’s also very amusing to watch the contortions of literary critics faced with talented writers like the late lamented Iain Banks and Joanne Harris, who are equally adept in literary and speculative fiction and refuse to apologise for or justify what they write. And if the definitive characteristic of literary fiction is sublime prose, then at his peak Terry Pratchett is surely the finest prose stylist writing today. So this is where we get terms like counter-factual and magical realism, to save reviewers from sullying their copy with words like SF and fantasy."
"As Gilens and Page write, "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter."
For all your period pieces, victoriana, steampunky, Fallen-Londony, and other adventures.
Beware, there likely will be appalling sentiments concerning race and gender by today’s standards; this is a work published in 1909. Let’s all glean the good bits from it, shall we, and leave the antiquated pre-civil-rights parts where they belong?
Cliche Phrases That Drive Me To Silent Yet Near-Irrational Fits Of Rage, #18 in a series
"…razed to the ground…"
Seriously. (invisibly and silently tears hair) Are you living in a place that has a gravitational field sufficient to hold you down? Yes?
Then why is it surprising to anyone that when you raze a building, or something similar, it falls down on the ground?There is nowhere else for it to go. It falls down. ON THE GROUND. If you want to pick the pieces up and take them somewhere else afterwards, fine. But they fell on the ground first. (Or tried to, and just fell on each other.) Why should the word need an effing qualifier?
(Yes, I know that this started happening in English in the 1780s. [Gibbon uses it first in print, to judge by the OED.] I still hate it.)
"This is the first time that a written contract between two athletes to fix a match has been found from the ancient world. In the contract, the father of a wrestler named Nicantinous agrees to pay a bribe to the guarantors (likely the trainers) of another wrestler named Demetrius.
“Both wrestlers were set to compete in the final wrestling match of the 138th Great Antinoeia, an important series of regional games held along with a religious festival in Antinopolis, in Egypt. They were in the boys’ division, which was generally reserved for teenagers.
“The contract stipulates that Demetrius “when competing in the competition for the boy , to fall three times and yield,” and in return would receive “three thousand eight hundred drachmas of silver of old coinage …”
yes, joanna kathleen rowling, i made this post specifically for you
And you know what? If you are a writer serious about your craft and the story requires it, you will kill pets* or single twins or whatever else needs killing: because there are things more important than whether your fandom will ever forgive you.
“Criticisms about representations of gender (or race and other diversity) are often countered in fandom by sociological or scientific analyses attempting to explain why the inequality happens according to the internal logic of the fictional world. As though there is any real reason that anything happens in a story except that someone chose to write it that way.
Fiction is not Darwinian: It contains no impartial process of evolution that dispassionately produces the events of a fictional universe. Fiction is miraculously, fundamentally Creationist. When we make worlds, we become gods. And gods are responsible for the things they create, particularly when they create them in their own image.
"Science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists, but liberated by the power of imagination. Perhaps more than any genre of storytelling, it has no excuse to exclude women for so-called practical reasons — especially when it has every reason to imagine a world where they are just as heroic, exceptional, and well-represented as men."
“We’ve been around for a couple hundred thousand years, reading only for the last five thousand years, and compulsory education has only been in place for one hundred fifty years or so. Some kids are going to be thinking, ‘Why is my teacher asking me to do this? My brain doesn’t work this way,’ ” says Stephen Hinshaw, a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Heidi Tringali, an occupational therapist in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a hypothesis built on shorter-term influences: Many of the nonconforming children she treats may need wiggle cushions and weighted balls because they’ve grown up strapped into the five-point harnesses of strollers and car seats, planted in front of screens, and put to sleep at night flat on their backs, all of which leaves them craving action, sensation, and attention when they’re finally let loose. “Every child in the school system right now has been impacted. Of course they’re all licking their friends and bouncing off the walls.”—"American Schools Are Failing Nonconformist Kids. Here’s How / In defense of the wild child"