Some miscellaneous links that have piled up in my browser tabs over the last few days:
- Ursula K. Le Guin on the unwritten rules of fairyland. “The fantastic tale may suspend the laws of physics—carpets fly; cats fade into invisibility leaving only a smile—and of probability—the youngest of three brothers always wins the bride; the infant in the box cast upon the waters survives unharmed—but it carries its revolt against reality no further. Mathematical order is unquestioned. Two and one make three, in Koshchei’s castle and Alice’s Wonderland (especially in Wonderland). Euclid’s geometry—or possibly Riemann’s—somebody’s geometry, anyhow—governs the layout. Otherwise incoherence would invade and paralyse the narrative.”
- Michael Dirda on the tyranny and tragedy of the bestseller (or “better-seller”) list. “If one were to magically eliminate every form of the list, in print and online, as well as all those best-seller tables in Barnes & Noble, what would happen? People would spend more time browsing a bookstore’s stock, they would skim a page or two of various interesting-looking titles, and eventually they would plunk down their twenty dollars. In short, they would actively engage with a greater portion of our literary culture.” (via Aliette de Bodard)
- Reactions to the new Dropbox terms of service, which give them rather broad rights to copy and modify your documents:
- The hosting of the next Westercon is won by a hoax bid after the only legitimate bid fails to gain sufficient traction. Kevin Standlee offers a pro tip: “When you’re trying to get three-fourths of the people in a room to vote for you, and when you know there’s a pretty good chance that many of them are the people who voted for your opposition back when you only needed a majority and didn’t get it, you are not helping your cause when you say that anyone who voted for your opposition should be ashamed of themselves and start personally insulting the opposition’s leadership.” (via Cheryl Morgan)
- Jane Litte on what she learned at RWA. “While Courtney Milan says that we shouldn’t make predictions, I have to make one. I think that the most successful self publishing authors will be those who love the business side of publishing as much as they love the creative side. There will always be the exceptions, but generally, I think that the entrepreneurial authors are the ones who we will still see self publishing five years from now.” Interesting reading even if you’re not a Romancelandian.
- SFWA is looking for information to consider while they review Night Shade Books’s probation status. The probationary period ends July 8, so if you have relevant info regarding your dealings with Night Shade, send it over soon.
There, now Firefox can take a deep breath and relax.