June 1, 2009

Wag the Blog #1: What Does a Seal's Heart Taste Like?

In an effort to add a little format to this blog of mine, I'm starting a new segment titled, "Wag the Blog." This will be a basic roundup of some of the articles and posts I come across in my travels through the blogosphere. It's basically my blogroll roundup, but with a snazzy new header. Ain't I clever? Enjoy.

- I'm not sure how people outside of Canada reacted as a whole to Governor General Michelle Jean's eating of raw seal meat, but I think JD Rhoades offered a very amusing reaction over at What Fresh Hell Is This. "Your leaders are insane. We're talking batshit crazy on a Ted Nugent level." That's just a snippet; Rhoades' post in it's entirely is worth a giggle for this ol' Canuck. I hear the European Union found the event "too bizarre" to comment on, but I'm doubtful of the EU's familiarity with Inuit culture ... and I can only imagine how PETA is portraying the whole thing—talk about batshit crazy.

- SciFiGuy posted a link to an article on Grasping for the Wind. It discusses how many authors in sci-fifi, fantasy, and horror are known solely because of appearances on the NYT bestseller lists, yet other lesser known authors go under the radar with casual readers. So, it was asked of visitors to comment with their recommendations for "less well-known" authors to those casual readers. I look forward to checking out the resulting responses, and maybe offering my own.

- Bookluver Carol found out, via Hollywood Reporter, that there may be a brand new "Buffy" movie. Dark Fiction Review heard the news too. What?! And, Joss Whedon isn't even confirmed to be involved yet? Holy cow. Should I cringe now or wait for the first leaks of the script? I would love to see a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as it's one of my all-time favorites TV series. However, I'm not in a hurry to see Hollywood screw up another franchise reboot for the sake of a cash grab and tapped-out imagination.

- Speaking of Dark Fiction Review, I read over there that a new blog has started up with a slew of authors, called Science Fiction and Fantasy Ethics. I'm sure it's with good intentions, and I merely need to familiarize myself with the new group, but the whole idea of focusing on the positivity of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror comes off as very Disney-esque and preachy. I'll have to check it out next time I have a chance to surf.

- Donald Westlake's The Ax is on my reading wish list, and has been for a while. Well, after reading an article about it over at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, I want it even more. Can you believe I have not come across a single Westlake novel in all my scavenger hunts in used-book stores?

- Somewhere in England, I forget which town exactly, there is a bookstore called Blackwell's. Inside, they have a potentially revolutionary machine called the Espresso. It prints books on demand. Browsing the shelves to no avail? If the title you're looking for is in the digital library of thousands of books in the Espresso machine, you can order a copy that will immediately be printed off and bound for you while you wait. Are you kidding me? Are we talking hardcover here? Can't be. It must be paperbacks. Still, for about fifteen pounds you can get an elusive title at this bookstore and everyone's happy. I heard about this on NPR rather than online, so I don't have a link to share ... yet.

- The Writer's Forensics Blog posted a link to a Guardian news article about an Iranian female serial killer. She killed at least six people for the purpose of stealing their valuables. During her confession, she says she was inspired by Agatha Christie mysteries and used the plots in the books to set up her kills. Okay, so now that we have someone pointing a finger at Agatha Christie, are the wingnuts of the world going to clamber to ban all of her mystery novels? Will Miss Marple or Poirot be despised and scapegoated as much as violent cartoons, professional wrestling, and video-games? I doubt it.

- Over at A Writer's Life, Lee Goldberg points out why a screenwriter—any writer—should always, ALWAYS change the names of characters when they're inspired by real people. Holy crap, I can only imagine the @#$%-storm if people found out I'd created characters based on them and their less savory personality traits.

- The Philippines must be a drag to live in some days. According to THIS article it sure can be, but I wonder just how effective they thought their blockade on incoming literature was going to be. If only something like this could help loosen the reigns on Chinese citizens.

- I'm a casual fan of Kanye West's music. A passive fan, if I'm being honest. His music is good more often than not, but he's no Elvis. As for Kanye West the man, my opinion is taking a less than complimentary turn. Why? Well, he allegedly "designed" one of the ugliest sneakers I've ever seen in my life—hilarious if he'd done it out of irony or parody. Then, he changed his name to Mark Louis the Umpteenth for a week while in Europe—not even a mild chuckle even if ironic or satirical. Add in his constant ego trips during award seasons, and I just don't care to listen to the guy unless he has a song to sing. Brian Keene sums up his opinion of Kanye even better than me, after learning about the rapper's latest stunt.

- And, finally, J.A. Konrath posted a very enlightening blog entry about e-books and the Kindle. While I'm not an e-book aficionado—I'm reluctant to stare at my computer screen for hours at a time unless I'm working on my own writing—I must admit I am open to the whole digital format. And, Konrath makes some valid points in favor of getting involved with this aspect of the digital evolution of literature.

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