Friday Five: Make You All Proud Edition

A good day to all my friends! I’m writing this the night before in a fit of unprecedented efficiency while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (I’m sure that some of you now know exactly what song I’m now on).

But more than that, when in the sort of week where I’m trying to look hard at positives, this blog’s been a bright spot. Some of the blog posts I’ve been sticking up in the past couple of weeks has been me stretching my knowledge as far as it’ll go – and the response has been fantastic. It makes me happy and is encouraging me to keep on stretching and pushing to produce content that drills a little deeper.

That aside, let’s get to the links, because clucking bell there’s a bunch of them this week.

1. Blog of the week! This week it’s Dianthaa Dabbles. Dianthaa is a great blogger and super entertaining whose posts often make me laugh. Her reviews also make me want to read books – her most recent mini reviews has me considering an Eternal Champion reread and has me interested in Nightshift Dragons too. And there’s also useful blogging posts, like this one on SEO and Review Index keeping.

2. Speaking of reviews, there’s another Moorcock one here with Lord Samper’s Library looking at The Warhound and the World’s Pain. It’s good to see him maybe coming back into the eye a little.

Para is more than a little hyped by Natalie Zina Walschots’ Hench

I’m happy to see more reviews of CM Caplan’s The Sword in the Street, so here’s one at Wyrm’s World

I didn’t read this review of Rian Hughes’ XX at Libri Draconis all that close as I need to read it myself, but great to see the idea talked about.

At Before We Go, this review of Krystle Matar’s Legacy of the Brightwash makes it sound intriguing.

I was curious about Preemee Mohamed’s And What Can We Offer You Tonight, and this review by Alex Brown has made me a lot more so.

We’ve got a review of The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix over at the Quaint Book Nook

Finally, Paul’s Picks are very excited by Cam Johnston’s The Maleficent Seven.

3. Some articles on writing

An oldie but goldie – Terry Rosso’s Wordplayer Columns are very aimed at commercial Hollywood scripts, but have a lot of good advice for everyone.

Dan Jones is talking about how being part of a community helped him write more than any splendid isolationism

Juliana Spink-Mills has a very interesting post on the different ways to show a character’s background

Also, a great twitter thread from Melissa Caruso on revising and redrafting dialogue

4. General articles – not all of them are fantasy related.

At t’ Inn, Hiu has an interesting article on What Makes A Book Good

Incidentally, I am slowly working my way towards what I think of the argument. The line on subjectivity vs objectivity is one that fascinates me. An author friend once got a rejection letter from an agent that more or less went “I subjectively love this but objectively don’t think it will be widely loved”, which is both brilliant and brutal. It’s also a suggestion both exist.

Me, I like talking about how a book will semi-objectively do X or Y well, which will end up into a whole that may or may not pass subjective tastes. Even that runs into problem. How good is LotR’s characterisation? Some find it very thin. Others are fascinated by the characters many years later. I might bridge the gap by suggesting Tolkien had a gift for engaging some people’s imaginations with a few words, getting us to dig deep and find all the dourness, fierce loyalty, and aesthetism that makes up Gimli’s character. But only some.

Maybe we could talk about good and bad better if we could extensively constructs sets of preferences and see who those share the same preferences rate the same books – but we all know how hard it is to get people to express their preferences accurately. Food for thought in any case.

An interesting article from Aeon on the links between AI fiction and fiction’s past

The Encyclopedia Britannica has a good article on precursors to Science-Fiction

Completely non-fantasy related, but this article on the Belgian beer De Dolle Oerbier is fascinating.

Also non fantasy related, but I very much enjoyed these two articles from the New Yorker on Diderot and Conrad

Here’s an article with Ryka Aoki talking about her new book Light from Uncommon Stars

5. Finally, a video

I need to rewatch this as I watched it a few weeks ago and some of the finer points escape me, but it’s a thoughtful and fun listen, with a few good lessons for those of us writing in a conflict type model.

Anyway, that’s all for this time. Thank you for reading and have a good weekend.

5 thoughts on “Friday Five: Make You All Proud Edition

  1. I’m happy to see so many people talking about Moorcock lately, dunno if he’s ‘making a comeback’ per se but I have seen more mention of him around the bookosphere this year, which is cool. I think it was you who rec’d The War Hound and the World’s Pain to me; it’s the one set during the Thirty Years War isn’t it? I’m obsessed with that period of history, the Holy Roman Empire was such a mess, and yet the amount of fiction I’ve read set there is close to zero. I could be tempted to read that book sooner rather than later…

    Liked by 2 people

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