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Reading Recommendation: The Phrontistery

Okay, so before I get into it, right now bookmark The Phrontistery. You’ll thank me later.

If you’re like me you hear words but you don’t always remember them. You might remember the idea of them, or know that they exist, but can never remember the exact word you want when you need it. For me this can be frustrating, it slows me down when I try to write and I know there’s something out there that will be perfect but it evades me. A dictionary isn’t helpful, and typing random and vague searches into Google doesn’t usually yield great results.

Last night, I stumbled across the Phrontistery. The Phrontistery collects words and organizes them into handy buckets for quick and easy browsing. Sometimes it’s nice to have a long lists of fabrics, or the actual name of bullfighting (tauromachy,) other time I want base some made up scientific instrument off a rare and real world version.

It’s an awesome tool and next time you’re trying to remember what that unusual animal was you wanted to feature in your next story, you’ll be glad you bookmarked the Phrontistery.

Reading Recommendation: Railsea by China Miéville

Railsea by China Miéville

I read a lot. It’s one of my personal tenants for staying active with my own projects, the prose of other writers inspires me. I usually have a pile of 4-5 books stacked somewhere on my desk at any given time and it grows and shrinks as I churn through the stack continually ordering more. This year only a few of the books really stood out for me. However there have been a few gems, and unsurprising one of my favorites this year came from one of my favorite authors, Railsea from China Miéville.

Railsea is in part a retelling of Moby Dick, with a smattering of Robinson Crusoe, and a bit of Treasure Island – only in this retelling ships becomes trains and whales become giant moles or moldywarpes. It’s great fun and told through that new weird lens that is common in Miéville fiction.

The book follows Sham Yes ap Soorap (awesome name) as he explores the railsea – a endless tangle of railroad lines that twist and turn for hundreds and hundreds of miles – hunting for giant moles on the moletrain Medes. Strange ports, bandits, salvagers, ancient wrecks, and even a few angels fill the pages and the ride is fun from start to finish.

If you’re looking for a fun read, pick it up and let it take you along for the journey – I don’t think I could recommend it more.

Reading Recommendation: flux machine

debris by kevin wier

Sometimes you come across a blog that is visually overwhelming, so much so that it’s hard to describe in words. flux machine by Kevin Wier is exactly that. Dark, mysterious, and sometimes creepy animated gifs subtly (and sometimes no so subtly) paint pictures of worlds that seem to exist beyond our normal comprehension and in doing so they send shivers down your spine. It’s incredible work.

Reading Recommendation: Atlas Obscura

Sailing stones of the Racetrack Playa

It’s late, and I’m struggling. I’m trying to come up with some fantastical (but believable) local and I’m  stumped. I could fall back on the tropes but thats no fun, I want something fresh, something new, and something unique…

To that, I present Atlas Obscura. A blog about the fantastical yet oh-so-real locations that exist all around our own little planet. Smartly written with loads of details and pictures it’s a resource I recommend you add to your RSS reader immediately. How else will you learn about the Twisted Trees of Alticane Canada or the secluded town of Margalef Spain built into the crevices of a mountain?

It’s a good read, you won’t regret it, besides… sometimes the most fantastic just happens to be real.