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Friday Link Pack 01/31/14

10 Key Terms That Will Help You Appreciate Fantasy Literature

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming year? Let me know!

Writing:

Mapping the world of Mark Twain
It’s no secret that Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors. I was excited when this showed up in my RSS feed. When I saw the map, I was blown away.

10 Key Fantasy Literature Terms
Nice write up covering the terms for the various sub-genres of fantasy. Everything from Portal Fantasy, Secondary Worlds, to the New Weird (technically the subgenre The Stars Were Right falls inside). It’s good info and worth checking out.

A Novel List of Atypical Sci-Fi from the Seattle Public Library
My home town’s Library compiled a nice list of solid science fiction. There’s a lot of good stuff on here, some of my favorites: Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age and China Mieville’s The City and The City.

Art:

Joao Ruas’ “Verso”
Thinkspace gallery is featuring the work of one of my favorite artists: Joao Ruas. If you live anywhere near Culver City, California get yourself over to see this stuff. His work is incredible.

I Am Hello Kitty
Very beautiful and fascinating look into the people behind the iconic characters in New York’s Times Square.

Random:

So the new Space Shuttle is amazing…
Meet the next Space Shuttle. It’s tiny. It only needs one rocket, and it can be towed behind a pickup truck.

Art of the Title: Black Sails
Art of the Title interviews the creators of the Black Sails title sequence. I love it, the music, the motion, basically everything. It’s awesome to know the creators were inspired by Kris Kuksi.

Please Advise
Letters of Note shares this quick memo sent in 1969 by record producer Teo Macero to executives at Columbia Records over Miles Davis’ album: Bitches Brew. (In my humble opinion: one of the best jazz albums ever.)

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Temple
A german u-boat and its cruel captain face terrors under the sea.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

Mine! Minemineminemineminemine...

Recent Bookquisitions

My book queue isn't this unorganized. Really... it isn't...
I always have a queue for the books I am reading. Anytime something strikes my fancy I buy it and add it to the stack or else I’ll forget and then miss out. Well, my pile has grown larger and I thought it be fun to share some of my recent acquisitions:

Pallitine Rising
Pallitine Rising by Roderick Davidson
I haven’t read any fantasy in a while and I’ve only heard good things about Roderick Davidson‘s first novel so I picked this up. (It’s on sale right now so nab it while you can.) Adventure, knights, dragons, and creepy cults? Sign me up.

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction
Hawkeye had always been a fringe hero and kind of worthless in my opinion. (Sorry die-hard Hawkeye fans… all six of you.) However word on the street is Matt Fraction‘s treatment is amazing, hilarious, and a must read that completely revitalizes the character. Okay. I ain’t going to lie… I read this the moment I got home. Everything I wrote was true. If you read comics pick this up.

Jagannath

Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck
After I posted my recommendation of Elizabeth Bear’s short story Shaggoth’s in Bloom a few weeks back fellow blogger Matt Rice over at Books, Brains and Beer recommended this collection of new weird stories. Looking forward to diving in.

So that’s the most recent editions to my queue. These three will be joining the seven other in the stack. What’s about you? Bought anything good lately? Anything you’re excited about? Leave a comment and let me know! I’m always looking for a good book.

The art of Allen Williams

Hollie and The Death of Trees by AllenWilliams
Hollie and The Death of Trees by Allen Williams

As many of you may know I am heavily influenced by art. I have a whole slew of Pinterest boards set up to organize things I find that inspire me for my various projects. So from time to time I want to share artists I have discovered with the hope that you will also be inspired.

The other day I was introduce to Allen Williams art and I absolutely love it. Working in graphite and mixed media his pieces are as beautiful and bizarre as they are stunning and scary. It’s a wonderful mix of H.P. Lovecraft and H. R. Giger with the technical expertise of M.C. Escher. There’s enough reality in his work that most viewers will find something recognizable, but he forces the viewer outside their comfort zone by twisting what is recognizable into something otherworldly. That’s hard to do, and do well, and it’s impressive how well Williams does it.

Some of my favorite pieces:

To see more of his work take a look the rest of his site, also follow him on twitter, and add his blog to your favorite RSS reader. If you want his work grace your walls as well check out his store, he has quite a few originals and prints for sale.

Friday Link Pack

Famous Scifi And Fantasy Authors In Their Workspaces
It’s Friday so I figured why not take the time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. (I will fully admit I am stealing this idea from
Swiss Miss.) Some of these I mention on twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do!

Writing:

A Recipe for Great Characters
Author Dave Farland shares some advice on how to make a character engrossing. It’s a quick read and really solid advice.

Famous Scifi And Fantasy Authors In Their Workspaces
I always love stuff like this. It’s cool to the space where authors I respect spend the majority of their time.

Writing in Public Project
Author Dean Wesley Smith is detailing his life as a writer by blogging about it every day for a year. Word counts. Emails. Everything. It’s been fun to follow along.

Random:

“The Last of Us” Title Sequence
Awesome post by the good folks over at Art of the Title (@WilliamHPerkins and @lolamachine) detailing how the titles for the game “The Last of Us” was created. It’s a great read.

Abandoned Places
A tumblr sharing photos of abandoned (and sometimes creepy) places. Great location inspiration. (Thanks Margit Sage for sharing this.)

Daddy Cool by Boney M
This is my favorite song in the world right now. Everything about this video is perfect: the song, the awkward white people, everything.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Cats of Ulthar
Moral of the story: be nice to cats.

Farewell Gif(s) of the Week:

Hello. How are you? Let's be friends.

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The financials of being a fantasy writer

A question for the published fantasy authors here
Reddit has a good thread going where someone asked how much a fantasy author can expect to earn in a year. In awesome redditor style two successful fantasy authors stepped up and shared how much money they actually earn off their books, one was traditionally published Paul S. Kemp (Tales of Egil & Nix, The Erevis Cale Trilogy) the other was self-published author Michael J. Sullivan (The Riyria Chronicles.) Give it a read, it’s a good look into the financials of our creative endeavours and the results aren’t surprising.

It boils down to this: in areas where the cost of living is higher the money made as a mildly successful fantasy author may not be enough to keep you afloat, especially if you have a family you’re supporting. However, if you live modestly, you’ll probably do all right.

It’s interesting this has come up, with my debut novel “The Stars Were Right” so close to launch I have been thinking a lot about the financial side of being a fantasy writer. All sorts of questions have popped into my head: what if it flops? What if I never make back the money I have put into the book? What if no one ever reads it? *gasp!* It can be stressful stuff.

I have come to the conclusion that for me it’s not about making millions (or even thousands) and achieving Harry Potter success—I love my day job—I am not writing for the money. I’m writing because I love it. I’m writing because I have stories to tell. I’m writing because I want people to enjoy my stories. I can only encourage others to feel the same way. Don’t write for any other reason: not money, nor fame. Write because you love it. Write because you have a story to tell. In the end no one else can put a value on your personal fulfillment.

(The dragon image above was created by Aomori. You can see the full work here.)

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