Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last...

What’s in a Name?

Naming a project can be a complicated affair, and when you have a series with an enormous fan base, I am sure it’s even tougher. As expected there has been a lot of discussion around the internet regarding the announced title for Star Wars: Episode VIII. The subtitle has a pretty common motif, and it got me thinking, we have…

The Last…

Airbender (Anime, but also a movie, card game, and video game.)

Picture Show (Movie, also a book.)

American Hero (Movie)

Guardian (Game)

House on the Left (Movie… twice.)

Unicorn (Book, also a film, album, song, and EP.)

Question (Short Story)

Starfighter (Movie — thanks, Miguel! Can’t believe I forgot this one.)

Witch Hunter (Movie and Vin Diesel’s personal D&D Campaign)

Supper (Painting, but so much more…)

Act (Short Story)

Castle (Movie)

Boy Scout (Movie)

Waltz (Concert)

Time (Movie, also a pair of albums and so many songs.)

Man on Earth (TV Show, also three films and a book.)

Olympian (Book)

Voyage of the Starship Enterprise (SNL skit)

Uniform (Manga)

Valley (Book)

Year (Movie)

Yankee (Play)

Confession of Alexander Pearce (Movie)

of Us (Game)

Word (Cocktail, also so much more…)

Tycoon (Unfinished Book, also two movies, album, and a tv series.)

Detail (Movie)

Emperor (Movie, also an actual person, album, and documentary.)

Gangster (Movie)

Five Years (Musical, also a movie.)

Juror (Book)

Vampire (Book series, also an anime.)

News From France (Song)

Lion (Horse)

Empress (Book, also an actual person, musical, movie, and biography.)

Song (Movie, also another movie, two novels, and a lot of actual songs.)

Ninja (Game)

Knight (Book, also another book, and a terrible Transformers movie.)

Temptation of Christ (Movie, also a book.)

Exorcism (Movie)

Lecture (Book)

Remnant (Game)

of the Mohicans (Book, also many films, tv shows, and a pair of albums.)

Judgment (Tynpanum, but also so much more…)

Outlaw (Movie, also 3 other movies, a Miniseries, and a Pro Wrestler.)

American Virgin (Movie)

Flight of Noah’s Ark (Movie)

Mimzy (Movie)

Kingdom (Book, also a Miniseries.)

and now: …Jedi (Star Wars: Episode VIII)

There is so much more I could have added. (The list could easily double in length.) Does this mean The Last Jedi is a bad title? No, but it’s fair to say it’s not the most original in the series. It’s safe, informative, and inoffensive which seems to be Disney’s strategy with the Star Wars franchise. Besides, I’m not sure it matters.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Juliet CapuletRomeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Juliet’s right, a rose by any other name would still smell good. In the end, The Last Jedi will still be Star Wars. It’ll most likely be as enjoyable as The Force Awakens. Fans will flock in droves to the theaters. But in a universe of Rogue Ones, New Hopes, and Empires Striking Back, I found myself wishing for something more.

Friday Link Pack 11/27/2015

Friday Link Pack 11/27/2015

It’s (Black) Friday (if you live in the US)! That means it’s time to either charge headlong into a frothing sales wasteland or kick back and enjoy my Friday Link Pack, the weekly post covering topics such as writing, art, current events, and random weirdness. Some of these links I mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Do you have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Let’s get to it…


American Dread: Alan Moore And The Racism Of H. P. Lovecraft
In the past, it was easy for me to dismiss Alan Moore as an eccentric, but lately I have come around to respecting him. He’s gotten more succinct in his stances, and I appreciate his approach to topics that would be considered taboo, subjects like racism, sexism, misogyny, and more. I think fiction is the perfect vehicle to explore these issues and allow readers confront their ugly realities. In this article, Bobby Derie examines all of this in relation to Alan Moore’s Lovecraftian series.

Hunter S. Thompson On Outlaws
The PBS Digital Studio (a fine example of why you need to be supporting PBS and your local PBS station) production Blank on Blank has been taking old interviews and animated them. This round it is gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson discussing his time with the Hells Angels.

#Writing More Than Ten Books In A Series And Staying Fresh
Thriller author Toby Neal has written more than ten books in her Lei Crime series and offers some practical advice for those looking to do the same and keeping things both engaging and fresh for readers and themselves.

Loved Girl on a Train? You May Have Read the Wrong Book
Another story about two novels with very similar names. Remember this recently happened with Emily Schultz’s literary fiction novel Joyland and Stephen King’s crime thriller Joyland, and it sparked the blog Spending Stephen Kings Money.


The Crusades And Lovecraft’s Monsters
In this series, fantasy cartographer and illustrator Robert Altbauer takes Lovecraftian horrors and applies them to a familiar medieval painting aesthetic. It’s hilarious and utterly charming. (I used one of these for today’s header image, but be sure to check out the rest.)

A Giant LED Star Pierces The Floors Of A 4-Story Building In Malaysia
I love neon and LED lights (Bell Forging readers can confirm this) so when I saw this awesome project from artist Jun Hao Ong I had to share it. There’s something about this project that is just so perfect.

Sticks and Stones (2014-Present)
Donna Pinckley takes pictures of interracial couples and places them alongside hateful racist things that had been said to them. The tenderness captured in this photos, combined with the juxtaposed vitriol forces us, the viewer, to confront the hate while facing couples that clearly love one other. As a result, this series serves as the perfect reminder of how far we have to go in society.


The Hunt for Red October Gifs
Last Thursday I lamented the shortage of gifs from the film, The Hunt for Red October. Thankfully my friend Miguel stepped up, and now the internet is saved with not one… but six high-quality gifs for your use!

Law Enforcement Took More Stuff Than Burglars Did Last Year
Hmmm… who watches the watchmen?

Veronica Belmont On Being Overtaken By A Meme
Nobody knows what it is like when your persona is hijacked by a meme like Veronica Belmont. In this talk at this year’s XOXO Festival Belmont discusses her story, how time means nothing on the internet, and how it can quickly removes context leaving the viewer with a half understood story and little or no explanation. Very much worth a watch.

How Americans Changed The Meaning Of ‘Dream’
My favorite blog, Atlas Obscura, was sponsored by a mattress maker this week, and while that sounds odd… it’s actually produced some great articles centered around sleep. This one in particular, explores how a single idea can shift the definition of a single word.


List Of Unexplained Sounds
“The following is a list of unidentified, or formerly unidentified, sounds. All of the sound files in this article have been sped up by at least a factor of 16 to increase intelligibility by condensing them and raising the frequency from infrasound to a more audible and reproducible range.”


Out Of The Aeons
A strange mummy is discovered on a mysterious island and put on display in a museum in Boston, but after several attempts are made to rob the corpse some bizarre things begin to happen.


This Island Vincent

Independent bookstores are alive and well in America

Friday Link Pack 09/12/2014

You made it. It’s Friday! That means it’s time to share a few interesting links I’ve 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 link pack? Let me know!


Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations
Writers rejoice, rumors of our audiences demise has been greatly exaggerated.

NaNoWriMo Cometh – Four Early Tips To Enhance Your Novel Writing
Participating in National Novel Writing Month this year? Here’s four things you should be working on now to make sure your NaNoWriMo is a success.

Independent Bookstores Are Alive And Well In America
That’s right, don’t listen to the hype. Not only are Indie bookstores doing well, in the last five years their numbers have risen. (By double digits!)

Are Authors Running Out Of Book Titles?
The Guardian looks into the recent occurrence of several popular authors recycling book titles used by others. I mentioned the blog Spending The Stephen King Money in a June Link Pack. I recommend checking it out.

Publishing Advice I’d Give My Younger Self
Indie author J. A. Konrath offers up advice he’d give to himself. There’s a lot of good straightforward advice here. Worth a read no matter how established or successful you are.


Emily Blincoe’s Arrangements
Objects arranged by color and photographed. Beautiful.

Typewriter Artist
This human interest piece from 2004 looks at Paul Smith, an artist with cerebral palsy who uses a typewriter to create art. (Thanks to Kari-Lise for sharing this.)


Look Down If You Dare: The World’s Scariest Stairs
If you’re scared of heights, you might want to skip this slideshow showing a number of dizzying climbs from around the world. (Thanks to Brittany for one.)

The Yeti
An online exhibit exploring the validity and legends surrounding the mythical yeti, the alpine cousin of the Pacific Northwest sasquatch. Are you a believer? (Thanks to Sky for submitting this.)

Space Station Earth, A Map Skin
I have mentioned MapBox before, but their latest map skin is incredible. Space! Check out my hometown here.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Doom That Came to Sarnath
An ancient people conquer the mighty city of Ib defeating its strange inhabitants and bringing about a defeat of their own.

Gif of the Week:
Next time on Star Trek: The Next Generation...

Friday Link Pack 06/20/14

Dina Goldstein's "Fallen Princesses"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 link pack? Let me know!


Busting Down The Romantic Myth Of Writing Fiction & Mitigating Burnout
Kameron Hurley who wrote the fantastic Bel Dame Apocrypha series (check it out) really lays out the reality of being an author in her article for Locus Online. I appreciate her candor, this is something every author or aspiring author should read.

We Are Losing The Art Of Reading
Has our consumption culture changed the way we as a society reads? Andy Miller explores this idea in his piece for The Guardian.

Langston Hughes & The Harlem Renaissance
A great video from John Green and the team at Crash Course takes a look at the poet Langston Hughes and his impact on literature during the Harlem Renaissance. I really enjoy all of the Crash Course videos but this one stood out. It’s a solid 11:31 and worth every moment.

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—Chapter Titles
A good chapter title can do a lot for your story. Dave Farland once again offers his sage advice on how to effectively use chapter titles.

I’m having a Kindle Sale!
For the next month The Stars Were Right is available for only $1.99! Now is a good chance for Kindle owners to pick up a copy. Click here for more info. Tell your friends!


Dina Goldstein’s Fallen Princesses
A bit of the American underbelly and a dash of Disney and you have photographer Dina Goldstein’s latest series Fallen Princesses. In these works the classic Disney icons are viewed through a lens not typically associated with their character. Good stuff. (Thanks to Kari-Lise for the tip.)

Buda Repossession
This full recreation of Hungarian painter Benczúr Gyula‘s Budavár Repossession in 3D is something that has to be seen. Incredible.

Dexter Maurer
I fell in love with these illustrations from swiss artist Dexter Maurer. It has the right blend of both whimsy and strangeness.


Spending Stephen King’s Money
In 2006 author Emily Schultz released Joyland. This year Stephen King released a book with the same title. This caused confusion among Amazon users who ended up leaving negative reviews. But there is a silver lining to all of this: there were A LOT of confused readers so Schultz ended up with a pretty big royalty check. So, like anyone, she decided to start a blog documenting how she’s spending Stephen King’s money. (Thanks to Lola for sharing this one.)

The successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler
It was Russia who rolled into Berlin and ended the the European Theater portion of WW2 in the final major offensive. For a long time, people thought they deserved the credit, but that has slowly changed. Vox examines the details behind this shift in people’s perception.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

One of Lovecraft’s first stories follows a former merchant marine turned morphine addict who recounts a terrible tale! Nice quick read.

Farewell Gif of the Week:
Bergen to Oslo forever.