At this point I’d like to lay down a grand theory about what makes Mountain Goats songs such good survival tools, but the truth is I don’t know. It’s easy to see why a balls-out anthem like “Heretic Pride” or “This Year” would be effective, but that doesn’t explain why so many people—myself among them—develop emotional dependencies on all the ugly little songs about dogs and owls and alcoholic Floridians. Their brevity helps, I suppose; JD doesn’t dick around building harmonies while you’re waiting to get healed. There is also the roughness of the early albums and the live recordings, which sound as if the man himself is shouting bracingly into your ear. But I think it’s mostly about the breathing room carved out by his metaphors. He has a poet’s gift for injecting universal feelings into specific and alien narrative contexts, which allows you to catch your own emotional bogeymen by surprise. If you discover that his song about moon-colony organ harvesting is actually about how criminally lonely you felt the first time you made yourself throw up, the obliqueness of this association makes it possible to look almost directly, even almost compassionately, at something that three minutes ago you’d have given anything to disown. Darnielle is in the business of reattaching limbs, gently steering us towards the things we need to feel about the parts of ourselves we need to hold onto.

Emma Stanford, “Let Us Consider The Mountain Goats

fakegirlgamer
chris:

Hi. Over the last three years, I’ve been writing a book. It’s about a post-apocalyptic city in the future, aggressively guided by the ideology that a meaningful life is always better than longevity, or happiness, or a crude moral framework. It has a sex robot in it, a vampiric journalist, and a love story about an exiled assassin, amongst other things.
If you’re sold already, you can buy the paperback here for $8.54 and the Kindle edition here for $4 (UK: print, ebook, CA: ebook, print arriving soon). If you buy the print edition, you can get the ebook for free, DRM-free. Which is neat.
If you need a little more persuading, here’s the blurb:
Two hundred years after a catastrophe that ruined the planet, humanity re-emerges with a whole new purpose and ideology.
In the newly-built city of Stopfordia, a traffic cop is embroiled in a murder mystery. A chef at a diner on the edge of town turns to androids to satisfy his basest desires. An assassin, facing exile, finds her whole life transformed. A farmer finds himself on trial in front of a jury of thousands for a crime of horrific proportions. A journalist, facing unemployment, turns to a life of crime to keep the stories bleeding in. And a sex worker peers behind the curtain, only to discover that life in Stopfordia is not as it seems.
This is the world of Dystopolis: where the pursuit of a perfect life can take you to places you’d never expect to end up.
And here are a couple of things that good people have said about it:
"With Dystopolis, Fraser has imagined something that walks in with a scifi badge on, then sneaks up on you with a pitcher-full of vulnerable, tragic, real life."
Josh Gaines, author of Clara’s Quilt and Michigan, Ten Cents
"Dystopolis is like what Rod Serling would’ve written at the peak of his career – incisive, insightful, optimistic, and gleefully terrifying all the same."
Casey Morell, author of Halcyon
If this all sounds interesting to you but you don’t have any money, consider sharing this with people you know by clicking that little reblog button. You’d be surprised by how much it helps. Oh, and if you do have money, conside reblogging this anyway.
In advance, and maybe a little hopefully: I hope you enjoy it.

chris:

Hi. Over the last three years, I’ve been writing a book. It’s about a post-apocalyptic city in the future, aggressively guided by the ideology that a meaningful life is always better than longevity, or happiness, or a crude moral framework. It has a sex robot in it, a vampiric journalist, and a love story about an exiled assassin, amongst other things.

If you’re sold already, you can buy the paperback here for $8.54 and the Kindle edition here for $4 (UK: print, ebook, CA: ebook, print arriving soon). If you buy the print edition, you can get the ebook for free, DRM-free. Which is neat.

If you need a little more persuading, here’s the blurb:

Two hundred years after a catastrophe that ruined the planet, humanity re-emerges with a whole new purpose and ideology.

In the newly-built city of Stopfordia, a traffic cop is embroiled in a murder mystery. A chef at a diner on the edge of town turns to androids to satisfy his basest desires. An assassin, facing exile, finds her whole life transformed. A farmer finds himself on trial in front of a jury of thousands for a crime of horrific proportions. A journalist, facing unemployment, turns to a life of crime to keep the stories bleeding in. And a sex worker peers behind the curtain, only to discover that life in Stopfordia is not as it seems.

This is the world of Dystopolis: where the pursuit of a perfect life can take you to places you’d never expect to end up.

And here are a couple of things that good people have said about it:

"With Dystopolis, Fraser has imagined something that walks in with a scifi badge on, then sneaks up on you with a pitcher-full of vulnerable, tragic, real life."

Josh Gaines, author of Clara’s Quilt and Michigan, Ten Cents

"Dystopolis is like what Rod Serling would’ve written at the peak of his career – incisive, insightful, optimistic, and gleefully terrifying all the same."

Casey Morell, author of Halcyon

If this all sounds interesting to you but you don’t have any money, consider sharing this with people you know by clicking that little reblog button. You’d be surprised by how much it helps. Oh, and if you do have money, conside reblogging this anyway.

In advance, and maybe a little hopefully: I hope you enjoy it.

goatcorporation

goatcorporation:

practicalpuns replied to your post: i’m beginning page seven of my paper (…

You write in order? I can never ever manage that.

yeah generally. it’s probably not the best method but it’s what i do. like i start with a rough idea of the point that i want to get at (not necessarily an end point but the culmination of the conclusions and syntheses i’ve come to from the readings) and then i just sort of walk through all those conclusions, each one is built off of one or more so it’s like i have to get to the next ‘level’ by explaining the prerequisite assumptions, and to do that i just walk through the argument in order. i dont really outline or anything i just sort of feel it out, like ‘if i want to talk about X then what do i need to contextualize that?’ or ‘if i’ve just established X should i move directly to Y or would moving to Z first contextualize Y better’

this is exactly how I write papers and I genuinely can’t understand the scattershot approach

like, it makes sense in theory

but how do you make fifteen disparate points fit together if you’re not laying them out sensibly to begin with

state-bird

asuperfluousman: Harold Bloom’s review of the Harry Potter series is brilliant.

Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes.

Taking arms against Harry Potter, at this moment, is to emulate Hamlet taking arms against a sea of troubles. By opposing the sea, you won’t end it. The…

Harold Bloom is an over-nostalgic blowhard with a painfully constrained concept of what constitutes canon

taking his criticism seriously is an error

there are legitimate criticisms of Harry Potter to be made but “it is not Alice in Wonderland” is not one of them

dgaider

The Female Perspective in Game Development

dgaider:

I happen to be fortunate. My team of writers on Dragon Age currently consists of nine people— most of which are female. It’s reached the point that, when we consider new hires and transfers, I tend to joke “ummm, we could use some more testosterone in here…” and give a big goofy grin. Mine is probably the only department that could get away with saying something like that.

And I’m not truly serious about it, anyhow. If having such a large number of women on my team has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t lump them into one category of preferences any more than you could the guys. Yes, there are those among my female writers who are more averse to combat and more attracted to the romance plots… but, you know what? That’s equally true for the male writers. Considering there are those among the women who would be seriously put out if a plot didn’t engage in some serious bloodletting, and who roll their eyes whenever the subject of gooey romance comes up, I think it’s pretty safe to say the stereotype of a “female gamer” doesn’t exist outside of the heads of men.

Which meant I was a little surprised when I learned something new the other day.

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fyeahenglishmajorarmadillo
fyeahenglishmajorarmadillo:

[Picture: Background — a six piece pie style colour split, alternating black and grey. Foreground — a picture of an armadillo. Top text: “Graduate with BA in English” Bottom text: “Now have time to read those classics you lied about reading during college”]


oh look it’s me

fyeahenglishmajorarmadillo:

[Picture: Background — a six piece pie style colour split, alternating black and grey. Foreground — a picture of an armadillo. Top text: “Graduate with BA in English” Bottom text: “Now have time to read those classics you lied about reading during college”]

oh look it’s me

cognitivedissonance
cognitivedissonance:

batcountryword:

“There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it ‘vengeful’ and ‘primitive’ and ‘perverse’ regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. ‘That kind of stuff is opinion,’ they say, ‘and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.’ Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends. And maybe H. L. Mencken should have been locked up for trying to pass off his opinions on gullible readers and normal ‘objective journalism.’ Mencken understood that politics — as used in journalism — was the art of controlling his environment, and he made no apologies for it. In my case, using what politely might be called ‘advocacy journalism,’ I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.” -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Source…

Wherein this is my response to anyone who claims my reporting is crap because it contains opinion…

cognitivedissonance:

batcountryword:

“There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it ‘vengeful’ and ‘primitive’ and ‘perverse’ regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. ‘That kind of stuff is opinion,’ they say, ‘and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.’ Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends. And maybe H. L. Mencken should have been locked up for trying to pass off his opinions on gullible readers and normal ‘objective journalism.’ Mencken understood that politics — as used in journalism — was the art of controlling his environment, and he made no apologies for it. In my case, using what politely might be called ‘advocacy journalism,’ I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.” -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Source…

Wherein this is my response to anyone who claims my reporting is crap because it contains opinion…

so, Prometheus

is the most beautiful narrative disaster I have ever seen.

In a curious parallel with Snow White and the Huntsman (coincidentally also featuring Charlize Theron), Prometheus is staggeringly lovely in its production, but more than a bit scattered in its plot. Accordingly, this review will be a scattered mess too.

spoilers ahoy

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ardeb
ardeb:

chris:

Call this an announcement of an announcement - I’ve finally got around to creating the ebook version of Tales From The End, and you can download it in all its majesty (and in a handy variety of formats) over here. However, because I’m awaiting for the gods of formatting to formally approve it to be sent off to Apple, and Amazon, and all those crazy places, I can’t yet justify to myself the notion of making you pay for it. With that in mind, if you enter the coupon code JV66H before February the 6th, the $0.99 asking price will be reduced to absolutely nothing - not a bad deal, if I do say so myself. Of course, feel free to pay for it - and it’s worth pointing out that if there are any formatting issues, paying now guarantees you the revised edition when it comes out - but for now, consider this a goodwill gesture.
Oh, and do feel free to share this with other people. If you’re the sort of person that does that sort of thing.

IT’S AN AMAZING FREE SCIFI BOOK REBLOG AND GET IT

I think Chris is a pretty cool guy, eh writes SFs and doesn’t afraid of editing

ardeb:

chris:

Call this an announcement of an announcement - I’ve finally got around to creating the ebook version of Tales From The End, and you can download it in all its majesty (and in a handy variety of formats) over here. However, because I’m awaiting for the gods of formatting to formally approve it to be sent off to Apple, and Amazon, and all those crazy places, I can’t yet justify to myself the notion of making you pay for it. With that in mind, if you enter the coupon code JV66H before February the 6th, the $0.99 asking price will be reduced to absolutely nothing - not a bad deal, if I do say so myself. Of course, feel free to pay for it - and it’s worth pointing out that if there are any formatting issues, paying now guarantees you the revised edition when it comes out - but for now, consider this a goodwill gesture.

Oh, and do feel free to share this with other people. If you’re the sort of person that does that sort of thing.

IT’S AN AMAZING FREE SCIFI BOOK REBLOG AND GET IT

I think Chris is a pretty cool guy, eh writes SFs and doesn’t afraid of editing

Second Life: yep, it’s still Second Life

A model of a nuclear plant maintained by the University of Indiana.

For my ENGL 384 class my prof asked us to create an avatar in Second Life as an exploration of virtual worlds and cybernetics and what have you, and then blog about it. At that point I hadn’t touched Second Life for years. I remember seeing glossy ads for it in my game magazines when I was a wee lad without broadband and cursing my flimsy dial-up connection. When I moved out and got decent internets, I gave it a shot, and promptly gave up because the interface was clunky and the lack of goals left me drifting aimlessly. I went back to World of Warcraft for a while before ditching the massive online model entirely.

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