Category Archives: Writing

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Foundational Science Fiction

One of my favorite aspects of Isaac Asimov’s science fiction is the worldbuilding and its never more apparent in his centuries-spanning Foundation series.

Indeed, the Galactic Empire and the many of the ensuing interstellar governments were ones I kept in mind while fashioning the Imperium for Rogue Tyger. I’m actually re-reading the series while working on new seasons of the show (it’s easily been over 20 years since I last read them).

So imagine the delight when I saw this teaser trailer for a “prestige” TV series adaptation due out next year? I know they’re likely going to make some noticeable changes to some of the characters and connective plot in order to keep a cinematic throughline, but I’m hopeful it will be a great mix of the clear production design combined with the themes that made the novels so engaging.

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How to Pronounce Names in Dune from the Great Maker’s Mouth

I’m still debating whether or not to rewatch or reread the various version of Dune leading up to this Fall’s new film adaptation.

This and other stills come from an April Vanity Fair feature.

One definite thing I want them to get right? How to pronounce all those names. Of course, it might help if we all knew how to pronounce the names. So that’s where one superfan comes in. He’s compiled Herbert saying a bunch of the names, none of which are presumably a killing word (sorry, fans of the ’84 film).

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Theater in the Time of Coronavirus

All sorts of physical businesses are suffering during this global pandemic and I know many people, dependent on in-person gigs for their livelihood who now have no income stream (to say nothing of creative freelancers, as one Nation article notes).

So this video posted last week by Joseph Haj, artistic director of the Guthrie Theater resonated:

I was lucky enough to grow up going to the theater and live performances frequently, something I’ve tried to pass on to my kids. I hope that time will come again soon.

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

It could be because we all have a bit more time to think about how we’ll reflect back on these days, or how we’re trying to help our children through this, but this video hit me particularly now.

With apologies to Polonius, I think I’ll lead with this one in addressing my own Laertes.

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Get Some Writing Inspiration

Last weekend… I did a bunch of chores. But I also did said chores while watching multiple panels and some breakout sessions for the Online Writer’s Conference I talked about last week.

If you missed it, good news! You can check out the panels from both days on the same website.

Day One
Day Two

Combined, it’s over 13 hours worth of insights and techniques from working novelists, screenwriters, and others.

So check it out! Perhaps while you’re taking care of a bunch of chores. I’m going to do that because I’m sure I missed a few things. Whatever works!

Have you made your movie yet?

Online creativity is abounding, and it’s not just clever memes and personable actors giving us a positive news boosts. People are making movies.

In the past month, the 48 Hour Film project, a competition I’ve frequently done, has had a series of stay-at-home competitions.

So now indie filmmaker extraordinaire Roger Corman, who’s still sharp as a tack in his 90s, wants to see your short film. Seriously. He said so.

But better do it quick. You have less than two weeks.

Online Writing Conference this Weekend!

The coronavirus pandemic has halted an ever-increasing number of conventions, conferences, and in-person workshops.

Russell Nohelty and Nicolas Nelson are lamenting this state of affairs, so they’ve organized a free online writer’s conference this weekend.

You can register for free, as well as learn more about the panels at this website.

See you online!

Successful Self-Publishing Case Studies

Given the sheer numbers of self-published books, it statistically unlikely that someone will make a living via self-publishing… except that given the sheer number of self-published books there’s a non-trivial number of writers who make a living via self-publishing.

So with that caveat in mind, take a look at Sam Haysom’s article on Mashable about three self-published authors who have succeeded.

Roll for Initiative… at a distance

I’ve been compiling the various resources and freebies that people are posting daily on the Interwebs as ways to combat the coronavirus isolation.

One activity I sorely want to try in the coming weeks is delving back into some role playing games (RPGs)… and, in fact, it’s possible that might be an activity to do with my kids.

So Paul Darvasi’s article for KQED is a treasure trove of ideas about how one can use RPGs for educating people (and honestly, just being a better gamemaster).

In addition, since we’re now in stay-at-home mode, Charlie Hall has a great article on Polygon about how to run your RPG online. I’ve used Roll20 before, but I’m thinking trying straight video may be easier to just jump in. I just need to work on the descriptions.

Science Fiction Tropes, Ranked (Barnes & Noble Edition)

I’ve posted about science fiction tropes before, but as we’re now deep into the Era of Social Distancing, at least some writing has got to happen, right?

So here’s another list ranking tropes via Ross Johnson for Barnes & Noble. I might quibble with the ranking of the top 5 (dystopian governments and time travel would be my 2 and 1 respectively), but everything on the list should give you a knowing nod or a smile.

And who doesn’t like space pirates?

A drop of water for your thoughts…