According to BoingBoing.net, where I found the link to the above address, “The audience for Neil Gaiman’s talk on the future of publishing at the London Book Fair apparently greeted his talk with stony hostility.” Watch it and I think you will see why. He stated the obvious… or what should be obvious. That is something the oblivious generally do not like. That is something the unimaginative generally cringe at. And, generally, when you poke at unimaginative, unadaptable dinosaurs they tend to look down at you and growl stupidly. I thoroughly enjoyed his address and am thrilled to say that not only is Neil Gaiman one of the most imaginative writers we have today, he is also one of the most courageous. Hey! It takes courage to stand in front of a pack of dinosaurs and poke them.
I want to wish a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and Joyful New Year to all of you who have visited my humble little hovel here in the ‘verse. I am taking something of a Holiday holiday for the next few weeks. It is that time of the year when my “real” life becomes so obtrusive that it renders me virtually incapable of any creative or expressive endeavour of any kind… no matter how small. So, most likely until after the first of the new year, this will be my last communication to most of you. I wish I could say this is my “favorite time of the year.” I can’t. Because it isn’t. I realize, however, that for many it is and for you I truly wish the season to be everything you wish it to be and more. For the rest of us, I guess we make the best of it. Till next year, take care, be well and keep flying.
Oh, and if the Mayans are right, it’s been a hoot and a holler.
I want to take this time to wish all my fellow American readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day. Even those who do not remember. Old tales and ancient history books tell me that this day was once a time for all Americans to offer thanks for the bounty our land has provided us. I have no way to verify this based upon recent history, however, and I do realize how far-fetched it sounds against the backdrop of frenzied greed, rudeness and outright hatefulness we will be witnessing tomorrow in various Wal-Marts, Targets, K-Marts, etc. across this nation.
It does seem rather preposterous that a day meant for giving thanks could possibly be the symbolic beginning of an orgy of commercialization that inexorably moves toward to the day we are told was once meant to celebrate the birth of the Savior. Even for those who do not believe in an omnipotent deity it does seem rather much to ask people to believe that this is the beginning of a holiday season meant to offer goodwill toward our brethren, give comfort to the needy and celebrate the birth of Christ. After all, are we next to be asked to believe that He would understand the need for one woman to bash in the head of another to get to that last “door buster” LCD television? Or that He would understand a man being trampled to death by a crowd of frenzied “door busters” more concerned with crock-pots, TVs, iPods, laptops and e-readers than the life of the man they just murdered? I mean, c’mon. This has got to be just another case of histories getting rewritten, urban legends told as fact and old myths reborn to entertain party-goers as the last of the champagne, cava and liquor is consumed. Has to be. It just has to be. Doesn’t it?
Take care, be well and keep flying.
What is the purpose of a critique?
Better yet… what is the purpose of your critique concerning other people’s work?
You HAVE to follow this link and read the rest of WarLord’s post. WarLord, I salute you!
I have read/experienced the “Casablanca” Inside the Script book and loved it. “Casablanca” is my favorite film, yet I was able to discover things about it and its stars I was not previously aware of. I usually do not like playing hawker, but I thoroughly enjoyed the “Casablanca” Inside the Script and have “Ben Hur” waiting in the wings. It may be something you wish to look into for an enjoyable read or new look at either one of your personal favorites or one of the great films in Hollywood history.
Inside the Script, an innovative series of highly illustrated eBooks that takes users deep inside their favorite films. Readers can now follow along and experience the movies in a whole new way. Go further Inside the Script.
I can imagine all kinds of worlds and places, but I cannot imagine a world without Bradbury. Not Ray Bradbury the man (I have met him. Each time I have spent any time with him I have been left the happier for it) but Bradbury the builder of dreams. That Bradbury. The man who took an idea of the American Midwest and made it magical and tangible, who took his own childhood and all the people and things in it and used it to shape the world. The man who gave us a future to fear, one without stories, without books. The man who invented Hallowe’en, in its modern incarnation.
There are authors I remember for their stories, other authors I remember for their people. Bradbury is the only author I remember who sticks in my heart for his times of year and for his places. He called a book of short stories The October Country. It’s the perfect Bradbury title. It gives us a time (and not just any time, but the month that contains Hallowe’en, when leaves change colour from green to flame and gold and brown, when the twigs tap on windows and things lurk in the cellars) and it makes it a country. You can go there. It’s waiting.
Places: the green meadows of Green Town Il. in Dandelion Wine; the red sandy expanses broken by crumbling canals that could only be Bradbury’s Mars; the misty Venice Beach of Death is a Lonely Business. All of them, and so many more, locations that linger.
It is hard for me to talk about the stories without thinking of Ray Bradbury the person: I remember his 70th birthday, twenty years ago, in the Natural History Museum. A decade later I had the honour to present him with the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award and I have never seen a room of people cheer and clap with more joy than they did that night. More important than either of those things though, for me, was that I got to say thank you, in person, to someone whose fiction helped make me who I am.
The first Ray Bradbury story that I read was called “Homecoming”, and it changed me. I was seven years old. The story was in a collection of SF I had borrowed from a friend’s father. “Homecoming” is about a normal human boy, Timothy, who lives surrounded by all the creatures of the night. I identified more with Timothy, the boy being brought up by a loving family of vampires and monsters than I had ever identified with any fictional character before. Like him, I wanted to be brave, to not be scared of the things in the darkness. Like him, I wanted to belong.
I read The Silver Locusts next, a collection of stories now more often known by its alternative title, The Martian Chronicles. The book was sitting on a book case at home. I do not know to whom it had originally belonged. I thought the book was like nothing else I had encountered(although I was young enough and literal enough that I kept waiting for the locusts to turn up). I fell in love with “Usher II”, the story that sent me to Poe, as Martian settlers, representing the repressive anti-fiction movement on Earth that Bradbury had created in his novel Fahrenheit 451, arrive at a scary house on Mars and are murdered by robots controlled by an aficionado of horror and the fantastic. The murders were in the style of Poe stories, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Murders In the Rue Morgue”, and culminated in “The Cask of Amontillado”. It was after reading this story that I resolved that I would one day read Poe, become a writer, find a Scary House, and own a robotic Orang-Utan that would do my bidding. I have been fortunate in achieving at least three of these goals.
The first Bradbury books I bought with my own money were from a travelling bookshop, which would set up once a term in a room in my school. I was about eleven. The books were Dandelion Wine and the The Golden Apples of the Sun.
So much about Ray’s writing was important to me, so much of it helped form me. I read all I could. Finding a Bradbury book was an occasion of excitement, never of disappointment. But I never thought of emulating it. I never consciously wanted to copy him. Although I discovered, re-reading Bradbury as an adult, that I had, almost beat for beat, copied one of Ray’s stories as a very young man, that it had crept deeply enough into my mind in childhood that, writing what I thought was my own story, I wrote it again. (Which story of mine this was, and which story of Ray’s had burned its way so efficiently into my back-brain, I will leave as an exercise for bibliographers.)
Ray Bradbury was not ahead of his time. He was perfectly of his time, and more than that: he created his time and left his mark on the time that followed. He was one of two men to come from Waukegan, a small town in Illinois about 30 miles from Chicago, who made art that allowed America to define itself from the 1940s until the 1960s. (The other son of Waukegan, of course, being comedian Jack Benny.) And for over sixty years Bradbury has made art, and he still makes art, and sets cats among pigeons, and he gets people talking.
Bradbury’s best short story collections have themes and they have patterns. They are arguments and they are conversations. The Machineries of Joy is a reminder of a Bradbury who, while too many fine writers were still writing for the pulps, had liberated himself, and was writing for the slicks. He had been one of the first writers to have made the transition from the world of people who read that sort of thing to the world at large. The tales in The Machineries of Joy are, with a few exceptions, stories in which genre elements are muted or absent. A collection of stories, some fantasies, some not. (Many of the ones that are not, still feel like fantasies, while several of the more fantastic tales feel extraordinarily real.) Priests debate and argue about space travel, and an old woman seals her house from Death, and we ask (as Bradbury made us ask and ask and ask again) Who are the Martians? and we wonder, was the man on the bridge in Dublin really a beggar…?
Ray Bradbury at his best really was as good as we thought he was. He colonised Hallowe’en, just as the Silver Locusts colonised the red deserts and glass towers of Mars. He built it, as he built so much, and made it his. So when the wind blows the fallen autumn leaves across the road in a riot of flame and gold, or when I see a green field in summer carpeted by yellow dandelions, or when, in winter, I close myself off from the cold and write in a room with a TV screen as big as a wall, I think of Bradbury…
With joy. Always with joy.
The above was originally posted on Neil Gaiman’s personal blog. I have tried to come to terms with the loss of such a great writer and, also, such a good man. I think it is, as Neil states on his blog, too soon to try and verbalize thoughts right now. Perhaps, it is simply time to remember and reflect knowing that we are surrounded by a world that will constantly offer us reminders of Ray Bradbury… who he was and what he meant to us and to the seeding of our own imaginations.
“The Chapelside Deception” by IceAxe has been added to the Hermit’s Online Cinema. Currently it is in Cinema 1.
This quickly gives you an idea as to the morph and preset characteristics of the Genesis Supersuit. There are several bundles and they are very reasonably priced even at their usual price. However, at present they appear to be on sale at a substantial discount.
DAZ 3D is proud to present the most advanced 3D clothing in our history. Learn how the Supersuit is more than just a 3D bodysuit for Genesis.
This is a “possible” story behind the origin of the “Supersuit.” An impressive 3+ minute commercial/preview for their new Genesis product… even if they did cheapen it with a not-at-all subtle rip-off of “The Avengers” at the end… right down to a not-to-subtle rip-off of Captain America’s shield.
DAZ 3D proudly presents a new 3D clothing product for DAZ Studio and Genesis that is unlike anything we have created before.
Learn one possible story of how the amazing Genesis supersuit came to be, then take that story, add to it and make it your own.
Roger Langridge has said that he will no longer work for Marvel Comics or DC Comics. The cartoonist claimed that he can no longer continue working for the ‘Big Two’ over his ethical concerns about the treatment of creators.
I love my comics. That love includes admiration and respect for those who created the characters and stories I have literally grown up with. And I had been bothered by certain recent events and reports before I found this news item concerning and interview with Roger Langridge. I found it interesting because I easily and quickly saw the parallels with the animation, machinima and web video industries. Recent articles concerning the compensation, crediting and treatment of comic artists, manga artists, animators and web video creators by various studios, channels and networks are becoming too numerous to ignore. When CEOs are allowed to openly brag about how they can actually get talented young animators to not only work for them for free or but get them to pay for their own “internships,” there is something very, very wrong.
In a world when everything seems to be about “how much how quickly” and the corporate profit bulge it may seem rather quaint to actually think about ethics. However, I am glad to see there are those like Roger Langridge who still consider such quaint things as ethics important in their life. I respect them for being willing to take the inevitable broadsides and hits from the established behemoths to whisper a subtle message to all of us. It is up to us as individuals to decide whether to heed their message.
The Digital Spy article can be read here.
The Orbital Comics podcast with the interview with Roger Langridge can be found here.