Archive for December, 2014

A Visual Assist For All Sorts of Things.

Photo of actual snowflake by Kathryn Taylor.

There are times in writing and in regular life when you need to make a choice and can’t decide. A friend recently posted a tribute to her mother, and the mechanism presented leads me to an idea for picking pseudonyms, book titles, characters’ names, etc. If you click on the link below, which is from something called The Book of Everyone,  you can try your hand at seeing a visual representation of names/words of interest.

http://snowflake.thebookofeveryone.com/specials/make-your-snowflake/

My observation is that the shorter and simpler, the prettier. You can easily and quickly play around with this feature yourself. It’s easy and fun!

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Help Needed: Soft SF Suggestions, Please!

I have a few ideas for science fiction stories and novels but need some help. Although I read a lot of science fiction in the past, I haven’t read much in the last ten or twenty years. I read one book with a spider as god, and Mary Doria Russel’s series. When I first thought about about getting back into the genre, I bought an anthology of story winners. Most of the stories seemed to me to be of a quality and type that they could have been labeled literary rather than science fiction. This makes me believe the writing in this genre has improved.

The terminology itself has shifted, though, and I’m not clear if I’m using the correct letters, etc. I believe the SF books that would be of interest to me are soft SF, more in the psychological, sociological, or cultural vein than in swords and laser guns. I’m thinking my stuff would be more similar to The Left Hand of Darkness than I, Robot or Dune.

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Recently I also picked up two other SF books. I enjoyed James Gunn’s Transcendental, but I’ve lost interest in Rapture of the Nerds, which had an interesting premise on the back cover but is a bit too all over the place for me to want to finish it. Frenetic is how I’d describe it.

Anyone out there have a list of not-to-be-missed novels written in the last decade or so? I’d appreciate any suggestions.

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