Victorian bushfire relief fanzine

Grant Watson is editing a science fiction fanzine, 100% of the proceeds from which will go directly to the Victorian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. He is asking for old materials (articles, short stories, artwork). Hewill be editing it this Wednesday (11 Feb). See his post for details: Victorian bushfire relief fanzine.

May Australian Spec Fic Carnival

For your viewing pleasure:

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In Which (10) Terrible Fates Await

The worst:

  • I had a horrible moment on Saturday night in which I actually found cultural-studies-speak useful for explaining something. Took me a while to get over.

Some less confronting but still disconcerting moments of the week

  • A friend telling me, “I am in ur bed, nibbling ur toes”. Seriously, what the? Is there anyway I can *not* misinterpret that?
  • Considering costuming choices for next year’s Supanova. Aimee may go as Rose and/or Howl as both require the same hair. I can’t remember who I am going as.
  • A line-up of people telling me my story was wonderful. I’d find it easier to accept if someone would criticise it.
  • My carefully honed ability to become ill when confronted with pet scatology letting me down at the moment of truth.
  • Realising my answers to Woman’s World’s questions ran over 5000 words (though, to be fair, they asked an awful lot of questions). So, yeah, there’s a lot of context surrounding that article.
  • Finding scrawled in my notebook the question “Was Men in Black a reworking of Horton Hears a Who?” Discuss.

Not so terrible but still somewhat disturbing:

  • Kidnapping, Cannibalism and Singing Telegrams: Darkhorse Presents presents an 8 page Wondermark comic. Always odd.
  • Mama’s little darlin’ loves‘…: A short story from Martin Livings which has changed the way I think about presents (from his series of Tuesday short stories).

And not disturbing at all (in a negative way – in a positive way it has ruffled my equilibrium delightfully) but relevant because the title of this post is from one of his books:

  • A new Shaun Tan book is coming out! Tales from Outer Suburbia! If the scattered pictures I have seen are from it, it promises to be beautiful in a way only a book in which a waterbuffalo giving directions captures perfectly a certain suburban serenity can be. And I was right – I did see his name in the Horton credits. He was involved “at an early stage” so I won’t hold the movie against him.

The Interesting Things Basket*

If I found any of these links through your blog and haven’t credited you, I apologise. I’m keeping track of referrers in future.

AWAITED

  1. Australian Speculative Fiction Carnival: Battle Penguins are Go! Among other things. (And I’m doing May, so please make interesting – or remarkably silly – posts about Australian SF between April 16 and May 15 and let me know).
  2. 20th Carnival of Feminist SF: Impenetrable undergarments and what almost happened to the Skywalkers.
  3. An answer to a LOLCats proposal (don’t read the comments unless you’ve got a strong tolerance for loosely invented dialects : ).

LANGUAGE & WRITING

  1. Signal to Noise: I really like the idea of enforced originality in forums. Or generally, at least as an intriguing linguistic experiment. And it might stop annoying calendar quotations.
  2. The same people are unable to resist spoiling their favourite word game.
  3. Can we write characters from other cultures? How can we do it? Should we try? Tobias Buckell on Writing us, not ‘The Other’
  4. Attack patterns in written language (via making light).

ILLUSTRATION & ART

  1. I’d like this article on Socar Myles’ silly/sombre bird people for just this line: “Cameras always lie. Had I known that, I’d have bought one ages ago.” But the rest is pretty good too.
  2. And of course there’s a Narnia dial. Found on Flickr – a good example of street art making the streets better.
  3. A comparison (with pictures) of differing styles in British and American cover art.
  4. Curious Art’s altered stamp – I really like this idea especially how she’s made the cat in the same style as the stamp.

BUSINESS AND POLITICS

  1. A selection of blog posts on the apology (via Gillian – my post is here).
  2. Cedric Hohnstadt’s Basic Business Tips for Illustrators, which are pretty good tips for anyone self employed or working from home.

DESIRED

  1. I trust life will emulate art in respect of XKCD’s What Would Escher Do wristband.
  2. If you can convince me it would be at all seemly for me to wear this ThinkGeek shirt, I would totally buy it and wear it anywhere I could. And huge tracts of land aren’t as rude as the “nice melons” shirts we almost had to wear that time I was packing rockmelons, are they?

VALENTINES

As I said on /Karen/’s blog, I wonder whether Valentine’s Day is perhaps a test of love more than the evidence of it. Like poetry in P&P: “But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.” There’s got to be something up with a day which so many people dislike that the anti-valentines (complete with anatomically correct, bloodied hearts) start to get trite. Here, however, are a few that caught my notice:

  1. And if you went to the Lolcats proposal at the start of this list, a few posts behind it you will find the worst valentine (baboonentine? baboonbehind?) ever, from which I am protecting you by not linking to it. My eyes, they bleed.

*I’ll tell you about this some day.

Kathleen is…

Hitting the new year running:

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IFri Picks

Welcome to February and a new header!

I have some posts lined up, including: January Book Reviews; January Movie Reviews; Status Report; Lessons I Learned from My Moleskine; and, Five Parties to Which I Would Like to Go.

For now, however, I point you to Illustration Friday, if you have not yet visited it. Some fascinating artists and illustrators participate and it is always worth checking out the entries. The project has become so popular it is difficult to keep up with all the entries, comment and maintain full-time employment, but I try to see (and comment on) a representative sample.

Here are some sites and pictures that caught my eye this week:

Paul Bommer has some quirky, folksy, funny, catchy posters for The Winter’s Tale – I really like his style, which has the feel of early 20th century European illustration. He uses lovely muted colours and haphazard textures with a lively line and, well, really superior bears.

Thierry Bedouet’s almost monochromatic Beast of Gevaudan falls somewhere between graphic modernism and… Amelia Bedelia. I find the beast quite terrifying, and the milkmaid’s expression delightful.

Mark Deutsch’s painting of a mother who turned her son into a monkey has some brilliantly caught expressions which tell the story as much as any other part of the picture. Also, the monkey in the school uniform makes me laugh.

Corcoise’s The Fireflies Keeper is a beautifully lit illustration painted in bleach on black paper. I would love to see a graphic novel done in this style and medium.

Steve Morrison has depicted a monolithic Kronos which could be both an illustration and a design element – I really like the way the image bends to the demands of the shape. I like his Excess illustration as well, its magnificently antlered deer seems to me less proposterous than solemn. I would also like a set of his playing cards, both because I really like the simple, charming style and because I want a set of cards I can colour in.

Abigail Halpin’s characters have still, beatific faces, and her snark-hunter meshes a Renaissance style with that of modern picture books.

And finally, Jeop Wolfe contributes a bear in an ill-fitting hat.

Mortality

  1. Heath Ledger. My first thoughts on hearing of a death do not always reflect creditably on me. When I was on the bus to work my sister sent me an SMS with the news Heath Ledger had died. It was a shock, and my first thoughts were “Oh no!” which is rather better than I managed when Robert Jordan died. I suppose there is that disconnect when I only know of someone and relate to them through their work – it is easier to feel cheated of what they produce than to feel on more than an intellectual level that a person has died. Not right, but easier. And I had just been thinking the week before (after seeing the previews for Batman) that Heath Ledger seemed to be really coming into his own as an actor – that he’d ceased to be a fill-in-the-blank pretty face and was becoming an individual and a force to be reckoned with, that he was reminding me a little bit of Jack Nicholson and Tommy Lee Jones, and I was sorry for all the films he’d never make and I wouldn’t get to see.
  2. The Bulletin. I have mixed feelings on the folding of this magazine because it is not something I have much immediate emotional connection to. Like a house being torn down – not one I’ve lived in but one I’ve grown used to passing on my way to the corner shop. It was a very old publication, with some less than glorious moments (Australia for the White Man, etc), but it was… there. And now it’s only of historical importance.
  3. My cousin. Actually, he didn’t die. Concussion and some interesting scars are getting off pretty lightly when you’ve been shot in the head and arm during a home invasion.
  4. Not death, but with an appreciation for the beauty in decay and good manners in all things: Lady of the Manners and the Gothic Charm School.
  5. Honorary unsubscribes. I subscribe to This is True and the best and most fascinating part of the newsletter is the Honorary Unsubscribe, created to “recognize the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Obscure People who had an impact on our lives”, fully listed here, by – upon their death – honorarily unsubscribing them from the newsletter.