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.


  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 : ).


  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).


  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.


  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.


  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?


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.

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.

Meep: Good Things

Some exciting events: 

Wacom Cintiq 12WX (I can’t buy this until my Graphire pays for itself)

Previews on youtube for the movie of one of the best books I’ve read this year, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic autobiography Persepolis (they’re in French, but you’ll get the idea):

Finally! The 18th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy is up (in three parts) at I look forward to this carnival – lots of thought provoking discussions. This month is heavier on the gaming side of things, which I am not at all involved in, but I also enjoyed this post on 7 more things heroines can do, because it covers some ground I was exploring in last month’s NaNoWriMo project.

Also, the 5th People of Colour in Science Fiction and Fantasy blog carnival is up at Of Shoes – And Ships – And Sealing Wax, but I only just found out and haven’t read it yet.