January 15th, 2014

monarch

stuff what I've found on the Internet

The 50 greatest last shots in film history. There are things missing from this, and Big Night should for damn sure be higher, but it's still a cool thing.

Mary Shelley letters discovered in Essex. As a Mary Shelley nerd, this is awesome, especially since the letters are from later in her life, around 1831 or so, with some interesting insights into Mary's later life after all the most important people in her life (save her one surviving son) were dead.

L. Ron Hubbard's great-grandson does a speaking song about how Scientology got started. I found the revelations in this piece not in the least bit surprising at all, but some may be shocked to see just what a crock of bullshit Scientology is.

The cancer study in which Jay Lake has enrolled. Since his diagnosis with cancer, Jay's blog has been a fascinating, heartbreaking chronicle of his fight against this disease which is going to kill him, it's just a matter of when. This study, besides being some incredibly cool, as Jay puts it, Very Big Science, is also the latest instance of Jay giving cancer a much-deserved middle finger.

Susan G. Komen took a 22% financial hit last year after they dissed Planned Parenthood. So nice to see repulsive actions actually having consequences. While I'm sorry that a breast cancer charity is losing money, they're lying in a bed they made.
  • Current Music
    "Caldonia" by Muddy Waters
wee krad, South Park Keith, South Park Keith #2

poetry!

There's a meme going around Facebook that's an attempt to spread poetry. I saw a post by Irene Jericho where she quoted a poem, and then anyone who liked the post got assigned a poet to do likewise with. She gave me Rumi, so I quoted a translation of "I Am and I Am Not."
I'm drenched
in the flood
which has yet to come

I'm tied up
in the prison
which has yet to exist
Not having played
the game of chess
I'm already the checkmate
Not having tasted
a single cup of your wine
I'm already drunk
Not having entered
the battlefield
I'm already wounded and slain
I no longer
know the difference
between image and reality
Like the shadow
I am
And
I am not

But why stop there? Here are two of my favorites, by a couple guys named William. First we have the Introduction to the Songs of Innocence by William Blake:
Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

"Pipe a song about a Lamb!"
So I piped with merry chear.
"Piper, pipe that song again;"
So I piped: he wept to hear.

"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy chear!"
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

"Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read."
So he vanish'd from my sight,
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

And then there's "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats, a poem I've mined for titles in a couple of my Star Trek works (the Mere Anarchy eBook miniseries I edited, my short story in Tales of the Dominion War):
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
  • Current Music
    "Endless Highway" by The Band
KAOW

looking forward to The Klingon Art of War on SF Signal

SF Signal's latest "Mind Meld" column is a bunch of people weighing in on what books they're looking forward to in 2014. I made one person's list for The Klingon Art of War, specifically that of Elektra Hammond. (Full disclosure: Elektra's both a friend and colleague, and she's my editor at Dark Quest for the "Precinct" books.)

Money quote:
My favorite Star Trek aliens are featured in The Klingon Art of War by Keith R.A. DeCandido, due out in May. Inspired by the famous treatise by Sun Tzu on military strategy, this book details the ten precepts of ancient Klingon wisdom. It looks to be part fiction, part philosophy, part self-help and all entertainment.
  • Current Music
    "Atlantic City" by Bruce Springsteen