Interesting Links for 6-25-2010

What I’m Reading

I managed to take in a bit of short fiction while waiting for my son to finish the book he’d borrowed, Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews (which I now have). There are a bunch of good reads out there for the enjoying.

The Dead Man’s Child by Jay Lake on Cosmos Online offers a lyrical narrative that builds on itself to resolution in the manner of the old teaching tales. It’s not rushed or focused on action or gore, and is compelling for that very fact. What did you think of it?

I listened to Father’s Kill by Christopher Green on Beneath Ceaseless Skies in audio form. I rarely have time for audio, so it’s not my favorite method of “reading,” but the BCS reader is quite good. I found the tale evocative and primarily mood focused. It does have a twist at the end that I didn’t anticipate, but is both well seeded and surprising too so nicely done.

Another mood piece from Beneath Ceaseless Skies was Great, Golden Wings by Rachel Swirsky which is a neat look at a monarchical society when the pageantry becomes so ritualized that innovation is dismissed. Unlike the first where the story had more of a traditional structure, this one is almost a vignette which gives us a glimpse into two lives and a fascinating culture.

The predominance of mood pieces in short fiction make me wonder if a switch has been flicked somewhere, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them for what they are. Waiting by Eilis O’Neal on Strange Horizons is a poignant love story, sort of, and the kind to linger.


I tend not to miss things when I’m reading, but that’s often because I read slowly and absorb every detail. Apparently that’s not unique to me, if the new slow reading movement is anything to go by:


This article is interesting to me because I’m usually hard to disorient in terms of the big compass points, while I know many people who have no apparent sense of direction. This study on mice seems to indicate that we start with a clear sense of direction, which leads to the question of what in our culture/lifestyle disrupts those signals?

The impact of a negative PR campaign that changed the life line of a species in both bad and good ways:

A look at the social impacts of some scientific discoveries. The comments are also interesting.

Emotions and the physical expression of same are tied both ways. How does this impact your stiff-upper-lip characters?


Some reminders about self-publishing ebooks and marketing in general:


I’ve read this account before, but it’s just as appealing this time. My stories often look at cultural differences and conflicts. Here is a human account of same:


Why providing context in world building is crucial:

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2 Responses to Interesting Links for 6-25-2010

  1. Erin says:

    Not having read the actual research article with the rats and direction, I am unsure whether they know that the individuals they tested as pups later showed differences in direction sensitivity, and whether the signals that they measure remained the same in older rats. Without that, one can’t say that all people are hardwired equivalently. And since they said that individual rats show differences in direction-finding (but not in the measured impulses), I would argue there is nothing in our culture/lifestyle that disrupts the signals.

    And I mostly, but not entirely, agree with Scott Eagan. I think there’s room for the unexplained. But then, I don’t confine my reading 95% to romance. 😉

    • MarFisk says:

      I have to admit that I rarely agree with anything 100%. There’s always exceptions. But it’s useful to look at the data points. And he does say within that genre as well.

      On the rats, if they did follow ups on these pups, they didn’t mention it. It’s true that in almost everything there are variants, but what I find surprising is how few people can sense the compass points. Hmm, maybe that just means I’m sensitive to magnetism? And if so, does the use of medical magnets mess that up? It’s fun to ask the questions, whether or not they have full grounding :).

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