Magpie Monday

Here are some shiny things that caught my eye recently:

♦ This past week my friend Ruth Facebook-linked to Jonathan Moreau’s photograph of the library parking garage in Kansas City. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like this garage in your hometown? (Clicking on the image will take you to Moreau’s Flickr page.)

Book Nook.

My favorite book cover this week is for Stefan Kiesbye‘s Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone (I also love the title). The creepiness of the cover seems well suited to the story (click to see larger):

Check out these great opening sentences from classic fantasy novels (they really are great).

In The New Yorker, Michael Cunningham posted a letter from the Pulitzer fiction jury about what really happened this year (for those of you who don’t know, no Pulitzer award for fiction was given this year—the last time this happened was in 1977). Obviously, Cunningham doesn’t know what occurred when the voting members of the Pulitzer board met to discuss the jury’s finalist list, but it’s good to hear such an eloquent response from one of the jurors.

This past week AlphaBooks, an alphabetical tumblr exploration of fictional characters curated by Ben Towle, has moved to the H’s. My favorite was H is for Hermione Granger by Kelly Williams:

I’m cheating this week by including a second favorite from the H’s: Harold from Crockett Johnson‘s Harold and the Purple Crayon, drawn by Leah Palmer Preiss (I loved this book when I was a child, and it seems I still do):

Prince Robin Ian Evelyn Milne Stuart de La Lanne-Mirrlees, nephew of the wonderful fantasist Hope Mirrlees (who wrote one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels, Lud-in-Mist), died recently, and Michael Swanwick wrote a nice tribute to him here. What a fascinating man. (Thanks to Elizabeth Hand for posting the link on Facebook.)

BookRiot had a great big, huge, not very small at all list of books about books (which, despite its size, is still incomplete). BookRiot also listed their top 8 literary references in Seinfeld, which was fun.

Fara sent me this link to Buzzfeed’s 25 awesome DIY ideas for bookshelves. I really like projects #5 (wallpapered shelves), #7 hollow-out TV, and #19 wine-crate wall shelves—okay, what I really like about #19 is the wallpapered backs and the tiny deer head! Just look at it:

Flavorwire posted their list of the 20 most beautiful children’s books of all time, which is a fine list and I don’t dispute the beauty of any of the books therein, but as with any such “definitive” list I see many omissions that make no sense to me. But, since I collect children’s books, I obviously have my beautiful biases, like (to name a few at random) Kinuko Y. CraftRuth Sanderson, Charles Santore, and Gennady Spirin.

Better Book Titles is always fun, but I wanted to share some entries from this week in particular. First is the revised title of my favorite novel, The Awakening; the second, a retitling of Peanuts, which just made me laugh:

Better Book TItle for The Awakening by Adam Brown

Better Book TItle for Peanuts by Joshua Love

Les Contes des Fées.

Flavorwire shared some images from Fractured Fairy Tales, a fairy tale-themed art show at the WWA Gallery (sister gallery to the Wonderful World of Animation). Below is one of the show pieces, Little Wolf Riding Hood by Helena Garcia. Check out the Flavorwire and the WWA Gallery links to see more fairy-tale art.

Theodora Goss had a nice post about selkie women, touching on some of the same revelations I’ve had about selkies and other magical animal women in fairy tales and folklore. Here are the ideas we had in common:

Selkie women are the women you don’t understand. They are the women who know that they belong to another tribe, in another element. And so they seem as though they don’t belong in yours — and they don’t. They are the women who live by other rules and values, because their rules and values are different from those of this world. They are the women who sometimes seem to be listening to other voices, or music you can’t hear, or the call of distant bells. There is a faraway look in their eyes.

Selkie women are the ones who look as though they came out of fairy tales, because they did. The ones who look at the sea longingly, who look at the sky as their home. They do not fear death. They only fear imprisonment.

Selkie women are the ones you can’t keep.

Goss included this image with her post, which I’d never seen before but I’m completely smitten with it now (click to see larger):

Mermaid by Charles Murray Padday

Somewhat related: check out this short story at Daily Science Fiction by Holli Mintzer, “Love, the Mermaids, and You“—it’s really excellent!

Andy sent me the link to “The Nature of Cinderella” by Marie Rutkoski, which is an excellent analytic overview of the permutations of the tale: “There is no one authoritative tale of Cinderella, only a hall of mirrors with a different face in each reflection.”

♦ I have been thinking a lot lately about cake, probably because I’m trying to avoid it and other sweets at the moment. So it’s no surprise that these 12 swoon-worthy steampunk sweets caught my eye, even if all I want to do is bury my face in them.

Speaking of steampunk, here’s something that isn’t steampunk at all: this image by Dan Hillier (via). Need I say how much I love it?

The Ninth Art.

Comic-Con was on like Donkey Kong last week, and the biggest news to come out of it (well, the biggest news for me) was the announcement from Neil Gaiman about a new Sandman mini-series to begin in November 2013:

And there was much rejoicing. Also, check out this great teaser image for the Sandman mini-series by J.H. Williams III (click image to see larger):

Here’s something pretty nifty: From Kane to Nolan: Seventy Years of Bat Evolution, an infographic by Blair Erickson that’s a “visual representation of what Batman and the various facets of his world have looked like throughout the years.” Click the link to see the infographic—it’s massive and fun! Even if it’s incomplete.

I love this teaser poster for the new on-going Hellboy in Hell series that starts in December (via):

This video of Super Golden Friends has been all over the place, and it just cracks me up. Basically, animator Kevin Bapp asked, “What happens when four super friends retire and move to Miami to share a ranch-style home?” If you love the Super Friends or any of The Golden Girls, this video will make you smile.

I love, love, love this cover by Joao Ruas for an upcoming issue of Fables. Jonte, this may be my second most-favorite Fables cover (click to see larger):

Viewers’ Paradise.

Cameron Cook has been writing hint fiction for a while, and now he’s branched out into hint reviews (movie reviews in 25 words or fewer). Check out his first round! Also, Cameron’s first nephew was born this weekend—congratulations to him and his family!

Over at LitReactor, Jon Gingerich posted Narrative and the Moving Image: What Film Can Teach Us About Fiction Writing.

I liked the trailer for Sam Raimi‘s Oz: The Great and Powerful, and I don’t care who knows it (I do care who knows what other recent movie trailer I really like, which is why I’m not going to mention it here. Guesses are welcome in the comments!):

Science Stuff.

An illusion that explains why typos are so hard to catch

You could have the IQ of a prodigy and not even know it. I wish! Or do I?

Egad! These photos from Hungary’s 2010 toxic waste flood see half a world dyed red:

Deaf people use the hearing parts of their brain to sense touch

10 reasons why oxytocin is the most amazing molecule in the world

Polyandry, or the practice of taking multiple husbands

Shifty eyes have nothing to do with whether or not a person is lying. Whew!

Not, strictly speaking, science stuff but it is about a kick-ass scientist: had a great round-up of their favorite Nikola Tesla-inspired fiction and art (there’s some really funny stuff in that list from Kate Beaton and Drunk History). I’ve decided that Tesla is my new idol based on this breakdown from The Oatmeal (thanks to Will Ludwigsen for sharing the link) which told me he was in love with a laser-eyed pigeon. Damn straight.


Nikola Tesla

Writers’ Corner.

Chuck Wendig lays out 25 bad writer behaviors (or, how not to act like a rabid little pen monkey in public).

I like Penelope Trunk’s blog a lot, as I enjoy her writing and her willingness to say whatever (though I often find myself frustrated by her blog as well). Last week she had an interesting post on how she got a big advance from a big publisher and self-published anyway.

LitReactor published the second installment in Kelly Thompson’s series Don’t Write Comics: How to Write Comics.

Check out Quotable Arts by Evan Robertson, a series of graphics incorporating quotes about writing (via). Really nice work. I like the one below (and this one from Joyce, and this one from Chopin, so I may have to go shopping):

Charlie Jane Anders offers some free advice about how to write an omniscient narrator if you’re not actually omniscient yourself.

James Hutchings talks about Creative Commons licenses for writers.

Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet is one of the two best books on writing I’ve read, and the blog Letters of Note has posted one of those letters Rilke wrote to aspiring poet Franz Kappus. If you’ve never read Letters to a Young Poet, read this letter and then go buy the book! (I’m partial to the M.D. Herter Norton translation.)

Terri Windling posted this wonderful video that pairs the art of Jeanie Tomanek with the music of Arvo Pärt. Fantastic stuff.

♦ Because I know that feeling…. (via)

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3 Responses to Magpie Monday

  1. Jonte says:

    That is a badass cover. So wait, what’s the best one? The signed one? Yeah? YEAH?!

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