Top Ten #7

Top TenThis weekend I went to the City Museum in St. Louis (sorry, no link, my weird compulsion to not include any links except the top ten links continues), and if you haven’t been there, I’d strongly recommend it. There’s a spiral slide that goes from the roof to the basement, and a series of caves, and lots of climbing for both adults and kids. St. Louis is wonderful, anyway, just for the gooey butter cake. Bring knee pads. At any rate, today’s top ten is a bit image and video heavy, as are they all. Sometimes I feel a little melancholy that so little of what I like the best online involves writing. Other than short articles (and top ten lists, of course), the internet just isn’t the best place to read material much longer than around 1,000 words. That’s what books are for.

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On Writing a Mixed Review (at Bookwormblues.net)

Bookworm BluesMy review of Angus Watson’s Age of Iron is out today, and though I’m thrilled to be guest posting at Bookworm Blues, I’m sorry that the review itself couldn’t have been more positive. I know that I can be picky, but I’m (mostly) at peace with that; I’ve written before about the culture of criticism, and how I think that genre suffers when reviewers choose being positive over giving authentic critiques. As a reviewer, I owe the author a thoughtful read, with the understanding that every time I pick up a new novel, it’s with the hope that I’ll enjoy it; as a writer, that’s all I could ask.

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Man versus Society: Five Forms

Man versus SocietyI can’t remember when I became fascinated by the Tank Man. I was in my early 20s, and the image of a single individual, standing against oppression at great personal risk, really resonated with me. I periodically thought about it, and after a couple of years I took action: I bought a poster, framed it, and hung it on my wall. More than twenty years later, the irony isn’t lost on me that when confronted – and moved by – an example of Man versus Society, my response was to add something to my living room. If I’m not much of an activist, though, I am quite compulsive, and having written about Man versus Nature and Man versus Self,  it would be very difficult for me to not continue working my way through some of the different ways we experience the four major types of narrative conflict. So Man versus Society, it is!

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Top Ten #6

Top TenIt’s kind of interesting to me, the way compiling links really does provide a window into what’s kicking around my head. Admittedly, there are only ten, and though they do represent things that interested or amused me over the last couple of weeks, there are links that don’t make the cut because they’re not of broad enough interest (I care about the best build for a Guardian in Guild Wars 2, but I don’t kid myself that anyone else does), or the content is intriguing but poorly executed (this happens constantly). So here we go.

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