Bad Movie Reviews: Starship Rising (2014)

[Esc] The Universe

Note: Spoiler Alert (not that you should really care)

Starship Rising is the result of Star Trek colliding with Star Wars at high warp, giving you what has the feel of a sci-fi themed porno with the sex scenes edited out. Apparently in this universe all one needs for space travel are some vacuum tubes and hose clamps – everything from microphones to the metal vest thingies they wear (hockey gear spray painted chrome)  for some reason is composed of similarly cheap materials.

From what little detail I could decipher out the haphazardly strung together scenes and lackadaisical acting, the plot to this masterpiece is quite pedestrian. Basically, humanity is divided into two main factions: The Federation and Terra Nostra. The former serves as the Evil Empire (complete with their very own planet destroyer), ruled by a dime store Darth Vader/Palpatine amalgamation, and latter is a religious sect who follow some sort of space Pope…

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Story Craft Theory: Plot 2.0 (Structure & Outlining)

Day 2 Day Writer

Many amateur writers, myself included, have fallen into the trap of what is commonly referred to as “pansting” – that is, writing by the seat of one’s pants. Understandably so, as it does have a certain romanticized appeal, but at a certain point I had to accept the fact that I am not Stephen King or GRRM, and writing a story without a proper outline was just only going to land me in the ditch.

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This Week In Literature, April 7th 2017

After once again neglecting this blog, I’m starting up again with a series highlighted what I found to be the most interesting stories from the literary and publishing world. Here’s what’s caught my eye for this first post, albeit not all are from the first week of April.

Durban Opens Bid For “Literary Capital of South Africa”

The South African city of Durban is now preparing their bid for UNESCO City of Literature – 21st in the world, and a unique addition to the continent. Fingers crossed for them, I’d love to see this happen!

London Map of Literary Characters

Now this is an interesting one! An artist by the name of Dex has mapped out the city of London using novel characters local as landmarks.

Time Inc. Books Has Trouble With Trump Presidency

I find this to be somewhat amusing. Is glossing over Trump’s controversial quotes really any more difficult than glossing over the war crimes of previous Presidents?

Regnary Publishing Rumored To Publish Milo Yiannopoulos’ Dangerous”

Opposition to the original deal with Simon & Schuster may be dismayed to learn to so-called controversial Dangerous  may hit the shelves anyway, under a new publisher. Personally I found the faux outrage over Milo’s book to be a little over blown, especially this little tidbit, “Writer Roxane Gay canceled her plans to publish a book with the publisher in response to Yiannopoulos’s book deal.”

Physical Book Sales Up 7% At London Book Fair

This is a heartening development! Even though I currently plan to publish my first novel via Kindle – eventually – there’s something about the printed word that I find to be a more intimate experience. Call me crazy. I don’t want a paperless world – but maybe we can give trees a break and use hemp instead.

Self-publishing Going Up In The World

More good news, especially to any self publishers out there. According to this CBC article, we’re no longer seen as vainglorious amateurs publishing our weird fantasies. And don’t forget the horrendous book covers. While still lacking the prestige of traditional publishing, it’d be nice for the general public to know some self publishers actually put some effort into their fiction.

 

H.P. Lovecraft

“I couldn’t live a week without a private library – indeed, I’d part with
all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I’d let go of the 1500
or so books I possess.” ~H.P. Lovecraft

Cafe Book Bean

Howard Phillips Lovecraft  – born today, August 20, 1890

He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, lovecraft_0.jpgbut gradually focused on the writing of horror stories. After the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, he contributed most of his fiction therein.
His relatively small corpus of fiction; three short novels and about sixty short stories, has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field. Though virtually unknown before his death, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in his genre.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

Forbidden, dark, esoterically veiled knowledge is a central theme in many of Lovecraft’s works. Many of his characters are driven by curiosity or scientific endeavor, and in many of his stories the knowledge they uncover…

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Art Isn’t Anecdote

The Daily Post

Last week, I finished reading Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugara collection of writings by author Cheryl Strayed in her role as Dear Sugar, an advice columnist for TheRumpus.net.

In Tiny Beautiful Things, what’s most impressive isn’t how thoughtful or insightful Sugar’s replies are, but her uncanny ability to make each question seem so fragile and universally human. As a writer, it’s her columns on creativity, art, and the art of writing that stand out as little nuggets of artistic wisdom.

I teach memoir writing occasionally. I always ask my students to answer two questions about the work they and their peers have written: What happened in this story? and What is this story about? It’s a useful way to see what’s there. A lot of times, it isn’t much. Or rather, it’s a bunch of what happened that ends up being about…

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