by wjw on July 18, 2014

Hear the agonized cries of the science fiction writers who, on release of a new paper by Stephen Hawking, must now revise the fundamentals of their future world.

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Virtual Tee

by wjw on July 17, 2014

Taos-LogosmallWe’re down to the last 24 hours of Toolbox, and Nancy’s been busy on her collection of Great Moments of Critique.  Which I am now going to steal.

Some of these, maybe, depend heavily on context.

“You need to get more involved with the characters who are dead.”
“I didn’t know we were in Hell–I thought it was a recycling plant in Denver.”
“I loved the extra ears.”
“There is too much slurping.”
“Where are the bikers and crackheads?”

“I don’t want to read too much about aliens munching fingers.”

“I have problems with your gods.”
“If they’d just wait four billion years, the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies would collide.”
“it’s a little unusual to hold a grudge for two centuries.”

“You might not want ‘ASS” for the acronym of your Applied Science Society.”
“I put too many adjectives in my story, so you can have some of mine.”
“He should have to make a real choice, like between being cast into a fiery pit or joining the Rotarians.”

“He’s kind of an ass–but then, he IS Satan.”
“They need to die for more interesting reasons.”
“It was disorienting to go from the AntiChrist to a California road trip.”
“I don’t understand why characters in science fiction vomit so much.”
“You don’t want me to stop and think about this.”
“I’m worried about Bard’s brains. spilling out of his head.”

“In order to satirize Hollywood, you have to add an alien squid.”
“You can be reincarnated as a blind goat or a Kardashian.”
“I’d like more desperation.”
“We are screaming for the rules for Hell.”
“Peeing on the floor was a really nice touch.”

“That’s what the devil does–he holds guitar contests.”
“Relatively few murderers consider Kant’s objective correlative.”
“I have no suggestions for this other than: Fix it!”
“The Japanese tourists should have been more upset when their camera was thrown into the ocean.”
“Irvine, California is a pretty alien place already.”
“It made me sad. Thank you.”

“I liked the story until the pig showed up.”
“Blue goo is a clue — who?”
“You should only have one pee scene per story.”
“I’m glad you set the story in Idaho, because mostly we’re known for potatoes and Neo-Nazis.”
“I really want to eat in your world.”
“Are we still talking about Monday’s squids?”

“It would be better if you started with a fruit bat.”
“You have to love a society that has multiple husbands offering their wife cheese.”
“Don’t name her Lady Scapula unless she has really prominent shoulder blades.”
“This group has a thing for caves.”
“You have to give us the rest of this story or I will die.”
“I wish I could unhear all that about a duck’s private parts.”

NANCY (to Walter): “Your novels need more sex.”

(No problem.  Really.)


Plot Array

by wjw on July 16, 2014

shithappensThe most valuable card used in breaking the plot of your next work.


Fantasy Casting

by wjw on July 15, 2014

Since I’m still up the mountain at Toolbox, I keep trying ways to make you do my blogging work for me.  So here’s the latest!

If you were making a movie out of my Dagmar books, who would you cast?

Bear in mind that I didn’t describe many of the central characters.  Dagmar is in her thirties and has prematurely gray hair, and that’s the only description I ever gave.  She could be practically any ethnicity.  Who should play her?

Helmuth is blond and Germanic.  Richard the Assassin is young and olive-skinned.  Lincoln is in his sixties, has white hair, “a large, noble head,” and Elvis glasses.  And Sean Makin, well, probably needs prosthetics.

And then there are all those other people.

What’s your dream cast?



by wjw on July 14, 2014

rainbowDouble rainbow over Taos Ski Valley, as seen at dusk last night.  At moments it became a triple rainbow, but the third was so faint that it never registered on my camera.

An ephemeral loveliness that caused the whole world to stop, take a breath, and admire.



That’s Entertainment!

July 14, 2014

I’ll be on the mountain for another six nights or so, doing my Taos Toolbox thing, so you might as well look somewhere else for entertainment.  I’d like to suggest reading the new novel by my buddy Jimmy Corey, Cib0la Burn.  The latest in Jimmy’s Expanse series, it’s a corking good extraplanetary adventure, and I think it’s […]

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Caption Contest! Go!

July 7, 2014
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Drone + Spectacle

July 7, 2014

I’m up the mountain for Taos Toolbox, so I probably won’t be posting any long, thoughtful essays for the next few weeks. So while I’m sitting here amid a pile of manuscripts, please enjoy this slightly belated Independence Day fireworks celebration, in which a quadcopter drone equipped with a GoPro camera flies through gorgeous scintillating […]

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Jaguars Worshipped Here

July 4, 2014

This is the Jaguar Temple at Lamanai.  There’s a big jaguar face sculpture in the center of the photo, and another on the right side of the temple, out of frame. In front, also out of frame, is a big circular stone Mayan calendar.  Which, oddly enough, failed to correctly predict the end of the […]

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Wretchedness, Worldwide

July 3, 2014

I thought I’d take note of some recent news items. First, the Rector of the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Ahmet Akgündüz, has praised Turkey’s ruling AK Party for only stealing 20% of the nation’s income, as opposed to the 80% taken by previous parties. He said that, unlike the AK Party, previous governments did not have enough […]

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