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Author: Madeline

You say "apocalypse" like it's a bad thing.

You say "apocalypse" like it's a bad thing.

Recently, Charlie Stross asked if it was still possible to write near-future SF. This got me thinking about other genres that might be going the way of the dodo…or the black swan. And lately, there’s been a lot of talk about apocalypse: global economic collapse, shrinking icecaps, disappearing bees, crucial elections…where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket? For some regions, the apocalypse has already occurred. The 2004 tsunami, Sichuan earthquake, and conflict in Darfur are tragedies…

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STC 1: Being Gorgeous

STC 1: Being Gorgeous

Instructions: Write a paragraph to a page (150-300 words) of narrative that’s meant to be read aloud. Use onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition, rhythmic effects, made-up words or names, dialect — any kind of sound-effect you like — but NOT rhyme or meter. The result:

The surreal intersection of anime and politics

The surreal intersection of anime and politics

This morning, Mr. Ashby dreamt that Sarah Palin announced her hatred of anime as a plank of the Republican platform. She especially despised Bleach, decrying its violence, because (she said) her son was a great fan of the series and it had influenced him to do terrible things. Mr. Ashby promptly wrote Track Palin an email saying: “Why should all the other otaku have to suffer because you can’t stand up to your mom? What are you, some kind of…

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On the short story

On the short story

The short story apologizes for nothing. It exults in its shortness. It wants to be shorter still. It wants to be a single word. If it could find that word, if it could utter that syllable, the entire universe would blaze up out of it with a roar. That is the outrageous ambition of the short story, that is its deepest faith, that is the greatness of its smallness. From The Ambition of the Short Story, by Stephen Millhauser (thanks…

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Triumph.

Triumph.

One of the great things about the internet is that it allows me to watch television for incest subtext with my friend three thousand miles away, in real time, with lolspeak.

And I mean, tiny.

And I mean, tiny.

It is the task of every generation to re-make civilization. Participating in that process actively, rather than accidentally, is an exciting privilege. –Karl Schroeder, over afternoon tea. (Spending time with Karl always reminds me of what a beginner I am.)

Inspiration

Inspiration

These are the three most inspiring things I’ve read all week, the things that made me sit back and actually think about them, rather than simply digesting and moving on. I showed these things to other people, thought about them at the gym, which is always a sign that a piece has stuck with me. Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most…

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Sudden realization

Sudden realization

While re-examining a piece I did last year for submission, I suddenly realized that it had (what I now consider) a beautiful ending spot, but silly me insisted on writing a lot of extra scenes that bloated it into something grotesque. This is my favourite part: