Sunday, January 13, 2013

SFF Links to cure Sunday "Blahs"

Posted by Jennifer Baylor at The Writing Cocoon.  
Filed under "The Sunday Paper: SFF Links"

Storm Troopers invade London
It is Sunday, and I'm "sharpening pencils." Over on Google+, +Jeremy Menefee made a comment about a phrase his dad used to indicate when one is wasting time preparing instead of doing - sharpening pencils. I love it, it's my new euphemism for procrastination.

It was a brilliant, sunny morning for a change, and I watched the sun slide along its near horizontal path, low in the sky, through my office window. I thought the solar charge might make me extra-productive, but not so.

It isn't even mid-month and the enthusiasm over goal setting and manifesto writing is starting to wane as I get down to what writing is really all about: hard work. But, I've been chugging along, keeping to my minimum daily writing goals. I've even submitted two short stories. Still moving forward. I just need to be more efficient with my time in order to keep it all together.

But, this is a link post, so on to the links (only if you've finished your work).
A few links related (sometimes loosely) to the world of science fiction and fantasy writing, reading and viewing 

I've been following Jay Lake's blog for quite some time. He is a speculative fiction author, in case you aren't familiar with his work, but he has also been fighting cancer since 2008. There is a fundraising effort underway to help with the costs of his treatments. For anyone who's interested or a fan, check out the links to his blog and the fundraising site. It is nice to see the writing community coming together in support of Mr. Lake.

Here's a great article from io9, which gives great tips for how You, the consumer/viewer of science fiction films, can help to improve the quality of the films that get produced. Great ideas in here for the SciFi fan.

There is a scam going round, targeting science fiction authors and speakers. Over at the Skepticblog, they have a little fun trying to out-scam the scammer. Hilarious. I had tears.

More about films. What goodness can we expect on the superheroes and science fiction front in 2013?

Found this link via Jay Lake: Barnes and Noble bookstores closing- the end of bookstores? Or, the end of books?

Brain parasites - we all have them. Gah! Zombie apocalypse, this is how it starts.


  1. I haven't gone to see the scam article yet, but it's odd to have just read this. I was just approached by a "Hybrid" publishing company to publish my work for the wonderful price of $xxxxx.xx and I could do all the marketing to save myself more. LOL. I'm like...really? You're a publisher who is approaching an unknown, haven't read my work or my blog, and just based on my tweets are approaching me? SERIOUSLY? Yet when I went to their website, there were about 15 books. I researched those on the E-retailer sites they listed. They were published and posted there...but for nearly 2-3x what comparable books, pg ct, genre, and so forth were going for by known authors in with competitive books. Another words, they weren't trying to sell the books they publish, they only made money on the authors that published through them. Pretty sad huh?

    1. Sad and scary! Every time I read about one of these scams, I also read about writers who've lost money to them.

      But, you're BS radar was spot on- no reputable publisher is going to solicit you based on tweets. Publishers of all sorts (large, small, everything in between) are swamped with submissions.

      A good reminder to be suspicious and investigate.

  2. I had the group to help keep me on the straight n narrow too, but yeah. I have a friend who should know better, a master's in language arts and professor. She is an "unknown" as well and only had one chapter done. She too was approached by a publishing Hybrid co. She is thinking about doing it despite the warnings. I explained to her how search engines work, frequency/repetition, key words, etc and the first thing that comes up on the publisher contacting her is complaints, NOT the publisher's sites, page or books...not a good sign I said. She says she talked to them about that and explained it all. I'm thinking you trust what someone milking you for money says over the phone? Someone you've not met, hasn't read your work...but desperately wants to publish you? She doesn't have any social media platform, no network presence to speak of...they've already sent her a contract. She only has 1 chapter done, unedited. I told her to run it by her lawyer spouse, cross it with the complaints listed on the search, and line through/ add on wherever needed if she was just gung-ho about going with the first person trolling. I guess that's harsh, but reality says they are taking her money only to run.

    1. Well, if her spouse is an attorney, hopefully he will find it suspicious. Unfortunately, sometimes people have to learn the hard way. I hope your friend changes her mind. So hard to watch people make this kind of mistake - where money is on the line.

      Many authors and publishers warn writers: the writer should never put up money to be published. The money should always flow to the author.


  3. Thanks for dropping by and following me! I'll be following you as well!

    1. Great! We seem to have a lot of the same passions: travel, food, photography, crafts. I'd like to say I'm a gardener, but I seem to kill everything.

  4. P.S. I seem to be "sharpening pencils" today as well.

  5. Glad you're managing to stick with your goals. The 'minimum' is way better than nothing!

    As for the article about B&N: e-books are still books, so they're not going anywhere anytime soon. And I don't think print books are going to disappear as fast as so many people seem to think. Very interesting though, that whole 'browse before you buy' thing. I hadn't head that before.

    1. Yes, I'm happy that I'm still meeting my goals, even if there is room for improvement. Really, isn't there always?

      That article was interesting. I'd never heard of the browse before you buy, either. It did seem a bit alarmist to me, but it is good to think about it. I love bookstores, but haven't lived near a good one in years. Plus, I really am buying everything in digital save special hardcover editions. Would I go to it, if a really awesome bookstore opened up? Probably I would check it out, but are my days of spending hours in bookstores over? I'm not sure. I can sample the books I'm interested in before I buy them on kindle.