Lisa Mantchev posted this video of You Think You Can Dance and I clicked on it because usually Lisa is smart about these things.
At the 1:34 mark, the male dance did a move that I specifically teach new puppeteers to avoid because it is physically impossible. Let me repeat that. Physically impossible. He stands up, rolling over his toe, in a way that makes it look like he’s being pulled up and back by a string.
He does it three times during the course of the video — which also includes a fantastic dance and is worth watching on its own — each time, I backed the film up and watched it over and over.
Now, the thing is, that clearly, he’s a very strong man and that he’s getting a little boost from his partner, but STILL if I did that with a puppet I’d be accused of breaking every rule about Muscle and gravity in the books. Granted, there are times when we break the rules on purpose, but if one is aiming for realistic movement, what this man is doing would be avoided because it looks impossible.
The funny thing is, that it’s like fiction. There are all sorts of things that happen in real life I could never get away with in fiction because because it defies belief. It fascinates me that the issues involved in creating verisimilitude on the page and on the stage are same. It doesn’t matter if it’s true if it doesn’t look real.
One hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago, the average reader did not travel widely and did not have access to full-color photographs or television. They had never seen pyramids, or elephants, or tropical rain forests. Many people had also never seen a prairie, a pine forest, a stretch of English farmland, or an industrial city. This means that the reader’s repetoire of pre-conceived images was not as vast as the modern reader’s.
I think much of her post is also true for dialects in fiction. Once upon a time, not only was it possible for someone to have never heard a German accent, but it was also likely that they would be called upon to read that passage aloud. So writing dialects phonetically helped the reader. Fashions and readers’ expectations change.
The three covers in the poll were presented in chronological order and represent a sampling of our favorites. During the 24 hour period prior to the poll, there was a lot of discussion about color, framing, fonts, and such. I have to admit to being a bit of a troublemaker. As reflected in the poll, there was a lot of support for cover #1. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the portal-effect the framing had on the art I had selected, so we pressed onward.
I’m doing the cover design for Realms, the anthology of Clarkesworld Magazine. There is a poll to see which of the three versions people respond to most. Please hop over to the Wyrm Publishing webpage and cast your vote.
The list is final. The decision has been made. We are publishing the following stories in this year’s Best of Apex 2006 collection.
Blood Baby – Jennifer Pelland
The Queen of Stars – Bryn Sparks
That Old Sandlands Fever – Douglas F. Warrick Cerbo en Vitro ujo – Mary Robinette Kowal
Genesis Six – Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Starfish – Steve Parker
Indigestion – Robby Sparks
How to Raise a Human – Deb Taber
I’m sitting in the Portland airport and just realized that I left my spare computer batteries at home. I have a total of three batteries. This one has two hours of life. I’m figuring between this and my palm pilot I ought to be able to write for a good chunk of the five hour flight. It could be much worse. The battery I usually have in only has a half-hour life span.
Now, if you’re in the voting mood. Apex is considering doing a calendar with each month having a scene from a story published in 2006. Wouldn’t you like to see my story, “Cerbo en Vitra ujo,” have a page in this calendar? All you have to do is drop by Apex’s site and vote. Such a small, small thing.
I had dinner with Jay Lake tonight, which was fun. It’s nice to catch up with someone, like, in real life, instead of just existing online. I love you guys, but it’s nice to see facial expression beyond an emoticon. That and Jay is funny.
Afterwards, I went to see The Curse of the Golden Flower with Rob. My comment upon the films end was, “Wow. I never expected something so lavishly produced to make Phantom Menace look good.”
I have loved every one of Zhang Yimou’s films so far and this one was unredeemably awful in almost every respect. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to leave a film. Also, one of the worst choices for end credit designs ever. Bad from beginning to end? Sadly, yes. We were trying to decide when we turned on the film, and I think it might have been when the prince arrived at the palace a full day before Chan, despite the fact that they left ten minutes apart, both riding horses at full gallops. And yet, Chan’s mother arrives a mere two minutes after she does, despite leaving considerably after her and having to battle what appear to be ninjas–several times–on her way to the palace. Yeah. Ninjas in the T’ang dynasty. I’m not worried about spoilers, because really, you should not see this film.
Have I mentioned how much I enjoyed dinner with Jay?
I can’t say that this is really surprising as this was “my” doctor. I think everyone has a doctor that they identify with most. The Fourth Doctor would be mine, though my story in Destination Prague is a Fifth Doctor story.
Jay Lake mentioned the Anthology of New Weird, which has a very cool clockwork bug on the cover. That bug is made by Insect Labs, which combines antique clockwork parts and actual bugs to create confections of neo-victorian clockwork. There are also some “higher tech” ones with LEDs. These are very, very cool. Go check out the butterflies, spiders and the rest of Insect Labs’ gallery.
Talebones just announced the table of contents of #35. The cover artist will be Richard Pellegrino who is doing the fantastically cool “Painting a day” blog.
“Landing Day” by Michael Canfield
“Two” by Jack Skillingstead
“Mildred’s Garden” by James C. Glass
“Death Comes but Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal
“Sweep Me to My Revenge!” by Darrel Schweitzer
“The Old Husband’s Tale” by Patricia Russo
“El Regreso” by Richie Narvaez
“A Little Animal Throb” by Andrew Tisbert
“Iron Ties” by Hayden Trenholm
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]