Article by Chuck Rothman on (almost) everything you need to know about agents, including how to avoid scams.
Archive for the ‘Information Center’ Category
Interstellar space travel. We dream about it. We write about it. Science fiction writers have come up with all manners of interstellar travel, ranging from multigenerational arks, to wormhole generating warp drives that can spit you across the galaxy in a blink of an eye. As wondrous and amazing as all these approaches may be, most suffer from a very fundamental problem.
When writing there will come a moment when you have to deal with furniture. If it’s historical fantasy, steampunk or timetravel you’ll face the question of finding something that is period correct. What did people sit on in 1650? How long have drop-leaf tables been around? What was the most expensive wood?
If you want to go beyond the level of just assigning different skin tones and heritages to random characters, you’re going to have to do some research. Because yes, all people are the same, but they’re also quite different. For now, we’ll set aside the argument that race is an artificial construct, and concentrate on how someone outside a minority group can gain enough knowledge of the group’s common traits to realistically represent one of its members.
Of the many issues highlighted by the recent launch of pay-to-publish divisions by two major commercial publishers (Harlequin Enterprises’ DellArte Press–nee Harlequin Horizons–and Thomas Nelson’s West Bow Press), one of the most interesting, to me, is how blurred the distinction between self-publishing and vanity publishing has become.
So what is Pragmatics? Basically, it deals with those areas of meaning which aren’t really meaning. What does that mean? It deals with implications (in the lingo, “implicature”), and with presuppositions, and with using language to do things rather than just send messages.
One of the most common pieces of advice for new writers is “Keep your seat in the chair.” The downside is that it becomes all too easy to sit at the desk for hours without moving. This can lead to stiffness and circulation issues even with an ergonomically correct desk and chair. Ergocise.com is a program which pops up a reminder to stretch at pre-set intervals.
As part of her continuing series on How Linguistics Can Help You, Juliette Wad discusses that ubiquitous genre activity making up words.
At World Fantasy there was a one-hour panel on the Google Book Settlement with Russell Davis, Karen Wester Newton, Charles Petit, Jay Lake, Christopher Kastensmidt, and Dan Gamber moderating. This is a podcast of the full panel discussion.
Neural networks are really amazing things. In my last post I talked about how a word brings up all of its meanings simultaneously; today I’m going to talk about how that’s not all it brings up.
I’m talking about connotations and allusion.