The SFF Film Odyssey (2010) List of Reviews is available here.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Quick Note: New Website Incoming!

Dear Readers,

I'm currently at CONvergence, but I did want to let you all know that The World in the Satin Bag will be moving over to my new website, shaunduke.net.

No need to change feeds or anything like that.  In fact, you shouldn't have to do anything other than bookmark the new page in case you want to check it out.  The feeds should automatically shift over when the new page is complete (in about a week).

I'll say more about all this later.

A huge thanks to Dave Baxter for all his hard work on this.  He has been an enormous help!

Now back to the convention!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

On Unofficial Blacklists: Why I Keep a Mental List of Authors I Won't Read

In April of this year, I posted a list of five reasons I won't read someone's work.  Whether it's because you don't write what I read or you're a giant turd nozzle on the Internet, there are a variety of reasons for why I skip on someone's work.  By implication, that means I keep a constantly changing list of authors I won't read -- a list I have begun calling my Do Not Read list.

My DNR list isn't particularly long, and it does change from time to time.  For the most part, the only people who show up on the DNR list are folks whose online (or in person) behavior is particularly nasty.  This usually comes in two forms:  an author whose politics I find repugnant (and who often openly talks about those politics in a way that suggests they would like it pushed on the rest of us as "normal") or an author whose behavior towards readers and/or reviewers suggests they will respond to negative criticism (or anything, really) in a way that will make me uncomfortable.  Most authors don't fit into either of these categories.  In fact, most authors know not to respond to negative reviews and most authors don't hold (or discuss) political views that are, to put it lightly, bigoted.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Shaun's Rambles 003: On Negative Reviews and Their Value

...in which I talk about things some people don't want to write.

In this edition:

  • A discussion of the value of negative book reviews and why I think many people, including me, are hesitant to write them.
Enjoy the rambles!

You can download the mp3 directly from this link or stream the episode below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shaun's Rambles 002: The Value of Book Reviews and Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman

...in which I continue a podcast of random thoughts had while driving home from work.

In this edition:
Enjoy the rambles.

You can download the mp3 directly from this link or stream the episode below.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shaun's Rambles 001: The Gallo Conspiracy and Trial By Fire

...in which I begin a podcast of random thoughts had while driving home from work.

In this edition:

  • Some thoughts on the controversy over Irene Gallo's statements about the Sad / Rabid Puppies
  • Some thoughts on Trial By Fire by Charles Gannon and the absence of sf/f awards for adventure fiction
Enjoy the rambles.

You can download the mp3 directly from this link or stream the episode below.

Friday, June 05, 2015

On the SF/F Novel: What Happened to Short Novels?

Later tonight, I'm recording an episode of The Incomparable with Jason Snell, Scott McNulty, Paul Weimer, and Fred Kiesche.  We'll be discussing the Nebula Awards novel finalists, and among the topics I intend to bring up is the fact that I have been bouncing off of novels hard lately.

In the last few months, I've increasingly become weary of novels over 300 pages, and even more weary of novels exceeding 500.  Part of this comes from experience:  over and over, I'll pick up a novel of that length and come to the realization that it should have been cut down by 30% to avoid bloated side stories.  There are all kinds of reasons that a novel should be trimmed, from excessive "as you know, Bob" explanations (a trait that Kim Stanley Robinson has somehow avoided in his exposition-heavy work) to simple elongations of otherwise tight narratives are pretty common.  In other words, novel bloat is the primary culprit.

Friday, May 29, 2015

On the Hugo Awards: Two Scholarly-ish Projects to Come (An Announcement)

As you may well be aware, I am currently working on two projects related to the Hugo Awards.  I know I've mentioned both of these at some point, though the second is certainly the most visible of these projects.  I'm also sure you know that the Hugo Awards have been enormously controversial this year, earning mainstream attention in major newspapers and entertainment sites such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Boing Boing, and so on.  That conversation is still happening; one need only look at File 770 to see it.