In light of these events, I leave you with the happiest link I saw this week, in the hopes it will help restore your faith in humanity. In Washington, gay and lesbian couples are now allowed to marry, and a lot of them went down to City Hall as soon as they possibly could. Here’s a set of emotional photos from that day. If you’re skeptical about the value of gay marriage, I challenge you to click through and look at the faces.
I love good photography (looking at it, not taking it), especially when it conveys a mood or suggests a story. French photographer Aurélien Villette does both. Here is a blog post showcasing some of his work on abandoned buildings.
What amazes me about it is the sheer size and/or former opulence of some of the buildings he’s captured. I mean, how can these buildings be abandoned? Doesn’t anybody notice them? Doesn’t anybody need the real estate? What about preserving their history? Who used to live or work there, and when and why did they leave?
His photos are wonderfully evocative, sometimes wistful, sometimes post-apocalyptic. If you love old buildings, seriously, go have a look.
That’s all for this week. See you back here on Monday!
Happy Friday…and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans in the crowd!
Here’s your awesome thing (okay, it’s not actually a link) for the week: a Hobbit fan has taken all the trailers and cut the footage together in chronological order. I can’t wait to see the rest of this movie. Can you?
And…that song the dwarves sing? It was my favourite poem in the book. I can’t believe that Peter Jackson and company somehow made it even more amazing. Did I mention I can’t wait?
That’s it for the weekend. See you back here on Monday!
As a huge Star Trek fan, I got really excited when astronomers first started discovering planets outside our solar system. Then more and more planets were identified, and none of them were hospitable to (Earth) life, and we didn’t find any aliens, and the whole thing got kind of boring even for a space geek like me.
Here’s a reminder that finding new planets is still something worth celebrating.
From the Surprising Science blog:
The latest in a longstring of recent exoplanet discoveries could be the most exciting one yet: A planet called HD 40307g, roughly 44 light years away, appears to be the most likely candidate to harbor life of any exoplanet we’ve discovered to date. Larger than Earth, but smaller than a gas giant, the planet seems to be in the “goldilocks” zone of its star system, the region with the right balance of heat and cold to potentially allow for liquid water.
Happy Friday! This week, I’m pointing you to Turtleduck Press because I have a new short story out, and you can read it for free online. It’s a Halloween-ish, steampunk-y, Gothic sort of tale called “The Dangers of Creation; or, A Machine to Rival Man”.
Here’s a teaser….
It is a sad and peculiar tale that I set to paper today, in this year of Our Lord 18–. In this modern age of science and industry, such events as I am about to relate could not have occurred. But pray cast your mind back to an earlier time, when Her Majesty was just beginning her reign and all the realms of possibility seemed open to us.
I was a young man then, a student of music at an ancient and esteemed university that you would know if I said its name, eager for knowledge and mastery of my art, and I chose as my companions those who had a similar thirst. One of them was a Mr. L—, a peculiar gentleman who was fixated on the philosophy of music with a fervour that even I could barely match. Still, he was a pleasant enough conversationalist, and when he invited me to take dinner at his home, I accepted readily with thoughts of passing the evening in stimulating discourse.
The directions he gave led me out of the university town proper and into the countryside, a charming walk. When I reached the gates he had described and passed into a dark tangled wood, I felt some hesitation. However, he had mentioned wanting to show me a most curious instrument he kept at home, and this prospect drew me onward.
I have mixed feelings about Neil Gaiman’s writing. I like it, enough that I’ve read all of his novels and many of his short stories, but I don’t love everything about it. One thing I do love, though, is that he writes like an oral storyteller. If you’ve heard him read (which he does beautifully — see end of post!), then go and find something else he’s written, you can hear his literal voice behind the words. The language, the rhythms…well, here:
We are gathered here at the final end of what Bradbury called the October Country: a state of mind as much as it is a time. All the harvests are in, the frost is on the ground, there’s mist in the crisp night air and it’s time to tell ghost stories.
When I was growing up in England, Halloween was no time for celebration. It was the night when, we were assured, the dead walked, when all the things of night were loosed, and, sensibly, believing this, we children stayed at home, closed our windows, barred our doors, listened to the twigs rake and patter at the window-glass, shivered, and were content.
That’s from an article of his, recently posted at Tor.com. Read the rest.
If you haven’t heard him read, that’s easily remedied. You can listen to him read his Newbery Award-winning novel The Graveyard Book, chapter by chapter, here.
Okay, I’m out for the weekend. See you back here on Monday!