Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Links: Lycans, Teenage Zombies, and Conan at a Desk (Plus Bonus Social Commentary)

It's been a brutal week and there are a few issues I'd like to discuss relating to the terrible murders of two journalists on Wednesday, so this will be a shorter Friday Links post.  If current events don't interest you, feel free to skip the bottom paragraphs.
  • Shen Hart talked about Lycans in her Urban Fantasy universe: "They’re a meritocratic society of forms, meaning that whoever fights their way to the top takes control. The one at the top also has breeding rights. It can be very dangerous if a female becomes pregnant and either she’s pushed out of control, or the male who was in control loses said control. That means that someone who’s no longer in control will be passing on their genes. That puts them at risk of the alpha of the time killing them or their offspring. It’s not a common occurrence, but some packs are more prone to it than others."
  • At the invaluable, incredible R'lyeh Tribune, Sean Eaton discussed the difficulties of being the king when you're Conan the Barbarian: "The opening pages of The Phoenix on the Sword finds King Conan uncomfortably enthroned as the king of Aquilonia, having overthrown its brutal despot several years before.  Howard contrasts the barbarian’s simple dress and gruff manner with the overly ornate decorations of the palace; the scene opens with Conan sitting morosely at a desk, reminiscing about the battlefields he longs to return to."
  • Nev Murray began his Kit Power feature with an interview at his Confessions of a Reviewer!!: "So after that comes writing. Just keep pounding the keyboard, let the story come. Don't overthink it – try not to think at all, really. Which sounds ridiculous, but... it's like watching a movie on the inside of my head, only I can be in the film, smelling and tasting. And when I'm writing that first draft, it's reporting – what do I see? What do I smell? I write as fast as I can, and I try and write every day, keeping it alive and fresh."
  • At Jim Mcleod's Ginger Nuts of Horror, Alex Davis actually liked one of the Guinea Pig films: "As we reach the third installment of the Guinea Pigs, I have to say this is that one that I have enjoyed the most. It's the sort of movie that would rate as a guilty pleasure – lashings of blood and gore, some genuinely strange moments of comedy (the two feet talking to each other still makes me chuckle now) and a finale that reaches heights of of bizarreness before plunging into a final scene with a fitting sense of bathos."
  • John Kenneth Muir shone new light on M. Night Shyamalan: "I have rarely felt disappointed by Shyamalan’s silver screen work, in part, because it so relentlessly personal, so individual in visualization and story-telling.  Indeed, I find it highly ironic that this cinematic artist is criticized so regularly (and so angrily) for boasting a consistent, distinctive approach to filmmaking while dozens of generic, cookie-cutter superhero movies get made every year and are lauded breathlessly as being something special and unique."
  • You've got to take a look at what came out of Zombo's Closet: The Incredible Petrified World and Teenage Zombies.
  • Here, I pointed you to a review I wrote of Paolo Di Orazio's My Early Crimes and discussed the 2015 Hugo Award.
On August 26, a disturbed man named Vester Lee Flanagan shot three people, killing two of them. The two murdered were journalists and former colleagues of his. The details are appalling, from the racist motives (Flanagan was black, his victims white) to the video Flanagan shot of the crime to the youth of the victims. Many of the reactions to this horror on the gigantic, overflowing, unflushed toilet that is social media were disagreeable, so I'll address them here.  
  • "We need more gun control!" I disagree that the best reaction to crime is to disarm every law-abiding person on the planet.  
  • "Men who own guns are compensating for being wimps!"  I disagree that the definition of bravery or masculinity includes leaving the defense of oneself, one's wife, and one's children in the hands of other people.
  • "Only in America!"  I disagree that the United States of America is the only country on the planet where people are murdered with firearms.
Illustration by Tom Sullivan for Call of Cthulhu's The Great Old Ones supplement.

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