Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Diversions: Spring 2010

Complaining about winter while living in Florida is kind of like kvetching about an Antarctic hotel running out of ice cubes; the regular state of affairs will soon reassert itself. I find it something of a relief, though, to see the daily highs on the Weather Channel slowly creeping up week by week. But chilly or warm, cloudy or clear, the climate's always right to kick back with a good diversion or two.
• If Hayao Miyazaki animated some narrative beat poetry composed by Gerard Manley Hopkins during a brainstorming session with Raymond Chandler and Edgar Allan Poe, the end product might have looked something like The Cat Piano. Equal parts sleek noir and gooseflesh-raising horror, the short film punctuates its cool palette with violent splashes of color. Sumptuously drawn and beautifully imagined, it deserves every one of the numerous awards it has garnered. (Hat Tip: Lackadaisy)

• Speaking of animation, Von Lehe Creative has
a fascinating interview with former Disney animator Broose Johnson, who worked on everything from Oliver and Company, and The Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Johnson provides insights into not only what an animator does in his day job, but also what happened during the unraveling of the Magic Kingdom's once-grand Florida studios. Additionally, in a comment on the blog he talks about the more infamous Disney Easter eggs, such as the "excited" rector in The Little Mermaid's wedding scene and writing in the clouds during The Lion King. Well worth a listen.

• Worried about all the wool gathering that goes into writing good speculative fiction? Fear no more! With the Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Generator 2000, you're only a few seconds away from a custom-generated, flow-charted premise. I gave it a spin and discovered I'll be writing about a neo-noir Outer Rim world where a young wisecracking mercenary stumbles across an arcane prophecy which spurs him into conflict with murderous robots. With the help of a sarcastic female techno-geek and her closet full of assault rifles, his adventures culminate in a philosophical argument punctuated by violence. My title? The Psychobots
. (Hat Tip: Brandywine Books)

• Though the genre-fiction short story isn't exactly dead, it has developed a nasty cough and lingering chills. Gone are the days where aspiring writers could support themselves by pounding out stories during the day and working on a novel at night. But short fiction is the name of the game at The site sells individual shorts with prices ranging from the ever-popular free to $1 apiece. Many are $0.25 or $0.50. The authors aren't fly-by-night sorts, either. Contemporary contributors include Orson Scott Card, Ed Gorman and Ben Bova, and there are classics from G.K. Chesterton, Guy de Maupassant and Phillip K. Dick.
Go to Diversions: Winter 2009 ...

(Picture: CC 2006 by
Anders B.)


Chestertonian Rambler said...

The Cat Piano = Bottled Awesome.

Loren Eaton said...

Yay, CR returns!


dolorah said...

Oh wow; I'll have to come back to read all the links. Very interesting Sir.


Loren Eaton said...

Hope you enjoy them, Donna. I certainly did.