Saturday, October 27, 2012

[Sæternes-dæg] Annotated Links #23: Chameleon Communications

1. Anders, Charlie Jane. "What would a Random House/Penguin merger mean for science fiction and fantasy?" io9 25 October 2012. Web. 27 October 2012.

Anders offers a handful of insights into what a merger of Penguin and Random House might mean for publishers, imprints, writers, readers and those aspiring to be writers. She also includes a link to an in-depth article about what mergers in general mean for science fiction and fantasy, and another link to a 2007 interview with Ace/Roc editor Anne Sowards. This article is written in a easy-going, conversational style.

This one is included, and set into the first place, because the possibility of a Penguin/Random House merger is huge news for anyone keeping an eye on the publishing industry.

2. Sullivan, Tim. "'Gone With The Wind' In North Korea An Unlikely Cultural Phenomenon." HuffPost World: Canada 24 October 2012. Web. 27 October 2012.

Sullivan writes on an array of reasons why Gone With the Wind is so popular among North Koreans. Among these reasons, he gives in depth treatment to the book's Civil War setting and its tough, hardship-enduring characters. He writes in a smooth style and uses a handful of quotations to underline his article's narrative quality.

This one's included because it's a great example of how cultural products can cross cultures and end up thriving in places that you would simply not expect.

3. Peng, Kan. "How to hard sell China's soft power." China Daily 26 October 2012. Web. 27 October 2012.

Peng begins by summarizing the Psy/Gangnam Style phenomenon, how social media has played an integral part in the phenomenon's popularity, and how the phenomenon has helped to promote South Korean culture and products across the world. He then moves into how China has tried and failed to do promote their soft power via cultural exports in the same way, but have failed because they've kept their attempts too official. Peng writes in a punchy, to-the-point style.

This article is included because of the contrast that it sets up between two nation's strategies for increasing their soft power. This contrast underlines the usefulness of pop-culture.

4. Rector, Gene. "'Science fiction' becomes 'science fact' following Utah test." WRWR The Patriot 23 October 2012. Web. 27 October 2012.

This is a brief article about a new microwave emitter-equipped missile (called CHAMP, or the Counter-electronics High powered Advanced Missile Project) that is designed to disable electronics. According to the article, the titular test in Utah saw this technology not only shut down all of the computers in a target building but also the camera recording the experiment.

As a technology article amongst articles about books and publishing, this one might seem out of place. However, at its heart it's about a missile that has the potential to take out communications systems - and what are publishing and books if not just friendly means of communication?

5. Perlow, Jason. "Computing's low-cost, Cloud-centric future is not Science Fiction." ZDNet 21 October 2012. Web. 27 October 2012.

This article looks at Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner as examples of futurism. Specifically, Perlow goes over the aspects of each movie that, some 50 and 30 years before the present, accurately depict technological aspects of our daily life and those elements of the movies that aren't here just yet. Perlow writes in an expositional style, using a generous number of links to his own and others' writing.

This one is included because it shows the importance of fiction as a way to explore ideas that seem far removed from reality, just one of fiction's enduring uses.

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That's it for this week in the blog, but check back here next week for another short story draft, a review of the recent cult classic The Room (Monday and Friday), and, over at Tongues in Jars, more of "Dum Diane vitrea" and Beowulf (Tuesday and Thursday).

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