LEGO

Hello there, Friday…

My son has been sick this week, so it’s all been a bit of a blur of schedule-juggling and trying to keep him quiet and resting (because when the medicine kicks in, he feels better, so he promptly runs around … which stirs up the asthma/congestion nastiness). On the upside, I’ve now watched approximately six trillion episodes of the Wild Kratts, and can tell you how an owl’s fringed feathers allow it to swoop down silently, or how the basilisk lizard’s toes are fringed to help it run across water.

Yeah, fringe is in these days.

So anyway, all I’ve got this morning are some links.

Patrick Stewart talks about growing up with an abusive father and the dangers of slashing support to domestic violence shelters and services.

“My mother had no escape route. There were no refuges she could run to; no helplines to call; no advocates to speak out for her. No one came to help, even though everyone knew what was happening behind our closed doors. The small houses in our road were close together, and every Monday morning I walked to school with a bowed head, praying that I wouldn’t run into a neighbour who had heard the weekend’s rows.”

China Mieville on racism and what is and isn’t “censorship.”

“Indeed, an astoundingly small proportion of arguments ‘for free speech’ & ‘against censorship’ or ‘banning’ are, in fact, about free speech, censorship or banning. It is depressing to have to point out, yet again, that there is a distinction between having the legal right to say something & having the moral right not to be held accountable for what you say.”

Finally, a collection of LEGO optical illusions, by Brixe63.

2 Links and a LEGO Starship

I chatted with my editor a week or two back, and I’m hoping to get the final draft of Libriomancer finished today … which means all you get in the blog are a pair of links and some LEGO niftiness.

Link the First: Today is the last day of Pat Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders fundraiser, which has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars this year. The list of signed books and other prizes is like Santa smashed open the pinata of fandom, and an endless waterfall of awesomeness began pouring out.

Link the Second: The Con or Bust auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions, begins on February 11 at 12:01 EST. Details here.

Finally, I present to you the U. S. S. Reliant, in LEGO. (In the Mutara nebula, no less!) The only thing that could make this better would be a minifig of Ricardo Montalban holding a cute little plastic Ceti eel. This was built by Christer Nyberg, aka Myko. Click here or on the pic for the full photo set.

Hello there, Monday…

A friend asked me about how I balance writing, blogging, family, and everything else in my schedule. In part, I do this by trying to prepare blog posts over the weekend. But then you get weekends where there’s an ice cream/dodge ball event for my son, then a day-and-a-half karate workshop, and then the joys of pushing our minivan out of a snowy ditch. (Everyone’s fine, and the van is undamaged.)

So instead of the book review or the guest blog post or anything else I had planned, y’all get a few bullet points instead, ’cause that’s all the brain I had left.

  • Galactic Suburbia just announced the and winner of the first Galactic Suburbia Award, “for activism and/ or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction in 2011.” I’m honored to be among the honorees. (If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you should probably be reading most or all of the folks listed.) Congratulations to winner Nicola Griffith. You can listen to the podcast here.
  • Every time I go to a karate workshop, I’m struck again by how much karate and writing have in common. This weekend, we were talking about the need for an outside perspective, someone who can see what we’re doing and help us to refine our techniques, because just practicing in front of a mirror isn’t enough. And this is why writers have editors… (More thoughts on the parallels later. Maybe.)
  • Blurbs are hard. I’m struggling to come up with a blurb for Jaime Lee Moyer‘s novel Delia’s Shadow when what I really want to do is write a review. (I’ll probably write a review anyway.) Do you think the publisher would just give me a full page or two to talk about the book?

Finally, have some LEGO Quiddich. This set was part of Brickvention in Melbourne. It was built by Jennie Sasson, and the photo is by Shannon Ocean. Click the pic for a larger view, or here for a second shot of the match (with thestrals!)

Lego Saturn V Rocket

Multiple things making me cranky today, so here, have a LEGO Saturn V rocket, built by Ryan McNaught.

This thing is almost nineteen feet tall, made of approximately 120,000 bricks. Click on the picture for the full photoset.

I’ve posted a lot of LEGO stuff here, but this is one of my favorites. It’s such an awesome and loving tribute to the real thing.

Three Quick Links (Including the Millennium McQueen)

Magick4Terri – A fundraiser for editor and author Terri Windling, with auctions for items of amazing niftiness, donated from a number of skilled and talented people. (LJ has been under a DDoS attack again, so if you can’t get through, just try a little later.)

The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer, the 3-in-1 omnibus edition of the goblin books, now has a listing on Amazon. It looks like DAW reworked the cover art from Goblin Quest. Clicking the link or thumbnail should take you to the Amazon page, where you can get a closer look at the cover.

From Raphael Heusser, the Millennium McQueen, a LEGO mash-up between Cars and Star Wars. I am most impressed at how well this works. Click here or on the pic for more photos.

Muppets, LEGO, and Doctor Who

ETA: I’ve added links to YouTube for anyone having trouble seeing the embedded videos.

1) Via tor.com, clips of various Muppets trying out for the role of Yoda. Kermit’s bit is my favorite. (Direct link.)

 

2) For some reason, this next one makes me think of Seanan McGuire. From Paul at http://sariel.pl/ comes a working LEGO chainsaw. Okay, I don’t know whether this would actually hold up against zombie velociraptors, but it’s still extremely cool. (Direct link.)

3) Finally, Doctor Who LEGO, from infinitepi. (With a cute little Dalek and an autographed TARDIS, no less!) I totally need to try to build this one. Just need to figure out where/how they got the Police Box sign.

Winner, ConClave, and LEGO LotR

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest to win two Laura Anne Gilman hardcovers and a bonus stuffed meerkat!

I used random.org, which selected mtlawson as the winner. He answered my rather silly question with the following:

When the weremeerkat revolution comes, the werehyenas will be first against the wall!

Congratulations! I’ve forwarded your contact information to Laura Anne so she can hook you up with your loot.

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I’ll be at ConClave in Romulus, Michigan this weekend, along with GoH Seanan McGuire, local author Saladin Ahmed, and many more. My panel schedule looks like so:

Friday, 6:30 – 8:00 — The Death of the American Author
(I’m a little perplexed by the title, but it’s about the future of books and publishing.)

Friday, 8:00 – 9:30 — Self-promotion and Networking

Saturday, 3:30 – 5:00 — Writing Groups

Sunday, 10:00 – 11:30 — When Should a Series End?

Sunday, 11:30 – 1:00 — Emma Peel Would Be Proud (Talking about strong female characters)

All of my panels are in Ballroom 5. I don’t have a reading, and I don’t see an autographing spot, so feel free to stop me between panels or wherever if you’ve got something you’d like me to sign. Or just to say hi, ’cause that’s always nice too.

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Finally, some of you might be familiar with a little series called Lord of the Rings. Well, OneLug has recreated the Last March of the Ents in LEGO, and it is sweet. Click the pic for the full set, and believe me, you want to click through to see some of the details.

Friday Roundup

I see some new people have started following the blog. Welcome! Feel free to say hi and introduce yourself. Or not if you prefer. It’s all good.

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Tehani Wessely invited me to do a guest blog post on indie publishing over at the Fablecroft site. That post is now live. Click on over to see me go off on a tangent, trying to figure out exactly what indie means anymore…

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I’ll be at the Kerrytown Book Fest on Sunday. I’m joining David Arnsdorf, Steven Piziks, David Erik Nelson, and Carrie Harris at 3:00 in the main tent for the “Science Fiction Voices” discussion, and I’ll be signing books immediately afterward.

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Contest winners! My thanks to everyone who entered the book giveaway on my various sites. I threw all of the entries into the randominator and selected Leslie and viorica8957. Both of you should have received e-mails with details. Congratulations!

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Finally, because I’m out of other things to blog about, have a LEGO Kraken vs. Jack Sparrow, by Lego.Skrytsson. Click here or on the pic for the full set, which depicts that final sequence from the movie.

Jim C. Hines