Cool places to visit on the Web.
Originally “weblog” (shortened to “blog”) meant just this, a log of interesting Web sites. Now “blog” is used more for commentary or short articles. So we’ll just call these “links.”
- Critique Circle: Great online fiction writers’ group for those who are interested in exchanging manuscripts and comments.
- Wrede on Writing: Fantasy writer Patricia Wrede’s blog is the best source I’ve run across on the art of writing fiction.
- Wrede’s April 13, 2016, post on “narrative drive” and Harry Potter: best description I’ve seen of what keeps a reader engrossed in a story.
- TV Tropes: Greatest time sink on the Internet, if you’re at all into storytelling. This wiki started out with TV, but has expanded to cover “tropes” or story elements in all media. Considerably more informal than Wikipedia (“the other wiki”).
- Stephanie A. Cain, Hope in Fantasy. Insightful article about why we read fantasy.
- Jo Walton’s blog series, What Makes This Book So Great. Also published as a book. Great essays on a wide variety of F&SF books.
Music and Music Video
Some of these songs are mini-stories in themselves — and the music video sometimes adds context.
- Rodney Atkins, It’s America
- Dierks Bentley, Home
- Harmonious Combustion, This Is My Song (Finlandia) (Jean Sibelius/Lloyd Stone)
- Brad Paisley, Welcome to the Future
- Carrie Underwood, Love Wins
“Filk” music is folk music, but on science fiction and fantasy topics. There’s a whole filk tradition going back over seventy years. Here are a few samples.
- Hope Eyrie, Leslie Fish‘s ode to the Apollo 11 moon landing — sometimes considered the unofficial anthem of filk. You can listen to versions by Leslie Fish; Julia Ecklar; Tom Smith (in more of a rock style).
- Leslie Fish, Ship of Stone
- Gray Rinehart, Another Romulan Ale
- Julia Ecklar, Darkness
- Brian May, New Horizons (celebrating the arrival of the New Horizons probe at Ultima Thule, January 1, 2019). See these links for an article about the song and a related blog post on May’s earlier song ’39.
“Found filk” refers to songs that may not have been written for filk purposes, but satisfy the definition. An example from the movies:
- Into the West (from The Return of the King)
- The Daily WAV. Hunter Elliott has been posting little snippets of movie and TV dialogue in convenient WAV form for over twenty years. If you ever wanted to set up your computer to say “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” instead of the usual error-message sound, this is the place to find the line.
- “Be Not Afraid,” by an array of musicians from home – what we need to hear now (5/9/20)
- Lonestar, Never Enders (subject of a blog post)
- Barbershop version of “God Only Knows” from Bioshock Infinite — both laugh-out-loud funny, and good music!
- xkcd: The famous “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” (Some of the humor is so arcane you may wish to consult the fan-created explain xkcd site.)
- Order of the Stick: Witty commentary on gameplaying (D&D fans, take note).
- Hello Cthulhu: When cosmic horror meets irresistible cuteness, guess which one wins? (Limited run, 2003-2006)
- I Can Has Cheezburger?: Lolcats!
- The Review of Metaphysics: a major philosophical journal
- History of philosophy rendered in two giant diagrams: an intriguing take on the relationships between schools of thought
- Grace Tierney’s Wordfoolery blog — history and trivia about words
Fellow Author Blogs
- Beth Aman: A Teenage Look on the Writing Process
- John Berkowitz: Am I Doing This Right?
- Ian S. Bott: Views from the Bald Patch
- Amber Corbin: My Agent Told Me To Make A Blog
- Christina Anne Hawthorne: Ontyre Passages
- Kevin Wade Johnson: Parallel Worlds, and Skew
- P.A. Kramer: Writer and Scientist
- Al Macy: Al Macy, Author
- Beth Overmyer: The Blog of Beth Overmeyer
- LaVerne St. George: delightful, uplifting, sweet romance
- KC Sprayberry: Out of Control Characters
- Allen Tiffany: Tiffany Writing
- Astronomy Picture of the Day: A new space-related picture from NASA every day.
- On Travel and Photography: Michael Liberman’s photo/video blog.
- The Hunger Site: Advertisers donate to a variety of worthy causes when you click (once a day).
- Robert S. Mueller, III, Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, March 2019)