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Weekly Links 20090104

Writing

Odyssey is continuing their writing podcasts.  This one is Nancy Kress talking about writing in scenes.

Charlie Stross wonders why Fantasy and Science Fiction novels are the size they are:
It’s a question that comes up quite often — back in the 1960s a typical SF novel ran to 60,000 words (130-150 pages); one that topped 80,000 words was considered lengthy. But today, I’m more or less required by contract to hand in 100,000 word novels; and some of them are considerably longer. (At 145,000 words, “Accelerando” would have been considered a whopper back in the 1970s.) So what happened?

The Tor forum has an interesting conversation on magic systems in Fantasy novels. (originally from sfsignal.com)

The magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is going bimonthly.  The March 2009 issue will be the last monthly issue. Starting with the April/May 2009 issue, we’ll be publishing one issue every two months. Each issue will be 256 pages (16 pages longer than our last Oct/Nov issue) except for this year’s anniversary issue, which will be a jumbo.

Misc

Mastering the all you can eat buffet is, apparently, and art form.

Computers

Nothing can beat having a great Linux distro installed on a super-fast hard drive, with all your favourite apps configured just how you like them and all your files at your fingertips.  That’s not always possible, so how about from a USB drive?