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March 18, 2010

What if . . . Jaime Lannister fought Cthulhu?

Suvudu is running a series of literary cage matches wherein readers vote for the winner in a bizarro fanfic-esque NCAA tournament of literary bloodshed. In round one, Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister of George RR Martin's incredible Ice & Fire series whooped Hermione Granger's butt. Now in round two, the Kingslayer goes up against Cthulhu of the Lovecraft mythos. To support his creation, George RR Martin wrote a short scene wherein Tyrion and Jaime plot strategy against the writhing tentacled horror from beyond the stars. (How cool is Martin?) Not A Blog - Suvudu Cage Matches, Round Two
"Books?" Jaime said. "How can books help me in a fight?" "They can tell you more about this thing you're fighting." Tyrion dumped the dusty tomes down on the table. "Cthulhu," said Jaime. "It sounds like the noise old men make when they're bringing up phelgm." He rummaged through the books with his good hand. They had odd titles, in languages he did not know, though he was not surprised his brother did. "Abdul Alhazared," he pronounced, leafing through a few pages. "This is written in gibberish. What tongue is this?" "A fair question," said Tyrion, "to which I have no answer. That comes from the shadowlands beyond Asshai. But here, look at this. It is a translation of a translation of a translation, I understand." The dwarf flipped through the pages, until he found the one he wanted. "And there are illuminations. Here. This is Cthulhu." Jaime stared. "That?" "That." "It's as big as Casterly Rock." "Bigger. If Casterly Rock fell on its head it might not even notice." "Seven bloody hells." Even if he still had two good hands, Jaime Lannister was not certain how he was supposed to fight something like that. "Those tentacles... this thing looks as though it just ate twenty giant krakens, but hasn't quite finished swallowing them yet." He sat down, and began turning pages. "Maybe if I had a dragon... " . . .
More at the link.

2009 Tiptree winners announced

2009 Winners -- James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council The Tiptree Award (named for James Tiptree jr. aka Alice Sheldon) is an award given out to novels that explore ideas of sexuality and gender. The books on the short list and the long list are always interesting and often very weird. Just the way I like them. (You can buy the winning book from our friends over at Small Beers Press!)
Greer Gilman’s book, Cloud and Ashes: Three Winter Tales, prompted much jury discussion on its way to winning the Tiptree. It is a slow read — a dense, poetic, impressionistic book, heavy with myth. Many of its images and elements are drawn from folk tales and ballads of the British Isles; patterns repeat, but also mutate in kaleidoscopic fashion and then mutate again. The language was especially difficult. Sometimes we felt we were floating through it; sometimes drowning. It is a paradoxical work. To enter the novel you must give up on understanding every word. You have to read the book on an instinctual level, yet the effect of the book is almost entirely intellectual. Power shifts about, much of it gender-based; time eats itself like a mobius strip. These are stories about Story in a world in which power seems to belong to the male but reality to the female. We on the jury admired Cloud and Ashes for its originality and found it a beautiful and highly memorable work.

March 17, 2010

Professor Bootsy Collins to Launch Online "Funk University"

Hip Hop Press: Professor Bootsy Collins to Launch Online "Funk University" For Bass Players Worldwide
It began with a simple message on Bootsy Collins' twitter page to his more than 400,000 followers, which simply read "If You Build It, They Will Funk." Fans had no idea he was referring to the upcoming debut of Bootsy's Funk University, an online bass school for players around the planet to study under his direction. Bootsy's Funk University begins its first semester on July 1, 2010 with enrollment based on a first come, first serve basis. Currently, interested players are encouraged to sign-up for exclusive information at www.thefunkuniversity.com. Registration for enrollment is set to begin in April for the summer launch. As Funk University's Lead "Professor," Bootsy will provide extensive lectures on funk, the bass, and his body of work with James Brown, George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and solo projects. In addition, Collins has arranged an impressive ensemble of the music world's finest players to provide an intense curriculum designed to promote and teach funk to intermediate and advanced players. The lectures, lessons, and exercises will be accessed through streaming video, with tablature downloads available.