Boing Boing: New BB series! “Updating the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction”

New-to-me, from Boing Boing: New BB series! “Updating the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction”. “The HDSF — based on the OED Science Fiction Citations Project, a 2001 effort to crowdsource quotations for the Oxford English Dictionary — is a full-fledged dictionary of SF on historical principles, meaning that every entry is illustrated with contextual quotations showing exactly how a term has been used over time.”

The Verge: The Great Fiction of AI

The Verge: The Great Fiction of AI. “In order to survive in a marketplace where infinite other options are a click away, authors need to find their fans and keep them loyal. So they follow readers to the microgenres into which Amazon’s algorithms classify their tastes, niches like ‘mermaid young adult fantasy’ or ‘time-travel romance,’ and keep them engaged by writing in series, each installment teasing the next, which already has a title and set release date, all while producing a steady stream of newsletters, tweets, and videos.”

New Republic: The Uncomfortable Rise of the Instagram Novel

New Republic: The Uncomfortable Rise of the Instagram Novel. “Behind every digital avatar, after all, is not only posture and hyperbole but an infinite number of taps, swipes, pinches, and strokes. As the research firm Dscout reported in 2017, the top 10 percent of users touch their phones 5,427 times a day. If we account for the average adult’s recommended seven hours of sleep, that’s equivalent to over five touches per waking minute. It takes a lot of real upkeep to be fake.”

Digital Trends: Frantic Fanfic is a party game about writing terrible fan faction

Digital Trends: Frantic Fanfic is a party game about writing terrible fan faction Typo in headline. “…at its most basic, Frantic Fanfic allows a group of friends to each write down character names that will then be shuffled around, names will be chosen by the group, and then each player will be prompted to write a different section of several fan fictions using the chosen characters under a time limit. Once every section of each fan fiction has been written, the group will then be prompted to read each out loud.”

The National (Scotland): Online Indy Tales library to help boost campaign for indyref2

The National (Scotland): Online Indy Tales library to help boost campaign for indyref2. “AN online library of short stories and poems in favour of Scottish independence has been launched ahead of the May 6 Scottish Parliament elections. The creation of Bob Hastings, a Scot who’s been living in Spain for more than 30 years, Indy Tales is a forum for exchanging fictionalised accounts of the need to regain this nation.”

Newswise: What happens in your brain when you ‘lose yourself’ in fiction

Newswise: What happens in your brain when you ‘lose yourself’ in fiction. “If you count yourself among those who lose themselves in the lives of fictional characters, scientists now have a better idea of how that happens. Researchers found that the more immersed people tend to get into ‘becoming’ a fictional character, the more they use the same part of the brain to think about the character as they do to think about themselves.”

Smithsonian Magazine: A Dictionary of Science Fiction Runs From Afrofuturism to Zero-G

Smithsonian Magazine: A Dictionary of Science Fiction Runs From Afrofuturism to Zero-G. “In the summer of 1987, movie audiences first met Robocop in the science fiction classic about violence and corrupt corporate power in a future, dystopian Detroit. But the title word is much older than that, going back at least to a 1957 short story by writer Harlan Ellison, in which a tentacled “robocop” pursues a character. The prefix ‘robo-,’ in turn, dates at least to 1945, when Astounding Science Fiction published a story by A.E. van Vogt mentioning ‘roboplanes’ flying through the sky…. This is the kind of rabbit hole a reader can go down in the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction, a resource decades in the making that is now available to the public in an accessible form. Lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower started the project years ago, when he was an editor at the Oxford English Dictionary.

UConn Today: Humanities Institute Fellow Examines Archive of School Shootings Fiction

UConn Today: Humanities Institute Fellow Examines Archive of School Shootings Fiction. “Hayley Stefan is a doctoral candidate in English and a Humanities Institute Dissertation Research Fellow who is focusing her research on the growing genre of school shooting fiction. Her dissertation is titled: ‘Writing National Tragedy: Race & Disability in Contemporary U.S. Literature and Culture.’ From her dissertation research, she has established The School Shooting Fiction Archive, which investigates school shooting fiction. The archive currently includes 76 school shooting fiction texts published between 1977 and 2019, with more than half published after the shootings in Sandy Hook in December, 2012. She spoke with UConn Today about her research.”

The Atlantic: How to Murder Harry Potter

The Atlantic: How to Murder Harry Potter. “Quantifying the amount of deathfic available online is difficult. It pops up in surprising places, tucked into comment sections on obscure fan pages and sometimes written—flash-fiction style—entirely in the tags of a Tumblr post. On user-generated-fiction platforms such as Wattpad, Archive of Our Own, and FanFiction.Net, the number of deathfic entries is in the hundreds of thousands. These sites ask authors to label these stories with ‘character death’ warnings, and authors also tend to tag them with notes such as ‘why do I do this to myself’ and ‘why did I write this.’”

Phys .org: Short story collection to entangle readers in the quantum world

Phys .org: Short story collection to entangle readers in the quantum world. “Are you ready to get entangled in the science of the very small? That’s the thread running through a new anthology, Quantum Shorts: Collected Flash Fiction Inspired by Quantum Physics. Available to download as a free e-book now, the anthology presents 37 stories shortlisted in three editions of the international Quantum Shorts competition.”

MakeUseOf: How to Plot and Write a Novel With 12 Free Templates & Worksheets

MakeUseOf: How to Plot and Write a Novel With 12 Free Templates & Worksheets. “Writing your first novel can be more daunting in life than actually putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard. The untouched page is a frank sign of how much work there is to do…. Yet getting started is easier once you’ve done some initial prep work on your story; its structure, characters, and how on earth you’re going to get this thing out of your head. That’s where these free novel-writing templates and worksheets prove handy.” This is for every single one of you out there who vows to do NaNoWriMo every goldang year, and every year you blow it to the point that you’re now anxious about it, and even though it’s only November 1 you’re already beating yourself up over failing this year. This is for you. You are my people.

The Verge: Inside National Conspiracy Writing Month, A Challenge For Creating ‘Fan Fiction About Reality’

The Verge: Inside National Conspiracy Writing Month, A Challenge For Creating ‘Fan Fiction About Reality’. “The project is called National Conspiracy Writing Month, an unofficial spinoff of the long-running National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) challenge. Where NaNoWriMo requires participants to write a 50,000-word novel, the inaugural NaCoWriMo asks them to produce a ‘deep, viable, and complete conspiracy theory.’ Its creator Tim Hwang hopes these fake plots can illuminate a pervasive cultural phenomenon — helping both participants and spectators understand how conspiracy theories emerge. He just hopes people don’t take them too seriously.” Oh dear. I don’t like this. It’s like forking National Fire Safety Month by having a kerosene-making contest.

Duke Research Blog: Hamlet is Everywhere. To Cite, or Not to Cite?

Duke Research Blog: Hamlet is Everywhere. To Cite, or Not to Cite?. “Some stories are too good to forget. With almost formulaic accuracy, elements from classic narratives are constantly being reused and retained in our cultural consciousness, to the extent that a room of people who’ve never read Romeo and Juliet could probably still piece out its major plot points. But when stories are so pervasive, how can we tell what’s original and what’s Shakespeare with a facelift? This summer, three Duke undergraduate students in the Data+ summer research program built a computer program to find reused stories.”