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. “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. “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. “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.”
Phys .org: Crowdsourcing plot lines to help the creative process. “Creative authors could soon have a new option to help overcome writer’s block, thanks to a system launched by researchers in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. The crowd-powered system, called Heteroglossia, enables writers to elicit story ideas from the online crowd.”
Penn Today: ‘May the force be with you’ and other fan fiction favorites. “As a new Star Wars movie hits the multiplex, Penn researchers are launching a new computer-based tool to better understand fiction written by fans based on that blockbuster series and several other famous film franchises.”
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. “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.
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.”
The Daily Dot: Nonprofit fanfiction database Archive of Our Own wins a Hugo. “Archive of Our Own (AO3), the fan-run, nonprofit website that’s home to more than 5 million transformative works like fanfiction, fanart, and podfics, won one of science fiction’s most prestigious awards at Worldcon Sunday night.”