Something on spirituality, writing fairypunk, the best sci-fi of 2012, environmental resolutions and cool optical illusions.
Something on spirituality
The BBC came up with an interesting item on religion and spirituality. Apparently more and more people are describing themselves as as spiritual rather than religious. Although I grew up with the Abrahmic God, I was never able to identify with the Christ figure and the repulsive dogma of various churches. It took me a while to get there, but I am comfy with calling myself spiritual. The article gets interesting when it points to the high incidence of mental illness among those who call themselves spiritual for various reasons which may or may not be spurious. Read the article here...
My personal take: when people attempt to believe in the unknowable, they often need validation, hence religions arise. You need to be comfortable with yourself before you can be really comfortable with your own beliefs.
Stories for stories
A man has been caught trying to smuggle bits of dinosaurs. As Michael Crichton has been down that road, it will take a bit of ingenuity to cobble something together. Perhaps they could be made into chimeras as disastrous pets for kids. Has that been done already? Ah well... And in a bit of good news for all the citizens of the UK, the Kingdom is ready for the zombie apocalypse. Everyone knows how to dispose of them. All that's missing now is the zombies.
Reading and writing
As you are reading this, you will probably have noticed that I finally got down to writing some fairypunk with the story 'Fairytale Ending'. It was an act of rebellion. I didn't want to go through the grind of my standard occupation, so I sat down in the early afternoon to write what I thought would be a quick piece. The story grew and the hours stretched. It turned out more elaborate than I expected. Unfortunately it took the theme from another story that I have begun writing, so it's rejig time on that one.
I thought about why I enjoy fairypunk, mythpunk and magic realism so much. It came to me that the reason was that the stories more often than not derive from childhood stories. Over the years I have become detached from the original stories. Those that I read to my daughter a couple of years ago, I edited heavily by reading ahead a line or two. The rest of my connection to them has been through Marina Warner. I expect I'll be getting in touch with them again, in their original gruesome form, before too long.
Here's a bonus. Tracie McBride, one of my favourite storytellers, has posted a piece of flash which tickles me on her blog. It's from her collection 'Ghosts Can Bleed'. Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? Groove on it here...
The news has come through that '50 Shades' is the most popular book of 2012. Did you expect anything else? Here's the good news. IO9 has a list of the best SF and fantasy for 2012.
Mother Nature and other terrifying things
It's easy enough to be gloomy about the environment. This article gives three quite simple things that you can do to make a difference.
Is seeing believing? Take a look at the best optical illusions of 2012, here...