Sunday, 15 April 2018

Five Things #9

You know the score by now.

1. The Significance Of Plot Without Conflict
An introduction to 'plots without conflict', an idea anathema to a thousand by-the-numbers how-to writing guides. The articles explains why conflict =/= plot via the Chinese/Japanese plot structure of kishōtenketsu. It's an idea that resonates with some of my own feelings about short stories with structures based around building towards a revelation.

2. It's Great, Just Don't Ask Me What It Means
Philosopher Julian Baginni talks on his site about The Birthday Party by Pinter, and how our enjoyment and appreciation for art doesn't need to be hampered by our failing to understand what it 'means'... and that that might not even be a relevant question.

3. The Future Is Happening Right Now
An interview with the brilliant author Jeff VanderMeer in Pacific Standard, in which he talks about his Southern Reach trilogy, and the themes of environmentalism and environmental destruction within that work.

4. 'In The Belly Of The Beast' by Gwendolyn Kiste
Kaleidotrope magazine deliver the goods with this story by Gwendolyn Kiste, a taut and hungry piece of flash-fiction with a nasty bite. Enjoy.

5. We Are All In Omelas by Lynda E. Rucker
And finally, Lynda E. Rucker with a piece that really affected me, and that I've been thinking about on and off since reading it a few months back. Like most, I was horrified and shocked by the Parkland school shooting, but not surprised. What did surprise me was the courage and dignity and eloquence shown by the teenager survivors, even as the worst elements of America's right-wing turned upon them with typical vileness. Here's hoping they manage to affect change to the USA's mind-boggingly harmful gun laws (or lack of). In the meantime, here's Rucker's wonderful, powerful angry piece about their fight, and about the incomparable Ursula K. Le Guin and her story 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas'.

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