Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Writers and Artists Work

Here is short but amusing collection of tidbits: a graphical image from Lapham's Quarterly, showing where and how some well-known writers and artists work. There are only a few noted, so I'll mention one:

Edith Wharton wrote in bed until noon, tossing her pages on the floor for a secretary to pick up and transcribe.

For the rest go here to learn how writers and artists work.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 Chesley Awards for SF/F Artists

The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) has named the winners of the 2009 Chesley Awards. Here are a selection of the winners:

  • Best Cover Illustration - Hardcover: Donato Giancola for A Book of Wizards edited by Marvin Kaye (SFBC, April 2008)
  • Best Cover Illustration - Paperback: John Picacio for Fast Forward 2 edited by Lou Anders (Pyr, October 2008)
  • Best Cover Illustration - Magazine: Matts Minhagen for Clarkesworld (April 2008)
  • Best Interior Illustration: Donato Giancola for The Wraith by J. Robert Lennon (Playboy, 11/2008)
  • Best 3-D: Vincent Villafranca for Otherworldly Procession (Bronze)

You can see the winners in the other categories and all the nominees here. Unrelated to the award, is an artist gallery that seems to be in its fledgling stage, but has quite a few samples.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Got Backup? Wake Up Call

Your short fiction, long fiction, photos, illustrations and other digital goodies...what if they were all gone. Here is a case of an organization, AVSIM, that catered to the flight simulation community since 1996. Now, their entire collection of software add-ons, particularly for Microsoft Flight Simulator, are gone. They're out of business. They had a server and a back-up server, but a hacker destroyed them both, apparently beyond recovery. Mirror back up servers are a Good Thing, but they are connected. A separate off-site back up is needed as well. (Also, a disk volume backs up to the mirror whatever is written, so if a mistake is made on the primary volume, it is sent to the mirror volume.)

So, for writers, artists, musicians, photographers and others: back up and back up well.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Digitital Licensing for the Little Guy or Gal

Cory Doctorow, uber speculative fiction writer and blogger has an interesting piece on digital licensing for the little guy or gal (i.e., commercial agreements sans lawyers). His thoughts are tied to the Creative Commons family of licenses, one of which is "free for non-commercial use," such as my contribution to the Thoughtcrime Experiments anthology. With this license, you can remix the anthology and distribute it all you want, non-commercially. If you sell it, you're in violation of the license.

Cory is talking about commercial use, which also is anticipated by the Creative Commons license family. He uses an example of a craft piece he bought, a coke bottle carved in wood by a villager in Africa. Would the Coca Cola company go after that craftsman? Of course not. It makes no commercial sense--or any kind of sense--to do so. If the craftsman felt the obligation to make a deal, the lawyers' fees on both ends would negate the point of it.

Cory states that simple agreements are adequate for the commercial space, particularly on the community scale or lower end of the Internet commercial space, between the African craftsman example and a Sony/Coca Cola merchandising deal...probably closer to the former than the latter. He gives this example of an agreement for "your logos, literature, photos, and artwork":

"You are free to use the visual, textual, and audiovisual elements of this work in commercial projects, provided that you remit 20 percent of the gross income arising from your sales to doctorow@paypal.com. You are required to remit these funds on a quarterly basis, or on an annual basis where the total owing is less than $100."

There is just this agreement, with no lawyers to negotiate the details down to the gnat's behind. Can you be cheated? Of course. Could a small enterprise afford to monitor the practices and finances of their fifteen distributors of their small-volume screen-printed tee shirt business and stay in business? Unlikely. It might as well be simple, so that you can be simply shafted, rather than expensively shafted...or simply rewarded.

Go here to Cory Doctorow's article for the five elements of his thoughts on this subject: how we got here, Creative Commons, questions of commerce, the alternative, the self-serve difference, and a built-in future.

Cory: I only used a little bit of your piece. Please don't come after me.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spectrum Award for SF/F/H Art

Flash Fiction Online has always been proud of the original art work used to illustrate its first-publication stories. This art was created by FFO's artist-in-residence, Rich Ware. The speculative fiction industry recognized the value added to SF/Fantasy/Horror publications by graphic artists through the Spectrum 16 Award, established in 1993. The 16 refers to a gold and silver award for each of 8 categories: advertising, book, comics, conceptual art, dimensional, editorial, institutional and unpublished.

Here are the winners, including the images. (It was not clear to me whether they reckon this to be the 2008 or 2009 winners.)

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Collaborative Drawing on the Web

In December '08 I did a post on EtherPad, which can be used to collaborate with other writers over the web. Now, there is the Rate My Drawings site that has a similar "DrawChat" facility where you can collaboratively view and edit drawings while chatting. You can do this in a public or private web chat room.

This web site is primarily a critiquing site for artists and you have to be a member and have "contributed" at least one drawing to use the chat facility. You'll have to investigate the artist's rights issues before using it.

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