Thursday Linkdump

Turns out these link posts aren’t so quick and easy to put together when you’ve spent a full week collecting interesting things instead of a few days. Anyway, here are a bunch of links I’ve seen this week that I think are worth sharing.

1. Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad started its final run of episodes this week (and I signed up to Netflix just to get to watch them), and considering this is one of the best television shows ever made, everyone is talking about it. Among all the rest, this article stood out on the “mighty whitey” trope as it relates to the show and other media, and on the idea that the hero always has to be the best at what he does.

2. Maps
Interesting if you like statistics and/or maps, here are 40 maps that explain the world.

3. Star Wars
Remember the Star Wars prequel trilogy? Yeah, I kinda wish I didn’t either. Over at this link are two videos where Belated Media lays out how he would have fixed the plot of the first two films. Now I wish these actually existed.

4. Writing & Publishing Advice
Over on Chuck Wendig’s blog, Delilah S Dawson tells us 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author. I am, of course, stuck between points one and two.

5. Minorities in Fiction
Hal Duncan delivered a talk at Nine Worlds Geekfest which points at the limited range of roles given to minority characters in fiction – the gay best friend, the “magic negro”, for example – and how these things are in fact the continuation of a form of segregation (read it first!). You can read the text of his talk at his blog.

6. Violence in Fiction
Here’s a short piece from Warren Ellis on Why We Need Violent Stories.

7. Female Characters in Comics
There was some fuss among comics fans earlier this week after some notable comics creators made comments about why they don’t make more comics with female heroes, and got it mostly wrong. One comment in particular suggested that comics with a message – particularly a feminist one – have not historically been successful; this response offers a good rebuttal of that claim.

8. Women’s Interview Questions
When women writers get interviewed by the media, there’s something different about the types of question they get asked from interviews with male writers. Here at Whack! Magazine, Lela Guenn interviews authors Chuck Wendig and Stephen Blackmoore, asking them the questions usually given to female interviewees.

9. Strong Female Characters
And here’s an excellent piece about what’s wrong with Strong Female Characters. Personally, I tend to use the word “strong” for all good characters, in a general sense of being well put together, much like a story could have strong writing or a writer a strong voice. Nevertheless, the points made here are valid.

10. WoW
Finally, and on an entirely different note, today saw the release of the trailer for the next raid instance in World of Warcraft, the Siege of Orgrimmar. I’m mostly quit from the game now, but this is really a great example of Blizzard’s storytelling and how they occasionally get it very right.

If you don’t know World of Warcraft, all you really need to know is that the big ugly orc in this clip is Garrosh Hellscream, current leader of the Horde – one of the two player factions in the game – and he is not a very nice guy. It’s finally time for the players to get rid of him.

Watch it here.

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