At Alpha Game, it is observed that appears women in the military are closing the all-important suicide gap between male and female soldiers.
Meanwhile, at Castalia House, Anson contemplates the difference between “fluff” and “poorly done” in a review of John Ringo:
If a novel is poorly done, it doesn’t much matter what it attempts to do: it is a failure. (Although the topic of what makes a book either a success or a failure is a complicated one; that’s a topic I hope to dig into over time as these reviews continue).
Today, though, I want to speak about serious vs fluff. Lord of the Rings is serious. The Sword of Shana is fluff (it is also poorly done , but that’s not relevant). What makes LOTR serious while SOS (and, yes, someone please send help ASAP) is fluff? Intent, complexity, characterization, congruence between aim of the novel, tone of the language, originality of the world, nuance of the characters, depth of the moral code, etc.
And Daniel cites Philip K. Dick’s preferred method of future-scrying:
[B]ecause the mystical experience of writing to anticipate the future will most certainly be inaccurate, one is more likely to anticipate the future by looking to the past…and scrambling it.