Gravity, Beta Reading, Aliens and Amazon

Can’t think of a post with any unifying theme, so I’ll just rattle off a lot of stuff.

Gravity

Saw it in 3-d no less. Not bad. I did enjoy it. It was gorgeous, visually stunning, well edited and so on. It did, however commit the sin of Kill Blacky First.

That aside, it was enjoyable and I’d recommend it.

Beta Readers

I’m Beta Reading a few stories for a few friends.

Beta Reading, for the uninitiated, is where a writer tweaks a story to his/her limits and then sends it out to a few trusted people to read and comment. The phrase comes from software engineering where you send out a finished but buggy version of code, the Beta Version. Bee Sriduangkaew told me this was problematic. What if they’re no good?

Here’s my take on that: my friends know me. I’ll say what I think, regardless of quality. If it’s bad (and most are) why would you give it to me in the first place unless you want to be told? It is difficult, though. I once lost a friend because I told her exactly what I thought of her wish-fulfillment story. For me it wasn’t personal; for her it was.

I give warnings to those who give me stories to read. I love reading, I love stories. If you want praise…well, you’ll only get it if the story is good. If it’s crap I’ll tell you. If you’re sensitive, what the hell are you doing writing fiction? The first quality of a writer is having a thick skin. All other qualities  pale in comparison.

Aliens and Alienists

I finally bought the 3rd edition of the book ‘Aliens and Alienists: Ethnic minorities and psychiatry’ by Roland Littlewood and Maurice Lipsedge.

I’ve read this book twice, albeit using library copies. I’ll just leave this here:

“In America not only were black patients segregated from the white, but among the whites themselves some groups (usually the Irish) were also kept apart.  Until the Civil War black mental patients were kept in prison.”

It’s an amazing, interesting book and you should read it.

Amazon

I use Amazon extensively, but then there’s this:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/01/week-amazon-insider-feature-treatment-employees-work?CMP=twt_gu

Which creates problems for me. I try to be ethical, and I know that’s difficult in the kind of world we live in, but I have to examine myself. Do I want to support a company like this? My brain says ‘buffering’.

Have a good week.

 

 

 

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