Because randomness doesn’t need a reason, and neither do I…
1. Today is National Flash Fiction Day — In Great Britain. Huzzah! Follow @nationalflashfd on Twitter for a slew of links to some very British stories of 1000 words or thereabouts. Here’s a link to one I chose at—you guessed it—random: Umbrella, by Stephen Shieber. Quite good, that.
2. High School Never Ends — In celebration of my Darling Daughter’s graduation from high school this week, here are bullet reviews of the three most random high-school-themed anime of my acquaintance:
- School Rumble: Bad-boy Haruma loves space-case Tenma. Tenma is oblivious to Haruma, but loves mysterious Karasuma, who may be an alien life form. Karasuma is oblivious to Tenma, but loves curry. Their classmates have their own issues, and nobody has any common sense. Almost as ridiculous as high school in real life. The Battle Royale spoof in Season 2 is not to be missed. Available at funimation.com and on Netflix and Hulu.
- Azumanga Daioh: The Seinfeld of anime, A.D. follows the adventures of an adorably ditzy class of young ladies pondering the truly deep questions of life—things like toast, and cats, and detachable pigtails. Just when you think you understand what’s going on, an episode will take a left turn into the Twilight Zone. Available on Netflix, and some episodes are posted on YouTube.
- Nichijou (My Ordinary Life): A pint-sized mad scientist, her wind-up robot (with special features only an 8-year-old genius would design), a rich boy who rides a goat to school, a talking cat, and a girl with an unlimited supply of military weaponry. This one is Azumanga Daioh on
steroidscaffeine—same random issues, more explosions. Available at Crunchyroll.
3. Onomatopoeia! Random.
4. The International Publishing Empire That Is Splashdown Books — Nothing random here, just a lot of cool spec-fic coming out of the New Zealand-based company that published two of my novels and an anthology of my short stories. Latest titles include Star of Justice, by Robynn Tolbert, I Am Ocilla, by Diane Graham, and Blood and Brine, by Caprice Hokstad. Last year’s corporate anthology, Aquasynthesis, which includes a couple of my short stories, is a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
5. There’s a Little Black Spot on the Sun Today: Actually, it will happen on June 5th (or 6th, depending on where you live). Venus will transit the solar disk over a period of about 7 hours, and such an event will not happen again until 2117, so THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE. Probably. Also, DON’T EVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT A HIGH-QUALITY SOLAR FILTER. That would be both random and dangerous. Using an unshielded telescope or binoculars is even worse and will likely blind you. A safe, cheap, and elegantly low-tech alternative is to view the transit with a simple pinhole projector. Directions here.
6. Stereopticon! Yep, random.