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As always, we’re busy reading the wires and scanning pages of magazines to find what we consider the top reads for freelance writers interested in perfecting their craft and building their business. This week, authors writing abroad, the rise of the critic, and a very snarky Alexander Pope.
Now, on to the stories and happy Friday!
Some of the great science fiction writers were, in fact, aliens themselves, choosing to seek out new life and new civilizations and boldly using their experiences to shape unforgettable works of fiction. Io9′s Charlie Jane Anders looks at a few whose worlds were changed forever when living abroad.
Philip K. Dick never lived abroad, but he did write the highly popular short science fiction tale, The Minority Report. In honor of its 10th Anniversary screen adaption, Wired.com talks to the writers, reporters and editors who attended a summit in 1991 to help Steven Spielberg envision the film’s futuristic society.
Though more and more media outlets use freelance journalists to cover stories abroad, they are not offering these writers any insurance on the battlefield. Columbia Journalism Review writes, “While many news organizations claim to look out for their regular freelance contributors, the story some freelancers tell is slightly different. They say that while some news organizations will step in if something goes drastically wrong, most ignore or evade the insurance issue, and freelancers—fearing the revocation of their story assignments—don’t press the point.” Freelancers aren’t the only ones concerned about dangers for journalists abroad. Special rapporteurs are urging the UN Human Rights Council to take greater measures to protect the media.
The Awl offers “A Short History of Book Reviewing’s Long Decline,” including a look back at the ire critics have elicited from badly-reviewed authors for nearly 350 years. This ditty from the silver-tongued Alexander Pope, is one excellent example:
Such shameless bards we have; and yet ’tis true
There are as mad abandon’d critics too.
The bookful blockhead ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue still edifies his ears,
And always list’ning to himself appears.
Though he was a film reviewer, the late Andrew Sarrris was not above a temperamental critics’ fray, as he told the New York Times, ““We were so gloriously contentious, everyone bitching at everyone,” Mr. Sarris recalled in a 2009 interview. “We all said some stupid things, but film seemed to matter so much.”
And finally, Gawker editor for the entire Internet, Neetzan Zimmerman, on what goes viral … The Washington Post.com has the greatest on-screen journalists in pictures… Rap App is just begging for tech-savvy dads to embarrass their kids …. and Mashable says the written word is back, sort of. Lettrs.com, quite frankly, has me confused.
More from the Freelance Strategist:
- Travel Writing: What I Did on My Summer Vacation
- Procrastination Busters for Freelancers
- Pay Up! What to Do When You Don’t Get Paid
- 6 Secrets to Landing a Content Marketing Gig
Images courtesy of Flickr, Marxchivist