Research: Endangered mouse never existed

After six years of regulations and restrictions that have cost builders, local governments and landowners on the western fringe of the Great Plains as much as $100 million by some estimates, new research suggests the Preble’s mouse in fact never existed. It instead seems to be genetically identical to one of its cousins, the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse, which is considered common enough not to need protection. –Research: Endangered…

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Waggoner on Teaching Creative Writing

When young writers describe characters, they almost universally make them flat goodie-goodies who might have problems, but little psychological depth. Or they don’t have enough conflict at all. Waggoner has students first write a character description, then pass that description to a neighbor. The neighbor is told to “do something mean to the character.” Then they pass it back and the writer must work with the problem that’s given —…

The Sound and the Fury [at 75]

The Sound and the Fury. 75 years ago, William Faulkner finished his fourth novel. It was published later in the fall (October 7, 1929), and for the first fifteen years sales totaled just over 3,300 copies (an appendix was added in 1946, when most of Faulkner’s books were out of print. Of course, a few years after that he was awarded the Nobel Prize). It was Faulkner’s own favorite novel,…

In Which Woes Are Unnumbered

But when a piece of derivative fiction starts with a premise along the lines of “all the characters on Buffy are human EMTs in New York and vampires don’t exist” — or, less creatively, “in this story Angel dies in Season One and Buffy gets together with Xander because I always liked him better anyway” — it is usually a lousy narrative on its own merits and always awful as…