The first bit of news for the day is of a novel in the Firefly universe. For fans of the TV show and subsequent movie, Serenity, it should be an interesting diversion. Here are the two best parts:
1. It's free to download here.
2. It was written by Steven Brust, an accomplished fantasy author and product of Minnesota.
Actually, Steve wrote this novel hoping to have it published, but Joss Whedon decided he didn't want any novels written about his creation, so he squelched it. As a result, since Steve can't make any money on it he decided to post it online as fan fiction. Should be interesting. The comments I've read so far have ranged from appreciative to fawning, but since I read those comments on Steve's blog, that's to be expected, I guess.
The second bit is not really news. It's just a cool clip of an old concert--specifically, a Cacophony concert, and Jason Becker's guitar solo. It may be completely self-indulgent, and the spandex and big hair date this for what it is, but there's no denying the man's skill. It reminds me of my first year in the MFA program. I'm a pretty good typist. My fingers fly, and I rarely make errors. But one day I walked into 206A to the sound of machine-gun typing. Jess was on one of the computers and Jen Brown was on the other (the Crapintosh sat quiet, as usual), and they were both on fire with the typing. It really was unreal to witness two people blazing away on the keys like that, every fingerstroke finding the right key without pause. That's what Becker's solo is. Every note intentional, blazing execution. It's posted on the right sidebar.