This page is for links to websites, books or anything else I think are useful, informative, or just plain fun.
Awful Library Books – a site created by two librarians whose mission in life is to catalogue the horrors still found on library shelves, whether appalling craft books from the 1970s or books of Modern Nursing (pub 1960), or books that are just wrong on so many levels that even the English language (with its large vocabulary due to our habit of stealing other people’s words) does not have words to describe them.
Encyclopedia Mythica – this is an encyclopedia of mythology (yes, really!); it seems to be a wiki, and isn’t referenced, but it’s a good enough starting point if you want myths and legends in a reasonably cross-referenced system.
The Evil Overlord List – probably you’ve already heard of it, but here it is. Required reading for anyone with ambitions in the direction of World Domination (or writing about anyone who has).
ThrillWriting – website maintained by thriller writer Fiona Quinn. A very, very useful resource on all sorts of thing that thriller writers need to know, like what a forensic anthropologist actually does (and does not), and interesting stuff on weapons. Ms Quinn often interviews professionals in whatever field she’s writing about, so the information is generally good. It is, however, very America/Canada-centric, so bear this in mind. Stuff on the mechanics of forensic entomology is probably pretty much the same across the Pond, but the organisation of law enforcement, and local laws regarding the owning and carrying of weapons are very different.
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This is a paper book, and it’s currently out of print although you can get second-hand copies (hooray for the internet). It’s set out like an encyclopaedia of all the things, people, and terms that you find in your journey through ‘Fantasyland’ (i.e., reading of a fantasy novel). Not only is it hilariously funny, but it’s a very pointed criticism of authors whose work is just one long string of cliches and stereotypes. Writers, read this, if only to figure out what not to do.
TV Tropes – this website catalogues and describes a whole lot of tropes found in fiction. It started out as just TV stuff, but has expanded in all directions. It lists tropes you never knew were tropes until you read the entry, then you think… oh yeah. Why didn’t I notice that? Fun for readers… required reading for writers.
M. C. Escher – my favourite artist.
Patrick Latter – this site is one you can spend hours on, just sort of gazing. The abstract photos are my favourite, particularly the one with the musical notes in the drop of water. Go look and see what I mean.
Debrett’s Guide to Everyday Etiquette – unsurprisingly accurate, given Debrett’s centuries of experience in the whole posh-stuff scene, but also surprisingly down to earth and even witty in an understated way.