Kickoff For December 31, 2018

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

It’s hard to believe 2018 is about to come to an end — that’s how quickly the year has flashed by. To be honest, it’s been a mixed year for me. Low key, but also occasionally disappointing. Let’s hope 2019 turns things around. For us all. Everywhere.

And let’s keep this thought from Warren Ellis at the front of our minds over the next 365 or so days:

A thought for the new year: try to stay home for a bit and make some things that might last, please?

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

Did the Creator of The Twilight Zone Plagiarize Ray Bradbury?, wherein we’re walked through the contention of science fiction legend Ray Bradbury (and others) that Rod Serling indirectly copied the work of various SF writers, and how that contention killed a friendship.

City of screens, wherein Anna Aslanyan explores four short films which attempt to capture the experience of interacting with cities through new technologies.

Why Translation Deserves Scrutiny, wherein Tim Parks ponders whether literary translators should be given some leeway to make gaffes, or if criticizing a translation for plain errors is hardly a crime.


The Archipelago of Hope, wherein Gleb Raygorodetsky explains how the inextricable relationship between Indigenous cultures and their territories forms the foundation for climate change resilience.

Should you feel sad about the demise of the handwritten letter?, wherein we learn why letters crafted with pen and paper can create a lasting, more human connection between the writer and the reader.

Dystopia In Fiction And In Fact, wherein we discover that an authoritarian dystopia might not play out as it would in George Orwell’s 1984, but could be happening without us even knowing it.


The Hunt for the Watch Thieves of Southern California, wherein we hear the story of how a promising professional baseball prospect and a hardened felon teamed up to undertake one of the most sophisticated and lucrative smash and grab crimes in U.S. history.

The Watcher, wherein we learn how a family buying their dream home in a small New Jersey town walked into a nightmare all thanks to someone sending them anonymous, sinister letters.

The Stranger in the Shelter, wherein we hear the tale of the first documented murder on the Appalachian Trail, and what happened to the three people involved in that tale before and after the fateful event in 1974.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt