There some interesting essays out there this week. Iain Banks offers his perspective on science fiction writing which comes from outside of the community. He treads a fine line, and mentions this in his article. While someone who is not as schooled in the traditions of the genre will often make some foolish assumptions, it is just as dangerous that people who are too schooled may not see new ideas for what they are. I personally think that the "first obvious idea" rule solves a good chunk of outsider arrogance and can allow for non-genre writers to write superior science fiction, sometimes. There is also a trove of material on the Guardian site which may be of interest.
The new LA Review of Books has a review of some JG Ballard work. He's a great example of someone who was trained in the canon of genre, outgrew it, and was not entirely supported by that same community when he went in his own direction. An old story, but certainly bears repeating.
Nothing I've written about, but the cyberpunk nightmare of a private corporate army getting too powerful is as real as the internet. Where's GI Joe when you need them?
Someone bought up John Wayne Gacy's paintings and has organized them into an exhibit that has attracted all the predictable controversy. You don't have to buy them, or go to Las Vegas, to see the art of course. Just thinking about this creates a certain icky feeling, but it is interesting. Not all artists are beautiful people, after all, so should the fact that he was a (prototypical) serial killer affect the value of the art?
io9 had a few good surrealist links. They posted a link to the awesome Salvador Dali animated short "Destino". Also a short look at a documentary about the Jodorowsky version of Dune. Wonder if Terry Gilliam will contribute an interview?
Here's a map of North American bookstores.