- Scientific American piece on albinism.
- The latest Mind Meld asks a bunch of writers about their literary influences in the ongoing conversation of SF.
- "Why can't a woman write the great American novel?" at Salon. (Via Medialoper.)
- It's not every day a fashion piece references Gaddis — but, then, it is by Cintra Wilson.
- Ilona Andrews has been continuing to pick apart paragraphs. They're like fascinating little autopsies, where at the end the paragraph gets entirely reanimated.
- Eliza Dushku interview in USA Today. Mom was a women's studies prof. Hmmm…
- Kate Messner on virtual author visits, with some must-read analysis about what worked and what didn't at her school's first one. These will only get more popular, and that's a fabulous thing.
- Another thoughtful piece about the "death of independent bookstores." See also the death of the novel and the death of blogging, etc. Updated: Meghan with a great rant on how the indie bookstore business model is not inferior.
- Nathan Bransford offers some thoughts on sympathetic vs. unsympathetic characters. Also, see: Holly's crazy writing theory that the truly forbidden is characters going gross. (John Green, you need to write the lovable nosepicker, just to be the exception that proves the rule.)
- Slate on the Kindle and why it may be bad for publishing. (Perhaps, though, playing devil's advocate, it will force a more sensible and speedy progression for e-books. I just hope it doesn't seal the deal as the only game in e-book town.) And Gavin has the news on Amazon backing down on the text-to-speech feature, making it title-by-title.
- Do belt-tightening times make us better artists?
- Psychedelic fish.
- The Boston Globe takes a look at a number of Mormons writing YA, including two excellent writers I was lucky enough to have in my workshops at Vermont College — Carol Lynch Williams and Julie Berry. (And, bonus, brilliant genius Martine Leavitt — my last semester advisor, and also a graduate of the program — is interviewed as well.) I find the article's implication that YA is a virginal playground odd, especially considering what happens in the last Twilight book. (Isn't straight-up romance the only genre that actually requires sex? And there's probably some occasional wiggle room there.) But I do agree with Martine that story is paramount in YA and children's literature, and it's nice to see such a generally thoughtful article about a less-well-known trend in the field.
- AND, relatedly, Julie's first novel The Amaranth Enchantment is out this week. After spending the weekend with it, I can assure you it'll hit the spot if you're in the mood for a traditional, smart, light-hearted fantasy with charming thieves and diabolical plotters and mistaken identities and witches who carry their souls around with them (sort of). It's a frothy romp with a goat named Dog. And it was selected for the IndieBound spring kids list. Take note of Julie's name, because you'll be hearing way more from her. Trust me.
- Joy Williams reviews the new Flannery O'Connor biography by Brad Gooch, which I just started reading the other night.
- Stephany needs a baby name! Stop her before she goes with Angina.
- Philip Pullman's speech to the Modern Liberty Convention.
- Happy pre-birthday to Mr. McLaren, winner of most of the stuff from the Shirley Jackson auction. Maybe the year treat you well.
2 thoughts on “Monday Hangovers”
So far it’s the usual combination of awesome and cruddy, but considering some of the things that’s going on in the world “same as usual” is pretty good, I guess.
Someone ought to do the same for Ilona Andrews’ own paragraphs. I had a quick look at her short stories: ‘a deafening silence’, ‘looked like a war zone’ etc. If I encounter such clichés within the first paragraph or two of a piece of fiction, I stop reading, unless I see evidence that there’s a damned good reason for them.
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