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Bookish links 6 Nov: an ode to languishing manuscripts, Google and the media, caution: YA may be dangerous more!

book news Bookish links 6 Nov: an ode to languishing manuscripts, Google and the media, caution: YA may be dangerous & more!

RIASS stuff:

Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal (or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the Bard)

1Q84, The Midwich Cuckoos'and Liz Jensen's'The Uninvited'I love it when you can see homages and influences in a book'and they're pretty well on display here!

Enlightenment and entitlement in Goethe's'Faust

Other bookish stuff:

Everyone needs a novel-shaped cheeseboard!

 Bookish links 6 Nov: an ode to languishing manuscripts, Google and the media, caution: YA may be dangerous & more!

The shortlists for the NSW Premiers History and Literary Awards have been announced.

The World Fantasy Award winners have been announced

On listening to Proust in audio format'I have to play the first few chapters over and over because the words don't stick; John Rowe's voice folds into itself, a harmonious sludge. It soon becomes clear that I will listen to every chapter in this fashion, a realisation that arrives with the knowledge that my purpose for listening is not narrative driven.

Ever wanted Shatners Captain Kirk to read poetry for you? Theres an app for that.

In praise of the hashtag'You love my lengthy Twitter hashtags. I know you do. And now Im vindicated! But the hashtag, for the dexterous user, is a versatile tool ' one that can be deployed in a host of linguistically complex ways. In addition to serving as metadata (#whatthetweetisabout), the hashtag gives the writer the opportunity to comment on his own emotional state, to sarcastically undercut his own tweet, to construct an extra layer of irony, to offer a flash of evocative imagery or to deliver metaphors with striking economy. It's a device that allows the best writers to operate in multiple registers at once, in a compressed space.

Avon Impulse editors seem to be living on the edge: theyre soliciting NaNo novels. Gulp.

An interview with Tom Wolfe (audio)

Want to know what it takes to be a book editor?

An ode to unfinished novels and why you should write what you love'I had spent aconsiderable amount of money'(mostly my parents, admittedly) getting a history degree, and now I was editing articles about Java and Linux and not using any of that knowledge, either to better mankind or to make money.'So why not write a historical novel, I thought?'And since Ive left academia behind, why not write the only kind of historical novel that sells: a historical romance?'Thus was hatched my idea to write a book in a genre Id never read, which would be set in a time period I hadnt actually studied, and would have a plot that hinged on the interpretation of a story from the Old Testament. It was, as far as I was concerned, a plan that'could not possibly fail.

A bracelet that lets you wear your love of books on your sleeve:

 Bookish links 6 Nov: an ode to languishing manuscripts, Google and the media, caution: YA may be dangerous & more!

Does the media need Google more than Google needs the media?'Legacy media must deal with a harsh reality:'despite their role in promoting and defending democracy, in lifting the veil on things that mean much for society, or in propagating new ideas, when it come to data, news media compete in the junior leagues. And for Google, the most data-driven company in the world, having newspapers articles in its search system is no more than small cool stuff.

Macmillan drops its printed dictionaries to go online only'Macmillan's online presence means we can add new words and phrases on a regular basis, reflecting the ever-changing role of English as the lingua franca of science, business, academia and social media.

The arrival of the Kindle in Japan is pushing publishers to move into ebooks'The Kindle has benefited from the botched introduction of the Kobo, and has been able to ensure that those issues have been remedied for its own launch. The launch is also not so much to do with ebooks as it is to do with the wider media consumption of KindleFire users, such as manga, movies and so on.

Are ebooks literary works or software?'The definition of eBooks within the Copyright Act therefore becomes critical. An eBook can be made available within seconds of overseas publication and also never run out of stock. If eBooks were defined as a book in the Copyright Act, Australia would essentially become a closed book market because Territorial Copyright could be easily established for all books and any imports would therefore be illegal. However if eBooks were defined as software there would be no restrictions, except of course for geo-blocking and DRM'But the fact that you do not own an eBook also needs to be factored in. If you are only'purchasing'a license to read a file then are you aren't 'purchasing'a book or software.

If YA novels can do good, is it possible that they can harm as well?'Perhaps one reason that the kidlit community might be loathe to admit that YA books can do great harm is the perception that readingin generalis under siege by media that are deemed far more powerful'TV, Internet, and video games. The thinking goes like this: Yes, you might get salmonella from a bad batch of cantaloupe, but eating fresh fruit is better for you than candy. Therefore, we shouldnt advertise a few bad cantaloupes when its hard enough already to get people to choose the healthy option.

Everyone needs a bookshelf door sticker

 Bookish links 6 Nov: an ode to languishing manuscripts, Google and the media, caution: YA may be dangerous & more!

A contemporary YA flowchart

An interview with Camille Paglia, author of Glittering Images: Unlike the clone professoriate of the elite schools, I can't turn out books like sausages. I write books very, very slowly because I take them so seriously. I regard nonfiction as the primary literary form of our time and devote immense labor to basic matters of argumentation and style.

An interview with Jim Shepard'The first-person narrator has gotten much more common with me recentlyit occurred to me that I've been pushing myself towards it partially because, as my subjects get more and more sort of outrageously far afield, as I find myself working harder and harder to stretch my empathetic imagination, and not just write about somebody who came from another part of America, but, say, write about a servant of a fifteenth-century French nobleman, well, the sheer chutzpah of what I'm trying became so intimidating that I realized that the best way to do it was absolutely head on.

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  1. God, I'm writing between 3000 ' 5000 a day. But to submit an unedited manuscript at the end of the month?
    Also, I object to Avon's belief only Americans are writing this month. American publishers don't seem to realise any other countries exist!

    • Stephanie /

      Gosh, thats a fair clip! Good work! But yes, it does sound like someone at Avon is a masochist. Either that or theyre looking for something for the work experience kid to do. :)

      Im kind of resigned to this American-centric world, I have to say. Oh well!

  2. I want a book shaped cutting board and a bookcase door sticker! They are so cool.

    Gosh, Avons taking a risk requesting Nano novels! For me, as a pantser theres no way id submit the fluff ive been writing over the past week, let alone the finished product at the end of the month without many re-writes!

    Well done Sonya on getting so many words down each day! Im pushing myself to get just under 2000 a day.

    • Stephanie /

      Theyre fabulous, arent they? I might organise some as Christmas gifts this year. :)

      Avon is very braveor perhaps foolhardy! I usually take about four or five complete rewrites to get a manuscript to the point that Ill even consider letting someone see it! My first drafts are pretty dire.

      We sound as though were working at about the same rate for NaNo. 2k is comfortable as a daily goal for me for a given project, but if I want to go beyond that I need to switch to something else to refresh my creative juices. :)

      • Yep, thats about my limit. Im working on a short story aside from the novel to give me little breaks. Something short and sweet helps to take my mind off the impending word count goal ive set myself- it can be a little overwhelming sometimes. Little projects help me feel as though im achieving something!

        I didnt realise you were doing Nano too, i wish you luck with it Stephanie!

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