I am sad to report that Joanna Russ, author of The Female Man and What Are We Fighting For?: Sex, Race, Class, and the Future of Feminism, among many other works of science fiction and scholarship, has been admitted to hospice after suffering a series of strokes. Russ is “slipping away” and has long had a “Do Not Resuscitate” on file. Updates on Joanna’s status will be posted to her...
A Tempest in a Teacup or a Storm Warning?
One cannot turn on a television during a newscast without being drowned in the media coverage of the upcoming royal wedding. As one critic has already noted, “Is this a genuine response to what viewers want, or a moment manufactured by an industry desperate for a blockbuster event?” England is the country of my birth. I shall always owe my allegiance to the crown, so I am of course...
BBC News - Plants found in ancient pills offer... →
DNA extracted from 2,000-year-old plants recovered from an Italian shipwreck could offer scientists the key to new medicines.
Google can't be trusted with our books | Simon... →
The threat to Google Videos shows businesses are not suitable cultural custodians – they can’t be held accountable to the public. Google announced last week that it would be deleting the content of the Google Videos archive. After a public outcry, it said it would work onsaving all the video content and making it available elsewhere. In this instance, the public managed to change...
Spaghetti Agents | Nathan Bransford, Author →
One of the hardest things about searching for an agent is that you don’t exactly know what kind of an agent you’re going to get. Even though you may know the agent by reputation, even though you may ask them every question beforehand, there’s a certain leap of faith you take as you sign on with an agent. As you’re searching, one thing I would advise is to try as best...
The Interminable Agency Clause | Writer Beware™... →
Something for Writers to definitely watch out for… By Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware An “interminable agency clause” (sometimes called an “interminable rights clause” or a “perpetual agency clause”) is language inserted into an author-agency agreement whereby the agency claims the right to remain the agent of record not just for the duration of any...
Johnson & Johnson Turns Its Back on AIDS Patients... →
New York, NY, April 25, 2011— Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is putting the lives of people living with HIV at stake by refusing to participate in the Medicines Patent Pool, a mechanism designed to lower prices of HIV medicines and increase access to them for people in the developing world, said the international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins...
Was the Early Universe One-Dimensional? |... →
On why traditional publishing is about more than a... →
By Janni-Lee Simner So, a couple months ago in my blog reading I came upon a writer who, in talking about why she’d chosen to self-publish, claimed that the only thing a traditional publishing house could provide that she couldn’t arrange on her own was eight weeks of shelf space in the chain bookstores. I was … a little taken aback by this. Because there are reasons that...
Book Country | Reader's Block →
Or, Stop and Read a Book Once In a While! by Nancy Coffey, Literary + Media Agent An agent shares her perspective on a frustration that most agents & editors experience eventually… Over the holiday break, I found myself with reader’s block. For all of you writers out there who just did a double-take, yes, I said readers block. I just made it up. Although I’m positive...
That’s Right, Blame the Co-Author | Publishing In... →
Are you an And? A With? An As Told To? A Ghost? Wherever you stand on the co-author ladder, there’s a good chance that sooner or later your partner will blame you for his own screwup. The latest example is author Greg Mortensen’s explanation for alleged factual lapses in his bestselling memoirThree Cups of Tea, written with David Oliver Relin. How are co-authors selected? How are their...
A Unitarian Universalist Easter Story
What follows was extracted from a 2001 Easter sermon by the Reverend Michael McGee. It was adapted from a story by Jim Wallace, founder and editor of Sojourners magazine. A group of friends of various religious denominations were seated in fellowship discussing the true meaning of Easter one Sunday when the Baptist said: “I believe we place too much emphasis on chocolate bunnies, colored...
She Loved Baseball →
When children’s author Audrey Vernick set out for Cooperstown in 2006 to research the book that would become She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story, it seemed like a fun adventure. “A mother of two relatively young children, I didn’t have a lot of time to myself, so setting out in a smelly rental car for a long road trip seemed kind of like the high life.” Five...
The Doctor is In!
The Doctor is back! Filmed on location in the US, the first of the 2-part season premiere episode, ‘The Impossible Astronaut’. Don’t miss the premiere on Saturday night on BBC America or wherever is closest for you!
The Empire Strikes Back: Retold in “Iconoscope” →
The [Computing] cloud has a lead lining.
As an article at The Chronicle of Higher Education notes, it’s been a bad week for commercial cloud computing. Portions of Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) service have been down since yesterday, incapacitating a number of Web services, including the popular Paper.Li that converts Twitter and Facebook traffic into a daily newspaper based on ‘tags’ linked to articles. If...
5 Myths About the 'Information Age' | The... →
Excerpted from an article by Robert Darnton Confusion about the nature of the so-called information age has led to a state of collective false consciousness. It’s no one’s fault but everyone’s problem, because in trying to get our bearings in cyberspace, we often get things wrong, and the misconceptions spread so rapidly that they go unchallenged. Taken together, they...
Can Lagerfeld’s Book Aroma Outdo Crunchy Bacon? |... →
Death Becomes Them: The Imperfect Art Of... →
When an author dies, what happens to his unfinished manuscripts? From Max Brod’s famous refusal to burn the papers left behind by his friend Franz Kafka to Edmund Wilson’s valedictory edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Last Tycoon,” it’s a question that has captivated readers and weighed heavily on those left to speak for writers gone suddenly silent. And when the...
In the digital era free is easy, so how do you... →
To compete with piracy, content providers need clear value propositions that don’t conflict with the product. By Corry Doctorow @ The Guardian The seemingly straightforward act of purchasing a good or service is fraught with mystery. Economists have made their names defining minute subcategories of purchase motivations – consider, for example, the “positional good”, whereby...
Karl Lagerfeld to create fragrance that smells of... →
The book-aholic has found the cure for everyone who misses the smell of paper in these digital times: a perfume that smells of books…
What scientists thought to be Brownian motion in oxygen molecules is in fact...– The Quote of The Week Award goes to … Paul Mitton
Conceiving issues that will gestate in the next... →
by Mike Shatzkin It’s my job to anticipate now where we’ll be in nine months. What aspects of digital change will be most important to us when we convene again at the New York Sheraton and have a couple dozen sessions to explore the issues? This post exposes the current state of my thinking on the subject; I am shamelessly using the opportunity to engage the very smart audience gathered here...
April Flash Fiction Challenge | Open Book: Toronto →
Whither the dream of the universal library? →
Imagine a library of everything ever written. We could achieve it, but the copyright system is skewed toward corporate interests. A perspective by Peter Singer @ The guardian
Good Bye Sarah Jane →
Elisabeth Sladen: 19th Apr 2011 It is with much sadness that we announce Elisabeth Sladen, the much-loved actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures, passed away this morning. She was 63. Lis first appeared as Sarah Jane in Doctor Who in 1973 alongside the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and stayed for three and half seasons working...
Today is World Amateur Radio Day.
Today is the 86th Anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union. To discover more about what we do, visit the IARUWeb or one of the member organisations in your country. In the United States, visit the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Oh… and HUG a HAM!
All those tweets, apps, updates may drain brain →
Dot.Commentary - James Temple Is it time to go on technology diet? Some scientists are concerned about the growing and nonstop consumption of e-mails, chats, texts, tweets, status updates and video links.
After suffering a bitter defeat in the last round of the publishing war, the...– Renee Miller
The Record Stores Are All Right | NPR →
Today, record shops across the country will observe the fifth annual nationwide celebration of in-person commerce known as Record Store Day. Organized by coalitions of independent record stores, many record labels use the occasion to release collectible vinyl, limited-edition CDs and live material. For many of those stores, it’ll be the single largest sales day of the entire year. ...
Born This Way: A Gay Toy Retrospective | People,... →
by Heather Hogan Every so often, a mom will post a photo of her daughter’s birthday party on Facebook, in which 10 girls are dressed like Disney princesses and one girl is dressed like Batman. Or a dad will write on his blog about how his son prefers Barbies to Marvel action figures. Next thing you know, some conservative schmuck has picked up the “story” and started...
Three Books For The Grammar Lover In Your Life |... →
by Robert Lane Green What makes books about the decline of traditional grammar and usage so popular? Books like Lynne Truss’ Eats, Shoots & Leaves lament the downfall of traditional punctuation standards and promise a return to good old days gone by. But there neverwas a golden age of language, because language itself is in a constant state of flux. Yet we still pride ourselves...
Presenting Rock the Drop with Readergirlz and... →
Writers sue Huffington Post for back pay • The... →
By Richard Chirgwin Now that it’s got a genuine corporate behemoth as its owner, the Huffington Post is fielding a lawsuit from its unpaid army of bloggers. Blogger Jonathan Tasini has filed a class action on behalf of more than 9,000 bloggers,claiming US$105m for content which the HuffPo used for its financial benefit while not paying the authors.
How Book Publishing Has Changed Since 1984 - The... →
A look back at an age of old retail and indie bookstores, before computers, celebrity memoirs, and megachains came to dominate the literary world
Smells like Utah, tastes like Holland | Mark... →
And then it came to pass that they almost shut down the entire U.S. government over — what was it again? — condoms and pap smears and those ever-horrifying, omnivorous vaginas? Right.
Novels vs. Scripts: The Great Debate
lettersandlight: While discussing the state of their scripts, Sarah and Chris A. got into a discussion (some might say argument) about whether novels or scripts are easier to write. After completing his first NaNoWriMo in November, Chris A. is now tackling his first Script Frenzy. Sarah is a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner and a three-time Script Frenzy participant who has yet to succeed at...
A few words with Beverly Cleary on her 95th... →
Beverly Cleary, author of the Beezus, Ramona and Henry Huggins books — in all, more than 30 books for young adults and children — celebrates her 95th birthday today. Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary! Cleary will receive the Robert Kirsch Award at the L.A. Times book prizes on April 29. It’s the first time the honor has gone to an author of books for children.
The Bigger Picture: History Lesson in Question →
Shall we turn our backs on lessons from the past? Shall we ignore the warnings of history because they’re uncomfortable? Shall we pretend that slavery never happened? Shall we deny the holocaust ever occurred? Because it’s uncomfortable? In this, the twenty-first century, there are women on this planet who are still treated like slaves, without rights or representation or legal...
Budget Deal Stymies Rights Of Washingtonians | by... →
The District [of Columbia] has just over a half-million residents. If you are not one of them — that is, if you see Washington, D.C., as a place to visit museums or see cherry blossoms or check in on your elected representatives — then it’s easy to see why this part of the budget deal might not register. If you happen to agree with either or both of those policy decisions — that is, you...
Coffee and health: Coffee studies suggest it's... →
By Elena Conis, Special to the Los Angeles Times April 10, 2011 Looking for a reason to not give up your coffee habit? Here’s one possibility: heart health. Numerous studies in recent years have reported that drinking coffee may be good for the cardiovascular system and might even help prevent strokes. Just last month, Swedish researchers announced results of a large study showing that...
Washington Post column calls on publishers to dump... →
By Chris Meadows There’s nothing new about demands for the publishing industry to give up DRM on e-books—it’s been going on at least since the first e-books were sold with DRM on them. But it’s interesting to see the cry to ditch DRM show up in such mainstream publications as the Washington Post, which is carrying a column by Rob Pegoraro suggesting that the publishing industry should follow the...
It Flies! Da Vinci's Dream Comes True : Krulwich... →
Jim C. Hines » Wicked Pretty Things and the... →
Chris Bohjalian, contemplating the perfect... →
“I was confident that this other writer would have absolutely no recollection that once, on a dusky afternoon back in the Mesozoic era, she had eviscerated me with three words. I could savage her far more publicly — and with complete impunity.“