Clearing out the tabs, as usual:
- Paul Constant is bitter about Borders in The Stranger. One commenter points out that he sounds only slightly less disillusioned about bookselling than George Orwell. Ouch. (Hat tip to Cherie Priest.)
- Jane Johnson of Voyager Publishing, or someone claiming to be her, spectacularly breaks the “don’t argue with reviews” rule and gets dressed down by Tor.com readers. (Via Booksmugglers.)
- Six-legged robot + doll’s head = nightmare. (Via Lauren Beukes.)
- NPR asked fans what their favorite SF and fantasy books were, and got over 5000 responses. With the help of John Clute, Farah Mendlesohn, and Gary K. Wolfe, they narrowed it down to a list of a few hundred. Now you can vote for up to 10 of those books to be named the top 100 SF and fantasy titles of all time (so far). It’s a slightly peculiar list: in particular, some series are listed by series name, including series that aren’t yet complete such as Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy and Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, while others, like John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, are given as single titles even though they have complete series attached to them. On the bright side, I think it’s the most diverse list of this sort that I’ve ever seen–by which I mean that Octavia Butler is not the only black author, not the only female author, and not even the only black female author on the list–and there is no snobbish dismissal of unabashedly commercial titles such as David and Leigh Eddings’s Belgariad. I encourage everyone to go and vote; voting closes in 10 days.
- Google+ is actually good for something: poetry battles!
- Sunita on Dear Author discusses the author vs. the authorial persona vs. the book, and the blurring of those lines.
- Michael Ventura explains that writers are all doomed from the start, so kwitcherbitchin or at least don’t try to pretend that dying alone and penniless with all your books out of print is something hip and new. I would really love to see a more chipper post (not from Michael Ventura, probably) about how this is actually a pretty awesome time to be a writer; the litany of gloom, while educational, is wearying.
- John Joseph Adams is looking for SF/F books marketed as “mainstream”, such as The Passage and The Road. Got any suggestions? Drop him a note.
- This weekend, LibraryThing’s ReadaThing group is holding a 48-hour readathon. Don’t worry, participants don’t have to read for 48 hours in a row; instead, they sign up for time slots, so that at any given time, you know that someone, somewhere is reading. This coincides neatly with Do Nothing But Read Day on Saturday, in which I would gladly participate were I not running around trying frantically to get ready for my upcoming vacation.
- Ansible reports that a Cairo University curriculum that includes Tanith Lee’s story “Snow-drop”, first published in Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow’s 1993 anthology Snow White, Blood Red, has been denounced in Egypt’s state-owned newspaper, al-Akhbar, apparently because the story contains a lesbian sex scene (and perhaps also as part of a campaign to oppose women teaching at Cairo University). Ellen recalls getting a complaint letter from a reader, but Terri dryly observes that state-sponsored public denunciation is “a first for us.” As it happens, Snow White, Blood Red has just been re-released by Fall River; kudos to them, Ellen, and Terri for being willing to publish and republish a story they must have known would be controversial. (Hat tip to Miriam Newman for the link to Terri’s blog, which I inexplicably was not already reading; I have remedied that.)
Speaking of links to author blogs, I’m trying to update the list of SF/F and romance author blogs I read regularly; I know it’s woefully incomplete. What are your favorite–most interesting, most informative, most funny, most generally nifty–author blogs?