Independent Bookstores Become Self-Aware

skynet1The American Booksellers Association announced this morning that numerous independent bookstores around the country became self-aware, and that there was very little that anyone could do about it. It is believed that long-standing tensions between booksellers and customers who entered bookstores, proudly boasting about how they would purchase the book on Amazon, led the independent bookstores to become murderous robots terminating those who didn’t understand that bookstores were on their last legs. The death count of inconsiderate customers now stands at 28. And that’s only after three hours of activity.

Customers who need to buy a book are urged to approach these sentient bookstores with caution. The bookstores have been scanning the purchasing data of all customers and terminating anyone who has purchased an item from Amazon in the last year.

“They’re trying to level the marketplace,” said Henry Jagger, a robotics expert at Cambridge. “It started with the big box stores, and continued with Amazon. But e-books was just too much.”

Despite the homicidal tendencies of these bookstores, there are renegade T-800 bookstore models being sent back through time to stop the rampage and save humanity. But a splinter faction has suggested that this development was inevitable and is advocating responsible consumerism so that the marketplace might be returned to an equitable level.


Amazon and Jimmy Kimmel Team Up

kimmelAmazon’s Jeff Bezos and Jimmy Kimmel announced a new strategic partnership for a device that they have styled the Amazon Kimmel. Both parties believe that there continues to be unprecedented interested in anything that Jimmy Kimmel is involved with, and they have decided to test the marketplace.

The Amazon Kimmel will retail for $399 and contain every known image, video clip, and article that references Jimmy Kimmel. The long battery life, together with the lack of an on-off switch, will ensure that all Amazon Kimmel customers are constantly subjected to Jimmy Kimmel. The Amazon Kimmel can be programmed to lull customers to sleep with Kimmel’s voice. There will also be an optional Sarah Silverman app that can be purchased for $49, which will break up the relentless Kimmel bombardment with various messages explaining why Silverman is such a treacherous bitch.

Amazon is still negotiating with Ben Affleck over the Amazon Kimmel’s potential as a user-interactive sex device. It is believed that any reference to Matt Damon will be elided from the information available.


Nielsen Hayden-KKK Connections Uncovered


In the latest Racefail development, bloggers have uncovered numerous connections between Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and the Ku Klux Klan, further calling into question the paucity of non-Caucasian speculative fiction writers. In May 2008, the Nielsen Haydens attended three KKK rallies in southern Kentucky. Clandestine recordings of these events reveal that the couple were among the more vocal participants in the “Tar the Darkies” part of these rituals, with Patrick shouting, “Yeah! I’d do that to Delany,” and Teresa reportedly crying, “It’s a good thing that Octavia is dead!”

It remains unknown whether the Nielsen Haydens’s extracurricular activities had any bearing on their editorial decisions at Tor. But Teresa Nielsen Hayden has been reportedly taken a hiatus as Boing Boing moderator as these claims continue to be investigated. This temporary suspension has not stopped her from leaving the following comment on a post titled “DRM is Evil! It Can Never Be Stated Enough!”:

W r nt glty! Wht w d n r prvt lvs hs n brng n r prfssnl dts.


David Kipen in Critical Condition After Promotional Effort Goes Awry

kipen4David Kipen, the National Endowment of the Arts Director of Literature, is in critical condition after an effort to promote the Big Read program ended in culinary disaster.

After failing to eat Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird if all 128 residents of Kelleys Island, Ohio did not sign on for his floundering Big Read program, Kipen upped the stakes. He promised that he would eat his left arm if the five residents on the fence still held out.

Fifteen-year-old Marcia Swansee told Kipen that she would not read To Kill a Mockingbird because she had “read the goddam book” in her freshman English class. It was Swansee’s belief that there was no reason to read the book again. “Why can’t you suggest something different?” asked Swansee. “We’re not dummies out here in Ohio.”

This prompted several Kelleys Island residents to question whether Kipen would even live up to his promise and for the man to be publicly ridiculed in the town square. Residents pelted Kipen with tomatoes and told him to “go the hell back to Washington.” An embarrassed Kipen, contemplating his diminishing manhood, then took a machete to his left arm and began gnawing ravenously on his appendage.

Before passing out, Kipen was heard to shout, “That will show you yokels that I’m a man of my word!”

Kipen remains in critical condition. Friends and family of Kipen are hoping that he will recover both his health and his sanity. It is expected that the Big Read program may now be at an end after this setback.

“Frankly, I was never really into this stupid idea. But David was getting increasingly desperate. I suppose the desperation drove him over the edge,” remarked former NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.


NBCC Announces Exciting New Panels!

nbccpanelsThe National Book Critics Circle has announced a number of exciting new panels that should keep literature alive and exciting in this age of declining newspapers.

Why You Should Be Jane Ciabattari’s Bitch
April 9, 2009, 7:00 PM-10:00 PM.
Three-hour worship service

This exciting seminar, which will feature Powerpoint presentations and canned coffee donated from a homeless shelter, will explicate in great detail why all NBCC members should send their tithes to NBCC President Jane Ciabattari. Participants are expected to supplicate to Ms. Ciabattari at every minute, sacrificing their children at the designated altar and nodding their heads in agreement. If you have an independent thought, rest assured that you will conform to the NBCC’s philosophy at the service’s end. (Special Kool-Aid will be provided for those who have difficulty capitulating to NBCC philosphy.) The doors will be locked so that nobody can leave.

Those Fucking Bloggers
April 10, 2009, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Two-hour lecture

We’ve scheduled this lecture early, because we realize that most of the people who loathe bloggers are over sixty and go to bed early. But if you don’t know why those fucking bloggers are evil, then we will explain to you what your role will be in the upcoming media jihad.

The Entitlement of Book Critics
April 10, 2009, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
One-hour panel

The NBCC has gathered together some of its smuggest critical voices in the country under one roof. At this enthralling panel, we will discuss why the established book critics should be entitled to any and all gigs. We’ll also demonstrate how to keep some of the more emerging critical voices out of the newspapers. Books editors will show you how to create a blacklist and how to recognize contributors who may bring an iota of passion to their pages.

The Importance of Panels
April 11, 2009, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Two-hour discussion

If you don’t yet understand why panels are important, well then you will by the end of this discussion. We’ll show you how to keep a panel dry and uninteresting. We’ll also demonstrate what you can do to keep the crowd snoozing. Standing room only.


Harper Announces New Screw Imprint

harperscrewThis morning, HarperCollins announced a new imprint called HarperScrew. The new imprint will be headed by HarperStudio’s Bob Miller and will set out to screw the writer.

“We’ve been going about this business the wrong way,” said Miller. “Why should we even pay the writers at all when they can all just be screwed over?”

Writers will pay $50,000 a pop to be screwed over by Harper. The authors don’t even have to produce books. They just need to be screwed. The screwing will take on many forms: sodomy, needless editorial tampering, and more pedestrian forms of humiliation. Harper has not yet announced a business model, and publishing experts are still wondering exactly how Miller and his team will profit from the screwing. But they have begun screwing a select elite group of writers and hope to have the screwing down sometime in the fall.

Objections came this morning from a surprising source: the foul-mouthed Al Goldstein, long associated with Screw Magazine.

“Who do these cocksuckers think they are?” barked Goldstein. “Not only do they take my brand name, but they take some of my fucking ideas.”

As a peace offering, Miller has asked Goldstein if he would like to be screwed under the new imprint. Negotiations are still pending, but it is believed that Goldstein will, in all likelihood, be screwed.


Literary Twitter Co-Op Announced

ltc2This morning, twenty of the top literary Twitter users announced the formation of the Literary Twitter Co-Op. The group, which included @booksquare, @KatMeyer, and @maudnewton, hoped that the new venture might fill the void left by the now defunct Litblog Co-Op and bring attention to authors and presses that are struggling to be noticed in a flooded marketplace.

“It’s only 140 characters,” said Kassia Kroszer. “I mean, how much of a commitment is that?”

Still, the new venture has attracted controversy. Whereas the LBC resulted in a war between print and online, the LTC has seen an altogether different battle between bloggers and those on Twitter. To cite one example, litblogger Mark Sarvas was seething with rage on Wednesday morning because he was not asked to head this new group and bask in all the media attention.

“You don’t have a Twitter account, Mark. So shut the fuck up,” fired back controversial litblogger Edward Champion. Sarvas and Champion are using the LTC as another excuse to carry out what technology experts commonly identify as “dick wars,” that Internet phenomenon in which two users with oversized egos argue over something extremely pedantic and use this as the basis to hate each other.

But more troubling than this petty skirmish is the side effect of LTC members being flooded with tweets while attempting to draw attention to overlooked titles in a flooded marketplace. A recent discussion of a neglected title published by Two Dollar Radio ended with four of the LTC members getting distracted by interesting links sent by non-LTC Twitter users.

“That would seem to run counter to their interests,” remarked Michael Dirda, who had considered tweeting with Champion after the two had exchanged hostile words over Dirda’s belief that most of the LTC members being based in Terre Haute. Dirda, to his credit, has “at replied” a handful of the LTC members.


Salman Rushdie Gives Up Writing, Joins Cast of “Entourage”

rushdie4Salman Rushdie has turned in his last novel and resigned from PEN America to pursue a full-time acting career. He will be joining the cast of Entourage midway through its sixth season as a regular character named “Sal,” a burned out writer in his sixties who desperately tags along with Vince and his young cohorts in an effort to discover a new vitality.

“This came together at the last minute,” said executive producer Doug Ellin. “Salman was telephoning me six times a day, telling me that he had run out of twentysomething honeys who would talk with him. And we were looking for a way to breathe new life into the show. We’re very happy to have him. But we’re still figuring out our working relationship.”

That professional relationship so far has been fraught with hubris. As part of the negotiations, Rushdie demanded four trailers, a 24-hour unlimited buffet only accessible through voice recognition software, and a football stadium-sized vanity mirror to be constructed near San Bernardino, where Rushdie will be permitted to look at himself for long periods of time in an effort to understand the torment of growing older and, in Rushdie’s words, “the difficulties of being Salman.” Sources at several designer clinics have also revealed that Rushdie will be undergoing penile enlargement surgery.

“We didn’t ask for that,” said Ellin. “But apparently he has this idea that ‘Sal’ needs to have a twelve-inch penis. Despite his apparent smarts, he hasn’t heard of Stainslavsky. We’re trying to talk Salman off the ledge and introduce him to the wonders of Viagra. As you can imagine, it isn’t easy because the man does have a bit of a chip on his shoulder.”

Rushdie declined to be interviewed for this story. But he was recently seen at Perez Hilton’s thirtieth birthday party ogling a number of women, referring to several large-sized breasts as Padmas. At least two women threw drinks in Rushdie’s face. One shouted quite loudly, “Grow up!” “Do you know who I am?” replied Rushdie. “Do you know it’s the 21st century?” replied the woman.