Return of the Roundup

  • The gang Long Sunday talks with RotR fave China Miéville. Some of the topics discussed: genre, “voracious” narrative, the constraint of plot, and Jane Eyre. And what’s even crazier is that these two interviewers are just getting started. (via Mumpsimus)
  • Indisputable proof that JSF is a younger J-Franz: “I remember, as a kid, I used to read the phone book and think that in 100 years, all these people would be dead.” Next thing you know, we’ll be reading a lengthy New Yorker essay about how Heathcliff saved JSF at a young age.
  • And speaking of the New Yorker, there’s a lengthy profile of Roald Dahl this week. I’m not sure if I buy the idea that adults have always hated him, particularly when Margaret Talbot doesn’t cite a lot of examples to prove her thesis. If it’s controversy that Talbot is after, I would contend taht Dahl, like any original children’s author, has received no more and no less the amount complaints as Shel Silverstein.
  • Blogging: good or bad for authors? The Times is so obsessed with these blogging articles that I’m awaiting the inevitable “Blogging: With Clothes or Without?” article, which should successfully merge their ridiculously genteel approach to the risque with its obsession with blogs as the new voice or the new something.
  • And here’s yet another inconsequential Gray Lady correction: “An article on June 10 about criticism of Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, over several derogatory remarks he made about Republicans paraphrased incorrectly from his comment during an appearance in San Francisco. He said that the Republican Party was ‘pretty much a white, Christian party’ – not that it was made up ‘only’ of white Christian conservatives.” You see? Big difference.
  • In Korea, blogs are being taken seriously by publishers.
  • Bruce Campbell is big on the Dayton, Ohio bestsellers list.
  • Another reason to hate Microsoft: they’re spoonfeeding your kids. A new Office add-on, MS Student, offers book summaries of literature and a time management program for homework. It also features a Bill Gates-led instructional video on how to not pay attention and stare vapidly into space, associating the blackboard with the “evil of Apple.”
  • There’s a new development in the “chick lit” debate: Christian women.
  • H.L. Mencken in defense of the Enoch Pratt Library.
  • Proving once again that the Book Babes are advancing culture better than any journalists of our time, we now find them rating the “top 10 fictional hunks.” You know, if you’re going to go down that silly route, why stop there? Why not rate the top 10 fictional penises? My vote goes for Portnoy.
  • If litbloggers aren’t havens for kinky librarians, then clearly the wild orgy I had with five librarians over the weekend (which involved being tied up while three of them read excerpts of David Mitchell and the other two serviced me) means I’m doing something wrong.
  • And I’d be seriously remiss if I didn’t mention the free download of Kelly Link’s Stranger Things Happen to tie in with the release of Magic for Beginners. To read more on Link, you can check out Gwenda Bond’s interview with her on these pages back in September.

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  1. not sure why all the blogs are obsessed with JSF…is it his success? do we really have to “kill” people? why is there such a disconnect between his NY reviews (and to some extent the blogs) and his reception in the rest of the country?

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