The Eisner Award nominations have been announced, and one of the delightful surprises is Bob Burden’s extremely surreal work for the Gumby comic, which includes (in Issue #2) the spirit of Johnny Cash as a deus ex machina. I talked with the Gumby people during my APE coverage, following up on my conversation with them last year. Do stay tuned for more. Let’s just say that Mr. Burden is quite a loose cannon.
The Complete Review tracks literary coverage in The New Republic, and the results are not good for fiction: “But what is remarkable and disturbing is that coverage is predominantly — indeed, overwhelmingly — non-fiction focussed. The closest we get to fiction-coverage is now a review of Dave Eggers’ new book — subtitled an ‘Autobiography’, and even more obviously based on facts than most fiction. Is it Sam Tanenhaus’ influence on Wieseltier, rubbing off in all the wrong ways? Or a misguided attempt to be taken more seriously? Or just a brief bad streak?”
The NBCC has instituted a petition to save literary coverage at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rather interestingly, my own signature has turned up as #666. But do help to get this in the four digits if you have a few spare minutes.
Ed Park’s first science fiction column for the Los Angeles Times is now up. And, unlike certain uneducated columnists named Dave on the East Coast, he clearly knows the genre. His first column focuses in part on the underrated Brian Aldiss.
There’s no mention of the Agony Column, Pinky’s Paperhaus, Nextbook’s interesting offerings, or many other great literary podcasts, but if you’re looking for safe, corporate-subsidized podcasts that take no chances, you can do no better than the list from Open Culture.
I’ve been a subscriber to The New Republic for more than 20 years, and its book review pages in that time have always been non-fiction oriented. After all, it’s a political magazine, so no surprise that its editors are more interested in books on politics, international issues and history than fiction.
Besides, when they review fiction, they can be maddeningly dense and contrarian, pace James Wood’s review a few months back of Against the Day. With Wood their main reviewer of fiction, I’m happy they review mostly nonfiction.