• Scott Sigler‘s Earthcore is the first “podcast only” novel. For $9.99, you can download all 20 episodes. The original novel was published by Dragon Moon Press, which, while styling itself a “traditional publisher,” is in the habit of not paying its authors an advance. Eight Ball says “Glorified Vanity Press? All Signs Point to Yes.”
  • Michael Crichton: global warming expert for the Bush administration? If so, it’s good to see our government consulting novelists to determine public policy. Personally, I’m hoping Bush can meet with Erica Jong, so that our sheltered manboy president might become acquainted with the “zipless fuck.”
  • A good friend and I have been discussing the forthcoming release of Basic Instinct 2. Between the constant references to the first film (“Ever fucked on cocaine, Ed?” reads one email subject line; “You wanna play? Come on!” reads mine in return), we’re wondering two things: (1) Will this film help to make older women sexier? (If so, huzzah!) (2) Isn’t this film a few years too late (like, say, a decade) to be riding on the coattails of the first film? Well, it appears that even the film’s advertisers don’t know how to market the film properly. Come on, Columbia. Surely you can be more explicit about why people are planning to see this film.
  • John Gregory Dunne: worthy nonfiction writer?
  • Give Kinky Friedman props for the world’s goofiest bumpersticker, although I would have selected, “There’s a Little Bit of Kinky In All of Us.”
  • Richard Flanagan, political crusader.
  • An Elizabeth Browning exhibition is going down at the British Library.
  • If you’re a writer, Zoetrope Virtual Studio sounds like a bad cross between fan fiction and American Idol. Apparently, one is not permitted to be “mean” (read: offering honest, ball-busting advice which might actually help a writer to advance in his craft) to other writers. If you want to be a serious writer, why bother with this nonsense? If you need that kind of affirmation, enter a county fair or join a twelve-step support group instead.
  • Dai Smith offers 10 Welsh alternatives to Dylan Thomas.
  • Do the Canadians have an answer to J.K. Rowling?
  • Jeff has the goods on a Hold Steady show. Unfortunately, the Hold Steady (a band highly endorsed by Return of the Reluctant!) didn’t make their way through San Francisco. But word on the street is that one Tito Perez somehow managed to see them.


  1. The best thing about Basic Instinct 2 is it co-stars someone named Morrissey. It seems like a natural subtitle would have been “Meat is Murder.”

  2. Yes, it’s a strangely dignified cast, isn’t it? David Thewlis AND Charlotte Rampling. Plus, it’s directed by Michael Caton-Jones, presumably because he cut his teeth on “Scandal” back in the day. Oh, and get this. One of the writers wrote “Desperately Seeking Susan!” Truly kooky mix, man.

  3. Dragon Moon Press is far from a vanity press. They are a small business, and yes, they do pay an advance for some authors. If it’s “glorified vanity press,” it’s the best phoney out there – they handled every aspect of printing EarthCore, from book design to printing to full, 100% returnable distribution through Baker & Taylor. Royalty statements come in on time, as do royalty checks.

    Every publishing house had to start somewhere, and none of them started out as the multi-national congolmerates they are now. Look for Dragon Moon Press to be another TOR in 5-8 years. They run a good business and treat their authors very well.

    -Scott Sigler-

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