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A brief delay

I made it. With the emailing of the full draft of my 21st Century Gothic essay on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, I’m done. That’s it. I’ve met my deadlines for 2009. Which is remarkable because for a while there I thought I wasn’t going to make it. (I think …

Stories: how they end, what comes next

Taking a breather from trying to come up with finish an essay on why I consider No Country for Old Men gothic, to close some browser windows. So, then. If this is the future of storytelling, I don’t think I mind it at all. Also, some reading for 2010. Could …

A deathknell!

Well, I didn’t have to go very far to find my welcome-back-to-the-blogosphere deathknell. Fictionbitch calls this the end for writers, but I wonder if it’s more about the end for readers. The end of a nice sit down in a bookstore, that is, heralded by Waterstones — a British bookchain, …

Full armour and a hot fudge sundae

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae. — Kurt Vonnegut Oh, all right, I admit I’ve laughed along with the best of ’em at Dan Brown’s …

The weight of the chain mail bikini

Now & then I’m surprised out of my jadedness. Like when someone taps me on my feminist sensibility & asks me how responsible I’m being. And I wonder: hell, how responsible AM I being?! In SF and fantasy are we creating female characters who are restrained by the gender limitations …

Some final notes from a cold brain

The lurgy is finally lifting, thankfully. For a while there it was impossible to sleep AND breathe simultaneously. Which can add a layer of difficulty to, oh, everything. From the weekend surfing: * Rebecca Solnit, “You know, a lot of my work has been based on the field of disaster …

More from the day’s bedtime reading

Brain not much good today — kinda like a small child is living inside my head making ‘gah?!’ sounds at every new thing. But, lurgy has abated somewhat from this morning, which is cheering. Here’s some of what I read today: * Her debts now total a staggering $24 million, …

Better read

I’m home with the dreaded lurgy, so thought it timely to clean up the browser windows & list some of what I’ve been reading lately. * “These “lost” covers form a parallel universe in which the books we read and love exist in entirely different skins.” — Kill your darlings: …

Reading up

Lately I’m loving the whatwasthatbook group on lj. Not only for its ability to find lost books (largely kids’ books, but also for the conversation style of its questions. See, for example: I read this book while I was in late elementary school – probably fifth or sixth grade (around …

Covering up

OK, so I’m getting a little obsessed with cover art (ever since Nick Stathopoulos turned in the fabulous A Book of Endings cover!). Yesterday I spent a couple hours staring at these sites: http://www.thebookdesignreview.com http://shelvedbooks.blogspot.com http://henryseneyee.blogspot.com I also followed various links, finding myself in a world of cover debate. Including …

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid

“I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid” This from the Shadow Forest Authors website, whose goal is to stop global illiteracy. (They could, er, perhaps consider the intermediary goal of re-coding how their website pages open — always …

All growed up

Over at filomancer‘s blog, some interesting comments are being made about the apparent decline in SF readership. Sometimes I think that what’s happened is that sf has become too sophisticated for its core audience, which used to be teenage boys. Their attention span, and maybe yours and mine, isn’t going …

May you live in interesting times

I am loving pepysdiary. Who knew a life that apparently dull could be so entertaining. Note to self: prepare an autobiography. Meanwhile, “Up by five o’clock, and while my man Will was getting himself ready to come up to me I took and played upon my lute a little. So …

Things best left unknown

I’m blocked. I was reading this book, quite happily — well, not *quite* happily, that’s the problem, that’s why I slowed, stopped, looked around. And when I looked around I became — — blocked — — unable to continue with confidence. It was weird, but to start from the beginning: …

Bury my heart … er… with the rest of me

Andre Norton wanted to be cremated with her first & last books. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/books/03/17/obit.norton.ap/index.html How weird & delightfully creepy. When I go, I’d like to be buried with four of my closest friends. You guys don’t mind, right? Also, Norton was 93 & they had to rush her last book off …

A world without ending(s)

Paul Wells admits to be a ‘serial book-unfinisher’ over here at macleans.ca, & it got me thinking: just how important *is* an ending, anyhow? Have our lives become too darn busy for proper resolution? Or have endings just ceased to be important? Someone once said that you can tell how …