28 February 2006

The Kerfuffle Over Vanity Fair's Recent Issue

The CBC has an online article (in the form of a discussion) regarding Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood issue. Apparently the abundant nude or almost nude poses and the politics behind the shoot are causing a stir. The CBC web site calls this "one of the most scandalous magazine issues in recent memory." To see what all the fuss is about, check out the CBC story.

27 February 2006

Sword, Castle, and Rune

If you're looking to fill an idle moment, you can check out the Fantasy Novel Title Generator. As you might guess from the name of the site, this nifty tool will automatically generate titles for fantasy novels. Here are a few that came up for me: Magic of the Stone Apprentice Rune of the Unholy Mage Winter Dream of Igriel Demon Earth of Nilyan Citadel and Chaos I can almost imagine the highlights of the books that could be written to go with those titles. Via Hassenpfeffer.

25 February 2006

An Interesting Approach To Getting Published

Diane Duane has decided to publish the third book in her Feline Wizards trilogy bit by bit—online and as reader payments warrant. The Big Meow (and isn't that a screamingly funny title?) is something she's been wanting to write for a while now, she says. Duane explains that although she had a complete outline for the book, "the publisher hadn't been interested in bringing out the third volume because of relatively low sales figures on the first two: so that book would probably not be written." Via her blog, Duane asked her fans to indicate how interested they were in seeing the final book. She thought that if there was enough interest, she'd publish it through a Print On Demand service. The result was striking, but she still didn't see that she could feasibly make enough to cover the costs and give her a profit. She decided to follow Lawrence Watt-Evans' model--what he calls writing on the installment plan. Duane too decided to publish each chapter online and ask for reader donations. When she has received enough for each chapter (amount per chapter to be determined) she will write the next one. She says "I am not committing myself to complete this project if the reader response is inadequate. Each time a chapter is posted, the ball is back in all of your courts." When the project is finished, "those who've subscribed to all ten installments (that's how the book is structured at the moment, in ten chapters) will be getting a "hard copy" paperback produced via Lulu.com. Others who haven't subscribed, or have subscribed only to part of the run, will be free to purchase the book at Lulu, in whatever quantities they desire. All subscribers, whether they paid for the whole run or only part of it, will be acknowledged for their contributions in all subsequent printed versions of the book (who knows, perhaps some day a publisher will step up to the plate)." She's hoping to finish the book in six months—by the end of August 2006. For complete details of this story, see her lengthy blog post here. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this project as it develops. I had never heard of Diane Duane before this story, but now I will check out the first two books in the trilogy (The Book of the Night With Moon and On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service/To Visit the Queen). Via Boing Boing.

24 February 2006

Alas, Poor William?

Scholars are now debating whether a death mask, found in a ragpicker's shop in 1842, belonged to William Shakespeare. You can read the full details about the discovery and the debate here or here. Via Rebecca's Pocket.

23 February 2006

Stephen King On James Frey

I know the James Frey issue has been talked to death, but here's one of the last items I will post on it (I think). There's an interesting article with Stephen King holding forth about James Frey here. (Via BookGlutton).

22 February 2006

What David Carpenter Is Up To These Days

Saskatchewan writer Dave Carpenter is the author of what is possibly my favourite book of essays, Courting Saskatchewan. Currently he's the second ever Writer-In-Residence at the Haig-Brown Institute (see Jeff George's story in the Times Colonist). For more about David Carpenter, see his website. Via Alone On A Boreal Stage.

21 February 2006

Bootylicious Defined

Finally, a definition for "bootylicious." The now-defunct group Destiny's Child released their song of the same name a few years ago, and ever since then I've wondered what on earth the word meant. Apparently now the word is making it in to a dictionary. Beyonce Knowles, author of the song and one-third of the Destiny's Child trio, is quoted as saying “I don’t know what it says (officially) in the dictionary, but my definition (of bootylicious) is beautiful, bountiful and bounce-able.” Well, now I know. You can read the whole article here. (Via Maud Newton)

20 February 2006

Aurora Awards Open For Nominations

If you're a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can now nominate books for the 2006 Aurora Awards (for the best Canadian science fiction and fantasy). You can use the nomination form here to nominate someone (this form is in .pdf). Via Hassenpfeffer--and note that Ed Willett at Hassenpfeffer has a book eligible for nomination!

19 February 2006

The God Factor

Here's an interesting new book to be published in March: The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People by Cathleen Falsani. The author has interviewed 32 public figures to see what they have to say about matters spiritual. One surprising subject is Hugh Hefner. You can read more about The God Factor here. Via Religion BookLine.

18 February 2006

Reading Women

Author Stefan Bollman has written a book that looks to be a gorgeous combination of art work and commentary—it's called Reading Women.

Here's the description of it from the publisher's web site: "Artists have long been attracted to the challenge of capturing the intimacy and tranquillity of reading. This book brings together a compelling selection of beautiful paintings, drawings, prints and photographs of women reading through the ages. Engaging commentaries explain the context in which each image was created, while a fascinating introduction explores the history of women and reading, offering an insight into how the activity enabled women to escape the narrow confines of domestic life and gain knowledge of the outside, male-dominated world." (via BookLust).

17 February 2006

Yet More Invented Memoirs?

The L.A. Weekly has run a story called "Navahoax" in which it asks the question "Did a struggling white writer of gay erotica become one of multicultural literature’s most celebrated memoirists — by passing himself off as Native American?" Matthew Fleischer's extensive article reviews the work of a writer published as Nasdijj and who has had three memoirs published which described his life as a Navajo. Now this story asks whether "Nasdijj" may actually be a Michigan writer named Timothy Patrick Barrus. You can find the entire "Navahoax" article here You can find a related story by triangle.com columnist J. Peder Zane here.

16 February 2006

Canadian Writers Win Major Awards

The Writers' Trust of Canada has announced the names of four Canadian writers who will receive recognition for their work. · children's writer Janet Lunn has won the Matt Cohen Award ($20,000); this award recognises a lifetime of writing · Rohinton Mistry has won the Timothy Findlay Award ($15,000); this is given to a male writer in the middle of his career · Gayla Reid has won the Marion Engel Award ($15,000); this is given to a female writer in the middle of her career · Marie-Louise Gay has won the Vicky Metcalf Award ($15,000); this is given to a children's literature writer The CBC has a more complete story here.

15 February 2006

Cast Your Vote Today for The Weirdest Title

Writers always try to have titles that will entice readers, but sometimes the effort goes a little too far. Fortunately, there are organisations out there, ever alert, who help notify the reading public about such excesses. The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year offers us the opportunity to vote for the weirdest title; just click on this link to see the options and vote. Although it's a tough call, I think my favourite from the group is How People Who Don't Know They're Dead Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It.

14 February 2006

All Lists, All The Time

If you like lists of books to read, the Waterboro Public Library has a terrific site. It has many categories of fiction, from adventure to animals to romance to speculative fiction. Each of the categories has a link to lists of these books. I especially like their lists of mysteries. It lists such categories as courtroom dramas, cosies, gardening/plant mysteries (!), and many more. It also has an explanation of each category. If you don't know what a cosy is, this is the place to find out.

This is the type of site that you can spend a long time browsing through--and then you get to work through the lists!

I learned of this site through the terrific rebecca's pocket blog.

13 February 2006

Two Arrested For Murder of Curious George Co-Author

Alan Shalleck co-wrote some of the Curious George books and also co-wrote Curious George episodes for T.V. He was recently found dead, and now two men have been arrested for his murder.

12 February 2006

One Man Among Six Finalists For Romance Novel of The Year

American Nicholas Sparks has been nominated for the Romance Novel of The Year award—only the fifth man to be nominated in the 46 years of the award. The award is offered by the British-based Romantic Novelists' Association.

11 February 2006

The New, Improved E-Book

Here's an interesting article about the new type of e-book that is apparently set to take the world by storm. Maybe. But I'm just not sure that anything will ever completely replace the traditional book with its accompanying smells and rustle of pages.

James Frey Loses His Agent

Here's yet another twist in l'affaire James Frey--even his agent has dumped him.