Monday, 10 September 2012

News: Sockpuppets, Book Raids, and Scalzi's Goat(s)

Criticism ventriloquism
Sock-puppetry: Why do they do it? From these tales of two sock-puppeteers, they might be more the norm than anyone thinks. Well, Sock-puppetry in book reviewing may not be new, but that doesn't necessarily make it right. Scott Adams, however, suggests that (fake) positive reviews can balance out the (fake) negative ones in an ecosystem where 'everybody cheats'.

I might have my own take on this later, but maybe not.

Book raid bulletins
The Federal Territories Religious Affairs Department (JAWI) admitted to raiding the Borders bookstore in The Gardens, Mid Valley City before an edict or ban was declared against the book that prompted the raid. In West Bengal, a publisher was also raided over book critical of the state government. Said book then sold out after news of the raid broke.

Getting Scalzi's goat
After John Scalzi announced a book project, the Internet gave him another after he joked about writing a book called 101 Uses for a Spare Goat on Twitter. So now, we can expect said book to be out in the future, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

A cautionary tale of why it's dangerous to coin absurd phrases online, but that's how the Internet works these days. What would make this even more amazeballs? Paying for the book with goats.

Censorship, China, and coffee
State censorship, conservative publishing choices and lack of good translations appear to be some of the factors narrowing outsiders' views of modern China. But China's bookworms are said to offer hope for traditional publishing. But how can the mood be buoyant without good coffee? Oh, and here's why coffee will never taste as good as it smells.

Other news
  • The economics of an indie bookstore ... can be pretty dismal.
  • Outside the literary world, bad reviews breed more bad blood. A restaurateur in Canada apparently spent months trying to ruin the reputation of someone who gave her restaurant a bad review. She was found guilty of criminal libel and will soon be sentenced.
  • Did this writer see Pakistan's bleak future?
  • A book that Scott Pack hates this much? Can't be all bad. For one, Wong Kar Wai gets killed in it.
  • Apple, publishers offer pricing concessions to avoid hefty European Commission fine.


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