Sunday, 10 March 2013

News: Michelin Snark, And Slaying The Hydra

Twitter is, it seems, a huge pool of negativity. And not a good indicator of public opinion. Evidence of the former may be found in this list of choice "passive aggressive" tweets from Michelin reviewers, which also suggests that 'pros' are no better than Yelpers.



A day in the life of a senior (digital) editor at The Atlantic. Also, here's a day in the life of a freelancer who was asked to repurpose his article for The Atlantic - for nothing.

Felix Salmon delves into the issue in a Reuters blog. There's more at Gawker, which is - I think - saying that writers who have to support themselves and their dependents cannot afford to write for media outlets without pay. Ron Hogan threw in his two cents as well.



Presenting, the top ten worst sex scenes in modern literature. Hey, didn't all these win the Bad Sex Award at some point?

This question comes up from time to time: Why is literary sex generally so bad? Someone tries to get to the bottom of the rarity of good literary sex. Perhaps the writers are too ... embarrassed to be sexy and, therefore, crack under the pressure to perform?



John Scalzi, among others, rails at a "HORRIBLE AWFUL TERRIBLE APPALLING DISGUSTING" publishing contract "WHICH IS BAD". The contract, offered by Random House's digital-only imprint Hydra, had terms which some would consider exploitative.

Random House has issued an open letter to critics of the contract, "strongly" disagreeing with their points of view. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) wrote back to say they're maintaining their stance and that "there is very little to discuss."

Victoria Strauss over at Writer Beware is not a fan of the contract's terms, but her comments on the issue are also worth reading. How this will play out remains to be seen.



What else cropped up? Let's see:

  • An attempt to read and blog about Publisher's Weekly's bestseller-list-topping books for the past 100 years.
  • Even if blogging doesn't sell books, give it a go anyway.
  • Amish Tripathi, re-teller of the Hindu god Shiva's tale in the Shiva trilogy, gets a seven-figure advance for his next book(s). Is he the subcontinent's Dan Brown?
  • There are more guy reviewers than gals in some major lit journals. Looking at, say, The Star, one would think Malaysian men don't read.
  • When Tash Aw read at Silverfish and optimism for Malaysian writing.
  • "I was bitter. I wanted to sell my own book. And I still want some literary immortality of my own." 'Failed' novelist apologises for trashing novels of Keith Gessen and Nathaniel Rich in his search for that "literary immortality".
  • Comedian Russell Brand's powerful, unfunny outpourings about addiction. Riveting stuff. Can't believe he wrote it.
  • Hilary Mantel speaks out on the media storm over her "royal bodies" lecture, which has only propelled her name further up the charts. Meanwhile, Mantel adds the £40,000 "British Nobel", the David Cohen award, to her increasingly crowded mantelpiece.
  • Mike Godwin on his Law - yes, that one - and other stuff.
  • "Who needs Anne Frank?" What the famous diary (and, by extension, the Holocaust) means for boomers, Gen-X and millennials.
  • Seven grammar rules that aren't worth losing sleep over.
  • Sebastian Faulks to (try channelling PG Wodehouse and) pen a new Jeeves novel. All the best, Faulks.
  • A dispatch from a Congo literary festival.

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