Monday, 17 June 2013

News: Cool Mud, S&M, Publishing, And Book Stacking

Local online news portal The Star reports on the upcoming Cooler Lumpur Festival 2013. Although the Festival will have a YA fiction-related programme, a local writer, editor and book reviewer laments the overall lack of programmes featuring children's and young adult literature in local lit fests.

"'...Are you sure this isn’t just a small bunch of very loud women with their panties all whirled around in some kinda panty tornado?' And there I'd correct you and note that I am a dude and, in fact, my panties are indeed whirling about in a panty tornado because this is a problem in our respective industry and it sucks." So, yeah, Chuck Wendig wants you to know these 25 things about sexism and misogyny in writing and publishing. Also related is the sexism shitstorm over the cover of and a column in a recent edition of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's (SFWA) magazine.

Speaking of sexism and misogyny (hey, another kind of S&M), Laura Miller over at Salon tears into The Daily Beast's alleged slut-shaming of CIA deputy director Avril Haines. British tabloid The Daily Mail also picked it up, and suggests this detail in Haines's past is "pertinent" - "for an agency that was recently embarrassed by the resignation of its director, David Petraeus, over his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell".

A former British intel chief and now writer of spy novels thinks Brits should snoop on their neighbours for the sake of national security. Which, from what passes as news in that country, they might already be doing - and is way creepier.

I'd be chuffed to know that the first ever female deputy director of my country's intelligence agency hosted an "Erotica Night" at a bookstore she co-owned. At least this shows she's a human being and not a Cylon. Does anyone think we can get her to join next year's Cooler Lumpur Festival?

Okay, what else?

  • In Turkey, Kurdish book publishing is still a risky business. Even more so now, with Turkey's government tightening the screws after the recent protests.
  • Author Randy Susan Meyers's ten tips for writers reading in public. Just in time for a certain arts and literature festival.
  • It's tempting to think that Snowdengate somehow boosted sales of George Orwell's 1984. June 6 - around the time the story broke - is also the anniversary of the book's release.
  • University presses facing challenges in the new era of democratised, increasingly commercialised publishing.
  • Reading fiction, apparently, helps with thinking and dealing with ambiguity.
  • Egyptian author and human rights activist Karam Saber is jailed for his allegedly 'blasphemous' book, Where is God? He, along with those protesting the sentence, are probably asking the same question.
  • I can't say much about the Popular-The Star Readers' Choice Awards, but the points raised in this article are worth pondering.
  • Random House wants you to plug into audiobooks. Yes, you, runner-in-training. You, guy in the gym. You, frequent flyer. You, on the lawn mower or your SUV. Because: "Reading the latest Dan Brown novel, 'Inferno,' while driving a car or mowing the lawn would be perilous, but probably not for audiobook listeners." Not too sure about that.
  • Do grammar police arrest the imagination? Prompted by Sherman Alexie's asertion that "Grammar cops are rarely good writers. Imagination always disobeys." Can someone cite the Guardian writer for that arresting pun?
  • "My grandmother, the writer Han Suyin, died last November at ninety-six. The funeral was in Switzerland, and I went only because my mother asked me to. Twice. 'You’ll be fine,' I said. 'Just remember what an asshole she was.'" Looks like Karen Shepard really does not like her grandma.
  • Nine reasons why Dan Brown is one of the most important (living) authors. Thoughts? I know. Me neither.
  • Book-stacking techniques to liven up bookstore displays in Japan? Will this become a sport or drinking game?


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