Next New Trend…

Posted on June 15th, 2010 in Uncategorized & Demented by Gerry

minotaur

According to The Onionminotaurs are the next vampires.

Does this mean I should abandon teen chupacabra romance trilogy I’ve been working on?

(image swiped from BookingBuddy.com)

Media Matters Reads Glenn Beck’s Novel

Posted on June 14th, 2010 in New Releases by Gerry

Reading Media Matters For America’s takedown of Glenn Beck’s debut thriller The Overton Window (Threshold HC 9781439184301 $26), I found it amusing, but somewhat hollow.

I mean, sure, the plot sounds like Ayn Rand tried her hand at writing The Hunt for Red October fused with Left Behind, but nobody could every accuse Beck of coming up with anything more absurd or questionably plausible than Tom Clancy or even Robert Ludlum.

Although, the whole idea of smuggling a woman onto a plane by disguising her as Natalie Portman and having her spew Star Wars quotes is either a crass attempt to cater to Generation X or simply the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever read in my life.

Books & Movies: Two Great Things That (Sometimes) Go Great Together

Posted on June 11th, 2010 in From Page to Screen by Gerry

Two articles caught my eye recently regarding the adaptation of books to film.

One really isn’t an article, it’s really a press release stating that Vincenzo Natali, who directed the recently-released sf-thriller Splice (as well as a great little sf film that most folks don’t know of called Cube) is lined up to direct an adaptation of William Gibson’s cyberpunk classic Neuromancer.

Color me nervous on this one. The silver screen hasn’t been kind to Gibson so far, with a tepid adaptation of New Rose Hotel premiering directly on VHS (remember that?), and an adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic that was saved from being utterly unwatchable only by the presence of Takashi Kitano and Ice-T. (via io9)

The other piece is from the Independent UK, tracing various attempts to film Jim Thompson’s hard-boiled thriller The Killer Inside Me, which has finally been realized by British director Michael Winterbottom, who directed an adaptation of another unfilmable novel, Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

This article is a fun read because it also discusses other attempts to film the unfilmable, some successful (Lord of the Rings) and some not so successful (Don Quixote). 

Teenage Wasteland

Posted on June 10th, 2010 in Topically Topical by Gerry

Laura Miller writes in the current New Yorker on the rising trend of dystopian themes in YA literature.

When I was a young adult, I loved anything that involved dystopias or the end of the world. I guess I figured with Ronald Reagan having his finger on the button, I may as well prepare myself for the inevitable. But, like most teenagers, I was, in hindsight, more fatalistic than realistic.

And, as Ms. Miller points out in the essay, everything is the end of the world to a young adult.

Currently, my niece is hounding me about when Mockingjay, the third Hunger Games book by Suzanne Collins, is going to be released. I think I will send her a copy of this article to keep her busy in the meantime.

This Is Mean, But Somebody Had To Say It

Posted on June 10th, 2010 in Topically Topical, Uncategorized & Demented by Gerry

As the slush pile migrates from publishers to booksellers, via self-publishing and print-on-demand, I come across more specimens of horrible, horrible writing than any human not being given hazard pay should be expected to endure.

At first, I accompanied rejection with encouragement, telling the writer that maybe this isn’t right for us, but perhaps the next one will. Now, I wield rejection as a cudgel, in an effort to simply make these folks go away.

Writing at The Nervous Breakdown, Sean Beaudoin relays a lot of the same dismay as he recounts his slush pile experiences. I nearly gave myself whiplash reading this because I’ve had to endure many similar experiences.

The nugget of this piece is the section titled The Eight (8) Universal Unpublished Story Submission Plots, and it reinforces what I’ve long said about writing, that you either have to write about the extraordinary, or, if you are writing about the ordinary, you have to be an extraordinary writer.

Anyway, if you want to have a laugh at the expense of another’s attempt at self-expression, run, don’t walk to this article.


Termite Parade Trailer

Posted on June 9th, 2010 in New Releases by Gerry

Two Dollar Radio has posted a trailer for Joshua Mohr’s new novel Termite Parade, which the have set for publication on July 1st.

The trailer is good, but the book is even better. In all honesty, it’s one of my favorite books coming out this summer (and no, they’re not paying me to say this).

If I were handselling this, I would tell potential customers that it’s got the boozy misanthropy of Charles Bukowski mixed with the catalog of human weirdness that Chuck Palahniuk explores.

Paul Auster Reads From His New Novel

Posted on June 9th, 2010 in New Releases by Gerry

Check out this video of Paul Auster reading from his upcoming novel Sunset Park (scheduled for a November release by Henry Holt).

It’s not getting anywhere near the 13.8 million hits that the new Nike World Cup commercial is getting, so tell all of your friends about it. I mean, wouldn’t you rather live in a world where 13 million viewers decide they would rather watch Paul Auster read instead of watching Renaldo kick a soccer ball past Homer Simpson (cool as that is)?

(via Third Place Books’ Facebook page)

Why EBooks Will NEVER Rule The World

Posted on June 8th, 2010 in Uncategorized & Demented by Gerry

I saw this pop up in a few places online, but I’ll credit BookNinja with first mention (that I saw at least), and Gizmodo with best caption: Why Fahrenheit 451 Will Never Happen.

book_burning

(via XKCD)

This Is Why The Internet Exists

Posted on June 7th, 2010 in Uncategorized & Demented by Gerry

Hopefully this will brighten up your day, even if the video has its embed feature disabled.

But, if you like books, work with books, or are otherwise surrounded by books, you should check this out.

(via Roger Ebert’s Twitter page)

Listen To Some Of My Favorite People Discuss The Next Decade In Book Culture

Posted on June 7th, 2010 in Topically Topical by Gerry

I missed this BEA panel, but thanks to the magic of the Internet and affordable digital video cameras, we can all listen to some of my favorite people discuss the future of books.

Edward Nawotka (of Publishing Perspectives), Carolyn Kellogg (of the LA Times) and Denise Oswald (Soft Skull and Counterpoint publisher) are among the luminaries assembled.

NBCC at the BEA, 1/2 from NBCC on Vimeo.

Sometimes it’s a little hard to hear what is being said, so maybe you should listen to it with headphones…or maybe my cat needs to stop making a racket.

(via Critical Mass)

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