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Other posts by Court Merrigan

Review: Jailbait Justice by Danny Hogan
October 7, 2011 | 9:23 am

Screen Shot 2011 10 07 at 9 21 15 AM Jailbait Justice, by Danny Hogan, is one cracking good read.  23,000 words of pure pulp fun and at $2.99 on the Kindle, a pure steal.  Imaginative without skimping on the blood or the story. I will tell you this, hand on heart, I ain't good for much at all.  I can cook a meal fair enough and, when a nice tune kicks up, I have been known to dance in a way that'd attract the fellas like bees around honey.  Thatwas bout it except, of course, for killing.  And, in these wretched times, where a girl's only chance is her old...

Pay with a post for a new short story collection
January 21, 2011 | 10:57 am

As experiments with publishing goes, this is an interesting one: you can download Australian writer Conor O’Brien’s new collection, Quiet City, for the price of a tweet and / or Facebook post.  Just go here and follow the clickys.  Alternatively, you can get the paper book for $12. I’d never heard of Connor O’Brien until about 7 minutes ago.  Now I’ve got his book and am subscribed to his blog.  I guess that’s the point. Via Court Merrigan's blog...

What is good writing? What is successful writing?
September 8, 2010 | 9:09 am

images.jpg I have spent the last years not making a living at being a writer; in particular the last 4 writing 2 novel manuscripts.  The first  went nowhere.  The second may soon follow suit. For nearly all of that time I had as my credo an outlook very similar to this one, as outlined by Douglas Glover, writer (if you read the whole post, I got involved in quite an exchange with him, one that included regular Don Merritt, too): A person writes because, through writing, he comes to know himself and the world better....

Pindeldyboz folds
June 14, 2010 | 8:15 am

pindeldyboz1.gifPindeldyboz published my very first published short story, "In Hiding", back in January of 2004. (Man, that seems like a long time ago.)I'm still rather fond of this story, for sentimental reasons, if not aesthetic reasons. Now comes the news that Pindeldyboz is folding. Says Whitney Pastorek, founding editor: In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Pindeldyboz, we've made the decision to shut it down. At some point in the next month or so, therefore, the site will be going dark. It wasn't an easy decision in many ways, and in many ways it was. Over the last 10...

Concentration by Court Merrigan
February 11, 2010 | 2:34 pm

concentration.jpgChris Meadows recently wrote on the sapping of our attention spans. In between clicks away to gmail, Facebook, and Chris's own links, I was just able to read through to the end, and the comments after. Now perhaps I am merely mentally lazy and weak, as Steve Jordan suggests, but I don't think reclaiming your attention span is strictly a matter of willpower, of just clicking things off. The networked world is more insidious than that. Mere willpower isn't enough for me. I couldn't just “turn stuff off”. But if I wanted to get some serious...

‘Three-Legged Dog’: A breast lost to cancer, an enduring love, and the art of Single Sentence Animation
October 25, 2009 | 7:49 am

image Billing itself as “Reading That’s Bad For You,” Electric LIterature proclaims that its mission “is to use new media and innovative distribution to return the short story to a place of prominence in popular culture.” EL is tired of hearing about the death of literary fiction. It believes in the future. You certainly have to give EL credit for trying. Case in point: Single Sentence Animation. An animated short is made based on a single sentence taken from a short story featured in the magazine. This cunning little multimedia term hasn’t been trademarked yet, as far as...

Philip Roth: The novel is screwed in the era of the screens
October 23, 2009 | 7:37 am

image Daily Beast Editor Tina Brown asked esteemed author Philip Roth, in this Vimeo video, about the future of the novel. Basically, Roth says, the novel is screwed.  Not even the Kindle can save the novel, because it has to compete against all those screens: first the movie screen, the TV screen, and now the computer screen.  Now all three of those are out there, and the book just doesn't measure up. Roth predicts that in 25 years the novel will have a "cultic" following, perhaps slightly larger than the group of people...

Why B&N called it the Nook: Maybe because they’re Dr. Seuss fans
October 23, 2009 | 7:11 am

image David and others may see some double entendre in Barnes & Noble’s new Nook<, but not me. Maybe I’m just hopelessly naïve, but not only does the Book Nook in my hometown represent my earliest childhood memory of a bookstore, but I also have a two-year old in my house.  So naturally the first thing that came to my mind was Dr. Seuss: We took a look. We saw a Nook. On his head he had a hook. ...

Book review: ‘American Fever,’ by Peter Christian Hall
October 9, 2009 | 6:00 am

image Earlier this week, I took my family to get a seasonal flu vaccine. We waited in a line that extended to the sidewalk with hundreds of others, eyeing every cough and sneeze and sniffle with suspicion. This in my unassuming hometown (pop. 14000), where everyone knows everyone. Imagine such a scene in, say, New York.  In American Fever: A Tale of Romance and Pestilence, Peter Christian Hall does, and doesn’t stop there. The story of a flu-obsessed blogger who predicts a flu pandemic and then records its ravages, Hall taps into a deep literary vein of paranoia....

The library upstairs
October 1, 2009 | 11:56 am

image I have a job.  At this job I can walk upstairs and go into the library.  This makes me happy. We’ll know that e-books have well and truly arrived on the day an e-reader evokes a similar response. Even better, I now have access to a state-wide network of libraries and, better still, the entire University of Wyoming collection.  Currently a couple obscure and expensive biographies are winging their way to me: Nabokov: The Russian Years ($43 on Amazon) and Kafu the Scribbler ($66). Been wanting to read both for several years each. Neither exists in e-book...

The Trapper Kindle: For artsy literary sophisticates who love to flaunt their good taste
October 1, 2009 | 11:25 am

imageHow can you judge someone by their book cover if there is no book cover?  Problem solved: the Trapper Kindle! (Reproduced by permission from Toby Lunchbreath.) ...

If this is the future of the novel, the novel is finished
August 30, 2009 | 9:59 am

imageReminder: These are Court’s personal opinions. Furlong fans are welcome to speak up in the comments area. – D.R. Today’s entry on the future of literature comes from Nicola Furlong, self-identified “shameless self-promoter” and Canadian writer of mysteries. Furlong has produced a multimedia novel entitled Unnatural States.  It is certainly multimedia.  Whether it is a novel is debatable.  More on that later.  Navigating the simple site, you are immediately confronted with a “Trailer / Intro”, which features an buzzcut older woman in sunglasses performing YouTube-esque antics in lieu of of a book jacket.  It had me...

How green is my Kindle?
August 26, 2009 | 7:18 am

image As if you needed another reason to switch to an e-reader: now they’re better for the environment, too. According to a report by the CleanTech Group, "e-readers purchased from 2009 to 2012 could prevent 5.3 billion kg of carbon dioxide in 2012, or 9.9 billion kg during the four-year time period." Alex Salkever goes on to say: "The publishing industry is a horrible thing for the environment. Last year the material needs of the book and newspaper businesses in the U.S. resulted in the removal of 125 million trees. Production processes for books and newspapers created 153...

E vs. P: Snarky vids alone can’t save the Green Apple bookstore
August 1, 2009 | 11:00 am

image Planning an overnight layover in San Francisco a few years back, I asked a friend from the Bay Area what the best used bookstore in town was. Without hesitation, he said, “Green Apple Books.”  So I went there.  It’s just what you’d expect: the slightly standoffish clerks, the vast selection of Buddhist-themed tomes, the glowing Sherman Alexie recommendations. I surrendered to that wonderful vertigo every avid reader experiences when there are too many good books to count, not enough time, and not enough money.  I walked out exhilarated with two bulging...

Tiny Snarkmarket’s ‘free’ strategy: 200 hardcover copies of ‘New Liberal Arts’ sold in just eight hours
July 8, 2009 | 11:38 pm

image More innovation in publishing: Snarkmarket sold 200 hardcover copies of its book New Liberal Arts at $8.99 a pop, after which it put a free Creative Commons-licensed PDF up for anyone and everyone. So Snarkmarket make itself a cool $1,800 (less production costs, of course) before releasing the book into infinity. Aside from the PDF’s inherent weaknesses as e-book format, this is a pretty cool idea. The tiny press run gives value to the hardcover, certainly pays for the free PDF giveaway, and gets the interest up for the next book to be thusly released. I agree with...

Court Merrigan’s take on p-books vs. vs. audiobooks vs. Kindles vs. iPhones
June 22, 2009 | 8:07 am

imageEditor’s note: A list of earlier posts on the topic appears at the end. Court is TeleRead’s book reviewer. – D.R. Over at the Chronicle of Higher Education, academic, entrepreneur, and author Ann Kirschner asks, “Do I love books or do I love reading?”---in light of the ever-expanding publishing universe. For me and probably most readers, it’s an easy question to answer: reading. I don’t much care how my reading comes as long as it’s written well. Kirschner wasn’t sure. So she decided to conduct an experiment, reading Dickens’ masterwork Little Dorrit four ways: paperback,...

OR Books, a new progressive publisher, will try e-books and POD to bypass bookstores
June 2, 2009 | 6:39 am

OR Books, a new publisher aimed at progressive readers, will use e-books and POD to bypass bookstores. Publishing industry veterans John Oakes and Colin Robinson plan to "skate into the future" of publishing. Evidently they intend to cut the big chain bookstores out of the loop.  In a promotional video, they are shown standing gleefully in front of a closed Barnes & Noble megastore in New York. No mention of goliath Amazon, however. And no word on how they'll be doing this, exactly, or when. They do claim to be "platform agnostic", so let's hope this...

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