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Posts tagged Fiction

SFWA ‘doubles down’ in support of Douglas Preston’s petition
July 8, 2014 | 6:26 am

sfwaPassive Guy over at The Passive Voice reports receiving an email from SFWA headed “SFWA doubling down,” clarifying its position on signing onto Douglas Preston’s open letter decrying Amazon’s hardball tactics in its negotiation with Hachette. (Odd that they didn’t also send it to me, given that TPV carried the story I posted about it in the first place.) The letter reads as follows: SFWA’s support of Douglas Preston’s open letter reflects our concern about Amazon’s tactics in their dispute with Hachette and the way those tactics are impacting writers and their careers. We are,...

‘Slenderman’ Internet fiction blamed in pre-teen stabbing; creepypasta sites issue statements
June 4, 2014 | 4:58 pm

slendermanYou know, I really want to believe the best of human nature, but then I run across something like this. There’s a genre of Internet writing called “creepypasta.” It’s a subcategory of, and its name derives from, “copypasta,” which simply means a block of text that’s short and interesting enough that it gets copied and pasted over and over again, thousands of times through the Internet. As you might guess from the name, “creepypasta” is short but interesting horror stories. One particular creepypasta that turned into a meme is the “Slenderman,” an Internet-made horror story about a supernaturally...

No one is writing good fiction. Except Jonathan Franzen.
May 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

jonathan franzenI'm sure you didn't need telling that. Its so blindingly obvious. But just in case you were in any doubt, here is AdviceToWriters, collecting the "Writerly Wisdom of the Ages" courtesy of Jon Winokur, laying down "Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules for Writers." What greater endorsement could there be? And break them at your peril. Your Time Magazine Great American Novelist cover could be at risk. And how do we know that no one else besides Franzen is doing it right? Well, Rule 8 of course: "It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction." And...

Just like literature, mathematics can boot up your brain
March 8, 2014 | 6:08 pm

Anyone who knows the recent research that shows that a reader's brains are directly, measurably affected by reading fiction won't be surprised to learn that mathematics can have a similar effect - at least on mathematicians. A recent article in Nature citing research in Frontiers of Human Neurooscience describes how scientists at University College London used nuclear magnetic resonance imaging to track the response of mathematicians' brains to equations - but specifically those that the mathematicians regarded as "beautiful." Comprehension apparently plays a big part in the response - once again, something that won't surprise those familiar with similar instances in literature. The...

Reboot your brain for 2014: Read a novel
December 29, 2013 | 10:22 am

Here's some news that will not surprise most writers, or readers, but which brings some good neurological data to back up their views against science-fixated skeptics: Reading novels can improve your mind. Physically, noticeably, and measurably. New research from Emory University, "Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain," published in the journal Brain Connectivity (where it is available in full as a PDF) and made available via eScience Commons, has found that "actual changes in the brain that linger, at least for a few days, after reading a novel." [caption id="" align="alignright" width="143"] Pompeii - erupting...

Morning Roundup: Favourite Fiction Debuts of 2013, Strict Parental Controls for Tablets?
December 26, 2013 | 9:00 am

parental controls for tabletsMy Favourite Fiction Debuts of 2013 (Boing Boing) 2013 was a great year for my encounters with debut novels -- first novels from new authors, and first-time excursions into young adult fiction from established adult fic authors, and even an editorial debut. *** A Paradigm Shift (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) When you start thinking of your writing as an asset which will, if you do things right, appreciate in value over time, then you realize that applying marketing methods based on widgets that will spoil does your asset no good at all. *** Experts Warn Strict Parental Controls Needed for Kids Tablet Usage (GoodeReader) However, notwithstanding...

Weekend Roundup: 22 Rules of Storytelling, Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy and more
December 8, 2013 | 11:14 am

rules of storytellingThe 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar (io9) On Twitter, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats has compiled nuggets of narrative wisdom she's received working for the animation studio over the years. *** Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy (GalleyCat) Reading literary fiction can improve empathy, according to a new report from researchers at The New School in New York City. *** What I learned from seeking out a single tablet / laptop solution (again) (GigaOM) Microsoft introduced its 2-in-1 products nearly 14 months ago. The device type didn’t fit my needs then but I recently took another look, buying an Asus Transformer T100. It’s still hard to...

Fact vs fiction debate: Fiction ahead at half-time after spectacular GQ own-goal
October 27, 2013 | 12:19 pm

fact vs fictionThat longstanding debate of fact vs fiction has resurfaced again - and I hope that's not down to Noel Gallagher's unforgiveably imbecilic anti-literature rant in GQ Magazine, and GQ's equally imbecilic decision to make him Icon of the Year. At least the New York Times is less likely to fall victim to such an influence when it asks "What’s Behind the Notion That Nonfiction Is More ‘Relevant’ Than Fiction?" in its Bookends column. There, "Rivka Galchen and Pankaj Mishra discuss the boundaries of fiction and nonfiction, and the way each form reflects the world in which we live." And it's Galchen who...

R.I.P Tom Clancy: Master Thriller Author
October 3, 2013 | 1:33 pm

I've been a huge fan of Tom Clancy, and his work since I was a teenager, and yesterday's news of his death hit me hard. Later in the day, I was having coffee with a friend, who mentioned Clancy during our conversation. Something told me he didn't yet know of the news, and I asked, "You do know he died today, right?" His face fell, and he said, "No, I hadn't." We both shared a spontaneous moment of silence. It felt pretty crummy to break the news to someone, but at least we weren't alone. For those of you who might...

Drablr for Really, Really Short-Form Fiction
August 27, 2013 | 8:31 pm

DrablrWriting short fiction is hard, but done well it can pack a real punch and stay with you for a long time. There's a new site, Drablr, that takes short fiction down about as short you can go: exactly 100 words. I've seen a few Twitter accounts that feature stories in 140 characters, but I didn't find them satisfying. With 100 words, though, you can get across an emotion or a twist, if you're careful. It's so new there are currently only 11 authors and 35 stories, so it won't take you long to read everything on the site. The site, by...

Book-Lover vs. the Non-Reading Child
August 27, 2013 | 1:15 pm

book-loverI wrote yesterday about a blog post written by a book lover who lamented her non-reading spouse. Today, a story serendipitously crossed my inbox on a similar topic: a book lover who laments their non-reading child. Our friends at Book Riot shared the anecdote of attending a book event and meeting a dad who was attending it without his non-reader wife. And he had made peace with that, just as the blogger in yesterday's story did. But what he still could not get over was the non-reading child who had inherited his mother's habits. The article got quite a few comments which...

On Being Married to a Nonreader
August 26, 2013 | 12:36 pm

nonreaderThis fun little blog post hit my inbox this morning; a woman named Kellee writes about being married to a "nonreader" and what she's learned from this. The article struck a cord with me. The Beloved is not much for fiction books, and while I am sure he would appreciate the new respect Kellee has for her spouse after she concedes that not all reading happens in books, and that people who don't read for fun can still be intelligent, I am not sure he would have welcomed the years of "converting" attempts that she says she tried to do on...

Elmore Leonard, Crime Writer, Passes at 87 Years Old
August 21, 2013 | 2:05 pm

Elmore LeonardThe New York Times is one of several outlets reporting that crime novelist Elmore Leonard has passed away at 87 years old. According to the article, Leonard had his first story published in 1951 and "60 years later, was still churning out a book a year." He is known for novels such as 'Glitz' and 'Get Shorty,' some of which were also adapted for movie and television. I personally haven't read much by Elmore Leonard, but I know my father is a fan of his work, and I am sure he will be missed in literary world. ...

Warning: Longer fiction may crush the toiling masses
August 21, 2013 | 1:11 pm

Notable contemporary novelist and professor of writing practice Kirsty Gunn (pictured below) appears to be exercised with the length of some of the books currently winning garlands at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and elsewhere. She also seems concerned to link this enthusiasm for length with the uncertain economic climate, and the fundamentally "bourgeois" character of the novel. Big books are dominating this year's book festival," begins her article in The Guardian: "The economics behind the trend might have something to with it. Recessionary times prefer spectacle to introspection ... And big books build confidence, too, a feeling a look-at-me can-do'ism ... And now...

Speed writing course: Too fast, too furious?
July 25, 2013 | 11:03 am

speed writingJust advertised at The Writing Salon, a call for San Francisco writers to head to Berkeley this weekend to learn to " Write Fast, Write Furious: Optimize Your Writing Time and Output." Courtesy of Jason S. Ridler, the all-day course runs on Sat. July 27, and offers writers the chance to: "get more words on the page ... cut down your outlining, writing, and revising time." This makes me wonder: Is this something a writer would want to do? I'm hardly a convincing argument for the merits of slow writing myself, as I regularly churn out four articles per day for TeleRead,...

Man Booker Longlist Announced
July 23, 2013 | 3:02 pm

Man BookerThe Man Booker longlist has been announced; it is the usual mix ox established literary authors (Jumpha Lahiri being the one notable name I recognized) and newcomers of all different backgrounds. The books will be condensed into a shortlist on September 10th, with the winner to be announced in October. The longlisted books are:  Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw  We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton  Harvest by Jim Crace  The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris  The Kill by Richard House  The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri  Unexploded by Alison MacLeod  TransAtlantic by Colum McCann  Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson  A Tale for the Time...

Book Review: Machine of Death: A collection of stories about people who know how they will die
July 21, 2013 | 9:16 pm

Machine of DeathThis anthology was part of the recent Humble eBook Bundle release. I purchased the bundle because I wanted "The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle, and the Wil Wheaton book. This "Machine of Death" book was one of the extras that came with the whole deal. I love the business model of these media bundles. You can pay a 'choose-your-own-price' amount and get the basic collection, or you can pay at or above the average going rate and get bonus content too. If you pay for this deluxe version, you'll automatically get any new titles they add before the bundle closes. All the books...

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