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Posts tagged New York Times

Virtual Unreality looks virtually imbecilic from the cover on in
July 4, 2014 | 2:29 pm

Virtual UnrealityThis is a book non-review, because it's in large part a review of a book cover. And I apologize unreservedly to any genuine worth in the contents that I may have traduced - but I won't hold my breath. Because wouldn't life be wonderful if every book cover in the world, physical or digital, told you unerringly that its contents were crap?  Plus, if you're going to try to stoke a moral panic, you'd better make sure you get it right from the off, or you're likely to wind up looking virtually ridiculous. I is a writer. I tries to be...

Brain research shows novices write with their eyes
June 23, 2014 | 6:25 pm

poetry_brain_pageFollowing the fascinating recent scientific research that demonstrates the effect that reading literature can have on your brain, here is some more to show how the brain works while writing. And the conclusions are surprising. As described in a paper in Elsevier journal NeuroImage, "Professional training in creative writing is associated with enhanced fronto-striatal activity in a literary text continuation task," and summarized in the New York Times, the research concluded that, while inexperienced writers tended to use the areas of their brain associated with visual images while writing, experienced writers used the areas associated with planning, organization of learned...

‘Boom’ goes bust with Byliner
June 20, 2014 | 10:30 am

boomIn the New York Times, Tony Horwitz writes a cautionary tale about his travails with a small e-publisher called Byliner. a Kindle Singles publisher who’s shown up a few times in TeleRead. Horwitz had been asked by a new e-zine called The Global Mail to do a long-form work on the Keystone XL pipeline, to the tune of $15,000, plus $5,000 for expenses. So Horwitz traveled, did his research, and wrote a 40,000-word piece from the experience. As he was writing, the Global Mail informed him they had arranged a deal to co-publish with Byliner, who “thought we might...

Salon’s Laura Miller swears off Amazon: Not many dead
May 23, 2014 | 12:44 pm

compete with amazonSalon has been the venue for plenty of gratuitous Amazon-bashing in the past. And the latest contribution is from senior Salon writer Laura Miller, who headlines her piece "Goodbye, Amazon: We’re through!" and adds, "I quit Amazon because of its monopolistic tactics. Is it impossible for book publishers to do the same?" "I used to be an Amazon Prime member myself," she admits, but continues, "I stopped buying any books, print or digital, from the company. What I knew of the predatory, proto-monopolistic practices of Amazon caused concern. I believe no single corporation should have as much control over the book...

New York Times embraces ‘mushrooming’ genre of cli-fi
April 3, 2014 | 6:47 pm

cli-fiWhen the New York Times speaks, the world listens. And the paper of record didn't even use scare quotes when it mentioned the new literary genre of cli-fi, short for climate fiction. A recent Times piece by reporter Richard Perez-Pena titled "College Classes Use Arts to Brace for Climate Change" represents the first time a major print newspaper has dipped its toes into the "mushrooming" genre that TeleRead has been tracking for several years already. Print always follows digital now. Print editors are conservative and circumspect; digital editors are more open to new ideas and experimentation. In fact, it was an earlier TeleRead piece here about University of Oregon professor Stephanie LeMenager's...

Morning Roundup: BooksOnBoard files lawsuit. UK court says electronic information is not property
March 27, 2014 | 6:46 am

BooksOnBoard files lawsuitDefunct Indie eBook Retailer BooksOnBoard Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple, 5 Publishers (The Digital Reader) BooksOnBoard may have abruptly gone out of business last April but that doesn’t mean it’s completely gone. Some remnant is still active, and last week it filed an antitrust lawsuit. *** UK Court Says Information Stored Electronically is Not Property (Techdirt) It confirms that the property of "intellectual property" is of monopoly rights, not of the information in the creative work. And since that information cannot be possessed, it therefore cannot be stolen, despite what copyright maximalists would have us believe. *** Even the Biggest and Smartest Digital Publishers Still Have...

The smarm debate continued: It’s not about the Internet … or is it?
December 20, 2013 | 10:28 am

The literary feud about snark versus smarm kicked off at the end of this year seems set to splutter on well into 2014. Maureen Dowd, in the New York Times Sunday Review, picked it up in a piece entitled "Bigger Than Bambi," referring to the now-notorious Bambi Rule: "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all." And, she concluded, "such prettifying is consistent with a culture dominated by an Internet concerned mainly with marketing techniques." Although I applaud Dowd's decision to stand by snark against the saccharin surge of smarm, I have to differ on that point -...

Literary feuds: Good fun and bad taste (in the mouth)
December 11, 2013 | 2:25 pm

literary feudsThe New Yorker has just run its eyebrow-raising compendium of literary feuds of 2013, drawing the definition of feud wide enough to loop in some real doozies. In Rachel Arons' hands, we have, rather than writer versus writer, writer versus collective prejudice, or writer versus stereotype, or writer's estate versus innuedo, or literary enterprise versus concept, etc. Some of the feuds on Arons's Christmas Krampus list look positively overdue, if anything. There was Rachel Kushner taking issue with Adam Kirsch for caricaturing her work as “mansplaining,” and in general, apparently, not writing as a lady novelist should. There was Clare Messud taking...

In glitchy online world, news site ‘glitches’ do happen
December 8, 2013 | 2:15 pm

In a glitchy online world, news site glitches do happen, and here's a story to freeze your computer screen as we speak. A few weeks ago, a man in Manhattan read an op-ed in the New York Times online, and feeling he had something to say in response, he did what a lot of people do these days: he wrote a letter to the editor. And send it in by email. Of course, the Times receives over 500 letters to the editor every day, most by email nowadays, and the editors have to find 3 or 4 letters that "fit." Remember, the...

Big Publishing hype machine full on for Hallberg
November 26, 2013 | 6:29 pm

publishingThe race to be the next Jonathan Franzen thunders on, with Garth Risk Hallberg a shoo-in for that coveted Time Magazine front cover "Great American Novelist" position. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. Because Knopf and Jonathan Cape already have, paying respectively $2 million and a "a substantial six-figure deal" for his first full novel, the 900-page City on Fire. Oh, I do hope they're not taking too much of a ... you know ... risk? Some choice quotes from the NYT and Guardian coverage on Hallberg and his debut novel:  “Off the charts in its ambition, its powers of observation, its...

The Gore Vidal pedophilia allegations: Double standards, moral panics, hidden agendas
November 20, 2013 | 10:15 am

Child sex abuse allegations have succeeded reality TV as the mass media's favorite traffic drivers, apparently. And a burden of proof seems too heavy for these fast-moving guys, so they've gone with innuendo and hearsay instead. Or used other people's, which saves journalists' brainpower after all. And there seems to be a shortage of it even at the New York Times, which first ran the now-proliferating posthumous allegations of child abuse against Gore Vidal, who, let's remember, was a writer. Yes, one of those people who makes books. With words. Probably not right for reality TV, but worth squeezing to...

Derek Jeter’s New “At Bat” Project: Book Publishing
November 18, 2013 | 2:58 pm

derek jeterLast week, my two favorite things came together – baseball and books. Even more specifically, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced he was partnering with Simon & Schuster to create a literary imprint Jeter Publishing. Those that know me know I have a large baseball card collection with most of it dedicated to Jeter, who will be 40 next June. There are about 2,000 unique cards of his in my collection. So I was intrigued when I saw the New York Times story about Jeter’s preparation for retirement from baseball, which will be sooner than I would like. “I understand how important...