Derrida's fear of writing. ("I have a nap or something, and I fall asleep" in English, rest in French with subtitles).
Remember Laura K. Pahl, the girl who was famously humiliated for trying to buy a term paper over the internet? Perhaps she should have gone to a professional.
A bunch of writers (42 to be exact), having decided civil liberties are important, have launched a website with poems, essays, and short stories protesting the extension of the pre-charge detention period in the UK from 28 to 42 days. Of course, Not everyone thinks it's a good idea. [more inside]
Neil Gaiman's latest work, The Graveyard Book, is a kind of undead Jungle Book, with a man-child being raised by various ghosts and ghouls rather than animals. He's been the whole thing a chapter at a time on each stop of his American promotional tour, and posting the videos online (and blogging about it of course), which means that with tonights reading the entire thing will be available online.
Write In My Journal "I simply ask people to write in my journal. What they write is up to them...." Such a simple, elegantly beautiful idea.
Dacre Stoker presents: Dracula... the sequel!
"We are living in interesting times; in fact, they're so interesting that it is not currently possible to write near-future SF" – why Charles Stross might have to market his next novel as fantasy.
The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
LDS Sparkledammerung IS HERE! The crypto-mormonism of Stephanie Myers' Twilight series. (Spoilers, image heavy, extreme derisiveness)
Storyboard is an almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature. The Birth of Storyboard is a (minimally edited) video of the conversation that spawned the project. The feature—that will be published in November—is about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. In the past he has woven the process of creating his work into the work itself, so Wired writer Jason Tanz thought it would make sense to do the same. Looking to promote his directorial debut, Kaufman has agreed to take part in the project.
"He's always thinking about lots of things — he's a pollinator, he brings ideas to the table" You probably know Neal Stephenson for his work as an author (generally in or adjacent to the Science Fiction genre), but he's also an inventor at Washington based "Idea Factory" Intellectual Ventures, a place with modern goals like stomping out malaria and preventing hurricanes. This is after his old job as part-time rocket scientist.
Torre's Stories. As part of their ever-expanding blog empire, Major League Baseball has invited Joe Torre to take up the noble habit of blogging. He joins the likes of Kevin Slowey, Bengie Molina, and Mark DeRosa as guys who apparently have time to blog between games. [more inside]
A grotesque comparison of a steamy love affair to a New York City street has won a Washington man this year's grand prize in an annual contest of bad writing.
Memory remembered. Does writing seek out words the better to stir and un-numb us to life—or does writing provide surrogate pleasures the better to numb us to experience? [more inside]
The Punisher MAX #60 hits comics stores this week, marking the end of Garth Ennis's run on the series. His earlier Punisher work on the series put the character back on track after some disastrous wrong turns, but it was the Marvel MAX series that striped the Vietnam vet turned vigilante's war on crime of all extraneous elements and turned it into something dark and brutal. The evocative covers of Tim Bradstreet (also leaving the series) matched the interior darkness, with Ennis toning down his humor to let the Frank Castle become a monomaniacal psychopath in a corrupt world. Adversaries included the resourceful and violent Barracuda, a kind of anti-Punisher based on the song Stagger Lee. It's not over for the Punisher - screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz and artist Laurence Campbell are taking over the series, and Ennis will be returning to the character with a miniseries in the lighter tone of his Marvel Knights work or The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe.
Writer's Rooms, portraits of the spaces where authors create: Martin Amis. Simon Armitage. Diana Athill. Jane Austen. Berly Bainbridge. JG Ballard. John Banville. Nicola Barker. Ronan Bennett. Alain de Botton. William Boyd. Raymond Briggs. Charlotte Bronte. Carmen Callil. Jung Chang. Roald Dahl. Charles Darwin. Margaret Drabble. Geoff Dyer. Anne Enright. Joshua Ferris. Jonathan Safran Foer. Margaret Forster. Antonia Fraser. Michael Frayn. Esther Freud. Simon Gray. Mark Haddon. David Hare. David Harsent. Seamus Heaney. Russell Hoban. Eric Hobsbawm. Michael Holroyd. Siri Hustvedt. AL Kennedy. Judith Kerr. Rudyard Kipling. Hanif Kureishi. Penelope Lively. David Lodge. Michael Longley. Hilary Mantel. Eamonn McCabe. Charlotte Mendelson. John Mortimer. Kate Mosse. Andrew Motion. Julie Myerson. Edna O'Brien. Andrew O'Hagan. Adam Phillips. Caryl Phillips. Craig Raine. Ian Rankin. John Richardson. Michael Rosen. Will Self. George Bernard Shaw. Alan Sillitow. Posy Simmonds. Helen Simpson. Ahdaf Soueif. Graham Swift. Adam Thirlwell. Colm Toibin. Claire Tomalin. Sue Townsend. Barbara Trapido. Rose Tremain. Sarah Waters. Jacqueline Wilson. Virginia Woolf. (Step into the reading room for a wee bit more...) [more inside]
Like Philip K. Dick said, "It's not just 'what if?', it's 'my god, what if?'." By all major accounts, the Zombie War (was | will be) a real bitch. And Fitzpatrick didn't do much better. If some writers have anything to say about it, the future probably wont look too good. Some hit a little close to home. On the other hand, some other writers think our future might be a little brighter. Who knows? It's just a guess. So is looking backwards and wondering "what if?". And if that's not enough, maybe you wonder what it's like to be someone else...
Warren Ellis on the grim future of science fiction magazines. Some of the previous posts he mentions, and response to one from Cory Doctorow (unsuprising short summary: Blogs!). Jason Stoddard on 5 small things and 5 big things Science Fiction can do to improve its image.
Write Rhymes : As you write, hold the alt key and click on a word to find a rhyme for it...
Humiliation: Which book are you most embarrassed to admit that you have never read? Several "respectable" authors answer the question at the Ways With Words festival. (single-link Telegraph post)
"I think we should get paid for it, don't you, Stan?" "I'll do what I usually do: he'll do all the work and I'll take all the credit." Stan Lee, comics legend, and Grant Morrison, fan favourite writer, sparring with each other.
After a lengthy hiatus, Terry Rossio is once again writing columns on screenwriting and other aspects of the film trade for Wordplayer (previously). New articles include a dissertation on the use of dramatic irony, a fascinating story about a single vacation photo and the strange twists of life, and an insider's look into how good stories get killed, and which battles are worth fighting. [more inside]
The New York Moon is an internet-based publication adhered to the lunar phases. It is a collection of experimental, reflective, and imaginative projects produced with every other month’s full moon. In the current issue visit the 6th Borough interactive map to discover imaginary precincts, find ephemeral street sculptures on The Trash Map, browse sketches of the moments in between Waiting, or redesign your neighborhood in Blueprints. [more inside]
Philip Pullman interviewed about the ideas behind "His Dark Materials" [YT,1 hour, South Bank Show,parts 2,3,4,5,6,7]. Inside, and hidden from those who don't want spoilers, are links relating to the ideas raised and about the books generally. [more inside]
Who killed the semicolon? Paul Collins fingers a 19th-century culprit; Trevor Butterworth finds an American anitipathy to this troublesome punctuation mark. [previously] [via]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Abridged Script [probably contains spoilers]
The Grammar Curmudgeon makes up for all of those snarky grammar comments we refrain from posting.
Blogging could be positively deadly (previously); or (previously) at least stressful, if not lethal. Then again, it might actually be good for you!
The Willa Cather Archive is an incredible resource provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, including biographies, letters, photos, and even full (often annotated) text of much of her writing, including scholarly editions of two of her greatest (and most famous) works, My Antonia and O Pioneers. About the archive.
As of 2010 Steven Moffat will be replacing Russell T. Davies as lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who. In 2005 Davies revived the series, which had been dormant (bar the odd US co-production or audiodrama) since 1989, for BBC Wales. It won awards and was successful enough to spawn the spin-offs Sarah Jane Adventures and the popular-in-America Torchwood. He is replaced by Moffat, one of the regular writers on the show, whose highly acclaimed episodes have won a number of awards and nominations. "I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best - and the toughest - job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."
Canadian writer Craig Davidson is pretty intense (read mad) when it comes to research and promoting his work, entering into an officially sanctioned boxing match to promote The Fighter. But even he thinks he went a bit too far when he went on a full 'steroid cycle'.
Gary Snyder, sublime and seminal poet of ecological awareness and activism [YouTube link], Zen appreciation of "ordinary mind" and American speech, shamanistic intimacy with the natural world, and surviving member of the Beat Generation (West Coast posse) at age 78, has won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly poetry prize. "Gary Snyder is in essence a contemporary devotional poet, though he is not devoted to any one god or way of being so much as to Being itself," said Poetry magazine editor Christian Wiman. "His poetry is a testament to the sacredness of the natural world and our relation to it, and a prophecy of what we stand to lose if we forget that relation.” Previous recipients of the Lilly prize include Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and W.S. Merwin. [Previously mentioned here.]
Oxford Muse - "a foundation to stimulate courage and invention in personal, professional and cultural life". Browse the self-potraits (autobiographies), participate in projects, go universal, or just learn what the Muse is.
A Million Penguins, the wiki novel mentioned previously on MeFi, is complete, and a research paper about it has been released. [more inside]
An extraordinary piece of magazine writing by Chris Jones. Jones tells the story of how the body of Sergeant Joe Montgomery makes its way from a Baghdad suburb to its final resting place in a grave in Indiana. It's one of the finest pieces of journalism that I've read in years. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed. If I taught a first-year creative writing course, I'd make this required reading.
Being Raymond Carver Often referred to as the American Chekhov, Raymond Carver was a master of the American short story. [more inside]
50 best cult books from The Telegraph.
Remember Philip M. Parker, the much-reviled "author" whose system churns out ultra-long-tail books on ultra-niche topics? Well, here's video of his software, in action. (Via)
taping downloading is killing music authorship. The Society of Authors warns that authors will simply stop writing if they aren't compensated for piracy of their work (as unlikely as that seems). Perhaps they should follow the example of Jim Griffin, newly hired at Warner Music to persuade broadband providers to attach a $5 per month surcharge for the benefit of the major labels, in exchange for halting the lawsuits that have thus far been their mainstay weapon against piracy.
Edinburgh author Iain M. Banks, creator of the post capitalist space faring society The Culture and it's oddly named ships, has long been the UKs top science fiction writer, but has never had more than a toehold in the US (in part through lack of availability, in part due to lack of promotion and in part due to some pretty awful covers. That could change: Matter, his latest, has been heavily promoted in the US and sports a cover nearly identical to the UK edition. This week Orbit are releasing US editions of the two earliest Culture novels, with the third following in July, which could mean a complete release of all the novels in the US in order. [more inside]
Speaking of speeches, David Eggers delivers one at TED on grassroots community tutoring for kids who need help with their English homework: "There's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one on one, getting all this attention. They finish their homework, they go home -- they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home 5:30, enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play and that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world, right? So, the key to it all is homework." Love him or hate him (mefi consensus) it's a great example of
nervous energy microphilanthropy, social entrepreneurship and, if I may make the connection, machines of loving grace. [previously]
Brilliant Women: The Blue Stocking Circle was a group of intellectuals with a strong desire to discuss, analyze, and examine the social, political, and educational problems of the day Mostly female intellectuals, but they included many prominent men as well. They assembled in the London homes of literary hostesses such as Elizabeth Montagu, Frances Boscawen and Elizabeth Vesey in the 1750s form the nucleus of the exhibition. .... At first, all the party-goers were nicknamed blues, but from the 1770s, the "bluestocking" tag was applied to the women members in particular. By the time of Montagu's death in 1800, any female intellectual might be labelled a bluestocking, whether or not she could claim a link to the original circle.
An essay by Bill Lawrence, creator of "Scrubs," on why he writes. It's part of a series: "Why We Write." [more inside]