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Free good science fiction

Free, good science fiction for download, some you might have seen, some new, all are worth the time. If you have only a few minutes, Michael Swanick's Science Fiction Table of the Elements features 108 short short stories. If you have a little more time, Kelly Link, called by Neil Gaiman "the best short story writer currently out there" has released her much-praised collection Stranger Things Happen. For longer reads, Charlie Stross has made available his cyberpunk novel Accelerando and his Lovecraftish Colder War. The creepier Peter Watts has posted the New York Times Notable Book Starfish, and its sequels as well [previously]. If you haven't had enough, you should check out the Baen Free Library, with books by everyone from Andre Norton to Larry Niven, as well as a large amount of right-of-center combat-oriented stuff by David Weber and friends. Also, the Science Fiction Channel has made available many well-known classic short stories as well as a lot of contemporary Hugo and World Fantasy Award winners [previously]. Finally, you probably already know that Cory Doctorow has four novels available under creative commons. Happy reading!
posted by blahblahblah on Sep 19, 2005 - 59 comments

Artistic interpretations of literary figures

Artistic interpretations of literary figures drawn by comic book artists. Personal favorites: Joe Kubert's Edgar Allan Poe, Dave McKean's Salman Rushdie, Steve Pugh's Lady Macbeth, and Alex Toth's Charlie Chan.
posted by Gamblor on Sep 16, 2005 - 16 comments

Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail

Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail. Best known as the drummer for 1970s punk band The Damned, Rat Scabies grew up with a father interested in the mysteries of the French town of Rennes-le-Château, which may or may not contain the Holy Grail and in the enigmatic priest Berenger Sauniere. Conspiracy theories surrounding the town first popped up in the 1970s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail and gained a certain amount of infamy in recent years from The DaVinci Code. Upon striking up a friendship with his neighbor, journalist Christopher Dawes, Scabies discovered common interests in conspiracy theories and all things paranormal and a shared hatred of the DaVinci Code. Now the pair wrote a book about their alcohol-sodden quest for the Holy Grail that asks the question: What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?
posted by huskerdont on Sep 16, 2005 - 19 comments

Aharon Appelfeld

"You see, first of all, to be a Jewish writer is a heavy obligation. My close family was killed. My natural environment, my childhood, my sweetest memories were killed. And so it’s a kind of obligation that I feel; I’m dealing with a civilization that has been killed. How to represent it in the most honorable way–not to equalize it, not to exaggerate, but to find the right proportion to represent it, in human terms."

Also: see this interview with Appelfeld by Philip Roth (NYT); scroll a third of the way down on this page for a stunning interview from Ha'aretz where Appelfeld talks about the importance of Israel; see this extensive interview from Yad Vashem ( pdf, Google HTML); go here for a RealAudio interview with Appelfeld, as well as for excerpts from certain of his many books.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 16, 2005 - 44 comments

All your better deeds / Shall be in water writ.

Our story begins with a flood and the theme continues throughout our literature. On this wet, wet planet of beings who depend on water for survival, deluge is an undeniably universal experience. With the help of a much-maligned organization, the literature grows...
posted by mds35 on Sep 8, 2005 - 4 comments

The Finches Sue Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs sued for defamation. The family featured in Burroughs' memoir Running With Scissors claims the author cruelly twisted their kindness into abuse to make a quick buck. The contested book is currently being made into a film , with the always entertaining Brian Cox playing the sketchy psychiatrist who adopts the adolescent Burroughs, Joseph Fiennes as the pedophile, Alec Baldwin as the father, and Annette Benning as the bipolar mother. Burroughs has been a long-time contributor to Salon. [This is old news (July 31st) that has only just been widely circulated in the past week.]
posted by ibeji on Aug 22, 2005 - 19 comments

SECRET * BASILISK

BLIT,
a short story by David Langford.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Aug 7, 2005 - 29 comments

Flaubert on Structural Unity

Flaubert on Structural Unity. "I’ve just read 'Pickwick' by Dickens. Do you know it? Some bits are magnificent; but what a defective structure! All English writers are like that. Walter Scott apart, they lack composition. This is intolerable for us Latins". Extracts from the letters of Flaubert (via the very awesome book coolie)
posted by matteo on Jul 29, 2005 - 12 comments

Smart gateway to black lit

Zora Neale Hurston's Glossary of Harlem Slang. Profiles of black writers including Audre Lorde, Chester Himes, The Last Poets and Linton Kwesi Johnson. The complete list of Coretta Scott King children's book award winners. Lots of informative off-site links. A lively forum filled with juicy gossip, among other pleasures. Just a few things you'll find at the African American Literature Book Club.
posted by mediareport on Jul 27, 2005 - 11 comments

Looking forward to the Half-Blood Prince?

DO NOT READ ANYONE LOOKING FORWARD....! BIG SPOILER! So reads every post on a Harry Potter forum, where spoiler-vandals have turned after getting locked out of the official forum. I'm afraid to even link you directly, with warnings, to the spoiler -- you'll have to click through. Meanwhile, the news reports leak after leak.
posted by NickDouglas on Jul 14, 2005 - 28 comments

The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound.
posted by carter on Jun 28, 2005 - 20 comments

Peter Weiss and the Aesthetics of Resistance

The Aesthetics of Resistance. The first part of Peter Weiss's 3-volume novel Die Ästhetik des Widerstands (1975-81) has, after many delays, finally been published in a Joachim Neugroschel’s English translation: a major, though largely-unheralded literary event. The book ‘stands as the most significant German novel published after The Tin Drum.’ [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Jun 28, 2005 - 7 comments

Bibliture

Reason #48713 for teaching the Bible in schools: "The classics of British and American literature are filled with biblical allusions that would be lost on a reader without basic knowledge of the Bible"
posted by afx114 on Jun 22, 2005 - 200 comments

Yet again !

All should see him before the Cholera arrives ! Beautiful Moon, with thy silvery light, Thou seemest most charming to my sight; As I gaze upon thee in the sky so high, A tear of joy does moisten mine eye. William Topaz McGonagall , the worlds greatest poet (again).
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 8, 2005 - 7 comments

PST TTL

MNMLST POETRY is an essay by Bob Grumman about a strand of poetry that he claims is "unacclaimed but flourishing". Here are poems in this vein by Aram Saroyan (2), jwcurry, LeRoy Gorman, bpNichol, Michael Basinski, John M. Bennett, Karl Young, John Martone, Ian Hamilton Finlay and finally some mathemaku by Bob Grumman, the essay's author.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 8, 2005 - 12 comments

Houllebecq on H.P.Lovecraft

Great Cthulhu emerges from his slumber. Disaffected, reactionary, pro-sex tourism and anti-Islam, Europe's most controversial living writer Michel Houllebecq lovingly profiles H.P. Lovecraft. [via rw]
posted by Bletch on Jun 4, 2005 - 16 comments

The third of the "Big Three"

50 years with Lew Archer A detailed tribute to classic hard-boiled mystery writer Ross Macdonald, including a fascinating interview with Macdonald's biographer. Considered one of "the big three of the American hard-boiled detective novel" (with Hammet and Chandler), Macdonald has unfortunately "slipped to the back shelves." He had a lifelong lover's quarrel with Hollywood and - oh yeah - probably saved Warren Zevon's life back in 1979.
posted by mediareport on Jun 3, 2005 - 10 comments

identity theory

Interviews: Russell Banks, Susan Orlean, Tibor Fischer, Azar Nafisi. | Writing on social justice: Susan Power on Bosnia. Barbara Erenreich on poverty. | e-books: Aristotle, Emma Goldman, Buddha. | New Non-fiction, fiction. | Hundreds of Reviews. Graphic Art, Poetry, Music, and much more from identity theory, one of the best literary websites I've encountered, thanks to an incredulity-inducing amount of work by what seem to be volunteers. Wow. (Specific interviews already MeFid in these threads.)
posted by louigi on Jun 1, 2005 - 1 comment

Dracula, Blogged

Dracula Blogged: Bram Stoker's vampire novel, published by its own calendar. According to the site description:

Individual pieces of the novel will appear on the calendar dates indicated in the text, starting with Jonathan Harker's May 3rd Bistriz journal entry, and finishing up with November 6 and the final Note.

Be sure to check the comments, which are full of interesting tidbits about the novel, Stoker, Transylvania and historical accuracy (or innacuracy, as the case may be).
posted by LeeJay on May 26, 2005 - 14 comments

The newist book

The newist book from the world of Jim Henson about the man who spoke through puppets, I mean muppets.
posted by Viomeda on May 9, 2005 - 13 comments

Oh no!

Robert Sheckley, the science fiction author, has been taken ill in a hospital in Kiev. Here is an interview, an appreciation by James Sallis of the Boston Globe and a few short stories from the SciFiction archives: The Prize of Peril, Protection, Cordle to Onion to Carrot, Bad Medicine and A Wind Is Rising.
posted by Kattullus on May 6, 2005 - 12 comments

1 + 2 = high drama

The Mathematical Fiction Homepage is a collaborative attempt to "collect information about all significant references to mathematics in fiction." Feel free to add classic or recent works in any medium to the collection, or rate existing entries on their mathematical content and literary quality.
posted by mediareport on Apr 18, 2005 - 8 comments

"growing up to become a Pope is a lot of fun"

Poetry by James Tate. Here are also: some thoughts by John Ashbery, an audio file of Tate reading a poem [real], an interview and finally, a dissenting view of James Tate by Dan Schneider (not the guy who was on Head of the Class). But all that is merely an excuse to link to today's most appropriate poem, James Tate's How the Pope is Chosen. Here's a brief excerpt:

After a poodle dies
all the cardinals flock to the nearest 7-Eleven.
They drink Slurpies until one of them throws up
and then he's the new Pope.

posted by Kattullus on Apr 18, 2005 - 19 comments

"He suggests living is language".

The Language of Saxophones At 55, L.A. musician and poet Kamau Daáood is finally beginning to acknowledge the possibility of his own place in local letters with his debut book of poetry, The Language of Saxophones, a 30-plus-year retrospective published by City Lights. Though he’s recorded a solo CD and read nationally and internationally, Daáood had never seen fit to collect his material in a book. Until now. “I never liked the idea of poetry sitting on a shelf somewhere, lost in all those book spines”.
posted by matteo on Apr 17, 2005 - 2 comments

what we do is secret

Thought you knew the first wave L.A. punk scene? Knew Belinda Carlisle was a Germs drummer, Pat Smear became Nirvana's guitarist, Henry Rollins was not the lead singer of Black Flag? Think... Again. New book out today.
posted by gorgor_balabala on Apr 12, 2005 - 151 comments

The Story and Stories of Bruno Schulz

"For ordinary books are like meteors. Each of them has only one moment, a moment when it soars screaming like the phoenix, all its pages aflame. For that single moment we love them ever after, although they soon turn to ashes. With bitter resignation we sometimes wander late at night through the extinct pages that tell their stone dead messages like wooden rosary beads."
posted by felix betachat on Apr 8, 2005 - 6 comments

Follow Follow Follow Follow Follow the Paths of the Dead

Did The Wizard of Oz inspire Lord of the Rings? "The first film version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was released in the summer of 1939, less than a month before World War II officially began. Though started as early as 1937, The Lord of the Rings was largely composed during the war years, but not published until somewhat later. Therefore, it is by no means impossible that J.R.R. Tolkien saw the magnificent MGM movie before he wrote most of his magnum opus. Could Oz have influenced his tale somehow, consciously or unconsciously?"
posted by Joey Michaels on Apr 7, 2005 - 35 comments

He said "valve".

The Valve, "a literary organ", is a new group blog devoted to literary studies and modelled on little magazines gone by.
posted by kenko on Mar 31, 2005 - 3 comments

Literature

The narrative strategies of Genesis, according to EL Doctorow.
posted by semmi on Mar 28, 2005 - 8 comments

H.P. Lovecraft meets Bil Keane

H.P. Lovecraft meets Bil Keane via, via
posted by trharlan on Mar 28, 2005 - 16 comments

Literature

"In every existing government we find clamor, abuses of power, newspapers with triumphant, lying headlines, lies of every kind in public life. This being the case, someone like me, who understands nothing of politics, is compelled to think about politics and despair of ever understanding it, is compelled to envision something entirely different." Natalia Ginzburg, Member of the Italian Parliament, writer, and critic.
posted by semmi on Mar 24, 2005 - 4 comments

Verne's Cerntury

Mythmaker of the Machine Age. In the statue erected above his grave in Amiens, in Picardy, Jules Verne, who died exactly 100 years ago, resembles God. He is, after all, the second-most-translated author on earth, after Agatha Christie. To celebrate the anniversary, there's a Verne exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Paris, one of a series of events from Paris to the western city of Nantes, where Verne was born on Feb. 8, 1828, to the northern town of Amiens, where he died on March 24, 1905. His many fans, some of them quite famous, will be treated to exhibits, concerts, films and shows in Verne's honor. “Underground City”, a lost classic written by Verne and never before published unabridged in English, emerges this month in not one but two new unique editions.
100 years later, questions remain about his life: Why did he have two homes in Amiens? Why did he burn all his private papers? Why was he shot in the foot by his nephew, Gaston, in 1886? Gaston was locked in an asylum for 54 years after his attack on L'Oncle Jules. Was Gaston, in fact, Verne's natural son? More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 23, 2005 - 8 comments

EGIL: The Electronic Gateway for Icelandic Literature

EGIL: The Electronic Gateway for Icelandic Literature. Digitised texts related to Iceland.
posted by plep on Mar 16, 2005 - 8 comments

The Great Book of Gaelic

The Great Book of Gaelic. Illustrated poetry.
posted by plep on Mar 14, 2005 - 15 comments

Reading Race

Is it American literature or African-American literature...or is it literature at all? Nineteenth-century novelist Emma Dunham Kelly-Hawkins, author of the little-read novels Megda and Four Girls at Cottage City, is getting dumped from The Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers (previously mentioned in this thread) because she was probably white. Let the literary bickery begin!
posted by butternut on Mar 10, 2005 - 19 comments

Clouds Over Iran: The Past Roots of Unintended Consequences Present

In Clouds Over Iran, Stephen Kinzer. author of All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, meditates upon the current confrontation in a review of Christopher de Bellaigue's 'In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs': Reflections on Iran. Also by Kinzer, Iran and Guatemala, 1953-54 - Revisiting Cold War Coups and Finding Them Costly. And here is a biography of Mohammed Mossadegh, who, Time magazine named 1951's Man of the Year and who the Iranian.com names Iranian of the Century (More inside, of course...)
posted by y2karl on Mar 7, 2005 - 13 comments

Tanár úr kérem!

School stories (long out of print in English) of Frigyes Karinthy. Short, funny, and occasionally bittersweet; favorites include The Good Student and The Bad Student Tested, and Hanging From the Apparatus.
posted by Wolfdog on Mar 1, 2005 - 2 comments

Traditional Russian fairytales

Traditional Russian fairytales with beautiful illustrations depicting scenes from the stories.
posted by gregb1007 on Feb 23, 2005 - 9 comments

Artificial Intelligence

Pygmalion stories in literature and art. The myth of the scuptor who fell in love with a statue and prayed for it to be brought to life.
Related :- Galatea, a piece of interactive fiction which allows you to interact with a interpretation of the living statue (by Emily Short); Wikipedia entry on the myth.
posted by plep on Feb 21, 2005 - 10 comments

Social Book Recommendation Engine

BooksWeLike collaborative book recommendations. This site was mentioned in passing in a recent MeFi thread and in this Salon article, but it deserves a moment in the spotlight of its own. A beta, it may have yet to realize its full potential in terms of features and performance, but the more people join and recommend books, the more interesting and useful the recommendations will be. It also offers links to Amazon, indie booksellers, and maybe even your local library.
posted by matildaben on Feb 16, 2005 - 3 comments

search inside booooooooooks

whoa again. Amazon introduced "Search inside the book" a while ago, but now the searchmasters are doing it.
posted by louigi on Feb 14, 2005 - 28 comments

In Which It Is Shown That All Human Things Are But A Dream

The Renaissance saw the publication of many great romantic epics: Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso in 1516; Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered in 1581; and Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in 1590 and 1596. But perhaps the most ambitious and mysterious of them all was the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili published in 1499 by Aldus Manutius (previously discussed here). The Poliphili has usually been attributed to an Italian monk named Francesco Colonna, although recently some have claimed that it was the work of architect and humanist Leon Battista Alberti, even though he died in 1472. The Poliphili has long fascinated scholars because of its amazing typography, the cinematic style of its woodcuts, and the strange messages seemingly hidden in this multi-lingual text. Written in Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldean, and even some hieroglyphs, it has only recently been translated into English. This strange text has inspired a great deal of research and even a New York Times best-selling murder mystery.
posted by papakwanz on Feb 4, 2005 - 18 comments

Snobbery

Snobs & the uber-snobs who snub them by William F. Buckley, Jr. "...Snobs should read this book. Also, anti-snobs. Also those who wonder... deep down whether they are more like... Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Dante, and Christ"
posted by growabrain on Feb 1, 2005 - 18 comments

Lehitraot, Ephraim.

Author and satirist Ephraim Kishon dies, aged 80.
posted by ori on Jan 30, 2005 - 7 comments

Interviews with Vladimir Nabokov

Lib.ru maintains a delectable archive of interviews, conducted in English, with Vladimir Nabokov. Scroll down for the English.
posted by ori on Jan 19, 2005 - 15 comments

Million Dollar Baby Short Story

Everyone is talking about Clint Eastwood's new movie, Million Dollar Baby (trailer). What you may not know however is that the movie was based on a short story in a book by the name of Rope Burns: Stories From The Corner by the late F.X. Toole (aka Jerry Boyd). The book by the way was called, "...the best boxing short fiction ever written," by James Ellroy of L.A. Confidential fame. Back in 2000 Toole gave an amazing interview on Fresh Air about spending the last 20 years of his life as a cut man and the last 40 years of writing while trying to overcome his fear of rejection before getting his first book published at age 70.
posted by pwb503 on Jan 18, 2005 - 19 comments

They read books so you don't have to

The Digested Read at The Guardian reduces popular books to 400 words and a conclusion. Recent notables include Belle du Jour ("Sometimes I lie about my age to clients. Sometimes I even lie to my friends. I guess you must be wondering whether I'm lying now.") Crichton's State of Fear ("Author's note: I'm very, very clever and have read a lot and you're all stupid wishy-washy liberals.") and Tom Wolfe's I am Charlotte Simmons ("At least it covered her breasts, whatever they were. Charlotte knew men might want to touch them, but she didn't know why as she had never read Cosmopolitan.") Possibly NSFW if you have an employer with no sense of humor. On preview: Individual Digested Reads have been linked in previous discussions on Henry James and Camille Paglia.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Jan 17, 2005 - 9 comments

Salinger on the web

Read J.D. Salinger's "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" if you're bored at work this week (or stuck in a Mexican hotel). And when you're done with that dig into the rest (with a couple of exceptions) of Salinger's published work.
posted by cmaxmagee on Jan 16, 2005 - 50 comments

Fathom

The biology of B-movie monsters ; ancient Greek curse and love magic; the correspondence of Elizabeth I and James VI; Egil Skallagrimsson, poet and killer; the mythology of Harry Potter; Pinocchio's cultural heirs; Tiananmen's legacy; experimental art in China; the question of Hatshepshut's character. Articles courtesy of the Fathom Archive, 2000-2003.
posted by plep on Jan 15, 2005 - 11 comments

The DNA of Literature

The DNA of Literature. The Paris Review, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, makes available free .pdfs of fifty years of interviews with leading writers.
posted by rushmc on Jan 12, 2005 - 7 comments

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