Month: April 2004

  • Mills & Boon Land, where the rules never change: “No inter-racial relationships (‘though sheikhs are OK’), no adultery, no one-night stands, no politics, religion (presumably the sheikhs are of the non-muslim variety) or other gritty social issues, no subplots, no same-sex couplings. The hero must be an ‘Alpha Male’. He cannot be bald, ginger or […]

  • The Rushdie wedding is covered here and here and here. Frankly I have a hard enough time keeping awake when people show me pictures of weddings I’ve attended (including my own, which was a three-ring circus that still gives me nightmares), so I’ve never seen the point of checking out pictures of weddings I’m not […]

  • Just a brief note to say that the Nebula winners have been announced. I’d read several of the nominees before (if you’re interested, browse here) and not for the first time, I was struck by the relatively high standards this sci-fi award sets compared to most “literary” awards. And the mainstream blinkered view that sees […]

  • Saw this over at Maud Newton–posted by the marvellous Stephany Aulenback, who also blogs there–and haven’t stopped laughing yet. “I need an agent. I want to produce a board book called “Beckett for Babies.” Much like that Baby Einstein book I’ve just linked, this book will feature photographs of small babies and toddlers. In this […]

  • “It is commonly conceded that Dumas rescued historical fiction from the plodding, turgid style in which Sir Walter Scott and his many imitators had entombed it. He took considerable liberties with historical truth — as, indeed, have most writers of historical fiction — but he knew how to keep a plot under full steam.” Jonathan […]

  • “I’ve struggled back and forth between my desire to make science fiction into a visionary literature of great emotional and literary intensity, and the publisher’s desire to make a lot of money. Every decade or so I’ve walked out in anger saying I can’t cope with this dichotomy anymore.” Robert Silverberg, this year’s Grand Master […]

  • Twain’s frog might get government protection.

  • “As one of the doubles of the son of the dictator, I am often to be found in the Palace of the End.” The Guardian has a new short story by Martin Amis.

  • Two words you do not want to see the interviewer employ when she’s face to face with Margaret Atwood: “Blimey. Okay.” Despite the dumbing down, Atwood (even packaged Lite), gets off a couple of interesting ones: “There’s always been a popular literature, which people look down on and which vanishes from memory. As a writer, […]

  • Could it be–cryptomnesia? Long peroration on whether Nabokov cribbed Lolita from another book and whether, if he did, he meant to. I don’t know about Writer Type Writers, as in the Real Thing, but I once cribbed four paragraphs of a piece from…an essay I’d written roughly four years previously. Which probably means that if […]