Robert Eggleton's novel Rarity from the Hollow has attracted some enthusiasm from readers. E.g. 'The mixture of sci-fi, gritty reality, humour, and the mode of thriller reminds me a great deal of Dean Koontz's writing.'
The book is published by FatCat Press and the web site provides an excerpt to try before you buy.
Promoting your book
In the Times, Anthony Thornton tells how he promoted his non-fiction book The Libertines on the internet. Nothing startlingly new here -- 'Publishing companies seem a long way behind when it comes to realising the potential of the net' -- but an interesting case study.
One thing is clear. It helps if you have some web savvy. Anthony Thornton is a former editor of the music site nme.com. And the web site set up to plug his book is called The Libertines Bound Together.
Stuck in an elevator
Escape Pod describes itself as the Science Fiction Podcast Magazine. What you get (as far as I can see) is podcasts (i.e. recordings) of science-fiction stories.
I found out about this because Kitty Myers has a story posted there as of 3 July. Title: Stuck in an Elevator with Mandy Patinkin. It's quite short, and is recorded with a surprising degree of professionalism. But then, everything is getting so much more professional these days. I recommend it, if only to see/hear what is possible these days.
I have to say, however, that the experience of listening to a story is quite different from reading it. (Compare, for instance, the print and voice versions of Ginny Good.) And, from a technical point of view, I would say that a story which is intended solely, or mainly, to be read aloud needs to be written in a different way from one which is going to be read on paper.
Following Monday's mention of a novel about autism, C.E. Petit Esq. tells me that one very good novel on autism is Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark. Many people who know little about autism reportedly find the book disturbing, primarily because it makes no excuses. The Speed of Dark was a Nebula award winner and an Arthur C. Clarke Award finalist.
Chisholm Trail bookstore
The Chisholm Trail bookstore is located in Duncan Oklahoma -- but fear not, its catalog of secondhand books is available online. And very interesting it is too.
Real literature and Peter Pan
Realliterature.com is a site which offers short biographies of a number of famous authors, plus the compete text of certain of their works. Example: for J.M. Barrie we have a handy summary of his life (accurate as far as I can tell), plus the text of Peter Pan; or a version of it, because there's more than one I believe.
If you've never read the narrative version of Peter Pan you might give it a try. But be warned. It is a very disturbing book, written by a man whom some might describe as sick, or damaged. When I last read the book I made some notes on the last page, as follows:
Terrifying. Appalling. It is the confusion of the mother/wife role which is so disturbing. The book gives a horrifying glimpse of the author's dreadful confusion of mind -- painful to contemplate. It is the embodiment of the fear of maturity -- the dread of adult responsibility -- of having to take command of one's own life.
Mitzi Szereto is off again
I don't know how this girl does it. Never sits still for a minute. Pops up here and there. Mitzi Szereto is now offering a week's instruction in how to write erotic literature on the Greek island of Skiathos, 9-15 September. Details on Zoe Artemis. Unfortunately that's the week I'm going walking on Dartmoor. (You think I'm kidding?)
Luigi Cascioli, whose theory that Jesus Christ never existed was mentioned here on 16 June, has evidently been fined 1,500 euros for being so impudent as to make this suggestion.
I say evidently, because this information comes via an email from ? an Italian p.r. firm which has not entirely mastered the art of translating Italian into English. E.g.:
However the Court feels him in obligation to underline the singleness, not to say other, of the denunciations of the Cascioli, which besides, he has pushed his own hedlessness up to ask that he proceeded to technical ascertainments finalized to establish the historicity of the figure of Christ.And more like that. Cascioli has refused to pay, as a matter of principle. More info is available on his web site. Mind you, as I said last time, if you have Giovanni di Stefano as your lawyer...
Support your local (UK) bookshop
Let's suppose that you have accepted that it is in your own interest, not to mention that of the book trade in general, that independent local bookshops should continue to flourish; and you'd like to do what you can to help. Well, here's a possible way forward.
Go to Localbookshops.co.uk and you will find an embryo scheme which enables you to order books online, but through a local and independent supplier. The book can, in due course, be collected from your local firm.
Alternatively, if you want the book delivered to your home, the site also lists some online suppliers who form an alternative to the inevitable Amazon and other giants.
At present this scheme only works for the UK (apart from Dubai).
Are you the sort of person who needs access to academic works of literary criticism and articles in scholarly journals? If so you might, perhaps, be interested to know about Questia, an online library which provides just such a service. You do, however, have to subscribe at about $100 a year.
The monthly Ansible newsletter, produced by Dave Langford, is nominally about science fiction, but almost always features a dry (rather English?) humour which might appeal to anyone. In this month's version, we have a few friends planning to take some of a writer's ashes to Australia, 'and scatter somewhere appropriate, perhaps a vineyard. You have to buy a box for the purpose from the crematorium, which proved to have two stickers on the underside. One said "John Brosnan"; the other, "Made in Poland". None of us had known that.'