Friday, June 29, 2007

Fishy stuff for Friday

If you're interested in Aristotle Onassis, then Martin Rundkvist has a review of a novel based on Onassis's life. The publisher is Cape, which usually means subtle lit'ry stuff.

Nadine Laman has noticed two recent newspaper articles, both about science fiction as a genre. Is this a trend, she wonders? One article in the LA Times (it may not be there long, I fear; see below), and one in the London Guardian (dealing with TV). Nadine, by the way, has a new trailer on YouTube for her trilogy of books.

Advance orders for Tunnels are doing nicely, Publishing News reports.

Josh Saitz says (speaking ironically, I'm sure) that he would like to thank the six people who turned up for his recent reading. And for those who couldn't quite make it, he has re-run the experience on YouTube. All the material he uses is drawn from Negative Capability #5, which should be out next year.

Akashic Books, of New York, is a small press which goes in for dark and dramatic stuff, both fiction and non-fiction. Latest entry in the Noir series is Wall Street Noir. This is edited by Peter Spiegelman, and consists of pieces by 17 crime-fiction writers, many with financial backgrounds. A starred review in Publishers Weekly says that these cautionary tales showcase a side of Wall Street previously restricted to convicts, criminals, and newspaper headlines.

Also just out is Tango for a Torturer, by Edgar winner Daniel Chavarria. Set in Cuba, Booklist says that it's 'by turns bawdy, funny, dark, cheerful, learned, and madcap, populated with memorable characters and filled with the sense that Havana is a must-see travel destination.'

Further to yesterday: the Spectator has now run a review of Tina Brown's Diana book, by Sarah Standing. And, er, she likes it. Link from the Literary Saloon, which is very sniffy about the whole thing. Hey guys, the idea is to sell books. OK?

Shazad Akram tells the story of Miami Red. Rejections so far: 159. But that's no record. And he has several chapters online so you can judge for yourself.

I see that Vintage Books are reprinting some of Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer books. I can't yet find details on the Vintage web site, but take my word for it: The Ivory Grin and The Way Some People Die are both due out on 10 July. When they first appeared, forty or fifty years ago, these private-eye novels were intelligent, gripping stuff, and my guess is that they will have lasted pretty well. Rather Freudian plots, as I recall. I think I read them all.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a Canadian author of mysteries, and her April 2007 book, Whale Song, published by Kunati, is doing pretty well. As with all well-organised writers, this book has its own web site, where you can read all the details. The target audience is young adults and women, and there is currently some interest from movie companies.

I rather like the cut of Kunati's jib. The covers of their books are particularly striking. And I see that they've got a novel about reality TV. So when you do your PhD on 'Reality TV in fiction in the early twenty-first century', do remember to include The Game, as well as Daniel Scott Buck's The Greatest Show on Earth and my own How and why Lisa's Dad got to be famous (available free online, folks).

Dear God, I suddenly feel very tired indeed.

There I am, quietly minding my own business, and reading through me Bloglines connections, and what do I find? I find a new post from Mad Max, who has been dead (blogospherically speaking) these... oooh, six months or more.

But although the post has only just turned up on Bloglines, it is dated 9 April. Which means, I think, that Max must have updated it or tweaked it in some way. Anyway, it is the content of this post which makes me feel tired.

Max links us to a page in the LA Times, which is no longer available, of course. Newspapers do that kind of thing all the time. But the subject of the post is still extant, and it's the LitBlog co-operative. And the thing that makes me feel tired is the description of the Litblog's perceived mission.

Mad Max says that the overall aim of the Litblog co-op is 'to generate more and deeper public discussions of literature.... Mark Sarvas, who drew the project together, described the effort as less an awared program than a conversation starter. "We want to shine a light on literary fiction likely to get overlooked and lost in the shuffle..."'

Well, there's nothing very terrible about that, is there? Quite a good idea, really. It's just the thought of lots of earnest young people (many of them, no doubt, doing Eng. Lit. courses, or, God help us all, MFA degrees) sitting around and discussing literary fiction. That's what makes me feel very tired indeed.

Sometimes I feel glad I'm not young any more. Didn't Uncle Maurice say something like that?


Writer, Rejected said...

I don't know, though:159 rejections is pretty good. A decent showing. A respectable effort. Check out my blog on the topic, if you are so inclined.

Gonzalo B said...

Chavarría is pretty good. I read his “Adiós Muchachos” last year (I think it was also pu8blished by Akashic), a gripping crime caper in the mold of Hiaasen and Leonard.

Anonymous said...

Heartwarming that the Spectator found an unbiased review saying what they wanted.

I understand your fatigue. Join me in the corner with a cup of warm milk...

Anonymous said...

Hello Grumpy,

Thanks for the mention.

I also want to write to keep tabs on a few things.

On June 24th I ordered two of your books from Lulu (LUCIUS THE CLUB and MR. FENMAN'S FAREWELL TO HIS READERS), as well as Andrew Losowsky's THE DOORBELLS OF FLORENCE (which has had excellent reviews and sounds to me to be a beautiful book).

I was notified yesterday (June 28th) that the books had been shipped.

I will keep you posted on the delivery of said items. I look forward to reading all of the books, and I am especially interested in comparing Lulu to iUniverse (my self-publisher of choice, at least for now).

And thanks for coming back! I have a couple of short stories in an anthology (FALLING FROM THE SKY, published by Another Sky Press). And I would love to send you a copy to have you check it out.

Very best,

Daniel Scott Buck

savannah said...

reverse-gentrification of the literary world

I love it! What a great mission statement/explanation of a company. Again, thank you for the link to another source. Here's a bit of fun for you via dick headley's site again:

Be well, sugar!

Anonymous said...

very nice blog
aboout book

gih said...

I don't think so. I don't believe its unbias. There really existed.

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