Monday, October 22, 2007

New books and other stuff

Bad Attitude is a new novella by Leopold McGinnis, and you can read parts of it, and eventually the whole, as it appears online. It's a comedy about a man who quits a high-profile office job to enter the McWorkforce; he then tries to get hired, and then fired, from as many jobs as he can.

Leopold already has a formidable track record as a writer. He is the author of the underground novella The Red Fez and the novel Game Quest. He founded and edits the literary site Red Fez Publications, which publishes under-recognised talent from around the world (with no funding). He was once a member of the Underground Literary Alliance, and is now a founding member of The Guild of Outsider Writers.

By the way, Leopold is also trying a dodge I haven't come across before. He's been putting ads for independent books into the pdfs of Bad Attitude. It's an experiment in cross-promoting indie writers. Interesting.

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Parlez vous Francais? Eh bien, allez voire Mots et Couleurs. The lady is an elderblogger, or so I am told by May, who provided the link.

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Dave Langford of Ansible provided me with a few links to an interesting case of plagiarism. It seems that one Lanaia Lee has published a book called Of Atlantis. Unfortunately, this appears to copy substantially from the work of British fantasy author David Gemmell. When challenged, Lanaia admitted that she had engaged the services of a ghost writer. Who he? Christopher Hill, that who he. A man famous for running a 'literary agency'.

One could spend an awful lot of time and energy following the links on this one. Start here.

Dave Langford also pointed out to me that Richard Morgan of Glasgow, a science-fiction writer, is an outspoken sort of fellow. To see what he has to say about the work of Nicholas Mosley, click here. Then scroll down to Skidelsky on Mosley.

The latest edition of Dave's Ansible is particularly worth reading. But then they always are. Here's Ursula K. Le Guin on Jeanette Winterson: 'It's odd to find characters in a science-fiction novel repeatedly announcing that they hate science fiction. I can only suppose that Jeanette Winterson is trying to keep her credits as a "literary" writer even as she openly commits genre. Surely she's noticed that everybody is writing science fiction now?'

And I see that poor old Enid Blyton is still being worked over. Dick and Fannie have become Rick and Frannie.

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On the future of reading, Jon Evans says Apocalypse Soon; his publishers don't like the idea of him making a book available free online. And he pursues a similar line of thought in the Guardian.

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Don't forget, if you live in the UK and get a bit browned off from time to time, that Not Born Yesterday provides almost daily comment which should give you a smile.

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The Chelsea Hotel book is now available.

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At Underneath the Bunker, arguably Europe's greatest cultural journal, debate continues on the merits et cetera of the novelist Jarni Kolovsky, aka Yefimovich Pasadziec. Principal contributors, as one might expect, are Georgy Riecke and Andrew O'Hara, of the Jimston Journal. Essential reading for anyone who wishes to keep abreast of what is happening at the cutting-edge of European literature.

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Speaking of Mr O'Hara, he recommends, for them as is feeling harassed, a short piece of restful ballet on YouTube. And why not?

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A. Igoni Barrett is a writer based in Nigeria. He is making his short-story collection, From Caves of Rotten Teeth, available free online. One of the stories here won the 2005 BBC Short Story Competition. For a review of the whole book, visit Laura Hird's site.

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Andrea Cumbo Dowdy is a teacher, writer, and reader. And she blogs, naturally. She has thoughts on ekphrastic writing (15 October) and other matters.

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The New York Times mentions William Gerhardie, in passing, and refers to him as 'now-forgotten', which indeed he is. But once he was famous. So was Angus Wilson, who, according to John Sutherland, died of Alzheimer's. At the end of his life he was the object of charity from his friends and the Royal Literary Fund, without which his estate could barely have afforded a decent funeral.

But I digress. Gerhardie is mentioned in the NYT's article on William Trevor. Trevor has won every prize going --well, several -- and is widely respected, but I have never taken to him. His work is extremely sensitive, well observed, caring, thoughtful, and so on. But ultimately, I find, depressing. As William Boyd says, there aren't many laughs.

Seven types of short story? Or just seven types of ambiguity?

Thanks to Dave Lull for the NYT link.

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Bluechrome is a relatively new (2002) indie publishing company with an interesting list. There are some known names here, and some original thinking: see the Mono EPs. Submissions, sadly, are closed at the moment, but there is a short-story competition still open. Go on, etonnez nous.

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Ooh dear. Another case of two books coming out with the same sort of ideas and content, and people jumping to conclusions. Duels, sadly, are out of fashion. Always an appropriate method, I think, for resolving disputes of this kind. Link from Publishers Lunch.

11 comments:

Raymond said...

The substitution of 'Rick' for 'Dick' does not seem fair, for it reminds me only of Mr Rik Mayall, whose character is as far removed from Enid Blyton as I can imagine.
As for William Gerhardie, whose name seems to pop up every now and again, I can barely restrain myself from demanding that everyone in the vicinity should drop what they are doing and read his novel 'The Polyglots' - or else the biography of him by Dido Davies - which reveals a life of incredible madness and sadness. Jarni Kolovsky has nothing on Gerhardie

gladys hobson said...

Lanaia Lee has my sympathy. For a while so did the infamous Christopher Hill. Poor deluded chap, I thought after recovering from knowing I had been duped into thinking I had a contract pending from Crown. Surely he must be seriously sick to go as far as he did with 60 plus clients. There was no serious money in it for him. No doubt he genuinely believed he could approach publishers and expect to draw a percentage of his clients' earnings. Acting out the part must have been rather jolly — maybe the only time he has felt himself to be a 'somebody"? (That IS sad)
But to dupe a brave woman into parting with her cash in the manner he has, is despicable.

Sorry, Christopher, now I am rather cross. And you still owe me some money — you only returned part of the fee I gave you for expenses!
What is more, I do not appreciate the fact that you had me on your list of successful clients — I published When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in RED BOXES before you even set up in business!
Naughty boy!
What else are you up to?

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Andy O'Hara said...

"Underneath the Bunker" does, indeed, provide a unique look at some of the darker sides of the happenings in european literature--some startling stuff to be found there.

YouTube. If one can ignore the inevitable trash, YouTube is now one of the richest sources of culture one can find on the internet. I'm not familiar with how it began, but am already hearing rumbles suggesting it is, ahem, too 'unrestrictive.' Look for the inevitable restrictions, paid subscriptions, and pay-per-view gimmicks that will render it useless.

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