Friday, May 13, 2005

Comments on comments

This has been an exceptionally busy day, so once again I am obliged to resort to OBEs -- i.e. Other Buggers' Efforts.

I don't know about you, but when I am reading a blog I seldom bother to click on the Comments link. Which is a pity really, as there is often some good stuff there. Particularly on the GOB, which, as you will doubtless have observed, tends to attract a rather better class of reader than some blogs; and a bright gang of commenters also, who provide some valuable insights.

The one exception, perhaps, a commenter I could do without, is the man who sometimes posts porn links in the comments box, presumably because he earns 0.0001 of a cent every time someone clicks on one. Well, thank you very much, sir, it's awfully kind of you, but I am perfectly capable of finding my own porn sites (and a list will be supplied upon payment of a modest fee).

Anyway, just in case you missed them, allow me please to highlight a few recent comments which contain useful and interesting links. The contributors are not listed in any order of importance, and indeed are not the only ones that could be mentioned.

You may care to investigate comments yourself, and if you do, here's a tip: if you click on a title in the previous-posts box in the top right-hand corner of this page, the post will open all on its own, complete with comments.

First, David Hadley, who tells us that his short stories have been rejected by all the 'literary' magazines, but have been 'cherry-picked' on ABC Tales, presumably because they have some old -fashioned virtues such as a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The ABC site turns out to be a place where writers can post short stories and other material. Well, there are a number of these, but it never hurts to know of another one. I am not quite sure what 'cherry-picked' means, but presumably it means that a story has been held to be outstanding in some way. David has his own web site and is also, by the way, a blogger.

Next is Sandra542000, who I suspect is actually Sandra Shwayder Sanchez. Sandra introduces us to an annual journal called The Long Story. Sandra says that 'Yes indeed the short story has been hijacked, whittled, gutted, and generally rendered empty and useless by intellectuals during the last half century. I would like to direct your attention to another grumpy guy who has edited an antidote to the academic short story for the past twenty-four years.'

This turns out to be R.P. Burnham. His annual publication, Sandra says, features 'stories long enough to contain actual content: plot, characters, a point, that kind of old fashioned thing, and each issue is prefaced with an editorial "prelude" which properly lambasts the academy for hijacking, gutting, whittling, etc. the short story form. In fact these grumpy essays have been collected in a publication called The Least Shadow of Public Thought published by Juniper Press.'

(Unfortunately, as far as I can see, The Least Shadow is out of print.)

Sandra goes on to refer us to a 'publishing collective' which will be 'publishing books for and about people in the real world. Check out our website: (Remember Thomas Hardy? Thus the Wessex in the collective).'

Yes, I certainly remember Thomas Hardy. Mrs GOB is a big fan, and if she doesn't own a copy of everything he ever wrote it is not for lack of looking. We have also been to the house where he grew up.

Finally for today, Andrew Stevens. Writing in connection with my reference to the ULA, Andrew points out that 3am Magazine published an interview with Michael Jackman of the ULA. Andrew says that people tend to sneer at the ULA, and they tend to sneer back twice over. However, the interview seeks to be objective and does not take sides. It's certainly worth a look.

Just these three commenters, all on their own, have generated links which would take some time to explore in full. And there are a whole lot more that I haven't even begun to look at. So, thanks to all those who have made comments; and the moral is, click on the Comments link from time to time, because if you don't you'll be missing some valuable stuff.

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