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Still. No. Bags.


Kevin at Collected Miscellany on Howard Norman's The Haunting of L, a book which I also recommend. How can you go wrong with Spiritualism and creepy photos?

Cheryl Morgan is linking many, many Interaction reports over at Emerald City.

Patrick Neilsen Hayden on the proposed splitting of the Best Professional Editor Hugo
. This provoked lots of interesting discussions over the weekend, and I'd bet on more to come.

Nerve interviews Francesca Lia Block. (Via Ron.)

Newsday compares science fiction to Rodney Dangerfield. Why not just compare Battlestar Gallactica to him? (Via Weirdwriter.)

Dan Green on Catherynne Valente's recent review of Breath and Bones at The Mumpsimus. My own view of the book matches closely with Dan's, but I was far too lazy to actually write such a coherent response.

The Herald has a piece on science fiction, focusing on Christopher Priest and Geoff Ryman (and possibly other things; I haven't made it through the whole piece yet). If only all newspapers continuously ran such pieces, or even just pieces about Ryman.

The Rake: Celebra-blogger!

You'll want to look at this post, then keep looking.

The Panopticon Lives(!).

The Happy Booker collects reasons from some Southerners NOT to see the very likely abomination Dukes of Hazzard movie. This seems like the kind of project that could go on indefinitely. (Did anyone see The Daily Show's piece on Cooter's protest? One of the best ever. "That's where we differ." Hilarity.) I'm partial to number 10: "Still upset they didn't hire Cate Blanchett to play Daisy Duke."

Caitlin writes on a number of interesting things (as usual), but her thoughts on whether EW reviews sell books especially caught my eye:
Recently, a couple of months ago, I was talking with my agent, Merrilee, and I was lamenting the lackluster sales of Murder of Angels, even after the glowing review in Entertainment Weekly, which, regardless of its merits or lack thereof, seems about as mainstream a magazine as I could ever hope to be reviewed by. And Merrilee said that, in her experience, reviews in EW do not translate into sales. Yesterday, I looked up the magazine's circulation. It's supposedly 1.7 million (this from EW's website). So, I imagined what seemed to me a worst-case scenario. Let's imagine that only 1% of the 1.7 million people who read EW read the review and then bought MoA. That would still be a whopping 17,000 books sold, which is about twice the first printing of the novel. I know that didn't happen. Then I decided to be more pessimistic. What if only one half of one 1% read the review and bought the book? That would still be 8,500 people, which would have sent the novel into a second printing. That didn't happen either. So, what about a mere one quarter of 1%? That's still 4,250 books, a very sizable dent in the first printing. But that evidently didn't happen, either. So, it would seem that even if one is lucky enough to get a good review in a magazine with a 1.7 million circulation, one cannot expect any significant increase in sales from that review. Tons of free advertising can be worthless. On the one hand, this is the sort of thing that all working authors need to spend a lot of time thinking about. On the other hand, it's the sort of thing that shuts me down and keeps me from writing. It's the sort of thing that makes me wish I could afford to confine my publishing to the specialty press. The books that I've done with Gauntlet Publishing and Subterranean Press have either sold out (some before publication) or will soon be sold out. And these are relatively hard-to-find expensive hardbacks, not $14 trade paperbacks available at Borders and Barnes and Noble. It's a laughable, ludicrous affair, this "business" of writing for a living.
Check out the rest of what she has to say.

Jeff Vandermeer interviews Kelly (and a Stephany Aulenback interview at Maud's place is soon to come too).

How on Earth have I never seen this? Cornell University's The Fantastic in Art and Fiction image database. In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves: Whoa. (Via Jeff.)

And now, the jetlag wins.


  • At 5:52 AM , Blogger chance said...

    re the Cathryne Valente review - I'm always a bit leery of any review which has mentions of the personal relationship between the reviewer and the author. I haven't read the book in question, but reading the review it seemed mostly like sour grapes that her former instructor has been more successful than she has.


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