shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


monday hangovers

Well, good morning. A real post later, but for now a few pointers to content elsewhere:

1. Electric Velocipede celebrates Women's History Month.

2. Ayelet Waldman's Salon column debuts and we find out why it actually is a good thing she's no longer blogging. The column deals mostly with an entry she posted about suicide and the fallout among her family and friends, and the confessional nature that led to its posting in the first place.

3. Ron posts about the NYT piece on "literary fiction" taking on 9/11, and points to this very fine article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on how crime and mystery fiction has dealt with the subject. I would also say that SF writers have done some amazing work that deals directly with 2001 and the pyschic fallout, and that the work started appearing very early on. This became crystal clear to me while reading last year's Year's Best Fantasy and Horror volume, something I recommend everyone do. (Although don't bother reading the product descrip at B and N there, because it's filled with errors.) Many, many of the stories included are directly shaped by those events and have important things to say about them and about life now.

4. Speaking of which, I highly recommend Meg Rosoff's post-apocalyptic (sorta) YA novel How I Live Now. From an interview with the author on the book's scenario of modern-day England essentially being taken hostage by invaders: I've read quite a bit about England during WWI, and WW2 is still present in daily life: I have a wonderful 85-year-old neighbor who lived through London during the blitz as a young woman married to a baker. Some of the details of life in England during the war are incredibly evocative, for instance all the signposts in rural areas were removed, so an enemy landing in the middle of the English countryside would have no idea where he was. Most fiction seems to emerge from a combination of what the writer already knows, and what he/she imagines. See also Amanda Craig's review in the The Times.