7 more points on Barry N. Malzberg

Back on April 1st, I reviewed three of Barry N. Malzberg’s brilliant 1970s novels: Beyond Apollo (1972), The Men Inside (1972), and Galaxies (1975). The post provoked some interesting responses that I’d like to highlight.

1. Beyond Apollo is currently being adapted into a feature-length film. Bill Pullman has been cast as the Captain, which seems to me an excellent choice. The project’s only in pre-production, though, so we may not make it to Venus. (You can read more about the project at Bloody Disgusting.)

2. Derik Badman pointed out that several Malzberg titles are coming back into print in Kindle eBook editions, including Galaxies and Herovit’s World (1973), among others.

3. Audible editions are also becoming available: Beyond Apollo, Herovit’s World, Underlay (1974), The Sodom and Gomorrah Business (1974), Guernica Night (1974), and Galaxies, among others.

4. In my review, I noted how Malzberg referenced several of his contemporaries in Galaxies—Donald Barthelme, John Cheever, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates—then wondered whether any of them had read him. Well, according to Jeffrey Canino:

Joyce Carol Oates did read Malzberg: in 1975 she reviewed his excellent SF novel Guernica Night for The New York Times. She was rather complimentary, noting that its concerns were “poetic and philosophical” while bemoaning the default categorization that SF like this suffers, regardless of merit, from general fiction-reading audiences. This review was, I believe the only major piece of critical attention Malzberg received outside of the field.

I found a copy of the review in ProQuest; it ran on 21 September, 1975 (“A Speculative Fiction”).

5. Oates’s recent anthology New Jersey Noir (2011) also contains a piece by Malzberg. I believe that volume is available only as a Kindle eBook?

6. While poking around in the Times, I came across an 8 March 1987 letter to the editor by Malzberg, regarding Harold Bloom’s critique of Thomas Wolfe:

But before we leave the word “unreadable” as the final judgment on Wolfe’s prose, it ought to be noted that buried in the many millions of words of edited or unedited garbage is a short piece (extracted for a collection) called “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn,” which, I submit, is one of the great American short stories.

7. Finally, here are two lengthy Malzberg bibliographies I’ve found. The first is at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, and the second one is from an old Geocities site. (I haven’t cross-referenced them, though—yet!)

Happy reading!

Author News / 12 Comments
May 9th, 2013 / 8:17 am

Speculations about Goodreads & Amazon (instead of eating lunch)

I was going to go get Subway for lunch today, but then I started thinking about what was more important: eating or social media? I decided eating, but then I remembered that I used to be a social media consultant, so whatever, here’s some thoughts on this Goodreads/Amazon thing that a lot of people (thirty-five, maybe) are really worked up about:

  1. Amazon isn’t Google, which does a really fantastic job of buying the cutest startups at the pound and then leaving said startups on the side of the road after they get old and ugly and start pissing on the carpet. Jeff Bezos invests and improves his acquisitions–just look at how Audible integrated with Kindle so that users can switch back and forth between listening and reading. Nothing is going to happen overnight, but expect some serious changes in your Goodreads user experience.
  2. Mashable ran the headlineAmazon Buys Goodreads to Make Reading Experience More Social.” This sounds utterly terrifying, because the last thing I want to do when I’m reading is socialize. But I guess it also sounds gorgeous, because it might create some dystopian world where we  see status updates like “Fat Jim checked into His Bathtub, Bitch! (with Georges Bataille and A Diet Coke).”  READ MORE >
Behind the Scenes & Technology / 15 Comments
March 29th, 2013 / 2:44 pm

Things I Have Wanted to Post About

Sometimes I have too many things I want to post about and not enough time and then I spend more time thinking about all the posts I’m not writing so in order to focus on a few upcoming posts, I need to clear my mental decks of these tidbits I do not have the time to turn into longer posts.

According to The New York TImes, literary magazines are thriving. I wonder if that’s true. I don’t disagree but I would love for us to have a broader conversation about this topic. The magazines noted in the article are all Bay Area (SF) magazines with significant readerships that are fairly well-established, although The Rumpus and Canteen can certainly be considered newcomers that are thriving. What does it mean for a magazine to “thrive”–financially and editorially? Do other editors feel their magazines are thriving? Publishing is supposedly not thriving (though I disagree). What can book publishers and magazine publishers learn from one another about thriving?

A friend sent me this great link to a Lifehacker article about why it is futile to compare ourselves to others. At The Rumpus, Sugar offers some really timely and pointed advice about begrudging the success of other writers through peer jealousy. These things are connected and also remind me of several conversations I’ve seen around the “blogosphere” in recent months about writing, success, feeling the pressure of social networking as a writer, and how we measure ourselves against other writers and so on.


Random / 7 Comments
April 15th, 2011 / 8:44 pm

5 things killed in Hawaii after falling into a bulltrap

1. ASU’s online literary mag yawps for submissions for short fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art for its 7th issue, which is scheduled to come out in May 2011. The guillotine (a term I argue should now replace the tired deadline)  is March 31. For accessories, check out

1. If I was teaching a writing class, which mercifully I don’t have to do, here are some passages I’d refer to by way of illustrating some technical lessons.

1. Fairy tales thrive in the face of technology.

1. Hey listen:

In 2008 there were zero books priced at $1 out of the Top 100 bestsellers of the year. In 2011 there are 21.

In 2008 there were only 5 books priced at $5 or below out of the Top 100 bestsellers of the year. In 2011 there are 48.

(Two nights ago someone offered to buy me a Kindle. I just couldn’t. But I am thinking on it.)

5. Today is President’s Day so go compartmentalize, punks.

Random & Roundup / 5 Comments
February 21st, 2011 / 7:41 pm

The Amazon crew are being such infantile shitheads with the whole Macmillan thing.  Aw, Apple is going to make your ugly, stupid Kindle obsolete?  It’s like when a new baby comes home and the older, less cute kid throws a tantrum.  (Analogy via my roommate.)  Wipe the oatmeal off your chins and grow up.

my mom wanted to give me a kindle for christmas. luckily, she didn’t. do you have one? do you want one? would you use it & how?