1. Tao Lin is hosting a huge Richard Yates contest at his blog, with cash and books and other things to win. I am reading Richard Yates right now. It’s kind of crushing and insane. Emotional-minimalist brutalism? It’s good.
2. The Story Prize has a blog, where they are hosting authors talking about their nominated books. Our man J.T. is all up in it, as are several others. Do a look!
3. New issue of Fence is out, and as always looks amazing. Checking my mailbox daily as I do during this time. My local homeboy Chris DeWeese has some poems in it from his Alternative Music series, wherein he tries to remember the lyrics to rad songs from the 90s without really relistening to the songs. I am ready to see that project become a book that I can hold.
Because hey, why not?
(via Bookslut blog) Barbara J. King, long-time Bookslut contributor, has just published a new book. It is Being with Animals: Why We are Obsessed with the Furry, Scaly, Feathered Creatures Who Populate Our World. Congrats, Barbara! Also, Jessa keeps linking to Dinosaur Ballet, and if it’s important to her then by God it’s important to us, too.
Scott Timberg has been writing about Philip K. Dick at the LA Times’s Hero Complex blog. It’s a six-part series, of which two parts are live so far. Here’s Part One, and here’s Part Two. Also, note that Timberg is doing a guest-blogging stint on io9.com this week. Highlights from the run so far include “How SF Crushes Highbrow Fiction,” “New Evidence that Frank Herbert Loved David Lynch’s Version of Dune,” and “The Extinct Animals We Never Knew.” He and I were emailing today about Apocalypse stuff–so one presumes there’ll be a that-related, me-quoting post in the imminent future. Stay tuned. (Also, Scott’s own blog, The Misread City.)
Did it already get blogged here that The Story Prize nominees have been announced? In any case, they are (for the maybe second time) Wells Tower for Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; Daniyal Mueenuddin for In Other Rooms, Other Wonders; and Victoria Patterson for Drift. Hearty cheers all around.
At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow tells us about The Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results. (Go direct to the JSUR here.)
Oh, and what’s TNR’s The Book been up to? Well, Sean Wilentz says that “no great American has suffered more cruelly and undeservedly at the hands of historians than Ulysses S. Grant.” The hell you say! He takes a good long look at U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh. Meanwhile, Ellen Handler Spitz review a children’s book, The Three Pigs by David Wiesner, and it is on this note that I will leave you.
The earliest versions of the Three Pigs story are buried in time, although we do have nineteenth-century English renderings of it. I want, as a foil, to consider Disney’s Silly Symphony animation, from 1932, with its refrain, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?,” frequently issued in print form and known worldwide, because it forms, like so much of Disney’s work, an inescapable template. Disney’s pigs are “little,” that is, they are children; whereas Wiesner’s pigs are neither verbally nor pictorially “little.” On the book jacket, Wiesner’s three porkers zoom in and eye us. We go snout to snout with them, as if looking in a mirror.