Authors

Authors

Neal Stephenson - Why I Am a Sociomediapath

I feel that now is the time when I should devote as many of my waking hours as possible to doing what I'm good at, and to minimize time spent reading comment threads and viewing pictures of other people's cats. So far, it's been working well; I completed SEVENEVES recently and have three other novel projects in the works. Somewhat perversely, however, using social media has now become part of a novelist's job. It's one thing if you stay off social media altogether and cultivate an identity as a Luddite or recluse. But if you have a public Facebook page, Google+ identity, and Twitter feed, as I do, and you don't actively use them to talk about and promote your work, it strikes people as being a little weird--it sends a mixed message.

From Neal Stephenson - Social Media

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New Conservation Effort Aims To Protect Hemingway's Papers

It's been a year since the U.S. and Cuba began normalizing relations. Tourism, business and cultural exchanges are booming. And there is another curious benefactor of those warmer ties — Ernest Hemingway, or at least, his legacy. The writer lived just outside of Havana for 20 years, and that house, called the Finca Vigia, has long been a national museum.

But years of hot, humid Caribbean weather has taken a toll on the author's thousands of papers and books. A Boston-based foundation is helping restore those weathered treasures, and who better to lead that effort than the original dean of home repairs: Bob Vila, of public television's This Old House. He tells NPR's Carrie Kahn that he has a personal connection to Cuba. "I'm American-born Cuban," he says. "My Havana-born parents emigrated during the latter part of World War II, and I was born in Miami, raised there and partially in Havana up until the revolution in 1959."

From New Conservation Effort Aims To Protect Papa's Papers : NPR

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Computers Get Busy for National Novel-Generating Month

Last month nearly 200 entries turned up in a strange event on GitHub challenging programmers to write computer code that can generate 50,000-word novels. “The only rule is that you share at least one novel and also your source code at the end,” posted the event’s organizer, Darius Kazemi, who’s been staging “National Novel-Generating Month” every November since 2013.

From Computers Get Busy for National Novel-Generating Month - The New Stack

Edgar Allan Poe's textbook on seashells was his only bestseller

Because of the shady circumstances of the book's publication, Poe sustained some career damage, being accused of plagiarism and finding himself blacklisted for a time with Wyatt's publisher. Nonetheless, the book's first edition sold out in two months; during Poe's lifetime, the Conchologist's First had the best sales of all his books. 

From Edgar Allan Poe's textbook on seashells was his only bestseller

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James Patterson announces gifts to booksellers, libraries

The beneficiaries include a manager at the Brazos Bookstore in Houston with a passion for works in translation and a community school in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, dedicated to reaching as many readers as possible.

They are part of James Patterson's $2 million holiday gift program, with grants and bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to schools and libraries and independent bookstores and coordinated with the Scholastic Reading Club and the trade group the American Booksellers Association. Patterson announced Tuesday that 340 libraries and 87 independent bookstore employees had received money.

From James Patterson announces gifts to booksellers, libraries - StarTribune.com

How the Internet Became Commercial

Economist Shane Greenstein visited Google's office in Cambridge, MA to discuss his book, "How the Internet Became Commercial: Innovation, Privatization, and the Birth of a New Network".
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How Jane Vonnegut Made Kurt Vonnegut a Writer

It would be easy to view these letters as sorry proof of yet another woman shunted to history’s backstage. But their passionate and thoughtful character instructs us rather to re-see what we may have missed—to write Jane back into the story and acknowledge the clear-eyed ways in which she helped shape the Vonnegut narrative, both in life and on the page. Many of the ideas and themes that characterize Vonnegut were born in the conversation between Kurt and Jane, and throughout his career she remained a voice in the text. She was there: that was her.

From How Jane Vonnegut Made Kurt Vonnegut a Writer - The New Yorker

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Want to get your male students to read? Become an action fiction author

The classrooms of Chris Raabe and John Kalkowski sit on opposite ends of the hall in Millard’s Andersen Middle School.

During the day they teach seventh-graders — Raabe, English, and Kalkowski, reading. On nights, weekends and summers, they write young adult fiction — sci-fi- and action-infused book series aimed at the same age group they’re teaching. And each job feeds the other.

Writing books makes them better at teaching sentence structure and storytelling subtext. Hanging around with seventh-graders all day helps them know what seventh-graders are like and what they’d like to read

Full article:
http://www.omaha.com/living/want-to-get-your-male-students-to-read-become-an/article_841b9fd...

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Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes

Eight purple passages are up for the prize every author dreads, the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. Can Erica Jong beat Morrissey to the sweetspot?

From Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes | Books | The Guardian

The Statistical Dominance of Dr. Seuss

Nearly twenty-five years after his death, Dr. Seuss continues to dominate the world of children’s books to an astonishing degree.

Today, one in four children’s first book is one penned by Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss’s given name). The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, all published prior to 1970, remain among today’s bestselling children’s books. The Grinch might have stolen Christmas, but Geisel stole all our hearts.

From The Statistical Dominance of Dr. Seuss

LISNews Author Spotlight

Benjamin Griffith Brawley (April 22, 1882 - February 1, 1939) was a prominent African-American author and educator. Several of his books were considered standard college texts, including The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States (1918) and New Survey of English Literature (1925).

Born in 1882 in Columbia, South Carolina, Brawley was the second son of Edward McKnight Brawley and Margaret Dickerson Brawley. He studied at Atlanta Baptist College (renamed Morehouse College), graduating in 1901, earned his second BA in 1906 from the University of Chicago, and received his Master's degree from Harvard University in 1908.Brawley taught in the English departments at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University.

Full Wikipedia entry and list of publications here -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Griffith_Brawley

Books by Brawley, Benjamin Griffith
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/4226

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LISNews Author Spotlight

Benjamin Griffith Brawley (April 22, 1882 - February 1, 1939) was a prominent African-American author and educator. Several of his books were considered standard college texts, including The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States (1918) and New Survey of English Literature (1925).

Born in 1882 in Columbia, South Carolina, Brawley was the second son of Edward McKnight Brawley and Margaret Dickerson Brawley. He studied at Atlanta Baptist College (renamed Morehouse College), graduating in 1901, earned his second BA in 1906 from the University of Chicago, and received his Master's degree from Harvard University in 1908.Brawley taught in the English departments at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University.

Full Wikipedia entry and list of publications here -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Griffith_Brawley

Books by Brawley, Benjamin Griffith
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/4226

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The Man Who Changed Reading Forever

Aldus challenged received doctrine and sometimes pressed the limits of what the powerful Roman Catholic Church would accept. “He was the type who knew the difference between fearing God and fearing the church, and he lived his life on that fine line,” Berra says. “He also knew when to take a step back and reflect on what was important to his goals.” He printed most of the Greek canon for the first time and made secular literature portable, but he also printed important letters of the early church fathers; in 1518, his heirs printed the first edition of the Greek Bible.

From The Man Who Changed Reading Forever | Travel | Smithsonian

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How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme

“I feel like exposing this scam might even hurt my own sales,” he said.

Experts are more optimistic: Jane Friedman, a professor of digital publishing at the University of Virginia, describes catfish as an ongoing but “not that significant” threat. (“It increases the noise for everyone, sure,” she wrote by e-mail, “but for any author building a long-term career, it’s not hard to distinguish yourself from low-quality opportunists.”) Amazon, meanwhile, promises that it is weeding out deceptive accounts and their products.

From How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme - The Washington Post

Why Do We Love Henry David Thoreau?

This vision cannot survive any serious reading of “Walden.” The real Thoreau was, in the fullest sense of the word, self-obsessed: narcissistic, fanatical about self-control, adamant that he required nothing beyond himself to understand and thrive in the world. From that inward fixation flowed a social and political vision that is deeply unsettling. It is true that Thoreau was an excellent naturalist and an eloquent and prescient voice for the preservation of wild places. But “Walden” is less a cornerstone work of environmental literature than the original cabin porn: a fantasy about rustic life divorced from the reality of living in the woods, and, especially, a fantasy about escaping the entanglements and responsibilities of living among other people.

From Why Do We Love Henry David Thoreau? - The New Yorker

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Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech in West

"It seems to me the battle for free expression was won 100 years ago," the 68-year-old told an audience at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair, under heavy security.
"The fact that we have to go on fighting this battle is the result of a number of regrettable, more recent phenomena."

From Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech in West - Yahoo News Canada

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson

From 2011...

You can tell the term still holds some magic for him, perhaps even more so now that it is passing into obsolescence. The opposite is true for ­cyberpunk, a neologism that haunts him to this day. On a short walk to lunch one afternoon, from the two-story mock-Tudor house where he lives with his wife, Deborah, he complained about a recent visit from a British journalist, who came to Vancouver searching for “Mr. Cyberpunk” and was disappointed to find him ensconced in a pleasantly quiet suburban patch of central Vancouver. Mr. Cyberpunk seemed wounded by having his work ­pigeonholed, but equally so by the insult to his home, which is quite ­comfortable, and his neighborhood, which is, too. “We like it quiet,” he explained.

From Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson

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Michael Ian Black on his surprising turn as a noted children’s book author

Generally speaking, nothing says “inessential” quite like “celebrity-written children’s book.” Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy, Katie Couric, Julianne Moore, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julie Andrews, Gloria Estefan, Whoopi Goldberg, B.J. Novak, Spike Lee, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes... the list of stars who’ve delved into that world goes on and on. Scholastic even has a series of books called Little Bill, written by Bill Cosby, most of them available for a penny on Amazon. In a lot of cases, the authors get it out of their system after a couple books, but actor/comedian/author/podcaster Michael Ian Black has quietly reached the half-dozen mark with his latest, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo-Bop, out today.

From Michael Ian Black on his surprising turn as a noted children’s book author · Interview · The A.V. Club

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How Did Prison Change Oscar Wilde? On “De Profundis”

Prison, it might be fair to say, demanded this sort of writing from Wilde. It forced him to change out the voice of a snobbish aesthete for that of a survivor, that of a sufferer, that of a jilted lover, that of a prophet, and—another Emersonian voice—that of an educator. “You came to me to learn the Pleasure of Life and the Pleasure of Art,” Wilde tells Douglas in the letter’s lovestruck last sentence. “Perhaps I am chosen to teach you something much more wonderful, the meaning of Sorrow, and its beauty.”

From How Did Prison Change Oscar Wilde? On “De Profundis”

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See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth

WIRED asks, "How did J.R.R. Tolkien create The Lord of the Rings?"

"The simple answer is that he wrote it...The more complicated answer is that in addition to writing the story, he drew it. The many maps and sketches he made while drafting The Lord of the Rings informed his storytelling, allowing him to test narrative ideas and illustrate scenes he needed to capture in words. For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined.

In the book The Art of The Lord of the Rings, we see how, and why."

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