Neal Stephenson Rewrites History

Wired is running An Interview with Neal Stephenson "the dark prince of hacker fiction."

In the context of the 1600s, Stephenson examines the nature of money, the interdependency of Europe, and the consequences of transformative scientific advances. The writing schedule is ambitious, too: The first book, Quicksilver, is out this month, and the next two will follow at six-month intervals. Stephenson took the time to tell Wired why, if you're a hacker, the 17th century was the place to be.


Book riles those who can't spare a nickel or a dime

James Nimmo points us to an item at The Progressive about objections to Barbara Ehrenreich and her book Nickel and Dimed.

"When I was in Scandinavia last spring promoting "Nickel and Dimed," interviewers kept asking me to tell them about the "debate" my book had provoked in the United States. I had to confess that it had provoked no debate at all, at least none that I had heard of. In fact, when my book was adopted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a reading for all incoming students in 2003, the administration expressed its conviction that it was a "relatively tame selection," at least compared to last year's choice -- a collection of readings from the Koran. I was beginning to envy Michael Moore, whose publisher had cleverly boosted sales by attempting to suppress his book "Stupid White Men" in the wake of 9/11.

Then, early in July, I got a phone call..."


WPA at the Library of Congress

jen found this article, Unmasking the Writers of the W.P.A.
about the WPA Federal Writers Project, which kept authors writing and on government payroll during the 30s and into the 40s. The body of work done by the project is remarkable and includes many well-know authors including John Cheever, Zora Neale Hurston and Studs Turkel. The Library of Congress has made much of the original material available on their American Memory website. Registration required at the NYT site.


Caught between two books

Caught between two books is an interesting column by The Guardian\'s Robert McCrum on being an author.

He says he has a friend, who, through a chain of happy coincidences too complex to go into here, he got himself a new literary agent who was able to attract serious offers to publish from no fewer than three well-known imprints.

It\'s a nice look at the book publishing industry, from the inside.

\"The immediate problem with the two-book deal is that, in the excitement of competitive acquisition, publishers generally overpay. Dreams turn sour.\"


Love thrives at romance writers' meeting

Jen Young writes "The Romance Writers of America's 23rd annual conference opened on Wednesday, bringing together more than 2,000 published authors, want-to-be-published writers, editors and others connected to a lucrative section of the fiction market.

Full CNN Story


Stephen King shores up first book in Dark Tower series

SomeOne writes \"News That King has finished the final volumes of his Dark Tower series. Wolves of the Calla will be published in November, followed by Song of Susannah next summer and the final episode, The Dark Tower, in November 2004.

He also recently said he loves Harry Potter In This Interview.\"


Austen house opens as library

Charles Davis writes: "This Article From The BBC says a manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen's brother is opening to
the public later this month as a library and study centre for women's writing.
Chawton House in Hampshire was well known to the famous novelist, who often visited the Grade II Elizabethan property owned by her brother Edward
Austen Knight."


The Virtual Book Tour

Bob Cox writes "The Virtual Book Tour (VBT) empowers publishers and authors with modest marketing budgets to reach a wider, desirable audience without leaving home. Harnessing the power of personal websites, weblogs and viral marketing, the VBT plans, coordinates and schedules “author stops” at 10 of the most intriguing and diverse sites on the web, enabling authors, publicists and publishers to promote quality books in an efficient, cost-effective way."


Moose settles ethics dispute over sniper case book

Jen Young writes "CNN Reports former Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Chief Charles Moose reached a deal with the county ethics commission Tuesday that clears the way for him to write a book and pursue a movie project about the sniper investigation, his attorney said.


Children\'s Book Author McCloskey Dies

Tina Emerick writes \"Robert McCloskey has died at the age of 1988. He is the author of such works as \"Make Way for Ducklings\" and \"Homer Price.\" McCloskey died Monday at a home on Deer Isle after a long illness, said Katrina Weidknecht, director of publicity at Penguin Books for Young Readers. Here\'s The Obituary \"

Lee Hadden also adds There is an interesting article on children\'s literature and authors in
the Wall Street Journal for July 2, 2003. \"Children\'s Author Robert McCloskey
Put the Real World in His Books In the Fray.\" By AMY FINNERTY


Author 'Blessed' by Oprah

CNN has This One on Jacquelyn Mitchard who just finished a 23-city tour to promote her latest book, "Twelve Times Blessed." She attributes much of her success to Oprah Winfrey, whom she calls her "fairy godmother."

Mitchard was a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, struggling to raise three young children and a high schooler on her own after her first husband died from cancer, when Winfrey selected the writer's first novel, "The Deep End of the Ocean," for her book club, in 1996.


Orwell Legend Comes Under Review 100 Years On

Here's A Reuters story on British author George Orwell.

But true to his own quip that "saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent," the Orwellian myth is coming under new scrutiny around the centenary of his birth in an Indian village on June 25, 1903.


Rush Limbaugh: Hillary's publisher lying

John Grubb writes " is Reporting:

"Radio talk-show giant and best-selling author Rush Limbaugh is making it absolutely clear what he thinks about the purported success of Hillary Clinton's new book, "Living History."

"He says reports of record purchases are simply not true."



Opening Gambits

Two weeks ago, The Independent invited folks to submit the first few words of a classic unpublished novel. The response was overwhelming. Here, Boyd Tonkin, a former Booker judge and literary editor of The Independent, introduces the winner and the best of the runners-up in Opening Gambits


Murdoch's library up for sale

The Beeb Is Reporting Novelist Dame Iris Murdoch's personal collection of almost 1,000 books will go on sale for between £125,000 and £150,000 on Thursday.

The books are being sold by the novelist's widower, Professor John Bayley, who said it was "painful" to sell his late wife's library but he had no room for them in his Oxford home.


Marilyn Manson as Willy Wonka?

I'd heard rumors about a new, Tim Burton-directed version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a couple years ago, but this is the first confirmation that it's in the works. Apparently, Dahl was never too keen on what Hollywood did to his work (Willy Wonka and The Witches), and his widow has been hesitant to give consent to new projects. She was, however, won over by Tim Burton, who she said, looked like Edward Scissorhands. The article also confirms a long-standing rumor that Marilyn Manson is very interested in playing the candy maker, Willy Wonka. Hoo boy!


Shakespeare may have smoked pot

Clay pipes found at the site of Shakespeare's home offer a clue that the Bard may have lit up on occassion, according to a South African anthropologist. The only evidence offered aside from the pipes are images and references made in sonnets and plays. Other scholars dispute the anthropologist's work as being one toke over the line. More from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


The Man Who Sounded The Fire Alarm

Lee Hadden writes \"There is an interesting article on Bruce [That\'s Ray, not Bruce]Bradbury and the 50th Anniversary
of his novel, Fahrenheit 451, in the Wall Street Journal of May 14, 2003:

\"The Man Who Sounded The Fire Alarm,\" By JOHN J. MILLER
Mr. Bradbury has written some 30 books, more than 600 short stories,
and countless numbers of poems, essays and screenplays. Even as an
octogenarian, he gets up every morning and spends a few hours composing.
His most recent novel, \"Let\'s All Kill Constance,\" came out in January to
mixed reviews. A new collection of 100 short stories is slated for release
in August.

Amid this prodigious output, \"Fahrenheit 451\" is the book for which
Mr. Bradbury will be best remembered. Perhaps that\'s because the concept is
so unforgettable: In the near future, firemen don\'t put out fires; they
start them instead. Books have been outlawed. When they\'re discovered,
first responders hurry to the scene. The title refers to the temperature at
which paper burns?

One of the often-overlooked details of \"Fahrenheit 451\" is that the
censorship Mr. Bradbury describes was not imposed from the top by a
ruthless government. Rather, it seeped up from the indifferent masses. \"


Moose To Sue Over Book

CNN Says The police chief who helped lead the task force of investigators during last autumn\'s Washington-area sniper shootings filed suit Wednesday to win the right to tell his story in a book.

Lawyers for Montgomery County Chief Charles A. Moose sought a federal court injunction barring the county Ethics Commission from taking any action against him for writing about the events surrounding the shootings.


Book lovers put Austen in pride of place

Charles Davis writes \"Full story at

The old ones really are the best - and the best of them all is Jane Austen\'s Pride and Prejudice which has been voted the \"best-loved\" novel by a woman author.



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