Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hybrid Beasts - Red Lemonade Community

Hybrid Beasts is a crowdsourced, mixed collection that developed in a collaborative process that was driven by readers and writers.

The collection features texts that are a hybrid of different genres - crossover between prose, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essay, commentary, memoir, short story, poem..

Guest edited by Molly Gaudry, the collection includes hybrids written by Erik Wennermark, Kathryn Mockler, Jana McCall, Berit Ellingsen, Luke Dani, Gabe Wollenberg and R.V. Branham

You can read more about the project at the Hybrid project, and you can download the collection as free PDF or e-pub at: Hybrid Beasts

About Red Lemonade 
Red Lemonade is a writer community (like Fictionaut, but smaller) where writers post manuscripts and readers can comment to the texts directly in the text on the webpage, plus write comments in the margin. Here's more info about Red Lemonade

PS: the feature image is a visual hybrid of the pdf-cover and the photo in the editorial

Monday, September 24, 2012

now on: A More Diverse Universe Blog Tour

A More Diverse Universe is a blog initiative by a small group of bloggers who got together out of concern of the lack of diversity in fantasy fiction, particularly fantasy fiction of the epic nature by a blog tour. The idea of the blog tour: to highlights fantasy/sci fi/magical realism novels written by a person of color.

The call went up in August (here's the original call with introduction), and many, many bloggers followed. Yesterday the blog tour started, it runs from Sunday 23 to Saturday 29 September

The full schedule of the blog tour with links is online here: A More Diverse Universe: The Schedule

Hiromi Goto, current Writer-in-Residence at Athabasca University, has written an introduction for the blog tour: "The resonance of culture is difficult to measure. Essentialisms aside, one’s culture(s) creates a particular context of experience and understanding of the world. There is a grammar of seeing and perceiving that comes from being from a specific culture... I want to read stories and books that will let me see my world in different ways, not re-inscribe the world I’ve learned through the public education system and popular culture. Let me dream in a language not my own." (Hiromi Goto's Blog )

The hashtag for the blog tour on twitter is #diversiverse

2 ways of voices, or: a PS from the editor:
i wished i had come across the link to the blog tour earlier, when the call was out. in a coincidence, i chanced upon it after blogging about the very topic of global voices today, as part of the "It's Monday what are you reading" blog meme. a quote from the post: "You can easily read around the world and still stick with authors that entirely belong to your own hemisphere. Which will make it a very different read (and world impression) compared to reading around the world in the voice of the authors of the different continents." - here's the link: Ayiti, Africa, and stories that aren't a story (global reading challenge)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Read It Maybe

A "Call Me Maybe" parody from a bookstore:

The Short Story #10, a book video by Open Books: "Read It Maybe"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What does it mean to be published now?

Last week in the Fictionaut forums, a question by David Ackley (which picked up on yet another thread on the theme of "previous publication" in the age of the internet" lead to a longer thread: Fictionaut Forum / What does it mean to "be published" now? What's your definition of "publication?" Some quotes from the answers:

"They mean people are aware of you. That your work is being read, discussed, passed around..." - Darryl Price

"An editor reads it, accepts it, puts it out for the world..." - Linda Simoni-Wastila

"To me, publishing means that my piece is out there to be read in a format where I am incapable of personally making changes to it." - Magda Sullivan

"Getting a story published anywhere out there is still one of the great thrills of a lifetime, for sure" - Barry Friesen

"The thread also includes notes on the changing state of the literary world, or rather: the way the technical development changes a lot of things, including publishing. - "I am very excited about what electronic technology offers writers and readers. I am concerned that there is little quality control. In the end, having so much out there makes it more difficult to actually get your stuff read." - Linda Simoni-Wastila

"With anybody being able to put up their novel for sale on Amazon Books in five minutes flat, and anybody being able to put stuff on their own blog at will, publishing's become fully democratized. Ha. ... There's so much wonderful writing that the public never gets to see, because there's no model yet, during this long transition, to attract eyeballs to specific work." - Barry Friesen

The thread now also is moving on in blogs, like in the blog of author Marcus Speh, who notes: "While I’m affected (and saddened) by some of the experiences shared here, I don’t agree with the negative views on the demise (?) of either publishing or bookshops. .. The replacement of one paradigm by another, of one world by another, never is a pleasant process. It isn’t pleasant for people on either side: those who are left behind feel left out and dismissed; and those who build the new world share all the discomforts, uncertainties and fears of the pioneer."

Again, the theme lead to a thread which is online here: What does it mean to be published now? Some quotes from there:

"On “publication”, I’m bemused by the panic about the “changes” — it’s clear that e-publishing is going to be a giant part of the future reading experience, but is this really so different to our past? It used to be that stories were told around a fire — maybe even before fire — and this continues. .. Any old arse can write a book and publish to The Whole World! But in truth it’s no different to the man with a tale who takes it to the pub and wets a few palates before beginning because on the internet like any other stage or place or piece of paper, it’s all about storytelling, and all about the people who hear or watch us – and people haven’t changed." - Martha Williams

"One of the things I would LOVE to see being slapped into the garbage can is this idea of “vanity” publishing. Technology has given us all the tools to put out, truly INDEPENDENTLY, a brilliantly made (and hopefully written) project, if one is willing to work hard." - Lx


Writing & Reviewing
It seems to be a time of taking a fresh look at things, and of pondering - parallel to this theme, the review debate is also ongoing - and probably is also induced be the change of parameters - not only is the process of writing democratized, but also the process of reviewing. More on that theme, here: The Art of the Book Review + the Book Reviews Rage

Saturday, September 15, 2012

the week in review: a poetry-class of 30.000, review debate, short story survey & reviews of the week (short stories, satire, novel, essays, award winners..)

Some poetry / review / short story highlights of the week

Just started - you can still join: Modern & Contemporary American Poetry 
Some days ago, the literary course "Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo)" by Al Filreis started. This course is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult." - almost 30.000 people enrolled so far.

The Art of the Book Review + the Book Reviews Rage 
Karen Lillies is currently posting a series of interviews with small press writers and reviewers about the art of book reviewing, and the state of book reviews. Following the current rich discussion of the state of bookreviews, the series now also includes an annotated timeline of the key essays: "Book Reviews Debate Rages On"

A brief survey of the short story 
In a literary series that started in 2007 and includes over 40 features so far, Chris Power portrays authors of short stories, and the development of the short story as format over time. In his own words, the portrays form "... a regular series of blogs that propose to offer a (very) partial survey of the short story, each post dealing with a single author who did or is doing something special with the form"


Reviews of the Week, via ReviewForward

Review Forward is a new online initiative for indie authors, for self published authors and for book bloggers. More about this initiative & how to join, here: reviewforward.

Berit Ellingsen reviews the flash and short story collection "Together We Can Bury It" by Kathy Fish: "from the harsh and beautiful Foreign Film, to the experimental Movement, the surreal Searching for Samuel Beckett, the magical realism of Snow, the darkness of The Hollow.."

Dorothee Lang writes about Reading the Hugo Award Prize Winners 2012 ".. many of the nominated and winning short stories and novellas are online. Great reads, with themes that speak to our times: multiculture, evolution, choice."

Marcus Speh got heavy mail: "my mini review/story when receiving Action, Figure by Frank Hinton": Action, Figure

Kate Brown interviews writer Christopher Allen' about his novel 'Conversations with S. Teri O'Type' - the interview with Kate is part of Chris Allen's book launch blog tour

** the way, there is a Goodreads List of the Reviewed Books & the Reviewers
the list includes most of the reviewed books (and books of the reviewers)


Reviews Continued:

The first review from Asia arrived: Birdy from India writes about a book that is about reading books - Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman"Ex Libris recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story." 

Sheldon Lee Compton wrote words about words that Brian Allen Carr wrote and called Vampire Conditions: "Every now and again there’s a book that just gives me that feeling of sitting in a warm living room on a winter day and listening to someone who has command of the room tell me something about life and the world I would have never seen in just that way before or maybe every again." - Read all of the words here: Preview Thoughts on Brian Allen Carr’s Vampire Conditions

Anne at Random Things reviews "An Island Between Shores" by Graham Wilson: "At just 148 pages long, this book can be read in one sitting, in fact I think really should be read like this as the story is compelling, often brutal but beautifully told."

More Reviews: review/forward: memoir, scifi, classic, poetry, comic, short stories...

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Literary courses online: Modern & Contemporary American Poetry + Fantasy & Science Fiction

Literary courses online: Earlier this year, the online eduction platform Coursera launched. In partnership with several US universities, Coursera offers free online courses in the fields of Computer Science, Medicine, Biology, Finance and Information, but also in Humanities and Social Science. The current course program also includes 2 literary courses:

Starting Now: Modern & Contemporary American Poetry
In September, the literary course "Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo)" by Al Filreis will start. This course is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult."

Starting date: September 10: "As Sunday night September 9 becomes Monday September 10, at midnight here in the eastern U.S., the ModPo site will open to everyone who has enrolled in the 10-week course. The course begins with poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman."

To read more about it and to enroll, visit the ModPo course page. As sneak-peak, Al Filreis "leaked" a 20-minute video introduction to the course: Modpo-intro-video. There also is an ongoing poetry podcast series: PoemTalk. There also is a @ModPoPenn twitter feed with extra links.

Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World
There currently is another litarary course running at Coursera: "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World" by Eric Rabkin. The course started in July, but you can still enroll and follolw the video lectures from the start to now. Here's a bit more: "We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world. This course will explore Fantasy in general and Science Fiction in specific both as art and as insights into ourselves and our world."

Friday, September 07, 2012

A brief survey of the short story - a Guardian series by Chris Power

In a literary series that started in 2007, Chris Power portrays authors of short stories, and the development of the short story as format over time.

In his own words, the portrays form "... a regular series of blogs that propose to offer a (very) partial survey of the short story, each post dealing with a single author who did or is doing something special with the form. In the interests of full disclosure I should point out that when I say "partial" I mean both "incomplete" and "biased", and I hope I'll get to hear dissenting opinions from you folks."

The series starts with Anton Chekhov, whose "subtle portrayals of complex, morally ambiguous characters set an example writers are following to this day" and with H.P.Lovecraft, "a master of fantastic horror tales, but the hate which drove his work was all too real."

Most recent features include Flannery O'Connor ("who brings an enigmatic intensity to her gothic vision of the American South" and Yugoslavian author Danilo Kiš ("Muddling the real and the fictional, the power of Kiš's stories lie in their ability to capture truth by doctoring history").

A series overview is online here: A brief survey of the short story.
So far 43 featuers are online.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Extract(s) - Your daily dose of lit

Extract(s) - Your daily dose of lit is a daily lit blog that also includes a video channel and is open to multiple forms.

In their own words: "Extract(s) features bite-sized literature in surprising forms. We don’t want to be your everything, but we do want to be one thing that makes your day more interesting. Drop by for a few minutes every day. We’ll give you something to think about."

Categories inlcude:
- Excerpts
- Haiku
- In Place
- Poems
- Stories

In Place Literary Video Series 
Extract(s) is currently running a Kickstrater campaign for the second season of their litarary project "In Place". A campaign video is online here, and the Kickstarter page is here: In Place Literary Video Series: Season 2 (deadline is September 19).

About Extract(s)
Extract(s) is edited and organized by: Christopher J. Anderson (Founder & Executive Creative Director;) Jenn Monroe (Founder & Executive Producer); Meg Cameron (Media & Communications Manager & Producer, “In Place”); Kyle Petty (Director, “In Place”)

Website: Extract(s) - Your daily dose of lit
Video Channel: Extract(s)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

the week in review/forward: memoir, scifi, classic, poetry, comic, short stories...

Reviewing the week in Review Forward

Review Forward is a new online initiative for indie authors, for self published authors and for book bloggers. More about this initiative & how to join, here: reviewforward.


Reviews of the Week:

Michelle Elvy interviews award-winning graphic novelist Chris Slane at Aotearoa Affair. His latest book -- Nice Day for a War -- won the 2012 NZ Post Children's Book Award. Well worth a view:  an interview with Chris Slane

Christopher Allen reviews Sheldon Lee Compton's new short story collection for Books at Fictionaut: The Same Terrible Storm

Beth Adams writes about reading Ulysses: (and if you wonder why Ulysses pops up in an initiative that is about indie / self-published books: "It was Sylvia Beach's small indie press in Paris that published the first copies of James Joyce's Ulysses." read more: Ulysses -- and the Trojan Horse Within

Berit Ellingsen reviews Ian Sale's new science fiction novella in her blog: Adrift on the Sea of Rains

Tim Jones interview Wellington poet Sugu Pillay, whose first poetry collection "Flaubert's Drum" just got published: An Interview With Sugu Pillay

Dorothee Lang reviews the self-published memoir by Melanie Steele, who set out in the hope that if you only keep following your heart, your dream will come true at some point: 13 Years in America

Marcus Speh discovers a little book from Proust about his home town at indie press Editiones Tartines: Kreusnach


Goodreads book list: there's a list with most of the reviews books (and with books of the reviewers) up at Goodreads:/ ReviewForward book list