- The Joy of (Supernatural) Sex Paul Goat Allen on why men should read paranormal romance. I’d expand this to any romance, not just paranormal.
- How Not to Teach Diversity Frequent commenter Rosary has things to say about how the educational institution at which she works has chosen to teach diversity in their new World Literature course. Her conclusion is: “…the problem that I am having with this experience has to do with the fact that we have chosen the cultures we think are necessary for diversity, which is nothing more than colonial appropriation under the name of correcting a situation.”
- Outlawed by Amazon DRM DRM is evil evil evil and the sooner it goes away from the ebook world the happier I’ll be.
- Broaden Your Horizons Courtney Schafer talks about women writing epic fantasy and mentions some of my recent favorites (although I think my definition of epic fantasy is narrower than hers; I wouldn’t call the Bear or Downum series epic, although I suppose Bear’s is).
- The Science of Racism: Radiolab’s Treatment of Hmong Experience This is just horrifying and chilling. Most of my knowledge of the Hmong people comes from Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, about a young Hmong girl with severe epilepsy and how the American medical establishment failed her and her family.
- Writer Habitats, Abridged Fran Wilde has oodles of links to places where writers can interact with other writers about their craft. And, as she points out, writers know where the good coffee is. This is a very important life skill.
- Ways of Being Gay… This post at Romance Novels for Feminists (which I love) is about Ann Herendeen’s Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander and all I can say is this: Why did I not know about this book before? It has been purchased because Oh. My. God. have I been wanting a queered up Regency romance like whoa for, like, the last million years or so.
- Why I Didn’t Run the Caitlin Moran Interview Kjerstin Johnson explains precisely why she killed Lorraine Berry’s interview with Caitlin Moran (that subsequently ran in Salon).
- How the NY Times Social Media Policy Overreaches
- Pornokitsch’s review of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23 Or rather: a review of the introduction which appears to be overlong and full of personal grievances.
- Book Rant: The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne This book sounds completely ridiculous and not in a good way. Also, this rant is extremely entertaining to read.
I’m grouping these all together since these are–more or less–discussing the same thing: reviewers, the purpose of reviews, and outing.
- Ladysplaining the Value of A Literary Culture for Commercial Fiction This is a fantastic post on one of my favorite subjects: the interaction between reader-reviewers and authors. Say it with me: Reviews are for readers. And I just love this bit:
Readers should be trusted to conduct conversations about books on their own terms, because interpretation is inextricable from the act of reading, and it’s where all of our reactions – pleasurable and otherwise – are formed.
- Book Reviews–More Evil than Good? It is not possible to list all the ways in which Lichen Craig is wrong. He is especially wrong in his central thesis that someone writing a book review must have some sort of credential as well as keep their personal opinion out it. I am not sure how one becomes a credentialed book reviewer (I am pretty sure that despite my over 500 reviews published in an honest-to-God real magazine that I don’t count) and I’m not sure how one can recommend or disrecommend a book without having an opinion on it.
- My Only Enemy Here’s Cassie Alexander’s perspective on this issue and she makes a great point about how new authors have generally spent a lot of time in crit groups and engaged with people about their writing in a more direct way than is appropriate with readers.
- Even Heinous Arsewipes Have Rights I admit: I am struggling with this. Really, really, really struggling.
A couple of additions, courtesy of the inimitable Fran Wilde, on the subject of disappearing Amazon reviews–possibly a combination of bot and algorithm because, you know, why pay people to review this stuff when you can just write a computer program to take care of it?