What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<May 2015>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from the News category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 63,413
1. Ransmayr revival ?

       In the 1990s three works by Christoph Ransmayr came out in English -- all in John E. Woods' translation, which already says something -- but Grove Press notoriously overpaid for The Last World (it actually still sputters on in print just fine for a literary title, but it never came anywhere close to the advance-justifying blockbuster-sales-level) and even if that wasn't the last of the three, that seemed to signal a close to death-knell for the author in English. He shared the Aristeion Prize with Salman Rushdie in 1996 (the year before the prize went to future Nobel laureate Herta Müller; the year after, to Antonio Tabucchi, for his Sostiene Pereira ...), but, despite solid reviews, little more was heard from him in English.
       It shouldn't surprise that now, with a new title finally due out -- Atlas of an Anxious Man -- it's Seagull Books that is trying to bring him back to US/UK-attention; see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- taking the kind of risks/challenges that none of the big US/UK houses seem to be willing to any longer (when it comes to literature in translation).
       Meanwhile, it's just out in French -- and in L'Express Jérôme Dupuis says: let's face it, "Christoph Ransmayr est un très grand écrivain".

Add a Comment
2. Marvel teases Eight Months Later

unnamed.jpg

Oh boy here we go…as Battleworlds and pizzas collide we’ll have a newish Marvel U at summer’s end. This teaser is a little reminiscent of DC’s various “one year later” upheavals over the years which is little ironic since whether this could be termed a “relaunch” or a “revamp” or just a promotion has been hotly debated. Guess we’ll find out.

3 Comments on Marvel teases Eight Months Later, last added: 5/23/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. Make-Believe Empire: A How-To Book

 

Back in the United States, writers could secretly imagine the same imminent fate for themselves: that when the revolution came in America, they would become its heroes—or even its leaders.

This grandiosity helps explain why apparently intelligent writers would sign on to a project so manifestly unintelligent as America’s invasion of Iraq, confident it would go exactly as planned. We find a clue in a children’s book published in 1982 by Paul Berman, The Nation’s onetime theater critic, who went on to a career as a self-described “liberal” booster of Dick Cheney’s adventure in Iraq, framing it as an existential struggle against Islamic fascism. It was called Make-Believe Empire: A How-To Book, and it is described by the Library of Congress as “A fantasy-craft book which tells how to construct a capital city and an imperial navy…. Provides instructions for writing laws, decrees, proclamations, treaties, and imperial odes.”

Left or right, it doesn’t much matter: it sure is a bracing feeling for the chair-bound intellectual to imagine himself the drivetrain in the engine of history. Or at the very least a prophet, standing on the correct side of history and looking down upon moral midgets who insist the world is more complicated than all that.

0 Comments on Make-Believe Empire: A How-To Book as of 5/22/2015 12:02:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. Coe on Kundera

       With Milan Kundera's most recent work of fiction, The Festival of Insignificance, due out in English shortly -- see the Faber publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- Jonathan Coe considers How important is Milan Kundera today ? in The Guardian.
       Interesting that he doesn't bring up Kundera's language-switch -- from Czech to French (this, like his other recent novels was written in French; the popular stuff was written in Czech).
       I haven't seen this one, but he still seems a significant author -- and, of course, still has acolytes (Adam Thirlwell et al.).

       Only two of his books are under review at the complete review -- The Curtain and Identity -- along with François Ricard's Kundera-study, Agnès's Final Afternoon

Add a Comment
5. Remembering Seth Kushner with images and words

imrs.jpg

The comics world continued to pay tribute to Seth Kushner this week, following his passing on Sunday. Michael Cavna has an amazing gallery of Kushner’s many amazing photos of comics creators, an astonishing body of work, along with tributes from Neil Gaiman, Becky Cloonan and many many more.

Seth’s “final photographs seem to capture things that the camera shouldn’t have been able to, considering the casual ease that he set up his shots,” the talented Jeffrey Brown tells us. But then, “That’s what artists do,” says the gifted Rick Parker. “They see right to the heart of their subjects.”


The above photo, from Mocca in 2010 of the dream panel of Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel, Frank Miler, Kyle Baker and Jaime Hernandez is but one such image.

seth-kushner-camera1.jpg

Seth’s close friend Hannah Means Shannon has a a wonderful rite up of his memorial service which was held this past Wednesday.

For that reason, the thoughts that friends and family shared, the tributes to Seth, were that much more immediate, conversational, and brutally honest, in my opinion. Other funeral services I’ve been to now seem lacking in this quality of direct communication among the people gathered. We celebrated Seth as if he was in the room, since he still felt like he was. Another thing that may have made the gathering and speeches seem surreal to many of Seth’s creative friends is that, in a few instances, they felt like one of the many spoken word events Seth took part in or attended. Events where people performed prose or read aloud from projected comics.


As Hannah notes, Haspiel read one of Seth’s comics aloud, surely the only memorial service I’ve ever attended that included that, but it was so touching. Another speaker quoted The Dark Knight Returns, and a third Death’s line from The Sandman: “You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.” And someone else quoted Star TtreK II: “I have been and always will be your friend.”

Seth would have loved all this. And I think showing the universal power to comfort of these words from once disreputable mediums was an especially fitting tribute for him.

And as Dean put it, “Seth did more in a hospital gown than some people do in a year.” If there is one lesson to be taken from Seth’s horrificly young passing, it’s that you only get one chance to go around this world, and not taking advantage of this is a true tragedy.

Most importantly, there is an ongoing funding effort to help Seth’s wife Terra and son Jackson. His family meant everything to him, and please keep them in your thoughts.

1 Comments on Remembering Seth Kushner with images and words, last added: 5/23/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. The Irish referendum on same-sex marriage

Today, the people of Ireland will vote in a Referendum to decide whether to include the following new wording in their Constitution: 'Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.' This may happen despite the fact that Ireland has a Constitution grounded in Catholic values. Indeed, abortion in Ireland is still constitutionally prohibited. Homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1993, and the option to divorce has only been available since 1995.

The post The Irish referendum on same-sex marriage appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on The Irish referendum on same-sex marriage as of 5/23/2015 2:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. Krasznahorkai's translators

       Krasznahorkai László was awarded the Man Booker International Prize earlier this week, and in The Guardian he writes about My hero: George Szirtes and my other translators, a nice little tribute to those who have helped spread the Krasznahorkai-word beyond Hungarian.

Add a Comment
8. The role of the law, in the matter of Ashya King

Parents of a child diagnosed with a serious illness are immediately required to make decisions about their child’s medical treatment which, in order to save life, may cause pain, unpleasant side-effects and risk damaging their child’s future quality of life. The actions, last summer, of the parents of five year old Ashya King offer just one example of the lengths to which parents will go to secure the best possible treatment for their child [...]

The post The role of the law, in the matter of Ashya King appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on The role of the law, in the matter of Ashya King as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. Review: Valhalla Mad #1 Offers Incentive to Raise a Glass

ValhallaMad_01Story:

Joe Casey

Art:

Paul Maybury

Letters:

Rus Wooton

Designer:

Sonia Harris

Flats:

Ricky Valenzuela

Publisher:

Image Comics

Their names are legend: the Glorious Knox! Greg Horn the Battlebjörn! Jhago the Irritator! Three warrior gods vacationing on Earth, just looking to get their drink on and have a good time! Join the drunken festivities with toastmasters JOE CASEY (SEX) and PAUL MAYBURY (SOVEREIGN). The new mythology begins now!

Joe Casey’s Valhalla Mad has been a long time coming. The author’s satirical look at Thor and the Warriors Three from Marvel certainly had a lot of potential when it was initially announced. Joining Casey for pencils in his exploration of myth is Paul Maybury. Knox, Greg, and Jhago return for a visit to Earth home to find things out of place and the innocence of the previous decades that they were used to almost completely eradicated.

The first thing really striking about this comic is how it is presented to the reader with production design that can be likened to that of an old book. The first page for readers to see after the opening the title adds more to the texture of the series looking like a frayed old manuscript — where thereafter the series reveals a credits page with beautifully aged font. Graphic designer Sonia Harris’ influence can really enjoyed by the reader. Maybury’s pencils are subtle and designed to seem ancient, the artist perfectly colors his own work — allowing his pencils to accentuated in just the right manner. Also, the Jack Kirby designs on the leads are wonderfully retro — and make me wish that the Odinson retained more of his classic look as well. Readers can tell that Maybury has a deep love of the King’s artwork, as this series doesn’t seem to be talking down to those older 60’s comics.

Casey’s flowery prose given to the three leads are presented in a poignant, but in an interesting manner that illustrates the author’s strong command on language. As the series goes on it will be interesting to take a look at how far the scribe has developed the mythology of Viken, the homeworld of the gods. One such example of fine mythology is how Knox and his people are returning to Earth, and happy to see the older members of the force that they had previously spent time with before. The different attitudes towards the three characters allows for a comparison of the different world of the 60’s comics that the trio likely originated from. Surprisingly, it takes the the trio of this comic quite a while before they are able to taste the mead of our world. However, the scene in which they do is justly audacious.

This first issue barely has a plot — being that there are a couple of people coming back to Earth to spend some time partying. With comics now being so driven by events and violence, spending a few moments getting to know who these characters are is pleasant. Also, seeing the people of Earth’s different reactions to these characters is quite profound. Not every bystander in this comic has the same thing to say about these people. Some remember Knox and company — and some do not. Next installment offers some teases of the plot kicking into gear and becoming more grand. For the time being, this comic should offer Thor fans some old-fashioned mead-induced fun. Maybury’s detailed and triumphant artwork paired with Casey’s love of wordplay transforms this first installment into a joyous celebration of the different kinds of places comics can take us.

0 Comments on Review: Valhalla Mad #1 Offers Incentive to Raise a Glass as of 5/23/2015 11:03:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Do America’s political parties matter in presidential elections?

April 2015 will go down in history as the month that the 2016 race for the White House began in earnest. Hillary Clinton’s online declaration of her presidential candidacy was the critical moment. With it America’s two major political parties have locked horns with each other. The Democrats intend to continue their control of the presidency for another four years; Republicans hope to finally make good on a conservative bumper sticker that began appearing on automobiles as early as the summer of 2009 and that read, “Had Enough Yet? Next Time Vote Republican.”

The post Do America’s political parties matter in presidential elections? appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Do America’s political parties matter in presidential elections? as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Philosophie sans frontières

"East is East and West is West, and ne’er the twain shall meet." Well, no. Kipling got it wrong. The East and the West have been meeting for a long time. For most of the last few hundred years, the traffic has been mainly one way. The West has had a major impact on the East. India felt the full force of British imperialism with the British East India Company and the British Raj.

The post Philosophie sans frontières appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Philosophie sans frontières as of 5/23/2015 2:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. Climate consciousness in daily legal practice

Thinking about climate change generates helplessness in us. Our persistent role creating this global catastrophe seems so inevitable as to be predetermined; our will to contain it, or even reach agreement to contain it, feeble.

The post Climate consciousness in daily legal practice appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Climate consciousness in daily legal practice as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Is the history of science still relevant?

It was a simple request: “Try and put the fun back into microbiology”. I was about to write a new practical course for first year students, and apparently there had been complaints that microbiology is just another form of cookbook chemistry. Discussions showed that they liked the idea of doing their own experiments without a pre-determined outcome. Of course, with living microorganisms, safety must be a major concern, and some control was needed to prevent hazardous surprises, but “fun” and safety are not mutually exclusive.

The post Is the history of science still relevant? appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Is the history of science still relevant? as of 5/23/2015 2:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. (Another) Mafhouz literary prize ?

       AUC Press have been awarding a Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature since 1996, and it has a good track record (with the winning titles translated into English).
       Now, apparently, as Ahram Online reports, Egypt might launch Naguib Mafhouz literary prize -- "an international literary prize named after Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz".
       With the ministry of culture doing the considering one has to wonder what kind of prize this might turn out to be -- state authorities rarely excel in the cultural-awards department (though there are exceptions -- see the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, for example). And the culture minister was consulting with Gamal El-Ghitany about this, so maybe they can come up with a decent concept.

Add a Comment
15. 16 words from the 1960s

As the television show Mad Men recently reached its conclusion, we thought it might be fun to reflect on the contributions to language during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. This legacy is not surprising, given the huge shifts in culture that took place during this point in time, including the Civil Rights movement, the apex of the space race, the environmental movement, the sexual revolution, and—obviously—the rise of advertising and media. With this in mind, we picked 16 words from the 1960s that illuminate this historical moment.

The post 16 words from the 1960s appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on 16 words from the 1960s as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Parkinson’s disease: the flip side of the coin

The human brain might be perceived as an organ with two main strategic tasks: goal-directed motor behavior, and mental functioning in order to work out that goal. These two main functions have two prototypical diseases: Alzheimer disease, in case of mental function, and Parkinson’s disease, with motor function. Following its inception as an entity, Parkinson’s disease (PD) was long perceived to be a purely motor disorder with unimpaired mental functions.

The post Parkinson’s disease: the flip side of the coin appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Parkinson’s disease: the flip side of the coin as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. Censorship in translation in ... China

       PEN American Center has issued a report on 'Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship': Censorship and Conscience (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).
       An interesting overview, with examples -- and author-reactions such as Paul Auster's:

The publisher, Shanghai 99 Readers, cut several pages describing Liu and his situation. In several other places, mentions of the dissident's name were replaced by "L." References to China were replaced by "Country C." Auster told PEN that he never signed off on the changes and feels his book was "mutilated." "Some limbs have been chopped off," Auster said.
       (The Chinese situation is, on the one hand extreme, but on the other also predictable -- really, writers should be aware that this might happen, especially regarding China-sensitive material. And I can't help but note that mutilation-in-translation is a near-universal practice (worse in some markets than others) -- albeit generally not due to government pressure, but rather largely publisher-initiated, as they want to 'fix' books for domestic consumption (in translation-into-English that often (but not only) means: abbreviate, as in cutting out chunks of the original); while authors are more often (though certainly not always) at least made aware of the changes that are made they generally have little choice in the matter -- and, in the case of translation-into-English, the prize (translation into English !) may seem big enough that they'll acquiesce to any gutting of their book the publisher deems fit. Disappointingly, consumers (readers) are largely left in the dark as to how a text has been (mal)treated in translation -- publishers rarely making mention of what they've done.
       My hope/wish with translation to and from any and all languages is always: fidelity to the original -- which, at the very least, should mean: no cuts, no substantive changes. Foreign-commercial/aesthetic judgments ('US readers won't get that; it has to be cut/changed') seem, at least in the end-effect, as reprehensible as politically motivated ones.)

Add a Comment
18. In case you missed it, here is Matt Fraction’s full appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers

fraction-seth-meyers

Matt Fraction made his big late night debut in the wee hours yesterday evening/this morning on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and got a chance to not only talk a bit about Sex Criminals, but also read a few choice entries from the hardback edition “Big Hard Sex Criminals”.

Take a look below for the full interview, he did great!

0 Comments on In case you missed it, here is Matt Fraction’s full appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers as of 5/22/2015 4:35:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Hop, the essence of beer

Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) is an essential ingredient for brewing beer, and contributes a characteristic bitterness, aroma, and fullness. However, during the Middle-Ages, various other herbs including Rhodomyrtus tomentosa and Salix subfragilis, had also been used for brewing beer in Europe.

The post Hop, the essence of beer appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Hop, the essence of beer as of 5/23/2015 2:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
20. Translation pitching

       As part of European Literature Night, English PEN are having ELN VII: The Translation Pitch, and at PEN Atlas Rajendra Chitnis and Rosalind Harvey 'discuss their experiences of shortlisting for this year's ELN Translation Pitch event', in Lost and Found: Shortlisting for the European Literature Night Translation Pitch 2015.
       Interesting to get some background -- and the selected projects sounds pretty interesting. And I'm pleased/amused to note that I reviewed one of the finalists -- Разруха ('Ruin') by Vladimir Zarev (now being presented in Angela Rodel's translation) -- some six years ago.

Add a Comment
21. PalFest 2015

       PalFest -- the Palestine Festival of Literature -- has started, and runs through the 28th.

Add a Comment
22. MATT CHATS: Claire Connelly on the Life of an Up-and-Coming Creator

There are a lot of indie creators out there under the radar paving out careers for themselves with fanbases, relatively small but extremely dedicated, that return again and again for new projects. One such creator is cartoonist Claire Connelly, who has been consistently delivering new content for the past several years, distributing it first through the web and later collecting it into print with Kickstarter. I spoke to her about her latest campaign for both The Long Year, a collection of short stories, and Black Eyes, a graphic novel.

covers

What made you decide to Kickstart both Down With The Ship and Here in a single campaign in 2014?

I knew running a Kickstarter was going to be a lot of work, so I thought why not do two books at once? That way I can give people a better deal on the books themselves and the shipping. I just figured it would be more economical.

How do you think it’s more effective than doing two separate Kickstarters?

I make so many comics, so for me it just makes more sense to publish two books at a time. That way people can get a massive amount of comics all at once. Plus if I’m packing 100 envelopes it’s saves time packing two books at once versus packing one book at a time three months apart from each other.

How similar has your list of backers looked from one campaign to the next?

It looks similar but also has a lot of new faces. I would say at least half pledged to my previous Kickstarter.

How much of the list is made up with people you’ve personally interacted with?

I would say I’ve probably interacted with most of them. I’m really active on Twitter, so if people talk to me in general I’ll tweet back. Then others I’ve meet at cons or other comic events.

ominous

Are you able to support yourself entirely on your comics work?

I work on comics part-time and I’m a Barista part-time, but the plan is to be eventually drawing comics full-time. Coffee is cool, but comics are cooler.

Do you see yourself going on to work for established publishers, or do you always want the direct connection with your fans that social media and crowdfunding provides?

I would like to do a mixture of both. I think it’s fun to collaborate with publishers on projects and it’s fun to play in other people’s sandboxes. It’s nice from time to time to not have to do all the work myself. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a book completed by myself. I will always be making my own comics and publishing them either online or through crowdfunding. There’s an instant satisfaction in being able to completely 100% make what I want.

As a cartoonist, what do you look for in someone when they’re writing a script for you to draw?

When I get a script the most important quality I look for is that the story should be something I would never write. I want a story that doesn’t follow my own personal narratives that I write. Because if it’s something I could have written, then I might as well write it myself. When I work with Eric Grissom on Animals or Erica Schultz on Winston Churchill: The Unauthorized Biography, I want to be challenged and try something new. I also look for collaboration, I want to be part of the story process. It’s a little discouraging to have a script thrown at you and told to have it done in month.

What’s the appeal of doing short comics?

For me the appeal is being able to experiment. It’s hard to play with storytelling when it takes 8 months to complete a story. With a mini comic I can try out new ideas, layouts and designs that wouldn’t normally work in a longer narrative. I also using short comics as breaks from the longer works. Sometimes I just want to make a comic in a few days versus a story that takes a year. Making so many short comics has really helped me develop my own storytelling style and voice.

I’m also just a huge fan of short stories. I think in comics now there is so much emphasis on making 6 issue story arcs that can then be compiled into a trade. Comics no longer have those 64-page books full of 8-page stories about Dr. Strange and Nick Fury. I always thought those books were really interesting in how much story I got in eight pages.

traveller

So many of your comics are mostly silent. Does that signify a confidence in your storytelling skills as an illustrator, a lack of confidence with your skills as a writer, neither or both?

I have been drawing for as far back as I can remember, so I’ve always been really confident in my ability to draw. Also as far back as I can remember in school I was never really encouraged to write. I was always told I wasn’t goo enough and I have no grip of the english language. Because of that I was constantly discouraged and my grades reflected by poor writing skills. My arts teachers were always encouraging me from learning new instruments to letting me take art supplies. I’m actively trying to build my confidence in my writing and I trying to find my voice as a writer. I think because I never thought of myself as a writer, I find it a little intimidating. Because of that I’ve developed a style without much writing. I think it’s really important to be able to tell a story without words or to not have to story hinging on having words explain everything away. All my favorite cartoons like Samurai Jack or the beginning of Wall-E were all silent, and I couldn’t believe how much was being communicated to me without words. So I try to apply the same ideas to my comics.

What is the purpose of the dialogue and narration you when you do decide to include it?

When I use text in my comics it’s because the text is adding more content to the narrative. I think sometimes comics can get really text heavy, so I just use it when I feel it adds to the story. When I have stories with text, I work on the text and drawing together. I don’t draw out the story and just stick the text on top of it. I want the text and illustrations to grow together and compliment each other.

color

This time around some of the comics included in your books are colored. How did that change things?

When I started making comics I was trying to learn how to tell stories. So I really spent my time working in black and white to keep it simple and work on my inking. I like color because it builds narrative and sets the mood of the story. A yellow sun looks completely different then a black sun. Like when I write, I use color to add more content and tone to the story.

I don’t just color a comic because I feel I have too, I use color because I think it’s going to make the story stronger. Before I started making comics I did a lot of watercolor paintings, but like anything I had to find my voice with color. I had to stop having what I call “using all the crayons in the box syndrome” I need to learn some restraint.

You produce an astounding amount of content per year. What drives you to keep making more and more comics?

I really just want to keep getting better. It’s really that simple. I think the worst thing as an artist is when I feel stagnant and am not moving on to newer ideas, so I just keep on drawing. Plus, I mainly do all the work myself no one ever really tells me “no”. I try to work on my comics everyday. I have days that’s it’s tough to do so but I know if I want to accomplish all the goals I have in comics, I have to keep working. Comics are like training for a marathon. You have to do it every day. Now that I’ve been drawing comics everyday for the past three years, it’s just part of my everyday life.

Black

Read most of Claire’s comic work for free on the web, support her Kickstarter campaign and follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.

1 Comments on MATT CHATS: Claire Connelly on the Life of an Up-and-Coming Creator, last added: 5/22/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
23. Believing victims

Hampshire Constabulary are the latest in a long line of police forces obliged to apologise to a victim of crime for failing to investigate an allegation properly. In this case, a young woman accused a man of rape. She was not believed; forensic examination of clothing was delayed; in the meanwhile, the complainant was threatened with arrest for ‘perverting the course of justice’ and she attempted suicide. Eventually, following belated forensic analysis, the man was arrested and has since then been convicted.

The post Believing victims appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Believing victims as of 5/23/2015 2:48:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. News & Newsletter

sitting in my office, contemplating what to write...

I've been wanting to try out TinyLetter for a little while now, having subscribed to a few newsletters that use it, and so I took some time to create a newsletter aimed at sending out information, musings, etc. about my upcoming collection, Blood: Stories, which Black Lawrence Press will release in January.

Why create such a thing when I've already got this here blog? Because I think of this blog as a more general thing, not really a newsletter. I will put all important information about Blood here (as well as on Twitter, and I'll make a Facebook author page one of these days), but the newsletter will have more in-depth material, such as details of the publishing process, background on the stories, etc. There will be some exclusive content and probably even some give-aways, etc. I probably should have titled it Etc., in fact... And it's not all limited to Blood — if you take a look at the first letter, you'll see some of the range I'm aiming for. That letter is public, and some of the future ones will be, too, but for the most part I expect to keep the letters private for subscribers only. (I've always wanted to be part of a cabal, and now I've started my own!)

One of the things I note in that first letter is that Mike Allen is running a Kickstarter to raise funds for his fifth Clockwork Phoenix anthology, and all backers can now read a 2006 story of mine that Mike first published, "In Exile". This is, as far as I remember, the only story I've ever published set in the typical fantasy world of elves and wizards and all that. (To learn why, read the newsletter!) Mike made an editorial suggestion for the manuscript that completely fixed a major problem with the story, so I've always been tremendously grateful to him, and I'm thrilled that it's now available to backers of this very worthy Kickstarter.

0 Comments on News & Newsletter as of 5/24/2015 3:53:00 PM
Add a Comment
25. Review: Tomorrowland: A world where earnest meets empty

It’s often said that the writers on Lost were just making it up as they went along; weaving the most impossible scenarios into the yarns of the story, hoping an explanation or ending might surface after-the-fact.

If that is, in fact, how Lost was written, it’s easy to argue that Damon Lindelof‘s latest writing venture takes the opposite approach. With a script credited to Lindelof, Jeff Jensen, and director Brad Bird, Tomorrowland feels like a concept or idea (or a philosophy, even) that was fleshed out into 15 minutes of story in the writers’ room. That 15 minutes of story was nestled into the movie’s ending, and 90 minutes of “robots-are-chasing-you-run!” were tacked on ahead of it. A movie that knew where it wanted to go, but had no idea how to get there.

Given the movie’s title and inspiration, it’s awfully hard not to compare it to one of Disney’s rides – waiting more than an hour for an experience that lasts minutes.

The premise of Tomorrowland centers around Casey (Britt Robertson), a rebellious, intelligent teenager who has a knack for understanding how things work. When Casey is gifted a mysterious pin by a child named Athena (Raffey Cassidy), she realizes she has a key to another world where ambitious minds can meet. She enlists the help of a grumpy man named Frank (George Clooney) to help her escape a gang of robots that have started chasing her for the pin (…it’s genuinely as abrupt as it sounds), and they work together to get back to Tomorrowland.

It’s also worth mentioning that several people (primarily bystanders) die on-screen in Tomorrowland, but the violence is glossed over so quickly that it’s simultaneously jarring and forgettable. I’m not opposed to violence showing up in movies, but I prefer if it has a purpose in the story. Here it’s to show that bad robots are bad. Got it? Bad robots. Bad.

It’s not all bad stuff, mind you – the movie’s peak features a Home Alone style house that’s been booby-trapped by Clooney’s character – but after several successful directorial efforts from Bird, including The Incredibles, it’s hard not to consider this one a misfire.

The break-out success of this film, if anything is to be remembered from it, will likely be Robertson’s performance. For a hollow character in a hollow film, Robertson manages to lend enough personal ticks and mannerisms to Casey to make her likable. It may not be a particularly challenging part, but Robertson’s Jennifer-Lawrence-like persona shines through.

Lindelof has already taken to the press to say that this is a movie fanboys will be too cynical to like. While it’s true that Tomorrowland offers a more optimistic look at our future, rather than pining over a world of zombies and destruction, I don’t think it’s the premise that will kill the film’s good will. In fact, I think that’s one of the few and only reasons I’ve seen cited for people enjoying it.

Instead, Tomorrowland spends the majority of it’s running time on bad action (pro-tip: don’t see this movie right after Mad Max: Fury Road) and then decides to clumsily tell, rather than show, its message in a few final moments. Regardless of Lindelof’s claim that this movie isn’t for cynics, the problem isn’t with the viewers. The problem is that a fortune cookie philosophy served at the end of a bad meal doesn’t make the food taste good.

1 Comments on Review: Tomorrowland: A world where earnest meets empty, last added: 5/22/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts