- Here is a wonderful speech by V.E. Schwab, on doorways and gatekeepers in the world of Fantasy literature.
- A Survey of Some of the Best Science Fiction Ever Published – brief reviews of “best of” collections of authors going back to the 1920s, along with brief bios of those authors.
- August is Women in Translation month, and here is a great list of recent works by women writers, including several from some of my favorite publishers.
- Good list of Latin American alternatives for some of the books in the English-speaking canon.
- And here is an excellent list of books by Malaysian writers.
- Metafilter posted their latest thread of links and conversation concerning the ongoing pillaging of the USA by the inbred cannibals of the 1%, led by emasculated man-baby iDJiT.
- And finally, blues and soul legend Aretha Franklin passed away earlier this week. Here is a video of a second-line in the Treme district of New Orleans, honoring Aretha.
- Just finished reading At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell and Paternus: Rise of Gods by Dyrk Ashton. Now reading Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse and Art of War, an anthology commissioned by Petros Triantafyllou, with all profits being donated to Doctors Without Borders.
- Squealing coward white nationalists marched in Portland, OR a few days back. They were met by leftist and antifa counter-protesters. There was some violence, mostly perpetrated by the police upon the anti-fascists. To be clear, the mere existence of white nationalism, as represented by Alex Jones and the majority of Trump supporters, is an act of violence. Therefore any reaction to the existence of white nationalism, in any context, under any circumstances, is automatically an act of self defense. Punching fascists is, in fact, a moral obligation.
- More squealing coward white nationalists marched in Washington, DC over this past weekend. Almost two dozen of them were brave enough to leave their parents’s basement and go downtown, where they were met by hundreds upon hundreds of counter-protesters. And once again, police took the side of the white nationalists and fascists.
- On that note, Metafilter has posted the latest catch-all thread for links and conversation about the increasingly frayed and tapeworm-riddled tenure of emasculated president iDJiT.
This was a good week for books. From top to bottom: Selected Poems of Sergei Yesenin, Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam, First Love and Other Stories by Ivan Turgenev, Selected Poems of Vladimir Mayakovsky, The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts, Celadon by Ian Haight, Granta issue #144, Apex Magazine Issue 110, and Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.
For links to these authors, books and publishers, please see their listings on my 2018 Reading List page.
Thanks to a small gift card from work, I was able to pick up the four Russian authors from Amazon.com. They are unusual-enough titles that I didn’t want to burden the local bookstores with hunting them down. The Watts and Roanhorse books I ordered from Books and Mortar here in Grand Rapids, and I have ongoing subscriptions to the two journals. I picked up Ian Haight’s book at a small signing in Lowell this past Monday. It was great to finally meet Ian, after publishing him in Issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review, back in early 2016.
Since I just finished reading At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell and Paternus by Dyrk Ashton, Trail of Lightning is currently at the top of the to-read pile, and I can’t wait to dive in.
- Tor.com’s lists of books coming out in August
- Metafilter has posted their latest catch-all thread for the increasingly irrational tenure of the increasingly irrational president iDJiT.
- The Believer, one of the best lit magazines out there, has just made its entire archive freely available online. This is amazing!
- Gaming’s Toxic Men, Explained
A small bonus from work allowed me to pick up a few books which have been on my want list for some time. Yeah, I have eclectic reading tastes. From top to bottom, they are: New Kind of Rebellion, by Rachel Gleason; The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang; Ambiguity Machines by Vandana Singh; Afrofuturism by Ytasha L. Womack; New Poets of Native Nations, edited by Heid E. Erdrich; and The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland.
Between work, vacation, and illness, and recovering from all three, I have missed a few weeks. I have also missed you-all! Welcome back.
* This is a great list of over 100 Russian writers, past and present, who are worthy of consideration.
* An excellent MetaFilter post from user Kliuless, offering a huge list of links concerning the concept of authority, narratives, cultural inertia who we allow to write the stories in which we live.
* Resisters of the Rust Belt
* Speaking of Metafilter, here is their latest post concerning the increasingly despotic and idiotic tenure of the fascist bootlick Donald Trump. Many worthy links and news sources in the comments.
* As a balm for living in this timeline, I’ve been listening to a lot of Ta-Nehisi Coates lectures and interviews lately. Here are a few of my favorites:
** The Necessity of Tomorrow(s) – Ta-Nehisi Coates on Afrofutures
** Futureface: Alex Wagner and Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss racial identity
** Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks at the Harvard “Universities and Slavery” conference
** Richard Rothstein, “The Color Of Law” (with Ta-Nehisi Coates)
** In Conversation With Ta-Nehisi Coates
* The Calvert Journal is publishing Beyond the Game, a series of video vignettes exploring each of the cities in Russia which will be hosting the football during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
* TOR.com has posted nice big long lists of the major genre releases for June 2018:
** All the new Fantasy Books Coming Out in June 2018.
** All the new Science Fiction Books Coming Out in June 2018.
** All the new Genre-Bending Books Coming Out in June 2018.
* Metafilter has posted the latest catch-all thread for links and commentary concerning the presidency and administration of Donald Trump, whose daddy issues exceed even those of George W. Bush, which is an astounding accomplishment. Baby Hands and Daddy Issues would be the title of the most accurate possible biography of our current and perpetually emasculated president.
Several years ago I began collecting books from publishers who specialize in translations from other languages into English. This was prompted by two circumstances. First, a co-worker from bygone years, Chad Post, began working at Open Letter Books in Rochester, NY. Second, on a visit to the Grand Rapids Public Library I discovered Esperanza Street by Niyati Keni, published by And Other Stories.
My eyes having been opened, and knowing a thing or two about the publishing world, I began researching small presses and books in translation. This led to the discovery that some of the most successful publishers, with the most exciting titles and authors, offered subscriptions to their catalogs. What a wonderful way to discover new authors, support small businesses, and add quality and variety to a personal library!
I found a couple of pages which have comprehensive lists of publishers of works in translation – The American Literary Translators Association and PEN America. What follows is a subset (probably incomplete) of publishers from these two lists which offer subscriptions to their catalogs. Links go to subscription information.
- Alma Books
- & Other Stories
- Archipelago Books
- Argos Books (subscriptions possibly discontinued)
- Black Widow Press
- Coffee House Press
- Contra Mundum
- Copper Canyon Press
- Deep Vellum
- Fitzcarraldo Editions
- Glagoslav Publications
- Litmus Press
- Melville House (Art of the novella series)
- Milkweed Editions
- New Vessel Press
- Open Letter Books
- Peirene Press
- PM Press
- Restless Books
- Tavern Books
- Tilted Axis Press
- Two Lines Press
- Ugly Duckling Presse
- Wave Books
* A worthy list from BookRiot: 50 Must-Read Books with Gorgeous Writing. From this list I have read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Kite Runner, and White Oleander. Looks like my Mount Tsundoku will be growing soon.
* The Midwest Socialist has published an excellent 5-part (so far) primer on the basics of radical thought and history.
** Part 1 – Dialectical Materialism
** Part 2 – Alienation
** Part 3 – Class
** Part 4 – Value
** Part 5 – Praxis
* Goddammit so much. Anthony Bourdain has left the kitchen. Here is a good round-up of the best writing about Bourdain to be found on the web.
(These are my lightly edited notes for a panel I participated in at the ConFusion Fantasy and Science Fiction Convention in January of 2018)
THE PANEL: Poetry in Novels (21 January 2018, 10:00)
DESCRIPTION: “Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass include lengthy poems, placing them in a long tradition of long-form fiction that incorporates poetry into the work. How does writing poems for prose fiction differ from writing poems that stand alone? What distinct techniques does it require? Where do poems within stories exist in the landscape of genre poetry today?”
- Books in verse
- Book-length poems
- See Also
- Book of poems
- Book length poem
- Novel in verse
- Epic Poetry
- Poetry can be time-shifted in relation to the story in which it appears
- In situ, as a bard or skald composes a poem based on events as they are happening
- Used to imply history/world-building for the setting. An epic poem is written between the time of the events which it recounts and the time in which it is read.
- The poem itself can be placed in a specific place in history based on written style or language or word usage.
- Poetry can be used for world-building, either experienced by the characters or as related by the narrator.
Boy, did I over-think this one–in part because I love poetry, and in part because Amal El-Mohtar was also on the panel and I wanted to bring my “A” game.