- Big discussion on Modern Monetary Theory. I don’t have a complete opinion one way or another, other than to say that anything which is against austerity policy is prima facie superior to austerity policy. (from BoingBoing)
- Tor.com is posting their monthly roundups of genre fiction titles scheduled for release in March 2019:
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez interviewed by The Intercept’s Briahna Gray at South by Southwest 2019.
So I started this week expecting to maybe get one or two books from my various subscriptions, and maybe buy myself a little something. This in fact happened – the right-most book in the second row of the above photo (“Muslim”: A Novel) is the latest from Deep Vellum Publishing. Just to its left is Screaming Like War from Sault Ste. Marie poet Mark Senkus, which I picked up over the weekend while in the Upper Peninsula visiting my girlfriend’s family.
All the rest of these books appeared unexpectedly.
The bottom row consists of the contents of the new shipment from Ugly Duckling Presse. Four books of poetry, one of experimental prose, and Emergency INDEX, which is a listing of well over 100 performance art works in calendar year 2018. It’s all brilliant stuff, and I wish I had a couple of years free so I could bury myself in the beauty therein.
The top row, and the first three titles in the second row, are books of poetry which I unexpectedly acquired when I attended the Evening of Literary Luminescence, a fundraiser for local literary organization Write616. Not surprisingly, almost all of the poetry is by local and regional writers, so extra bonus there.
And now reading news:
Currently I am over halfway through A People’s Future of the United States. It is, simply, an amazing collection of stories. They follow the theme of the possibility of hope standing against the logical outcome of the current (reactionary right-wing, racist, bigoted, sadistic, misogynistic, jingoist, xenophobic, capital-fetishizing, violence-loving, neo-fascist, Dominionist) political and social climate. The stories are beautiful, sad, infuriating, hopeful, astonishing, intelligent and above all necessary. Every imagined dystopian future in this book is easily extrapolated from the actions of the current dominant power structures. And each of these futures must be recognized and resisted.
In other literary news, I am almost done re-integrating at Caffeinated Press and am at various stages in four projects: Issues 4.1, 5.1 and 5.2 of The 3288 Review, and layout work for the next edition of our Brewed Awakenings anthology. Other things are afoot as well, which will be revealed in the fullness of time. Selah!
- Why Marlon James Decided to Write An African “Game of Thrones”. The first book in the series, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, will be released on February 5. Have I pre-ordered it? YES!
- 20 New Books by Asian Writers.
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti on the Cusp of 100.
- Good, detailed Metafilter thread on the rise of the Young Left in American politics. As always with Metafilter, the comments are very much worth reading.
- From TOR.com – Lists of books being released in February 2019
- The latest Metafilter catch-all thread discussing the state of US politics here at the beginning of 2019.
- 1.4 Million Floridians Just Got Their Voting Rights Back Today, Whether Republicans Like It or Not.
- Five upcoming short story collections by Arabic writers. In particular I am looking forward to Palestine +100, since Iraq +100 was an excellent book.
- David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books, of which I have read 17.
- Arundhati Roy explains How to Think About Empire in an interview up at The Boston Review.
- A useful tip for managing complex writing and worldbuilding: Create a Wiki.
- From the brilliant journal N+1: The Best of a Bad Situation. Or, what extinction looks like from the inside.
- Now here’s an interesting website (and philosophy): Conceptual Fiction.
- From Book Riot, 50 Must-Reads of Slavic Literature. I am humbled to say I have only read one, maybe two of these books.
- Jeannette Ng’s wonderful Twitter thread on old and imaginary libraries.
- Tor.com has released their new upcoming book lists for November 2018:
- Rick Liebling has an interesting essay up on his Medium site “The Adjacent Possible”: The Aesthetics of Science Fiction. What does SciFi Look Like After Cyberpunk?
- Bernie Sanders and Greek politician Yanis Varoufakis are teaming up to create a “European Spring” movement to counter the increasing level of right-wing fascism in the European Union, the United States, and Central and South America.
- Metafilter’s latest roundup thread of news items and commentary on the reign of racist idiot and Stochastic Terrorist Donald Trump.
- Metafilter has a new post and thread on the ongoing hellscape of the administration of emasculated man-baby Donald Trump, and his bootlicks and water-carriers.
- Over at Book Riot, 10 Short Story Collections About Race and Culture.
- And from Friday Black, the first collection in the above list, “Zimmer Land“, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.
- I would have loved (LOVED) to attend this conference: Sublime Cognition: Science Fiction and Metaphysics (schedule with descriptions)
- A Russian publisher Yelena Shubina on why it’s difficult to find great contemporary fiction by current Russian authors.
- The MacArthur Genius grants for 2018 have just been announced. And once again I have been cruelly snubbed simply for not doing anything of any particular note. The system is rigged, I tells ya!
- A good (for certain very depressing values of “good”) essay on why people are getting poorer without necessarily losing money. (from this MetaFilter post)
- Some mad genius has posted over 13,000 playable Commodore 64 programs to the Internet Archive. I would like to hereby apologize to any and all personal responsibilities which existed up to this moment. They will be missed.
- Latest catch-all thread on Metafilter.
- A compelling list of up-and-coming Asian writers, courtesy of LitHub.
- Charles Stross put a post up on his blog asking his readers to come up with story ideas which nobody seems to have done yet. Or more specifically, What are the current blind spots in SF? The (1,000+) comments and ideas therein are very much worth reading.
- 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
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.