Interesting Writings for the New Year

Welcome to 2011! For my household, 2010 was not an amazing year but it was way, way better than 2008 and 2009. We hope that this new year will be a new start for many people and get better for all, not worse. Here is the grab-bag of interesting writings that accumulated while I was dancing about like a crazy woman:

1) First off, the grimmer stuff — two articles from online magazine Salon that document things going on in the on-going war against women, a war that is set to escalate in 2011 in the U.S. with a new Congress that has shifted to the far right, and with state legislations also continuing their shift to the far right and their tendency to propose and attempt to enact unconstitutional laws against women’s civil rights:

2) Moving on to publishing, Richard Dansky points out that arguing that your subjective views are objective is a weak strategy:

3) Author James Knapp ponders how to publicize his books, (warning, this is likely to make you chuckle):

4) Writer Roxane Gay pointed out that the latest edition of Best American Short Stories was predominantly white and male in its contributors. This produced the usual screaming about whether particular anthology editors are racist scumbags or not and whether anyone has the right to point to demographic disparities, totally ignoring the real issue which is that in some areas of publishing, female writers are still being blocked out and in too many areas of publishing, including SFF, non-white writers are still blocked out and that it would be nice to improve the rate of progress so that this doesn’t happen so much anymore. In this follow-up to her original post, Gay brilliantly illuminates the problems inherent in even attempting a discussion of these issues:

5) Eric Rosenfield provides an interesting, short piece on the illusion of slipstream and how putting a purple sash on category SFF as different from green sashes is ridiculous and he proposes an approach in eliminating the imaginary war. I’m all for it, except that I do think there’s a bit of a flaw — a lot of the people who read Haruki Murakami also already read China Mieville. But wait, that’s not a flaw really, just evidence that it’s working:

6) Next up, a very interesting interview with the head of Sony’s E-Reader division about e-reading and the market:

7) While the world may seem very grim (see the war on women articles above,) actually good things are happening and progress of sorts is being made. The redoubtable Charlie Stross explains:

8 ) And lastly, a picture instead of a writing — the very weird sport/exhibition of human pyramids!

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Filed under book publishing, Humor, Life, SFFH, Technology

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