Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Ah, corporate America...
Borders posted a quarterly loss on Tuesday, sending its shares up nearly 14 percent. Wait, what?

Ah, synergy...
Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond series, has launched a computer game set in the world of 007 in hopes of getting boys reading. Higson's new game, The Shadow War, combines gaming with reading both on and offline -- specifically the aforementioned Young Bond series.

Ah, controversy...
The Danish love f**king with the Muslims. First they ran a series of newspaper cartoons that spawned riots and death threats, now they're announcing their plans to publish The Jewel of Medina, Sherry Jones' novel about the child bride of Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out Tomorrow:

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond
Issue 1 of 2
Written by Grant Morrison, art by Doug Mahnke

From the DC Comics sales pitch:
To save the woman he loves, the greatest hero of all time becomes the pawn of ultra-dimensional forces when a wounded emissary from a world of doomed super gods comes to Earth on the eve of the Final Crisis. His mission: To recruit Superman's help against an epic, reality-spanning menace that originated in the Crisis on Infinite Earths!

Join the Man of Steel and his alternate-earth counterparts for a mind-blowing voyage to the edge of the DC Universe — and beyond! Can these super champions overcome their differences to beat the clock, find the ultimate treasure and save all existence from extinction?

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Doug Mahnke take you on an unforgettable, hyperdelic journey from the streets of Metropolis, through the 52 worlds of the multiverse, to the haunted court of the King of Limbo, in part one of this 2-issue Superman adventure!

With a unique 3-D section, eye-popping visuals and mind-boggling glimpses into the mysteries behind Final Crisis, Superman Beyond takes the Man of Tomorrow to new dimensions of action and excitement! This issue comes with a pair of 3-D glasses!

Does this sound rad or what!

Blog-Jacking: The Guardian UK

Children are swearing already, so why can't Jacqueline Wilson?
Written by Michael Rosen
Originally posted on August 22, 2008

The squeamishness that has forced the word 'twat' out of her novel My Sister Jodie is deaf to both current usage, and to the words children know already

First things first, the word "twat" has an interesting derivation. It's probably linked to the suffix "thwaite" that appears on the end of place-names. Somewhere in the mists of Germanic linguistic time, it had the sense of being a piece of land that had been delineated by humans, cut off from the uncultivated land surrounding it. At some point, this was also used familiarly to describe some or all parts of a woman's part, if you get me. (Yes, I know I'm being euphemistic here).

Feminist criticism could have a ball here on interpreting this metaphorical use as a piece of male ideology whether that's because there's something "cut off" about female genitalia, or that it's a place that is to be ploughed and settled on.

Then, as with many other sexual parts, male and female, it became a word of insult. And then, in time (and this is crucial for the Jacqueline Wilson case) the word is used without people knowing that it's linked to the sexual part. Robert Browning famously used the word in a poem, clearly not knowing either of these meanings, while Henry Miller used it over and over again in the sexual sense only. Jacqueline has some interesting precedents.

Anxiety about the possibility that children will be corrupted if they hear rude words has been around for a long time. Some readers will remember Robert Westall's magnificent The Machine Gunners. This is one of the best "war" novels for children, exploring the underground world of boys in the space left them by absent parents. There are parallels in world fiction, including one by Nobel prize-winning Kenzaburo Oe's Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids and I think Westall's matches them all for power and story. However, a good deal of critical noise was made over the fact that Westall dared to use the word "bloody" in the book - several times!

To finish this article, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Book News, In Brief

This just in! A bad economy effects bookstores! And libraries! Only differently! (Wait. Why am I yelling? This is just common sense disguised as news.)

You know what they say: 'Behind every good woman, there's a fey, bi-curious poet.' But did Percy Shelley really co-author Frankenstein with wife Mary, or did he just help with the adjectives? (Cries of sexism

With rival film studios battling over the multi-million dollar movie rights to Watchmen, the IHT has decided to take a look at The Murky Side of Movie Rights. (This is a must-read article for unpublished authors with delusions of grandeur.)

Not sick of Hollywood's insanity yet? The Los Angeles Times has an autobiographical piece from a 'serious author' writing tie-in novels for TV shows. In it, said 'serious author' talks to the folks writing this summer's biggest film novelizations, as well as a guy who wrote the novelization of a screenplay that was based upon his comic book. (Let me break that last part down for you: Author 1 wrote a comic book. Author 2 then wrote a screenplay which was based on author 1's comic book. Author 1 then wrote a novelization based on author 2's adaptation of author 1's comic book. Exhale.)