Posts by: Sam Riley

The Latest in Amazon Ventures

By

Amazon is introducing a new service that presents a noncommittal book-buying option for customers. The company is considering a Netflix-like rental service for ebooks, which unfortunately, only provides more opportunity to devalue books. And this devaluing has only caused publishers to be skeptical of this rental-based selling point for ebooks. Let’s hope it doesn’t do […]

...more

1

Genre Writing Shifts in the Industry

By

The Millions has an interesting essay on why literary authors are transitioning into the world of genre-writing. Whether the cause be jumping on the most marketable bandwagon, or pressure from agents, publisher nudging or a style-change by the author, there is a plethora of explanatory theories, there is an undeniable presence of genre writing on […]

...more

The Post-Mubarak Literary Scene

By

What is the state of Egyptian literature after the revolution? Under the dictatorial reign of Mubarak, the literary scene was stifled, plagued with heavy censorship, primarily existing in “pockets of activity”—one of which being the avant-garde publisher Merit, founded by Mohamed Hashem. He’s using this post-revolution climate to wrangle writers, collecting stories for an anthology […]

...more

Canteen Magazine’s Hot Authors Project

By

Writers are reclaiming their rightful hotness with Canteen Magazine’s new project, Hot Authors—because we are all immune to the deluge of celebrity sex symbols. Thus, this is hotness at its most literary. They’ve gone through sixteen authors, all paired with an art photographer and asked the question, “What’s the hottest thing you’ve ever read?” And […]

...more

1

To Teach Or Not to Teach?

By

The ever-contentious subject of teaching creative writing is up for discussion. You can teach the elements, but there are always the “intangibles that cannot be taught.”  Roxane Gay is inciting a discussion on HTMLGiant, laying some foundation for all of the student/teacher ideas into one mega-blog dialogue delineating the building blocks of creative writing. Here’s […]

...more

“It’s About Time”: Tomorrow in LA!!

By

What up Los Angeles? The Rumpus doesn’t exclude any part of California and to prove it, we’re having an event in LA! Because, “It’s About Time”!! Featuring brilliant authors Joshuah Bearman and Gabrielle Calvocoressi! The sonic samplings will be provided by musical artists C-Horse, Naked Kids, Dylan Trees. Where and When: Saturday September 10th, The […]

...more

The Shortcomings of Words

By

Jonathan Safran Foer’s New Yorker piece, “Speechless” eloquently identifies the difficulty of finding words amidst an indescribable nightmare while remembering 9/11. “Dozens of phone calls home were placed from the towers between the moment that the first plane hit and the time that the north tower collapsed. When words should have been most impossible to […]

...more

A Success for Public Access to Information!

By

Remember when Aaron Swartz challenged the US Government by illegally downloading over 4 million articles from JSTOR, in hopes of breaking down the barriers that prevent public access to information? He was facing some major charges including a million dollar fine and major prison time, but JSTOR just announced the optimistic news that “all its […]

...more

“The Phlebotomist”

By

Sativa January’s story, “The Phlebotomist” is about love, marriage and swingers, published on Our Stories, an online journal that publishes the best fiction on the web. Here’s an excerpt: “But as Linda ripened and cured, marriage did something: It made her dowdy. Hetero. Almost loyal. She did, actually, now adore the way men, particularly Ed, […]

...more

You Are What You Read

By

You know when psychology and reading enthusiasts join forces and deliver good news about the merits of leading a literary life? This is one of those moments! In a recent study, some researchers at the University of Buffalo found that reading fiction is positively correlated with empathy, using the official Twilight/Harry Potter Narrative Collective Assimilation […]

...more

The Commercialization of Literature

By

Jack Kerouac’s literary imprint has made its way into some surprising mediums–a t-shirt sold at Urban Outfitters, a lyric of a Katy Perry single. Though the commercialization of literature isn’t exactly breaking news, it is interesting to track the ways in which art is being commodified or stripped from its original literary roots and regurgitated […]

...more

Out With the Old, In With the New

By

We always hear about new words being added to the dictionary—things like acronyms are being rewarded with official word legitimacy. So, we’ve learned that the dictionary can stay modern, but what about those antiquated words that have been lost from the English vernacular? The Oxford Concise Dictionary has dropped around 200 words to make room […]

...more

1

“Nerd”

By

The etymology of the term “nerd” involves a lot of abbreviation, according to English actor, comedian and writer Simon Pegg. However, there’s a lack of fact-checking and historical verification there. American slang adopted the word over fifty years ago, but its origins remain obscure. One theory is that “nerd” came from “knurd,” which is “drunk” […]

...more

The Latest in Superhero Stories

By

Michael Chabon knows how to turn a phrase. Complex language is part of what makes his work so idiosyncratically his and his veteran wordsmith tendencies are widely applicable and translatable over different mediums (he’s co-writing an HBO series with his wife, Ayelet Waldman). Yesterday was the release date for his children’s book, The Astonishing Secret […]

...more

Bookforum Love

By

Bookforum’s daily roundup of internet gems shone their literary spotlight on our poetry editor Brian Spears whose piece “The Death and Resurrection of BlazeVOX,” we recently published. We wanted to reciprocate the love. So, here it is. We love you back, Bookforum! And if you want to know about the recent BlazeVOX controversy, the contemporary […]

...more

The Importance of Bulgarian Fiction

By

Bulgarian fiction is making waves. Miroslav Penkov moved to the US for college, whereupon he became further interested in illuminating the stories of his country, which was the impetus for writing East of the West. Stories of the homeland are essential to historical preservation, especially in contemporary Bulgaria where one in eight people live abroad. […]

...more

On Demand Books

By

Politics and Prose in D.C. is exemplifying the latest in indie bookstore innovation—they’re introducing the printed-on-demand book. Apparently it takes six minutes to turn over a print book, and customers can watch it happen. And it’s all made possible by an Espresso Book Machine. It seems like with every crafty offering that Amazon makes (like […]

...more

Stumble Magazine Brings You Weekly Joy

By

Stumble Magazine’s all about short fiction and photography. Their print publication is published twice a year, which could elicit sad feelings of waiting and prolonged expectancy if the following weren’t true: they’re publishing new content once a week! It’s another weekly thing to be excited about besides weekends. And this is good for all you […]

...more