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....more
Posts by: Sam Riley
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 bestseller lists....more
Haruki Murakami’s book trailer for his forthcoming 1Q84 is intergalactic. See below:...more
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?”...more
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....more
Book Bench blogger, Macy Halford is lamenting the downfall of the indie bookstore. Much like the decimation of the video store, there’s a bunch of romance and nostalgia tied up with these places. But does that warrant all the talk of impending doom?...more
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!...more
After 9/11 the abundant “Missing” posters that hung around Manhattan were part of the fabric of post-9/11 of the city. A lot of them weren’t as much “Missing” signs as they were obituaries and rememberances of loved ones.
It’s been ten years since their widespread presence in the city....more
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....more
Rumpus contributor Anna Pulley is doling out advice as a sex columnist for Chicago newspaper RedEye. We love weekly offerings of wisdom here at the Rumpus, and thus, highly recommend the column. Check it out. This week’s topic is on how to be dominant in the bedroom (“Ultimately, the best way to learn anything is to just f**king do it.”)...more
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 out-of-copyright journal articles have been made freely available worldwide.” Though JSTOR doesn’t credit Swartz directly or fully for this change, they did mention in the FAQs that “recent events did have an impact on our planning.” Awesome!...more
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 Scale, which quantified how much undergrads internalized these narratives....more
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate Nick Rombes and his attention-to-detail dedication to experimental film writing. IMDB gave his latest essay, “10/40/70 #37: Marnie” a much-deserved shout-out. If you haven’t gotten a chance to experience the Rombes screen shot treatment, this essay is a great place to start....more
In the spirit of taking on literary identities under the guise of an internet profile (like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famed twitter), there’s another way to take on the writerly stylings of beloved authors. “Yelping With Cormac” is the blog for “Cormac M” who reviews his favorite Bay Area eateries in his best McCarthy-est voice....more
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 into product-form....more
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?...more
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....more
Last month’s Rumpus Book Club selection, Luminarium is blowing up all over the interweb. The Bat Segundo (a “cultural podcast”) interviews Alex Shakar. You can hear it or read an excerpt from the interview here. Shakar discusses his perspective on novelists as scientists vs....more
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
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....more