Books as a propaganda medium

I recently came across a series of tweets by Sergej Sumlenny, discussing how Russia had used books, as well as other entertainment media, to prepare its citizens for war in general, prior to its invasion of Ukraine.  Here's an excerpt from Threadreader's aggregation of the tweets. Let's start a long thread about how Russian book... Continue Reading →

Learning to laugh with and at ourselves

I recently had the pleasure of discovering the comic art of Steve Ogden, particularly his Magnificatz series.  It's defunct now, following the deaths of the cats that inspired it, but it's still available online and in e-book and print form. I particularly enjoy how he expresses the frustrations and realities of the writing life through... Continue Reading →

Goodreads may be perilous territory for authors

Ever since I began publishing independently in 2013, friends and fellow authors have warned me, "Don't get involved with Goodreads.  It's poison for authors.  There are people there who take pleasure in destroying writers - and the platform does nothing to stop them." I wondered about that, but life, the universe and everything has kept... Continue Reading →

Narcissism, writers, and readers

I recently came across an article discussing how narcissism has become an increasing problem in America. In 2008, Twenge published a study comparing college students' scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory scale to scores from students in 1979, finding that levels of narcissism had risen roughly 30 percent. Additional research has evinced this increase. "59%... Continue Reading →

Sometimes the jokes write themselves…

I missed this article when it was published last December, but it came up during an Internet discussion this week: Is Superman Circumcised? wins Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year I did a double-take when I saw it, and looked it up to confirm what seemed an impossibly weird headline.  Sure enough,... Continue Reading →

Censorship rears its ugly head again

It seems that anti-Semitic prejudice is impacting the publishing world, particularly in Europe, but here in the USA as well. The publishing world today is extremely woke. And woke-approved manuscripts on Jewish themes must now pass a simple purity test: Thou shalt not portray Israel or Zionism in a positive light. American novelist and former... Continue Reading →

Copyright alert

David Langford warns: 7 November 2021 Today I discovered something I'd have kept back for Ansible if not for the December deadline involved. The National Library of New Zealand quietly announced in July that it's giving a huge tranche of discarded books from its overseas collection to the Internet Archive, which will digitize them all... Continue Reading →

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