The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Space Mountain,’ UK press freedom, James McBride, Hillerman Prize

BookBitsAfter eight years of litigation, the Authors Guild suit against Google for its rampant book scanning has been dismissed. One of the judge’s rationale for dismissing the suit was that all that information helps people. One can use this same rationale for supporting any form of book piracy: more people can get to the information if it’s free. The judge’s reasoning might one day be used to justify looting grocery stores and hardware stores. For now, authors are the victims of the current plague to entitlement fever sweeping the country. Between Amazon’s cut-rate prices and Google’s scanning, it will soon be a miracle if any author will be able to earn a living. (Item 1)

Today’s links:

  1. News: Google defeats authors in U.S. book-scanning lawsuit, by Jonathan Stempel – “Google Inc on Thursday won dismissal of a long-running lawsuit by authors who accused the Internet search company of digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission.”  Reuters
  2. spacemountainNews: Disney Expands Its Comics Program, by Heidi MacDonald – “Although comics based on Disney characters remain hugely popular around the world—thanks to large followings across Europe and South America—domestically they have yet to claim a space in the growing comics market. However that appears to be changing, as the mouse house is planning a ‘case by case’ expansion, starting with Space Mountain, its first ever original graphic novel under the Disney Comics imprint.”  Publishers Weekly
  3. Viewpoint: British Press Freedom Under Threat – “Britain has a long tradition of a free, inquisitive press. That freedom, so essential to democratic accountability, is being challenged by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron. ” The New York Times
  4. nebraskaFilm Review: “Nebraska,” directed by Alexander Payne, reviewed by David Denby –  “The wide-screen black-and-white images in Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’-—of fields, plains, and distant hills—-have a stirring vastness, and a great beauty, too, but the life has been taken out of them. ”  The New Yorker
  5. Quotation: On writing – “Do you mean why do I do it? I don’t know if I can get at that. I always have done it. It’s… do you mean is it important as a kind of therapy? No, that’s not it. I don’t know why it’s important. I don’t understand this. I know that I’m never not writing, so that I’m not just sort of turning out one book and then taking a rest and then turning out another book.” – Alice Munro, in a 1973 interview with Graeme Gibson
  6. How To: Build Toward The Story’s End, by Beth Hill – “I want to encourage you to make sure your stories head somewhere, that they have a destination. That they build toward something. When readers anticipate that something is going to happen to characters they’ve come to know, come to like and maybe admire—whether or not they know for sure what that something is—those readers get involved and stay involved in a story.”  The Editor’s Blog
  7. goodlordbirdcoverReview: “The Good Lord Bird,” by James McBride, reviewed by Laura Miller – “Some subjects are so grim that, when it comes to fiction, they’re most effectively approached through comedy and adventure…James McBride’s new novel is an impressively deep comedy about a cross-dressing slave boy in John Brown’s army” Salon
  8. Essay: “Sparks to Make Flame: On the Ideas behind Fiction,” By Toni Jordan – “Good fiction writers are nosey. I think ‘write what you know’ is the single worst piece of writing advice. Instead, write what you’re really interested in. Write what is going to keep you awake at night; write what you don’t understand; write to figure something out. Good novels are journeys into the unknown, for their authors as well as their readers.”  The Millions
  9. cruelandshockingReview: “A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination,” by Philip Shenon – “Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination comes this startling book, which deepens the case for conspiracy while turning some existing conspiracy theories on their heads.”  Kirkus Reviews
  10. News: ‘Bad Country’ wins Hillerman Prize – “Native Texan C.B. McKenzie was named today as the winner of this year’s Tony Hillerman Prize for best first mystery novel. That announcement was made in association with last weekend’s 2013 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.” The Rap Sheet

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the new dark contemporary fantasy “The Betrayed.”  – The students think Central State University is Heaven. The faculty know it’s Hell.

$4.99 on Nook

$4.99 on Nook


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