Monday various

  • Last week saw a rough couple of days in the publishing world. Thankfully, we haven’t been quite so hard hit where I work, but the troubled economy has made things tough all over. I encourage you all to take John Scalzi‘s advice: buy more books! Or, y’know, zines… Every little bit helps.
  • Now probably isn’t a good time for publishers to start moving out of New York en masse. But generally speaking, I don’t know that it’s such a bad idea. Rents are probably much cheaper outside Manhattan, and there’s few reasons beyond tradition for New York to be the publishing capital of the United States. Then again, maybe that’s coming from the part of me that’s still not convinced this is where I want to live and work. But if you want to work in publishing, this is sort of the only town in game.
  • It’s nice to see someone is optimistic, if not necessarily about publishing or bookselling, then certainly about the future of books in general:

    But I don’t see it that way. I think, on the contrary, we’ve reached a shining moment for this ancient technology. Publishers may or may not figure out how to make money again (it was never a good way to get rich), but their product has a chance for new life: as a physical object, and as an idea, and as a set of literary forms.

    This is something I’ve heard before — namely that the publishing industry’s woes stem largely from its abandonment of the midlist in favor of the blockbuster model, i.e. the occasional Harry Potter in favor of the 90+% of the list where the real money and good books come from.

  • An interesting take on why John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids is still relevant. Although I take issue with the BBC’s contention that “Horrorphiles may trace the zombie lineage back to Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend…” — given that the creatures in the book are vampires, not zombies, and that zombie lineage goes back considerably further. [via]
  • I didn’t think it needed to be said, but: Amanda Palmer is not fat. And hey, so what if she was?
  • “It’s quite hard to get embarrassed with art as you let people see whatever you want them to see.” – Dave Gibbons

4 comments to Monday various

  • Well, I am totally doing my part for the publishing industry! I suspect I buy more books per year than most Americans read in their lifetime. :)

  • Fred

    On the behalf of a beleaguered industry, I thank you.

  • Horrorphiles trace zombies back to “I am Legend” if they are ignorant poseurs. Zombies even show up in Gilgamesh.

  • Fred

    Yeah, I just don’t get that at all. Not only is Mattheson’s book not even close to being the root of all zombie stories — it’s not even a zombie story.

    I do think you can trace the post-apocalyptic killer plant story back to Wyndham, however.