As previously noted, the wonderful blog Letters of Note (mentioned here numerous times!) has spawned a book, called
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience. The book is in stores today, featuring more than 125 letters, richly illustrated with facsimiles of the letters themselves. The UK edition has been out since last October, and was very warmly received.
Some of my favorite Letters of Note:
* A letter from Morrissey at 17 to NME about the Sex Pistols
* EB White on why he wrote Charlotte's Web: "A book is a sneeze"
* Terry Gilliam's Brazil letter to Universal (1985): "I feel every cut, especially the ones that sever the balls."
* Vonnegut's letter to a book-burner: "If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are."
* Huxley's fan-letter to Orwell for Nineteen Eighty-Four: "Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World."
* Letter from ex-slave to ex-master, on occasion of a request to return to work: "I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to."
* Isaac Asimov's letter to the future patrons of a new library: "It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you---and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life."
* Advice from Ray Bradbury: Love what YOU love
* Angry letters between Hunter Thompson and Ralph Steadman: "Don't get pompous with me. I am not one of your goddamn sycophants."
* 17-year-old Tim Burton's rejection from Walt Disney Productions
* Campbell's Soup Exec Writes to Andy Warhol
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience [Shaun Usher/Amazon]
Life is a continuing cycle of newness, then growth, and then gone: then birth and growth again. I started thinking about that theme of new life and new beginnings several years ago, and WAKE UP!, published by Candlewick Press, is the result. Working with my collaborator, poet Helen Frost, our book is about opening eyes—our own, first—and pointing to the world that’s right here, containing us all. Helen and I are both based in the US Midwest, so we started there, with a world that we didn’t need to travel far to explore, only wake up enough to actually see.
John Scalzi’s on tour with his new novel, The Collapsing Empire: he’s posted a list of ten things every touring author knows, and very few other people ever get to see.
Steven Boyett writes, “Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that’s me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]