Hugo Gernsback's introduction to the first issue of Amazing Stories, 1926

When Hugo "Award" Gernsback launched Volume 1, Number 1 of Amazing Stories in April, 1926, he created the first magazine in the world solely devoted to science fiction stories: on the magazine's editorial page, Gernsback laid out his vision for the genre. Read the rest

First lines of popular books

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Great opening lines from literature, in one large image.

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Saddam Hussein novella translated to English

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Described as a "mix between Game of Thrones and House of Cards," a novella written by late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has finally been translated to English. Written in the last days of his rule, the plot reportedly "revolves around a Zionist-Christian conspiracy against Arabs," a presumably unsurprising topic to fans. Read the rest

China's "ultra-unreal" literary movement takes inspiration from breathtaking corruption

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How can Chinese novelists convey the sense of unreality of living in a country where raids on the homes of civic officials uncover so much cash that it burns out four bill-counting machines when the police try to tot it up, or when it needs to be weighed by the ton to approximate its value? Read the rest

Walt Whitman was into paleo and wrote a “Manly Health and Training” guide with sex tips

It me, Walt Whitman.
Leaves of Grass? He probably ate them now and then.

A scholar at the University of Houston in Texas has discovered a 13-part, 47,000-word series by Walt Whitman, published by the New York Atlas in 1858, under the pseudonym Mose Velsor.

Under that most macho of aliases, “Manly Health and Training” amounts to a "part guest editorial, part self-help column," a “rambling and self-indulgent series” that reveals Walt Whitman's thoughts on a variety of manly-man topics. Including sex.

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The Third Electronic Literature Anthology: Unity, Javascript & Twitterbots

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Mark Marino writes, "Kick your Norton Anthology to the curb, and check out the latest collection of digitally born literature. Published by the Electronic Literature Organization, the collection contains 114 works from 26 countries in 12 languages. The Electronic Literature Collection, vol. 3 offers a glimpse at just how wide the world of digital literature has become, including a diverse array of works, from Twitter bots to poem generators to Twine tales to poetic apps. Read the rest

How a mathematician teaches "Little Brother" to a first-year seminar

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Derek Bruff teaches a first-year college writing seminar in mathematics, an unusual kind of course that covers a lot of ground, and uses a novel as some of its instructional material -- specifically, my novel Little Brother. Read the rest

Great book covers as animated GIFs

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Wonderful literary GIFs by Javier Jensen of Santiago, Chile.

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Why we're still talking about Terminator and the Matrix

My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science. Read the rest

Chuck Palahniuk reads children's book 'Fight Club 4 Kids'

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"We'll call it the Horsing Around Club, and we'll just f***in' go to town on each other, just visceral disturbing sh*t, y'know?" The only thing that would be better than Chuck Palahniuk reading Fight Club 4 Kids would be if this book were real. (via) Read the rest

Connecticut teacher fired for reading Allen Ginsberg poem to AP class

Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship writes, "During an AP class discussion about gratuitous language, a student asked a teacher to read an Allen Ginsberg poem. He did. He's not a teacher anymore." Read the rest

New Hugo Award categories for puppies

The "Puppies" are a coalition of right-wing and white-supremacist groups who pushed a slate of ideologically pure nominees onto the Hugo Award ballot, complaining that you could no longer judge books by their covers, and that science fiction had changed to reflect the world since the 1970s. Read the rest

Tldrbot: great works of literature in seconds

Tldrbot is the latest bot from Shardcore (previously, previously, previously) that slurps up great novels, algorithmically summarizes them to 1% of their length, then spits out audio files of a synthetic Scottish woman's voice reading those summaries aloud. Read the rest

Confronting Lovecraft's racism

Award-winning horror writer David Nickle has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to have a frank and serious discussion of HP Lovecraft's undeniable racism; people want to hand-wave it as being a product of Lovecraft's times, but it is inseparable from Lovecraft's fiction. Read the rest

Pop songs as sonnets

Pop Sonnets is a tumblr that turns pop music into Shakespearean sonnets: above, YMCA ("Oh sweet and noble lad, be not aggrieved!"). Read the rest

Animated, candid Bukowski interviews

David sends us this video featuring "Candid conversations between writer Charles Bukowski, his wife, and his producer took place in Bukowski's home during the recording session for his classic Run With the Hunted in 1993. Here the outtakes are brought to life."

Charles Bukowski Uncensored Read the rest

How Harry Potter shaped a generation

Seven years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Caroline Siede looks back on the book series that defined a generation.

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