Everything is miscellaneous: why publishing needs tagging


Walk into a bookstore, and chances are you’ll see books divided into sections by genre. Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery, and so on. It’s the most common system of categorizing books, conversationally and from the data-management perspective of the book world. Genre is also incredibly limiting at times.

There are dozens upon dozens of subgenres across the genres of popular fiction (Romance, Crime, and Science Fiction/Fantasy, plus some others). Science Fiction gets sliced up into Space Opera, Mundane SF, Hard SF, Cyberpunk, Dieselpunk, etc. These subgenres can get hard to keep track of, especially since their boundaries are often porous, and even life-long fans often disagree on the borders between sub-genres, policing them inefficiently but with gusto. At times it’s fun to argue classifications, try to find exactly the right place to frame a piece so that its cultural and narrative context is most clear. And narrow sub-genres can be useful for putting works into clusters for conversation, but it’s also really easy to slice so thin that the discussion becomes obscure or self-serving rather than practical.

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Kickstarting a new science fiction magazine from the propietors of Singularity & Co


The people behind Brooklyn's brilliant science fiction bookstore Singularity & Co are looking to raise $60,000 to launch a new science fiction quarterly magazine called the Tycho Journal. Read the rest

Alan Moore's advice to unpublished authors

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Alan "Watchmen" Moore, the Wizard of Northampton, gives some frank advice to beginning writers at a Q&A at a 2011 an anti-library-closure protest at St James Library, Northampton, UK. Read the rest

GIFs, texts, serials: new ebook frontiers


In the decade since publishing embraced ebooks in earnest, we've seen a cornucopia of exciting and innovative ways technology is being used to enhance reading. By utilizing all the tricks at our Internet- and device-savvy disposal, publishing companies are creating stories that are manifested in and influenced by the digital platform. Read the rest

Copyfraud: Anne Frank Foundation claims father was "co-author," extends copyright by decades


The Anne Frank Foundation -- a Swiss nonprofit that supports children's charities and provides a stipend to gentiles who hid Jews during WWII -- has claimed that Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, is the legal co-author of her diaries, a move that will have the effect of extending copyright on the diaries to at least 2030. Read the rest

Make: Humble Bundle: name your price for books for makers


The latest Humble Ebook Bundle features Make: books from "Planes, Gliders, and Paper Rockets" to "Bicycle Projects" to the "Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments" -- 17 titles in all, with more to come. Name your price and get $200+ worth of ebooks, with charitable donations to the Maker Ed projects. Read the rest

The Economist's anti-ad-blocking tool was hacked and infected readers' computers


Pagefair is an ad-blocking circumvention tool that publishers can use to track readers who've taken technological countermeasures to protect their privacy. The company has sold its service to many publishers -- including the Economist -- by deploying moral arguments about the evils of ad-blocking. Read the rest

Spy at will! FCC won't force companies to honor Do Not Track


The FCC has rejected Consumer Watchdog's petition to force Internet companies like "Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn") to honor the "Do Not Track" flag that browsers can send to web-servers, informing them that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties. Read the rest

Mothership Zeta: a new science fiction zine from the creators of the Escape Pod podcast


Mur Lafferty writes, "Mothership Zeta is the first ezine project to come out of Escape Artists (publisher of podcast magazines Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Podcastle). We are an ebook-only zine that focuses on new fiction with a fun theme, along with nonfiction from experts in science fiction, science, and more!"

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Shortly after Murdoch buys National Geographic, he fires its award-winning journalists


When the climate-change denier/evil billionaire bought National Geographic, National Geographic Society CEO Greg Knell promised that "there won’t be an [editorial] turn in a direction that is different form the National Geographic heritage." This week, the company fired some of its most senior, decorated staff. Read the rest

Good grief, the Humble Peanuts Bundle has $171 worth of DRM-free Charlie Brown books


The latest Humble Books Bundle features more than 11 Peanuts collections and storybooks, including "Waiting for the Great Pumpkin," "Snoopy vs the Red Baron," "Snoopy's Thanksgiving," "The Complete Peanuts 1950-52 v1" and volumes 1-6 of the Peanuts collections. Name your price, support two great charities (The Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund) and get $171 worth of DRM-free comics to treasure on any device you own, now and forever! Read the rest

Kickstarting an exciting feminist steampunk bicycle-racing novel


You may remember Elly Blue from Pedal Zombies, a kickstarted collection of feminist science fiction about zombies and bicycles. Now she's back with a new crowdfunding drive for a feminist steampunk cycling novel called The Velocipede Races. Read the rest

Beautiful, free/open 3D printed book of lost Louis H. Sullivan architectural ornaments


Tom Burtonwood creates 3D printed books of dimensional, public domain architectural elements: in 2013, he made Orihon and in 2014 he made Folium, which featured work from Ancient Egypt to Louis Sullivan department store decorations. Now he's released a new work: "Twenty Something Sullivan." Read the rest

Awkward Robots Orange Volume: science fiction anthology to benefit the Clarion SF writers' workshop


Lara writes, "Time traveling gamers, levee-breaking mermaids, and frayed sanity on the first manned mission to Europa. It's all packed between the pages of The Orange Volume. The cohesive Clarion class of 2012 is at it again. Last year they released The Red Volume and raised $1,500 for the Clarion Foundation. This year--just in time for Halloween--they're following up with The Orange Volume." Read the rest

Titanic victory for fair use: appeals court says Google's book-scanning is legal

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just dropped a bombshell, ruling against the Authors Guild in its bid to force Google to stop scanning books and making them searchable.

Playboy (circulation 800k, down from 5.6m) drops nude images


Playboy will no longer publish nude images of women. None of Playboy's efforts to adjust to the way that the net changed the availability of porn were successful, though it fared better than Penthouse, which tried to out-hardcore the Internet and failed. Read the rest

Botwars vs ad-tech: the origin story of universal surveillance on the Internet


Maciej Cegłowski's posted another of his barn-burning speeches about the Internet's problems, their origins and their solutions (previously), a talk from the Fremtidens Internet conference in Copenhagen called "What Happens Next Will Amaze You." Read the rest

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