Morrissey's debut novel officially contains the worst literary sex scene of 2015

morrissey

Morrissey is this year's winner of the Bad Sex in Writing award.

The famously unpleasant singer-songwriter, whose autobiography was published by Penguin Classics in an act of enragingly ironic-self regard, clinched the title with a passage from his debut novel, 'List of the Lost.'

The judges were swayed by an ecstatic scene involving Ezra, one of the athletes, and his plucky girlfriend, Eliza: ‘At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.

The Literary Review, which has organized the contest each year since 1993 to reward "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description", said that Morrissey's victory shows the "rude health" of unwell prose.

Morrissey now joins a "literary pantheon" alongside Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer and John Updike, writes Rolling Stone.

Morrissey was unfortunately unable to accept his award in person as he's on the road in support of his 2014 album, World Peace Is None of Your Business.

Literary Review has handed out the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award since 1993 in an effort to "draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them." Pornographic and expressly erotic literature are not considered for the prize.

Read the rest

Empowered female heroines work hard

8fb65122be3045d5797d193553ebc868

A classic Mallory Ortberg humor column sets out a day in the life of an "empowered female heroine," a fictional staple on whom society (and literature) project a huge amount of aspirational demands. Read the rest

Ten of 2015's most notable African science fiction and fantasy stories

Samatar_Animals-FINAL-1024x576

Wole Talabi, a Nigerian sf writer who lives in Malaysia, has rounded up his ten favorite African science fiction and fantasy stories of 2015. Like Africa, the stories are wildly varied, each as different from the other as they are from the sf you're likely to read coming out of Europe and North America. Read the rest

Workaholic Goethe wished he'd been better at carving out time for quiet reflection

goethe

You know that successful person's lament about being out of control of their own time, not being able to balance the demands that others placed on them against their own self-care needs? There is nothing new under the sun: "Had I been able to abstain more from public business, and to live more in solitude, I should have been happier, and should have accomplished much more as a poet." Read the rest

On the grotesque obsession with accomplished women's fertility

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x879

Rebecca Solnit is a brilliant writer whose essay Men Explain Things to Me sparked the discourse about "mansplaining" and whose 2009 book A Paradise Built in Hell is one of the best history books I've ever read -- so why do so many interviewers want to talk to her about the fact that she chose not to have babies? Read the rest

Alan Moore's advice to unpublished authors

animation (3)

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

The Qwerkywriter: a delightful Bluetooth keyboard based on a manual typewriter

IMG_20151118_113147

I blogged the announcement of the Qwerkywriter more than a year ago, when the company was retooling from its successful kickstarter to full retail production. I've had one of the production models in my office for a couple of months now and I've been very impressed! (I wrote this review on it). Read the rest

Taxonomy of the 37 basic silent-film plots

giphy

It's a lovely piece of narrative theory from Wycliff Aber Hill's 1919 book Ten Million Photoplay Plots: The Master Key to All Dramatic Plots, part of a tradition of stage-play manuals that presented related taxonomies for aspiring writers. Read the rest

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

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x821

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

Climate change science fiction contest: win $1000 and publication

clifi-contest

Joey from Arizona State University writes, "ASU’s Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative is holding its first-ever Climate Fiction Short Story Contest. First prize is $1,000, and three more winners will receive book bundles signed by Paolo Bacigalupi, who was our annual Climate Futures lecturer last month. The best submissions will be published in an online anthology, and will also be considered for publication in the journal Issues in Science and Technology. The contest will be judged by Kim Stanley Robinson, along with a panel of experts from the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative." Read the rest

Lemony Snicket gives Planned Parenthood $1M

8671626048_43b6f5a18e_b

Daniel Handler (who wrote the excellent "Series of Unfortunate Events" books under the name Lemony Snicket) and his wife, Lisa Brown, announced the $1 million gift to Planned Parenthood on the eve of a possible Congressional shutdown over funding to the agency. Read the rest

Fabriano EcoQua notebooks

41GKSagXtHL

For taking notes, sketches and generally just having paper with me that works well with my fountain pens, I've been using Fabriano's EcoQua notebooks.

The dot-ruled, staple bound sheets of 85gsm off-white paper work fantastically with my my favorite pens and inks. There is nearly zero bleed through or feathering, and ink dries fast. My favorite Noodler's bulletproof black and red-black are both bold and bright, though the red-black becomes distinctively more red.

I really the dot-ruled paper. It is a more subtle version of quad-ruled graphing paper, but helps me sketch and draw out ideas.

There is a lot of marketing hullabaloo over the environmentally friendly nature of these notebooks. I find this ironic, as we start with killing a tree, but appreciate it regardless.

Ecoqua Dot Notebook 5.8X8.25 Navy via Amazon Read the rest

Kurt Vonnegut's 8 rules for writing with style

50435519
In the anthology "How To Use The Power of the Printed Word," brilliant author shares eight tips on how to write with style:

Find a Subject You Care About

Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.

I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do. Do Not Ramble, Though

I won’t ramble on about that.

Keep It Simple

As for your use of language: Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long. Joyce, when he was frisky, could put together a sentence as intricate and as glittering as a necklace for Cleopatra, but my favorite sentence in his short story ‘Eveline’ is just this one: ‘She was tired.’ At that point in the story, no other words could break the heart of a reader as those three words do.

Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred.

Read the rest

Stephen King on productivity

stephenking

"There are many unspoken postulates in literary criticism," writes the legendary author, "one being that the more one writes, the less remarkable one’s work is apt to be." And yet… Read the rest

Worldcon attendees: silent auction today at the SFWA booth!

If you're at the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane today, swing by the SFWA booth (W5 in dealers' room) to bid on tuckerizations from Annie Bellet, Jenn Brozek, Cory Doctorow (!), Greg Bear, Larry Niven, Mike Resnick, John Scalzi, and a critique from Nancy Kress. Read the rest

Anne Rice: political correctness is new form of censorship in the book biz

BRAND_BIO_BSFC_152647_SF_2997_005_20131029_V1_HD_768x432-16x9
Anne Rice, of The Vampire Chronicles fame, posted on Facebook her concern that novelists "are facing a new era of censorship, in the name of political correctness." Read the rest

The failed writer who became NSA's in-house "philosopher"

Deep in the Snowden leaks are a series of columns by the "Socrates of SIGINT," an NSA spy who answered an internal help-wanted ad to write about the philosophy of surveillance. Read the rest

More posts