Centrist Macron thrashes far-right Le Pen in French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen by about 66%-34% in France's presidential election Sunday, with few votes outstanding. Macron, a 39-year-old centrist newcomer, faced a strong challenge from his far-right adversary, but polls never gave her a serious shot at the job. And on the day, the margin was even wider than expected.

Mr Macron will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic's foundation in 1958. ...

The Macron team said that the new president had had a "cordial" telephone conversation with Ms Le Pen.

In a speech she thanked the 11 million people who had voted for her. She said the election had shown a division between "patriots and globalists" and called for the emergence of a new political force.

The result came despite an internet-driven effort to torpedo Macron's campaign with hacks, leaked emails and conspiracy theories—a pattern that stoked fears of a similar outcome to last year's election in the U.S., where similar circumstances saw millionaire reality TV star Donald Trump prevail over Hillary Clinton.

It is indeed a sad day for American media who hoped the French were as dumb as us. Read the rest

How to support a writer's career

Since the earliest days of my novel-writing career, readers have written to me to thank me for my books and to ask how they can best support me and other writers whose work they enjoy. Nearly 15 years later, I have a pretty comprehensive answer for them!

Irish police open blasphemy investigation into Stephen Fry for calling God an "utter maniac"

Living treasure and outspoken atheist Stephen Fry has a classic bit from a two-year-old episode of RTE's "The Meaning of Life" in which he answers the question, "What would you say to God if you died and found yourself at the gates of heaven?" Read the rest

Matt Furie celebrated yesterday's Free Comic Book Day by killing off Pepe the Frog

Spare a thought for poor Matt Furie, a wonderful indie comics creator whose Boys' Club comics featured a lovable frog called Pepe that was adopted by the neofascist movement (the so-called "alt-right") as a symbol for racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny. Read the rest

Tonight in San Francisco, SF in SF presents Ellen Klages, David D. Levine & Robyn Bennis!

The always-excellent SF in SF reading series continues tonight with three excellent writers reading from their debut novels: Ellen Klages, David D. Levine & Robyn Bennis. Doors open 5:30PM at San Francisco's American Bookbinders Museum, and the $10 fee (which benefits the museum) is waived for people who can't afford it. Read the rest