I have been accumulating lots of technical links. Guide to Eliminating Spyware. Summary: Use both Spybot and Adaware.
Terry Teachout on How Not to Sound like an Idiot. Teachout is a great critic who also writes a blog. Wow the concept!
Bookforum is a nice-looking literary publication, with lots of book reviews. I think I may subscribe. My former teacher John Barth on the necessity of comic tales in times of national crisis:
Even a humorous narrator such as the Grandma from Minsk [related in the “Invocation” section of The Book of Ten Nights and a Night] is quoted as saying that back in the shtetl at the time of the pogroms, “If we didn’t laugh, we’d hang ourselves.” It is a kind of strain that, of course, runs through a lot of traditional Jewish humor, but, as I tried to show, it runs through a lot of other literature as well. I believe that somewhere along the line, the Graybard figure makes it clear that I had planned a collection of previously published but uncollected stories from the past few years and a couple of older souvenirs and was not originally looking for a frame situation. Just before 9/11, I published a comic apocalyptic Y2K novel, Coming Soon!!!, and did the obligatory author tour. As it happened, just after 9/11 hit the fan, I was on tour and was asked more than once, “Don’t you think, sir, that maybe a comic novel, that comedy in general, might be a little inappropriate in these grim circumstances?” Not just in defense of my novel but in general, I kept being reminded of, and reminding my questioners of, such predecessors as Scheherazade and Boccaccio’s people in the Decameron. When I finished that tour and got back to my writing desk, looking at those discrete stories, I thought, “Voil?! There’s a possible framing story.”
Speaking of literary futility, Daniel Stolar wrote a hilarious first person account of trying to market your book. My advice to Stolar: 1)Get a blog! and 2)get involved with local bookclubs or live storyteller groups. What I appreciate about this article is how Stolar doesn’t automatically slam publishers. They are not the bad guys really. They are not responding to market forces and the dwindling demand for literary novels.
Cory Doctorow on the futility of DRM. A few superficial remarks (aside from complimenting its brilliance, etc). First, Microsoft is a software company, and for that reason they make software. They can’t be cajoled into becoming a hardware company (Xbox notwithstanding). Second, I am amazed that he has embraced Apple’s Itunes, a product/concept I have no interest in. Third, I wholeheartedly agree with Doctorow’s statement that our generation is more tolerant and accepting of reading on a computer screen. Quite frankly, I get more fidgety reading an actual book sometimes.