It's been a while and there's been a lot of interesting stuff out there, so let's get started:

If you haven't heard, Jeff VanderMeer is now writing the Science Fiction Chronicle column over at the New York Times. Far superior to the previous tenant.

A fascinating article on genre and Jonathan Lethem about high and low art, genre and genre exploitation.

Charles Bock ably takes about Tao Lin, a writer who's goal in life, it seems, is to figure out how to make fiction MORE boring.

Here's a comic telling of the stormy history of mega-agent Andrew Wylie, who is as hated by the publishing establishment as he is loved by the authors he secures multi-million-dollar advances for. (Apparently, when he poached Philip Roth from his agent at a party, Roth said to him, "Back up the money truck!")

Elif Batuman on why writer's workshops churn out terrible writers. (via Bookavore who sums things up nicely.)

How a Newsday columnist manufactured a bestseller by with two sex scenes per chapter to prove a point.

JA Konrath has stirred up a lot of controversy by dropping regular publishers in favor of self-publishing ebooks and making a boat load of money doing it (just passed the $100,000 mark so far, apparently). He explains his thinking in the form of a parable, which thinking reminds me a lot of Dave Sim's old arguments for self-publishing comics back in the eighties and nineties. Sources tell me that Konrath is really self-publishing because he's so difficult to work with no publisher will have him anymore. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but am interested in any illustration of self-publishing success.


It's the HULK vs. the BUDDHA no holds barred!

The Genre Fiction Generator!

And finally...

I have been consistently impressed by the story quality over at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Here's a story called "Throwing Stones" by Mishell Baker that takes place in an odd fantasy world and grapples with gender questions in a way that reminds me of the best of Le Guin. Good stuff.

Subterranean gives us "Return" by Peter Beagle which, typically for Beagle, is a reliably fun and well-written tale that gives you basically everything you might want in a fantasy adventure story.

Until next time!