I heard a guy who reviews books discuss the decline of newspaper space for the sort of literary reviws that made Sundy papers so much fun to read through. He noted that the only two substantive book sections left are those of the NY Times and The Wash Post.
I expected him to diss on-line reviewers, given the wide disparity in the quality and intelligence you find on the net. But he was a booster of on-line reviewing and hopes that newspapers will somehow merge print and net reviews in an effort to keep the whole process alive.
He would have been more impressive if his arguments had been better. But the NPR interviewer picked them apart without much trouble. I felt sorry for the reviewer. He came on with the best of intentions but he needed to do his homework. As the interviewer said, Sunday book sections are disappearing because they don't generate profits. Publishers don't spend much on advertising. In this age of declining newspaper circulation, that's about all you need to say.
Cory Doctorow is not only a fine writer he's also a brave man. In the new Locus he defends fan fiction. Hell, he ENCOURAGES fan fiction. "Our field (science fiction) is incredibly privileged to have such an active fanfic writing practice. Let's stop treating them like thieves and start treating them like honored guests at a table that we just laid for them."
He notes that most of us write fan fiction one way or another when we start out. Between the ages of nine and twelve I probably did versions of probably every story Ray Bradbury wrote up to that time.
There is a real war over amateurs working in the worlds created by professional writers. There are hundreds of Buffy The Vampire Slayer stories. And just about every TV show has fan fic writers cranking out stories set in their worlds. Doctorow claims that some of the fan fic is better than the real thing.
Is there such a thing as mystery fiction fan fiction? I'm not aware of it but then I live in Iowa.
Pimping Myself #2
I got a starred Library Journal review for my new Sam McCain mystery FOOLS RUSH IN
*Gorman, Ed. Fools Rush in: A Sam McCain Mystery. Pegasus. May 2007.
> c.229p. ISBN 978-1-933648-32-3. $24. M
> Gumshoe Sam McCain (Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?) is asked by the
> town judge to look into the death of a young black man who had been
> dating the daughter of a wealthy white senator. The year is 1963, the
> height of the Civil Rights Movement, but the few African Americans who
> live in the small town of Black River Falls, IA, do not interact with
> the white upper class as equals. Gorman's seventh series mystery is
> only a compelling crime novel but also a powerful depiction of the
> deep-rooted prejudice and social inequities in middle America. A
> Award winner, Gorman lives in Cedar Rapids, IA. [See Prepub
> Mystery, LJ
And this from Horror World re Tom Piccirrilli's Midnight Premiere hardcover:
The real payoff of the collection comes with its final two stories, Brian Hodge’s “The Passion of the Beast” and Ed Gorman’s remarkable “Scream Queen”. Hodge’s story—written as both a narrative and an overly-intellectual analysis of a film that is the flip side of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, manages to be both satiric and affecting and never—despite the potential—becomes heavy-handed. Gorman’s “Scream Queen” is the heartbreaking story of three friends, one of whom works at a local video store, who recognize one the regular customers as a one-time scream queen who simply vanished a few years before. The boys’ reaction to finding out who she is—as well as the reasons revealed for her disappearance—make this, along with the contribution of Morton & Grove, the finest story in the book, and an affecting, elegiac tale with which to end this wonderful collection.
And my Mom didn't write either on us these.