Romance, fantasy, e-books, unpatriotic superheroes and dead celebrities

I’ve got one last photo post coming up, but in the meantime here’s a linkdump. Romance, fantasy, writing, e-books, comics, plagiarism and dead celebrities – we have it all:

Sherwood Smith has a really fascinating post at the Book View Café about romance novels, intimate space and why the romance genre has such a bad rap. And the reason is not just that they’re written by women, though that’s a big part of it.

More on gender and literature: Kate Griffin has a post on feminine fantasy at the Orbit blog.

Justine Musk has a great post on creative abundance and another about the importance of asking questions while writing at Tribal Writer.

Joe Konrath discusses what works and doesn’t work for e-book promotion. The answer is once again “no one knows” and “it’s best not to obsess about it and write more”.

Many Americans are really upset about the fact that Superman no longer wishes to be a citizen of their country.

This is real tempest in a teacup material. I mean, don’t these people realize that Superman isn’t real? Never mind that I have never explicitly associated Superman with the US, even though he resides there, anymore than I associate Batman or Spider-Man or Iron Man or Daredevil or Hulk or the Fantastic Four with the US. To me, they’re all heroic characters who happen to be American. Just as Wolverine is a heroic character who happens to be Canadian, Nightcrawler is a heroic character who happens to be German, Colossus is a heroic character who happens to be Russian, etc… The only superhero with whom I’ve ever viewed the character’s nationality as part and parcel of his heroic adventures is Captain America. Interestingly enough, Captain America is also one of my least favourite superheroes – he’s too much Captain Nationalism for my taste. Oddly enough, Captain America is the only of the explicitly patriotic superheroes to bother me. Alpha Flight, Captain Britain and the lesser known Captain Canuck have never bothered me.

However, Americans concerned about the patriotism of fictional superheroes may rest assured, because Captain America has not renounced his citizenship and is only too happy to remain a symbol for the US. Only that Captain America already renounced his title and called himself “Nomad”, i.e. man without a country. And he did it back in 1974, because he was disillusioned with Watergate or rather the Marvel Universe version thereof (Richard Nixon doesn’t just spy on political opponents, he’s the leader of a terrorist organisation, which makes for a much juicier scandal than the rather humdrum real world affair). But Captain America’s shortlived renunciation of his title and – at least by implication – citizenship didn’t have US conservatives up in arms, probably because they had real political issues to tackle back in 1974.

While on the subject of politics, the Guttenberg plagiarism case has hit Language Log, who seem fascinated by the various graphic visualizations of the plagiarism.

And finally, a celebrity death: Gunther Sachs, millionaire heir to a German motorcycle fortune and popular tabloid fodder has committed suicide at age 78. He was apparently suffering from a “disease with no way out”, most likely Alzheimer.

In the 1960s Gunther Sachs had the reputation of a playboy, which was largely unfair. True, he was married three times, but his first wife died young during a botched operation, his second wife was Brigitte Bardot (apparently they remained friends, though the marriage failed) and he was married to his third wife, a Swedish model, for more than forty years. Not exactly the behaviour of a playboy. It’s the brief marriage to Brigitte Bardot, for which he will probably be remembered (and it’s telling that all articles in the international press were headlined with “Brigitte Bardot’s ex-husband dead”). This would be unfair though, because Gunther Sachs was also a mathematician, writer of books about the connection between astrology and mathematics, a sponsor of the arts and a gifted photographer. This German obituary is a lot more detailed than the Telegraph article.

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3 Responses to Romance, fantasy, e-books, unpatriotic superheroes and dead celebrities

  1. Estara says:

    Have another link that might be your cup of tea – Doris Egan talks about open and closed story-telling in suspense TV – using the new Dr. Who as the example with excursions back to Torchwood and House.

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