After the very hot weather of the past few days, we had two thunderstorms today with promise of more. It’s not as if we didn’t need the rain – we did. But thunderstorms are also annoying, because while I can work on my laptop for several hours, I only have reliable internet access on my desktop PC. Which I don’t dare use during a heavy thunderstorm. Luckily, the weather seems to have calmed down somewhat, so here are some interesting links that have piled up over the weekend:
At Obsidian Wings, Doctor Science offers a follow-up to his or her response to VS Naipaul’s blanket dismissal of women writers, which includes links to several examples of earlier arseholish behaviour from Naipaul.
The post then turns into a discussion of authors and textual authority, partly as a response to this post by Sherwood Smith at the Book View Café. Some very good ideas in both places.
Juliet McKenna has a good post about the ongoing issue of women’s invisibility in science fiction, particularly in the UK, and what to do about it. The discussion in the comments is worth reading as well.
Theodora Goss offers her take on both the Naipaul and the invisible women of SF discussion here and also discusses the story “The Ring” by Karen Blixen a.k.a. Isak Dinesen. I always find the insistence of Americans (cause it primarily seems to be Americans) of referring to Karen Blixen by her pen name odd, because I have only ever heard her referred to by her real name rather than her pen name. For me, calling Karen Blixen Isak Dinesen is like calling Charlotte Brontë Currer Bell – not wrong, but highly unusual.
Now for a couple of e-book and indie-publishing links:
Guido Henkel, whose wonderful e-book formatting guide has been invaluable to me, has a guestpost about how to increase sales of indie-published books at J.A. Konrath’s blog.
Finally, some awards have been given out this weekend as well.
The German pavilion won the Golden Lion at the Art Biennale in Venice. This time around, the German pavilion was supposed to be designed by controversial performance artist, filmmaker and director Christoph Schlingensief. However, Schlingensief died of lung cancer last August, so his widow and the curator turned the pavilion into a memorial for Schlingensief’s work, using the sets of one of his last completed projects, the oratorium Eine Kirche der Angst (A Church of Fear), in which Schlingensief addressed his illness.
You’d figure this decision would be completely non-controversial. A provocative but high renown and in his final years also respected artist dies much too young – his legacy wins a prestigious award. However, there has been a lot of criticism in Germany for turning the Biennale pavilion into a monument to the artist, his life and particularly his death (Schlingensief’s original plans were completely different, but he died without leaving enough details to complete them) as well as for the fact that the pavilion actually won the Golden Lion. I suspect some lingering dislike for Schlingensief may play into the criticism as well. It’s no longer acceptable to criticize the man, since he’s dead, but one can still criticize his work. Kulturzeit has a round-up of critical reactions to Schlingesief’s posthumous win (in German). There’s also a video here.
Here is the very extensive list of the Romantic Times Award nominees and winners and here’s a distilled version listing only the speculative fiction related awards.
I actually find the winning books in the “pure” SF and fantasy categories a much better and more diverse selection than the Nebulas, which had a diverse list of nominees, but fairly conventional winners.