The leaders of American "literary culture" are worrying, gathering and organizing: The Wylie Agency has about a thousand clients. Many have not yet responded to Mr. Wylie’s query about Authors United, because they are traveling or are inattentive to email. But about 300 Wylie writers have signed on, as well as the estates of Saul Bellow, Roberto Bolaño, Joseph Brodsky, William Burroughs, John Cheever, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller and Hunter S. Thompson.
“Every single response without exception has been positive,” Mr. Wylie said.
There is no reason to doubt that the responses experienced by Andrew Wylie, an extremely powerful agent, have been uniformly positive: His fight on [...]
The thought of the future is often terrifying because we are biologically programmed to be frightened by dim uncertainty. But, as we've made steady progress toward the construction of a time machine, some pieces of the future have inadvertently slipped into our own time, providing a comforting sense of probability, if not certainty, about the fate of certain key elements of civilization: Mr. Zandri, an author of mystery and suspense tales, is published by Thomas & Mercer, one of Amazon Publishing’s many book imprints. He is edited by Amazon editors and promoted by Amazon publicists to Amazon customers, nearly all of whom read his books in electronic form on [...]
Amazon has announced a new phone called the "Fire," and it does all the things that other phones do: calls, texts, photos, apps. There is also a physical button that activates a service called "Firefly," which allows you to: Recognize household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more. Access product details, add items to your Wish List, or order on Amazon straight from your Fire phone.
A ʙᴜʏ button, but for everything! A direct, interference-free line from your worst impulses to your credit card. The world is Amazon's showroom, and you are its tired, confused customer, wandering the aisles endlessly in search of an exit that no longer [...]
How is one woman's boycott against Amazon, a response to the company's ongoing campaign to make life miserable for the mega-publisher Hachette and its authors, going? "I’m convinced that Amazon will not make any effort to regain me since they can rely on getting me back due to the magnetism of their efficiency and their massive stock of everything," she wrote. "So, feeling as isolated as I do in my feeble protest, I believe I’ll call it quits soon if there is no prospect of it making a difference to anyone."
But Ardelle—can I call you Ardelle?—are you sure you want to give up so easily? What if [...]
J.K. Rowling recently told Wonderland magazine that Hermione and Harry would have made a better couple than Ron and Hermione. It shouldn’t have mattered. Apart from the fact that we’re talking about the romantic lives of make-believe wizards, not only would Roland Barthes yawn at the author’s opinion about her own work, but the fans had already paired off Harry and Hermione themselves—nine years ago.
But the opinions of authors can’t help but feel more canonical than the things we internet denizens dream up ourselves—particularly when you take into account the connotations that the term "fan fiction" carries for most people.
L.J. Smith’s newest book, [...]
There are those who say that leaving ironic product reviews on Amazon is proof that we have ultimately failed in our haphazard pursuit of a higher purpose, but those people would be wrong. What was Jonathan Swift's famous op-ed about eating dead Irish babies if not a proto-Amazon review done in irony? Is the Book of Revelation anything more than a parody of Roman imperial politics and luxury obsession? Anyway, here's a Playmobil playset that Amazon doesn't even sell, and the Freedom Writers are leaving some very biting fake reviews that are probably really more about their unhappiness with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
First in a series of two essays today on freedom and the Internet. Next: Google, Sci-Fi And The MTA.
Late last Friday, news broke that the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, an online discussion board and community commonly referred to as the WELL, was on the verge of being shut down. Founded in 1985 as a dial-up BBS, the WELL is an enormously important part of internet history, both as a place where things happened and as a model for how discussion and community should work on the web; the comments system below this post owes its existence, in many ways, to the WELL. The site's ethos [...]