Relevant Links: Help Clarion West Students, New Books Blog, and More

First off, please check out this link about four laptops stolen from Clarion West students. If you want to help, there’s an email address to contact. I can’t think of anything worse than having your stored memory of all of your fiction suddenly gone.

Anne Sydenham has a wonderful new blog devoted to her book collection: Eye Candy for Bibliophiles. You MUST favorite this if you love books. She has many eccentric, rare, or just plain unusual editions.

Caleb Wilson has a great review of Ekaterina Sedia’s latest on his blog. Caleb’s ramped up the frequency with which he posts, and I highly recommend his writings on books, fantasy, etc.

Matt Staggs interviews Kelley Eskeridge as part of his ongoing series.

Grandson Riley clomping around in his great-grandma’s shoes

Finally, Omnidawn has started running book-related videos.

Kate Bernheimer’s Fairy Tale Review

For a couple of years now Kate Bernheimer, in addition to all of the other wonderful editing and writing she does, has been working on Fairy Tale Review, which she founded and now helms. Contributors have included Donna Tartt, Marina Warner, Rikki Ducornet, Stacey Levine, and many more. It’s a elegant production and always thought-provoking. I have to admit that I go through phases where I get tired of folklore and re-told folktales, but each issue of The Fairy Tale Review has been near perfect, and I read each one from cover to cover.

A Summer of Guests: Jack O’Connell, Michelle Richmond, Meg Gardiner, Richard Nash, and More

Starting next Tuesday, my blog will feature a different guest blogger each week through October 10. The excitement kicks off with a celebration of the fiction of noir master Jack O’Connell (with posts by the author as well as Ellen Datlow, Ron Hogan, and Kelly Shaw). That will be followed by NYT bestseller Michelle Richmond, Tiptree Award-winning fantasist Catherynne M. Valente, Soft Skull editor Richard Nash, fantasist and children’s book author Vandana Singh, satirical SF novelist Minister Faust, Brazilian critic Fabio Fernandes, crime novelist Meg Gardiner, Romanian editor and publisher Horia Ursu, Russian-born novelist Ekaterina Sedia, publicist Matt Staggs, short story writer John Langan, and writer-editor Cat Rambo. Come visit and experience what promises to be a lively and diverse discussion.

I’ll post more information on Monday morning. As of July 8, I’ll be pretty much off the internet for three months.

P.S. And, over at Omnivoracious, Richard Morgan will be blogging.

SciFi Weekly Review: Valley of Day-Glo

Very impressed with Valley of Day-Glo.

Excerpt:
Absurdist fictions tread a fine line. If they try too hard to present three-dimensional characters, they lose the pacing and quickness needed to pull off such a difficult task. If they, on the other hand, make too much fun of their characters or present characters that are too flat, the absurdity isn’t grounded in anything real. As important, good absurdism must be self-deprecating in a sense and must treat every human institution with similar suspicion. Finally, a great absurdist novel relies on fresh, uncliched images and should be, at times, biting rather than comfortable.

Barbara Hurd’s Outstanding Nature Books Featured on Amazon

I loved all three of these books, as should be clear from the feature. Swamps, caves, and shorelines–how the heck can you go wrong?! I’m adding all three to my rec list on the right.

Excerpt:
But, for me at least, there’s another pleasure that comes from reading Walking the Wrack Line, and it’s selfishly personal. I’m one of those readers who also likes mucking about in tidal pools and searching the beach for seaweed, driftwood, and exotic creatures washed up far from home. On that level, Hurd’s book also has great appeal. Because nothing in Walking the Wrack Line seems false; instead, it’s as if someone had had the same experience, and knew the best way to get it down in prose.

VanderMusic on the NYT Papercuts Blog: What’s the Soundtrack to Your Life?

The New York Times Papercuts Blog has posted a list with notes of the music Ann and I have been listening to recently. Everything from Ray Davies* to Willard Grant to The New Pornographers to Supersystem. Check it out.

What’ve you been listening to? And why do you like it or hate it? What’s the soundtrack to your life right now?

*JB’s gonna hate that one.