Tuesday Linkage: Booklifenow on Doctorow and Vertical/Horizontal Learning, Reviews, and More

(The remains of writers who never did understand the lifecycle of a book. Photo by the highly recommended Jeremy Tolbert.)

I won’t inflict Booklifenow links on you every day (although I may run an update in the sidebar), but will be informing you of new content during this, our launch week.

Cory Doctorow vs Booklifenow: Vertical vs Horizontal Learning:
“Complaining about someone’s visibility is as pointless as complaining about someone’s shadow being too long. Further, he’s taking a big risk in a lot of ways, and like most pioneers his experiments won’t just contribute to his own ongoing success but will open the way for a plethora of new approaches by others.”

Booklifenow on the Lifecycle of a Book:
“If there’s one way that agents and editors could help their writers it would be by not assuming any prior knowledge of this lifecycle—although it is true that the process can change from publisher to publisher.”

In other news, Charles Tan reviews Finch:
“There are several ways to read Finch although for the sake of brevity, I’ll tackle two of the most probable experiences. The first is to read this novel with a clean slate and with no preconceptions. In that sense, Jeff VanderMeer weaves this combination of noir fiction–including all of its tropes and then subverting some–and fantasy.”

A short feature on Booklife at Omnivoracious, in preparation for my reportage there during my book tour:
“Writes get on Facebook or Twitter and they mistake the tool for a strategy, and they wind up chasing their tails. In fact, the most successful writers of the future may be the ones that don’t allow such fragmentation to occur–who are able to take the long view career-wise, and stop responding in Pavlovian fashion to our current need for that little food pellet in the form of a response to blog entry, Twitter line, or a Facebook status message change.”

Long interview on OF Blog of the Fallen:
“Influence is a strange thing. I see it in terms of acquiring technique, because acquiring technique is the process of acquiring a kind of mastery. But that’s all it is. You cannot teach yourself voice and imagination from other writers–you either have that or you don’t. You can draw it out and develop it, true, but not spontaneously create it through mimicry.”

OF Blog of the Fallen reviews Finch:
“History, or rather its root of ‘story,’ can be a cruel, deceitful monster. People inspired by one telling of the past may go forth and butcher their neighbors, just because of stories that may not ultimately be ‘true.’ Memories can be haunting by themselves, but when infused with stories from the past that are tinged to place might and right on one’s side, who can fathom the depths to which one may be self-deluded or, ultimately, betrayed?”

Brian Lindenmuth’s Top 50 Novels of the last decade includes Veniss and Finch:
“[Finch] reclaims with brute force the sub-genre urban fantasy and strafes an entire genre in the process. If there were ever a fantasy novel version of the line said by Omar in The Wire “let’s bang out,” then this is it.”

Just want kittens? Here you go.


  1. says

    Thank you for the kittens. I’m afraid much of Booklife’s subject matter makes my head hurt. Not the writing, you understand. I love your writing, though I guess I’ll always prefer fiction to anything that’s supposed to make me have a better grasp of the nuts and bolts of life, that is, that which purports to be nonfiction…

  2. says

    Jessica: I think that’s a legitimate response to the Public Booklife part. That’s why the Gut-Check section is in there. Tell you what–if you buy it, skip right to Gut-Check, the Private Booklife chapters, and the parts of the Appendix written by Marly Youmans, Nathan Ballingrud, and Matthew Cheney. If it’s not of value, I’ll refund your money and I’ll send you a book I think you’ll love as penance.