(WSFA is rapidly selling out of the book pictured above. You can still order it here.)
First off, on Omni I’ve been posting gift book suggestions, the top 10 lists for the year of Karen Lord, Felix Gilman, and Dexter Palmer, and an interview with local Tallahassee author Julianna Baggott about her huge YA book deal. Go read it all here.
Mary Anne Mohanraj has posted about the future of the Speculative Literature Foundation, including some thoughts on boosting publicity and content creation. She’s looking for suggestions, feedback, etc.
If you missed it, John Coulthart wrote a great post about the uproar over the short film A Fire in My Belly, which includes a brief clip of ants crawling over a crucifix: “Two ironies are immediately apparent following the withdrawal of the film from the exhibition: the first is that the action has spread news of Wojnarowiczâ€™s work all over the world this week, in which case the Catholic League can congratulate themselves on increasing the viewing of the â€œblasphemousâ€ film a thousandfold. The second is that the work of both Wojnarowicz and GalÃ¡s in the 1980s dealt in a forthright manner with the loathing shown towards people with Aids and the refusal of governments and media to deal honestly and openly with the disease.”
Also note this response from Diamanda GalÃ¡s, whose music accompanied the censored film, to the Smithsonian removing it. Some in the comments cross a line as far as I’m concerned by calling her response, essentially, insane. It’s an impassioned and intelligent response as far as I’m concerned. (I also noted an article recently about an uptick in attempts at book censorship–from both the left and the right. Censorship from the left sucks, too, frankly, when it occurs. And I’m not particularly sympathetic to charges of blasphemy in general.)
Matt Cheney has a link to a good piece about a certain sameness in the last few Best American Short Stories volumes, along with his own commentary. Equivalents in genre fiction include fantasy fixated on the upper classes or endlessly depicting homogenous societies or nations.
Finally, Tariq Moodod is interviewed about five books on multiculturalism. It’s fascinating stuff and makes me want to pick up Moodod’s books. A couple of quotes, context lacking so you have to go read it: “Actually, when you think about it, many of the specific controversies in relation to multiculturalism involve women and arguments about gender…Some feminists have been critical of multiculturalism because they say that it leads to selling short womenâ€™s rights.” … “I argue that the way that we come to see why Britishness is important is actually not so very different to how we see multiculturalism as important, because we see how these identities, whether they be minority Pakistani identity in Britain or whether it is being British â€“ and many minorities want to be British; it is not something that is imposed on them â€“ we see that these identities are important to people. So we have to find a way in politics of including rather than of trying to exclude them.”