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Hearsay Archive:

Here we store old Hearsay items (including their discussion links). You don't have to register or sign in for discussions, you can just click the "Post a new message" button and go.

Some of the links are likely to rot over time. Sorry about that, but our fridge isn't working.
2003: August September October November December
2004: January February March April May June

December 2003:

... ...


Scoop! Shocking GG News
So, there I was at a swanky Brick party at Michael Redhill's on Saturday night, hobnobbing with my betters (Michael Ondaatje, Dennis Bock, Andre Alexis, Catherine Bush (a closet ninja reader), Andrew Pyper, Michael Winter, Ken Babstock, Kathryn Someoneorother, the list goes on -- but I won the door prize), when I see Dennis Lee come in. Says I to myself, "Go ask him why the hell his book wasn't submitted by Anansi for the GG." If you've been following the discussion groups here on Bookninja, you know we were outraged to discover some time back (when the Governor General's Award poetry shortlist was announced and we were shocked to find Lee not on it) that Dennis's book UN, a shoo-in if ever there was one, wasn't even submitted by House of Anansi for consideration. Knowing Anansi as one of Canada's premier poetry lists (maybe the top now that Ken Babstock is the new editor) and Lee as a great guy who helps young writers, we assumed it had to have been Lee's decision to withhold his book from competition, perhaps in hopes of allowing others a chance at the brass ring. Not so, said Lee. In fact, until Thursday, he had NO IDEA his book hadn't been submitted. It looks like someone was asleep at the switch at Anansi and what is perhaps the most daring book of poetry published this year went completely UN-noticed. Are heads going to roll? Probably not. Should they? (You tell us Names Best of 2003
They agree with Bookninja on The Haunted Hillbilly. (discuss)

Ah, the Man Who was Read Aloud at My Wedding...
A profile of one of my favourite poets, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. (I wish I had some dude penetrating the masses with my poems.) (discuss)

The Daemon King
Philip Pullman profile. I read these books and they're actually quite engrossing. (discuss)

Get Your Sequel On
David Rees, creator of Get Your War On, has got a new one out. (LOL from Bookslut) (discuss)

What's in a Name, Anyway?
These Australians need to be taught that only honourable thing to do when two people share the same name and occupation but have differing critical viewpoints is to duel it out with flintlock pistols on a windy bluff. (discuss)

The Next Harry Potter!
Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak collaborate. I want to have some kids right now just so I can mess them up with this. (discuss)

I Recently Had a Job Interview Where I Didn't Understand a Word People Were Saying to Me
Was bizspeak to blame? Yes. Well, that and the fact that I didn't speak Mandarin, despite what my resume said. (discuss)



Yann Martel Frightened Inner City Regina...ists? (ians? istas? ese?) Might Not Find Requisite Fifty Copies of Life of Pi on Shelf if Libraries Close
Good writers use metaphors and food analogies... And in other news, a quick look at my atlas tells me Saskatoon isn't in the province of Winnipeg, nor Regina, but rather some strange land  called "Saskatchewan." And they have writers there. But seriously, folks: I love the West. After Ontario, it's what's left on the map! (I just made that up!) (discuss)

Pete, Maybe You Could Get Me This For Christmas to Help with My... Problem
Book on grammar and punctuation hits Brit bestseller list. (discuss)

Aussie Police Take Student's Books
Because they thought she was a terrorist. (discuss)

Newsflash: Journalists Don't Think of Themselves As "Real" Writers
Don't worry boys and girls, no one else does either. (The Washington Post might make you answer a few questions to get in. You aren't going to Hell if you lie. God wants you to lie to the Washington Post. Please lie. For the children.) (discuss)

"Someone decided a few years back that drinking for no reason was bad, but drinking to support a friend was good"
The Book Party - Washington's newest political farce. (See above. Remember that God kills kittens when you don't lie to the Washington Post.) (discuss)

Meta-fictional Diseases
Is there a booster shot for writer's block? (discuss)


Extra! National Magazine Awards Dump Poetry
The poor cousin of the literature gets the boot  to make way for yet another business category. (See John Degen's letter of protest - two columns over.) (discuss)

To Think You'll Be Able to Tell Your Grandchildren You Were Around for the Advent of "Spoem"
Want a bigger unit? (discuss)

Why Austin Sucks (Aside from Simply Being in Texas)
Jessa Crispin, everyone's favourite Bookslut, picks up where our literary tour people bailed out, by providing a sort of anti-literary tour of Austin, TX. (discuss)

"Allen Ginsberg started experiencing ecstatic religious visions while masturbating"
Well, isn't that the point? (discuss)

Literary Fight in Toronto!
As told by way of an anecdote in a NY paper.** (discuss)

Winning the Lottery Is NOT a Mixed Blessing
Just give a hundred poets a million dollars** each already. (discuss)

Death in Venice
A biography of a short story. What's next? A what Alice Munroe Had for Breakfast biopsy? (discuss)

Why Do We Review?
This is the question the NY Times must ask itself. (discuss)

This Reminds Me of When Harlequin Gave Away Free Books After the Berlin Wall Came Down
But, uh, different. (LOL* MobyLives) (discuss)

Return of the King
Do you think the picture accompanying this article is on Bloom's dartboard? (discuss)

That's Me!
Check out the right column, third item down. (discuss)



Bad Sex Writing Bad, But Not Nearly as Bad as Some of the Sex I've Had in the Distant Past...
Aniruddha Bahal gets her motor running, heads out on the highway... (discuss)

Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black
A nice parody of those Behind the Music bits for copy editors. Longish film clip, but worth it. (LOL Boingboing) (discuss)

Deafening Applause
Itani brings Belleville to the forefront of literature (as opposed to the forefront of Kingston). (discuss)

Lynne Truss Wants You
To stop punctuation anarchy. (discuss)

Plimpton May Have Been Irreplaceable...
But someone's gotta replace him. (discuss)

Ah, the American Christian Right: the Not-as-Violent-Anymore Psychos of the Religious World... I Wish They'd Ban My Books
I could use the sales. (discuss)

Maybe if We Appeal Directly to Her They'll Send Us Some Freakin Books
Phyllis Grann returns to Random House. (discuss)

Nightwood Editions to Sign 11-Year-Old Brit Boy to Lifetime Contract!
Details inside! (discuss)



Extra! Your Protest Pays Off!
According to an industry news letter, it looks like the NMAF may reinstate the award for poetry after receiving many letters and phone calls of protest! (discuss)

Late-Breaking Regina Library News!
Thank God for cowardly mayors! The ancient art of the flip-flop pays off! (Thanks to cub reporter Bryson for the tip off.) (discuss)

The Part that's Missing at the End is About How They're Going to Reform the GG's per Bookninja's Suggestion...
The Canada Council is like a kid angling for gifts when his birthday is six months away... (discuss)

I Think the Guerrilla Girls are Just Dreamy
But, then, I've always been a Dutch Boy. They have a new book! (LOL* MobyLives) (discuss)

And in the Far Corner, Wearing the Blue Trunks... and the Big Honkin' Boots
To continue in the Fesbian Leminist vein, but on a branch out of the pelvis instead of the brain, Tulchinsky has a new book of erotica out. (discuss)

Which dictionary is the best? The one that's closest to my desk and not covered in coffee stains. (I think it's odd that some people own only one... It's like having one pair of underwear.) (discuss)

The Pound Era 
A N Wilson on Kenner's new book. (discuss)

Yet to Most Men School Clothes are Sex Clothes... Hm...
Look like an editor,** there are worse role models (LOL* Bookslut). (discuss)

"About a dozen young men attending the ceremony wore black suits, ties and hats - the apparel Kafka wore."
Apparently a certain reactionary US based "literary" group was in attendance for this latest Kafka erection. (discuss)

Okay I Am Linking to This in the Humour Spot Mostly Because of How Poorly It's Written
Apparently Angelou seemed to be reading, seemingly from book she wrote that appears to be about about rainbows and shoeless toes. (PS when I used to take the train to New York, I always had to suppress a giggle at the State's city names... the conductor would announce "PooooKEEPSY!" and "SkaaaaNECTODY!" and "RaawCHESTER!") (discuss)



Attack of the Bug-Eyed Hermit Man from Chagrin Falls!
Desperately seeking Bill Watterson. (discuss)

Do We Even Need the Apostrophe?
More on the whole punctuation controversy stirred up by Lynne Truss. (discuss)

Just Add Water and You Have a Novel!
Oh, yes, also required are: talent, connections, a well-placed sexual favour, a year of waiting anxiously, self doubt, denial, alcoholism, a dash of time in a mental institution, estranged loved ones, a mysterious fire in the basement, and two personalities! (discuss)

Copyright laws are killing the creativity they purport to protect. (discuss)

But is His Book a Carpenter's Dream?
That is to say, flat as a board and without knots (that one got away from me). (discuss)

Won't Somebody Think of the Children!
The paintings of DH Lawrence get a show... 70 years later. (discuss)

Ah, a Nude French Poet!
The article is about a filmmaker, but she cast a poet in the lead role. (Have you ever noticed that every profile of a woman artist - esp those written by men - always mention how the woman is attired?) (discuss)

Dale Peck on the Stepford Novel
And don't even get him started on Joyce. (discuss)

The Dale Peck Roundup!
For your ranting ease, Collected Miscellany has collected articles about Hatchet Man. (discuss)

Craft or Community? State Your Allegiances! 
As a minority (redhead), I realize that I have a duty to further the cause of my people everywhere. But I also know that we are each and every one possessed by Satan and should be slaughtered for pancreatic juices that bring mega bucks as aphrodisiacs sold on the Asian black market - and that makes good writing! What should I do? (Seriously, Monica Ali gets told she should play nice in her own backyard.) (discuss)

What the Hey-Honka-What?
If you can even understand what this legal battle between Barbara Taylor Bradford and some Indian TV network is about, please... keep it to yourself. (discuss)



At 13 Pages, Who the Hell Didn't Get On?
Well... us. The NYT releases its 2003 notable books list.** (discuss)

The Ninjas Keep on Killing
Part-time Ninja Jonathan Bennett gets killer review in Toronto Star. (discuss)

How Can You Turn Your B-Grade Novel into an A-Grade?
Film it. (discuss)

When Award Winners Attack!
Standing up for something comes back into style. (discuss)

Donation - the Word Libraries Love the Most
Who knew a guy known as Scarface could be so damn nice? (discuss)

Eat Me First, Cthulu!
Jack Chick meets H.P. Lovecraft (LOL Boingboing).* (discuss)

Stalking Wordsworth
Well, that's what they'd call it if he were alive. (discuss)

"There is an urgent need to bring about a revolution in the overall aims and methods of academic inquiry, its whole character and structure, so that it takes up its proper task of promoting wisdom rather than just acquiring knowledge."
The author didn't have to go past this point.  He had me at Hello... (discuss)

"If thou do ill; the joy fades, not the pains: / If well; the pain doth fade, the joy remains."
Wendy Cope on George Herbert. (discuss)

Don't They Understand Rumsfeld Is a Poet?
The Golden Bull awards. (discuss)




Surprise Guest Makes Appearance at Nobel Awards Ceremony: the Winner!
Coetzee puts in the time for the big cheque. Read his address. And furthermore: I tell ya, these kids today...oi! (discuss)

More Woes for the $100M Kids
What a headache for a magazine that's supposed to be about art. (discuss)

And Whoever Cast Affleck in the Role was ALSO a Dick...
How did a hack scifi writer become an inspirational font (LOL* ALDaily) for some of the best films? (Seriously, does anyone else think Ben Affleck is the Kurt Russell of this century? I mean, if you ignore the fact that Russell never really gained any weight.) (discuss)

Nerd Alert!
Together at last: priceless comic books and computers! Bhoy! Glavin! (discuss)

Cornell Woolrich'd be 100
If he'd lived til last Thursday. The right bastard noir writer responsible for many a Hitchcock is celebrated in Time. (discuss)

What Do Clive Cussler, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Tom Clancy Have in Common?
They all volunteered what books they'll be giving as gifts this joyous holiday season to some Texas newspaper. (discuss)

The Whine Wrack
It never fails to surprise me, as I toodle about this glorious contraption known as the WWWeb, how ridiculous some headlines can be. Here's an example that, while not ridiculous on the surface, just struck me as unbearable: "Poet focuses on that link between past and present"... wow. Really? (discuss)



Bookninja is on hiatus until the weekend. I'm doing some recog in Montreal for my other (read: paying) gig as an editor for Maisonneuve Magazine -- if you get a chance you should definitely check it out. It's what The Walrus promised to be but has so far failed to achieve (i.e., it's not somnolent and poorly designed). So go outside, get some sun on your pasty arms. And read a book for Pete's sake.

Unfortunately for Canada, 1968 Hasn't Come Yet
But for the French.. Ooh la la! (discuss)

More Coetzee News
Well, if he's good enough for Lynn Coady, then I'll grudgingly concede that he might possess some merit after all. (discuss)

Ah, the Old "I'm Now a Crappy Author Please Don't Toss My Lying Ass in Jail" Defence
Well, it worked for DBC Pierre... (discuss)

Hand Over the Goods, You Filthy Animals
Author asks break-in thieves to cough up her novel in progress from the laptop they stole - AND the tape of her little girl's fourth birthday party. (Back that work up, people...) (discuss)

The End of Beauty
Looking at Jorie Graham's look at Modernism. (discuss)

A Kind of Primer on Comics
For those of you who have not yet succumb to the geekly air lately hereabouts. (discuss)

Gwendolyn Brooks Timeline
I went to her memorial service in New York a couple weeks after I arrived. You wouldn't have believed the number and variety of people there. If you dislike Angelou on grounds of merit, you should check out Brooks. (discuss)

Seldovia's Revenge?
New in OKD news. (discuss)

Kiddy Authors
News to make you smile. (discuss)


Well, I'm back and I have good news, and a real headache.  Besides the drinking that goes on there, did you know that even the stop signs smoke in Quebec? I swear to god I saw a four month old baby with a menthol pacifier. My clothes smell like an ashtray. I would burn them, but I'm afraid to end up addicted to nicotine. I stayed out with the other editors until 4 am. Do you know what that does to a man of my advanced age? Neither do I, but it hurts. The last time I stayed out until 4 am, I was 24 and I fell on my back in a pothole (and I do mean POT-hole) and couldn't turn over. My friends, poets and novelists every one, pointed and laughed.  

You Mean I Could Have Been Driving a Utopian Turtletop?
When poets and car companies meet. (discuss)

So Many Books Lost, Such Little Time
The New York Observer reviews A Splendor of Letters. (discuss)

It Would Be Touching If It Wasn't So Petulant
The transcript of Stephen King's NBA speech. (LOL* Golden Rule Jones) (discuss)

I Miss Napster
The sounds** of writers. (discuss)

Is Nick Hornby the Writer's Writer?
The Brits seem to think so. (discuss)

Non-White Like Me
Diran Adebayo on "black writing." (discuss)

Atwood - the Opera!
Enough said. (discuss)

Gen Wha?
The debate over who speaks for Gen Y continues in the letters section of MobyLives. (discuss)

"Shame on you, KATE WINSLET for not introducing me to BOOKNINJA.COM sooner."
Every site is better as a screenplay. (LOL* Cup of Chica) (discuss)


Robert Fulford Calls Maisonneuve da Shiznit!
Or something to that effect. He calls the very classy limited gift box set that we're doing - four issues, a subscription for six more, a CD, and a bunch of Maisy gear - something "people will talk about for years and perhaps judge, decades from now, as a sign of literary vitality in 2003," which may be a bit excessive. I would have just settled for "a good deal, considering," but we'll take it. (discuss

Marchand Digs Solway
Which is a shame, because I've been liking Marchand lately and it's beneath him to be taken in by a ridiculous circus clown... (discuss)

Death wears a turtleneck and beret, and it's looking for YOU! (discuss)

Tolkien Bests Austen with Devastating Suplex...
Winning mud-soaked battle royale. Austen loses contest, top: sources. (discuss)

More Best of 2003 Lists! Oh... Goodie!
SFGate, Seattle Times, Guardian. (discuss)

"In our part of the world, the lines between fantasy, invention, documentation and confession are not necessarily as sharp, as they are in other places."
Three Israeli writers profiled in NYT.** (discuss)

Yevgeny Profiled, but Not by the KGB - the Times, They Are a Changin...
A birthday present from the NYT.** (discuss)

RIP: Fadwa Toukan
Renowned Palestinian poet dead at 86. (discuss)

When Pulp Mysteries in the Hands of Grad Students Aren't Nerdy Enough...
The Internet to the rescue! (discuss)

A "brilliant literary analysis and humanistic wisdom, filtered through a biologically sympathetic sensibility"
All in a day's read at Evolutionary Psychology. (LOL* ALDaily) (discuss)

Then Who Did It? Who who?
Ah, the old "an owl ripped my friend's wife to shreds" defence. (discuss)


Come ON! She Can't Even Spell PhD!
Madonna is the McDonald's of personality. Just like McD's can't leave a single burrito, curry, or drip of goulash unsullied, but must instead exploit and McSanitize each  "ethnic novelty" in order to cattle-prod some life back into its bored, drooling herd of "customers,"  Madonna can't keep her bony hands off a single stereotype of personality. Psychologists might call this "overcompensation" for not having one herself. Addendum: after all my railing, it turns out that this is a humour piece written by a friend of Maud Newton's. But it looks SO REAL, and couldn't you just see it happening? (discuss)

Book Parties Suffer from Funereal Disease
And apparently Sandra Bernhardt (LOL* Maud Newton) suffers from Ican'twriteworthcrap disease. (discuss)

Did Peter Jackson Get LOTR Wrong?
The Scotsman on Tolkien's classic. (discuss)

Bestseller, With Occasional Brilliance
I seem to be the only person in the world who thinks Jonathan Lethem's earlier work is more interesting than the "literary" stuff that's made him famous. (discuss)

"Poetry shakes up our thoughts, calls upon a part of the human character that is at home in the corporate world, and allows us to look at old problems in new ways."
This guy might not be "The Man," but he's The Man's Right Hand Man (thanks to KI Press for the link). P.S. Saab's are Europe's Datsuns. (discuss)

New Yorker Fiction Issue
There's work by Saunders, Sedaris, and Erdrich here, among others. I daresay you might pick it up. (discuss)

Harold Bloom's Going On About the Classics Again
Apparently there's been no good writing since Shakespeare and Cervantes. Would that include your own writing, dahling? (discuss)

The Punctuation Backlash Begins
The Guardian goes after Eats, Shoots and Leaves. (discuss)

The Future is Canuck Cowboys!
Heinlein thought the future should be patterned on Alberta. Luckily, that's a  future of the past. Yeehaw. (discuss)

Ding! Ding! Ding! And They're OFF!
"Okay, Pollack 'fans,'" said God, "here you go." (discuss)


"Though it may be stunt writing, it's never stunted."
My point exactly. Christian
Bök is getting the attention of New York. And as I've discussed with my good pal Degen, it's for the better book - Crystallography. (discuss)

"No one in the world suspects that at a moment's notice I can become mighty Green Lantern - with my amazing power ring and invincible green beam! Golly, what a feeling it is!"
Ah, the Silver Age of Comics. (discuss)

McDonald's Hired a PR Firm to Find the Plural of Egg McMuffin
When anyone who's eaten more than one (LOL* Aldaily) at a time can tell them it's "blaaapphff!" (discuss)

But Something Tells Me This Isn't Going to Be Appearing in Crapters Any Day Soon...
Maltese bank funds book of poetry. Satan comments on winter weather and dons extra scarf. (discuss)

Merde ! Le Gros Enfant Mourra de Faim!
The Flemish government is cutting subsidies to writers. (discuss)

CGI Orcs Duck and Run!
Okay, it's not really bookish, but it's still a fun piece. (LOL* Boingboing) (discuss)

"Fan fiction is one of the greatest and most wildly entertaining forms of copyright infringement this side of Kazaa"
I can see how this would be fun, especially with some friends gathered round. Hell, I used to do something similar with a slush pile. But I think this dude was alone. There's a fine line between investigative journalism and a slow decay into madness. (discuss)

Shameless Self Promotion
Regular ninja reader? Discussion board poster or lurker? Got a reading or appearance you'd like to promote? Tell us. (Here)


What I Want is a Book from that Crazy Press Secretary Dude Who Kept Claiming Iraq Would Water the Desert with the Blood of the Infidels
In my darkest fantasies (LOL* MobyLives) it would be called "Nothing Fell Today but the Blood of Yankee Demons." (discuss)

And And And that Truck that Turns into a Robot And And And that Guy with the Gun Bigger than His Arm And And And that "Al K. Ida / G. Hadd" Chemistry Set that Includes Plutonium And And And...
Kevin Chong interviews Santa Claus! (Oh yes, and the fiction editor of the New Yorker, who was once Canadian or something.) Santa Claus! (discuss)

Yippy Tyee
B.C.'s new electronic newspaper. (discuss)

The Brain Alphabet
I don't really know what to say about this, but I'm sure the poets will have something to contribute. (LOL* Boingboing) (discuss)

What the Dickens!?
"Charles Dickens was the first rock star." (discuss)

Now That's a Curve Ball
Jock is poet, serial killer novelist. (discuss)

“Yeah, I was a headless fisherman who had bamboo stakes driven up my ass to make a little extra cash, after which I was beaten to death three times a day in Kosovo, just before I played bass in a band of flesh-eating ghouls who impaled me on red-hot pokers just outside of Abilene, where I dated an extremely ugly rodeo clown, until she started shooting up greasepaint. Yeah, those were some hairy days, man.”
George Saunders interviewed (LOL* MaudNewton) in an online New Yorker exclusive. (discuss)

When Old People Try to Write Pop Culture References...
I want to turn away from his shame, but I can't. This could have been a funny piece. Who am I kidding. No it couldn't. (discuss)


Hey you. We've been dating for, what, four months now? Well, obviously it's getting close to this month's Christian co-opted pagan holy day, and that means we're going to have to take a break so Pete and I can go home and get drunk and argue with our families. We'll post Hearsay this weekend and into the beginning of next week before we let the dead air and static snow take over for a few days. After that, we'll post intermittently until after the new year, as breaks from motherly guilt and subtle run-downs from Dad are required. So keep checking back to see what fresh hell we are in! If I don't meet anyone else over the holidays maybe we can hook back up in January. (Why is it I feel as though I'm in a never-ending John Hughes film when I go home? Shouldn't I have kissed my letter to Mr. Vernon by now?) Even if I do... Please: don't you forget about me. I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby.

Poetry in Canada a "Strange Situation"
So says George Bowering, who also brings us the Canadian Poem of the Week page. (discuss)

We've Been Singing the Praises of Maisonneuve a Lot Here at Bookninja, But Let's Not Forget Geist Magazine
Where else can you find articles on epigraphology or letters about "underducking"?  (discuss)

Mysterious Book May Be Hoax!
Well, really, aren't all books hoaxes? (LOL*LISNews) (discuss)

Struggling with a Title for Your Next Book?
You are not alone. I am too. (discuss)

Poetry and the Critics
Given the discussions of poetry and criticism that have been taking place on our boards, this one seems appropriate. (discuss)

"Apertures and Orifices in Chaucer."
The Chronicle's First Annual Awards for Self-Consciously Provocative MLA Paper Titles (LOL * Invisible Adjunct) (discuss)

Regina Library Task Force Formed
Apparently, five people is a task force in Regina, but still, there's hope for saving the library. (discuss)

An academic speaks on deaf language artists. (discuss)

U.S. Poetry Store May Be Forced to Close
There's a poetry store in the U.S.? Wait, there's two poetry stores in the U.S.? (LOL*LISNews) (discuss)

Chip Kidd Can't Save You
Identity Theory interviews the book designer. Again. (discuss)

Alan Moore Is Quitting Comics to Become a Magician
Like he isn't one already. (discuss)

The Road of Romance
The Brits pave roads with old Mills and Boons novels. (discuss)


Buyer Beware
Apparently books aren't free of the rampant fraud on Ebay. Won't somebody think of the children? (discuss)

Suckers Wanted
The advertising people at the major houses want your hard earned money, but they're willing to give a little. (discuss)

Caught ya Knocking at My Cellar Door...
Love ya baby can I have some more. (See, my favourite combination is "kneel young.") (discuss)

A charming remembrance of learning poetry from Lowell (LOL* Bookslut) (discuss

Selling Yourself Short
20,000 words. The short book. Welcome to the ADD world, where all -- ooh look! A butterfly! (discuss)

The Ones that Got Away
I swear, these books were THIS BIG! (discuss)

More Sylvia and Ted
A review of a book**that rejects some of the usual victim/victimizer dreck. (discuss)

One Would Think He'd Never Want to See Another Book So Long as He Lived 
Globe Books editor Martin Levin wants a few books for "Christmas..." (discuss)



Back on Monday with the regular Hearsay. Missed you all over the holidays. Family gave strange presents and ate uneatable food. The power of holiday spirit. I'm so glad we get together to celebrate the birth of Santa like this. Important news below.

RIP: John Newlove
Canadian giant laid low just before Christmas. (discuss)



Extra! Well, here it is, the end of another month and The Walrus is AWOL, AGAIN. Are they late? Are they on a break? What is their schedule? No one seems to know. It's not in the magazine (at least not easily found) and it's not on the ridiculously out-of-date and error-ridden website (eg, on their contact page: "ADVERTISERS: Plese read Information for advertisers." Typo and broken link... That's gotta inspire confidence.) The first issue somehow made it to stands before those hoodwinked into subscribing by a massive media blitz even saw it, the second issue was weeks late with the excuse, "Hey, it's still November and we only said 10 issues a year." So, apparently, those other two months are to be doled out in two and three week chunks as needed to cover for inept editing and poor management. We'll see what happens come April when they've used this "flex time" up and the excuses and finger pointing start to get really amusing. It's bad enough the magazine looks like a bad text book and that the articles are so boring they seem to actually reach into you and squeeze your adrenal glands shut, but on top of poor design and editing, the damn thing is late three times in a row. I could excuse a few screw-ups from a magazine that was working its way up from a grassroots following to a monthly publication, but these guys have sold the Canadian public (and some big American writers) on their cash, reliability, and editorial "vision." Did that vision include bored readers and late issues? Probably not. As of 10:30 this morning, no one was answering the phone there. 10:30 on a Monday when there are millions of dollars in the pot! This magazine is supposed to be Canada's answer to American juggernauts like Harper's and The New Yorker, but despite it's $5 million kitty, it actually is more closely related to another American institution: Mickey Mouse. Ask yourself a serious question: why has no one written about this in the mainstream media? $2.50 a word, that's why. So much for the integrity of journalism. (discuss)

Is the Apocalypse Upon Us?
Good Reports presents a panel review of 2003 with special emphasis on literary blogging. (discuss)

Hooch and the Muse
A link between writers and booze? Groundbreaking!  (discuss)

Some Ivanhoes Choose Their Daddios
What's the freaking point** being made here again? (discuss)

I Could Use Some Help With My Next Pic...
The one Pete took of me for my second book gave me my favourite book-signing quote: "You look so much younger in person than on your book." (discuss)

RIP: Juan Garcia Ponce
Mexican novelist dead at 71. (discuss)

"He was at war with conventional ways of seeing, with the entire baggage and build-up of civilization that blocked the eye and thwarted the nerve"
That pretty much sums up Ted Hughes. (discuss)

Only in America
A teenager and his recluse family strike it big with a fantasy bestseller. I want to be bitter and cynical about this, but ah hell, good for them. (discuss)

The Courts Really Need to Decide on This Balrog Issue
A law student considers The Lord of the Rings. (LOL* Boingboing) (discuss)

Does the Canada Council Really Help Writers?
An interview with the Canada Council (Note: It's from 2002, but it's still interesting.) (discuss)

Badges? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges
Yet another Brit turns down an award. (discuss)

The forgotten art of bookbinding lives on. (LOL* Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind) (discuss)

The Big Page of Awards
A long essay (LOL* Bookslut) on book awards, including some insight into speculative awards (Hugo, Nebula, Stoker). Also of interest: "An American Feast: Giving Thanks for Hillbilly Killers." (discuss)

Two-timing Tartar Twisters!
What's your favourite Captain Haddock curse? (LOL* Kitabkhana) (discuss)


Marchand's Been Into the Tea Leaves
Star's book critic looks at what 2003 means. (discuss)

The Writers are Falling in Line... Now if They Could Just Get It Out on Time and Hire Good Editors
Writers from all over are drawn to The Walrus by it's track record of success and cutting edge editorial vision over two stunning issues. (Dear Sirs, I have no idea who you are, but I want a job writing for $2.50/word.) (discuss)

Death of the Critic
Die! Die! Die! You freakish theory-headed hydra. (discuss)

"Black People's CNN"
Useful Hip-Hop primer for those interested in this growing field... (I just can't believe they don't mention UTFO!) (discuss)

Tokyo Statue
Immortalizes Haiku
Poet from Edo

Basho statue profiled in what is apparently a very slow news week in Japan. (discuss)

First Books on Grammar and Dictionaries, Now a Book on the Alphabet
Can things get any better? (discuss)

The Year in Awards
Also from the Star. (discuss)

Enter the World of Graham Roumieu
Canadian artist with occasional book-related pics. Funny stuff.
(LOL*Boingboing) (discuss)

Haw Haw
Funny bit on those ULA losers (LOL* MaudNewton). (discuss)



Upper Canada Writers' Craft Award Cancelled?
Every year our shadowy spies collect at a secret location outside Geneva to exchange gossip and watch Kurosawa films. This year an interesting bit of information surfaced that we can't confirm. It seems the Upper Canada Brewing Company has cancelled it's popular and successful Writers' Craft award for short fiction. The website still lists the award and there is no press release documenting this potentially disastrous decision. More info to follow as we have it. I'll take a drive over tomorrow and pound on the door. (discuss)

Puffies Announced
Ninja colleague and literary philanthropist Alex Good releases his annual, and hysterical, Puffie Award list. (discuss)

It's Just Gotta Be Harder for Fantasy Novelists to Turn Down Knighthoods...
Philip Pullman, CBE. (discuss)

Good Thing They Weren't the Books from that Box in the Back of His Closet at His Parents' House....
Man trapped under mountain of books rescued. (discuss)

France Lifts Ban on Book Advertising on TV... Yes, They Had Banned Book Advertising on TV... Yes, Someone Wants to Advertise a Book on TV... Yes, I'm Moving Too...
Canada has a similar law, but it's recently been declared redundant in the face of publisher poverty and reader apathy... (LOL* Bookslut) (discuss)

We Are English. Resistance Is Futile
Exactly how many new words are added to English each year? And are they really new? (LOL* Languagehat)  (discuss)

Newsflash! Kids' Books Apparently Fun
At least for the first line. (discuss)

The French Have a Word for Everything
Like Franglais. (discuss)

A Better Newlove Obit
Finally something more than a death announcement. And something that mentioned the drinking... (discuss)

Book Carrying Monsters!
Apparently the FBI is warning that terrorists often carry almanacs and maps. Maybe "terrorists" is a typo of "tourists." (discuss)


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