The e-quivalent of a clip show
Link one: Gregory Maguire has released a free novel.
The idea behind The Next Queen of Heaven and its publisher, Concord Free Press, is to release books for free and encourage those who receive them to give a charitable donation “to a local charity, someone who needs it or a stranger on the street.”
That’s a nice notion. By giving the reader something for free, it encourages them to be charitable, as well.
Unfortunately, I predict this backfiring. Only 2,500 copies of Queen have been published. Maguire’s too popular an author for these not to end up on eBay with exorbitant price tags (especially with Christmas coming.)
That doesn’t make Maguire of Concord Free Press’s gesture any less thoughtful. It just means some people can’t understand the spirit of charity.
Link two: Authors from China are joining the “Google must be stopped” club.
Authors from China are saying Google scanned their books without permission. Google is saying the small portions of text that can be read online amount to fair use.
This begs the question how does “fair use,” a phrase from national law, apply to international activity. The story from the New York Times does not answer that question. It only says that some authors have their rights protected by international treaties.
Link three: Omnivoracious, Amazon’s book blog, has released its Top 100 list for the year.
Final link: Gore Vidal weighs in on Roman Polanski.
Q: So what’s your take on Polanski, this many years later?
Polanski’s answer: I really don’t give a (expletive deleted, but can be guessed easily). Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?
Gore Vidal then attributes Polanski’s trouble to anti-Semitism. Of course, the problem is that Polanski’s Jewish — not that he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. (Polanski said it was consensual. The victim did not. Whether or not it was is legally immaterial, if I understand correctly, because the age of consent in California is 16.)
Where’s Norman Mailer when you need him?
Jason Lea, JLea@News-Herald.com
P.S. Due to my self-imposed moratorium, I refuse to link to any stories about the announced prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Apparently, it is a prequel using Jane Austen’s characters but none of her writing, which is a shame, because the best parts of the original Zombies all came from the source material.