The Book Ferret: Podcast on Caribbean Folkore

The Book Ferret

I was rather lax in my review-writing this morning and I’ve got a lot of reading scheduled for today, so I thought I’d just do a quick post to share something nice with you. Last night I listened to a wonderful podcast of Karen Lord and Nalo Hopkinson chatting about Caribbean folklore with Karen Burnham at the World Fantasy Convention in 2011.

Aside from one or two short stories, I have no knowledge of Caribbean folklore, so I loved listening to these two authors swap tales and compare regional differences (Lord is from Barbados and Hopkinson is from Jamaica). So many of the stories were fantastically creepy – does anyone know of any good horror anthologies based on folklore? The authors also talk about how these tales are influenced by cultural and social concerns – sugar production and slavery, protecting your children, alcoholism, etc. giving a great sense of how folklore is developed and used. So informative and entertaining 🙂

The Book Ferret is a Violin in a Void feature that showcases interesting book-related finds – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc.; anything the bookish would enjoy hearing about.

The Book Ferret: Moxyland goes Zoo City

Angry Robot, the UK publisher of Lauren Beukes’s novels, is releasing an awesome new cover for Moxyland, to match the incredible cover for Zoo City. Check it out:

Both covers were created by award-winning designer Joey Hi-Fi. According to Angry Robot, the new cover will be out in early March 2012.  I really love the old Moxyland cover from the first edition published by SA company Jacana Media, but this new one is just as cool, not to mention infinitely better than Angry Robot’s lame first cover for the novel. I’m easily seduced by great covers and matching editions, so I’ll be hitting the order button as soon as this is available.

 

The Book Ferret is a Violin in a Void feature that showcases interesting book-related finds – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc.; anything bookworms would enjoy hearing about.

If you’d like to do your own Book Ferret post, grab the picture, link it back here, and let me know about it in the comments. I’ll be sure to mention your post in my next Book Ferret.

The Book Ferret: Nude Reading is Sexy

I found this through the Daily Radness of the very lovely Biblio Babes, and couldn’t resist using it for a Book Ferret post.

Nude Reading is Sexy

So yeah, it’s basically a website with pictures of people reading naked and anyone can submit one. And apparently there’s something called Naked Reading Sunday too. How awesome is that? The pictures have varying degrees of nudity, from none at all to full frontals, so if you’re sensitive, you’ve been warned. I really like how relaxed the pictures are – all body types, messy rooms in the background, people just being themselves. Lots of sexy reading glasses too, and bold, sexy geekiness throughout. It really is rather alluring.

My absolute favourite is this one of a cute guy reading in the bath with an equally cute cat chilling on his shoulder (on page 7, at the time):

And now I’m really tempted to submit one of my own.

The Book Ferret is a Violin in a Void feature that will showcase interesting book-related finds – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc.; anything bookworms would enjoy hearing about.

If you’d like to do your own Book Ferret post, grab the picture, link it back here, and let me know about it in the comments. I’ll be sure to mention your post in my next Book Ferret.

The Book Ferret: Genre in the Mainstream at Tor.com

Tor.com has lots of great features, and here’s one I particularly like – Genre in the Mainstream:

“Genre in the Mainstream” is a regular blog series which highlights authors and novels who employ genre elements in stories that are generally considered mainstream literary fiction. We’re not claiming these writers for the science fiction and fantasy camps, but rather asserting that if you like genre fiction, you’ll probably like these mainstream literary writers, as well.

I like weird fiction and I find that when a novel intertwines elements of science fiction, fantasy and/or horror into what might otherwise be considered ‘normal’ fiction, the result doesn’t fit easily into any category and turns out to be a lot weirder than anything you’d typically find in science fiction, fantasy or horror. I think it’s the way the unfamiliar, the unknown or the downright bizarre co-exists with the usual that makes it so unsettling and enjoyable. Have you seen the movie Donnie Darko? That’s an example of the kind of experience I’m talking about.

The novels that deliver it aren’t particularly easy to find, but here writer Ryan Britt is producing a fantastic reading list in an excellent series of reviews. Included in the books he’s covered so far are Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love (one of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read), Blindness by Jose Saramago, and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. Check it out 🙂

 

The Book Ferret is a Violin in a Void feature that will showcase interesting book-related finds – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc.; anything bookworms would enjoy hearing about.

If you’d like to do your own Book Ferret post, grab the picture, link it back here, and let me know about it in the comments. I’ll be sure to mention your post in my next Book Ferret.

The Book Ferret: The Science Fiction Gateway

In September, Gollancz publishers will launch the SF Gateway, the world largest digital science fiction and fantasy library, making thousands of out-of-print titles by classic genre authors available for sale as eBooks.

From Gollancz’s press release for the SF Gateway:

Building on the remarkable success of Gollancz’s Masterworks series, the SF Gateway will launch this Autumn with more than a thousand titles by close to a hundred authors. It will build to 3,000 titles by the end of 2012, and 5,000 or more by 2014. Gollancz’s Digital Publisher Darren Nash, who joined the company in September 2010 to spearhead the project said, “The Masterworks series has been extraordinarily successful in republishing one or two key titles by a wide range of authors, but most of those authors had long careers in which they wrote dozens of novels which had fallen out of print. It seemed to us that eBooks would offer the ideal way to make them available again. This realization was the starting point for the SF Gateway.” Wherever possible, the SF Gateway will offer the complete backlist of the authors included.

The SF Gateway will be closely integrated with the recently announced new online edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which provides an independent and definitive reference source of information on the authors and books included. Direct links between the Encyclopedia and the Gateway will provide easy access to eBook editions, for sale through all major online retailers.

The Gateway site will also act as a major community hub and social network for SF readers across the world, allowing them to interact with each other and recommend titles and authors. The site is planned to include forums, blogs, regular promotions, and is envisaged to become the natural home on the net for anyone with an interest in classic SFF.

Authors featured in the launch include such names as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Alice B. Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr), Robert Silverberg, Kate Wilhelm and Connie Willis.

If you’re as excited about this as I am, you can follow the SF Gateway on Twitter @SFGateway and go to their website, which doesn’t have much content at the moment, but does allow you to sign up for their newsletter, which means you’ll be notified when the library is launched (64 days to go, from today!). The full press release can be downloaded on the website and includes a list of SF Gateway authors as at 20 July 2011.

A little more information was provided in some of their tweets:

Pricing? TBA closer to launch so that we can be sure we’re in line with prevailing market trend, but competitive & value for money.

Formats? The usual. SF Gateway eBooks will be available through all the usual retail channels. Whatever you’re reading on now will be fine.

On whether or not eBooks will be limited to some countries or regions: Some will. It depends on the rights we’ve been able to acquire.

On DRM: They’ll be sold through the usual retail channels, so same as the majority of commercial eBooks.

 

The Book Ferret is a Violin in a Void feature that will showcase interesting book-related finds – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc.; anything bookworms would enjoy hearing about.

If you’d like to do your own Book Ferret post, grab the, link it back here, and let me know about it in the comments. I’ll be sure to mention your post in my next Book Ferret.

Return of The Book Ferret

It’s about time I brought The Book Ferret feature back. I put it on hold because I was moving to Ethiopia and was struggling to find the time for blogging, but now I’m well settled and I keep stumbling across things that would be perfect for Book Ferret posts. So I’m bringing it back 🙂

With a few changes. Instead of posting every Thursday, I’ll be posting whenever I find something interesting, which means I don’t have to wait if I find loads of cool stuff, nor do I have to come up with something random and just because it’s Thursday and I haven’t found anything really great to write a post about.

The second change, is that I’m no longer going to run The Book Ferret as a meme. It wasn’t really working out as one, with only a few people taking part. I’d like to thank those who did though, especially Lu and Niecole who had a post for every week of the feature.

Anyone is still welcome to do a Book Ferret post of they wish though. It’s basically a way of sharing anything book-related that you’ve found – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc. – anything you think bookworms will enjoy hearing about. Since it’s not a meme, there’s no schedule, you can just post whenever you find something bookish and want to tell others about it. If you do so, you may use the picture here, but please link it back to Violin in a Void. Leave a comment on this post or the latest one and I will be sure to mention you in my next Book Ferret.

The Book Ferret: Tereza, Karenin, Nietzsche and a horse

Unfortunately I’ve been too busy this week to research anything for this post, so instead I’ll just share one of my favourite extracts from one of my favourite books, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. It’s a piece of writing that sparks an emotional reaction whenever I read it. I love its tragic, beautiful depiction of the relationship between animals and human beings, and the fond way Kundera muses over his own character and the philosopher who has inspired him. It also permanently endeared Nietzsche to me, and left me with bottomless contempt for Descartes whose philosophy argues that animals are mere machines who do not feel pain or suffer.

Tereza keeps appearing before my eyes. I see her sitting on the stump, petting Karenin’s head and ruminating on mankind’s débâcles. Another image also comes to mind: Nietzsche leaving his hotel in Turin. Seeing a horse and a coachman beating it with a whip, Nietzsche went up to the horse and, before the coachman’s very eyes, put his arms around the horse’s neck and burst into tears.

That took place in 1889, when Nietzsche, too, had removed himself from the world of people. In other words, it was at the time when his mental illness had just erupted. But for that very reason I feel his gesture has broad implications: Nietzsche was trying to apologise to the horse for Descartes. His lunacy (that is, his final break with mankind) began at the very moment he burst into tears over the horse. And that is the Nietzsche I love, just as I love Tereza with the mortally ill dog resting his head in her lap. I see them one next to the other: both stepping down from the road along which mankind, ‘the master and proprietor of nature’, marches onward.

The Book Ferret is a weekly feature on Violin in a Void that will showcase a cool or interesting book-related find every Thursday. Notable new releases, great bookshops, events, cover art, websites, gadgets and accessories – anything to make bookworms happy.

If you want to join in, grab the Ferret pic, link it and your post back here, and add your name and url to the comments.