I don’t get to go to many literary events. There just aren’t that many in South Africa (or in most places, I imagine) and when you do happen to hear about one, chances are it’s not in your province or it’s not of much interest to you. And the likelihood of meeting international authors is slim. So naturally I got over-excited and went download crazy when I discovered FORA.tv, and their Books tag in particular.
On FORA.tv you can watch and download videos (or audio, if you want to conserve bandwidth) of authors giving talks about their works, discussions on books and writing, and lectures on philosophy, culture and politics. All the cool stuff your mind can’t otherwise enjoy because you can’t afford to fly your body all over the world. How did we ever live without the internet?
FORA.tv describes itself as “the leading online destination for intelligent video programs on the people, issues and ideas changing the world”. Check out Neal Stephenson and William Gibson on sci fi, Neil Gaiman on his collection Fragile Things, and authors like Ian McEwan, and Zadie Smith. Find out more about how storytelling is changing in the 21st century or how journalist A.J. Jacobs tried to follow all the rules in the Old Testament (hilarious!). Salman Rushdie has several FORA videos, and he became one of my favourite speakers after listening to him on FORA.tv. I also discovered how fun and funny Mary Roach can be –she’s the author of books like Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.
Since this is a book blog and I am an unapologetic book nerd, I’ve focused on FORA’s book content, but the website offers far more – videos on politics, technology, music, science, art, the environment, religion… just check out their tags.
FORA was free when I first heard about it, and while you can still watch their content for free, I’m afraid you now have to pay for the privilege of downloading it, in either video or audio. Membership is priced at $4.99 for a month and $49.99 for a year. Which is fair, considering the opportunities you get in return. FORA’s philosophy is “that there are brilliant ideas expressed everyday, everywhere, and [they] don’t want you to miss them”. I’m not going to say no to that.
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