Tag Archives: Terry Pratchett

Friday finds

RumoursClassic rock album covers reimagined by Eric White. In addition to Rumours, pictured above, White’s show (on view at Sloane Fine Art in New York) includes new takes on Houses of the Holy, Wish You Were Here, Who’s Next, Songs in the Key of Life and Hot Rats.

Be careful about those acronyms. It’s a concern both here and abroad. And it goes well beyond Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, too.

“My eyesight, as eyesight, is perfectly good. But how the brain deals with what my eyes can see can be pretty ropy. For instance, I might glance down and not see that cup on the floor. If you told me the cup was there, I would see it. However, the brain is filling up the space with something else. But because I come out with words properly used, like apprehension, you think there can’t be anything wrong with this guy.”

Do you remember where you were when the Death Star exploded?

Bats dropping in for a late-night drink. Remarkable photography.

Talk about having too much sex on the brain.

Why can’t American conservatives be as smart (or as relatively sane) as their European brethren?

“The big blowhard Michael Moore is a hugely successful left-wing carnival barker in a culture of right-wing carnival barkers, and for that he deserves Capitalismlovestoryour admiration. He has, it is true, been caught playing fast and loose with timelines — not a negligible crime. But he rarely stoops to the level on which his rivals permanently reside: He’s obnoxious but not corrupt. He doesn’t spew talking points. He’s out there, on the streets, corralling evidence to support his theses (or thesis — there’s really only one). And he is, point for point, difficult to refute. His new cinematic circus, Capitalism: A Love Story, is the film to which he has been building for the last two decades. It’s sprawling, scattershot, sniggery, and, in one instance, exploitative. It’s brazenly one-sided. But Moore calls questions that no one else in the mainstream corporate media goes near. His other films focused on symptoms. This one tackles what he sees as the disease.”

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Snobbery is its own punishment dept.

Here’s an amusing (in a sour kind of way) item on fantasy author Terry Pratchett and the “problem” his popularity caused at a recent Washington D.C. literary festival, noted in the winter issue of The Author and picked up by Ansible:

He ‘had a queue of fans stretching round the block; the poets weren’t so lucky. The organisers “were absolutely desperate for my signing queue to finish — ‘you mustn’t have it sticking out of the tent because it upsets the poets’,” Pratchett says. “We all made our decisions, they chose poetry, I can’t help it. There’s another 600 people in the queue, what do you think would happen if I put my pen down?”‘

Goodness gracious, those poor versifiying dears, dying a little inside every time they saw the line of readers waiting to get autographs from a mere fantasy writer. O the horror, the horror, of the poet’s life in a realm of crass commerce. Doesn’t your heart go out to them?

organ-grinder2No, actually, it doesn’t. When I write, I write, and when I hustle, I hustle, and if you aren’t at a literary festival to hustle your book, then exactly why are you there? If I were sharing festival space with a bigfoot like Terry Pratchett, you can bet I’d be out there with a sandwich board and a bell, or a barrel organ and a monkey on a chain, telling the people on line that Pratchett is great but man does not live by Discworld alone. Yeah, a lot of the people on line may have been fantasy nerds who wouldn’t dream of buying something without a dragon on the cover, but not all of them were. In a world dominated by non-readers, anybody who cares enough about reading to come out to a book fair is somebody worth getting to know. If you’re at a book festival where 600 people are lined up to see somebody else, then that just means you have 600 opportunities to make a connection with somebody who’s never heard of you. Unless you’re a snob about mingling with such people, in which case I have no sympathy for you at all. Snobbery is its own punishment.

When I was at the Collingswood book fest a few months ago, I had the good fortune to get a spot near the food court. Should I have stayed in my booth and pouted because people were lining up for chili dogs instead of The Last Three Miles? Hell no — I was chatting with people, telling them about Frank Hague and automobiles, and if they still weren’t interested then no hard feelings. I’d see them off with a little flyer that had a picture of the book and my Web address, against the possibility that some other time they might get a hankering to read themselves some history.

Part of it is that I’m an incurable ham, but in an age when the odds are heavily stacked against writers, there’s a lot to be said for making like the organ grinder in the picture and getting in touch with your inner huckster.

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