mark a rayner: The 14 people you need to help you decide if you should publish or not

There are three things that I love about this: they are tremendous and witty words of wisdom from Mark Twain. it is narrated by John Lithgow, who’s voice alone makes me laugh. the sleeping man scares me, and reminds me to be entertaining, as he should. In Twain’s own words: “But the man whom I ...

Scripturient: Where Have all the Readers Gone?

No, it’s not a remake of Pete Seeger’s famous 1955 anti-war song. That’s the title of an article that appeared in the Globe and Mail this week, by Peter Denton, lamenting our overall slide into image-based information with the “…intellectual attention span of squirrels…” * It grabbed my attention from the headline, but I stand ...

centre of the universe: Money for Nothing

Copyright is, at its simplest form, the method by which creators are paid for their work. It is a registration of an intellectual property (IP). It says “the creator has the right to charge, or not to charge, money for you to use this”. It’s not a form of censorship (and no court would rightfully ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Too Many Books?

Tim Parks* wrote an intriguing essay in the New York Review of Books last week with that title. My first thought on seeing it was to wonder if one can ever have too many books. But of course, Parks – an author himself  – is looking at the bigger picture, not the ever-growing collection that ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Strange World of E-Writers

There’s always been a place for amateur or new writers to present their efforts and hope to see print: publications where you could submit your work and hope the editors found it good enough to print in an upcoming issue. That’s how some famous writers got their start, in the pulp magazines of the 1930s and ...

centre of the universe: Cherie from the vanity press called today

I received correspondence today from the vanity press that keeps contacting me. You remember this from such escapades as Nathan’s going to publish my manifesto and Suggestions for Nathan regarding my manifesto and A Mouthful of Marbles and Nathan’s gone missing. A woman called “Cherie [REDACTED] a Publishing Consultant from [REDACTED]” contacted me today. Below is my ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: J. K. Rowling — NOT the author of The Fridgularity

I’m not sure how these rumors get started, but just to be clear: the famous, best-selling author J. K. Rowling (best known for her Harry Potter books) is not the author of The Amadeus Net, Marvellous Hairy, or The Fridgularity. … Continue reading →

Art Threat: Butch Dykes: A Herstory told in zines

At the recent Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, where another (better) world of incredibly inspiring, provocative and boundary-pushing art and media is on display each year, I stumbled upon Eloisa Aquino and her wares – a series of zines on awesome butch dykes, appropriately called The Life and Times of Butch Dykes. The teeny books are what ...

Art Threat: If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts

While I might be more likely to pick up a book entitled The Psychological Implications of Holiday-Motivated Materialism, I’m not so sure about a five-year-old. You can check out all eight tweaked titles at War On Idiocy, who have also posted this fine little cultural jamming gem. Via Kottke.

Art Threat: 1984 is blacked out in a graphic tribute to George Orwell

Penguin Books is releasing new editions of George Orwell’s best known books on January 21 to commemorate the inaugural “Orwell Day” — an annual event to celebrate the author and his influence on media and modern discourse. Designed by David Pearson, each book has a unique, typography-focused layout. It is the cover of 1984, however, ...

Pample the Moose: What’s wrong with this sentence?

The following sentence appears in a recently-published book about Canadian history: “After Ontario, Québec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick became provinces within the new Dominion of Canada in 1867, after the federal government purchased Rupert’s Land in 1869, and after British Columbia became a Canadian province in 1871, Canada became a coast-to-coast ...

Pample the Moose: What’s wrong with this sentence?

The following sentence appears in a recently-published book about Canadian history: “After Ontario, Québec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick became provinces within the new Dominion of Canada in 1867, after the federal government purchased Rupert’s Land in 1869, and after British Columbia became a Canadian province in 1871, Canada became a coast-to-coast ...