Friday, May 05, 2006

A pocketful of loose ends

Here it is, Friday already, and there were so many things I meant to blather about this week and never got around to. Ergo, to flush the holding tank:

Publication News
Ranting Room regular Guy Stewart has a short story, "The Baptism of Johnny Ferocious," in the latest issue of Dragons, Knights, and Angels magazine. Guy warns that his story "is highly Christian and evangelical in content," but what the hey, it's online and it's free, so if you're in the mood for some fresh reading, why not check it out?

New Pics from Titan
NASA, in conjunction with the European Space Agency and the University of Arizona, has released new photos from the Cassini mission, including a 5-minute Quicktime movie put together from the images collected by the Huygens lander during its descent. If you're in the mood to be awed and amazed, this is some awesome and amazing stuff.

The Book Scandal of the Month Club
First we had The Summer of Ordinary Ways, the controversial and apparently somewhat embellished autobiography of Nicole Lea Helget. Next, we got James Frey and his faux autobiography, A Million Little Pieces.

If you're keeping track of such things, the current scandal "rocking the literary world" is that of Kaavya Viswanathan's apparently plagiarized debut novel, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life. (More than 55,000 copies recalled by Little Brown!) While initially I had some sympathy for Ms Viswanathan, having once found myself unconsciously plagiarizing an old Arthur C. Clarke story badly and from memory, that sympathy has faded somewhat as the extent of the scandal has become apparent. A half-million dollar advance and a Dreamworks film deal for an unknown (but very photogenic) writer and an unwritten book? Something doesn't smell right here.

Anyway, if you're in the mood for schaudenfreude, Sara Nelson has a really good article in Publisher's Weekly on how and by whom the deal was actually put together, while Alyce Lomax has a good article in The Motley Fool that lays out the numbers.


Whoops. The Kid is awake and wants breakfast. More to say, but not enough time to say it. Catch you next week!