Last month I posted a link to an article by Elif Batuman lambasting writers workshops. Matt Cheney wrote an an excellent critique of that article which puts into perspective some of Elif's odd logic.

Hal Duncan has been writing some of the best literary criticism on the web, especially in terms of genre. Back in August he visited an alternate universe where combat fiction was shunted off into its own fiction of the bookstore, and titles in the genre like Catch-22 strove for respect while more mainstream fair like Samuel Delany's Dalgren became the international classics they deserved to be. Now he writes a corollary where he talks about the problems of talking about genre and mainstream awards and asks whether the people are really so hostile to genre, anyway?

Meanwhile, This Space examines the book whatever happened to Modernism and takes a close look at how the formerly radical principles of Modernism got honed into sheer convention.

On a related note, Jonathan Lethem talks about the history of the novel, and how the once undignified form rose to dominance as a symbol of class status.

Other Stuff

Alan Moore may get a film and spin-off TV series. No, really.

Argentine master Jorge Luis Borges' story "Death and the Compass" was adapted into a movie that's now available online.

Fiction magazine Black Gate has created a book trailer. It's nice to see guys like them, Electric Literature and Weird Tales branching into video to promote their stuff. (Especially considering how many fiction magazines don't do anything in the way of promotion at all.)

As reported, widely elsewhere, for a Ruby on Rails competition, a site was set up that compares ebook prices and availability between Amazon, B&N and iBooks. They tell me that they're also working on incorporating smaller stores, like Fictionwise and Weightless Books.

In ME News

The WOLD NEWTON READING EXTRAVAGANZA in Greenpoint, Brooklyn will return on November 21st with Cat Velente, the return of Brian Francis Slattery and his band, with burlesque and belly-dancing and other madness. New website coming soon, I swear.

Also, I've redesigned my personal website and I think it looks purty.

And finally, FICTION TIME!

The big news in fiction time this month is a new story by Ted Chiang available online, "The Lifecycle of Software Objects". Chiang really is one of the best short fiction writers working today, and he is not prolific, so go, read, enjoy.

Speaking of Alan Moore and Hal Duncan,

Moore has a previously unpublished story available now called "Fossil Angel", and it's Alan Moore and you should go read it.

And Hal Duncan has a new story up on Strange Horizons called "Styx Water and a Sippy Cup" that's getting good marks.