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Monday, March 01, 2004

Odds and ends 

My new favorite site: The Literary Dick, a co-production by Jonathan Ames (author of THE EXTRA MAN and general bon vivant) and Michael Wood as they attempt to solve some of the most puzzling and scandalous mysteries that ever permeated the world of literature. Currently, they seek to resolve the following query: did Gore Vidal and Jack Kerouac really get it on? The answer, it appears, is yes... (link from that Newton Girl.)

Oh. My. God. The Bouchercon 2004 official website has CONTENT. Not much, granted, but at least it's up and running. They promise more info, and it had better be soon.

I suspect this cartoon may hit home with more authors than one realizes.

Jennifer Howard, who infuriated the 'sphere for a little bit last November when she wrote about the coziness and blogrolling that goes on (and I'm freely guilty as well), has taken the reins over at Bookslut as the guest blogger. So far, she's off to a good start, though perhaps a couple of cups of coffee will get her in the posting gear by day's end. Welcome aboard, Jennifer--enjoy your week as a fellow blogger.

Roger Simon grumps about the Oscars. Not liking LoTR? Hell, I totally understand, but then I think I'm one of the few who hasn't seen any of the movies yet. Before the hobbits get me, hey, I'll get around to it--someday. BTW, Return of the King wasn't the only movie that swept a recent award: that honor also goes to Gigli, which took all six Razzies it was nominated for. Go Bennifer! Actually, go away, but they are doing just that, which is fine by me. And for pure, unfettered, nasty commentary post-Oscars, there's really no better place than this.

And finally, Ron takes a look at the jacket flap of Brad Meltzer's latest book and gets pissed off that it seems to have no relationship to what actually happens in the book. So what happened? He speculates that it could be one of two things: that the manuscript was substantially revised prior to publication (and after the copy was written) or that the jacket copywriter just fell asleep while writing it. I can see it being a bit of both, because copy flap is what is sent to the behind-the-scenes folks (sales reps, distributors, publicity managers, booksellers, catalog writers, and so on) so they can decide to sell or buy the book. So it's entirely possible that the copy flap remained the same, based on an early draft or even an early proposal, though the final draft was substantially different. For example, the manuscript may have changed if people at the pub house didn't like how things progressed and thought it "didn't work," and so a change was necessary. There are lots of reasons for such a goof-up but of course, it doesn't change that it's still a bit of an embarassment.

But then, changes right up until publication or deadline time aren't a new phenomenon. In fact, it seems that Robert Crais is doing just that with his upcoming Elvis Cole novel, THE FORGOTTEN MAN. Originally slated for publication in February, it was pushed back till late July, and word comes in that he's still "furiously working on it" and that he may miss the LA Times Book Festival because of this. I'm starting to worry a bit because his last book, THE LAST DETECTIVE, seemed rather patchwork. I liked it--a lot--but somehow the parts were greater than the sum. So I hope the same doesn't apply for this new book.

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