Why George R. R. Martin wrote “Game of Thrones” on a 30-year-old word computer

May 14, 2014 | 1 comment

During a visit with Conan, author George R. R. Martin explains his eccentric computer set-up for writing…

That’s right, folks. He’s written thousands of pages staring at this…

Game of Thrones on Wordstar

Does every book about Africa have the same cover?

May 13, 2014 | No comments

Doctoral candidate in international history Simon Stevens was reading Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun when he realized it looked kind of familiar. He did some looking around on Good Reads and discovered something intriguing about books related to Africa…

An inordinate number get “the acacia tree sunset treatment”…

Book designs and Africa

The site Africa Is a Country, whose ironic flair you can guess from their name, summarizes their analysis of this cover collection…

In short, the covers of most novels “about Africa” seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King.

Read more at Quartz.

NPR’s simple but brilliant April Fools prank on overconfident, hypocritical “readers”

April 4, 2014 | 3 comments

NPR’s prank this past Tuesday took a creative mind to come up with, but it was so simple it probably only took about 10 minutes to execute. They simply wrote an article titled “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore.” You may have seen it floating around Facebook.

But here’s the twist: It wasn’t a real article…

NPR April Fools Day Comments - 03

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Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and more reimagined as classic children’s books [9 pics]

March 26, 2014 | No comments

Artist Jerry Puryear combines his appreciation for literary fiction with his familiarity as a father with children’s books by reimagining the former as the latter. And so we have the likes of Cormac McCarthy, Donna Tartt, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Franzen imaginarily republished in the styles of Richard Scarry, Syd Hoff, and H. A. Rey…

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Literary Fiction as Children's Book - 01

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Bestselling author Dean Koontz writes fantastic birthday note to someone who hates his books

March 19, 2014 | No comments

Dean Koontz has written 14 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks that have hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, with over 450 million books sold overall. Of course, every successful author has plenty of critics — Reddituser112 has a friend who especially dislikes Koontz.

The redditor wrote Koontz to see if he would send an autographed headshot saying “F*** YOU!” that he could give to his friend as a birthday gift. Of course, Koontz is far classier than that, so he not only responded, but he sent along an autographed copy of one of his latest books complete with a birthday inscription for Brian the Hater…

Koontz Card

To Brian — on his birthday. We all have blind spots. My books are one of yours. How sad for you.

Best,

Dean Koontz

Rejection letters to superstars early in their careers give us all hope [9 pictures]

March 18, 2014 | 2 comments

There was a time before the likes of U2, Andy Warhol, and Madonna were universally known, a time when they were still struggling to find any recognition for their work. Thankfully, these musicians, artists, and writers saved some of the rejection letters they received from major publishing firms, record companies, and museums.

Some of the letters contain helpful career advice while others are dismissive and downright rude. We’ve included some of the more notable quotes from each letter below…

U2, rejected by RSO Records, 1979

[W]e have listened with careful consideration, but feel it is not suitable for us at present.

We wish you luck with your future career.

Rejection Letters 1
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Everyone should follow Kurt Vonnegut’s beautiful and practical advice to high-schoolers

March 14, 2014 | No comments

Eight years ago, students at New York City’s Xavier High School wrote to a variety of authors. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one who responded, “really old geezer” though he was.

I think you’ll agree that his letter is profound and yet practical enough that it’s the only response they needed…

Vonnegut's Letter to Students - 01

(via Reddit)

Also amazing: Kurt Vonnegut’s sweet note to a hurting widow, 1990