Monday’s Margins: An audio/visual book club, Evenson online, "Gilead" and the left, reference books, swine flu, and eARCs.

The Onion’s AV Club has started an online book discussion group. Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love is the first book up for chatting.

A new online lit magazine, Wag’s Revue, has a Brian Evenson story for your enjoyment. Evenson (The Open Curtain) has two new books right now: the detective/noir/gothic/psychotic Last Days and the short story collection Fugue State. One of the stories in that collection features a literary agent whose supervisor has a particularly unpleasant way of pushing for books that will sell, as opposed to books with literary merit. There’s also a Dave Eggers interview with more of the same about What.


In a world where reference is largely done online, there still remain essential reference books. Not everyone thinks The Elements of Style is one of them.

Author Daniel Hernandez is in Mexico City and is blogging about swine flu and updates related. This, at this moment, seems to be the best possible reason for the Internet. …I don’t know about you, but it makes me queasy to think about President Obama shaking an archaeologist’s hand only to have said archaeologist die from the flu the next day.

The electronic Advanced Reader’s Copy, or eARC, gets the shakedown and publishers, look and see, you can save bags of money. Send everyone a Kindle (I just became queasy again) and the publishing industry will emerge in the black. The problem is that unscrupulous pirates might take the eARC of a forthcoming book – say, David Mitchell’s new book, coming next year – and distribute it via the internet to everyone, which would then sink the publishing industry. Or, maybe not, since ARC’s aren’t exactly nice to look at, or hold, or shelve, whereas finished copies of books are looking better all the time – and if someone’s wanting a book that badly, that far in advance, aren’t they likely to buy it anyway once it’s properly released? Summary: send me the new David Mitchell right now, in any format; I promise I’ll buy it. Pinky swear.
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