Standing mute before the master of dialogue, K.C. Constantine

June 28th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 0 comments § permalink

Reading K.C. Constantine can make you wonder why you’d bother to write crime stories. Maybe musicians feel that way when they listen to Beethoven or Prince, artists when they look at Rembrandt or Kiefer.

Artists can inspire you to become creative yourself, or remove the incentive by being totally intimidating.

Joni Mitchell made this point obliquely » Read the rest of this entry «

Pressing Books from the web

June 27th, 2011 by Anna von Veh § 0 comments § permalink

Earlier this year, I was searching for a web-based tool that could be used to create both EPUBS and print books. Given the rise and rise of EPUB, Print on Demand, and the increasing sophistication of HTML5 and CSS3 for print as well as onscreen, this seemed like the future of publishing.

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, I was aware of a few companies experimenting in this area. And then I came across Hugh Maguire’s new venture PressBooks, which aims to do just what I was looking for. » Read the rest of this entry «

A galactic guide to Philip K. Dick’s best books

June 26th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 2 comments § permalink

Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s best books are maddening beyond belief. He is a tremendous writer who managed to write about deep and serious matters in the most ridiculous genre of them all.

But one can’t expect anyone but a hardcore fan to wade through Dick’s tremendous output of 44 novels. At a quick count, there is only seven I may not have read. So here’s a guide to Philip K. Dick’s ten best books. » Read the rest of this entry «

Four reasons why books about serial killers leave me cold

June 19th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 0 comments § permalink

I like crime stories and even write them on occasion, but I avoid reading books about serial killers and refuse to watch a minute of the TV series Dexter. Here’s why: » Read the rest of this entry «

Is Emile Ajar the greatest writer who never lived?

June 17th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

Most of the books I read were written by dead people. But my favourite of all the books I read in the last ten years was written by a writer who never lived. Emile Ajar was not only a pseudonym, it was the pseudonym of a writer who only pretended to exist.

Emile Ajar wrote four books, published in France between 1974 and 1979. One of them was the top-selling French novel of the 20th Century. He was awarded France’s top literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. » Read the rest of this entry «

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