Another links post! Two weeks in a row is a trend, right?
First up: Lots of talk about this one, including at Liz’s blog. The RWA didn’t just hand out RITAs last month in Anaheim; it also revamped them. Among the biggest changes: the cross-over category, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements, will be eliminated after next year. Deanna Raybourn has an eloquent blog post about why the category was important for authors like her:
For those of us who write cross-genre books, we can gather readers from lots of different places, but fitting into the communities can be challenging. We aren’t just historical novels; we aren’t quite mysteries. We weren’t entirely romances either, but that was the community that never seemed to mind. They welcomed us anyway, with a generosity of spirit that embodied what is best about romance writers. They understood that our books might be shelved with general fiction, they might be mysteries, but they also were deeply tied to the heart of any romance–the connection between two people.
The Ruby Sisters Slipperhood also has a post with a very long comment thread about what the changes in judging mean for RITA and GH entries; how will YA cope with the new emphasis on romance being the core of the story? I really liked this comment:
I don’t want the 2 young adults at my house to view romance as central to their lives. And I don’t want my fictional heroines to do that either. I want them to be multi-faceted. I want them to have qualities and interests that make it likely they could be a strong partner in a romantic relationship.
It’s a fascinating discussion that touches on the elimination of the cross-over category, whether YA is for or about Young Adults, and the apparent role of potential IRS scrutiny (no, really) in the RWA’s decision to narrow the way they think about romance. You will be shocked, shocked to learn that outside consultants were involved in the process.
I have a half-drafted post on this topic and will try to wrangle it into coherence.
Next, there was a very funny post at Jezebel a few months ago on why we hate-read. The great Lizzie Skurnick recently followed up at the equally great website, The Awl, with a post on why we hate-search:
We do not stalk the symbols of our discontent in their actual habitats, but prefer to piece together a portrait using the web’s fragmentary shards, mixing a running roster from 1998 with an abandoned Facebook profile with a Pinterest page of the new love interest as if this were the same as sitting across from them as they ate their eggs.
On the one hand, yes. We acknowledge this means we have lost. There is no them, and no eggs. But on the other hand, we have won. This person is lost to us forever, and our proof is that we are alone, late at night, learning all we can about them, and they cannot see us either.
Hate-searching is better than old-style stalking in at least one way: if you get caught, at least the embarrassment and humiliation is mediated by the intertubes.
Third, Jonah Lehrer didn’t just mess with Bob Dylan’s language. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Seth Mnookin details the errors, obfuscations and outright lies Lehrer perpetrated long before the stuff in Imagine:
the simultaneously pervasive and picayune journalistic misconduct cited above — and remember, that’s all in a single blog post that’s roughly half as long as the one you’re reading — doesn’t illustrate sloppiness or corner-cutting. It illustrates a writer with a remarkable arrogance: The arrogance to believe that he has the right to rejigger reality to make things a little punchier, or a little neater, or a little easier for himself. This is not the work of someone who lost his way; it’s the work of someone who didn’t have a compass to begin with.
The science-related errors seem far more egregious to me than the made-up and rearranged Dylan passages, but I guess it takes misquoting an Artistic Legend before people really sit up and take notice.
And finally, eternal vigilance is the price of
freedom privacy. Mat Honan, of Gizmodo fame, was not only hacked, he was hacked via Apple’s iCloud backup program. The hacker remotely wiped his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air in less than half an hour. The story is harrowing, and the comment thread is unbelievable. The tl;dr version: Apple fanbois users deserve what happens to them. Right.
- Apple has human tech support somewhere other than the Genius Bar, and the phone person here seems awfully gullible
- Hate-searchers have a lot to work with, and some of them use their powers for evil. So,
- Back up, back up, back up
OK, that was depressing. Maybe a morning cup of coffee will help: