* John Winters on being a (self-described) self-publishing failure, a much needed corrective to the kinds of success stories our rags-to-riches-quick-fantasy-obsessed culture trumpets.
* By way of the Ukiah Blog, a piece by Victoria Beale in the New Republic which offers a critical take on Paul Coelho, as both artist and thinker, with her assessment of the author's Message tidily summed up in its last sentences:
[U]nder the platitudes Coelho’s philosophy has always been a harsh worldview: unhappiness or lack of fulfilment is only for the weak and unfocused. And increasingly in his books, success can only be measured against the author and the obstacles he has overcome. The gospel of self-reliance has never been so trite or unforgiving.Make what you will of Coelho's star status at Davos.
* Finally, over at Strange Horizons Martin Lewis reviewed Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo's Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010. To go by Lewis' review the book has its limitations (he's actually a lot harsher than that, eventually resorting to a four-letter word to express his disgust) but given the scarcity of critical efforts even attempting a comprehensive overview of science fiction "after the New Wave" (a fact which prompted me to put together the book by that very title), it seems worth at least a glance from anyone interested in a big picture view of the life of the genre in these years.
New and Noteworthy (Self-Publishing, Stross on the Presidential Election, The Hydrogen Sonata)
New in Print . . . (After the New Wave: Science Fiction Since 1980)