eNewsletters

I promise that I’m going to review an actual book eventually, but in the meantime, here’s some more links!

We’ve all mourned the closing of The Toast on this blog (though thank god for the archive!), and before it closed, the editors tried multiple ways to make it financially sustainable but not exclusive without success. E-newsletters may be the answer! Both Nicole Cliffe and Daniel Mallory Ortberg, founding editors of The Toast, have ones that mirror their respective writing styles. Both newsletters are primarily for a paid subscription, though include periodic public posts for people who either cannot afford the subscription or want to read some samples first.

Nicole Cliffe’s daily newsletter, Nicole Knows, lists interesting reads from around the web, including long-form articles, YouTube videos, tweets, advice column letters, and my favorite, particularly juicy reddit posts. She also recently published an interview with Alanis Morissette in Self Magazine, and I’ve never been a huge fan of Morissette’s music, but reading these two smart and compassionate women talk about feminism and motherhood and individuality was a real inspiration.

Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s newsletter, The Shatner Chatner, is not as regular as daily, but several times a week, and my best idea is that it spans whatever he happens to be thinking of that day. It is often very funny, often very insightful, and sometimes so educational on trans issues that I’m scrambling to keep up.

And finally, this isn’t really a newsletter in the same way as the above, but R. Eric Thomas, an incredibly funny writer for Elle.com, writes a weekly tinyletter, in which he collects his 3-4 articles for Elle.com with some additional commentary or personal anecdote. They are free to subscribe to, and I look forward to them every Sunday as the only thing making current politics even remotely bearable.

—Anna

Simpson Testimony and Steele Dossier

Oh, man! I’ve been on a kick of most excellent period-piece mysteries, but I had to interrupt it to focus on the latest, most crazy political controversy from the past couple weeks. After Senator Feinstein released the transcript of testimony from Fusion GPS CEO Glenn Simpson, I read two fascinating (and lengthy) twitter threads analyzing the transcript.

Elizabeth McLaughlin is a lawyer and CEO, and has a 60-tweet thread of her reading here: https://twitter.com/ECMcLaughlin/status/950884746082562048

Seth Abramson is a former criminal defense attorney and journalist, and his 200-tweet thread is here: https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/950800455797534720

The analyses are fascinating, and the quotes from both Simpson and Steele are completely bonkers! So, a quick rehash, which I’m going to put after a break, because it gets a bit involved. Continue reading

New Development in Publishing

I just finished Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments, which Kinsey has already reviewed, so I’m just adding on that I LOVED it, and everyone should go read that, too (right after Good Omens). It was seriously one of those books where I was disappointed that it actually ended because I would have been happy to keep reading it for months.

Anyway, this is not a post about Attachments, much as I loved it. In order to get some more Rainbow Rowell after finishing the book, I immediately went on twitter and followed her, and she is currently talking about a very interesting new event in the literary world: Amazon is buying the rights to tv shows in order to try to monetize the corresponding fanfic.

It is all very new and embryonic, so no one is quite sure how it is going to work, but just that it is certainly going to change things up and it will be quite interesting to see how. Rowell and her followers bring up some very interesting points about what it means to monetize a previously free art form and to normalize a fringe culture (particularly a female-dominated creative outlet into a male-dominated media field).

Rebecca has previously given a basic overview into the world of fanfic here, and wants to think over this new development before commenting (she concurs with Rowell’s tweet, that she has many thoughts but few opinions yet on this news).

Discussing it with Rebecca, though, it occurred to me that this isn’t quite as much a sudden new development as it is being reported. Rowell brings up that every author after Stan Lee that used the character Spiderman was in essence writing fan fiction. Sherlock Holmes works continue to be published long after Conan Doyle’s death. Publishing houses have already started searching out popular fanfic authors for original works, and have even published fanfic pieces, just with changed names. So we keep moving forward at a fairly steady pace, I guess?

—Anna