16 March 2004

Who Goes There? (Random readings in the corners of cyberspace)

Plenty of interesting things have appeared online recently which I've meant to pass along, so here's a summary of stuff that has caught my attention:

*Which science fiction/fantasy hero/villain is George W. Bush?, complete with hyperlinks to relevant information.

*The Globe & Mail has an article in which the author compares a certain hoax quite cleverly and devastatingly perpetrated by Jonathan Swift under the name Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., to modern-day "identity theft". It was the Bickerstaff story, which I first heard from a professor of 18th Century lit in college, that made me completely fall in love with Swift, so I'm pleased that it's remembered here and there.

*Daniel Green writes about science and literature, specifically attempts to use works such as Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to advance anti-scientific ideologies.

*Maud Newton reports that Michael Moore's publisher, HarperCollins, is harrassing Soft Skull Press over the upcoming book How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office: The Anti-Politics, Unboring Guide to Power, edited William Upski Wimsatt and Adrienne Brown (which can be ordered from Amazon.) HarperCollins apparently thinks the title is too close to Moore's own Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation. Moore himself says he doesn't think there's a problem and had not been told his publisher was threatening a small press because of a title. His own struggles with HarperCollins were tremendous, since originally they planned to pulp his book if he didn't tone it down after September 11. If I were Soft Skull, I'd send former employee Nick Mamatas to tell HarperCollins where to put it, because Nick just has a special way with words...

*Finally, this made me laugh.

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