Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, August 31, 2007

This Week in Publishing 8/31/07

Ah, the end of Summer. May the mosquitoes of the Northern Hemisphere die a cold, unmourned death as fall weather makes their habitat inhospitable.

Human literary award winning machine Cormac McCarthy has added another award to his increasingly full closet. This time it's UK's oldest literary prize the James Tait Black Memorial for THE ROAD. How long before we find out that Cormac McCarthy's body has been magnetized by a rogue scientist to emit a special frequency that attracts prestigious literary awards? Not long, people. Not long.

Thanks to Jonathan Lyons for linking to an incredible article in Publishers Weekly by Sterling Lord, who writes about how he stuck with a young author named Jack Kerouac as he shopped the manuscript for ON THE ROAD for four years. FOUR YEARS!! Oh, and I don't want to give away anything, but it all turned out ok in the end.

New Yorker writer and author Pete Hamill opened up his TV Guide the other day and thought, "Hmm... now that sounds familiar." And he wasn't talking about Kid Nation. According to the Washington Post, the new Fox show "New Amsterdam" bears some, well, "odd" resemblance to Hamill's fantastic book (I can vouch for this one meself) FOREVER. One is about a man who was killed centuries ago but is now immortal in New York... and the other is about a man who was killed centuries ago but is now immortal in New York. (I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which.) For his part, Pete Hamill is being an exceedingly good sport, telling the Post, "To try and prove anything about this would take thousands and thousands of dollars, which I'd rather spend on my grandson," Hamill said. "You've gotta laugh." Wow. Let's just say if a TV show appears about a literary agent who blogs about bad reality TV shows, there would be only one word to describe me: litigious. Also flattered. And confused.

And finally, in other news-via-GalleyCat, MTV has named its first poet laureate: John Ashbery. Well. With all due respect to Mr. Ashbery, who has had a long career filled with many awards chosen by some very smart people, including a Pulitzer, I'm completely shocked that MTV did not choose me. Who is better qualified to write haikus about The Hills than I am??

Sitting at the beach
Audrina, Justin Bobby
Capt. Cook wants his hair back

Jason and Spencer
Justin Bobby and Brody
Wise choices, ladies

Rolling up on Lauren
Former besties in drunken fight
"You know what you did."

Oh, Whitney, Whitney
You're way too normal for this
That's why we like you

Have a great weekend! (and please share your The Hills haikus in the comments section!)


Scott said...

Brisk walk over hills'
green grass. Inhale clean air. What?
A TV show? oh.

David said...

What I meant to post was:

Um, what's The Hills? I've been wondering.

Nathan Bransford said...


It's a show that tests the boundaries of contemporary notions of reality by blurring the line between "reality" and "scripted television," turning its protagonists into human beings who are simultaneously characters and real people, which creates a charged dynamic and results in a fascinating commentary on our increasingly semi-public lives, which we more and more live in a strange intersection between fiction and nonfiction, popular culture and reality, public and private.

Or it's a TV show on MTV about rich twenty-somethings in Los Angeles.

Either one.

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

As much as I loved The Road I'm still waiting for someone more important than I to ask Cormac about the uncanny similarities between The Road and Lloyd Kropp's 1981 opus One Hundred Times to China

For the entire 100 minutes it took me to read The Road I kept thinking, "I've read this before. Where have I read this before? Damn, this is familiar."

Indeed it was. I figured it out. Wondering if anyone else will.

Heidi the Hick said...

...he handed it over in the form of a SCROLL???!!!!???

cynjay said...

I'm afraid I was strictly a Laguna Beach fan. Research ya know. For the YA writing.

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

Hahahaha! McCarthy was a no-show for the award ceremony!

How quintessentially Cormac!

That old fart just doesn't give a flyin' flip whether or not you buy his book or give him a prestigious award.

He lived poor so long that all he wants to do now is make art, whether it sells or whether the movies get made, or whether critics like it or not. If you took all his money away, you'd get the same book two years from now that you'd get if he was rich as a Rockerfeller.

Amazing. Amazing dedication to the Craft.

words in words out said...

Audrina's boyfriend
Wears combat boots to the beach?
Hills Fashion Faux pas!

Scott said...

No agent talks "Hills"
at night. Bah! Right? Answer's no.
Show's fake. Or real. Duh.

(Don't take this one at surface value. Ya gotta look deeper...)

anotherkatie said...

the dalai bobby
one girl cannot possess him
helmet left behind

Lauren said...

Oh, wide-eyed namesake
Divulge your headband secrets
Call my homegirl phone

Seriously, there was a very sad evening last week when I tried to make Lauren's side-ponytail-with-headband look work on me. Then I realized there was no sense in going back to a hairstyle I had rejected in 1988.

A show I'd never seen before came on after a Hills rerun this week. It was called Life of Ryan. (Har.) Humble narrator Ryan begins by telling us that he's just a normal highschooler in southern California. But -- hook! -- he's also a pro-skateboarder! And -- complication! -- his parents just got divorced. Thanks to priceless dialogue like, "Aw, Mom, I don't wanna go to Dubai! I'll miss the winter formal!", this show is like a rejected YA novel.

Tammie said...

The Hills - a guilty pleasure for most, me I hate to say it is the pickup artist named Mystery on VH1 - sad I know.

If it wasn't for the recommendations here on this blog I'd have never picked up The Road.

Have a great weekend all.

Eliza said...

When I saw the first promo for New Amsterdam I told my husband, "That's pretty much the same idea behind Forever."

But I didn't love Forever. Don't like Hamill's fiction. At all. His nonfiction rocks my socks, though. I'll be watching New Amsterdam because I like the premise, and I'm hoping they'll do a lot with it.

Also, the other new vampire show on CBS? Total ANGEL ripoff, only without the Whedon-crew goodness. And it looks cheaper, too. //end gripe.

Lindsey said...

Heidi needs some friends
No! I ain't sharing my ho
Rocky Mountain Low

Marti said...

Wishing you a joyous Labor Day weekend!

Zen of Writing said...

Thanks for posting the link to the Kerouac article.

May the fleas perish along with the mosquitoes.

Roxan said...

Sorry, I'm a confirmed haiku hater. Although I did write a limerick about haiku.

Other Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Other Lisa said...

Have not seen "The Hills"
Heard once the hills are alive
With music? Or what?

(I just had to tweak that last line...)

erica said...

found your blog rather randomly and enjoy the subject matter. neat?

ursula leguin wrote a really savvy piece in harper's this month about mr. mccarthy and his ability to escape the curse of a "genre fiction" label while borrowing many (albeit well used) devices from sci fi and others and whatnot.


nh92 said...

I'll admit right now that I did not read this entire post because as soon as I saw you mention Cormac McCarthy I felt obligated to leave a comment... I recently was faced with the enormous displeasure of reading his novel, The Road, and let me tell you I had never been so bored in my entire life. (Though I must admit, I did not actually finish the book). Anyway, I actually commented on the novel myself on my own blog.

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