A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Will sustained isolation lead to a baby boom or a novel boom? Long before COVID-19, the most recent novel coronavirus to come along, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel called A Novel. As is usually the case in the life of a novelist, however, I ran into a few problems right off … Continue reading A Novel Coronavirus Novel

COVID, or Covfefe?

Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?

Facebook vs Google in the Bubble

The Google self and the Facebook self, in other words, are pretty different people. There’s a big difference between “you are what you click” and “you are what you share.” The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser (2009) looks at how personalization on the Internet transforms the Internet itself, creating a different user experience for everyone. Through … Continue reading Facebook vs Google in the Bubble

Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

The FBI needs a warrant from a judge to search your laptop. But if you use Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail for your e-mail, you ‘lose your constitutional protections immediately…’ Ideas worth re-visiting from Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble. This third installment looks at how governments might abuse Internet personalization. “The FBI needs a … Continue reading Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

Life in the Filter Bubble

"The dynamics of personalization shift power into the hands of a few major company actors." The best lines from Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble in ten parts. This is Part II: How do corporations abuse Internet personalization? “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” –Andrew Lewis as … Continue reading Life in the Filter Bubble

War Novels and the War on Terror

More than 16 years ago, standing beneath a massive banner, George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq: “Mission Accomplished.” What followed this publicity stunt—he arrived on an aircraft carrier off California's coast riding in a Navy jet—were years of insurgency and bloodshed in pursuit of a Dick Cheney figment: Saddam … Continue reading War Novels and the War on Terror

Again

While we sit idly by No longer dumbfounded Just dumb Numb Gunman kills 7 in a rampage that started with a West Texas traffic stop

The Webnovel

Distraction, or possibility? After a few weeks mulling and several hours research, I'd say it's the former over the latter. But I'm open to hearing about the experience of others. I've already published my thoughts about Wattpad -- Library, Roller Rink, or Click Farm? -- and despite a few sensible comments by experienced authors who view … Continue reading The Webnovel

Sold Out at In-N-Out

Must applaud the good fortune visited upon author Ted Gup this week in the form of free advertising for his former best-seller The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives. Published almost two decades ago, Gup's book found renewed celebrity when it appeared on the front page of New York's gift to … Continue reading Sold Out at In-N-Out

Ten Questions

I am asked, "A book begins as an idea in the writer’s imagination. Eventually, this grain of sand turns into a pearl. What was the grain of sand that fired your imagination?" I respond: Orwellian signs in the DC Metro: “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.” See what, exactly? Commuters staring empty-eyed at phones while … Continue reading Ten Questions