• July 14, 2015

    Worms turn? This week the Authors Guild, the American Booksellers Association, and a few others have teamed up against the twenty-year-old bullies Amazon, telling on them to the Justice Department.

    Poor Harper Lee continues to be milked for all she’s worth: With spectacular timing, it now transpires that yet another novel may have turned up, perhaps one “bridging” the gap between To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

    Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    Less suspect, perhaps, is the discovery by an antiquarian book dealer of Charles Dickens’s annotations on a collection of the periodical he edited, All the Year Round, which reveal that previously anonymous poems, stories and articles can in fact be credited to Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, and Lewis Carroll.

    There’s now a vast backlog of more than 200,000 unanswered Freedom of Information Act requests: One of them is from Laura Poitras, the Oscar-winning director of the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, asking why she was detained and interrogated so many times while traveling between 2006 and 2012 (naturally, she says, she’s not the only one to suffer “years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders”)—with no answer forthcoming, she’s now decided to sue the US government instead.

    Both in print and on digital platforms, African sci-fi seems to be thriving.

    The author of the classic 1980s comic strip “Bloom County” has started publishing it again, on his Facebook page, apparently because he feels America’s dark days are fading now that Donald Trump is running for president: “Silliness suddenly seems safe now. Trump’s merely a sparkling symptom of a renewed national ridiculousness. We’re back baby.”