“What traits make Austen special, and can they be measured with data? Can literary genius be graphed?” The New York Times tackles the question of why, 200 years after her death, Jane Austen is still so popular. (One finding: the author“used intensifying words — like very, much, so — at a higher rate than other writers.") See also: our interview with Curtis Sittenfeld, whose most-recent novel Eligible is the ultimate literary tribute, an adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Stephen King is working with Dennis Calero to publish a free, weekly eComic entitled "Little Green God of Agony." Readers can check it out on his website. Over at PopMatters, Dominic Umile looks closely at the comic’s emergence, as well as the author’s interest in the horror comics genre.
Amazon has unveiled its "Kindle Singles" store. Says Amazon: "Typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words, each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single killer idea -- well researched, well argued and well illustrated -- to be expressed at its natural length." In practice, this appears to mean short stories as well as journalistic pieces that have (perhaps) been expanded upon. For example, a piece from n+1 is included, "Octomom and the Politics of Babies" by Mark Greif. Amazon writes that in this piece Greif "updates his insightful essay from last spring, where only the journal’s 10,000 readers had access to his dead-on critique of the American media culture that produced its own eight-headed monster." Bottom line: Amazon is fishing for higher quality content at the low price points that Amazon readers have come to crave.