The Paris Review starts the year off right with a post on Tolkien’s birthday.
Man Booker judge Colin Thubron expressed frustration with gushing book blurbs, which he says “almost blackmail” readers: “you’re either intellectually or morally incompetent if you don’t love this book or you’ve failed if you haven’t understood it.” Our own Bill Morris tackled the age old question—”To Blurb or not Blurb”—a few years ago.
Following the news that The Simpsons will now be available for online streaming for the first time, Myles McNutt makes the case that the world needs a Simpsons Clip Database. He justifies his sentiment by pointing out that “in a world where Simpsons references are a language for a certain generation, the ability to stream this content has tremendous value, and could push use of an app that otherwise would struggle to compete with services like Netflix.”
Ever thought that writing a novel was like a video game you just couldn’t win? In the new video game The Novelist, players count pages not bodies as they try to help the protagonist balance writing with his family life. “There’s no winning or losing,” designer Kent Hudson said. “[M]y hope is that as you’re presented with the same fundamental question … over the course of the game, that you start to learn about your own values.”
In a new ten-part Believer series, Sheila Heti is interviewing ten of her “favorite people on Twitter” so they can “talk about what they do on Twitter and why – their Twitter philosophies, their do’s and don’ts, and what they make of the medium in general.” Kicking off the series, we have Heti’s interview with Kimmy Walters, who you may know better as @arealliveghost. (You can bookmark this link if you want to keep track of all of the updates.)
Our own founding editor C. Max Magee is teaming up with our friends at The Bygone Bureau and The Morning News to give a panel discussion at SXSW Interactive 2013 on the future of independent longform writing on the web. If you wanna see the panel make it to Austin, head over the SXSW site to give us your vote. You can register to vote here.