Veterans of writing workshops will know that a good story has a heavy dose of conflict. One can add it to a story in many ways, but one of the best and most reliable is to add a predator, either in the form of a threatening organisation or an animal or person with malicious intent. At the Ploughshares blog, Year in Reading alum Megan Mayhew Bergman reflects on predatory literature.
“Between 1990 and 2014, visits to public libraries grew by a whopping 181%. For context, the population of the United States increased by 28% during that period.” Why the library boom? (via The Digital Reader) See also this paean by Daniel Penev in our own pages,“The Library Is Dead. Long Live the Library!”
Janet Reitman, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, spent five years researching Inside Scientology, which is reviewed here by Brook Wilensky-Lanford for The San Francisco Chronicle. Earlier this year, 'Million Dollar Baby'-screenwriter Paul Haggis spoke with Lawrence Wright of The New Yorker about L. Ron Hubbard's religion.
Alexander Chee has a stunning new story in Guernica. He writes, "I wanted to eat and so I learned to sing...It took more than a witch to make a singer out of me." Pair with Claire Cameron’s Millions interview with the author about his new novel, The Queen of the Night.
Google is set to release a set of computerized glasses later this year. The glasses will come equipped with a camera that captures what you see, a projector that reflects data onto a screen between the lenses and your eyes, and a sensor that tracks the movement of your eyes which will in be the method for navigating the device. Basically, we're all about to become Steve Mann, though according to the Toronto Star the world's first cyborg has yet to offer any comment.