Many millenials have fond childhood memories of the virtual pet community Neopets, especially YA author Jordan Ifueko. When Ifueko was 10, she was obsessed with Neopets—and Jane Austen. She brought her two passions together in the form of a popular serialized story titled “Pride, Prose, and Princes.” Ifueko spoke to Elizabeth Ballou at Vice about how fan fiction fostered her love of storytelling and allowed her to comment on the social dynamics around her. “The Internet may tend towards trash fires, but Ifueko’s experience is proof that certain online communities can allow players to express their most heartfelt creative impulses. Neopets filters out violent or sexual content and requires users younger than thirteen to get signed waivers before posting, so at the peak of its popularity in the mid-2000s, it was a soft landing place for kids and teens just starting to experiment with storytelling.”
Is hardcover the new vinyl? Over at The Literary Hub, Yahdon Israel argues for the irreplaceable magic of tactility and print books: “There’s something gratifying about being able to underline a sentence or write a response in the margin of a book, knowing with certainty that it will be there later. I can’t get that guarantee from a phone. My data could be hacked, a new upgrade could wipe its memory, my battery could die mid-sentence and cause me to lose everything I’ve typed. They say that what goes up into the Cloud must come down, but ‘they’ can’t always be trusted—least of all with the things I value most, my books.”
Roald Dahl’s estate has released a 1961 draft chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The draft reveals a number of little-known characters the author later excised from the book. It also reveals that, at one point, the story featured as many as 10 golden tickets. The Guardian has the draft chapter in full.
This piece on the limited language of David Lynch from Dennis Lim over at The New Yorker is a fascinating journey into the mind of the peculiar auteur behind such gems as Eraserhead and Twin Peaks. Lynch will be publishing what he has called a “quasi-memoir” sometime in 2017.
If you have aspirations of the literary sort, I strongly recommend Dan Wickett’s interview with “founders, editors and managing editors of 8 Literary Journals of varying age and size.” And you should also look at the latest posts at Mad Max Perkins’ Book Angst in which hears from editors and publishing industry types about “the true meaning of midlist.”