At Electric Literature, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer take a look at fantasy’s impact on comtemporary pop culture, in their introduction to the new collection, The Big Book of Modern Fantasy. “Fantasy becomes something of use to a writer to make a political or social statement,” they write. “It’s not just a mode, it’s a tool allowing conversation with predecessors and conversation with an often bewildering and sometimes horrifying world; it’s no surprise that absurdism and surrealism arose when they did.”
“Over four seasons, ‘Younger’ became a ‘Gossip Girl’ for the publishing industry—a glossy, winking take on a bounded universe of writers and editors and marketing campaigns.” If you need a show and love literary references, Younger might be the way to go.
For The Brooklyn Rail, John Ashbery answers some questions about writing in French, crushes on boys, and the presence of “it.” As he puts it, “I’m sort of notorious for my use of the pronoun ‘it’ without explaining what it means, which somehow never seemed a problem to me.”
The Times has announced its long-awaited (and -feared) digital subscription plan: “Under the plan, which begins on March 28, visitors to NYTimes.com will be able to read 20 articles a month free. The most frequent users will pay $15 a month; print subscribers will have unlimited access.” A letter to readers about the plan from Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
At The Space Review, which bills itself as an online journal devoted to the final frontier, Jeff Foust takes a look at The Pioneer Detectives, our new e-book by Konstantin Kakaes. The verdict? “It’s a fascinating reminder of how complex and challenging the scientific process can be.”