Displaying articles for: December 2013

Lines to Remember: A Year in Poetry

The critic and author of The Forage House looks back on some of 2013's most memorable verse.



A Dickens of a Christmas

Dickens did not quite "invent" Christmas, as it is sometimes claimed, but, ever since A Christmas Carol was published in 1843, Scrooge's Yuletide nightmares and joyful Christmas morning have become as much a part of the popular idea of the season as Christmas trees and endless, maddening renditions of "Jingle Bells." A little searching yields about 1,700 different editions of A Christmas Carol for sale, and theatrical performances are an annual tradition.



A Peruvian Investor Walks into a Packard Plant: A Guest Post by Mark Binelli

"A Peruvian investor recently purchased the Packard Plant, the iconic Detroit ruin, closed since the nineteen-fifties and sprawling over 40 acres. Fernando Palazuelo, the proud new owner, forked over $400,000 for the factory, which he described to Bloomberg News as 'the best opportunity in the world.' He plans to live on the premises, with the future rehab transforming the mouldering site, in the words of the article, into 'a vibrant hub of automotive suppliers, offices, shops, lofts and maybe even a go-kart track...'"


Culinary Charmers of 2013

Critic and ardent home cook Heller McAlpin recommends new cookbooks whose winning voices and visual delights are just as beguiling as the dishes they highlight.



Five Overlooked SF/F/H Books of 2013

What are the four novels and one knockout story collection that our speculative fiction expert Paul Di Filippo proclaims 2013's greatest "Overlooked SF, Fantasy, & Horror"?



Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

"It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity." -- Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5th, at the age of 95


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.