Critical Linking: April 10, 2012

That silence cuts both ways. A gift from Amazon is considered the devil’s kiss in many corners of the publishing world, and many grantees are in no rush to blow a ram’s horn announcing their acceptance of money, either. (Many grant recipients interviewed for this story didn’t want to say anything negative or positive about Amazon, concerned either with offending Amazon on one hand, or betraying the anti-Amazon indie ethos on the other.)

It’s like having your cake and eating it too. Except you have to hold the cake in your mouth until it chokes you.


I have received your email in regards to the infringement of Penguin’s trademark. Am I to understand that despite using the same image of a penguin giving the finger (which has at least a thirty degree difference in the angle of the flipper to Penguin’s logo) to promote the first book without any issue, now that I am using it to promote the second book, which is not published by Penguin, it is now suddenly a trademark infringement?

Do you think he got out a protractor to measure the angle of the penguin giving the finger?


Unlike English, terms for distance in Dothraki are derived directly from horse gait terminology. Using karlinat as a base, the Dothraki have an approximation for how far a horse in good health can gallop before having to stop to rest. That distance (let’s call it a mile to make conversion easy) is referred to as a karlina. Using the other gait types, the same derivation model is applied and stands for how far a horse would move at that speed in the time it would take the horse to gallop a karlina.

Game of Thrones nerddom is only about 12 karlinas behind Lord of the Rings nerddom. And gaining ground.


The more often we reread a favourite classic the more of its secrets it gives up: each time we revisit it we see more clearly the cogs and flywheels of the writer’s technique behind what at first had been its opaque and burnished surface. Inevitably this brings on a certain disenchantment. The only book I know of that successfully resists this process is The Great Gatsby.

John Banville on why G-squared is so damn re-readable.


“I’ve always been a reader,’’ Allen said. “Once I got to the NBA, I picked it up again because I had so many lonely nights where I was on a plane, we lost, my mind just kind of was blank. So I started reading books more then, started reading things, going to different places in my mind.’’

I really should have been a professional athlete. There was nothing stopping me, save a stunning lack of athleticism and the complete absence of discipline.

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