We think we should make the Library YouTube Break a continuing feature! What do you think?
First up, this little 18 minute ditty from the University of Kansas. The description on YouTube:
“Before winning an Emmy for his work on “Heroes,” then-student Chris Martin wrote and directed 2004′s The Lord of the Libraries – a tale of action, adventure, and overdue books, parodying The Lord of the Rings.”
We promise, this will help with your Monday blahs (or put your to sleep, which will also help you forget that it’s Monday). Enjoy!
Young Bill Young here. The Vanity Press industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. I suppose most people still raise an eyebrow when they find out a book has been self-published, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to automatically assume the book must not have been “good enough” to be picked up by a “reputable” publisher. After all, the “reputable” publishers are going through some tough times.
More than 120,000 books are published in the U.S. annually, and apparently 80% of Americans want to write a book according to a Jenkins Group Survey. (I wish 80% of Americans wanted to read a book!) It can be tough to get the big publishers to consider your manuscript (some would say it always has been), and the vanity presses have moved in to expand opportunities. And, of course, these days they’re giving you another option: digital publication.
Careful, though. There be dragons here. With e-books, DIY publishing can really be do-it-yourself. And that’s why you need to do your research before you send your book out into cyberspace. Take Apple’s recent announcement that you can publish your very own tome for distribution through their iBookstore. American Libraries magazine has provided some links to help you take care of some important things first (like getting and ISBN number and conforming to e-pub standards). Venture Beat tells you how to get on the iBookstore (and, thus, the iPad) for less than $200. And here’s this cautionary tale from David Gewirtz.
I know, I know. It’s always been important to read the directions before attempting something. Anyone who’s assembled a bicycle Christmas Eve knows this. But it’s just so darn easy to click that submit button on a computer. It just makes me nervous! So read, read, research, research before you head down this road. Your library can help with that. (Plug! Plug!)
(Young Bill Young here. I don’t typically read fantasy. I count myself firmly in the sci-fi camp when it comes to speculative fiction. But finding myself at Half-Price Books recently, with a gift card in hand, I stumbled upon this remarkable novel by Steven Brust)
Knowing how a story ends can ruin the reader’s experience, but not when you’re talking about a powerful mythological story like the revolt and fall of the angels. As Joseph Campbell noted, “myths are public dreams.” They are dreams that we revisit, retell, reexamine, and reanalyze to find meaning.
Heavily influenced by Milton’s Paradise Lost (and doubtless other retellings of the great fall), Brust’s To Reign in Hell is still remarkably original. In his book, Satan is sympathetic but indecisive, while Yaweh is loving but gullible. These two, and the five other “first born” (Lucifer, Michael, Raphael, Leviathan and Belial) arose from the chaos (cocoastrum) and fought to retain their shape and order (illiastrum). To survive, they created Heaven as a refuge from the chaos. But cocoastrum cannot be denied for long. Subsequent “waves” from the chaos led to the creation of the archangels and the host of angels, as well as the deaths of many angels and new forms for Leviathan (a giant serpent) and Belial (a winged dragon).
When Yaweh concocts a plan to create a new heaven (a globe) that will forever protect the angels from the chaos, the stage for revolt is set. For this plan will also result in the deaths of many angels. Should the angels have the right to decline participation in the new creation? Or should they be forced to work and risk their lives for the great good that will be accomplished? Enter Abdiel, a manipulative, ambitious archangel who uses the controversy to further his own rise at the expense of Heaven.
On his Dream Cafe website, Brust has this to say about To Reign in Hell: “I didn’t have an outline as I was writing it, and I remember getting about 4/5 of the way through it and saying, ‘Geez, Satan is going to win. That’s interesting.’ I shrugged and kept writing to see how it came out.”
We know how this story ends. We’ve known for generations and across the chasm of time. But it’s the telling of the tale that really matters.
Young Bill Young here, playing on the blog while Kitty’s away.
It’s Tuesday, but since it follows a three-day weekend, it feels like Monday. So you have the Monday blahs, and you need something to pick you up. How about a good read? Why not head to the library and check the ca-ca-ca-catalog-ca-ca-catalog:
Wow! Just think what they could do with “Bad Romance.”