Virtual Reality as the Future of Storytelling

•1,November 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Read it and bleep: is virtual reality the future of storytelling?

A festival in New York last October afforded a glimpse at a new era of narrative collaboration. Will the concepts of reader and author soon be a thing of the past?

Two forces are sending shockwaves through the world of storytelling. The first is that digital technology now offers creative artists myriad platforms to tell their stories in new ways. “We are using code as the canvas,” says Charles Melcher, book publisher and founder of the inaugural Future of Storytelling festival. In other words, whatever you can dream up, today’s advanced software capabilities can make it happen.

At the same time, a younger, digital-savvy audience now wants to drive the narrative from start to finish. Lance Weiler, director of the Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University, discovered this first-hand through his work on Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things, an online global detective narrative collaboration. The Lab set up a crime scene and provided clues to solve a murder, but that wasn’t enough. The participants wanted to imagine the crime and write the clues themselves. “A new creator class is rising up,” he says. “And it’s challenging the authorship and ownership of stories.”

Read further @ The Guardian

Black science fiction writer recognition long due

•1,November 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Why is Hollywood ignoring this incredible black science fiction writer?

Here is a brief survey of the current field of science fiction adapted to film. Jules Vern over 140 adaptations. H.G. Wells? Over 80. Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson have over 70 each. Mary Shelley has been adapted close to 60 times. Michael Crichton and Philip K. Dick, both in the 20s. We haven’t even gotten to Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein or the rest of the old guard science fiction canon. What do they have in common? They are all white, and aside from Shelley, they are all male. While these authors aren’t telling the same story, their stories have similar themes, color and cultural palettes.

A white man has to do battle with a force bigger than himself to save the world. Or a white man has to confront his creation, a creation that has outgrown him and has rebelled against him. Some white men discover something not of their world. And once in a while we may get a person of color sidekick who dies so that the white man can avenge his friend. Repeat this ad infinitum.

With all of the multiple adaptations of the aforementioned authors, why can’t Hollywood make any space for Octavia Estelle Butler? It boggles the mind that an author whose work is remarkably suited for film and television has been made to sit at the back of the science fiction adaptation bus.

Read further @ Fusion Net

Yasmine El Rashidi’s debut novel ‘Chronicle Of A Last Summer’

•1,November 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment


The Bottom Line: ‘Chronicle Of A Last Summer’ By Yasmine El Rashidi

Yasmine El Rashidi’s debut novel illuminates the experience of coming of age amidst revolution — and asks us to question what revolution even means.

In the third and final section of Yasmine El Rashidi’s Chronicle of a Last Summer, the 30-something narrator finds herself having a political conversation with a salesman at a dusty record shop in Cairo. It’s 2014 — the novel takes place in three parts, the first two set in 1984 and 1998 — and the two tentatively discuss music, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Egypt’s history of governmental overthrows:

He’s learning that history is repeating itself. We talk about Nasser. The first revolution. 1919. The Wafd revolting against the British. It wasn’t really a revolution, he says. It was a popular uprising. I raise my eyebrows. But it was a revolt, I say. But there wasn’t a change of a system. The country didn’t completely change.

Told in three pivotal summers in the life of a thoughtful Egyptian girl who grows up to become a writer and filmmaker, Chronicle of a Last Summerexamines the undercurrents of restlessness and anger that push along political movements like riptides, but also surfaces the same feelings of restlessness and outrage that drive young people around the world out of their skins with desperation to find new, independent adult identities.

Read further @ The Huffington Post

Interesting Arab Women Writers

•1,November 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment



On your local bookshop shelves, you’re not likely to find much literature translated from the original Arabic. You are likely to find what scholar Lila Abu-Lughod has called the “saving Muslim women” memoirs: titles characterized by themes of “coercion and lack of consent, absence of choice, and unfreedom.” To jog your memory, their dust jackets often feature a niqab-clad beauty with only her kohl-rimmed eyes peeking out.

Abu-Lughod has referred to these persistent best-sellers as “literary trafficking,” and it’s easy to churn out more in this vein, particularly as they’re usually written in English. Or we can get behind the boulder and push our readerships toward original creative work by Arab women.

In searching for great Arabophone work by women, we do run into another issue: Arab women writers get less institutional support. The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)—like many other literary prizes around the world—has had problems celebrating the best books by women. In the same year that IPAF judges defended their “pure literary criteria,” which largely excluded women, Basma Abdel Aziz’s brilliant The Queue (2013) failed to make even the longlist. The next year, Hanan al-Shaykh’s Virgins of Londonistan(2014) didn’t make the longlist, either.

Read further @ Literary Hub

INFOGRAPHIC Young Adult Book

•1,November 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Source: GalleyCat

Add Aboriginal Authors to your Reading List

•1,June 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment


19 Aboriginal Authors To Add To Your Reading List

The work of Aboriginal writers in Canada has received a much-needed boost lately, thanks to the inclusion of Tracey Lindberg’s book Birdie in the most recent slate of CBC’s “Canada Reads” selections. But as good as Lindberg’s work is, it’s just a small slice of the poetry, fiction, non-fiction, criticism, and other written work produced by Aboriginal writers across the country.

The list below is far from comprehensive, but it highlights some of the best and brightest of Canada’s Aboriginal writing community. That includes Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a recent winner of a prestigious international award. It also features Joseph Boyden, whose novel The Orenda can be found in bookstores across the country. You’ll find Governor General’s Awards nominees and winners and critical favourites, representing Canada from coast to coast.

Read further @ Huffington Post

Travel the World Through Books

•1,June 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Take a trip around the globe with these books from the eighty most populated countries in the world.

Read further @ BookRiot

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