Finally: Somebody in the publishing industry actually says something funny about eBooks!
Coverage of eBooks tends toward the sober; what a relief to read Marty Asher, editor-in-chief at Vintage Books, the trade paperback imprint at Random House, and author of the recently published graphic novel The Boomer, commenting on eBooks in former San Francisco Chronicle book editor Pat Holt's "Holt Uncensored" e-mail column (if you want more analysis of the publishing industry than you ever thought possible, go to www.nciba.com/patholt.html to subscribe): "To me, the eBook is a solution to a nonexistent problem. I've yet to meet a person who says, 'Gosh, I would read a lot more, but books have all these difficult pages and covers -- you can't plug them in; there are no batteries; it's such a hassle.'"... Electronic advances: Instead of going to the library or calling the library to ask those pesky research questions (questions whose answers librarians seem to have a monopoly on), you can now e-mail the Austin Public Library staff and receive an answer within 24 hours. For answers to specific questions requiring short, factual information, access www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/reflink.htm. For questions that pertain to Austin and Travis County, the Austin History Center librarians can be reached at www.ci.austin.tx.us/library/ lbahcers.htm. The sites describe precisely how to send in your questions... Red Salmon Arts hosts its annual Bar-b-que Fundraiser at Resistencia Bookstore (1801-A S. First) this Sunday, July 23rd, from noon-4pm. They'll be serving a sausage and chicken plate with their famous beans and potato salad for $4.50. Call 416-8885 for more information... Book Woman and SafePlace host Agatha Award-winning author Barbara Neely (Blanche on the Lam, Blanche Among the Talented Tenth, Blanche Cleans Up, Blanche Passes Go) on Monday, July 24, at 7pm. She'll read from and sign Blanche Passes Go, her latest in the series of mysteries starring housekeeper-cum-sleuth Blanche White, who must leave Boston and return home to North Carolina after an eight-year absence and come to terms with David Palmer, scion and scoundrel of the town's most prominent family who raped her years ago... One hundred twenty-four people from across Texas applied this year to become Literary Fellows through the Austin Writers' League (with financial support from the Texas Commission on the Arts). Nine of them actually received fellowships and they include Austinites Dao Nguyen Strom (look for her story "Chickens" in the new collection of fiction, Still Wild: Short Fiction of the American West: 1950 to the Present, that Larry McMurtry edited), Chronicle contributor Scott Blackwood, and poet Jeffrey P Knight. The deadline for the 2001 Fellowships in Literature is December 15, 2001. To be eligible, applicants must be legal residents of Texas and cannot be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program. Contact the Writers' League at 499-8914 or www.writersleague.org for more information.