Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Even when inspired by deep department store discounts, I’ve never been good at simple calculations. After a particularly satisfying vacation, I’ve been known to forget how to turn on my computer. Never in my life have I been tempted to take apart a household appliance or look under the hood of the family sedan. In other words, I’m about as far from a geek as a person can be. - Alida becker, NYT


Ten Years of Great Sex

Nerve: The First Ten Years -- Way back in the early days of the Internet, Nerve.com challenged the best writers and photographers of the generation to create work that was explicit in both senses of the word: honest and sexy. Now, ten years later, Nerve.com is renowned for its bold and intelligent publishing on sex. This stunning retrospective celebrates Nerve's impact on popular culture with its stimulating essays, interviews, fiction, and photography. Encased in an electric vinyl case, the book is provocative all the way through—with seductive photographs and contributions from celebrated writers such as Jonathan Lethem, Chuck Palahniuk, and Em & Lo on topics ranging from monogamy, to hand jobs, to the best (and worst) sex of a lifetime.

Buy the book here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Calling All Writers

Hi there writer-friends

I’d like to tell you about a little project that I will be doing next year.

**Please send this to ALL the good writers you know**

(drum rollllllllllll)

Introducing Pulp eStories

You all know by now that Pulp is all about getting more people to read and write. And we want the people who write to be able to get their stuff read. And it’s also nice to get paid. Sometimes this is hard.

But Pulp has a plan.

We will be offering short stories written by talented local writers to be bought and downloaded off our website.
(Think the mini version of ebooks.) Downloaders can then read the stories on their Kindle/iPhone/Computer.

There will be no submission fee for writers, and they will receive 50% royalties on every download.
You can send in as many stories as you want.
I, along with two other discerning readers, will make sure the story meets with our standards (Pulp only sells great reads) before we list it online for purchase.

The copyright remains strictly yours, which means that you can sell it to an alternative publisher/broadcaster – and we can take it off the site at any time you wish.

Every 6 months or so I will take the most-downloaded stories and send the compilation in to various publishers to see if anyone is interested in buying the book. We will obviously get the relevant writers’ consent first.

If you would like to submit anything please send it to me on this address. Here are the submission guidelines and other nitty-gritties:


• Stories should be between 2000 – 5000 words
• Any genre
• Pseudonyms are accepted
• Languages: English; Afrikaans; Zulu (hopefully to expand to all national languages in the near future)
• Initial submissions should be submitted in a word document with a word count on the last page
• Once accepted, the writer is responsible for typesetting it and sending through final, polished PDF

What should the finished PDF look like?
• easily legible font at 14pt, 1.5 spaced
• title of story and author’s name to be in header
• page numbers
• perfect spelling and grammar
• an enticing cover is strongly recommended (make sure you have the rights to it)
• A synopsis of no more than 100 words to appear on the website should accompany the final PDF
• The customer won’t be able to have a flick through your story to see if it’s their kind of thing, so it’s important to make your synopsis and cover as appealing as possible.

Spread the Word
• The more people that know about this initiative, the more likely you are to get more downloads, so the more you can talk/pr/blog/twitter about it, all the better for all of us!

The Fine Print
• All the legal, payment and copyright issues will be addressed in the contract you will receive from us. There is no dodgy fine print and you get to keep your copyright.
• The story will cost the Pulp user R10 to download. (A physical paperback costs around R150 nowadays)
We believe that this is reasonably priced enough for an impulse buy but can add up if your story is popular, and can snowball if you keep writing more stories. Royalties are a beautiful thing ( :
• For especially good stories, we will act as your agents as far as taking your work further, but will always get your permission before your story appears anywhere else.
• As with every Pulp sale, a percentage will go to Project Literacy and Food and Trees for Africa


Looking forward to reading your stories!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Well-Tended Bookshelf

In order to have the walls of my diminutive apartment scraped and repainted, I recently had to heap all of my possessions in the center of the room. The biggest obstacle was my library. Despite what I like to think of as a rigorous “one book in, one book out” policy, it had begun to metastasize quietly in corners, with volumes squeezed on top of the taller cabinets and in the horizontal crannies left above the spines of books that had been properly shelved. It was time to cull.
- Laura Miller, NYT


The Ones They Couldn't Put Down

See which 2008 books thrilled quasi-celebs and arbitrary people here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Struggle To Fill The World With Flowers

Richard Reynolds is clearly a genius. Any man who can fuse gardening with guerilla tactics is a man after my own heart. This is what he has to say:

I began guerrilla gardening four years ago. These strikes were solo nocturnal missions. My aim was to make myself a garden from the miserable and neglected flowerbeds abandoned by Southwark Council's horticultural contractors. In parallel, little did I know, but thousands of others were doing the same, taking land that was not theirs and cultivating it, for flowers and food, alone and in groups, in cities and in country lanes. Read More...
Buy the book here.