Sunday, January 20, 2013

Quotable: Badgers, Back to the Future, and Bad Author Bios

Things I’ve read and liked lately, from the goofy to the sublime to the sublimely goofy. I think you’ll like them too.

The guy who composed your last rejection letter. (Jon David Nelson/Creative Commons)

...the next time you get a rejection letter, just remember. Don’t take it personally; it was written by a badger.

A blogger for the fantasy short story magazine Shimmer has found the truth behind rejection letters: they’re all written by badgers. Read the full article for the secrets behind the working conditions at industrial rejection factories.
Obviously, the Tannen gambling beat would grow more important over time as he amassed larger and larger winnings through a suspiciously improbable winning streak, though why the paper would cover even his first wager so breathlessly is hard to explain.

Jonathan Chait of New York magazine has a bone to pick with the makers of Back to the Future 2, and it’s not the plot -- it’s the local newspaper. Chait picks apart the movie’s fictitious headlines with an obsessively critical eye.

Magda Swinburne is the literary guru of the Puget Sound. In her free time she communes with salmon & frolics with her toy poodles, 'Lord Byron' & 'Peaches.' She has over 1,000 publication credits to her name and was hailed by the Seattle Sinner as the sole voice of reason in a universe of mediocrity. She’s single and loves cupcakes. Word to your mother.

Writer Karyna McGlynn’s “My Top 5 Quick & Dirty Submission Tips” article is worth a read for any writer. Even if you’re pretty submission savvy, her examples are worth it for the kicks, as you can see from her example of a badly-written author bio, above. (She’s got examples of good ones too, for the record.)

u are just more of my FACTORY friend
and not really
my ‘birthday party’ friend

The Hairpin’s series of literary text messages continues with “Texts from the American Girls.” Previous books skewered in textspeak include Rebecca and Little Women.

"The history of reading," Price says, "really has to encompass the history of not reading."

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a great piece on Leah Price’s recent book How to Do Things With Books in Victorian Britain, which examines books as objects.

If you follow any of these links and read something you like, I’d love to know. Follow, subscribe, or like on Facebook to read regular roundups of book-related miscellany.


  1. My sons basketball team went 0-10 for the regular basketball season. However, the one team they played very close the whole way through (twice) was the Badgers. Oddly enough, the Badgers are not at all the next to last place team and sit solidly in the middle of the pack. It is all about matchups.

    So my words of advise about Badgers: It's all all about matchups.

  2. Badgers look so cute and cuddly, but don't ever try to pet them.

    You always have such interesting excerpts.