Friday, October 2, 2009

Rounding Up, Rounding Up the Road

Friday is Eric-takes-a-nap-and-Laura-writes-a-round-up day. So, round up below (cue sweet tunes):

Last week, contest entries offered great pairings of classic books and modern adapters for the screen. While they were all fabulous (read them all!), my favorite was Quentin Tarantino's adaptation of The Magic School Bus. So congrats, Sarah: as the winner you get to play Miss Frizzle in the movie. Spoiler: you will probably be hacked to pieces in a terrifying way, but Tarantino will make it fabulous.

So a lot of things happened in publishing this week that were probably serious and informational. Today, however, is going to be short and sweet, and pull almost exclusively from my category labeled "cool shit" (oh yea, I have labels. Ask me about my system some time—it. Is. Fascinating. Like watching paint dry). Slate has a cool article about the journey of sex (and its more vulgar synonyms) into the dictionary. These evolutions have led us to the erotic retelling of 1,001 Nights. Slate also puts together a primer on the term "racism," and there's a new dictionary for drinkers. Oxford has modernized, to keep up with the drunks, by dropping extraneous hyphens. Also for your referencing needs are these books for frugal fashionistas. I'll comment on these fabbosh reference books in one of my two future careers: as America's Next Top Pundit, or as an extra in A Game of Thrones on HBO (what? I could be a man adept at horse riding).

If I can't be a horse-riding extra, I'm kind of screwed, because an alternate career path as a writer seems kind of less than awesome, mostly because being an artist requires living like one. And understanding copyrights. And having an online platform and a "positive reputation." On the other hand, I wouldn't have to go to workshops, and age has nothing to do with talent sooo... no, still not happening.

And don't go thinking about releasing all of my round ups as a posthumous collection—it won't do justice to my intentions. You can, however, write historical fiction about my life, as it is making a comeback. Also forthcoming and potentially weird and/or awesome: vooks! Yea, that's right: video books. Everyone is talking about vooks, here and here and here. Honestly, I think this is a stupid name—it couldn't be v-books? Sounds like e-books? Isn't so stupid? But maybe other people are all about this.

So a question for you, readers: vooks? Good? Bad? Fun? Irritating? Let us know in the comments!


  1. As they are, as far as I can tell, videos within books, shouldn't they be called "BoViks" or something?

  2. Vooks? They're just plain hilarious.

  3. I don't know what I think of them -- I'll have to read/watch (ratch? wead?) one and let you know -- but I agree v-book would be better than vook. Bleh.

  4. Now, v-books makes sense. It's a good abbreviation that says what it means.

    "Vooks" on the other hand makes me think of some sort of weird venereal disease a soldier would've caught in the Philippines or something (not dissing the Philippines, it was just the first country I could think of).

  5. Vooks would be a great name for some tiny, much-maligned and misunderstood creatures living in the park and stealing pieces of telephone wire for repairing their hammocks, which are badly made and maintained because of economic and educational poverty, common amongst the masses due to the highly unequal social structure of their society.

  6. I vant to vread yur vooks.

    Count D.

  7. Vook? Look crook! shook hook. Took cook on a vook ride around the universe.

    Vooks will be like picture-books from old. Imagine reading the vook version of The Wizard of OZ.

    Technology is happening. Innovation abounds. Creativity surrounds us. There is room for vooks. As for the name...and it looks like the settlement is definite...makes it distinguishable and separate media from ebooks. Vook? Look!

  8. I think my husband was watching the Star Trek episode with the Vook invasion just the other day...

    The name is pretty ridiculous. I can't wait to keep making fun of it as vooks catch on. But I'm a grouchy curmudgeon when it comes to anyone messing with good old print. I know, I know. The idea behind it is sound. What can I say? I'm a total purist :)

  9. Uhh no, just no. If I wanted a video while I was reading, I'd throw up another window on my computer and pretend I could honestly multitask that good. The only benefit of Vook...kinda just threw up in my mouth saying that stupid word, would be for a cookbook but WAIT its not an actual book!

    No way am I taking my laptop or my ipod into the kitchen when I cook. Water/sauce/garbage disposals and my electronics aren't bosom buddies. And they never will be.

  10. Sm Schmidt: I like your sentiments.

    As for the name Vooks...well, I just know it's going to become the name I love to hate. So fun to say. So fun to make fun of. And so fun to bring up in conversations with other people (not just with myself, mind you) who I know will get irate about the name.

    Haha. Vooks. A new whipping boy in the publishing industry?

  11. Vooks? No comment.

    The rest of the post was good, though.

  12. I vote v-books.

    Vooks has too much of a "Dr. Suess made up word" kind of ring to it, while v-books actually makes sense.

    Thanks for the link to historical fiction is making a comeback...especially since my first novel is a historical fiction. Made my day :)

    Happy Friday people!

  13. Okay, my first roundup reaction today was: Exactly WHY would you need to do an erotic retelling of the Arabian Nights? Was there not enough sex the first time around?

    Vooks? Ah-Bbb, Ah-Bbb, that's all, vooks!

    No, on second thought, let's not call them vooks. 'Tis a silly name.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Vook? It sounds like that weird-moving piece in a game of chess.

    Vook takes Queen. Checkmate!

  16. When I saw the word vook on a Twitter comment yesterday, I thought it was a typo. Apparently not. Hmm.

  17. I thought vook was a word you made up, until I followed one of the links. I weep for the outdated monolith that is the 19th-century publishing industry.

  18. I think being conservative about innovations in publishing is a little dangerous. Like Rogue Novelist said, technology abounds. I bet commenters said similarly negative things about the Kindle before it became a reality.

    Personally, vooks don't seem like an entirely new idea to me. Remember the interactive books you (or your child) played with back in the day? Dynamic audio and video are great ways to hold the attention of readers who can't sit still long enough to just stare at print all the time. Maybe what we should be more worried about, instead of the industry of publishing, is the implication/insult these innovations send about readers and their attention spans.