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October 4, 2012

Shorties (The Feminism of Tori Amos, Junot Diaz Talks Science Fiction, and more)

PopMatters explores the feminist side of singer-songwriter Tori Amos.

Wired talks science fiction with author Junot Diaz.

Wired: You were recently featured in The New Yorker’s first-ever science fiction issue. Why do you think they chose this moment to do a science fiction issue?

Díaz: That’s a great question. I think it speaks to a shift in how everyone is viewing genre. I would also say that a lot of these shifts are linked to economic considerations. It used to be a respectability thing that science fiction wasn’t going to be allowed, except for certain kinds of practitioners. Ray Bradbury would perhaps be allowed in the door. Ursula K. Le Guin would be in the door, but the very concept of a science fiction issue would have been anathema in previous New Yorker administrations. But I think that there is a large generation shift in how we think about it. Still, there are also a lot of problems.

The Omaha World-Leader profiles the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit.

The Times of India interviews Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis.

A.C. Newman talks to Exclaim! about his new album, Shut Down the Streets (out October 9th).

"Initially, I think I really liked the idea of it being like a psychedelic late-'70s [album]," Newman explains. "I'm very fascinated with a lot of that music, where singer-songwriter music started having synthesizers in them. Stuff like Gerry Rafferty, or you know that song 'Daylight Katy' by Gordon Lightfoot? I love the sort of psychedelic wooziness of it."

The New York Times profiles author Justin Cronin.

Cronin, by all appearances, is an unlikely heir to America's genre-fiction throne. He has an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a PEN/Hemingway Award for his book "Mary and O’Neil," a meditative novel about love and loss told in a series of short stories. He has never read any of the "Twilight" books — "I'm kind of not the demographic," he says. And "The Passage" is not only, or even primarily, about vampires: it spans nearly a hundred years and contains dozens of vividly voiced characters, from gruff, lonely F.B.I. agents and quasi-mystical nuns to chemically neutered pedophile janitors supervising shady government operations hundreds of feet underground. When he started formulating the book, he explains, the "vampire boom had not yet occurred."

BBC News gets modern teenagers' responses to the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do."

The Believer interviews Sergio De La Pava about his novel A Naked Singularity.

Flavorwire lists bands who should have never reunited.

Grantland excerpts from Sean Howe's new book, Marvel Comics, The Untold Story.

Stereogum lists Jesus Lizard albums from worst to best.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass talks to Bookworm about his first essay collection, What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World.

Stereogum and Buzzfeed interview John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats about the band's new album, Transcendental Youth.

Boing Boing excerpts from Hope Larson's graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

Grantland profiles the band Muse, and explains how it reflects our fracturing cultures.

Fresh Air interviews actor Stephen Toblowsky about his new memoir, Dangerous Animals Club.

Talk of the Nation interviews Arnold Schwarzennegger about his new memoir, Total Recall.

Win Neil Young's new memoir Waging Heavy Peace and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Amazon MP3 has over 100 digital albums on sale for $5.

Amazon MP3 offers over 500 albums for sale for $2.99.

Amazon MP3 offers over 300 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.

Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics & graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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