Is it fall yet?! Those of you who live in temperate climates are probably enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. Crisp breezes, brilliant leaves, crackling fires, and spiced (and/or spiked) ciders abound. My envy is palpable. After weeks of rain and temperatures that refuse to fall below 85, Central Florida is still the swampy sauna of summer. The day I can throw open my windows will be liberating.
On to the hottest of topics since the invention of the Internet machine. According to the New York Times, the authors against Amazon movement is growing. They are angry, and you won’t like them when they’re angry. Didn’t Amazon recently try to paint themselves as warm and fuzzy and simply out to protect the interests of their consumers? Well, literary leviathans like Salman Rushdie, Philip Roth, and Ursula K. Le Guin aren’t buying it. In fact, this dispute has moved beyond the original Hachette debacle to include authors published elsewhere. They believe Amazon is creating an illegal monopoly on the e-book trade and they will be writing letters to the Justice Department demanding an investigation. I’ll be following this progress with interest. Also, is anyone else interested in what letters from hundreds of literary giants to the Justice Department would contain? These are going to the be the most well-written, syntactically elegant, adverb-free letters they’ve ever seen.
Before you feel too bad for good old Amazon, check this out. Was anyone else aware of “Campfire”, the outrageously extravagant gathering for the literary elite thrown by Jeff Bezos at a posh lodge in Santa Fe? From what I can tell, it seems very hush-hush, akin to joining The Skulls or a Fight Club. For years, author attendees were discouraged from leaking information on Campfire, but in light of Amazon’s current villainy, the word is out. Somehow I imagine that many writers will be happy to put aside their ethical discomfort in order to enjoy this lavish event, but there will be some notable faces missing this year. I would say that I’m happy to take someone’s place, but I don’t think I could stomach it.
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.