All aboard the Bökship. And a Science question.

I’m sorry, I know it’s not good enough. I’ve been rubbish. I’ve got reviews to write up of a couple of excellent recent(ish) novels and some great observations about THE CRISIS but somehow time has flown (yes, those crested grebes are mating, that’s the reference*), and I have done none of these things and it’s already Friday afternoon. Shame, shame upon me.

Instead, lets quickly go over some of the things we’ve learned and/or come across this week. The Bökship is a market stall on Broadway Market in my manor of Hackney, London, and this is its blog. It’s full of lovely art and artists books and magazines and things. It’s also now got a permanent space on B. Market in the form of Donlon Books which looks equally lovely and I’ll be popping along to soon. Since we’re being all Hackney, along with everyone else in celebration of Iain Sinclair’s new book, we should also mention another excellent Hackney bookshop, Pages, on Lower Clapton. It’s quite the place. Hackney that is, and everything within it.

Some good SciFi news as well: a new imprint from HarperCollins, Angry Robot, launches its website and titles on Monday, but you can follow the pre-blogging here. We’ve also been enjoying BBC Radio’s scifi season, and in one of my other preoccupations, as an agent of the wonderful Speechification, I’ve posted the dramatisation of Iain M. Banks’ The State of the Art here.

While we’re talking about Science: this question came up. Is semen a colloid? I know, but. It’s science, and Bookkake-ish. What do you want. So Wikipedia has it that colloids are suspensions with particles in the range 10-9 – 10-6 m. And human sperm, also according to the Mighty W, is 5×10-6m by 3×10-6 m with a tail 50×10-6 m long. So it sounds like it isn’t. But the figures vary, and we’d like more opinions please. (No, I’m not going to tell you who asked.)

Finally, do make time this weekend to check out Hark! A Vagrant, a wonderful comic series and illustrations about fops and dandies and old gents and suchlike, with a website coming soon (again). Courtesy of the newly-discovered bookn3rd blog, where we’ll also be hanging out for a while.

* Bonus points to those who can spot the other reference.

Posted March 6, 2009 | Comments (2).

Erotica Cover Watch, or I Can Haz Sexist

I recently received an email from Kristina Lloyd over at the excellent Erotica Cover Watch blog, where she asks the very pertinent question “Why only women on the covers of erotic books?” As authors of erotica themselves, she and her co-host Mathilde Madden have become a little fed up with the way their books are packaged, so they started BICEPS, their bid to Banish Inequality on Covers in Erotica, Porn & Smut.

It’s a pretty good point, as I think the covers below, highlighted by Kristina and Mathilde, demonstrate:

Publishers’ justifications for this obvious double-standard are well summed up in the discussion that kicked off the ECW blog, which rely mostly on “the reality of publishing” argument, and straight men’s fear of seeing male flesh and nudity – ignoring the basic point that women are by some margin the best writers and biggest readers of contemporary erotica.

Luckily, it seems Bookkake comes off fairly well – “although,” Kristina says, “I’d be happier still to see even more images of men hinted at but, hey, kudos to you for doing it on The Torture Garden.” Well, we can’t argue with that, and we’ll certainly try harder. And we’re very pleased that ECW have given us the ultimate honour of including a Bookkake pastiche among their frankly somewhat disturbing LolTits collection. Do I even need to say NSFW here?

Posted November 20, 2008 | Comments Off on Erotica Cover Watch, or I Can Haz Sexist.

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