I know, let’s write a book, right here!

There’s a moment in one of the Andy Rooney (Hell, maybe all of them) where he looks up and says “I know, let’s put on a show. Right here, in the barn!”

At which point, let’s do a book. On the subject of Love in the time of coronavirus. As back here. Take a book, a film, a video game, anything like that. And redo the plot, or a description, or an extract, to reflect today’s troubled times.

Ecksie’s “Great Expectorations” is a super example.

“”Jamie’s Coronavirus Cookbook” – come on, we know it’s only a matter of time.” could be another.

We’ve all got more than a little extra time right now. Poetry, song lyrics, why not?

And can we get 200 pages by Monday? Stick it up on Amazon and see what happens. If it sells 5 copies (there will be a week of free downloads so we all get a copy or three) which is the likely outcome then OK, pays the server for a bit. If it actually sells then we’ll work out something reasonable on copyrights.

” Smokey and the Bandit – Burt Reynolds smuggles hand sanitizer across state lines.”

“Lysistrata – Democratic women withhold sex until their husbands bring in paid family leave to solve the crisis. Of limited effect given the sexual tastes of, respectively, D women and D men.”

Rules. No wild swearing. Other than that, well.

Entries in the comments here or email them direct.


Just a heads up.
We have been getting a few reports of people receiving emails asking them to donate to and via Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency with offers of rewards (of the payment variety, not sexual (sadly). We only process donations through DonorBox using Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.


Donors should have received a copy of:
Tim Worstall – Fact Checking Pollyanna
Kristian Niemietz – Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies
Dr. Eamonn Butler – The Condensed Wealth of Nations

If you didn’t get your links, let us know.

We will be issuing free resource each month from January 2020. 



Orange juice could be saved by dogs who have been trained to sniff out a devastating disease in fruit trees. The blight known as huanglongbing – or citrus greening – has already caused an 80 per cent drop in citrus fruit production in Florida and if not curtailed, it is predicted to destroy the entire industry.

Why do I suspect that Sir Pterry is alive and well and working in a disease naming lab somewhere?

What is this bullshit?

she is a white Latina, and received a seven-figure advance for the novel.

This is a tale as old as time. White novelists have always borrowed the voices and experiences of others to tell stories that they don’t have the access and insight to accurately tell. Where does the responsibility lie, here? Is it with the publishing industry, which has consistently opted to publish these culturally lacklustre stories from unequipped authors? It would be easy enough for them to seek a novelist who could write an authentic American Dirt. Or is it up to the author to say: “This story isn’t mine to tell”?

Of course, writers should explore a multitude of narratives. We should be inclusive and reflect the society around us. But the Mexican community is large, and Mexican writers have stories to tell. Let them earn the seven-figure advances. It’s a small amount of compensation for the trauma that comes with a life so sensational it’s worthy of being fictionalised.

It’s fiction you idiot. Made up stuff. Where is this drivel coming from?

Candice Carty-Williams was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver and a dyslexic Jamaican-Indian receptionist. She is a journalist, screenwriter, and author of the Sunday Times bestselling Queenie, a book described as ‘vital’, ‘disarmingly honest’ and ‘boldly political’. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing.

Massive, eh?

Amazingly, they’ve found a writer worse than Jessica Valenti

It’s become a grim ritual among the women I know: as soon as there is news of another mass shooting, we wait to hear the inevitable story about the shooter’s history of hurting women. (The shooter is always a man.) Sometimes he’s been violent to his mother or grandmother. More often, police reports reveal his history of abusing his girlfriend or wife.

But almost always he practiced his violence on a woman long before he planned his massacre, and within a day of the slaughter we’re sharing this history with impotent grief, asking again and again, what will it take to take women’s lives seriously? If we took women’s lives seriously, if men who abused the women in their lives faced any kind of real consequences, would the people we are now preparing to bury be alive today?

That’s a complicated question, tangled up with gun politics and our failed criminal justice system. But the core reality remains stark: it’s impossible to contain the suffering that stems from discounting and disbelieving women.

If we refused to accept the daily suffering of women and girls at the hands of men who claim to love them, we would have a federal policy removing guns from abusers, and we would ensure that it worked in practice. And we would have a lot fewer gun deaths. Period.

True, she’s written a book with Valenti but still, imagine being compared to Jessica and coming off second?

Noodle armed or what?

M*A*S*H is a rare example of a movie that has been eclipsed by its television adaptation. The 1983 finale of the long-running sitcom about a medical unit near the front lines of the Korean war was the highest-rated single television episode in history, with 125m viewers tuning in. It’s understandable that Robert Altman’s 1970 film, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, lives in its shadow. The subversive anti-war comedy avoided sentimentality and teachable moments in favor of cruel pranks and a more hardened cynicism. Coming at the start of cinema’s most famous decade, it is a seminal film of New Hollywood, and it bears all the hallmarks of its era: a strong anti-establishment sentiment, the foregrounding of morally ambiguous protagonists, and, unfortunately, a deep and unexamined misogyny.


and while one could argue that this misogyny is in some ways the subject of the movie – that the men are reverting to their primal selves amid the throes of war – the film itself tips its hand in the closing credits,

Y’know, that could be it. War and men….

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with this novel

So, new novel out. Oprah book club etc. ‘But Mexicans and violence and – and it’s wrong, d’ye see?

Gurba says the most frustrating part about the attention around American Dirt and the large advance Cummins received is the scant attention Chicano narratives, written by Chicano people, receive. “The machine that is supporting this book is dystopian in nature. Meanwhile, I have published three books through indie presses and have not made more than $5,000 on them. That gives you a sense of what value is being ascribed to authentic voices.”

It’s selling more than my books.

Jealousy is, of course, very human but it’s not all that attractive, is it?

This doesn’t bode well, does it?

Vicky Pryce’s new book. About why capitalism causes gender inequality.


Look who blurbs it:

“Superb. An authoritative manual for the men upholding capitalism while holding back women and the economy, and a guidebook for women who want to change the world.”– Ann Pettifor, author of The Production of Money

“A long overdue dissection of the vital subject of gender equality, through Vicky Pryce’s forensic economic lens.” — Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

“A shocking, lucid account of how capitalism holds women back. If we are all to have a future, government policy must fundamentally change. Now.” — Danny Dorling, University of Oxford; author of All That Is Solid and Peak Inequality

“Vicky Pryce lends an eloquent voice and a forensic analysis to the growing worldwide realisation that capitalism needs to change.”– Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level

“Vicky Pryce is one of Britain’s most distinguished economic commentators. Her impassioned criticism and rich analysis argue powerfully that women’s economic equality is both a moral question, and good economic sense. A clear-sighted call for change.”– Rachel Reeves MP

“Gender equality is an ongoing struggle fought on several fronts. The economic case presented here by Vicky Pryce has never been made so well or so vigorously.”– Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, author, columnist and broadcaster

It’s gonna be tosh, isn’t it?

Want to write Manga?

A slow afternoon and so browsing the jobs boards. At which point:

Looking for Romance/Mystery Writers for Japan Anime/Manga App Games

We are a Japanese game developer in Akihabara, Tokyo.

We are looking for scenario writers in German or English.
Romance game scenario writing (creative writing) in German or English.

The pay is entirely shit. But perhaps the fun of writing the scenario – ie, not the actual storyboards – for a manga attracts?

Books of 2019

As were heading towards Christmas and New Year we’d like to compile a list of books (audio, kindle or the old fashioned paper versions) that you enjoyed this year and would recommend to other likeminded people on here and CT.

[UPDATE] Books not published but read this year also count!

Answers in the comments please.
Read More »Books of 2019


An Oxford-educated feminist author is to have the US edition of her book pulped after she claimed that the UK executed men for being gay in the Victorian era.

Naomi Wolf based her book ‘Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalisation of Love’ on a PHD thesis she wrote in 2015, but was found to have made significant factual errors earlier this year.

Ms Wolf said that she found examples of “several dozen executions” of men accused of having sex with other men in the Victorian era, but in an interview with the BBC, it was pointed out that she had misinterpreted court records.

The thing is there really were hangings for sodomy. Just not as many as she insisted there were. But then her thesis was rather built on the mass societal repugnance as evidenced through the law, wasn’t it?

Accuracy in sourcing quotes

Well, yes:

Peter Navarro, an economist who has written a number of books on China, has employed Ron Vara as a source in at least five of his works, quoting his anti-Beijing views.


Mr Navarro batted away criticism of his Ron Vara character, comparing it to director Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own movies.

It was, he told the Chronicle, “refreshing that somebody finally figured out an inside joke that has been hiding in plain sight for years.”


The Telegraph could have done better there tho’:

Ms Morris-Suzuki told the Chronicle of Higher Education, which first reported the story, that she took a dim view of quoting fictional characters and was left “wondering whether there might be other invented sources in Navarro’s work”.

She said she has not discovered any, but did find a quote in one book on China credited to Leslie LeBon, whose credentials are not listed in the book. An online search revealed that Ms LeBon is an architect – and also happens to be Ms Navarro’s wife.


A prize about the civilised arts goes to Europeans

This seems a curious assertion in light of the successive awards for 2018 and 2019 to Olga Tokarczuk (from Poland) and Peter Handke (from Austria). Whatever the merits of these writers – and Handke is certainly a controversial choice – or the congratulations due, the decision fails to demonstrate the widened perspective that Olsson promised. Taking him at his word, it invites questions about how diligent their search can have been, how knowledgeable the jury, and indeed how global a literary prize the Nobel can claim to be.

How terrible, eh?

But, you know, The Guardian. Both sides of the mouth, always:

Afterwards she is whisked away for photos, handshakes, congratulations, the heady stuff of success. Only the following day does she discover what else happened that night. Following her speech, the head of the organisation returned to the stage and made an off-the-cuff comment about this award really ticking “all the boxes”. It was nothing really, just a lighthearted joke, more at the expense of funders and their infuriating rules than the writer who happens to be Indian, English, bisexual, a woman, the daughter of first-generation immigrants.

Damned if you do box tick and damned if you don’t.

Outside the box?

What I learned from my year of reading outside the box
Afua Hirsch
As a Booker prize judge, I encountered stories I would never have consciously sought out, and it was wonderful

Since when has anything at all on the Booker long list been “outside the box”?

The Bone People was both pretty weird and pretty dire but it was right in the mainstream of feminist whining. Come on, when was the last time anything even as imperialist as Kipling made it to that list?

Ah, that’s where it comes from

his apparent adoption of Claud Cockburn’s dictum on the correct attitude to be adopted whenever one talked to a politician — which was to ask oneself, “Why is this bastard lying to me?” —

Or as I’ve been known to copy it: “Why is this bastard bastard bastard lying to me? The bastard.”


JD Salinger estate finally agrees to ebook editions
Author’s son explains that wish for accessibility has persuaded trustees to look past his father’s dislike of digital media

Royalties can be significantly higher on e-editions and there’s only another 61 years to exploit that estate…..