Friday, July 10, 2009

In these Faster Times...

A new website launched today, and I know some of those involved so I thought I would give The Faster Times a plug here.
The Faster Times is a collective of great journalists who have come together to try something new. As we launch this July, we will have more than a hundred correspondents in over 20 countries. We have someone on the ground in Kenya and someone else reporting from Lebanon. Our arts section will cover not just film and books, but also theater and dance and photography. We will launch with seven writers on books alone. These writers are not “citizen journalists” but among the most accomplished and recognized names in their respective fields.
The website seems to be a sort of Huffington Post-ish let's-write-about-everything type of site, covering World, Politics, Business, Science, Food, Arts, Books, Parents, Sports, Travel and Advice on their top menu bar above the logo... and Health, Tech, Nonsense, Love and Death, Design, Insider and Surprise Me on the menu bar just under the logo.

Intrigued as I am by "Nonsense"(!), I am obviously most interested in the "seven writers on books alone" part! So I wander to the Books page, and here I find that one of the main sections is Indie Books. And here is an article by the Indie Books editor, Rozalia Jovanovic, on why she loves small presses:
When I began to articulate why I am endeared to small presses, the output of which I’ll be concerned with in this column, I was hard-pressed to find a hole-less rationale. But I am clear that the work that most challenges me as a reader, the writing which I find most satisfying, is often enough the product of a Dalkey Archive, Serpent’s Tail or Verse Press. This has something to do with my empathy for the sound assertion of individuality.
She goes on to say that she is "wary of group rhapsody. Whether religious, political, or social, the self-effacement required of collective euphorias makes me cagey....Indie publishers have long been known for their struggles against group rhapsody. ..." Read the rest of her article here.

This, alongside links to articles with titles like "Talented Writers Dropped by Large Publishers are a Boon for Small Presses", and, on the main Books page, a link to Kevin Brockmeir's 50 Favourite Short Stories ( The Twenty-seventh Man" by Nathan Englander is the only story I've read) makes me think I am going to be reading the Faster Times fairly often.

Ah hang on... I just found that they have a Science+Art section! Ok, now I'm hooked: The Return of the Odor Artist ("The life of an odor artist is, more often than not, an unfulfilled one. "), a link to New Scientist article An Astronaut Confronts Gustav Holst's 'The Planets'. Mmm. Lots and lots of reading to do. How will I find time to write?

Good luck, Faster Times, in these days of swiftly-changing loyalties, I hope you thrive.

Addendum: Just seen that they have linked to The Short Review's "wonderful" interview with Matt Bell from their Publishing page. How lovely!

1 comment:

Group 8 said...

Thanks for flagging this T. I had a look. The site is quite cluttered, I find. It's hard to sort through but interesting nonetheless. I can't really figure out, for example, if they review books as such...