Google Glass: soon to be worn by Gary Shteyngart.
Gary Shteyngart has been invited to join a special pilot program for Google Glass—the Google-designed glasses with a computer built into them. Shteyngart was selected after tweeting that the glasses would help him “dream up of new ideas for the TV adaptation of my novel Super Sad True Love Story.” After becoming one of the chosen few, the author told Buzzfeed that he couldn’t “resist becoming a cyborg anymore—it's clear that all paths lead to me becoming more machine than man. Which is fine, because I never really liked me as a man very much. So I embrace my new machinehood.”
The European Commission has approved the merger of Random House and Penguin. The US, Australia, and New Zealand have already signed off on the merger, and several more regulatory bodies are expected to sign off before the end of the year.
The Dublin Review takes self-flagellation to a new level in their latest issue, inviting writers to share "what they do that causes them dismay, or what they wish they could do but can't." Geoff Dyer confesses that he can't "think up plots" or create characters, and "struggles" to remember facts; Richard Ford says he is unable to "describe how people look"; and Rachel Cusk reveals that "my own sense of shame about my writing" centers on thinking that "I ought to write about sex".
A new issue of the Slate Book Review came out on Friday, featuring reviews by Rebecca Schuman, Dan Kois, and an essays by science writer Dan Engber that tackles the question “If kittens rule the Internet, why do puppies reign in print?”
“Goodreads.com lists over 6,000 prizes on its Web site,” Amanda Foreman observes at the New York Times. “The oldest, the Nobel Prize in Literature, was founded in 1901; the youngest was established yesterday. Ten more will certainly be announced tomorrow.” So given the abundance of prizes for everything from acknowledgements to first novels, do literary prizes still matter?