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February, 2011

Fiction in the Rear Mirror

by Bruce L. Cook


Scanning the prolific landscape of contemporary fiction, a critical reader might well ask what directions writers are taking, and what fiction we might expect in the distant future. As with any historical account, analysis of present and future becomes more problematic than explorations of the past.... (Continued below...)


My Name Is Carol And I Am Addicted To Audio Books


by Paton Jackson


Hi, my name is Carol and I am addicted to audio books.

My story: I am 32 and addicted to audio books. I have been trying to cut back but I can’t.

I was first introduced to audio books 12 years ago. My parents bought me a Stephen King audio book as a birthday present. It included 10 books on cassettes each 25 minutes. I finished listening to it the first night. Then, I started buying audio books for me and for each of my friend’s birthdays (whether they liked audio books or not).

As times passed I moved to audio books on CDs and later on to downloadable audio books. I have known all the online audio book rental services and buying services. In fact, I had an account in most of them.

My average output was two audio books per week but I remember some weeks where I skipped sleeping and listened to up to five audio books. I purchased almost any new fiction audio book in the market.

I managed to find some free audio books but still paid a lot of money for my audio book collection.

I got addicted to the comfort of having a “miniature” book. I got addicted to the narration, the music and the sound effects.

I got addicted to the ability to listen to audio books anytime and anywhere (I remember listening to it in the bathroom and in work and in other weird places).

And then I decided to make the move. If I can’t beat it, I would join it. I resigned from work and made a profession out of my hobby – I started making money out of my comprehensive knowledge of audio books.

Nowadays, I write reviews about new audio books and serve as a consultant for audio books’ publishers. I am happy listening to free audio books and being paid for it (just finished listening to the last Harry Potter audio book).

Have you tried listening to audio books? Try it.

Source: http://www.ArticlePros.com/author?Paton Jackson



Fiction in the Rear .... (continued)

What of fiction? From a technical point of view, we might ask about the technological form of books or interactive systems permitting reader involvement in the stories. On the other hand, literary analysis must explore myriad factors relating to content and context.

Viewed in time, fiction recedes into the past like an image in the rear mirror of a moving conveyance. The more distant the work becomes, the more it crystallizes and falls into historical themes.  Describing this phenomenon, Leonard and McLure ‘s Myth and Knowing had this comment: “By the time a society officially authorizes a story as scripture or myth, the events it describes have slipped so far into the past that they can be believed—anything could have happened in the beginning—or disbelieved.” (Leonard & McClure, 2004, p. 25)

In this distant perspective, what does our current literary output have to offer when viewed from the future? Perhaps our literature will be characterized as a battle of political pundits and entertainment celebrities. On the other hand, sensitive students of literature would shudder at this thought, hoping instead that today’s literature would achieve increased sophistication.

As a further footnote, what effect might we expect now that major publishers no longer have control over literary output? In a situation where anyone can publish, will writers' newfound freedom debase our literary accomplishments or lead to heretofore unseen levels of transparency. For example, no more can special interest groups censor our literature by threats to publishers, stifling and channeling public discourse.
Share your ideas about directions being taken by world literature today. Visit Authorboard.com and help speculate on a future view of literature. (The thread is here.) How will today’s literature look to literacy critics and historians of 2100 and beyond?


Leonard, S., & McClure, M. (2004). Myth and Knowing: An Introduction to World Mythology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Bruce Cook

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Publishing New Writers,

February, 2011 (no. 1202)


Bruce L. Cook
6086 Dunes Dr,
Sanford, NC 27332

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