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Monday News: Strange musings from Harper Magazine publisher; cover WTFery; Google’s...

Google, according to MacArthur, is elevating free content over pay content. His proof? Harper’s Magazine doesn’t show up when you search “magazines that publish essays” or “magazines that publish short stories.”

MacArthur then derides Google for the dumbing down of America, accuses it of depressing teacher pay, and that it “will further deaden the senses of a people inured to violence in their films, their newspapers (which report on a largely unaccountable American army’s patriotic mission against the infidel in foreign lands), and in their own hometowns.”

Ultimately I can’t be sure if it is free content MacArthur hates; computers; search engines; or just anyone who is not a writer-teacher. Just because you can write doesn’t mean you can actually make a coherent argument. Maybe MacArthur should hop onto Google and search for “The Art of Persuasion.” Harper’s Magazine

The fundraiser brought in more than triple that amount. And thus did the five come together, prepared to endure great pain and sacrifice all dignity to support a very worthwhile cause and simultaneously try to point out that, darn it all, some of our SF/F are just ridiculously sexist, you know?”Jim C. Hines

Taking a Shot


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Deb Nam-Krane
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 06:10:56

    That cover reveal is the best thing I have seen in a month.

    So, um, Jane, maybe your prediction about covers for 2013 isn’t off to a great start? ;-)

  2. SAO
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 08:39:27

    I hate rings and I hate the Google idea. Sure, if you want to wear your Google ring, fine. Everyone else will stick it in a desk drawer reducing their security. And just wait until Apple has a ring. And your bank, not to mention your grocery store and bookstore loyalty cards. Will you wear a hideous charm bracelet, or be stuck every time you want to dash out and get some milk, but are wearing the wrong set of knuckledusters?

  3. SAO
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 08:45:34

    Men don’t actually look like that. I saw the Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana and there was a guy who spent 20 minutes doing the most impressive slow-mo gymnastics routine which was one hell of an ab workout. I figure between shows and practice, he had to be working his abs and pecs for 3 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. And he was damned strong. He could start sitting and lift himself into a handstand with one hand. He was pretty much topless and he didn’t have the muscle definition of those cover models, who either take steroids or are airbrushed. He looked a lot better, too.

  4. Darlene Marshall
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 08:52:42

    The idea of a really awesome signet ring one uses in lieu of a password has a certain cachet to it. I can see all kinds of storylines growing around the idea of a magic ring, guarded by a dragon…perhaps one ring would bind them all….

  5. Laura
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 09:12:05

    I can’t be the only one that thinks the Loveswept title sounds like A Night at The Bar, not a romance novel.

  6. Ren
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 09:28:18

    @SAO: There are men who look like that. I’ve seen them in real life.

    But muscles are like dogs. There are working muscles, and there are show muscles. The latter are a result of a great deal of time and effort focused on aesthetics and are of no use except to the people who like to look at them.

  7. Ridley
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 09:47:25

    @Ren: My father, a plumber, had no small amount of disdain for show muscles. He had no time at all for what he called “gorillas” who were covered in muscle but couldn’t lift a boiler.

    Also, this is what real NHL players look like when shirtless.

    But, whatever. What do you expect from Loveswept? They have the laziest, most unoriginal and least memorable covers. Every single one has a headless, waxed, male torso and loopy font. No thanks.

  8. cayenne
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:18:02

    I’m by no means a search expert, but I understood that Google’s algorithm works by using site content & traffic to determine & boost the site’s rank in search results; this is where Search Engine Optimization comes from: to tweak the site content to improve its placement in search results.

    All of which means that his site is boring and no-one comes, so that’s why it continues to perform poorly on Google.

  9. Carolyne
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:27:30

    That group cover pose really is the best thing ever. Lucky protagonist, to be surrounded by such clearly clever and appealing “angels”! :) The bandeau bikini might be the best detail. I think I need to run out and buy all their books, plus make a donation to the charity.

    Meanwhile, over in man titty covers…no thank you.

  10. Alley
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:49:17

    I think MacArthur should maybe learn how to use search terms. Of course “magazines that publish short stories” won’t turn up Harper’s! Sheesh.

  11. DS
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 14:18:37

    I’ve got a couple of government passwords that have to be confirmed by a text message number sent to my phone. Those are annoying. I would far rather than a ring or fob than that process. Paypal, I think, tried fobs. I have no idea what happened to the Paypal fobs though.

  12. Justine
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 15:41:49

    Olympic gymnasts do actually look like the models on “man titty” covers. Do gymnasts spend time building their “show muscles” in addition to the “working muscles” that they need to compete? I have no idea.

  13. Gennita Low
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 18:06:26

    Not bad for a 62 year old, eh? :) Strong as a horse too, can still a few dozen squares of shingles from the ground up the ladder if he has to. So yeah, bodies like these exist. I work with a couple of them.

  14. SonomaLass
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 22:20:33

    I love when authors can be funny at their own expense; there’s a contingent of SF/F authors (the five in this escapade and a few others) who are particularly good at it, often for charity. Plus they are darn fine writers.

  15. Didi
    Jan 23, 2013 @ 15:05:45

    The Taking Shots book was a self-pubbed title that RH bought and changed the covers. If there is a coincidence, the author had no control. Perhaps you should look at the self-pubbed covers and tell me which one you prefer?

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