You be the judge: The Guardian has not let the fact that they think the Booker judges have done a decent job with their longlist this year--"Disappointingly, nearly all the books appear to be interesting"--stop them from organizing once again their alternative discussion group/award (if the prize of a Guardian mug counts as an award), the Not the Booker Prize 2010. Send in your nominations in the comments field during the next week. (P.S. You can find two of the longlisters for the real prize, Emma Donoghue's Room and Paul Murray's Skippy Dies, on our Best Books of September list, just revealed today. But our spotlight pick for the month, Scarlett Thomas's charming and subtly philosophical Our Tragic Universe, didn't make the Booker cut, so I'm going to go over to the Guardian and nominate it myself. Maud likes it too so far.)
Google is people!: A week before the release of Zero History, the last novel in his latest loose trilogy (which includes some of the most fascinating fiction of the last decade, to my eyes), William Gibson takes to the NYT op-ed page to reckon with an artificial intelligence we never dreamed of, one that, like Soylent Green, is [SPOILER!] made of people:
Google is not ours. Which feels confusing, because we are its unpaid content-providers, in one way or another. We generate product for Google, our every search a minuscule contribution. Google is made of us, a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products.
Stay tuned on Omni for our podcast with Mr. Gibson soon.
"We hope it's all going into the books": Laura Lippman sat down with the equally fabulous Craig Ferguson last night to talk about I'd Know You Anywhere and, among other things, revealed herself to be a psychologist-tested sociopath. Not long after, Ferguson called crime writers "undertaker-weird." Enjoy:
Moving and shaking: It's a little like Beethoven composing symphonies after he lost his hearing, but Roger Ebert, unable to eat for years now after cancer surgery on his jaw, is publishing a cookbook this month, The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, based on a popular blog post about his favorite kitchen appliance. An NYT profile yesterday has pushed The Pot near the top of today's Movers & Shakers.