For the love of literature

Given the industry’s fears about Amazon’s increasing monopoly on talent and market share, coupled with its ability to drive prices, you’d think publishers would be hesitant to do anything that would make it easier for Amazon to maintain its dominance. Instead, by insisting that e-booksellers implement DRM, publishers are essentially handcuffing themselves to the train tracks and giving Amazon the key.

Emily Books has gotten around this problem, so far, by selling great books published by smaller companies who either agree with us about DRM’s uselessness or can’t afford to care about it. And we’ve experienced exactly zero problems with piracy so far. We still dream of rescuing neglected books from major publishers’ backlists and using our unique platform to introduce these books to a new audience of eager readers. That major publishers currently can’t allow a small bookstore to do something that’s in their own and in their authors’ best interests means the system is broken.

Ruth wrote a great op-ed about how publishers are sabotaging themselves by requiring booksellers to apply digital rights management to the books they sell. You might think you don’t care about this issue, but if you like books, writing or reading, you care about this issue. (via emilygould)
Wentworth Went


Wentworth was the littlest duckling in a small family of little ducklings. Like most ducks, he could not afford the excessive rental prices of a medium-density residential area, so he lived in a tiny pond found in a miniature park on the shortest street in the smallest village in the— Well, Wentworth was not really certain that there could be anything larger than the village so he did not think about what the village might be in because he was a duck, and ducks did not give much time to speculation.

From very early on Wentworth knew that he was not a typical duck. For one thing, he had a name — something that none of his duckling siblings seemed to have. He would never mention it of course, but Wentworth could not even tell if his kin were girls or boys and usually relied on how masculine or feminine their “quacks” were when it came time to buy Christmas presents. Another thing that made Wentworth different from other ducks was that he celebrated Christmas and could use words like “masculine” and “feminine” correctly, even if it was only in his internal monologue.

As he was the littlest duck in a small family of little ducklings, Wentworth always brought up the end of the line when wandering with his brothers and — he assumed — sisters, because they inexplicably arranged themselves in descending height order. From his position at the back, Wentworth had a lot of time for observation. As he dodged away from, and occasionally squelched right through, the nervous leavings of siblings scared by a sudden breeze, he observed that ducklings have surprisingly little control over bowel movements. As he waddled his fastest to keep up with the others, he observed that his wings were little more than fluffy nubs that did nothing to soften the fall when he stepped into a gap between bricks beside the pond. As he struggled his way out of the hole, he observed that ducks and ducklings do not look behind to see if all of their number are accounted for. As he scurried with uneven ducky steps to ensure his family did not leave without him, he observed that the wind was getting colder.

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Angels and Demons


I pluck a chunk of hair from your still-warm body, blindly staggering in grief. I have almost forgotten I am still holding the dagger, your warm blood running down my wrist in rivulets. It is a veritable waterfall, a shining wall of tears of red, and I barely notice as it drips off the end of my elbow, staining the floor. It is a trail of crimson for Hansel and Gretel, leading to the kitchen, my dagger in one hand, your hair in the other.

I hope you’re dead, I never actually checked. But I plunged the blade into your throat, your oesophagus, your windpipe, so many times, ripping it apart, that you couldn’t not be. Thirteen times, I sliced into you, one for each year we were together. I counted out twenty hairs, one for each of the years I will live. I have twenty years left, the number was revealed to me in a dream. Did I tell you that before I killed you?

I blindly place the dagger on the marble counter, I don’t need it anymore. The sycamore wood bothers me anyway, it’s too archaic. I would much rather have a military knife, like the ones they use to slice up rations in the Marines, but the dream said sycamore so I found one. I grab the wooden chopping board from the sink where it lay, where I chopped up the liver for our dinner last night. It’s not washed but I don’t think that matters, and I flick the last bit of meaty fat off the wood. There. Perfect.

I lay the hair upon the chopping board, and begin to slice it. Three times sdeways, three times vertically, and then one in each diagonal. As I slice with the sycamore dagger, I whisper to myself in the ancient demonic anguage I woke up knowing a week ago. It’s a beautiful language, is it not? I think the angels flinch from it, though. Ah well, no angels here, I just killed the last one.

I throw the chopped, blessed hair into the boiling pot that I prepared before. I add some forget-me-nots to the boiling mixture, and as I stand above the stove - the least majestic of ritual spaces - I call out and then plunge the dagger into my arm. The blood drips down my arm, but also into the pot, and the solution flashes green and I think I hear my demon lord say “Now, pour it into the slashed throat of your once angel lover.

I ladle the mixture into a ceramic, pure white bowl, just as the dream showed me, and walk back to the bedroom, where I killed her. She expected it, I think, maybe she had a dream just like mine. She didn’t fight, anyway, and the best part was, as I walked into our bedroom and I gazed upon a bloody corpse that I loved, I no longer am disgusted by the angel inside every time I look. I bend down, and took a look at her throat. It is nearly sliced all the way through, and I try not to think of the displeasure of my demon lord had it been done so.

I whisper the final eight words, and begin to pour the green and glowing mixture into her throat. It spreads a purple fire upon her body, and I grin in pure pleasure as I see the final traces of the angel be purged. It is done, she is no longer sullied. Now my lord will resurrect her as a demon! I hear a groan from below me, and I look down to see my lover’s finger twitch. She is awake, she is awake! And when she opens her eyes, they are a glowing red, just like mine.

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