We interviewed Scott Sigler.

As you well know, Donny & I interviewed Mr. Scott Sigler for bookbabble. The interview was short, and, well, a bit odd, since Donny & I were both busy holding our tongues and searching for nice questions to ask. Here is the direct link and below is Donny’s summary.

This week we speak with New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler. We covered his start in the publishing industry, the podcast-only novel mechanism, and his upcoming book release ANCESTOR. Plus, there’s this bit about the World Cup as well (it’s called football, not soccer!).


A new bookbabble episode is online by now, about funny books. Present? Donny, Lone, Renee and me. Here is the direct link and here is Donny’s summary.

What are the books that make the babblers break into a smile? Perhaps even outright laughter?(Although it must be said that would look weird. Good for clearing a space for you in public transports, though). Anyway, babblers list out some interesting picks here, and in true Bookbabble style, a most varied and eclectic mix indeed. Not just funny books, mind you, but satirical and cynical yet darkly humorous works are also covered. Plus, critically-acclaimed poet who’s actually crap, and Marcel goes postal. “Some people shouldn’t be allowed to write!”, he wails.

John Wray on Bookbabble

FINALLY: the two-hour interview with Mr. John Wray that we did on bookbabble is online! I reviewed his novel The Right Hand of Sleep here and his novel Lowboy here. I was also responsible for arranging and moderatingthe whole interview thing which is why it’s all a bit confusing and muddled. I’m sorry. It was saved though by the brilliant Björn and luminous Lorne who are the other Bookbabble regulars taking part here. Donny posted the interview in two parts. You can access part 1 here and part 2 here. John Wray was a lot of fun to talk to, and is an overall great guy. Enjoy. (Part 1, Part 2)

Brand New Babble

We’ve been recording bookbabble episodes on an almost weekly basis all year, but the last episode that Donny actually posted on-line, is the infamous nipplebabble, on Feb 26th. Today, however, he’s posted another one. Click here for the direct link and look below for Donny’s summary

This week we’re introduced to the seemingly new form of storytelling called ‘sound novels’. We find out a little more about this supposedly new medium, guided by a resident expert, Renee’s daughter, the Wilde Childe herself, Rosemary. Along the way, Marcel treats us to a story of Amazon reviews abuse by the author himself. Oh, and Stephenie Meyer.


Over at the bookbabble site, our listeners are invited to take part in a survey!! Click here to get there. Below is Donny’s appeal to YOU.

So we’ve been doing this for over 2 years now, happily chatting away and picking up intelligent audiences along the way. However, that’s like all we know about you. We’d like to know more, and we’d be mightily grateful if you would just spend a few minutes to fill in a short survey about the show.


Annnd it’s time for a new episode of bookbabble. Donny put up episode 63, with Gem phoning in from the Punjab, and featuring additionally: Lone, me, Bjorn and Donny. It’s a crazy mix of topics, about the iPad, video games and berries with nipples. Incidentally, if you click here, you’ll be directed to the episode and find kinda safe for work images of naughty berries. This is Donny’s summary

The crew welcomes a visit from our favourite English farmer (Gem) as they discuss the recently announced iPad, and all the jokes that come with it. Also, Marcel brings our attention to Electronic Arts’s new Dante’s Inferno, based on Dante’s classic of the same name. Is having a half-naked monk killing monsters in the depths of hell a brilliant idea? Also, Terry Pratchett and euthanasia, and find out what the Odyssey has in common with scantily-clad berries.


Easily the most boring babble in months because this one features only boring old me and the marvelous Lone. I recorded it, and Donny put it up last week. Here is the direct link and here is Donny’s summary

Marcel and Lone get together for a duet, where they discuss the process of writing reviews. As reviewers themselves, they compare notes on how reviews are done, the research put in, and influences. Also discussed are JD Salinger, on his recent passing, and one of Lone’s true loves: Virginia Woolf.

Doublebabble (58 & 61)

Apart from demonstrating how wrong about Auster one can be (click here for the snippet), Donny put up more of our episodes. They’re from earlier this year and in the one I am in, I was kinda out of it, so I’m babbling nonsense. It’s episode 58, and features and all-star cast, with Donny, Björn, Lone, Gem and Lars, and me, of course. Here is the direct link and here is Donny’s summary.

Gem and Lars return for this first show for the year, where we touched on quite a lot of things, surprisingly. Music, films and of course, books. This show was a little slow in going, but there are Michael Jackson jokes in there!

The other new episode is Episode 61, another highly entertaining episode. The cast is small but good, with Donny, Björn and guest star Umapagan Ampikaipakan. Here is the direct link and here is Donny’s summary

The guys talk about Apple’s impending announcement of their supposed tablet device (which we now know as the Apple iPad) and its supposed killer ebook-reader features, and the ebook industry in general. Bjorn taps into his experience in the ebook industry for this one.

Note: This show was recorded several days before the announcement by Apple on Jan 27 2010. Also, this is another episode where we jumped in without introductions at the start.

The show notes to both episodes are still missing, but they’ll arrive eventually. Listen to both shows. They’re good fun.


Finally! and in a brand new layout! Bookbabble Episode 57 is out, featuring yours truly, Renee, Bjorn and, of course, Donny. Here is the direct link, and here is Donny’s summary

The group discusses their best reads of the year, plus some not-so-great reads as well. Also, what books best defined the past decade, given all that has happened in the past 10 years? Plus, Renee treats us to a wonderful rendition of bad sex prose, courtesy of this year’s winner of Literary Review’s 2009 bad sex in fiction award.


This is Episode 55 of bookbabble, where we (we, that’s Donny, Lone, Renee and my drunk self) talk about prrrrrresents. Here is the direct link and here’s Donny’s summary

The group talks about Christmas gifts – books we’d like to give people, and what we’d like to receive. We covered Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many books, and a toaster. Also, find out what Doraemon and Renee’s handbag have in common (hint: it’s not the colour).

Family Babble!!

Attention, everyone. On the most recently posted episode of bookbabble (Episode 54), my sister Nicole appears as a special guest. The babble goes in all directions, with me, Irene, Lone and Donny participating, and Rosemary, Irene’s daughter having a say, as well. Here is the direct link and here’s Donny’s summary

Marcel’s sister Nicole joins us for a chitchat about nothing much in particular (well, if you consider almost 2 hours of chitchat ‘nothing much’). We did talk about the new Twilight movie, New Moon (where Renee’s teenage daughter Rosemary made a cameo on the show to tell us the word on the street on this phenomenon), manga, Auster and the National Book Award. Also, Lone’s foray into the Copenhagen Book festival, Bogforum, and was excited to tell her tale.


Episode 53 is online. I was late so you get about an hour or more of just the guys talking, until you hear me butt in. The guys, that’s Björn, Donny and Rennee. Their discussion is a huge lot of fun. Here is the direct link and here is Donny’s summary:

We are so agreeable with each other on this episode. The group clobbers each other with this one: should classic works have sequels? What would we consider as a sequel? Which ones were good, not good, and shouldn’t have been written in the first place? Dracula, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Gone with the Wind, Winnie the Pooh, JD Salinger, Shakespeare and many others get dragged into this debate.

Snapplebabble (w/Brian Evenson)

The latest bookbabble is up, with star guest Brian Evenson. Also attending: me, stammering, as usual, then there’s Lord Donny, of course, and L.A. woman a.k.a. Renée the wonderful, as well as Björn, Swede extraordinaire. Additionally, we were lucky enough to have Francois Monti grace us with his thoughtful presence again, formerly at tabula rasa, now maître at the Fric Frac Club. Nobody offered me a drink. Here is the direct link and here’s Donny’s summary

The group is pleased to have Brian Evenson, award-winning literary/horror author of Altmann’s Tongue, Last Days and The Open Curtain, among many others. We discuss the man and his work in this interview, covering genres, literature, his work as the Chair of the Literary Arts Program at Brown University, translation works, ebooks and prodigious reading input.


New bookbabble up! Yessir! This time Glenda Larke, freshly elated from rave reviews for her most recent book joins us. Us, that’s Bjorn, the smart Swede, Lone, the Danish dame, Lord Donny and some crummy German. Direct link here. This is Donny’s summary:

The group talks about censorship in our literature, and as it happens in our respective countries. We discuss about what’s clearly bad, why they should or shouldn’t, and the beef about the whole process. Also, a little on NaNoWriMo, and why teapots can be so titillating they deserved to be banned!


And here, after all, it is, Episode 50 of bookbabble, this time with Donny, Lone, Björn and me, as well as our guest, Umapagan Ampikaipakan, who wasn’t scared off the first time he was here and came and joined us for the second time. I was late to that one so you’ll only hear me during the last third but still. Here is the link and here is Donny’s summary:

Uma leads the group in listing each of our 5 desert island reads – books that we’d like to take with us when we get stranded in a desert island. Some of us took some liberties on the topic and decided to list books they haven’t read that they’d like to bring, for whatever practical reasons.


As I’m waiting for Donny to post ep. 50 of bookbabble, which we recorded last week, and tomorrow’s recording of bookbabble creeps closer, which I might or might not participate in, I notice I forgot to post about Episode 49. This was just Donny, Björn and Lone recording and it’s great to listen to, especially since Lord Airhead, yrs truly, isn’t part of it. Here’s the link and here’s Donny’s summary:

A tight group this week, and we’re talking offensive literature. Things that sets us off. I suppose we weren’t surprised when the three of us shared the same view about things that offend us in literature, which isn’t what the topic itself would lead you to believe. Also, problems with the Kindle International edition, NaNoWriMo, Google Wave and the call for the banning of fantasy movies in Malaysia, and Lamb in Vodka!


New Bookbabble featuring yours truly is online! This time we are joined by the Malaysian literary reviewer Umpagan Ampikaipakan, who fights a country that doesn’t read and Francois Monti, the marvelous Belgian book blogger of tabula rasa and fric frac club fame. Björn, Lone, Donny, myself and of course Renée are also there. Topics, uh, are Herta Müller, the Booker Prize, criminally underrated Science Fiction and Obama. And other things. We’re lucky I didn’t notice who won this year’s Bollingen so you are spared a rant about that. Enjoy. Here’s the link.


I think it was in bookbabble episode 45, with the wonderful Glenda Larke as guest, that we talked about genre fiction and about cutting up and portioning books for the booksellers. Now, this isn’t probably of any interest to anyone besides me but I found a statement by Charles Stross on that topic today:

[C]hopping a big story into episodes is, indeed, highly problematic.

I had a taster of this with my Merchant Princes series at Tor. The book I originally handed in, titled “The Family Trade”, would have run to around 600 pages if printed. And I was about 15% of the way into the sequel, titled “The Clan Corporate”, which I estimated would run to 750-850 pages … when I was told “we’re chopping the first book in two, and by the way, can you deliver the rest of the series in 300-page chunks?”

Ever since, I’ve been bombarded by reader complaints about how each book ends on a cliff-hanger, they don’t make sense as stand-alone novels, and so on. Well, no shit: books 1-6 of that series (#6 is finally due out next March) are actually books 1 and 2. (Book 2 grew from the 800-page estimate to more like 1250 pages largely because of the overheads of turning a continuous story into episodes.)

That quote is part of a discussion in the comment section on Stross’ blog. The discussion, in which Stross initially partakes, is interesting, vastly more so than the blog post which spawned it. The post is willfully ignorant (although in a playful manner), which is an attitude I don’t like so very much. But the resulting blanks are nicely filled in by the comments so that the whole makes for enjoyable reading. Next day’s post, clearly a result of that discussion, is considerably better and also recommended.

Bubblebabble (links updated)

And it’s time for a new episode of bookbabble (Episode 46) that features yours truly and his horrible German accent. This time Chrystal Koo, a writer from Hongkong (here’s her homepage) joins us, as well as Gabriele Breder, wonderful journalist, poet and chief editor of the Online magazine Kritik und Sprache, which should be mentioned at least for the very commendable fact that it publishes small bits of my shit now and then. You can see more of her poetry and prose at her homepage Evrenim. I sound like my usual dim self, apparently my equipment’s even worse than usual. You can listen, download or share it here.

Babbling again.

I don’t know why I point out that this thing exists, since it keeps making me look bad but since I pressured Donny, lord and master of Bookbabble, into posting them, I could at least mention them and hope it blows over. Last sunday’s episode of bookbabble has finally been posted, in two parts. Go here for part one and then go here for part two. Ignore the idiot with the funny German accent. Concentrate on Lord Donny, Sparkly Irene, Brilliant Bjorn, Luscious Lorne and the grand and wonderful new babbler, Splendiferous Liam. This is not just fun to listen to, Donny has also assembled a fuckload of links to all sort of poets and poems. It’s worth it.


Recently I discovered not just the fabulous blog A Literary Cocktail (anything that encourages drinking in style and on a regular basis is lovely) but the affiliated blog Bookbabble, I found it necessary and remarkable to point out the book talks posted there (among others, Irene of the Literary Cocktail partakes from time to time). Here’s the latest:

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