Author: Jordan Glendenning

Books Editor 2015/16

So it’s 2015, and despite the scaremongering, the prophesied American takeover of the Man Booker prize has yet to materialise. Instead, since potential nominations were broadened last year to any book published in the UK and in the English language, we’ve had two Commonwealth authors: Australian Richard Flanagan with his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and Jamaican Marlon James with A Brief History of Seven Killings. True, James is an American citizen, but so are some of the nominees of years past. In fact, American authors aren’t even dominating the shortlist, sitting at around a third in…

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In New Zealand, the ban on selling and distributing Ted Dawe’s award winning novel Into The River has been lifted. The coming-of-age novel had an interim restriction order applied to it in September, meaning it could not be available in shops or libraries, while the Film and Literature Board of Review deliberated over the novel’s classification. This is the first time in New Zealand history that the Classification Office has reconsidered a past decision about the rating of a novel. The novel, which centres around a Maori boy who moves from a quiet East-coast village to a boarding school in Auckland,…

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A North Wales Assembly Member has said he is concerned over the policies of a health board after they spent hundreds of thousands on a set of new offices for senior members. Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Llyr Gruffydd, the Shadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy and Food, said Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s decision to use £338,000 on brand new office buildings in the St Asaph Business Park for 57 senior staff members shows a serious ‘lack of perspective’. Within the assigned funds, apparently £60,000 is earmarked for adapting existing air conditioning in the building and a further £1,138 for…

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Reports out of New York say that a robot has passed the classic King’s Wise Men puzzle, which serves as a test of self-awareness. The original puzzle goes: ‘The King called the three wisest men in the country to his court to decide who would become his new adviser. He placed a hat on each of their heads, such that each wise man could see all of the other hats, but none of them could see their own. Each hat was either white or blue. The king gave his word to the wise men that at least one of them…

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At the start of July, writer Imy Santiago wrote a blog entry on her website which caused a small media frenzy. The post, entitled Amazon… A virtual marketplace, or Big Brother?, talked about how she had written a review for a fellow writer on Amazon’s platform and was surprised and a little peeved to find she was unable to post the review. She then received an explanatory e-mail from the company. You can read the full post on her site here. For those who don’t know, Amazon has a set of rules about posting reviews on their marketplace. As their page…

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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board chief Prof Trevor Purt has been suspended after Health Minister Mark Drakeford said there are ‘serious and outstanding concerns’ about its leadership, governance, and progress. On Monday the 8th of June, a meeting between BCHUB, the Wales Audit Office, Health Inspectorate Wales, and the Welsh Government convened to discuss the publication of a report which damned ‘appalling’ and ‘shocking’ mistreatment and neglect of patients on a Denbighshire mental health ward. In December 2013, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s Tawel Fan ward was shut down amongst allegations of abuse and neglect, including allowing patients to ‘run around naked’.…

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Last week, Damien Walter wrote an article for the Guardian in which he discusses serial novels in genre fiction, particularly Fantasy. He pointed to Sci-Fi author Eric Flint and a recent essay where he coined the term ‘mega-novel’ to better describe Fantasy series such as A Song Of Ice And Fire, otherwise known as Game of Thrones to the mainstream public, where multiple books of huge size are serialised and must be read together to make sense. Walter was arguing that the mega-novel is over-saturating the Fantasy market. Author John Gwynne has received a six-figure deal for the next three books…

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