Thursday, July 26, 2012

What IS This Captcha Thing??

This evening, brilliant author of FALSE MEMORY Dan Krokos cried out into the Twitterverse "WHY ME, CAPTCHA???" And I couldn't agree more. Captchas are the most frustrating thing, and they always pop up when you're doing something really important and time sensitive, which makes them even more annoying. I've abandoned transactions over Captchas. For SHOES!!

I thought no one could ever tell me a redeeming thing about Captchas. But I was wrong. The Amazing Emma Trevayne, author of the fantastic book CODA (coming Spring 2013, and it's sequel, CHORUS, just announced!), just told me that Captchas are actually real words from hard-to-read, faded, out-of-print texts. So, when you type them in, you're digitizing some old copy of the New York Times!

I quote Emma here: "over something like 3 months, internet users digitized something like 20 years worth of NYT back issues or something" Whoa!!

This is real:
Real on
Real on Cracked

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Soho Press Book Club Pick: THE DETOUR

Why, why does it always come back to Hitler? 

And it's not just me asking. I've read a lot of WWII novels. Doubtless you have, too. Over on the Soho Blog, we're discussing WWII novel THE DETOUR--which is like no other WWII novel you've ever read.

Head over, comment, and be entered to win 10 copies of THE DETOUR for your book club!

Here's a synopsis of the book. Read an excerpt here!

A variously failed 24-year-old, Ernst is hired to work as a part of the Third Reich’s Sonderprojekt, carrying out the F├╝hrer’s dream to collect Europe’s great art in Berlin. At first this seems like a dream come true to laconic, apolitical Ernst, who just wants to catalog art with his mentor, his closest confidant after a horrible incident alienates Ernst from his father. But then his mentor disappears. 

Immediately thereafter, Ernst is sent on his first major assignment: go to Rome and collect the Classical marble masterpiece The Discus Thrower and return it to the German border. It should be a straightforward assignment, but something isn’t right about Ernst’s German counterpart in Rome. Many things are not right about the Italian brothers charged with getting Ernst and the statue to the border. One lovesick, both quarreling, the brothers embark on a dangerous detour, taking Ernst and his invaluable cargo along for the bumpy ride. Is it simply a case of trivial personal agendas interfering with the Reich’s will, of small compromises? Or is something more sinister going on?