Archives For publishing

New Beat Generation Books 2017

Later this month, Cambridge University Press is releasing The Cambridge Companion to the Beats, which features essays by Jonah Raskin, Regina Weinreich, Nancy Grace, Erik Mortenson, Kurt Hemmer, Oliver Harris, Brenda Knight, Hillary Holladay, Ronna Johnson, Polina MacKay, and others. From the Amazon listing:

Consummate innovators, the Beats had a profound effect not only on the direction of American literature, but also on models of socio-political critique that would become more widespread in the 1960s and beyond. Bringing together the most influential Beat scholars writing today, this Companion provides a comprehensive exploration of the Beat movement, asking critical questions about its associated figures and arguing for their importance to postwar American letters.

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Hunter S. Thompson Translated into Chinese

In the past few months, we’ve brought you news about Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs being translated into Chinese. It may seem like a minor miracle that these authors’ works have been allowed to go on sale in this notoriously censorious country, yet it is even more unusual that Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled escapades have been published for the Chinese market, too. Continue Reading…

What Should We Write About For Beatdom #18?

It is time to choose the topic for the next issue of Beatdom, and in keeping with the way we’ve made this decision in previous years, we’re going to ask our readers for ideas. Please respond in the comment section below, on our Facebook page, on Twitter, or in the Goodreads discussion group. Or, if you prefer to do it privately, you can e-mail the editor. Continue Reading…

Under These Stars

The latest title from Beatdom Books is Tony R. Rodriguez’s magnificent road novel, Under These Stars, and it is now available in both paperback and Kindle format.

Under These Stars follows an alcoholic editor called Sarah who’s on an escapist journey around America, a la Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, which she eagerly documents via her various social media profiles.

 

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“In a confession-booth voice, Rodriguez overflows with pure American Zeitgeist. Listen close — and buckle your literary seat-belt.” —ERIC DROOKER, illustrator of the film “HOWL” and the book “HOWL: A GRAPHIC NOVEL”

“Tony R. Rodriguez is an exciting writer, raw as an exposed nerve, who prods and probes the dark recesses of the human psyche with excruciating candour. He wrestles with restlessness and the desire for rest, and grapples in life’s gutter with the meaning of life.” —JOSEPH PEARCE, author of “SHAKESPEARE ON LOVE”

“Tony R. Rodriguez has deposited a proverbial elephant in the literary room, having followed it like a Twitter junkie. His books — as timely as hell and as entertaining as heaven —prove that satire is winning the race with reality.” —PAUL KRASSNER, author of “CONFESSIONS OF A RAVING, UNCONFINED NUT”

“It occurs to me that Tony R. Rodriguez is working dicey ground. In the tradition of other literary rowdies, Kerouac, Bukowski, Kesey, he is not afraid of the lyrical in the service of the earthy. Or the spiritual ode in the quest for worldly sense. And . . . he uses language the way Hendrix used his guitar: to make beautiful noise.” —COREY MESLER, author of “FOLLOWING RICHARD BRAUTIGAN”

“The energy and exuberance of Tony R. Rodriguez’s prose will leave readers reeling. Perhaps only Roth in ‘PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT’ and the novels of Kerouac compare. Don’t drink any coffee before reading: you won’t need it.” —ERIC MILES WILLIAMSON, author of “EAST BAY GREASE”

“Finally, one of the fellaheen has his say! Tony R. Rodriguez brings a long-needed, authoritative tale of the heroine to Beat oeuvre. His voice is an exciting mix of scholarly and street, a modern sensibility that will jolt readers upright and make them remember they are ALIVE—and all the joy and pain and beauty that comes with it!” —BRENDA KNIGHT, author of WOMEN OF THE BEAT GENERATION

“Under These Stars takes the modern day road trip and turns it into an existential journal through the physical and digital landscapes we now cohabitate. It is a 21st century exploration of America if Jack Kerouac were a woman and living in an overexposed media-filled world.” —CHRISTOPHER CARMONA, lecturer at the University of Texas at Brownsville, and author of BEAT

“Under These Stars is quite the road trip, brimful of great music, some decent waves, a tasty selection of brews, and a fascinating critique of filmographies that accompany the reader while experiencing a journey of self-reflection and being human. Tony R. Rodriguez writes a sobering speculation of reality.” —NICH L. PEREZ, CSC, Holy Cross Brother, Communications Faculty at Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, Indiana

“Under These Stars is the literary soundtrack of a modern Beat Generation that copes with a combustible reality they’re responsible for shaping. Rodriguez is a clever wordsmith who puts you right in the driver’s seat of a life-changing trip.” —SONNY KILFOYLE, lead singer of the band MINKS

“I have been handed many Road books in the last 25 years—this one is on the top of the heap.” —TOM PETERS, poet/proprietor at BEAT BOOK SHOP

 

One Space or Two?

Prior to the advent of the typewriter, convention said that one space should be inserted after a period and not two. During the reign of those clunky machines and their odd spaced type, two-spacing become customary. Unfortunately, even with the rise of the computer and intelligent publishing software, two-spacers are still in the majority.

Of course, one-spacing is, like all publishing standards and writing customs, a matter of consensus and fashion. There is no grand reason for it to be set as some writing law. There is no right way to write.

Publishers, though, need rules to help them publish magazines and books that are easy on the eye, and in this respect two-spacing proves problematic. Text with two-spaces following the period looks silly in print. There are too many large gaps. Of course, that’s yet another opinion. Some people also say that capitalization ruins a body of text, that literature looks better entirely in lower case. Some also say that quotation marks are unnecessary.

The Beat Generation existed during the reign of the typewriter. They were two-spacers, whereas their pen-wielding predecessors were one-spacers. The Beats were not much for convention, though. They were famous for, if nothing else, breaking the rules. So why should a supposedly Beat magazine care for custom and convention?

Here at Beatdom we have fewer rules than most, and we give our contributors more time than perhaps it is wise to do. We have a slim set of rules for submission, and yet they are rarely followed. This is understandable, since most writers will scour the internet for publications and simply fire off form letters. That’s the way it goes, and to dismiss every error-ridden, ill-formatted submission is to potentially miss a truly great piece of writing.

On our submission page, though, it states that writers should NOT use two-spaces after a period. This is because it looks bad in print and costs our editor(s) countless hours of their precious time in an extremely boring task. It is, of course, the job of the editor to make text presentable, but it is infuriating when so many writers ignore explicit instruction.

But this post is not meant to be a lecture, nor even an addition to the submission guidelines. Beatdom has stated its opinion on this contentious issue and would like to know more of what its readers think.

Beatdom Anthology

This may seem a little premature, but planning is important: Around the start of 2012 I would like to release a Beatdom anthology.

The idea is to pick the best essays from the magazine (which by then should have run to ten issues) and condense them into one Beat resource that will be published by City of Recovery Press. Continue Reading…