Our Blog

Literary References in Pop Songs, Ranked in Descending Order of Laziness

The quality of songwriting is something of a Catch-22*. As record-store owner Rob muses in High Fidelity (the movie version): “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

You could say the same thing of allusions to famous works of literature in pop music: are they bad because the song itself is dumb, or is the song dumb because it’s got a hamfisted reference to Nabokov wedged in there? You be the judge. Here are six of the best/worst songs written by people who have clearly read at least one book and want you to know about it, dammit.

*I mean, I assume. I haven’t actually read it, but I wanted to make a book reference in the lede for this post about people throwing around casual literary namechecks, so IPSO FACTO

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

Ben H. Winters Wins the Philip K. Dick Award for Countdown City!

We are still beyond thrilled that Countdown City by Ben H. Winters won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished original science fiction paperback—and now we've got pictures! Thanks to our pals at GeekyLibrary for snapping these. More under the jump!

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

If Classic Novels Had Clipart Covers

Whither clipart? The ubiquitous, cartoonily slapdash style of grab-n-go graphics has faded into technological memory as fast as the ZIP disk (case in point: my first clipart library was stored ON a ZIP disk).

But no more! Clipart deserves to be an immortal art form, and what better way to make it so than by pairing it with deathless works of classic literature? (Don't roll your eyes—this is a Very Good Idea.) Here are seven new clipped-up covers, in all their garish glory.

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

Five Slightly More Plausible Dystopias We’d Love to See in YA Novels

I love a good dystopian novel as much as the next member of the target 18-25 year old female who reads upwards of 50 books per year demographic, but I’m also a skeptic. Frankly, it takes me a Golden-Gate-sized suspension of disbelief to buy some of these “kill all the kids” and “let’s all wear tunics” scenarios.

Yes, the government’s probably evil, but they’re also not that organized (I mean, just look at how long it takes them to crank out census data every decade. Do you really think they’re going to force everyone to Sorting-Hat themselves into Factions? Think of the paperwork!)

With that in mind, I’ve come up with some realistic, low-stakes dystopian situations for the near future. The next hit series could be here! But probably not!

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

The Cutest Shoes for Every Poetic Foot

A good poem, they say, trips off the tongue. What they don't say is what kind of shoes it's wearing to do so.

NEVER FEAR: in honor of National Poetry Month, we're playing Cinderella and pairing up the rhythmic units of meter with their appropriate poetic footwear. Every poetic foot (for example, the iamb, of Shakespearean pentameter fame: duh DUH) has its own stylistic flavor, and now it's got a stylish shoe to match.

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

#TwitterFiction Festival is March 12-16! Check Out Our Authors’ Stories

Here at Quirk, #we #love #Twitter. (Psst. Come follow us!) So we're incredibly excited to have three Quirk writers participating in the #TwitterFiction Festival 2014: Ben H. Winters (The Last Policeman), Ian Doescher (William Shakespeare's Star Wars), and Eric Smith (The Geek's Guide to Dating).

Read on to find out more and learn how you can write your own #TwitterFiction!

Posted by Blair Thornburgh