Today in books and publishing:50 Shades of Grey gets a parody spin-off, fan fiction gets a defense, and Jodi Picoult says the darndest things.
Andrew Shaffer, prominent mocker of 50 Shades of Grey, has now, oddly enough, turned his fun-poking into a book deal. Shaffer will publish 50 Shames of Earl Gray, a parody of the erotic book that's the talk of America's spin classes, (or something.) Shaffer mocked his own inartistic motivations, writing, "Unfortunately, as the size of the McMansion that publishers dangled in front of me became progressively larger and more ridiculous, my Artistic Integrity slowly evaporated into the California sun." His intention might be to take down the poorly-written best seller, but there's nothing that smacks of legitimacy more than being parodied. There's also the odd fact that 50 Shades of Grey itself began as Twilight fan fiction. Fan fiction begetting fan fiction... What will the next generation of spinoff bring? 50 Shames of Earl Grey and Zombies? Gah. [Galleycat]
Speaking of fan fiction, 50 Shades of Grey has really cast a new light on the feverish world of online literary spinoffs. Elizabeth Minkel writes a defense of the genre in an essay for The Millions, claiming its reputation as a land of Harry Potter porn is unfounded. Instead it has its roots in somewhat more weighty spinoffs like Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Search hard enough, though, and we're sure you'd find some X-rated Hamlet fiction in the vast land of the Web. Lord knows Gertrude and the whole Elsinore gang gave us plenty of fodder. [The Millions]
Jodi Picoult, author of a million afternoons spent weeping on the couch, was asked in an interview to provide a funny story from a book tour, and boy did she ever. "The oddest place I've ever been asked to sign a book: I was in a bathroom stall and a lady passed me a copy under the stall door. Apparently she recognized my red shoes. I asked if maybe I could wash my hands first ..." she tells the Book Beast. We have so many questions for that over-eager fan, but we'll leave most of them unasked, and just applaud Picoult for her commitment to hygiene. [The Daily Beast]
Here is a video featuring an awesome sculpture by Spanish artist Alicia Martin depicting thousands of books flowing out a window. We'll leave you to ponder its meaning. [mymodernmet.com]