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Litopia After Dark

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LITOPIA AFTER DARK is the net's original podcast for writers. Hosted by Peter Cox, every show coruscates with effulgent cleverness (ah, if only...) and aims to both entertain and inform, too. Recorded every Friday in front of a live audience on UStream (you'll find the show here: www.ustream.tv/channel/litopia-after-dark) it features the latest news from the worlds of writing, publishing, new media and culture. We draw our guests very widely: from titans of the publishing business to neophyte novelists - everyone gets a crack if they have something significant to say and a witty way of saying it. We look forward to your company!
Recent Episodes for Litopia After Dark
DATE: Mon, 27 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Wriggle, Writhe, Squirm

OPEN HOUSE, our global live call-in show, is still in beta - here is today's program for your enjoyment - and do join us next week both in the chatroom and live on air!

DATE: Fri, 24 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Memory - What Memory?

We're preoccupied with the experience of reading tonight. A recent editorial by James Collins in the New York Times proposes that most people cannot recall the title, author or even the existence of a book they read a month ago, much less its contents. If this is true - and some of our panellists dispute it - then why bother reading books at all, if we can’t remember what’s in them? Writer's therapist Dr. Susan O'Doherty is on hand this evening to shed much light on this disquieting topic. If you want to know the difference between semantic memory and episodic memory - this is your show!

DATE: Sat, 18 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Who Blew My Cover?

Book covers are always fraught subjects. Should the author have cover approval - or should it be a decision for the marketing folk - it is, after all, part of the packaging. Our special guest Philippa Ballantyne (checking in from New Zealand, where it's barely seven o'clock in the morning) has some decided views on the subject. And a welcome return to our other special guest, Martyn Daniels, the publishing industry's equivalent of Sir Alan Sugar (that's Donald Trump for you transatlantic types). Martyn is exercised about the stealthy way in which some publishers are apparently ignoring contracts and taking rights that are not properly theirs - listen and learn, authors! Donna Ballman wonders how relaxed we all are about tenses, and Dave Bartram's got some astute observations about Fry's Digital delights - listen to find out. With the ebullient Eve Harvey doing chatroom duty, there's nothing more you could wish for. Apart, that is, from this Sunday's OPEN HOUSE - it's your show, open for you to call in and chat to Peter

DATE: Wed, 15 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Just Books

Another strictly-beta version of our newest show, OPEN HOUSE. Join us this Sunday and every Sunday to take part in the net's first global Skype-In!

DATE: Sun, 12 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Pitching Mr. Cow

OPEN HOUSE, our global live phone-in show, is still in beta - here is today's program for your enjoyment - and do join us next week both in the chatroom and live on air!

DATE: Sat, 11 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Ain't My Fault - I'm A Writer!

To what extent do writers bear responsibility for the actions of others - particularly if their writing inspires evil deeds? That's our legal eagle Donna Ballman's conundrum tonight, and there are no easy answers. Unhinged gunman James Lee perpetrated the massacre at the Discovery Channel because he wanted the channel to give airtime to writer Daniel Quinn's critique of modern society. "There is no disagreement between us," Quinn was quoted as saying, "but his expression of the idea is very different from mine."

DATE: Sat, 04 Sep 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Dude, Where’s My Title?

The author is the brand, right? That’s the mantra we’ve all been taught for a long time… that successful authors need to apply the principles of successful brand management to their “product”… or else the “consumer” won’t bite. But in reality, how many authors know anything about branding – or if they did, would they have the time and resources to do the necessary? In this week’s melange of high intellect and low humour, Dave Bartram posits the radical proposition that authors aren’t brands at all… a lively discussion ensues.

DATE: Sat, 28 Aug 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Writing On Rails

The tsunami of advice and self-help books courses, seminars and retreats is one of the few boom areas in the publishing business at the moment - each time an editor is made redundant, they either become an agent, or set themselves up as book doctors. Dave Bartram finds all this onanistic self-regard deeply disturbing (are you an 8-point arc girl or a hero's journey boy?). But can you really achieve truth in your writing when you're following a formula? We're lucky to be joined this week by mega-selling YA author Cathy Hopkins, whose personal experience sheds valuable light on this complex subject. Graham Marks is here too - an accomplished YA author himself, and also a veteran publishing industry commentator too. With Donna Ballman adding her incisive legal mind and Eve Harvey conducting full-body scans in the chatroom, you're in for a great evening!

DATE: Sat, 21 Aug 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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The Devil & Google Are Raging Inside Me

The e-book is barely with us, yet already it's threatening to undermine the whole publishing edifice. The news that Britain's WH Smith and Amazon are apparently getting into a price war (Dan Brown at £2.78 from Smiths; Stieg Larsson at £2.68 from Amazon) is bad news for everyone - but particularly writers. "Cheaper is not better", says marketing guru Jamie Mollart. "Making something cheaper only makes something cheaper!" It's a terrific discussion - make sure you listen - and tell your publisher to listen, too!

DATE: Sat, 14 Aug 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Back With A Bang!

Our Summer break's over and we're back with a bang tonight - with panellists that include the writers' therapist Dr. Susan O'Doherty from New York, award-winning author and broadcaster Philippa Ballantine from New Zealand, writer and marketing guru Jamie Mollart from England and writer, bookseller and one-woman multi-functional device Eve Harvey live and direct from Edinburgh where the Festival is in full swing.

DATE: Sun, 08 Aug 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Summer Reads Special

Litopia After Dark is on its annual summer holiday - we’ll be back live on air on Friday 13th August (superstitious? nous?) but until then, please enjoy this special show that Peter, Eve and Dave have put together featuring a wide range of summer reading suggestions for you. We hope you’re having a terrific summer (if you’re in the northern hemisphere!) and very much look forward to being back with you again...

DATE: Sat, 24 Jul 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Don't Let The Editor Touch My Chode!

It's our last Litopia After Dark before our summer break - we'll be back live and kicking on Friday 13th of August, do join us in the chatroom to celebrate - and we're certainly going out with an all-star bang!

DATE: Sat, 17 Jul 2010
SIZE: 17.9 MB
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Open House

One hour before last week's Litopia After Dark started, we opened up the lines to anyone who wanted to call in and chat - it was so successful that we're going to do this regularly. Here's the recording of our first OPEN HOUSE - featuring a chat with David Bridger, whose first book is published next week, and some great questions to Peter. To call in, you need the free program Skype, and preferably a headset microphone connected to your computer. But even if you don't have a microphone, you can still take part in the chatroom. Lines are open from 7pm UK time / 2pm EST. So... join Peter and other Litopians in the next Open House next week!

DATE: Sat, 17 Jul 2010
SIZE: 62.3 MB
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Does This Book Make My Butt Look Fat?

"Fiction is dead", proclaims Lee Siegel in the New York Observer. Fiction is now a profession - not a vocation - and that simple fact means that fiction is now culturally irrelevant. In what Siegel calls the Golden Age of fiction - the period immediately after WWII – books such as From Here To Eternity, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Naked and the Dead were not only commercial fiction: they were also massive best sellers that spoke to people’s everyday experience of life. Such books do not exist today. On tonight's show, Cath Murphy asks whether Siegel is right - and if so – how do we breathe life into the corpse of fiction writing?

DATE: Sat, 10 Jul 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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I Love You More Than My iPod!

Writers are inherently sensitive people: part of a continuum that at its furthermost extremity finds not just intense creativity but also florid psychosis. So is writing a disorder, then - a maladaptation to the "real" world? Alternatively, are "normal" people (i.e. non-writers) essentially lacking in sensitivity and only dimly conscious of the intensity of their surroundings? That's Dave Bartram's thesis this week, and we're lucky enough to have Dr. Susan O'Doherty on the panel tonight (Dr. Sue is the writers' therapist) to get stuck into a fascinating discussion.

DATE: Sat, 03 Jul 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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To E Or Not To E?

How green is your e-book? How much do you care about the environmental impact of the words you read... or about the sweatshop workers who assembled your shiny new iPad? Tonight's special guest is Raz Godelnik from Eco-Libris - the organization that encourages readers to do something to make the world greener - and he's got some surprising facts about the relative impact of e-readers compared to paper books.

DATE: Sat, 26 Jun 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Think Yourself to Death

Is the internet a concrete realization of Jung's collective unconscious? Dave Bartram believes it is, and tonight advances the argument that viral advertising on the net is effective precisely because of this deep psychic connection to the gestalt consciousness. Indeed, it's a show full of Big Ideas this evening - be careful you don't think yourself to death (which coincidentally happens to be one of the titles in tonight's Commissioning Meeting). Publishing business legend Martyn Daniels is back to explode some myths about the much-lamented halcyon days of the Net Book Agreement - an era when book prices were set by publishers and price competition was banned by law. Some say those days are about to return with the advent of the so-called "Agency Agreement" - pshaw, says Martyn - poppycock!

DATE: Sat, 19 Jun 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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One K Short Of A Dick

Some new faces on tonight's show - and a surprisingly good turnout in the chatroom (maybe seeking solace from England's dire performance at the World Cup, taking place at the same time as our broadcast). Polymath and science writer Brian Clegg is here to compare notes about the iPad - does this mean that all those other e-readers are now dead? Cath Murphy is checking in from Norway to pose a delicate question: is the "novel" part of "graphic novels" really merited? Newcomer Peter McGrath calls us from the English coastal town of Whitby - in whose public library Bram Stoker first discovered the name "Dracula"... And Dave Bartram is here to speak eloquently about inchoate thought. Why don't you join us live in the chatroom for next week's show - the football alternative is likely to be insufferable. We kick off at 8pm UK / 3pm EST every Friday

DATE: Fri, 11 Jun 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Reading, Not Drowning

The nature of reading is changing, and there is much uncertainty about the implications for writers and the publishing industry. Book sales are in general long-term decline, yet some areas (young adult fiction, for example) are growing. Perhaps onscreen reading is on the rise at the expense of printed books? Or possibly, as one of our chatroom stalwarts points out, Marshall McLuhan's prediction that we are becoming a less literate and more visual society is happening with frightening rapidity? Here to discuss this essential topic tonight are Graham Marks, Dave Bartram, Eve Harvey (our rapporteur from the chatroom) and Donna Ballman. And next time, why not you, too - we'd love to have you as a special guest in the chatroom! It kicks off at 8pm UK / 3pm EST every Friday here.

DATE: Sun, 06 Jun 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Siberian Education

Meet Nicolai Lilin - the last of a small and tight-knit community of what he terms 'honest criminals'. Deported to a remote part of Russia by Stalin, the 'Urkas' are an insular, fraternity: distrustful of outsiders and violently opposed to any authority. A huge bestseller in Nicolai's current home country, Italy, Siberian Education is an extraordinary snapshot of a world that no longer exists - part Siberian hunter-gatherer, part Mafia, and wholly unique. Nicolai's story is truly extraordinary, and we're honored to present it as the first show in our new Radio Litopia series, Between The Lines with Peter Cox.

DATE: Sat, 05 Jun 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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The New Age Of Self-Publishing

Publishing is bifurcating. Until recently, an author only had one option - the traditional and often prolonged publishing route, which involved getting an agent, and then doing a deal with a publisher. But now, an alternative publishing model is emerging, pioneered by the likes of Scott Sigler and Joe Konrath, both of whom have featured on our shows recently. But are such people exceptional outliers? Leaving the hype aside from outfits such as Scribd, Lulu and other vanity / self-publishing houses, just how realistic is it for most authors to consider this route to market? Tonight, our business guru Martyn Daniels ("The Martyn" as we like to call him) takes a beady-eyed view of this increasingly interesting option... and we end up trying to define what the heck is a book, in any case... It's Bilderberg Week, so it's only right and proper that our own international woman of mystery Emma Shortt should be on the show - just don't tell anyone else, or we'll have to kill you. And with Dave Bartram (who anagrams to "Am Adverb Art") and our legal egret Donna Ballman - what else could you wish for? Actually, you'd probably want Eve Harvey reporting from the chatroom - which is exactly what we've got!

DATE: Fri, 04 Jun 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Back To Betamax

This week's Debriefer takes a beady-eyed, legal-eyed look at the emerging world of e-book formats and the related contractual issues they raise... what's a poor author to do? Plus the usual transatlantic banter between Donna and Peter as they thrash out the business that is book!

DATE: Sun, 30 May 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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We Are All Misfits

Here's a rather striking paradox to kick off your 3-day weekend. Given how readily people will stigmatize others - even members of their own family - for perceived deviance from a given societal norm, why is it that the most compelling and popular characters in films and books are huge misfits? Why do we like fictional misfits but, as a society, revile them in real life? It's an issue worthy of the combined intelligence of Dave Bartram, who poses the question, Dr. Susan O'Doherty, who analyzes it, David Bridger, who reframes it, and Amanda Lees, who gives it a darn good talking to.

DATE: Mon, 24 May 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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MUSE Issue One

Here it is - the very first issue of Litopia's own e-zine - MUSE. To read you copy, simply click on the file link in the same way as you'd play it if it were a regular podcast. MUSE is a pdf file, meaning that all types of computers can display it properly. You will almost certainly have a pdf reader already installed on your computer. But if not, click on this link to download one: http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/ We hope you enjoy MUSE - don't forget to leave us some feedback inside the Colony!

DATE: Sun, 23 May 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Joe Does It Again

Our favorite iconoclastic author Joe Konrath is having fun shaking up the publishing business again (listen to him on Litopia After Dark here) with his recent Amazon deal... Joe's got all the bases covered now, why does he need publishers any more (or agents, Peter adds...)? Also in this week's Debriefer... How the agency model may fall afoul of UK’s anti-competition laws (yes, you heard it here first some weeks ago)... and a so-called literary agent turns out to be a conman. Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 22 May 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Dances With Smurfs

The British government has a creative solution to the growing unemployment problem: their Job Centers are offering unemployed women jobs on X-rated websites. Female applicants are told they can earn up to £700 ($1000) a week if they have explicit phone conversations with customers. Since Litopia After Dark is nothing if not an equal-opportunity arena, we're giving our very own Dave Bartram an opportunity tonight to run his very own male, seriously hirsute and a bit grumpy chat line... the result is, well, oddly stimulating. Our special guest tonight is Simon Flynn, managing director of highly-respect indie British publisher Icon Books. Together with marketing whizz Jamie Mollart and high-flying author and lawyer Donna Ballman, tonight's show is our usual blend of seriously cutting-edge thought and flippantly blunt-edge humor... we think you'll like it!

DATE: Thu, 20 May 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Heed Your MUSE!

Something very special will shortly be happening to those listeners who subscribe to our shows using iTunes or other podcatcher software (such as the Zune). The first issue of Litopia new ezine, MUSE, will appear, as if by magic, in your feed on Monday! In this special show, Litopia's John Quirk and Jamie Mollart talk to Peter about the magazine itself - how it started - and what ambitious plans they have for it. With big-name contributions from the likes of Lee Child, Bernard Cornwell, RJ Ellory, international YA success MG Harris and Charlaine Harris, MUSE's first issue makes gripping reading! And if you don't subscribe to our shows in iTunes - don't worry, there will be a link in the Colony's main menu for a free download.

DATE: Sat, 08 May 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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I Slipped On A Stream Of Consciousness

Litopia After Dark is officially an election-free zone... not! What - you didn't think we'd pass up such a golden opportunity to deflate our leaders and betters, did you? Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem, we'll skewer them all tonight. Plus - award-winning social media whiz Jamie Mollart reinvents publishing - are you paying attention, Random House? - there's a whole lot to learn from Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights. Special guest Graham Marks, an expert in the children's/YA publishing area, is reading the zeitgeist tealeaves and Donna Ballman gets into seminar mode with the importance of "watchers" in story. With Dave Bartram making a welcome return and Eve Harvey corralling a time-warped chatroom, it's just what you need after a long night on the hustings.

DATE: Tue, 27 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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800.001

According to recently uncovered documents, one in five librarians has engaged in sexual trysts among the stacks, and 51% of them are willing to pose nude for money. That's the headline news from this week's Debriefer... and if that doesn't get people flocking back to the libraries, then nothing will! Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 24 Apr 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Cognitive Theory For Breakfast

Why do we read fiction? Why do we care so passionately about nonexistent characters? And what underlying mental processes are activated when we read? Professor Lisa Zunshine, Bush-Holbrook professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, aims to answer fundamental questions such as these: she's at the forefront of this pioneering and cross-disciplinary fusion of cognitive science and literature... and she's one of our two special guests tonight. Another pioneer in quite a different field is bestselling author J. A. Konrath. He's blazing a trail doing what many publishers can only dream of - actually making serious money by selling eBooks. After five hundred rejections for nine unpublished novels, his tenth book, Whiskey Sour, was picked up by Hyperion in 2003. But that was just the beginning for Joe - he now makes over $100,000 a year from his Kindle sales alone. And this evening, Joe has a radical message for publishers and authors everywhere - ignore it at your peril! Our regular panelists Eve Harvey and Donna Ballman complete an internationally stellar line-up for you... and not forgetting Lord Bare's bulletin's from a so-sharp-they-might-cut-themselves chatroom... it's a classic show!

DATE: Wed, 21 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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In a Beautiful Pea Green Boat

Time for catch up with John Quirk - the writer from the Isle of Man (a small island 32 miles long & 14 miles wide in the Irish sea) who is taking his first steps with his own publishing business Nemesis Publishing - a type of venture that more and more writers will be flirting with in the future. Press day beckons - John's received his first submissions... and there's a giant pumpkin involved, too!

DATE: Sun, 18 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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A Matter of Life & Death

"The must-read of the year," says acclaimed crime writer Val McDermid, "probably of the decade." High praise indeed for Sue Armstrong's A Matter of Life and Death. Today we're talking to Sue about her new book that profiles some of the world's most eminent and pioneering pathologists. This is a hidden world, yet one we will all inevitably encounter at some time in our lives, for pathology lies at the cornerstone of modern medicine. It is pathologists who are responsible for recognising new diseases such as AIDS, SARS or Bird Flu, and for diagnosing which cancer a patient is suffering from. And it is pathologists who must explain the cause of death at the autopsy table. A Matter of Life and Death tells fascinating stories of mysterious illnesses and miraculous scientific breakthroughs. But it is also crammed full of extraordinary characters - from the forensic anthropologist with his own Body Farm in Tennessee to the doctor who had a lung and heart transplant and ended up using her own lungs for research.

DATE: Sun, 18 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: A Degree in Vampirism

Where can you get a degree in Vampire Literature? Why is big publishing acting to put little bookstores out of business? Why has a respected publisher suddenly started to threaten its most ardent readers? And what is the meaning of life? All these questions, apart from the last one, will be audibly answered in this week's Debriefer! Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 17 Apr 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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The Agent Vs. The Amazon Women on the Moon

First came the fireball - searing its way through the Midwestern skies, turning night into day and scaring the bejesus out of the simple-minded but fundamentally good folk of Garrison Keillor country. Then came the volcano - spewing its pagan Icelandic filth and obscenity into our delicate lungs and our precious jet engines, like some latter-day Ragnarok - and screwing up publishers' travel plans for the London Book Fair. And then... to top it off - came tonight's enhanced-oestrogen edition of Litopia After Dark! What a week! Tonight's guest are Eve Harvey, Donna Ballman, Dr. Susan O'Doherty and Cath Murphy - and with a chat room approaching boiling point - it's an eruptive show!

DATE: Wed, 14 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Writer Exciter: Affected But Unsolicited

Eve Harvey is back to add impact to your syntax... to cut your buzz... and to tantalize you with this week's cliffhanger. Write to Eve here: writerexciter[AT]litopia.eu

DATE: Sun, 11 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: The Fake John Grisham

Stan Lee... Simon Singh... and the fake John Grisham... all brought to you naked and unadorned in this week's Debriefer, as we once more report from that strange place in spacetime where publishing and the law converge... Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 10 Apr 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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The Hero's Journey In Wet Socks

In an era when everyone is talking about “the death of the humanities,", cognitive approaches to literature just may be the Next Big Thing that rescues college literature departments from the institutional death of a thousand cuts. What does this mean? Well, sticking readers into an MRI machine and observing how their brain changes in response to the passages they're reading... that's one example of a cognitive psychologist's approach to demystifying the writing process. Getting to the root of people’s fascination with fiction and fantasy is like “mapping wonderland” one researcher believes. So - great idea? Or Orwellian nightmare? Listen to the show and decide for yourself. Litopia's man with the golden Tweet is our special guest tonight - Jamie Mollart - and together with regulars Eve Harvey, Donna Ballman and Dave Bartram - and David Bridger reporting from an superheated chat room - it's an incendiary show!

DATE: Thu, 08 Apr 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Six Months in Sudan

In 2007, James Maskalyk, newly recruited by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), set out for the contested border town of Abyei, Sudan. An emergency physician drawn to the ravaged parts of the world, Maskalyk spent six months treating malnourished children, coping with a measles epidemic, watching for war, and struggling to meet overwhelming needs with few resources. What he saw, he blogged... so successfully that soon, a book deal came looking for him. That's how the international bestseller Six Months in Sudan began. It is the story of the doctors, nurses, and countless volunteers who leave their homes behind to ease the suffering of others, and it is the story of the people of Abyei, who endure its hardship because it is the only home they have. In today's extended program, James shares with us some of his experiences, wisdom and hopes for the future - inspiring listening indeed.

DATE: Sat, 03 Apr 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Lord Mandelsauron Upsets Everyone Again

In Parliament's dying days, the UK's Digital Economy Bill will be pushed into law next week - without a full Parliamentary debate, and without most people fully understanding the sweeping measures it contains (e.g. disconnection without trial for people who are suspected of downloading copyright material). Rushed legislation is bad legislation, explains Martyn Daniels on this week's show. Novelist Amanda Lees makes a welcome return to ask, why is there so much misery in "quality" literature? There seems to be a widespread belief among publishers that "depressing" somehow equals "worthy", Amanda believes - and that anything light-hearted or even vaguely entertaining must be consigned to the "light and fluffy" pile. Have we completely forgotten that a book can, God forbid, be entertaining? That one of the most basic human needs is for a damn good story? Together with regulars Donna Ballman and Dave Bartram - and Eve Harvey reporting from the chat room - it's a broth of a show!

DATE: Sat, 27 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Introducing Radio Litopia

Last night's abandoned Litopia After Dark (only the second time in our two year history) demonstrates the saying: "I.T. happens". However, yesterday's loss is today's gain as we take this opportunity to produce a specially-extended Saturday edition of Litopia Daily, entirely dedicated to answering your questions about the imminent launch of Radio Litopia... what's in it for you? Lots!

DATE: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Writer Exciter: Possessive Apostrophes & Other Relationship Problems

This week's show (or weeks' show?) is all about relationship problems - what do you do when an apostrophe simply gets too possessive? It could all end in tears; but luckily for us, agony grammarian Eve Harvey is here to talk some plain common sense! Plus our regular features Word of the Week and the Buzz Cut.

DATE: Sun, 21 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Girl, You’re No Madonna

David Baldacci... Lindsay Lohan... and the entire nation of France... all grist to The Debriefer's mill as we once again report from that strange place in spacetime where publishing and the law converge...

DATE: Sat, 20 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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In Memoriam Sid Fleischman

To celebrate the life of Newbery Medal-winning author Sid Fleischman, we are re-broadcasting his interview with Donna Ballman that we first aired some two years ago. Sid was an inspiration for many authors. In addition to writing children's books, he worked for the Children's Television Workshop, and also penned numerous screenplays, including Blood Alley (with John Wayne), The Whipping Boy (with George C. Scott) and many others based on his own novels. He was the father of Newbery Medal-winning writer and poet Paul Fleischman - the only father and son pair to receive Newbery awards.

DATE: Sat, 20 Mar 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Yeastiality And Your Rising Platform

How far do authors have to go to promote themselves on today's web? Have we pulled the curtain back too far? Does knowing more about an author help to build their readership - or does it detract from the reading experience? That's the theme of special guest New Zealander Philippa Ballantine tonight. And Canadian Geoff North has a modest proposition for you to consider - why don't agents and writers cooperate with each other at an earlier stage, rather than insisting on sight of a full manuscript before giving it consideration? With with regulars Donna Ballman and Dave Bartram - and Eve Harvey reporting from the chat room - it's a Marmite of a show!

DATE: Wed, 17 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Writer Exciter: Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are who, whom, which, whose, and that. The two that cause the most trouble are that and which... do you know the difference? In this show, Eve reveals a foolproof method of always knowing which one to use! Plus our regular features Word of the Week and the Buzz Cut. Etymological ecstasy! Write to Eve here: writerexciter[AT]litopia.eu

DATE: Sun, 14 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Dark Side of the Oscars

Was JK Rowling snubbed by this year's Oscars - or vice versa? And the dark side of the movie industry's awards ceremony is... big ticket litigation! Where there's a hit, there's a writ...

DATE: Sat, 13 Mar 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Are These Bollocks Necessary?

If you frown on bad language, you're going to hate tonight's show: it richly merits its explicit tag in iTunes this week. So don't say we didn't warn you! "Why do people not mind reading about rape, vivisection, murder, and genocide" asks our special guest Mur Lafferty, "but throw an eff in there and they're writing you an angry letter!" So is swearing the sign of an unimaginative mind? Is it "necessary" for writers to sometimes use bad language? Listen - and decide!

DATE: Sun, 07 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theater

Threatening the president... online newspapers... and giraffe attacks... all part of the rich tapestry that is today's Debriefer. To what extent should you be allowed to shout fire in a crowded theater? The phrase refers to a famous Supreme Court case that explored the limits of First Amendment protection of free speech. What do you think? Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox.

DATE: Sat, 06 Mar 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Yes, We're Talking About Twilight & Harry Potter Again

Could our literary culture be shaping our genetic inheritance? A startling idea; but in this week's show, special guest Dr. Susan O'Doherty discusses surprising new evidence suggesting that that the accelerating pace of cultural change may be redefining our genetic identity. Does this mean that people who grow up reading romantic novels are more likely to select certain types of spouses? Listen and find out! With social media whiz Jamie Mollart on the panel, as well as our regulars Donna Ballman and Dave Bartram, its a class act all round. And Geoff North provides regular updates from the all-impoirtant chatroom - so you won''t miss even the tiniest morsel of witty goodness!

DATE: Wed, 03 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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A Date With Nemesis

It's time for another chat with John Quirk - the writer from the Isle of Man (a small island 32 miles long & 14 miles wide in the Irish sea) who is taking his first steps with his own publishing business - a venture more and more writers will be flirting with in the future. How is Nemesis Publishing doing - and how is John finding the transition from writer to publisher?

DATE: Sun, 28 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Inside The Subduction Zone

Don't like that snippy book review you got? No problem! Sue the bastards(in France) for criminal libel! Or maybe you've just been sued for libel in the infamous British courts? Easy! Simply move to Arizona! Today's DEBRIEFER with Donna Ballman works the wrinkles, inside and out, to bring you the latest from the subduction zone where ice-cold publishing meets the molten magma of the law. Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox.

DATE: Sat, 27 Feb 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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When Titanic Floats and Ice Sinks

It's a welcome return tonight for New York publisher Philip Turner, whose lustrous credits include works by Barack Obama, Senator George Mitchell, the bestseller IBM and the Holocaust – and the massively controversial book by Ambassador Joseph Wilson, The Politics of Truth. A year ago, Philip was a top-ranking corporate publisher - today, he runs his own editorial services business... suggesting that as "big publishing" contracts, the turmoil can generate opportunities as well as adversity. So can the "creative destruction" that's currently cutting a swathe through the traditional publishing business have its positive side? Philip certainly thinks so. Our other panellists tonight are Donna Ballman, Dave Bartram and John Quirk. Eve Harvey provides regular updates from the all-impoirtant chatroom - so you won''t miss even the tiniest morsel of witty goodness!

DATE: Thu, 25 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Advice for the Lovelorn

To split, or not to split...that is the question on this edition of The Writer Exciter. Should an adverb get in the way of true grammatical perfection? There are so many reasons to stay together... and yet, parting opens up so many new options. It seems that the split infinitive may have been given a raw deal over the years, so Eve Harvey and Peter Cox discuss whether it truly deserves it. Not only is there relationship advice for verbs, there is also a Buzz Cut to be effluented over, a Wow Word supplied by one of our wonderful listeners and a Cliffhanger for you to ponder. Write to Eve here: writerexciter[AT]litopia.eu

DATE: Mon, 22 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Writer Exciter: Affairs of the Colon

Do you know your colon from your semicolon? It's not just a matter of comma vs full stop, you know. Eve Harvey delves into the inner workings of all things colonic... and Peter Cox listens with horror. Also, the Word of the Week is provided by our first listener contribution, the Buzz Cut is given to a very, very big word with Germanic origins and we give the answer to the Cliffhanger from last weeks show. All this and much more... if you can stomach it! Write to Eve here: writerexciter[AT]litopia.eu

DATE: Sun, 21 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Billionaire Fireman Cowboy with a Heart of Gold

What do women really want? Harlequin publishers really do appear to know, and it usually involves a terribly scarred man with a compelling physical presence, blazing with an internal fire women long to be scorched by. Jeez! Also - we mock the NFL, and praise - that's right, praise - a certain publisher for being fair. Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 20 Feb 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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I Was A Teenage Plagarist

Another fast-paced, witty & thought-provoking show tonight – with panellists Martyn Daniels, Eve Harvey, Donna Ballman and Dave Bartram, how could it be otherwise? Donna is outraged by a brazen-faced teenage plagiarist from Germany; when other writers have been discovered copying from their peers, they face ignominy – but not 17 year-old Helene Hegemann who is currently the darling of the German literary scene. “There’s no such thing as originality”, claims Ms. Hegemann. The hussy. Martyn is pondering the “other model” of publishing – will the Writers’ Revolutionary Party succeed? Eve is wondering why Harry Potter knock-off Percy Jackson hasn’t inspired fans in the same way as the original… and Dave is contemplating the void between idea and execution. Also, a pelican bites an Aussie in the bum.

DATE: Thu, 18 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Introducing The Writer Exciter

Say hello to Eve Harvey in her new incarnation - the Writer Exciter. Every week, we aim to add impact to your syntax, and glamour to your grammar! Featuring the Writing Rules (you bend 'em, we mend 'em), the Buzz Cut (in which high-concept meets the vernacular), the Word of the Week and the Diabolical Cliffhanger! Write to Eve here: writerexciter[AT]litopia.eu

DATE: Tue, 16 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The First Modern Poem

What would you consider to be the first modern poem? There can never be a definitive answer, but in today's extended Litopia Daily, we're going to hear John Simopoulos, Dean of Degrees at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, both discuss and read from one of the most remarkable poems ever written...

DATE: Sun, 14 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Shock Treatment

Watch your buttons... Macmillan have a change of heart over their e-book royalties... and why reluctant child readers should study graphic serial killer books that are full of bad language... shock the little darlings into reading, eh? Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 13 Feb 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
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Writing Drunk and Banging For Nickels

After bartenders, writers are more likely to die from cirrhosis of the liver than any other profession. Drugs of all kind have been intimately, and often destructively, involved in the writing process: the list of great writers who have died from alcohol abuse includes such luminaries as Raymond Chandler, John Cheever, Tennessee Williams, Dylan Thomas, Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and of course Ernest Hemingway. What is it about the writing process - or perhaps about writers - that makes a chemical crutch so appealing, and so deadly? Perhaps some drugs might even assist creative writing (pace Huxley's "The Doors of Perception")? That's regular panellist Dave Bartram's topic this week - and a fascinating debate ensues. Our special guests tonight are famed library campaigner and author Alan Gibbons, and Litopian Cath Murphy (all the way from Norway, where people clamber into their deep freezes to warm up). It's even been cold in Florida - where Donna Ballman's iguanas have been dropping like flies!

DATE: Thu, 11 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer - Rupert's Our Hero!

Rupert Murdoch, John Edwards, and a dash of John Grisham... all grist to the Debriefer's mill this week. Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sun, 07 Feb 2010
SIZE: 58.7 MB
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Word Wars for Fun and Profit

You'd think it was hard enough just being a writer, wouldn't you? However, an increasing number of writers are voluntarily choosing to make their lives even tougher - by choosing to vanquish their own, personal, real-life nemesis. Could your writing improve with a nemesis? Listen to Philippa Ballantine, one of our star guests tonight, and decide. It's all ashes and sackcloth tonight as our other star guest, Graham Marks, takes writers to task for being lazy. Well, not all writers - just a few prosperous ones, such as Elmore Leonard - maybe he needs a nemesis? With regular panellist Dave Bartram addressing authenticity in writing, and Donna Ballman foreseeing a resurgence of interest in sci fi and fantasy among young readers - we've got all your bases covered this week!

DATE: Wed, 03 Feb 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Book Launch: Zero Moment by MG Harris

It's launch time! Scholastic Children's Books are publishing the latest book in the bestselling children's series The Joshua Files: Zero Moment by novelist - and Litopian - MG Harris... and we're all invited to the bash. In fact, one dedicated Litopian has journeyed all the way from Germany just to be at the event! So grab your VIP invitation and let's cross the velvet rope to a chilled glass of bubbly and some very special cake... as Litopia Daily goes on location courtesy of the wonderful staff of Blackwells in Oxford, where some very keen young fans are eagerly waiting to grill the author...

DATE: Sun, 31 Jan 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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The Debriefer: Amazon Attacks Big Mac

From the hush-hush world of the publishing insider... with the scandals and scuttlebutt – the rumours and rumbles – the leaks and lowdowns... it's time fror your Monday-morning dose of The Debriefer's insight, analysis and fun. Presented by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sun, 31 Jan 2010
SIZE: 58.7 MB
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Will The iPad Save Publishing?

In what is arguably the most significant week in publishing this decade - maybe even this century - we're giving Apple's newly launched iPad a rigorous examination - and coming to a surprising verdict - in this week's edition of Litopia After Dark. Will Steve Jobs' multi-function e-reader succeed in changing our lives in the same way as Gutenberg's movable type did in the 15th century? The stakes could hardly be higher. The iPad is almost certainly his enduring legacy to the world - and his personal bid for historical immortality. Many in the publishing industry itself are fervently hoping that this new type of product - a "device of the third category" as Jobs calls it - will rescue the business from extinction. Will they be proved right - or wrong? We've got a terrific panel to discuss this and other topics tonight - Simon Flynn, managing director of Icon Books, is our voice from the business itself, and of course there's Donna Ballman (whose new book The Writer's Guide to the Courtroom is just out) and Dave Bartram to inject reality and wit in equal measure. Also on the panel tonight is John Quirk, whose own newly-formed publishing business is being tracked on Litopia Daily.

DATE: Tue, 26 Jan 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Nemesis Is Coming

Do you know where the Isle of Man is? It's a small island (32 miles long, 14 miles wide) in the Irish sea, about half way between Britain and Ireland. Not part of the United Kingdom, nor even part of the European Union, it has a curious relationship with the UK, having its own parliament and government, but dependent on the UK for foreign relations and defence. It has a population of just 80,000 people. Litopia's own John Quirk, a regular voice on Litopia After Dark, is a Manx man born and bred, and in this edition of Litopia Daily, he tells us about his plans to set up a publishing business on his home island. John's first book, The Manx Connection, was published in November 2007. And his follow-up, The Manx Giant, has just been published. We'll be following John's progress with at Nemesis Publishing every month or two, so join us to see how he copes with the triumphs and challenges of a running a small press.

DATE: Sun, 24 Jan 2010
SIZE: 27.7 MB
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Introducing The Debriefer

From the hush-hush world of the publishing insider -on the QT and totally off the record... with the scandals and scuttlebutt – the rumours and rumbles – the leaks and lowdowns... we're delighted to present you with THE DEBRIEFER! Brought to you every Monday morning by Donna Ballman and Peter Cox. Got an inside tip for us? Then send it to debriefer [AT] litopia.eu

DATE: Sat, 16 Jan 2010
SIZE: 58.7 MB
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Celebrity Iguana Rehab

Is online book piracy a good or bad thing for authors? Whichever it is - can we really do anything about it? And what it's got to do with Cory Doctorow's sperm count (quite a lot, actually). Our special guest tonight is author and podcasting diva Mur Lafferty, and she fits right into the dystopia that is Litopia After Dark with frightening ease. Seeing her and raising her one are our veteran panellists Donna Ballman from Florida, Dave Bartram from the west of England and Eve Harvey from bonnie Edinburgh.

DATE: Sat, 09 Jan 2010
SIZE: 58.7 MB
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Back To Work

Right! Rip the decorations down, shape up and let’s get serious. Party time’s over (but it was a good one, wasn’t it?). It’s a new year and arguably a new decade – we’re all business tonight on Litopia After Dark, sorting out the troubles of the publishing business, telling you which predictions for this decade are worth listening to, and warning you about the latest cunning ruses to part authors from their hard-earned royalties. As always, we’re vastly international, with Donna Ballman from Florida, Martyn Daniels and Dave Bartram from the UK, and newcomer Rob Daniel all the way from Western Australia.

Recent Comments for Litopia After Dark

Great show.

Submitted By: leigh.davey@... (on 5-2008)

Yay

Exceptional Podcast for anyone interested in the literary world.

Submitted By: EJHarvey419@... (on 5-2008)


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