Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy a hearty helping of links to short fiction, news, reviews, criticism, a taste of poetry and other miscellany from around the Web.

Short Fiction:

  1. “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” by Louisa May Alcott
  2. “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen” by O. Henry
  3. “The Blizzard” by John Dunklee
  4. “Back Trail” by Kerby Jackson


  1. That Jewish Novel – Benjamin A. Plotinsky reviews Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot.
  2. Love and War – Alan Mintz reviews David Grossman’s To the End of the World.
  3. A Man Out of Time – Theodore Dalrymple reviews Byron Rogers’ The Man Who went into the West: The Life of R. S. Thomas.
  4. Literary Criticism – Timothy Farrington reviews Orhan Pamuk’s The Naive and Sentimental Novelist.


  1. “What I’m Thankful For” an interview with Mark Twain from New York World Sunday Magazine (Nov. 26, 1905)
  2. Mark Twain’s Autobiography Flying Off the Shelves
  3. Reinventing the Book: Jonathan Safran Foer’s object of anti-technology.
  4. The Fall and Rise of Science Fiction – John C. Wright briefly reviews science fiction’s literary credentials before and after the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, John W. Campbell.
  5. A Limerick History of Science Fiction – Mike Resnick describes it in terse verse.
  6. Nine Circles of Writing Hell
  7. Harry Potter vs. Gandalf – “An in-depth analysis of the literary use of magic in the works of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling.”
  8. Is Publishing Doomed? – John B. Thompson, author of Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century, interviewed by Williams Cole
  9. “Pirates of the Caribbean 4” Based on Book by CSU, Fullerton Alumnus – An Interview with Tim Powers, author of On Stranger Tides, and James Blaylock.
  10. Selling History with ’50s Pulp Pow and Punch – ” ‘Pulp History,’ a new book series, uses the stytle of razzle-dazzle fiction and comic books to interest youngsters in history.”
  11. Why do the National Book Awards Ban Fairy Tales? – “Humanity’s favorite stories are punished for the vaguely disreputable origins.”


R. S. Thomas (1913-2000)

The Country Clergy

I see them working in old rectories
By the sun’s light, by candle-light,
Venerable men, their black cloth
A little dusty, a little green
With holy mildew. And yet their skulls,
Ripening over so many prayers,
Toppled into the same grave
With oafs and yokels. They left no books,
Memorial to their lonely thought
In grey parishes: rather they wrote
On men’s hearts and in the minds
Of young children sublime words
Too soon forgotten. God in his time
Or out of time will correct this.

A Peasant

Iago Prytherch his name, though, be it allowed,
Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills,
Who pens a few sheep in a gap of cloud.
Docking mangels, chipping the green skin
From the yellow bones with a half-witted grin
Of satisfaction, or churning the crude earth
To a stiff sea of clods that glint in the wind-
So are his days spent, his spittled mirth
Rarer than the sun that cracks the cheeks
Of the gaunt sky perhaps once in a week.
And then at night see him fixed in his chair
Motionless, except when he leans to gob in the fire.
There is something frightening in the vacancy of his mind.
His clothes, sour with years of sweat
And animal contact, shock the refined,
But affected, sense with their stark naturalness.
Yet this is your prototype, who, season by season
Against siege of rain and the wind’s attrition,
Preserves his stock, an impregnable fortress
Not to be stormed, even in death’s confusion.
Remember him, then, for he, too, is a winner of wars,
Enduring like a tree under the curious stars.