Gweek 103: Last Policeman author Ben H. Winters and Joshua Glenn


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Joining me in this episode:

Ben H. Winters is the author of six novels, including The Last Policeman, an Best Book and a 2012 Edgar Award winner. His other books include Bedbugs, Android Karenina, the New York Times bestseller Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and the middle-grade novels The Mystery of the Missing Everything and The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, a Bank Street Best Book of 2011 and an Edgar Award nominee. Ben is also the author of many plays and musicals for children and adults, and he has written for national and local publications including the Chicago Tribune, Slate, and the Huffington Post. His second book in The Last Policeman trilogy is called Countdown City and it came out July 16.

Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and semiotician. He is co-author of Significant Objects, published by Fantagraphics, and Unbored, the kids' field guide to serious fun coming from Bloomsbury this fall. He edits the website HiLobrow, which as HiLoBooks is now publishing classics -- by Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others -- from what he calls science fiction's Radium Age.

Here's what we talked about:

Ira Levin, author of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives.

Countdown City, Ben Winters' second novel in the Last Policeman Trilogy, which takes places in a world where a cataclysmic asteroid is months away from impact.

Josh on the 10-minute film "Dr Easy" (created by the London-based art group Shynola), which is an expansion of the first chapter of Matthew De Abaitua's cult 2007 sf novel The Red Men.

Josh on the Tributes to Kim Thompson page at The Comics Journal website. "Thompson edited many of Fanta's most popular titles, including Peter Bagge's Hate, Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library, Joe Sacco's Palestine, Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo, Linda Medley's Castle Waiting, and anthologies like Critters and Zero Zero. Thompson translated comics by: Joost Swarte (Dutch); David B., Jacques Tardi and Lewis Trondheim (French); Jason (Norwegian or French); and many others. I corresponded with Kim about Franco-Belgian comics that have never been published in English, and brought some examples in."

The HiLoBooks edition of J.D. Beresford’s 1913 sf novel Goslings “At once a postapocalyptic adventure, a comedy of manners, and a tract on sexual and social equality, Goslings is by turns funny, horrifying, and politically stirring,” says Benjamin Kunkel. “Most remarkable of all may be that it has not yet been recognized as a classic.”

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. Ben: "A new book from Quirk (my publisher) where the guy took the original film and did the whole thing a la Shakespeare (alternating iambic pentameter and free verse, etc.) Pretty fascinating. Subtitle: 'Verily, a New Hope.'"

MAD: Artist’s Edition. Mark: A massive (22” x 15.5” -- same size as drawn, 13 pound) book of early Mad comic book art. They photographed the original pages so you can see the white-out, blue lines, zip-a-tone, paste-ups, etc.

Pocket Spotlight. A grid of LEDs that provide a continuous light source for smartphone photography. I hardly ever use my point and shoot any more. I take almost all my photos with my iPhone because I love filter apps.

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