Faith no more. Christopher Hitchens is surprised to find a ready audience on his latest book tour. He’s obviously missed the good news about the boom in atheist books, with all sorts of authors chipping in. Articles on religion in Prospect over the years have always provoked lots of correspondence (and sometimes subscription cancellations), so it’s perhaps not so unexpected. The same appears to hold for blogs too—the most popular and commented-on post on First Drafts by a long way is the one linked to Roger Scruton’s article on atheist polemics.
Scottish author Ian Rankin is everywhere at the moment. No sooner had his (media-created) spat with fellow crime writer Val McDermd blown over than he was back in the news revealing the JK Rowling rumour was just a joke. Henry Deedes in the Independent wonders if Rankin’s recent remarks about Iain Banks might kickstart another feud. Apparently Rankin finds The Wasp Factory “grotesque”—in that case, he’ll probably want to skip the short story in the forthcoming issue of Prospect, by rising star Ross Raisin.
An open book. An interesting alternative to Project Gutenberg and Google Scholar.