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Steamboats are Ruining Everything: now in book form

Posted by Christopher Shea  May 18, 2009 12:14 PM

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"With all the time and energy you've squandered on that blog, you could have written a book. So goes the self-reproach …"

Many of us have heard that particular nagging voice. But unlike most of us, Caleb Crain -- writer of fiction, contributor of nonfiction to the New Yorker and elsewhere, author of the cultural-literary blog Steamboats are Ruining Everything -- has responded to it decisively. The result is "The Wreck of the Henry Clay: Posts and Essays, 2003-2009," a best-of-Steamboats compendium. It's available via Lulu Marketplace as either a book or a pdf download. Why is he doing this, you may wonder?

I saw not long ago that someone had published a book of his Twitters, and I felt I was in danger of being behindhand. I am hereby restored to the bleeding edge. Also, now, when the electromagnetic-pulse device is detonated, I will be the only blogger in America with backup. And of course I'm looking forward to kicking back while the cold, hard internet cash at last streams in.

Please don't call it "self-published," Crain requests, a term that has a rather downmarket ring to it. "It's a chapbook, all right?"

And talk about Web 2.0. Crain has even fashioned an animated advertisement for the book, with the help of xtranormal.com.

crainbook.jpg
Caleb Crain's blog, meatspace edition
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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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