Bitter lemon is the new black

Jumping on the current bandwagon among us crime-fiction aficionados, I have subscribed to the Bitter Lemon press’s emails– Bitter Lemon being the "in" crime fiction publisher of the moment (at least as far as excellent sites like Eurocrime, Crime Scraps, Detectives beyond Borders et al. are concerned).

I am not going to feature all their suggestions, because the aforementioned blogs will do it with more professional panache than I — and certainly Karen, Uriah-Norm and Peter will read them quicker. But I could not resist mentioning Bitter Lemon’s email of today about one of their books called "Fever" by Friederich Glauser, a German novelist. Now if you made up a German crime fiction author, you could really not do better than Glasuer’s biography, could you?

"Friedrich Glauser is a legendary figure in European crime writing. He was a morphine and opium addict much of his life and began writing crime novels while an inmate at the Swiss insane asylum Waldau."

Manic fringe and friends are no more

This week’s Nature reports another small blow against idiosyncrasy:

"Genes with whimsical names that might cause offence to people carrying mutations in them will be rebranded, the committee that adjudicates on such matters has decided. Names such as lunatic fringe, radical fringe, Sonic hedgehog and Indian hedgehog will no longer be used to refer to human genes.

A survey by the Gene Nomenclature Committee of the Human Genome Organisation, based at University College London, came up with ten genes that have "inappropriate, demeaning and pejorative" names, many of which are linked to eponymous developmental defects. Most genes on the list were initially discovered in fruitflies, for which geneticists have a tradition of coming up with jokey names. The human versions will now be known simply by their abbreviations."

I think it is quite appropriate that the newsletter of this organisation is called Nome News. Theme colour grey, of course.