Today In Books

Junji Ito Hopes to Create Horror Manga So Creepy AI Tools Can’t Match It: Today in Books

Library Funding is on the Line as Book Battles Intensify

As libraries are facing more and more bans on books — most with LGBTQ themes or discussing race and racism, funding for these libraries is also being put into question. Under a new “administrative rule” enacted by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft in Missouri, libraries would lose state funding if they give minors books parents don’t want them to read, don’t keep “age-inappropriate” books away from minors, or fail to publicize how they select books and how parents can challenge those book selections. Librarians are unsure of how this rule would be enacted, but it makes many of them feel uncertain about the future. “I think we’re all just in shock,” says Otter Bowman, a library associate at the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, Mo. “It’s not clear-cut at all how in the world this is going to work, and there’s so much that could go wrong…I could go home thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, I just cost my library $160,000,’ because that’s the amount of state aid we would lose if we violated the rule.”

Junji Ito Hopes to Create Horror Manga So Creepy AI Tools Can’t Match It

In a recent interview with the Japanese video game website 4Gamer, horror manga writer and artist Junji Ito expressed concern that manga will eventually be drawn with AI tech. To combat that fear, Ito says he has to create horror so unexpected and scary that AI won’t be able to match it. “It’s like something that you didn’t think you were afraid of before suddenly becomes scary,” Ito explains. “I once drew a manga called Uzumaki. The swirl pattern that exists naturally and fear are connected, and the swirl pattern that was casually seen until then becomes scary. In this way, I would like to create a story in which the unexpected becomes frightening before AI.”

Illustrated Children’s Biography of King Charles Hits No 1 on UK Book Charts Ahead of Coronation

Ahead of King Charles’s coronation on May 6, a children’s biography about the king has hit number one on UK book charts. The nonfiction book, illustrated by Matt Hunt, is the first of the Little People, Big Dreams series to reach the top of book charts. But not everyone is excited about the success of the book. After the book’s publication in April, one Glasgow bookstore boycotted the book. And actor Samuel West tweeted, “Kids, you too can be a King if you work hard enough. Adding this title to the Little People, Big Dreams stable certainly puts the achievements of Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai in perspective.” The book is expected to stay on top of the charts for several weeks after the king’s coronation.

What is Literary Fiction, Anyway?

We know what genres are. At least, maybe we do. So what the heck is literary fiction? Is it a genre? No genre?