Well-written literary sex can advance a plot, reveal fascinating character traits, and add immensely to a novel. A badly written sex scene, on the other hand, is just pornographic. The Literary Review just released their nominees for the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards, including scenes from Brida by Paulo Coelho and The Reserve by Russell Banks. The awards are designed to “discourage, poorly written, redundant or excessively pornographic passages of a sexual nature in fiction,” and should come with a “not appropriate for children” warning.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Book Design Review blog just released its list of its favorite book covers from 2008. The simplicity of Jennifer Carrow’s cover for Against Happiness, book by Eric G. Wilson, makes it my favorite of the bunch.