Arts and Entertainment

Some great authors have published their worst works from beyond the grave. A few though, keep getting better when they’re dead, such as the Chilean novelist and short story writer, Roberto Bolaño. His seminal five-part novel, 2666, came out posthumously, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and convinced the world he was not just a master of the short form but could put out his life’s best work at nearly 900 pages, even after death.

The Golden Apples, By Eudora Welty

Golden, delicious, and plenty to chew on

Burning Bright, By Ron Rash

The quest for dignity, even in adversity

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Economical, but never short of the mark

Invisible Ink: No 88 - Loren D Estleman

I count at least 65 novels and hundreds of short stories to date in Loren D Estleman's Chandleresque output. Not bad for a guy who works on an old manual typewriter. He's been described as "the Stravinsky of hard-boiled prose", whatever that means, but his career to date is better summed up by The Boston Globe, which says that he's "a true professional, a writer of a sort increasingly rare ... so given to his work as to spontaneously combust to genius".

Is David Eagleman the cleverest man in America?

The professor of neurology, bestselling writer and former stand-up comedian wants to change the way we think about thinking. Guy Adams meets the Malcolm Gladwell of brain science

Best British Short Stories 2011, Edited by Nicholas Royle

Slip this lightweight but nourishing anthology into your holiday bag. Editor Royle has selected 20 published stories from British writers. His own (excellent) taste means that little explosions of weirdness or transcendence often erupt amid much well-observed everyday life.

Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science, By Michael Brooks<br/>Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science, Edited by Ra Page

These days science is either nothing or it's the new religion. But, as both these books show in their different ways, the practice of science inhabits the broad territory between these extremes and exhibits the full Monty of human behaviour. Science is the most reliable form of knowledge we have but it is arrived at by unreliable means. Cutting-edge research deals with the unknown unknowns, as the unwitting philosopher of science Donald Rumsfeld put it, and there is no formula or methodology for achieving that.

The Week In Radio: In short, cutting stories is bad news for the BBC

The silly season is abolished, the news agenda is bulging and words like "armageddon" are thrown around whenever anyone discusses the economy. Yet at times even the most hardened news junkie can feel like they have overdosed on current affairs. You may recognise the symptoms. A gnat's attention span, coupled with the compulsion to be in constant touch with the news agenda and to relay it to others via Twitter. And this addiction – for that is what it is – is enabled by an ever-increasing stream of fresh, up-to-the-minute information. Current affairs creep is all around us. The latest instance, however, is causing controversy.

Fry joins push to save Radio 4 short stories

Stephen Fry is the latest writer to join a campaign protesting against Radio 4's planned cull of its short story content.

Cryonics pioneer goes into the deep freeze at 92

A love of sci-fi and amazement at his medical treatment inspired him to write about resurrection after freezing

George R R Martin: Tolkien for the 21st century

With his fantasy books selling by the million, he'll be first choice for many a beach-read this summer. But the power behind 'Game of Thrones' provides depth as well as furious entertainment

Outcry as Radio 4 stops broadcasting short stories

Radio 4, the world's biggest commissioner of short stories, is to cut its broadcast output from three a week to one a week.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick