Sunday Links, June 9, 2013
I’ve missed the last few weeks, having been tied up in attending the Nebula Weekend, getting ready to vacation, and vacationing. That means that this week’s helping of links is longer than usual — but it’s full of tastiness. Get your list of books to look for out, because you’re likely to be adding to it, regardless of your particular corner of the literary world.
Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts (published in the United States as The Brides of Rollrock Island) has won the 2013 Norma K. Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability in Australian speculative fiction.
The Well-Readheads have some ideas about what you should read this summer as well.
io9 provides a list of summer reads that are more action-packed than most summer movies. These aren’t new books — at least, not all of them — but they’re great reads.
If your taste in summer reading tends more towards the high-falutin’, this list is for you. I’ve read two of the twenty books recommended here, and if they’re anything to judge by, I should immediately go out and buy the remaining 18. Great stuff here.
There’s a wonderful list of fantasy novels those who wish to be well-versed in the genre can use as a guide; I’ve been working with it for a while, and though it presently needs to be updated, it’s a valuable guide. I’ll add bits here and there, such as this list of forgotten fantasy novels. A few, like Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirlees, have been in my library forever, though I still haven’t gotten to them. You’re used to my refrain by now, I’m sure: so many books, so little time.
Many fantasy novels are wonderful reads, but have terrible covers. BuzzFeed lists 13 of them. I can definitely vouch for The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch; I had a good deal of fun reading that novel.
There are all kinds of geeks, and to each kind of geek, there is an appropriate book. Find the book that will satisfy your particular type of geekiness here.
Do you spend too much time in the library? These 25 warning signs can give you the answer to that question. Unfortunately, my local library isn’t very good, so I don’t hang out there — but I do place books on reserve, and drop by about once a week to pick up and drop off books. And yes, I do occasionally check to see what other people have being held for them. But that doesn’t mean I have a library habit, does it?
If you count authors as your best friends — even if you’ve never met them — you might be interested in this article from The Huffington Post about how you can help them out. I’ve been doing my share with reviews and gifts, not to mention recommending books to complete strangers in bookstores, at the breakfast table when I visit a bed and breakfast, or to the person the next beach towel over at the ocean. I was just talking up Jonathan Maberry to a young man I saw wearing a zombie tee shirt the other day. Why not give the books you love a boost, so that the authors can keep writing things you want to read?
I don’t believe any of those places is a weird place to talk about books, not when compared with the weird places discussed in this article. If pressed, I think I’d be compelled to say that the weirdest place I’ve talked about books is while naked on a masseuse’s table. How about you?
Amazon is going to start publishing fan fiction. It’s offering a terrible contract, but if all you want is to see your work published, then maybe this is the way to go. I’d rather read original work instead of fan fiction myself, but I’ll confess to having read a Harry Potter story or two in my time.
Have you noticed an uptick in books with single-word titles? Barnes & Noble has.
Who are the highest paid authors of 2012? The answers might surprise you. I find it disheartening that the top author on the list is not so much a writer as a writing factory, turning out novels as if they were widgets. I enjoyed the early Alex Cross novels, but stopped reading them when they turned into books calculated to be bestsellers: three page chapters, three sentence paragraphs, simplistic characterizations, see-through plots. Wealth, after all, isn’t everything.
Well, the deal’s gone through: Skyhorse and Start have acquired Night Shade Books. It would be nice if Night Shade’s authors could be paid, and those whose books have been in limbo could see publication. And I’m hopeful that Night Shade’s quirky taste in books (which seems to parallel mine, more often than not) will cause the new publishers to publish great science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Publishers Weekly suggests that many authors are falling for a number of myths about digital publishing. It’s a timely warning, set forth in an intelligent article.
As an aspiring writer myself, I’m always fascinated by the habits of those who write for a living. HuffPo tells us about the rituals followed by famous authors. I’m particularly astonished at George Sand’s habit of writing ten pages a day. Ten! That’s a lot of writing.
Writers make outlines, and they’re very complicated.
Robert Jackson Bennett, the author of the brilliant Mr. Shivers and several other well-received novels, wonders whether we want to read about real, ordinary people or whether we just want to read about celebrities. Bennett ultimately comes down in favor of reality, but it’s how he gets there that’s interesting.
Not to be outdone, Brain Pickings offers its own take on the routines of famous writers. There is no overlap between the two lists at all, which is fairly interesting in and of itself.
Don’t be a writer, Matt Haig says, unless you want to be miserable. I chortled happily throughout this article, and resolved more than ever to become a writer, if it means being able to turn out such funny prose.
Larry Hodges provides 50 writing quotes, which as far as I can tell are quotations of his own thoughts, which makes the exercise a somewhat odd one. Still, there are some interesting thoughts here.
Every writer needs a cat. Here are some writers with their animals, which makes the writers look rather more cuddly than one would expect them to. The writers, not the cats. Stephen King doesn’t look in the least frightening when he’s petting a cat, for instance.
In the wake of the success of such television shows as “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead,” a good many more science fiction, fantasy and horror programs are going to be appearing in the relatively near future. Kirkus runs them down for us, and suggests we might want to hurry up quick and read them. Me, I’m presently reading Under the Dome by Stephen King, which is coming to CBS on June 24.
Did you get stuck with an uncashed gift card from Borders when it vanished from the face of the earth? Here are some ideas for how to get use out of those little plastic rectangles. I’m rather taken with the idea of saving them in case Borders is ever resurrected. Not that I expect that to happen in my lifetime, mind you.
I’ve been collecting tee shirts with literary themes for years now — bookstore logos, convention logos, and booklovers’ sayings have adorned me as I write (today’s tee shirt: “Books. Cats. Life is good.”) After reading this article, though, I might start collecting coffee mugs as well. I particularly like the one that says, “Reading Is My Superpower.” Indeed.
Book Expo American just ended a week or two ago. One of these years I’ve got to get myself there! Apparently BEA doesn’t just offer a lot of great books to those who wander the convention hall, but also a fair bit of book-related swag. I may need to get one of those onesies for my new great-niece.
And here, to close, some lovely art made from books. I’d give a lot to own the ship being attacked by a kraken.
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