The 2014 Utopiales European Award nominees have been announced. This award is given to a novel or collection by a European speculative fiction author that was published in French during the literary season preceding the Utopiales festival. The award ceremony will be held on November 1, 2014.
The 2014 Kirkus Prize finalists have been announced. The Kirkus Prize is one of the biggest in the world, with $50,000 awarded to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. Six books have been nominated in each of the three categories. The winners of each category will be announced on October 23.
Horror Novel Reviews lists the 100 scariest novels of all time. It’s simultaneously disappointing and exhilarating to find I’ve only read 25 of them; I wish I had a better base, but look at all the great reading I have ahead of me! I own more than 30 of those I haven’t read yet, so I have somewhere to start. That’s assuming, of course, that horror readers generally agree with this list. What are your thoughts?
The List Challenges website lists 45 top horror novels, and it’s interesting to note where there is overlap and where there isn’t. For instance, I agree with this list’s contention that Dan Simmons’s Carrion Comfort is terrifying (though why neither list contains Song of Kali by that author is a mystery to me — it may be the most frightening novel I’ve ever read) — but I’ve yet to read Simmons’s A Winter Haunting, so maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing. I’ve read 18 of the books on this list, a much better percentage! And I own another 15, so again, I’ve got a place to start.
What to Read Next
If horror isn’t your preferred genre, never fear: October still has plenty of goodness in store for you. Kirkus lists its top science fiction and fantasy releases for October, as does BuzzFeed (though the latter also includes horror; Kirkus promises horror titles next week). There’s a surprising lack of overlap, so check out both lists.
FlavorWire lists 10 must-read books for October.
David Bowie lists his 75 must-read books for Brain Pickings. It’s a fascinating list with a great deal of variety.
Tor.com has done its usual great job in rounding up all the different genres of science fiction and fantasy that are being published in October. Here are the various lists: genre-benders; science fiction; fantasy; paranormal romance; and paranormal and urban fantasy. I’ll take one of each, please. (I say that a lot, don’t I?)
Hachette v. Amazon
This story never ceases making news. FlavorWire reports on famous authors speaking out against Amazon, provides some data I hadn’t seen before: Amazon wants 30% of the sales price of any ebook sold, with the publisher and author to share the remainder. That seems like an enormous profit for a retailer, and I can see why Hachette might not be too thrilled about that offer. The really interesting part, though, is that the Hachette’s authors (and those of the other big publishers) seems to be hanging in there with Hachette, even though they’re getting hit in the pocketbook pretty hard. Janet Fitch’s letter to Jeff Bezos — to which he never responded — is especially eloquent on the subject. Lee Child dives in on J.A. Konrath’s blog, responding to those self-published authors who are on Amazon’s side. The New York Times reports that Amazon is selectively selling Hachette titles, and not solely based on popularity — it seems to be taking political sides. Damien Walter uses alternate history to suggest that Amazon may not be the bad guy after all.
Can you really read a 110,000 word novel in only three hours? Rob Boffard tried, and was left in agony.
Helen Lowe is bemused at the fact that we’re still arguing about genre vs. literary fiction. She makes a point with which I agree: so-called “literary fiction” is just another genre, with its own distinctive tropes.
Charlie Jane Anders has a great essay in io9 about irony in science fiction.
We lost Lucius Shepard earlier this year — it’s been a bad year for science fiction and fantasy; we’ve lost too many shining lights. Locus hosted a roundtable on Shepard and his work that I found fascinating. So much so, in fact, that I wound up buying a copy of Trujillo, a collection of Shepard’s novellas that I’ve wanted for some time.
October 2 was National Poetry Day in the United Kingdom. To celebrate, Anglophenia put together a collection of 10 British actors reading poetry. I swooned for Alan Rickman’s reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, my favorite of all Shakespeare’s sonnets. You’re bound to find something that suits you here, too.