Sunday Links, January 26, 2014

Edgar AwardsThe nominees for the 2014 Edgar Awards for best mystery fiction in numerous categories have been announced.

The preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards for horror fiction published in 2013 has been announced. I’m very disappointed that Michael Rowe’s wonderful Wild Fell isn’t on it (reviewed here). I have much reading to do to make any sort of judgment in any of the categories, despite the fact that I read a fair amount of horror fiction.

more than thisThe shortlist for the Kitschies has been announced. These awards are given for works containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic” in “progressive, intelligent and entertaining” fiction.

The Arthur C. Clarke Award is taking a different approach to setting out a long list this year. It was criticized last year for failing to include a single book written by a female among its nominees. In an attempt to avoid that problem this year, it is separately listing potential nominees written by women. The full list will be released on January 30. I’m curious about what the authors on this list think of this approach: is it condescending to them to list them separately, or is it a positive good?

ConversionAs I mentioned last week, the lists of books to look forward to in 2014 has dropped off almost completely, but there’s one more list that, intriguingly, contains fantasy titles I’ve not seen listed elsewhere. M.J. Rose also has a list of 2014 suspense fiction that looks very tasty.

Author Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria) is teaching a world literature class emphasizing the Weird, and her syllabus looks wonderful. The class looks demanding, but I’d sure love to be taking it.

blackThe world of self-publishing is a different place, it seems, where writers often turn out ten or more books each year. It appears to work for them, but holy cow, what a schedule to keep! And I have some serious concerns about how good a novel written in five weeks, including editing and proofreading, can possibly be. Wouldn’t there be a terrific temptation to become overly wordy, just to fill out the pages?

I’ve looked over a couple of publishing contracts in the last ten years or so, and I’ve been perplexed as to why publishers seek to lower the royalties paid for e-books. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Surely the costs are lower for e-books than for paper books, right? One publisher recently addressed this question online, getting a fair bit of pushback from writers. Self-publishing is starting to look better and better to a lot of writers who aren’t in the upper echelons of bestsellers. It’s an interesting conundrum, and I’m curious about how it will all turn out.

divergentA good number of science fiction, fantasy and horror movies are being adapted for the movies. Veronica Roth’s Divergent should make a good movie if they’re true to the book. I’m surprised that Mark Helprin’s (Winter’s Tale isn’t mentioned; that’s coming out on Valentine’s Day (and I therefore need to read it right quick — I always prefer to read the book before I see the movie, if I can).

Not everyone believes she has to read the book before seeing the movie, though. In fact, nearly a quarter of Americans haven’t read a single book in the last year, nearly triple the number who reported as much in 1978. But as the linked article points out, the more educated one is, the more likely he is to read; so the fact that more people are going to college these days might give the publishing industry a good reason for optimism. Salon takes it further with an article about how to convince kids to read.

Constant readers will recognize themselves in this list of 30 signs you like books more than you like people.

grimmSome inspired silliness: the internet browsing histories of literary characters. I think they got Owen Meaney’s list especially right.

I leave you, as I often do, with something beautiful to look at. This week, the ravishing view is of photographs suggestive of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, full of fog and forests.


1 Comment to Sunday Links, January 26, 2014

  1. January 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Poets & Writers magazine recently had several articles about self-publishing, including a conversation between an agent and an editor/publisher and a writer about their thoughts on the matter. A comment that stuck with me was that the image of self-publishing is shifting from “vanity publishing” to “artisinal”–that small-batch, hand-crafted concept we’re seeing (and embracing) in the food and beverage world. Far more appealing to think of it this way.

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