Hello, Like Fire! I’m happy to be here. I’m going to try to give you a roundup of links every Sunday, and try to make them as ecumenical as I can, though I confess to a bias toward genre reading and therefore genre links. If you have anything you’d like me to include in a future column, please feel free to send them to me at tmweyna at aol.com (with, of course, the appropriate symbol for “at” and no spaces). I’ll be happy to get them. In the meantime, here’s what interested me over the past few weeks.
The British Science Fiction Association announced the nominees for its annual awards. Only one of the novels nominated for the top prize, 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, is currently available in the United States, but most of the nominees are at least coming soon.
The finalists for the 2012 Kitschies have been announced. Never heard of this award? Me neither. It’s apparently awarded to the year’s most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic, sponsored by (of all things) Kraken Rum. It’s another set of British awards, but most of these books are available to American audiences. I’ve not read any of them yet, though I own a few. How about you? What do you think should win the prestigious Red Tentacle (novel), Golden Tentacle (debut) or Inky Tentacle (cover art)?
The Edgar Award nominees have been announced. Any picks for the winners here? The list makes me wish for at least double the reading time I have; I’ve read none of the nominees, and, to my considerable surprise, own only one of them (Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which I’ve just started).
The nominees for the Philip K. Dick Award have been announced. This award goes to the best science fiction published in paperback in the United States. I’ve been working on Brian Francis Slattery’s Lost Everything, but finding it somewhat hard going, making me curious as to why it was nominated. I’ll soldier through and let you know my thoughts at the other end.
There are a few late lists of 2012 best books that deserve attention, such as Library Journal’s list of short story collections and small press bests. I’ve got Dan Chaon’s Stay Awake on my shelf, waiting for my attention, and there’s plenty more on this list I’m eager to try. What intrigues you?
January Magazine’s choices for the best of 2012 cover a broad range of genres and mainstream choices. Here’s the list for science fiction; you can click on other links on this page to find your genre of choice. While I’m not sure I’d term John Scalzi’s Redshirts one of the best books of the year, I can certainly agree that it is marvelously entertaining, and if that’s the criterion for choosing these books, this list should be a good guide.
One of the best websites I’ve discovered for news of science and science fiction is io9. This roundup of coming attractions for 2013 is enough to light any speculative fiction reader on fire.
The Millions has a totally different view of the most anticipated books of 2013. These books are mostly for the mainstream fiction and nonfiction reader—I’m eager to read Kate Atkinson’s new book, Life After Life, due in April. And speaking of self-publishing (as we just were), now even websites are getting into the game: The Millions has published its first ebook.
Publishing continues to get weirder and more interesting every day, in fact. The Virginia Quarterly Review discusses what’s going on in the book business, from publishing mergers to the surprising resilience of independent bookstores.
Writer Matt Debenham offers six things prose writers can learn from television. They’re decent tips, especially for those who don’t think that plot matters anymore.
Jonathan Evison reminds us why we love real books—the actual, physical, turn-the-pages paper objects—in this lovely short essay from NW Book Lovers. I live with 15,000 or so books (the number remains uncertain at present, as the library is not yet completely cataloged, but I do know that there are more than 50 bookcases, many of them double-shelved), so I can perfectly agree with Mr. Evison. Nothing feels better in the hand than a real book.
Well, there might be one exception: a cat feels at least as good, as most readers know. If you’d like to combine your cats and your books, these bookshelves, made especially with cats in mind, might be for you.