Sunday Links, June 30, 2013

RedshirtsThe Locus Award winners have been announced. I chortled my way through the winning science fiction novel, John Scalzi’s Redshirts. It’s not great art by any means, but it’s a lot of fun.

The long list for the David Gemmell Legend Awards has been announced. I want to read almost everything on that list!

FeedZombie fans might want to take a gander at this list by Barnes & Noble listing “essential” books in the subgenre. I heartily recommend Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series, which reduced me to tears at least twice. Grant writes characters that you grow to love in no time at all. I’m curious about the Sophie Littlefield series; I’ve heard good things about that author.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to read books about the immigrant experience, you want this post from BookRiot and the comments it provoked instead.

Alif the UnseenFantasy is seeping into mainstream fiction more and more, as this list of five mixed-up books demonstrates. I think that list could have been a good deal longer.

Here’s your ultimate guide to summer young adult reading. Give it to your favorite tween or young teen and watch them have a summer full of fun that doesn’t involve computers! Supplement it with this list about popular series and you may find yourself telling the kids to put down that damn book and come watch television with the family. (Yes, this happened to me often when I was a child.)

Stephen KingI have to agree with this call for a good, solid biography of Stephen King. And I’d like it to be a critical biography, too, one that deals with the books in depth. If someone want to pay me to take it on, I’d be delighted. None of the biographies out there so far is really the kind of scholarly work I think is called for, and the critical work is sadly incomplete. This is the type of project that would easily eat up a decade, but what a joy it would be to do!

Reading fiction makes people more comfortable with ambiguity, and teaches them how to think. This finding doesn’t surprise me.

I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but I figured out the other day that I’ve averaged reading 75 books per year for the last ten years. The average will have increased since I began working my day job on a part-time basis in 2006, but even so, this clearly means that I own far more books than I’ll ever be able to read in a conventional manner. So perhaps I should take a tip from Booklife, and start listening to audio books. Time to break down and invest in an iPod, isn’t it?

Conrad WilliamsMost writers I know seem to need to produce the written word simply as a condition of living. Conrad Williams falls into that camp, and he writes with some bewilderment about Alice Munro and Philip Roth, both of whom have recently announced that they are retiring from their writing careers. I’m like that about reading; I can’t imagine saying that I’m done now, that’s it, I’ll be watching television from here on out instead.

Chuck WendigChuck Wendig offers some tips on writing. I think his first rule pretty much sums up the real key to it: “Stop talking about writing. Stop reading about writing. Stop dreaming about writing. Stop doing things that don’t qualify as writing. The thing that defines a writer is that the writer writes.” That’s what I need to do if I ever hope to see my name on the spine of a book, that’s for sure.

Seems to me that e-books should not only cost less for readers, but provide greater royalties (in terms of percentage) to authors. I’m always surprised to see a contract that doesn’t provide for substantially more to writers from a product that doesn’t cost a thing for materials. This article explains that royalties are downright toxic for writers. This makes self-publishing seem sensible, and not just for one’s backlist.

Sexism and misogyny rampant in the publishing industry? Oh, you bet.

pulp magazines bannerIf you find yourself suffering from too much time on your hands, fear not. You can fill hours on end reading old science fiction magazines. What a treasure the Pulp Magazine website is!

The oldest bookstore in the world has been in business since 1732. Isn’t that cool?

book-bird-nest-sculptureYou may have read about the artist in Edinburgh who has been leaving gifts made from books at libraries and other locations. The series was apparently intended to stop at ten, but a new sculpture was recently found at the Leith Library. It’s gorgeous.


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