Sunday Links, June 29, 2014
The Locus Award winners have been announced.
The long list for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize has been announced.
What to Read Next
Nancy Pearl has some good suggestions. I loved Tim Horvath’s Understories myself (review here), so I’m inclined to take a look at her other picks (and I’ve therefore already purchased S.E. Grove’s The Glass Sentence).
Lev Grossman writes about how books become the book of any given summer — and this year’s top contenders.
Horror seems to be galloping into a new Golden Age, thanks to the internet. Here are six new magazines any fan should take a close look at. I particularly recommend Nightmare myself, though I also like Black Static and just reviewed the first issue of Jamais Vu last week (you can find that review here).
The Atlantic is soliciting suggestions for weird fiction to read in July. There aren’t a lot of comments so far, but the ones that are on the site are choice. Pay particular attention to Scott Nicolay’s comment, which lists a good number of authors I’ve read or am reading or have in the TBR pile. You can read more about Nicolay’s recommendation in his recent interview with The Arkham Digest.
Publishing and Reviewing
The dispute between Amazon and Hachette doesn’t look likely to be resolved any time soon. It’s not like Amazon is seeking just a little more profit. No, it wants pretty much everything, from a 66% increase in its agency commission to payment for everything from recommending a book to a shopper to a pre-order button to a dedicated employee at Amazon for Hachette books. Basically, it wants publishers to pay for the privilege of selling its books on Amazon. It’s a fairly astonishing request from a retailer. One writer compares Amazon’s demands to “assisted suicide for the book industry.”
I wonder if Amazon understands that it’s losing market share? Blogs I frequent have started linking to Barnes & Noble rather than to Amazon; that’s gotta hurt, right? And independent booksellers are taking advantage of the dispute, too. Now if only someone besides Amazon could sell books for the Kindle, some real competition could emerge.
And then there’s David Gaughran, who says: not so fast. Maybe Amazon isn’t really the bad guy; maybe it is. We just don’t know.
Damien Walter advocates cruel and nasty reviews for genre fiction. Actually, what he means is that we need more reviews that are willing to be critical of genuine problems that appear in novels. I agree.
Other Cool and Interesting Stuff
In the United Kingdom, there are doctors who are prescribing books to treat depression. It appears that the books are of the DIY sort rather than fiction, but that strikes me as an error; I’m more cheered by getting lost in a good novel than I am by reading about my malady.
Like Franz Kafka, I’ve worked for law firms and for insurance companies; if that’s an indication that I’ll someday write weird fiction, that’s all to the good so far as I’m concerned! Writers have had a lot of unusual jobs before turning to writing.