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Sunday Links, August 4, 2013

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Libertarian SocietyThe 2013 Prometheus Award winners have been announced. The awards are given by the Libertarian Futurist Society, and will be presented at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, which begins late this month.

Sunburst AWardThe 2013 Sunburst Award short list has been announced. These awards are for excellence in Canadian science fiction. Unfortunately, only a few are available in the United States, at least right now.

Doctor SleepOmnivoracious lists its most anticipated books of the fall, as well as their editors’ picks. I’ll take one of each, please, though I’m especially excited by Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, Lee Child’s Never Go Back, and Scott Turow’s Identical, all of which I’ve pre-ordered. (Isn’t that a silly word, “pre-ordered”? I’ve ordered them, plain and simple, but no one else seems to like that locution.) There are new books by Donna Tartt, Sue Grafton, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Pynchon, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jonathan Lethem, Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth George, Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Dan Simmons, Brandon Sanderson, Holly Black, Scott Lynch, Kat Richardson, Mira Grant — and that’s just picking out the ones that especially appeal to me. It looks like I won’t have time to do anything else this fall and winter but read! (Well, okay, that’s always the case. But it does look like I’ll have to exercise some serious self-discipline to do anything else.)

So far, so good: New York Times columnists tell us what their favorite book was so far this year.

cc5f07bbThe Edinburgh International Book Festival starts next Saturday, and the program is almost enough to make me hop on a plane regardless of anything else going on in my life. Days upon days of book talk with some of the greatest talent in the world! What could be better than that? Maybe next year we’ll finally do it, and stop in Hay-on-Wye while we’re in the neighborhood, broadly speaking.

New York Review of BooksOkay, now this is just plain bad: The New York Review of Books has only one female contributor in a recent issue, out of 27 total contributors. Really? They couldn’t find anything else worth publishing by a woman? My husband and I pulled another copy out of our pile to make a comparison, and sure enough, only one woman in the next issue we looked at, too. Perhaps it’s time for me — and you, readers of the female persuasion — to write a review essay and submit it for publication to this esteemed publication.

And an antidote, of sorts: A.C. Wise offers her third column discussing women to read right now. This time she suggests female characters worth reading, instead of female authors — but not too surprisingly, most of them are written by female authors.

Stephen King talks about first sentences, and why he sometimes spends years making sure he’s got the right words at the beginning of the first page of every novel. It all comes down to voice, he says.

Li_ErLi Er discusses the future of the novel in China. Er calls for a new narrative method, arguing that the traditional novel is the product of capitalism. It’s fascinating to see how another culture can see something as basic as a novel as necessarily being a sort of economic argument, by its very existence.

The Guardian wants to know about a book that has changed you. This survey should make interesting reading when it’s completed.

Lisa SimpsonHave you noticed that lots of characters in books are big readers? Dave Astor has. As a lover of books about books, I approve.

A bookseller explains why his Kindle has turned him off paper books altogether. You know, I have to admit that I’m just as likely these days to read from my Kindle Paperwhite as to read from a physical book — but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I find paper books unreadable. No, I’m not about to divest myself of a 15,000 volume library any time soon.

And just for fun: the most bookish characters on television. From Mad Men’s Ken Cosgrove to Lisa Simpson, they’re all there.

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