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Sunday Links, May 5, 2013

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The Edgar Award winners have been announced.

Dark EdenDark Eden by Chris Beckett has won Arthur C. Clarke Awardthe Arthur C. Clarke Award. It looks like it’s been acquired for publication in the United States, so perhaps we’ll get a chance to read it soon.

The Scott Prize for Short Stories has been awarded to Kirsty Logan for her collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales, which will be published in November.

the drowning girlThe nominees for the Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced. I think this might be my favorite awards, because the judges customarily roam so widely. I note that this is at least the third major award for which Caítlin R. Kiernan’s The Drowning Girl has been nominated this year. I really need to get to that book soon! I had no idea that Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has a fantastical element to it; that’s on my Kindle, waiting for my attention, too. And, of course, I’ve just ordered the two novels on the ballot that I don’t own. These lists, they get me every time.

Why read the classics? Because they can tell us a lot about ourselves and make us feel it, that’s why, as this article explains.

comicsSurely there are some readers of comics — excuse me, “graphic novels” — around here, right? If so, you’re in for quite a summer. This article features 13 alternative comics — comics outside the universe of Marvel and DC — that sound like great fun.

Laird Barron has steadily been updating his list of horror writers any fan of the genre will want to discover. I’ve read at least a little of most of these writers, but there are still some who are new to me — and I’m looking forward to reading them.

Wouldn’t you think that science fiction would be the last genre that would be subject to sexism? It’s forward-looking genre, one that is based on reason and science, both of which are the opposite of sexism, at least in my mind. But science fiction has a long history of extreme sexism, so that women in the past routinely changed their names (like James Tiptree, Jr., who was really Alice Sheldon) or used their initials only (like C.L. Moore). I’d like to say that the problem has receded in the 21st century, but alas, it very definitely has not. Author Patty Jansen writes that sexism is alive and well in hard science fiction. You’d think we didn’t have any females who understood science! But folks, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee: we do. Lots of them. Start with C.L. Cherryh, Nancy Kress and Lois McMaster Bujold, and then come back to me for more.

If you’d like to do your part to correct the sexism that pervades just about all aspects of the literary, you might consider using this list of 101 women worth reading. It’s an amazing list, and I’ll be referring to it to guide my own reading for some time to come, because I’ve only read about half the authors on it (though I own books by a good many more).

Gertrude Stein rejectionI’ve been learning the joys of rejection lately, as I start sending my writing out to various magazines, both literary and genre. It’s the first time I’ve done this since my college days, at the latest, and as far as I can tell the biggest impact of electronic communications is that you can now get rejected in mere days. Sigh. I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, I’ll take comfort from these harsh rejection letters of undeniably brilliant work. Maybe one day one of my rejection slips will show up in a similar article. Hey, it could happen!

I’ve been reading the New York Times Book Review for about two decades now, with increasing dismay at its descent into graphs and charts for pages and pages and pages, fewer reviews, and the more-than-occasional really mean review written by the author’s enemy. I don’t think I agree that reviews are “an outdated form,” but this writer clearly has a point about the NYTBR needing a serious facelift. Maybe the new editor will make it a publication of the time, instead of one that tries to follow old conventions and fails.

I’ve posted before about the Night Shade Books meltdown. Here’s what it means to one new author. Imagine finally getting published, only to have it all ripped away by the impending bankruptcy of your publisher! Ugh. I sure hope things work out for these writers, because Night Shade had a tendency to publish people whose work I really wanted to read.

Room to Read is a charity organization dedicated to helping kids in Africa and Asia attain higher levels of literacy, and, therefore, a ladder out of poverty. I don’t think there’s much you can do that will change a kid’s life than to make him or her a reader. Add this to your list of worthy charities.

Writing is hard! A new writer learns lessons about adverbs, point of view and emotions.

Oxford English DictionaryThe chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary discusses some interesting word origins. John Simpson is stepping down from his position as chief editor later this year.

These vintage photos of librarians are fun to look through.

Weird Things CustomersI’ve always wanted to work in a bookstore. Or at least, I thought I did until I read this list of weird things customers say in bookstores. I’m proud to say that my questions have never been quite so weird; I’m more likely just to ask for a book they not only don’t have, but never even thought to stock. I have strange taste, I guess.

This doesn’t really have anything to do with books, but it struck me as sufficiently entertaining that I want to share: historical figures updated to today’s looks. Admiral Lord Nelson doesn’t look all that different, really; Shakespeare is fun; and Elizabeth I seems perfect to me. But Marie Antoinette is unrecognizable.

I’ve always loved fairy tales. In fact, I attribute my love of reading to the fact that my mother used to read to me from The Golden Book of Fairy Tales at naptime when I was a child. I have vivid memories of the illustrations in that book; and it sure helped me fall in love with my husband when he purchased a copy for me on one of our first dates (which included a stop at a bookstore, of course). That’s why these fantasy photographs hit me so hard. They are about as beautiful a series of photographs as I’ve ever seen. Hope you enjoy them, too.

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