This collection contains over fifty of the year’s best online essays and reviews, from Tansy Rayner Roberts on Supergirl to Lavie Tidhar on China Miéville to Aishwarya Subramanian on My Little Pony to Joe Abercrombie on, er, himself. It is a diverse collection of some of last year’s best and most interesting writing. We fully expect – and hope – it will cause discussion, debate and a bit of a ruckus.
Last year, I began a partnership with Jared Shurin, co-owner/editor of Pandemonium Fiction, to release an anthology titled Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, with proceeds to be donated to charity.
Our goal, if any such thing can be claimed, is to create a record of all the incredibly rich content being created on the web. We put out a call for submissions from the community at large and received over 200. Accounting for our own finds, that means well over 300 pieces of non-fiction that range from reviews, to essays about the field, to what it means to live the genre life (or something to that effect).
Over the next few weeks we’ll be narrowing that down under fifty, contacting authors to get rights, and writing our witty and charming introduction that will both highlight our complete capability as curators of taste and impugn our credibility with self aggrandizing adjectives.… Read the rest
I started this blog nearly two years ago. There were a few things I expected might happen with time. I figured publishers might start sending me books. I figured people might start reading me if I made any sense. And I even figured I might gain some measure of internet celebrity (I can’t be right all the time, can I?). Even still, it’s been a pretty successful endeavor.
Last night, I received a copy of Francis Knight’s forthcoming debut, Fade to Black. It really solidified how fun this can be. Wrapped in black glossybubble wrap and then inscribed tissue paper, Orbit Books announced Knight’s novel with panache. It screams, ‘this is going to be a huge book in 2013, don’t miss it.’
I retain the right to tell Orbit they’re full of shit if it isn’t any good, but I’ll be damned if I’m not eagerly anticipating cracking it open after I finish the short stack next to my bed (for the curious, The Red Knight by Miles Cameron, Tomorrow the Killing by Daniel Polansky, The Bones of the Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones). … Read the rest
I’m not sure what prompted me to write this post, but it seems like an appropriate time to talk about the five books that most influenced me as a person and as a reader. Perhaps it’s because I’m going through a big transition now, both personally with my father-in-law’s declining health and professionally with my impending doomsday of January 1 for unemployment, that I want to reflect a bit. Either way, I think there’s something significant to be learned about someone in a list like this.
Maybe other bloggers will take my cue and do a list of their own?
The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon
The first Hardy Boys book is my number one, and it’s not close. It was the first proper book I ever read and it’s largely, if not entirely, responsible for kindling in me a love of story. My parents’ raised me to find my own path.
I don’t read comics anymore, but I sure used to. For the last three weeks I’ve been on a work trip, which blissfully coincides with where I grew up. I’ve been staying with my folks in the same room I was raised in, albeit with a much different decor aesthetic (mom didn’t dig bikini clad women, wtf?). I’ll be getting on a plane later tonight to head home.
In packing up, I stumbled across a few boxes in the closet. I thought some of you might get a kick out of what I found:
Is that the first issue of almost every one of Image’s launch titles? Yes, yes it is.
Peter V. Brett wrote an interesting blog post about several things. The point that came through clearest for me was the fact that even as a New York Times Bestseller, he’s still a huge fan who loves nothing more than a new book showing up on his doorstep.
‘…every time I get a package, there is a little thrill. Has another of my international children come home in the form of some translation of a Demon Cycle book? It is the new Joe Abercrombie book? A manuscript version of the NEXT BIG THING writer? There is no wrong answer.’
Brett also talks about Shawn Speakman’s forthcoming anthology and his need to get get more exercise to keep his life insurance premiums down. While discussing the latter, he mentioned listening to a podcast,
‘…with The Functional Nerds interviewing Justin Landon (@jdiddyesquire) and Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin). I’ve run into Justin at a couple of conventions this year, and am convinced he is brilliant, as well as a great guy.
Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian invited me to answer some questions about me, my interest in genre fiction, and blogging. I was all too happy to reply, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like talking about themselves?
She asked a lot of questions, but the one I found most fascinating was, “How do you think blogs and reviewers fit in the book business?” I’ve written about the topic at some length before, but I think my answer sheds some more light on where I stand.
With the decline of the bookstore the vast majority of people moving forward will buy their books on-line. Decline in bookstores, means a decline in conversation between two people who love books. Ask anyone out there, what’s the best way to sell books? Their answer is always, “Word of mouth.” Well what happens when people stop running into each other in the stacks? When book store employees aren’t there to recommend stuff?
This has been a long week. My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few weeks ago and this past Thursday he had surgery to remove it. Thankfully, the tumor was located in the head of the pancreas which allows for a surgical procedure known as the Whipple. Without boring everyone with the gory details, it’s an amazing operation that basically rewires the entire digestive system removing parts of the pancreas, stomach, and small intestine. For patients lucky enough to catch the cancer before it spreads, the Whipple is a life saving operation.
From my daughter’s Christening.
I’ve spent most of the last four days at Johns Hopkins. I can’t explain how blessed we feel to live 45 minutes from the hospital where this surgery was perfected. Dr. John Cameron, the man responsible for it, has done 2,000 of them himself. For a cancer as rare as this, that’s a mind numbing total.… Read the rest
I assume everyone that reads this blog is familiar with the WorldBuilders fundraiser run by Patrick Rothfuss the last few years. Just in case, last year Rothfuss helped to raise $190,000 from the community to go toward his favorite charity:
“Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. All over the world Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry.
They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so families can take care of themselves. They give goats, sheep, and chickens to families so their children have milk to drink, warm clothes to wear, and eggs to eat.”
For 2011, Rothfuss set the bar even higher, with a goal of $250,000. They raised $310,000.
To help drive donations, Rothfuss donated many of his own books and memorabilia, calling on publishers around the country to do the same. Subterranean Press donated hundreds of books.… Read the rest