Friday, April 29, 2011

Merchandise: Identity Pins

Sometimes my life gets confusing... these could be really useful.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Awards: 2011 Hugo Award Nominations

The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on and administered by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. Past winners have included Dune by Frank Herbert, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, Neuromancer by William Gibson, and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  Last year's winners were The City & the City by China Mieville and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.

The winners will be announced Saturday, August 20, 2011, at Renovation in Reno, Nevada. Here are this year's nominees:

  • Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
  • Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
  • Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Tour: China Miéville

Bestselling author China Miéville of Perdido Street Station and The City & The City will be making a series of appearances across the U.S. and in Canada to promote his latest novel, Embassytown, which will be released by Del Rey on May 17th. Embassytown is the author’s first foray into science fiction and, by all accounts, looks to be novel worth lining up for.

Visit the China Miéville’s blog, the Rejectamentalist Manifesto, or friend him on Facebook.

Cover Art: Lawyers in Hell

Here's the cover art for the upcoming Lawyers in Hell anthology from Janet Morris. Art by Sebastiano Ricci. Design by Sonja Aghabekian. Look for the anthology to hit shelves in July 2011.  In the mean time, keep up to date with the Heroes in Hell blog.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How Books were made in 1947

Back before inkjets, printing was a time-comsuming laborious process, that took teams of people working together to produce just one book. Now days, any crabby person can sit at home and crank out stuff on a blog or even make internet video. This movie will make you happy as you watch others toil for 'The Man' under primitive conditions.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Trailer: Phoenix Rising

This is the official book trailer for Phoenix Rising, the first volume in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series from Harper Voyager. It hits shelves April 26th.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

News: Library Icons turn One Hundred

Patience and Fortitude, the pair of lions flanking the entrance to New York Public Library (which Ghostbusters first introduced me to), will be celebrating their one century anniversary, and the library will be celebrating the milestone with a gala. Patience is the one on the south side (the left facing the entrance) and Fortitude is the one on the north side. According to an article in The New York Times the statues, which are 99 years, 11 months, 2 days old today, were not at all well received when they were first arrived at the library's 5th Avenue location. According to the Times, New Yorkers originally hated the statues, calling them "squash-faced, mealy-mouthed, and complacent." One reader wrote in to the editor to flatly declare: "We do not want square-jawed lions."

In case you were wondering, new, the statues cost thirteen thousand dollars each, or about three hundred thousand dollars in today's money.

Source: Flickr

Photo: Books For Walls

The walls of David Bouley's new Japanese restaurant Brushstroke are very literally lined with books - over twelve thousand of them.  The interior was designed by Super Potato, using stone, reclaimed timber, salvaged steel, and, of course, books, as the primary design elements. God help them all if there's ever a fire!  Check out more photos at Gothamist.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Awards: 2010 Shirley Jackson Nominees

The nominees for the 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced. The Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.  The Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented at Readercon 22, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts.

  • Dark Matter, Michelle Paver (Orion)
  • A Dark Matter, Peter Straub (Doubleday)
  • Feed, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Mr. Shivers, Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
  • The Reapers Are the Angels, Alden Bell (Holt)
  • The Silent Land, Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo: Final Fate of the Britannica

Finally, a good use for all of those old volumes of Britannica laying about.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quote: On DRM

Let’s say my goal is to sell 10,000 copies of something. And let’s say that if by putting DRM in it I sell 10,000 copies and I make my money, and if by having no DRM 100,000 copies go into circulation and I still sell 10,000 copies. Which of those is the better outcome? I think having 100,000 in circulation and selling 10,000 is way better than having just the 10,000 that are paid for and nobody else benefits.

People who don’t pay you generally wouldn’t have paid you anyway. We’re delighted when people who can’t afford our books don’t pay us for them, if they go out and do something useful with that information.

I think having faith in that basic logic of the market is important. Besides, DRM interferes with the user experience. It makes it much harder to have people adopt your product.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Link: Open Library

Open Library offers over 1.7 million public domain books in PDF, ePub, Daisy, DjVu and ASCII text through its affiliation with the Internet Archive.

At its heart, Open Library is a catalog. The project began in November 2007 and has been inhaling catalog records from some of the biggest libraries in the world ever since. They have well over 20 million edition records online, provide access to 1.7 million scanned versions of books.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holiday: Public Library Appreciation Day!

Happy Public Library Appreciation Day!

"National Library Week is April 12 this year, and this week-long celebration gives individuals a chance to truly recognize all the great things these ancient institutions have to offer. From free books to career courses, libraries are a source of information and inspiration for young minds and can be a lifesaver for those facing tough economic times. Whether you choose to honor your college library or one in your community, here are a few ways that you can use this week to promote, appreciate and praise your local cornerstones."

Celebrate the day by browsing photo galleries of The United States’ Most Beautiful Libraries and The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries. Learn more at the Public Library Appreciation Day wiki or read a list of 50 Great Ways to Celebrate on Library Appreciation Day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Reading: Serpent's Storm (NSFW)

Amber Benson and Patrick Rothfuss read a sex scene from Serpent's Storm, Benson's newest novel, with hilarious results. (NSFW)

There are plenty of other related videos taken at the event, but if you're a fan of Rothfuss and Benson, their discussion of the difference between Epic Fantasy and Urban Fantasy is particularly interesting.

Cover Art: The Magician King

At long last, Lev Grossman has unveiled the cover of The Magician King, the sequel to his excellent 2009 novel The Magicians. The book doesn't hit shelves August 9, 2011, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon now.

The image one the cover is actually a photograph of a highly detailed model built by French artist Didier Massard. You can read an interview with him The Morning News.

Photo: Harry Potter Proposal

Redditor trehlo says, “This is how I proposed to my girlfriend.”

Photo: Sign of the Times

A Borders going-out-of-business photo from Reddit
Last week, The New York Times reported that Borders' bankruptcy plan has faced criticism: “publishers characterized the plan as unrealistic and said they were more convinced than ever that Borders would be forced to sell itself or liquidate.”

Depressing, but much like Circuit City and Blockbusters, no surprise whatsoever.  Not only did the three chains fail to keep abreast of technological change, all three offered a shopping experience somehow less enjoyable than their immediate competitor.  Barnes & Noble stores have always made for a nicer afternoon of browsing than the local Borders.  I'm not sure if was the staff or just the ambiance, but I've never been able to really relax at a Borders.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Infographic: How to Get Published

YA author Kate Hart offers this flowchart explanation on how to get published.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bookshelves: Bias of Thoughts

John Leung of the Australian architecture firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke presents the mind-bending “Bias of Thoughts” bookshelf.  The three-dimensional design is based on the famous 2D optical illusion.

Leung writes: "Thoughts are biased. When ideas are passed from one person to another, due to the transfiguration of the communication process and the frame of mind of the receiver, they are always perceived with bias. ... Visually, the optical illusion serves as a reminder that, whenever one picks up a medium, ideas can be misinterpreted when passed from one end to the other."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photo: Borders Sign

This sign was spotted by a Reddit user on the door of a Chicago Borders.  I get the feeling that the store's employees aren't too happy about the company being forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Of course, that's just a guess.

For another taste of the Borders employee rage at their collective LiveJournal Community, I Work at Borders.

Source: Reddit

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Awards: 2011 Terry Pratchett’s First Novel Prize

The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize shortlist has been announced:
  • Postponing Armageddon, Adele Abbott
  • The Platinum Ticket, Dave Beynon
  • Half Sick of Shadows, David Logan
  • Apocalypse Cow, Michael Logan
  • Lun, Andrew Salomon
  • The Coven at Callington, Shereen Vedam
The award, launched in 2010 by Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers, is for an unpublished first novel “set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time.”  The winning writer will be offered a £20,000 prize as an advance against royalties on a publishing contract with Transworld.

Full contest details are available at Terry Pratchett’s official website.

Awards: 2011 Prometheus Award

The Libertarian Futurist Society has released the short list for this year’s Prometheus Awards, which honor libertarian Science Fiction novels. Here's the short list for the Best Novel category:
  • For the Win by Cory Doctorow (Tor Books)
  • Darkship Thieves by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books)
  • The Last Trumpet Project by Kevin MacArdry
  • Live Free or Die by John Ringo (Baen Books)
  • Ceres by L. Neil Smith (Big Head Press)
Winners for this category and the previously-announced Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) will be presented in an awards ceremony at the World Science Fiction Convention, August 17-21 in Reno, Nevada.