More Amazon Book Pricing Controversy: Random Book News

Time for another edition of Random Book News. But time is short, today, so this is going to be short and sweet — a list of links, as it were. No need to rewrite the wheel, so to speak.

Science Fiction Writers Protest Amazon IPG Move

Locus reports that the SFWA plans to remove a number of links from Amazon — links to its authors’ books. Why would it do this? It’s a response to Amazon removing some 4,000 books from distributor IPG over a pricing dispute; IPG distributes many SFWA authors’ books. SFWA is actually redirecting its links to Amazon to other booksellers, such as Powels, Barns and Noble.

Seems like there’s been a lot of weird and problematic issues with Amazon pricing lately.

NY Times Discusses Pulp, Burroughs, His Barsoom Series, and the Disney Movie John Carter

I’ve read the first four Barsoom books, and while they are a guilty pleasure in many ways, I have to agree with the New York Times’ assessment:

… Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Princess of Mars …  is 100 years old and was already a little dated when it came out. Burroughs … published it in monthly installments in the All-Story Magazine starting in February 1912. It was the first thing he ever wrote, after a lifetime of failing at just about everything else, and he was clearly learning on the job.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, more well-known for Tarzan of the Apes, did away with all logic in creating his sci-fi series. The book is filled with inconsistencies and plot threads that are never followed up. And as science fiction goes, Princess of Mars is not very scientific.

Um, yeah, there is all that. Then there is the sexism and racism. But if you can overlook all that, there is pulpy, manly fun to be had.

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman (a clever book cover)NY Times Review of Tupelo Hassman’s Girlchild

I confess the only reason this stuck out from the list of headlines in my various RSS feeds was the name of author Tupelo Hassman. A nom de plume? One would assume (and one would be rhyming). In any event, this author’s debut novel sounds interesting, if the Times’ reviewer is any judge.

Grim Reaper Tough on the World of Science Fiction

If you look at the most recent news items on Locus, the first three are obits. Ouch.

Paul Haines was an Australian science fiction author, while Ralph McQuarrie was a designer and illustrator who we’re all familiar with, even if we don’t know his name — he created the look of the first Star Wars trilogy. And by first, we mean the original trilogy; not the craptacular one that came much later. Jack Scovil was a noted literary agent; he worked with many famous authors, among other accomplishments.

Stephen King to Narrate The Wind Through the Keyhole

It’s the first time in a decade that King will narrate an audiobook version of his work, SF Scope reports.




2011 Nebula Awards, Arc Magazine and Locus (Print Edition) Online

The Nebula Awards logo (this is a registered trademark of SFWA)The Nebula Awards – the Nebbies? Probably not – are the ones written by science fiction writers by namely those in the club: the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Here’s the 2011 list of nominees by which came out earlier this week:


  • God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Night Shade)
  • The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Firebird by Jack McDevitt (Ace)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Del Rey)
  • Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine (Prime)
  • Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)


  • With Unclean Hands by Adam-Troy Castro (Analog 11/11)
  • The Ice Owl by Carolyn Ives Gilman (F&SF 11-12/11)
  • The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 10-11/11)
  • Kiss Me Twice by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s 6/11)
  • The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary by Ken Liu (Panverse Three)
  • Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)


  • Six Months by Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders ( 6/8/11)
  • The Old Equations by Jake Kerr (Lightspeed 7/11)
  • What We Found by Geoff Ryman (F&SF 9-10/11)
  • The Migratory Pattern of Dancers by Katherine Sparrow (GigaNotoSaurus 7/11)
  • Sauerkraut Station by Ferrett Steinmetz (GigaNotoSaurus 11/11)
  • Fields of Gold by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse 4)
  • Ray of Light by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog 12/11)

Short Story

  • Her Husband’s Hands by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed 10/11)
  • Mama by We Are Zhenya by Your Son by Tom Crosshill (Lightspeed 4/11)
  • Shipbirth by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s 2/11)
  • Movement by Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s 3/11)
  • The Axiom of Choice by David W. Goldman (New Haven Review Winter ’11)
  • The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu (F&SF 3-4/11)
  • The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld 4/11)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book

  • Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson (Orchard UK; Carolrhoda)
  • Chime by Franny Billingsley (Dial)
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Greenwillow; Gollancz as Fire and Thorns)
  • The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout (Bloomsbury USA)
  • Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King (Little by Brown)
  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)
  • The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Little by Brown)

The winners will be announced at SFWA’s 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend May 17 – May 20 in Arlington, Virginia.

Via Locus.

Ye Olde New Scientist Magazine Launches New Science Fiction Magazine

What? Exactly. Fortunately it’s not called that, but rather Arc magazine. Apparently this came down a few months ago around the first of the year when I had other things on my mind, like a torn quadriceps tendon. Anyway, the fist issue is out: the dead-tree version is a whopping hardbound 152-pages and sells for $29.95; digital copies for iOs, Android, Kindle and regular ole’ Windows and Mac ‘puters sell for $6.99.

Seems stodgy ole’ New Scientist isn’t quite so stodgy; Arc doesn’t have a website per se that I could find, but rather an Arc tumblr blog. I guess I’m the stodgy one, eh? Per the inaugural post:

Arc will explore the future through cutting-edge science fiction and forward-looking essays by some of the world’s most celebrated authors – backed up with columns by thinkers and practitioners from the worlds of books, design, gaming, film and more.

This first issue includes:

  • Editorial: “Welcome to the future” by Simon Ings and Sumit Paul-Choudhury
  • Forward: “The object of posterity’s scorn” by Bruce Sterling
  • Short Story: “A Journey to Amasia” by Stephen Baxter
  • Unreliable Narrator: “Alien Evasion” by China Miéville
  • Short Story: “Bearlift” by Margaret Atwood
  • Present Tense: “Breaking the fall” by Paul Graham Raven
  • Short Story: “In Autotelia” by M. John Harrison
  • Unevenly Distributed: “Sir John Schorne’s Devil” by Simon Ings
  • Prior Art: “What hpapnes fi it atcully wroks” by Sumit Paul-Choudhury
  • Short Story: “Topsight” by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • The Tomorrow Project: “Making the Future” by Justin Mullins
  • Texts: “Three Surprising Theories About Science Fiction” by Adam Roberts
  • Games: “Three Ways to Play the Future” by Leigh Alexander
  • Spaces: “Three Stories on Dreamland” by Simon Pummell
  • Short Story: “The Water Thief” by Alastair Reynolds

Via SFscope.

Subscriptions, Back Issues of Locus Available Digitially, DRM-Free via Weightless Books

October 2009 edition of Locus Magazine featuring author Connie Willis on the cover.I’m playing catchup here, but it certainly bears repeating, if you haven’t already heard. Now don’t get too excited, the back issues only go back to January of last year. Still, it’s pretty sweet that you can now subscribe to this venerable science fiction trade publication or buy individual editions in pdf, epub, or mobi format without any annoying digital rights management dictating how you use the content that you paid for.

A year subscription to Locus’ digital edition of its print mag – that’d be 12 months – runs $48; six months’ is $27.00. Individual monthly editions go for $5.50. Hooray for Locus and Weightless Books.

The latter, by the way, is an independent ebook (e-book, (e)Book whatever) store that originally featured books and whatnot from Small Beer Press and Blind Eye Books; since then other publishers have been added. Best of all, everything they sell is DRM free – no worries about backing up to multiple devices and hard drives. Registered users of Weightless’ site also get a backup library of titles they purchase, kept on the site. Living in the future is cool, huh?

Originally via BoingBoing via SFscope.