This week in Buzz Worthy News, the Lambda finalists have been revealed, VIDA’s latest stats on women in literary magazines are out – prepare your noose in anticipation, Amazon is stepping on everyone’s toes again, and Random House is dipping its toes into the pool of EVILITY! All this and more, waiting for you to check it out!
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Sunday post: How New Titles.
The Lambda finalists for 2012 have been revealed and the list looks very promising. The very positive news is that the Lambda foundation experienced a record number of submissions to the awards.
“Lambda Literary Foundation set a new record in 2013 for both the number of LGBT books submitted for Lammy consideration, 687, and the number of publishers participating, 332. This beats the record-setting numbers in 2012 of 600 titles by over 250 publishers and is the fourth consecutive year of growth in submissions and publishers.”
- For Colored Boys by Keith Boykin
- Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love & Marriage edited by Audrey Bilger & Michele Kort
- No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics edited by Justin Hall
- Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification & the Desire to Conform edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
LGBT CHILDREN’S/YOUNG ADULT
- Adaptation by Malinda Lo
- The Adventure of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy by S. Bear Bergman & illustrated by Suzy Malik
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
- Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
- Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
- Every Day by David Levithan
- Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
- Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie
- Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin
LGBT DEBUT FICTION
- Desire: Tales of New Orleans by William Sterling Walker
- The Dream of Doctor Bantam by Jeanne Thornton
- The Evening Hour by Carter Sickels
- Incidental Music by Lydia Perovic
- Love, In Theory: Ten Stories by E.J. Levy
- Makara: a novel by Kristen Ringman
- Monstress by Lysley Tenorio
- People Who Disappear by Alex Leslie
- The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie
- Three Cubic Feet by Lania Knight
Literally. Don’t you just love it? I literally use it a hundred, billion times a day. Because I’m awesome like that. But did you know there’s a bunch of weirdos who literally go ballistic if you don’t use literally in a… well, literal way. Even though it has been used as a literary embellishment as a stand-in for figuratively for a considerable amount of time.
An article in galleycat reminded me of why I love to use literally in every way that annoys grammar sticklers.
“Reddit reader andtheniansaid shared three separate dictionary definitions that include this informal usage, arguing that “it is okay to use the word ‘literally’ for emphasis.”
Here are three major dictionaries that mention the exaggerated “literally” usage…
Merriam-Webster Dictionary added a second “virtually” sense for the word, explaining with this note: “Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.”
Cambridge Dictionaries Online added this informal usage to its definition: “used to emphasize what you are saying: He missed that kick literally by miles. I was literally bowled over by the news.”
Oxford Dictionaries begrudgingly admitted the shift: “In recent years an extended use of literally (and also literal) has become very common, where literally (or literal) is used deliberately in non-literal contexts, for added effect, as in they bought the car and literally ran it into the ground. This use can lead to unintentional humorous effects (we were literally killing ourselves laughing) and is not acceptable in formal contexts, though it is widespread.””
Last year VIDA’s statistics are out and, in most cases, they’re worse than even last year. And if you don’t remember, last year’s stats were pretty bad.
“VIDA was founded in August 2009 to address the need for female writers of literature to engage in conversations regarding the critical reception of women’s creative writing in our current culture.
VIDA’s structure is “grass-roots.” The individuals presently involved in creating VIDA are spread across the country, represent different identities, work from within a range of aesthetics, and share the common goal to create a forum at which all women writers may engage in much longed for conversations about literature being produced by women and its reception by the larger culture.”
Companies like The New Yorker had 28 male book reviewers last year and 3 women. As horrible as that is, it’s worse than the year before when it was 23 male book reviewers to 10 women. A few publications, though, have made definite strides to trying to improving the ratios of book reviewers, book reviews of women’s literature and the gender of authors interviewed.
“Let’s look at a few venues that have held steady or made calculable strides towards shaping a more egalitarian literary landscape via gender. The Boston Review, with its slightly heavier load of male reviewers, has made a dramatic improvement proportionately of who they review since we began. Threepenny is taking a slow but steady approach with incremental yearly steps up from 29 to 34 to 36.5% women published respectively. Poetry remains the most consistently equitable in its publishing practices, reaching a 45% height of women published in 2012: look to the poets! … We hope their editors will take notice and figure out how to make lasting strides as they proceed with their consideration practices into the rest of 2013. Publishers have also begun to take it upon themselves to publicly account for their own numbers. Places like Harvard Review, Drunken Boat and Tin House are counting their authors each year. We do not think the significant jump in female authors reviewed at Tin House is temporary; they have bared the change in their attention and practices for the public record. Readers and writers, please take note.”
You can go here to check the three-year trend in each publication for yourself.
Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. Like an overzealous suitor who never heard the word boundaries. The closed Generic Top-Level Domain names are up for grabs and guess who made a bid? Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. Who can blame you? Clearly their bid for the name was highly contested and condemned by the AAP.
“In short, Amazon makes clear that it seeks exclusive control of the “.book” string solely for its own business purposes, notwithstanding the broad range of other companies, organizations and individuals that have diverse interests in the use of this gTLD or its second-level domains by others or themselves. AAP believes that ICANN approval of such an application would not be in the public interest.”
So who exactly is making a bid for the lucrative domain?
1) Annie Callanan, last known as COO of ProQuest — sister company of R.R. Bowker (which are both owned by Cambridge Information Group) — applies as an entity with partners, separately from Bowker’s application. If she is still a ProQuest employee, this is a conflict of interest and could also be seen as double-dipping since both ProQuest and Bowker are owned by the same parent.
2) Amazon wants the entire dotBOOK domain for itself! Really, no one else can use it except Amazon.
3) Bowker has a plan to make a mint off dotBOOK with auctions of certain URLs — which could actually be an infinite list of URLs
4) Everyone else just wants to make a buck off writers and at least one of them openly hates self-publishers — and probably independent small presses too
The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have objected saying that Amazon’s ownership of such domains would be a threat to competition.
Barnes & Noble filed an objection with ICANN saying that Amazon could stifle competition.
Amazon’s public plans for the new Web addresses seem pretty vague right now. Saying only that the name will, “provide a unique and dedicated platform for Amazon while simultaneously protecting the integrity of its brand and reputation.” (SOURCE) Whilst a report leaking its private plans entail their desire to have dominion over all the world and subject humanity as its slaves.
Books have DRM (Unless the publisher is awesome like Macmillan and went, “Fuck that shit!” Can’t they all be like that?) So what would happen if everything had DRM? What happened if the chair you were sitting in right now had DRM, and only lasted as long as the manufacturer allowed you to keep it? Graphic Designer Thibault Brevet set out to show, albeit in a somewhat more boring manner than I would have chosen, what life would be like. Short story: it would suck if every product came with DRM.
“The DRM Chair has only a limited number of use before it self-destructs. The number of use was set to 8, so everyone could sit down and enjoy a single time (sic) the chair. A small sensor detects when someone sits and decrements a counter. Every time someone sits up, the chair knocks a number of time to signal how many uses are left. When reaching zero, the self-destruct system is turned on and the structural joints of the chair are melted.”
Some libraries are already furious at the DRM set by publishers like HarperCollins, which they are protesting.
Image by Xessencex
Random House Could Be Evil
John Scalzi came out swinging at the emergence of an author contract from Hydra, an electronic-only imprint of Random House, with terms that were just this side of horrific.
* No advance.
* The author is charged “set-up costs” for editing, artwork, sale, marketing, publicity — i.e., all the costs a publisher is has been expected to bear. The “good news” is that the author is not charged up front for these; they’re taken out of the backend. If the book is ever published in paper, costs are deducted for those, too.
* The contract asks for primary and subsidiary rights for the term of copyright.
Writer Beware notes, appropriately, that this information comes from only one deal sheet it’s seen from Hydra. But, you know what: One attempt at this sort of appalling, rapacious behavior on the part of Random House is bad enough.
He goes on to explain why those terms are so entirely, outrageously insane. And I should add that his explanation is rather beautiful. Like the summer sun, focused through a magnifying glass and burning ants.
In response, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America attacked Hydra and removed it from its list of publishers – thus any Hydra authors won’t qualify for SFWA membership. This caused Allison Dobson, Random House’s digital publishing director, to write to the SFWA calling them complete be-yotches and that, like, Random House is awesome, y’all!
“We read with interest your posts today about the new Random House digital imprints and our business model. While we respect your position, you’ll not be surprised to learn that we strongly disagree with it, and wish you had contacted us before you published your posts. We would appreciate you giving us an opportunity to share why we believe Hydra is an excellent publishing opportunity for the science fiction community by posting ours below to them.”
Much Ado About Nothing gets the Whedon Treatment
Alongside A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays – so Whedon had better of nailed it. Whedon’s adaptation is already accruing an avalanche of critical praise, but I so loved Emma Thompson as Beatrice that I’m having a harder time getting enthusiastic than I should.
The has a lot of Whedon staple actors including:
And last but not least, Captain Mal who played the best Green Lantern ever and a horribly awesome Captain Hammer, and solves crimes for his novels when he’s not bonding with evil to try and defeat Buffy as Dogberry. Who is an ass.
The trailer for the movie, which is released on June 7th 2013:
I’m most excited to see Nathan Fillion and the first and second Watchmen. If you don’t recognize Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney then you clearly haven’t been watching your BriTANick enough! Obviously Joss Whedon is also a fan because he appears in this video with them here:
Despite all the critical praise, acclaim and fangirling happening over this CLEARLY awesome movie – I would like to remind everyone that Joss Whedon shot this for fun, in his own home, after wrapping up Avengers. It’s like he doesn’t even have to try these days, guys!
Only read further if you are not a massive fan of Juliet Marillier’s work. Other wise we can not be held accountable for the emotional trauma that may occur from discovering that she has opinions and that she may or may not throw cats at children playing near her home.
This week, Marillier wrote a piece about how fans should and shouldn’t write to authors, using an example of a letter recently sent to her by an excited fan urging Marillier to write faster. Marillier was taken aback at the email and rewrote in more in the manner of an email she might like to receive. You can see a screencap of the email here. The post was originally here but was removed by the website after the deluge of complaints.
Marillier apologized on the Facebook page not long ago. I will still read and love her work, though, because she IS magical. Though, you should know, she’s been my long time nemesis on Goodreads. *Shakes fist* We shall see each other in battle one day! Then perhaps she will, errr, know who I am and that we have been locked in a mortal struggle.