Buzz Worthy News
This week in Buzz Worthy News: The new Chamber of Secrets cover is revealed, Maureen Johnson and Jezebel clash over YA heroines, the author of The Jungle Book a plagiarist?!, and the SFWA controversy rounds out our week. All this and more so come 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.
Well, as promised, the new cover for the second Harry Potter book is out. Thoughts? I like it a lot better than the old one, AND the new one for Philosopher’s Stone.
It is, of course, from the iconic scene where the Weasley brothers kidnap Harry from his own house and take him to a wizarding sweatshop where they intend to work him for money until he dies. Good times, guys, good times. Oh no, wait, that the fanfiction I’m currently writing for Kindle World. You know, lass has to make an income and all that jazz. Because, rumour is, there’s some money to be made from that.
Both Kazu Kibuishi, the artist behind the new designs, and Arthur A. Levine, the editor of the American edition of the Harry Potter series, appeared at the unveiling.
So far, two out of the seven covers for the new U.S. trade paperback editions of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series have been revealed. The publication date for the new editions has moved up to August 27, 2013.
Summer Literacy Drop
During a panel at the Bookexpo, Rick Richter, CEO of Ruckus Media, shared this cutesy little chart to share some shocking statistics:
Ah! Infographs! How I both love and hate them! This one kind of seems to be a big duh for me. Like, “Kids who go outside, play less video games.” or “Children with red shirts are 20% more likely to meet a tragic end on Star Trek.” Are you people saying kids who read… get progressively better at it? That’s astounding!
“When school’s out, kids from low-income families have a real problem on their hands. Unlike their more affluent peers, most of them don’t spend summer break at the library or reading books in the backseat on family trips. In fact, many of them won’t open a book until school starts up again. Those three months off take a disastrous toll. Experts call the effect “summer slide” and it erases months of hard-earned progress in school, lost ground that kids in need can’t afford. Books are the answer. Studies show that kids from low-income families who have access to books over the summer not only beat the summer slide, but make even greater gains than kids from wealthy and middle-class families.”
But the summer slide is a huge problem, fact is regular reading can help. What else could help? Cutting Summer vacation down. Way down.
There. Problem solved. Now bring me a world hunger infographic!
Okay, I lied. It wasn’t some predestined battle to the death or something. So Rachel Shukert wrote a piece for Jezebel about Feminist Young Adult novels. It basically was a promo piece for Shukert’s up and coming debut Young Adult novel. In it, she discusses her personal rules for writing a feminist novel, making a couple of brief references to Twilight and The Hunger Games.
“So I did what generations of feminists have done before me: I tried to figure out what pissed me off (on a scale of “subconscious” to “massively”) in the past, and I came up with a set of five immutable guidelines to see me through. We’ve had the Bechdel Rule and the Orwell Rules; meet the Shukert Young Adult Guidelines.”
I do greatly enjoy reading Jezebel, and I was more than willing to put aside how irking it is for someone not largely involved in, or associated with the Young Adult genre to be setting down guidelines because, hey, good cause!
But it’s not all great and positive.
“YA literature is filled with brave, gutsy, complicated female characters. They also, for the most part, are not exactly the first with their hands up, unless it’s for totally altruistic reasons. (During that scene in The Hunger Games, my sister, who I was watching with, and I turned to each other and said, virtually simultaneously: “No offense, but I don’t love you that much.”)”
So Young Adult author and person actually deeply invested in the Young Adult genre, Maureen Johnson, didn’t really find the article that great.
Yeah, look, I don’t worry too much about things that are clearly just thinly veiled self-promotions, I simply agree with Maureen that it would have been nice if someone more knowledgeable about the Young Adult genre had written this piece, and written it differently.
Kipling, author of The Jungle Book and… well, who cares because it’s The Jungle Book, admitted to liberally lifting other material for his most famous work.
“A letter in which Rudyard Kipling admits that “it is extremely possible that I have helped myself promiscuously” from other stories when writing The Jungle Book has been put up for sale.
The one-page letter, written and signed by Kipling in around 1895, sees the author writing to an unknown correspondent following an inquiry about “The Law of the Jungle” – the rules of life in the jungle taught by Baloo to Mowgli in The Jungle Book, and later turned into a poem by Kipling in The Second Jungle Book.”
Woah. That’s pretty big. And also, just really… wow. I mean, it’s not like I love The Jungle Book, but that’s a little like finding out that Enid Blyton just borrowed a little from a story here and there. Don’t plagiarize, people. It’s wrong.
The BBC is adapting a new Pride and Prejudice series based six years after the marriage of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Death Comes to Pemberly by PD James. In-ter-esting.
Rhys, who has previously starred in Brothers and Sisters and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, has already admitted he faces a huge challenge to follow Firth’s 1995 portrayal of Mr Darcy.
The 38-year-old said: “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who have institutionalised him in the past.
“The beauty of Pemberley is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy six years on. And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches.”
Anna Maxwell Martin, who starred in The Bletchley Circle, will play Lizzie.
Yeah, I don’t know how I feel about this. He’s not very… Darcyish. HHhhhhmmmm.
SFWA Sexism Debacle
The story here is that for SFWA’s Bulletin #200 (also relating to Bulletin #199) two old men, Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg complained that they were no longer allowed to say, write and do sexist things in this horrible liberal environment. How dare you women find it uncomfortable when they focus on your looks and your tits as opposed to their work and their contribution to the community?! You can find scans on the Bulletin at the bottom of this site here.
“And we seem to have offended some members every bit as much as the cover art did.
By having the temerity to mention that Bea Mahaffey, who edited Other Worlds in the very early 1950s, was beautiful. (Which, according to every man and woman who knew her then, is absolutely true.) After all, we’re talking about an editor, not a pin-up model, so how dare we mention her looks? What business does that have here?”
Ya think? Jeez these guys could circle jerk themselves for hours on the good ol’ days when you could objectify women without any consequences.
John Scalzi, president of the SFWA, issued a formal and professional apology here (seriously, if you ever need to apologize for something, I would use this as a possible outline).
“1. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is an organization that acts to support, inform, defend, promote and advocate for our members – all of them, not just some of them. When members believe that they or other members are belittled or minimized by our official publications, that’s a problem. Over the last few editions of the Bulletin, this has indeed been a problem, specifically regarding how many in the membership have seen the Bulletin handling issues of gender.”
There was a massive uproar at the latest Bulletin issues. Ann Aguirre wrote a very saddening piece on her treatment as a SF author attending conferences and dealing with men in the industry.
“I had a respected SF writer call me “girlie” and demand that I get him a coffee, before the panel we were on TOGETHER. When he realized I was not, in fact, his coffee girl, he didn’t apologize. And once we got into the panel, he refused to let me (or anyone else) speak. He interrupted me. He talked over me. He responded to questions that the audience asked me, when they asked me, by name, and he wouldn’t respond to the moderator, who was also female.”
One of the best responses was from Foz Meadows:
“I supplemented that income by editing a quartet of tabloids, like The National Enquirer – only worse. Never got busted, never got censored, never got castigated. Ditto with a trio of men’s magazines I edited.”
Pardon me while I laugh hysterically at the idea that working for two of the most lingeringly sexist, misogynistic types of publication, in a position of editorial power, in the fucking seventies, and boasting about how nobody ever called you on your bullshit back then, as though this is somehow proof of the fact that bullshit neither happened nor deserved to be stopped when it did, constitutes an intelligent argument. Go on. I’ll wait.
Foz, I love your work…