Buzz Worthy News: 15th July 2013

15 July, 2013 Buzz Worthy News 18 comments

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BWNBuzz Worthy News

This week in Buzz Worthy News: J.K. Rowling penned a secret novel, an abandoned book infographic, Apple is found guilty of fixing ebook prices, Amazon launches new comic imprint and Elise Matthensen speaks out on sexual harassment from former Tor editor, James Frenkel.

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.


J.K. RowlingJ.K. Rowling Writes a Book Right Under Everyone’s Noses

This week, J.K. Rowling proved once again just how clever she is by secretly penning a book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith without media attention. The book, titled The Cuckoo’s Calling, is a criminal mystery and her second adult novel. Yet, unlike The Casual Vacancy, which received mixed reviews from critics and holds an unimpressive 3.26 average rating on Goodreads, The Cuckoo’s Calling is fairing very well.

The cat’s out of the bag, Jo! Three guess which book is now the most added on Goodreads.

“Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” she said.  “It has been wonderful to publish without hype and expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”

No doubt being in Rowling’s shoes must be stressful when people expect you to top The Harry Potter series. But After The Casual Vacancy’s flop, I’ll sit back and wait for a few of my Goodreads guinea pigs friends to read and review it before I jump in. But the funniest thing has to be Robert Galbraith’s bio, which says he served “several years with the Royal Military Police.”

Oh, Jo! You trickster!

Some publishers have professed embarrassment at turning down the manuscript for J.K’s book:

Kate Mills, publishing director of Orion, said she thought the work was “perfectly decent, but quiet” and confessed she could not find a unique selling-point with which to market it.

The editor added: “When the book came in, I thought it was perfectly good – it was certainly well written – but it didn’t stand out.

“Strange as it might seem, that’s not quite enough. Editors have to fall in love with debuts. It’s very hard to launch new authors and crime is a very crowded market.” SOURCE


Ever Wonder What Makes Readers Abandon a Book? Goodreads Has an Infographic for That!

So, besides making subtle changes to the book pages (moving around the “other editions” section and adding hovering buttons on the covers), Goodreads is spending that Amazonian money well by making new infographics for us all to loose precious hours by staring our computer screens. Time well spent.

goodreads abandonment

People abandoned Fifty Shades of Grey? Shocker.


Judy BlumeIn Case You Forgot, Judy Blume is Still Awesome

Judy Blume, the author of at least one of your favorite books as a teen, recently did an interview to promote the film adaptation of Tiger Eyes where she talked about sex, porn and longing.

The entire interview is definitely worth a read, but what she says about porn and sexual expectations really stuck out for me:

“I think today’s kids miss out on being sexual without having intercourse. There are a lot of sexual expectations today. Everyone is watching porn now. It turns you on, sure. I’m not saying don’t watch it. But what you see in porn is not what real love and sexuality within a long-term relationship are. Just like kids have to learn that the toy they see on TV is different from different from what it does in real life, I’d like to see the same thing taught about sex. I hate to see girls feeling like they have to emulate what they see in porn, with breast implants and pole dancing. I am actually glad that Amanda Bynes had her implants removed. This was a good development. What would I do if I was 16 now?”

Stay awesome, Judy.

Tiger Eyes was released in the US June 7, 2013 and is now on iTunes.



 apple logoApple is Found Guilty in eBook Fixing Case

The final part in the eBook fixing case seems to have come to a close with Apple being found guilty. If you’ve been following the case, you’ll remember that five other publishers were listed as co-conspiritors alongside Apple where they inflating ebook prices to discourage ebook sales and compete with Amazon. In the end, each publisher (Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) all settled.

“The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy.

“Without Apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the spring of 2010,” she said.

Cheers erupted from the streets. eReaders all over rejoiced in victory.

“Through today’s court decision and previous settlements with five major publishers, consumers are again benefiting from retail price competition and paying less for their e-books,” Mr Baer said.

Consumer groups in the US cheered the news.

“If we let companies get away with this type of price fixing, consumers will be denied a substantial part of the benefits of the digital revolution,” said Dr Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America, which had filed a supporting brief in the case.

Meanwhile in Silicon Valley:

meddling kids

And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!


 MEATHOUSE MANDC and Marvel – watch you backs! Here Comes Amazon!

It looks like Amazon is looking to dabble in comics next with the launch of their comic imprint, Jet City Comics.

First up is Symposium #1, adapted from the fantasy book series The Foreworld Saga, and October will bring original adaptations of George R.R. Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man” and Hugh Howey’s sci-fi self-publishing phenomenon Wool. Jet City issues will be available as Kindle downloads and print editions.

Hmmm… that is a pretty impressive lineup!  *Holds wallet away* No, Amazon!  No!  You can’t have my monies!  Sorry, I had to get that out of my system.

This is all very well and good, Amazon, but can you compete with this?

Deadpool 1

I didn’t think so.  Marvel, carry on!

An original comic adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s story “Meathouse Man,” illustrated by Raya Golden, and a re-release of “The Hedge Knight” by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller, a prequel set in the universe of Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series (the inspiration for the hit HBO program Game of Thrones). “Meathouse Man” will be released as a single issue comic in digital format in October 2013; “The Hedge Knight” will be released as a collected graphic novel in print and digital formats in November 2013; and its sequel, “The Sworn Sword,” will follow in early 2014.



Ender's GameLay off Ender’s Game, says Lionsgate

So, a few people are boycotting Ender’s Game for some silly reason like the supposed homophobia of its author, Orson Scott Card.  Shocking, I know!

As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from Gods and Monsters to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of Ender’s Game. The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form.

On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for Ender’s Game.

I feel really bad for the actors and people involved in Ender’s Game.  I know the vast majority of them are probably supportive of LBGTI rights.

Dustin Lance Black, author of Milk, a civil right’s gay biopic, has also hit out at the boycott:

“Boycotting a movie made by 99% LGBT equality folks in an LGBT equality industry is a waste of our collective energy. Making one phone call to a relative in the south who isn’t quite there yet would be 1,000 times more effective.” He later posted: “The homophobic novelist who wrote the book hasn’t been involved in decades. Misguided boycott.” SOURCE

I understand Milk’s point, I simply think I can’t bring myself to watch this movie or support anything relating to this writer.


 sam-heughan-outlander-jamie-fraserSam Heughan Cast as Jamie Fraser for Outlander Series Adaptation

On to even more adaptation news, Scottish actor Sam Heughan has been cast in the new Outlander series for STARZ. If you are like me and have no idea who this guy is, he’s acted in a bunch of theater roles including starring in Batman Live as Batman, a BCC soup called Doctors.

The news was originally leaked early on STARZ’s official twitter account, was later deleted, but then confirmed by the author of Outlander, Diana Gabaldon, in another tweet:

Executive producer Ron Moore was also extremely pleased with the casting choice.

“From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast. I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that’s what Sam did.”

Outlander will premiere on STARZ in the Spring.


DIVERGENTGet a Look at Divergent!

Veronica Roth’s highly successful series is getting closer to gracing the big screen.

Guns drawn and combat ready, a rough-and-tumble Shailene Woodley brings life to the character of Tris Prior as she begins her initiation into the Dauntless faction, a division tailored to fit her personality within the dystopian world painted by New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth. When warned of her “Divergent” status (that she’ll never fit into any one group), Tris must figure out how to save herself from a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents before it’s too late.

You can take a look at some stills and extra goodies from when ET visited the set here.

Directed by Neil Burger (Limitless), Divergent also stars Kate Winslet, Tony Goldwyn, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Theo James and Zoë Kravitz.


The Jungle BookThe Jungle Book Live-Action in the Works

If you can’t get enough of The Jungle Book, Disney has a a treat for you with their live-action version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. While the project currently doesn’t have a director or producer attached yet, a writer for the script has been chosen: Justin Marks.

Marks penned an early draft of Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea reboot, which at the time was being produced by Sean Bailey, now the studio’s production president. He also wrote The Raven, based on the hot Internet short, which is being produced by Mark Wahlberg and has Ricardo de Montreuil directing for Gold Circle and Universal.

However, considering how The Jungle Book stories are public domain, Disney isn’t the only company releasing a film. Warner Bros. is directing its own version with Steve Kloves as the writer (Harry Potter).

Jungle Book is the latest Disney animated film to get the live-action treatment. Alice in Wonderland started the trend, grossing $1 billion in the process, and Maleficent, based on Sleeping Beauty, is in the can. Cinderella, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, is readying for a fall shoot.

Guys! I will totally go see this! My only question is: Will there be song and dance? Because I need this to happen.



Elise Matthensen Speaks Out on Sexual Harassment at WisCon

Sexual harassment at conventions is something no one should ever have to deal with. Yet, in a recent essay by Elise Matthensen (found on blogs of Mary Robinette Kowal, Jim HinesSeanan McGuireBrandon SandersonJohn Scalzi, and Chuck Wendig), she recounts an incident of sexual harassment by a one of Tor’s oldest, senior editors (now former employee), James Frenkel. There are numerous sources that have reported similar incidents about Frenkel, but since they were never formally reported, no action was taken. Elise used her situation to share how to make a formal report in these situations and why it is important.

I had been nervous about doing it, even though the Safety person and the friend sitting with us were people I have known for years. Sitting there, I tried to imagine how nervous I would have been if I were twenty-some years old and at my first convention. What if I were just starting out and had been hoping to show a manuscript to that editor?  Would I have thought this kind of behavior was business as usual? What if I were afraid that person would blacklist me if I didn’t make nice and go along with it? If I had been less experienced, less surrounded by people I could call on for strength and encouragement, would I have been able to report it at all?
Well, I actually know the answer to that one: I wouldn’t have. I know this because I did not report it when it happened to me in my twenties. I didn’t report it when it happened to me in my forties either. There are lots of reasons people might not report things, and I’m not going to tell someone they’re wrong for choosing not to report. What I intend to do by writing this is to give some kind of road map to someone who is considering reporting. We’re geeks, right? Learning something and sharing is what we do.

While Frenkel was originally not named as the harasser, Mary Robinette Kowal, posted an update naming him on June 28th. Shortly after, Tor senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden, tweeted that “James Frenkel is no longer associated with Tor Books.”


Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

18 Responses to “Buzz Worthy News: 15th July 2013”

  1. Fangs4Fantasy

    On the infographic, I’m with the 46% – if I find
    myself musing about painting the skirting board or cleaning the tile grout, I
    know it’s time to put a book down and give it up. Actually HATING a main
    character won’t generally make me put it down. I will read it. I will read the
    shit out of it. I will hate them every page. I will loathe them every chapter.
    I will beg for their downfall and curse every success. But I won’t stop
    reading. I do like to finish things, it’s somewhat compulsive (did I mention
    reading all 22 Anita Blake novels. All 4 Fallen? Still mining through JR Ward?)
    but there are limits; but even with limits I cannot abandon a book before the
    33% mark or 120 pages, whichever is longer. A third is my bare minimum for “ok,
    this book had a chance”
    Dustin Lance Black can take a hike on this. You don’t
    appease a genocidal bigot like Card. What is there to engage there? Are we
    still in a position where we need to engage with people who want us locked up
    en masse? No, no way. You shun and ostracise them and you ask why companies
    like Lionsgate aren’t doing the same. Don’t tell me the industry and the
    company behind this is pro-GBLT. They’re pro-making nice statements – their actions
    speak louder, they have shown their true colours (and after a dashing display
    of Quisling apologetics, DLB has taken down his “won’t you think of the homophobes!”
    Lionsgate, your policies are empty rhetoric and meaningless bumf, your
    fundraiser is a desperate attempt at shoddy PR. You are giving money to a man
    who will then spend it to do his utmost to deny any and all rights GBLT people
    have or strive for. You are raising his profile so his hateful bigotry is again
    thrust into the mainstream, tacitly approved of by Lionsgate and the people
    flocking to the cinemas. And if it makes money they encourage more companies to
    approach Card with more money and a greater profile all of which he will use to
    attack GBLT people. To dismiss Card’s bigotry as irrelevant is a privileged
    I can only applaud Elise Matthensen’s courage in
    writing that essay

    • Steph Sinclair

      Fangs4Fantasy I’m with you. If it’s boring and I start losing my will to live, something isn’t working. Hating a book and still reading it is kinda funny after to hit a certain point. It’s almost like it becomes this one huge JOKE, especially if it’s a truly dreadful book. But I bow to your dedication to complete series. That is one thing I cannot do.
      *slow clap* about what you said about Lionsgate. Why don’t they realize he DONATES the money he makes to oppress other people. This statement from Lionsgate is just as bad as Card himself asking for tolerance. Let me go get the world’s smallest violin for him.

  2. Christina @ Christina Reads YA

    “But the funniest thing has to be Robert Galbraith’s bio, which says he ‘several years with the Royal Military Police.'”
    Yes. When I first heard the news, I scrolled through the Amazon reviews, and I loved how some of them said that the author’s work with the RMP really showed — that it made the story more authentic.
    I still haven’t seen a lot of the Goodreads changes. Other Editions looks like it’s in the same place? Was that really all their planned maintenance changed? I really like their infographic though and wish they would put out more stuff on all that data. It surprises me that Catch 22 was so widely abandoned – I haven’t read the novel, but I loved the movie and am planning to go back at some point. Maybe it’s just what they wrote – to have such different expectations of what you’ll get in each…. Now what really surprises me is the huge percentage that doesn’t put down a book unless they’ve finished it. I can’t do that. Though lol at the 100 minus your age rule. 
    I have no idea who Sam Heughan is either. His stare in that picture kind of creeps me out, it’s so intense.
    I hadn’t heard about the Elise Matthensen case, so thank you for that!
    -Christina @ Christina Reads YA

    • Steph Sinclair

      Christina @ Christina Reads YA Bahahaha! Just goes to show you what a fantastic writer she is. But it really didn’t even surprise me that she decided to use a pseudonym. I can only imagine the amount of pressure she was under. 
      Goodreads, The other editions is now right beneath the book’s blurb. Before it was off to the right. I’m sure they have more planned, I just don’t check the Feedback Group as much anymore because some of the people there irk me. Lol. But the site doesn’t go down as much, which is a big improvement. I’m one of those people that *have* to finish books. I don’t know why, but it bothers me if I just leave it hanging!
      All of Sam’s pictures were like that. I was trying to find one where he looked less intense, but I’m unsure if such a photograph exists.

  3. Heartless_Lyn

    I have to admit, I am a little confused why people are losing their cool because Rowling used another name.  I think she had something to prove.  I’m not her biggest fan, but will admit that this took guts.

    Ender’s Game – I’m blown away by the people whining that there is no reason to boycott it.  I’m tired of people wanting to tell me how to feel and how to act.  I’ll decide that on my own.

    • Steph Sinclair

      Heartless_Lyn I think it was a great idea. I’m sure any author would want feedback on their work without it being continuously compared to something as big (and different) as Harry Potter. It’s why she chose an entirely different genre to write in.

  4. Jess Haines

    Just wanted to add a little something about the Ender’s Game/OSC boycott — OSC is a producer. Which means he makes more money if the film turns a profit. Check IMDB:  Something to think about, and I’m not sure that Dustin Lance Black took that info into account.

  5. Lectus

    I loved Outlander, but I refuse to see Jamie’s suffering on tv! I had enough reading it; I couldn’t stop thinking about it for over a week.
    As per Ender’s Game, aren’t we all entitled to our values, believes, perceptions, opinions and such? If the author doesn’t support gays, that is his thing. Do we ALL have to LOVE and SUPPORT the gay community?

    • Fangs4Fantasy

      @Lectus Personally, I don’t give a damn if you love and support me. But advocating making my existence a crime and trying to throw us in prison? Yeah, I’d actually pretty much like everyone not to do that.

      • NightFury

        In case you didn’t know, Card advocated quite the opposite more than once. Do your research on the Internet a bit better next time, or you just don’t know what research is, huh? People like you make me reconsider whether all of us should have equal rights.

        • KatKennedy

          Card has advocated for the illegality of homosexual sex.  Perhaps it is YOU that needs to do your research.  
          “Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be
          indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught
          violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message
          that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual
          behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens
          within that society.” -Orson Scott Card “The Hypocrites of
          Homosexuality,” Sunstone Magazine, Feb 1990

          And whilst we appreciate educated discussion, I wouldn’t classify this as such.  Or anywhere close to it.  Suggest that one of my friends, a respected fellow blogger and another commenter on Cuddlebuggery should not have equal rights again and I will block you from commenting and delete your extremely offensive sentiments.

        • NightFury

          Okay, okay… So, one of the things that can be easily googled: 
          “I have no interest in criminalizing homosexual acts and would never call for such a thing, any more than I wanted such laws enforced back when they were still on the books.” – No one else but the much-dreaded OSC
          And Janis Ian – even though you should have stumbled upon her name and these words if your mental abilities allowed you to perform any research: 
          “Let me say first that I consider Scott a close friend; the time we don’t have together physically, we make up through the heart. If I had to lean on someone, or needed an ear, I would think of him. And if you’ve read my autobiography, you’ll know that in a time of great trouble, he was very, very, good to me. By the way, the gay community was nowhere to be seen when I was at my lowest. Scott has never treated my relationship, or my partner, with anything but the utmost respect. We’ve been welcomed into his home, invited to his childrens’ weddings, sent announcements of births and deaths – all to both of us, as a family unit. His children regard us as a family unit, and I’ve never heard or felt the slightest breath of censure from any one of them.”
          Neither of these ones is made up on the spot – you can easily google the first several words so as to make sure I am not twisting any facts. Unlike some dumasses round here. Or maybe they’re just too mentally challenged to know what context is?

        • NightFury

          Anyway, now that I feel a tiny little bit calmer, I do beg your pardon for my English and my writing, which must have been so horrendous in the previous comment that I am terrified by the very idea of re-reading it. I am always like this whenever one of my berserker buttons is pressed. And yeah, I do think people’s rights should be, so to say, allocated on the basis of their intellectual abilities. Have you ever heard the term “meritocracy”? So, woe betide you if after what you all have been saying here for so long you deny me the right to believe in meritocratic ideas and express them. 
          Greetings from Ukraine! (Yes, your blog is known and read even in the darkest, God-forsaken corners of the world.)

        • Fangs4Fantasy

          @NightFury KatKennedy What, he’s one of those campaigners who is quick to find a quisling, a much vaunted “gay friend” but he still went ON RECORD and backed sodomy laws. Outright. That’s not something he ever apologised for. This is in a column he wrote – and one of many in which he attacked gay people for daring to exist and demand equality. 
          It is not the act of someone mentally challenged as you continually hammer, to hold someone – who became a director of a hate group no less – accountable for their words and cruel advocacy.
          This isn’t twisting facts. This is taking his own unvarnished words and actions

    • Steph Sinclair

      @Lectus Okay, wow. No, you don’t have to love it, but let’s not forget that Card donates money to organizations whose sole goal is to suppress a group of people’s rights. Is it okay for Card’s opinions to directly infringe on another’s? I think not.

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