This week in Buzz Worthy News: Iain Banks has passed away two months after he announces his struggle with gall bladder cancer, Jonah Lehrer is back to his old tricks, The Lambda Awards happened, and Jean Rabe steps down as editor for SFWA. 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.
This is really tragic news. 59 year old Iain Banks, Scottish author, passed away. Only three weeks ago Banks was talking about possible medical options to attempt after returning from his honeymoon. However, he passed away in the early hours of the 9th. His wife and partner, Adele posted the following message on the Friends of Iain Banks website:
“Iain died in the early hours this morning. His death was calm and without pain.”
Iain first announced he was ill on April 3rd in a blog message to his followers. He withdrew from all publicity engagements for his new novel, The Quarry which will be released on June 20th. It had been slated to be released four months later, but his publishers pushed for an early release date in the hopes that Banks would still be around for it.
In an update on the 20th of May, Iain reported that there may be a chance for chemo and surgery.
Messages for Iain can be left here.
Jonah Lehrer is back on the scene with a proposal for a new book. His previous book, Imagine, had to be pulled from shelves and pulped when it was discovered that Jonah Lehrer faked Bob Dylan quotes.
Jonah Lehrer is back. Or at least, he’s trying. According to Slate, Lehrer — who was repeatedly busted for lying, then said he only did so because he’s smarter than everyone else — is currently shopping a book about the science of love. SOURCE
Only a year ago Jonah Lehrer had to leave a new job at the New Yorker due to his sloppy reposting of old material, this was quickly followed by his book troubles, though Lehrer had an extremely shaky reputation within the science writing community before then:
“Writing about science is difficult, skilled work. It requires a reporter to genuinely understand complicated subjects, to derive clear meaning from material rife with caveats and confounding variables and false positives. The facts can stubbornly refuse to fit the story.
Lehrer found the hack to solve this problem: He stole other writers’ accounts of the facts, or he made up facts of his own to suit the argument. This is what made him so glib, so fast, and so commercially appealing. He could produce work at several times the pace of the sluggards who did the real work. And when even he couldn’t produce it speedily enough to meet demand, he would just copy-paste something he’d published before. The real science writers grumbled all along about how sloppy and wrong he was, but who even listened? They weren’t famous.” SOURCE
However, Daniel Engber has already outlined some disturbing similarities between Lehrer’s new proposal, and an essay by Adam Gopnik.
The Lambda Award, instituted in 1988, is celebrating 25 years of promoting LGBT literature. Awards are given in many categories including Lesbian General Fiction, Gay General Fiction, LGBT Children’s/Young Adult, Transgender fiction and Bisexual Fiction.
the Lambda ceremony brought together almost 500 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and 25 years of the groundbreaking literary awards. Legendary performer Janis Ian took to the stage at the ceremony, and the VIP After-Party at the New Museum was hosted by super-hot DJ Honey Dijon making a quarter century of the “Lammys” a night to remember.
This year’s winners are:
Bisexual (2 winners; 1 fiction, 1 nonfiction)
In One Person, John Irving, Simon & Schuster
My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B, Cheryl Burke, Topside Signature
Gay General Fiction
Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Cinco
Fire in the Belly, Cynthia Carr, Bloomsbury
Lake on the Mountain: A Dan Sharp Mystery, Jeffrey Round, Dundurn
He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices, Stephen S. Mills, Sibling Rivalry Press
Kamikaze Boys, Jay Bell, Jay Bell Books
The Facialist, Mykola Dementiuk, JMS Books
Lesbian General Fiction
The World We Found: A Novel, Thrity Umrigar, HarperCollins Publishers/Harper
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson, Grove/Atlantic
Ill Will, J.M. Redmann, Bold Strokes Books
Sea and Fog, Etel Adnan, Nightboat Books
Month of Sundays, Yolanda Wallace, Bold Strokes Books
The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica, D.L. King, Cleis Press
No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, Justin Hall – Editor, Fantagraphics Books
LGBT Children’s/Young Adult
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
LGBT Debut Fiction
The Summer We Got Free, Mia McKenzie, BGD Press
The Myopia and Other Plays by David Greenspan, Marc Robinson, University of Michigan Press
Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, Dale Carpenter, W. W. Norton & Company
LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
Green Thumb, Tom Cardamone, Lethe Press
Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics, Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, University of Michigan Press
The Collection: Short Fiction From The Transgender Vanguard, Edited by Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod, Topside Press
Transfeminist Perspectives in and beyond Transgender and Gender Studies, edited by Finn Enke, Temple University Press
Dr. James Duggins Mid-Career Novelist Prize
Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Awards
SFWA Bulletin editor, Jean Rabe, stepped down from her position this week after a series of growing controversies over the publication’s sexism. Most of the controversy has centered around the recent bulletins including the latest cover featuring a chainmail-bikini clad warrior woman and two articles by resident old white dudes, Mike Reznik and Barry Malzberg.
Issue #200 of SFWA’s official bulletin featured a column by longterm contributors Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg in which they wrote about “lady editors” and “lady writers” who were “beauty pageant beautiful” or a “knock out.” The next issue had an article by another male author, praising Barbie for maintaining “quiet dignity the way a woman should.” The issue after that had an article in which Resnick and Maltzberg complained about censorship because people had complained.
President John Scalzi apologized for the slate of sexist material appearing in the publication and took responsibility for the direction it has taken.
“Ms. Rabe, in her role as editor of Bulletin, had my full support. She took over the Bulletin at a problematic time in the publication’s history, got it back onto a regular schedule and otherwise righted what was a foundering ship. When previous concerns about sexism regarding the Bulletin were aired, specifically the cover of issue #200, Ms. Rabe listened, understood and was responsive to them and solicited work relevant to the concern, in the hope of furthering discussion. She has always acted in good faith for the organization, and I have valued and continue to value her dedication.”
Rabe should be applauded for soliciting work to discuss the controversy over the cover of Bulletin #200, however, it’s difficult to have a well-balanced and truly informed discussion on sexism in Science fiction and fantasy when no women are actually involved in the discussion.
It must have been a pretty good day for Mathilde Madden. Any criticism she has ever or will ever receive about the quality of her books can officially be repudiated by a court order that states that her novel, The Silver Crown, has “some” literary value!
Two years ago, the warden of Pelican Bay State Prison, a maximum-security facility, attempted to blacklist the book about a werewolf slayer who falls in love with one she’s supposed to slay. But the court ruled that “all the sex in the book is between consenting adults, of one species or another, and that ‘more graphic violence appears on television nightly.'” Also the book does not advocate or promote violence, and there are several books in the Pelican Bay library that are more violent.
Man, what’s up with your, Warden? Don’t you want your inmates to spend time entranced in a narrative of passionate love between a fragile human woman and her werewolf mate as they solve mysteries/defeat the bad guys? They could be doing worse things… like shanking other prisoners or dealing drugs with your prison guards.
Is a little erotic romance really that much of a priority? Novelist Peter Orner testified in defense of the book remaining in prison circulation:
It’s about freeing oneself from one’s greatest fears. It’s not Tolstoy, fine, but this author knows how to move (a) story, carry out a plot, with a theme, and how to give her characters a certain depth characteristic of literary fiction.
John Green, popular Young Adult author and YouTube celebrity, got his rant on at the Association of American Booksellers last week where he was awarded the Young Adult Indies Choice.
“I am sometimes held up as an example of someone who is changing the publishing paradigm or whatever because I have a lot of Tumblr followers and YouTube subscribers and I can speak directly to my audience and I don’t need the value-sucking middleman of bookstores and publishers, and in the future everyone is going to be like me, and no one will stand between author and reader except possibly an e-commerce site that takes just a tiny little percentage of each transaction. Yeah, that’s bullshit.” SOURCE
He also wrote about the success of his novels and why he believes Penguin is to thank for it.
Power shifts quickly in publishing, but there’s little question that under the leadership of Don Weisberg, Felicia Frazier, and Jennifer Loja, Penguin has emerged as the most effective publishing house in YA. I also think Penguin has the best sales team, and it helps that I’ve known most of those people personally for eight years. Penguin has always been very good at facilitating relationships and collaborations between authors and employees. SOURCE
John Green’s daughter was also born this week AND he appeared in a video with my favourite drunk chef, Hannah Hart! So… It’s been a big week, ya know?