News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.
James Gunn, science fiction author, editor, and SFWA Grand Master, died on December 23, 2020 at the age of 97. Gunn wrote several novels and a number of short stories, and edited several influential anthologies of science fiction. He was a professor of English at the University of Kansas for many years, and founded the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Gunn served as SFWA President from 1971-1972.
Obituaries and tributes: SFWA
- Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem launches author to top of book charts (The Guardian). Also worth reading: How Amanda Gorman became the voice of a new American era, which gives some background on the young poet. (The Guardian)
- Bracing for Another E-book Price-Fixing Case (Publishers Weekly) But this one, against Amazon, may be a harder sell.
- Regnery to Publish Hawley Book Cancelled by S&S (Shelf Awareness)
- Protests prompted Portland’s Powell’s Books to close early, remove Ngo’s book from shelves. The book, titled Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, is by a provocative conservative journalist who alleged in a 2019 New York Post series that “numerous hate crimes reported to the police in [Portland] had been faked.” Powell’s will continue to sell the book online, but not in its physical location.
- Party Like It’s 1925 On Public Domain Day (Gatsby And Dalloway Are In). NPR discusses copyright law, and some of the many works from 1925 that are now in the public domain.
- ‘A Promised Land’ Was 2020’s Bestselling Book. Obama’s memoir and other political books helped book sales “soar” in 2020. (Publishers Weekly)
- Sourcebooks Donates $200K in Justice Ginsburg’s Memory (Publishers Weekly)
Worth Reading/Viewing/Checking Out
(not all book-related)
- The Ten Biggest Literary Stories of the Year (Emily Temple, Literary Hub) Well worth reading, this article will remind you of—or inform you about—major stories and developments in the publishing world in 2020.
- As Political Divide Widens, Will Big Houses Rethink Conservative Publishing? (Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly)
- Page refresh: how the internet is transforming the novel (The Guardian) Author Olivia Sudjic takes a look at the impact of social media on contemporary novels, and I found it rather depressing.
- DC Comics Leaves Its Legacy Behind (Publishers Weekly)
- ‘If the aliens lay eggs, how does that affect architecture?’: sci-fi writers on how they build their worlds. Alastair Reynolds, Nnedi Okorafor, Ann Leckie, Becky Chambers, Kim Stanley Robinson and M John Harrison discuss their approaches to worldbuilding. (The Guardian)
Books, Movies, TV
- Bridgerton author Julia Quinn: ‘I’ve been dinged by the accuracy police – but it’s fantasy! Julia Quinn talks with The Guardian‘s Alison Flood about Bridgerton, the Shondaland–Netflix show based on her historical romance series.
- For Television and Romance Novels, Love at Last? (New York Times)
- What Is a Rake? Romance Author Sarah MacLean Breaks Down Bridgerton’s Favorite Term (The Oprah Magazine)
- Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview (The Millions)
- Booksellers Recommend: The Best Under-the-Radar Books of 2020 (Literary Hub)
- 42 Best Romance Novels We Couldn’t Put Down in 2020 (The Oprah Magazine)
- 18 of the Best Word Game Apps in 2021 (Book Riot)
You can see more of Tom Gauld’s cartoons for The Guardian here.