News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.
- Is the Book Sales Boom Finally Over? Print book sales are down 6.6% in the early part of 2022, compared with 2021’s numbers. Publishers Weekly breaks it down by frontlist/backlist and by category (fiction, nonfiction, etc.)
- Announcing the 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist “Arthur C. Clarke Award is given to the best science fiction novel that has its first UK publication in the previous year.” (Tor.com) Unlike the Hugo and Locus awards, which are determined by readers’ votes, or the Nebula, which is voted on by fellow writers, the Clarke is awarded based on the decision of a panel of judges chosen by various SFF organizations and institutions in the UK.
- A Book Lover’s Guide to Disability Pride Month (Book Riot)
- Finding a Place for Disability in Publishing (Publisher’s Weekly)
- Calculating Losses: How to Close a High School Library for Summer Vacation: Jess deCourcy Hinds on Taking Stock of More Than Just Books (Literary Hub)
- College English department retracts anti-racism statement in response to…Florida law. “…[The] ‘Stop WOKE Act’ prohibits businesses and schools from implementing any kind of training ‘that discusses Black history, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concepts of injustice and discrimination.’” (Literary Hub) On the one hand, this is news. On the other, the article is also political commentary (with which, for the record, I largely agree), which is why I put it here and not under “Bookish News,” above.
- Robin McKinley Seeks to Create Boundary-Breaking Fantasy | The Newbery at 100 (School Library Journal) McKinley hasn’t given an interview or published a book in years; her husband’s death and her own ME/CFS hit her hard. She even stopped writing her blog. But she recently agreed to this interview with SLJ, and judging by the last paragraph, she’s writing again. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! And not just because I hope for more books, but because I think she’s happier when the writing is flowing.
- The Other Side of Fantasy. Author Stephanie Burgis writes about how reading and writing fantasy helps her cope with chronic illness. (Fantasy Hive)
- Conlangs: How Many Fictional Languages Are There? (Book Riot) I have been fascinated by constructed languages, or “conlangs,” for much of my life. (Well, languages in general, to be honest.) While the article doesn’t definitively answer the question of “how many,” it introduces the concept of conlangs and offers brief histories/descriptions of some of the better known conlangs, (Tolkien’s Elvish languages, Klingon, Dothraki), as well as some that are less well-known. For some unaccountable reason, the article’s author left out what is probably the most widely spoken conlang of all time: Esperanto. (Yes, OK, it’s not made up from scratch, but honestly, if you look at Tolkien’s languages, they draw at least a little inspiration existing languages too.)
Books, Movies, and TV
- Peter S. Beagle Returns to the World of The Last Unicorn With The Way Home, “a collection containing two novellas set in the world of his beloved story.” (Tor.com) A new edition of the classic fantasy novel, with the author’s preferred text and a foreword by Patrick Rothfuss, will be coming out in July from Ace (in the US) and in August from Gollancz (UK, etc.) A live action movie and a stage musical of The Last Unicorn are both in the planning stages, which make me very happy. (For those who aren’t aware, last year Beagle regained control over the rights to his work from a predatory manager after a protracted law suit.)
- At long last(?), there’s going to be a reality TV show for writers. (Literary Hub)
- An Adaptation of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London Series Is In the Works (Again) (Tor.com) Rivers of London is a cross-genre urban fantasy/mystery series set in (obvs) London. It’s been on my radar for a decade at least. I know little beyond the basic premise of the series, but I know enough to be excited about the possibility of a TV adaptation.