News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Bookstores and libraries are both affected by Hurricane Harvey flooding, and helping out. See how you can help. (Shelf Awareness) And check out the follow-up article on how bookstores are reopening as the floodwaters recede.
- Texas Teacher Launches Hurricane Harvey Book Club, a Facebook group featuring videos of adults and children reading children’s books. Kathryn Butler Mills started the project as a way to help children affected by the floods, offering them the distraction and comfort of a good story.
- Fantasy author Terry Pratchett’s unfinished works are destroyed by a steamroller at the deceased author’s request. (L.A. Times)
- John Smelcer dropped from YA PEN Award amid ‘concerns’ over integrity, chief among them Smelcer’s claims to Native American heritage, which have long been challenged by Native Americans. (The Guardian)
- An Iranian bookstore in Westwood, CA, closes after 36 years (L.A. Times)
- Pepe the Frog cartoonist forces withdrawal of ‘alt-right’ children’s book (The Guardian)
Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue and other novels, died August 23 at the age of 71. Her works explore the visual arts through fiction: Girl in Hyacinth Blue tells the story of a Vermeer painting, while other books focus on Renoir, Tiffany, Emily Carr, and the Renaissance artist Artemesia.
Obituaries and tributes: Los Angeles Times
Louise Hay, the well-known New Age self-help author and founder of the Hay House publishing house, has died at the age of 90. Ms. Hay self-published the bestselling Heal Your Body (1976) and You Can Heal Your Life (1984), and went on to found Hay House in 1987. The firm has published self-help books by authors such as Wayne Dyer.
Obituaries and tributes: Publishers Weekly
- Giving History a Better Ending: Marvel, Terrorism, and the Aftermath of 9/11 (Tor.com)
- Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study (The Guardian) OK, so it’s not exactly book-related. But it is ancient-writings-related, which I also find fascinating.
For Writers and Bloggers
- The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon begins September 11. It’s not too late to sign up! The readathon runs for two weeks; use it to make a dent in your overflowing TBR pile (or list.) Hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings.
- The 21 Best News Roundups for Self-Publishing Authors (Reedsy) Full disclosure: The Bookwyrm’s Hoard’s News & Notes feature is on this list, under “General Publishing Roundups.” How cool is that?!
Free Fiction Online
- “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar. This beautiful fairy tale subverts several fairytale tropes. It won this year’s Hugo Award for Best Short Story. (Uncanny Magazine)
- “The Library of Lost Things” by Matthew Bright. A quirky, somewhat creepy dark fantasy about a library where all lost writings are filed, indexed, and never, ever to be read. Lots of literary allusions. I’m not sure I liked it, but it’s well-written and will stay with you. (Tor.com)
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- A writer at Geek & Sundry turned her catsitting instructions into a D&D campaign. (Tor.com) And you can even download the fill-in-the-blank PDF.
That’s it for this week!