News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, giveaways on this and other blogs, and other cool stuff.
Books & Ebooks in the News:
|Ms. Rowling… You’re kidding, right?|
- J. K. Rowling regrets pairing Hermione and Ron. The writer dropped this bombshell in an interview with Emma Watson for the Feb. 7 issue of Wonderland. Needless to say, the fan world is reeling. On the Tor.com blog, Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer suggests an alternate pairing for Hermione. (No, not Harry.) GoodEReader’s Mercy Pilkington suggests another possibility: since Rowling retains the rights to ebook publications, she could issue ebooks with alternative endings. (Nooooooo!)
- Sony closes its Reader Store in the US and Canada and will transfer customer accounts to Kobo. Customers in other countries will not be affected.
- Sony has also sold its PC business and will focus on tablets and smartphones. Bye-bye, Vaio. (GoodEReader)
- Adobe announced changes to Digital Editions and DRM that could kill existing ePub readers. Older devices are unlikely to get firmware updates that would allow them to handle the new encryption standards, leaving them unable to read new content. (GoodEReader)
- Kobo replaced its CEO with Rakuten executive Takahito Aiki. (Gigaom)
- Statue of Charles Dickens unveiled in town of his birth — against his dying wish. (BBC News)
- Charlie Chaplin novella available for first time. Footlights is intended as a prequel to Chaplin’s film, Limelight. (GalleyCat)
- Want an MA in self-publishing? Britain’s University of Central Lancashire is offering the first-ever master’s program in self-publishing.
- An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work is a moving essay on the work of a writer, a teacher, and a human being. (A. Papatya Bucak, Brevity)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop is a week-long writing workshop for teen writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. This week is their fundraising week, where they raise money for scholarships. Please consider donating, if only $5 or $10. Our daughter attended Alpha last summer, and it was an awesome experience for her, but not every student can afford to go without financial help. And if you’re a writer between the ages of 14 and 19, think about applying. The deadline to submit your writing for consideration is March 2.
- Tips for contacting authors and asking for interviews and guest posts, from Rainy Day Ramblings
Book and Movie Announcements:
- Rainbow Rowell will write 2 graphic novels for First Second Books. The first will be illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. Click the link for a great Q&A where they interview each other.
- Neil Gaiman’s American Gods will be developed for television by FreemantleMedia. You can read Gaiman’s explanation of why HBO is no longer handling the project on his blog (just scroll down below where he talks about reading Green Eggs and Ham — which you can watch, below.)
- Check out Tor.com’s list of upcoming fiction. Tor.com publishes short original SF/F fiction online for free (the authors are paid.) Their list for February and March is up, and there are some interesting stories coming.
- Back to the Future to become a musical! No, I’m not kidding. Robert Zemickis, Bob Gale (the screenwriter), and Jamie Lloyd (a theater director) are aiming for a London premiere in 2015. (Hollywood Reporter)
- Amazon adds new franchises to Kindle Worlds, its fanfic publishing line. They include Pretty Little Liars, Veronica Mars, Ravenswood, G.I. Joe, and several comics from Valiant Entertainment. (Publishers Weekly)
- If Tolkien worked in advertising, he might have come up with these ads. (Valerie Amaro, One Ad to Rule Them All on Tumblr)
- Great Heroine Tropes, with suggested titles, from author Gail Carriger.
- 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. These are Goodreads’ readers’ picks, so the list is ever-changing and there are a lot more than 100 (if you go on to the subsequent pages.) A terrific place to search out your next great read.
- Life lessons from 9 children’s books (Amanda Scherker, Huffington Post)
- Neil Gaiman reads Green Eggs and Ham to mark the Worldbuilders charity reaching one of its stretch goals.
- Benedict Cumberbatch and the Count solve a mathematical mystery (Sesame Street, via i09)
Just for fun:
- Animated literary Valentines featuring authors like Rowling, Tolkien, Poe, Murakami, and Achebe.
- February is lettermo! Author Mary Robinette Kowal offers the Month of Letters Challenge. I’m taking it!
That’s it for this week!
I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, lists, and links for News & Notes, so please let me know if you see (or write!) anything that might be good for this feature. You can leave me a comment or send me an email — my address is on the About/Review Policy/Contact page.