Sunday, 14 November 2010

bite me: the week in bite-sized chunks

Atom: This is the sister imprint of Orbit and it’s mostly known for buying the UK rights to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series (it was only a matter of time before that made an appearance here, opinion notwithstanding). But that’s not all they do! No, they also have the foresight to invite bloggers to their offices, feed them buns and give them a presentation on their upcoming titles. Now that is tasty and savvy marketing. But they missed out on a treat (aha) by not having Edward and Jacob faces on each bun and making people choose between them (because this is what people like to do), and have a bun-off. Because visual aids are useful, and I had too much time on my hands, I’ve mocked these up for you. The original photo was from blogger Amanda Rutter, whose Floor to Ceiling books blog is always a good place to while away some quality browsing time. She also talks about the new initiative Atom are starting called the Atomics that involves teenage bloggers – ah to be young. Read more here.

NaNoWriMo: It’s National Writing Month where every kind of (mad) writer sets aside a whole month to write – what, a short story? A poem? A soliloquy? – a novel, of course. It’s an exercise in sheer determination, bloody-mindedness and willpower, and it doesn’t matter what you write as long as it’s 50,000 words long. Even if you’re not participating, you can hop on over to the forum and peruse topics like ‘NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul’, which sounds promising. For SFF, head over to the genre section where you can read threads like ‘Raise someone from the dead, how?’ and, my personal favourite, ‘If you were an abusive umbrella, what you would yell?’

Top 2010 SFF titles announced: Three of the top 5 are Orbit’s - The Bone Place by Amanda Downum about the sex industry and vampires, Feed by Mira Grant (a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire) about zombies and Republicans in the Midwest and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms/The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, two novels about ordinary people being manipulated by gods in a changing world. There’s also Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death by Penguin USA’s DAW imprint (the first ever publishers dedicated to SFF) about a post-apocalyptic Saharan Africa and Pegasus’ A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter by Peter Straub, which is actually only a short story/excerpt from A Dark Matter. The full list can be found here in Publishers Weekly.

Solaris book launch: if you’re lucky enough to live in/around London, rather than the publishing-barren Manchester, then you can go to the FREE Solaris’ book launch event at Foyle’s on the 16th November. More information can be found on the Solaris editors’ blog. It’s The End of the Line edited by Jonathan Oliver, a book of Horror short stories set on the underground. This is exactly the kind of book I love – set in the hidden parts of a city and taking the otherworldly element of the underground literally - and I can’t wait to read it. Just check out the blood-smeared cover. Lovely.

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