Mar 26 2015

90% amazing, 10% creepy

io9 just posted several examples of the unbelievably detailed interior artwork from this upcoming 50th anniversary deluxe edition of Frank Herbert's Dune. The art—by Sam Weber—is incredible (and that image of Baron Harkonnen is going to haunt my dreams), but...

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Mar 26 2015

Fantasy v. Sexy Halloween Costume

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The blog Muddy Colors recently featured a fascinating column by Lauren Panepinto, the Creative Director for Orbit Books. In her post, Panepinto discusses the difficulty (and importance!) of achieving attractive, dynamic cover art for fantasy novels...

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Mar 25 2015

Pocket Apocalypse, by Seanan McGuire

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In my review of Seanan McGuire's first three 'InCryptid' novels, I gave the author a very specific request for book four: I wanted the plot climax to kick off with the hero naked, unconscious, and in need of rescue. I don't want to spoil anything, but I would give Pocket Apocalypse a solid B+ for its wish fulfillment alone...

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Mar 24 2015

The unwelcome return of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

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And in other movie news, the trailer for the movie adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns recently hit the interwebs. Frankly, I'm even less excited about this than I am about the Little Women movie...

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Mar 24 2015

Little Women Strike Back

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According to THR, Sony is planning another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, with Sara Polley as the probable writer/director. I'm not much of a Little Women fan, but it is an important piece of American literature, so I guess I'm in favor of another movie version...

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Mar 23 2015

Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

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I've always classified Charlaine Harris as an “airport writer”. Her novels are reasonably entertaining, and you can find them in even the saddest, most under-stocked airport book display, but if I'm in an actual bookstore I'm probably going to choose something else. That's why I'm so impressed by Midnight Crossroad, the first book in her latest series—it does a great job of playing to Harris's strengths, but it also proves that she's still growing and improving as an author...

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Mar 23 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Charlaine Harris's Midnight Crossroad, the first installment in a trilogy set in a fictional Texas town called Midnight. The novel plays to Harris's strengths; there's no one better at creating a plausible blend of fantasy and pink-collar Southern life. (Of course, that's not exactly a crowded literary field, but that doesn't take away from Harris's gifts.) A full review will follow later today...

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Mar 17 2015

So many Cinderellas

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NPR recently featured a great article about the enduring popularity and staggering variety of Cinderella adaptations, from print to stage to screen. The article name-drops an 1893 book that had managed to collect 345 versions of the story...

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Mar 17 2015

Bride of the Water God on TV?

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Manga/manhwa fans take note: according to Dramabeans, Mi-Kyung Yun's popular Korean series Bride of the Water God is going to be adapted into a TV drama. The show is being developed by drama writer Jung Yoon-jung, who...

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Mar 16 2015

Bad Magic, by Pseudonymous Bosch

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As I read Pseudonymous Bosch's Bad Magic, I had a bizarre feeling I was reading a junior-division version of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation. Bad Magic is a lot less creepifying (thankfully), but it covers similar ground—a mysterious, isolated place, a half-explained plot, and a weird blend of fantasy and reality...

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Mar 16 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Bad Magic, by Pseudonymous Bosch

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This week's Book Giveaway is Pseudonymous Bosch's middle-grade novel Bad Magic, which seems to be a spin-off of his The Name of This Book is Secret series. I haven't read Bosch's earlier novels, but many a sixth-grader has enthusiastically recommended them to me, and I approve of the fact that, as pen names go, "Pseudonymous Bosch" is much cooler than "Lemony Snicket" or "Pittacus Lore"...

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Mar 10 2015

I WANT THIS

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Okay, I'm in love: I like all the alphabet posters created by FiftyFiveHi's (particularly the ones inspired by the collection at the American Museum of Natural History), but I absolutely need to own this Mythical Creatures Alphabet Poster...

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Mar 10 2015

Gross! But interesting.

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Romance novelist Hope Tarr recently wrote a guest post for the blog Heroes and Heartbreakers called "Keeping “It” Clean: Hygiene, Hot Sex, and the Historical Romance Novel". This is a subject near and dear to my heart...

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Mar 9 2015

The Cake House, by Latifah Salom

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After complaining (a lot) about anyone having the nerve to describe Cymbeline as “William Shakespeare's undiscovered masterpiece” and reviewing Jenny Trout's Romeo and Juliet/Hamlet-inspired Such Sweet Sorrow, we're concluding our totally unplanned rush of Shakespeare-themed posts with a review of Latifah Salom's debut novel The Cake House...

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Mar 9 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Cake House, by Latifah Salom

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This week's Book Giveaway is The Cake House, the debut novel by Latifah Salom. Based on the description on the back cover, I'm assuming that we're continuing our recent (and totally unintentional!) string of Shakespearean updates: this appears to be a modern retelling of Hamlet...

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Mar 5 2015

"The dean of American science fiction writers"...?

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According to THR, Bryan Singer plans to direct an adaptation of Robert Heinlein's classic 1966 sci-fi novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I'm not a big Heinlein fan—I find his portrayal of sex to be straight-up creepifying...

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Mar 4 2015

A worthy sacrifice

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The always-awesome site ThisIsColossal recently featured two book-related art projects: one about books and magazines being transformed into crystallized sculptures by San Francisco-based artist Alexis Arnold, and one about South African artist Barbara Wildenboer...

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Mar 3 2015

Magical duck ponds

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Slate recently featured an excerpted fairytale from The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, which we wrote about here...

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Mar 3 2015

And people say her work is self-absorbed

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Lena Dunham has produced an HBO documentary about illustrator Hilary Knight (best known for his work on Kay Thompson's Eloise stories), and the trailer is really heavy on... Lena Dunham. I'm happy someone is honoring Knight's career, but this movie appears to be less about him, and more about how much his art means to her...

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Mar 2 2015

Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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As books go, Jenny Trout's YA novel Such Sweet Sorrow is a bit of a mess—albeit an interesting, ambitious mess, with flashes of something that could have been great. I can't ignore its flaws, but let me give credit where credit is due: this story would make a spectacular video game, full of world-building and action...

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Mar 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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I've had Shakespeare on the brain recently, what with my rage over anyone describing Cymbeline as an "undiscovered masterpiece" (note: I'm not sure which one of those descriptors irritates me more), so this week's Book Giveaway is Jenny Trout's Such Sweet Sorrow, a YA novel about Romeo and Hamlet teaming up in the afterlife to find Juliet. I don't understand why there's a corseted girl with what appears to be a Victorian parasol on the cover, but whatever...

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Feb 27 2015

One Fish Two Fish graces the highest court in the land

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In other political/literary news, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently cited Dr. Seuss's One Fist Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish in her dissenting response to Yates v. United States. It's not like Dr. Seuss really needs the publicity, but it's nice to see him get a shout-out nonetheless, and from such an impressive source...

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Feb 26 2015

Jail time for assigning Beloved?

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Oh, this is great news: not content with good old-fashioned censorship, the Kansas Senate has passed a bill "making it easier to prosecute teachers and school administrators for distributing materials deemed harmful to minors". Apparently, supporters say the bill is necessary to ensure that kids are protected from teachers distributing pornography at school. Because... that's a thing that happens a lot? Or something?

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Feb 25 2015

The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With The Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset

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Skylar Dorset's novels The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With the Hidden Name are mildly entertaining, thanks mostly to their unusual setting and solid romantic storyline. The series slides right down, but, sadly, there's very little in the way of memorable plot development to keep it from sliding straight back out again...

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Feb 25 2015

Anais Nin is rolling in her grave

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Much to my horror, THR recently posted an article about several romantic/erotic novels that (thanks to the unexpected success of the Fifty Shades movie) may now be adapted into films. Their list includes Anna Todd's After, a self-published story that started off as a long-running One Direction fanfic...

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Feb 24 2015

The Seattle Library is... different.

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Boston Magazine recently posted an article about the newly redesigned Boston Public Library-Central Library’s Johnson Building. The remodel focused on youth-oriented spaces, and it looks incredibly cool...

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Feb 23 2015

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

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Elizabeth Bear's novel Karen Memory has all the hallmarks of a great YA novel: the plot is unabashedly romantic and imaginative, and the author is clearly determined to deliver plenty of value for your entertainment dollar. In fact, I suspect the only reason this wasn't packaged as a teen book is because the sixteen-year-old heroine is A) gay and B) a prostitute...

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Feb 23 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memory, a steampunk Western set in an otherworldly version of the Seattle Underground. I'm not very far into it yet, but I'll read anything that plays up Seattle's innate weirdness, and I'm already a fan of the heroine's frank, no-nonsense narration...

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Feb 19 2015

Meh.

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Okay, this makes me a little sad. It's the 150th anniversary of my beloved Alice in Wonderland, and Puffin Books is celebrating with a new edition illustrated by Rifle Paper Co. founder Anna Bond. Don't get me wrong: I love Bond's work, but it's so tasteful...

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Feb 18 2015

My favorite price!

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If you hate-watched (or read) Fifty Shades of Grey recently, you might want to check out The Boss, the first installment in Jenny Trout/ Abigail Barnette's "BDSM-themed erotic romance series". The Boss is currently available as a free e-book, and...

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