I’m a bit tired today, because a quick excursion to pick up a WiFi repeater and some other stuff turned into an extended odyssey thanks to a traffic jam on the highway that forced me into the East Bremen area I call Hemelingen, though it is made up of several smallish neighbourhoods, where I promptly got lost, only to find myself faced with a massive remodelling project under way at the shopping mall where I was headed. On the plus side, I found a decent Indian restaurant during my meanderings through Hemelingen. Not quite UK standard, but pretty good considering how difficult Indian food is to come by in Germany.
Here are some links:
First of all, I’ve got a plug to make. DriveThruFiction is currently offering the Read and Feed America 2013 charity bundle, which collects more than thirty e-books from various, including my own Countdown to Death. You get e-books with a total retail price of 175.80 USD for a donation of 20 USD and all the proceeds go to Feeding America. It’s a great deal and it’s only available until October 20, so donate now and get plenty of good books to read.
The 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Canadian writer Alice Munro. IMO it’s a good and largely uncontroversial decision, even though German writer Martin Walser allegedly does not know who Alice Munro is. But then I suspect Alice Munro has no idea who Martin Walser is either. Meanwhile, here is an appreciation of Alice Munro and her work by fellow Canadian writer Margaret Atwood. Finally, awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature to Alice Munro also strikes a blow for an underappreciated literary form, the short story. As a short fiction writer, I can’t but applaud.
Cheryl Morgan explains the vicious circle of why SFF novels by female writers are presumed not to sell, so fewer SFF novels by female writers are bought, so fewer of them sell, hence SFF by women does not sell. Sigh. Regarding Waterstones, I’ve noticed myself repeatedly that their SFF shelves are heavily biassed in favour of male authors to the point of separating women authors on a separate shelf labeled “Dark Fantasy” or “Paranormal Romance” or some such thing (whereas Jim Butcher gets to remain in just plain fantasy) and that they don’t have SFF books on the shelf, even if those books have just won a major award or are highly anticipated. For example, I couldn’t find Lauren Beukes’ Zoo City at Waterstones, even though she had won the Clarke award mere days before. I couldn’t find Jo Walton’s Among Others at Waterstones, even though she had already won the Nebula and was nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy awards. And most of the authors affected by the phenomenon of “Award winning or highly anticipated book not to be found at Waterstones” are women, though some men are hit by it, too. For example, Simon R. Green’s books are surprisingly difficult to find in the UK, even though he is British.
On a related note, here is a post by John Dodds at Adventures of SciFi Publishing discussing how to save science fiction. Among other things, he also praises the excellent SF selection at an unspecified Waterstones store in Scotland. Well, excellent unless you are looking for books by female authors (or Simon Green), that is. And for the record, the Waterstones whose shelving practices made me so angry that I actually asked a staff member whether they were deliberate hiding the books by women where no one could find them (because their “dark fantasy/paranormal romance/urban fantasy” shelf wasn’t even near the SFF section), also happened to be in Scotland.
Nine previously missing Doctor Who episodes have been recovered in Nigeria. The episodes in question are all five missing parts of the Second Doctor story The Enemy of the World and four of five parts of the Second Doctor story The Web of Fear, which contains the first appearance of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. iO9 also has a trailer for the Web of Fear. Looks like the BBC got really lucky and recovered two great stories there.