Friday, January 7, 2011

Solitaire, Sterling, and YA/MG Hugo?

Three snippets of linkage for you today.

  • A lovely review by John Mesjack up at My 3 Books of Kelley's Solitaire. "I know it's early in 2011, but I got a finished copy today of a newly reissued book that has one of the most perfectly-apt covers I can recall. Best cover of the year? Maybe it's too soon to call, and probably a bit hyperbolic. But still. Check it out! [...] When I first read the manuscript of this reissue edition, I was just blown away. There are three distinct sections to the book, and each one has its own flavor and energy – all adding up to a dark but wonderfully described future. It was absolutely one of my favorite novels from the Fall 2010 Consortium catalog. [...] beautiful new edition of a modern deserves-to-be-classic." When I first Solitaire I was blown away, particularly by the middle section. I'd never, ever seen anyone write such a thing. I told Kelley it was a tour de force. She wondered if I was just saying that because she's my sweetie. I was adamant: tour de force. Imagine my delight (smugness) when a few months later the New York Times agreed, calling it a 'stylistic and psychological tour de force'. So, ha! I knew it first: it's a stunning novel. Available as an ebook now and in print everywhere Tuesday. Go read a free sample chapter here.
  • Over at Sterling Editing we have 2011's first round up of links for writers. One of them is to Dear Author's regular First Page feature, in which an aspiring writer bravely posts the first page of her novel, and readers respond. They don't pull their punches or their kisses. New writers pay attention. This is instructive stuff: how readers actually see your work. Take a look.
  • Via Cheryl Morgan I learnt that a proposal is going to go before WSFS for the addition of a YA/MG Book category to the Hugos. Cheryl has a follow-up post here. What snagged my attention was the comments, specifically the fretting over whether Hugo-voting f/sf fans will truly be voting on books that younger people read or enjoy. Some people are expressing the opinion that a kidlit Hugo award will be just like the Newbery: a kind of readerly eat-your-vegetables selection that adults believe would be good for kids but that kids will spit upon from a great height. I'm probably hopelessly naive but here's my take: Hugo voters are not like Newbery judges. Hugo voters are still in love with story, still addicted to that rush of imaginative nirvana that is sensawunda. Hugo voters (people like me) are, in a readerly sense, much more like children than Newbery judges. So, hey, I think this is a good idea. What do you think?

Happy Friday.

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