Friday, October 15, 2010

Genre Talk and Reader's Advisory

New RA site for sequels and more
You do have to sign up for this, so I'm not sure how useful it will be on desk

Gene Hackman writes a western

Why Steampunk Is An Important Trend
We've been saying this for a little while now.  My nephew reports that it is very popular among his fellow engineers at Iowa State.  In fact, after finding a nixie tube in the basement of the engineering building, he is considering making a steampunk clock. 

Some quotes:
The idea is essentially a fixation with Victorian technology. A romantic mix of steam, metal, gears and mechanical engineering. But it’s not what it is but what it represents that fascinates me.

The reason that Steampunk is interesting is that it is highly relevant to our times. It is a response to the realities of modern life, especially the fact that parts of our lives are out of control. (scroll down this page and you will see a trend toward finding ways to relax.) It is a counter-trend to the fact that life, especially in developed nations, is atomised, fast-paced, over-loaded with information, choice and needless innovation.

Steampunk is to consumer electronics what Punk music was to Disco music. It makes the hidden visible. You can play with it, fool around with it, subvert it, hack it and touch it. Most of all anyone can do it.

That’s what I think is missing nowadays. We want to understand how things work but most of all we want to touch things and use our hands as well as our brains.

The best analogy I can think of is old cars vs. new cars.  Used to be you could go in and fix problems by yourself - it was mechanical.  Today with the electronics, only the brave dare do it themselves!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Awards and Lists

As we get closer to the end of the year and early next year expect to see more awards and lists.

Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature

Romance Writers of America RITA Awards
Each year the RWA gives out the Golden Heart award to the best books published in a specific category. 
It's a very long list!  Here are some examples of the multitude of diverse sub-genres that are given awards:

Best Young Adult Manuscript
Best Inspirational Romance
Best Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure
Best Paranormal Romance

2010 Hugo Award Winners
Congratulations to:
Best Novel: TIE: The City & The City, China MiƩville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK); The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

Here again we see a diverse and abundant list of sub-genres.  Some examples:
Best Graphic Story
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Best Professional Artist

The votes are in for NPR’s Killer Thrillers; the top ten are:

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. The Shining, by Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Literary Fiction
Here is the Daily Beast’s 10 Best list
Readersadvisoronline's 10 Best List for Fall