Sunday Links for February 26, 2012

The Nebula Award finalists have been announced. Some excellent reading in this list. Omnivoracious also lists the nominees, and also mentions a few novels that could just as easily have been nominated but were not.

The Bram Stoker Award nominees have been announced. I always find it frustrating when nominations for one of my favorite awards demonstrates so conclusively how behind in my reading I am: not only have I not read a single one of the nominated novels, I don’t even own any of them. Worse, one of them (Not Fade Away by Gene O’Neill) isn’t even available except as a $50 limited edition direct from the publisher (and a similar problem applies for one of the first novel nominees: Isis Unbound, by Allyson Bird, is only available under the same circumstances, for $45). My Amazon cart is full to the brim with award-nominated books; if only my bank account were similarly flush!

The winners of the Readers’ Choice Awards have been announced. Nice to see an award that uses an apostrophe correctly.

The 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists have been announced.

Omnivoracious highlights a recent urban fantasy anthology that is in that same overstuffed shopping cart: Down These Strange Streets, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

It’s such a loss to the world of letters that David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008. He would have been 50 years old this year, and in celebration of that anniversary, Salon has an interesting piece on his journalism. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays is one of the finest books of essays I’ve ever read, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments is on my shelf, and this piece has encouraged me to take it off and dig in. One of these days I’ll get to Wallace’s fiction, daunting as Infinite Jest seems to be (a friend told me that it was the most brilliant thing he’d ever read, but that he could not finish it; it was just too much work to keep up with that brilliance); but in the meantime, those essays continue to resonate for me.

Lots of lists out there this week: the 10 best alternate universes in science fiction television and film; the 22 most awful moments in science fiction (though some of these will likely have you wanting to throw something at the author; I thought him far off-base in at least a few of his choices); and 10 must-read science fiction masterpieces (some questionable choices there, but that makes the list all the more interesting).

Who do you consider the sexiest characters in science fiction? Vote here.

At the end of last year, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer published their huge, varied, fascinating collection called The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. SF Signal has a piece entitled ”Eight Weird Thoughts I Gleaned from The Weird”, which might give you some insight into whether this mammoth anthology is one for you. I can’t wait to get to it myself; weird is where it’s at, as far as I’m concerned.

The history of computer hacking is pretty darned interesting.

The publishing world continues to change at an unholy pace. These 10 predictions for the future of the industry sure point me up for the dinosaur I am, with all my paper books (a retronym that makes me pretty unhappy). I’m glad to read, though, that the publishing industry is expected to pay higher royalties on ebooks in the near future – that seems only fair.

How about some silly to close things off? Here are 20 cats imagined as fonts. My Cordelia is the Courier type, I think.

What's the use?

I'm confused by limited edition only bought from publisher books that sell in that $50 price range. I'm glad that authors find publisher willing to distribute their works but I can't imagine that this model is ideal for anyone. A high end special edition at any price is okay, if there is a MMBP or the equivalent for $6.99

Furthermore, in the case of awards is there any better way to make your awards seem pretentious high and might, and altogether esoteric than to nominate books that the majority of the public will never have a chance to read by way or limited quantity and pricing?

Horror, mostly

I think the subgenre that most often gets this treatment is horror, and that it's because the market is so small in the first place. A MMPB, much less a hardcover first edition, won't sell enough to make it worthwhile. But I've missed out on a number of interesting books this way.

Seems to me the way to go is to have the collector's edition, but also make an ebook available for those who simply can't afford it. Of course, I don't know how much that screws with the economics -- would some of those $50 book buyers just get the ebook? I know that if I could afford the $50 book, I'd buy it rather than the ebook, but I'm kinda weird about paper books.

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