Pixel Scroll 2/2/16 A Spoonful Of Pixels Helps The Medicine Scroll Down

(1) ALTERNATIVE FUTURISM AT UCR. Despite everything else that’s happened to sf studies there, the sun still rose over Riverside this morning and the University of California Riverside announced new events in its continuing Alternative Futurisms Series. The series is funded by a $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Authors Daniel José Older and Walter Mosley will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 3, followed on March 3 by a panel of award-winning authors discussing the expectations of science fiction and fantasy produced by Caribbean writers….

“Throughout 2015-2016, the Sawyer Seminar on Alternative Futurisms is helping to build bridges amongst the various zones of scholarship and creation in people-of-color futurisms and fantastical narratives,” said Nalo Hopkinson, co-organizer of the yearlong seminar, a professor of creative writing and an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy. “Following a successful fall quarter, which included a conference, film screenings and panel discussions, the winter quarter is focusing on creators of people-of-color science fiction and fantasy.”

… “The Sawyer Seminar has brought together faculty, students and the larger community around the important question of imagining a diverse future,” said Milagros Peña, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS). “I am proud of CHASS’s continuing commitment to science fiction studies.”

Events scheduled this month and in the spring include:

Thursday, March 3, 3:30 p.m. Interdisciplinary 1113 – Panel discussion on Caribbean science fiction and fantasy. Panelists are: with Karen Lord, an award-winning Barbadian author (“Redemption in Indigo,” “The Best of All Possible Worlds”) and research consultant; Karin Lowachee, an award-winning author (“Warchild,” “Cagebird”) who was born in South America, grew up in Canada, and worked in the Arctic; Nalo Hopkinson, award-winning author (“Midnight Robber,” “Falling in Love With Hominids”) who was born in Jamaica and teaches creative writing at UCR with a focus on the literatures of the fantastic such as science fiction, fantasy and magical realism; and Tobias Buckell, a best-selling author who grew up in Grenada and whose work (the “Xenowealth” series, “Hurricane Fever”) has been nominated for numerous awards.

Monday, April 11, 4 p.m. (location tbd) – Readings by Ted Chiang, whose work (“Tower of Babylon,” “Exhalation,” “The Lifecycle of Software Objects”) has won numerous awards; and Charles Yu, whose debut novel “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe” was a runner-up for the Campbell Memorial Award.

(2) EARTHSEA OF GREEN. The Kickstarter appeal for Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin raised its target amount of $80,000 on the very first day. A total of $83,268 has been pledged by 1,164 backers as of this writing.

(3) RABID PUPPIES. Vox Day’s daily slate revelation was “Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Fan Artist”, with picks Karezoid, rgus, Matthew Callahan, Disse86, and Darkcloud013.

(4) DAY VERSUS DAVIDSON. Vox Day also reacted to Steve Davidson’s attempt to get Andy Weir to repudiate slates: “SJW attempts to block Weir nomination”.

As for why I did not recommend Mr. Weir as Best New Writer last year, it was for a very simple and straightforward reason. I had not read his novel. Unlike so many of the SJWs, I do not recommend novels I have not read, writers whose books I have not read, or artists whose work I have not seen. Those who have not brought their works to my attention have only themselves, and their publishers to blame, if I remain unfamiliar with them. I am but a mere superintelligence, I am not omniscient.

It is perhaps worth noting, again, that I do not care in the least what a writer or an artist happens to think about being recommended; die Gedanken sind frei. People can recuse themselves, publicly repudiate, or virtue-signal, or perform interpretive dance to express the depth of their feelings about Rabid Puppies. It makes no difference to me.

That being said, it appears Marc Miller is not eligible for Best New Writer despite having published his debut novel in 2015. I shall have to revisit that category at a later date.

Although it really doesn’t have any implications for the current discussion, it’s an interesting bit of trivia that Bryan Thomas Schmidt, who was on both the Sad and Rabid slates last year as a short fiction editor, was the person who edited Weir’s novel The Martian.

(5) BIGGER ISSUE. David J. Peterson argues that Puppy drama is overshadowing a really important issue – the lack of a YA Hugo.

No, to my mind the real injustice in the Hugo Awards is the lack of a separate award for YA fiction. More than anywhere else, YA is drawing new readers to science-fiction and fantasy. Yes, right now HBO’s Game of Thrones is huge, and it’s based on a very adult series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, but beyond, what else is big—and I mean big big—in SFF? A few series come to mind: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Mortal Instruments. I’m sure you can think of others (oh, duh, Twilight, whatever you think of it). All of these are very successful YA series (all by female authors, incidentally), and all of them have been made into movies that range from moderately successful, to wildly, outrageously successful. Generally, though, unless it’s world-shatteringly successful, YA novels don’t stand a chance of being nominated for a Hugo, let alone winning (of all the books listed above, only two were nominated for best novel—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire—with the latter winning)….

Writing YA fiction is a different endeavor than writing adult fiction. There are different rules in play; a different audience to consider. It’s a different approach altogether. Different. Not better. Not worse. But different. Think of your favorite YA novel and your favorite adult novel (two that jump to mind immediately for me are Matilda and The Great Gatsby). Can you rank one over the other? I can’t. It’s not because I can’t decide which one is better: It’s because they’re not even playing by the same rules….

And that’s my point with YA and the Hugos. YA is underrepresented, but it’s not because readers are ignoring it or anything like that: It’s because it’s competing in a category it shouldn’t be. Right now, enormous YA works are grabbing new readers by the truckload and essentially delivering them into SFF fandom, but they don’t have a seat at the table. This is an issue that has been raised before, but I think the whole Sad Puppy thing has really shoved it to the side, and that, to me, is a real shame.

(6) SEEKS LOVE. Meantime, James Troughton just cuts to the chase —

(7) FINDS LOVE. Congratulations Laura Resnick on the film option offered on one of your romance novels!

The deposit has cleared, which means it’s time to announce: I’ve been offered a film option deal for my romance novel, FALLEN FROM GRACE. This means I’ve licensed the right for a filmmaker to apply for development money from (of all things) the National Film Board in South Africa (where the story would be relocated and the movie made, if it’s made). It’s a multi-stage process and may never get beyond this point (or may never get beyond the next point, “development,” etc.), but I’m still excited. I’ve had an initial approach 2-3 times before about film adaptations (though not for this book), but no one has ever before pursued it beyond the initial “are these rights available?”

(8) BLUE TWO. The New Zealand Herald reports “First Avatar sequel to start shooting in NZ this April”.

The follow-up to the blockbuster hit Avatar will start production in New Zealand this year.

Director James Cameron is set to start filming the first of three Avatar sequels in April, which are scheduled to be released one year after the other.

The first sequel was supposed to come out in cinemas later this year, but delays have forced the release date to the end of 2017.

According to My Entertainment World, the film will start shooting in California’s Manhattan Beach and New Zealand.

The website also reveals the premise for the film, saying “Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) permanently transfers his consciousness to his Na’vi avatar and begins a new life with Princess Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) after they defeat the human colonisers.”

(9) DRAWERS IN A MANUSCRIPT. M. Harold Page recommends a book about period costumes at Black Gate: “Pulp-era Gumshoes and Queen Victoria’s Underwear: Stitches in Time: The Story of the Clothes We Wear by Lucy Addlington”.

It puts us in the shoes (and unmentionables) of the people we read about — the Pulp-era gumshoes and flappers, the Victorian Steam Punk inventors, the swashbuckling musketeers. They all feel a bit more real when we know how they dress in the morning, how they manage the call of nature, what fashion bloopers they worry about, how their clothes force them to walk or sit.

It also helps us decode some of the nuances. For example, men’s shirts were actually regarded as underwear until well past the Victorian period. If you took off your jacket, you’d immediately don a dressing gown. To be in your shirtsleeves was to be not entirely decent. The color of your shirt reflected your class and… and it’s a rabbit hole of nuance and snobbery. You just have to read it.

(10) X-FILES. If you’re in the market for a spoiler-filled recap of the latest X-Files episode, click Mashable’s “’The X-Files’ Episode 3 was a silly hour of TV that couldn’t have been better”.

(11) TOO MUCH LAVA. Open Culture today highlighted this eight-minute animation of the destruction of Pompeii from 2013. Well worth the eight minutes.

A good disaster story never fails to fascinate — and, given that it actually happened, the story of Pompeii especially so. Buried and thus frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the ancient Roman town of 11,000 has provided an object of great historical interest ever since its rediscovery in 1599. Baths, houses, tools and other possessions (including plenty of wine bottles), frescoes, graffiti, an ampitheater, an aqueduct, the “Villa of the Mysteries“: Pompeii has it all, as far as the stuff of first-century Roman life goes.


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 commenter of the day IanP.]

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280 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/2/16 A Spoonful Of Pixels Helps The Medicine Scroll Down

  1. “Rejected Princesses”, YES!!! On the BFA list.

    I once worked in a department where two men were named along the lines of “Robert David Jones”. The computer logins were in the form of first initial, last name. Middle initial if necessary.

    These guys became RD1JONES and RD2JONES. All members of the department were exhorted to pay attention when sending email, to make sure you had the correct Robert Jones — they worked on different projects.

    I once went to a party at Worldcon(?) where everyone was required to put a thing over their badge to change their name to “Bruce”, in honor of the Monty Python skit. People actually named Bruce got a sticker reading “Robert the”.

    At office get-togethers, they’d introduce themselves by number to people who’d never met them. “Hi, I’m RD1.”

    Congrats, Laura!

    “Tom, Thom” didn’t work for me either. I give it a ¯\_(?)_/¯ V gbb jnf jbaqrevat nobhg gur engvbavat — svefg gurl’er jbeevrq nobhg gur ohggre, gura nyy bs n fhqqra gurer’f zrng n-cyragl? Naq nyfb, jul jnfa’g Gbz va fpubby? Frira lrne byq oblf va yngr 40’f Ratynaq fubhyq unir orra va gur ivyyntr fpubby, evtug? Vg jnf whfg nyy bire gur cynpr, qrgnvyf-jvfr. Abg tbbq. Guerr fgnef vf trarebhf bs Tert naq pbzcnal. Haeryvnoyr aneengbe vf gur bayl guvat gung zvtug znxr vg jbex. Be “vg jnf nyy whfg n srire/qlvat qernz”.

  2. Mike Glyer,

    I’ve seen elseweb a suggestion for the Pterry as the name of the Hugo/Not-A-Hugo YA* award, so maybe KB isn’t the first? Maybe the Fifth?

    [Some other names suggested include Diana Wynne Jones, Roald Dahl, (maybe, from New Zealand) Margaret Mahy?]

    As a non-USAian, I get confused with the terminology, what’s Middle School? What’s college (which seems to have different meanings depending)? I’ve seen college referred to tertiary education i.e. University, but also secondary school?

    Not that New Zealand is less confusing for the uninitiated. Our Secondary School is Years 9-13 (corresponding approximately to ages 13-18). I tend to think of YA as corresponding to our Secondary School (ages 13-18).

  3. @Soon Lee

    I personally preferred the Pterry for the Best Series Not-A-Hugo when it was being mooted last year.

    I think middle school is roughly equivalent to the Australian (and New Zealand?) Years 7-9, ie 12 to 15 years old thereabouts.

  4. Camestros:
    Or the author of ASOFAI’s attempt at microblogging AKA tweets and the GRRM

    Time to resurrect an old joke.
    Q: Why doesn’t George R.R. Martin use Twitter?
    A. Because he killed off all 140 characters.

  5. @Soon Lee– College, in the US, is tertiary education, what the UK at least calls university.

    There are rare instances where a secondary school–what we normally call “high school”–has the word college in its name, but that’s not what people mean when they use the word in a generic sense.

    Primary school may be either grades 1-8 (ages 6-13), or grades 1-6 (ages 6-11.). If it’s 1-8, then high school is grades 9-12. If it’s 1-6, then high school is grades 10-12, and grades 7-9 are “middle school.”

    Note that there can be different distributions of grades based on legacy buildings, changing populations, and the creation of regional school systems to share resources, but those are the “standard” ones, and the names generally used in the US.

  6. There are also districts in the US where middle school is now 6-8, with primary school as kindergarten through fifth grade.

    Fortunately, when selecting books for children, it seldom if ever matters what their school is called.

  7. And I went to school in a district where primary school was grades K-6, Jr High School was 7 and 8, and High School was 9-12. They changed this some time since I graduated, though, and now it’s primary K-5, middle school 6-8, and high school 9-12. (Add 5 to all grade numbers to get approximate student ages. Kindergarden is a 0.)

    Because in the US, school systems are governed locally, and everybody has different ideas on how to do it. And different buildings, with different capacities. I did hear a middle school teacher mention once, apparently sincerely, that middle schools exist to quarantine newly-hormonal adolescents from both the younger and the older kids. Sounds reasonable to me.

  8. Soon Lee:

    In case you are not yet thorougly confused, NZ apparently has years 1-13 (aged 5 – 18), while the U.S. has Kindergarten (5-year-olds) + years 1-12 (aged 6 – 18).

    Unlike NZ (unless this has changed and I’m not aware), U.S. schools have a sharp cutoff: the child must be 5 years of age before the start of school, or they start with the following year. Thus, I was 11 months and 2 weeks younger than my best friend, though we were both in the same “grade”.

    There are odd exceptions to this, where an extremely-bright child is moved ahead a grade, or a child who is struggling is “held back” a grade. But at least when I was in school (and granted, I grew up in a small town, so I don’t know how much of a “rule” this is), this was avoided as much as possible because of social development issues faced by those children when placed in classes with other children who were much older or younger. (Because I was already the youngest child in my class, it was decided that moving me up with children 1-2 years older was not a good idea.)

    Given that I spent much of my childhood wanting to commit suicide due to being the “smart” outcast, this was probably a wise decision — though certain accommodations were made for me, although I didn’t realize it at the time. For instance, I frequently asked to go to the bathroom — then spent half an hour reading adult novels in the hall closet (I kid you not. This seems incredible to me now, but it didn’t back then) while my classmates were reading “Run, Dick run. See Dick run.” At the time, I thought I was getting away with something. I realized much later that all the teachers knew, and allowed it because they had no idea what to do with me otherwise. Classes in my school generally went at the pace of the lower 1/2 of the students’ capabilities.

    I think that these days, especially in big city schools, there is now much more of an attempt to place children in a grade according to their aptitude, rather than their age. (But I don’t claim to be an authority on that.) There are also Advanced Placement classes based on aptitude, not age, which were not an option in my small-town school.

    It’s my impression that NZ (and other Commonwealth countries) schools are more fluid than the U.S. about how children are assigned to a grade level.

  9. And just to further the confusion:

    As Lis Carey says: Primary school may be either grades 1-8 (ages 6-13), or grades 1-6 (ages 6-11.). If it’s 1-8, then high school is grades 9-12. If it’s 1-6, then high school is grades 10-12, and grades 7-9 are “middle school.”

    “Middle school” in the U.S. is also sometimes referred to as “junior high”.

  10. Cally: I did hear a middle school teacher mention once, apparently sincerely, that middle schools exist to quarantine newly-hormonal adolescents from both the younger and the older kids.

    I’ve never heard this before! And yet it makes total sense.

  11. @JJ: Bingo. For me, Junior High was 7-8, and was at the same school where I went to High School, which was 9-12. (It was one school for 7-12 grades.) And it really was Junior High School, i.e., going to different classes with different teachers, just like the 9-12 graders did. The Elementary School (we didn’t call it Primary in my day…well, okay, where I went to school) I went to was 1-6 and IIRC it also had a Kindergarten.

  12. Yeah, my quickie summary left out the fact that the school districts are all governed locally. And that means that my general description is of, in fact, generalities. I attempted to indicate there’s room for lots of local variation, but that probably wasn’t as clear as it should have been.

  13. Very weird Name Game entry:

    For some inexplicable reason, every Vampire game I’ve heard about in my city (that’s set here) has featured a Prince named Steven or some variant thereof. The tabletop game I started had Stefan, and I know I’ve heard of at least three others between tabletop and LARP campaigns. As far as I know, this is a case of parallel development. I didn’t borrow the name from any other game, and when the other campaigns started, I had no connection to them.

    It kind of makes me wonder.

  14. k8:

    The fact that they refer to the Newbery as an award for YA indicates that they either have no idea what the Newbery is (it is for text of books for ages 0-14) or they’re really confused about what YA is.

    Yes. If it were just the Newbery thing, I’d be inclined to say ‘they’re using ‘YA’ in an odd way, lots of people do, roll with it’. But when they say that Harry Potter and The Graveyard Book are not seen as typical of the field, it looks as if they are thinking of YA in the publishing sense. It really needs to be clarified what ‘YA’ means in this context.

    I actually came to the Loncon business meeting, where I believed there would be a YA proposal, intending to ask about what ‘YA’ was taken to mean, and if necessary to propose an amendment. But there was no proposal, and I won’t be able to attend any more business meetings before at earliest 2019.


    In the UK, Harry Potter is certainly marketed as Older Children’s. I can see that it is an edge case, as it follows Harry into his teenage years, but it seems to be definitely Children’s in the tradition it comes from and in presentation, illustration etc. My experience is that professionals tend to see it as Children’s, while fans often call it YA, and even see it as an archetypal work of YA. I’m afraid that in some cases people may think you shouldn’t call a book Children’s if it has depth – which seems to me unfair to the tradition of children’s fiction.


    I think it is actually a live question how likely youth books are to win Hugos from now, on, which may impact on the ‘two bites’ question. Now, the committee seems to be saying (though not explicitly) ‘You’ve been around for sixty years and you’ve only given us four awards; clearly you aren’t taking us seriously’. But
    a. No one is claiming that the Hugos have been open to young people’s fiction throughout their existence, only that they have now become more so.
    b. Most of the classic young people’s fiction with SFF themes was fantasy, and the Hugos have only recently become welcoming to fantasy.
    c. If they mean YA in the publishing sense, that only became a big Thing relatively recently, and moved into SFF in a big way even more recently.
    d. I get the sense that YA is becoming more diverse – not in an SJ-related sense, but diverse in theme and manner of telling – which may make it more accessible to people outside its core readership. I feel this has been happening while the present campaign is in progress; a while ago people were saying that YA could be recognised by its tone and feel, and I don’t think that’s so to the same extent any more. Witness the BFA – the main one, for all ages – going to Cuckoo Song, and the Costa Book of the Year – for all books – to The Lie Tree. (Though those seem to be another case of Children’s/YA edge cases.)

  15. Snowcrash: Are people actually discussing a Series not-Hugo? I think it would certainly solve some of the problems that arise (though not all), but I didn’t think it had been officially mooted, unlike the YA not-Hugo.

  16. Yeah, it was junior high (7–9) for me, and it’s middle school (6–8) for my daughter.

    I learned, years after the fact, how I came to skip most of first grade. They’d assigned us our reading book, about Jimmy and Sue and their dog Pepper, which didn’t even have words for the first chapter or two. According to Bruce Ferguson, I read the book in a couple of minutes, and was scrutinizing the word list at the back (looking for something more to read) when the teacher spotted me. She pinned a note on me, and the next day, as I recall it, I was in second grade.

    Bruce, being as advanced as I (if not more: he knew what was going on and I didn’t even wonder about it) did his best to be seen reading the words in back as well, but to no avail, as he had a sister already in second grade. Doomed, poor guy.

  17. @Andrew M

    I dunno where it’s at honestly. Last I was aware was from this F770 post, and then at Sasquan it was sent to committee – as per the Sasquan minutes:

    Thus, the motion was
    referred to a committee consisting of Warren Buff and Jared Dashoff. Those who
    wished to be added to the committee were advised to meet with Messrs. Buff and
    Dashoff, who would then provide members’ names to the Business Meeting secretary.

  18. IMO War for the Oaks suffers a little bit from the “Hamlet is full of quotes” problem. The Emma Bull book that blew me away was Bone Dance.

  19. The cut-off for starting kindergarten also varies with time and place in the US.
    In Connecticut in the 50s it was by calendar year.
    My younger brother was born Dec 29, and thus became the youngest child in his classes. It wasn’t a problem for him academically, but it was a little rough at recess and during sports.

  20. snowcrash: Actually, I think I may have started this hare. The committee is just working on a series Hugo proposal as far as I know. But a while ago someone here, presumably unaware of the committee, suggested a series award in honour of Terry Pratchett, and I said that this seemed to duplicate what the committee was doing, but that making it a not-Hugo and naming it in honour of TP might have some advantages.

  21. As an aside, when people say hay youth books do get recognized based on The Graveyard Book, I think they’re often ignoring the fact that an extremely popular author of adult fiction wrote it – one so popular that his legions of fans will read it even if they usually don’t read kidlit.

  22. Seconding/fifthing/whatever the recommendation for War for the Oaks.

    The trailer that was linked to, was Will Shetterly’s attempt to get an actual movie made of the book. From what I’ve heard, he all but bankrupted the two of them just doing that much.

    On similar names:
    I once beta read a manuscript that had characters named “Valerie” and “Valentine”. I flatter myself that I’m pretty good at keeping track of characters, but I had distinct trouble with that one…especially as there was a scene with the two of them interacting one-on-one. (The author eventually renamed “Valerie” to “Annalee”.)

    I’ve read that in the early days of The Bridge World magazine, Ely Culbertson called out “Hey Al!” and Alvin Roth, Albert Morehead, Alfred Sheinwold, and Alphonse Moyse Jr. all answered. So Culbertson named them, respectively, Al, Albert, Freddy, and Sonny; and such was the force of his personality that these names stuck to them for the rest of their lives.

  23. OK, this is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but as I had a spare moment and the issue had come up, here is the result of a brief unscientific survey, in the bookshop nearest my place of work, on children’s and YA books. The methodology was simply to run my eyes over the 8-12 and YA shelves, and make a note of books which I recognised and which had some SFnal or fantastic content. I’m sure much has been missed.

    Clearly some are edge cases, and I know the other major bookshop in my city shelves a few of these differently. It’s notable that classics are mostly 8-12 – presumably because YA as a distinctive field had not developed when they were written.


    Adams, Watership Down
    Aiken, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and sequels
    Barrie, Peter Pan
    Baum, The Wizard of Oz
    Blyton, The Magic Faraway Tree
    Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
    Colfer, Artemis Fowl series
    Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon and sequels
    Dahl, The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc.
    Gaiman, Coraline
    Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
    Hunter, Warriors
    (Wynne) Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle
    Juster, The Phantom Tolbooth
    Kipling, Just So Stories
    Le Guin, The Earthsea Quartet (i.e. the original three plus Tehanu)
    Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia
    Masefield, The Box of Delights
    Pearce, Tom’s Midnight Garden
    Pratchett, The Bromeliad, the Johnny books, The Amazing Maurice, The Wee Free Men
    Riordan, Percy Jackson series
    Rowling, Harry Potter series
    Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions
    Valente, The Girl who….


    Blackman, Noughts and Crosses and sequels
    Cass, The Selection series
    Clare, Mortal Instruments series
    Collins, The Hunger Games series
    Dashner, The Maze Runner
    Gaiman, The Graveyard Book *
    Garner, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Owl Service **
    Hardinge, The Lie Tree and Cuckoo Song
    Hartman, Shadow Scale
    Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant series
    Magrs, Lost on Mars
    Nix, Sabriel and sequels
    Paolini, Eragon and sequels
    Pratchett, Dodger, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, Nation ***
    Pullman, His Dark Materials
    Roth, Divergent series
    Rowell, Carry On
    Stroud, Bartimaeus and sequels
    Zusak, The Book Thief

    *I have also seen Coraline and The Graveyard Book the other way round.
    **When I was young, these were definitely children’s books. Garner then went on to write Red Shift, which was counted as teenage fiction even at the time, and was clearly seen as something different.
    ***Yes, this means that they have broken the Tiffany Aching series up. This makes a sort of sense, in that Tiffany gets older during the series, but shows how tricky these things are.

  24. On Harry Potter as youth vs. YA:

    As I recall, Rowling’s intention was that each book would be (targeted at/accessible by) readers Harry’s age. Thus, Philosopher’s Stone would be a youth/8-12 book, but Deathly Hallows would be YA.

  25. I seem to recall there being two different editions of The Graveyard Book out at the same time. One with illustrations by Chris Riddell for the Children’s market and one with illustrations from Dave McKean intended for the Adult market…

    I can’t (be bothered to) find a more authoritative source than Wiki, but it does agree that this is what happened in the UK, at least.

    I’m not really pointing this out for any reason, other than to say that all it did was make me want to buy both copies of the book.

    Besides, Neil Gaiman is a special case, since he’s wildly popular and will sell wherever he’s shelved.

  26. @Andrew M: Re. the Hugos only recently becoming welcoming to fantasy, with apologies if this is nit-picking, but a fantasy novella won at least as far back as 1971. Sure, the first novel win wasn’t till 2001, but nominations go back as far as 1967 (Too Many Magicians) or, I’d argue, at least 1964 (Witch World, which one could argue is science fantasy, but IMHO is fantasy). Maybe earlier; I’m not familiar with all the nominees (or all the winners!).

    Still, yeah, more SF than fantasy gets nominated (not sure about winning, but I’d guess so). Regardless, it still seems like two bites at the tasty Hugo apple to me.

    On the other paw, I suppose voters are more likely to ghettoize YA books into the YA category (not sure that’s a good thing, even if I don’t read YA), so a double-win is probably extremely unlikely. Maybe I worry for naught!

    @Rev. Bob: Harry Potter was very much an all-ages hit, though, despite how Rowling may have conceived of it or how her publishers may have marketed it. Which reminds me that I don’t like doing things by how publishers or bookstores do things like age brackets, genres, etc. 😉

  27. Rev. Bob:

    Yes, Harry Potter is an edge case. I suppose you could split the series up, but this would be even odder than splitting Tiffany Aching, since HP is a series with an arc, in which each book has a number, while TA isn’t. Someone once told me that his library (in America) has copies in both children’s and YA sections.

    But I do think that HP comes from the children’s tradition, unlike such works as Twilight and The Hunger Games that were written for the YA market and could not exist without it. And many people who say that HP is YA also say that Narnia is YA, that Joan Aiken is YA, that Lemony Snicket is YA (when he is actually rather careful to keep his books under that name in the children’s category – he has also written actual YA, under his real name), that the Newbery Medal is a YA award, and in general treat ‘YA’ as if it just meant ‘young people’s fiction’.

    (I’m taking it that ‘youth’ is an inclusive term; the term specifically for 8-12 would be ‘middle grade’ in the US, and elsewhere, where we don’t have grades, just ‘older children’s’.)

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