Pixel Scroll 12/18/22 As You Scroll, Bob

(1) CLARION WEST CLASSES. Here are the Spring 2023 classes offered by Clarion West – click the link to read the full description and to register.

The Supporting Tuition rate is shown for each class or workshop for folks who can pay it. Paying the Supporting Tuition rate enables us to continue to pay our staff and instructors equitably, as well as support access to classes for others who may be in a different situation. 

The Helping Hands rate is available to folks under more limited economic circumstances, no matter your background.

Cross-Examining Your Character With Henry Lien

01/21/2023 10:00 AM – 01/28/2023 01:00 PM PT; Online Workshop

  • $130.00  –  Supporting Tuition
  • $100.00  –  Helping Hands Tuition

Use courtroom interrogation techniques to get to the heart of your character.

Finding Creative Truth Through Desire And Fear With Sloane Leong

02/13/2023 05:00 PM – 06:30 PM PT; Online Class

  • $75.00  –  Supporting Tuition
  • $55.00  –  Helping Hands Discounted Tuition

This interactive lecture assists writers in understanding their desires, fears, and creative philosophy in service of clarifying what they truly want out of their writing practice and stories.

The Friend, The Lover, and The Enemy: Mastering Key Relationship Arcs with Piper J. Drake

03/04/2023 10:00 AM – 03/18/2023 11:30 AM PT; Online Class

  • $130.00  –  Supporting Tuition
  • $100.00  –  Helping Hands

Explore the relationships between principal characters and how those relationship arcs can be developed into dynamic and evolving connections to engage readers and drive the plot forward.

Weirdcraft: Writing Horror, Gothic, and the Literary Strange with Ian Muneshwar

03/28/2023 05:00 PM – 05/16/2023 07:00 PM PT; Online Workshop

  • $275.00  –  Supporting Tuition
  • $205.00  –  Helping Hands

This five-session workshop, aimed at beginning and intermediate writers who’ve already produced at least one draft of a horror story, will provide students with actionable feedback on their own fiction while broadening their understanding of craft-based approaches to writing horror.

Who Are You As A Writer? Identifying Your Narrative Building Blocks With Susan J. Morris

03/30/2023 04:30 PM – 05:30 PM PT; Free Class

  • Free

In this 1-hour webinar, learn to identify your core strengths, themes, narrative building blocks, and values, and how to use them to generate new ideas that play to your strengths.

Emergent Structures: How Structure Shapes Your Story On A Macro And Micro Level With Susan J. Morris

04/27/2023 04:30 PM – 06:00 PM PT; Online Class

  • $75.00  –  Supporting Tuition
  • $55.00  –  Helping Hands

Delve beyond Save the Cat to explore different structures—not just of plot, but of every aspect of your story, from scenes to character arcs.

(2) MOVING VOLUMES. [Item by Jeffrey Smith.] This article’s header is an illustration of Mount Tsundoku! “We’re drowning in old books. But getting rid of them is heartbreaking” says the Washington Post.

On a recent weekday afternoon, Bruce Albright arrives in the Wonder Book parking lot, pops the trunk of his Camry and unloads two boxes of well-worn books. “It’s sad. Some of these I’ve read numerous times,” he says.

Albright, 70, has been at this for six months, shedding 750 books at his local library and at this Frederick, Md., store. The rub: More than 1,700 volumes remain shelved in the retired government lawyer’s nearby home, his collection lovingly amassed over a half-century.

But Albright is on a mission. “I cleaned out my parents’ home,” he says. “I don’t want to do to my kids what my parents did to me.”

He’s far from alone. Books are precious to their owners. Their worth, emotional and monetary, is comparably less to anyone else.

Humorist and social critic Fran Lebowitz owns 12,000 books, mostly fiction, kept in 19th-century wooden cases with glass doors in her New York apartment. “Constitutionally, I am unable to throw a book away. To me, it’s like seeing a baby thrown in a trash can,” she says. “I am a glutton for print. I love books in every way. I love them more than most human beings.” If there’s a book she doesn’t want, Lebowitz, 72, will spend months deciding whom to give it to….

(3) HOW BLUE WAS THE BOX OFFICE? “’Avatar 2’ makes waves with $134 million domestic debut” and Yahoo! Entertainment thinks that was nothing to be sneezed at.

Avatar: The Way of Water ” didn’t make quite as big of a splash as many assumed it would, but James Cameron’s big budget spectacle still helped breathe life into the box office this weekend. The sequel earned $134 million from North American theaters and $300.5 million internationally for a $434.5 million global debut, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

It tied with “The Batman” as the fourth highest domestic debut of the year, behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ( $187.4 million in May ), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” ( $181 million in November ) and “Thor: Love and Thunder” ($144.2 million in July).

Expectations were enormous for “Avatar 2,” which carried a reported price tag of over $350 million, the pressure of following up the highest grossing film of all time (thanks in part to various re-releases) over a decade later and the daunting task of propping up an exhibition business that’s still far from normal.

(4) MAKES FOR COMPELLING READING. In Joe Stech’s latest Compelling Science Fiction newsletter he picks five of the “Top science fiction short stories published in October”. Leading the way:

The top story for the month of October (and therefore our t-shirt winner!) was The Conflagration at the Museum of You by Adam-Troy Castro. I’ve never read a story quite like it — implausibly bizarre and yet compellingly real. The writing is outstanding, and it really has to be to keep you reading. The story is written in the second person, discussing a museum dedicated to you, the reader. The ‘why’ of it is unimportant and hand-wavy, and the story could have easily been annoying to read, but it wasn’t, and you should read it.

(5) PETRONA AWARD. Maria Adolfsson won the 2022 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year for Fatal Isles, translated from the Swedish by Agnes Broomé. Adolfsson will receive a trophy, and both author and translator get a cash prize.

The judges said: “This captivating winning novel is the first in a proposed trilogy featuring the beautifully flawed protagonist Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby, whose take on life and work make for a strong down-to-earth and modern heroine in the relicts of a man’s world. Set in the fictional yet completely credible location of Doggerland, this three-islands archipelago in the North Sea, reflects Scandinavian, North European and British heritages. Doggerland is shaped and influenced by its geographical position; the atmospheric setting, akin to the wind- and history-swept Faroe and Shetland Islands, and Nordic climes, enhances the suspenseful and intriguing plot of a police procedural that combines detailed observations and thoughts on the human condition….

(6) MEMORY LANE.

1991 [By Cat Eldridge.] FAO Schwartz bronze Teddy Bear, Boston

In Boston, there’s an eight foot teddy bear made of bronze that become homeless for awhile. Let us tell you that tale. 

The bear, eight feet tall and weighing three tons, was done by sculptor Robert Shure of Woburn. Two of his other works are the Joe DiMaggio Memorial at Yankee Stadium and the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Boston. 

Boston’s bear was the first of many that FAO Schwartz would place around the country. It cost about sixty-five thousand dollars  when it was made in the early Nineties. Three of the teddy bears, the others being in New York and Seattle, were made of bronze while the rest were far less expensive fiberglass works.

Like The Ducklings we profiled in the Scroll last night, he was, as you can see in the image below, in the Back Bay, outside the FAO Schwartz store. Then one day he was gone. Well not quite that dramatically as FAO Schwartz went bankrupt in 2004 as so many of those department store did around that time, so the Boston store was closed, and he went into storage. Poor bear, sitting alone in a dark space, unloved.

The company donated Boston’s bear to the city, but what to do with him? He is a lot of bear and he needed a new place to live, one where children could love him again.

Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino decided that a contest was the best way to find him a home with the city’s children sending in their ideas as to where his home should be. That resulted in some seven thousand letters, with children from thirty-four states and even a few foreign countries submitting ideas for his home, many of them written in crayon. 

So where did he go? Well at least for now, he’s outside the Tufts Medical Center/Floating Hospital for Children, which is appropriate as the children there love him, but it was announced that Tufts Children’s Hospital inpatient pediatric beds will be closed and converted to add forty one adult ICU beds, citing increasing demand from critically ill adults. So he’ll need yet another new home presumably. 

Update: this week, the hospital announced that he’s staying there because they are keeping pediatric primary care services, including the Pediatric and Adolescent Asian Clinic, and the Children with Special Needs Clinic, so he will have lots of children to love him.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 18, 1923 Alfred Bester. He is best remembered perhaps for The Demolished Man, which won the very first Hugo Award. I remember experiencing it as an audiobook— a very spooky affair!  The Stars My Destination is equally impressive with Foyle both likeable and unlikable at the same time. Psychoshop which Zelazny finished is in my library but has escaped reading so far. I’ve run across some scattered references to Golem100 but I’ve never seen a copy anywhere. Who here has read It? (Died 1987.)
  • Born December 18, 1941 Jack C. Haldeman II. He’d get Birthday Honors if only for On the Planet of Zombie Vampires, book five of the adventures of Bill the Galactic Hero, co-written with Harry Harrison. He’d also get these honors for chairing Disclave 10 through Disclave 17, and a Worldcon as well, Discon II. He was a prolific short story writer, penning at least seventy-five such tales, but alas none of these, nor his novels other than There is No Darkness that he did with his brother are available in digital form. (Died 2002.)
  • Born December 18, 1939 Michael Moorcock, 83. Summing up the career of Moorcock isn’t possible so I won’t. His Elric of Melniboné series is just plain awesome and I’m quite fond of the Dorian Hawkmoon series of novels as well. Particular books that I’d like to note as enjoyable for me include The Metatemporal Detective collection, Mother London and The English Assassin: A Romance of Entropy. While he was editor, New Worlds got nominated for Best Professional Magazine from 1967-1970. 
  • Born December 18, 1946 Steven Spielberg, 76. Are we counting Jaws as genre? I believe we are per an earlier discussion here. If so, that’s his first such followed immediately by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Between 1981 and 1984, he put out Raiders of the Lost ArkE.T. the Extra-TerrestrialTwilight Zone: The Movie and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Ok so the quality of the last film wasn’t great… He’d repeated that feat between ‘89 and ‘93 when he put out Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Hook which I both love followed by Jurassic Park which I don’t. The Lost World: Jurassic Park followed along a string of so-so films, A.I. Artificial IntelligenceMinority Report, War of the Worlds and one decided stinker, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullThe BFG is simply wonderful. Haven’t seen Ready Player One so I’ll leave that up to y’all to opine on. 
  • Born December 18, 1953 Jeff Kober, 69. Though he’s best remembered as Dodger in the stellar China Beach series, he’s been in numerous genre series and films including VThe Twilight ZoneAlien Nation, the Poltergeist series,The X-Files series, Tank Girl as one of the kangaroos naturally, SupernaturalStar Trek: VoyagerStar Trek: Enterprise, Kindred: The Embraced and The Walking Dead. 
  • Born December 18, 1954 Ray Liotta. We could just stop at him being Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, don’t you think of it as being an exemplary genre cred? Well I do. On a much sillier note, he’s in two Muppet films, Muppets from Space and Muppets Most Wanted. On a very not silly note, he was Joey in Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. (Died 2022.)
  • Born December 18, 1968 Casper Van Dien, 54. Yes, Johnny Rico in that Starship Troopers. Not learning his lesson, he’d go on to film Starship Troopers 3: Marauder and the animated Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars. Do not go read the descriptions of these films!  (Hint: the former has a nineteen percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.) He’d also star as Tarzan in Tarzan and the Lost City, show up as Brom Van Brunt In Sleepy Hollow, be Captain Abraham Van Helsing In Dracula 3000, James K. Polk in, oh really CasperAbraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sequels, Rumpelstiltskin in Avengers Grimm and Saber Raine In Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

Wheatcomics offers this astronomical view:

(9) FLAT NOTES. For crime novelist Ann Cleeves it was good news and bad news: “Writer recovers laptop containing half-finished novel after Shetland blizzard”, but it had been run over by a car.

… Tweeting an image of a badly misshapen computer, she said it had been found by a “sharp-eyed” young woman as she got off a school bus near to where Cleeves had been staying….

Describing how it was lost, she said she had been working in a library in Lerwick and walked “in a total blizzard” for a meeting at a nearby arts centre, adding that, while she was inside, the weather “just got worse and worse”.

“I needed to get home early and I think I must have either left my laptop there or it fell out of my bag while I was struggling through the wind and the snow to get from the library to the arts centre,” she said.

She added that people had been “amazingly kind” since she first tweeted about the laptop and that she been “getting responses from all over Lerwick”….

(10) THERE’S A SUCKER BORN… According to Yahoo!, “Donald Trump NFT Collection Sells Out, Price Surges”.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s non-fungible token (NFT) digital trading card collection sold out early Friday, the day after its initial release.

According to data from OpenSea, at time of writing, the collection’s trading volume is 900 ETH, or about $1.08 million. Its floor price is about 0.19 ETH, or about $230 – more than double the original price of $99.

Some tokens are selling for much higher prices. The one-of-ones, the rarest of the NFTs, which comprise 2.4% of the 45,000 unit collection (roughly 1,000), are selling for as much as 6 ETH at the time of writing. One of these rare trading cards, of the 45th president standing in front of the Statue of Liberty holding a torch, is currently listed at 20 ETH, or about $24,000.

According to data from Dune Analytics, nearly 13,000 users minted 3.5 tokens upon the release of the collection. Additionally, 115 customers purchased 45 NFTs, which is the minimum number of tokens that guarantees a ticket to a dinner with Trump; 17 people purchased 100 NFTs, which, according to the Trump Trading Card site, was the maximum quantity allowed to mint….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Jennifer Hawthorne, Jeffrey Smith, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Give Thanks for Crime Fiction

2022 PETRONA AWARD SHORTLIST

The shortlist for the 2022 Petrona Award for Scandinavian crime fiction published in English has been announced: 

  • Maria Adolfsson – Fatal Isles. Translated by Agnes Broomé (Sweden, Zaffre)
  • Helene Flood – The Therapist. Translated by Alison McCullough (Norway, MacLehose Press)
  • Ruth Lillegraven – Everything Is Mine. Translated by Diane Oatley (Norway, AmazonCrossing)
  • Anders Roslund – Knock Knock. Translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Sweden, Harvill Secker)
  • Lilja Sigurðardóttir – Cold As Hell. Translated by Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda Books)
  • Antti Tuomainen – The Rabbit Factor. Translated by David Hackston (Finland, Orenda Books)

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

The winning title will be announced on Thursday, December 8. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize.


2022 CRIME FICTION LOVER AWARDS

The shortlist for the Crime Fiction Lover Awards 2022 was announced on November 9, based on nominations made by Crime Fiction Lover readers

BEST CRIME NOVEL

  • The Accomplice by Steve Cavanagh
  • The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths
  • The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
  • City on Fire by Don Winslow
  • The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee
  • The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

BEST DEBUT CRIME NOVEL

  • Breaking by Amanda Cassidy
  • A Christmas Murder of Crows by DM Austin
  • The Redeemer by Victoria Goldman
  • Bad for Good by Graham Bartlett
  • Don’t Know Tough by Eli Cranor
  • More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

BEST INDIE CRIME NOVEL

  • How to Murder a Marriage by Gabrielle St George
  • Unjust Bias by Liz Mistry
  • The Corpse with the Turquoise Toes by Cathy Ace
  • Five Moves of Doom by AJ Devlin
  • The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
  • A Mourning Song by Mark Westmoreland

BEST CRIME NOVEL IN TRANSLATION

  • Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda, translated by Alison Watts
  • Turf Wars by Olivier Norek, translated by Nick Caistor
  • Even the Darkest Night by Javier Cercas, translated by Anne McLean
  • The Old Woman with the Knife by Gu Byeong-Mo, translated by Chi-Young Kim
  • The Reptile Memoirs by Silje O Ulstein, translated by Alison McCullough
  • The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer, translated by KL Seegers

BEST CRIME SHOW

  • Shetland
  • Dahmer – Monster
  • Bosch: Legacy
  • Slow Horses
  • Black Bird
  • Reacher

BEST CRIME AUTHOR

  • Steve Cavanagh
  • Elly Griffiths
  • Ann Cleeves
  • SA Cosby
  • Michael Connelly
  • Val McDermid

[Thanks given to Cora Buhlert for these stories.]

Crime Fiction News for November 2022

Here are several updates about crime fiction awards.

THE PETRONA AWARD

The Petrona Award 2022 Longlist has been announced. Twelve outstanding crime novels from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will vie for recognition as the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

  • Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson. Translated by Agnes Broomé (Sweden, Zaffre)
  • The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl. Translated by Don Bartlett (Norway, Orenda Books)
  • The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg. Translated by Tara Chace (Denmark, Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Therapist by Helene Flood. Translated by Alison McCullough (Norway, MacLehose Press)
  • The Commandments by Óskar Guðmundsson. Translated by Quentin Bates (Iceland, Corylus Books Ltd)
  • Smoke Screen by Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger. Translated by Megan Turney (Norway, Orenda Books)
  • Everything Is Mine by Ruth Lillegraven. Translated by  Diane Oatley (Norway, AmazonCrossing)
  • Silenced by Sólveig Pálsdóttir. Translated by Quentin Bates (Iceland, Corylus Books Ltd)
  • Knock Knock by Anders Roslund. Translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Sweden, Harvill Secker)
  • Cold as Hell by Lilja Sigurðardóttir. Translated by Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda Books)
  • Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman. Translated by Ian Giles (Sweden, Zaffre)
  • The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen. Translated by David Hackston (Finland, Orenda Books)

These twelve titles will be reduced to a shortlist that will be announced on November 16.

SISTERS IN CRIME PRIDE AWARD FOR EMERGING LGBTQ+ WRITERS

Sisters in Crime have announced the winner of their 2022 Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQ+ Writers, Sarah St. Asaph (she/hers) of London, England.

Her winning novel-in-progress is a contemporary medical-legal crime mystery where a young lawyer is given the chance to re-examine the evidence against a former hospital doctor that has been convicted as Britain’s worst ever female serial killer. The novel explores how women are treated within the criminal justice system and plays with the prejudices and preconceptions they face as perpetrators of crimes.

Asaph will receive a $2,000 grant intended for a beginning crime writer to support activities related to career development.

Five runners-up will also be paired with an established Sisters in Crime member author to receive a manuscript critique. They are: C. Jean Downer of White Rock, British Columbia (paired with Cheryl Head), Diane Carmony of La Quinta, CA (Jeffrey Marks), Roy Udeh-Ubaka of Gainesville, FL (Anne Laughlin), Marle Redfern of New England (John Copenhaver) and Elaine Westnott-O’Brien of Tramore, Co. Waterford, Ireland (Catherine Maiorisi).

BRITISH ACADEMY BOOK PRIZE

The winner of the 2022 British Academy Book Prize has been announced and it’s a non-fiction crime book: 

  • When Women Kill: Four Crimes Retold by Alia Trabucco Zerán. Translated by Sophie Hughes. (And Other Stories)

The Chilean author will receive a £25,000 purse (US$29,074).

Publishing Perspectives adds:

Zerán and Hughes’ work becomes the 10th recipient of the prize which, of course, began its life as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. Zerán’s debut novel, The Remainder, was shortlisted in 2019 for the International Booker Prize. The author is trained as an attorney and, according to the prize regime’s organizers, “expertly blends true-crime writing with the art of the critical essay and investigative memoir” in When Women Kill.”

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert and Todd Mason for these stories.]

Crime Fiction Awards News

PETRONA AWARD

The winner of the 2021 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is:

  • To Cook A Bear by Mikael Niemi, translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press)

The author Mikael Niemi receives a trophy and a pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022. Mikael Niemi and Deborah Bragan-Turner will also receive a cash prize.

CRIME FICTION LOVER AWARDS 2021

The inaugural Crime Fiction Lover Awards shortlists was selected by Crime Fiction Lover readers. Anybody can vote for the winners here. The deadline to vote is December 1.

Best Crime Novel 0f 2021 shortlist

  • The Dark Remains by Ian Rankin and William McIlvanney
  • Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby
  • The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh
  • I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood
  • True Crime Story by Joseph Knox
  • The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths
  • 1979 by Val McDermid

Best Debut Crime Novel of 2021 shortlist

  • The Source by Sarah Sultoon
  • Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass
  • Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison
  • The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury
  • Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
  • Burying the Newspaper Man by Curtis Ippolito

Best Crime Novel in Translation of 2021 shortlist

  • Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz, translated by Rachel Ward
  • Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka, translated by Sam Malissa
  • The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston
  • Riccardino by Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli
  • The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jonasson, translated by Victoria Cribb
  • Cold As Hell by Lilja Sigurdardottir, translated by Quentin Bates
  • Little Rebel by Jerome Leroy, translated by Graham H Roberts

Best Indie Crime Novel of 2021 shortlist

  • Strangers of Braamfontein by Onyeka Nwelue
  • Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds
  • Evaders by EC Scullion
  • Little Lies by Valerie Keogh
  • The Butcher’s Prayer by Anthony Neil Smith
  • The Quiet People by Paul Cleave
  • The Corpse with the Iron Will by Cathy Ace

Best Crime Show of 2021 shortlist

  • Bosch
  • Line of Duty
  • Mare of Easttown
  • Paris Police 1900
  • Time
  • Endeavour

Crime Author of the Year of 2021 shortlist

  • Ian Rankin
  • MW Craven
  • Ann Cleeves
  • Elly Griffiths
  • William Shaw
  • SA Cosby

LITTLE, BROWN UEA CRIME PRIZE

The winner of the 2021 Little, Brown UEA Crime Prize has been announced: 

  • Hannah Brown has won the 2021 Little, Brown UEA Crime Fiction Award for her historical suspense novel My Name Is Emma

The award is for the best novel by a graduating student, with the winner receiving £3,000.  

Judges also awarded a highly commended prize to Duality – a Russian in Osaka by Denise Kuehl, a Japanese-set procedural with near-future touches.  

AL BLANCHARD AWARD

The winner of the 2021 Al Blanchard Award, a short mystery prize handed out at a con called the New England Crime Bake, has been announced.

  • “Herb Ecks Goes Underground” by Joseph S. Walker

The award is for a previously unpublished short crime story by a New England author or with a New England setting if the author is not from New England.

The winner receives a $100 cash award, publication in 2021’s Best New England Crime Stories anthology, free admission to the Crime Bake Conference, and a plaque.

2022 JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE LONGLIST

The 2022 Joyce Carol Oates Prize Longlist honoring mid-career authors in fiction has been announced. It includes several crime and mystery novels as well as a few that appear to be SFF:

LONGLISTED AUTHORS: 2022 JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE AND THEIR MOST RECENT TITLES:

  • Megan Abbott, The Turnout, Putnam
  • Kristen Arnett, With Teeth, Riverhead
  • Christopher Beha, The Index of Self-destructive Acts, Tin House
  • Matt Bell, Appleseed, Custom House
  • Venita Blackburn, How to Wrestle a Girl, MCD
  • Amina Cain, Indelicacy, FSG
  • Dan Chaon, Sleepwalk, Henry Holt
  • Joshua Cohen, The Netanyahus, New York Review Books
  • Lucy Corin, The Swank Hotel, Graywolf
  • Katie Crouch, Embassy Wife, FSG
  • Louis Edwards, Ramadan Ramsey, Amistad
  • Percival Everett, The Trees, Graywolf
  • Jonathan Evison, Legends of the North Cascades, Algonquin
  • Rivka Galchen, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, FSG
  • Kaitlyn Greenidge, Libertie, Algonquin
  • Lauren Groff, Matrix, Riverhead
  • Joshua Henken, Morningside Heights, Pantheon
  • Caitlin Horrocks, Life among the Terranauts, Little, Brown
  • Jessica Francis Kane, Rules for Visiting, Penguin Press
  • Katie Kitamura, Intimacies, Riverhead
  • Alexandra Kleeman, Something New Under the Sun, Hogarth
  • Shelia Kohler, Open Secrets, Penguin
  • Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Plot; Celadon
  • Zachary Lazar: Vengeance, Catapult
  • Jonathan Lethem, The Arrest, Ecco
  • Atticus Lish, The War for Gloria, Knopf
  • Jason Mott, Hell of a Book, Dutton
  • Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness, Viking
  • Kathleen Rooney, Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey, Penguin
  • Maggie Shipstead, Great Circle, Knopf
  • Joan Silber, Secrets of Happiness, Counterpoint
  • Dana Spiotta, Wayward, Knopf
  • Brandon Taylor, Filthy Animals, Riverhead
  • Laura van den Berg, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, FSG
  • Vendela Vida, We Run the Tides, Ecco
  • Bryan Washington, Memorial, Riverhead
  • Tiphanie Yanique, Monster in the Middle, Riverhead

Finalists are expected to be named in early March 2022, followed by a Winner named in April 2022. Recipients will participate in virtual or non-virtual events. The Prize Winner receives $50,000 and will be in brief residence at Cal and in the Bay Area at a time to be determined in 2022–23.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the stories.]

Two Crime Fiction Awards Shortlists

PETRONA AWARD. Six crime novels from Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been shortlisted for the 2021 Petrona Award for Outstanding Scandinavian Crime Fiction, posted September 30. The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

  • A Necessary Death by Anne Holt, translated by Anne Bruce (Corvus; Norway)
  • Death Deserved by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, translated by Anne Bruce (Orenda Books; Norway)
  • The Secret Life Of Mr. Roos by Håkan Nesser, translated by Sarah Death (Mantle; Sweden)
  • To Cook A Bear by Mikael Niemi, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press; Sweden)
  • The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn, translated by Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books; Norway)
  • Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, translated by Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland)

The winning title, usually announced at the international crime fiction convention CrimeFest, will now be announced November 4. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.

AMAZON PUBLISHING NEW VOICES AWARD. The finalists have been announced for the Amazon Publishing New Voices Award, which is a crime fiction award handed out at the Capital Crime festival in London. “Amazon Publishing New Voices Award finalists for 2021 announced” at Shotsmag Confidential. The Capital Crime advisory board along with Amazon Publishing editor, Victoria Haslam & Thomas & Mercer author, Tariq Ashkanani will decide on the winner.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2020 Petrona Award

The winner of the 2020 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year was announced in a virtual ceremony on December 3.

  • Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen, Translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

The author and the translator of the winning title both receive a cash prize, and the author receives a trophy plus a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.

Winning author Antti Tuomainen commented:

To make a long story short, I have to make it long first. A few years ago, after publishing five very dark and very noir books, I felt there was an element within me I had to bring into my writing: humour. Before my first darkly funny book The Man Who Died was published I was very nervous. Was I making a big mistake? One of those career choices you read about in artists’ biographies under the chapter title ‘The Fall’? Not that anyone would write about me, as I would be forgotten, found much later in a basement room, alone, perished in the middle of a last ‘humorous’ sentence … Happily, I was wrong, and not for the first time. Which seems to bring us to Little Siberia. It is my eighth book and now the recipient of the prestigious Petrona Award. When I set out to write a darkly comical crime novel with a priest as main character, I knew I was taking a leap – again. Alas, here we are. I want to thank David Hackston and Karen Sullivan, both incomparable and indispensable, as without them all the jury would have had was a book in Finnish with no idea who sent it. I send my warmest thank you to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Oh, and that shorter story: after fifteen years of writing and nine books, it seems I’m finally an overnight success.

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year. The award was established to celebrate the work of Maxine Clarke, one of the first online crime fiction reviewers and bloggers, who died in December 2012. Maxine, whose online persona and blog was called Petrona, was passionate about translated crime fiction but in particular that from the Scandinavian countries.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2020 Petrona Award Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2020 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year was announced November 24.

  • The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl, Translated by Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway) 
  • Inborn by Thomas Enger, Translated by Kari Dickson (Orenda Books; Norway) 
  • The Cabin by Jørn Lier Horst, Translated by Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)
  • The Silver Road by Stina Jackson, Translated by Susan Beard (Corvus; Sweden)
  • The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Translated by Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland) 
  • Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen, Translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year. The award was established to celebrate the work of Maxine Clarke, one of the first online crime fiction reviewers and bloggers, who died in December 2012. Maxine, whose online persona and blog was called Petrona, was passionate about translated crime fiction but in particular that from the Scandinavian countries.

Normally, the award is handed out at CrimeFest in May, but since the event was cancelled, it will now be awarded in a virtual ceremony on December 3.

The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 4/27/19 What File Shall A Poor Pixel Scroll To All Tomorrow’s Parties?

(1) ROBERTS SUES SERRUYA. Nora Roberts is taking #CopyPasteCris to court –U.S. News and World Report has the story: “Nora Roberts Sues Brazilian Author, Cites ‘Multi-Plagiarism'”.

Best-selling novelist Nora Roberts is suing a Brazilian writer for copyright infringement, alleging that Cristiane Serruya has committed “multi-plagiarism” on a “rare and scandalous” level.

In papers filed Wednesday morning in Rio de Janeiro, where Serruya lives, Roberts called Serruya’s romance books “a literary patchwork, piecing together phrases whose form portrays emotions practically identical to those expressed in the plaintiff’s books.” Citing Brazilian law, Roberts is asking for damages at 3,000 times the value of the highest sale price for any Serruya work mentioned in the lawsuit.

“If you plagiarize, I will come for you,” Roberts told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview. “If you take my work, you will pay for it and I will do my best to see you don’t write again.”

Roberts added that she would donate any damages from the lawsuit to a literacy program in Brazil.

In a telephone interview Wednesday with the AP, Serruya called herself a “fanatic” of Roberts’ work. But she denied copying her and said she had not received notification of any lawsuit. Serruya added that she often used ghost writers for parts of her books and “could not guarantee that no part was copied” by them….

… Lawyer Saulo Daniel Lopez, a specialist in authors’ rights, said a case like this can take 5 to 10 years to be decided in Brazilian courts. If plagiarism is proven, Serruya could be forced to pay from the proceeds of her books, Lopez said.

(2) GUILD V. AGENTS. Jody Simon gives a litigation update in “Winter Is Coming: Writers and Agents Hunker Down for a Battle of Attrition”.

  • The WGA has filed suit against the ATA and the Big Four agencies (WME, CAA, ICM and UTA), alleging that the practice of collecting package commissions constitutes breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition under state and federal law.
  • The entire ecosystem under which writers found jobs is upended. Under the California Talent Agencies Act (TAA), only licensed talent agents can “procure” employment for writers. The WGA has issued a statement delegating authority to managers and lawyers to find work for writers notwithstanding the statute, but many (including the ATA) question the union’s authority to do so. The WGA has offered to indemnify lawyers and managers against TAA claims. So far, however, no one has taken it up on this offer.
  • Lawyers, but especially managers are in a tight spot. They have writer clients to service without agencies to back them up and provide cover. They can procure employment for their clients in violation of the TAA, at risk of being required to disgorge any commissions received if their client files a claim with the State Labor Commissioner. Meanwhile, the big agencies have made it clear that they will not look kindly upon managers and lawyers who encroach upon their territory, and will remember who their friends are when this dispute is finally resolved.
  • No one knows how open writing assignments will be filled, since this was a central role of the agencies. The WGA has set up an online database to facilitate matchmaking, and showrunners are falling back on their personal networks. These are early days, however. There will undoubtedly be loss of efficiency in staffing but how serious it will be and who will suffer remains to be seen.

(3) A VIEW OF THE HIMALAYAS. Ursula Vernon continues to post Twitter threads with photos and comments from her adventures in Tibet. Starting here,

(4) NYRSF READINGS. “Black Gods, Black Drums, Black Magic” is the theme of May’s installment of the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series, assembled by guest host Cam Rob. Phenderson Djèlí Clark and Yvonne P. Chireau will headline.

For most Americans, the historical and mystical dimensions of the African American religious experience remains unexplored, secret, long hidden. This place of heroines, gods, danger, and true things is a vital, living piece of our story. But to venture forth, require guides. Today, we will follow two griots who know the way.

This will be a reading, a seminar, and a discussion with professors Phenderson Djèlí Clark and Yvonne P. Chireau. Phenderson will read from his new novella, Black God’s Drum, and Professor Chireau will discuss the Black American magical traditions to give us historical context as well as read from her book, Black Magic. This will be followed by discussion and Q&A from the audience.

Yvonne Chireau is a professor of Religion at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Black Magic: African American Religion and Conjuring Tradition (2003) and co-editor of Black Zion: African American Religions and Judaism (1999) with Nathaniel Deutsch. She is interested in black religions in the US, African-based religions such as Vodou, and the intersection between magic and religion in America. She blogs subjects having to do with Voodoo and Africana religions at Academic Hoodoo.com

Phenderson Djéli Clark is the Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon nominated author of the novellas The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.com, Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies including, Griots, Hidden Youth and Clockwork Cairo. He is founding member of the FIYAH: A Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons.

The readings take place Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 6:45-9 p.m. at the Brooklyn Commons Café, 388 Atlantic Bl., Brooklyn, NY 11217-1703. $7 suggested donation.

(5) KSR COMING TO UCSD. Free and open to the public is “San Diego 2049: Closing Keynote with Kim Stanley Robinson and Team Project Competition” on May 22 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) at Robinson Auditorium, UC San Diego. RSVP here.

Kim Stanley Robinson–the multiple award-winning science fiction writer, climate change expert, and UC San Diego alum–joins us to deliver the closing keynote to San Diego 2049, sharing his insights into the future of the border region and how the practice of science fictional worldbuilding can help us imagine–and impact–issues of vital importance to individuals, our communities, our species, and life on planet Earth.

This evening will also feature the final projects of several UC San Diego graduate student teams who have been participating in the San Diego 2049 series and imagining their own future scenarios for the region.

Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, and in 2017 he was awarded the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Red Moon, New York 2140, the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt and 2312. In 2008, he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, which is hosted each summer at UC San Diego. He is an alumnus of both UC San Diego and the Clarion Workshop and lives in Davis, California.

(6) DIVERSE SFF CREATORS. Texas A&M University hosts “’The Stars Are Ours’: Infinite Diversities in Science Fiction and Fantasy” through September 20, 2019 at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. 

Items from the Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection provide a window into the diversities of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture that have always been a part of science fiction and fantasy.

…Some of the many books represented in the exhibit are The Female Man, Dune and Memoirs of a Spacewoman. Explore the arts and visual media Cushing has displayed with posters from famous movies such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman and TV series like Star Trek:Discovery and Luke Cage. Album covers from David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) are on display as well.

“What both this exhibit and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Cushing Library hope to show visitors is simply this: science fiction and fantasy and horror, in their abounding variations, are part of our shared cultural heritage,” said Jeremy Brett, curator of the exhibit. “They are not, nor have they ever been, the property of any one class of creator or fan.”

Also included in the exhibition are the 1984 Grand Master Award and the 1998 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement for famed female sci-fi and fantasy writer Andre Norton. She was the first woman to be made a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Tananarive Due gave an opening talk on March 29.

(7) GENE WOLFE IN DEPTH. There’s been ample praise for Brian Phillips’ profile “Gene Wolfe Turned Science Fiction Into High Art” at The Ringer.

Mary is still in touch with the Dietsches, the Wolfes’ old neighbors from Peoria. Rosemary Dietsch, Gene’s childhood playmate, comes to Texas for a visit. Gene and Rosemary discover that they still like each other. Before long, they’re engaged. Rosemary is Catholic, so before the wedding, Gene starts studying Catholic doctrine. For a while now, maybe because of his war experience, he’s been thinking about suffering and compassion and how human beings can be better. Catholicism resonates both with his sense of humanity’s fallenness and with his sense of the dedicated, lifelong commitment required for each individual’s redemption. Eventually, he decides to convert. He and Rosemary get married in 1956, two clean-cut kids smiling postwar American smiles. He tells people she saved him.

(8) NIGHTCAP. In 1982, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Gene Wolfe appeared together on the Nightcap cable TV talk show.

Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and Gene Wolfe discuss science-fiction writing with Studs Terkel and Calvin Trillin on the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS), the predecessor of today’s A&E (Arts and Entertainment Network). The program was called “Nightcap: Conversations on the Arts and Letters.”

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 27, 1901 Frank Belknap Long. He’s best known for his short stories, including contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. During his life, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award. (Died 1994).

One – that’s it!

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) ON THE BUTTON. Cora Buhlert tweeted a photo of this Dublin 2019 memento:

(12) MY PETRONA. The 2019 Petrona Award shortlist for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year has been announced. In spite of the name, this is a British award given out at CrimeFest Bristol and is one of the comparatively few genre awards for translated fiction.

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

  • THE ICE SWIMMER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)
  • THE WHISPERER by Karin Fossum, tr. Kari Dickson (Harvill Secker; Norway)
  • THE KATHARINA CODE by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)
  • THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jónasson, tr. Victoria Cribb (Penguin Random House; Iceland)
  • RESIN by Ane Riel, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Doubleday; Denmark)
  • BIG SISTER by Gunnar Staalesen, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)

The winning title will be announced at CrimeFest on May 11. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2020.

(13) SEE VERTLIEB ON TV. Steve Vertlieb’s star turn is available for online viewing —

I want to thank popular comedian and radio personality Grover Silcox for inviting me to share a delightful segment of his new Counter Culture television interview series which aired February 19th on WLVT TV, Channel 39, Public Television in Allentown. We sat together at the famed “Daddypops Diner” in Hatboro, Pennsylvania where the wonderful series is filmed, and talked about Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi…, Lon Chaney, Sr., and Lon Chaney, Jr. at Universal Pictures, as well as Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing at Hammer Film Productions, and the long, distinguished history of Horror Movies. For anyone who didn’t see the program during its initial broadcast, you can catch my episode on line by accessing the link below. You’ll find my segment in the middle of Episode No. 3.

 Click here for Episode 3.

(14) SHIELD YOUR EYES. Dead State didn’t think the name’s too offensive for a headline… “Tennessee movie theater censors the title of the movie ‘Hellboy’ because it’s too offensive”.

(15) HEAR NEWITZ. In episode 22 ofInto the Impossible, the Clarke Center’s podcast, they welcome Annalee Newitz, journalist and fiction author, and co-host of the podcast series Our Opinions are Correct.

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award and nominee for the Nebula and Locus awards, her ability to use her scientific knowledge in both her fiction and nonfiction works is something that makes Newitz’s work remarkable. Dr. Brian Keating speaks to her about creative process behind her newest novel Autonomous, as well as the forthcoming The Future of Another Timeline, and more. Enjoy!

And if you’re curious about her talk at UC San Diego, “Your Dystopia Is Canceled,” take a few minutes over at the Clarke Center YouTube channel:

(16) SPECULATIVE STUDIES. In the recent issue of American Studies, four new books of scholarship in speculative studies were reviewed — including Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-making through Science Fiction and Activism by UC San Diego professor and Clarion Workshop Faculty Director Shelley Streeby — giving a view of the rapidly growing field. Read the full review here.

But speculative fiction studies, though it overlaps with scholarship on science fiction, is a different animal: broader, more capacious, less concerned with technical literary and generic questions. While some have tried to demarcate the bounds of speculative fiction—with Robert Heinlein and Margaret Atwood proposing the most famous definitions—others find the ambiguity of the term attractive.2 In Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times, Bahng is “less interested in literary taxonomies than in the various modalities of writing and reading that can alter relations between writer and reader, shift ways of thinking, and produce different kinds of subjects”; she sees potential in speculative fiction’s “promiscuity and disregard for the proper” (13, 16). Similarly, Streeby embraces the term speculative fiction in Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism “because it is less defined by boundary-making around the word ‘science,’ stretching to encompass related modes such as fantasy and horror, forms of knowledge in excess of white Western science, and more work authored by women and people of color” (20). In Commander’s Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic, Afro-Atlantic speculation exceeds science fiction, or even Afro-futurism, which Commander regards as only one “subgenre of Afro-speculation of the twentieth and twenty-first century that is concerned with the artistic reimagining of the function of science and technology in the construction of utopic black futures”

(17) ALIEN STAGE PLAY. Mr. Sci-Fi, Marc Zicree, posted “My Favorite Moment” from the high school performance of Alien. (Tough audience – applauding the chest-burster scene!) Zicree adds —

And let’s give hats off to the writer Dan O’Bannon for thinking this up in the first place. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Cora Buhlert, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, Steve Vertlieb, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]