Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/8/2020 (466 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg novelist Samantha Beiko earned an Aurora Award this month for Canadian science fiction and fantasy work for branching out into graphic novels with her webcomic Krampus is My Boyfriend.
Beiko, author of the Realms of Ancient trilogy of young adult fantasy novels, wrote and illustrated the story about a 16-year-old girl who summons the Christmas demon Krampus (it’s available online at wfp.to/krampus), which beat out the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
Other winners in the 2020 Auroras included Julie Czerneda, who won best novel for The Gossamer Magic, and Susan Forest, who won the best young adult novel award for Bursts of Fire. Cory Doctorow, whose story collection Radicalized was recently a CBC Canada Reads finalist, was inducted into the Canadian science fiction hall of fame at the Aug. 15 online awards.
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If you aren’t one of the few established literary stars, it’s a challenge to find an audience for your book at the best of times. But with many publishers shifting this spring’s planned books to the fall season, and little in-person promotional activity, it’s going to be tougher than ever this year.
A story in the Guardian illustrates that challenge by noting that on Thursday alone, 600 books will be published in Britain. It’s always a busy time, but the number of books being published on what’s been dubbed Super Thursday is one-third more than last year.
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McNally Robinson Booksellers is partnering with Penguin Random House Canada in a video launch for the paperback edition of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Testaments, the Booker Prize-winning sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.
The ticketed online event begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday and features Atwood in conversation with novelist Ann Patchett (Bel Canto). The ticket price includes a copy of the paperback; details and a link for tickets are atwfp.to/atwood.
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The organization that oversees the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour is seeking $25,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to keep the national award alive.
The group explains that the award, which has honoured Canadian humour writers since 1947, used to be sponsored by a financial institution. That funding ended three years ago, when the company changed its philanthropic goals, and the annual award has been funded through the Stephen Leacock Associates’ reserves since then.
Past winners of the award include Mordecai Richler, Robertson Davies and, this year, Heidi L.M. Jacobs, for her novel Molly of the Mall.
The crowd-funding page can be found at wfp.to/leacock.
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The call to take action against Amazon’s near-monopoly position in the book world has grown louder.
In a submission to the U.S. House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and the American Booksellers Association call on the government to stop Amazon from using its market dominance to control the industry.
Noting that Amazon controls at least 50 per cent of book distribution in the U.S., the submission states that the corporation exerts control over all its suppliers. Specifically, it calls on government to prohibit four practices the groups deem anticompetitive: the use by Amazon of its data collection to compete with and disadvantage suppliers; the practice of tying distribution of products to the purchase of advertising; provisions by Amazon requiring that suppliers give them favoured status; and Amazon’s use of loss-leader pricing to harm competitors.
The submission argues the pandemic has made the problem more urgent, as bookstores have lost sales and Amazon has experienced record profits.
The submission closes by noting that "concentration of economic or political power is dangerous to a democratic society."