Thursday, October 16, 2008

National Book Awards, plus a thing or two about Civil War Generals and Science Fiction

Yesterday morning, the National Book Award finalists were announced. If you need another reminder of how sad everything is all the time, check out the non-fiction category which features such uplifting entrants as This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War and The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order.

Speaking of the Civil War, November 26th sees the release of a graphic novel about a Civil War general from Arkansas named Patrick Cleburne, named simply enough, Cleburne: A Graphic Novel. The tag line: "some stories have yet to be told." Interesting story not told about Mr. Cleburne, he wanted to free the slaves to fight for the Confederacy.

Fantasy and Science Fiction has a pretty cool article up about the role of gender in science fiction, both in terms of readers and writers. Did you know that in 1969 Playboy attributed an Ursula K. LeGuin story to a U.K. LeGuin? It's common practice for some women to use their initials to avoid the supposed marketing dangers of being recognized as a woman, but for a magazine to do it of it's own accord? Good brain firing stuff here, especially the responses to a questionnaire on gender and sci-fi sent to fifteen or so women working in the business. Also, if you've never heard of The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, now's a good time to listen.

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