Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~ Author Unknown
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Random Bits #9
Every year around this time of the year my wishlist grows by at least 10 titles and they all directly come from the Mythopeoic Awards list.
This year's list looks like this:
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature
Lisa Goldstein, The Uncertain Places (Tachyon)
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus (Doubleday)
Richard Parks, The Heavenly Fox (PS Publishing)
Catherynne M. Valente, Deathless (Tor)
Jo Walton, Among Others (Tor)
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature
Lisa Mantchev, Théâtre Illuminata series, consisting of Eyes Like Stars, Perchance to Dream, and So Silver Bright (Feiwel and Friends)
Tamora Pierce, Beka Cooper series, consisting of Terrier, Bloodhound, and Mastiff (Random House)
Delia Sherman, The Freedom Maze (Big Mouth House)
Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races (Scholastic)
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Feiwel and Friends)
Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies
Jason Fisher, ed. Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays (McFarland, 2011)
Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (HarperCollins, 2011)
Carl Phelpstead. Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity (Univ. of Wales Press, 2011)
Sanford Schwartz. C.S. Lewis on the Final Frontier: Science and the Supernatural in the Space Trilogy (Oxford Univ. Press, 2009)
Steve Walker, The Power of Tolkien’s Prose: Middle-earth’s Magical Style (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies
Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Fairy Tales: A New History (SUNY Press, 2009)
Bonnie Gaarden, The Christian Goddess: Archetype and Theology in the Fantasies of George MacDonald(Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 2011)
Ursula K. Le Guin, Cheek by Jowl (Aqueduct Press, 2009)
Darrell Schweitzer, The Fantastic Horizon: Essays and Reviews (Borgo Press, 2009)
Jack Zipes, The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films (Routledge, 2011)
I am especially over the moon to see one of my favourite authors of all time - Catheryne M Valente on here twice. I realise I've never actually reviewed the books on MFB and there is no real excuse for that - but if you're intrigued, just take my word for it: she writes sublimely well, with lyrical prose that makes your heart soar and your brain trip.
I've highlighted / put in (black) bold the titles I have at home, which I'll definitely look forward to share with you in the near future. The red bold titles are ones that have winged their way onto my wishlist, unexpectedly, and quite by accident. How did that happen?
Onto some other very exciting news from Orion:
Cornelia Funke (her of the Ink Heart novels fame) has signed a contract with Orion for a new book series called GHOST KNIGHT:
Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never
expected to enjoy boarding school. He never expected to be confronted by a pack
of vengeful ghosts either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a
taste for adventure... Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets
of a centuries-old murder, while being haunted by ghosts intent on revenge. So
when Jon summons the ghost of the knight Longspee for his protection, there's
just one question - can Longspee really be trusted?
Cornelia Funke says of GHOST
already know the best Christmas gift I will find under my tree this year. I am
so thrilled that Orion will bring Ghost Knight to printed life in the UK this winter!
I very much hope that my story will bring children from many corners of the
world to see all the beautiful places that inspired me to write this knight's story- Salisbury, Kilmington, Lacock
Abbey and of course Stonehenge:) I can't wait for them to hear about the
fabulous Ela Longspee, who was the first female sheriff of Wiltshire in the
12th century, and to feel the enchantment of Salisbury Cathedral whose grace and beauty
made me find this story.
I actually yelped at the news because well, Cornelia Funke writes books only for me. No, seriously. *stares challengingly at screen* I believe this, no matter what others may say. Her writing never fails to transport me and make me think.
Next up, some more grown up adult fiction news:
The Desmond Elliott Prize shortlist of three first
novels is announced today, Thursday 24 May 2012. The Prize celebrates the very
best of debut fiction by the rising stars of the literary world.
The shortlist for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2012 is as
The Land Of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Chatto & Windus)
The Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuinness (Seren)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)
This year’s shortlist has been selected from a
longlist of ten, announced in April. The three shortlisted authors are: poet
and academic Patrick McGuinness, whose novel The Last Hundred Days was inspired by his years
in Bucharest in the lead up to the Romanian revolution; award-winning radio playwright Rachel Joyce, whose book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of
Harold Fry was
originally drafted as a radio play for her dying father,and Grace McCleenwith The
Land Of Decoration, a story based on the author’s own upbringing in a Christian fundamentalist
sect in Wales.
The judges were struck by the strong characters and
coruscating language of Patrick McGuinness’ dystopian novel about the last days
of the Ceauscescu dictatorship in Romania, Rachel Joyce’s beautiful
storytelling, with its insights into human nature through the tale of an
ordinary person motivated to perform extraordinary actions, and the original
language and ideas in Grace McCleen’s vivid and life-affirming story of a young
girl in a Christian sect who believes the Last Days have come.
Sam Llewellyn, 2012 Chair of Judges and one of Desmond
Elliott’s own protégés, commented:
‘It has been extraordinarily hard to choose a
shortlist of three from such a powerful and diverse longlist. Desmond Elliott
once told me that his ideal novel was a cross between a treasure hunt and a
race. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is both these things, and a
lot more besides. The Last Hundred Days, written with wit and irony, is
a really fine and original addition to the literature of disintegrating
empires, and The Land of Decoration is unlike anything you’ve ever read.
It’s a rollercoaster of a book that makes the reader laugh and cry at entirely
Sam Llewellyn is joined on the judging panel by Tom
Gatti, Editor of The Times Review section, and Caroline Mileham, Head of
Books at Play.com.
spokesman, Graham Sharpe, commented that ‘despite having dramatically varying
themes, it is very difficult to differentiate between three brilliant debut
novels’, but gave Rachel Joyce a narrow lead with the following
Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce - 5/4
Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuinness - 7/4
Land Of Decoration by Grace McCleen - 2/1
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the £10,000
award for a first novel published in the UK, set up in memory of the celebrated
publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott to ‘enrich the careers of new
winner will be announced on Thursday 28 June at Fortnum & Mason,
London. When choosing a winner, the judges will be looking for a novel of
depth and breadth with a compelling narrative. The work should be vividly
written and confidently realised and should contain original and arresting
The 2011 winner was Anjali Joseph for Saraswati
Park, published by Fourth Estate. Previous winners of the Prize were: The
Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (Atlantic Books, 2010); Blackmoor
by Edward Hogan (Simon & Schuster, 2009) and Gifted by Nikita
Lalwani (Penguin Books, 2008).
Over at The Guardian, they're looking for nominations for the Guardian First Book Award. You have the chance to nominate a book of your choice - debut - to be added to their list of books to consider for the prize. The "competition" closes on 4th June. Go nominate someone awesome!
Heard about Magic Town? I didn't know of it until I got this bit of PR from Simon and Schuster about their superb Aliens love Underpants books:
Simon & Schuster
UK and Mindshapes today announced that Claire Freedman and Ben Cort’s
bestselling Aliens Love Underpants seriesis now part of Magic
Town (www.magictown.com), the first
virtual world of picture books and stories for children aged 2 to 6+. There
will be four Aliens Love Underpants stories in Magic Town.
In Magic Town, children meet Max and Izzy, animated guides
who show them around a vibrant landscape of uniquely illustrated houses, each
of which holds interactive stories and related puzzles and games, featuring
fairy tales, original titles and well-known series. Magic Town’s virtual world
uses games technology to provide each child with a customised experience. An
algorithm presents relevant stories for each child, and daily visits to Magic
Town unlock additional content. In the future, parents will be able to further
personalise Magic Town by selecting specific brands and stories.
Each Aliens Love Underpants story in Magic Town is
presented as a Livebook™, Mindshapes’ proprietary storytelling format designed
to stimulate young children’s development through educational, interactive
tasks. Magic Town was created with input from teachers and early childhood
development experts, and has been tested with children, parents and educators.