The story of two women in a distant galaxy — one a fighter pilot, the other a religious acolyte — who uncover a conspiracy connecting the galaxy’s dominant religion and corporation, Invisible Kingdom sees Wilson return to creator-owned original comic book work for the first time since her 2008 series Air — which was edited by Berger.
Portland small press Microcosm is taking over its own distribution, leaving big distributors out of its business model entirely. I suspect that in the next ten years, we'll see more and more small publishers take on their own distribution models. Microcosm also explained why they're not going to deal with Amazon anymore.
Speaking of alternative distribution models, cartooning website The Nib is running a Kickstarter to fund a quarterly print magazine. The world could use more quality print publications, so give if you can. Without a doubt, the best reward in this campaign is a chance for cartoonist Emily Flake to draw and paint a picture of how you do or do not want to die.
Co-organizer of the inaugural Seattle’s Writers Resist at Town Hall and co-founder and board chair of InvestigateWest, an award-winning nonprofit news studio known for creative storytelling, Young brings multidisciplinary skills and knowledge to Hugo House along with her experience as a creative writing instructor.
Speaking of Young, she will publish her very first novel in 2020 through Red Hen Press. City Arts published an excerpt of the upcoming book back in 2013.
Speaking of City Arts, J Seattle at Capitol Hill Seattle reports that the magazine will be breaking out of its former Greenwood offices and moving to the Cloud Room coworking space on Capitol Hill. J Seattle points out that they're joining a two-block radius packed full of media outlets
A huge thanks to all the readers who came out on Saturday to support our fundraiser.— Third Place Books (@ThirdPlaceBooks) June 27, 2018
On behalf of our customers, we are sending $7,488.00 to @RAICESTEXAS !
If you want to contribute directly, you can do so here : https://t.co/DddGnETNvM pic.twitter.com/wf8Az8ivZg
Last weekend, Seattle's newest comic book convention, the Ace Comic Con, happened in SoDo. The Beat's Joe Grunenwald reports on how it went. Sounds like the show was more pop-culture focused than Emerald City Comicon, but it was still fun, though there were some scheduling SNAFUs with big panels featuring actors from the Marvel movies.
Why is Tao Lin's new book Trip on bestseller lists? Does the literary world have a collective amnesia problem? Jakob Maier at BuzzFeed points out that Lin has a problematic past.
Readers new to Tao Lin’s work (he has previously published three novels, two collections of poetry, one book of short stories, one novella, and a volume of selected tweets) might not be aware that the success of Trip could be considered an example of the kind of comeback story we might get accustomed to if we don’t hold to account the men accused of abuse or harassment during the #MeToo movement... I’m thinking especially about Tao Lin’s seemingly easy and uncontested return, after he was accused in 2014 of statutory rape, emotional abuse, and plagiarism.
This Saturday, all three Third Place Books locations will be donating 20 percent of all sales "to help reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border." Their charity of choice is the RAICES Family Reunification and Bond Fund, and of course you could donate to the organization directly. But if there are any books you've been meaning to pick up lately, this is a great opportunity to help a good cause while you do so.
Amazon employees have circulated a letter to Jeff Bezos demanding that Amazon stop providing facial-recognition software to law enforcement agencies.
Our company should not be in the surveillance business; we should not be in the policing business; we should not be in the business of supporting those who monitor and oppress marginalized populations.
Signed the contract! Tor is buying a sequel to Everfair. The sequel is called Kinning. I've got maybe a year to write it.— Nisi Shawl (@NisiShawl) June 21, 2018
The juxtapositions in these old newspapers are just amazing. From 1899: On the left, someone's opinion that only Paul Laurence Dunbar was writing good poetry about the African-American experience. On the right, a society-page item about the woman who would give birth to Langston Hughes in a few years.
If you are a woman and a poet, you should apply for this Poets on the Coast scholarship between now and July 6th. But please do note that you're on your own for accommodations, even if you win.
The good news is, you can buy a Carnegie Library for (relatively) cheap. The bad news is, it's in Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Can you guess what American teens are writing about these days? I'll give you one hint: it's depressing.
...on [Wattpad,] a site usually dedicated to painting innocent fantasies about being Harry Styles’s girlfriend, teens and preteens are living through a culture so dominated by guns that fears of their schools going on lockdown and fantasies of martyring themselves to save their friends have seeped into the stories they tell.
Seattle-area lit mag Word Lit Zine editor-in-chief Jekeva Phillips had this to say about her relationship with Junot Diaz, who has been accused of sexual assault: "As fans we fall in love with the work—a book, tv show, character, an album— and because we feel so close to that work we transfer those feelings to its creator. When that creator fucks up, he/she takes away that joy for the fans."
Yesterday, the Boston Review, which employs Diaz as a fiction editor, decided to stand by their man:
We support the New Yorker staff union. If you agree, and if you subscribe to the New Yorker, you should definitely send a little card or email to let the magazine know about your support of the union. Magazines simply can't afford to take their subscribers' wishes lightly these days.
Amazon-owned Comixology, which was previously a storefront for e-comics, recently announced they were going to publish their own original comics, thereby competing with traditional comics companies. The Beat looks into what this means for the comics industry.. And Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds published a Twitter thread this week talking about his concerns.
If I had any advice for comics shops and comics publishers, it'd be this: don't ever trust Amazon. Don't let your guard down for a second. They will get as close to you as possible and they will stab you right in between the ribs. Expect them to try to fuck you over in brilliant and inventive ways. That's literally their business model. If you believe I'm being hyperbolic, I urge you to look at their entire history to date.
That said, the Amazon-produced 11-episode adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad is going to be entirely directed by Moonlight's Barry Jenkins and it's probably going to be amazing.
Congratulations to the winners of this year's Lambda Literary Awards, including Roxane Gay and Emil Ferris!
This hedge fund is trying to break into literature by "tak[ing] what we know about hedge fund management and apply[ing] it to literature and the creation of a new generation of best-selling novelists." Gross!
Here's a friendly reminder that the Seattle City of Literature party is happening tonight at the downtown library. If you're not sure why this is a big deal, Brangien Davis, the arts and culture writer at Crosscut, interviewed me about why I believe Seattle's UNESCO Creative Cities status is so important.
Vladimir Verano, who created the Third Place Press shingle at Third Place Books, has struck out on his own. His new design and consulting firm, VertVolta Design & Press, will work with authors to create self-published books of professional quality. Send him an email for more information.
As per annual tradition, Bill Gates has released his top 5 books for summer reading. In this hugely overproduced video, Gates says he admires Abraham Lincoln "and the tough things he faced." I kid, but the books he selects are all pretty good:
.@BillGates I see you just released your summer reading list. The new book I co-edited, "Teaching for Black Lives" wasn't on there. Given that your policies of over-testing & privatizing have negatively impacted Black students, please add it to the list. https://t.co/jGpLdAIsDc pic.twitter.com/KgvUxq4uo4— Jesse Hagopian (@JessedHagopian) May 21, 2018
Are you familiar with The Humble Bundle, which sells online items — often games or pieces of software — for charity? The current Humble Bundle features up to $445 worth of sci-fi ebooks to celebrate the 2018 Nebula Awards. You can buy various tiers of books starting at a buck, but I'd urge you to splurge on the $20 or more bundle, which includes some great books including James Morrow's Only Begotten Daughter, which is one of my most-loved reading experiences of all time. And when we're talking about books that I love, this bundle also features Carol Emshwiller's The Mount, which is a favorite reading experience of mine.
How are ebooks really selling? According to Quartz's Thu-Thuong Ha, the answer is complicated, and it involves Amazon's shitty business practices.
Speaking of Amazon, it looks like they're shutting down Kindle Worlds, which was supposed to be an officially sanctioned fan-fiction outlet for intellectual property including Veronica Mars, GI Joe, and, weirdly, the works of Kurt Vonnegut.
Anyone know where I can find a copy of this book?
this is the only book on my wish list pic.twitter.com/bKH461FadS— stephanie (@mckellogs) May 15, 2018
Last night, Seattle Arts and Lectures announced a large part of their 2018-2019 season, which opens this fall. It's a pretty fantastic collection of big names (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Barbara Kingsolver) and hot contemporary authors (Tayari Jones, author of the Oprah-approved An American Marriage) and up-and-coming authors (Valeria Luiselli). They'll also host a special series to investigate and celebrate journalism, with guests including Van Jones and newspapermen Dean Baquet and Marty Baron. Upcoming poets include Alice Walker (!!) and Solmaz Sharif and Ilya Kaminsky. Read more and order tickets through SAL's website.
Book-It Repertory Theatre's 2018-2019 season has also been announced, and upcoming plays include Jane Eyre, My Ántonia, and American Junkie. Read more on Book-It's site.
As you likely have seen by now, Amazon is holding the city's economy hostage in order to protest the City Council's proposed head tax on big business. The tax, which would only be levied on the largest companies in Seattle, would likely cost Amazon 20 to 25 million dollars a year. Jeff Bezos reportedly makes 25 million dollars every two hours. Over at the South Seattle Emerald, an editor's note suggests that the city should call Amazon's bluff. I agree. Amazon has inspired a large share of this city's growing pains; it's time they pay for the solutions to the problems they've caused.
Here's a good interview with Seattle author Charles Johnson, whose new book of short stories, Night Hawks, is out this month.
Seattle Pacific University is hosting an all-day publishing bootcamp this Saturday. More information here.
There are scholarships available for a June class about writing inclusive fiction taught by K. Tempest Bradford and Seattle Review of Books columnist Nisi Shawl. Get on that.
Yeah, now everyone is on the "save Barnes & Noble" train. I agree that it would be calamitous for this country if Barnes & Noble went out of business, but I'm not sure anything can be done to save the chain now. They seem to be swallowing their own tail; I've seen too many bookstores start this death spiral to be too hopeful for the future of Barnes & Noble.
“King County Reads” episodes will be taped at many of the 48 community libraries throughout the area. The program showcases topics related to reading, including author interviews, library programs, digital reading resources and book recommendations.
Jonathan Majors (Hostiles) is set as the lead opposite Jurnee Smollett-Bell in HBO’s high-profile straight-to-series drama Lovecraft Country, from Oscar winner Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, Misha Green and Warner Bros Television.
The Seattle Public Library's Shelf Talk blog lists some of May's most celebrated literary holidays. Did you know that May has a whole day to honor the limerick? And that this month has a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-themed holiday?
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced in an interview that he's so rich — as the world's first triple-digit billionaire — that he can only think of one thing to do with his money: "“The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” Bezos said in the interview. Ann Eleven at Electric Literature offers up some alternate ideas for Bezos to spend his cash on, including housing the homeless, funding libraries, and providing clean water to Flint, Michigan. Also, I offered up an alternate idea on Twitter:
Man, pay some goddamned taxes. https://t.co/CIpFTNE3Y6— Paul Constant (@paulconstant) May 1, 2018
The latest issue of Northwest-centric literary magazine Moss has been released, and you can read it for free! It features a poem by Nikkita Oliver and fiction by Heather Jacobs.
But if you have a little money kicking around, you should support the third print collection of Moss on Patreon, because they do excellent work and they pay their contributors.
You have likely already heard that Lindy West's memoir Shrill is being adapted into a comedy series at Hulu, and it will star the delightful Saturday Night Live star Aidy Bryant. Hopefully, the plot will center on Lindy's time working at an alternative weekly, because I've always thought an alt-weekly would be an interesting setting for a sitcom.
Spooky Girlfriend Press is raising funds to publish their second title, The Sexiest Man Alive. Sexiest is written by Seattle author Amber Nelson, who you might know best for the publishing company she ran for many years, alice blue. Nelson has fantastic taste in literature, and she's a great writer. So if you can, support the publication of the book. Think of it as a pre-order.
Wow: Sales of "traditionally published e-books" fell by 10 percent in 2017. I guess if you're waiting for e-books to make physical books obsolete, you're going to be waiting for a few more years.
Here's a silly waste of time that's kind of fun: Google has a search-engine-y kind of deal in which you can talk to books. It's called, fittingly, "Talk to Books." Here's their brief explanation for how it works:
In Talk to Books, when you type in a question or a statement, the model looks at every sentence in over 100,000 books to find the responses that would most likely come next in a conversation. The response sentence is shown in bold, along with some of the text that appeared next to the sentence for context.
The West Seattle Food Bank is "in desperate need of children’s books and board books" right now, according to the West Seattle Blog. Donate if you can!
Susan Fried at the South Seattle Emerald reports that Real Change magazine is publishing a resource guide for Seattle's homeless population:
There are over 300 services listed in the guide. The print run of 40,000 copies will be available at over 75 locations around the city including through human service agencies, first responders, and the Seattle Public Library. Both the Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Departments will receive copies to assist people in finding needed services. Real Change vendors will also have access to a few copies per day to share with people in need.
CROWDFUNDING ALERT: City Arts magazine is shifting to a nonprofit, and they're running an Indiegogo campaign to make the leap. The monthly magazine is seeking members to help support a "more robust digital footprint" and "more events." This city is seriously lacking in multidisciplinary arts coverage, and losing City Arts would be a disaster. If you can, kick in.
CROWDFUNDING ALERT, PART DEUX: In more fun crowdfunding news, Emerald City Comicon founder Jim Demonakos is Kickstarting an updated version of those old-school spinner racks that drugstores used to sell comics from. "The Classic Comic Book Spinner Rack" will come in black and white, it will hold all types of comics, and it will be "whisper-quiet." This project has already been funded, but you can buy your rack over here.
El Diablo Coffee, the delightful coffee shop right next to Queen Anne Book Company, has to move. Read the whole frustrating tale at Seattle Eater. No trip to QABC is complete without a short, sweet Cuban coffee from El Diablo.
At Library Journal, Matt Enis offers a librarian's perspective on Amazon's creepy always-on Alexa devices.
Contois does acknowledge that these devices also present privacy and security concerns that new adopters may not fully understand. “We make them aware that they may want to become more knowledgeable about that,” he says. “We do ask patrons, before returning them to the library, to reset everything to the factory settings.”
Every retailer I chatted with knew of a shop that had closed, often down the road. The reasons aren’t always simple, though. This shop had its lease raised. This shop expanded too fast. That one’s owner just decided it was time to pack it in.
Hugo House is very close to moving in to their new home in the old location — the sign is up! — but they still need to raise a little cash before they can settle in. Right now, they've announced that they've got a Challenge Match of $100,000. "That means every dollar donated will be doubled," an email from the House announced. If you haven't given, now is a great time. And if you only have five bucks to spare, you'll actually be donating ten bucks.
Colson Whitehead's AMA on Reddit is full of all kinds of great answers, including his answer to the beloved Reddit question "would you rather fight 50 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?" Whitehead's response to that question, in particular, is the only correct one.
Sean fucking Penn thinks he's a novelist now, and his book includes a poem about #MeToo. Like everything else Sean Penn does, it's gross. I vow to never review this book.
Have you heard of Teen Bo$$ magazine? If not, I'm sorry to do this to you.
This job description is the shocking truth about being a book publicist.
Did you know that you can help young users of the Seattle Public Library "regain access to the Library's resources by paying for borrowed materials that were misplaced or lost?" Yep! Help a kid get a fresh start through the Seattle Public Library Foundation's Fresh Start page.
Last week, the National Book Foundation announced the judges of their 2018 National Book Awards. This year, the Foundation is introducing a new award for translated literature, and there's a Seattle connection to the new category. Elliott Bay Book Company events coordinator Karen Maeda Allman is one of the five translated literature judges, which means she's going to be reading a whole lot of work in translation over the next few months. Congratulations to Karen!
Donald Trump is good for the feminist bookstore business.
Readers are more creative and successful, according to a new study. But you already knew that.
Here's a great look at gender equality and cartooning from New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly:
The AV Club looks back on the big mystery that was the secret identity of the anonymous author of the Bill Clinton roman á clef Primary Colors. For one brief moment in 1996, all of America was trying to figure out who wrote a novel about politics, of all things.
This tire shop that helped a writer overcome writers block really ought to consider making a title of "Official Tires Tires Tires Writer in Residence."
First, let's begin with a correction. In this week's Event of the Week column, I credited the Dock Street Salon solely to Dock Street Press publisher Dane Bahr. In fact, Bahr co-hosts the salon with Seattle author and publisher Heather Jacobs. And this week's edition of the Salon was entirely curated and coordinated by Jacobs, not Bahr. I sincerely apologize to Jacobs for getting that wrong, and I've amended the listing to give her proper credit.
Here's a last-minute event you ought to know about: The Bell & Battery Cabaret is a variety show that's happening at the Rendezvous at 8 pm tonight, and twice on both Saturday and Sunday. Performers include Markeith Wiley and Ade, and the show also features Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai, who says she will "read a commissioned poem about nightclub singer Pat Suzuki and also sing a song." You've got five chances to see this one, so get to it.
Did you see the Pew poll about American reading habits? Turns out one in five Americans regularly listen to audio books, almost 75 percent of Americans read a book last year, and print books aren't going anywhere:
Some 39% of Americans say they read only print books, while 29% read in these digital formats and also read print books. Just 7% of Americans say they only read books in digital formats and have not read any print books in the past 12 months.
At Yes Magazine, Jacqueline Keeler has written an excellent story that offers some background and some wider context into the allegations surrounding Sherman Alexie. The piece is titled "Why Reading Sherman Alexie Was Never Enough: As the #MeToo spotlight moves to Indian Country, epidemic violence against Native women meets tokenism in publishing," and it's absolutely worth your time.
If, like me, you had never heard of Seattle-area sci-fi writer E Lily Yu before she was named the winner of this year's Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, you might want to read her latest story at Clarkesworld magazine. She's definitely one of our most interesting up-and-coming talents.
All that autumn and winter she tended the flower. After the petals faded and fell, slender leaves speared up, glowing with life and green throughout the cold winter. She fed the flower her secrets, burying them one by one, and watered it with drops of her blood, red as the flower had been, because there was no death in the garden, and the flower, her grandmother had said, needed death to live.
You might have nightmares if you watch this video of a Trump supporter who threatened to burn down a Berkeley bookstore. Those are two people who just want to destroy everything beautiful in their path. It's like staring into a vacuum.
And if that story didn't give you nightmares, this report about a fully automated bookstore in Beijing just might do the trick.
The automated store even features a robot who is touted as a key feature of the store. Although she didn't find the store's prices to be competitive, customer Mrs. Zhang commended its automated worker, saying that "the interaction with the store's robot is something worth experiencing, especially for the children."
Next Tuesday, outstanding sci-fi writing organization Clarion West is hosting a reading and open mic at Naked City in Greenwood. First, the open mic will encourage people to share short works, and then local sci-fi authors Randy Henderson, Seanan McGuire, Evan Peterson, and E. Lily Yu take over the stage. Tickets are ten bucks, and it benefits the Clarion West Writers Workshop. I hope you'll consider coming out and supporting emerging sci-fi writers.
At Seattle Magazine, Erica C. Barnett wrote about a Seattle Public Library employee who was stuck with a needle in a library bathroom. Unlike other library systems, SPL doesn't provide sharps containers — and for the most maddening reason in the world:
[SPL Spokesperson Andra] Addison says there’s a simple reason that the library doesn’t provide sharps containers for drug users: “We don’t allow illegal drug use in the library. It’s against our rules of conduct.” Providing sharps containers would be a tacit acknowledgement that people are using drugs at the library in violation of those rules.
Okay, look. In a perfect world, nobody would suffer from opioid addiction. But we do not live in a perfect world. This dumb head-in-the-sand policy is endangering our librarians, and SPL needs to reassess their responsibility to their employees immediately. Thanks to Barnett for the great reporting.
Great news! We told you a couple months back that West Seattle coffeeshop C&P Coffee, home to the Words West readings series, was in danger of closing unless they could raise the funds to save the site from development. They have successfully raised the money, which means C&P isn't going anywhere. Thanks to all who helped.
Last week, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog talked with Elliott Bay Book Company manager Tracy Taylor about the bookstore's upcoming SeaTac outlet.
Emerald City Comicon is coming this weekend! The fantastic Sarah Anne Lloyd at Curbed compiled a handy list of Seattle-area comics shops to visit over the weekend. I have to admit, I had never heard of Burien's Ancient Comics until I read this list and now I can't wait to check it out.
The Seattle Public Library's Shelf Talk Blog is celebrating ECCC with a list of worldbuilding comics, including Faith Erin Hicks's excellent Nameless City series.
Applications close tomorrow for Clarion West's summer workshops. If you're an aspiring sci-fi writer, you should get involved with Clarion West; they're an amazing resource.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing a Captain America series. The first issue will be published on July 4th.
Fantasy author Terry Goodkind became an internet villain this week when he encouraged his fans to mock his most recent book cover, which was illustrated by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme. I've literally never heard of an author shitting on his own book cover in public. Goodkind is known as an Ayn Rand acolyte; it's not too surprising that he has no idea how to act like a decent human being.
But let's not dwell on the horrible people in the world. Let's celebrate the truly great human beings out there, like Dolly Parton. Why am I talking about Dolly Parton on a book site? Because of this story from the Washington Post: Parton just donated her hundred millionth book. Yes, her 100,000,000th book.
Parton is the founder of Imagination Library, a nonprofit that started out donating books in Sevier County, Tenn., and grew into a million-book-a-month operation. Families who sign up receive a book per month from birth to kindergarten. The singer donated her organization’s 100 millionth book to the nation’s library on Tuesday.
Buried in this South Sound Magazine story about new additions to SeaTac International Airport by Kirsten Abel, there's a piece of news that Seattle Review of Books readers will be especially interested to hear. A ton of local restaurants are opening in SeaTac over the next few years, but SeaTac will also be home to an outpost of the Elliott Bay Book Company. This move has a local precedent, of course: Portland indie bookstore Powell's has an airport outpost, too. I'm incredibly excited to see bookseller-approved selections at SeaTac, rather than the usual Hudson News monotony.
Yesterday, I chatted on Facebook Live with Evergrey cofounder Monica Guzman about three spring books I'm looking forward to reading over the next three months.
West Seattle Blog's Tracy Record wrote an excellent post about Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist Colson Whitehead's visit to a West Seattle high school.
We're very excited to hear that civil rights legend Representative John Lewis has announced a second comics trilogy to pair with his March series. The new trilogy, about his life in politics, is cleverly titled Run.
Fuck off forever, Milo.
We first told you about this seven months ago, and now it's officially a reality: Tacoma has named a new park after the life and works of sci-fi author Frank Herbert. "Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park" is an 11-acre park featuring "Frank Herbert Trail." Tacoma Metro Parks commissioner Erik Hanberg told the News Tribune that Herbert's “experiences in Tacoma shaped his appreciation for the delicate balance of nature, so it feels right to attach his name to a park that reclaims toxic land.” The park is set to open by late summer or fall. We'll let you know when it opens, and we'll take a field trip down to check it out.
Susan Fried at the South Seattle Emerald writes about how the Somali community in south Seattle got together with Seattle Public Libraries, Seattle Public Schools, and the Seattle Housing Authority to create a children's book that celebrates Somali culture and language. The book will soon be available in libraries and schools around the nation.
A stronger man than I would be able to resist the urge to refer to this post as "Poetry in Motion:"
Special thanks to @SeattleArts and @4Culture for allowing #SeattleStreetcar to host this year's #PoetryonBuses for the #LunarNewYearFestival. Check out some of the action, celebrating this year's theme "Your Body of Water"! pic.twitter.com/oyJdkcPyT1— Seattle Streetcar (@TheStreetcar) February 13, 2018