Archive for June, 2010

Sci-Fi Classics: 6 Great Short Novels of Science Fiction

Posted in classics, dystopia, novellas, novels, post-apocalytpic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by MRL

(Or, rather, novellas as I think the cool kids call them!)

When I was growing up I spent every other Christmas and a couple of weeks each summer at my paternal grandparents’ farm in northern Arkansas. There was a series of things I’d always do every time I was there: have endless adventures in the big red barn my great-grandfather had built shortly after the turn of the century, construct buildings with the set of original Lincoln Logs kept in an old cardboard box at the back of the living room closet, and read the same paperbacks kicking around in that same closet like Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, The Hobbit, anything by Wilbur Smith or even the ancient World Book Encyclopedia that was perpetually bowing the bottom shelf almost to the point of collapse.

But, hands down, the book I always looked forward to rereading every time I was there was a thirty-five cent Dell paperback anthology from 1954 edited by Groff Conklin: Six Great Short Novels of Science Fiction.

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10 Million Ways to Die (Choose One): The Appeal of YA Dystopian Novels

Posted in 20 Years Later, dystopia, Emma Newman, novels, post-apocalytpic, YA with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by MRL

There’s an interesting piece, “Fresh Hell” by Laura Miller, in the current New Yorker that examines the increasing appeal of dystopian novels and stories to the young adult (YA) demographic. As she sees it, there are a couple of fundamental differences between adult vs. YA dystopian novels: the former posit futures that might come to pass (1984) while the latter are metaphors for the world in which teenagers find themselves today (The Hunger Games); for adults the ending is inevitably pessimistic (and are usually stand-alone titles) while for younger readers it is either openly upbeat—or as much as a dystopian story can be “upbeat”—or decidedly ambiguous to drive its readers to the next book in the series.

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Finalized 20 Years Later Cover Design

Posted in 20 Years Later, book covers, design & layout, YA with tags , , , on June 14, 2010 by MRL

It took longer than I would have liked—due to being bogged down on my end and no fault at all on the part of the book cover designers—but the cover design for Emma Newman’s forthcoming 20 Years Later has been completed and finalized. (Click on the thumbnail at the left to see a larger version.) The interior pages are with the book designer and so—once again, more slowly than I would have liked—the whole book should be put together by the end of June. Then, those files can be walked over to my local printer to get a proof copy ginned up. After that, there are some last odds and ends of details—assigning an ISBN, generating a Bookland EAN barcode, dropping in the P-CIP data block, adding some glowing blurbs on the back—and we’re good to go.

But first, a few words about the cover design itself.

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