We've mentioned in a prior Odds & Ends post that DC Comics had hired the vehemently anti-gay author Orson Scott Card to write an issue of Superman and how much backlash the comics giant had received as a result. This week, Chris Sprouse, the artist who was slated to do the illustrations for the installment, dropped out of the project, saying that the negativity surrounding the project has overshadowed it. There is still a lot of speculation about how much visibility Card will have (or not have) when the movie based on his hugely popular YA sci-fi novel, Ender's Game, comes out in a few months. In other bookish movie news, Jezebel published a piece this week about how the new Oz movie is a huge step back for women and a total departure from Baum's work. (the article was originally published by Elisabeth Rappe at Film.com)
Over the weekend, we saw something on Twitter about author Juliet Marillier writing a controversial post for Writer Unboxed but when we went to the site, the post had been taken down and the site had posted a notice of doing so. Our curiosity won out on this one, so we looked around a bit and found a screenshot of the post on Goodreads. Before we tell you what the post was about, a word of warning: DO NOT read it if you don't want your love of Juliet Marillier to be tarnished. Basically, a new fan wrote to the author telling her how much she loved Shadowfell, how it led to her purchasing a ton of Marillier's other work, and how excited she is for the next Shadowfell book and couldn't Marillier just write faster?! From an outsider's standpoint, we would think that an author would be ecstatic: she has a new reader, one who loves her work, one who bought several of her books and loves her work so much that she took the time to write a letter about how she can't wait for more. The ultimate do-not-do-this would be to post the complete email and then rip it apart, telling the reader that she has no manners and that it was rude to tell her to write faster, and then go on to talk about questions you hate to be asked. As an author, your books will find their way to new readers and those people will probably have questions they would love to have answered. Is it sometimes obnoxious that people don't google their way to the answers that may be already on the net? Of course, but that definitely doesn't mean you should publicly chastise your readership. Very disappointing .
The Association of American Publishers filed a complaint with the internet site naming overlords (otherwise known as ICANN) about Amazon potentially having exclusive control over .book domain names. They believe that it goes against the public interest. Either way, it is kind of fun to imagine how those types of domain names could be utilized. In other Amazon-related news, Apple announced this week that they, too, are looking into patenting a used digital file marketplace. (Amazon did so in February)
I literally laugh out loud whenever people get into online fights about the use of the word 'literally', and this week was literally one of the best weeks ever for this never-ending discussion, as Slate published a post about the different definitions of 'literally', including one from the Oxford English Dictionary that covers the common usage that people get angry about, and how several famous authors have used the word in ways that might cause purists to cringe.
On a more serious note, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts released a report this week about the disparity between the numbers of men and women reviewing books for major publications. GalleyCat wrote a short news piece on several points but the entire report can be found here, as well as compiled information for three years. I found the graphs in that last link the quickest way to digest the information and see what outlets are the worst offenders.
Other fun newsy bits from the week:
- The trailer for Joss Whedon's version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing came out. I watch the Branagh/Thompson 1990s version quite a bit so I'm excited to see Whedon's version.
- One of the ghostwriters from the Sweet Valley High series talks about how working on those books affected her life, career, and identity.
- Debut YA author Alaya Dawn Johnson did a podcast with Publisher's Weekly about the influences behind the futuristic Brazil setting for her book, The Summer Prince, which was released on March 1st.
- GalleyCat published a post entitled "Blind Date with a Free Ebook," which played off the recent "blind date with a book" trend, but in a way that meant we could get instant gratification and not leave our house. Everyone loves that!
- The Atlantic posted a gallery of self portraits by famous authors. Some of them remind me of elementary school art projects and others remind me that some people are amazingly multi-talented.
- The cover was revealed for A.S. King's upcoming book, Reality Boy.