Friday, August 26, 2011

Worldcon IV -- Redheads, Paperbacks, Hugos

(Saturday.  Blog supplemental.)
My friends Julie Mandala and Linda Donahue are having their novel Four Redheads of the Apocalypse published by Baen. 

Julie and Linda are friendly people who encourage aspiring writers.  They’re always fun to see at the convention parties. 

Later in the day I asked agent/writer Lucienne Diver her opinion about the future of mass-market paperback books.  In a previous blog entry, I mentioned how a major publisher predicted these paperbacks will die out in five years, to be replaced by e-books.  Yesterday, a major editor predicted they will die out in three to four years.  Lucienne Diver has had e-books published herself, as detailed on her blog

Ms. Diver was less pessimistic.  She had the opinion that mass-market paperbacks will die out “eventually,” but not in the next few years.  Just to be clear, all three of these people agree the larger paperbacks -- called “trade” paperbacks -- will survive.  Ditto for the hardcovers.  My question concerned the most common sort of paperback, less than eight inches tall. 

Below is a picture of Ms. Diver and me, with mixed results. 

She looks alert and intelligent 
Me, not so much 

Tonight we had the Hugo Awards ceremony.  Fans compare these awards to the Oscars, and I was surprised at the similarities:  A couple of well-dressed hosts bantered back and forth between awards, the big screens showed pictures of the nominees as they were named off, and the winners were visibly emotional. 

I was surprised the Hugo for best movie went to Inception, beating out last year’s Harry Potter movie.  For my contention that the characters in Inception were derived from the characters in the children’s novel Alice in Wonderland, see my previous blog entry on the subject.  (Hint:  The main female character uses a pawn as her totem.) 

The Hugo for best short story went to Mary Robinette Kowal.  Yes, she’s the same person I had an appointment with on Thursday (which I missed) and who put on the puppet show on Friday.  She gave a heartfelt acceptance speech, in which she explained she told her parents and husband to not bother to come, since she didn’t think she would win. 

 Photo of Ms. Kowal © 2010 Annaliese Moyer

1 comment:

Ellie Garratt said...

Interesting that they think trade paperbacks will be the first to go. So sad.

Congratulations to Mary Kowal - winning a Hugo is major!


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