book news

SF Sandwich: 9/21/20

The tastiest SF and Fantasy news to cross your plate

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Frankfurt Book Fair Goes Virtual

It may be disappointing, but it isn’t surprising: the international Frankfurt Book Fair is going virtual. With COVID19 taking hold around the world, organizers made the decision to switch to a digital platform, with just a month to go until the big even. Typically taking place in Germany, the book fair is a once-a-year event where professionals in the book world can socialize and network. It’s a rare opportunity that won’t dish up the same benefits online, but, on the other hand, maybe some people who couldn’t make the trip around the world work can now take part. 

terry goodkind

Beloved Fantasy Author, Terry Goodkind, Has Died

Author of The Sword of Truth series has died at the age of 72. “Born in 1948, Goodkind first established a career as a woodworker and artist, before eventually writing his first novel, Wizard’s First Rule, in 1994. The novel follows Richard Cypher, a woodland guide in a magical world, who learns that he’s a long-sought-after First Wizard, and that he has a destiny to save the world.” Link.

Print Sales Continue to Grow

Great news for brick-and-mortar stores! September saw yet another boost in print book sales. With sales up 7.2% since this time last year, the highest selling category this month was Juvenile Non-fiction. The biggest sellers being: The Big Preschool Workbook, Stephanie Meyer’s Midnight Sun, and Dav Pilkey’s Grime and Punishment


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Cory Doctorow

“We Need To Talk About Audible”

Bestselling author, Cory Doctorow, wrote a spicy tell-all on how Amazon’s Audible is crushing the market. We all know Amazon is a monopoly, but Doctorow lays it out and shows us just how tight a fist Amazon has on the audio book industry–and the same goes for ebooks and used books and, heck, probably new books at this point too. Amazon is not in this for the artists, they are not in this to diversify our literary experiences, and they are not in this to better the publishing world. They are in it to lock people (and thus, their dollars) into their platform. Period.

But, slowly but surely, we’re seeing people trying to stand up to Amazon. Read the article by Cory Doctorow, it’s not only enlightening and fascinating, but will hopefully make you think about whether or not you want your entertainment filtered through a single-handed monster. 

seven pseudonyms

Seven Pseudonyms That Played the System 

Back in the day, the acclaimed “Golden Age of Science Fiction,” women writers were not considered nearly as often as male writers were. So, many women found a roundabout way of getting by. They either created masculine pen names or they went by their initials so you couldn’t tell. There’s a good number of famous writers from that era that wrote under names like James Tiptree or A.C. Crispin; some you’ll recognize as having major influence on the genre such as N.K. Jemisin or U.K. LeGuin. Read the article and find out about how these pen names helped women find their true voices and gain their careers. 

Writer’s Games

The Writer’s Workout website is hosting the seventh annual Writer’s Games. It’s a free to enter competition where writers have 72 hours to write a flash fiction piece based on a two-word prompt. Winners get published in an anthology, but, even if you don’t win, you still get feedback on your writing. There’s still time to play! See the rules here


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Read the first two chapters of a new book out this week titled Order of Dust. It comes from author Nicholas J. Evans and indie publisher Parliament House. The book is about Jackson Crowe, now dead, who makes the decision to come back and hunt the killers who took his life.


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Hench Natalie Zina Walschots
Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots; William Morrow; 9/22/20
Also check out Rebecca’s video review of Hench

Dead Man in a Ditch Luke Arnold
Dead Man in a Ditch (Book 2) by Luke Arnold; Orbit; 9/22/20

Order of Dust Nicholas Evans
Order of Dust by Nicholas J. Evans; Parliament House; 9/22/20
For a sample, check out the first two chapters, linked above

The Seventh Perfection Daniel Polansky
The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky;; 9/22/20


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John Scalzi’s New Stack

How about a sneak peak at what Advanced Reader Copies are floating around right now? John Scalzi has shared his most recently acquired ARCs so we can all have a look at what’s circulating for early reviews. I’m especially excited about that Elephant & Piggie. And the Subterranean Presses. And Flame Tree Presses. And, I mean, I just get excited about books.

The Ranger of Marzanna 

The Goddess War Cover Reveal

If you like epic fantasies, Jon Skovron’s The Goddess War series will be fun for you. It began with The Ranger of Marzanna, where two siblings had it out for control of their kingdom. Now, in the 2nd book of the trilogy, Sonya and Sebastian circle one another in a war dance. See the newly revealed cover for the April 2021 release of book 2, The Queen of Izmoroz, on the Orbit website.


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Jason Chan is a book and video game artist. He shares his stuff on Twitter @JasonChanArt and his work is incredible. Makes you want to just stare at it for a little while. If you can, zoom in and appreciate all the detail…

Dungeon Master by Jason Chan


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