This Week in Mormon Literature, Feb. 25

Eric James Stone’s story, “Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” (Analog, Sept. 2010) has been nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.  This should be especially interesting for AML readers as the story is fully about Mormons and Mormonism. Stone said when it came out, “It’s the seventh story I’ve sold to Analog, and it’s the most Mormon (Mormonest?) story I’ve sold anywhere.  The main character is a Mormon branch president who must deal with the consequences of having alien members of his congregation—specifically gigantic plasma beings living inside the sun—who are part of a culture with different laws and traditions.  I’ve occasionally heard people say that Analog won’t buy stories with religious themes (unless they’re anti-religious), but that has not been my experience.”  It is a great story, I am excited by its nomination.  You can read it in its entirety here.


Scott Hales on the Lost Generation of LDS Literature (The Low-Tech World) Scott Hales also has a recent post on literary criticism on this blog.

Can You Make a Living Writing LDS Novels? By Jeff Savage (Six LDS Writers and a Frog)  Jeff talks about contracts in the LDS publishing world, and about how much money an author could expect to make.

Whitney Judging, by Jeff Savage (LDS Publisher)

Which Way, Do It Yourself or Traditional? By Lu Ann Brobst Staheli (Writing on the Wall) Self-publishing.

Promotion Takes Time, by Rebecca Talley (Writing Fortress) Online marketing tips.

Some blog posts about experiences at the Life, the Universe, and Everything symposium (LTUE).

Distinguishing between Distribution and Deseret Book, by Kent Larson (A Motley Vision) Issues surrounding merging Church Distribution with Deseret Book stores.


The Upside of Down, by Rebecca Tally (Sheila at LDSBR, favorable)

The Upside of Down, by Rebecca Tally (Jennie Hansen at Meridian Magazine, favorable)

The Forbidden Sea, by Sheila A. Nielson (Susan at Bloggin’ ‘about Books, B+)

Missing in Action, by Dean Hughes (Susan at Bloggin’ ‘about Books, C “overreaching premise leads to something’s-missing story”)

Summer in Paris, by Michelle Ashman Bell (Kathy at Bookworm Nation, 3.5 out of 5)

Matched, by Ally Condie (Kathy at Bookworm Nation, 3.5 out of 5)

Towers of Midnight, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (MCQ at Kulturblog, fairly positive)

Lucky Change, by Susan Law Corpany (Jaymie Reynolds for AML, somewhat favorable)

Cartels and Combinations, by Mike McPheters (Tim Ballard for AML, liked the novel, but finds the claims made about illegal immigration are misrepresented)

Independence Rock, by Debra Terry Hulet (Karen Hamilton for AML, favorable)

The Cross Gardener, by Jason F. Wright (Shelah Miner at Shelah Books It, very negative)

New Books

Blackberry Crumble by Josi S. Kilpack Deseret Book. Fifth in her Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series. In my informal survey of Mormon reviewers, Kilpack’s two books in 2010 were the most respected LDS novels of the year.

Mark of Royalty by Jennifer K. Clark and Stephonie K. Williams. Covenant. Renaissance-era light romance, with a fairy-tale feel, no LDS content. The first-time authors are sisters. Their music video book trailer is quite the production.

The Wanderer by Anita Stansfield. Covenant. First in the Shadows of Brierly series. Romance, set in 19th century Scotland, includes Mormon missionaries.  Stansfield produced four books a year from 2008 to 2010, so odds are that this is not the last we will hear from her this year.

The Assignment by Jean Holbrook Mathews. Covenant. Suspense.  Third book by Matthews, who is a former member of the  Missouri State House of Representatives.   This one is about terrorism and kidnapping in the Philippines.

Formic Wars: Burning Earth, by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. Marvel. Graphic novel, prequel to Ender’s Game. First in a seven volume series. Johnson is also a Mormon, has done several collaborations with Card recently. Card has down a series of graphic novels from his Ender universe since 2008. Pencils by Giancarlo Caracuzzo and a cover by Salvador Larroca.


New York Times Bestseller lists, February 27th

Hardcover Fiction

#19.  TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (15th week). ↑  But fell off the Combined Print & E-Book Fiction list.

Trade Fiction Paperback

#13. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, by Jamie Ford (38th week). ↑  Up significantly this week, from #18.  #32 in its first appearance on the new Combined Hardcover and Paperback Fiction list.  #23 on the Combined Print & E-book Fiction list, up from #35.  #23 on the E- book Fiction list, up from #32.

Children’s Chapter Books, Hardback:

#8 TIGER’S CURSE by Colleen Houck (3rd week). ↓ Down slightly.

#9 MATCHED, by Ally Condie (11th week). ↔

Children’s Paperback:

#10 HUSH, HUSH, by Becca Fitzpatrick (20th week).  ↓

Children’s Series:

#6 THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephanie Meyer ( 184th week). ↑

#8 FABLEHAVEN, by Brandon Mull (13th week). ↑ Back on the list for the first time since May 2010, presumably because the paperback edition of volume 5 comes out this week.  The first of Mull’s new series, Beyonders, comes out March 15th.

Deseret Book LDS Fiction Bestsellers this week

1 Midway to Heaven by Dean Hughes

2 The Book of Malchus by Neil Newell, William Hamblin

3 The Kingdom and the Crown 3-Volume Set by Gerald N. Lund

4 How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini by Heather Horrocks ↑

5 The Silence of God by Gale Sears

6 The Great and Terrible Six-Volume Set by Chris Stewart

7 Shadows of Brierley, Vol. 1: The Wanderer by Anita Stansfield

8 Smokescreen by Traci Hunter Abramson

9 Blackberry Crumbleby Josi S. Kilpack NEW

10 The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M. Eden


The Genesis Group of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sponsoring a play entitled: “A Special Destiny” in Oakland, CA, on February 26.  The blurb says: “Come and experience the powerful, compelling and little-known stories of the devotion and sacrifice of early pioneers of the restored gospel, who just happened to be African-Americans. Witness actual accounts that will illuminate the Witness heart, entreat the soul, build and strengthen testimonies of Jesus Christ.” Oakland Interstake Center Auditorium, 4780 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA, 7:00 PM.

BYU student Ariel Mitchell’s one-act play Second Birth had a reading at the American College Theatre Festival, Region VIII, in Los Angeles. As a regional finalist, it is being considered for an invitation to the National Festival in Washington D.C. in April. Set in Afghanistan, it about a family with only girls that desperately wants a boy, and decides to present one of their girls to the world as a boy.  After living her childhood as a boy, she is now told to go back to being a girl.

University of California at Berkeley Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies student Ben Abbot performs his senior project, “Questions of the Heart: Gay Mormons and the Search for Identity” in Berkeley, March 31-April 2.


The film Sons of Perdition is in the middle of a short theatrical run, playing in six theaters in Utah, Arizona, and Texas. It is a documentary about polygamy and the “lost boys” who have been exiled from their FLDS homes. It was co-directed by Utah filmmakers Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom. Both co-directors were raised in the Church, but left it in their early 20s. The film premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in April, and has been picked up by the Oprah Winfrey Network, where it will be aired later in the year. It is rated R for language and teen drug use.  An interview, and some reviews.

Other news

Sunstone Magazine’s 2010 Brookie and D.K. Brown Fiction Contest winners announced on Feb. 16.

1st Place:  “One Glass Ball” by Brett Wilcox

2nd Place: “Aquascape #7″ by Lon Young

3rd Place: “The Opposite of Sound” by Courtney Miller Santo

Honorable Mentions:

“Family Math” by Pauline Mortensen

“Behind the Hotel” by Michael Palmer

“The Problem” by Steven L Peck

On February 17, the examining board gathered at the University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco – Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) decided to give a summa cum laude final mark to Ángel Chaparro Sainz’s “Contemporary Mormon Literature: Phyllis Barber’s Writing” dissertation. Sainz is a non-Mormon researcher studying Mormon literature in the context of Western American and Minority Literature.  Those interested in his work can contact him at: or

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8 Responses to This Week in Mormon Literature, Feb. 25

  1. Andrew,
    Thanks for posting about my Nebula nomination. As you can imagine, I’m very excited about it.

  2. Katya says:

    Excellent story. Congrats, Eric!

  3. Th. says:


    I love how this column doesn’t let me forget how much is happening and always.

  4. Katya says:

    FYI, I can’t get the main page of this blog to load in Firefox. I get an error message that says “Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.” Any ideas?

  5. It happened after we did a WordPress upgrade, Katya.

    We’ve got tech-wise people working on it. In the meantime, you can access each of the blog posts from the AML home page:

  6. Okay, our server people fixed the problem. Thank you, server techs.

  7. Katya says:

    Awesome. Thanks so much!

  8. Pingback: Pro Blogger News

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