This Week in Mormon Literature, April 22, 2011.

Voting for the Whitney Awards closed this week, were you able to qualify for voting for the Best Novel of the Year by reading all 35 finalist books?  I’m afraid I was not.  Be sure to check out the excellent posts earlier this week on this blog by Scott Parkin, Dan Wells, and Mahonri Stewart. Please send any suggestions or announcements to mormonlit AT gmail DOT com.

New Books

Messiah, by Toni Sorenson. Covenant. Historical Fiction.  3rd Nephi-era Book of Mormon setting, climaxing in Christ’s visit to the Nephites.  Sorenson has published many books in the past, including the similar Master, set in Palestine, and Redemption Road, which won the AML Novel award in 2006.  Sorenson was interviewed by Steven Kapp Perry at his podcast The Cricket and Seagull last week.

Treason at Lisson Grove, by Anne Perry. Random House. Victorian mystery. 26th in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series.  The first book in the series to appear in three years.

Articles and news

Destiny, Demons, and Freewill in Dan Wells’s John Wayne Cleaver Books (Jonathan Langford, at A Motley Vision). Langford gives a very positive review for the three volume series.

Criticism Within LDS Film: Part 1 — What is Film Criticism? and LDS Film Criticism (Part 2): The Role of “Criticism” in LDS Culture and Art (KevinB, at LDS Cinema Online)

Wm Morris’s brief recap of the posts has a better comments section than the posts themselves.

“The Raw Material for a Literature Absolutely Unique” Scott Hales, The Low-Tech World. Quotes and comments on the words of early 20th-century Mormon author John Henry Evans, who wrote about Mormon writing in a 1912 introduction to a Nephi Anderson novel.

The BYU College of Humanities announced the winners of the 2011-2011 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Student Creative Arts Contests.  The categories are poetry, essay, short story, visual arts, music composition, screenwriting, and playwriting.  I hope to see many of these authors mentioned in this review in years to come.

Shannon Hale talks about her 2008 interview of Stephanie Meyer. Reminds me of Mahonri Stewart’s description of their friendship in a 2008 A Motley Vision post.

The Appendix is a weekly podcast featuring writing advice, discussion of the industry and a look into the lives of authors.  New episodes post every Wednesday morning.  The podcast features Mormon authors Sarah Eden, Robison Wells, and Marion Jensen, along with guests.   They are up to their 13th episode this week.

Reviews

Across a Harvested Field, by Robert Goble.  Marilee McQuarrie, AML-list. Positive.

Messiah, by Toni Sorenson.  Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine.  Very positive.  “I’ve enjoyed other books by Sorenson, but none touched me more than this one.  Even readers who ordinarily skip fictionalized accounts of scriptural events will find this one worth their time . . . I never felt like the author was preaching, yet I felt a powerful affirmation of testimony.”

Saints of the Latter Days, by A. Allworth. Scott Hales, The Low-Tech World. Unfavorable. This unfriendly satire of Mormon culture lacks nuance and insight as badly as the friendly satire of the Halestorm movies. “It’s the kind of Mormon novel that comes into your house, takes a leak on the carpet, and leaves without cleaning up the mess . . . I imagine it’s the kind of book Jack Mormons and apostates will enjoy with a glass of wine and a cigarette.”

Theater

Glen Nelson at Mormon Artists Group writes one of the better reviews on The Book of Mormon musical that I have seen.

Film

Marc Haddock reviews movies from the LDS Film Festival in January 2011.

Bestsellers

New York Times Bestseller lists, April 17th

Hardcover Fiction

#5  MILES TO GO, by Richard Paul Evans (1st week). NEW.  Evans’ readers apparently favor analog over digital. #8 on the Combined Hardcover and Paperback list, #21 on the Combined Print and E-Book Fiction list, not on the E-Book Fiction list.

#20  TREASON AT LISSON GROVE, by Anne Perry (1st week). NEW.

Trade Fiction Paperback

#9. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, by Jamie Ford (46th week). ↔  Stays pat on the paperback list.  Fell of the Combined Hardcover and Paperback Fiction list.

Children’s Chapter Books

#2.  A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES, by Brandon Mull (4th week). Down from #1.

MATCHED, by Ally Condie. Again off the list after 15 weeks, keeps bouncing on and off.

Children’s Series:

THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephanie Meyer. Drops off after 190 weeks.

The Deseret Book LDS Fiction Bestseller list had no changes from last week.

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3 Responses to This Week in Mormon Literature, April 22, 2011.

  1. Mahonri Stewart says:

    I really loved that review of the BOM musical by Glen Nelson as well. Fair, but not worshipful. I still think I’ll see the play someday, if I ever get a chance, so I can fully form my own opinion about it.

  2. Andrew H. says:

    Several Mormon authors were nominated for a Hugo or Campbell Award today. The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are one of science fiction’s two most prestigious awards. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The winners will be announced at the World Science Fiction Convention in August.

    Eric James Stone’s story “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” has been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. It has already been nominated for a Nebula Award in the same category. Stone is making the story available for free until voting on the Hugos closes in July. The nomination is especially interesting for me in that the story is an overtly Mormon story, with Mormon characters and theology.

    Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode), was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.

    Dan Wells and Larry Correia were both nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

    Brandon Sanderson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells were nominated for Best Related Work (a category for non-fiction about the speculative fiction field) for their podcast Writing Excuses, Season 4.

    The full list is available here: http://www.renovationsf.org/hugo-intro.php

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