This Week in Mormon Literature, May 21, 2011

Ben Crowder announces he is leaving Mormon Artist magazine, Rosalynde Welch gives her theory for why Mormons do so well in genre fiction and Kevin B talks about how to review LDS films. Please send any suggestions or announcements to mormonlit AT gmail DOT com.

Columns and News

Ben Crowder has announced that he is closing down Mormon Artist magazine, which he created and ran for the last 3 years, after the upcoming issue #16. The magazine has been an excellent work, with interviews with artist from all over the world, and covering a wide variety of media.  Katherine Morris, who has worked as an editor at the magazine since its foundation, plans to lead a project which will fill the niche that Mormon Artist leaves behind. Kent Larson discusses the announcement at A Motley Vision.  [UPDATE-Ben has announced that he will let Katherine continue to use the name and domain space, so Mormon Artist will continue.]

Oxymormon: LDS Literary Fiction and the Problem of Genre, by Rosalynde Welch, in Patheos.  Welch writes about why successful LDS authors tend to write genre fiction. She says, “I suggest that it is neither an embarrassment nor an accident, but a natural extension of the communitarian ethos and the homely ritual practices of Mormonism.”  She says the authors come from a ethic that values performance over originality.  The article is discussed at the LDS blog By Common Consent.  

A lengthy (Provo) Daily Herald article about Eric James Stone and his Nebula- and Hugo-award nominated story, “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made.” The Nebula Awards will be announced tonight.

Orson’s Game, by Kaimi Wenger (Times and Seasons).  Wenger criticizes Card for what he perceives as playing the martyr in a Mormon Times column, where Card said he had been harmed by his refusal to back down from his Mormon convictions. Wenger cites evidence that Card remains a powerful force in the speculative fiction world.

Kent Larson discusses Is Deseret Book the only LDS publisher worth publishing with? at A Motley Vision.

Michael Knudsen, “What Book Reviews Can Tell Us”.  Writing Fortress.

Robert Goble received the Marilyn Brown Novel Award at the Utah Valley University dean’s banquet on April 13, 2010. The announcement was several months ago, this was the official presentation.


LDS Film Criticism (Part 3): How To Review An LDS Film (KevinB, LDS Cinema Online).  Very interesting discussion of what makes for legitimate criticism of lower budget LDS films, with lots of examples of Kevin’s own criticism.

Planet Mollywood.  A short (3:21) film by Danielle Levitt that goes along with a magazine article in Dazed & Confused, a British style magazine.   It is the first of three shorts dedicated to the Utah/Mormon film industry.  Includes interviews with Bob Ahlander (Excel Films), Tim Threlfall (BYU), Richard Dutcher, Trent Harris, and Dave Hunter (Halestorm).  Parts two and three are Richard Dutcher – A Soldier in God’s Army and  Mollywood Bad Boy: Trent Harris. Not much we have not heard before, but worth a look.

Napoleon Dynamite cartoon trailer. Coming to FOX in midseason 2012.  The original director and cast are participating.

Davey Morrison Dillard is trying to make a feature film based on the Anna Lewis play WWJD, which the New Play Project produced on stage earlier this year.  He is trying to raise money through Kickstarter.  Theric interviewed Dillard about the project at A Motley Vision.

Excel Entertainment will release 17 Miracles, a new feature film about the handcart companies of 1856, in Utah theaters on June 3.  Steve Kapp Perry’s The Cricket and Seagull podcast features an interview with the director, T. C. Christensen, as well as one of the acresses and a producer to talk about the film.

New Books

The Perfect Fit, by Michele Ashman Bell. Covenant. Romance.  Butterfly Box series #3.

In the Mirror: A Memoir of Shattered Secrets, by Ann Carbine Best. Wido Publishing. Memoir. Best talks about her marriage and eventual divorce to a gay man, and how she put her life back together afterwards.

The Assassination of Governor Boggs, by Rod Miller. Cedar Fort. Historical. In 1860, 25 years after Boggs was shot, a detective hired by the Boggs family is on the case, pursuing Porter Rockwell.  Western author Miller has had two non-fiction books, a novel, and two collections of poetry published by small presses.

Savage Nature, by Christine Feehan. Jove. Paranormal romance.  Fifth book in Feehan’s Leopard Series. A shape-shifting leopard and a beautiful girl.

Shadows of Brierley, Vol 2: A Far Horizon, by Anita Stansfield.  Covenant. Historical Romance.  Scottish converts migrate to the American frontier.

Book Reviews

The Alias, by Mandi Tucker Slack. Jennie Hansen (Meridian Magazine).  Fairly positive. “Slack shows obvious talent in her ability to spin a story and I predict that once she masters the technicalities will prove to be a formidable suspense writer.”

Ammon, by H. B. Moore. G. G. Vandagriff (Meridian Magazine).  Very positive.

The Forgotten Locket, by Lisa Mangum. Shanda, Sheila, and Mandy (LDSWBR). Very positive, 4 stars and 4.5 stars.  This third book in the trilogy will be released in two weeks.


New York Times Bestseller lists, May 22nd

Hardcover Fiction

#28  MILES TO GO, by Richard Paul Evans (5th week) ↓.  Down from #26.

Trade Fiction Paperback

#10. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, by Jamie Ford (50th week) ↔. Stayed pat.

Mass Market Paperback

#10. SAVAGE NATURE, by Christine Feehan (2nd week)  ↓.  Down from #2.  Also down from #6 to #25 on the Combined Print Fiction list, down from #8 to #31 on the Combined Print and E-book list, and fell off the E-book Fiction list

#16 ONE MAGIC MOMENT, by Lynn Kurland. NEW. Fantasy romance novel.

Children’s Chapter Books

#2 THE TWILIGHT SAGA: THE OFFICIAL ILLUSTRATED GUIDE, by Stephanie Meyer (4th week). ↓ Down from 3 weeks at #1.

#7.  A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES, by Brandon Mull (8th week) ↑.Up from #10.

Children’s Series

#9 WINGS, by Aprilynne Pike. NEW.  With Illusions, the third book in the series coming out last week, the series graduates from the individual “Children’s Chapter Books” list to the perhaps more competitive “Children’s Series” list.

Deseret Book LDS Fiction Bestsellers this week

1 Shadows of Brierley, Vol. 2: A Far Horizon, by Anita Stansfield

2 Shades of Gray by Rachel Ann Nunes

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

4 Blackberry Crumbleby Josi S. Kilpack

5. Foggy with a Chance of Murder by G. G. Vandagriff  NEW

6 The Silence of God by Gale Sears

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

8. The Evolution of Thomas Hall by Kieth Merrill  NEW

9 The Undaunted: The Miracle of the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers by Gerald N. Lund

10 The List by Melanie Jacobson

11  The Walk, Book 2: Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans

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4 Responses to This Week in Mormon Literature, May 21, 2011

  1. Just read in the comments section of Ben Crowder’s announcement link that _Mormon Artist_ may not be dead after all. It looks like he’ll be passing the torch to Katherine Morris, whose talent, judgement and ability is on par with Ben’s (I admire them both incredibly). Very encouraging, I was so sad to see the publication die, which I’ve adored.

  2. Andrew Hall says:

    Eric James Stone won the Nebula Award for his novelette ‘‘That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made’’ feed://
    Marny Parkin tells me it is the first LDS winner since Galaxy Quest (story by David Howard [LDS]; screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon) won best script in 2001. It is the first fiction winner since Scott Card won best novel in 1986 for Speaker for the Dead.

  3. Way to go, Eric! That is SO exciting!

  4. Wm Morris says:

    Is is exciting –and– well-deserved. It’s a great story.

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