Apologies for being a day late this month. I was in Boulder, Colorado yesterday and while it would be very cool to claim that I narrowly escaped the floods, I was in fact driving cross country to rescue the family pet from the kennel, where he’d gotten sick, and thus left town long before the rain started. (The dog is fine, by the way.) This month I’m going to address the issue of what rights you sell when you sign a publishing contract. The writers I know have signed a diverse set of publishing agreements, so this issue isn’t as simple as saying, “Sell only these rights.” What’s key is that you make sure you get paid for the rights you sell. Small presses, and unfortunately LDS presses included, are known for getting grabby with rights, appropriating far more of them than they pay for, and you can avoid this provided you know what rights you own and how they can be used. So let’s explore what rights you have and are able to sell.
Rather than make an exhaustive list, I’m going to break down the ways in which a copyright can be divided up and sold. Continue reading
We’ve recently had the delightful experience of sharing our home with a young foreign exchange student from Poland. Not only are we eating lots of Polish meals (pirogi, bigos, ciasto z sliwkami, to name a few) but also have the opportunity to talk about culture and differences and similarities between nations. Most of all, we have learned to love our new son and brother and recognize that the things that make us similar are a lot more important than the things that might be different or strange or unfamiliar. Continue reading
Mormon artists won three Hugo Awards, including two for Brandon Sanderson. Mormons were all over the Hugos. Rhemelda Publishing is going out of business. Salt Lake ComicCon saw lots of Mormons speaking and premiering works, including two movies. Larry Correia, Brandon Sanderson, and Brandon Mull produced game-related novels. Jamie Ford, Matthew Kirby, Anne Perry, and Kiersten White published national novels. One reviewer did not like men writing about feelings (referring to a new book by Ryan Rapier), and Austenland picked up steam. Please send any news or corrections to mormonlit AT gmail DOT com.
Mormon artists won three Hugo Awards, presented on September 1 at the World Science Fiction Convention. Brandon Sanderson won his first fiction Hugo for Best Novella for The Emperor’s Soul. It was actually Sanderson’s second Hugo of the night, as the Writing Excuses Podcast, made by Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Jordan Sanderson won for Best Related Work. It was the group’s third time to be nominated for the award, and first win. Galen Dara won the Hugo for Best Fan Artist. Galen has written for Exponent II, and has done cover illustrations for Sunstone Magazine, and her work appears in Monsters & Mormons. Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary: Random Access Memorabilia came in second place for Best Graphic Story. It was the fifth year in a row that Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary series was nominated. Elitist Book Reviews came in 6th place for Best Fanzine, the first year it was nominated. Looking at works which received consideration, but were not nominated, Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia came in 6th place in the Best Novel nominations, just missing the final five. Brandon Sanderson’s “Legion” came in 9th place in Best Novella, a category that Sanderson won anyway. Howard Tayler’s novelette “Flight of the Runewright,” came in 14th for Best Novelette. The novelette appeared in the anthology Space Eldritch. Howard Tayler also came in 11th in the voting for nominees for Best Professional Artist. Continue reading
Looming on my intellectual horizon, and thus on yours, unless, on reading this prophecy, you bail on me, is a vasty generalization — to which I am being enticed by John Pollack through the medium of his book The pun also rises, to wit: one casualty of the Restoration was blank verse. The main casualty, as far as this blog is concerned. When England emerged from its Taliban — or Caliban — interval, the Protectorate, following hard on the death of Cromwell; when, I say, the Stuarts were restored to the throne of Great Britain in the person of the Frenchified Charles II, England broke the mold of its greatest poetic achievement, blank verse.
Well, no. Milton broke it. And it wasn’t really a mold, it was more of a die, used to strike one perfect, highly polished, platinum coin: Paradise lost. Although many of you might regard that poem as not much more than a moldy tome, Continue reading
I don’t know if Sarah would have sent me an ARC of her upcoming novel if she hadn’t already been reading Byuck, but I like to think so. In her email, she said, “I think we share some literary similarities. I think you would like this one… it’s marketed romance by Cedar Fort (blah) but it’s about as much Romance as Byuck is” (ellipses in original). I’m going to use this as an excuse to navelgaze a bit as I review her new novel. My apologies in advance.
Nephi Anderson’s Added Upon lost its first round August Insanity match-up against Louisa Perkins’ Dispirited, but we’re not going to let that get in the way of a spirited discussion about two of his later work, Piney Ridge Cottage and The Story of Chester Lawrence. As I mentioned in my post last month, these novels are celebrating their 101st and 100th birthdays this year and deserve a special retrospective discussion on how they’ve weathered the last century.
This discussion, as many of you know, has already begun with Christine Plouvier, Theric Jepson, and Sarah Reed debating the merits of Anderson’s apparent use of the deus ex machina device. I’d like this conversation to continue, of course, but I’d also like to hear what people think about other aspects of the novels.
Here are some possible discussion points:
- Initial responses to the novels
- Anderson’s representations of Mormon men and women. (I think it’s interesting, for example, that PRC focuses on a young Mormon woman and SCL focuses on a young Mormon man. How do these novels define Mormon gender roles a century ago? How do they affirm or overturn our assumptions about early-20th century Mormon attitudes about gender? How do they compare to how gender is depicted in Mormon novels or short stories or films today?)
- The way Anderson contrasts the city and the country, America and Europe.
- Anderson, sentimentality, and nostalgia.
- Anderson’s biting satire of Salt Lake City Mormons in PRC. (Is it satire?)
- The racy(?) backstories involving polygamy and illicit sex.
- The fun, quasi-incestuous love stories of both novels. (Did anyone else get kind of creeped out by the love story in The Story of Chester Lawrence?)
- The purpose of The Story of Chester Lawrence. (SCL is Anderson’s only sequel. Why did he need to write it? Does it adequately tie up the loose ends of PRC? Why focus on Chester?)
- Glenn vs. Chester: How Mormon do you need to be to marry a Mormon heroine?
- Chester Lawrence as a Modern Mormon Man of 1913.
- Julia Elston as a Modern Mormon Woman of 1912.
- The Story of Chester Lawrence as a response to the Titanic tragedy. (How do you respond to the ending of SCL? How does it compare/differ/improve upon Anderson’s handling of tragedy in Added Upon?)
- The gospel messages of both novels: what are they?
- The relevance of these novels today. (Should they be canonical the way Added Upon is canonical?)
Please don’t feel limited to these points of discussion–they simply reflect my experience with these novels. Feel free to share any thought you have.
Greetings from Missoula, Montana. We traveled here today from my wife’s hometown not far from the Stanley, Idaho wildfire, and Monday morning we will be going over Lolo Pass, more wildfire country. In all the little towns on the way here businesses have “Thank You Firefighters” on their letterboards.
All of which means that when we decided rather quickly that we could indeed go on vacation I came away without my list of translations I was going to talk about. Maybe next month. This month I’ll start with a short series on figurative interpretation.
When Jonathan Langford invited me to join the bloggers on Dawning of a Brighter Day I cast around for a title and subject, and thought about a phrase that encompasses for me a lot of what literature and literary criticism is about, “Intense Intents in Tents.”
We’ve been running a [b]racket over on the Mormon Lit Blitz page in which sixteen works face off against each other in an event we’re calling August Insanity. With just five matches to go, here’s how things look:
In the diagram above, the numbers with dashes between them indicate the vote margin by which a given work advanced. The closest match to date was the 8-7 overtime (=after James’s bedtime) victory of Death of a Disco Dancer over Saturday’s Warrior. The largest margin of victory is the 15-point differential between Thinderella Byuck and early favorite The Backslider. (Incidentally, this match is also the reason for the schism between August Insanity and the Reorganized Community of August Insanity, founded to protest the alleged daylight robbery of the cowboy classic).
I had considered providing some bookcaster analysis at this juncture in the tourney, but maybe it will be better to solicit it instead.
What do you think of the tournament so far?
Who’s been robbed? Who’s finally getting the recognition they deserve?
Is your bracket currently beating the brackets of Theric’s son and/or my daughter?
What do you anticipate in our five remaining matches?
Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, an independent publisher located in Springville, UT, has decided to cancel publication of a YA fantasy novel rather than include a line in co-author Michael Jensen’s bio that would have read, “He lives in Salt Lake City with his partner and their four dogs.” The book, Woven, is co-authored by David Powers King and Michael Jensen. The authors have gone public with their side of the story, which is gaining some attention, with a story on Utah television station’s KUTV local news.
Here is an excerpt from authors Michael Jensen and David Powers King’s press release (pdf), (html). “Sweetwater Books, a division of Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, has cancelled the publication of Woven, a highly anticipated young adult fantasy novel, because the biographical blurb of one of Woven’s two authors referenced the author’s “partner.” Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, I read and/or listened to Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. (WhisperSync for Voice, which allows almost seamless transition between reading the Kindle ebook and listening to the Audible.com audiobook, is awesome.) It’s a science fiction novel set a few hundred years in the future, after humanity has settled most of the solar system:
One moon of Uranus sported five thousand [colonists], the farthest outpost of human civilization, at least until the Mormons finished their generation ship and headed for the stars and freedom from procreation restrictions. (p. 8)
That seemed like just a throwaway reference to Mormons, but to my surprise, it actually became quite relevant in the plot. Note that there will be some plot spoilers below, although I will also leave many twists unrevealed, and the book is worth reading in any case (in 2012 it was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel). Also, quotes from the book may contain some crude language. Continue reading