Illusion and Empathy in Science Fiction | ALA 2013

“The mixing of factual and counterfactual is not singular to sci fi and fantasy,” Timothy Zahn (“Thrawn Trilogy”) began. Zahn and Brandon Sanderson (“Mistborn”), Cory Doctorow (Homeland), David Brin (“Uplift”), Elizabeth Bear (Shattered Pillars), and John Scalzi (“Old Man’s War”) were charged with talking about the probable and improbable in science fiction (and, to a certain extent, in fantasy too). Organized by the Library and Information Technology Association and with help from Tor, the Saturday, June 28 panel was packed.

International Crime Month Winds Down at ALA 2013

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For lovers of international crime fiction, June has been busting out all over with a series of readings, panels, and discussions sponsored by  four indie publishers  and featuring such rising stars as Britain’s Mark Billingham, Austria’s Wolf Haas, Australia’s Zane Lovitt, and Nigeria’s .Bayo Ojikutu. Kicked off at the end of May with events at […]

The Library Is Open: A Look at Librarians and Tumblr

The Library Is Open

What makes library Tumblrs different from your run-of-the-mill library blogs is that they can take advantage of a built-in community with built-in readers. If a Wordpress or Blogspot blog is an island, Tumblr blogs are a city. Many librarians were initially attracted to Tumblr for the same reasons nonlibrarians were—ease of use, social features, the cool factor. But, once they arrived, they began to run into each other, then to talk to with one another, and finally to understand themselves as a community. The portmanteau Tumblarians—meaning “Tumblr librarians”—was coined and a subculture born.

Debut Authors Discuss Authenticity and Research at ALA Midwinter

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The January 26 Association of American Publisher’s (AAP) Debut Author Panel, which featured novelists published by Riverhead, Atlantic Monthly, Norton, and William Morrow, gave four writers an opportunity to talk about how their first books began and how they got to market. Dina Nayeri, Margaret Wrinkle, Sean Pidgeon, and Tara Conklin spoke at length on […]

Reference News from the Show | ALA Midwinter 2013

DARE

As usual, ALA was a whirlwind of panels, book buzzes, parties, and my favorite—meeting librarians in the inevitable lines for food and bathrooms (will the conference centers ever figure this out?). The best fun was at the AAP Library Family Feud, where librarians took on authors about such burning questions as what 100 librarians said […]

Librarians & Authors Battle for Trivial Laurels

Family Feud 1

After sitting through many a Powerpoint slide show of upcoming titles, I was almost giddy (or was that the Seattle coffee?) to attend the Association of American Publishers’ (AAP) Library Family Feud program on Sunday afternoon. Hosted by the voluble (and veteran) quizmaster Chris Vaccari of Sterling Publishing—who hosts a Wednesday quiz night in Manhattan—the Feud pitted […]

ALA Midwinter: A Modest Notable Books Proposal

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Don’t kid yourself; the life of an editor is not all glamor. Sunday evening, I had to leave a HarperCollins dinner early with my dinner in a bag, abandoning an interesting table conversation about the realignment of Barnes & Nobles with the independents, the difficulty of planning book talks at libraries in the brave new […]

“Rain Is the Ink of the Northwest”: Writers Talk about Place and Fiction at ALA Midwinter

Booklist Author Panel

Friday’s ERT/Booklist Author Forum, moderated by Booklist editor Brad Hooper, brought together a diverse group of novelists to talk about the state of the novel and the role place plays in fiction. Literary fiction writer Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats), prolific fantasy author Terry Brooks (“Shannara” series), thriller writer Gregg Olsen (Fear Collector), and […]

A “No Starbucks” Café Crawl | ALA Midwinter, Seattle January 22-29

The Elliott Bay Book Company

For librarians headed to ALA Midwinter in Seattle, may I strongly suggest NO STARBUCKS. As a general rule, this is expected of the resident. For the visitor, abstaining for one day is good enough.

Instead, as a Seattle native, I recommend a ten-minute walk (probably in the rain) to a few of Seattle’s superlative and nearby-the-Convention-Center cafés, located along the E. Pine/ E. Pike St. corridor in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Getting Ready for ALA Midwinter: What I Learned from the Galley Guide

Download the 2013 ALA Midwinter Galley Guide

  With the success of Library Journal’s BookExpo America and American Library Association galley guides, could a galley guide for ALA Midwinter be far behind? Obviously not, and it will be available any minute and it’s now ready to download! Featuring more than 250 titles and facilitated by sponsorship from Random House, for which LJ is grateful, […]

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