Category Archives: fiction

Harry Potter is 15, gets new covers for trade release

potter-crop

Prepare to feel old: The Harry Potter series is turning 15 this year.

Yes, it’s been 15 years since the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Scholastic is re-releasing the entire series in trade paperback in September, complete with new covers by Kazu Kibuishi.

Check out the new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone under the cut.

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Timothy Zahn discusses the history of Scoundrels and more

At his Star Wars: Scoundrels signing in San Diego on January 12, Timothy Zahn gave a talk on how the novel came to be and then held a Q&A session. He discussed the real world publication timeline he worked with, his initial idea to make it a heist using a who’s who of the main characters and top smugglers in the GFFA (Luke, Han, Leia, Mara, Lando, Corran, Mirax, Talon and more) just before the New Jedi Order, and how even the cover art influenced the final story.

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“If someone has a good idea, it’s Leia.” Work on the Corey Han Solo novel has begun!

ANH: Han and LeiaTy Franck – one half of James S.A. Corey, who’s working on a Han Solo book for the Rebels series, gave fans the first progress update yesterday:

Ground has been broken on the Star Wars novel. An outline has been approved, and chapters are being typed. Things I’ve learned so far: It is important to know ahead of time how you will handle Chewie talking, the Star Wars universe has instantaneous communication and nearly instantaneous travel but space is STILL big enough to hide things, hyperspace is how you get away from badguys but jumping through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops kid, and Leia is the brains of the operation. If someone has a good idea, it’s Leia. Han is always always always wrong when he makes a plan or predicts the future, but man does he improvise gracefully. More robots. Always more robots.

The post got passed around quite a bit today, and well:

Ha. Welcome to the, ah, family. Keep your seatbacks and tray table in the locked and upright position…

You can learn a little more about Franck and writing partner Daniel Abraham in an excerpt from a recent interview in Locus. I also recommend checking out their first two novels – Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War. I have horrible luck with Star Wars writers outside of Star Wars (sorry, it’s true, no recs please) but these books are pretty fantastic. Hopefully that means good things for this Han book.

Why do books come out after the holidays?

As James pointed out in our earlier Scoundrels post, it seems like every year lately there’s been a Star Wars book that comes out almost directly after the holiday. Many of us has been wondering about that in light of Scoundrels, but there is a solid reason, according to LFL’s Jennifer Heddle:

Makes sense! And hey, it’s good for those of us who only want gift cards anyway…

The ‘fake geek girl’ is back, and no one is impressed

College Humor is not making many friends in the comics blogosphere, lately. The ad at right has appeared on the back page of several DC Comics books, and… Well. Take it away:

WonderAli: That Joke isn’t Funny Anymore. “College Humor, and DC by association, are perpetuating the message that comics simply cannot possibly be enjoyed by girls. They are for BOYS ONLY–mouth-breathing, women-hating boys at that. Sorry, intelligent woman who is enjoying the hell out of Wonder Woman, this book is not for you!”

The Mary Sue’s Susana Polo: So, The Back Cover Ad on Batman This Month Is a “Fake Geek Girl” Joke. “I just can’t decide which is more depressing to imagine: someone in marketing at College Humor (whose work I generally enjoy) pitching this specific example from their series of real life comic book “villains” to DC for an ad… or someone on DC’s marketing team saying “These ‘villains’ you came up with are all super funny, but you know… Some of our readers might feel targeted by the “guy who gets angry on forums” joke or the implications that they’re not good at personal interaction. And we probably shouldn’t use the one about executives… seeing as how we’re employed by them. So we’ll use the one that’s a girl. Girls don’t read comics anyway.””

iFanboy’s Jim Mroczkowski: Real Geeks Only, Ladies. “Funny how people who were bullied throughout their childhoods will become the most hateful bullies themselves at the first whiff of a victim. Hang on: when I typed “funny,” I misspelled “unimaginably depressing.” A round of applause for human nature, everybody.”

Are we seriously not past this crap, yet? UPDATE: Becky Allen says the same, only much better than I.

Here are all the ‘supervillains,’ if you’re really curious. Or, simply skip straight to restore your faith in humanity.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back of fan bases?

Or is it Attack of the Clones? Well, I suppose that depends on your certain point of view…

Earlier this week, Vulture posted a massive list of what they’re calling the most influential fan bases, and Star Wars came in number 2 – pretty good, all things considered. Occupying the #1 spot is Game of Thrones, which I can’t really be all that bitter about seeing as they’re peaking right now. (And, well, I’m a fan, if not technically in the fandom.)

It’s an interesting series, but one major qualm with the Star Wars listing: Warsies? Dude, no one with an actual clue uses that term. It’s not even a Trekker/Trekkie situation: No one uses it.

The Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Joss Whedon and Lord of the Rings fandoms also made the list. It’s all part of a week-long series, which also covers things like naming your fandom (don’t,) psychology and the crazy shit fans buy.

They’ve also profiled several influential fans, including the Leaky Cauldron’s Melissa Anelli, The One Ring’s Erica Challis and TFN’s Dustin Roberts.

What has 50 Shades wrought? 16-year-old gets book deal for boy band fan fiction.

Sure, we winced when ex-Twilight story 50 Shades of Grey became the giant bestseller of 2012. But for the world of fanfic, what’s worse than watching badly-written BDSM shoot up the bestseller lists?

Could it be… Boy band fan fiction? Penguin has picked up a story called Loving the Band, written by a 16-year-old “One Direction super-fan”. Maybe the cash will help take the sting out of the embarrassment she’ll feel about the thing in 5 to 10 years – assuming it proves even a fraction as sucessful as 50 Shades, anyway.

J.K. Rowling’s next book will be for kids

At the Cheltenham Literature Festival, J.K. Rowling said that she’ll be returning to the children’s section for her next book.

“I think probably the next thing I write, or the next thing I publish, will be for children.” she said.

She told fans that she had a “number of ideas on my laptop”, but wouldn’t reveal the details about what she has been working on.

The award winner also said that the book would be for “younger children than the Harry Potter series.”

The sales numbers for The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s first novel since the Harry Potter finale in 2007, have been ‘respectable.’

Discussion: What have you been reading?

What’s the last book you read? What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend, and why?

Also, what upcoming books are you looking forward to? What are the latest editions to your to-read pile

(No, none of these have to be Star Wars – in fact, please don’t, particularly those of you with advance copies of certain gigantic reference tomes – since we know all about those.)