Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Publisher's Weekly lists the 15 Trends To Watch in 2008. E-books take up nine spots. Of the remaining six, three have to do with publishers' websites, two have to do with the pros & cons of Barnes & Noble's "sophisticated supply chain," and one hints strongly at the elimination of traveling sales reps. Cheery.

It's a bad time for literary fiction, and the librarians are to blame. From the GuardianUK: "(There has been) a shift in the priorities of libraries, which used to be a guaranteed haven for several thousand copies of hardbacks that take a bit of brain work, but which are now rapidly ceding shelf-space to Citizens Advice Bureau leaflets or DVDs." (Editor's note: The Inkwell unequivocally absolves all sexy librarians of any blame.)

Locus Magazine interviews fantasy/SF author Nnedi Okorafor (Zahrah the Windseeker, The Shadow Speaker) about a wide variety of topics, the most interesting to me being why science fiction hasn't made further inroads in Africa: "I guess people write what they know. From my experience with the Nigerians, most don't read stuff specially categorized as ‘fantastical.’ (...) Maybe this category doesn’t exist in Nigeria because it’s not needed. The fantastical is naturally a part of the Nigerian world already.”