Major Publishing Merger, NaNoWriMo, and more!

Star Wars author appeals to Disney in fight over royalties (The Guardian)

Foster was approached by George Lucas to write a novelisation of Star Wars: A New Hope, which was published at the end of 1976, shortly before the film was released. Foster alleges that when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, it bought the rights to the novel as well as the first Star Wars sequel novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, published in 1978. Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019 meant it also acquired the rights to Foster’s novelisations of Alien, Aliens and Alien 3. But the science-fiction author said Disney had not paid him royalties on the books, all of which are still in print and earning money for the media giant.

What giving up fiction did to me? (BookRiot)

I didn’t recognize myself after a couple years of this. I became a woman who would flip through the glossy pages of a magazine, scan the text impatiently, then spend several minutes ogling and analyzing the illustrations. The visual reveal was all that mattered; words irritated me. I continued to take my beloved books with me to every new apartment I moved into, but they existed almost as artifacts of a former self, or worse, as decorating objects. I officially became part of the population of Americans who don’t read for pleasure.

The Monster Publishing Merger Is About Amazon (The Atlantic)

But this merger is not the gravest danger to the publishing business. The deal is transpiring in a larger context—and that context is Amazon. The rise of Amazon accelerated the demise of Borders and the diminishment of Barnes & Noble. If it’s correct to worry about a merged company that publishes perhaps 33 percent of new books, then surely it’s correct to worry more about the fact that Amazon now sells 49 percent of them.

My adventures in National Novel Writing Month (Yakima Herald)

Two days into NaNoWriMo, you’re supposed to have over 4,000 words of your novel finished. And I only had names. No fully developed plot yet. Just names. After I picked the names, I started on the plot. The goal was to write a horror novel, which wasn’t my best decision because my only experience with that genre was “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” which traumatized fourth grade me. I have, however, seen quite a few scary movies, so I figured that was good enough to come up with something.

Sci-fi/Fantasy Writer Elizabeth Bear on Diversity, Mental Health, and Queers in Space (Pop Matters)

Machine even involves the uncontrolled spread of a novel virus. The timing to the rise of COVID-19 was coincidental — the bulk of the writing was done in 2018-2019, with Bear’s intent being to explore the politics around health care. “It was completely accidental,” Bear remarks, of publishing a virus story in the middle of a pandemic. “Let the record show that she laughed awkwardly.” Bear says she was inspired to go in this direction by Northern Irish author James White’s Sector General stories (published in short story and novel format between 1957 and 1992), which also involved “hospital drama in space with lots of aliens.” 

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