Unnamed Press and Rare Bird Open Bookstore

Publishers Unnamed Press and Rare Bird have jointly opened North Figueroa Bookshop, an independent bookstore in Highland Park, Los Angeles.

The bookstore opened November 9, 2022 and aims to “connect the independent publishing community with readers, booksellers, authors, and book lovers.”

For more information, see their website.

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Photo Story: Writers with Drinks

The final Writers with Drinks (‘‘for a while at least’’) was held September 10, 2022 at the Make Out Room in San Francisco. Readers were Lio Min, Tim Pratt, Shelley Wong, and Kate Greene, with Charlie Jane Anders as host. Anders has organized and emceed the ‘‘spoken word variety show’’ since its launch in 2001, featuring scores of authors and performers in an array of genres.

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B&N Ordering Controversy

In mid-Au­gust 2022, an outcry arose on Twitter among middle-grade and YA authors, agents, and others in the industry, alleging that Barnes & Noble had changed their policies for stocking those books. Numerous authors, including Kalynn Bayron, reported the discovery that their hardcover new releases wouldn’t appear on Barnes & Noble shelves at all.

According to Publishers Lunch, Barnes & Noble told publishers that middle-grade hard­covers were not selling well, ...Read More

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Roberts Helps Save a Library

Author Nora Roberts, 71, who also writes as J.D. Robb, contributed $50,000 to a fundraiser to keep the Patmos Library in Jamestown Township MI open. The library lost its taxpayer funding in August 2020 when its staff refused to pull LGBTQ-related titles from the shelves. Roberts’s donation was part of a total of $245,000 raised in crowdfunding efforts to save the library, with over 4,000 indi­vidual donors. Roberts said in ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Best Books of the Year 2022

Barnes & Noble has announced its list of 10 best books of 2022. Titles and authors of genre interest include:

  • Babel, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)
  • Our Missing Hearts, Celeste Ng (Penguin)
  • Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, A.F. Steadman (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Rabbit Hutch, Tess Gunty (Knopf)

For more information, including the complete list, see the B&N website.

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Photo Story: SF in SF

SF in SF returned to in-person readings on June 13, 2022 for the first time since cancelling their March 2020 event. The June event included readings by Sam J. Miller and Kimberly Unger and a Q&A with the audience. Cliff Winnig moderated. Books were available for purchase thanks to Bookshop West Portal; Tachyon Publications sponsored the event. Proceeds went to the American Bookbinders Museum. For more information on SF in ...Read More

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Photo Story: Charm City Spec

The Summer 2022 edition of Charm City Spec, “Baltimore’s premiere reader series in speculative fiction,” was held July 27, 2022 on the patio at The Ivy Bookshop, with readers Tara Campbell, Meg Elison, Ruthanna Emrys, and E. Tara Scurry. The next event will be held September 21, 2022; see their twitter for updates.

This report and more like it in the September 2022 issue of Locus.

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Bookstore News

Tracy Taylor purchased Seat­tle’s Elliott Bay Book Company on June 1, 2022, after serving for 32 years as general manager. Tay­lor partnered with Murf Hall & Joey Burgess, who own other businesses in the neighborhood. Previ­ous owner Peter Aaron said, ‘‘It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as steward of this unique and wonderful haven of literature and civility for the past 23 years,’’ and declared Taylor ...Read More

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Fantast Three Closing

Susie Haynes of Fantast Three has announced her retirement from bookselling, and will end operations in mid-summer. She specialized in importing and distributing magazines to the UK, and was for a long time the British subscription agent for Locus.

Haynes set up Fantast Three in 2008 following the death of her father Ken Slater, the well-known fan and bookseller since the 1940s, who ran Operation Fantast & Fantast (Medway) Ltd. ...Read More

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Afrofuturism & Africanfuturism Project in Maine

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced that it has granted the Maine Humanities Council $250,000 to teach people about Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism.

Says Samaa Abdurraqib, Associate Director of the Maine Humanities Council:

People have been really intrigued by these texts that they’ve maybe never heard about before… Or maybe they’ve been curious about sci-fi, and they’ve never read sci-fi by Black and brown authors before.

The program will ...Read More

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Bookstore News

UK bookstore chain Waterstones has arranged to acquire academic bookseller Blackwell’s, which has 18 stores in the UK and also runs Heffers in Cambridge. Waterstones recently acquired bookstore chain Foyles, and the hedge fund that owns Waterstones, Elliott, also owns Barnes & Noble.

See this listing and more like it in the April 2022 issue of Locus.

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Amazon Closing All Bookstores

Amazon announced plans to close all 68 of its US and UK brick-and-mortar shops: Amazon Books, 4-Stars, Pop Ups, and shops carrying toys and home goods. Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in 2015, 5,500 square feet of retail space with another 2,000 for storage, stocked with 5,000-6,000 titles. Amazon grocery stores will remain in operation. “Workers will receive severance or can receive help finding jobs at any company stores ...Read More

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New Home for Uncle Hugo’s

Bookseller Don Blyly has announced on his GoFundMe page that beloved Minneapolis MN specialty store Uncle Hugo’s/Uncle Edgar’s has found a new location, and hopes to open later this year.

We reached agreement on the price of the building that I wanted to buy for the new Uncles location and I passed along the earnest money check to my real estate agent midweek and he passed it along to the ...Read More

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Angry Robot Upgrades

Angry Robot has a new logo and an updated website:

We are happy to share our shiny “Maschinenmensch” inspired logo… designed and created by Kate Cromwell, a senior designer at Watkins Media. The logo goes hand in hand with our new website, which we’ve been soft launching for the past few weeks, and will be featuring on our books, starting with Ciel Pierlot’s Bluebird in February 2022. We feel that ...Read More

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Book Piracy Lawsuit

Penguin Random House, Amazon, and a number of authors including Sylvia Day, RL Stine, Stuart Woods, and John Grisham, have been awarded a total of $7.8 million after suing Ukrainian ebook pirate site Kiss Library.

They sued the site after copyrighted works were made available at discounted prices without permission, and without the publishers or authors receiving payment for the sales.

The judge said, “Given the extent of the piracy ...Read More

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New York Public Library Best Books of 2021

The New York Public Library has announced its lists of the best books of 2021 in various categories, including 100 Best Books for Adults, 50 Best Books for Teens, and 145 Best Books for Kids.

The Adult category includes numerous genre titles, with Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (Tor), Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Ballantine), and Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (Tordotcom), plus many more. The Teen ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Best Books of the Year 2021

Barnes & Noble has announced its list of 11 best books of 2021. Titles and authors of genre interest include:

  • Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
  • Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
  • Under the Whispering Door ,TJ Klune (Tor)
  • The Sentence, Louise Erdrich (Harper)

For more information, including the complete list, see the B&N website.

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Word Horde To Open Emporium

Ross E. Lockhart’s publishing company Word Horde is opening The Word Horde Emporium of the Weird & Fantastic, a brick and mortar store in Petaluma, CA. The Emporium will feature “objects that complement the Word Horde philosophy and aesthetic,” including books from various publishers, games, “curiosities, jewelry, stickers, and so much more.” Lockhart said, “I’ve long daydreamed about building my own store, stocking it with my favorite things, and on ...Read More

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Buhlert Wins Space Cowboy Award

Cora Buhlert received the second annual Space Cowboy Award, given for “support and excellence in the field of Science Fiction.” The award is administered by science fiction bookstore Space Cowboy Books, based in Joshua Tree CA. 2020’s recipients were Gideon and Janice Marcus of Galactic Journey.

For more information, see Buhlert’s announcement.

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Indigo Appoints Ruis As President

Canadian retailer Indigo Books and Music announced that Peter Ruis is taking the position of president.

Previously, Ruis worked for Anthrolpologie, Jigsaw Group, and John Lewis. He currently lives in London with his family and is in the process of moving to Toronto.

In his capacity as President, Mr. Ruis will be responsible for leading the Executive Team, fundamentally reshaping Indigo as a Living with Intention company, and transforming the

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“Read the Room” Virtual Event Series

Tom Doherty Associates, in partnership with 12 independent bookstores, is launching “Read the Room”, a virtual event reading series “meant to bring authors, booksellers, and readers together into the same virtual ‘room.'” Events will be hosted the fourth Wednesday of every month on Crowdcast and will feature authors from Tor, Tor Teen, Forge, Nightfire, and Tordotcom Publishing.

The first event, co-hosted by Loyalty Bookstores, is scheduled for January 27, 2021 ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Cyberattack

Barnes & Noble warned customers via email to be “on high alert” following an October 10 data breach.

While we do not know if any personal information was exposed as a result of the attack, we do retain in the impacted systems your billing and shipping addresses, your email address and your telephone number if you have supplied these… It is possible that your email address was exposed and, as ...Read More

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Powell’s New CEO

Powell’s Books has named Patrick Bassett as its new CEO. Bassett is a business consultant and was previously working with Powell’s as an adviser.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Powell’s permanently closed its store location at Portland International Airport. The store in Beaverton OR is the only Powell’s location to have fully reopened since shutting in March 2020. Its main store in downtown Portland OR remains partially open, and the ...Read More

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Voice of the Heartland Award

Publisher Two Dollar Radio won the 2020 Voice of the Heartland Award, given “to individuals and organizations who uphold the value of independent bookselling and who have made a significant contribution to bookselling in our combined regions.” The award is given by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA) and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA). Nominating bookseller Gary Lovely of Book Loft in Columbus, OH called them “a shining ...Read More

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Powell’s Closes Airport Location

Powell’s Books has permanently closed their location at Portland International Airport, with owner Emily Powell telling The Oregonian that “closing the airport store is a sad necessity as we face the months ahead…. It’s hard for me to imagine our future without the airport, and without the airport’s seasoned team of booksellers. We hope to return one day.”

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Bookstore News

Barnes & Noble fired unspecified number of employees from its head­quarters in New York who’d been on furlough since March – including longtime SF/fantasy and graphic novel buyer James Killen and fiction buyer Sessalee Hensley. A spokesperson said, “It is with great regret that a number of employees in the corporate office have left our employment. As with so many companies, we evaluate our needs in circumstances much changed by ...Read More

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Pandemic Fundraising

NewCon Press has published anthology Stories of Hope and Wonder, with all proceeds going to UK healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19. For more: <www.newconpress.co.uk/info/book.asp?id=164&referer=Catalogue>.

The #Creators4Comics fundraising effort made $433,166 to help bookstores and comic shops impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comics creators auctioned off materials for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, with more than 635 individual auctions held. Writer Kami Garcia was one of the original organizers. She ...Read More

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Chain Bookstore News

Books-A-Million reopened the majority of its stores, previously closed for the pandemic, in early May. Most of their locations are in the South, where restrictions were lifted earlier than elsewhere in the US; the stores are ‘‘following local guidelines for safe and secure shopping.’’ Ceo Terrance G. Finley says, ‘‘Our booksellers stand ready to share the rich assort- ment of new books and products that we have been curating over ...Read More

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Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore Burned Down in Riots

Uncle Hugo’s, the oldest independent science fiction and fantasy bookstore in the US founded in 1974, burned down during the recent riots protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of the shocking death of George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis. As of May 30, at least 250 businesses across the Twin Cities had been damaged or destroyed. Some, including Uncle Hugo’s, were destroyed completely by fire or ...Read More

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Bookstore News

Bookstores are still in dire shape, with the pandemic causing store closures all over. WH Smith in the UK reports that sales were down 25% in March, and in the first week of April they were down 85% over the same period in 2019. They predict similar losses through the end of August, then hope for “gradual improvement in trading through to the end of Decem­ber.” About 60% of their ...Read More

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Pandemic Help

James Patterson extended his philan­thropy toward independent bookstores with a personal donation of half a million dollars to help stores impacted by coronavirus closures. The funds were administered by the Book Industry Charity Foundation, with money to be distributed by May 15, 2020. Patterson joined with the American Booksellers Association in the #SaveIndieBookstores fundraising campaign, which ran in April. The funds “will go toward helping hundreds of indie bookstores across ...Read More

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