Head of Zeus Launches New Imprint

Head of Zeus announced a new imprint, Ad Astra, which will publish “the best high-concept SFF our world can offer.” Cixin Liu will be Ad Astra’s “talisman.”

Ad Astra will launch six books on October 1, 2020: Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow; Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott; Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu; Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker; The Lost Colony by A.G. ...Read More

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Publishing News

In June, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, sent a memo to staff outlining plans to change their leadership structure. “It is clear that we have to change who occupies the seats at the table when the important decisions are being made.” They plan to create a new Trade Manage­ment committee with 13 members “who will meet regularly to decide on the key issues for Macmillan” and “focus on running the ...Read More

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Agency News

Dawn Frederick, owner of St. Paul MN-based agency Red Sofa Literary, is at the center of an ongoing controversy. On May 28, 2020, during protests following the death of George Floyd in the Twin Cities, Frederick tweeted, “The gas station at the END OF MY BLOCK is officially getting looted. Calling the police right now to let them know as someone will need to board up this place.” (Her Twitter ...Read More

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Internet Archive Suspends Lending

The In­ternet Archive ended their “National Emergency Library” program on June 16, 2020, two weeks earlier than planned, following lawsuits by four publishers. The suit, filed in New York federal court, alleges “willful mass copyright infringe­ment” and argues that, “despite the Open Library moniker, IA’s actions grossly exceed legitimate li­brary services, do violence to the Copyright Act, and constitute willful digital piracy on an indus­trial scale.” The Association of American ...Read More

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Photo Story: Fenners Take Over Spectrum

ARNIE FENNER retired as senior art director at An­drews McMeel on May 29, 2020. He & CATHY FENNER will take over as directors of the Spectrum Fantastic Art competi­tion and editors of the annual Spectrum art book, replacing JOHN FLESKES, beginning with the 28th competition this Fall. The Fenners founded the compe­tition in 1994 and ran it until Fleskes took over in 2013. Further announce­ments regarding the new advisory ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, July 2020

Milestones

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN (and two other investors) have purchased 18 miles of abandoned railway connecting the historic depot in Lamy NM with Santa Fe. Martin plans to restore the line as a tourist attraction and film shooting venue by 2022.

MEHDI BEL ABBES is now represented via the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

TOBI OGUNDIRAN is now represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Awards

Writer ELIZABETH KNOX was appointed ...Read More

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Bundoran Press Closes

Bundoran Press Publishing House has announced that it will cease operations by October 30, 2020. No new contracts will be signed, and all previously contracted books have been published. They will continue to sell books on their website and other platforms until that date. Authors and editors can request rights reversion at an earlier date; otherwise, all rights will revert at the end of October.

Hayden Trenholm spoke on behalf ...Read More

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Book News

Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games sequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes sold about 270,000 hardcovers in its first week following a May 19, 2020 release, according to NPD Bookscan. Publisher Scholastic says 500,000 copies sold in all formats. That accounts for a good chunk of the 13.22 million print books sold that week, up from 12.52 million the week before.

Lethe Press has suspended their Transcendent series of year’s best ...Read More

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DC Drops Diamond

Comics giant DC has end­ed its 25-year relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors, telling retail customers that future or­ders will be fulfilled by the newly created Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors (for peri­odicals), and Penguin Random House (for graphic novels and collections). DC says, “We recognize that, to many of you, this may seem like a momen­tous decision. However, we can assure you that this change in DC’s distribution plans ...Read More

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Publishing News

What if you held a book fair, but nobody came? The annual Frankfurt Book Fair is still scheduled for October 2020 (albeit at a smaller than usual scale), but Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Lagardere Publishing, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and numerous smaller publishers have announced that they will not attend or exhibit, though many plan to take part in the fair’s virtual activities. Although Canada is the “guest of ...Read More

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Fantasy Magazine Relaunch

John Joseph Adams has announced the relaunch of Fantasy magazine, with issue #61 scheduled for November 2020. Fantasy will be joining “sister-magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare under the same publishing umbrella”. Adams has named Christie Yant and Arley Sorg as co-editors-in-chief of Fantasy. From this point forward, all three magazines will be co-published by Adams and Yant under the name Adamant Press.

Fantasy Magazine’s format will differ slightly from its sister-magazines ...Read More

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Publishing News Roundup

French company Vivendi has purchased 10.6% of stock in multimedia giant Lagardere (parent company of Hachette, and owner of the largest publisher in France). Vivendi owns France’s second-biggest publisher, Editis. Lagardere’s board is in a struggle with one of their major shareholders, hedge fund Amber Capital, which wants to replace current Lagardere directors and leadership as ‘‘a referendum on the management of the last seventeen years.’’ Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore ...Read More

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Free Reads

Readings of Gene Wolfe‘s short stories ‘‘A Criminal Proceeding’’, ‘‘The Death of the Island Doctor’’, and ‘‘La Befana’’ can be found on The Gene Wolfe Appreciation Society Facebook group for the duration of the pandemic: <www.facebook.com/groups/2230578996/videos/>. Permission was arranged via Vaughne Hansen of the Virginia Kidd Agency.

Harry Potter at Home is adding to its free offerings from J.K. Rowling’s series, with videos and audio of celebrity narrators reading Harry ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, June 2020

Milestones

BROOKE BOLANDER is now represented by DongWon Song of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.

J.K. ROWLING‘s Harry Potter character Salazar Slytherin (who could speak to snakes) provided the name for a new species of pit viper, Trimeresurus salazar, discovered by researchers in India.

Locus assistant editor JOSH PEARCE & EMILY DOAN are the parents of LUCA DOAN PEARCE, born May 15, 2020.

NEIL GAIMAN left New Zealand to ...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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Publishing Day of Action

Organizers have designated June 8, 2020 as a “a day of action in solidarity with the global uprisings in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the many, many others in the long history of Black people murdered by the state.” Nearly 1,500 people signed a “Statement of Solidarity from Workers Across Publishing” posted over the weekend as a public Google document (it ...Read More

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Print Sales Rebound in Early May

According to NPD Bookscan, print sales for the week ending May 2, 2020 were strong, and the closest to a ‘‘normal’’ week since widespread shelter-in-place orders went into effect across the US in March and April: 12.24 million books sold, up from 11.04 million the prior week. Sales for the same week in 2019 were only 11.58 million.

Adult sales in particular rebounded, selling 7.8 million books, over 6.26 million ...Read More

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Penguin Classics Launches Science Fiction Series

Penguin Classics plans to “celebrate science fiction as the essential genre of modern times” with a new series of science fiction classics. Titles launching in August include Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Flatland by Edwin Abbott, and Ten Thousand Light-years from Home by James Tiptree, Jr. Penguin also plans to publish well-known international science fiction translated into English, such as The Hair Carpet Weavers by Andreas Eschbach (Doryl Jensen, translator) ...Read More

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Karp New Simon & Schuster CEO

Jonathan Karp has been named president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, taking over after former president Carolyn Reidy died unexpectedly of a heart attack on May 12. He was promoted from president of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, where he oversaw key books like What Happened by Hillary Clinton, Fear by Bob Woodward, and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. He plans to “continue to build on the strong foundation ...Read More

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New Rowling Book Serialized

J.K. Rowling will publish a new children’s book, The Ickabog, with free chapters appearing online every weekday in 34 installments from May 26 – July 10, 2020.

The complete version will be published in November 2020 by Scholastic in the US and Little, Brown in the UK, with all royalties being donated to “help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic.”

Rowling is holding an illustration competition for ...Read More

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Free Reads

Numerous authors, editors, and pub­lishers are offering free material for readers stuck in isolation, including several of genre interest.

J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, Audible, Overdrive, Pottermore, and Scholastic launched the “Harry Potter at Home” initiative, making the ebook and audiobook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone free, and issuing a general read-aloud license for teachers so they can read from the book on video. There are also special activities for ...Read More

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Moore Wins Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant

B. Sharise Moore won a $5,000 grant, one of several given to artists and writers around the world by the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Her debut novel, YA historical fantasy Dr. Marvellus Djinn’s Odd Scholars, is forthcoming from MVmedia.

For more information, including the list of finalists and recipients, see the Sustainable Arts Foundation website.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, May 2020

Milestones

Actor and writer AYDREA WALDEN will be Toastmaster for the 2020 Nebula Awards, to be pre­sented online May 30, 2020.

Brothers and video game devel­opers CHRIS & TIM STAMPER have joined the John Jarrold Literary Agency and will work on multime­dia projects.

ROBERT MARCHBANK is now represented by the John Jarr­old Literary Agency.

ANDY LIVINGSTONE is now represented by the John Jarrold Lit­erary Agency.

Awards

RICHARD POWERS‘s The ...Read More

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Nightmare Magazine Staff Changes

John Joseph Adams will step down as editor of Nightmare magazine after issue #100 in January 2021, with with author and editor Wendy N. Wagner taking over. Adams will remain editor of Lightspeed and publisher of both magazines.

Adams said:

If you’re a diligent Nightmare reader, you’re already familiar with her editorial contributions: She was the guest editor for our Queers Destroy Horror! special issue back in 2015. But in ...Read More

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LSC Bankruptcy

LSC Communications, the largest book printer in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April. The company plans to continue operations “in the ordinary course” and says it will “pay vendors in full under customary terms for all goods and services received on or after the filing date.” They are negotiating with lenders to restructure financially, but are required to “conduct a marketing process for the sale of ...Read More

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Publishing News

On April 1, 2020 Bertelsmann completed its $675 million purchase of the last 25% of Penguin Random House owned by Pearson. Ber­telsmann plans to simplify the board structure, and Pearson’s two seats on the board are expected to be replaced. PRH US CEO Madeline McIntosh wrote to staff with some rare good news: regular employees not otherwise eligible for bonuses will receive $856 following strong 2019 financial results.

HarperCollins UK ...Read More

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Apex Relaunch

Jason Sizemore has announced that Apex magazine will relaunch in January 2021, on “a new bi-monthly publication schedule with one issue every two months for a total of six issues a year. The amount of yearly fiction published will remain the same as before, but this will allow for a more manageable production schedule of the zine.” He plans to run a subscription drive and a Kickstarter in July 2020 ...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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Internet Archive Controversy

The Internet Archive announced a controversial “National Emergency Library” initiative, making nearly 1.5 million ebooks available for unrestricted borrowing through at least June 30, 2020, “to make a real difference for the nation and the world” during the pandemic. The Internet Archive is a private non-profit and has no legal right to give away these ebooks, most of which remain under copyright.

Authors may email <info@archive.org> with “National Emergency Library ...Read More

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Layoffs at Macmillan and Tor

Macmillan (parent company of Tor, Tor.com Publishing, St. Martin’s, and others) has instituted layoffs company-wide, reduced pay for some employees, and has frozen hir­ing, effective April 2, in response to the projected impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Employees laid off include Tor executive editor Diana Gill, senior editor Melissa Frain, and editor Diana Pho; their last day is May 1. The sal­ary reductions are expected to last through June and ...Read More

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Bertelsmann to Become Climate Neutral

Bertelsmann, the parent company of Penguin Random House, has pledged to become climate neutral by 2030. They plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% as compared to 2018, and to pay for offsets for the remainder. The company joins 800 other organizations worldwide as part of the Science Based Target Initiative. Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe says, “Protecting the environ­ment is part of our corporate values.” They plan to ...Read More

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Riverdale Avenue Acquires Circlet Press Titles

Riverdale Avenue Books has acquired over 170 titles from SF erotica publisher Circlet Press, founded in 1992 by Cecilia Tan. The entire backlist will remain in print under the Circlet name. Tan says, “I’ve always been impressed with Riverdale Avenue’s rapid growth. I always said I would never sell until I found someone who could do the job better than me, and I found that person” in Riverdale founder Lori ...Read More

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