The news that the translators of Dan Brown’s new book Inferno were basically isolated from the world for two months to avoid any chance of them leaking its plot was enough to elicit a collective bewildered shaking of the head at Flavorwire central. Still, it’s not even the batshit craziest thing that publishers have done over the years to avoid details of their precious books leaking before publication — as an industry, publishing has embraced the embargo-based insistence on secrecy so beloved of Hollywood, especially when it comes to books likely to sell in the bazillions (i.e., anything by JK Rowling). Here are some of the craziest schemes concocted to avoid leaks. … Read More
Sometimes, while we’re browsing through book catalogues, or idly pulling things off the shelves in bookstores, as we often do, we are suddenly struck with a sense of deja vu. Haven’t we, um, seen this book before? Of course, there are thousands of examples of different books using the same clip art, which, while lazy, is probably unavoidable, but what about the more nebulous resemblances? After the jump, a few book covers and their suspiciously similar (we won’t say rip-offs, but we sometimes might imply it) pairs. Let us know what you think (or if we missed a particularly egregious one) in the comments! … Read More
Forbes has just published its annual list of the year’s top earning authors, and the results, not unusually, are sure to make aspiring authors of serious literary fiction reconsider their craft. Yes, the big money in 2011 was in genre fiction, with authors of thrillers and YA novels attracting the bulk of the book buyers’ hard-earned dollars. But you already knew that.
In other notable developments, George R.R. Martin makes his debut on the list, thanks to the success of the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones and the attendant skyrocketing book sales he’s been enjoying. We were surprised (though we shouldn’t have been) by just how much money The Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise has made. J.K. Rowling, whose star had been waning a bit (as far as Forbes lists go, anyways), is back, thanks to Pottermore and her upcoming novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, for which she received a reported $8 million advance. And while the race and age breakdowns haven’t changed much at all, female authors are slowly climbing the rankings. Click through to read the full list and our numerical breakdown. … Read More
This week, NPR published their list of the 100 Best YA Novels of all time — as nominated by their readers and then selected by a panel of judges. While we have our reservations about the ranking (Twilight before Earthsea?), the poll reminded us of the fact that no matter how many serious books grace their shelves, every devoted reader has at least one favorite YA series from their childhood (or, um, more recently than that) that they still think is pretty great. After all, of the 100 entries on NPR’s list, almost half of them weren’t novels at all, but rather series of novels at least three books long. So in case you’re wondering what that lingering affinity for Weetzie Bat means for your life on a grand scale, or wondering what strangers on the train think when they see you reading Vampire Academy, we’re here to help. Click through to find out what your favorite YA series says about you, and let us know if we’ve got you pegged — or if we’re totally off the mark — in the comments. … Read More
Recently, we read an article over at The Millions about the state of fan-fiction — a genre of writing written by fans that uses worlds and/or characters from already published fiction — and dissecting its stigma. While some authors support, or at least tolerate, the practice, others vehemently oppose it, citing monetary issues as well as feelings of personal violation and another sentiment that roughly translates to “if you were really creative, you’d make up your own characters.” Funnily enough, of all the big-name fantasy and science fiction authors that have spoken out on the subject, J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer seem to be the most comfortable with the idea, though perhaps that’s only because they’re the two biggest authors among the teen girl set right now — and let’s face it, there’s no real way to stop a horde of rampaging teenage girls when they set their sights on something. You may as well just accept it.
In his Time article on the subject, Lev Grossman points out, “When Virgil wrote The Aeneid, he didn’t invent Aeneas; Aeneas was a minor character in Homer’s Odyssey whose unauthorized further adventures Virgil decided to chronicle. Shakespeare didn’t invent Hamlet and King Lear; he plucked them from historical and literary sources. Writers weren’t the originators of the stories they told; they were just the temporary curators of them. Real creation was something the gods did.” However, with today’s strict intellectual property and copyright laws and the advent of the Internet, things have definitely changed. Click through to read what some of the most popular and oft-borrowed-from authors have to say about fan-fiction, and let us know your own feelings about the genre in the comments! … Read More
Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. It’s a pretty light week, with only five new trailers to share, though they include new films from Toni Collette, Michael Sheen, Andy Serkis, and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, as well as the David Cronenberg-Robert Pattinson collaboration that you never knew you wanted. Check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we examined the last words of 25 geniuses. We argued over Nerve’s rankings of Terrence Malick’s limited filmography. We watched Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Moby, and Stephen Merritt sing “Science Fiction Double Feature” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We were amused by some… Read More
The American Library Association’s list of 2010′s most frequently challenged books came out this week, and so we decided to get Sarah Murphy and Joelen Pastva to weigh in on the controversy. Murphy is a school librarian and is a co-founder (with Maria Falgoust) of the Desk Set, “a social and philanthropic group for librarians and bibliophiles” here in New York, and Pastva has worked in both public and research libraries. Also, it’s the end of National Library Week, so what better way to celebrate contested books than to check out one about gay penguins at your local library? We’ve included their responses below, as well as the reasons the books were contested by parents, educators, and other “concerned individuals.” … Read More
Forbes has published a list of the year’s highest-paid authors, and it’s a rather illuminating look at the way that the industry works. What do we mean? JK Rowling didn’t publish anything this year, and yet she still managed to rake in $10 million. James Patterson, who tops the list at $70 million, made $500 million for his publisher over the past two years. (One of every seven books sold in the US is his.) All of the highest-paid writers are white, and none of them are under the age of 36. Want to know more? Click through for the full list, and our breakdown of the numbers. … Read More