September 24, 2015

Upcoming Literary Excitement

It's fall (supposedly -- the heatpocalypse continues in Silicon Valley), and I am excited about so many literary happenings coming up this season. I've been counting the days until some amazing book releases and movie adaptations, and I'm delighted to be heading to a big book event in November. Here's what has me full of anticipation:

Book releases from favorite authors: October 6 will be the best book day of the year for me, because it's publication day for two authors I adore, Ann Leckie and Rainbow Rowell.

ANCILLARY MERCY is the third and final book in Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy, an epic, universe-spanning tale with a fascinating protagonist who was once the artificial intelligence of a spaceship. Last year I enthused about the first book and then had even more praise for the second. I'm expecting more of the vivid characters, clever worldbuilding, and tense adventure in the final installment.

In 2014, I devoured everything Rainbow Rowell has published after I read and loved FANGIRL. That novel features a main character who writes fanfiction based on the Simon Snow series, a sort of Harry Potter analogue inside the world of the story. Rowell's upcoming release, CARRY ON, is about Simon Snow and his magical world, based on the imaginary book series she created while writing FANGIRL. It's a strange and meta concept, and I'll admit it wasn't something I was hoping would exist in the world, but since Rainbow Rowell is writing it, I'm sure it will be fun and unexpected and emotional and great.

Movie adaptations of books I love: On the whole, I'm pleased when good books are turned into movies, and while I have seen some terrible film adaptations, I've found many to be good or even excellent. I have high hopes for two movies coming this fall.

I really enjoyed THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, and the book's fast-paced plot and cinematic setting scream for an on-screen depiction. I've been excited since learning that a movie was being filmed, and my anticipation has grown with each publicity video I've watched. These cleverly report on the mission to Mars as if it were real, and even Neil deGrasse Tyson got in on the act. I can't wait, and I don't have to wait much longer, because the movie opens October 2.

Emma Donoghue's ROOM blew me away, but I wouldn't have picked it as a good candidate for movie adaptation because of its extreme interiority, in two senses: the story takes place inside a single room, and much of what makes it fascinating is the five-year-old mind of the narrator. However, Donoghue wrote the screenplay and was very involved in the production of the movie, and that bodes well for the results. I'm intrigued to watch this film, which will be in released in select cities mid-October and widely in early November.

Book Riot Live!: I follow the Book Riot media empire (a site, several podcasts, and so on), and when they announced their first convention, I thought it sounded cool but didn't intend to travel to New York City for it. But months later, while planning an unrelated New York trip, I realized the dates lined up. I'll be attending Book Riot Live November 7 and 8, and I'm just thrilled.

The lineup of speakers is amazing. I'm especially excited about two of them: Margaret Atwood has long been a favorite and is coming out with another of my anticipated fall releases, THE HEART GOES LAST. N.K. Jemisin wrote the fantasy duology I read last year, THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN. I hope to read the work of several other participants before the con. Or maybe I'll just run around squeeing for the next six weeks.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ At Book Riot, A.J. O’Connell interviews cartographers who make fictional maps for books about their process: "For the second book in Blake Charlton's Spellwright series, Spellbound, [Rhys] Davies and the author worked together to create a map of a city, and Davies found that he needed to make the city believable; he and the author had to decide on a workable street pattern and Davies had to draw buildings that corresponded with the income of the inhabitants in certain neighborhoods."

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