It’s 2015. We’ve all seen multiplatform publications, right? A paperback book, a deluxe slip-cased hardcover, an app, videos, letter-pressed broadsides. Yeah, The Pickle Index has all that, of course it does, all of it debuting at the same time, today. Yeah, yeah, blah blah. We’ve seen The Silent History and The New World yadda yadda blah blah—what’s this but that a better, funnier, more wholly imagined and exquisitely timed version of all that?
Well, funny you should bring up timing—because you didn’t see center court at Barclays Center on national TV coming, did you? Check it out. And they say the multimedia publishing has never been met. It’ll be a long time before anyone tops this. All hail the creative minds behind the The Pickle Index.
The Los Angeles Times coverage of this year’s Nebula Awards® begins with two suggested tweets:
Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Annihilation’ takes best novel at the Nebula Awards
There’s a fungus among us! Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Annihilation’ wins a Nebula
Perhaps a little background is in order. First off, the Nebula Awards® have been described as “science fiction’s most important award” (Laura Miller, Salon Reader’s Guide) and “the Oscars of the SF/F field” (Locus Magazine). They have been given annually since 1966 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States during the previous year. This year, at the 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation took home the big prize. (As for the fungus tweet, check out the LA Times review of Annihilation.)
The LA Times also notes that Vandermeer’s publisher is “known for literary fiction, not science fiction.” And indeed, so far as we can tell, this is the first Nebula Award for an FSG author. In fairness, they are only fifty years in. And it’s not as if FSG has never had a finalist—check Hild just on last year’s list. Nonetheless, we’re thrilled that the Originals have brought FSG to this milestone.
Meanwhile, unable to attend the ceremony in-person, VanderMeer’s good friend Usman Tanveer Malik accepted the award on his behalf, reading one heck of a speech…
In celebration of GUTSHOT’s first week on bookshelves everywhere here’s a glimpse of some of the passionate praise it’s already inspired.
Buzzfeed Books editor-at-large Isaac Fitzgerald managed to pack his love for GUTSHOT into six powerful seconds (which you’ve at least partially experienced by now—unmute at your own risk), while NPR Books wrote one beautiful literary love letter…
“Calm down,” [Dale] said. “Nobody has to go if they’d rather not. To be clear, the labyrinth is known to possess magic. Some say in the center you discover the one thing you most desire in the world. Others claim that God sits beyond the last bend. Individuals must find out for themselves. Go check out the jam contest if you’re not feeling up to it.”
Are you feeling up to it? Then start the story here and keep going.
Accompanying the piece is an interview with Gray by John McElwee, where the two cover everything from the “natural mix of horror and humor” to the power of brevity.
FIND ME doesn’t hit the shelves for another two weeks but people are already going nuts for this “unforgettable and, against all odds, unique tale.” And since we published Laura van den Berg’s last story collection, The Isle of Youth, as an FSG Original we’re going to jump right on in this parade and celebrate one of the family!
As the movie adaptation of Spare Parts opens across the country (here’s the Washington Post review of “the feel-good story…that’s also pretty darn thrilling”), Joshua Davis has published a bracing and important op-ed in The New York Times about the fundamental difference between the Hollywood version—even when it’s fairly faithful to events—and the real-life version of the story, and what that means for the people involved and, really, America itself. The piece begins:
WHEN audiences watch the movie “Spare Parts” in theaters this month, they will see the kind of Hollywood ending that has eluded the immigration debate in Congress.
The film is based on my reporting about four young immigrants who built an underwater robot. In the movie, which closely reflects the true story, the students enter the nation’s pre-eminent robotics competition, an event sponsored by NASA and the Navy. They win widespread recognition for their accomplishments and, when the movie ends in 2004, their future is bright.
Unfortunately, that’s not how the story really ends.
We won’t ruin the suspense that Josh has worked so hard to build. But the gist is that you need to know the full story, so we encourage you in the strongest possible terms to keep reading here.
On the eve of the release of the movie version of Spare Parts this Friday, the Diane Rehm Show brought together author Joshua Davis with three of the main characters from his book: Oscar Vazquez , the motivated jROTC cadet who became the de facto leader of their land-locked (in a desert!) high school’s underwater robotics team (played by Carlos PenaVega in the movie); Lorenzo Santillan, the auto shop underachiever whose ingenuity saved the day more than once as their jerry-rigged robot took on high-cost machines from team MIT and others (played by José Julián); and Fredi Lajvardi, the unorthodox high school science teacher who came up with the idea that what a group of undocumented, impoverished high school kids needed was to enter a NASA-sponsored robot-building competition (George Lopez, obviously). It’s a remarkable hour of radio. Give it a listen here.