World Fantasy Awards Nominees 2011

The World Fantasy Awards were just announced a frew weeks, and it is a doozy of a list! I defy anyone to read the list of nominees for novel of the year and not conclude that these fantasy novels were some of the best literature written this year. The library currently has copies of all the nominees for Best Novel. 

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
“Born into post-apocalyptic Africa to a mother who was raped after the slaughter of her entire tribe, Onyesonwu is tutored by a shaman and discovers that her magical destiny is to end the genocide of her people.” 

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
“Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha—now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi— who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone.”

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
An enchanting and powerful book set in an alternate reality 9th-century China with the usually deft world-buliding from Kay. The story weaves together many disparate threads and characters around Shen Tai, the son of recently killed general. To honor his father, Tai attempts to bury all the dead solidiers from his father’s army. An epic tale of honor with equal parts historical fiction and fantasy.

The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
“Buried under a flash avalanche while skiing, young married couple Jake and Zoe miraculously dig their way out only to discover themselves alone in an eerily silent, evacuated region and unable to contact the outside world.” 

“Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history.”


Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
“Being hired by famously reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass, marked by their animals, live in the shadow of the undertow. Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the underbelly of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she’ll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives – including her own. Set in a wildly re-imagined Johannesburg, it swirls refugees, crime, the music industry, African magic and the nature of sin together into a heady brew.”

Read the full list of nominees here.
Which book gets your vote?

The Oscars of children’s publishing

For some of us, early this morning was as exciting as watching the Academy Awards. Thousands of us were glued to our laptops, trying to get into the American Library Association’s webcast of Youth Media Awards (and maybe there were some, like me, who missed the bus because of this obsession). Thousands more followed on Twitter, and others tried to get the news via websites, all of which were maddeningly s-l-o-w. But we’ve got the winners here, and we’ll add links to the Library catalog so you can get on those hold lists!

John Newbery Medal: This award is given for a “contribution to American literature for children.” I mistakenly have thought of this award as being for books for approximately 8 to 12 year olds, but the official criteria is for children up to (and including) age 14.

The 2009 Newbery Medal Award Winner:graveyard
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens.

Newbery honor books:
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
Savvy by Ingrid Law
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson Continue reading “The Oscars of children’s publishing”