Fantasy writer criticises bookstores for shelf space given to ‘dead guys’

By March 28, 2019 Authors, News

Fantasy and science fiction writer, Fonda Lee, best known for her speculative fiction Zeroboxer, and Exo, recently sparked controversy by speaking out against the over-promotion of classic authors like J.R.R. Tolkien.

Commenting on the shelf space dedicated to ‘dead guys’ such as Tolkien and Robert Jordan, Fonda Lee explained how frustrating and difficult it is for fellow fantasy writers such as herself to sell their own work.

Using Twitter as her platform, Lee posted a photo of bookshelves in her local Barnes & Noble, showing 3 shelves dedicated to Tolkien, and almost 2 shelves just for Jordan. As a Tolkien fan herself, Lee was adamant she was not attempting to discredit the authors, however she felt frustrated that so much space was given to two “dead guys” over fresh and modern fantasy writers.

She may have a point about the saturated market of fantasy and science fiction writers, and the need to give newer writers a fighting chance, however both Tolkien and Jordan were prolific writers and surely deserve space on shelves to showcase their many tomes? Tolkien himself wrote over 35 books, and Jordan had published 14 and a prequel novel- perhaps showing the need for more space for such productive epic fantasy writers.

Let us know what you think!

New Daphne Du Maurier Poems Discovered in Photo Frame

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Daphne Du Maurier ‘s undiscovered poems have been found in an old photo frame containing a snapshot of the young author.

The photograph and frame were owned by Du Maurier’s close friend, Maureen Baker-Munton, who had kept over 40 years worth of correspondence between them. After Baker-Munton’s son put the collection up for auction the letters were discovered by Roddy Lloyd, the auctioneer responsible for selling the items.

The auctioneer was cataloguing the archive when he decided to look more closely at the photograph of young Du Maurier at the beach. “We were going through the last box of documents on my kitchen table, when for some reason I decided to take the picture out to have a better look. When I took it out of the frame, out popped these poems. It looks like they’re from around the 1920s.”

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Charlotte Brontë’s hair found in antique ring

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Charlotte Brontë’s hair has been found hidden inside an antique ring, according to experts.

The ring was brought to jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow by an unnamed woman who claimed it belonged to her late father-in-law.

The ring contains an inscription inside, which bears the name of the author, and the date of her death- 1855. The excited woman explained: “I’ve got goosebumps now thinking about it. It’s got a hinge on it, and inside there’s plaited hair, I think it may be the hair of Charlotte Brontë!”

Geoffrey Munn told the lucky Antiques Roadshow visitor that he had ‘very little reason to doubt’ the ring’s authenticity.

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The Brilliance of Kathy Acker

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Kathy Acker (18th April, 1947 – 30th November 1997) was an American experimental novelist, playwright, and sex-positive feminist writer who shook up the world with her street punk view of the world and her radical writings.

Born in New York City in 1947, Karen Lehman as she was born grew up feeling unloved by a hostile mother and unwanted by a father who abandoned her. Records show that Acker was born in 1947, but the Library of Congress has her birth as 1948 and most of the obituaries at the time of her death cited her birth as 1944.
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Hunter S. Thompson’s Cabin to be Available for Rental

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If you’re a fan of Hunter S. Thompson then you may have a passing internet in Owl Farm, the cabin home where the author and journalist is said to have written Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Until now the cabin has sat uninhabited, visitors unwelcome unless there is an event on in the cabin, but now Thompson’s widow, Anita has decided to make the cabin available to fans.

This isn’t going to be a standard Air BnB listing, the cabin will be available primarily for fans. The details are still being ironed out, but Anita Thompson announced on Facebook that “Our staff will do a light background check and welcome those who love Hunter’s work to be overnight guests at Owl Farm. The applications are open to the public for those who want to be part of the legacy and consist of a paragraph of why you would like to stay at Owl Farm, located between Woody Creek and Lenado. People have been asking for years to see Hunter’s Owl Farm, which is private property,” she continues. “I’ve finally prepared Hunter’s writer’s cabin for this purpose during this season.”

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Valerie Solanas, Author, Radical Feminist, Attempted Murderer

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Valerie Solanas (April 9th, 1936 – April 25th, 1988) was an American radical feminist, author of the SCUM Manifesto, and troubled individual. The Manifesto is one of the best known books in the radical feminist genre, but Solanas is best known for shooting Andy Warhol.

Born in New Jersey, Solanas had a turbulent upbringing, claiming her father regularly sexually abused her. Her parents divorced when she was young, but she also disliked her stepfather and soon descended into rebellion and truancy. After a difficult childhood, Solanas became homeless at fifteen, at seventeen she gave birth to a child who was removed from her care and adopted.

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10 Playful Postmodern Quotes from Donald Barthelme

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Donald Barthelme was an award-winning short story writer and novelist from Philadelphia.

Born in April 1931 to two academic and professional parents, Barthelme began writing as a teen for newspapers. He and his father had many arguments about what area of writing Donald was interested in, with particular disdain for Donald’s love for postmodern literature.

Aged 30, Barthelme had his first short story published while working as director of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Eventually the writer went on to publish over 100 short stories. His strict postmodern style, spattered with non-sequiturs and playful use of language has created waves among both traditional and postmodern writers and critics.

Barthelme’s influences include Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He was described in Time magazine  as an author with “Kafka’s purity of language and some of Beckett’s grim humour.”

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One Comment

  • Paul says:

    I always think of B&N as where folks go to buy gifts. Like parents/grandparents for younger readers. If I am going to buy for myself I am going to buy online almost every time. Mostly for my e-reader now-a-days. And I think those shelves reflect what the buyers hope their younger generation will read? It has been years since I bought a novel that would have been written in the last two years. It’s a WHOLE lot like music! I am still stuck in the 70s and 80s and I have to ask my son who someone is on an awards show or in a video. And I attend cons, 4 or 5 a year and I am very sorry but I am not familiar with Fonda Lee. But I am also guilt of asking ‘who is Joel Hodgson?’ just as he walked up behind me.

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