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2015 Hugo Award Winners Announced

The winners of the 2015 Hugo Awards for science fiction and fantasy works were presented on August 22 at the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention (known as Worldcon or “Sasquan”) in Spokane, Washington.

The winners included:

  • Best Novel: Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translation by Ken Liu (Tor Books)
  • Best Graphic Story: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt
  • The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Wesley Chu
  • Best Novellette: “The Day The World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, translation by Lia Belt in Lightspeed Magazine, April 2014

Awards were not given in five of the Hugo’s 17 categories — Best Novella; Best Short Story; Best Related Work; Best Editor, Short Form; and Best Editor, Long Form — due to a controversy involving the voting process.

The Bookseller reported the award process was skewed by two campaign groups that allegedly tried to influence the vote so that the awards would go to right-wing authors. This led authors and award nominees Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet to withdraw from the awards in protest. The authors also encouraged voting members — anyone who paid to attend the 2014, 2015, or 2016 WorldCon — to reject the slate of finalists.

Three Women Named Finalists for 2015 Thurber Prize

Three women have been selected as the finalists for the 2015 Thurber Prize for American Humor, ensuring that for the first time ever the winner will be a woman.

This year’s finalists are Roz Chast (Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Bloomsbury); Annabelle Gurwitch (I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities and Survival Stories From the Edge of 50, Blue Rider Press); and Julie Schumacher (Dear Committee Members, Doubleday).

To qualify for the 2015 Thurber Prize, an author’s book of humor writing had to be published in the U.S. between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014.

The winner will receive a $5,000 prize and a commemorative crystal plaque at a ceremony at Caroline’s on Broadway in New York City on September 28.

BISG Reveals Shortlists for Most Valuable BISG Volunteer, Industry Champion

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has announced the shortlists for its Most Valuable BISG Volunteer Award and Industry Champion Award. BISG will present the awards at its annual meeting on September 18.

The Most Valuable Volunteer award honors a volunteer at BISG’s commitment to solving industry challenges and finding new opportunities by working collaboratively with industry peers.

The shortlist for this year’s award features:

  • Connie Harbison, Chair of the Subject Codes Committee and Director of Quality Assurance, Baker & Taylor
  • Michael Olenick, Chair of the Thema Working Group of Subject Codes Committee and Business Analyst, Bowker
  • Richard Stark, Chair of the Metadata Committee and Director of Product Data, Barnes & Noble, Inc.
  • Catherine Toolan, key contributor to the Metadata Committee’s ONIX 3.0 Implementation Working Group and Eloquence Manager, Firebrand Technologies

The Industry Champion Award recognizes an individual whose efforts have gone above the requirements of his or her position to advance the publishing industry while embracing BISG’s mission.

The shortlist for Industry Champion features:

  • Peter Balis, Vice President and Director, Corporate Development, Wiley
  • Graham Bell, Executive Director, EDItEUR
  • Patricia Payton, Senior Manager of Publisher Relations and Content Development, Bowker
  • Fran Toolan, “Chief Igniter” and CEO, Firebrand Technologies

HarperCollins India Gets New CEO

Ananth Padmanabhan has been named CEO of HarperCollins India; he will undertake overall responsibility for all divisions, starting in October.

Padmanabhan has 20 years of publishing experience, most recently as senior vice president of sales at Penguin Random House. Padmanabhan will report to Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins UK.

HarperCollins has also announced the formation of a new HarperCollins India Board, which will include Redmayne and Padmanabhan, among others.

Mississippi Book Festival Attendance Exceeds Expectations

The turnout for the first annual Mississippi Book Festival on August 22 far exceeded pre-event estimates, reported the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

Festival director Holly Lange’s estimation of festival attendance came to 2,500 to 3,500 people, more than the 1,000 people initially predicted by a state economic impact survey, the newspaper reported.

The festival featured more than 100 writers on panels around the state Capitol grounds in Jackson. A seminar with Mississippi natives John Grisham and Bill Ferris attracted a standing-room-only crowd.

The festival, which was created to raise money for state literacy initiatives while celebrating Mississippi’s rich literary history, was organized by University Press of Mississippi, Lemuria Books in Jackson, the Mississippi Library Commission, and various state arts organizations, and was supported in part by the Mississippi State Legislature.

Along with Lemuria Books owner John Evans, the festival’s Board of Directors included a number of other independent bookstore owners: Jamie Kornegay, owner of Turnrow Book Co. in Greenwood; Richard Howorth, co-owner of Square Books in Oxford; and Scott Naugle, co-owner of Pass Christian Books/Cat Island Coffeehouse in Pass Christian.

Ingram Publisher Services Adds Three Publishers

Ingram Publisher Services recently added three publishers to its client list: Pajama Press, Rocky Nook and Dalkey Archive Press.

Based in Toronto, Canada, Pajama Press is a literary children’s press that produces picture books, board books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, and juvenile nonfiction.

Rocky Nook in Santa Barbara, California, is dedicated to helping photographers master the art, craft, and technology of photography; it publishes coffee table and instructional photography books.

Dalkey Archive Press, which maintains an office in Illinois and will soon open another at the University of Houston-Victoria in Texas, is a nonprofit literary press that publishes literature in translation and works by overlooked Anglophone authors. Dalkey’s previous distributor was Columbia University Press.

Campaign Asks Book Bloggers to Visit Their Local Indie Bookstores

The #atmybookstore Twitter campaign was started on August 17 by YA blogger Nicole Brinkley of YA Interrobang and Bloggers Heart Books to encourage bloggers to post “shelfies” on Twitter to support their local bookstores. Those who tweet shelfies (pictures of themselves and/or their surroundings at a bookstore) by August 31 will be eligible to win prize packs donated by supporting publishers.

On August 20, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, blogged about the challenge and quoted campaign creator Brinkley: “There are few places that bibliophiles love more than a bookstore. . . But we’re told bookstores are failing, or that nobody visits them. We sometimes forget to mention them amidst the online sales and quick Internet purchases, or choose to pre-order books through easy online forms instead of visiting a local store and ordering through them. Let’s show our bookstores some love.”

Twitter results for the #atmybookstore campaign can be seen here.