Welcome back, Constant Readers! I have some exciting news and updates.
1.Name That Book! Department!
At long last, we have a better format for the Name That Book! feature!
Just as I was preparing to put the site on its annual winter hiatus, author Carlie St. George Tweeted about how our wonderful readers helped her locate a long-lost book she had been looking for.
Through the magic of the internet, I suddenly found myself buried in requests from other readers looking to be reunited with their fondly-but-dimly remembered YA favorites. To give you an idea of scale, I usually get 5-10 requests a month, and I got over 500 comments and e-mails in 24 hours.
It had been my intention to migrate Name That Book! over to a better format, since the single page has become quite cumbersome to read and comment on since I added it in 2017.
The new Name That Book! page is now live. You can browse the hundreds of new requests and share your solutions and suggestions by clicking HERE.
And the best part of this new format is that you can post solutions and suggestions right away, no need to wait for me to update: simply hit comment!
All of the old requests migrated over from the old page, including those that were “solved”.
Any “lost” requests and solutions and suggestions that were submitted as a comment (on or before December 2, 2022) or via e-mail (as of today, February 14, 2023) are available now. If you submitted something within that time frame and can’t find it with a search (search box is on the right sidebar) drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Passages Department:
I wanted to note the death of author Marijane Meaker on November 21, 2022; under the penname M. E. Kerr she wrote some of the most interesting and unusual YA fiction of the era, including Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!, I’ll Love You When You’re More Like Me, If I Love You Am I Trapped Forever? and Deliver Us From Evie.
As Vin Packer she published the revolutionary lesbian pulp and YA-adjacent novel Spring Fire; and she published dozens of other novels and short stories under various pseudonyms over the course of her 50+ year career.
3. Odds And Ends Department:
During my blogging hiatus I read a non-YA Lost Classic in the form of Harold Frederic’s 1896 bestseller The Damnation of Theron Ware, a book that I can’t stop talking about and no one else has seems to have heard of. A satirical view of religion, small town life, and (mostly) a man who thinks that he’s much smarter than he is and cannot stop digging that hole, I highly recommend it.
I mention it here, because I also had a cartoonishly “A-HA!” moment late one night while pondering that the names of two of the characters, Father Forbes and Dr. Ledsmar, seemed kind of… familiar… and I suddenly remembered that “Forbes & Ledsmar” was the name of the department store in Secrets of the Shopping Mall. So I guess Richard Peck must have also read it the last 100 years.
4. Shameless Self-Promotion Department:
And finally, I am both proud and humbled to share that the collection Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985, which includes my piece on YA speculative fiction of the era “Coming of Age Between Apocalypses: Young Adult Fiction and the End of the World”, continued to garner rave reviews, as well as earning an Aurealis Award, a Locus Award, and nominations for a Hugo and a British Fantasy Award.
In March 2022, editors Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette hosted a two-day symposium on the book, featuring many of the contributors in partnership with the legendary City Lights Bookstore; sessions are available to view in full on YouTube.
Congratulations to Iain, Andrew and all of my fellow contributors! Dangerous Visions and New Worlds is available from PM Press and wherever fine books are sold.
Thanks you for sticking it out with me for the long delay in this new year, and looking forward to reading another years worth of Lost Classics!
So cool about the Name that Book feature!
And damn, we’ve really lost some incredible authors the past few years.
That’s so wonderful about your book! Congrats! It’s on my to-read list (which is an actual, frequently updated and expanded list).
Aw, thanks! And thank for your continued readership, especially during what turned out to be an extra-long “vacation”. Looking forward to the new year!
Wow! What a lot of news. I’ll have to take a look at The Damnation of Theron Ware, maybe in ten years. How cool that you caught the Peck reference. That is some awesome knowledge right there. Glad to hear everything it going well.
It’s so good! Thanks for sticking it out through the hiatus, looking forward to reviewing on a regular schedule shortly!
I was so heartbroken to hear about M.E. Kerr. She lived a full and fascinating life, but the world’s still a little sadder without her in it.
Excited for all the updates, though! You’re my favourite book blogger – I love that you’re getting the recognition you so richly deserve, even if it’s a little overwhelming. 😉
I know! I am definitely going to review some of her books this year, probably sooner rather than later…
And thank you for your kind words and long-time readership, and sticking it out through a longer-than usually holiday hiatus 😉Looking forward to getting back to regular reviews soon!
Congratulations on the book! How exciting!
Richard Peck was such a fantastic writer. I absolutely adored Ghosts I Have Been. Little Julian’s fate was heart-breaking.
One of M.E. Kerr’s lesser known books was The Son of Someone Famous, which I loved in the ’80s. Very subtle story telling and characterization.
I can’t remember if I’ve recommended this before but you really should review a campy little novel from 1980 called The Last of Eden, about lesbianism at a boarding school.
Thank you! And thank you for the rec on The Last of Eden, I added it to my suggestion list!
And as far as ME Kerr goes, I don’t want to totally show my hand…. but stay tuned later this week 😉