- 2014 Reviewers’ Choice and Career Achievement Winners – Award season is here, so let’s start off with the list of RT Award winners. If you scroll down a ways, you’ll see LITM’s own Rebekah won for Best Novella because she’s awesome.
Today we’re so happy and proud to present the 2014 Reviewers’ Choice and Career Achievement Winners! Let us tell you, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (more tears than you might think!) went into selecting these, the best titles of 2014. Hearty congratulations to all of the winners, thank you for writing such amazing books last year. The award ceremony will take place at the RT Convention in Dallas next month, we hope to see many of you there!
- Finalists for Third Annual Bisexual Book Awards – A little less mainstream than RT, here are the nominees for the Bisexual Book Awards.
The Bi Writers Association (BWA) announced the finalists for their Third Annual Bisexual Book Awards today in 10 book categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Romance, Erotic Fiction/Erotica, Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror], Teen/Young Adult Fiction, Mystery and two special categories: Publisher of the Year and Bi Writer of the Year. The awards are for books published in 2014.
- Bollywood Confidentially: A Hard Look Back – Suleikha Snyder has a sort of “What I’ve Learned” post that’s interesting, but I hate that she concludes that putting brown people on a book cover hurts sales. Her books had such pretty covers, and I don’t want to live in a world where those hold a book back.
Ever have one of those “If I only knew then what I know now” moments? Sometimes, it feels like my entire experience in romance publishing is that moment. More and more, I circle back to what was initially my great joy: my Bollywood Confidential novellas for Samhain Publishing. I was so proud to get these stories out there. And then so demoralized when they did poorly. But I learned a lot and if I could go back, there are so many things I would do differently. Here are just a few.
- Multi-Cultural Romance: Alyssa’s Picks – Alyssa Cole recommends a half-dozen romances featuring people of color.
This month my picks range in pub date and length – some are old, some are new, some are full-length and some of super shorts. But they are all filled with unforgettable characters and make my list for must-reads.
- If someone tells you singular ‘they’ is wrong, please do tell them to get stuffed – Grammar prescriptivism is no way to live, but if you must live by the “rules” of grammar, consider this your invitation to use “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
But more interesting, I think, is Allan’s very sensible attitude to changes in grammar. He’s not one of these tweedy pop-prescriptivists who think that splitting infinitives is a sin; likewise, he acknowledges that the use of “their” as a singular possessive is acceptable. But I want to pick him up on a minor point: he says it “is no longer only the plural possessive adjective”, but is “now acceptable, even if, strictly speaking, ungrammatical.”
Actually, “their” has commonly been used as a singular possessive for rather longer than either Allan or I have been alive. The Oxford English Dictionary‘s first examples of “they” as a singular pronoun come from the 16th century – “Yf… a psalme scape ony persone, or a lesson, or else yt. they omyt one verse or twayne” (1531, from The Pilgrimage of Perfection, by Wynkyn de Worde – thanks to Chook in the comments for clearing up what “Pilg. Perf., W. de W.” was). The first of use of “them” for “him or her” is a rather later 1742 (“Little did I think… to make a… complaint against a Person very dear to you,… but dont let them be so proud… as to make them not care how they affront everybody else”, from Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded). “Themselves” goes all the way back to 1464 (“Inheritements, of which any of the seid persones… was seised by theym self, or joyntly with other”, from the Parliamentary rolls). And “their”, Allan’s particular dislike, was recorded at an unknown year in the 1300s (“Bath ware made sun and mon, Aiþer wit þer ouen light”, from Cursor Mundi).
- The Abuse of Satire – Cartoonist Garry Trudeau talks about satire, freedom of speech and why punching down is an asshole’s game.
Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.
What free speech absolutists have failed to acknowledge is that because one has the right to offend a group does not mean that one must. Or that that group gives up the right to be outraged. They’re allowed to feel pain. Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility. At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious. It becomes its own kind of fanaticism.