Bertelsmann Reorganizes Random House
According to this New York Times article (also posted on BookWire) Bertelsmann AG, the German publishing giant that bought Random House last year and merged it with its other holdings, including Bantam Doubleday Dell, is now reorganizing and consolidating several of its publishing units. Among the changes are the merging of Dell Publishing and Bantam Books; the merging of two religious imprints; and the merging of Anchor Books and Vintage Books into a division of the Knopf Publishing Group.
A spokesman described the changes as a strategy for increasing marketing effectiveness, rather than a move to cut costs. Still, authors and literary agents are concerned that corporate reorganizations like this one ultimately reduce competition and editorial diversity. It's not known if this reorganization will affect any of the various SF imprints within the publishers owned by Bertelsmann, including Bantam Spectra and Ballantine Del Rey.
(Fri 28 May 1999)
Harlan Ellison Wins Audie Award
Harlan Ellison is one of 25 winners of the 1999 Audie Awards, presented by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). Ellison won in the Solo Narration -- Male category for his reading of Ben Bova's City of Darkness, released by Dove Audio. He was also part of the cast of the winning Multi-Voiced Presentation, Titanic Disaster by Tom Kuntz, also released by Dove Audio. Readers included David Ackroyd, Susan Anspach, David Birney, Roscoe Lee Browne, Richard Cox, Harlan Ellison, Richard Gilliland, Mona Golabek, Michael Gross, Patrick Macnee, Gordon Thomson, William Windom, Michael York and others.
(Fri 28 May 1999)
Tricia Sullivan's Dreaming in Smoke (Orion) has won this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award, presented on May 19th at the Science Museum in London. The award goes to the best science fiction novel published in Britain for the first time in the eligibility year (1998), and carries a prize of £1,000, donated by Arthur C. Clarke. This year's shortlist is given here.
Online Price Wars
Amazon started it last week, slashing prices on New York Times bestsellers to 50% off list price. Online rivals Barnesandnoble.com, Borders.com, and Booksamillion followed suit within a day. This means, for instance, you can now buy Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon for just $13.75 plus shipping. Other web retailers are vying for business too: Onsale.com and Outpost.com are offering free shipping.
More: Publishers Weekly article.
Publishers Weekly surveys the many millennium-related books scheduled for publication in the next few months, including several SF titles: Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois's latest theme anthology Armageddons (Ace, December); William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties (Putnam, October), a sequel of sorts to Idoru; a new edition of Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey from NAL in October with a new introduction by the author, for the special price of $20.01; and Edward Gorey's The Headless Bust: A Melancholy Meditation for the False Millennium.
Kurd Lasswitz Awards
Winners of the Kurd Lasswitz Awards, given since 1981 by German SF professionals, were presented at Eurocon '99 in Dortmund, Germany, on May 22nd.
A special committee award was added to the announcement of the German Phantastic Awards (reported in April): to German author Nikolai von Michalwesky, who wrote children's SF in the 1970s under the name Mark Brandis.
Two special ''Nebula Honor Needle'' awards were presented by World SF Director Sam J. Lundwall to writers Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss.
One other set of awards was presented at EuroCon: the German SF Awards, formerly known as the SFCD-Prize. Winners were Andreas Eschbach for Jesus Video -- with the Lasswitz and German Phantastic Awards, his third award in as many days! -- and Michael Marrak's ''Die Stille nach dem Ton'' as best short story.
Locus Online doesn't have a report on the Nebula Awards Weekend to post, but here are some others online:page of photos from Galaxiales 99, held in Nancy, France, in April 1999. Among those pictured are Robert Silverberg, Karen Haber, and Norman Spinrad.
(Tue 25 May 1999)
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