Ray Bradbury, the internationally–perhaps even universally–acknowledged master of science fiction “whose imaginative and lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America,” as theNew York Times put it, died on Tuesday after a long illness. He was 91.
His best-known works included Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked. He received the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
“By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream,” the Times observed, noting that more than eight million copies of his books have been sold in 36 languages.
In July, Morrow is publishing Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle consisting of short stories by 26 authors, including Ramsey Campbell, Harlan Ellison, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffenegger, Dave Eggers and Jacquelyn Mitchard. – Shelf Awareness
Amazon Publishing has bought the rights to more than 3,000 backlist titles–mostly romance, mystery and westerns–published by Avalon Books (not to be
confused with the Avalon Publishing Group, which Perseus bought in 2007). The titles will be published under Amazon’s West Coast imprints, including Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer.
Amazon plans to digitize the titles, which have not yet been sold as e-books, and is seeking rights for some of the older titles for which Avalon does not have e-rights. The books will continue to be available in print for booksellers and libraries.
Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen, publisher of Avalon Books since 1995 and daughter of founder Thomas Bouregy, said, “It is time for me to explore the next chapter of my life. I chose Amazon Publishing because they care deeply about the writers, readers, and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future. I am pleased they have asked me to assist during a period of transition to provide continuity and support for our authors.”
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In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write “somethingnew–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald’s finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning–” Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.
It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means–and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel’s more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.
Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not
know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, andThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up