The Thursday Book Beat: Hugo Award Nominations Are Causing a Hullabaloo

Spring’s finally arrived in Toronto, and with it, some great new book news for everyone!

Potterheads might not be getting an eighth novel in the Harry Potter series, but J.K. Rowling seems committed to giving her fans new material to devour. She announced that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wouldn’t just be available as a film on November 18, but that the screenplay would also be published on November 19. Newt Scamander’s adventures in the United States may be a balm for readers who can’t get to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, though this announcement also begs the question: why publish the screenplay in the first place when the film will still come out first?

Questions also abound as the 2016 slate of Hugo Award nominations was released on Tuesday afternoon, and more than a few names and titles raised eyebrows and protests. Specifically, an essay by Vox Day (a.k.a. leader of the Rabid Puppies campaign) was nominated for Best Related Work, and Chuck Tingle’s Space Raptor Butt Invasion is up for Best Short Story.

That said, the Hugo nominations also feature some incredible work by women of colour. Michi Trota, managing editor at Uncanny Magazine (which is great, go read it!) and writer Alyssa Wong are making history as the first Filipino women to be nominated! Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Alyssa’s work and of Uncanny Magazine, so this news is doubly exciting. Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemisen are nominated for Best Novella and Best Novel respectively, which means I should probably get to their books in my TBR stack tout de suite. The Hugos will be awarded on August 20, 2016 at MidAmeriCon II.

Finally, as the world mourns the death of Prince, it’s worth looking back at some of the great things he’s done for the book world and readers. Insider Louisville reports that in 2001, Prince made a $12,000 donation to the Western Branch Library in Louisville, Kentucky. This particular location was the first library to hire only African-American staff, focusing on building and helping its African-American community. Prince’s donation may have helped to keep the branch going, and assisted hundreds of patrons by giving them the support that they needed. While he never spoke of it publicly, it’s a choice that shows just one of the ways in which Prince used his platform to give back to his community, and I’m sure that the Louisville Free Library will always be grateful for it.

Angel Cruz

Angel Cruz

Angel Cruz is a writer and boy band scholar. You can also find her at Book Riot for endless discussion and flailing over all things literature. Ice cream, Broadway musicals, and Arashi are her lifeblood.