Book Beat: Apex Magazine Hiatus, New Skyhorse Imprint, and A Tolkien Biopic

Hi everyone! It’s Christa, here to take you through the roller coaster of books news from this past week. One of our favourite SFF magazines announced it was going on hiatus, and the developing Children’s Book Guild of DC story was the talk of the WWAC Slack. But there was some good news too for this Book Beat, including a new imprint for crime fiction lovers!

Apex Magazine Goes on Indefinite Hiatus

This past week, Jason Sizemore announced that after ten years, Apex Magazine would be going on indefinite hiatus. The final issue of the science fiction, fantasy and horror magazine will be Issue 120, the Afrofuturism issue guest edited by Maurice Broaddus. It’s been a great run for Apex Magazine. In their ten years, they’ve been nominated for many major awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, Stoker, World Fantasy, and Locus. The magazine has also published some of our favourite authors, such as Cherie Priest, Jacqueline Carey, Walter Mosley, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Theodora Goss.

Apex Magazine, Issue 119, April 2019
Apex Magazine, Issue 119, April 2019

We’ve covered work from Apex many times over the year, especially in our Hugo coverage, so we are sad to see them go (for now — they could come back some day!) The good news is that isn’t the end for Apex. Instead of the magazine, they’ll be turning their focus to the book side of the business, which will include an annual anthology of short fiction. We look forward to whatever they do next and will continue to cover their publications here at WWAC.

Skyhorse’s New Imprint

Skyhorse is joining the world of crime fiction with their new imprint, Arcade Crimewise. Skyhorse has published some crime fiction before, such as the Booker Prize-nominated His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet, and the success of these titles has encouraged the publisher to put even more resources behind the genre. Starting this fall, it will be publishing six to eight new titles each year.

Crimewise’s initial publications will include Benson’s The Blues in the Dark, a crime drama that tackles racism, sexism, and murder in Hollywood in the 1940s (October); W.C. Ryan’s A House of Ghosts, a finalist for the NBA Irish Book Award set during World War I (October); and the second book in Lisa Preston’s feminist/western/mystery Horseshoer series, Dead Blow (November).

Dead Blow, Lisa Preston, Skyhorse, 2019

Children’s Book Guild of DC Harassment

On Monday, author Heidi Heilig shared a story about a colleague author Carole Lindstrom, who dealt with a troubling situation after being invited to a luncheon for the Children’s Book Guild of DC.

While attending this luncheon, Lindstrom was approached by author Jacqueline Jules and asked about Debbie Reese. When Lindstrom tried to remove herself from the conversation, Jules physically grabbed and then followed her for three blocks, continuing to verbally harass her all the while. Then, to make matters worse, when she wrote to the president to report the incident her complaint was shared with the harasser, who was then later named “Author of the Day.”

There has been a call for Children’s Book Guild of DC to apologize to Lindstrom (and Debbie Reese), as well as to implement an actual harassment policy. You can read more details and sign the open letter here.

And for those out there who may need a reminder, Heidi Heilig puts it best:

Tolkien Estate Disavows New Biopic

Next month, a Tolkien biopic starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins is hitting theatres. The movie will focus on Tolkien’s early life when he befriends a group of artists and writers at school, showing how these important friendships develop and inspire him.

I was initially looking forward to the movie, as a Lord of the Rings fan but also as someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about Tolkien’s life. But on Tuesday the Tolkien estate issued a statement that “they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film,” and as such “they do not endorse it or its content in any way.” The estate is known for being careful to protect Tolkien’s legacy, so this announcement wasn’t a big surprise. But with the recent $250 million license deal to Amazon, there was a chance they may have felt differently.

I’ll probably still see this movie, as I am still curious about his life, but I’ll likely be a little more skeptical/analytical of what I see on screen when I do.

Out This Week

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher
The Tiger At Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

The Tiger At Midnight by Swati Teerdhala, Katherine Tegen Books, 2019

Happy Thursday!

Christa Seeley

Christa Seeley

Books Editor. Maple Flavoured Darth Vader Fangirl.