Archive for November, 2012

Return to Panem with author V. Arrow

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Each season we announce our new titles individually, each in their own post, to give you a little extra background behind the book. If you’ve missed any, you can check them all out here. All of Fall 2012”²s intro posts are here.

For The Panem Companion, our latest companion book, on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy (from Mellark Bakery to Mockingjays), we’ve asked the book’s author, V. Arrow, to write the intro post. Read her thoughts on writing The Panem Companion below! And don’t forget, you can sign up on the book page to get a free excerpt.


If I had known that staying up until 3 a.m. with a carton of ice cream to talk to my best …

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The Panem Companion Victory Tour

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Join V. Arrow as she travels the 13 districts for The Panem Companion Victory Tour!

We didn’t have to fight to the death to publish The Panem Companion, but we still think its impending December 4 release is something to celebrate.

Over the course of the next 13 days–from November 26 to December 12–author V. Arrow will be traveling to 13 “districts” (which some of you may know better as top-notch Hunger Games fansites and book blogs) to share the excitement. Each district will be giving away a copy of The Panem Companion, and will feature an exclusive excerpt from the book! Some of them will also be interviewing V., and hosting other fun activities.

Luckily, following us on the tour doesn’t …

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Assorted Geekery

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As geeks with discerning taste ourselves, we know they can be hard to shop for.

Whether you’re buying gifts for a Potterhead, Whedonite, Twi-hard, or Trekkie–or something that’s too geeky to name–we’ve got the perfect pick.

Harry Potter

  1. The Psychology of Harry Potter. Get inside Harry’s head, with professional help. [From Smart Pop]
  2. Accio Keys Keychain. Know someone who’s always losing their keys? They won’t be able to put down this eye-catching keychain.
  3. Golden Snitch Bracelet. 150 points to whoever wears this bracelet.
  4. Deathly Hallows Necklace. The Deathly Hallows may have originated as a children’s tale, but this necklace will delight Harry fans of all ages.
  5. Harry Potter Lightning Glasses Ring. Give the gift of a (removable) lightning scar.


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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Hunger Games

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We don’t know if they have a winter gift-giving occasion in Panem.

But just in case, we’ve put together a (less deadly) cornucopia of gifts for the Hunger Games fans in your life–all of which can be obtained from the safety of your own home. Because let’s face it–the closer we get to Christmas, the more the mall starts looking like a Hunger Games arena.


  1. The Panem Companion. Shameless self-promotion: our brand new Hunger Games companion, written by V. Arrow (the creator of this super-cool map of Panem), comes out December 4! The grad-school class of Hunger Games books, it answers the hardcore fan’s most burning questions about Panem.
  2. Rue’s Song Print. For the musical Hunger Games fan, this print features the

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Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey (Or, Why We Wanted to Publish a Book About Fifty Shades)

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Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of GreyI admit to a few moments of trepidation when we first announced we were publishing a book about Fifty Shades of Grey.

Dexter, or the Hunger Games, or James Bond–sure, okay,” I imagined you guys saying, seeing the tweet or Facebook post or monthly newsletter. “Plenty to talk about there. Lots of deep and interesting thoughts. But really, Smart Pop, seriously–Fifty Shades of Grey?”

But here’s the thing about Fifty Shades of Grey: It’s more than just a book, at this point. Fifty Shades became a lightning rod for issues like feminism, sexuality (BDSM/alternative and otherwise), domestic violence–even, given the book’s fanfiction roots, issues of authorship and ownership.

Plus, you could practically taste the confusion and conflicted feelings of …

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: The Mortal Instruments

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Does the Clave have a position on the December holidays?

For us, they’re  a time when people are supposed to come together and put aside their differences, and that’s a sentiment with which we think our favorite Shadowhunters and Downworlders would wholeheartedly agree. So we’ve put together a set of gifts for the Mortal Instruments-loving mundane on your list. (Plus, it’s probably pretty hard to find time to shop when you’re busy, you know, saving the world.)

PLEASE NOTE: This gift guide includes official Mortal Instruments merchandise, but also a few endeavors NOT ENDORSED by Cassandra Clare. We’ve marked the official products accordingly, below.

  1. DIY Temporary Tattoos. Use this printable tattoo paper to make runes for your favorite Shadowhunter–no stele required!
  2. Runes Leather

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Hate Fifty Shades of Grey

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Do you feel like you’re being mentally flogged every time Fifty Shades is mentioned (which, let’s face it, is all the time)?

Shopping for someone who sees the Red Room of Pain whenever Christian Grey’s name comes up? Here are some gift ideas that show you feel their pain.


  1. Some good erotica. Know someone who resents Fifty’s claim to erotica fame? Here are some erotica titles they’ll actually enjoy: Bared to You by Sylvia Day; Laura Antoniou’s Marketplace SeriesThe Siren by Tiffany Reisz. (There’s also a whole recommended reading list in the back of Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey!)
  2. Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. One of the most popular Fifty Shades parodies, it’s sure to elicit

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Love Fifty Shades of Grey

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Let’s face it: Most of us do not have Christian Grey’s budget.

Looking for a reasonably priced gift for your Fifty Shades-loving friend? (I.e., something less expensive than a $14,000 edition of Tess of the D’Ubervilles.) We aim to please!


  1. We Aim to Please Bracelet. This silver cuff (made from aluminum) is sure to elicit a “Holy crap!” from a jewelry lover.
  2. Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey. Continuing the shameless self-promotion: Smart Pop’s anthology on the Fifty Shades trilogy “has a little bit of something for everyone,” as Publishers Weekly noted in their review. We recommend flagging these essays for your Fifty loving friend!
  3. Gray Silk Tie. No explanation necessary. (It could also serve double duty as

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

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Winter is coming . . . but so is the holiday gifting season.

Is your present situation looking dire(wolves)? That space under the tree looking kind of, well, Stark? Do you have a list laden with Lannisters?

We have the gift guide for you!


  1. Direwolf Wrapround Scarf. Perfect for warming your friends who live in the cold north. (Would also look great wrapped around a package as decoration!)
  2. Beyond the Wall. Shameless self-promotion: Smart Pop’s anthology on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is a must-read for fans waiting for the next installment (because who knows when that will be?).
  3. Game of Thrones Map Locket. Choose the landmark featured in your locket, whether it’s Kings

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Fifty Shades of Pop Culture

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We’re on the eight day stretch of our Fifty Days of Fifty Shades event! If you’re just joining us, you came in the nick of time; you can learn more about it and our giveaway here.

The seventh and final section of Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey that we’ll be sharing quotes with you from is all about pop culture in the trilogy. We’ll update this post on November 20 with quotes from the eight essays from the Pop Culture section. You can also catch the quotes daily on our Tumblr and Fifty Writers Facebook page.

Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of GreyLearn more about the seventh giveaway:

Until midnight CST on November 19, you can enter right here to win one of eight copies of Fifty

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