I know I say this every year, but I mean it, sincerely, every time: the books we have coming are the smartest, best, most gratifying bunch of books we’ve had yet.
It might be a little easy to miss, with all the other films-based-on-YA-books excitement going on this year (Hunger Games! Mortal Instruments! Ender’s Game!), but the second Percy Jackson film, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, is out in theaters August 7. (With Nathan Fillion! Stanley Tucci! Anthony Stewart Head! Sean Bean! Not to mention a pretty awesome looking movie poster. We’re pretty excited, is what we’re trying to say here.)
Accordingly, we’re bringing out Demigods and Monsters – Expanded Edition, an updated edition of one of our bestselling Smart Pop titles, with three terrific new essays from J & P Voelkel (who do a little comparative mythology work by imagining Percy and friends on a trip to South America), Hilary Wagner (with an ode to Hades and demigod son Nico), and Hilari Bell (with a useful reminder on the differences between demigods in ancient Greece and modern America).
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Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern
Edited by Todd McCaffrey
Putting together anthologies is always a pretty incredible experience; you get to work with 15-20 great authors, instead of just the one, and you end up with a whole varied set of voices and views. But there’s just something special about working on a book like this one—a collection in tribute to someone whose made other people’s lives better and richer and more meaningful.
A few months after Anne McCaffrey passed, we reached out to her son, Todd (who wrote the last few Dragonriders of Pern books with her, and continues it now without her), and the result is this book: 24 of Anne’s fellow science fiction authors, co-writers, family, friends, and fans—David Brin, Lois McMaster Bujold, David Gerrold, Mercedes Lackey, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Elizabeth Moon, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and a lot more—writing about her and her work.
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The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York: Inside the Cafés, Clubs, and Neighborhoods of HBO’s Girls
Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin
We loved The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. It’s smart, it’s surprising, and it has a recipe for what I swear is the best gazpacho I’ve ever had (and that’s with me making it; I can only imagine what someone whose actually competent in the kitchen could do with it). I learned so much not just about Mad Men, but about the mid-century history of food, and the history of New York.
So when Judy and Peter proposed a guide to Girls—we couldn’t say no. It’s a very different book than The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook; it’s styled as a sort of annotated travel guide–with over 100 full color images, for the traveler who likes to visit from a distance. But it shares the same appreciation for the way place and time affect story and the same eye for telling detail. Plus, Café Grumpy gave them their bundt cake recipe.
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Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
We posted about Fic back when we first acquired it last fall, back when—as with nearly all books one acquires—was just a proposal and a promise. But I’m very happy to report that the end result more than lives up to that promise.
Anne’s put together a terrific, smart, in-depth look at fanfiction and fanfiction communities—by, among other things, treating fanfiction as literature, and the cross-fandom fanfiction community as legitimate, creative, thriving writing culture.
The book’s two-dozen fan and professionally published contributors include: Amber Benson, Christina Lauren, Ron Hogan, Heidi8, and a lot more—we’ll be adding the final list to the book page soon!
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All four of these titles, and more, have free chapters in our 2013 Smart Pop Preview—available in print at SDCC, Dragon*Con, and few other select locations this year, but also available in ebook form, for free, for your Kindle, Nook, and iPad (and pretty much any other device) beginning July 1. So stay tuned!
Or, of course, just sign up on this page to get a free excerpt of the individual titles as soon as they’re available. (For most of these, they’re available now.)