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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Alien Libraries and Dead Composers

I just wrote out about ten of these and then Blogger collapsed on me.  Grrrrr.  Now I have to rewrite ’em.  Guess it’s just one of those days.

  • First things first.  On February 18th Karen Breen, children’s book review editor of Kirkus Reviews will step down and be replaced with Vicky Smith.  Here is what Karen has to say on the matter:

If you have spent any time with the color specials that are in the middle of the magazine, you already know Vicky’s work. In the children’s best-of special, she thought of and conducted the interviews with Mo Willems and the Fleischmans as well as a good chunk of the annotations for the picks. In the young-adult special, she wrote Saying Good-Bye to Harry Potter, The Art of Graphic Literature and the interview with Philip Reeve and annotations, too. I tell people that she’s been my uncredited, unsalaried co-editor for quite some time. Now it’s time for her to take over the job.

I’m sure that Vicky will do a splendid job, but I am sorry to see Karen go.  She proved to be a particularly good editor to me, and I’m sorry to be losing her as a boss.

  • If you have ever wanted to go to a library that looked like Kang, Kodos, and any other slimy alien species you can name, your prayers have been answered.  Prague has approved the design for their newest library and it goes a little something like this:

Kaplicky’s winning design was not so much a compromise between all three as a combination of them all. It is a 48m tall, irregular structure inspired, perhaps, by a handful of Play-Doh being splatted on to tarmac by an insurgent Russian military vehicle. A floppy jellyfish of coruscating triangular tiles sits above a podium of white marble. In photographs the tiles look green but are, in fact, champagne-coloured. Only 15 per cent of the glob is glazed for maximum thermal efficiency.

This is the dark side of architecture in all its full-blown glory.  Perhaps former Prague-native Peter Sis could consider talking some sense into them.  Thanks to for the link.

  • Well, Tamora Pierce and Julie Holderman had a great idea.  Why not create a fantasy/sf convention specifically targeted at teen and children’s literature?  Here’s why:

We can thank that Certain Boy Wizard in part, and we can thank the current Kid Boom for both sales and for the variety of content for readers not technically classed as adult.  But when it comes to the presence of kidlit authors at conventions? Our favorite conventions welcome writers of content for younger readers, but these writers are in the minority at the con. Often kidlit writers are treated by members of adult F&SF cons in a manner that is patronizing at best, snubbing or scornful at worst. In recent months this has been a growing burr under our saddles, until chance remarks after a recent con got us to talking about the place of YA and kids’ F&SF in the literary world in general.

Go to this site if you want to join the con committee, know how to get them some grant money, or just have some input on the subject. Thanks to Zee Says for the link.

  • Here’s something to twist the stomach a little.  The publisher IDW has created a new children’s imprint called Worthwhile Books.  So far so good.  But the authors are going to be comedy writers working in Hollywood.  Here’s a quote from Rob Kurtz, creative director.  “I’m a father of five and often lament the lack of really creative, funny children’s books. So this started with a desire to create really great books by using successful writers who’ve never [written children’s books] before.”  Ouch!  Did he get a P.R. consultation from Madonna?  There’s NO WAY you can get away with claiming that the world of children’s book publishing has a "lack of really creative, funny children’s books."  Somebody slap me if I review a book from this guy.  Seriously.  Not cool, dude.

  • Good news on the Anita Silvey front.  Her book 100 Best Books for Children has always served as one of my top reference choices when it comes to quality children’s literature.  Check out her newest accomplishment then:

January 20, 2008 – The Educational Paperback Association (EPA) announced today that Anita Silvey is the winner of the 2007 Jeremiah Ludington Award. The Ludington Award, named after EPA’s founder, is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the paperback book business. Past winners have included Mary Pope Osborne, Marc Brown, Seymour Simon, Tomie dePaola, Richard Peck, Lois Lowry and Paula Danziger. Recipients receive a framed certificate and EPA presents a $2500 check to the charity of their choice.

Lemony Snicket , author of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, joins The Little Orchestra Society for the NY premiere of The Composer is Dead , Saturday, January 26 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center.  Snicket will narrate the piece, a-la Peter and the Wolf, Created by Snicket and composer Nathaniel Stookey , the performance is part of The Little Orchestra Society’s Happy Concerts for Young People for K6-11.  Also on the program day is John Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy , which is part of a Musical Mysteries program.  HarperCollins will publish The Composer is Dead book and CD in winter 2009.

Tickets appear to be $40.  Anyone wanna take me?

  • While at ALA I missed the ALSC Collection Development discussion group of whether or not bloggers are credible.  Readers Carousel reports a little on what occurred.  If anyone else was there I should like to hear what was said at the time.  On a related topic, Reading and Breathing discusses Why Blogs are Important.  Like librarians, it seems that bloggers need to constantly remind people why it is that we should exist.  It makes for an interesting occupation.

  • And lastly, BB-Blog provides us with the lovely image of the day.  Consider it something to remove that phlegm-like library from your mind.  It’s a booklight made out of a book.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I knew Karen Breen when she was a bookseller… a really lovely, genuinely friendly person. One of the people I think of when I think of what I love about working in children’s books.

  2. Margo Lynch says:

    I can do you one better: I knew Karen Breen when she was a librarian, back in Queens.

  3. a. fortis says:

    That library is very disturbing. Kang and Kodos is right. Kind of eww…