Category Archives: On the TV

Watch the National Book Awards LIVE

This year’s National Book Awards will be broadcast live over Facebook (as well as on their website) on Wednesday, November 15th, starting at 6:20pm CST. But then they’ll roll pre-recorded videos of the finalists reading, during the dinner portion of the gala, and then pick up the live broadcast when they’re done eating to begin handing out the actual awards.

Last year’s awards were fun to watch, with Colson Whitehead winning the 2016 fiction prize for The Underground Railroad, and this year’s evening looks to be brimming with more bookish greatness.

It looks like all you have to do is click over to the National Book Foundation’s Facebook page to watch the event. I watched last year on the foundation’s site, but this year it looks like they’re going after a more social-share plan. They even made a PDF ballot to download so you can play along at home.

They are @nationalbook on Twitter and they are using #NBAwards as the official hashtag for the 2017 event.

Hopefully it’ll work. It’d be fun if people outside of the industry started tuning in and looking forward to these awards.

There are four awards being handed out, one for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult literature. I’m anxious to see this year’s winners as out of all 20 books nominated – I have only read Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing. And if one of the other fiction finalists is deemed better than that one (which was a great read, though I appreciated her Men We Reaped more.) I certainly want to read it!

Hope you get to tune in next Wednesday night, starting at 6:20pm CST, for the 68th year of the National Book Awards. Here is the slate of finalists for this year’s awards:

Fiction

Non-fiction

Poetry

Young Adult

H is for Hawk: A New Chapter

Tonight, PBS will air the first episode of H is for Hawk: A New Chapter which could loosely be billed as a “follow up” to Helen McDonald’s best-selling book H is for Hawk. 

H is for Hawk is a book that’s been in the middle of my TBR pile since it came out in paperback. I’ve heard so many good things about this memoir, but I’ve just never gotten around to moving it to the “excited to read next” pile. I’m not 100% sure why that is, but I think I’m going to pick it up and read (that is after my current read Want Not by Miles) before I watch the show.

In the book, McDonald trains a goshawk as part of her coping with the death of her father. The show starts next week, which is about 10 years after the events in the book. And again she’s back to raising and training birds.

Here’s a 41-second preview to watch:
The movie rights to the book have also been sold. They were bought by Lena Headey who plays Cersei in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The show has the potential to add some great visuals and color to what has already proven to be a great selling book. I’m looking forward to diving into both.

Scalzi on TV & in Print

Science-fiction author John Scalzi is having a big year. Just a few weeks ago he inked a multi-book multi-million dollar publishing deal. And his new book The End of All Things will be out August 11.

You can read excerpts from the first four chapters (Chapter 01, Chapter 02, Chapter 03, Chapter 04) of The End of All Things, which is the second book of the Human Division, set in the Old Man’s War universe.

EndofAllThings_Scalzi_cover

The whole Old Man’s War universe/storyline  revolves around John Perry, a 70+ man who who enlists in the army and transfers his consciousness into a younger, more battle-ready body.  So the wars rage on among the stars with troops in enhanced bodies while having the wisdom and humor of “old men”. Parts of it borderline on cute. But the books are fast paced and just plain fun to read.

Which is why I think it’ll make a great TV show on SyFy. At the end of last year, it was announced that the Ghost Brigades TV show was in development. It gets its title from the 2006 book by Scalzi.

So a new book, a new contract, and a new TV series. No doubt John Scalzi is staying super busy this year.

Have you read any of John Scalzi’s books?

The Expanse is Expanding

The universe of the duo-author team, James S.A. Corey, is expanding with more books and a planned television series (this is all a good thing, as the books rock).

Corey_Expanse_series

There is a certain vein of science fiction called ‘space opera’. These are usually pretty lengthy story arcs (running multiple books) and are driven by a strong plot. You get to know all the spacemen and aliens because you spend so much time with them. All this to say – you have to get involved. So it takes a special kind of story to keep you going book after book after book. The books making up The Expanse series are just such books.

cibola_BurnI’ve only read books one through three. The fourth book, Cibola Burn just came out and new books have been announced that will take the series through nine books. I hope they keep the same cover artist as well. They’re done by Daniel Dociu and are wonderful.

And if that wasn’t cool enough, the SyFy channel is planning a television series based on The Expanse books. Sounds like the pilot is already written, but I can’t find when they think the show would start shooting. I’m always nervous when the folks at SyFy get their hands on a good book. These books deserve to be done right and I hope they will take the time to do so. Hopefully they’ll go more Battlestar Galactica and less Sharknado with it. I’m excited to see what they do.

So if you haven’t picked these up yet, check them out. I’m willing to bet that the books will be better than the show anyway.