Last Week in Books, August 17th – 24th: Lovecraft Is Fine and The Apocalypse Already Happened

Let’s start with the biggest news and work our way across:

  • HBO’s Lovecraft Country, based on the book by Matt Ruff, premiered last week to rave reviews. Classic horror fiction fans are pinning a lot of hopes on its potential to both highlight Lovecraft’s creations and redeem his racist legacy. Also, in case you missed it, the first episode is available to stream for free on YouTube. [via Wear Your Voice, YouTube]
  • 600 books are scheduled to published on September 3rd, in a rush move meant to compensate for COVID-19 pushbacks. This is clearly not a good idea for anybody but the big name authors. Somebody’s going to get lost in the shuffle, and it ain’t Lovecraft. [via The Guardian]
  • Ocean Vuong, virtuoso author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, has finished a new manuscript. It won’t be released until the year 2114. I’m simultaneously overjoyed for future readers and pouting on behalf of those of us who’ve been waiting on his next book. [via The Guardian]
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  • I made much of Bailey’s Reclaim Her Name project in last’s week’s news roundup, and even reviewed one of the books in the series. Unfortunately, the closer you look at the project, the messier it is, with women’s literature scholars and women writers panning it left and right.[via Trendswide]
  • There’s surprisingly little coverage of this, but several bookstores, publishers and literary associations are putting pressure on Congress asking for something to be done about Amazon’s near-monopoly and unethical practices in the industry. I’m already not a big supporter of Amazon, but the fact that this isn’t MUCH bigger news surprises me. [Via LitHub]
  • The last item for this roundup is perhaps the one that has had the most profound effect on my thoughts over the past week. The Washington Post highlighted several indigenous authors of apocalyptic and speculative fiction , leading to the startlingly obvious revelation that indigenous people have already lived through an apocalypse (in the form of colonization) and therefore have unique insights. I’m not really doing it much justice here, but the whole piece is worth reading and I’ve been thinking about it nonstop. [via The Washington Post]

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