29 January 2007

A Look into the Future Tomorrow

The Foundation for Children’s Books will host the following event tomorrow night at Boston College:

Roger Sutton of the Horn Book magazine talks with a panel of senior editors from publishers small, medium and large--Judy O'Malley of Charlesbridge Publishing, Elizabeth Bicknell of Candlewick Press and Margaret Raymo of Houghton Mifflin--about the changing nature of publishing books for children and youth. Topics will include the reign of fat fantasy, the decline in picture books, and the future of the new kid on the block--graphic novels. Where will we go from here?
Admission is $15 if you’re not already a member of the FCB.

Speaking of “fat fantasy,” a word about Beka Cooper: Terrier (unless that should be Terrier: Beka Cooper--it’s the first in a coming series), by Tamora Pierce. This book is 581 pages long, blocky enough to stand up in a moderate wind. Random House achieved that full heft in the typesetting; I think the technical term for the book's type size is “honking big.”

As I said about the U.S. edition of The Pinhoe Egg, this book could have been printed on considerably fewer pages without looking cramped. It was by no means short to begin with, but the fashion in fantasy today is thick as a pound cake. So designers are using a little magic to make moderate manuscripts into behemoths. After all, it's only trees.

1 comment:

Gwenda said...

I have a friend who is guilty of writing big fat fantasies for adults; he refers to them as "chihuahua killers."