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Re: Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:09 pm
by TheButcher
From BC:
San Diego Debut: Conspiracy Of The Planet Of The Apes
Rich Johnston wrote:Title: Conspiracy Of The Planet Of The Apes

Creators: Drew Gaska, Christian Berntsen, Rich Handley and Erik Matthews, Matt Busch, Patricio Carbajal, Colo, Dave Dorman, Dan Dussault, Chandra Free, Erik Gist, Lucas Graciano, Scott Hampton, David Hueso, Joe Jusko, Ken Kelly, Timothy Lantz, Leo Leibelman, Miki, Chris Moeller, Andrew Probert, Brian Rood, Sanjulian, Chris Scalf, Thomas Scioli, David Seidman, Dirk Shearer, Barron Storey and Mark Texeira, Jim Steranko

Publisher: Archaia

Available: Booth #2635

High concept: Archaia’s first venture into prose books!
After his spacecraft smashes into the dead sea of an alien planet, a man is separated from his fellow astronauts when a raiding party of intelligent apes attacks them. Captured, he finds himself a prisoner in a world turned upside down, with apes as the rulers and man in its zoos. His only hope is to communicate with a couple of chimpanzee scientists who just might be open-minded and compassionate enough to be sympathetic to his cause. But the man named John Landon will discover that intelligent minds, be they ape or man, all fear the unknown, and his destiny is not to become part of this new world, but instead to find himself under the knife of a simian brain surgeon on the PLANET OF THE APES.

Set during the classic 1968 film, CONSPIRACY OF THE PLANET OF THE APES tells the story of what happened between the scenes and centers on the astronaut Landon, Gorilla police chief Marcus, and Chimpanzee scientist Dr. Milo, and contains over 50 illustrations from various top talents in the industry,

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, prose book (black and white with color illustrations), 176 pages

Print run: TBA

Price: $24.95

What’s the website:

Re: Rule 34

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:08 pm
by TheButcher
From io9:
Your country is a shell corporation and your spam filter is trying to kill you in Rule 34
Annalee Newitz wrote:Charles Stross' new novel, Rule 34, is a near future tale that is nominally a detective story set in the same world as his hit book Halting State. But in fact it's not so much a mystery as it is a sneakily Utopian vision of a world recovering from complete financial collapse — and giving birth to an unexpected form of life in the process.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:34 am
by TheButcher
From io9:
How a Debut Novelist Sold a Book About the Battle Between Two Invincible Spaceships
Who says giant, thrilling space opera is dead? British author John Love just sold his debut novel, Faith, to Nightshade Books, and it has a huge widescreen premise that sounds like the perfect mix of space battles and politics.

Re: I Hunt Killers

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:48 pm
by TheButcher
WBTV to develop 'Killers' novel - Studio acquires rights to 2012 book
Dave McNary & Jon Weisman wrote:Exclusive:
Warner Bros. TV has acquired rights to young adult novel "I Hunt Killers," and plans to develop the project with producer Joel Silver as a series.

"Killers," written by Barry Lyga and scheduled to be published by Little Brown in April, is about a teenager whose father is a jailed serial killer. Using his own knowledge, the teen tracks down other serial killers while being wary of his own potentially murderous impulses.

Hotchkiss & Assoc., Anderson Literary Management and attorney Tom Collier of Sloan, Offer, Weber and Dern helped broker the deal.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:06 am
by DennisMM

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:54 am
by TheBaxter

it occurs to me that if you really want to keep kids from reading books full of violence and perverse sex, you should ban them from reading the Bible instead.

Re: Lev Grossman's The Magician King

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:33 am
by TheButcher

Re: Richard Stark's PARKER

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:19 pm
by TheButcher
From Robot 6:
Get a Parker prose novel for free!
Brigid Alverson wrote:If Darwyn Cooke’s award-winning IDW graphic novels Parker: The Hunter and Parker: The Outfit have piqued your curiosity about the original series of novels by Donald Westlake (who wrote them under the pseudonym Richard Stark), here’s a chance to check one out—for free.

Just in time for the long weekend, the University of Chicago Press is offering Westlakes’s The Score as a free e-book (it would set you back $14 in print) in a variety of formats: Adobe Digital Editions, Google Books, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and Sony Reader. Since most of these readers can be installed on a PC or Mac as well as an iPad, iPhone, or Android device, this is pretty platform-independent.

If you like what you see, the publisher has 19 more Parker books for you, and they are offering a 30% discount on the e-books. Details are at the first link.

(via Teleread)

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:41 am
by TheButcher
Sunday books: Joseph Heller, Freud's cocaine and more
Carolyn Kellogg wrote:Meanwhile, Richard Rayner explores "An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine" by Howard Markel. "In my last severe depression, I took coca again, and a small dose lifted me to the heights in a wonderful fashion. I am just now busy collecting the literature for a song of praise to this magic substance," Freud wrote to his fiancee, Martha, on June 2, 1884. Indeed. The book follows the lives of two men of science (the mind and medicine, respectively) and their intersections with cocaine; Rayner finds it "rich, engrossing."

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:43 am
by TheButcher
NASA teaming up with Tor/Forge for spacey novels
Carolyn Kellogg wrote:NASA is teaming up with publisher Tor/Forge to help create what sounds a little like an oxymoron: science-based science fiction. But getting the science wrong can make a science-fiction novel fall flat on its face. Now, novelists in the Tor/Forge stable will have access to NASA scientists to get the facts of their fiction right.

In a press release, Tor/Forge explains:
Tor/Forge and NASA hope that pairing scientists and engineers with the imprints’ award-winning roster of writers will raise awareness and inspire the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), in line with the President’s Technology Agenda. They also hope to contribute towards the goal of attracting and retaining students in the above fields, thereby strengthening NASA and the nation's future workforce in a compelling manner....

GSFC’s Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) Office will host a select group of Tor/Forge authors -- some of whom already write science based fiction -- to learn more about science and space exploration. Authors will visit GSFC for a two day workshop in November consisting of presentations, facility tours and one-on-one sessions with SMEs. NASA contributions to the project will also provide access to their data, facilities, and educational design and evaluation experts.

While space exploration and astrophysics may not be the easiest topics to understand, getting to learn about space projects from NASA scientists is pretty cool.

Then again, scientists can sometimes be buzzkill for imaginative novelists -- like in July, when they decided that time travel was impossible.

Re: Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:32 pm
by TheButcher
The Todd wrote:
Maui wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:
Haruki Murakami - People who like good music, cats, Cutty Sark, wells and lemon drops.

I've modified the above statement slightly.

You did know that Murakami owned a jazz bar for many years (see The Trilogy of the Rat).

Hahahahaha! Well, The Todd was quite partial to shots of the Cutty in college, so I might have to check out some Murakami. :lol:

Like Haruki Murakami? Do it on Facebook and read Ch. 1 of '1Q84
Carolyn Kellogg wrote:Haruki Murakami's massive new novel "1Q84" won't be on sale until Oct. 25, but its first chapter is on Facebook now.

To access it, fans must "like" the Haruki Murakami Facebook page. Like many things on the Internet, Murakami's Facebook page includes a cat photo -- the author is holding one.

In Japan, the much-anticipated book was closely guarded and held back until its publication day. For its publication in the United States, it is not so hard to find.

In July, The Millions dug up the first paragraph and published it online. But the next paragraph is what launches it as a story. From Facebook, the opening of "1Q84":
The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janácek's Sinfonietta — probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn't seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.

How many people could recognize Janácek's Sinfonietta after hearing just the first few bars? Probably somewhere between "very few" and "almost none." But for some reason, Aomame was one of the few who could.

And then the story continues. The New Yorker published an excerpt of "1Q84" in late August. These two pieces probably won't give too much away -- the book is 944 pages long.

Re: Guillermo Del Toro's The Strain

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:35 am
by TheButcher
io9 Exclusive Excerpt from the Conclusion to Guillermo del Toro’s Vampire Trilogy, The Strain
Charlie Jane Anders wrote:The startling conclusion to Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's vampire trilogy is coming out in a few weeks, and we've got your exclusive first look. Find out why Stephen King is calling The Night Eternal "a sublimely satisfying conclusion" to the tale of modern-day vampires.

Here's an exclusive sample chapter from The Night Eternal...

Re: The Magicians

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:13 pm
by TheButcher
Fox To Adapt Fantasy Novel ‘The Magicians’ To Series With ‘X-Men: First Class’ Scribes
NELLIE ANDREEVA wrote:Fox has preemptively bought Magicians, a drama series adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular fantasy novel, with a script commitment plus penalty. It will be written by X-Men: First Class and Thor co-writers Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and produced by Michael London (Milk), Shawn Levy and Michael Adelstein. Based on Grossman’s book, which is described as Harry Potter for grown-ups, the one-hour drama follows a group of 20-somethings in New York who study magic and have access to a magical world. London had optioned the novel, which was published in 2009, while 21 Laps/Adelstein had a deal with Miller and Stentz, who have extensive TV background having worked on such series as Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. All joined forces on the series project, which will be executive produced by Miller, Stentz, London, Levy, Adelstein and Becky Clements. Following the success of The Magicians, Grossman wrote a sequel, The Magician King, which was published in August.

Contemporary dramas with fairytale elements are hot for a second consecutive broadcast development season. The previous one yielded 2 new series in the genre, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm. This time around, Magicians joins a project from Michael Green, which recently landed a put pilot commitment at ABC. It centers on a female cop who discovers a magical world that exists within New York City.

21 Laps/Adelstein, which has the Tim Allen ABC comedy Last Man Standing launching next week, has already sold a slew of projects this season, including a Romancing the Stone adaptation penned by Mark Friedman to NBC, a medical dramedy written by Jessica Queller, ensemble comedy Gorilla Time penned by Stacy Traub & Hayes Jackson, CIA drama by Karyn Usher and family comedy Threepete written by Carter Covington — all to Fox. Additionally, the company recently received a cast-contingent pilot pickup at Fox for multi-camera comedy Little Brother penned by Mike Royce. London is with CAA, while WME reps 21 Laps/Adelstein and Miller & Stentz who are managed by Principato-Young.

Re: Random Richard Matheson News

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:07 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
Mathesons shop massive genre library - 'Real Steel,' 'I Am Legend' author looking for studios to partner on creative vision
Marc Graser wrote:Sixty years after Hollywood started adapting his sci-fi, fantasy and horror tales into movies and TV shows, Richard Matheson is ready for a comeback.

The author, now 85, has teamed up with his screenwriting son, Richard Christian Matheson, and former William Morris literary agent Alan Gasmer to shop Matheson's library of 150 short stories, books, plays and scripts around town -- with one caveat: that he has a say in what winds up onscreen.

"Steel," a short story published in 1956, is the basis for DreamWorks' robot boxing pic "Real Steel," which stars Hugh Jackman and bows Friday through Disney's Touchstone banner.

His ghost story "Earthbound" already is set up at DreamWorks, with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald producing. And negotiations are under way with 20th Century Fox and Shawn Levy's 21 Laps shingle for the film rights to his 1963 short "Deus Ex Machina," about a man who discovers he's mechanical when he cuts himself and bleeds oil. Levy helmed "Real Steel."

Matheson may not be a household name in the same vein as a Stephen King or even Stephenie Meyer,but his work is certainly recognizable.

His vampire tale "I Am Legend" has spawned three pics, with Will Smith starring in WB's most recent version, while "What Dreams May Come," "The Incredible Shrinking Man," "A Stir of Echoes" "Somewhere in Time" and "The Legend of Hell House" are based on his novels.

Steven Spielberg turned "Duel" into a telepic, while "Button, Button" and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" were adapted as "Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery" episodes, which then became pics like "The Box."

"People are not necessarily aware of who I am but they're aware of the things that I've written," Matheson told Variety.

As he tries to find new homes for his work, Matheson asks only that he and his screenwriter son, who also goes by R.C., have a say in their development, including which screenwriters or directors get hired -- if the Mathesons aren't penning the scripts, themselves, that is.

Gasmer would also serve as a producer on the projects, as he is doing on the film version of New Zealand TV show "The Tribe."

"We want to see these get made and made correctly and be in sync with the studio and make sure they have the same visions that we do," Gasmer said.

The Mathesons wanted more creative control, given that "there's nothing sadder than a badly done film," the senior Matheson said.

"As we all know, most of the films that were made turned out wonderfully, but there were enough cases where they didn't," said R.C. Matheson, whose credits include episodes of "The A-Team," "Hunter," "The Incredible Hulk" and now Cinemax's "Chemistry." "He wanted to have more involvement going forward, not only with the writing but bring a produceral influence, as well."

While the Mathesons are shopping individual projects, they wouldn't be opposed to an overall deal at a studio, the way Universal locked down the Robert Ludlum books in 2008, landing rights to the Jason Bourne character and a first look at the author's other novels.

But most of those are spy pics, whereas the Matheson library encompasses a variety of genres -- and is much larger.

In fact, the number of works created a problem for the Mathesons as they and Gasmer have introduced the material to potential buyers.

"They get overwhelmed," R.C. Matheson said. "We're trying to underwhelm them," added his father.

That included rewriting loglines to shorten them and categorizing the works by genre.

"It's a little frustrating when you go into a studio and you do bring in the volume of the material here and they look at you with blank eyes and say, 'There's a lot of material to go through,' " Gasmer said. "For a business that's supposed to thrive on creative ideas and reading, nobody actually does that. That's ironic. We have to guide them through it. Richard and R.C. are very good at doing that."

The senior Matheson is no stranger to the studio system.

He penned episodes of "The Night Stalker," "Amazing Stories" and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," and the scripts for the films "Somewhere in Time" and "Jaws 3."

Johnny Depp is currently developing a film version of the "The Nightstalker" for Disney.

When DreamWorks was developing the script for "Real Steel," Spielberg sent Matheson a copy and asked whether it was close enough to his original story, Matheson recalls. He approves of the final film.

"I thought it was great," Matheson said. "They hit all the right things with it. They gave it heart.

"Films are a very creative field," Matheson added. "A good movie is a thing of wonder. When it's done well, it makes such a big difference."

And as a result, have a "wonderful collateral effect" on book sales, R.C. Matheson said.

Re: Random Richard Matheson News

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:14 pm
by TheButcher
Exclusive Interview: Richard Matheson - IGN meets the real deal behind Real Steel.
Jim Vejvoda wrote:IGN was recently honored to meet the real deal behind Real Steel, writer Richard Matheson, the iconic author of such classic sci-fi and horror tales I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, The Incredible Shrinking Man and A Stir of Echoes.

Matheson was already an established author of sci-fi, horror and fantasy short stories and novels when he wrote 14 episodes for Rod Serling's groundbreaking TV series The Twilight Zone, including the now-classic William Shatner episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and an adaptation of his 1955 short story "Steel," which is also the basis for this weekend's new release, Real Steel.

We spoke with Matheson at his home outside of Los Angeles about his career, his thoughts on how Hollywood has adapted his work and what he thinks about Real Steel.

IGN Movies: What have you seen of Real Steel so far? Have they shown you the entire picture?

Richard Matheson: Yeah, they brought over a copy of the film here. It's a wonderful piece of work. [Director] Shawn Levy did a really outstanding job.

IGN: Would you say that you're satisfied with it as an overall adaptation of your story?

Matheson: Yeah. As is the case of I Am Legend, they never followed my stories precisely, but they do a decent job of adaptation. I don't mind that. In this case, they did such a wonderful job. Shawn Levy did such an amazing job. I was very pleased.

IGN: How did you feel about some of the changes made, such as the introduction of the relationship between the father and son? That's not in the other versions.

Matheson: No, that's not in my story at all. My son and I, we've just adapted a novel of mine that came out some years ago called Journal of the Gun Years, and because it was too long, it would make a six-hour film. We had to truncate it, which we did, and it doesn't bother us to do it as long as we hold onto the flavor of the original.

IGN: And you feel that Real Steel captures that essence?

Matheson: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

IGN: I ask because I was curious if you felt concerned that by introducing a father/son relationship it might detract from Hugh Jackman's character's relationship with the robot.

Matheson: No, I believe it was well done. I can't really cavil with it.

IGN: What was the genesis of your short story Steel? How did the idea come to you? What inspired you to write it?

Matheson: Well, I had not written prose for some time when I wrote it. I wanted to see if I could capture a feeling of what it was like to write again. So I was deliberately trying to do a Hemingway-type of writing in the beginning. Gradually, that faded away. I regained my own style.

IGN: What about the actual idea of robotic boxers?

Matheson: I know. It was very unusual at that time. I know that a number of my ideas at the time were quite unusual. I Am Legend is quite unusual for its time. I just wanted to write a story about female boxers, and I couldn't get that going in my mind. I don't know exactly where the idea of just a man pitting himself against a robot boxer came from.

IGN: I'm a huge Twilight Zone fan. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your experience in adapting Steel for that series and working with Lee Marvin.

Matheson: I remember walking with Lee Marvin and the director where they were going to shoot the picture. Lee Marvin was psyching himself up. He was doing crowd noises for himself, getting himself all worked up. ... I thought that was one of the best narrative statements that I gave Rod Serling. In the beginning, I didn't know we were supposed to do that. For the first couple of shows, Rod did it by himself. So I wrote him one up, and they left him alone. I think that's one of the better ones in Steel.

IGN: How do you feel about how Hollywood -- at least in the last ten years or so beginning with What Dreams May Come now through Real Steel -- how do you feel they've done in terms of adapting your work? Are you overall satisfied with the way Hollywood has treated your material?

Matheson: I'd say no because they -- Somewhere in Time, I wrote the screenplay myself. The producer and the director were faithful to it, so I was happy with it. Actually, Twilight Zones were all left alone too. They never changed anything of my stories that I recall.

IGN: If you had to pick a film that was too wildly different from your original story or concept, do you feel comfortable saying which one?

Matheson: Well, the second I Am Legend with Charlton Heston [The Omega Man] I thought was ludicrous. ... The older one [The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price] was closer to the book. But it was badly cast. I mean, he was a wonderful actor. He did a marvelous job in the Edgar Allen Poe stuff I wrote, but he was wrong for Robert Neville.

IGN: How did you feel about the Will Smith movie that came out a few years ago?

Matheson: It was a case of where it was so well done that I had to go along with it, even though I had to realize that, once again, they were not following my book. I don't know why they keep buying my books. They might as well have written something entirely new.

IGN: Now that's a refrain that I hear from a lot of authors that I interview, which is none of them are necessarily against film adaptations of their work. They're just kind of bemused by the fact of, why are you changing it so much?

Matheson: And doing it so badly.

IGN: Would you say overall that modern science fiction films, the ones that seem to be --

Matheson: I would say that I thought Real Steel was genuine science fiction. Most of what they call science fiction is just not science fiction.

IGN: They're just merchandising, really. But you felt like this one had at least thematically --

Matheson: A whole society and a whole belief in the boxing world that was very convincing.

IGN: Do you feel that modern science fiction films for the most part have become too --

Matheson: They're technology bound.

IGN: Steven Spielberg is involved with Real Steel. You guys have a relationship going all the way back to Duel. Can you tell me a little bit about that relationship? Did he come to you about Real Steel? How did you first hear about the movie?

Matheson: They sent me the script. They knew I had done the original for Twilight Zone, and they sent me the script. He personally asked me, did I think it was close enough to my script that they should make some sort of financial arrangement, and I thought it was. My memory of the script they sent me was somewhat different than what they actually did.

IGN: Over the years, have you and Spielberg kept in touch?

Matheson: Oh, yeah. Because of him, I was hired as a technical writing consultant on Amazing Stories. I wrote several of them. I sort of blundered and turned down some of the stories that Steven had written because I didn't like them. But that's the way I am. I don't care who's involved. If it doesn't ring a bell, I don't like it.

IGN: Is there short story or novel of yours that you absolutely, positively don't want Hollywood to have?

Matheson: I've never thought about that. Thinking about it, they could brutalize almost any one of them. Like What Dreams May Come. It broke my heart when the man who used to run Universal told me one day, "I should have shot your book," and I thought, "Nice to hear that now."

IGN: But there's no particular story where you feel, "No, this one they'll never touch." Some authors get possessive of certain works that they just don't trust the Hollywood system to get right.

Matheson: Yeah, I think they have the capacity to screw up anything. In so many cases, they don't intend to screw it up. They want to do a good job, but there's something missing in them. They lack the sensitivity to really get the thing right.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:06 pm
by TheButcher
Cover Unveiled for Daniel H. Wilson's AMPED
Mad Hatter wrote:After the huge success of Daniel H. Wilson's Robopocalypse (review here) this year many are eager for his next offering and we don't have too long to wait. Wilson's follow-up is Amped, which will be out in June. The cover above may not be final, but it is certainly intriguing if a little subdued compared to Robopocalypse. Amped isn't related to Robopocalypse, but it still treads into areas Wilson is very knowledgeable about. Amped is a techno-thriller that like Max Barry's recent Machine Man (review here) explores the idea of what it means to be human. Here is a bit more detail from an NPR interview with Wilson earlier this year:
WILSON: Yeah. In fact, that question was really appropriate, because my follow-up is called "Amped," and it's about this near future. There's no robots in "Amped," by the way, which is sort of, I know, a departure. But it's about this near future in which people are starting to integrate technology into their bodies a lot, and we're starting to realize that people who we thought were disabled are becoming super-abled. And it's really a mind, you know, it's total shift in thinking. And some people are interested in, you know, not having to implant their children in order to have them be competitive in school.
And, you know, I think that adopting new technology is always a change and it's always scary. But the moment that it starts going into our bodies is going to be a pretty scary moment for civilization, and I think it's coming.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:56 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:27 pm
by Maui

It's out now in all its 944 pages of glory. Getting mixed reviews though, like this one. Nevertheless, I will read this because I've read everything else the man has written.

Re: Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:33 pm
by Ribbons
Maui wrote:

It's out now in all its 944 pages of glory. Getting mixed reviews though, like this one. Nevertheless, I will read this because I've read everything else the man has written.

Favorite book??

Re: Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:21 am
by Maui
Ribbons wrote:
Favorite book??

Kafka on the Shore. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a very close second.

Re: Don Winslow's 'Savages'

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:30 am
by TheButcher


PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:47 am
by TheButcher
From Bleeding Cool:
Look! It Moves! by Adi Tantimedh: Richard Stanley And I Adapt THE GREAT GOD PAN – Part One
Adi Tantimedh wrote:I’m travelling, so in lieu of a regular column, I’m going to run something different.

Below is the treatment for a movie adaptation of Arthur Machen’s late 19th Century horror novel THE GREAT GOD PAN. It’ll be run in three parts over the next weeks while I’m on the road.

Looking over it again, it certainly brings back memories of the kinds of things people come up with when heavily caffeinated. Oh well.

The original intro and outline were originally posted on BETWEEN DEATH AND THE DEVIL, the unofficial Richard Stanley website.

Re: Don Winslow's 'Savages'

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:57 pm
by TheButcher

Re: mario Puzo's THE GODFATHER

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:05 am
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:45 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:58 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:44 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Charles Stross’ ACCELERANDO

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:53 pm
by TheButcher
Adam Balm wrote:Here's a really cool talk Geoff Ryman just gave at BORÉAL in Montreal. It kind of touches on themes that were also brought up by Charles Stross, about space colonization and the like, and I don't agree with everything he says, but as a survey of the genre it's one of the best talks I've read all year...

Check it out.

The Manfred Macx Media Diet
Manfred’s on the road again, making strangers rich.

It’s a hot summer Tuesday, and he’s standing in the plaza in front of the Centraal Station with his eyeballs powered up and the sunlight jangling off the canal, motor scooters and kamikaze cyclists whizzing past and tourists chattering on every side. The square smells of water and dirt and hot metal and the fart-laden exhaust fumes of cold catalytic converters; the bells of trams ding in the background, and birds flock overhead. He glances up and grabs a pigeon, crops the shot, and squirts it at his weblog to show he’s arrived. The bandwidth is good here, he realizes; and it’s not just the bandwidth, it’s the whole scene. Amsterdam is making him feel wanted already, even though he’s fresh off the train from Schiphol: He’s infected with the dynamic optimism of another time zone, another city. If the mood holds, someone out there is going to become very rich indeed.

He wonders who it’s going to be.

WARREN ELLIS wrote:I re-read Charles Stross’ ACCELERANDO at least once a year. More often, I’ll return to just the first three chapters once every few months. Published in 2005, and written in serial form from 1999 to 2004 – and you can grab the whole thing for yourself, free, from this link here – ACCELERANDO is a sprawling (yet massively condensed and concentrated) piece of radical hard sf about the deep computational future. It’s also about Manfred Macx, “venture altruist,” staying ahead of the memetic curve with an exotic set of information-processing hardware. Let’s run a bit of that opening again:
He glances up and grabs a pigeon, crops the shot, and squirts it at his weblog to show he’s arrived.

He’s doing that with, essentially, Google Glasses and some wearable computers to beef up their utility. It’s what I’d do today with a smartphone. In fact, I last did it on Thursday. Macx’s kit is based around the glasses.

I got asked a question on Tumblr yesterday — which I’ll get to in a later post – that set me to thinking again about Manfred Macx, who can’t do what he does without processing vast amounts of information each day. So I’m cropping out the bits of ACCELERANDO (with apologies to Charlie, obviously), to illustrate how this parallel-future character goes about his business, and what a fictional set from 2004 says to us in 2012.
His channels are jabbering away in a corner of his head-up display, throwing compressed infobursts of filtered press releases at him. They compete for his attention, bickering and rudely waving in front of the scenery.

I like to think that this bit is Bruce Sterling at age 70. That’s a man who processes a lot of press releases.
He’s ignoring the instant messenger boxes, enjoying some low-bandwidth, high-sensation time with his beer and the pigeons, when a woman walks up to him, and says his name: "Manfred Macx?"

I might be the only person I know who doesn’t use IM at all. That said, this book is pre-Twitter, and I can certainly get a “please RT” vibe off that…
Being a pronoiac meme-broker is a constant burn of future shock – he has to assimilate more than a megabyte of text and several gigs of AV content every day just to stay current.

I think I’ve probably gotten into the concept of agalmics and how it relates to the attention economy before now. Attention Philanthropy is the takeaway, and how this site mostly works – using whatever profile I have to direct you to works of interest. How much text do you take in every day? Is it even possible to quantify it by bytes anymore?

Also: I watch no videoblogs at all. The only informational video I get is watching Newsnight on the iPad. I should probably review the field again.
his glasses remind him that he’s six hours behind the moment and urgently needs to catch up.

Do you ever feel like that upon waking? Six hours behind the moment. Sleeping took you off the road to the future.
He speed reads a new pop-philosophy tome while he brushes his teeth, then blogs his web throughput to a public annotation server; he’s still too enervated to finish his pre-breakfast routine by posting a morning rant on his storyboard site.

Kick that one around. It contains the point that he’s not just taking in information, but processing it and excreting more information. Also, extruding it out on to a public space where people can fiddle with it. (Of course, Charlie still has comments enabled on his site. I am less sanguine about that sort of thing.)

The point is crucial. If we’re not doing something with the information we’re taking in, then we’re just pigs at the media trough.

What is also happening here, of course, is that he’s doing the work of a public intellectual. “Critical creativity,” as I think Umberto Eco once put it. Only without the requirement of space in a newspaper or magazine, of course, which is what the internet brought us. And, as the net trends towards microblogs and status updates, it is also what we’re taking away from the internet now.
Lying on a bench seat staring up at bridges, he’s got it together enough to file for a couple of new patents, write a diary rant, and digestify chunks of the permanent floating slashdot party for his public site. Fragments of his weblog go to a private subscriber list – the people, corporates, collectives, and bots he currently favors.

I’m reminded of Bruce again, here, and the fact that his Twitter account is locked. 20,000 people are allowed to follow his account – in actual fact, the people, corporates, collectives, and bots he currently favours.

It feels like there’s a lot to unpack in that couple of sentences. The patents he mentions go into a special “Free Intellect Foundation,” which is a more careful way of basically just flinging a complete idea out into the wild. Agalmia: gift culture.
He sits in a chair, gin and tonic at hand, absorbing the latest market news and grazing his multichannel feeds in parallel. His reputation is up two percent for no obvious reason today, he notices: Odd, that.

Aah, when we thought there’d be a trackable reputation economy. Cory, what damage you wrought on the poor innocent heads of the socially optimistic. Charlie himself ended up taking down Klout last year.

In other senses, of course, this does exist. Checking Likes, Instagram and Tumblr hearts and even +1s. Your reputation’s only as good as the last piece of content you gave to a social network. How much time do we spend assimilating content and spitting the tastiest bits back out into the world in order to gain reputation as a gifted regurgitator? Where we’re adding no more to each piece of information than the identifying DNA in the smear of saliva we leave on it?
The metacortex – a distributed cloud of software agents that surrounds him in netspace, borrowing CPU cycles from convenient processors (such as his robot pet) – is as much a part of Manfred as the society of mind that occupies his skull; his thoughts migrate into it, spawning new agents to research new experiences, and at night, they return to roost and share their knowledge.

I kind of want to mention Weavrs here – I still have to find the time to train the one I spawned last year, but (with all respect to the developers) I doubt I’ll ever be able to make it do what I want. Intelligent Agents are going to be a pipedream for a while longer, I suspect. Which makes me sad. But there’s something here – Weavrs and other software instances like Google Alerts can enact discovery, and bring us information we wouldn’t necessarily have the time or awareness to grab manually. This makes me want to spawn new sets of Google Alerts. I only have a couple running right now, for hauntology and radiophonics, which I set up a couple of years back.

"Do I know you?" he asks politely, even as he feels a shock of recognition.

"Amsterdam, three years ago." The woman in the double-breasted suit raises an eyebrow at him, and his social secretary remembers her for him, whispers in his ear.

"Annette from Arianespace marketing?"

Not really in the flow of what I’m trying to talk about here, but: facial recognition software yoked to a contacts system hooked into a well-maintained calendar.

His glasses are on the breakfast bar; he pulls them on and is besieged by an urgent flurry of ideas demanding attention.

Six hours behind the moment again. But this is (in part) the same experience as picking up a smartphone with notifications enabled.

"What’s life coming to when I can’t cope with the pace of change?" he asks the ceiling plaintively.

Manfred is thirty when he says this. I’m forty-four.

Re: The Family Corleone

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:00 am
by TheButcher
Paramount Makes Deal for Godfather Prequel
Almost three months ago, Paramount Pictures sued Godfather author Mario Puzo's estate to halt publication of an unauthorized prequel, The Family Corleone. The book came out this week anyway. It turns out Puzo's son agreed "several weeks ago" to put all the book's profits in escrow until the publishing rights were squared away. But if "there’s an attraction to do a movie," Paramount's lawyer says, things may get extra-complicated.


PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:41 am
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:58 pm
by TheBaxter
War and Peace gets nook'd

ironic, since i'm pretty sure Tolstoy would be an iPad guy if he were around today.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:28 pm
by Hermanator X
A new Iain M Banks culture novel, possibly delving into the cultures origins??? YES PLEASE.
I thought the last culture novel, Matter, was astounding, so I hope and pray this one will be as good.
Mind you, even at his most self indulgent and waffling, theres still enough that appeals to me to keep me entertained.

Re: Blackout

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:32 am
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:36 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:54 pm
by so sorry

Re: Lev Grossman's "The Magician's Land"

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:10 pm
by TheButcher
NYT Bestseller Lev Grossman with the Scoop on "The Magician's Land""”Including Teasers
Jeff VanderMeer wrote:Fans of Lev
Grossman's bestselling novels The
Magicians and The Magician King,
which follow the adventures of Quentin Coldwater in the fantasy land of
Fillory, have been waiting for more details on The Magician's Land, the upcoming third book in the series.
Omnivoracious decided to interview Grossman about the new book, and the series
in general. His answers give readers some teasing glimpses of the novel"”and two
short excerpts! How long now have you been living
with the characters from this series, and does it get easier to write about
this world over time?

Lev Grossman: I started writing The Magicians in mid-2004. So these
characters have been around for (pause while writer tries to do math) nine
years. Except for the Beast. He arrived in a dream in 1996.

about them gets both easier and harder. Easier because I know the characters
and the world very well. I don't have to think about how they would behave: I
just know. But it's harder, too, because the best stuff always comes when the
characters and the world surprise me. Julia for example"”I truly never knew what
she would do next, or where she would turn up, but whatever and wherever it
was, it was always exciting. And occasionally appalling. But never dull. Can
these characters keep on surprising me forever, now that I know them this well?
I don't know. But just to be safe I'm going to quit before they stop. Did you have an inkling of a third
book in mind when you wrote The Magicians?

Grossman: I didn't even have an inkling of a
second book when I wrote The Magicians.
I had no idea if anybody would want to publish it. So I didn't want to jinx
things by even thinking about a sequel, let alone a third book. But
once I started writing The Magician King,
the core idea for The Magician's Land
arrived pretty quickly after that. I wasted a lot of time doubting myself and
trying out alternatives, but in the end it wouldn't be denied. Although of course book two
continued the story of The Magicians,
it also seemed like a departure"”not the same thing served up again. Can you
give us some idea of how different this third book will be? And what excites
you about writing it?

Grossman: My
attention span is too short to tell the same kind of story twice. I just can't
do it. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm like everyone else: if I find a
bunch of characters I want to hang out with, and a world I want to hang out in,
I don't want the author to throw them out and start over with the next
book. But you're right, The Magician King was a different kind of story from The Magicians, and The Magician's Land will be different from either of them.

You could
think of the first book as a sort of coming-of-age novel, along the lines
of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Magician King as an epic patterned after The
Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I don't know how to
label the third book, but it's neither of those. I keep coming back to the
phrase "rich and strange," but that's not really a genre, is it? I can tell you
what the Narnian antecedents are: The Magician's Nephew and The Last
Battle. (Which are, of
course, the story of the creation of Narnia and the story of its destruction.)
Whatever those are, that's what The
Magician's Land is going to be.

Amazon: Could you give us an inkling of how
book three starts?

Grossman: I can tell you exactly how it
starts. It starts back at Brakebills"”I really missed writing about a magic
school, so I took the action back there. We're reading about a new character, a
senior named Plum, who's planning some harmless mischief. But Plum is hiding a
dark secret. Obviously nothing could possibly go wrong here. Is there a phrase or sentence you
could provide"”perhaps even an excerpt from your draft"”that would be suitably
mysterious and teasing and yet, to you, to speak to something important about
the novel?

Having massively overthought this question, I wound up with two different
excerpts that I can't seem to choose between. I'm not sure either of them tells
you anything important, but here they are.

One is about a Brakebills student named Wharton and
his remarkable pencils:

personal pencils really were remarkable pencils: olive green, and made from
some oily, aromatic wood that released a waxy aroma reminiscent of distant
exotic rainforest trees. Instead of the usual fleshy pink the erasers were a
light-devouring black, and they were bound in rings of a dull-grey brushed
steel that looked too industrial and high-carbon for the task of merely
containing erasers. He kept them in a flat silver case like a Smokey Thingie case,
which also contained (in its own crushed-velvet nest) a sharp little knife that
he used to keep them sharpened to wicked points."

The other passage is about Quentin discovering that
he has undergone a subtle, mysterious transformation:

"Quentin snuffed
the candle out and lit it again. The light that played around his hands as he
worked the spell was a little more intense than it would have been a week ago.
In the darkness of his room he could see that the colors were shifted a bit
toward the violent, violet end of the spectrum. The power came more easily, and
it buzzed a little harder and louder in his fingers." Those are certainly evocative! Can
you imagine writing further books in this series, or is there a sense of
finality now?

It really is my full and total intention to end the series here. But I'm sure
Ursula K. Le Guin thought that when she finished the Earthsea trilogy. If I had
another good idea for this world, I wouldn't let it go to waste. But Quentin's
story will be over.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:11 pm
by TheButcher
so sorry wrote:

Giant flesh eating penguins or GTFO!

Giant Flesh Eating Penguins On A Plane!

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:34 am
by TheButcher
Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:34 am
by TheButcher
The Wes Anderson Collection Book Trailer

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:01 pm
by TheButcher
Furious Cool: Book Review
A new biography examines the galvanizing career of Richard Pryor, revealing his Cosby rivalry and Dumbledore affairs, and makes the case he's the most important comedian of his generation.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:26 pm
by TheButcher
Sherlock Holmes: Judge Declares Popular Detective in Public Domain
The Conan Doyle estate argued that to deny copyright on the whole character would be to give the detective "multiple personalities."
Eriq Gardner wrote:Sherlock Holmes is not dead. The BBC recently made that clear in a mini-episode for Sherlock. Now, much of what we know about the popular detective character belongs to all.

So says a federal judge in Illinois tasked with determining whether a character who first appeared in publication in 1887 could still be in copyright.

The lawsuit was brought by Leslie Klinger, an author, editor and Sherlock Holmes expert who has written the Annotated Sherlock Holmes and contributed to an anthology entitled In the Company of Sherlock Holmes. Klinger reported being threatened by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and sought a judicial declaration that most of the stories and characters in the Holmes canon were old enough that they belonged in the public domain. In response, attorneys for the Doyle estate raised the compelling argument that because Holmes' character was developed over time, it was impossible to dismantle the detective's personality into both in- and out-of-copyright parts.

All but about ten of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories predate 1923, and the essential issue of this dispute was to determine what that exactly meant. The current U.S. term of copyright is life of the author plus 70 years or 95 years after publication, whichever is earliest.

The Doyle estate attempted to distinguish between "flat entertainment characters" like Amos 'n' Andy, the subject of an old legal dispute, and "complex literary characters" like Sherlock Holmes, who according to the defendant, had a "complex background and maturing emotions." To deny the estate copyright on the whole character, it was argued, would be to give the detective "multiple personalities."

In a ruling (read here), U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo sticks to the basics of copyright law, and nodding to that Amos 'n' Andy case and others involving the character of Sherlock Holmes, finds that only expression -- dialogue, characters and traits -- newly introduced by those post-1923 stories are protected by copyright.

"It is a bedrock principle of copyright that 'once work enters the public domain it cannot be appropriated as private (intellectual) property,' and even the most creative of legal theories cannot trump this tenet," writes the judge. "Having established that all but the Ten Stories have passed into the public domain, this Court concludes that the Pre-1923 Story Elements are free for public use."

To the Doyle estate's warning against splitting Sherlock Holmes into in- and out-of-copyright elements, Judge Castillo says that is exactly what prior courts have done. And the judge adds that adopting the position of Doyle "would be to extend impermissibly the copyright of certain character elements of Holmes and Watson."

Of course, there are still elements of the Sherlock Holmes story that aren't free to be used by all. In the ruling, the judge discusses some of the elements in post-1923 stories, including Dr. Watson's second wife and Holmes' retirement from his detective agency. Klinger argued that such elements were "events," but the judge says the plaintiff hasn't made an availing argument that they aren't protected.

As a result, Doyle at least gets something. (The estate is also signaling that it intends to protect its trademarks going forward.) Overall, though, Klinger wins the desired judgment --#FreeSherlock was his Twitter hashtag -- allowing him to go forward with the Sherlock Holmes anthology and others to use whatever they wish of the pre-'23 stories.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:08 am
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:52 am
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:56 am
by TheBaxter

you know, this is one series i wouldn't mind seeing get the Game of Thrones treatment on HBO or somewhere. i know we already had a halfway decent Interview film and a pretty terrible quen of the damned, but it's been long enough since those films that this could easily be rebooted as a tv series. it would surely be a ton better than true blood or vampire diaries or any of the other tv vampire crap out there now.

i think i'm gonna have to go and reread the series (at least the 1st 5 books) in time for this one to come out.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:23 am
by TheButcher
Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years in prison over book, TV claims
Kevin Trudeau, the television pitchman who has been both successful and suspect, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for making false claims, Reuters reports.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:24 am
by TheButcher

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:25 am
by TheButcher
Simon Schama's 'Story of the Jews' sets stage for an even darker tale
Michael Hiltzik wrote:Whatever you might say about Simon Schama, one of our most prominent and accomplished narrative historians, you can't say he's afraid to tackle broad and challenging subjects. "The Story of the Jews" is the first of a two-volume work aimed at covering 3 millenniums, from 1000 BCE to the present day, with the break coming at 1492 and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella.

Re: Prince Lestat

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:29 am
by TheButcher
TheBaxter wrote:

you know, this is one series i wouldn't mind seeing get the Game of Thrones treatment on HBO or somewhere. i know we already had a halfway decent Interview film and a pretty terrible quen of the damned, but it's been long enough since those films that this could easily be rebooted as a tv series. it would surely be a ton better than true blood or vampire diaries or any of the other tv vampire crap out there now.

i think i'm gonna have to go and reread the series (at least the 1st 5 books) in time for this one to come out.

Anne Rice brings back her vampire antihero with 'Prince Lestat'
Carolyn Kellogg wrote:A generation before "Twilight" stole teen girls' hearts, Anne Rice's "Interview With the Vampire" and its sequels explored the romance and eroticism of the vampire myth. No matter who was telling the stories of their loves and misdeeds, the vampire Lestat was at the center of the story, a magnetic, selfish antihero.

The undead Lestat, who was played by Tom Cruise in the 1994 film "Interview With the Vampire," will return in a new novel in October. Rice announced the upcoming publication of "Prince Lestat" on "The Dinner Party," an Internet show co-hosted by Christopher Rice, her son.

"It is a big vampire chronicle," she said. "It's all about Lestat and all about the vampires and what they're doing right now. How they're coming to terms with everything that's happened to them, and how Lestat is dealing with demands from all sides that he step forward and become some sort of leader of the tribe."

"It's a true sequel to 'The Queen of the Damned,' " Christopher prompted. "That's how you described it to me."

"The Queen of the Damned" was the third book in Rice's series the Vampire Chronicles. It followed "Interview With the Vampire" and "The Vampire Lestat," and was followed by seven additional novels in the series.

"It's a sequel to the first five," Rice corrected, meaning that it also follows "The Tale of the Body Thief" and "Memnoch the Devil."

She noted that the book has been finished since late last year but that she kept mum about it at the request of her publisher, Knopf. "Prince Lestat" will hit shelves Oct. 28.

"I don't want to be irritating, or how should I put it, pretentious, talking about a character as though he's a living being, but I really had to wrestle this guy to the ground and beat him up and say, 'Look, you've got to talk to me. I want to know what you've been doing,' " she said. "I can't really write novels about that character unless he wants to come through."

Rice went back and re-read her own books in the series before she began writing. Once she hit her stride, she wrote more material than could fit into "Prince Lestat."

"I feel like this is Novel 1 of a new incarnation of the Vampire Chronicles," she said.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:12 am
by TheBaxter
i'm guessing her christianity books didn't sell too well?

yeah, i'm a little cynical about it, but this is where she's always done her best work, so i'll keep my hopes up it's not just a cash grab, cashing in on her early successes, and that it's actually a good and worthwhile read.

Re: Random Book News

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:49 am
by TheButcher