Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

Comic-Con: AMERICAN GODS

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Debuting at Comic-Con is the first view of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, adapted by Starz as a TV series.

Reporting from the conference, io9 writes that, as part of the process of making the series, Gaiman looked through earlier drafts of the novel as fodder for additional screen stories. He announced that some of what he found might ,are its way into “the next American Gods book if I do another novel, which is seeming more and more likely these days.”

If that were not news enough for fans, after a very slow wind-up to get the iconic book to any screen, big or small, it seems Starz has hit the sweet spot with a spot-on adaptation.

Neil Gaiman said, “As a general rule, if you loved it in the book, it is probably going to end up on your screen.”

In a statement that is sure to thrill and intrigue readers of the novel, executive producer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal and Pushing Daisies) said the show is “fan fiction, in a wonderful way.”

Revealed as well is the news that a major element of the book, the journey the old gods take to the US, will get due attention and be treated as “trampolines into more stories.”

The Verge says more casting decisions were also announced. Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Glee, The West Wing, Pushing Daisies) will play Easter,  “a member of the old gods. (Her traditional name in mythology is Ostara, the Germanic goddess of the dawn).” USA Today has a run down on the rest of the cast.

The show is set to premiere sometime in 2017.

Comic-Con: THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Season 2 of Amazon’s hit series, The Man in the High Castle, based on the book by Philip K. Dick, was introduced at Comic-Con by executive producer Ridley Scott.

A new trailer was released a few days ago:

No release date has been announced. One source reports it’s not clear whether it will air this year or in early 2017.

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A trade paperback tie-in was released last year and a new hardcover version is set for publication in October.

ASCENDANT Falling

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

MV5BMjEyOTI3NDQwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjExOTIwODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,647,1000_AL_According to Variety, the Divergent series is likely to move to the small screen as disappointing box office is leading the studio Lionsgate to consider skipping the big screen ending.

Instead the plan appears to be the release of a made-for-TV movie, using it to launch a spin-off series.

Although nothing has been finalized or confirmed, according to Variety it is likely that Ascendant will not open in June 2017 as planned and it remains unclear “if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the Ascendant television movie.”

The first two films did well at the box office but the third film sank, leading to the possible change of plans. Deadline states there is a “decreasing interest in the property from its core audience at the box office each year.”

Backlist To TV:
THE CHRONICLES OF AMBER

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

9780380809066_1_CoverRobert Kirkman is moving away from comics with his next planned TV project according to The Hollywood Reporter and now has his eye on creating the next Game of Thrones. Through his Skybound Entertainment unit he is adapting Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber, a ten-book science fiction/fantasy series.

Zelazny died in 1995 and was a long-standing and beloved figure in the SFF community, winning Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards.

Like Game of Thrones, Zelazny’s series, reports Tor.com, “concerns royal family politics over a throne. But in this case, our hero Corwin awakens on Earth with amnesia. He comes to discover that Earth is just one of many “shadows,” or parallel worlds, that exist between the two true worlds of Amber and the Court of Chaos. As a prince of the royal family, it is Corwin’s birthright to rule Amber and fend off the forces of chaos.”

George R.R. Martin is a fan of Zelazny. Tor notes that Martin memorialized the author via a blog post:

Lord of Light was the first Zelazny book I ever read … I’d never heard of this Zelazny guy. But when I read those words for the first time, a chill went through me, and I sensed that SF would never be the same. Nor was it. Like only a few before him, Roger left his mark on the genre.”

9780060567231_1_CoverIf you need a refresher on Zelazny Tor offers a reread of his series.

If you need to add copies, Harper Voyager published a collected edition of all ten stories in 2010: The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 by Roger Zelazny (HC/Harper Voyager) as well as a new edition of his 1988 winner of both the Nebula and Hugo for best novel, Lord of Light.

GOT: Long Winter,
Meet Short Summer

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

MV5BMjM5OTQ1MTY5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjM3NzMxODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Although it’s getting snowy and cold in the North of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the series is focused on summer. According to multiple sources including Vanity Fair, season seven will air in summer 2017 and consist of only seven episodes. The previous six seasons have featured 10 episodes each and they aired in the spring.

Perhaps even more troubling for fans, Vanity Fair also reports that the final season, #8, will be even shorter, just six episodes. Sources such as Variety have confirmed those numbers, leaving fans only 13 hours more to enjoy.

Showrunner David Benioff explains the truncated seasons to Deadline Hollywood:

“It’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome … We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end … Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros, Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them … The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game.”

Showrunner D.B. Weiss tells Variety that the high production values of the series are also part of the reason for shorter season because hey simply cannot make ten episodes in 12-14 months of shooting, “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.”

The NYT points out that the late start might change future award seasons: “If the seventh season begins later than May, it will not be eligible for next year’s Emmy Awards,” continuing “Game of Thrones has garnered the most Emmy nominations of any TV show for three consecutive years, and last year it took home the Emmy for best drama for the first time.” This year, reports USA Today, it racked up 23 nominations, the most of any show in 2016.

As if to temper the disappointment over the delayed start and shorter seasons, Vanity Fair speculates that the schedule might give George R.R. Martin enough room to complete The Winds of Winter in time for inclusion in the TV series. Martin, who always has much to say on his blog, is completely mum on that point.

Following Fellowes

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

9781250045461_aa055In her NYT review of Belgravia, the novel by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Daisy Goodwin speculates on whether it will satisfy the legions who are still mourning the end of the TV series.

Curiously, Goodwin herself is in the running to fill that hole, as the writer and co-executive producer of an 8-part TV series Victoria, about the early years of the queen’s reign. It will run in January on PBS Masterpiece in the very time slot Downton once occupied (in the UK, it begins this fall on ITV, also in the time slot that Downton once ruled).

In addition, in late November, Goodwin will publish Victoria: A Novel (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press). It’s not clear that the book is the source for the series. The publisher description simply says, “Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the inner life of the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.”

Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2014) drew comparison from People magazine to Fellowes, “Downton Abbey fans will gallop like Thoroughbreds through this entertaining historical novel.”

Doctor Who alum Jenna Coleman will star in the TV series as Victoria, reports Entertainment Weekly, “beginning from her ascension to the throne in 1837, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert,” played by Tom Hughes (About Time).

ITV has posted several clips, a longer first look and a teaser that reveals some of the lush costuming.

Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton enthuses to Entertainment Weekly, “Victoria has it all: a riveting script, brilliant cast, and spectacular locations. And it’s a true story! This is exactly the kind of programming Masterpiece fans will love.”

OUTLANDER Season Finale Sends Books Rising

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Season two of the popular STARZ Outlander adaptation wrapped on Saturday. The final episode revealed new characters and story lines and also how much the screen version has increased book sales for the entire series, with all eight titles showing impressive leaps on Amazon’s sales rankings.

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Some people must feel the need to catch up, sending the first two books in Diana Gabaldon’s series,  Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber soaring. However, readers will find differences between the books and the series, particularly for season 2.

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But the real interest lies in what comes next. Book 3 in the series, Voyager (PRH/Delta; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) rose the highest on Amazon’s rankings, to #25. All the rest of the titles in the series also received significant bumps (the full list is here).

Two new seasons have been ordered, according to Variety. There is no air-date yet for season 3, but if the gap is anything like the time between seasons 1 and 2, fans will have to wait nearly a year, a period of time they mournfully call #Droughtlander.

It could take even longer than that, as casting for the new faces of season three has not even begun, co-executive producer Maril Davis told New York Magazine, “We haven’t actually started looking at anyone, but we’ll be starting fairly soon.” On top of this, new locations have to be spotted and new sets built as the action moves from Scotland to Jamaica.

When season 3 does air, fans can expect even more differences between page and screen reports Bustle, quoting executive producer, Ronald D. Moore, “Our goal is still to try and be as faithful as we can to the books [but] the longer that you go, the more the TV series inevitably veers from the book and certain plot lines then take on a life of their own … Those changes add up and the further in you go, the bigger those separations become.”

On the same topic Davis also told New York Magazine “In some ways, it should be like the books, but telling the TV version should be fresh. Even for book fans, you want to give them what they want, but in a different way sometimes. We want try to do that for season three as well.”

Gabaldon recently announced that the ninth book in her very slowly unfolding series (the first book was published over two decades ago) will be titled Tell The Bees That I Am Gone. A pub date is not yet known but Entertainment Weekly posted a brief excerpt.

Gabaldon has also said that a tenth book will be forthcoming, which she believes will finally wrap the series, and that she has plans for a prequel, focusing on her main character Jamie’s parents.

Nine-Year-Old’s Book Deal May Lead to Movies/TV

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Back when she was eight years old, Hilde Lysiak, founder and publisher of The Orange Street News got major media attention, featured on the Today Show.

Lysiak went on to scoop older reporters on a murder case, bringing controversy over whether a child should be involved in such activities, even more national media coverage, and a 2016 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Now, the news that she has a deal to write four books for Scholastic and has brought interest in film and TV rights to her story.

The first in the book series, titled Hilde Cracks the Case, will be published in 2017, under Scholastic’s early chapter books imprint, Branches.

 

QUEEN SUGAR Premieres This Fall

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

9780670026135An author many of you met via our Penguin First Flights Debut author program, Natalie Baszile is about to gain wider recognition. A TV series based on her novel Queen Sugar (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike; 2014), will premiere on Oprah’s network, OWN on September 7th.

The first two episodes in the 13-part series are directed by Ava DuVernay, who worked with Oprah on the film Selma. All the rest of the episodes will also be directed by women. DuVernay told People magazine, “If Game of Thrones can have all men for the last 3 seasons, Queen Sugar can have all women and show what a fantastic show can be made from our hands and our minds.”

Set in Southern Louisiana, the novel is about three sibling who inherit their father’s sugar cane plantation, It was selected as a book of the week by Oprah’s O magazine, saying, “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take by talented first-time novelist Natalie Baszile.”

Teaser is available here.

Netflix Finds Their Grace

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

9780385490443The title role in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of  Margaret Atwood’s 1996 historical crime novel, Alias Grace (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample) will be played by Sarah Gadon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the novel, Atwood explores the true story of a double murder that took place in Canada in the 1840’s. Like a 19th century version of Serial, the question of whether the poor young Irish immigrant Grace Marks was guilty of killing her employer and his housekeeper captured public attention at the time.

The novel received critical acclaim winning The Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. It was also named to the ALA Notable Book list, and picked as one of the year’s best novels by The New York Times as well as by Booklist and Library Journal.

Reading Francine Prose’s description of the plot in the NYT Sunday Book Review, you can see what attracted the producers to the story about “a pretty young woman who was either the loathsome perpetrator or another innocent victim of an infamous crime” and imagine the pitch, “Making a Murderer meets Penny Dreadful.”

Netflix has not yet set a release date for the series.

Books Offer Escape in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

9780812986181_c8778The fourth season of the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, just released in its entirety, features characters who discuss books with a fervor that spills over into the real world. A past episode even launched poetry lessons on the meaning of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” such as this one on Slate.

Keying into the interest BuzzFeed has published a list of all the books referenced in Season Four, along with clips from the show. HuffPost (Canada) has a list of every book read during seasons 1-3. Libraries have also created reading lists tied to the show.

Of course, the Netflix series is began life as a book. Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (RH/Spiegel & Grau; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample) was the basis for season one and at least one university is using the book as an all-campus reads title.

Kerman told the LA Times in 2013 that while she was in prison, books were “complete lifelines. They were the only legitimate forms of escape.”

The trailer for the fourth season is below. Season five is in the works.

More Noir TV

Monday, June 27th, 2016

9781783298839_2aedaAdding to the wave of crime series on cable, such as True Detective, comes Quarry, Cinemax‘s dark and moody adaptation of Max Allan Collins’s noir 1970s era series about a hit man. The eight-episode run will premiere on September 9th and star Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) as a Marine who comes home to Memphis after the Vietnam War and gets caught in a world of violence and corruption.

Also scheduled for release is a tie-in, Quarry – TV Tie-In Edition, Max Allan Collins (RH/Hard Case Crime, Sept. 27; OverDrive Sample).

9781783298143_ff767Publisher Hard Case Crime has recently re-issued the original Quarry novels with their signature retro covers. According to GraphicNovelReporter, the publisher revived the series in 2006 (after a 20-year gap) and Collins has written seven new titles thus far. The latest is Quarry in the Black (RH/Hard Case Crime; October 4, 2016).

Collins’s graphic novel Road to Perdition was adapted as the critically acclaimed 2002 film starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.

Hitting Screens, Week of June 20

Monday, June 20th, 2016

9781469627052_a09d2The Free State of Jones leads the book-to-screen lineup this week with the Matthew McConaughey vehicle, set during the American Civil War, opening in wide release beginning June 23.

The movie recounts the true-life events of a Mississippi farmer who lead a band of rebels against the Confederate army. It is a rarity, an adaptation of a university press book, The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, Victoria E. Bynum (U. of N. Carolina Press), with a tie-in featuring a new afterward by Bynum.

9780452286542_c9235Also on June 23, Queen of the South starts its run on the USA Network, adapting Arturo Perez-Reverte’s story of female drug lords. The novel on which it is based, Queen of the South (PRH/Plume; OverDrive Sample), first published in 2005, now features new cover art advertising the show.

The novel has been adapted previously, as La Reina del Sur, which aired in 2011 on Telemundo (the American Spanish-language network owned by NBCUniversal).

The series is #4 on People magazine’s picks for the week, calling it a “satisfyingly pulpy melodrama.”

9781616203153_044e2On June 24 The Fundamentals of Caring comes to Netflix. Staring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, and Selena Gomez, the film is based on The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison (Workman/Algonquin Books; OverDrive Sample). No new tie-in is available for the road-trip story of a teen with muscular dystrophy and his down-on-his-luck care giver, but the 2013 paperback now has cover art promoting the movie.

The film got nods at Sundance but as Variety reports, the market for indie self-actualization films has fallen: “Indie-comedy cliches get a crowdpleasing workout … but the theatrical market isn’t what it used to be … Already acquired by Netflix for SVOD [streaming video on demand] in a pricey pre-fest pick-up, that venue sounds like the best bet to connect with audiences.”

 

MURDER SHE BAKED, New Movie

Friday, June 17th, 2016

The fourth in the Hallmark Murder She Baked series based on JoAnne Fluke’s novels, this one titled A Deadly Recipe, premieres this Sunday.

Series star Alison Sweeney appeared on the Ellen Show yesterday to talk about the movies, working with a difficult co-star, and her own novel, Opportunity Knocks (Hachette Books. 4/5/16).

Preview the Hallmark movie here.

Tie-in:

9781496711526_92eafFudge Cupcake Murder
Joanne Fluke
Kensington: May 31, 2016
9781496711526, 1496711521
Mass Market
$7.99 USD, $8.99 CAD

IT Gets Its Clown

Monday, June 6th, 2016

9781501142970_c0849“Up-and-coming” actor Bill Skarsgard will play the lead in the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It reports Deadline Hollywood, adding, “It’s a step up for Skarsgard, who has been knocking on the door in series like Hemlock Grove and the Divergent sequels.”

Andy Muschietti (Mama) is directing the New Line Cinema production (after Jane Eyre‘s Cary Fukunaga left the project). Mash-up master Seth Grahame-Smith is one of the producers.

Consequence of Sound reports the movie will be a two-part set with the first following “the children being stalked by the titular shapeshifting monster, while the second will pick up decades later, when those same kids are confronting their same demons as adults.”

It is one of King’s highest regarded novels, ranked as #1 on Den of Geek‘s gathering of King’s “Top 10 Pure Horror Novels” saying “IT is King’s terrifying, gruesome, trashy, cosmic, demonic horror masterpiece that we still can’t claw out of our minds so many years later.” The novel also beat out all but The Stand and The Shining on BuzzFeed‘s list of King’s “11 Essential” books. In a Rolling Stones reader poll the crazy clown novel ranked the 2nd most popular of any King novel.

Fans may recall that this is not the first It adaptation. In 1990 a TV miniseries starring Tim Curry aired on ABC.