Archive for the ‘Science Fiction & Fantasy’ Category

GAME OF THRONES, New Season

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

9781101886045_52d82HBO’s Game of Thrones returns with Season 5 on April 12th. As the SF site, io9 observes, the series has so far been “a remarkably faithful adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s [novels],” but that will change in the new season. Listing five major deviations, they say that’s actually a good thing.

Nevertheless, tie-in editions in mass market and trade paperback are coming 3/31/15 (RH/Bantam).

A new trailer was released yesterday:

Meanwhile, George R.R. Martin has set off fan frenzy by writing on his blog that he is clearing his calendar to work on the sixth book in the series, The Winds of Winter (no release date has been announced, but some sites claim Martin told reporters earlier that it will come out in October). It will be followed by the final book, A Dream of Spring.

For those who need a refresher on the HBO series so far, the cast tries to sum it up in 30 seconds for Entertainment Weekly.

STATION ELEVEN Gains Big Fans

Monday, March 16th, 2015

9780385353304_db2df-2Emily St. John Mandel is having a great month. Her novel Station Eleven (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio; Thorndike), was just announced as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Prize as well as  a longlist title for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. In addition, a heated auction for the film rights were won for a reported six figures.

The icing on the cake may be George R.R. Martin’s strong endorsement. In a blog post, he urges fans to nominate Station Eleven for the Hugo Awards, which he says, “… are the oldest awards in our genre, and to my mind, the most meaningful,”

“I won’t soon forget Station Eleven. One could, I suppose, call it a post-apocolypse novel, and it is that, but all the usual tropes of that subgenre are missing here, and half the book is devoted to flashbacks to before the coming of the virus that wipes out the world, so it’s also a novel of character, and there’s this thread about a comic book and Doctor Eleven and a giant space station and… oh, well, this book should NOT have worked, but it does. It’s a deeply melancholy novel, but beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac… a book that I will long remember, and return to.”

Librarians spotted the book early. Station Eleven was a Library Reads pick in September and made the LibraryReads Top Ten Favorites list for 2014. It was also a favorite on several GalleyChats.

Author Terry Pratchett Dies

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The author of over 70 books for children and adults, including the popular Discworld series and many other novels has died at 66.

Terry Pratchett, who had early onset Alzheimer’s disease, died at his home according to the announcement,  “with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family.”

The Guardian offers a tribute to the author in the form of reviews by young fans, as well as a selection of his most inspiring quotes.

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A collection of 14 stories for children, many of which were written when Pratchett was in his teens,  Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales (HMH/Clarion; Listening Library) was published in February. The fourth in the Long Earth series, written for adults, The Long Utopia (Harper; HarperLuxe) is scheduled for publication this June.

Ernie Cline’s ARMADA Release Set

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

9780804149112_319ecTweeting the official release date of his second novel yesterday, author Ernie Cline set fan sites aglow:

My second novel ARMADA will be published on July 14th, 2015! It’s now available for pre-order: http://t.co/P7ib8DgFrQ pic.twitter.com/rtOMoeP5VP — Ernie Cline (@erniecline) February 25, 2015

Publisher RH/Crown’s description here.

Ready Player OneIt also seems that the long-gestating film adaptation of his first novel Ready Player One, (RH/Crown, 2011) is moving along. The screenwriter, interviewed in Den of Geek! late last month, says he thinks he’s nailed it and adds, “Often with a book adaptation – if you’re adapting Catcher in the Rye, it’s difficult to do anything but make it worse. It’s very hard to capture what makes the book great on film and do justice to it. With Ready Player One, it’s this universe he’s created with the opportunity to be more true to the thing than the thing itself, if you know what I mean.” Maybe we’ll understand that once the film is released.

Armada has also been optioned for a movie adaptation.

STATION ELEVEN
Film/TV Rights Acquired

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

9780385353304_db2df-2TV and movie rights to librarian and bookseller favorite, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, (RH/Knopf, Sept., 2014; RH Audio; Thorndike) have been acquired by Scott Steindorff (producer of Jon Favreau’s Chef).

A number of directors are circling the project according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The novel was a LibraryReads Top Ten Favorite for the year, a National Book Awards finalist and on multiple best books lists.

RA Alert: Slipping into Slipstream with Kelly Link

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 10.49.30 AMKelly Link’s new collection, Get in Trouble (Random House, Feb. 2, 2015; OverDrive Sample), her first for adult readers in over a decade, is getting widespread attention, and strong reviews, in sources ranging from NPR to Salon to The LA Time’s “Jacket Copy,” which says readers will be “hopelessly engaged” in the stories. The Salon review matches that glowing tone by asking if any author has “a better, deeper instinct for the subterranean overlap between pop culture and myth?”

Link’s collection focuses attention on a genre that is as popular as it is hard to define: Slipstream.

Picking up on the swell of interest, The Wall Street Journal profiles Link while also exploring the popularity of the genre, which they define this way:

The label slipstream encompasses writing that slips in and out of conventional genres, borrowing from science fiction, fantasy and horror. The approach, sometimes also called “fantastika,” “interstitial” and “the New Weird,” often feathers the unexpected in with the ordinary, such as the hotel in Ms. Link’s new collection of stories Get in Trouble, where there are side-by-side conferences, one for dentists and another for superheroes in save-the-world costumes and regalia.

Hats off to the WSJ for offering a cogent and manageable definition (even though it is sure to continue the debate of just what Slipstream is).

The article goes on to offer even more help to readers’ advisors by supplying a list of example titles and some reasons for the genre’s popularity.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Tenth of December by George Saunders, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Southern Reach trilogy are all mentioned.

Explaining the interest, John Kessel, co-editor of the slipstream anthology Feeling Very Strange, writes, “I think one reason this kind of fiction has become more popular is that the world doesn’t make a lot of sense to a lot of people … So fiction that suggests that the world is inexplicable, but that there is some feeling of connection nonetheless, speaks to people.”

RED RISING, Book 3

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Red Rising  golden-sun  morning-star_612x931

The third in Pierce Brown’s sci-fi adventure is heralded with an “exclusive cover reveal” on Entertainment Weekly’s “Shelf Life” blog, along with an interview with the author. Titled Morning Star,  it will be released in spring, 2016, and is not yet listed on distributor catalogs.

Both of the first two books in the trilogy are LibraryReads picks. Golden Son debuted on the 1/25 NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #6. This week, it appears at #20 on the extended list.

Amazon Turns to Books

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A few years ago, Netflix introduced the world to the idea of bingeing on an entire season of a new series, by streaming al the episodes of House of Cards at one time, following up by doing the same with Orange is the New Black.

Amazon also got into that game. Its series Transparent just made history as the first online series to win two Golden Globe awards, one for best comedy and another show’s star, Jeffrey Tambor as best actor,

Now they have announced their fist drama series. This time, it is based on books. Boschfeaturing the character from Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, debuts February 13 on Prime Instant Video.

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Connelly, who is also a producer for the show, co-wrote the script. According to a story in the production in the Wall Street Journal, it is based on two Bosch titles,,  The Concrete Blonde, (1991, Hachette/Little Brown; #3 in the series) and (City of Bones, 2002; #8).

Amazon has also just  released their 4th “pilot season,” which gives viewers the opportunity to watch and rate seven new pilots aimed at adults and six more for kids (Woody Allen who recently struck a deal with Amazon to create his own series next year, will not have to go through this process. His series will go direct to release).

One of those pilots is based on a book, The Man in the High Castle, adapted by Ridley Scott from the iconic alternate reality novel by Philip K. Dick. The press is giving it high marks (see Entertainment Weekly, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times).

The Next STAR TREK

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

The debut on Friday of the Syfy Channel’s new series 12 Monkeys, based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 movie, is part of the cable network’s plan to lure back its audience by returning to its roots in scripted, hard-core science fiction.

9780316129084Other upcoming series are based on books. Just released is a trailer for The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey‘s series of the same title that begins with Leviathan Wakes, (Hachette/Orbit, 2011). The 10-episodes series, aims, says Entertainment Weekly to be “the next great Star Trek/Firefly/Farscape space drama” or “Game of Thrones in space.”

 

The date for the series has not yet been announced, but the release of the trailer indicates it is not far off.

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Also on tap are adaptations of  two Arthur C. Clarke novels, 3001 The Final Odyssey, (RH/Del Rey, 1997) in development with Ridley Scott as the executive producer and Childhood’s End, (RH/Ballantine, 1953), currently being cast, as well as  Hunters, based on Whitley Strieber’s novel Alien Hunter, (Macmillan/Tor, 2013) and the just-announced adaptation of Robert Charles Wilson’s 2005 novel Spin. (Macmillan/Tor, 2005).

Pierce Brown, Best Seller

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Red Rising  golden-sun

Debuting on the Jan. 25 NYT hardcover fiction best seller list at #6 is the second in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son, (RH/Del Rey; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample), surpassing the first book, which spent three weeks on the extended list.

Librarians have been big supporters of the series, making the first title the #1 LibraryRead pick last February. Golden Son is on the current list, with the following recommendation:

“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heart wrenching!”

Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD

Entertainment Weekly calls it the “gripping follow-up to last year’s should-have-been-huge debut.”

It is the lead in this week’s NYT BR “Inside the List” column.

Meet Mr Norrell

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The following brief clip from the BBC series based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 best selling debut novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, can’t be accused of giving away too much, but it does give a sense of Eddie Marsan’s portrayal of Norrell.

No news on when the series will debut in the U.S., but the tie-in (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA) is now showing a May release date, indicating it’s not expected until later in 2015.

Ernest Cline, Movie Rumors,
Next Book

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Ready Player OneWe’ve been talking about Librarian Favorites of the year. The number one title for 2011 was the debut science fiction novel, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (RH/Crown), a book that was also a Librarian’s BEA Shout ‘n’ Share pick that year (good going, Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library (OH).

Rumors were swirling last week that Warner Brothers, who bought the film rights prior to publication, are courting  Intersteller director Christopher Nolan to tackle this one. Other sites scoffed at the idea (Nolan doesn’t do adaptations), but then Ain’t It Cool News reported that Nolan is just one of many the studio is considering, including Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright and Matthew Vaughn.

The only thing that seems certain is that a script has been submitted. The rumors may indicate that it’s been accepted.

9780804149112_319ecCline’s second novel Armada was sold to RH/Crown in 2012 and Universal quickly snapped up the film rights.

The audio version is listed on Edelweiss for release on September 29, 2015. The hardcover is noted on an  accompanying “Comp. Title” list, from Crown, with the same release date and ISBN 9780804137256.  Below is the publisher description:

A cinematic, inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure from the best-selling author of Ready Player One.

Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull math class when the hightech dropship lands in his school’s courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits and sunglasses leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he’s sure he’s still dreaming. But the dream is all too real; the people of earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the videogame he’s been playing obsessively for years isn’t just a game; it’s part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they’ll need to defend earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming.

Soon Zack and and a handful of top gamers find themselves in a bunker beneath the Pentagon, hearing about our planet’s vast secret history over the last forty years-ever since a NASA probe first discovered evidence of intelligent life in our solar system, hidden beneath the ice of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he’ll uncover the truth about the alien Europans, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he’s been thrown into.

From PP&Z To Bradbury

Friday, October 31st, 2014

9780380977277_18bf9The new Disney adaptation of  the 1962 Ray Bradbury classic, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1999 hardcover reissue, Harper Voyager), has just completed the next step in becoming reality, with the hiring of a screenwriter.

It is set to be directed by first-timer Seth Grahame-Smith, who, as an author, has seen other directors adapt two of his books,  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to midlling success and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which languished in  development for years until it finally began filming in September (see Entertainment Weekly‘s “first look”).

When the Bradbury project was first announced earlier this year, Grahame-Smith told Deadline, “I have been so crazy about this book, and it was such a formative title in my life that I actually wrote a piece on NPR about why it is so important for young males to read,”

Disney has adapted it before, into a 1983 movie, starring Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd and Pam Grier. Grahame-Smith said he doesn’t intend to remake that movie, “I want the haunted atmosphere that makes the book so chilling, and I want to reinstate some of the classic scenes from the book that were missing from the ’83 film.”

 

Ann Leckie Wins Hugo

Monday, August 18th, 2014

9780316246620_7d223American author Ann Leckie’s debut novel, Ancillary Justice, (Hachette/Orbit; trade pbk original; Recorded Books), the first in a planned space opera trilogy called Imperial Reich, won the Hugo Award at a ceremony held in London last night.

9780316246651_975ecreview in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette said that the book “puts a new spin on old tales, forces us to face quandaries we’d never even imagine in our day-to-day lives, and shows us life from fresh, impossible perspectives,” and that  “her unique narrator may be the novel’s most notable innovation.” Read a sample from OverDrive here.

The book has already won the Nebula Best Novel award, the Arthur C Clarke award, as well as tying for the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel award.

The next book in  the trilogy, Ancillary Sword, is coming in October (Hachette/Orbit, original trade pbk).

The author lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

MAGIC BREAKS Into Hardcover

Monday, August 11th, 2014

9780425256220_f1dcdAuthor Ilona Andrews, who has been a best seller in paperback, released the 11th Kate Daniels novel in hardcover, Magic Breaks, in late July (Penguin/Ace; Recorded Books) and admits on her blog that she feared the shift would decrease sales.

Instead, it debuts on the NYT hardcover list at #13 and at #6 on ebooks only list.

Library journal calls it, “one of the best urban fantasy series around.”