It seems like the Pern books get optioned every couple years, and nothing ever comes of it… But you never know. Today, it’s Warner Bros., in need of a fresh franchise, who’ve nabbed the rights to Anne McCaffrey’s classic sci-fi (with dragons!) series, Deadline reports.
I was a big fan of Pern as a kid, and even wrote up a guide to reading them in 2011. Hell, I just realized the other day these books are basically my personal equivalent to Lord of the Rings… But I’m never sure how to feel when the possibilities of movies (or TV shows) come up. Not sure if want?
Awards. The finalist list for the Nebulas was released yesterday, and I’ve read… Exactly one of the novels. (The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin. It was okay, but I found the sequel much more engaging. Still, not a bad book at all.) So, no idea who will win, and I won’t even guess at the rest. I am likewise ignorant on the Andre Norton nominees, but I do have two of them on my to-read shelf.
I’m not much one for short fiction, but if you are, the SF Signal link above has links to the lions share of novelette and short story nominees.
As for the Bradbury (Dramatic Presentation,) the selections are The Avengers, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Cabin in the Woods, The Hunger Games, John Carter (?!?) and Looper. Alrighty then.
Controversy. With the Ender’s Game adaptation on the horizon and author Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay views in the news news due to protest of his involvement in a Superman anthology, Summit has a bit of a marketing challenge on their hands.
Game of Thrones. The season two Blu-rays of the HBO series are out now – what lurks in the extras? And is a second Westeros series in the cards?
Adaptations. SyFy is aiming for Philip K. Dick’s Man in the High Castle, while Heathers and Mean Girls alums are taking the reins of the Vampire Academy movie. One of these projects is doomed, and sadly it’s not the one about a vampire academy.
Oh hey, books! io9 lists the SF/F books you can’t afford to miss this month, and writer Charlie Jane Anders is really into Karen Lord’s maybe-ex-Star Trek-fanfic The Best of All Possible Worlds. If you’re thus intrigued, here’s 50 pages to read right now.
Several of Timothy Zahn’s science fiction novels from the 80’s and 90’s – now out of print – have been reissued as eBooks by Open Road Media. They even produced a short video you can see under the cut. Continue reading
J.K. Rowling. The author’s first non-Harry Potter book, The Casual Vacancy, is coming out on tomorrow. ‘Cozy village mystery’ is not a genre we’d cover if Rowling wasn’t writing it, but there is an interesting profile in The New Yorker for the occasion. Naturally, the part that went viral was the quote about sex and unicorns, but if you’re in the mood for a 10-page profile on Jo Rowling, well. Meanwhile, she told The Guardian that she promised her editor she wouldn’t read Fifty Shades of Grey. If we don’t ask every woman in publishing about the ex-fanfic smut, does the ex-fanfic smut win?
It’s (almost) the end of a Big Fat Fantasy era. The final book of the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, will be released in January. Dragonmount’s Jason Denzel read the book, and shares some (spoiler-free) reaction and memories. meanwhile, fans can grab the book’s prologue on Amazon, while Tor offers the first chapter.
Adaptions. The latest YA book on the hoping-to-be-the-next-Twilight-franchise assembly line, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures, debuted its first trailer last week, and it looks, well, like a gender-swapped Twilight. (She’s a witch; he’s normal.) I did read the book a while back, and was distinctly unimpressed. The movie features Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum in supporting roles. Meanwhile, Dreamworks has optioned Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone. It will be produced by Harry Potter’s David Heyman.
All the powerful ladies. Tor’s Liz Bourke presents an argument against copping out on women in historical fantasy.
Do not want. Robin Hobb is quietly working on a new Fitz novel, a prospect which fills me with dread. Her breakthrough Farseer Trilogy is all well and good, but the second set of Fitz books were probably about 90% chaff and whining. (Despite that, I think parts of the ending – not Fitz – did actually make me cry. YMMV.) Is the character going to be Hobb’s Lestat? Speaking of, Anne Rice is asking her fans why they want Lestat to come back. Dear lord, no. I could write whole essays for her second question.
Also: Terry Brook’s Shannara series optioned for TV; Naomi Novik talks writing and fan fiction; A visual history of the Hugo’s Best Professional Artist winners.
Awards. The Hugo Award winners were announced at Worldcon this past weekend. Taking Best Novel was Jo Walton’s Among Others, beating out George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons and works by China Miéville, James S. A. Corey and Mira Grant. (Walton also won the Nebula for the book.) Other writing prizes went to Kij Johnson, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu and more.
The dramatic presentation awards went to Game of Thrones S1 and Neil Gaiman for his Doctor Who episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife.’ (Gaiman took the opportunity to announce he’s writing another episode for the show.) Also noteworthy to us, SF Signal winning for Best Fanzine!
Tolkien. With Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit adaption now being three films, the second has been retitled The Desolation of Smaug, with There and Back Again now being the third installment. I fully expect it to contain at least an hour of various slow-motion endings. But seriously, it looks like there was a lot of hints dropped at DragonCon.
A Song of Ice And Fire. A hilarious Storm of Swords ‘It Gets Better’ PSA. Yes, of course there are spoilers. Or, you can read what GRRM has revealed of the Targaryen conquest of Westeros from the upcoming The World of Ice and Fire.
Lists. io9 picks fall’s must-read SF/F books and explores the mermaid trend in YA.
Records. The Hunger Games series has outsold Harry Potter – at least on Amazon.
Also: Ray Bradbury’s FBI file / Lev Grossman interviews Terry Brooks / Ursula Le Guin’s Noble Prize odds / Dark Tower adaption not so dead after all?
NPR has been formulating a list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy all summer, and finally the results are in. It includes few surprises – J. R. R. Tolkien takes the top with Lord of the Rings, followed by Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Frank Herbert’s Dune series, and George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
There are only a handful of books by women represented, though: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale take #20 and #22. Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Susanna Clarke, Robin Hobb, Audrey Niffenegger, Jacqueline Carey, Mary Stewart, Diana Gabaldon, Robin McKinley and Connie Willis also appear. (J.K. Rowling would no doubt have had a good shot at a high placement, but NPR is saving young adult books for “summers yet to come.”)
Also making an appearance, at #88, is the only Star Wars work: Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. Not too bad, considering the shabby reputation of tie-ins. Though I can’t help but point out that the cover they’re using to represent the trilogy is actually for the comic adaptions. Sigh.
The cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly features Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss – our first look at the character in the adaption.
There’ll be more (including additional photos) in the actual issue, which will be on the stands come Friday. In the meantime, they’re throwing us a few more crumbs:
In a free-wheeling interview, Lawrence describes her first encounter with Ross last winter, during the height of Oscar season. “He was asking me what the experience was like,” she recalls, “and I just kind of opened up and said, ‘I feel like a rag doll. I have hair and makeup people coming to my house every day and putting me in new, uncomfortable, weird dresses and expensive shoes, and I just shut down and raise my arms up for them to get the dress on, and pout my lips when they need to put the lipstick on.’ And we both started laughing because that’s exactly what it’s like for Katniss in the Capitol. She was a girl who’s all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t belong here.’”
Reaction seems to be fairly positive, at least as far as I’ve seen. What do you think of Lawrence as Kartniss, now that we have an actual visual?
Yes, George R. R. Martin finished the book. The fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire got a July 12th publication date last month, but he still wasn’t quite finished with the manuscript, leaving many to doubt that the long-awaited book would actually become a reality. Well, worry no longer, because Martin posted today that Kong has been slain. For those not up on GRRM’s lingo – ‘Kong’ is the book’s nickname – his editor, Anne Groell, has confirmed in plain English.
Meanwhile, HBO’s Game of Thrones TV show has been doing well – ratings held steady for the second episode, and it’s already been renewed for a second season. And you’ll certainly want to check out Time’s four-part interview with Martin about the show, including his thoughts on how the next few volumes should be split up for filming.
Awards. Nominees for the 2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards were announced the other day, and I’m still a little in shock that two of my 2010 favorites – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Feed – are up for best novel.
Tolkien. The extended editions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will be in theaters this June. Individually, thankfully.
Dark Tower. And for new adaptations, it appears that Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) has signed on to play Roland in Ron Howard’s take on Stephen King’s epic fantasy series.
Recs. Thanks to Jo Walton, I now want to give Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet a swing. And while I was already planning to try Genevieve Valentine’s Mechanique, but Charlie Jane Anders’ review has made me even more intrigued.
Now on the failed adaption shortlist… Pern, yet again? This time sees Copperheart Entertainment hook up with with X-Men scriptwriter David Hayter. Is [mumble] times the charm for Anne McCaffrey’s dragonriders, or will this project vanish into between? But since Peter Jackson doesn’t seem in much rush to utilize the rights to Naomi Novak’s Temeraire, this might be fantasy fans best hope for an actual dragon movie franchise. Just, you know, don’t hold your breath.
The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins is profiled in The New York Times, and the actors playing Peeta and Gale have been announced.
A Song of Ice and Fire. Game of Thrones debuts this weekend! For those of you not poring over Winter is Coming, here’s a character cheat sheet. Meanwhile, Tor.com is running a series on the women of the series, and George R. R. Martin is interviewed by the NYT.
Recommended. What are the 80 greatest science fiction books for kids? Online Colleges and Universities has some suggestions, helpfully sorted by age group.
Cover art. A threefer: Terry Brooks The Measure of Magic, N.K. Jemisin’s The Kingdom of Gods and Lev Grossman’s The Magician King. As unimpressed as I was by The Magicians, I must admit that both books have gorgeous covers.
New Dune adaption dead. The latest attempt to film Frank Herbert’s Dune has officially thrown in the towel as Paramount’s rights lapsed. The novel has been filmed twice before – By David Lynch in 1984 and the Sci-Fi Channel in 2000. Neither version could quite capture the classic sci-fi novel… Is it simply not a book that translates well to screen, or has the right team just not attempted it yet? I’m sure we’ll see it adapted again either way.
That said, I must admit I am quite fond of Sci-Fi’s 2003 attempt at the second and third books in the series, Children of Dune. And it only has a little to do with James McAvoy spending half the thing running around with no shirt on.
The Hunger Games. They have their Katniss, but what about the rest of the cast? Television Without Pity, of all places, has a nice set of suggestions for casting everyone else. With the exception of Christopher Lee (he’s played that role a million times over) I wholeheartedly applaud their selections. Major props for a non-sexy Haymitch!
Chronicles of Narnia. Walden is skipping right over The Silver Chair to make prequel The Magician’s Nephew the next film in the series. Yay for having an actual reason to bring back
their best character Tilda Swinton this time.
Inheritance Cycle. Knopf has released the cover for the final book in Christopher Paolini’s Star Wars meets Pern in Middle-earth series. It’s always nice to see John Jude Palencar getting work, I guess.
Lists. Topless Robot’s has 14 great but lesser-known sci-fi novels for lil’ nerds. I find it quite distressing that Paula Danzinger’s This Place Has No Atmosphere is considered a lesser known sci-fi novel. Danzinger is a YA goddess, people. RESPECT.