SFFWorld News – 11/16/09
1) World Fantasy Awards 2009:
Life Achievement Awards:
The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow)
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin; Knopf)
“If Angels Fight”, Richard Bowes (F&SF 2/08)
“26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”, Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 7/08)
Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Ekaterina Sedia, ed. (Senses Five Press)
The Drowned Life, Jeffrey Ford (HarperPerennial)
Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (for Small Beer Press and Big Mouth House)
Michael J. Walsh (for Howard Waldrop collections from Old Earth Books)
2) ABC Network in the U.S. has cancelled low-rated Eastwick, the new t.v. adaptation of John Updike’s fantasy novel The Witches of Eastwick, which was also made into a 1987 film of the same name. ABC will show the remaining episodes of the 13 shot for the first season. The show starred Rebecca Romijn and Paul Gross.
3) News is leaking out that Spider-man 4 will feature two villains and that one of them will be the female thief and villain-hero Felicia Hardy, known as the Black Cat. Top contender for the role is rumored to be actress Rachel McAdams. Tobey Maguire will return as Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, with Sam Raimi directing again for what may be his last Spider-man film.
4) A record 20 films have been submitted for nomination for the Best Animated Feature Oscar at the Academy Awards this year. This may mean that there will be 5 nominees for the award this year, instead of the usual 3 slots. Submissions have included Pixar’s Up, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Monsters vs. Aliens, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, Ponyo, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Planet 51 and Astro Boy.
5) Legendary SFF author Ray Bradbury has agreed to develop a t.v. miniseries based on six of his short stories for 1 hour episodes. The Bradbury Chronicles is being produced by White Oak Productions, but no network is yet attached to air the miniseries.
6) Fright Night was one of the moderately successful, humorous vampire thrillers of the 1980’s, along with the more slapstick Once Bitten and the more horror-oriented Lost Boys, all of which have become cult classics. It starred Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, and Roddy McDowall as a late night horror film t.v. presenter asked to help a teenager who believes his new neighbor is a vampire. Marti Noxon, known for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-off Angel and currently a writer-producer for acclaimed series Mad Men, has been hired to craft an up-dated re-make of the film for DreamWorks.
7) Noxon’s old boss, Joss Whedon, has just had his newest t.v. show, the noir conspiracy drama Dollhouse starring Eliza Dushku, cancelled by Fox in the States. Fox will air the remainder of the 13 episodes of the show’s second season. And since everyone knew Fox was going to do this, Whedon has reportedly got a solid ending for the series planned. The show was yanked from the viewing schedule during the November sweeps period and will return December 4, offering turns by guest stars Summer Glau and Ray Wise.
8) The Television Hall of Fame has decided to honor Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, along with Candice Bergen, Charles Lisanby, Don Pardo, Tommy and Dick Smothers (the Smothers Brothers,) and Bob Stewart. A ceremony will be held in January for the inductees.
9) Daniel Handler will be coming out with a YA novel under his own name for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in 2011. But his alter ego has not disappeared. Lemony Snickett, author of the mega-popular A Series of Unfortunate Events for children, will return with a four book series for teens, starting in 2012.
10) Sci Fi Wire, the online news and blogging site for the SyFy Channel, has canceled all their weekly written columns by such writers as John Clute, Wil McCarthy and Michael Cassutt, who will continue to contribute other types of material to the site. Apparently, in their on-going make-over attempts, SyFy’s focus groups research has indicated that columns are an antiquated form of print journalism that has no place in the bold new electronic world. Unless you are a blogger, of course. But at SyFy, they’re out.
11) Dark god of all SFF author Michael Moorcock has agreed to write a Doctor Who novel. The novel will be an original Doctor Who story, rather than tied into episodes or movies, and is tentatively scheduled for release in the next Christmas season. The award-winning Moorcock is best known for his Elric stories and for his editorship of New Worlds magazine.
12) Hasbro has licensed out several of its games and toys to be adapted somehow into feature films. Battleship, the game in which players attempt to guess where each other’s battleships are on a grid board, is getting the live action treatment with director Peter Berg at the helm. The story will center on an international fleet of sailing ships that have to find and fight alien invaders. Production on the film will begin next spring, with a release date set for summer 2011.
13) Prolific and respected British fantasy author Louise Cooper passed away unexpectedly at the age of 57 in late October of a brain aneurysm, at her home in Cornwall. Cooper was born in Hertfordshire, England, and became a writer in the 1980’s, producing over 80 books for both adults and children. She was best known for her best-selling Time Master trilogy and the Indigo series. She was also an accomplished folk singer. Her last publications were the middle school series The Mermaid Curse.