The Open Page: Book & Print News – 12/12/07
1) Cambridge University Press is planning an essay collection on Modern Fantasy literature, to be published in trade paperback for both the educational and retail trade markets, due out in the summer of 2009. The collection includes essays from Paul Kincaid, David Hartwell, M. John Harrison, Elizabeth Hand, Alex Irvine, and Adam Roberts, on everything from 19th Century fantasy writers to urban fantasy.
2) Recent Passings:
Peter Haining (1940-2007) – The U.K. author and editor best known for 150 anthologies of genre fiction died suddenly at age 67. He also wrote many non-fiction books, including several volumes about the British sci-fi show Doctor Who, and ghost-edited anthologies for Peter Cushing and Alfred Hitchcock.
Colin Kapp (1929-2007) – A U.K. author and electronics worker well-known for his SF puzzle stories, collected as The Unorthodox Engineers. He was also the author of the novels The Patterns of Chaos, The Wizard of Anharitte and The Dark Mind, first serialized in New Worlds magazine. Kapp caused a stir when he gave a speech as the Guest of Honor at the 1980 UK Eastercon wearing a spacesuit.
Jerzy Peterkiewicz (1916-2007) – Polish-born novelist, poet and translator, age 91. He wrote the well-known fantasy novel The Quick and the Dead and SF novel Inner Circle.
3) Filmmakers Chris and Paul Weitz, with their production company Depth of Field, hope to bring Michael Moorcock’s Elric Saga to the screen as a new fantasy franchise. Chris Weitz, who recently completed writing and directing the movie adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, says he now feels ready from that experience to tackle the story of the famous albino warrior Elric properly. The Weitz brothers optioned the property from Moorcock for Universal Pictures in 2003. They plan to produce only and find the right director to fit Moorcock’s dark, nihilistic tone.
4) Hilary Swank is producing and may be starring in Das Films and Blumhouse Productions’ feature adaptation of John Marks’ fantasy novel Fangland. The story concerns a t.v. producer who travels to Romania to interview a notorious European arms dealer who also happens to be a vampire. Marks is a former t.v. producer for the U.S. news show 60 Minutes. The screenplay has been adapted by Mark Wheaton.
5) John Klima has edited an anthology called Logorrhea, where each story is based on a word officially used in spelling bees. The 21 contributing authors are: Tim Pratt, Daniel Abraham, Hal Duncan, Theodora Goss, Clare Dudman, Matthew Cheney, Jay Caselberg, Neil Williamson, Michael Moorcock, Michelle Richmond, Liz Williams, Paolo Bacigalupi, Anna Tambour, Leslie What, Alex Irvine, Marly Youmans, Alan DeNiro, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Hand, David Prill and Jeff VanderMeer. VanderMeer’s story, “Appoggiatura,” also uses the 20 words that are the basis for the other stories in the collection. That story is also available as a serial podcast: