The Open Page: Book & Print News -- 1/3/08
1) Philip Pullman, author of the best-selling YA Dark Materials fantasy trilogy, has announced that he will write another novel in the series, The Book of Dust, tentatively scheduled for 2009. He is also preparing a companion story, Once Upon a Time in the North, a prequel about balloonist Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison, the armoured bear, and how the two characters first met. The novella will appear in the spring of 2008 from Random House, in conjunction with the release of the DVD of the movie adaptation of the first Dark Materials novel, The Golden Compass. Once Upon a Time in the North will be illustrated by John Lawrence and contain a fold-out game.
2) Best-selling SF author Cory Doctorow has been named one of Forbes business magazine’s top 25 Web Celebs. Doctorow’s blog site was ranked #5 on the list.
3) The 2008 Eaton Conference, entitled Chronicling Mars, will be held May 16-18th, at the University of California, Riverside. The conference will feature the first ever Eaton Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction. Special guest of honor will be Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke is expected to make an appearance via video teleconference. The conference will also be attended by leading authors: Gregory Bear, Gregory Benford, Ben Bova, David Brin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard V. Hendrix, Geoffrey A. Landis and Frederick Pohl. More information can be found at http://eatonconference.ucr.edu/
4) SF author Spider Robinson and his wife Jeanne Robinson wrote a series of novels, Stardance (1979,) Starseed (1991,) and Starmind (1995,) about a scientist in space who dances in zero-gravity weightlessness. Now, Canadian dancer Kathleen McDonagh will lift off from Las Vegas in a modified 727, a “vomit comet” that creates zero-gravity for brief periods, and recreate the dance choreography from the novels. The expedition and performance will be filmed as The Stardance Experience in IMAX format, with a mix of live action and digital FX effects. More information can be found at http://www.stardancemovie.blogspot.com.
5) Neil Gaiman is offering a brief sneak peak of footage from the animated adaptation of his children’s book Coraline, at his official website http://www.neilgaiman.com. The film is produced by Focus Features, directed by Henry Selick and features the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Ian McShane. Coraline is the story of a young girl who unlocks a mysterious door in her new home and enters a parallel reality that mimics her real life but in ways much more fantastical. The film will be released at a yet unspecified date in 2008.