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The Open Page: Book & Print News – 1/6/07



1) Albedo One, a magazine of SFFH in Ireland, is running their 3rd Aeon Award for short fiction contest. Grand Prize is 1,000 Euros, Second Prize is 200 Euros and Third Prize is 100 Euros. The top three stories will be published in the magazine with SF author Ian Watson as the judge for the finalists. The contest will run throughout the year of 2008, with several different rounds of submissions. For details and submission instructions, see: http://www.albedo1.com/html/aeon_award.html

2) Children’s author Jon Scieszka, best known for his Time Warp Trio novels, has been named the U.S.’s first national ambassador for young people’s literature. Modelled on the Children’s Laureate position in the U.K. and the U.S.’ Poet Laureate program, the ambassadorship is a two year appointment managed by the U.S. Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council. Scieszka will act as a spokesperson for children’s literature, speaking to parents and teachers groups and to children at special events. He will be appearing at the Children’s Book Week festival in New York City, NY in May and the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. in December. Scieszka will be concentrating on two major campaigns: “Reaching Reluctant Readers," and a "Guys Read" initiative.

3) SF author Richard Matheson has reportedly sold sequel rights to his iconic novel I Am Legend to Warner Brothers Studios, which did a remake film of the novel starring Will Smith, just recently released in theaters to massive box office success. (Previous film adaptations of the story, The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man, did not produce sequels.)  The newest I Am Legend film has earned 332.1 million worldwide so far.

4) H.P. Lovecraft’s horror story The Thing on the Doorstep is being made into a movie, directed by Stuart Gordon, to begin shooting this year. The story is part of Lovecraft’s famous Cthulhu Mythos sagas, as is At the Mountains of Madness, currently being adapted for film by Guillermo del Toro. The Thing on the Doorstep concerns a psychiatrist who becomes obsessed with a beautiful patient who claims her dying father is a sorceror trying to take over her body with his mind.

5) The scientific journal Nature is launching an anthology called Futures from Nature, a collection of the SF short stories that have appeared in the academic magazine and its sister monthly publication Nature Physics from 1999-2006, edited by scientist Henry Gee, the senior editor of Nature. In celebration of Nature’s 130th birthday publication at the end of 1999, the journal decided to include some science fiction in a special Futures column. The first story to appear in the series was “Improving the Neighborhood” by Arthur C. Clarke, a scientist himself. The anthology offers reprints of 100 stories and fictional pieces, including humorous spoof newspaper reports, correspondence and book reviews.

6) IDW Publishing has announced that it will release in January a graphic novel prequel to Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s vampire horror work 30 Days of Night. The new trade paperback, 30 Days of Night: Red Snow, follows a WWII British military attache assigned to Stalin’s frontline troops in the midst of the Russian winter, and was put together by Ben Templesmith. The original graphic novel, 30 Days of Night, was recently made into a successful film adaptation.

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