Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Filmmaker Uncovers the Truth about Rings vs. Narnia
They were Oxford professors, literary scholars and wrote multi-volume fantasy series that became legendary. C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, were also friends and bitter rivals, reports the Scotsman.
In researching an upcoming bio-documentary about C.S. Lewis, author of the seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia, Scottish director Norman Stone uncovered the famed friendship between the two authors was marked by bitter disagreements about everything from their books to their spouses. The documentary will debut in December just before the film version of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe hits theaters in the UK and the US Find out more about Lewis here.
Honey West Novels to be Reissued
Created in 1957 by husband and wife writing team Gloria and Forest Fickling, Honey West became the first hard-boiled dame detective in print. This Girl for Hire introduced this smart, long-legged investgator based in L.A. with a knack for catching bad guys and losing her clothes. Honey's career spanned eleven books and almost fifteen years, and included a short lived television series. Except for one or two of the titles, the books have been out of print for decades, until now. The Overlook Press will reissue the entire series, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Authors Guild Sues Google

When Google announced plans to put the contents of major libraries online, they neglected to ask for permission to put entire works online which are protected by U.S. copyright laws. CNN.com reports on the ensuing lawsuit.
Google Print the hot new search service, doesn't actually offer up the entire text of novels, but does search the text. If you're looking for a quote or a reference, within a book, Google Print will offer up the quote on the scanned page of the book, and offers a peak at a sample chapter, but if it's the whole book you're looking for, there are links to publishers and Amazon.com leading you to purchase the book. It's hard to see how authors are loosing money here, but maybe I'm missing something.
After months of negotiations with the Authors' Guild, Google agreed to allow writers to "opt-out" of having their works appear on the service. The solution sounded about as sound as an Enron balance sheet to the Authors' Guild, which filed suit against Google yesterday in New York, seeking an injunction against further printing of books online. Let's hope a judge can negotiate the survival of a great idea without bilking thousands of hard working writers of their hard earned money.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tragedy in the Gulf States
Like the rest of the world, we are deeply saddened and infuriated by the disaster in the New Orleans, Biloxi and Gulfport in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Not only were these areas devastated by the relentless fury of Hurricane Katrina, they suffered dearly because of genocidal ineptitude by government agencies. Thankfully evacuations are almost complete, but the death toll will be in the thousands.
This disaster is an historic event which will have immediate economic and sociological impact throughout the country. We encourage you to give what you can to the Red Cross. You can give directly through your Amazon.com account with one-click here.
The culture, cuisine and music of the affected areas are gone indefinitely, but its literature lives on. Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, Tennesee Williams, Truman Capote, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Harper Lee, James Lee Burke and a host of other literary greats gave many of us an indelible picture of the American South Coast that will never be washed away.
Anne Rice, the contemporary writer most closely associated with New Orleans, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times this weekend that Louisiana's first literary magazine, L'alubum Litteraire, was published in 1840 by French-speaking Black men. Read Rice's comments on New Orleans culture here. Peruse fiction set in New Orleans.