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News for 2008

Article

Terry Pratchett to be knighted

terry pratchett

Terry Pratchett is amongst entertainment figures to be knighted for his services to literature in the new years honours list. Sir Terry is quoted as saying:

"There are times when phrases such as 'totally astonished' just don't do the job."

And also went on to say:

"I am of course delighted and honoured and, needless to say, flabbergasted."

Sir Terry is one of the most successful and most popular Authors in Britain, having sold in excess of 55 million books to date. Last year he was diagnosed as having ear...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 31st December 2008
Article

Majel Barrett passes away

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett Roddenberry has sadly passed away on the 18th december 2008 aged 76. she had just finished recording her voice for the new forthcoming Star Trek movie (due 2009) and is thought to have died in her sleep.

She will be forever remembered as the voice of Star Fleet computers in the Star Trek series (and movies), and also for her appearances in the star trek shows including The pilot "The Cage" as the first officer and as Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation.

Majel became the wife of the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry in 1969 and continued to provide support for her husbands vision long after his death and was widely regarde...

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written by Ant on Friday 19th December 2008
Article

Beedle the Bard fastest selling book of 2008

Beedle the Bard, the novel that was featured in the Harry Potter series and has been written by JK Rowling, has become the fastest selling book of 2008, selling an incredible two copies a second around the world. Since its launch just two weeks ago (4th December 2008) the novel has sold 2.6 million copies and has raised £4.2 million for the Children's High Level Group charity which has been founded by JK Rowling to help vunerable children in eastern europe.

JK Rowling said of the incredible success:

"I am absolutely delighted that so much money has been raised,". "All royalties will be going to help children without families, many of them with disabilities, whose voices have been unheard for many years ."

The ...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 17th December 2008
Article

Waterstones feels the Credit Crunch

Waterstones

Waterstone's feels the Credit Crunch as like for like sales drop 3.1% in the 26 weeks up to the end of October. However since October they are reporting a marked decline in sales as the credit crunch bites and consumer confidence drops. This is reported by HMV who are the owners of the Waterstone's chain of book stores (who also previously bought Ottakers too). Waterstone's operating losses have increased from ?8.9 million to ?9.3 million. HMV said the book market as a whole dropped 5% during the period and had been hit hard by poor performance in the non-fiction category. Traditionally this category is very strong in the run up to Christmas due to the Celebrity books that ...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 17th December 2008
Article

Forrest J Ackerman passes away

It is with great sadness that we have been informed of the passing away of Sci Fi's number one fan, Forrest J Ackerman, writer, actor, editor and Science Fiction Fan. Forrest died on the 4th December 2008 after battling a long illness, at the age of 92. He was an avid collector of science fiction material and coined the phrase "Sci Fi". Forrest was a key figure in Science fiction fandom and culture. He led a very full and rich career dedicated to science fiction including contributing to the first Science Fiction Fanzines, attending the first ever Science Fiction convention and wearing the first ever "Futuristicostume" and sparked fan costuming (yes it was his fault). He was friends with many of the greatest Science Fiction writers and is credited with finding Ray Bradbury. ...

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written by Ant on Monday 8th December 2008
Article

2012, The year of the apocalypse?

Planet X, Nibiru

After looking at the 2012 trailer again, I decided to look into more detail the predictions that surround this story. The first information I came across was regarding something called Nibiru, which I must admit I have heard about. It turns out Nibiru is the name of the planet found last year which was called "Planet X" by scientists.

The theory goes that Nibiru is actually on the outer reaches of a nearby solar system but is on an eliptical orbit that carries the planet into our solar system every 3600 years (give or take). Th...

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written by Ant on Friday 5th December 2008
Article

Fantastic Doctor Who Music Videos

Browsing through You Tube (Something I never usually do ) I found some Fantastic Doctor Who Music Videos, the best one of the lot has got to be Crucify your love, to me it sounds great (a bit like Creed). Have a look and let me know what you think.

Crucify Your Love

All Ten Doctors in three Minutes

...

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written by Ant on Friday 28th November 2008
Article

Book Sellers worried over Google's Plans

Google

The recent deal with American book publishers for Google's Book search (which we reported about here Google Agrees Copyright Deal) is causing some concern for European Book Sellers, with many fearing it could effectively drive them out of business.

Publishers and Authors are widely supportive of the plan which may be introduced in Europe but Booksellers fear that a monopoly will be created driving out booksellers, there is also the concern over the influence that Google may have over out of print and print on demand books.

Tim Godfray who is the chief executive of the UK Booksellers Association said

...

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written by Ant on Thursday 27th November 2008
Article

Will Ebook Readers threaten the traditional book?

With the fairly recent launch of Amazons Kindle and the imminent arival of Sony's Third Generation PRS-700, there are some big players backing the e-book market so is time to be concerned about the future of the traditional book format?

There are quite a number of e-book readers on the market today, but the big two that stand out have to be Sony's and Amazon's.

Sony PRS 700

Lets start with Sony's offering, the new Sony PRS-700, which is due for launch soon will be a 6 inch touch screen...

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written by Ant on Thursday 27th November 2008
Article

New Video Interview with Terry Pratchett

We have a new video Interview with Terry Pratchett, posted recently on You Tube and also available on the official website.

...

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written by Ant on Saturday 22nd November 2008
Article

Ian McDonald nominated for Warwick Prize

Brasyl

Science Fiction author Ian McDonald has been nominated for the Warwick Prize for his novel Brasyl.

The Warwick Prize is an biennial international cross-disciplinary award open to literature in any genre or form in the English language. An author winning this award stands to get £50 000 prize money.

Ian McDonald who won the 2008 British Science Fiction Association, began writing at the tender age of 9 years old and sold his first story at 22.

His novel Brasyl is actually three stories about three different Brazil's, 19th century, contemporary and futuristic. This novel has been widely regarded as Ian's finest to date.

Ian is amongst a list of 20 other authors inc...

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written by Ant on Sunday 16th November 2008
Article

BBC Originally Nervous About Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Documents made public for the first time show the BBC were very nervous about releasing Doctor Who or a Sci Fi show into a mainstream audience.

Concerns were raised that bringing a science fiction drama to the BBC would not be an automatic winner and was considered too an obscure subject with a too small set and limited budget.

The documents also show that the producers were originally planning to remove the Tardis and have the doctor traveling in an invisible machine (using light "resistant" paint). The then head of drama for the BBC, Sidney Newman insisted that an invisible machine would not work and that the Doctor's vehicle should be a visual symbol of the series. The...

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written by Ant on Sunday 16th November 2008
Article

New Red Dwarf TV Episodes

Red Dwarf

You heard right, we are going to get four brand new episodes of the hit TV series Red Dwarf on the TV Channel Dave.

These are to celebrate the 21st birthday of red dwarf and filming begins in January 2009 with two episodes being created with the same look and feel as the original series.

Doug Naylor is masterminding the special episodes and the Whole cast is reuniting for the show, so thats Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister) and Danny John-Jules (Cat). Not sure if that includes Kochanski or not? but the last series, red dwarf eight was first shown in 1999 and reached 8 million viewers.

The Details of the four episodes so f...

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written by Ant on Friday 14th November 2008
Article

The Millenium Falcon Flies Again

One of the greatest space ships ever, the millenium falcon from Star Wars has been rebuilt by those clever toy makers Hasbro, and for the first time in ages (and I mean years) it actually looks like a good quality build. It really does remind me of those star wars toys made to such a good standard in the 80's, (I used to have most of the set including the ewok village and the star destroyer...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 12th November 2008
Article

Michael Crichton passes away

Michael Crichton, the celebrated author of "Jurassic Park", has lost his battle with Cancer and sadly passed away on Wednesday 4th November 2008, aged 66.

Michael achieved the most fame for his book "Jurassic Park", which was turned into a block busting movie by Steven Spielberg. Michael had however previous success with books turned to movies, like "West World", "Congo" and "Sphere" and his very first novel "The Andromeda Strain" which was released in 1969 while Michael was still a Medical Student at Harvard Medical School (he later received an MD from Harvard and a Post Doctorate from Salk Institute for medical studies).

Amongst Michaels other successes was the hit TV series "ER" ...

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written by Ant on Monday 10th November 2008
Article

New Middle Earth Fan made Film

The hunt for gollum

A new film by fans of the lord of the rings films has been made, called The Hunt for Gollum.

The new film is an entirely non profit venture, starring produced and directed by fans of JRR Tolkiens works. Chris Bouchard is the director (and the brainchild) behind this very limited budget venture (less than ?3000) but has been produced to the highest standard possible through sheer dedication and love of anything middle earth related.

The story concerns Aragorn's (then known as Strider) search for Gollum, set before the Fellowship of the Ring and is a part of Tolkiens story that has not been "fleshed out" on screen before. Chris has previously made a ...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 4th November 2008
Article

Write A Novel in November

Writing a novel

Write A Novel in November is an international project to encourage people to put pen to paper. The NaNoWriMo project was created by American Author Chris Baty in July 1999 and in the first year it had 21 participants, all in the San Francisco Bay area in the USA. Since then the project has been growing steadily and the number of participants now measure in their hundreds of thousands across the globe.

The idea is to start on day one (1st november) and attempt to complete a 50 000 novel by midnight on the 30th November. The project favors enthusiasm and effort over painstaking craft, it attempts to alleviate the barriers that have stopped people writing in the past.

Have...

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written by Ant on Wednesday 29th October 2008
Article

Google Agrees Book Copyright Deal

Google

Google has agreed a copyright deal, including paying $125 million to settle long standing lawsuits brought against them. These lawsuits were brought against Google over their plan to use copyright material online in Google books. While this has been agreed by the American Authors and Publishers, it has yet to be approved by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The settlement has been described by the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and Googfle themselves as groundbreaking and will "dramatically expand access to books in the US, particularly those out of print but still in copyright"

The agreement will...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 28th October 2008
Article

JK Rowling to Launch new book at Tea Party

Beedle the Bard

JK Rowling is to launch her new novel, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, at a tea party at the National Library of Scotland in edinburgh, hosted by herself for school children.

The book was originally never intended for mass publication, with 6 copies being handwritten by JK Rowling as personal gifts with a seventh copy being aquired by amazon at auction for £1.95 million. The novel marks the farewell to the published world of Harry Potter.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is the book which Albus Dumbledore left to Hermione in the seventh and final Harry Potter novel The Deathly Hallows and contained clues that helped Harry Potte...

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written by Ant on Thursday 23rd October 2008
Article

Vampires are real! and everyone knows it!

vampire zero

Vampires are real! and everyone knows it!, well maybe not really but this is the premise of the new novel "Vampire Zero" from David Wellington.

The Vampires are portrayed in this novel as real monsters that have been thought to have died out by all but a few police officers. The story centers on vampire hunter Laura Caxton who is hunting a special Vampire called Arkeley. Arkeley taught Laura everything she knows, and his knowledge is truly formidable...

There is a real danger that Arkeley will become a "Vampire Zero", able to raise new vampires and create an army of undead. This is the third volume of the series that started with "Thirtee...

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written by Ant on Monday 20th October 2008
Article

Guillermo del Toro to publish first Novel

guillermo del toro

The Director of Pans Labyrinth, Hellboy and the yet to be released The Hobbit films, is publishing his first ever novel. Guillermo Del Toro has signed a publishing deal with HarperCollins to publish a trilogy of novels about a vampiric virus invading New York.

The first novel, titled "The Strain" is due to be published in the summer of 2009 and is being co-written by Chuck Hogan. The story promises to delve deep into Vampire history and lore while keeping the reader in suspence.

The Novel is actually thought to be finished, although this has not been confirmed, there are also rumors that Del Toro has signed a 4 picture deal with Universal Studios with pla...

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written by Ant on Sunday 19th October 2008
Article

New Hitchhikers Guide Novel to be written by Eoin Colfer

A Brand new novel in Douglas Adams Hitchhikers guide series is to be written by Author Eoin Colfer, best known for his childrens fantasy novels featuring Artemis Fowl.

Douglas Adams widow, Jane Belson has agreed that Eoin can write this new novel, to be published by Penguin and is going to be titled "And Another Thing..."

Eoin is a very succesfull Author who has written an astounding series of childrens novels featuring a teenage criminal mastermind called "Artemis Fowl", selling over 18 million copies around the world with the first feature film in production. Eoin has been quoted as being "terrified" by the prospect of writing a new novel in the seminal Hitchikers Guide series, the last volume of which Mostly Harmless...

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written by Ant on Friday 17th October 2008
Article

New David Gemmell Legend Award

David Gemmell

Preperations are well underway to present the new David Gemmell award for Fantasy which will be presented to the best Fantasy novel of the year 2008.

This award has been instigated by the colleagues and friends of the Late David Gemmell, with official support from his wife Stella Gemmell and will cellebrate Davids Life and his contributions to writing.

Nominations are currently being sought from the editors of every major fantasy list for Fantasy novels that have been published in 2008 in English. To qualify a novel must be deemed to be fantasy in the spirit of David's own work.

After a novel has been successfully nominated it will be voted on by the ge...

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written by Ant on Tuesday 7th October 2008
Article

Watch Neil Gaiman Read his Latest book

Neil Gaiman has been touring for his new book, The Graveyard Book and at each appearance he has been reading chapters aloud while being filmed.

Each film is then being posted to Neil Gaimans Website for young readers: Mouse Circus, so people can then watch each of these broadcasts.

Also on the website is a chance to win one of 25 copies of the book, all you need to do is put your contact details in for a chance to win!.

The book is about a boy called Bod who is the only living resident of a graveyard. Bod has been raised by the undead and other supernatural creatures that frequent the graveyard and has been taught to be a guardian and useful tricks that ghosts know, like the ability to fad...

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written by Ant on Monday 6th October 2008
Article

Set Back for JRR Tolkien Estate Seeking Damages

JRR Tolkien

The J.R.R. Tolkien estate and HarperCollins, current publishers of JRR Tolkiens works, have been refused the right to seek punitive damages in their lawsuit against New Line Cinema for failure to pay royalties for the film versions of The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkiens estate claimed that New Line Cinema breached the agreement and commited fraud by diverting money from the 6 billion the films have generated worldwide for false expenses, including advertising expenditure to AOL for advertising and also money to build production offices and facilities in New Zealand that were then used for other projects, so as to reduce net profits and pay out less in royalties.

Tolki...

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written by Ant on Sunday 28th September 2008
Article

Author Brian M Thomsen has passed away

Author Brian M Thomsen, who was also a consulting editor for Tor Books, has passed away after a sudden heart attack.

Tomsen was a great Science Fiction and Fantasy writer, publishing several fantasy novels including the Forgotten Realms series novels Once around the Realms, Realms of Magic, Realms of the Arcane and The Mage in the Iron Mask. He was also a great writer of short stories and an editor of many Anthologies.

He also wrote non fiction with his most recent book being Oval Office Occult: A Book of White House Weirdness which is a collection of true stories about US Presidents and their encounters with Occult phenomena.

He was nominated for a Hugo Award and had also served as a World Fantasy Award Judge.

...

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written by Ant on Monday 22nd September 2008