Hyperion to Publish Novels Featuring Marvel Heroines

February 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Disney’s Hyperion Books has announced the June publication of two novels featuring Marvel superheroines, She-Hulk and Rogue. The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta, which features a green lipstick on its purple cover, follows the adventures of Jennifer Walters, who juggles climbing the corporate ladder by day and dispatching bad guys at night, while still trying to find a "Mr. Right," who can deal with being with a large powerful woman.

The second novel, Rogue Touch by Christine Woodward, features one of the most popular distaff members of the X-Men, who tries to navigate the difficulties of everyday life and romance in spite of the fact that her touch is deadly—talk about your barriers to intimacy!

Both of these novels feature the Marvel logo prominently displayed on their covers, and both appear to be targeting the female audience, which definitely has shown more of a propensity to read novels than their male counterparts. How these "romance" volumes featuring Marvel characters will perform in their intended market (bookstores) or in comic shops remains to be seen.

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Games Workshop Pressures Author MCA Hogarth About Using The Term “Space Marine”

February 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Gaming miniature giant Games Workshop is pressuring an author to stop using the term "space marine," and Amazon has taken her e-book off sale in response to a request from the company. The author, MCA Hogarth (who also writes a business column/Webcomic for artists), revealed the dispute over her book, Spots the Space Marine on her blog. Hogarth says that GW, which has a trademark on “space marine” for games, figures, and miniatures, is now asserting that because it’s publishing e-books, it has trademark ownership of "space marine" in all formats. Hogarth said in her post that she didn’t have enough money for an attorney to fight the claim.

The problem is that "space marine" has been used in science fiction since 1932, when E.E. (Doc) Smith first used it. Robert Heinlein also used it. So the assertions by Games Workshop, which came much later, are getting a big reaction, including a post by Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing on Wednesday, a tweet by Neil Gaiman, and a lot of other attention. Hogarth also says she has been contacted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The kerfuffle with Games Workshop comes on the heel of a recently published interview with comic artist and Bronx Heroes Con organizer Ray Felix in which he details his experience with attorneys for Marvel and DC over his comic title Cup O Java studio Comix A World Without Superheroes. Marvel and DC, who jointly own the term "superhero," are fighting Felix’s trademark on the title.

While there are differences in the two cases, both are situations in which relatively large companies assert ownership over words in common usage and protect their rights against use by relatively powerless individuals. Whatever their legal rights, the optics aren’t good.

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10 Book Series So Addictive, You Never Want Them to End

January 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to the deep of winter, the time when the nights are longest and you basically never want to get out of your warm bed.

This is the perfect time to get sucked into a long, complicated relationship with a book series. But what book series are worth getting hooked on? We did some digging and soul searching, to find out.

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The Self-Published Space Opera Book Series That’s Become a Best-Seller

December 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Click here to read The Self-Published Space Opera Book Series That's Become a Best-Seller

One space opera book series has been at the top of the Smashwords section of Media Bistro’s self-published bestseller list for the past several weeks: Randolph Lalonde’s Spinward Fringe books, which include eight volumes thus far.

The series follows Captain Jacob Valance, a hired gun with amnesia who searches for clues about his past while fighting for freedom. As is often the case with self-published e-books, the first hit is free.

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J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ Being Adapted for the BBC

December 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A year and half after Harry Potter and Voldemort had their final showdown at the movies, author J.K. Rowling is getting ready to head to the small screen. The BBC has struck a deal to adapt The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s first post-Potter work and her first adult publication. Don’t expect golden Snitches and hippogriffs this time around — the book is a relatively realistic affair, set in contemporary non-magical (some would say Muggle) England. More details after the jump.

Variety got the scoop on the BBC deal, which was struck with Rowling’s rep Neil Blair. The show will be produced by an independent company run by Blair and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban production consultant Rick Senat. Rowling is expected to be closely involved with the project.

Although all of her previous books (i.e., the Harry Potter series) have come to life as features, Rowling expressed her excitement that her new tome would be turned into a series. ”I’m thrilled that the BBC has commissioned The Casual Vacancy,” she said in a statement. “I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television, and I think the BBC is the perfect home.”

Rowling’s novel first hit shelves this September. While it received mixed critical reviews, it still managed to hit bestseller lists, thanks no doubt to Rowling’s popularity. Here’s the official plot description:

When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

The series has been greenlit by the BBC and is on track to air in 2014 in the U.K. The number and length of the episodes has yet to be determined. No U.S. airdate has been announced, but given how beloved Rowling is on both sides of the Atlantic we can probably expect a Stateside release strategy to be announced sooner or later.

‘Harry Potter Page To Screen’ Book Collection Selling For $1000

November 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

HP

The story of "Harry Potter" might be over, but the era of insanely expensive collectible "Harry Potter" memorabilia is only just beginning.

Meet "Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey," a $1,000 eight volume set that details the Boy Wizard’s journey from the — you guessed it — page to screen. The entire collection is made to look like it came from Diagon Alley and could happily sit in the Hogwarts library, and it includes items like five frameable pieces of never-before-published art and a really cool replica of the "Monsters Book of Monsters." Of course, there are also actual books that talk about the relationships between the cast and crew and the process of transforming J.K. Rowling’s best-selling novels into worldwide blockbuster films.

If you’re interested in dropping a grand to make your "Potter" collection even more complete (and yes, we’re considering it too) then you’re in luck, because Amazon is currently offering a 40 percent off discount for pre-orders of the set. It goes on sale on December 4 and there are only 3,000 copies of the "Page to Screen" collector’s edition available, so if you have an extra $600 lying around and are a huge fan of "Harry Potter," it might be worth the investment.

Then again, you might still be saving up for the $500 $345 "Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection" Blu-ray boxed set that became available on September 7. That one might not be a limited edition collection, but it does come with a horcrux.

Are you considering picking up this "Harry Potter Page to Screen" set? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!

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Bibliomat book dispenser is a vending machine of sorts

November 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Bibliomat book dispenser trades your $2 for classic literature

We just saw a vending machine for 3D printing, and now, at The Monkey’s Paw book store in Toronto, designer Craig Small built the Bibliomat. Besides being the coolest thing I’ve seen today, the Bibliomat is a $2 vending machine that spits out used books.

The Bibliomat is a dramatic affair. As you can hear in the video below, it huffs and puffs until a bell rings and the book is dispensed at the bottom. It’s not much more than a few ropes, pulleys and bells, but it has attracted some whistles. After all the fanfare, you get a book, but not just any book — literature is dispensed randomly, so you never know what you’ll get.

It’s a clever substitute for a bargain bin, a bookstore trope that is as ignored as it is common. This mix of nostalgia, art, and ingenuity probably moves a lot more books than a classic basket.

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Amazon Kindle Is Five Years Old

November 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Amazon Kindle celebrates five einked years

Can you imagine a holiday season without Amazon’s e-reader series? The Kindle celebrates its fifth birthday today — a device that, since its debut, has added bigger screens, slimmer builds, and even some damn decent backlighting.

Back at the start, Amazon’s first hardware was just a little chunky, covered in buttons, and housed a 6-inch 800 x 600 e-ink display. However, the online bookseller went on to dominate the then-nascent e-reader market, with no shortage of rivals now wanting claim their own slice of the book-loving crowd.

Five years goes pretty fast — we just wonder how many still have their DRM-protected Mobipocket e-books to hand.

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Enhanced eBook on Spielberg’s New Lincoln Film Now Available in iBooks

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Lincoln Spielberg iBook

Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film – Discover the Story is a brand new iBooks title released today. It offers an interactive and in-depth look at the making of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming new movie: Lincoln. The movie is set for release this Friday, November 16 and this book looks great.

The book features a foreword by Steven Spielberg, video interviews with Daniel Day-Lewis (who play Lincoln) and other lead actors and more:

As the story unfolds, the enhanced book offers a glimpse into the life of Lincoln leading up to his tragic assassination, the ending of slavery as well as the Civil War. Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film – Discover the Story also includes “making of” photos from the film, an extensive look into the set design, and illustrates how Spielberg was able to recreate history with truth and conviction.

I took a look through the sample for the book, watched one interview with Day-Lewis, and installed the book moments later.

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Read the rest of New in iBooks: Enhanced eBook on Spielberg’s New Lincoln Film (80 words)

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New Range of ‘Horus Heresy’ Graphic Novels

November 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Black Library has announced the upcoming publication of Macragge’s Honor, the first title in a new series of graphic novels based on the Horus Heresy story line from the Warhammer 40K range of games. Written by space opera specialist Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy, New Mutants), Macragge’s Honor will focus on one of the most iconic naval battles in the Horus Heresy continuing the saga begun in Abnett’s Horus Heresy-based New York Times bestseller Know No Fear.

Set 10,000 years before the timeline of Warhammer 40K, Horus Heresy is the saga of a galactic civil war, which began when the traitorous Warmaster Horus turned his forces against those of his father the Emperor.

Macragge’s Honor will be available first from the blacklibrary.com Website, but it will receive a standard release later, including editions in both French and German in addition to the original English version.

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