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'What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?' said Pooh. 'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

More revenues from The Hitchhiker’s guide announced

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Douglas Adams passed away, and with him, the ability of making money of new Hitchiker’s books.

Now Adams’s widow, Jane Belson, has finally found a way to kickstart the money machine, in her everlasting quest to produce money hats off of her late husband’s work.

Eoin Colfer, 43, who is no stranger to milking a series for all it’s worth, said he was “terrified” by the prospect of actually raking it in from the works of another artist. He assured us that fans will buy it, based on almost a quarter of a century of the Hithchiker’s products being a cash-cow. He said that the series being, what he described as a “slice of satirical genius”, would not come in his way of having his way with them in his goal for enlarging his rates in at an order of magnitude.

The Adams leeching also spawned a BBC TV series starring Simon Jones, and amovie that made more people questioning the decision making of the late Adams “Golden Goose” estate.

“My first reaction was semi-outrage that anyone other than me was allowed to tamper with this incredible series,” Colfer said. “But on reflection I realised that this is a wonderful opportunity for me to dip in that pool of income that is the Hitchiker and drink my fill. It was also obvious to me that with such a devout following, I could have my 2-year-old girl write it and still make a pretty penny of the deal.”

“I feel more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books, and that is why I am bloody determined that this will be the best thing I have ever written. At any rate, it will be better than the movie and that was actually based on a book”

Jane Belson said: “I am delighted that Eoin Colfer has agreed to continue the Hitchhiker series. I was worried that I will not be able to buy that 300-acre farm on Essex, and might have to settle for a 100-acres.”

“I love the revenues he made off his books and could not think of a better person to chunk out a fast one before the Christmas rush. The project has my full support.”

Adams died of heart failure in 2001, aged 49. In his wake, several cheap shots were released, including “The Salmon of Doubt“, which was left in a nowhere-near-ready-for-print state, a movie that assured viewers worldwide that neither Belson, nor her advisors, have any clue what about her late husband is paying their montly fees (other than sticking the words “hitchiking” and “galaxy”, that is).

Around 16 million copies of his Hitchhiker books, which have been translated into 35 languages, have been sold around the world.

Colfer was a primary school teacher in Ireland before he secured the largest ever advance for a children’s novel by an unknown author. He has sworen since to break that record and improve on it, whatever the damage to his artistic integrity. In recent interviews he confessed of never having it in the first place.

His Artemis Fowl series, about a teenage criminal mastermind who wreaks havoc in this world and the next, went on to sell more than 18 million copies worldwide and a film adaptation is due to go into production next year, despite being devoided of a single original idea. Or because of it.

And Another Thing… will be published in October next year, and sequels will continue to appear as long as the idiotsfans are willing to pay for it.

Written by Erez

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 14:01

Posted in Books, Business

Tagged with ,

Give a man lemonade, and you teach him how to drink. Give him a lemon…

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Yes, people, we live in a severely disturbed, yet incessantly unstable world.

Most of the Internet’s leading technology sites reported last week of a great new browser that protects user privacy by leaving no Internet footprint (i.e. no cookies, no script, nothing). Turns out said “Browzar” is a spyware ridden Internet Explorer shell that hijacks your homepage and sends Internet usage history to advertisers. Oh, and it does leave tracks. And that sound you hear in the background? That’s the Internet’s journalistic credibility rolling down the hill.

Hairy Potty publishers were forced to correct erroneous entry in the latest paperweight in series, after a over-diligent reader found out that “[said book mentioned that] Hermione Granger had scooped 11 top results in her Ordinary Wizarding Levels (OWLs). [However, in the previous book] she had only taken 10 subjects.” Wow. Potters are indeed the new Trekkies.

One of the Baldwin Brothers is writing Christian comic books. Words defy me.

After handing a ticket for illegal parking, a Brazilian traffic warden, went to the car owner’s hourse, killed her, and sawed her in half.

The BBC finds that blind drivers are dangerous.
I give up.

Written by Erez

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 11:18

I have the wrong job

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Which might just bee too obvious when seeing that writer Iain M. Banks just told his publisher to stuff it for the next christmas since he was too busy playing Civilization rather than writing.

Of course, I could be founding a new company, called “Go Ogle” and then explain to the search giant what the hell was I thinking.

Then again, I could be working for Apple, running a very diligent, unbiased and profound investigation on my employer’s own |Chinese sweatshops finding them not to be sweaty nor shops. I’m a good liar, I can pull it off.

Or I could be a web-journalist, writing “beware the return of the bubble” articles, which is stating matters after the fact, as the bubble has re-manifested already in the form of “Web 2.0”, and issuing yet another of those no-warnings. I mean “don’t invest in companies that have nothing but hype to sell”? That’s like saying “don’t jump off a cliff”, or “install security updates“. It’s almost a no-brainer.

On the other hand, working for the Rolling Stones seems to be somewhat less lucrative these days.

And, in closing, this.

Written by Erez

Monday, August 21, 2006 at 4:49

One day, they’ll run out of books

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Courtesy of the Site at the End of the Universe (whos RSS feed is constantly feeding me with up to 20 of past articles, read and unread) comes this interesting Wired article about Holliwood execs being less reluctant to authorise Philip K. Dick based Science Fiction movies. Who would’ve thunk it? I wonder if any of them actually read any of Dick’s works to realise they stand for everything he hated. Still more power to us. Unless that power is anything like Lawnmower Man 2, *shudder*.

Written by Erez

Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 20:51

Posted in Books, Movies

We can Dick you

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More Philip K. Dick in the media, Boingboing once again with the spiel regarding a Robert Silverberg article in the Asimov’s science fiction magazine about Philip K. Dick and his “predictions” coming true. Actually, from the article it seems that Silverberg reflects less on the prophetic concepts in K. Dick’s work, or the inventions-come-realities concepts (which Dick’s book didn’t have), but more on his concepts of reality and what the future man will be.

On the other hand, some may say we already live in the future.

Written by Erez

Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 5:44

Posted in Books

Peter Pan in Scarlet. Why, goddamit?

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Now here’s a nice thing to ruin your day.
According to the BBC, there is a Peter Pan sequel in the making, called “Peter Pan in Scarlet” and was written by one Geraldine McCaughrean, who’s talent, it seems, focused on “reinterpreting” classics such as Noah’s Ark, Moby Dick and The Canterbury Tales for younger readers.

Let’s pull over for a second. Noah’s Ark, Moby Dick and the Canterbury Tales? One is a 2 page story from the bible, the second one a huge, sprawling epic, and the third a middle-English collection of several tales of dark ages vice. Other than stomping on their heads, stripping them out to the bare bones, and then crossing out all the “naughty” things, sugar coating whatever is left and hanging it to dry, I don’t see what exactly can this “reimagination” business be. Also, this is yet another writer specialising in making a living off other people’s work, which is the OBVIOUS choice to crap all over J. M. Barrie’s work, as any serious, original artist will never even dream of touching Peter Pan.

Back to the topic in hand. London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, holders of the Peter Pan rights decided to create a sequel, and hired the aforementioned writer to do it. Apparently raking in the money from James Matthew Barrie’s novel and whatever merchandise/movies/TV series made of it wasn’t enough, they are out to destroy the remains of the original by publishing a book that will have as much to do with Peter Pan as Disney’s Winnie The Pooh has to do with A.A. Milne’s works. That hack writer of them has apparently created a “high adventure, and swashbuckling danger”. Fitting, as the original had nothing to do with any of those. Barrie’s book was a story of children’s view of the world, of child-like fear of growing, of infant morality, sex, and nightmares coming true. The whole pirate angle was just a way of realising those themes in what was, for the time, the popular trend in children literature. Had he lived today, he’ll probably write about Superheroes and Pokemons.

They didn’t stop there, mind you. From the article “The trustees stipulated the book must feature the original characters – Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell, the rest of the Darling family and the fearsome Captain Hook.” Right. Heavens forbid anyone actually READ Peter Pan, where Captain Hook DIED.
Sod it, just read for yourself:

Michael believed longer than the other boys, though they jeered at him; so he was with Wendy when Peter came for her at the end of the first year. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland, and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become; but he never noticed, he had so much to say about himself.
She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times, but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind.
“Who is Captain Hook?” he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.
“Don’t you remember,” she asked, amazed, “how you killed him and saved all our lives?”
“I forget them after I kill them,” he replied carelessly.
When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said, “Who is Tinker Bell?”
“O Peter,” she said, shocked; but even when she explained he could not remember.
“There are such a lot of them,” he said. “I expect she is no more.”
I expect he was right, for fairies don’t live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them.

Next year he did not come for her. She waited in a new frock because the old one simply would not meet; but he never came.
“.

No John. No Tinker Bell. No Captain Hook, only Michael, who’s still almost an infant, and Wendy. And that’s one year after, Peter only came back once, and that was when Wendy was already a mother herself. Thank you, noble copyright holders and trustees for “insisting” on the one aspect of the story that makes it clear that you haven’t even read the original.

Oh, and it probably bears mentioning why did those noble trustees came up with this mess all of the sudden. From the BBC article: “Royalties from the new book will be split between the author and the hospital, whose ownership of the rights to Barrie’s work is due to expire in 2007“. Isn’t that comfy? They only have one more year of milking it dry, so they give it all they got. “The success of Peter Pan in Scarlet will ensure that Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children will benefit from Barrie’s legacy for many years to come” says the Hospital spokesperson. Read: we’re going to lose the steady income we’ve been getting from Barrie’s work, so we just made a new one that will compensate for this. They hired a paint-by-numbers author, gave her marching orders to create a sequel featuring all the known characters, and make it a “fun” book. They didn’t want a re-visioning of Barrie’s work in modern eyes. They didn’t want to pursue the themes and ideas he painted in his works. They wanted a “franchise sequel”, with all the original characters, and to hell with whatever integrity the name Peter Pan still has.

You know, I’ve seen the Disney movie, where Peter and Wendy looked like two naive teenagers and Hook was a cookie-cutter bad guy. I’ve seen some snippets of an animated series, which was as interesting as watered down milk. None have made me so furious as this one. Fortunately, the book is out of copyright next year, so that would be the last thing those people has to do with it. If only the same could be said of Disney.

Written by Erez

Monday, January 23, 2006 at 9:09

Posted in Books

Do P.K. Dick fans dream of electric books?

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Been sitting on those links for a while now, curtsey of the Double Boing regarding Philip K. Dick, who is also one of my favourite authors, apart from being an excellent writer.

For starters, we have the latest episode of Benjamen Walker’s Theory Of Everything radio show, where he discusses Philip K. Dick’s works with Jonathan Lethem and Josh Glenn .

Following that, this Philip K. Dick fansite offers a scanning of a comic magazine “Weirdo” which on its 18th issue offered a story called The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick. It’s based on the events described by Dick in Valis, regarding some sort of religious, almost messianic experience he underwent during 1974, following which he wrote what later become his Valis trilogy. I tend not to recommend those books. Not because I don’t like them, but because talking about them creates a huge expectation among the listener. That listener might go and buy those books expecting something out of this world. He might just find that, or he might find a pathos filled religious mambo jumbo without too much real content. It’s sort of like listening to a Peter Hammill concert. I would sit there thinking this is the greatest experience of my life, another might try to sneak out the first moment he can.

Another nicety about this comic is that it is being created by R. Crumb which is a great comic artist with a very well recognised and well defined style. I sort of think about him as the father of many contemporary cartoons like Ren and Stimpy and their copiers.

The final piece of the trilogy is another radio show, this time from the BBC Radio 4. In Confessions of a Crap Artist, writer Ken Hollings discusses the Valis experience and tries to separate the writer from the work.

A word of warning, though. If anyone isn’t familiar with the work of PK Dick, I suggest reading one of his earlier books like Ubik, rather than trying to familiarise with the author based on those links. They discuss the later, less communicative Dick, and might give one the wrong impression about what the rest of Dick’s works are like. To anyone familiar with Dick, this is an excellent way to find out about the late works and this weird world he lived in during his final years.

Written by Erez

Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 18:47

Posted in Books, Comics, Music