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Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day News & Tidbits

First off, to those that it may apply, Have a Nice & Safe Memorial Day…

Now, on to the news. In books, a couple of novels will be released on Tuesday, May 29th, including the following:

The Good Guy” by Dean Koontz. As a Koontz fan, I always look forward to his new releases, though to be honest, they’ve been kind of hit and miss recently. The premise for “The Good Guy” sounds somewhat familiar, but I’m hoping for the best. You can order it HERE from Random House and you can check out the first two chapters HERE. I’ll be reviewing it soon, so look for that later.

In related news, Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at Random House recently announced that they’ll be putting out an original graphic novel starring Dean Koontz’s character Odd Thomas who appears in the books “Odd Thomas”, “Forever Odd” and “Brother Odd”. You can check out the full press release HERE, which also includes some sketches from artist Queenie Chan (The Dreaming) who will be drawing & scripting the graphic novel. This actually sounds pretty interesting, so I’ll have to keep my eye out for it.

Maledicte” by Lane Robins. This is a debut novel, which I reviewed HERE. There’s shades of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels, “The Count of Monte Cristo” and "Romeo & Juliet", so if you enjoy character-driven books rife with court intrigues, sex, tragedy and lots of dramatic storytelling, then this might just be up your alley. You can order it HERE from Del Rey and chapter one is available HERE.

Over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, there’s a giveaway for Richard K. Morgan’s upcoming novel “Thirteen”, which comes out in the US on June 26, 2007. (The UK version, titled “Black Man” is already available via Gollanzc). You can get more information on the giveaway HERE. I’ll probably be starting this one soon, and I’m very excited for it. From what I’ve seen, the response so far has been very positive. In the meantime, you can check out the interview that I did with Mr. Morgan HERE.

In other media news, a number of video games are reportedly coming to the big screen including Capcom’sOnimusha”, Revolution Software’sBroken Sword”, Eidos’ (Tomb Raider) “Kane & Lynch”, and, heaven help us, Electronic Arts’The Sims”. Of these, I think Onimusha has the best chance of being adapted properly. Christopher Gans (Silent Hill, Brotherhood of the Wolf) is set to direct with Leslie Kruger and John Collee (Happy Feet, Master and Commander) scripting. “Kane & Lynch” could also be done justice with Lionsgate (Hostel Part II) and producers Adrian Askarieh (Spy Hunter, Hitman, Hack/Slash) and Daniel Alter (Hitman, Hack/Slash) behind it, but considering we haven’t really seen anything from these producers yet, I’m admittedly wary. Personally, I think “The Sims” has the best chance of being fast-tracked and 20th Century Fox will do everything they can to turn it into a franchise. I think “Broken Sword” has the best story & mythology of the bunch, but considering that an unproven production company in CastleBright Studios is taking the reins, I’m not holding out much hope. Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see. You never can tell how these things will turn out. It’s the film industry after all…

Moving on, it looks like Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver (The Matrix Trilogy, V For Vendetta) are planning on bringing He-Man and the Masters of the Universe back to the big screen. How cool is that? I admit, I grew up on the 80’s cartoons and had my share of toys. Heck, I think I even liked the movie starring Dolph Lundgren when it first came out, though looking back it was a pretty terrible film. The report is that the franchise will be reimagined in the vein of 300, so that’s promising. Let’s just hope that Mr. Silver doesn’t let the film turn out like those awful Batman movies he produced. By the way, who thinks that Skeletor is one of the coolest villains out there…

Another day, another children’s fantasy series optioned for film. This time it’s “Skulduggery Pleasant”, a potential nine-book series written by Irish author Derek Landy who will also write the screenplay. The book actually sounds pretty interesting. Here’s a synopsis:

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes.

Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.

Skulduggery Pleasant” was released April 3, 2007. North American residents can buy it HERE, and UK readers can order it HERE from Amazon. You can also read an excerpt from the book HERE, and check out the Skulduggery Video.

Finally, staying on the subject of kid’s fantasy movies, Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs, Maverick, Panic Room) and Gerard Butler (300, The Phantom of the Opera) are starring in the Fox Walden (The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge To Terabithia, The Dark Is Rising) film adaptation of “Nim’s Island”, which is based on the 1999-released book written by Wendy Orr and is due for theatrical release April 2008.


Anonymous said...

I love Koontz too. I've already read THE GOOD GUY, which is better than THE HUSBAND but not as good as VELOCITY (the three books being an informal suspense trilogy of sorts).

Robert said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I liked "Velocity" but wasn't too impressed with "The Husband". So, I'll just have to see how "The Good Guy" is. I plan on starting it today or tomorrow...


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