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Saturday, January 26, 2008

NEWS ROUNDUP: "The Court of the Air" shortlisted for film festival, Dabel Brothers bringing Patricia Briggs to comics, and more...

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: London & Berlin – 24th January 2008. Ten novels (written in a wide variety of languages) have been selected for presentation by the world's main publishers on February 12th, 2008 at the Berlin International Film Festival—the world's largest film festival with 200,000 movie and TV professionals attending. One fantasy and science fiction book made the cut, Stephen Hunt's epic fantasy tale, “The Court of the Air”.

Organized by the
Berlin International Film Festival in cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair for the third time, the Breakfast & Books section of the film fair enables representatives from publishing houses, literary agents and producers to meet for a pitching session, followed by breakfast together. Producers interested in the film rights can discuss matters on location with right holders.

Renowned publishers from around the globe, such as
HarperCollins, Random House, Diogenes, Grasset & Fasquelle, and Suhrkamp, will present ten titles, which have been picked on the strength of their potential for the screen.

The selection for 2008 covers a range of themes and genre—from terrorism thriller to fantasy, from coming-of-age parable to period drama—to help ensure there will be something for every producer and every budget.

The only genre fantasy and science fiction novel to be short-listed is
Stephen Hunt'sThe Court of the Air”, an epic fantasy adventure set in a society with parallels to 18th/19th century England.

HarperCollins has historically enjoyed a great deal of success with fantasy movie adaptations of its works over the last few years, including films such as Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and two Narnia movies (the Prince Caspian film is forthcoming).

Last year, Peter Jackson optioned
HarperCollins' author Naomi Novik's fantasy novel “His Majesty's Dragon” (Temeraire in the UK) for one of his next genre movies, and Jackson is shortly beginning work on a film of the HarperCollins' novel “The Hobbit”.

The Guardian said of “The Court of the Air”, “The characters are convincing and colourful, but the real achievement is the setting, a hellish take on Victorian London where grim, steam-driven machines work beside citizens with magical powers. The Court of the Air is aimed at young adults, but the depth and complexity of Hunt's vision makes it compulsive reading for all ages.”

The Times called Hunt's novel, “An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels.” while SFX magazine said of it, “Hunt can take his place alongside such eminent Magratheans as J.R.R. Tolkien, Mervyn Peake and China Mieville. Creating a fully-realized other-world which feels new and different, yet cohesive and believable is half the battle in a fantasy novel, and it is a battle Hunt wins with honors...Hunt's world is so rich and colorful it keeps you engrossed...It's a confident audacious novel.”

Since autumn 2005, the
Berlinale (aka the Berlin International Film Festival) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, two of Germany's largest cultural and economic affairs, have collaborated on creating a forum for film producers and publishers at both these huge events, and in doing so to promote contacts and long-term synergies between the worlds of literature and film.

The novels short-listed from the many thousands of submitted works are:

01.The Court of the Air” by
Stephen Hunt (Great Britain)
02.The Girl with the Nine Fingers” by Laia F├ábregas (Netherlands)
03.Baptism” by Max Kinnings (Great Britain)
04.The Weekend (Das Wochenende)” by Bernhard Schlink (Switzerland)
05.My Traitor” by Sorj Chalandon (France)
06.The Lady from Buenos Aires” by John Lantigua (Germany)
07.Catalina” by Markus Orths (Germany)
08.Zephyr” by Albert Ostermeier (Germany)
09.Through Thick and Thin” by Shirley Corlett (Germany)
10.The Messenger” by Markus Zusak (Germany)

The Court of the Air” was released in the UK in April 2007, and will be making its US debut June 10, 2008 thanks to
Tor Books. For more information on Stephen Hunt, check out his website HERE, and you can read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of “The Court of the AirHERE. For UK readers, Mr. Hunt’s next novel—“The Kingdom Beyond the Waves”—which is set in the same world as “The Court of the Air”, hits bookstores on May 6, 2008. Personally, I think “The Court of the Air” would make an extraordinary film, and I hope it gets picked up :)

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: New York City – January 25, 2008. The
Dabel Brothers are already well-known for their comic book and graphic novel adaptations of great paranormal thriller novels such as 2007's bestselling Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter in Guilty Pleasures and their eagerly anticipated May 2008 release, Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son.

But now that they've signed white-hot New York Times-bestselling paranormal fantasy writer
Patricia Briggs to bring the world of her stunning Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson books to comics, the Dabel Brothers are fully prepared to top themselves once again with a brand new original story written by Briggs exclusively for comics!

The Mercedes Thompson series began in 2006 with the publication of “Moon Called”. Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a Volkswagen mechanic (she’s heard all the jokes, thank you). She’s also a coyote shapeshifter, an observer of the supernatural community, but not part of it: the perfect intermediary between the things that go bump in the night . . . and the things that bump back.

The second and third books in the series, “Blood Bound” and the #1 New York Times-bestseller “Iron Kissed”, have only helped to cement Briggs as one of the rising stars in the realm of paranormal fantasy, and the
Dabel Brothers expect their comic book series, a prequel to the novels entitled “Mercedes Thompson: Homecoming”, to drive her legions of fans straight to the comic book stores when the first issue debuts in the second half of 2008.

According to Briggs, the comic book series will focus on shapeshifter Mercedes Thompson fresh out of college when she's offered a job as a mechanic. . . by a nine-year-old boy. When she takes the job, she finds herself in a mess of trouble. Vampires, werewolves and an ancient fae are all out to get her. What’s a poor coyote to do?

“My first exposure to werewolves goes back to the old
Marvel comic Werewolf by Night, which I read when I was still in grade school,” said Patricia Briggs. “The image of the werewolf as a good guy, a tormented hero who could be dangerous to anyone around him, stuck with me all these years and manifested itself in the Mercedes Thompson series. To have Mercedes and her world become a comic book is almost karmic—having the Dabel Brothers producing them is nothing less than fabulous good luck.”

“We could not be more thrilled to have
Patricia Briggs onboard,” said Ernst Dabel, President of Dabel Brothers Publishing. “She's going to fit in very well in our lineup, and we fully expect that the Mercedes Thompson: Homecoming books are going to be every bit as popular as the Anita Blake comics were last year!”

Mercedes Thompson: Homecoming” will be a 4-part comic book miniseries and is slated for release in the second half of 2008. The series will be collected in hardcover and distributed by
Del Rey in 2009. You can read the full press release HERE with more details to be made available in coming months.

Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson novels are published through Ace Books, which can be ordered HERE. As a fan of urban fantasy, Briggs’ novels have been on my radar for a while now, but I have to admit this is pretty cool news. So I think I’m going to have to pick up the books and see what all the fuss is about :)

In other news, Subterranean Press is putting together an original anthology that explores the darker side of fantasy:

Fantasy comes in all shades, from gentle tales of elves and fairies, to the blackest of horrors. Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy tends toward the darker edges, where the fantastic mixes with the horrific. With all original tales by a number of SubPress favorites, and writers new to our stable, we’ve aimed to illuminate these shadowed corners, to bring into the light the creatures that venture forth from the sea, those that alter our reality to suit their sinister needs, and others who head into territory so bleak it’s best left undescribed.

Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy” will be available in three unique editions, and will feature stories by Joe R. Lansdale, Poppy Z. Brite, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Mike Carey, Kage Baker, Tim Powers, and Mike Resnick among others, and will also be accompanied by an exclusive chapbook of one of Joe Hill’s signature tales, “Thumbprint,” thus far only available in the excellent UK magazine, Postscripts. “Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy” can be preordered
HERE, which is tentatively due out in Summer 2008. I can’t wait!

Lastly, in case you missed the new banner up top,
Jeffrey Thomas’Deadstock” is now available HERE as a free download thanks to Solaris Books. It’s a pretty cool novel (Reviewed HERE), so give it a try and look out for Mr. Thomas’ new novel “Blue War”—out on February 26, 2008—which I plan on reviewing in the near future…


SQT said...

I luuurve Patricia Briggs.

I just started reading the "Crossover" Joel Shepherd and I'm really liking it. I wouldn't have grabbed it if I hadn't seen it featured here, so thanks!

Robert said...

Yeah, I remember you're review of "Iron Kissed" :) I'm enjoying Kim Harrison's series, so I'm sure I'll like Patricia's whenever I get a chance to read it...

You're welcome for the "Crossover" recommendation ;) Glad you're enjoying it so far. Hopefully you'll like it enough to check out the rest of the trilogy...


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