Welcome to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome. Need your book industry news? Never fear, Kate Copeseeley is here to give it to you straight.
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: #LukeCage Trailer, Phantom Toll Booth Adaption, Racism Against Black Sci-Fi Writers and Spiders Named After Writers. All this and more!
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two.
Well, hello all! I hope you’re enjoying the Olympics as much as I am. (I hope you’re enjoying the DIVING as much as I am!)
Go USA! Ahem. And now onto the news…
Trailer for Luke Cage
Awwww yeah… I am totally watching the hell out of this one!
Casting News for We Have Always Lived In The Castle
Well, this is a piece of adaption news that I’m frankly THRILLED over.
Sebastian Stan, best known for playing the Winter Soldier in Marvel’s Captain America movies, is set to star in We Have Always Lived in the Castle, an adaptation of the 1962 story by Shirley Jackson.
Michael Douglas is producing the creepy thriller with Jared Goldman, Robert Mitas and Robert Halmi Jr., while Stacie Passon is in the director’s seat.
Castle is one of the better-known stories by Jackson, a 20th century horror writer who also penned the novel The Haunting of Hill House. The plot centers on an isolated family who have already lost four members to poisoning and who use rituals and talismans to keep themselves away from hostile townspeople. Into this scenario comes a distant cousin, intent on maliciously securing the family’s fortune and whose arrival sets in motion the uncovering of family secrets.
Stan will play the cousin, Charles Blackwood. Passon wrote the adaptation with Mark Kruger.
Phantom Toll Booth Adaption
I hope it doesn’t make me a bad book addict that I could never get into this book. It’s like Alice In Wonderland for me. Just not my thing. But I’m excited for all the fans (including my sister) who will be so excited about this news!
Readers who grew up with the beloved Norton Juster children’s book, “The Phantom Tollbooth,” are in for a treat. The Tracking Board reports that Tristar Pictures is developing a film adaptation of the 1961 novel and has tapped Michael Vukadinovich to pen the script.
The film has been in the works for quite some time and recently moved from Warner Bros. to Tristar. The project previously had Gary Ross directing the feature from a script written by Alex Tse.
For those unfamiliar with the classic tale, “The Phantom Tollbooth,” illustrated by Jules Feiffer, follows a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, drives through it in his toy car, transporting him to the Kingdom of Wisdom. Once there, he makes two new friends, goes on extraordinary adventures and even saves a princess.
No, really, WHYYYYYYY???
Two new species of spiders have been named for Canadian authors Michael Ondaatje and Shyam Selvadurai by the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, a Sri Lankan research body.
Ondaatje is one of country’s most celebrated writers. He won the Man Booker Prize for his novel The English Patient, but the paper’s authors, Ranasinghe and Benjamin, say their favourite novel is Anil’s Ghost.
“Well I am thrilled of course, that it also happened to two of my favourite writers/spiders – Shyam Selvadurai and Carl Muller,” said Ondaatje in an email to CBC Books.
“I thought a small creek would be enough to have my name attached to or a lane like the one bp Nichol got. But the goblin spider of Sri Lanka certainly raises the bar. I believe Gary Larson who created The Far Side cartoons had his name attached to species of chewing louse found only on owls. (He knew he said that no one was going to attach his name to a new species of swan). But I am happy with the Brignolia ondaatjei with its dorsal scutum strongly sclerotized. Now the fear is that they might become extinct.”
Selvadurai is the award-winning writer of Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea.
“This came as a complete surprise and I was thrilled. It’s so surprising too that anyone would think to honour writers. Usually it’s other scientists or political and social leaders,” said Selvadurai in an email to CBC Books.
“I also felt particularly happy to be recognized in Sri Lanka in this way. It validated all the work I do in the country in terms of reconciliation and also my work as curator of the Galle Literary Festival. And of course my novels too.”
I think I can honestly say that I hope to NEVER be famous enough to have a spider named after myself. *shudder*
Half Price Books Got Scammed
This is a terrible situation. I feel so bad for this company. Half Price Books got ripped off to the tune of One Million Dollars by a toner company.
According to the lawsuit, Todd and Maggie Kuenstler, former owners of a Cartridge World franchise store in Dallas, repeatedly stole new toner cartridges they had previously sold to Half Price Books and would then resell the same cartridges to the company.
Steve Weedon, CEO of Cartridge World, said all Cartridge World franchise stores are independently owned and operated. He said he was shocked that Half Price Books had been subjected to the rogue actions of an ex-franchisee, but he was adamant that Cartridge World itself is in no way involved with the Kuenstlers alleged scam.
“That is simply not the case,” Weedon said, “and we will defend our position in this lawsuit with aggression to preserve the good name of our franchise network and honest hard-working store owners and master franchisees around the world.”
The Kuenstlers, representing Cartridge World, entered into a contract with Half Price Books in 2009. The bookstore allowed the Kuenstlers to access their central distribution center at 2700 Lone Star Drive in Dallas to facilitate delivery and maintain an adequate supply of toner cartridges.
According to the suit, the agreement allowed the Kuenstlers to “surreptitiously purloin” company property until January 2016 when the scam was discovered.
Black Sci-Fi Writers Face Universal Racism
This makes me sad. Imagine if the books of Octavia Butler had never made it into the world.
The world of speculative fiction publishing is plagued by “structural, institutional, personal, universal” racism, according to a new report that found less than 2% of more than 2,000 SF stories published last year were by black writers.
The report, published by the magazine Fireside Fiction, states that just 38 of the 2,039 stories published in 63 magazines in 2015 were by black writers. With the bulk of the industry based in the US, more than half of all speculative fiction publications the report considered did not publish a single original story by a black author. “The probability that it is random chance that only 1.96% of published writers are black in a country where 13.2% of the population is black is 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000321%,” says the report.
I mean, good god, the numbers are just unbelievable and rage inducing.
“Fiction, we have a problem,” writes Fireside Fiction editor Brian White in the report. “We all know this. We do. We don’t need numbers to see that, like everywhere in our society, marginalisation of black people is still a huge problem in publishing … The entire system is built to benefit whiteness – and to ignore that is to bury your head in the flaming garbage heap of history.”
White told the Guardian that the numbers were “terrible”, but that “I can’t say they surprise me … I think that anyone who is paying attention to the demographics of speculative fiction publishing in general, and short fiction in particular, knows that there is a problem with underrepresentation of people of colour, and that it is even worse for black writers,” he said. “It seems like … even when progress is being made with people of colour, black people are being left out. But that progress itself helps hide that problem, because publishers can point to and feel good about ‘look at all the people of colour we have featured’ without examining it more closely to see who is still excluded.”
The Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the World Fantasy award, told the Guardian that she didn’t “need a report to tell me what I already know. Hell, this is a large part of why I started writing … because as a reader I wasn’t seeing the stories I wanted to read, the characters I wanted to read, the dearth of diversity,” she said. “I don’t spend time despairing over what’s been there for centuries. I keep it moving, regardless.”
Listen, there is so much more and it’s an important story, so I urge you to go on to the Guardian and read the whole thing.
PR Company Violates Book Bloggers’ Privacy
Last week, Rock Star PR & Literary Consulting (NOT to be confused with Rock Star Book Tours) sent out a promotion email to a slew of book bloggers with an attachment that contained the names, addresses, and other pieces of private information that many people might not want shared with the world.
Irish Banana talks about her feelings when she discovered what they had done:
I freaked the freak out. This email went out to an undisclosed list and amount of bloggers and readers. All these people now have my personal information. There are bloggers listed on here that haven’t been active for years like The Story Siren and IB Book Blogging.
I’ve always been super careful about who has my info. The only people who have it are publishing houses and 2 PR companies I’ve worked with where I know people personally at both places. That’s it. So how in the world did a company I’ve never heard of suddenly know where I lived?
Several other bloggers and myself figured out based on dates and the comments and who the publicist who sent these emails out, that she worked at Penguin and Little, Brown. She was a publicist there who likely took contact lists with her when she left.
That’s not OK.
I gave a publisher permission to use my address. Not a random employee I’d never worked with permission to take my info with her when she quit. It’s a violation of privacy and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal.
My issue is that Rockstar PR & Literary Consulting had no rights to my personal information at all. I never gave consent for them to contact me. A lot of bloggers never gave their permission or consent to work with this company.
It is understandable why she and other bloggers are so upset. For more info, go HERE.