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A new short series of Harry Potter books, titled Pottermore Presents, will soon be released by J. K. Rowling in digital format. The eBooks, coming out in early September, feature stories about different characters from Hogwarts, such as professors Slughorn and McGonagall.

In other book news:

For comic book fans out there who enjoy cultural giant Marvel’s less well-known offerings to superhero lore, your interest should be piqued by news that the adaptation of Runaways is back on. Originally tentatively slated for a film adaptation, this series – about a group of teens who realise their parents are members of a supervillain group named the Pride – will now be headed to TV.

In more adaptation news, Anna Paquin (True Blood, X-men) has joined the miniseries of Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace, which will be written by Sarah Polley. The novel is about Grace Marks, a woman charged with the murder, of which she claims to have no memory, of her employer and his mistress.

The James Tait Black Awards were held last week. James Shapiro, for his non-fiction book 1606, and Benjamin Markovitz for his novel You Don’t Have to Live Like This were the winners of the £10,000 prize.

On Saturday 20 August, the winners of this year’s Hugo Awards were announced. All four fiction categories were won by female writers: N. K. Jemisin (winner of best novel for The Fifth Season), Nnedi Okorafor (for best novella, Binti), Hao Jingfang (for best novelette, Folding Beijing) and Naomi Kritzer (for best short story, Cat Pictures Please). Neil Gaiman won best graphic story for his Sandman: Overture. The fact that the four top winners were all women, and three were women of colour, is highly notable considering the controversial backlash the awards have received in recent years from the conservative group Sad Puppies (this year named Rabid Puppies) that have been trolling the awards with strategic voting as an attack against what they consider ‘forced diversity’ of nominees. In a grand way to silence that group of voters, the overall voting masses rejected their attempts.

M R Carey has announced he has planned a prequel book to The Girl with All the Gifts, and it will be released next summer. It doesn’t have a title yet, but it will be a ‘freestanding story’ taking place in the plague-ravaged world of the original novel.

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