The contenders for the Folio Prize for 2015 have been announced. The Folio Prize is open to authors of all nationalities, in order to celebrate the ‘best fiction of our time’, and due to the almost unlimited well of works that this lack of restriction allows the judges to choose from, it is unsurprisingly that the longlist currently stands at 80 authors. There are famous names mixed in among newer ones in this selection, from Margaret Atwood, Lorrie Moore and Will Self, to Sarah Perry and Jeff VanderMeer (for his Southern Reach trilogy) as well as Samantha Harvey (for the ‘exquisite’ Dear Thief), Sandra Newman’s The Country of Ice Cream Star, Perfidia by James Ellroy and Niven Govinden’s All the Days and Nights. See the Folio website for details on the full list, as it is definitely worth taking the time to read. The longlist will be narrowed down to a shortlist in February 2015.
In other news: Popular American author Judy Blume will be publishing a new book in 2015 titled In the Unlikely Event. This novel will be for an adult readership, rather than for younger readers as she is traditionally known. According to the author, the book will focus on the tragic circumstances faced by the New Jersey community she grew up in, when three plane crashes occurred in three months in the early 1950s.
ITV will be adapting the epic poem Beowulf for television. Not just for a one-hour special or a three-part miniseries, but a full thirteen episode run. For a poem about warriors and monsters fighting each other, this is sure to be a large-scale, hyped production to please Game of Thrones fans (hopefully!)
In incredibly exciting news, Philip Pullman has written a brand new His Dark Materials story, titled ‘The Collectors’. An extract from the audio version (the story was written exclusively for Audible) can now be listened to on Youtube, narrated by Bill Nighy. What are you still doing here, go there! Listen!
Do you want to get into the Christmas spirit? (if you need to, that is, since it is now only a few days away!) The Guardian have posted their Christmas book quiz to help readers feel the festive cheer: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/20/christmas-books-quiz-2014