– This week’s round-up will begin with a sad piece of news – author Iain M. Banks passed away Sunday 8th June from terminal cancer, aged 59. Banks wrote the sci-fi space epic Culture series, as well as other renowned works such as the twentieth-century classic The Wasp Factory (1984). His final novel, which Banks began writing prior to his own diagnosis, is about a man identified as having a terminal illness.
– To honour the upcoming 100th anniversary of the First World War, publishers in 2014 shall be releasing new titles commemorating the War, re-releasing classic fiction and non-fiction and publishing new research on the Great War.
– Malorie Blackman has been appointed the new Children’s Laureate. A highly esteemed children’s author, most well-known for penning the Noughts & Crosses series, Malorie Blackman is now the first black author to be granted this position.
– A.M. Holmes was awarded the £30,000 Women’s Prize for Fiction for May We Be Forgiven, a satirical take on modern American life. Speaking of the Prize, beginning next year Bailey’s will be sponsoring the award, succeeding the current sponsor, Orange. So the winners take home £30,000 AND crème liqueur! I want to go to there.
– The third book by Helen Fielding in the highly successful Bridget Jones series, with 15 million copies sold and two feature films, is finally to be published this October, fourteen years after the publication of the previous book. The novel will be titled Mad About the Boy. No news yet on which boy, or man, is being referred to.
– Jennifer Lawrence will be producing her first film. It will be an adaptation of Claire Bidwell Smith’s nonfiction memoir The Rules of Inheritance (2012) about a young girl’s coming of age following the death of both her parents to cancer. The film will be directed by Susanne Bier, who also helmed the recent adaptation of Ron Rash’s novel Serena (now in post-production, and also starring Lawrence).
– A first edition of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has sold for £150,000 at a charity auction. The copy contained illustrations and annotations by the author.
– If video games and literature were to merge, then the subsequent explosion of awesomeness would result in the following: DC Entertainment has announced plans to implement interactive digital comics. The novelty of interactive reading means that users can ‘choose’ how to read the story and progress through the story’s action, experiencing the comics with sound effects and motion. Readers will basically be allowed to decide and control how Batman wins a fight – sounds good to me!