– Portsmouth City Council have agreed upon a ridiculously brilliant planning decision to name a street after Neil Gaiman’s recent publication The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013). The author was raised in the area as a young child, so this seems a great way to honour a modern literary giant. The currently unnamed road will become ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ in August. Well done, Pompey, well done.
– Stephen King’s new story Joyland has been the victim of e-book piracy. Apparently as a consequence of the author’s decision to hold off on releasing the book in electronic format, certain offended fans pirated the author’s material to publish online.
– The Carnegie Medal, awarded for excellence in Children’s fiction, has been given this year to Sally Gardner for her dystopian book Maggot Moon.
– Emma Watson has signed on to star in the cinematic adaptation of yet-to-be-released fantasy saga Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, playing Princess Kelsea Glynn. Johansen’s world is set 300 years after an environmental catastrophe, with Watson’s Princess seeking to dethrone reigning despot, the Red Queen.
– Veronica Roth will be penning four more (short) stories set in the Divergent universe, ahead of the release of the movie adaptation. These stories will feature the POV of male character ‘Four’, rather than protagonist Tris.
– In other literature/film news, Sam Taylor-Johnson has been hired to helm the 50 Shades of Grey movie. This could be potentially exciting news, though here’s hoping she doesn’t make the awkward decision to cast hubby Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the title role. Speaking of the book series, British writer E. L. James’s recent financial accounts show more than £10 million profit within the last 6 months alone. Wow.
– The 30th Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced its line-up for 2013. A special tribute to Iain Banks has been organised for the closing of the festival on Sunday, which will include Ken MacLeod, Ian Rankin and others. Other events include an opening show by YA author Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking series), a career retrospective with Salman Rushdie, and Margaret Atwood hosting discussions on genre. More info can be found here: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/
– Here is another great article courtesy of The New Yorker, discussing the contemporary twitter age of writing as public performance: http://nyr.kr/143gMQD. Turning to authors, Thomas Beller argues that J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey) would be the ‘least likely tweeter in literary history’, and from this I argue, Oscar Wilde would have been the GREATEST tweeter in literary history. Do you agree; if not, who would you suggest?