In international book news, the Colombia Book Fair became a hot topic this week as a rare and valuable Gabriel Garcia Marquez signed first-edition copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude was stolen from the fair in Bogota. It’s estimated worth is £40,000, and many first edition copies of the Nobel Prize winning author’s books have risen in value since the author’s death last year. Police say they have now found and recovered the book.
The highly acclaimed Southern Reach trilogy, written by Jeff VanderMeer, has now become a hot Hollywood property. The first novel in the series, Annihilation, will be directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, writer of Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Never Let Me Go and Dredd) and will star Natalie Portman. The story follows a group of specially selected researchers – four women (a biologist, surveyor, anthropologist and psychologist) – who enter a mysterious region known as Area X in a quest to discover more about its alien features and the bizarre outcomes of former expeditions into the dangerous land.
The Arthur C Clarke Award has this year been awarded to Emily St John Mandel for her novel Station Eleven. The post-apocalyptic tale has garnered universal praise from readers, in its depiction of a devastating flu pandemic that sweeps the world.
In further sci-fi award news, the Locus Awards have revealed their line-up. The novels up for Best novel of the year are William Gibson’s The Peripheral, Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem, Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, John Scalzi’s Lock In and Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. The contenders for Best Fantasy Novel are an equally exciting bunch: Lev Grossman for his The Magician’s Land, Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor, Elizabeth Bear’s Steles of the Sky, Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs and Kameron Hurley for The Mirror Empire.
Brave New World, the classic science fiction novel by Aldous Huxley, is coming to television under the watchful eyes of genre filmmaking legend Steven Spielberg. The book, first published in the 1930s, is considered one of the great works of modern sci-fi fiction and has been incredibly influential on the genre as a whole – let’s hope that the Syfy channel do a good job. With Spielberg at the helm, we can hopefully think positively!
The Gordon Burn Prize 2015 has its thirteen longlisted authors. Hilary Mantel, Martin Amis and more are up for the prize, which awards writers who have a ‘fearless approach to writing’. The winner will be announced at the Durham Book Festival in October.
Imagine discovering long-lost stories by one of, if not the, most influential writer your country has ever known. Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley discovered over 100 such stories by Mark Twain, the author of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written 150 years ago. The stories were written when Twain worked for the San Francisco Chronicle.