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Out of the Woodwork 159. December 2009
Fantastic Literature - setting the standards for out of print on-line bookselling.

Welcome to our newsletter, it contains up to the minute news and gossip as well as awards details and items requiring help from the collective consciousness. If you wish to contribute please do so! We welcome your thoughts, your news items and any gossip! We do love a bit of gossip here at Fantastic HQ. Seasons greetings we wish you all a merry christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year to all our clients and friends, we hope 2010 is better for you than 2009! See our silly christmas card here.

In this newsletter:
Christmas Competition - win a copy of "The Adversary" by James R Bowman
Michael Moorcock to write a Dr Who novel - BBC confirms - 16th November
Neil Gaiman wins Booktrust Teenage Prize - for "The Graveyard Book" much enjoyed by everyone here at Fantastic HQ
Philip Pullman writes alternative end to the Jesus story - sounds very intriguing!
BBC reveals lost Doctor Who episode - Shada a six parter from 1979 starring Tom Baker
Fay's continuum game 2 - and its a belter - why not try it for yourself.
Ray Bradbury to be involved in producing a mini series of "The Bradbury Chronicles"
Richard Branson unveils the Virgin rocket plane - paid trips into space, better start saving now.
Stephen King is plotting a sequel to "The Shining" - wow, we can't wait
Paranormal Activity director - stunned by it's success, but Mark Kermode isn't convinced it's scary.
SF film "Moon" wins award - BFI votes it best Indie UK film
Frank Frazetta's son arrested - $20M art theft, an amazing story
Tintin film is now finished say Peter Jackson - blistering barnacles!
NASA's moon mission a success - "a dozen two gallon buckets of water" - so where did the buckets come from?
Two for the collective consciousness - how well can you recall 70s and 90s SF?
Leona Lewis has recorded "Avatars" theme tune - the expectation is great! We have booked tickets as part of the staff party..
Children's author Enid Blyton was banned from the BBC for nearly 30 years for being "small beer"
Obituaries. Robert Holdstock, writer of Fantasy and SF Edward Woodward, who starred in "The Wickerman". I F Clarke, SF bibliographer, scholar and really nice chap. Don Congdon, literary agent who found some of the superstars of SF and fantasy. Harry C Crosby - SF Writer Christopher Anvil. Janet Fox.US writer and editor .
Natalie Portman - zombie slayer in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
US books returned to library after 50 years - the fine comes to $1,000 - ouch!
Endeavour Award winner 2009 and shortlist
Cormac McCarthy's typewriter reaches the end of the road!
Fossil thieves - an increasing problem around the world! Scientists are worried about damage.
Mr Benn - street tribute to the children's character who visited other worlds through the fancy dress shop changing room
Richard and Judy's Book Club to return - minus Richard and Judy!
Department of smug self satisfcation - continued
Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child - greatest guitar riff of all time! - it's not really genre but we love it.

OotW Blinks:

Kim Stanley Robinson - Guardian profile on SF's realist
George R R Martin - getting hooked on fantasy in the Guardian
J G Ballard - My Hero by Will Self (Guardian)
100 books that defined the noughties - Daily Telegraph
100 films that defined the noughties - Daily Telegraph
Terry Pratchett's "Nation" at the National Theatre - reviews (BBC)
What Earth would look like if it had rings like Saturn - You Tube - delightful! Sense of wonder or what!
Joe Abercrombie interview - BSC
Fred Pohl at 90 - The Way the Future Was

Christmas Competition. We have two copies of "The Adversary" by James R Bowman to give away! A massive tome of some 1,000+ pp, it is is the first book in "The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse Saga". To win all you have to do is email us the answer to this question: What was J R R Tolkiens date of birth? Send your email to us with Competiton in the subject line and your answer, we will make the draw on 3rd January and send out the books thereafter!

Death, War, Famine and Pestilence; known to the sentient races of the Multiverse as the Absolutes, face their greatest threat since the first race made its mark on the cosmos. The Adversary, Lucifer s right hand and enforcer has decided the time has come for him to take charge instead of orders; freeing Fenris the Dread Wolf to aid him and systematically wiping out the Earth s guardians those individuals whose destiny it was to protect the world from extinction and slavery he gathers his forces, poised to strike and annihilate humanity.

Michael Moorcock to pen a Doctor Who novel. The BBC is in talks with the fantasy author Michael Moorcock to write a Doctor Who novel, it has confirmed. Michael Moorcock, who has written dozens of books including the Elric of Melnibone novels, said on his website that the Doctor Who book would appear in 2010. "Looks like it's official," he said. "I'll be doing a new Doctor Who novel (not a tie-in) for appearance, I understand, by next Christmas." Full BBC story

Novelist Neil Gaiman, has won this year's Booktrust Teenage Prize with The Graveyard Book. The story is about a child abandoned in a graveyard after his parents are murdered and is raised by ghosts.Chair judge Judi James said his writing was "gentle, fluid and humorous". We loved reading it here at Fantastic HQ. Full BBC story

Philip Pullman, the author of His Dark Materials, has written his own version of the New Testament in which the story of Jesus is given a "different ending". The writer has penned an alternative Bible passage imagining a different fate for Christ, who was executed by the Romans. Daily Telegraph story

Lost Dr Who episodes - why were they never shown? . Why spend thousands of pounds to make an episode of one of the most popular TV series of the time, only to leave it gathering dust in the archive?A strike does help explain the non-appearance of Shada - a six-part Doctor Who story - yet this is perhaps the most inexplicable of the three. Shada was formally droppped from the 17th season of Doctor Who in December 1979. Full BBC story

Fay's continuum game 2

Thanks for including my bit in OOTW 158.
I am looking forward to anyone else's ideas for a science fiction Continuuum, but as nobody will guess my favourite (unless we happen to have any readers with psi powers?) here is my special incarnation of old Jack.

You will need, in this order:

Robert Bloch's short story 'Yrs Truly, Jack the Ripper' 1943.

Robert Bloch's short story 'A Toy for Juliette' 1967. (A sequel specially written for Harlan Ellison's 'Dangerous Visions'.)

Harlan Ellison's short story 'The Prowler in the City at the End of the World' 1967. (Written by agreement with Bloch as a follow-up to Juliette, also in 'Dangerous Visions'.)

The 'Babylon 5' episode 'Comes the Inquisitor', 1995. Written by J Michael Straczynski as a private tribute to Harlan Ellison's story, extrapolating how Jack might continue to be used in the future.

The stories are all great in their own right, but taken together they form a progressive narrative that gives Jack's evil fascinating new dimensions.

Cheers .. Fay

Ray Bradbury has signed on with White Oak Films to develop a miniseries based on six of his short stories.
White Oak’s John Dayton will exec produce “The Bradbury Chronicles” -- now targeted as a six-hour event -- along with Bradbury. White Oak’s Merrill Capps, Todd Klick, Cory Travalena and Dale Olson will produce. No network is yet attached. Bradbury, the author of famed books such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” will help choose and adapt the six stories. Variety story

Sir Richard Branson has unveiled the rocket plane he will use to take fare-paying passengers into space. SpaceShipTwo was presented to the world in Mojave, California. The vehicle will undergo testing over the next 18 months before being allowed to take ticketed individuals on short-hop trips just above the atmosphere. About 300 individuals are reported to have signed up for a flight. They are all willing to pay about $200,000 (£121,000) for the privilege of experiencing six minutes of weightlessness during what will be a two-hour end-to-end flight. Full BBC story + video

Stephen King is plotting a sequel to "The Shining". Jack Torrance's little boy Danny was last seen recuperating in Maine after escaping the insane evil of the Overlook Hotel, but Stephen King is now plotting a sequel to The Shining which would age the clairvoyant boy to 40 and transport him to a New York hospice. Speaking to an audience of fans in Toronto about his new novel Under the Dome, King divulged that he'd begun working on a tentative idea for a follow-up to The Shining – first published in 1977 – last summer. Guardian story

The director of Paranormal Activity has said he is "overwhelmed" by the movie's success in passing the $100m (£60m) mark at the US box office. Oren Peli's ghost story, filmed on a video camera in his own house for just $15,000 (£9,000), has become one of the most profitable movies of all time. "I'm pleased and overwhelmed and a bit shocked," Peli told BBC News on Friday."The whole thing has been kind of crazy, so this is just one more crazy thing that's going on." Full BBC story

Mark Kermode begs to differ. "Besides being one of the most financially successful movies in history, this year's Paranormal Activity has also picked up a reputation for being one of the scariest. The reactions of some people have been compared to the effect of The Exorcist on audiences way back in 1973. So what am I missing?" Mark Kermode - BBC

Science fiction thriller Moon has been named best British independent film and its director, Duncan Jones, has won an award for best first-time film-maker by the British Film Institute. Full BBC story

Artist Frank Frazetta's son, Alfonso Frank Frazetta, 52, was arrested December 9, 2009, on charges of attempting to steal approximately $20 million in paintings from the Frank Frazetta Museum in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. According to the police report, Frazetta Jr., with the help of two men, including one operating a backhoe, broke through the museum door and attempted to make off with about 90 paintings. He was arrested by state police and charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking, and criminal trespass. Police report

Tintin film finished. Steven Spielberg's Tintin film is in the can, but it will take two years for the computer animation to be completed, producer Peter Jackson has said. The Lord Of The Rings director told the BBC: "Tintin is great. It's made. The movie is cut together and now [we] are turning it into a fully-rendered film". "So the movie, to some degree, exists in a very rough state." BBC story

Nasa's experiment last month to find water on the Moon was a major success, US scientists have announced. The space agency smashed a rocket and probe into a large crater at the lunar south pole, hoping to kick up ice. Scientists who have studied the data now say instruments trained on the impact plume saw copious quantities of water vapour. One researcher described this as the equivalent of "a dozen two-gallon buckets" of water. Full BBC story

Two for the collective consciousness:-

a)I read this novel in the Seventies. A sort of 'Day of the Triffids' but where the catastrophe was 'crustal displacement' (very a la 2012) where global volcanic action wipes out much of humanity. The main thing I remember was that there were few women survivors and those that there were are jealously guarded and held in common by the men of the groups. Fairly bleak I recall.

b)I have a question that I'm hoping the collective consciousness can help me with. Back in the early 90's (I think) I read a sci-fi book from the local library. One of the few things I remember about it is that it involved Antarctica and that the people living there had a treatment to resist UV which turned their skins purplish. I know it's a long shot but, I'm hoping someone else might remember it and it's title!

Can you help? Email us

Leona Lewis has recorded the signature song for upcoming science fiction film, Avatar. The 24-year-old X Factor winner performs the tune that will accompany the closing credits, called I See You. The much-hyped Avatar, directed by James Cameron, is being billed as an epic adventure with new standards of special effects. The director first conceived the film 15 years ago but back then the technology didn't exist to make it happen. Premiering in London in December, it tells the tale of an alien race defending their land against human invasion. We just can't wait to see it! Full BBC story

Children's author Enid Blyton was banned from the BBC for nearly 30 years because her work was considered "small beer", archive documents have revealed. The best-selling writer unsuccessfully approached the corporation several times to get her material on the radio. Executives considered the Famous Five and Noddy creator "second-rate" and lacking literary value, according to 18 newly released letters and memos. She first pitched ideas in 1936 but did not appear on Woman's Hour until 1963. BBC story

. Robert Holdstock Robert was taken into hospital in late November with a serious e-Coli infection, and then things got worse and he passed away on October 29th. He will be missed by many. British Fantasy Society Tribute

Veteran actor Edward Woodward has died aged 79, his agent has confirmed. The Croydon-born star had been suffering from various illnesses, including pneumonia, and died in hospital, said Janet Glass. Woodward is most famous for his roles in the cult 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, alongside Sir Christopher Lee, and TV series The Equalizer and Callan. BBC obituary

British bibliographer and literary scholar I.F. Clarke died November 5, 2009 in a nursing home, following complications from a leg amputation in August. Clarke was an expert in future-war fiction, and his many publications include Voices Prophesying War (1966), the eight-volume British Future Fiction series (2001), and some important bibliographies. With his wife Margaret (who survives him), he produced translations and critical editions of early French science fiction. We knew I F Clarke, who was also called "Knobby" as we purchased a number of books from him at his lovely Cotswold home, we send all the family our condolences.

Don Congdon, a literary agent who spotted the talent of Ray Bradbury early in both their careers and whose long list of celebrated authors also included William Styron, Jack Finney, Evan S. Connell, William L. Shirer and David Sedaris, died on Monday November 30th at his home in Brooklyn Heights. He was 91. NY Times

Harry C. Crosby, Jr., who wrote SF as Christopher Anvil, died at home in Cayuta NY on November 30th, 2009. He was born Mar. 11, 1925 in Norwich, CT.

Writer and editor Janet Fox
, 68, died September 21, 2009 at home in Osage City KS after a long struggle with cancer

Natalie Portman is set to slay the undead in a movie adaptation of best-seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it is reported. Portman will play feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet, according to trade publication Variety. The novel, by Seth Grahame-Smith, takes Jane Austen's classic and adds a new subplot in which the story takes place as the dead rise from the grave.The five Bennett sisters are all trained in deadly martial arts,. We read the novel on Holiday in France, great fun and very tongue in cheek. Full BBC story


US books returned 50 years late! A former student at an Arizona school has returned two library books, 50 years late, and with a $1,000 (£600) cheque to cover overdue fees. Librarian Georgette Bordine at Camelback High School in Phoenix said the books were checked out in 1959. Ouch! Full BBC story

THE ENDEAVOUR AWARD......for a distinguished SCIENCE FICTION or FANTASY BOOK written by a Pacific Northwest author or authors and published in the previous year.

The award represents a collaboration between writers and fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy to encourage the growth of literature in the field and recognize works of excellence. It is named for H.M. Bark Endeavour, the ship of Northwest explorer Capt. James Cook.

Space Magic by David D. Levine
The winner received a $1,000 grant and an etched glass plaque produced by Kent, Washington, artist Ashley J. Harper

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Ill Met in the Arena by Dave Duncan
Long Walks, Last Flights and Other Stories by Ken Scholes
A World Too Near: Book Two of the Entire and the Rose by Kay Kenyon

US author Cormac McCarthy is selling the trusty old typewriter he has used to type all of his books. The worn-out 1958 portable Olivetti machine is expected to fetch up to $20,000 (£13,200) when it is sold at auction in New York this week. The 76-year-old author of No Country for Old Men and the excellent The Road, bought the typewriter for $50 (£30) from a pawnshop in 1963. BBC story

Fossil thieves making lots of money but the impact on science is dire: Armed with rock chisels, it took the thief only a few minutes to wipe out 135 million years of history. The fossilised iguanodon footprint was hacked out of the limestone slab where it had lain in a Dorset quarry and spirited away by an illicit collector to be sold or put into a private collection. Independent story

Mr Benn - street tribute. Mr Benn's adventures always began when he visited a magical fancy dress shop and now residents of the street that helped inspire the Mr Benn stories have clubbed together to pay tribute to the classic children's character. Festing Road, in Putney, south London, became famous when illustrator David McKee lived there in the late 1960s and made it Mr Benn's home address. On Saturday, an engraved paving slab will be laid outside the house where McKee invented his famous cartoon. McKee has also revealed that he is in talks about a Mr Benn movie. BBC story

The book club made famous by presenters Richard and Judy is to return to TV screens, but with celebrity reviewers replacing the couple. The TV Book Club will review "the most compelling reads for 2010" and be fronted by stars including stylist Gok Wan and comedian Jo Brand. We loved the original Richard and Judy show, we aren't sure what this will be like. BBC story

Department of Smug Self satisfaction:

1) Hello Laraine, Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve only got one query. The amount £4.74 seems too low. I’m assuming that this is a first – complaining about the low price. Can I confirm that there were 2 titles in that order – The Knight and Knave of Swords by Fritz Leiber and The War Lord of the Air by Michael Moorcock. Thanks. PM.

2) Brilliantly packed, quickly despatched, immaculate example of internet trading!

3) I can't believe I ordered this after I ordered from a US vendor and rec'd it way before the US vendor shipped their order! Thank you!

4) Item arrived very quickly and was in excellant condition. Much appreciated. Great service.

5) J'ai été très impressionnée par la rapidité de l'envoi et la grande qualité de l'emballage! Je crois qu'il est difficilement possible de faire mieux. Merci!

6) "Superbly wrapped. Thank you, much appreciated."

7) War alles zu meiner Zufriedenheit. Jederzeit wieder. DANKE

8) Hi Simon & Laraine

I'd just like to thank you once again for your prompt and excelent service with my order which arrived today
I have left feedback on the amazon website saying much the same as I have here
Thanks to you I now have the complete diskworld series (apart from Nanny Oggs cookbook which is on it's way) so I can now read them all again from scratch from the begining


9) Hi Simon,just to let you know my book arrived this morning,2/12/09,in perfect condition always great to get my orders this quick .I also left good feedback on Amazon .Thanks again Stewart Green.

10) your two Andy McNab books just arrived today - safely.
Many thanks for the careful wrapping, including the plastic!!! Today it rained and our dumb postman had your parcel hanging from his bike....Thank God for plastic!!!

11) Now that's what I call quick! The book arrived this morning! I'd just like to add that I've been very impressed by the range and quality of the books I've been buying from you since I discovered your online business a couple of weeks ago. You can expect a lot more orders from me in the future. :)

I used to shop at the Fantasy Centre before it sadly closed down this year. You seem to be a very good replacement.Cheers,Rob

12) Hi, I received the books yesterday (in just 5 days), it was faster than ordering something from most of the online stores in Turkey.
Thank you very much for the very fast delivery.

13) I use the marketplace for the first time, long enough to easily and quickly fizzled out what his dreams, fell into the hands of the unexpected addition, wild with joy, and gratitude. (Japanese translation)

Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child has been named the greatest guitar riff of all time, 41 years after it was recorded, in a poll by website Music Radar.It beat Guns N' Roses song Sweet Child O' Mine, which came second in the poll.

1. Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix
2. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
3. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
4. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple
5. Layla - Derek and the Dominos

BBC story

We welcome your input, your views on genre books, films etc.
Recommend anything to our 8,000 readers or ask a question.
We are sure to be in touch with someone who can help.

We also buy books and travel around the country to purchase, we will pay a finders fee to anyone who puts us in touch with a collection we later purchase.

Instant ordering on our web site in small press, magazines
and special offers.
Good reading and watching - Simon & Laraine.
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Previous OotW - archives

OotW121. OotW122. OotW 123, OotW 124, OotW 125, OotW 126, OotW 127, OotW 128, OotW 129, OotW 130, OotW 131, OotW 132, OotW 133, OotW134, OotW135, OotW136, OotW 137, OotW138, OotW 139, OotW 140, OotW141, OotW 142, OotW 143, OotW144, OotW145, OotW146. OotW147, OotW148, OotW149, OotW 150, OotW151, OotW 152, OotW 153, OotW 154, OotW155, OotW156, OotW157, OotW 158

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