of the Woodwork 159. December 2009
Literature - setting the standards for out of print on-line
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
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
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.
Stanley Robinson - Guardian profile on SF's realist
R R Martin - getting hooked on fantasy in the Guardian
G Ballard - My Hero by Will Self (Guardian)
books that defined the noughties - Daily Telegraph
films that defined the noughties - Daily Telegraph
Pratchett's "Nation" at the National Theatre - reviews
would look like if it had rings like Saturn - You Tube - delightful!
Sense of wonder or what!
Abercrombie interview - BSC
Pohl at 90 - The Way the Future Was
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
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."
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
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
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
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
Cheers .. Fay
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
2009 ENDEAVOUR AWARD WINNER
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
FINALISTS FOR 2009
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
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.
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
- 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
and special offers.
Good reading and watching - Simon & Laraine.
Fantastic Literature Limited
35 The Ramparts
Essex, SS6 8PY
OotW - archives
OotW 123, OotW
124, OotW 125, OotW
126, OotW 127, OotW
128, OotW 129, OotW
130, OotW 131, OotW
132, OotW 133, OotW134,
OotW 137, OotW138,
OotW 139, OotW
140, OotW141, OotW
142, OotW 143, OotW144,
150, OotW151, OotW
152, OotW 153,
OotW 154, OotW155, OotW156,