Book Geek Bulletin: New Year, New Books

Book Geek Bulletin is a regular feature where we round up what’s going on in the world of literary culture and books—both here in Minnesota and around the world.

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Local Lit | Global News | Page to Screen

Local Lit

Minnesota sci-fi and fantasy convention CONvergence has announced its guests of honor for 2016, who include a number of writers: Amal El-Mohtar, poet, fiction writer, and editor; Amy Shira Teitel, popular-science writer focusing on spaceflight; Mark Oshiro, blogger, editor, and YA author; and Ytasha Womack, sci-fi novelist and poet. CONvergence 2016 takes place June 30 through July 3. Early-bird registration rates are available through January 15, 2016.
CONvergence 2016: ". . . and How Do We Get There?"
Minneapolis author Éireann Lorsung, who has published two books of poetry with Milkweed Editions, is among the recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship. More here.

The Saint Paul Public Library and Hennepin County Library are holding an online event to help you build your reading list for the rest of the winter. You can join the event on Facebook or follow #WinterReadsTwinCities on both Facebook and Twitter January 4, 2016, starting at 6:00 p.m. The Loft Literary Center and the Star Tribune will also be participating.

Winter Reads graphic with the tagline "Read This"

LitHub talked to Emily Gould and Ruth Curry, the founders of Emily Books, who are partnering with Coffee House Press for a new imprint.

Author Marlon James was interviewed by book-industry newsletter Shelf Awareness.

The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis is hiring a marketing coordinator.

Global News

Photograph of author Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer. Elena Torre

In honor of the new year, the Washington Post has rounded up some highly anticipated fiction releases of 2016.

Jonathan Safran Foer—author of Everything Is Illuminated and, more recently, Eating Animals—has signed a three-book deal with publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Here I Am, Foer’s first novel since Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), will be published in September 2016 and followed by another novel and a work of nonfiction. The books will be his first with FSG, but the move reunites Foer with editor Eric Chinski, who worked on Everything Is Illuminated at Houghton Mifflin.

In June, August, and September 2016, German publisher Cross Cult will release a new Star Trek trilogy—the first official Star Trek books to be written by German authors.

Other recent book deals of interest as reported by Publishers Lunch:

  • Final Girls by Riley Sager, “about three separate massacre survivors dubbed The Final Girls by the media who, despite being bound by their similar trauma, never meet until years later, with rights sold in five countries,” for publication in 2017 by Dutton Books (an imprint of Penguin)
  • A Nerd’s Progress by actor Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds), “the unlikely journey from life as an outcast . . . to a kind of Nerd elder statesman,” acquired at auction by Thomas Dunne Books, also for publication in 2017

The adult Harry, Ron, and Hermione have been cast in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the West End play set in the Potterverse years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When a contingent of the Internet (predictably) took issue with a woman of color being chosen to play Hermione, J. K. Rowling spoke out on Twitter in support of the casting, pointing out that she never specified in the books that the character was white.

Charles F. Harris, founder of Amistad Press, died December 16, 2015. Amistad is “the oldest imprint devoted to titles for the African-American market at any major New York publishing house.”

Tom Jenks, editor of Narrative magazine, is taking heat for publishing a guide to fiction . . . and setting the price at $225.

The New York Times Book Review debuted a new column for science-fiction and fantasy books.

Slate ran an interesting article in December comparing Waterstones, the flagship British bookshop chain that’s engineered a booming business recovery under its new managing director, with Barnes and Noble which has been closing stores in droves.

The Waterstones store in Sutton, Surrey. Tony Monblat via Flickr

The Waterstones store in Sutton, Surrey. Tony Monblat via Flickr

And more in global news:

Page to Screen

Click here for my month-by-month guide to the big- and small-screen book adaptations of 2016.

SyFy previewed the pilot for The Magicians, based on the best-selling 2009 fantasy novel by Lev Grossman, on December 16. The series officially premieres January 25, 2016.

MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles, based on the novels by Terry Brooks, premieres January 5.

AMC is developing a series based on NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Horns). The book was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award when it was published in 2013.

The first stills are out for the adaptation of The Girl on the Train, featuring Emily Blunt.

The Magicians High-Rise NOS4A2

The first trailer is out for High-Rise, based on the 1975 dystopian novel by J. G. Ballard, and it’s styled as an ad for the fictional Royal Architects. The film stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers), Jeremy Irons (Lolita), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Luke Evans (The Hobbit), and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), and comes out in theaters March 18, 2016. A brief clip, which included a preview of Moss’s somewhat questionable British accent, was shown as part of the coverage for the BFI London Film Festival back in October.

Hulu released the second trailer for 11.22.63, based on the 2011 novel by Stephen King.

The Man in the High Castle, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, has been renewed for a second season. The series has become Amazon’s most streamed original series to date.

Promo poster for House of Cards season 4, featuring Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and the text UNDERWOOD 2016Netflix has announced the launch date for House of Cards season 4: March 4, 2016. The series is based on the British miniseries of the same name, which in turn is based on a novel (the first in a trilogy) by UK politician Michael Dobbs.

SyFy has ordered a second season of The Expanse, its series based on the novels by James S. A. Corey. The first season premiered at the end of November 2015.

Entertainment Weekly published a first look at Bran Stark in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, and actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright has definitely aged a bit since the last time we saw him.

And more in book-related TV and film news:

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