From the Del Rey Internet Newsletter
One of the stories from the Del Rey anthology Shadows Over Baker Street has been nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award. A Study in Emerald by bestselling and critically-acclaimed author Neil Gaiman pits characters from the world of Sherlock Holmes against horrors drawn from the milieu of H.P.
Gaiman had this to say about the story and nomination:
I’m really thrilled that A Study in Emerald has been nominated for a Hugo Award for best short story. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a Hugo nomination for something I was certain was SF. Oh it’s horror, and fantasy, and a detective story (one that, I hope, plays fair with the reader) but it’s properly science fiction — set in an alternate past, one that both Conan Doyle and Lovecraft might have recognized. While I was writing it I was worried that the editors of Shadows Over Baker Street might not want it, that it would be too far outside their remit. I was thrilled that they liked it, and even more thrilled when I learned that people were reading it, that it was being picked up for Best of the Year anthologies.
The Hugo is voted upon each year by the science fiction faithful–fans and professionals alike–who attend the World Science Fiction Convention. The convention is held in a different location each year, and this year’s event (the 62nd World Con, Noreascon Four) will be held September 2-6 in Boston. Click here for information on Noreascon Four, you can go to and for details on the Hugo Awards themselves, including a complete list of nominees, click here. All members of the convention–attending or supporting–are eligible to vote for their favorite nominees. To read an excerpt of “A Study in Emerald” visit Del Rey on line.
Of course, if you would prefer to read the whole story, it’s temporarily on neilgaiman.com as well.
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From the May 14th Hollywood Reporter:
Swedish directors Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall have signed on to helm Warner Bros. Pictures’ big-screen adaptation of DC Comics’ Books of Magic. The comic, about a bespectacled teenager learning magic in contemporary London, is seen as a precursor to Harry Potter.
First published as a miniseries by the comic book heavyweight in 1990, “Books of Magic” is being produced by Atmosphere Entertainment MM and Riche-Ludwig. Mark Canton, Bernie Goodman and Steve Barnett are producing for Atmosphere, with Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig producing for Riche-Ludwig. Peter Riche also will be involved in producing the film. Neil Gaiman, the author of the original story and the novel, will serve as executive producer. Lionel Wigram and Kristen Lowe will oversee for Warners.
Interweaving stories of old sorcerers, contemporary magicians and the evolution of the human race, “Books of Magic” follows teenager Tim Hunter who must battle the forces of darkness, both external and internal, in a world of contemporary magic. The original miniseries brought in a variety of supernatural characters from the DC universe, including the Phantom Stranger, Mister E, and John Constantine. The latter character, who also had his own comic book, is being spun into his own movie called “Constantine,” starring Keanu Reeves and due for release in 2005.
The writers of the first script of the film included Matthew Greenberg with Jeff Stockwell.
“Mark (Canton) and I have always felt that this is in the spirit of ‘The Lost Boys,’ and we are excited about working with such talented young directors,” Alan Riche said.
“This is really a “Lost Boys” for this generation,” said Canton, who confessed to being a huge fan of Gaiman’s work and of the directors.
The two directors were Oscar nominated for a short film, and their acclaimed Swedish-language feature film, “The Invisible,” is being remade by Spyglass Entertainment.
Warners parent company Time Warner owns DC Comics.
Sandquist and Bergvall are repped by Lucy Stille at Paradigm and managed by Gary Unger Management.
-Liza Forman and Borys Kit
From the May 13th Salon.com:
“As Smart As We Are” By One Ring Zero and various authors Soft Skull PressOrder from Powells.com
Speaking of Gaiman and Lethem, both have lately taken a detour into songwriting — as have other authors like Dave Eggers, Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood and more — on this strange two-headed hydra from Soft Skull. A CD/book featuring lyrics from the aforementioned stalwarts put to the bizarro neo-cabaret sounds of Brooklyn’s own One Ring Zero, “As Smart As We Are” is a compelling yet hilarious listen that recalls Eggers’ clever work with They Might Be Giants. Which is no accident — this collaboration landed its sea legs after One Ring’s Michael Hearst tracked Eggers down shortly after moving to Manhattan in 2001. The rest, as they say, is history.
One Ring Zero are well-suited for a project like this, because they’re not afraid to travel beyond the usual guitar-bass-drums territory into more abstract, alien lands where accordions, toy pianos, theremins and other strange instruments rule the roost. Plus, their musicianship is wide-ranging enough to encompass the varied structures and styles — everything from blues and high lonesome to torch songs and ballads — that the authors throw at them. There are numerous standout tracks, but high honors go to Paul Auster, whose tongue-in-cheek “Natty Man Blues” boasts some stellar twists of phrase (“There ain’t no sin in Cincinnati/ since I been in Cincinnati/ I gotta get out of Cincinnati/ or else I’ll go plum dumb and batty/ since I mean to sin wherever I am”) and Calexico-like desert country. Denis Johnson’s “Blessing” is also a western hoot, blending noodling guitars, mandolin, theremin and a rumbling bass with strange lyrics about Mel Gibson’s favorite cinematic subject: “Christ by the dumpster/ Peeling and tossing your lottery tickets/ O Nazarene, drinking dust/ Christ rising and a-falling/ Jesus Christ giving us the finger.” Fans of They Might Be Giants, Black Heart Procession and Tom Waits’ diagonal songcraft will be crying in their whiskey after this CD winds down on Lethem’s fractured “Water.”
Now I know that Soft Skull Press nabbed a mention in the last column, but have you taken a look at its catalog? It’s a blast. Plus, the press has been taking a beating, even in these hallowed pages, for picking up the late J.H. Hatfield’s controversial screed on George W., “Fortunate Son,” as if they should have just passed on it. A book exposing the grifting ways of the Bush clan written by a guy who stored a corpse in his trunk? How can you resist that? It’s freakin’ gold!