Release Day Clippings

Anansi Boys is out today in the States. The banner ad’s on top of the Locus home page and everything. But you all know that, yes?

ETA: The AuthorTracker actually indicates that also out today is the Anansi Boys unabridged CD, and MP3 CD, the American Gods MP3 CD, and a few other titles on audio. Who knew?

On the other hand doesn’t appear to have undergone any major changes. But I expect to have to cross out that bit shortly. Am looking forward to seeing the new digs, as I’m sure we all are.

What I did notice on the website, however, is that Barnes and Noble is offering a free Anansi Boys online book club ending on November 1st in an online chat with the author. You can sign up at

Over in a completely different part of the web, SciFi Wire is reporting that Shia LaBeouf will be involved in the Death: The High Cost of Living (or whatever they are going to finally name it) film.

And Eden, who is good at catching such things, found the following Associated Press story (thank you!):

Stephen King’s new horror story focuses on a set of rampaging zombies controlled by cell phones. One may now bear the last name Huizenga.

King fans around the world spent much of last week on eBay, outbidding each other in an online auction organized by authors selling the rights to name characters in their new novels. Initially conceived as a creative fundraiser for the First Amendment Project, a nonprofit that defends the free speech rights of writers and artists, the auction quickly became the Web site’s most watched item.

As the online auction’s first round closed Sunday night, Pam Alexander of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., won the right to name a character in King’s novel, “CELL,” with a $25,100 bid.

“I thought it would be a great gift to give to my brother to have his name in the book,” said Alexander, whose brother, Ray Huizenga, is a longtime King fan. “It’s definitely extravagant but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and he’s worth it.”

Alexander beat out Paul Stegman, of Papillion, Neb., who was poised to take out a credit line on his house to buy a way into King’s head.

“How many times do you have the opportunity to purchase
immortality?” said Stegman, who owns 300 King books.

On Sept. 1, eBay Giving Works, the site’s dedicated program for charity listings, went live with the electronic auction. The auction already has fetched well over the nonprofit’s fundraising goal of $50,000

“We can safely say we’re not going to close now,” said David Greene, executive director of the Oakland-based First Amendment Project. “I’m thrilled.”

The auction’s second phase, which will allow bidders to vie for the chance to name a character in books by John Grisham, Dave Eggers, Neil Gaiman and others continues through Sept. 26.

The benefit was the brainchild of Gaiman, who approached Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon with the idea when he heard the group was running out of money.

It has become the single largest fundraising event for the First Amendment Project, whose lawyers are currently defending a publisher who produces a magazine distributed in prisons and a former sailor seeking information from the U.S. Army.

On the Net:
–Garance Burke.

With five days left to go, the auction bid to beat for the Graveyard Book gravestone is $2700.

The Symphony Space interview with Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell) was very informative and entertaining, and she sounded very much like the sort of person you would want to spend hours chatting with. And you’d figure the interviewer must have been a journalist once upon a time or something, as he asked what I thought were rather insightful questions. Then again, they were also all questions I could think of to ask, so that might just be my bias. She also managed to get the better of him on a few occasions, which as you can expect, was fun to watch. Otherwise, they got along quite amiably.