Tuesday, August 09, 2005

News Items

The following two articles caught my eye today. The first, from the Observer-Guardian is a story about how 3-for-2 offers in bookstore chains are killing off the casual browsing trade. I've heard a fair bit about this from an author friend of mine who tells me that 3-for-2 offers are particularly bad for fantasy authors. I personally find these offers distracting, and annoying as I rarely manage to find more than two books I want (and sometimes it's only one).

The second article, from the Guardian is by Blake Morrison. He is talking about how editors are becoming a dying breed. I know that I have observed that modern books are more likely to be filled with typos than the books published 15 years ago - and it's not uncommon to find character names have been misapplied; to give just one instance, in Terry Pratchett's otherwise excellent A Hat Full of Sky, Miss Level, the witch with whom Tiffany is staying, is mistakenly referred to as Miss Tick, and not just once - I find that sort of thing intensely annoying, because it distracts me.

In other news, the new director for the film of the first book of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy has been announced as Anand Tucker who made his directorial debut with Hilary and Jackie, the film about the du Pre sisters, and who was a producer on the film of The Girl With the Pearl Earring that starred Colin Firth as Vermeer and Scarlet Johansson as the eponymous "Girl".

Finally, and not least important to me, I have been invited to write a short piece for Routledge's forthcoming The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. I'm just a little excited by this invitation. My piece will be on the Vale of White Horse at Uffington, which I first mentioned in my second post, although I had no idea then, that I'd be writing about it just a few weeks later ! The timing for this is slightly uncanny as I've just finished reading A Hat Full of Sky, in which the Discworld equivalent of said Vale appears, complete with a White Horse carved into the chalk.

4 comments:

Jill said...

Congrats on your upcoming publication! That's excellent news. I may be a little slow today (the humidity does that), but can you go into the connection between the Horse and Tolkein a bit more?

Michele said...

Thanks very much !

I think the idea is that you read the Encyclopaedia to find out the answer... *grins* However, I'm happy to email you the piece once it's complete - rather than make you wait another year or so ! I can't answer here, because that might put me in breach of my contract, but trust me when I say it had various significances to Middle-earth...

Jill said...

Sure, I'll look forward to it then!

Michele said...

Well I've promised Routledge I'd have the article done by the end of September but, all things being equal, I hope to have it done much sooner...