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Michael Crichton’s ‘Micro’ Coming in November

HarperCollins will posthumously publish Micro by Michael Crichton in November. Prior to his passing in 2008, Crichton (pictured, via) had written about one-third of the book.

According to USA Today, nonfiction writer Richard Preston finished remaining two-thirds of the manuscript. Preston consulted Crichton’s outline, reference materials, and notes to complete the novel.

Preston explained: “For me, it was an irresistible challenge to finish the novel, and I was driven by a desire to honor the work and imagination of one of our time’s most visionary and creative authors.” (via Publishers Weekly)

Suzanne Collins Writing ‘Most Autobiographical Work to Date’

Bestselling author Suzanne Collins (pictured, via) is writing a new picture book. According to The New York Times, the untitled project will be her “most autobiographical work to date,” using  family members’ names and illustrations inspired by family photos.

This new project will focus on war, a theme present in her two series, The Underland Chronicles and The Hunger Games. Collins’ grandfather, uncle, and father all served in military careers, and the novelist will write about war for teenage audiences.

Collins explained: “I specifically want to do this book, one as a sort of memory piece kind of honoring that year for my family, and two, because I know so many children are experiencing it right now — having deployed parents. And it’s a way I would like to try and communicate my own experience to them.”

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Richelle Mead Reveals Vampire Academy Spin-Off Details

Richelle Mead (pictured, via) wrote theVampire Academy series about two supernatural best friends.

The series concluded last year with Last Sacrifice. GalleyCat has learned more exclusive details about Bloodlines, the forthcoming Vampire Academy spin-off series.

Q: What characteristics of the Vampire Academy series will be retained in the spin-off, Bloodlines?
A: We’re essentially keeping the same paranormal world, so we’ll have all the same creatures and rules that we know from the first series—along with many of the same characters. And even though the narrator has a different style from Rose [Hathaway], many of the things readers know from my writing will be there: humor, lots of emotion, and those dreaded cliffhangers!

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Stephen King To Publish New Novel in Dark Tower Series

Novelist Stephen King has finished a new installment in his Dark Tower series. Entitled The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole, the book will be published next year.

King (pictured, via) conceived the genre-bending fantasy series when he was 19-years-old. Over the course of his career, King has published seven books and a short story about the fantasy world.

The novelist explained the new book on his blog: “I realized there was at least one hole in the narrative progression: what happened to Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy between the time they leave the Emerald City (the end of Wizard and Glass) and the time we pick them up again, on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the beginning of Wolves of the Calla)? … It won’t tell you much that’s new about Roland and his friends, but there’s a lot none of us knew about Mid-World, both past and present. The novel is shorter than DT 2-7, but quite a bit longer than the first volume—call this one DT-4.5. It’s not going to change anybody’s life, but God, I had fun.” (Via Matt Staggs)

Archie Comics Launches The Archie Babies

If you ever wondered what Archie and Jughead were like as toddlers, a new graphic novel will answer all your questions. Archie Comics will publish the early adventures of the red-headed hero.

The Archie Babies graphic novel will carry $9.95 price tag. Mike Kunkel wrote the story and artist Art Mawhinney illustrated. The book goes on sale June 22.

Here’s more from the announcement: “See it all happen from the sandbox to the jungle gym as Baby Archie meets Baby Betty and Baby Veronica. Watch the friendship grow between Baby Archie and Baby Jughead. It’s every bit of the Archie fun you’ve come to expect in a cuter and smaller package.”

‘Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior’ Generates Thousands of Comments

Today Yale Law professor Amy Chau published her parenting memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal released an excerpt with the title: “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.”

Chau’s excerpt has already generated 2,507 comments as of this writing, several reaction posts on the internet, and an invitation to appear on The Today Show.

Here’s more from the article: “Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do: attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama, play any instrument other than the piano or violin, not play the piano or violin.”

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Franz Kafka Mashed-Up in ‘The Meowmorphosis’

Mash-up experts Quirk Books will release The Meowmorphosis in May. The book will tackle Franz Kafka‘s classic about a man who wakes up as a giant bug. The hero of the The Metamorphosis mash-up will wake up as “an adorable kitten” instead.

If you want to read the unspoiled original, Project Gutenberg has a free eBook version. Quirk spawned a remixing trend with the bestseller, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Disclosure: Last summer, Quirk Books shared prizes in our World’s Longest Literary Remix contest.

Jacket Copy has an excerpt from the catalog description: “But his life goes strangely wrong in the very first sentence of ‘The Meowmorphosis’, when he wakes up late for work and discovers that he has inexplicably became an adorable kitten. His family must admit that yes, their son is now OMG so cute — but what good is cute when there are bills to pay? How can Gregor be so selfish as to devote his attention to a ball of yarn?”

Brian Selznick to Publish New Book

Children’s author and illustrator Brian Selznick (pictured, via) will release his new novel, Wonderstruck, in September 2011.

Here’s more from Scholastic’s  press release: “Wonderstruck weaves together two compelling, independent stories, set fifty years apart—Ben’s story, which takes place in 1977, is told in words; Rose’s story in 1927 is told in pictures. Ever since his mother died, Ben feels lost. At home with her father, Rose feels alone. When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mother’s room, and when a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose, both children risk everything to find what’s missing.”

In 2007 Selznick released The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a 553-page novel containing 284 illustrations. He described the book in a letter: “not a exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.”

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Professors Seek Papers for ‘Zombie Academics’ Book

Three Australian professors seek paper proposals for a book about “zombie academics.” Andrew Whelan, Chris Moore, and Ruth Walker think a “culture of the undead” rules the world of higher education. To illustrate, they linked to the video embedded above on their Zombies in the Academy website.

The forthcoming collection will be titled Zombies in the Academy: Living Death in Higher Education. Proposals will be accepted until December 15th. The New York Times has more: “By [the editors'] measure the undead include ‘a listless population of academics, managers, administrators and students, all shuffling to the beat of the corporatist drum.’”

Intellect Press UK will publish the book, and a tentative release date has been set for 2012. According to the book description on their blog site, the book will center around three sections: “1. corporatization, bureaucratization, and zombification of higher education; 2. technology, digital media and moribund content distribution infecting the university; 3. zombie literacies and living dead pedagogies.” (Via The Huffington Post)

ZooBorns Website Publishes Print Books

The popular ZooBorns site has collected baby animal photos since 2008, and now they have published two books. The site was founded by childhood friends Andrew Bielman (a zoology hobbyist) and Chris Eastland (an artist/photographer).

In an interview with Wired, Eastland explained their mission: “We aim to educate while we entertain. We lure folks in with adorable baby-animal pictures, then try to teach them a bit about the conservation challenges faced by those species and what accredited zoos and aquariums are doing to help. We hope this inspires people to get involved in conservation themselves.”

Ten percent of the book’s sales will be donated to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund. The ZooBorns book will be for all readers while ZooBorns!: Zoo Babies from Around the World will focus on 4-to-8-year-old readers.

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