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Archives: March 2010

Large Hadron Collider in Book Reviews

lhc.jpgThis morning the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) broke world records for smashing together elementary particles at high levels of energy–a physics project that has inspired a generation of authors with doomsday scenarios.

That photo (via CERN) shows scientists reacting to the experiment. To celebrate, GalleyCat Reviews rounded up reviews of books that use the Large Hadron Collider as plot device. Most famously, novelist Dan Brown wrote an apocalyptic scenario in Angels and Demons.

Here’s Janet Maslin‘s breathless review: “With ‘Angels and Demons,’ Mr. Brown introduced Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of art history and religious symbology who is loaded with ‘what his female colleagues referred to as an ‘erudite’ appeal.’ No wonder: the new book finds the enormously likable Langdon pondering antimatter, the big-bang theory, the cult of the Illuminati and a threat to the Vatican, among other things.”

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Glenn Beck Unveils His Upcoming Novel

0511book.jpgOver the last few years, conservative host Glenn Beck has emerged as a publishing star. This summer, he’ll test the waters with an adult novel published by Threshold Editions–the Simon & Schuster imprint publishing Lynne Cheney and Karl Rove.

Entitled The Overton Window, the novel will be released in June 15. Through pre-orders, the title is already rising up the Amazon rankings.

At an Orlando rally led by Beck, Philly.com gleaned this novel intelligence: “[Beck] described [the novel] as ‘a story of America in a time much like today where the people are confused,’ with a government in crisis and the rise of a citizens’ group called the Founders Keepers, which ‘leads to a battle and a civil war, and life is upside-down planetwide.’” (Via Gawker)

After the jump, watch a clip where Beck explains the Overton Window–the political theory behind his new novel.

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Colum McCann Sells Two New Novels to Random House

National Book Award winner Colum McCann has sold two new novels to Random House, including a story about a murder inspired by a famous poem.

Random House editor Jennifer Hershey acquired the books, and the deal was negotiated by Sarah Chalfant of from the Wylie Agency. Here’s more from the release: “The first novel, tentatively titled THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING, explores a murder from multiple points of view, and is in part inspired by the Wallace Stevens‘ poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

Earlier this year, documentary director, we interviewed Charlie McCarthy from Icebox Films–who is working on a documentary about McCann. In addition, we interviewed McCann at the National Book Awards.

Freakonomics Adaptation Stars at Tribeca Gala

050411_Freakonomics.jpg.jpeg

The Tribeca Film Festival announced yesterday that its closing night gala will feature a showing of Freakonomics: The Movie.

The documentary version of the bestselling book features a whole gang of big-name documentarians, including Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), Seth Gordon (The King of Kong), and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). The festival starts on April 21 and you can get your tickets here.

No telling whether the movie will see the same acclaim as the book, but at least it has a built-in sequel.

Seton Hill University Promises Incoming Students a MacBook and an iPad

seatonhill.jpgThe private Catholic university Seton Hill has made a costly pledge to give students both a MacBook and an iPad when they come to the Pennsylvania institution next fall.

Here’s more about the project: “Beginning in the fall of 2010, all first year undergraduate students at Seton Hill will receive a 13″ MacBook laptop and an iPad. You will have complete access to these mobile technologies for classes as well as at all times for personal use. After two years, Seton Hill will replace your laptop with a new one–one that you can take with you when you graduate!”

We will undoubtedly learn more about the digital textbook possibilities of tablet computers over the next few years, but this kind of investment could spell the future of the textbook industry–replacing costly print books with costly tablets. (Via CrunchGear)

Yale Launches New Publishing Course

yalepub.jpgYale University will add a week-long publishing course to its summer offerings this July, picking up where Stanford left off when it discontinued its long-running course last year.

The weeklong intensive program (held in the Greenberg Conference Center, pictured) is a direct descendant of the Stanford Professional Publishing Course, and it will feature some of the same advisors and lecturers, like Robert Baensch and Martin Levin. It is slated to run from July 18 to 23 this year, and will recur annually. Like Stanford’s course, this is for mid- and upper-level professionals in books and magazines. The curriculum will cover topics such as “strategic planning, financial management and entrepreneurship; best practices in the use of new technology and content delivery; legal issues involving open access and intellectual property; and the future of digital dissemination.”

That Stanford’s course came to an end after 32 years was the result of “both the economy and larger transitions in the program’s core fields,” according to a note on the school’s website. Good on Yale for figuring out a way to host the program despite those issues. We’re anxious to see what they do with it.

Hello, Hello

markbyrne.jpgHi, folks. My name is Mark Byrne and I’ll be joining the GalleyCat staff, starting today.

I’ve been working in and around the publishing industry for a few years, in a couple capacities: first, as an associate editor at Featherproof Books, a small press in Chicago; then at New York Magazine, where I worked under the books editor and literary critic; and currently as a graduate student in the Literary Reportage program at NYU, where I’m writing a book-length, reported thesis on the independent publishing industry.

I’ve been reading GalleyCat for years and I’m excited to be on board. Please send any tips and ideas my way.

Update: Follow this link to listen to an interview with Mark.

Stephenie Meyer to Release First New Book in Almost Two Years

newsmcover.jpgLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers will release Stephenie Meyer‘s first new title in almost two years–both in hardcover and a free online edition. Entitled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, the novella will sell for $13.99 with a 1.5 million copy first printing.

The release from the author of the Twilight series will have two unusual features. First, $1 from every purchase will be donated to American Red Cross International for Haiti relief. Secondly, fans can read the entire book for free online from June 7 to July 5 at this site. At her personal page, Meyer explained how actors for the upcoming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse adaptation have already read the book–burning the copies after they finished reading.

Here’s more from the site: “Melissa (Rosenberg, the screenwriter) had a ton of questions about what exactly was going on in Seattle, how Victoria managed things, what Riley was like, etc. I let her read what I had then, and later gave the whole thing to the director, David Slade. David asked if Xavier, Bryce, and Jodelle (Riley, Victoria, and Bree) could read it as well, so all the parties involved would end up having a really strong foundation for their characters before the cameras started rolling. I was pleased that this side of the story would make it into the film and was looking forward to including it in the Guide (Keeping it confidential: [Pictured] is Jodelle next to the bucket of waterlogged ashes that were once the pages of her copy of the Bree manuscript.)”

Press release embedded after the jump.

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Sarah Langan Wins Bram Stoker Award for “Audrey’s Door”

Over the weekend, Sarah Langan won the Best Novel award at the Bram Stoker Awards for her horror novel, Audrey’s Door. The scary and semi-NSFW book trailer is embedded above.

The first novel award went to Damnable by Hank Schwaeble

The long fiction award went to The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton

The short fiction award went to In The Porches Of My Ears by Norman Prentiss

The anthology award went to He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson, edited by Christopher Conlon.

The collection award went to A Taste of Tenderloin by Gene O’Neill

The nonfiction award went to Writers Workshop of Horror by Michael Knost

The poetry award went to Chimeric Machines by Lucy A. Snyder.

Borders Group Confronts Crucial Deadline

borderslogo23.pngOn Thursday, Borders Group must confront a deadline on a $42.5-million loan. As that fateful day approaches, publishing commentators around the Internet have shared opinions.

A Detroit Free Press article speculated over the weekend: “The $42.5-million loan due to Pershing Square Capital Management–made in 2008 at 9.8 percent interest–has already been extended three times. And despite assurances from Pershing that a bankruptcy is unlikely, concerns about a filing persist.”

Earlier this year, Pershing Square CEO William Ackman said bankruptcy was a “low probability event.”

Forbes speculated that the company “could sell a stake to another investor.”

Finally, Daily Finance asked: “On April Fool’s Day, Will the Joke Be on Borders?

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