Anyone from Savannah here? Sister Girl is going to spend most of next week there, just for fun, so if you have any touristy (or foody or even drinky) suggestions, let me know. And yes, she is aware that she picked one of the worst areas in the country to visit in the middle of Satan's Heatwave, but at least she'll have some damp heat for variety.
Australian bookstore chain attempts to shake down small publishers for several thousand dollars each; Tower Books' Michael Rakusin, in turn, takes the bookstore chain to school. As Teresa Nielsen Hayden herself says, "I just hope Rakusin autographed Rimmer's ass before he handed it to him":
I have to say that my initial response on reading your letter as to how you propose to “manage” your business in the future was one of voluble hilarity, I literally burst out laughing aloud. My second response was to note the unmitigated arrogance of your communication, I could not actually believe I was reading an official letter from Angus & Robertson on an Angus & Robertson letterhead.
Six years ago we were allowed to send reps to your company stores and do stock checks. Then these were “uninvited” and we had to rely on monthly rep calls to your Buying Office. Subsequently even that was too much trouble; your Buying Office was too busy to see us, so we were asked to make new title submissions electronically. Every few months the new submission template became more and more complex. This year, we have been allowed quarterly visits to your Buying Office at which we were to be given the opportunity to sell to all your Category Managers. At the first, we did indeed see all of the Category Managers - but they didn’t buy any of the titles offered. At the second, one Category manager was available, and again no purchases resulted. At the last (only last week), two Category managers attended. Through all of this, your overworked and under resourced Buying Department never got to see, let alone read, an actual book. While one may be forgiven for believing that Angus & Robertson is actually a company purveying “Sale” signs, I do believe you are still in the book business?
That the contents of your letter of 30 July are both immoral and unethical, I have no doubt. That they probably contravene the Trade Practices Act, I shall leave to the ACCC to determine. [...] If you wish to discuss any of the contents hereof you may call my secretary for an appointment at my office in Frenchs Forest. I shall be marginally more generous than you and at least allow you to pick a convenient time.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world:
Weird treadmill may help brain-injured. It's the "weird" that threw me, honestly.
Drew Carey injured on the set of The Price Is Right. Meanwhile, Merv Griffin in critical condition.
Grunberg Hosts NBC Preview. Aww, it's Greg Grunberg! Hi, Greg!
AT&T censors Pearl Jam. "During the live Lollapalooza Webcast of a concert by the Seattle-based super-group, AT&T muted lead singer Eddie Vedder just as he launched into a lyric against President George Bush. 'What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it’s about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band,' Pearl Jam band members stated in a release following the incident."
A cat macro that's up there in my top ten.
The tween Anne Rice: Stephenie Meyer. My first reaction to this headline was kneejerk repulsion, mostly because I read that as "tween-aged writer" rather than "writes for tweens," and... I have issues with publishers who put out books by teen authors to capitalize on the novelty of Hey, Someone Really Young Wrote This!, regardless of whether the product is actually any good. It's often more of a disservice to a growing writer, in truth; there are days when I want to get down on my knees and thank God that I only had a few short stories published when I was younger, because I feel like it's only recently that my ability has caught up anywhere near my actual ideas. Also, the two novels I wrote were horrible. Fortunately, Stephenie Meyer seems to "an absolutely delightful lady who, since literally dreaming up the plot of the vampire love story at the heart of her trilogy in 2003, now writes books at breakneck pace, loves indie rock (especially Muse), skips R-rated movies, is humble about her success, and is grateful to all her fans." Rock on, ma'am.
Jonathan Strange 's Clarke Collects Stories.
Peter Jackson to Return for The Hobbit ? Or, Bob Shaye Eats His Words Upon Realizing That It Would Be Financially Advisable to Do So.
Stephen King: The last word on Harry Potter (DH spoilers). "Talent is never static, it's always growing or dying, and the short form on Rowling is this: She was far better than R.L. Stine (an adequate but flavorless writer) when she started, but by the time she penned the final line of Deathly Hallows ( [spoiler redacted] ), she had become one of the finer stylists in her native country — not as good as Ian McEwan or Ruth Rendell (at least not yet), but easily the peer of Beryl Bainbridge or Martin Amis." OH YES HE WENT THERE.
More good Stardust reviews! 'Stardust' a 'Shrek' for grownups; 'Stardust' sprinkles on the charm; Cinematical's review.
Stardust 's Vaughn Helms Thor.
HBO Sucks Up True Blood : "HBO has officially picked up the vampire series True Blood from Six Feet Under's Alan Ball, based on Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire novel series, Variety reported."
ACTUAL PICTURE FROM SWEENEY TODD ZOMG. Hey, it's Bellatrix!
James McAvoy to star in upcoming Frost Flowers ?
"It's a Lion! It's Huge!": An actual Voltron movie that is not Cloverfield is being made.
'Rome' sets burning. Noooo! Those sets were fantastic! And they even wanted to save them and reuse them!
A snippet from Elle about Dakota Blue Richards, chosen from 10,000 aspiring Lyras for The Golden Compass. Plus, three articles on how TGC fits into studio trends, including viral marketing, which apparently includes the "Meet Your Daemon" quiz on the official movie site. It actually saves your daemon on a unique-URL profile page now--it either didn't do that or I didn't save the number when I originally took it, so my ocelot Themius is lost to the ether, I fear. I've taken it twice since then, and got a fox and a snow leopard. Since I am, in all honesty,
Trailers From Hell ("The world battle for survival! Ready to destroy humanity! Prehistoric monsters return to Earth! And that's just one trailer!").