Sunday, September 28, 2008


Will the coming hard economic times mean the end of the rise and rise of fantasy?

Schoolyard dialogue

I've been reading books and manuscript with schoolyard settings and I'm interested to note that so much of these books are driven by dialogue, more so than other YA books. I'm wondering whether historical fiction has more explanatory background - and less dialogue?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

new clause in Random UK's author contract for children's books

Can an author then terminate a contract if a publisher chooses to publish a book or an author which damages by association the author's reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children?

The UK publishers seem to be determinedly on a course of irritating and aggravating children's authors.

entertainment law

The Age was entertaining in terms of publishing law this morning.

Harry Nicolaides is being held in remand in Bangkok for insulting the crown (the technical charge is the nicely old -fashioned, if not a little medieval, "Lese Majeste". In 2005 he wrote and published a novel Versimilitude in which he criticised the Thai crown prince. A warrant was issued in March this year but Nicolaides was unaware of it. Nicolaides said only 50 copies were printed and on seven were sold. There's a good amount of self-promotion on the web about the book, couched in breathlessly enthusiastic terms. If the Thai government wanted to promote the little known book and air its claims to a wide audience, arresting Nicolaides has achieved that.

RDR Books in Michigan lost its case to publisher the Harry Potter lexicon.
"The Lexicon contains a troubling amount of direct quotation or close paraphrasing of Rowling's original language. More often the original language is copied without quotation marks. Because the Lexicon appropriates too much of Rowling's creative work for it's purposes as a reference guide, a permanent injunction must be issued to prevent the possible proliferation of works that do the same." Judge Robert Patterson.

PS the Booker shortlist:
Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole (Australia)
Aravind Adig,a The White Tiger (India)
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies (india)
Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture (Ireland)
Linda Grant, The Clothes on Their Backs (Britain)
Phillip Hensher, The Northern Clemency (Britain)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Didgeridoo offence

Interesting and challenging.

How accurate does historical fiction need to be?

new conservatism

If I'm hearing correctly, there is a rising new conservatism among librarians in schools (including government schools) with Islamic students about exposed flesh on book covers - and about sexual language between the covers.

More so than in the recent past, librarians seem not to be buying material that could offend for fear of parental complaint. And it's true of many schools, that explicitly declare themselves to be Christian.

The Jewel of Medina

Now that's interesting …