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       Book News                                                 Oct - Dec 2007


      Barnaby Grimes returns!...


      Book 7 is revealed...


      Lee Scoresby's mini-adventure...

Skulduggery is back!...

Book 5 is coming...

      Digging deeper...
More Tunnels...

JK's exclusive new read...


      Potter sets an auction high...


      Ssh! - Hogwart's wizard is gay...


      Compass movie looking good...
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      "Barnaby Grimes: Return of the Emerald Skull" by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell


It's not out officially until the first week of the New Year, but copies of
      Barnaby Grimes: Return of the Emerald Skull have already highstacked
      their way into a few High Street stores. In his second outing, Paul
      Stewart and Chris Riddell's ticktocking hero must tackle a school
      that's been overrun by a terrible curse. And if he survives that, there's a
      third adventure on the cards for him too. Barnaby Grimes: Legion of
      the Dead has a launch date in July 2008, and it pits our quickwitted
      fellow against an awakening zombie horde - 'Can't wait for that!....

      For those who need reminding, Barnaby Grimes stepped on to the
      book scene a few short months ago in "Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the
      Nightwolf". And he arrived with some very big expectations on his
      back, given the pedigree of his creators...



Darren Shan's Demonata series is still moving on at a horrific pace.
      This month, he's revealed the title to Book 7 in the sequence. Death's
      Shadow will apparently fall upon us in May 2008, and that's one month
      earlier than originally scheduled. According to his December round-up
      at the Shanville Monthly, we can also look forward to Book 8 next October,
      with Books 9 and 10 following a similar pattern, in May and October
      2009, respectively. You've got to hand it to the Shanster, he really
      does churn 'em out - in a good way, I mean!... Or should that be a
      nasty way?... Oh, you get the drift!....

      "Once Upon a Time in the North" by Philip Pullman


With the "Golden Compass" film now in cinemas, Philip Pullman has
      chosen the perfect time to talk to the Oxford Mail about his forthcoming
      mini-adventure in the realms of His Dark Materials. Once Upon a Time
      in the North is due to be published 8th April 2008 by David Fickling books,
      and it follows the earlier adventures of our favourite aeronaut Lee Scoresby
      and his armoured pal Iorek Byrnison. The book will be published in the
      same fab mini-format as "Lyra's Oxford" and it should keep fans very
      happy indeed whilst we await the arrival of the true Dark Materials
      follow-up "The Book Of Dust", 'cos that massively-anticipated tome
      won't be with us until 2009...

      And, meanwhile, we have that film. Here in the UK, its promotion is
      everywhere, right across the media, and it appears to be translating into
      a solid box-office performance. Reviews have been mixed, but mostly
      favourable and it's all looking very good for this high budget production,
      internationally speaking... But as for America, well, it seems our
      friends across the pond aren't so convinced. They appear to favour
      chipmunks over polar bears... Which just about says it all...


      "Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire" by Derek Landy


Skulduggery Pleasant, that sharpsuited skeletal detective, is preparing
      return to our book shelves next April in what's set to be an equally hip
      and snappy adventure from author Derek Landy. Skulduggery Pleasant:
      Playing with Fire puts Mr P and Valkyrie on the trail of evil Baron
      Vengeous and a growing hoarde of vampires... But this reader doean't
      want to know anything more in advance, lest it spoil the surprises in
      store. As regular visitors to the Gnome's pages will know, Skulduggery's
      first adventure was one of the very best of the year, and he now has
      a handsome film deal with the folks at Warner Bros., which may
      well result in a very profitable and exciting book-to-film franchise....


      "The Spook's Mistake" by Joseph Delaney


      If you're a fan of Joseph Delaney's Wardstone Chronicles, then you'll be
      thrilled to hear that the Spook and his young apprentice will be binding still
      more ghouls and beasties next year in The Spook's Mistake. By my
      reckoning, it will be the 5th book in Joseph Delaney's ongoing series.
      But if you're wondering why this Gnome is dithering, then you should take
      heed: You see, the original Wardstone titles aren't really appropriate for
      our American friends, so they've removed any references to spooks from
      their titles. In fact, they've redesigned the covers and presentation too, and
      published them as stories of "The Last Apprentice". And that means, casual
      browsers at Amazon and its ilk might well be fooled into thinking these
      are all-new stories to track down. Well, they're not, and you'd best note
      now: The Spook books are British, The Last Apprentice is American....
      See... Easy-peasy, when you know how...


      "Deeper" by Gordon & Williams


      Have you dug your way through Tunnels yet? - If you have, Mssrs Gordon
      and Williams would like to invite you even deeper into their subterranean realm.
      Deeper is in fact the title to the forthcoming sequel, due for release next May,
      through Chicken House....

      S'funny, we're now six months on from the initial furore regarding that first
      story, and the craziness still shows no signs of abating. As you'll recall,
      "Tunnels" was originally titled "The Highfield Mole" before it was acquired
      upon a wave of hifaluting publicity - and voila! - those original limited edition
      hardbacks and paperbacks shot up, sky-high in value... And they're still
      out there at those top drawer prices, with no sign of a devaluing on the
      horizon ... Who'd have thunk it, eh?



      So you're a bestselling author who's made a fortune from your
      devoted young fans, a great many of whom have queued around
      the block and through the night to get their hands on the next addition
      to your spectacular canon of work. So what do you do next?

      Yes, you got it. You go and write an exclusive book, of which only seven
      copies will ever see the light of day - and indeed - only one will ever
      enter into the public domain via an auction that prices out all-but
      the Richie Rich's of this world before it's even begun.

      Ouch. Methinks there's a big mis-step being taken here, even if
      is well meant. After all, literature is for the masses. Surely, you write
      to be read? By all means, produce a super-exclusive edition to do
      qwith as you will. But to snub the very folks who've made you what
      you are? - Ooh - You'd better hope your fans are understanding...

      As you can imagine, the younglings over on the CBBC web site
      have some very mixed opinions about this news!



The books may have come and gone now - all seven of 'em - but
      Harry Potter is still dominating the book news everywhichway.
      Today's story refers to a record-breaking auction sale for
      "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". This is a first edition,
      one of only 500, that's just sold for a wallet-busting £19,700 at
      a Christie's auction - that's £200 higher than the price achieved
      by a previous sale of the book...



      Well, what do you know... Hogwart's most marvellous magician
      (now deceased, of course) has just been outed by his maker.
      JK Rowling was speaking before an audience in Carnegie Hall
      as part of her US Book Tour when she revealed the truth about
      the wizard's "troubled" past and his affection for his rival Gellert
      Grindwald. Yep, Dumbledore is/was gay.

      And the reason for this sudden "outing"? - Apparently, it's down
      to the producers of the next Potter film. They were about to put a
      reference to Dumbledore's love life in the script to "Half-Blood
      Prince". They had him smitten with a woman, in his past, so
      JK had to set things - er - straight...



      Come on. You had your doubts, didn't you? The "Golden Compass"
      movie didn't look too shiny after those early promos. But now
      there's a
glittering trailer to view, and it's all looking much, much
      better. Now there are deamons everywhichway, just like there
      should be. And fighting bears too. It's not "Lord of The Rings",
      of course, so the design is neccessarily ordinary by comparison.
      But you know, they just might pull this off... If they get the film
      finished in time for its December 7th release. Word is, there are
      nine effects houses working round the clock to get the film
      completed... And if they haven't mucked about too much with
      the story. The most recent change has been to excise the last
      three chapters of the book, which means - gulp - no Bridge To
      The Stars in this first film. Will it leave the film adrift, like Lee
      Scoresby's balloon? - We'll find out in just a couple of months...


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