Thursday, January 27, 2005

Lions of Al-Rassan to become a movie

So the news is that Ed Zwick, director of The Last Samurai, will direct an adaptation of The Lions of Al-Rassan, a novel written by Guy Gavriel Kay.
I read the book and enjoyed it. It's sort of fantasy, sort of historical fiction. It's really about the reconquest of Spain, yet all the places and names have been changed. Here's a review of the book. I think I liked the book more than the reviewer, but I haven't read any other Kay novels.
This is a good story for this time. It's about the collision of politics and religion, and how much can be lost when the two become stiff and unyielding. Specifically, it's about the collision of Muslim and Christian cultures and the novel focuses on at least one Jew caught in between. (Of course, in the novel the religions are Asharites, Jaddites and Kindath, but it's very clear what they are.)
The novel has no magic, if it weren't for the change of names this wouldn't even be considered a fantasy novel. It would be strict historical fiction.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the film to see what Zwick does with the material.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Jeffrey Ford story

Up at SciFiction is A Man of Light, a new story by Jeffrey Ford. As any of you who read this blog know (and there are few of you left by now), I love Jeff Ford. And he's been busy lately. Here are some other things going on:
A Cosmology of the Wider World, a new novella coming out from PS Publishing in Mid 2005;
The Girl in the Glass: A Novel, a new novel coming out in August. From what Jeff has said it was very influenced by the works of Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man in particular.;
The Virtual Anthology, a series about stories that would make up Ford's dream anthology. The series was formerly housed at s1ngularity, which is now defunct. It now resides at the much more stable Fantastic Metropolis. Ford has written about works by Kelly Link, Ray Bradbury, Henry James and Akutagawa Ryunosuke;
Giant Land, a new short story coming out in the second issue of the Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives;
The Annals of Eelin-Ok, a short story in "The Faery Reel," a new anthology from Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling, which is out now;
An introduction to a new edition of John Gardner's Grendel. Gardner took Ford under his wing early in Ford's career.
The man has been busy. Now I'm going to settle in and read "A Man in Light." Enjoy.
UPDATE 5/25/05: A new Ford story, The Scribble Mind, is up at SciFiction. Also, Ford announced at his message board that The Girl in the Glass is not coming out in hardcover, instead its coming out in trade paperback under the Black Alley imprint.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Will Eisner, comics pioneer, dies

Will Eisner died Monday after heart surgery. He was 87 years old. Neil Gaiman offers an appreciation of the man. You can read Eisner's biography here.
Among his major works were A Contract With God, To the Heart of the Storm, and The Neighborhood: Dropsie Avenue. He was also the creator of the seminal hero character, The Spirit and one of the first, and probably most important, books on the art of creating comics, Comics and Sequential Art.