Ender’s Game, Sci-Fi Classic Turns into Film

Fans of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 classic Ender’s Game  may be pleased to hear that the novel is being prepared for transition to film. Young Ender Wiggin arrives at Battle School and quickly rises to the top of the military academy which is desperately searching for a leader to ward off the alien formics, an antlike race threatening the world’s existence. Ender has to contend with harsh internal politics that make life at the average boarding school look like a picnic. Reports are that top stars are accepting key roles in the movie, to be released in March 2013. See EPL‘s extensive collection of Card’s novels, some of which feature detailed reviews and other information.

Shira S.

Don’t Mess With Shakespeare

A new film on Shakespeare which is being released in the U.S. on Friday is already coming under criticism. Anonymous (starring Rhys Ifans and Rafe Spall) maintains that aristocrat Edward de Vere is the true author of Shakespeare’s plays-an assertion that has the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust quite upset. “The trust, a British charity organization that promotes the study and life of Shakespeare, is protesting the release of the film by covering Shakespeare’s name on signs in Warwickshire, the British county that was the playwright’s home.” They have also covered signs on pubs and over the Shakespeare memorial in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare scholars in America are upset as well. Read the rest of this article in yesterday’s New York Times.

For more on the authorship controversy, check out any of these EPL titles:

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, by James S. Shapiro, 2010

Shakespeare: The World as Stage, by Bill Bryson, 2007

The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question, by Scott McCrea, 2005

“Shakespeare” by Another NameThe Life of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare, by Mark Anderson,  2005

Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time, by Joseph Sobran, 1997

Shakespeare, in Fact, by Irvin Leigh Matus, 1994


Happy National Coffee Day!

If you’re looking to justify your second or sixth cup of coffee this morning, then my friend, you’re in luck.  Today from Philly to Phoenix and St. Paul to San Antone java junkies are hoisting their ceramic mugs high in celebration of National Coffee Day.  For the next twenty-four glorious hours, you can feel free to throw caution to the wind and make that extra coffee run, upsize to the venti, and drink in all the holiday cheer.  Chances are good, however, that after sipping Americanos all afternoon you’ll need some way to occupy your time as you lie awake into the wee hours humming with caffeine.  So as our holiday gift to you, allow us to present the following coffee-related books and movies in honor of today and your future sleepless night.  Without question, these histories, mysteries, travelogues, and thrillers are sure to become part of your Coffee Day traditions for years to come.

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Downton Abbey Addicts Rejoice

For anyone who loved the recent Masterpiece production of Downton Abbey and want to know more about its creator, check out this “behind the scenes” article in today’s New York Times.  Julian Fellowes is the quintessential “Renaissance man” – accomplished actor, author, and screenwriter, winning an Academy Award for his first produced screenplay of Gosford Park. And now we can look forward to the second season of Downton Abbey (beginning January 8).


Did Stanley Kubrick, Always a Visionary Filmmaker, Forsee the iPad?

According to Samsung in a legal battle with Apple, Stanley Kubrick (and not Apple) designed the first iPad as seen in his 1968 classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Samsung cites a one minute clip from the film that shows two astronauts eating and using personal tablet computers at the same time. The two companies are “suing each other all over the world for patent infringement after Apple accused Samsung of blatant copying of its products.” You can read the article, watch the YouTube clip and make up your own mind. Better yet, just watch the film.


The New Yorker

This week’s New Yorker is chockablock with articles of great interest. Francisco Goldman gives a poignant account of his brief marriage, which ended in tragedy on a Mexican beach. Joan Acocella offers an illuminating article on British writer J.R. Ackerley (1896-1967), whose four books touched on his homosexuality at a time when being gay could have landed him in prison. And for movie fans, there’s a lengthy profile of Guillermo del Toro, the producer who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth and Biutiful. He has a house in Los Angeles filled with memorabilia like the vampire cape worn by Bela Lugosi, and he dreams of birthing another Frankenstein.

Mary B., Reader’s Services

A PKD Trifecta

Author Philip K. Dick

If good things truly come to those who wait then patient readers of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick will soon have much to celebrate.  With word of a future festival, film, and book all cropping up this past month, it seems that for PKD fans good news has been multiplying faster than the android hordes in one of the late author’s dystopian future worlds.

First up for the PKD faithful was the late April announcement that the inaugural Philip K. Dick Festival will take place this summer on August 13th, 14th, and 15th.  Set to convene in the Colorado setting of PKD’s Hugo Award-winning novel The Man in the High Castle, the festival boasts an impressive line-up of speakers including the author’s former wife Anne Dick, the respected fan blogger David Gill, and PKD scholars from Fordham University and the University of Nebraska.  Don’t fret, however, if your summer schedule is already bursting with too many barbeques, ball games, and beach blankets for a trip to this mountaintop extravaganza.  There’s still plenty of PKD fun willing to travel to you.

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