Thursday News: new Tolkien book; Stephen King, kid lit, & YA; wtf James Woods
We’re Set to Get a New Tolkien Book in 2017 – And it’s a love story! Although Beren and Lúthien is going to be “crafted” by Tolkien’s son Christopher, based on “its introduction in The Silmarillion. The story will be filled out from its different mentions in Toklkein’s History of Middle-earth series, so not completely original work, by any stretch of the imagination, but likely satisfying to hardcore Tolkien fans. And the cover is kind of pretty.
The latest will be a love story central to the history of Middle-earth, according to HarperCollins. Beren and Lúthien will be getting its own illustrated book, set to come out next year, 100 years after they first appeared. . . .
The tale is important in the grand scheme of Middle-earth, since not only does it form an allegory for characters in the main story, but also was famously inspired by Tolkien’s love for his wife, Edith. The pair is referenced on the author’s grave, in which he is referred to as Beren and Edith as Lúthien. – Geek.com
STEPHEN KING HAS WRITTEN A CHILDREN’S BOOK FROM THE DARK TOWER UNIVERSE – Speaking of writers who just don’t quite, meet Stephen King, children’s book author. Maybe. Although the story of a sentient train seems just creepy enough to be serious foray into kid lit for the author, and not merely a “clever marketing tie-in.” I guess we’ll know for sure next month when Charlie the Choo-Choo is released (just in time for the holidays, of course!).
As ComingSoon explains, this book is a giant tip of the hat to The Dark Tower (and a way to get people hyped for the upcoming series). Fans will know King’s pen name as a character from the story, and the Charlie the Choo-Choo itself appeared in the story as well. IN the book, at the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind, this creepy little book gets bought up by Jake Chambers. Now YOU can buy it, too!
Of course, if King’s pen name was too obscure a reference for you, he helped the reader know his true identity by providing the cover endorsement for the book, “If I were ever to write a children’s book, it would be exactly like this!” Well played, sir. Well played. – Nerdist
YA Authors Turn Advocates – A series of interviews with YA authors, including Jay Asher, Leigh Bardugo, Lousie Gornall, Sungju Lee, Emily Lindin, Jennifer Niven, Amber Smith, and Josh Sundquist, on why they write about particular issues, as well as their writing process and future projects. While the series could have used more writers of color (hello, publishing!), there is a definite tension in YA between advocacy and storytelling, issue-driven books and story for the sake of story, and it’s interesting to read each author’s perspective and personal philosophy.
For generations, young adult books have wrestled with grown-up social concerns. The interest in such subjects as death, crime, and substance abuse—as dark as they may seem—makes sense for a number of reasons, as teens are a population at risk: rates of the aforementioned issues spike during adolescence, according to the National Institute for Mental Health, especially among young men. Science also suggests that teens may actually feel more than adults, because the parts of their brains that respond to emotions are more active. It’s little wonder, then, that teens are so drawn to reading about the extreme.
In recent years, the explosive growth of the YA genre and the connective power of the Internet have inspired more and more authors to tackle especially tough topics. Some are writing what they know—working through a part of their own history in both nonfiction and fiction, tunneling through difficult emotional terrain in the service of a story. Others are choosing issues that reflect the headlines and current social concerns. – Publishers Weekly
James Woods Cheers Dropped Appeal from Dead Defendant in $10M Defamation Suit – There is simply too much to summarize here, so I’ll direct you to this Techdirt article for a rundown and screenshots of Woods’s tweets. The larger issue, though, is whether hyperbolic rhetoric (e.g. insults) constitutes protected speech. Woods sued anonymous Twitter user “Abe List” for $10 million for defamation and tried to get Twitter to release “List’s” true identity (they refused). “List,” who is represented by Lisa Bloom and Popehat’s Ken White, invoked California’s anti-SLAPP statute, although his motion was denied, and he was in the midst of an appeal when he died. You have to see Woods’s response to believe it, especially given the fact that he initiated the suit. And apparently Woods isn’t going to back down in his quest to unmask “List.”
Woods didn’t know the true identity of “Abe List,” and he attempted to push Twitter to produce records. The social service rejected the efforts in a letter, writing, “Attempts to unmask anonymous online speakers in the absence of a prima facie defamation claim are improper and would chill the First Amendment rights of speakers who use Twitter’s platform to express their thoughts and ideas instantly and publicly, without barriers.”
Then came the defendant’s motion to strike premised on California’s anti-SLAPP statute, meant to deter injuries to one’s First Amendment rights at an early stage of litigation. The defendant argued that his “cocaine addict” tweet was “a constitutionally protected political insult,” the type made routinely by Woods as “a well-known part of Twitter’s culture of political hyperbole.” – Hollywood Reporter