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SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY NEWS & RUMORS

We always have our "ears to the ground" at FutureFiction.com so we can keep you apprised of late breaking developments in the science fiction and fantasy genres.  The newest items are posted at the top of the page.  If you have any information that you think we should post, please send it to news@futurefiction.com.

Lord of the Rings Fast Approaching (10/29/01)

The first installment of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy will hit theatres in the U.S. on December 19th, 2001.  Check out the official LOTR site to view movie trailers, photos and to join the fan club.  And check out our favorite news and rumors site at www.theonering.net.

Harry Potter Gets Political (8/21/00)

What goes best with political humor in an election year?  Harry Potter of course!  Click here to see 14 pages of Harry Potter political cartoons courtesy of MSN.

Star Wars Episode 2 - Bluer than Blue (8/21/00)

Former NYPD Blue star Jimmy Smits has been tapped for Star Wars Episode 2 now filming in Australia.  Lucasfilm confirmed that Jimmy will play Bail Organa, Leia's adoptive father from the doomed planet of Alderaan.  Considering Smits almost total disappearance from the media radar since his ill-conceived decision to leave NYPD Blue, this role can only help his floundering career.

Luckiest Person on the Planet? Has to be Daniel Radcliffe (8/21/00)

Daniel who?  11 year old Daniel Radcliffe will soon be known to millions of movie goers worldwide.  Why?  Because the little known British actor (last seen portraying David Copperfield on the BBC) has just landed the title role in the Harry Potter movie.  Check out Warner Bros. official Harry Potter site by clicking here.   Back the Brinks truck up to the Radcliffe residence and let the hype commence!

Can't Get Enough Shannara?  Try E-mail! (7/15/00)

Terry Brooks' new Shannara novel entitled The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch is slated for a September 5th release.  But for those who can't get enough Shannara, a special short story featuring a classic Shannara character will be distributed via e-mail to all interested parties on October 6th.  Go to the official Shannara  web site to sign up!

Christopher Lee is a Busy Man (7/15/00)

Christopher Lee, who appeared in last year's Sleepy Hollow and a raft of 50's and 60's horror movies with Peter Cushing, has been tapped to be in Star Wars: Episode 2.  It is unclear whether he will be on the dark side or the light side of the force.

Episode 2 is currently in production in Australia, which is lucky for Lee.  He is also appearing as Saruman the White in the upcoming Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  LOR is currently filming in New Zealand, just a 3 hour flight across the Tasman Sea from Australia.

Jake Lloyd Definitely Being Considered for Ender's Game Movie Starring Role (6/23/00)

Orson Scott Card has met with Jake Lloyd (best known for his role as Anakin Skywalker in the Phantom Menace) and changed his movie script based on the meeting.  Lloyd had expressed an interest in playing the role of Ender Wiggin in the movie based on the novel Ender's Game and Card appears enthusiastic about the prospect.  For an interesting perspective on the script development, written by Card himself, click here.

R. A. Salvatore Tapped to Write Star Wars Episode 2 Novel (6/22/00)

R. A. Salvatore has been selected to write the Star Wars Episode 2 novel, which should be based on the script by George Lucas.  The setting is 10 years after the action in Episode 1.  Anakin, now 19, is beset by his own personal demons while Obi-Wan Kenobi tries valiantly to train his apprentice and keep him from turning to the Dark Side.  Salvatore got his feet wet in the Star Wars genre by writing Vector Prime, a well crafted effort that proved Salvatore had mastered the Star Wars universe.

Lucas in Australia to Begin Shooting Star Wars Episode 2 (6/22/00)

George Lucas has arrived in Oz to take command of the production of the next installment in the Star Wars movie series.  Shooting is scheduled to start on June 26th and wrap the end of August.  Then it's off to Tunusia and Italy for another month of shooting.

Dune Mini-series in the Can...Slated for December 2000 Airing (6/22/00)

The 6 hour mini-series based on the Frank Herbert novel Dune has wrapped up shooting in Prague.  The three-part series will be shown in December 2000 on the Sci-Fi channel.  William Hurt (Duke Leto) and a cast of unknowns will hopefully turn in a better performance than the pitiful acting seen in the motion picture based on the novel.

Brooks Sells Rights to Magic Kingdom For Sale: Sold! (6/22/00)

Terry Brooks has sold the rights to make movies about Magic Kingdom For Sale: Sold to 20th Century Fox for an undisclosed sum.  Although the rights cover the entire Magic Kingdom series, only the first book is being talked about at this point.  The movie may never be made, but for now, Brooks remains hopeful.

Release Date Set for New Shannara Novel (5/9/00)

Del Rey has announced that the release date for Terry Brooks' new novel in the Shannara series will be September 5, 2000.  Mark your calendars!

New Novel In Ender's Game Series in the Works (5/1/00)

Orson Scott Card is working on a new novel in the Ender's Game series.  Shadow of the Hegemon takes place directly after the action in his latest book Ender's Shadow.  Ender Wiggin will not appear in this book.  Instead the action will focus on Bean, Petra and Ender's older brother Peter.  The leaders of Earth realizing that these children are some of the brightest military minds in the galaxy will scheme to convert them to their causes.  Publication is scheduled for January 2001.

Still Wondering About Darth Maul?  Help is on the Way! (4/12/00)

Still wondering about the origins of Darth Maul?  Well, get in line!  Many people were perplexed by the lack of information on Darth Maul in the Episode I movie and novel.  But fear not, Lucasbooks and Del Rey books are riding to the rescue with a prequel novel that will explain the origins of the Sith lord.  Science fiction writer Michael Reaves has been engaged to pen the as yet untitled novel.  Expect it to land in book stores in May 2001.

No Need to Throw Benefit for Steven King (3/27/00)

Poor Steven King.  He stands to make a paltry $450,000 from Riding the Bullet, the 66 page short story he published on the Internet earlier this month.  Despite tremendous delays some fans experienced when downloading the story, more than 400,000 copies were sold in the first 24 hours (at $2.50 each).  King says he would have made only about $10,000 from the story if he sold it for publication to a periodical such as Playboy or New Yorker.

Despite this success, King remains skeptical of the Internet as a medium for selling his works since he feels the Internet is still too slow and too difficult for many fans to use.  King himself was prevented from downloading a copy of his own story since it was only offered in PC format and he uses a Macintosh!  Despite his misgivings, King says developing a serial novel for distribution over the web would be the next logical step.

Pern TV Series is "Dragon" (3/27/00)

Don't look for the TV series based on Anne McCaffrey's The Dragonriders of Pern novel anytime soon.  Alliance Atlantis Television, who was supposed to be bankrolling the project has let their rights to it lapse, according to Eric Weymueller, executive producer.  Weymueller and his company zyntroPICS are now seeking another financial partner to get the series off the ground.

Weymueller also said that Ubi Soft will be releasing a video game based on the Pern novels for Sega's Dreamcast gaming platform and the PC.  The game is expected to debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA in May and should be available for sale in September or October of 2000.

Lucas Needs to go to Light Speed Soon (3/27/00)

Pre-production work for Star Wars Episode II is now in full swing.  Shooting is slated to begin in Australia this summer.  However, contrary to popular rumors that have been circulating, George Lucas has not yet finished writing the screenplay for Episode II.  Lucas says that the basic story and characters are in place but he is still filling in the details of supporting characters, action and dialog.

Movie Treatment Under Development for Ursula K. LeGuin's The Farthest Shore (3/27/00)

Screenwriter James Robinson (Starman) is reportedly developing a screenplay for The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin.  Shore is the third novel in the Earthsea series.  Apparently, the film is being developed for the Jim Henson company.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon To Become TV Miniseries (3/22/00)

TNT is producing a 4 hour miniseries based on Bradley's book The Mists of Avalon.  Telling the legend of Camelot through the eyes of the women behind the throne, it will star Angelica Huston as Viviane, the Lady of the Lake and ER's Julianna Margulies as Arthur's sister Morgaine.  Filming is set to start in April 2000 in Prague with an air date sometime in 2001.

Who the Heck Is James Oliver Rigney, Jr. and Why Should I Care? (3/22/00)

James Oliver Rigney, Jr. is the real name of one of the most successful fantasy authors of all time! He has never written a book under his real name even though he has a wildly popular series that has fans hammering his publisher for more books. Figured it out yet? Yep, his alter ego is none other than Robert Jordan. Locus magazine has an interview with him in their March 2000 issue and has published excerpts from the interview on the net. Click here to check it out.

Harry Potter Runs Afoul of His Most Nefarious Foes Yet...Lawyers! (3/22/00)

J. K. Rowling, author of the popular Harry Potter books, is being sued for plagiarism by an American author named Nancy K. Stouffer. A spokesman for Scholastic, Rowling's publisher says the suit is "completely meritless." However, there do appear to be some striking similarities between Stouffer's work and the Harry Potter books.

In 1984, Stouffer published The Legend of Rah and Muggles, a children's fantasy book. A muggle, in Harry Potter parlance, is a non-magic user (ordinary human). In Stouffer's work, they are Lilliputian little people. The book also contains the characters Larry Potter and Lilly Potter and characters called Keepers of the Gardens. Aside from the obvious Harry/Larry comparison, Rowling's work contains a character named Lily (only one "l") Potter and a character called Keeper of the Keys.

Stouffer's book was distributed mainly on the East Coast of the United States in Giant supermarkets and Rite-Aid drugstores. Rowling participated in a work-study exchange program in Baltimore in 1987 and 1988 and could possibly have seen Stouffer's work then. Coincidences? Who the heck knows. The courts may get to decide, but an out-of-court settlement would be more likely (in my humble opinion). We'll keep you posted.

J. K. Rowling Named Author of the Year (2/7/00)

J. K. Rowling, author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books for young adults, has been named author of the year by the British Book Awards.  She defeated five other contenders for the honor including horror writer Stephen King.  Congratulations, Ms. Rowling!  Check out our reviews of the Harry Potter books by clicking here.

NBC to Develop Wheel of Time Miniseries? (2/7/00)

NBC is allegedly negotiating for the rights to make The Eye of the World, the first volume in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, into a mini series.  This baffles me since The Eye of the World is not a stand alone novel, but rather the first volume in the longest series of novels I've ever seen.  Although I enjoyed Eye, I really don't think it would make a particularly good mini-series since it merely sets the stage for the next eight volumes of the series.  I believe NBC and the viewing public would be better served if NBC bought the rights to a stand-alone novel such as Orson Scott Card's Enchantment.  I'd definitely tune in for that one!

Who Wants 10 Million Star Wars Books?...Cheap! (1/31/00)

The Associated Press reports that a colossal gaffe has resulted in the resignation of the CEO of the British publisher Dorling Kindersley.  The company grossly overestimated their ability to sell Star Wars books in the UK.  They published 13 million copies of Star Wars: Episode I Incredible Cross-Sections and Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary.  Unfortunately, they were only able to sell 3 million copies.  The blunder accounts for half of the $41 million pre-tax loss that the publisher expects to report in the Spring.  If you want a real challenge, send in your resume! 

Battlefield Earth Movie Prequel and Sequel in the Offing? (1/31/00)

As we previously reported, L. Ron Hubbard's book Battlefield Earth is being made into a movie that will be released on May 12th of this year.  However, rumors are that a script is being developed for a prequel which could be in production even before the release of the Battlefield Earth film.  Talk about blind optimism!  Could be an expensive proposition if Battlefield Earth is not a box office success.

Author Kurt Vonnegut Hospitalized After Fire Breaks Out in His Home (1/31/00)

Kurt Vonnegut was hospitalized for smoke inhalation yesterday after fire broke out in his Manhattan home.  Vonnegut, 77, was taken from his home on a gurney while being given oxygen by paramedics.  He appears to be fine, but will remain hospitalized for several days as a precaution.  No one else was injured in the fire.

Lord of the Rings Movies Filming in New Zealand (1/25/00)

Three movies based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy are currently being filmed in New Zealand.  The first movie, based on The Fellowship of the Ring, is due in theatres in the fall of 2001.  Major stars are being tapped to play key roles in these movies including:

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Liv Tyler (Arwen, the elf princess)

Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel, the elf queen)

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

John Rhys-Davies

The south island of New Zealand, which I have visited, provides a perfect rugged setting for the various battle scenes called for in these movies.  E! Online has been tapped to host a web site that will showcase monthly updates on the movies.  Check out their Lord of the Rings site by clicking here

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Book 9 Gets a Title (1/25/00)

Tor publishing has confirmed that the title of the next Wheel of Time book will be Winter's Heart.  No specific release date has been set yet, but fall 2000 keeps getting mentioned.  Keep checking the Tor website for further information.

Donaldson to Write Third Chronicles of Thomas Covenant? (1/25/00)

This rumor has been around for years, but it is heating up again.  Supposedly, after completing some projects in mid-2000, Stephen R. Donaldson is supposed to begin working on the Third Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.  We can't wait.  If you have never read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant or The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, check out our reviews of these fine books and order them from Amazon.com today!

Sixth Book in Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind Due This Summer (1/25/00)

Faith of the Fallen, the sixth book in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series will be released in July or August of 2000.

Ender's Game Goes Hollywood (12/16/99)

Orson Scott Card is shopping a movie script based on his novel Ender's Game around Hollywood these days.  There is a possibility that Jake Lloyd, who played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, could be tapped to play the role of Ender Wiggin.  Check out all the latest details about the script by clicking here.



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