Deborah Layne has announced that Wheatland Press is on hiatus for the rest of 2009. No new titles, including previously announced titles such as Polyphony 7, will be published in 2009. Orders will be filled and Wheatland will have a presence in dealers’ rooms at Armadillocon and Wiscon (and possibly World Fantasy Con). Layne hopes that pursuit of new funding sources will allow her to begin publishing new works in 2010.
During preproduction filming on the first half of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” a twenty-five year old stuntman who doubled for Daniel Radcliffe was injured when an explosion went off. Initial reports stated that the stuntman, whose name was not released, suffered a back injury and was taken to hospital unable to feel his legs.
Following Disney’s decision not to release future installments of The Chronicles of Narnia, produced by Walden Media, Walden has formed an agreement with Twentieth Century Fox to continue the series. The next film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” will film with a budget of $140 million, sixty-five million less than was spent on “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”
John Updike (b.1932) died on January 27 from lung cancer. Updike was best known for his Rabbit novels, which earned him Pulitzer Prizes, but he also wrote The Witches of Eastwick.
Producer Kim Manners (b.1950) died on January 25 from lung cancer. Manners was one of the producers of the television series “Supernatural” and had previously produced “The X-Files.” Manners also directed episodes of both series, as well as episodes of “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” His work on “The X-Files” resulted in four Emmy nominations.
ABC has ordered a pilot for a television series based on the 1984 science fiction series “V,” about an alien invasion of Earth. The original series was based on a miniseries and ran for 19 episodes and spawned several novelizations.
Lucy Sussex will be leading a series of workshops at the Victorian Writers’ Centre in Melbourne, Australia. The workshops will focus on writing, workshopping, and marketing speculative fiction novels and will include guest spots with other authors, editors, publishers, and publicists.
Celestis, Inc. has announced that it will launch a spacecraft next year which will contain the remains of Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Some of Roddenberry’s ashes were previously launched into space on a 1997 Celestis launch, but this launch will take the remainder of his remains and tributes from fans on a journey which will not return them to Earth.
The cast of the British SF series Red Dwarf will be reunited for a two-episode story in which they return to Earth. The two-parter is scheduled to run on Easter weekend on UKTV digital channel Dave. The episodes will air in conjunction with “Red Dwarf Unplugged,” an improvised episodes with no sets or special effects, and “Red Dwarf: The Making of Back to Earth,” a behind the scenes view of the show.