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Targaryendraco wiedenrothi has been renamed after House of Targaryen in George RR Martin’s fantasy saga
George RR Martin is celebrating after a palaeontologist, who named a new genus of pterosaur after the dragons of House Targaryen, agreed with him that dragons should have two, rather than four, legs.
The fossilised bones of Targaryendraco wiedenrothi, which lived 130m years ago, were discovered by Kurt Wiedenroth in 1984 in northern Germany. The specimen was originally classified within the Ornithocheirus group of pterosaurs, as Ornithocheirus wiedenrothi, but the toothy pterosaur has now been reassigned to the new genus Targaryendraco. Six other already known pterosaurs were also found to be closely related to the group, which features pterosaurs with wingspans between 10 and 26 feet, and narrow snouts.Continue reading...
Eight books in contention for £30,000 award that has never been won by a woman include Zadie Smith’s story collection Grand Union and poet Fiona Benson’s Vertigo & Ghost
Zadie Smith and Forward prize winner Fiona Benson are among six female authors shortlisted for this year’s Rathbones Folio prize, which has not yet been won by a woman.
Set up in the wake of controversy around the 2011 Booker prize, which saw chair of judges Stella Rimington praising “readability” and books that “zip along”, to the dismay of parts of the literary establishment, the £30,000 prize rewards “the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form”. It has been won in the past by books including Raymond Antrobus’s poetry collection The Perseverance and Richard Lloyd Parry’s look at the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 disaster Ghosts of the Tsunami.Continue reading...
Conversations with Friends will follow Rooney’s Normal People that will air in April
The BBC has commissioned a 12-part series based on Sally Rooney’s hit debut novel Conversations with Friends in the hope that fans of the young Irish author will bring in younger audiences.
The BBC is to show its forthcoming adaptation of Rooney’s second novel, Normal People, suggesting the corporation is already banking on the series being a hit when it is released by the online-only BBC Three service in April.Continue reading...
Author of dystopian series hopes TV adaptation will open up more nuanced debate on race in UK
The bestselling author and former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman has said she hopes the forthcoming BBC adaptation of her critically acclaimed series Noughts and Crosses will open up a more nuanced debate on race in the UK.
With the subject permeating the critically acclaimed dystopian fiction series, Blackman, 58, told Radio Times the TV adaptation was being released at a time when it could make a bigger impact than when it was first announced four years ago.Continue reading...
Stephen Fry, Noam Chomsky and more than 40 NGOs say the country’s support for the event is at odds with its record on human rights
As bestselling authors from Jung Chang to Bernardine Evaristo prepare to gather in Abu Dhabi for the first Hay festival in the United Arab Emirates, leading figures have spoken out against the country’s compromised free speech. Stephen Fry - the festival’s president – has joined more than 40 public figures and organisations castigating its government for “promoting a platform for freedom of expression, while keeping behind bars Emirati citizens and residents who shared their own views and opinions”.
An open letter signed by Fry, Noam Chomsky, and a coalition of more than 40 NGOs including Amnesty and PEN International, is calling on the UAE to use the launch of the festival’s Abu Dhabi branch – which opens on Tuesday – to “demonstrate their respect for the right to freedom of expression by freeing all human rights defenders imprisoned for expressing themselves peacefully online”.Continue reading...
Kurdish Iranian writer says the film will bring more attention to Australia’s brutal immigration detention regime
Behrouz Boochani’s award-winning debut book, No Friend But The Mountains, will be made into a feature film with production to begin in Australia in mid-2021.
The Kurdish Iranian writer and journalist, who is currently living in New Zealand after six years in immigration detention, said the film adaptation would bring more international attention to the truth behind Australia’s brutal immigration detention regime.Continue reading...
Maggie O’Farrell is the latest modern writer to explore the mysterious life and early death of Hamnet Shakespeare
If William Shakespeare wrote about his son’s death at all, he concealed it in the lines of his late sonnets and plays that reveal a depth of understanding about grief. Now the latest in a run of modern works to be inspired by the sad legacy of this short life is being heralded as one of the most eagerly awaited books of the spring.
The acclaimed author Maggie O’Farrell’s first historical novel, Hamnet, tackles the mystery surrounding the fate of Hamnet Shakespeare, the playwright’s only son. It follows the critical success of the 2018 film All Is True, which starred Kenneth Branagh as the Bard and Judi Dench as his wife, Anne Hathaway, and of Bush Moukarzel’s short play for a solo child actor, Hamnet, which premiered in Dublin two years ago.Continue reading...
The president’s views on news of a book deal for Marie Yovanovitch, another key figure in the Ukraine scandal which led to Trump’s impeachment, were not immediately clear.Continue reading...
The Da Vinci Code writer to publish his first volume for children, Wild Symphony, accompanied by his own orchestral work
Just like his hero Robert Langdon, who combines an eidetic memory with an uncanny knack for solving mysteries, incredible swimming skills and the ability to look good in Harris tweed, it turns out Dan Brown has has a similar range to his talents: novelist, composer and now picture book author.
The Da Vinci Code author is set to publish his first picture book, Wild Symphony, on 1 September – to be accompanied by a classical music album, his first official music release since his writing career began. Brown has a background in music, and before he published The Da Vinci Code had released a handful of albums, which included songs such as Sweet Pleasure in Pain, and a ballad about phone sex, 076-LOVE.Continue reading...