Revealing HG Wells archive letters made available


As one of the most prominent writers of his day, H G Wells’s regular BBC addresses captivated the nation. But private letters, released for the first time, reveal how the novelist – regarded as one of the fathers of science fiction – had to be repeatedly cajoled into entering the broadcasting studio.

At one stage Wells, whose novels included The War Of The Worlds and The Time Machine, was offered a “wireless” by the BBC to familiarise himself, but he declined.

The correspondence is revealed in a new set of documents in the online BBC Archive. Wells was already a noted public figure by the time he turned to broadcasting and was respected for his views on social and political affairs.


Plagiarism Suit Against ‘Harry Potter’ Author J.K Rowling Allowed to Proceed


The plagiarism lawsuit against “Harry Potter” author J.K Rowling, and her publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, gained momentum when a British judge refused to grant their request to have the suit thrown out on Thursday.

The case involves detailed allegations by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs that Rowling unlawfully lifted a substantial amount of material from his 16-page book and used it in “Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire,” which was published thirteen years after Jacobs’s fantasy book.

Jacobs died in 1997, a few years prior to the release of “Harry Potter.”

“Both books tell the tale of a Wizard who discovers his true nature whilst a boy. Both books revolve around an International Wizards contest. In each book, the wizard only discovers his central task in a special bathroom, in both books the wizard must rescue artificially held hostages, from half-human creatures, acting as contest agents, to earn points and win,” Max Markson, a representative for Jacobs’s estate told Pop Tarts. “Adrian Jacobs created a fantasy world intertwined with the real world in which there are Wizard Schools, Villages of Wizard Brewers, Gambling Wizards, Wizard Chess played on Wizard Trains, special Wizard Hospitals, Wizard Travel by magic powder, apparently headless creatures, Elves as Wizard Helpers, International Gatherings of Wizards, Human Memory Erasers, etc. The Estate claims that all of these Jacobs’ concepts are echoed in Harry Potter and familiar now to Potter readers.”


Gaie Sebold’s debut fantasy novel sells to Solaris


Gaie Sebold sold her debut novel, Babylon Steel, to Jonathan Oliver at Solaris Books. Agent John Jarrold handled the deal for UK/US rights. The book is planned as “the opening volume of a fast-moving fantasy series,” and is scheduled to appear in late 2011.

Jarrold offers this description of the book: “Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex… other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock.

“She’s not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it’s tax time, and there’s not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night’s takings are at risk when Babylon’s hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat.”


BEN BOVA: Sometimes even science fiction can be ahead of its time


I have published 124 books, and while you may think that’s a lot, I’m a piker compared to some.

According to, South African author Mary Faulkner (1903-1973) has 904 books to her credit, most of them romance novels.

The redoubtable Alexandre Dumas, pere, author of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo,” is credited with 277 books — which puts him next to last on the list of the 20 most-prolific authors.

My first published book came out in 1959. But the one I wrote before that — which was never published — is a much more interesting story.


What do you think of today’s book news?

Join us in the forum to discuss!