Today in publishing: Philip K. Dick's estate says the story for The Adjustment Bureau movie was not in the public domain, Martin Scorsese is interested in adapting a gruesome Nordic crime novel of his own, and Neil Gaiman picks the best scary books to tuck into this Halloween.
- The estate of science fiction author Philip K. Dick is suing the backers of The Adjustment Bureau, claiming they tried to avoid paying the estate "at least $500,000 in bonus payments" by claiming Dick's original behatted angel short story "Adjustment Team" was part of the public domain. What's interesting is how long it took the filmmakers to make their purported discovery. Writer-director George Nolfi "first took an option on the story in 2001, then repeatedly renewed it." Media Rights Capital, one of the main backers, first made the claim months after the film came out that Dick's story was in the public domain because of it was published in a 1954 fiction magazine called Orbit after they "repeatedly paid fees under purchase agreements for the story, and after tapping the Dick estate for promotional help." Dick estate lawyer Justin Goldstein and Jay Handlin are clearly enjoying themselves, referring to the film's financiers as "the de facto Adjustment Bureau of Hollywood." [Media Decoder]
- Here come the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo clones. Martin Scorsese is said to be "circling" an adaptation of a Norwegian crime novel called The Snowman, about an Oslo detective named Harry Hole investigating a missing person's case. When the woman's "pink scarf is found wrapped around a strange snowman, Hole investigates further and finds evidence that it could be the work of a serial killer." The Snowman is actually the seventh Hole novel by author Jo Nesbo, but you have to think that pink scarf set off Scorsese's theological alarm bells. Or maybe he's never seen Norway. [Empire Online]
- Neil Gaiman has been on the "Let kids read scary stories" bandwagon for some time, but this Halloween season he's gone one step farther and launched All Hallows Read, basically a dressed up open thread where people can recommend their favorite spooky stories. It's an excellent late fall resource to have and Gaiman's list is helpfully grouped into separate categories for "younger readers" and "teen and adult readers" (though both categories include titles from Stephen King.) Gaiman's one inexplicable snub from the adult list? Thomas Harris' Red Dragon. [All Hallows Read]
- A 90 year-old World War II veteran named Chester Nez has written Code Breaker, a memoir that publisher Berkley Caliber is calling "the first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII." If you're into your World War II, it's hard to imagine not being captivated by what he has to say. Armchair cryptographers, meanwhile, should be transfixed by figuring out how the message "My name is Chester Nez and I was a US Marine in World War II" becomes "Shije e Chester Nez yinshia do US Marine Corps betah nesibaa" when typed out in code. [Time]