Today in publishing and literature: A close read of the esteemed novelist's 1982 ode to arcade games, Bill O'Reilly is writing another book about a presidential assasination, and Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell faces legal action (again) from a former manager.
We were unaware that in 1982 novelist Martin Amis published a video game book called Invasion of the Space Invaders: An Addict’s Guide to Battle Tactics, Big Scores and the Best Machines. This could be because it's out-of-print and also because Amis rarely mentions the book, which really is full of tips on getting the high score at various arcade games that were popular during the early-1980s. A used copy is selling on Amazon for $150, but Millions staff writer Mark O'Connell stumbled upon a copy recently at his library. So what's it like? Kind of weird! O'Connell explains: "One of the most frequently remarked-upon aspects of Amis’ writing is that it’s nearly always possible to tell, within a sentence or two, when you’re reading him... [A]nd there’s a strange cognitive dissonance that arrises from seeing that style applied to what is essentially — or at any rate quickly devolves into — a player’s guide to a range of early arcade games." Following a preface by Steven Spielberg (!!), Amis trots out "a cluster of short essayistic efforts about game addiction." Invasion of the Space Invaders also sports a picture of the author leaning up against Missile Command, an Atari arcade game from 1980, in a relaxed, informal manner. [The Millions]
Bill O'Reilly is following up Killing Lincoln with Killing Kennedy, a book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. O'Reilly signed a two-book contract with publisher Henry Holt back in November. At the time, the publisher said the first title would be "very much in keeping" with the style of Killing Lincoln, and apparently they weren't kidding. The second book in the deal is going to be a biography of a president-to-be-named-later.[GalleyCat]
In 1997, Candace Bushnell anthologized her New York Observer dating columns in a book called Sex and the City. This slender volume was the launching pad for six seasons of HBO programming and two widely-ridiculed feature films. Bushnell became wealthy, so wealthy that in 2006, the author settled a lawsuit brought by her former manager Clifford Streit. Under the terms of the settlement, Streit would receive 7.5% percent of her earnings from the show. Now he's suing her again, saying that since the 2006 truce, she's paid him a total of $230,739.28. That seems low, considering Sex and the City 2 came out in 2010 and Bushnell is executive producing The Carrie Diaries, a Sex and the City prequel, for The CW, which is slated to begin airing later this year. For her part, Bushnell insists it's "a garbage lawsuit." [New York Post]
The visual highlight of the Ford's Theatre Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in D.C. last week, has to be the three-story tower comprised solely of books written about Lincoln (or rather, aluminum replicas of books written about Lincoln.) It's a nifty and eye-grabbing spectacle, and probably even could have been higher, considering how many review copies of soon-to-be-published books on the 16th president are sent to The Atlantic's D.C. office every month. [My Modern Met, photo by colleenmcaleer]