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Book News: 2 Popular Books May Be Coming To TV

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Soon, a remote control may be as good as a bookmark for readers hoping to return to the worlds of two popular, and critically acclaimed, books.

Ann Leckie announced on her website that her novel Ancillary Justice has been optioned for television by Fox Television Studios and the production company Fabrik. The novel, which just about every single science fiction award this past year, has been followed up recently with a sequel, Ancillary Sword.

But Leckie is quick to caution that an option doesn't necessarily mean there's a TV series on the way: "Remember — option. Option doesn't mean anything's actually happening. But the potential is there, and that's tremendously cool!"

Joining Ancillary Justiceon the roster of TV options — at least, according to The Hollywood Reporter — is Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. The former MacArthur fellow's debut story collection reportedly will be adapted for ABC by some of the minds behind Sex and the Cityand The Walking Dead. A word of warning from personal experience, though: Try not to think too long about what a mash-up of those two series might look like.

Lost And Found:Before Malcolm Lowry wrote Under the Volcano, he wrote In Ballast to the WhiteSea, an autobiographical novel which was long thought lost to the same fire that nearly claimed his modernist masterpiece. Now, some 70 years later, the book has been reclaimed and published by the University of Ottawa Press. "Only decades after Lowry's death did it become known that his first wife, Jan Gabrial, still had a typescript," the press writes. In Ballast to the White Sea is now widely available to readers for the first time.

Scan Of Steel:One of the world's most valuable comic books is now available to read online — entirely for free. Pristine copies of Action Comics #1, the issue that witnessed Superman's first appearance, have sold for millions of dollars at auction. But now that the appraisal company CGC Comics has made a digital scan, you can leave your wallet in your pocket and just head here to read it.

And if you're in the mood for a little irony: This digitally shared copy of a valuable intellectual property pairs quite nicely with this illuminating history of copyright law.

Amazon's Tumultuous Day:Reporting from Munich, Bloomberg notes that workers in Germany are on a three-day strike at five of Amazon's logistics centers in the country. The strike is led by the labor union Verdi. While reports are still slim on just how many workers are walking out, the group's demands are clear: It wants Amazon to join a collective bargaining deal and conform to industry-wide labor agreements.

The strike clouded Amazon's announcement of this new program on the same day: , a crowd-sourced publishing platform. The idea behind the program is simple: Readers preview excerpts from unpublished books and then vote to decide which ones they'd like to see published. Winning authors will get a publishing contract with Kindle Press.

Anagrams Encouraged:In case you care to name a character in a new work by Margaret Atwood or Zadie Smith, you'd better start getting those capital letters assembled now. Julian Barnes has persuaded a laundry list of literary heavyweights — also including Ian McEwan, Will Self and Ken Follett, among others — to auction off the naming rights to some of their characters. Bidding in the Immortality Auction will start Nov. 20, and the proceeds will benefit Freedom from Torture, a charity devoted to helping survivors of torture in the U.K.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.