Fantasy news round-up – April 19, 2010
RHS backs campaign to give every school child the chance to grow own food
The campaign highlights the health, educational and environmental benefits of food growing, and calls for it to be incorporated as part of a food education for every child. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is backing the campaign – alongside Garden Organic, Good Gardeners Association and the Children’s Food Campaign and chair of London Food Board Rosie Boycott. Michael Morpurgo, children’s author and founder of the Charity Farms for City Children, said: "Children need to connect with the sources of their food. Growing their own produce – in schools, at home, on allotments – is a fine way to achieve this.
First quarter book sales lowest since 2006
Book sales have improved since the dire first two months of the year, but are still well down on 2009, according to analysis of Nielsen BookScan’s first quarter data. The figures show that book spend in the first quarter was at its lowest ebb since 2006, with the year-on-year decline of 5.9% the highest since records began in 2001. The sales data, which cover the first 13 weeks of 2010 to 27th March, show that the inclement weather in January and early February had a catastrophic effect on sales, particularly sales of self-help books and Christmas left-overs. BookScan year-to-date Top 5,000 data suggests that, despite the sharp year-on-year sales declines of Stephenie Meyer and the comparative unpopularity of this year’s £1 World Book Day titles, children’s book sales are relatively flat year on year—helped by strong sales in the Dark Romance genre and bestsellers from the likes of Jeff Kinney, Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson and Rick Riordan.
JK Rowling open to writing more Harry Potter
As fans eagerly await the two-part film adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final chapter in the boy-wizard series, "Potter" creator JK Rowling is thinking ahead. On Monday the author said that while she has no plans to do so now, she could see herself writing additional tales about the “Boy Who Lived "maybe 10 years from now." Rowling made the remark in Washington, D.C., at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. She gave a reading to a small group of children and then took questions, The Washington Post reports.
The Witcher: Versus free-to-play web game now levelling up
Inspired by the amoral fantasy books of noted Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher action role-playing games have been slowly building their reputation. But while we await the release of the iPhone and Facebook versions of the The Witcher: Versus game, it’s already playable in its virtual item supported, free-to-play online version. The Witcher: Versus, which will operate across the three platforms, enables you to play as one of three character classes; Witcher, Sorceress, or Frightener. The 2D game play revolves around fighting monsters completing quests, looting weapons, amulets, and magical items, collecting achievements and badges, plus player versus player battles, which scale up to epic guild on guild clashes. The game initially limits you to playing within the Kaer Morhen keep, but when you hit a certain level, you’re allowed out in the big, bad world. Levelling up unlocks further new regions. Players can also unlock items for the upcoming The Witcher 2 PC and console game.