William Boyd writes Land Rover thriller

William Boyd, the author of the James Bond novel Solo, has written a new digital adventure thriller The Vanishing Game for Land Rover.

The story tracks Alec Dunbar’s journey from London to a remote area in Scotland using a range of mixed media content including video, photography, animation, music and narration. Readers can access such material by selecting keywords, for instance, the noun “river” will enable to the viewer to enjoy a video footage of a Land Rover crossing a remote waterway in the Scottish Highlands.

Boyd commented: “One of the collateral pleasures of writing The Vanishing Game was that it made me realize how prominently Land Rover has featured in my life in Africa and Britain to an almost mythic degree. I remember as a boy being driven in a Land Rover through tropical rainforest to the Volta River in Ghana to fish for freshwater barracuda. And, as an even younger boy, climbing into my Uncle Ronnie’s Land Rover, the Scottish day dawning, as we went out to feed the sheep on his farm. A Land Rover is part of the mental geography of almost every British person, I believe. Consequently, to be asked to write a story in which a Land Rover features was immensely appealing, almost an act of homage. What I tried to achieve was to make the Land Rover an inherent presence in the story, something always there – implicit, strong, solid, reliable, ready to function – very like the part it plays in my memory. Welcome to an icon of motor vehicle history.”

Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing at Jaguar Land Rover North America, added: “The Vanishing Game project captures how driving and adventures are a rich part of the Land Rover DNA. We are constantly exploring new ways to bring our owners’ passion for their vehicles to life, this time in a commissioned literary project penned by a remarkably talented British author and offered to the world through the latest interactive digital spaces. This project’s platform also allows our owners to complement Boyd’s storytelling with their own adventure-oriented stories. We hope fans of literary adventure thrillers enjoy the story, and perhaps see themselves driving across the Scottish countryside in one of our iconic vehicles.”

The interactive tale is available in the form of a Tumblr page, and as a free eBook.

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Anthony Horowitz on National Book Awards’ Crime/Thriller shortlist

Anthony Horowitz’s second Sherlock Holmes novel Moriarty has been shortlisted in the Specsavers National Book Awards’ Crime/Thriller Book of the Year category alongside Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm, Terry Hayes’ I Am Pilgrim, Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders, and Lee Child’s Personal. Horowitz’s story set after the death of the famous sleuth, has been praised by the Sunday Telegraph as “An exciting, well-crafted novel”, and by Shortlist as “An unpredictable and twist-filled mystery from start to finish”. Horowitz recently toured London by horse and carriage to promote the tale, passing several well-known landmarks and stopping at seven branches of Waterstones.

Previous winners of the Crime Thriller of the Year awards include The Carrier by Sophie Hannah, A Wanted Man by Lee Child, and Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson.

Last year’s Book of the Year winner was Neil Gaiman with his fantasy fiction The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in the National Book Awards for the third consecutive year. The event is a very special celebration of literary talent and the awards are so well deserved. I hope more people will join us in support of the industry and authors alike to buy and share these fantastic reads.”

The winners for each of the categories will be revealed on 26 November, and the overall winner a month later.

Full shortlist:

Crime/Thriller Book of the Year:
Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
Personal by Lee Child

Magic FM Autobiography/Biography of the Year:
The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books by John Carey
So, Anyway… by John Cleese
Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts
Only When I Laugh: My Autobiography by Paul Merton
Please, Mister Postman: A Memoir by Alan Johnson

Food & Drink Book of the Year:
The Art Of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley
Mary Berry Cooks by Mary Berry
Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes by Tom Kerridge
Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
River Cottage Light & Easy: Healthy Recipes for Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Children’s Book of the Year:
Animalium by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott
Archie Green And The Magician’s Secret by D. D. Everest
Awful Auntie by David Walliams
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death by Chris Riddell
Minecraft: The Official Construction Handbook by Matthew Neeler and Phil Southam

Audible.co.uk Audiobook of the Year:
Awful Auntie by David Walliams
More Fool Me by Stephen Fry
Walking Home by Clare Balding
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Man At The Helm by Nina Stibbe

International Author of the Year:
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
The Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) by Jeff Kinney
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Books Are My Bag New Writer of the Year:
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Wake by Anna Hope

Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year:
The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse
Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore

Non-fiction Book of the Year:
Curious by Rebecca Front
How To Speak Money by John Lanchester
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
Waterloo: The History Of Four Days, Three Armies And Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell

UK Author of the Year:
How To Be Both by Ali Smith
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Us by David Nicholls
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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Design ghost for Jonathan Stroud’s next book

Jonathan Stroud would like young readers aged between 9 and 15 years to create a new ghost character for his next Lockwood & Co. book.

Inspiration can be found in the scribe’s A guide to ghosts article on the Guardian website where he describes cold maidens, spectres, wraiths and more.

Those interested in the competition need to send their submissions to childrens.books@theguardian.com by 10 November 2014. Make sure the description includes the ghastly creature’s name, special powers, and any distinctive features.

The winner will also be sent signed copies of the first two Lockwood & Co. books: The Screaming Staircase and the Whispering Skull, as well as the newest instalment in the series when it is published in Autumn next year.

Last year, the author asked bibliophiles to help him write an interactive Halloween story. Stroud picked Guardian reader Gill’s description of a creepy caretaker ghost with large eyes and rotting skin to become a part of his scary tale.

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Cityread London will celebrate Aaronovitch book

Cityread London, described as “London’s biggest annual book club”, has announced that the book they will be celebrating next year is the first part of an urban fantasy/crime fiction series Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch.

Every April, Cityread encourages Londoners to attend a series of events and film screenings based on a particular novel. Previous years have championed the titles Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks, and My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young.

Cityread wrote on Twitter: “We are super excited to announce that next year’s #cityread will be the amazing Rivers of London by @Ben_Aaronovitch”.

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British Library’s Gothic videogame competition winners announced

The winners of the British Library’s competition to create an immersive videogame inspired by their Gothic literature collection have been announced as three students from the University of Wales, Jackson Rolls-Gray, Sebastian Filby and Faye Allen. Their team Nix designed an underwater journey through Fonthill Abbey, a demolished Gothic revival country house.

The Off the Map competition, organised by the Library, Crytek and GameCity, invites higher education students from the UK to produce exciting videogames based on the Library’s collections using the CryENGINE technology. This year, participants were asked to focus their pieces on either Fonthill Abbey, Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death, or the seaside town of Whitby, which is mentioned in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Tim Pye, curator of the British Library’s exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination, commented: “The original architectural model of Fonthill Abbey is currently on display in Terror and Wonder. What is so impressive about the Nix game is the way in which it takes the stunning architecture of the Abbey, combines it with elements from its troubled history and infuses it all with a very ghostly air. The game succeeds in transforming William Beckford’s stupendously Gothic building into a magical, mysterious place reminiscent of the best Gothic novels.”

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Peter Mullan to star in BBC adaptation of Iain Banks’ Stonemouth

Top of the Lake star Peter Mullan is to appear in the BBC’s two-part dramatization of Iain Banks’ Stonemouth. This will be the first television adaptation of Banks’ work since his death last year.

In the story, Stewart Gilmour has been driven out of town by his girlfriend Ellie Murston’s criminal family, and later discovers the mystery behind his friend’s apparent suicide.

Other cast members are Gary Lewis, Sharon Small, Christian Cooke and Charlotte Spencer.

Christopher Aird, BBC Scotland’s Executive Producer on Stonemouth, commented: “I am so pleased some of the best acting talent in the country will be appearing in Stonemouth. The scripts are really strong and we are very excited to be bringing Iain Banks’ novel to the screen.”

The drama will be shown on BBC One Scotland and BBC Two next year.

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First Sherlock lines at Museum of London

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first ever lines of a Sherlock Holmes story are on display at the Museum of London’s exhibition about the well-known sleuth. The scribe’s notebook contains the plot of “The terrified woman rushing up to the cabman”, as well as his revision of the title A Tangled Skein to A Study in Scarlet.

The exhibition also features the only filmed interview in existence of Conan Doyle; a newly conserved painting of the storyteller aged 38; and a silver cigarette case with the engraving “From Sherlock Holmes 1893” which was given from the author to the illustrator Sidney Paget.

Alex Werner, Head of History Collections at the Museum of London, commented: “Sherlock Holmes is a global icon indelibly linked with London, so it is fitting that we are able to host this major celebration of Conan Doyle’s creation at the Museum of London. This exhibition is really about gaining a deeper appreciation of the stories and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such a diverse collection of Sherlock Holmes artefacts and material under one roof.”

Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die at the Museum of London will run until the 12 April next year.

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