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Welp, looks like there will no release of The Solomon Key in 2006. This just reported in The Bookseller:
Dan Brown's much-anticipated next novel will not hit the shelves until 2007, more than a year later than his publishers had originally planned. Transworld m.d. Larry Finlay confirmed that Brown's writing had been delayed by his involvment in the Tom Hanks film and the High Court trial. "[The book] is out of our schedules for this year," he said. "I think and hope it's going to appear in 2007."
In the wake of the news, Brown emailed The Book Standard, explaining "My books are time-consuming to research and complicated to construct. I am taking the time necessary to ensure that this new book is every bit as entertaining as The Da Vinci Code.” (thanks Fred).
I guess the best thing to do in the meantime is read my book on The Solomon Key (*wink*).
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has upheld a ruling that Dan Brown did not copy elements of novels by author Lewis Purdue (The Da Vinci Legacy and Daughter of God) in The Da Vinci Code. The decision comes on the back of the high-profile case in London this month where a British court rejected charges he plagiarised The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Purdue however takes issue with the reporting of this latest decision, saying that Random House sued him...not the other way around.
I will be trying to keep up to date with the daily solutions to the Da Vinci Code Quest on Google, for anyone needing help. The essay will be updated daily (as time allows) as I solve each puzzle - feel free to help out in the comments section to the essay though...the more the merrier.
Google and Sony have announced a huge promotional contest in the lead-up to the movie version of The Da Vinci Code. The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google is set to kick off on April 17th (the 18th for Australians) with over three weeks of code-solving required:
The Da Vinci Code involves a thrilling murder investigation that unearths a secret that could change the course of history. The film opens on May 19th worldwide.
Beginning on April 17th you will embark on a quest that requires skill, intellect, and perseverance. For 24 days, you will encounter unique challenges. These daily puzzles will pull you deeper into the world of The Da Vinci Code. Answer all 24 puzzles correctly for a chance to win untold riches. Only the worthy will prevail.
The competition is divided into three territories - the U.S., the U.K. and Australia (and boy do us Aussies get the shabby prize pool!). Considering that Sony is involved, one wonders whether the competition will involve the many ciphers found in the movie trailer and on the website (see the essay on this site which gives the answers to The Da Vinci Code ciphers so far). Needless to say, we'll try and keep a running commentary up on the competition (your input is welcomed!).
A new book of interest is The Mammoth Book of Secret Codes and Cryptograms, by Elonka Dunin (Amazon US). Why post this on a page about Dan Brown you ask? Simple - Dunin is most well-known for her work in decoding the ciphers of James Sanborn, the creator of the Kryptos statue at C.I.A. headquarters in Virginia. As I point out in my book The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key (Amazon US), Sanborn and Kryptos are quite likely to play a part in Dan Brown's much-awaited sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Dunin confirms as much in this short interview. Interestingly, she also has a personal comment from Dan Brown about the one degree discrepancy between the co-ordinates coded into the dust-jacket of The Da Vinci Code (again, see my book if you don't know about this), and the actual location of Kryptos:
I've asked Dan Brown about that. He just says, "The discrepancy is intentional"...It points to the general location of CIA headquarters, about 150 feet southeast of the sculpture. His books are basically treasure hunts. I think he's planning to do that in Washington, D.C. One of the "go here, get a clue" is going to be, maybe, "Kryptos."
An interesting piece of extra information, ne c'est pas?
Just a couple of news tidbits which might interest Dan Brown fans. Firstly, fresh after the London copyright case decision, is this news story about a possible new plagiarism claim being made by a Russian art expert. On a different note, The Times talks to the Master of the Temple about Brown's effect on tourism to the landmark and his own thoughts on the book.
The BBC is reporting that the judge has ruled in favour of Dan Brown and Random House in the London copyright court case (ruling against Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, two of the three authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail). Brown has been quoted as saying:
I'm pleased with today's outcome, not only from a personal standpoint, but also as a novelist. Books are an important part of our culture, and this is a good day both for those who write and for those who enjoy reading.
It still looks like his next novel, The Solomon Key, is some way off with Brown saying "After devoting so much time and energy to this case, I'm eager to get back to writing my new novel." A summary of the judge's ruling is available here, which also has a link to the full ruling in PDF format.
In what is said to be a complete coincidence (though my cynicism runneth over), March 28th saw the release in the U.S. of books by both Dan Brown and his court adversary Michael Baigent. Five million paperback copies of The Da Vinci Code were (finally) released to U.S. stores, which will no doubt add to the 12 million hardcovers already sold (and 40 million copies worldwide), in anticipation of the movie version of the novel which is due for release May 19th...and no doubt the current court publicity has played out nicely as well.
Meanwhile, Baigent's embargoed book The Jesus Papers (Amazon US and UK) came dancing out of the shadows as well with an initial print run of 150000, to sit (at this moment) at #2 on Amazon.com's charts:
As a religious historian and a leading expert in the field of arcane knowledge, Baigent has unequaled access to hidden archives, secret societies, Masonic records, and the private collections of antiquities traders and their moneyed clients...The evidence he has uncovered has lead him to make shocking new assertions that threaten the conventional account of Jesus's life and death and shake the very foundation of Western thought, based as it is upon the assumption of Jesus's divinity.
For full details about the book, visit the Harper Collins website which has a full synoposis and also a chapter excerpt.
A new trailer has been released for the upcoming movie version of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, featuring more snippets which will no doubt be recognisable to those who have read the book. The countdown to the movie has well and truly begun, with less than 2 months now until the official release on May 19th. More details can be found at the official movie website (including sudoku-like games, puzzles and codes for your amusement).