Good Friday, bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

Five days without a blog? I know, it’s inexcusable, I’m sorry, I really am. Life comes at you fast and all that. My inbox has been clogged with irate emails wondering what’s going on, I can only plead busy-ness.

*** By now, everyone knows that Philip Jose Farmer died Wednesday, aged 91. I never met him, but like so many others I will miss him. Who can read To Your Scattered Bodies Go and not be immediately captivated with Riverworld? He was one of the last of the all-time greats, a contemporary of and one of the very few who compared to Heinlein, Asimov, Zelazny or van Vogt. He cannot be replaced and the world is a sadder place for me, knowing he is no longer in it. On the other hand, he is probably roaming Riverworld even as I write this.

Philip Jose Farmer, RIP

*** Harlan Coben is finally getting some attention from the movies and TV. It seems TNT is interested in a series idea of his, and filmmakers are negotiating the rights to a remake of Tell No One, which made good money as a French made film.

Those who know me, know that the Myron and Win series was one of my favorites. Great interplay, lots of fun, an author who didn’t take himself too seriously. Those same people also remember that I casually commented on a message board that I didn’t care for his latest book and suddenly, who shows up to bash me for daring criticize his work? That’s right, the author himself. This mega-millionaire writer (he had just signed an $8 million deal) is so thin-skinned that he had to pop up and fight back against one guy who had loved all of his previous work, but didn’t care for the new one. How dare I not love him! Who did I think that I was?

Anyway, from that point forward I realized he was one of those people who seemed like a great guy, but was not who he seemed to be. I am glad he’s having success, I hope he has more in the future, but Coben is in that small list of crime writers, with Patricia Cornwell, who are so disagreeable that if they never sold another book I would be glad for the trees whose lives were saved.

Coben finally breaking into films and TV

*** Going into Harry Potter withdrawal? Apparently some people are. Bidding for a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is already way over previous auction records. And in the category of ‘you never something new every day’, I was not aware that softcover books got this kind of auction action.

Harry Potter bringing in the big bucks, again

*** A quick ebay update. The stock is tanking again, as I write this it stands at $10.76. When I started following this story last year, it was trading at $34. 2/3 of its value is gone, much worse than the stock market as a whole for a company that should be gaining business as people try to sell anything they can to make ends meet.

Anybody want to hire John Donohoe to perform disruptive innovation on their company? I’ve said for months that future students of business will study ebay to find out what NOT to do, but even I had under-estimated just how incompetent this guy could be.

Is ebay approaching the point of no return?