Meanwhile, the judges of the Aventis General Prize for popular science writing for adults have a mere 13 books on their longlist announced at the London Book Fair this week. They include a former TES Book of the Week (February 11, 2005): Electric Universe: how electricity switched on the modern world by David Bodanis (Little, Brown). The shortlist for the Aventis Junior Prize (for science books for children up to 14) will be announced on March 20 and there is an update on both prizes on www.aventisprizes.com.
The latest mission for Anthony Horowitz's schoolboy spy Alex Rider is to stop the Stormbreaker film being pirated before its July release. Scenes have already been glimpsed on a Moscow-based website, so fans at the London Book Fair were only shown the trailer featuring Alex Pettyfer, picked to play Rider after Horowitz, pictured, spotted him in the Tom Brown's Schooldays TV drama series. "Such was the writer's power and influence on the film that they saw another 600 boys - but then they picked him,"
Horowitz said. He is less pleased with his own Hitchcock-style cameo in Stormbreaker. He dressed up as a fisherman for filming on the Isle of Man, standing in for Cornwall. "I had my hand inside a rather large trout, and when I saw the scene the rest of me had been cut."