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Status Report

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

K.A. Applegate wins the 2013 Newbery Medal!
Also, Mississippi bans real Animorphs.


K.A Applegate has won the 2013 Newbery Medal for The One and Only Ivan! A big congrats from all of us here at Hirac Delest! (If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet: Please do. The award is entirely well deserved.)

There have been many publications about this over the last week, but Publisher’s Weekly got a hold of K.A’s reaction approximately two hours after winning:

Normally Katherine Applegate would have been in her house in San Francisco the morning that “the call” came in. But she’d been visiting family in Richmond, Va., with her 13-year-old daughter, and found herself in a hotel room 3000 miles from home when the phone rang. Her daughter had caught a bug and was running a fever, and Applegate’s mind was not on the Newbery committee. “It just never crossed my radar screen,” she said. “They told me it was the medal, and I asked, ‘Are you sure?’ ”

As the news sunk in, Applegate said she told the committee, “ ‘It’s the best thing that happened to me since I gave birth, adopted my daughter, and got married.’ I heard a great deal of laughter on the phone. It was fun.”

Then, she recalled, “I just sat tight and watched the webcast. It was so much easier because I already knew what the outcome would be.” As soon as her Newbery was announced, “the phone started ringing immediately and incessantly. My husband texted me and said, ‘OMG you’re trending on Twitter!’ ”

Read the full article on Publishers Weekly:
Katherine Applegate on Winning the 2013 Newbery: ‘Stunned Disbelief’

In other news: An amusing article has popped up on The Buzz where a new Mississippi bill has been introduced that forbids human-animal hybrids, such as the Animorphs. The HB 819 is The Protection of the Human Person Act, and would have slapped the Animorphs with a fine should they have ever gone public in our time.

The article explains a bit more in depth regarding the circumstances and intent behind the hybrids, and can be read in full at The Buzz.

Thanks to Jason for forwarding this to us!

posted by Issam at 1:28 pm  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Animorphs Fan Documentary Project


As a response to our previous post regarding the cancellation of the Animorphs movie, a member named Xaq proposed an idea to create a fan documentary to highlight the Animorphs community for Scholastic. You can read his post here.

Please note: Hirac Delest is not involved in the co-ordination of this project, so Xaq would be the one in charge. To submit content/videos to him, you can either email him at Qaximorp209@gmail.com, or send it directly to his Youtube Channel.

Again, the deadline to convince Scholastic, and to have any kind of impact in their decision to continue Animorphs in one form or another is June 2013. That is the month when the Animorphs movie domains expire. Fans are welcome to use our community board should they wish to discuss or organize this project in a more public forum.

That’s all for now. As always, we’ll keep you updated if there is any further official progress regarding the Animorphs series in any way.

posted by Issam at 1:42 pm  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Amazon Kindle removes Animorphs #8


Thanks to Robert for letting us know, Amazon has now removed Animorphs #8 from its Kindle Store, which is currently the only way to legally purchase this book after the late cancellation of the paperback edition. We’re not sure if Scholastic is the one recalling these ebook editions back, but in case it is, our suggestion is to grab the ebook from other stores while you still can.

The Animorphs #8 Relaunch eBook is still available to purchase in ePub format at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. If there are any other legal sources to buy this book, please post in the comments below to let the fans know.

Update: Thanks to KFY for letting us know, Amazon has now brought the title back on the Kindle. (November 28, 2012)

posted by Issam at 9:49 am  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Animorphs Cancellation: Officially Confirmed


Dan Letchworth from Scholastic returns again, this time confirming the conclusions we had drawn up in our previous post:

“Hi again, just to put doubts to rest about what we’ve all already deduced–my editor at Scholastic just confirmed with me this morning that Animorphs #8 was cancelled at a very late stage, with no plans for any further rereleases.

Hellfire and damnation!”


Sad to say, this also removes the chances of an Animorphs 2.0 or a movie adaptation any time in the near future. We’d like to thank Dan once again, for keeping us and the fans up-to-date on the official progress of the series.

As a side note: If you were holding out on buying any of the new reprints in paperback, then now might be the best time to get them. They are unlikely to ever get a second printing, making these now ‘limited time editions’ even harder to find than the ones from the original Classic run.

That’s everything for now. As always, we’ll keep you informed should there be any further official announcement to the continuation of the series, and you can find us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with those latest Animorphs-related updates. Until next time!

posted by Issam at 8:22 am  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scholastic’s Dan Letchworth talks Animorphs Relaunch! (RE: Cancellation and #8: The Alien)


As a response to our previous post regarding the relaunch cancellation, we recently got a surprising email by Dan Letchworth, the copy editor who worked on all eight of the Animorphs books! In the email, Dan asked us pass along his message to the rest of the fans:


Hi Hirac Delest,

My name’s Dan Letchworth; I do regular freelance work for Scholastic, and I’ve been the copy editor for all 8 of the Animorphs relaunches. Animorphs was the most awesome job I’ve ever done for Scholastic, because they were literally my favorite books as a kid. I fixed the inconsistency about Jake being able to use thought-speech in book #1 to Tobias because I remembered that KASU even way back in 1997! I knew what high expectations the fan community would have for the relaunches, and as a devoted fan who still has all 54+ originals on his shelf, I took on each book with the reverence and attention to the greater continuity I felt it deserved.

(Note that not all of the “modernizations” were me– the editors have final say, and sometimes the edits I suggest don’t make it. Personally I thought it’d be fine if Marco still played Doom with his dad, since kids like retro gaming, but I digress…) I actually consulted fan sites listing KASUs and tried to address them where I could! I even called a Starbucks in Santa Barbara (considering the approximate revealed location of the series…) to find out how much the cup of coffee Ax orders at the mall would cost in 2011 money. :P

So, I’m writing because I share in how bummed out you all are that Scholastic’s not continuing their re-releases past #8. (At least I’ve heard nothing about it since last year.) Honestly I kind of had a feeling they wouldn’t last too long, certainly not through the whole series, though I was holding out hope for at least The Andalite Chronicles to cap things off. So much depends on how much marketing a publisher chooses to put behind a release. Publishers so often “decide” that a book will be a bestseller, while more worthy titles go out of print or aren’t even bought in the first place. But Animorphs had an outstanding original run, and I think of these rereleases as a victory lap more than anything. I’ll put in a strong word of advocacy with the folks I know there to at least get the Andalite Chronicles out, but even if the first 8 is all we get, I have to say I’m still tickled that we got it at all. And I’m encouraged–kids have access to way more resources now than we did in 97, and new fans who discover these 8 and love them will definitely be able to find more if they know where to look.

So glad you’re keeping the love alive here.


Dan Letchworth is a freelance copy editor for Scholastic, and full-time product development assistant at Klutz. His latest project there is Paper Flying Dragons, a book of twelve foldable flyers and fascinating true dragon facts.


Very cool of Dan to drop by, and we thank him for taking the time to let us know of the amount of research and effort it took to relaunching these books.

In related news, it seems like there are still no paperback copies available for Animorphs #8, even though it was released on September 1st. Several fans, including myself, have been unable to find them at any local or online retailer, and no one has been able to provide a direct answer as to why, until I recently received this email stating:

Item Cancelled [...]

Your order was a pre-order unfortunately, information ahead of publication is not foolproof so a new title may be cancelled or postponed indefinitely. An edition scheduled for reprinting may be similarly abandoned by the publishers.


So it looks as though the poor sales of the previous paperbacks have brought on a decision to indefinitely hold off on any further printings, at least for now. However the ebook editions for Kindle and NookBook are still available, and Rijab (who has regularly sent us advanced cover previews for Animorphs books in the past) told us:

I bought the Kindle version and there is no preview in the back for the next book – just a preview for a new book about dragons called “Wings of Fire.” (See full comment)


So there you have it; With no new plans at Scholastic, or any advanced previews being marketed, or anymore paperbacks being printed, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get any more of a confirmation regarding the cancellation of the Animorphs Relaunch. Of course, it hasn’t “officially” been cancelled, so there is a glimmer of hope, however small that may be.

In the mean while, you can still expect Hirac Delest to be running (but, of course, at a much slower pace). The archive project will continue as it always has, and this blog will still be updated should any official announcements arise in the future. To keep up with the latest updates, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

That’s all for now. Until next time!

posted by Issam at 1:24 pm  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

‘Eve and Adam’ officially released!


Eve and Adam marks the first writing reunion of K.A. Applegate and Michael Grant since the Remnants series. The book is officially released today in hardcover and ebook, and will also be available in audio format on October 16th, 2012. Trailer and summary provided below:



In the beginning, there was an apple –

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die – not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect . . . won’t he?

KATHERINE APPLEGATE is the author of many books for children and young adults, include the award-winning Home of the Brave. Her husband, MICHAEL GRANT, is the author of the BZRK series and the bestselling Gone series.

Together they wrote the popular Animorphs series. They live in Northern California with their two children and numerous unmanageable pets.


Also, if you missed it, Jeff Sampson (co-founder of Morphz, and one of the writers for K.A and Michael’s Remnants) has released a new book series as well, this time under the pseudonym Christopher Holt. The Last Dogs #1 is now available in both hardcover and ebook format:

The Last Dogs: The Vanishing

When all the humans in his world disappear, Max, a yellow Labrador Retriever, begins the search for his family. He knows that if he can just find Madame Curie, a wise, old black Lab, she’ll be able to help. Madame had a premonition of astonishing events to come– she might know where Max’s family is.

But Max can’t make the journey alone. Joined by friends Rocky and Gizmo, Max sets off to find Madame. Along the way, the trio must face a pack of angry wolves, forage for food in a land where kibble is akin to gold, befriend a house full of cats, and outsmart a gang of subway rats. Ultimately, they’ll have to escape from the biggest threat of all: the Corporation, a “perfect” society for dogs and by dogs, where nothing is quite as it seems.

The Last Dogs: The Vanishing is a thrilling adventure and a tale of three unlikely friends on an epic quest to find their people — and bring them home.

For more info, all of the authors can be found at their official sites: katherineapplegate.com, themichaelgrant.com, and jeffsampsonbooks.com

posted by Issam at 8:32 pm  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cinnamon Bunzuh! interviews David B. Mattingly!


Adam from the Cinnamon Bunzuh! blog has posted an exclusive interview with David B. Mattingly, the Animorphs series cover artist from the Classic run. Here’s a small excerpt:


Adam: When you were working on covers with animals in them, did you have physical animals in front of you to work from sometimes, or did you just use photographic reference, how did that work?

Mattingly: No, I use photographic reference, but its very rare where you find the perfect piece of reference. I also needed to avoid, you go on google and you find a picture of a tiger and morph the character into the tiger, because you’ll get sued for that. There’s actually a zoo in New Jersey that I went to, where I shot a lot of photographs. It’s called the SpaceFarms Zoo. I looked it up the other day, because I wondered if it was the zoo that this Matt Damon movie called I Bought a Zoo was based on, but it wasn’t. But Space Farms New Jersey, it’s sort of a weird private zoo. And they had bears and tigers and all kinds of stuff. And they let you in and you wander around, just like a regular zoo. So that was the source of a lot of reference for the series.

Adam: Likewise, when you were working with human models for the covers, how did you tend to work with them?

Mattingly: I’d shoot models on it, and a problem I had throughout the course of the series is that it went on for I guess five years, and the kids, kids from when they’re ten to fifteen change profoundly, and I’d bring the kid in for another shoot, and he’d look like a completely different person. And Scholastic didn’t want me to reuse old photographs because it would have forced them to re-pay the models, so I consistently shot new models and then attempted to make them look as close to the old models as I could, I’m not sure entirely successfully. The only model who I used throughout the series was the model for Cassie, because she was kind of a petite girl, she might have been a little older when I cast her, and she changed little enough over the course of the book that I used her consistently. She was also a wonderful model.

Read the full interview at Cinnamon Bunzuh! >>


posted by Issam at 9:20 pm  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Animorphs #6 relaunched and K.A Applegate on Twitter! Also, LIVE radio interviews, new books, and more!


There is a lot of new info today, so lets get started:

  1. K.A. Applegate is now officially on Twitter!

    Follow her @KAAauthor.


  3. Michael Grant (co-author/creator of Animorphs) is doing a ridiculous number of LIVE interviews on the radio today (March 1st). If any fan happens to record one of these interviews, then send ‘em our way!

    See full schedule of Michael Grant’s radio interviews.


  5. K.A and Michael are currently doing several school visits as well. Michael is primarily doing his book tour in the U.K, and has posted his schedule on Facebook. His first UK visit is on March 13th, 2012. U.S dates are currently unannounced.

    See the UK schedule for private and public events.


  7. Animorphs #6: The Capture is officially relaunched today in both lenticular paperback and ebook editions.

    See the official summary and order info.


  9. While not official yet, there is some good news for GONE fans regarding the possibility of a movie!
    See Michael Grant’s update for the Gone movie.


  11. EVE AND ADAM is now available to pre-order! No official cover or summary yet, but the release date is set for October 2nd, 2012.

    This will be the first book by both K.A and Michael since Remnants. The only detail we know about the book at this point is that it is a dark comedy with male (Michael) and female (Katherine) perspectives.

    Pre-Orders are currently only available for U.S and Canada.


I think that covers everything for now. Be sure to follow both Michael and Katherine for any upcoming tour dates, as well as us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest info!

posted by Issam at 12:19 am  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New books by K.A. Applegate and Jeff Sampson. Also, pre-orders and details for Animorphs #8.


K.A. Applegate’s new book The One and Only Ivan has been released! The official website, theoneandonlyivan.com, has been launched with a new blog and video trailer (with a very haunting score, I might add). A Q&A with K.A on Publishers Weekly was also released, for those that missed it in our previous update.



The second new release for the month is Havoc by Jeff Sampson (the Animorphs Classic-Era Informer and Official Anibase author). The book is the second part in the Deviants YA trilogy. Since the summary is kind of spoiler-ish for those that haven’t read the first book, the new order and plot details can be found at jeffsampsonbooks.com.

Finally, we have some Relaunch news: The lenticular edition of Animorphs #8 is now available to pre-order via Amazon, and the links for it are up on our order page (see right). I have also updated the individual relaunch pages with the new official summary for #8, and a new official promo sheet for #7.

One last thing, because a lot of people have been asking: There has been no reveal yet regarding the new Ax cover for Animorphs #8, or news for Megamorphs #1, or any future relaunch books. Any future releases past #8 depend highly upon the sales figures for the books released so far, and whether Scholastic thinks they’re successful enough to continue being published. Rest assured that once there is any official confirmation, you will all know right here on Hirac Delest.

That’s all for now. Until next time!

posted by Issam at 8:39 pm  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Former senior programmer of SingleTrac talks about Animorphs: Shattered Reality


Thanks to Jason, there was a new interview with Jay Barnson recently in PC World. He was the former senior programmer of SingleTrac, which was the studio that was responsible for Animorphs: Shattered Reality, the 3D adventure platforming game that was released on Playstation in 2000. Here’s a brief snippet that provides some insight into the project.

The last official game by SingleTrac was Animorphs: Shattered Reality. In addition to being SingleTrac’s only licensed game, it was also an unusually low-key release for the studio. How and why did this uncharacteristic project come about?

JB: I don’t know the business side of how it worked out, but I know we’d had several discussions about doing licensed games previously that had fallen through. Animorphs was just the first and, as fate would have it, the last licensed title on which we went into full-fledged development. We ran into a lot of problems on that one, though.

What were the issues that you encountered?

JB: In the middle of development, the Columbine massacre happened, and for several weeks the media was making the video game industry out to be the designated scapegoat for that tragedy. Scholastic and [Animorphs series author] K.A. Applegate grew concerned and wanted to distance themselves from anything resembling “violent video games,” even though the books themselves got pretty violent at times. They demanded that we radically change the game design, salvaging what work we could, but the release date wasn’t going to move too much.

The new design was much more of a platformer, but that style of game wasn’t one of our strengths. It was a really pretty crazy scramble to re-design and re-write the game to get it ready for release. Before the final release, half the studio was laid off, including myself, and the remainder knew the company was on borrowed time. That might be part of the explanation why the release was “low-key.”

You can read the full article at goodgearguide.com.au. Thanks again to Jason for providing us with the link.

posted by Issam at 1:52 pm  
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