The inside scoop on the book world | EW.com

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The inside scoop on the book world

Michael Lewis, ''Star Trek,'' and books about flowers made news the week of May 8, 1998

POKER FACE
Michael Lewis, whose insider’s view of Wall Street, Liar’s Poker, was one of the signature titles of the 1980s, is returning to Norton to do a ”Liar’s Poker for Silicon Valley,” says editor in chief Starling Lawrence. He paid around $1 million for the title, due out late next year.

THE JOY OF SUING
Paramount goes where it has never gone before: After allowing unauthorized Star Trek books to flourish since the ’70s, the Viacom division is suing a Trekker and his publisher for copyright infringement. In papers filed in federal court in Manhattan, Paramount has asked for a preliminary injunction against The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship With a Star Trek Fan on the grounds that the book trades on the popularity and success of the Star Trek properties. ”Paramount is acting more like the Borg than the Federation,” counters Joy author Sam Ramer. ”A book that describes the experience of being a Trekker is not [copyright] infringement,” adds his lawyer, Leon Friedman. Attorneys for Carol Publishing argue that after years of tolerating unauthorized publications, Paramount has lost the right to penalize people. ”They’re taking a big risk with this suit,” says Carol publisher Steven Schragis. ”A possible outcome is that [the judge rules] they’ve abandoned their copyrights, and then anyone can make a Star Trek movie.” A Viacom publicist declined to comment. A hearing is set for May 5.

A BLOOM OF ONE’S OWN
Everything’s coming up roses for publishers. HarperCollins recently auctioned off floral-themed photos from Walter Hubert’s lush book Naked: Flowers Exposed for Mike Nichols’ charity, Friends in Deed. Okey-Doke Productions is rereleasing Flower Fables, Louisa May Alcott’s first published work, in June. And come October, Broadway Books will release Victoria Leacock’s Signature Flowers, featuring 100 of the off-the-cuff posy ”autographs” Leacock has been coaxing out of celebrities since she met Andy Warhol in 1977. A sneak peek reveals that Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner forgot to put leaves on his creation. Gossipeuse Liz Smith predictably penned a yellow rose of Texas. And Barbara Walters fancies herself a perkily grinning daisy. But if she were a tree, what kind of tree would she be?