Inspired by the Empire State Building management’s rejection of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OF THE DARK's lighting request, author Paul Malmont has posted an open letter and application asking them to consider illuminating the landmark building yellow to celebrate the July 14th debut reading of his WW2 novel THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING, AND THE UNKNOWN.
Malmont has begun on an on-line petition at www.paulmalmont.com asking people to support his campaign. He plans to spend the day of the lighting at the Empire State Building, signing free copies. In the afternoon he will drop downtown for a reading at the historic Mysterious Bookshop. Following the reading he will bring the entire audience back up to the Observation Deck for the lighting. Malmont hopes to use the opportunity to shed a little light on literature.
Malmont rightly points out that the Empire State Building is as much a hero of his book as Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein are. In the novel, as in history, it was the New York headquarters for the Kamikaze Group—a band of science fiction writers (including L. Ron Hubbard!) recruited by the military to create superweapons and stop the Nazi threat. An epic adventure of imagination and romance which spans the globe and is present at the birth of a new scientific religion, THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING, AND THE UNKNOWN blends forgotten facts and fantastic fiction into an all-new adventure.
An Open Letter to the Empire State Building,
June 9, 2011
Dear Empire State Building,
I read in the news today how the producers of the Spider-Man musical had asked you to change the color of your lights for their opening night. You turned them down, and for the right reason! Their show has nothing to do with you. How right you were to point out that they, in fact, feature your arch-nemesis, the Chrysler Building. It%u2019s like Peter Parker asking Clark Kent to be his best man, am I right? Boy, I hope that irony isn%u2019t lost on them. And kudos to you for your gutsy call.
I%u2019m worried, though, that your refusal may have left you with a lighting gap in your schedule. Never fear, I have the perfect solution for you. On Thursday, July 14th, Simon & Schuster will proudly be launching my new WW2 adventure novel, THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING AND THE UNKNOWN, at the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan. Please, turn your lights yellow to help me kick off my book in true New York style.
Not only is the Chrysler Building not in my book, but you%u2019re practically one of the stars! And though my book is fiction, the part you play is based on some amazing true facts. First of all, you were the New York headquarters for the Kamikaze Group%u2014a band of science fiction writers including Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov recruited by the military to create super-weapons. Remember that? Eventually, this oddball group finds themselves trapped in your sub-basement, menaced by the frigid spring waters of Minetta Stream which still flow beneath you. My characters have a discussion about your founder, Al Smith. I don%u2019t think there%u2019s even anyone named Smith in the whole Spider-Man musical cast, let alone a conversation, or even a song.
Why yellow? Have you seen my book jacket, yet? It%u2019s gold foil, man. In fact, it%u2019s the same beautiful gold that they used for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO! And look how that book turned out. Your building will positively glow%u2014radiating positivity across the skyline. And let me say this about the Mysterious Bookshop: it%u2019s a New York institution, charming and just the kind of neighborhood business we need to celebrate at this time. Meanwhile, the Foxwoods Theatre? What is that, something from Connecticut? Plus the early reviews on my book have been much better than that show%u2019s. Library Journal said that, %u201Cit%u2019s so much fun that it virtually defines what light fiction should be.%u201D
I think it%u2019s been awhile since you%u2019ve changed your lights for a book, hasn%u2019t it? Think about the children%u2014how many of them will be inspired to read when they see your golden light on July 14th. I%u2019ve filled out your application and have submitted it. You should have it by now.
Here%u2019s what I%u2019m proposing to make it worth your while. I%u2019ll spend all day at the Empire State Building, handing out free copies, and signing them! Then I%u2019ll slip downtown for a little while to do my reading. By that time, the sun will be waning, and I%u2019ll bring my Mysterious Bookshop audience uptown%u2014by bus if I have to%u2014and we%u2019ll all go upstairs to join others for the lighting. I%u2019ll read a little more, if people want. Then we%u2019ll celebrate at the Empire Room. The massive Simon & Schuster publicity machine will generate enough publicity for this that I can almost guarantee we%u2019ll have press following us from the store to the summit of New York. Did I mention that they have over 122,000 Twitter followers alone?
I%u2019m going to post this letter on-line where I%u2019m hoping a groundswell of will help convince you that people want to see literature shining like a beacon from New York%u2019s still most-beautiful and awe-inspiring building. Please, Empire State Building, don%u2019t turn off the dark for reading%u2014turn on the gold for THE ASTOUNDING, THE AMAZING, AND THE UNKNOWN.
Paul Malmont, and these people: