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On the Books Sept. 16: Harlan Ellison sues to stop 'In Time' starring Justin Timberlake, scratch-and-sniff NYC guide forthcoming

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In Time

++ Science fiction author Harlan Ellison is suing to halt the release of next month’s In Time, a dystopian thriller starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Olivia Wilde (playing Timberlake’s mother). Ellison, who previously lodged a claim against James Cameron’s The Terminator, is claiming that the upcoming film lifts elements from his 1965 story “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman.” The Atlantic notes that this copyright infringement suit will be hard to win, tracing the roots of the plot concept in question — of people being given an allotted amount of time to live — back to 8 B.C. But if In Time has a lengthy, breathless scene featuring jellybeans raining from the sky, Ellison totally has a case.

++ Digital self-publishing phenoms have been making headlines lately, but hotel concierge Amber C. Johnson is a different kind of scrappy author. Her book, New York, Phew York, is a scratch-and-sniff guide to New York featuring 20 smells, including pizza, bagel, and garbage. Unlike Kindle self-publishers, who produce their books with tiny overhead, Johnson took her book into her own hands because the scratch-and-sniff component was too expensive for traditional publishers to take on. The book will cost $34 and should be out in time for the holiday season. What smells do you think the book should include – -or avoid? I say stay clear of aromas from Grand Street in Chinatown and the Union Square stop on the L train.