'Sexual McCarthyism' and 'Into Thin Air' made news the week of October 9, 1998

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SCANDAL SHEETS It’s beginning to look a lot like O.J.: Crown will pay Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff a mid-six-figure sum for a book about investigating the President and his women. Scheduled for next fall, ”it’s All the President’s Men meets Primary Colors,” says Crown editorial director Steve Ross. Meanwhile, Little, Brown is bumping George Stephanopoulous’ memoir from November till spring so the ex-Clinton mouthpiece can grapple with recent events (so much for that lavish party they threw him at BookExpo America in Chicago last June), and Basic Books will pay a rumored high five figures for Alan Dershowitz’s take on the scandal, Sexual McCarthyism, out next month. In other former-Simpson-defense-attorney news: Robert Shapiro has turned to fiction, writing courtroom scenes for Hollywood scribe Walt Becker’s second, thus far unsold, novel about abortion issues in a small town. It’s tentatively titled Misconception.

THE COLD ZONE Ice is hot. Girls on ice are even hotter. Fresh in the best-selling tracks of Peter Hoeg’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow and Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, publishers are piling on female encounters with the white stuff, from Sara Wheeler’s well-received Terra Incognita (Random House) to Andrea Barrett’s new novel, The Voyage of the Narwhal (Norton) to Ford model Irina Pantaeva’s just-out Siberian Dream memoir (Bard). Then there’s Jenny Diski’s Skating to Antarctica (Ecco), which came out in August, and Diana Preston’s imminent account of explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s failed South Pole expedition, A First Rate Tragedy (Houghton Mifflin). Why are so many chicks going polar? ”Somewhere like Antarctica is fascinating because it really is a testosterone zone: monastic groups of men cut off from civilization,” says Preston. Ooh — chilling.

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