Cover Stories: Genghis Khan; Random House; Orion

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The Independent Culture

Suddenly, Genghis Khan is all the rage, the subject of a prime-time BBC drama-doc and of two forthcoming books.

Suddenly, Genghis Khan is all the rage, the subject of a prime-time BBC drama-doc and of two forthcoming books. The first about the Mongol conqueror is a historical novel by Conn Iggulden, the former teacher who hit paydirt with his best-selling Emperor quartet on Julius Caesar and Brutus, which concludes this autumn with The Gods of War. The first of his sequence on the 13th-century warlord will be published next year by HarperCollins. And Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, is planning a Genghis Khan biography.

* Random House has set up a "publishing partnership" with Mainstream, the house set up 27 years ago by Bill Campbell and Bill Mackenzie. The move sees RH take a 50 per cent stake in the Scottish publisher, which will benefit from the conglomerate's muscle. Congratulations are also in order to Canongate, Mainstream's indie neighbour in Edinburgh. The publisher of Life of Pi has won a Queen's Award for Enterprise, a much-coveted business accolade and a rarity in publishing. Will its distinctly alternative publisher, Jamie Byng, don a suit and tie to fetch up at the palace?

* Orion, recently named Publisher of the Year, has hired the much-respected Lisa Milton, editorial director of Book Club Associates, to be the MD of Orion Books, the group's commercial division. Milton, a prodigious worker with a great sense of fun, became well-known as manager of Waterstone's at Harrods. She oversaw the opening of the chain's Piccadilly branch before the head honchos found her surplus to requirements - a move they surely now regret.

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