It takes something like the election of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California to bring some serious attention to the phenomenal rise of the star, and what his election portends for the state, the country and, indeed, democracy itself. Two authors who probably know more about the Terminator than he does himself, Louise Krasniewicz, an anthropologist, artist and digital media producer, and Michael Blitz, a poet and English teacher, have for years combined to create a remarkable Web site called "Dreaming Arnold Schwarzenegger," and now they have combined to to write a book called Why Arnold Matters. Basic Books publisher Liz Maguire and editor Megan Hustad bought world rights in it from agent Carolyn Herter and aim to publish as soon as possible, which is next spring.

Arnold's election also serves as the springboard for a book that takes a critically amazed look at California culture, by Amy Wilentz, an award-winning writer who moved there from New York only a year ago. Simon & Schuster editorial director Alice Mayhew bought the untitled book for world English from David Kuhn at his own Kuhn Projects and will publish two years from now.