Jack Repcheck at Norton won an auction among seven publishers for a book on evolutionary biology (the study of how evolutionary changes actually occur) by Dr. Sean B. Carroll of the University of Wisconsin, a man at the center of this new field. Repcheck paid well into the mid six figures for North American, plus first serial and audio, to agent Russell Galen.... A first work of nonfiction by novelist Gary Krist was a world rights buy by Holt's Jennifer Barth. It's On the Brink: A Story of Men, Mountains, Railroads and the Deadliest Avalanche in American History, the dramatic story of a pair of trains trapped by blizzards in the Cascade Mountains in 1910. Eric Simonoff at Janklow & Nesbit was the agent.... Californian radical critic Mike Davis is the latest to weigh in with a take on Arnold Schwarzenegger as California governor and the peculiarities of the state that gave him his win, acquired by Sarah Bershtel at Holt's Metropolitan Books. She bought U.S. rights in Heavy Metal Freeway from Coast agent Sandy Dijkstra, for publication next June.... Penguin Press's Ann Godoff bought a two-book package from illustrator Maira Kalman; they will be an illustrated version of the classic Elements of Style and an illustrated memoir called Look; it was a world rights deal with Charlotte Sheedy.... Coast movie and literary agent Joel Gotler has got together with casino magnate (and literary philanthropist) Glenn Schafer and movie producer Scott Steindorff of Stone Village Pictures to create a new agency called IPG (for Intellectual Property Group) Literary Management.