Tuesday, January 07, 2014

We Can Forget It For You Wholesale - TWICE!!!

Adaptations of science fiction or fantasy prose do not fare well in the movie industry.

Sadly, a classic example are the works of Philip K. Dick.

When the 2nd remake of Total Recall appeared, I thought it time to read the original story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

The later version of the movie had a different plot line than the first. I wondered, which was closer to Dick's story?

The answer: neither movie followed Dick's plot development. The only thing common between the 2 movies and the story was the gimmick  of implanted memories.

What's annoying is that I would love to see a movie that developed the direction Dick's story took about the revelation of the implanted memories.

The short story would have made a good episode of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. For a movie it could have expanded the twist revelation at the end of the story.

But the combined wisdom of the movie makers decided they knew how to write better than Dick.

Both films are basically vehicles for chase sequences, with little imaginative punch - the second film being the worst in that regard. At least the first Total Recall created a mildly interesting stew of imaginative elements for the ending.

I urge you to read Dick's original story (do not read the wikipedia entry, or any other summary). The ending left me with a wide grin as Dick popped his Jack-In-The-Box surprise.

The two Total Recall movies only confirm how poorly film makers write, throwing out the best part of an original work.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

ERRATA, The Time Masters, Wilson Tucker


ERRATA

search tags: wilson tucker, time masters, sfbc, science fiction book club, 1971, lancer books

[ last 5 missing paragraphs from SFBC hardcover edition of 1971 revised edition of Wilson Tucker’s The Time Masters. Text taken from Lancer Books, 1971, paperback printing. Missing paragraphs begin after === sentence. Page number is from Lancer pb. ]

_________________________________________

===Another deflection was noted, a new line of flight that would carry the ship wide of its programmed target.===

The great ship hurled itself through space on invisible wings, driven by controlled atomic power that was supposed to be at rest. An opening appeared in the hull and a long tubular rod was thrust out to catch the sunlight. The antenna began hurling a distress signal into space.
Page 159 (Lancer pb, 1971, revised)

Instruments in the earth-bound operations room picked up the signal but read it as only gibberish—as one more malfunction of the first starship. Tracking personnel watched the atomic motor build up acceleration. A tentative computer reading gave information that the ship was on an apparent course for a point in the constellation Ophiuchus. A sudden loss of fluid in the heavy-water tanks encasing the drive motor suggested a small but damaging leak. The vehicle was going wildly wrong.
The range safety officer looked across the room to Flight Command for confirmation. At a sharp nod, he triggered the destruct switch and touched off a cry of bitter disappointment from the technicians.
Two ships ten thousand years apart suffered a curiously similar fate. Gilbert Nash counted himself the only living survivor of the first catastrophe,
Time had finally ended for Carolyn Hodgkins.

THE END

copyright 1971 by Wilson Tucker
Lancer Books


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What they wanted, 1951

The editors of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction solicited their readers on what format of content they wanted in the magazine. This in the day of all postal mail. They published the results in the June 1951 issue, page 21 ...
  • Shorts, only, no novelets ......... 40%
  • An occasional novelet, but only
    if of very high quality ........... 17%
  • A regular policy of a novelet
    in each issue ..................... 20%
  • Serials ...........................  7%
  • Anything the editors think best ... 12%
They did not cite how many responses they received.

In June 1951 F & SF was published bi-monthly, with 128 pages per issue.

If you read F & SF, here are the same options (plus one new option and question) in an UNOFFICIAL, uncontrolled  online survey.

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Deming's Law

Deming's Law: The accuracy of an extrapolation varies inversely as the square of the author's conservative adherence to probability.

Corollary: It is impossible for a science fiction writer to extrapolate fast and far enough to keep up with factual progress.

-- from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, editorial introduction (Anthony Boucher?), December 1955 (vol 9, No. 6), page 36

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Over the Rainbow cover

This is easily one of the best covers of the Judy Garland classic - good orchestration, classic rendition. Modern singers rarely do this song well ...



My favorites of Kylie

Friday, March 21, 2008

Women

author Michael Swanwick has said: "Gene Wolfe is the greatest writer in the English language alive today. Let me repeat that: Gene Wolfe is the greatest writer in the English language alive today! I mean it. Shakespeare was a better stylist, Melville was more important to American letters, and Charles Dickens had a defter hand at creating characters. But among living writers, there is nobody who can even approach Gene Wolfe for brilliance of prose, clarity of thought, and depth in meaning."

From,
The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, (p. 233, Ace pb)
++++++++++++++

But the dream of women -- actually, of a woman, a girl -- has set my mind again upon a theory I formulated when I was living in the mountains. It is so simple a theory, so obviously true, so self-evident that it seemed to me at that time that everyone must have thought of it; but I mentioned it several times to various people at the university at Roncevaux, and most of them looked at me as if I were mad. It is simply this: that all the things we consider beautiful in a woman are merely criteria for her own survival and thus the survival of the children we shall father in her. In the main (ah, Darwin!) those who followed these criteria in their ambushes of the female (for we do not really pursue them, do we? We are not swift enough. We leap upon them from cover, having lulled their suspicions) populated the worlds -- we are their descendants; while those who flouted them saw, in the long prehistory of man, their children torn by bears and wolves.

And so we seek long-legged girls, because a long-legged girl is swift to fly danger; and for the same reason a girl who is tall, but not too tall -- a girl will be swiftest at a height of about a hundred and eighty centimeters, or a little more. Thus, men will crowd around a girl as tall as an ordinary tall man (and her shorter sisters will lengthen the heels of their shoes and thicken the soles to seem like her). But a girl too tall will run clumsily, and one of, say two hundred and twenty centimeters will almost never find a husband.

In the same way the female pelvis must be wide enough to pass living infants (but not too wide or, again, she will be slow) and every man gauges the width of those bones when the girl has passed. Breasts there must be or our children will starve as babes -- so our instincts tell us still, and though a thin girl can run well, one too thin will have no milk when there is no food.

And the face. It has troubled artists ever since the fading of superstition allowed human portraiture -- they decide what shall be beautiful, then marry a woman with crooked teeth in a wide mouth. When we look at their pictures of the great beauties of history, the idols of the populace, the mistresses of kings, the great courtesans, what do we see? That one has mismatched eyes and another a large nose. The truth is that men care for nothing for any of these things, and want vivacity and a smile. (Will she see danger, will she kill the sons of my loins in her rage?).

The girl in my dream, you ask, what of her? Shadowy, but as I have described. Naked. No woman arouses me who wears even a wisp of clothing; and once at Roncevaux when I tried to slake my passion with a girl who did not divest herself of a sort of halter, I was a sad failure.

-- John V. Marsh, "V.R.T.", The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, (p. 233, Ace pb)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007