February 10th, 2005

Brad @ Burning Man

Quicktakes from the Crypt

This Gives Me the Fear: "Tim Minear has told SCI FI Wire that he has been hired to write a screenplay adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's 1966 SF novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." Given the track record of adapting Heinlein to film, the odds of this sucking big time are way too high for comfort, no matter who writes it. Yes, I know that Tim Minear wrote a big chunk of Firefly and I liked that. But in terms of complexity, the sheer depth of the material, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is to Firefly as lightning is to a lightning bug. I mean come on, how many Hugo Awards has Tim Minear won? And already, from the only interview with him on the subject that I've found, I can tell that he's taking adding crap to it that's just plain stupid. I'm already wincing.

For a long time now, I've had my own fantasy for who was going to get the rights to this, and what I wanted them to do with it. Moon takes place over several years. Other than the main cast of four, there's a major supporting cast of at least a dozen. The narrator isn't present for all of the revolution (obviously), so lots of important (and potentially very telegenic) stuff is hurried through in narrative passages. There's enough material in here to squeeze out at least 52 hour-long episodes, a full four seasons by modern standards. I don't want a movie. I don't want a miniseries. I want a TV series. And I want J. Michael Straczyinski to adapt it. Having covered an epic of similar length with equal complexity of characters, Babylon 5, I figure he's a natural for it. I later found out that it's just never going to happen, because JMS has sworn off of adaptations of other people's stuff. It's a damned shame, because he'd really rock at this.

We'll probably get lucky and the movie won't get made, for the same reason that the last three or four screenwriters to be asked to adapt Alan Moore's Watchmen threw up their hands and gave up: it can't be done. By the time you take enough material out of that story to fit it into two hours, or even (in the unlikely event a studio considered it an "event" film) three hours, you'd end up with something so shallow and with so little relationship to the book that you might as well start from scratch. (You know, the way that The Incredibles covered so much of the same emotional territory as Watchmen without the baggage of being compared explicitly to Watchmen.)

This Is Supposed Give Me the Fear, but It's Just Too Darned Cute: Non-Euclidean Lego sets. Assemble vistages of cosmic terror with the hopelessly doomed kid in your life. Bwa ha ha.

I Hope This Puts the Fear in Someone: The main web page for Students for an Orwellian Society is merely an OK job of an obvious trope, adapting the current administration's various shifting propaganda for war in the style of the Ministry of Truth. But the real beauty of this is that it left at least one campus reporter baffled as to whether they were pro-Bush or anti-Bush! Now, that's deadpan on a higher order.

I love it when greyfaces don't get the joke. Don't I remember something similar happening at the New York Republican Convention? Police were rounding up protesters right and left, but ignored Billionaires for Bush because they didn't realize they were anti-Bush?

February weekends have now filled up. Next weekend is the Polymunch, not that I think I'll be able to go, and alienne's birthday party, which I expect to go to but will probably have to catch a ride from phierma and cos_x. The weekend after that is the_geoffrey's Poetry Reader's Party; again, I'll need a ride, probably either from the same couple or from felax and his wife. The next weekend after that is Conflation, which is going to be problematic for me, because I don't see how I can afford it. Heck, I probably can't even afford to get my tux dry cleaned in time.