20 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. I’m reading Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” books; so far, “Thud” and “Going Postal,” which I finished this morning. Starting tonight: “Making Money.” Great plots, interesting characters, biting social commentary (the Bad Guy in “Going Postal” is a vulture capitalist). Set in the mythical city of Ankh Morpork (aka somewhere in pre-industrial England) with CGI for the golems, vampires, werewolves, wizards, etc. Rid1ey Scott directs, British character actors star. Bruce Willis is not in it.

  2. Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow.
    ” In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong… Words like “provocative” and “compelling” will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.”

  3. Kathy, OMG, that’s my complete favorite. I live in fear of someone ruining it.

  4. I’d go for almost any of Brandon Sanderson’s books (with the exception of “The Way of Kings” because, holy shit, no fucking way that could possibly work). But a Mistborn movie (which is in the works) could be quite good, and I would love to see how a good director could make “Warbreaker” into a movie.
    Aside from that… I’d kinda like to see an adaptation of something Barbara Hambly or Kate Elliott wrote, even though I doubt there’s enough of a fandom for either of them to support a feature film. Which is a shame.
    @joel hanes: Actually, there’s a drive-in theater here in Atlanta. But I get your point.

  5. Anything by Ross Thomas. How about The Eighth Dwarf or Chinaman’s Chance? I never understood why no one optioned one of his books.
    How about The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald? It would make a great children’s movie. I found my old copy and realized just how much fun it was. Trickier, but just as good would be The Pink Motel.

  6. I am also afraid of what Hollywood would do to The Sparrow.
    A series that I would love to see brought to Masterpiece Mystery is the Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear set “between the wars” in London. Time for a great female psychologist/investigator to be brought to the small screen!

  7. “Quite Ugly One Morning” by Christopher Brookmyre. Tough to sum up, but if you like detective novels which combine horror and humor it’s a great one.

  8. It Doesn’t End With Us. I don’t know how they’d do it (and would likely fuck it all to hell) but I always imagined that something like the Cardinal needed to be put out there in a movie.

  9. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.” If you haven’t read it, think “The Omen” as presented by Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

  10. Ali Shaw’s “The Girl With The Glass Feet,” but it would have to be directed by someone with a real sensitivity to metaphor, maybe Ang Lee.

  11. Kathy:
    I ADORED “The Sparrow,” but I agree with A, I think Hollywood would ruin it! But I also loved Russell’s “A Thread Of Grace,” and I can see Hollywood doing well by it — maybe Spielberg directing, if it’s not too similar to Schindler’s List …

  12. love me some ross thomas. and a book he wrote under the pseudonym Oliver Bleek – “The Procane Chronicle” – was the basis for the 1976 Charles Bronson movie “St. Ives.”
    but i am rather surprised that some of his other books haven’t hit the screen. the fact that most of them are out of print may have something to do with it.

  13. How about Robin McKinley’s “Sunshine”? Or “Snow Crash” (Neal Stephenson)? Or Thurber’s “The Thirteen Clocks” (someone could have a lot of fun with the Todal)? I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation of “A Winter’s Tale” (too bad Mark Helprin has become such a…schmuck).
    I love “The Sparrow” though I can only read it about once every 5 years; I too live in dread of someone trying to make a movie out of it. Almost *any* of Ross Thomas’ books would make great movies; two that would be easy to shift into a contemporary milieu would be “Briarpatch” and “Out on the Rim” – again, they could also be total hack jobs with lousy screenwriting and a director who wasn’t interested in storytelling. Wasn’t there a television series of LeGuin’s “The Lathe of Heaven”?

  14. “The Pokey Little Puppy” because I love strawberries, and I read something a few years ago in which some snooty right-wing nut-job called it “horrible” because it “encourages kids to go outside their normal boundaries and (horrors) explore”.
    And as a kicker, it would be a short flick…until the inevitable sequel…”TPLP II!! The Ankling!” wherein our intrepid little pup now weighs 25 pounds and gnaws the owner’s legs to the bone.
    Plus, it’s the first book I could read all by myself without prodding. Hey, I was 3 1/2; give me a break.

  15. I’m an escapist, and I *want* to see Angie Harmon play Honor Harrington.

  16. Pratchett’s Going Postalhas been made into a movie, as has The Decameron, in 1971 by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
    And there have been two versions of Ursula LeGuin’s The Lathe of Heaven, one for television in 1980, with Bruce Davison in the role of George Orr, and another version in 2002 with Lukas Haas as George Orr.
    As with some of his previous books, Robert Stone writes fairly cinematically, although “Who’ll Stop the Rain” didn’t quite measure up to Dog Soldiers, nor did “WUSA” match A Hall of Mirrors (the latter did try, though–too bad the film is available just about nowhere). Which is why a good director could probably make something of Damascus Gate. It’s topical, could translate to a fairly suspenseful thriller, and in the right hands, the rather odd gaggle of religious nuts in it could make for an interesting counterpoint to the action.

  17. Alas, I think the fire burned out for The Sparrow. And, yes, I agree Hollywood would probably totally botch it.
    Started reading Jack London’s The Iron Heel last night. Dystopian futuristic novel from 1907 that’s incredibly relevant to today. Available on Gutenberg if your interested.

  18. I don’t want to see The Sparrow on the screen; I can’t think of any treatment of one or two of the crises in that book that I could stand to watch. I haven’t been able even to re-read it.
    I think it’s time for movies from Bujold’s Vorkosigan books.
    I’d like to see some of Ursula LeGuin’s Hainish books done right, starting maybe with Rocannon’s World, which would sell a lot of popcorn, and then a serious treatment of Jakob Agat and Rolery in Planet of Exile.
    But I’m afraid that a movie of The Dispossessed would turn out like Redford’s Reds, and I fear the craptacular hash that Hollywood could make from The Left Hand Of Darkness
    Niven/Pournelle’s Lucifer’s Hammer is almost purpose-built to be a Drive-In Friday Triple Feature B-movie thriller: natural event catastrophe, SoCal seeting (convenient for Hollywood to fil), love stories, cannibalism and religious cult madness, bikers, poison-gas fu, tidal-wave surfing, combat at a nuclear plant site, doomed scientist, hero gets the girl. Too bad there aren’t any more drive-ins.

  19. No book that I ever liked. Movie directors invariably fuck them up.

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