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Old September 2 2013, 04:04 PM   #2630
Daddy Todd
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

August was mostly Love & Rockets -- mostly Mechanics/Locas at that.

08/02/2013 Love and Rockets Book 2: Chelo's Burden (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/06/2013 Creating the Filmation Generation by Lou Scheimer & Andy Mangels
08/07/2013 Clingfire II: Zandru's Forge (audiobook) by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross
08/10/2013 Love and Rockets Book 3: Las Mujeres Perdidas (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/10/2013 Love and Rockets Book 4: Tears from Heaven (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/11/2013 Love and Rockets Book 5: House of Raging Women (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/18/2013 These Are The Voyages TOS: Season One by Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn
08/18/2013 Clingfire III: A Flame in Hali (audiobook) by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross
08/20/2013 The Planet Savers (audiobook) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
08/23/2013 Love and Rockets Book 6: Duck Feet (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/24/2013 Love and Rockets Book 7: The Death of Speedy (gn) by Jaime Hernandez
08/24/2013 Love and Rockets Book 9: Flies on the Ceiling (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/25/2013 Foundation (audiobook) by Isaac Asimov
08/26/2013 Love and Rockets Book 11: Wig Wam Bam (gn) by Jaime Hernandez
08/27/2013 Love and Rockets Book 13: Chester Square (gn) by Jaime Hernandez
08/30/2013 Foundation and Empire (audiobook) by Isaac Asimov
08/31/2013 Love and Rockets Book 15: Hernandez Satyricon (gn) by Los Bros Hernandez
08/31/2013 The World Wreckers by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Jaime Hernandez's stuff holds up really well upon re-reading. I imagine I'll pull this out once a decade or so for the rest of my life and re-read it all. The first half-dozen L&R trades were split between Jaime and Gilbert's stuff (with the occasional contribution from Mario) but starting with Book. 7, Fantagraphics was alternating Bro (Book 9 is almost entirely Jaime, with only a few pages of Beto, probably stuff that wouldn't thematically fit in Book X.) With Book 15, Fantagraphics completed reprinting all the material from the first 50 oversized issues of Love & Rockets, with material from all three Bros. Subsequent volumes reprint stories from the various L&R formats that came later. I'm holding off reading those until I catch up with Gilbert's even-numbered volumes (8, 10, 12 & 14).

A couple of big, fat nonfiction books this month: Lou Scheimer's memoirs of founding & running Filmation was great fun, but towards the end I started to glaze over chapters about He-Man and BraveStarr, which were long after I'd stopped watching cartoons (and long before I started back up again.) It was co-written by Andy Mangels, and it was great to see Andy's name on a book again. I've only met Andy a couple of times, but he's a great guy, and I wish he was still writing Star Trek novels!

Marc Cushman's fanwanky These are the Voyages is a solid read, but its quality is unfortunately overshadowed by the author's behavior in appropriating internet photographs and using them to break up page upon page of solid text, passing them off as the work of some other dude, when we all know they came directly from startrekhistory.com (and others.) Probably not technically illegal (I'm not a lawyer) it's dickish nonetheless. Fan commentary at the Trek BBS is mostly about the illustrations (which, quite frankly, appear to exist only as page-design elements) and not about the book itself, which seems solidly researched and well-written. I read its nearly-600 pages (which only covers the first season!) over a couple of days -- I just couldn't put it down. Subsequent volumes are slated for November and February. I hope Cushman does right by the sources of his illustrations before they are published -- I really want to read them, but I don't want to reward his behavior!

Finished listening to the Clingfire trilogy. I disliked the woman who read the first two volumes, but I didn't realize how good I had it, because the guy reading the final volume was worse. Much, much worse. Somehow listening to these was a deeply inferior experience to reading them myself. I don't really know why. Next up was the Librivox recording of The Planet Savers, the first Darkover "novel" to see print, from the November 1958 Amazing. ("Novel" because it can't amount to more than 25,000 or 30,000 words) (It was later half of an Ace Double with The Sword of Aldones, in 1962, though Aldones was apparently written much earlier.) It's an interesting, primitive take on Darkover, but it so carefully minces around the fact that Jay Allison is gay (it was 1958, after all) that it becomes almost surreal. His eventual triumphant conversion to heterosexuality at the hands of Kyla, Marion's first Free Amazon (!!) character is almost touching. The Planet Savers comes quite late in the chronology of Darkover; it's unclear if it takes place before or after The Sword of Aldones, but I think it's after. Which means it's followed by The World Wreckers, from 1971, which I read during the end of the month.

One of the reasons I wanted to read Savers/Wreckers back to back was to see how well they fit together. There are some obvious mismatched joints, but there is enough similarity that I think they could work as source material for a single miniseries.

Wait, wait... maybe I better back up. Watching Game of Thrones on HBO has got me thinking about how great a Darkover series would be. But where to start...? Well, if I were a TV writer/producer, I'd start with The Heritage of Hastur. I think I could get 6 solid hours out of that. The next year, I'd do 6 episodes covering Sharra's Exile (possibly incorporating some material from The Sword of Aldones, which covers the same narrative ground in a primitive version.) Season 3 (6 more episodes) would be The Planet Savers & The World Wreckers, significantly re-shaped and "modernized". (I tend to think the Trailman's Fever outbreak in Savers works well as part of the World Wrecker's plot to destroy Darkovan civilization.) We'd have to add more material to fill out 6 episodes, but I think it could work. If season 4 were Hastur Lord, that would basically give us another 6 episodes, but I'm not convinced Hastur Lord would be the right direction to go next. Certain aspects of that book deeply irritated me -- Regis is mostly passive, but I did enjoy the parts about his balancing the two relationships in his life. On the other hand, it might be better to leave it there, and if the network wanted more Darkover, jump back and do the Renunciate trilogy (The Shattered Chain, Thendara House and City of Sorcery.)

Anyway, that's how I would handle a Darkover series on HBO (and it would need HBO-type freedom and budgets to work.) Will it ever happen? Not very likely. That goes in the same file as my imaginary James Bond series, adapting the Fleming novels & stories as period pieces (Casino Royale taking place in 1952, etc.) and strictly following the storylines of the originals, with gadgetry & nonsense kept to a minimum. Both these projects will probably have to wait until the copyrights run out, and the original stories revert to the Public Domain. But it's fun to fantasize about!

Casting about for something to listen to at the gym, I queued up Asimov's Foundation Trilogy. I know this makes me a bad sci-fi fan, but I was never able to get more than a half-dozen pages into Foundation in any of my earlier attempts to read it. It's embarrassingly, annoyingly old fashioned, and obvious in ways that may have been subtle in the '40's. I'm kind of going thorugh this like homework -- I can't NOT finish it. But I am hoping Asimov's writing improves in the 40-years-later sequel/prequel quartet.
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