Friday, October 29, 2010

The Accidental Convert

My husband travels a lot. He also reads quite a bit while traveling, due to many hours on airplanes (it takes a good long time to get Outside from here) and being cooped up in hotel rooms when not meeting with colleagues. Quite often, he'll buy books in airport bookstores. Recently, he returned home with a number of new purchases.

Me (perusing cover with scantily clad female in red leather): Um, Hon? Whatcha reading?

Hubby (dismissively): Some fantasy. It has vampires and werewolves.

Me: Uh huh. It's an Urban Fantasy, not the stuff you normally read.

Hubby (defensively): It was in the Science Fiction section.

Me: It says on the spine "Urban Fantasy."

Hubby: That print is too small; I didn't see it. Anyway, it was in the Science Fiction section.

Me: Yeah, you said that. (I look at the books in his TBR pile) So if your purchase was a "mistake" why did you buy all five books in the series on your next trip?

Hubby (returning to reading book with scantily clad female smooching equally scantily clad male on cover): They're good. You should try them.

Me (smiling): Uh huh.

I have had a number of Science Fiction Romance and Fantasy Romance and other sort of romance novels on our shelves for months, if not years, and I have yet to convince him that reading them would be worth his while. There are some things he, like many of us, have to "discover" for themselves. So thank you, limited airport bookstore shelves! With any luck, more people will accidentally discover SFR and Fantasy Romance then go on to get their friends and loved ones to give them a try.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Books I'd Love to See Made into Movies (or Maybe Not)

Sometimes, I read a book and think, "Wow! That would make a great movie!" In a way, it's a complement to the author. It means I loved their story so much that I want to see it in another format, see how someone else interprets what I've read.

But how many times have I said that then was disappointed by the film? Probably more often than not. Which annoys me to no end. It doesn't reduce my love of the book, but it does make me wary of movies made from books I haven't read yet. Watching a less than boffo movie will likely delay, if not suspend, my reading the book. Which is a shame and something I need to remedy.

Lucky for me, we don't have a movie theater here. But we do have a decent library. Yay! If a book-to-movie does come out, chances are I'll be able to read the book first. Or buy it at our local, independently owned bookstore. Yay! Or order it online and have it in my hands in a matter of days. Okay, a week. Maybe two, depending on how it's shipped.

Whenever your favorite stories are put into another person's hands (ie: director, screenwriter, etc) you are taking chances. All the nuances and subtleties of a novel can't be expressed in a two hour movie. And not all of them should. You don't want to bore your audience. You have to go into movies based on books assuming not everything will be in there. And that's fine. As a reader of the book, you already know the inside info necessary to fill in any holes. It's when those holes are huge, gaping, confusing chasms that make a novel-to-move transition difficult. Or when someone decides the ending of the original story wasn't "right" and changes it. What?!?!?

There are some books I've read recently that I'd love to see as movies. Maybe. It would depend on who is running the show, but I'd probably still go see them. Or rather, wait until they're out on DVD. Dang, we need a theater here....

Anyway, a few from my list, in no particular order:

"The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins. Still need to read the other two books, so no spoilers!

"The Little Stranger," by Sarah Waters. I've seen the adaptation of her book "Affinity" and loved it. She has other movies based on her books "Tipping the Velvet" and "Fingersmith" that I really really really need to watch. Really.

"On Basilisk Station," by David Weber. The first book of a scifi series starring Honor Harrington, one kickin' ship's captain. I think it was supposed to have been made into a film but things fell through. Anyone know? The other books in the series would be great too.

The "Titan," "Wizard," and "Demon," books by John Varley. This trilogy knocked my socks off the first two times I read it. The world Varley created begs for visual representation. James Cameron, look out if this ever comes to film.

"Ammonite," by Nicola Griffith. A thinking woman's scifi story. The world she created is also amazing, in a different way from Varley, but still, wow!

"Touched by an Alien," by Gina Koch. A grand mix of action, romance and alien bad guys. Pass the popcorn and hang on.

So what books would you like to see as movies? Which ones would you *not* want to see as movies, too afraid they would be massacred like Custer at Little Big Horn?

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