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And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it.
July 4, 2013 9:55 PM   Subscribe


 
Ghostbusters II was a book?

I would, though, absolutely be up for a comparison of Hackets and The Havker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling, which if not the source material was at least a book they'd read.
posted by Artw at 11:20 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh... Wait. Other way around. OK. Wow.

Yeah, I am absolutely up for this.
posted by Artw at 11:21 PM on July 4, 2013


Oh man.
posted by Artw at 11:24 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Back to the Future III was way too much for my nine year old mind. Sooooo many Docs...
posted by fishmasta at 12:00 AM on July 5, 2013


Book was better

Does not hold for any value of Alan Dean Foster.
posted by biffa at 12:07 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alan Dean Fister can make an adaptation of three crappy Star Trek animated series episodes into a single continuous novel that actually works. Alan Fean Foster is the man.
posted by Artw at 12:17 AM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alan Dean Fister does Star Trek slash doesn't he?
posted by sien at 12:34 AM on July 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh man...
posted by Artw at 12:46 AM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alan Dean Foster seems to have a knack for taking scenes from movies that you wouldn't think would make a good translation to prose, and making them work.

The opening to Alien, where all the main characters are in cryosleep? Foster takes that as a chance to both do some SF world building that's not even hinted at on the screen by introducing the concept of "professional dreaming" where someone can earn a living by having their dreams recorded for others to experience, and then uses that context to introduce each of the characters, right down to Ash and even Jones the cat.

I'm also quite fond of his adaptation of Dark Star, as he takes some of the most patently ridiculous parts of that film, and puts a context on them that turns the story into plausible SF.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:49 AM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am on my phone in a bar so I can't LTFP but the novelization of E.T., by I think William Kotzwinkle, was excellent.
posted by gingerest at 1:25 AM on July 5, 2013


Piers Anthony wrote the novelization of Total Recall.
Totally nothing at all like We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.
I vaguely remember a huge chunk of the novelization, absent from the movie, about the antlike Martians and their oxygen making machine.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:57 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It turns out the man who coined the term 'cyberpunk' wrote the novelization of seminal steampunk film Wild Wild West.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:06 AM on July 5, 2013


I vaguely remember a huge chunk of the novelization, absent from the movie, about the antlike Martians and their oxygen making machine

So that's where that extra bit of Total Recall comes from (I think it involves trying to fit a human hand into the decidedly non-human hand shaped imprint on the machine?). Every time I watch the film I half-expect to encounter that bit despite knowing from the last time that I watched it that there is no such scene. I think my confused memory on this helped me empathise with Douglas Quaid's plight.
posted by MUD at 5:57 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I see what you did with the title there, and I approve.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:24 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember excitedly picking out James Kahn's Return of the Jedi novelization from the Scholastic Book Club order form... that must have been 4th or 5th grade. I think it may have been a bit above my reading level at the time and I found it pretty boring compared to the movie.

On the other hand, my sixth grade English teacher read Alan Dean Foster's Alien novelization to us over a period of weeks (months?), with the big build-up being that after listening through the book we would get to watch the movie in class (with signed permission from our parents, of course.) At the time I didn't realize the book came from the movie, and I thought it was pretty darn good.
posted by usonian at 6:37 AM on July 5, 2013


I seem to remember reading or hearing somewhere (and it makes much sense to me, FWIW) that because of the lead time to write them, the writers have a script to write from that could get changed a lot, and it's not like anybody's sending them rewrites, and if scenes don't get shot, or they get shot and then cut, you have big weird stuff that's in the novelization that's not in the movie. Is that touched on in the podcast at all? I don't really listen to podcasts all that much.

That's how, I assume (yeah, it makes donkeys of us both), you wind up with the like "lives of the Martians" in the Total Recall nov, or the AWESOME AWESOME airlock scene in Alien where Ripley lures the creature into an airlock (with bait? I don't remember how it's in there and she's not), and right before she gets the door shut an alarm goes off in the airlock (or all over the ship, maybe?), the creature jumps back out as the door is closing, it loses an arm and bleeds acid all over the wall, totally wrecking the airlock and putting a huge hole in the ship, and Ripley has to shut emergency doors to keep all the air from bleeding out into space, and she barely makes it to the correct side of the emergency door in time, the creature escapes back into the ship somewhere, and somehow or other she finds out that it was Ash who sounded the alarm to keep the creature from being spaced.

Imagine my disappointment when that wasn't in the movie.

Foster's Aliens novelization was really excellent, too. Had a lot of the much-loved deleted scenes, like the sentry-guns, and also a thing about how the creatures had stingers on the ends of their tails (Gorman gets stung by one and poisoned, rather than just hit on the head by like falling luggage), and I suppose that is meant to prefigure the queen cutting Bishop in half with her giant tail-stinger.

When I was in my pre and early teens, I read a bunch of novelizations. I think I read Gremlins like five times in two days.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:10 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


George Alec Effinger (wrote Planet of the Apes novelizations as well as the totally dope When Gravity Fails series) once wrote about film-to-book work that a film story is only about 1/3 the length of a normal novel. Which, he explained, is why novelizations have this odd tendency to describe every rock, give the background story on every minor character, and engage in wild irrelevant tangents.
posted by outlier at 7:44 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, I desperately wanted to see Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but my mother thought it was too grown-up for me. So I bought the novelization instead, and I loved it. Loved it! Still own it, in fact.

And then I saw the movie, and... yeah.

I also have sitting on my shelf the novelization of the 2007 Neil Gaiman Beowulf because it was written by Caitlin Kiernan, about whom I often rave here. I am pretty sure she has completely disowned the book, but I couldn't resist it.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:54 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll definitely have to listen to the Grease episode. I read the novelization at the time the movie came out (though I can't remember if I read it before or after I saw the movie). And it was really interesting, in that it was written from the POV of Sonny, one of Danny's hangers-on who is compleeeetely tangential in the movie and hardly even has any lines. (Maybe this means I saw the movie first, because I think if I'd read the book first, I would have been waiting the whole movie for Sonny to actually do something or otherwise be noticed.)

Maybe someday they'll do the novelization of Star Trek: the Motion Picture, written by Gene Roddenberry, which added interesting internalizations to what was a pretty static/sfx-y film (although I wasn't complaining at the time, as I was frankly just happy to see the Enterprise and the characters again). Not to mention The Wrath of Khan, written by Vonda McIntyre--she does some terrific backstory and world/culturebuilding, fleshing out characters like Carol Marcus.
posted by theatro at 10:54 AM on July 5, 2013


I remember excitedly picking out James Kahn's Return of the Jedi novelization from the Scholastic Book Club order form... that must have been 4th or 5th grade. I think it may have been a bit above my reading level at the time and I found it pretty boring compared to the movie.

First non-picture* book I ever read.

* barring photo-inserts, and those always fell out.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like the topics, the hosts but please guys, buy some quality Mics. The podcast sounds awful.
posted by wcfields at 12:21 PM on July 5, 2013


I can report that the Dredd one was a lot of fun.

/wonders idly if they've any done Any Mad Max episodes or if novelizations for Ausploitation flicks exist.
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on July 5, 2013


And Terry Bisson wrote the novelization of Johnny Mnemonic and John Vinge wrote the novelization of Cowboys & Aliens, and C.J. Cherryh wrote the novelization of Lois & Clark, and John Shirley wrote the novelization of Constantine... there's a lot of rent that needs paying.
posted by Zed at 2:04 PM on July 5, 2013


Piers Anthony wrote the novelization of Total Recall.
Totally nothing at all like We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.
I vaguely remember a huge chunk of the novelization, absent from the movie, about the antlike Martians and their oxygen making machine.


Strangely, the first Piers Anthony book I read! I then went on to read most of his books quickly. He had some weird/inappropriate ones for that age.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:19 PM on July 5, 2013


I then went on to read most of his books quickly. He had some weird/inappropriate ones for that age.

Oh, don't sell Piers Anthony short. He has some weird/inappropriate books for all ages!
posted by Zed at 2:23 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


So glad to have stopped at one Xanth book.
posted by Artw at 3:05 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


So glad to have stopped at one Xanth book.
I think I managed to get through four or five before the creepy uncle vibe got to be too much.
posted by usonian at 4:18 PM on July 5, 2013


I read the "Super Mario Bros" because for some reason Nintendo decided a PG-13 rating was fine for Super Mario and my parents wouldn't let me see it. This rating was a surprise at the theater to much gnashing of childish teeth. That rating was probably a capstone on a lot of bad decisions anyway.

The novelization had a few pictures from the film, a lot of angst from Mario about Luigi's non-traditional ways and a cliffhanger ending that confused the hell out of my little mind. It ended with Luigi pointing out something bad happening up the street to the Princess when they got back to Brooklyn. This may have been to set up a sequel.
posted by Gnatcho at 6:04 PM on July 5, 2013


The Hacjers one is great also. Clearly I have a thing for 1995.
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on July 6, 2013




For a second there I thought they were going to slip up and not identify WipEout, but they went back for the save and name checked Psygnosis.

Warning: contains an amount of outside view of Americans.
posted by Artw at 8:05 AM on July 6, 2013



Warning: contains an amount of outside view of Americans.


That's a bit light - there's lots of mocking of Americans, especially in the Grease episode, and heavy Australian accents.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:05 PM on July 9, 2013


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