Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Should Hollywood turn Ian McDonald’s 1988 novel Desolation Road into a film?

Tired of all the damned Hollywood remakes, the geeks over at the Den of Geek have drawn up a list of the “Top 10 potential sci-fi franchises Hollywood ignored.” The novel Desolation Road (1988, Pyr 2009), by British SF author Ian McDonald, is #6 on the list. Here’s what the geeks have to say:

“Since this debut novel spans several generations of Martian colonists, focusing on a town growing beside the cross-planet railroad, I'm not sure how it would work. But the image of impossibly vast steampunkish trains hurtling across the boundless Martian desert, with whole families of engineers and drivers living and dying onboard, is too impressive to not want to see on the big screen. Perhaps the sequel, Ares Express, would work better as a film with a human narrative -- but it might be best produced in Japan where the idea of reality being altered at the whim of godlike entities is less outré.”

The geeks haven't persuaded me, but both Desolation Road and Ares Express (2001) are worth reading. John DeNardo of SF Signal recently reviewed the new Pyr reprint of Desolation Road.

I'd rather see a spin on Frederik Pohl's 1976 Nebula Award-winning novel Man Plus: Woman Plus, starring Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos.

Pictured: Cover of 1988 British first edition of Desolation Road

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