David Thompson
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January 16, 2016

Comments

Joan

Snork.

"You'll have a national philosophers strike on your hands!"

David

And we only just barely survived the attack of the art world Death Star.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I am confused. Authors want to be paid for showing up at events that give them free publicity and pimp their "works", and among them the unknown authors are incensed that at those events where they do get paid, the big names get paid more, so the unknowns want to "go on strike", i.e., not show up and take advantage of free pimping.

So if unknown authors go on strike, how would anyone know ?

Robert

Go on strike. Right. In a world where millions of copies of books exist physically and are available in new and second-hand bookshops, in libraries, or just a click away on Amazon.
I'm an avid reader, and if no more books were published from this day on, there's enough out there to last me the rest of my life.
See the problem, Amanda?

David

The literary world does seem to attract and then foster an extraordinary sense of self-importance and entitlement.

David

And on a practical level, you have to wonder how long this strike would take to have any discernible effect. I mean, novelists generally work quite slowly, with books typically years apart.

Jeff Wood

I have nearly finished writing my current book, and they want me to strike?

Nah, I am going to Scab.

NielsR

"go on strike" is lefty bollocks in this case, yes. I do find it rather remarkable these authors, who feel the festivals aren't rewarding enough to attend, don't have the gumption to just politely decline, next time they are asked. See if the festival will up their offer, else save themselves the bother.

Are they really dragging themselves to fruitless engagements every year?

Atempdog

I'd love to hear them try and purswade authors who weren't invited to speak initially to join them on the picket line. "No, you don't want to speak here . You want to sacrifice your opertunity so they'll pay me more to hog the spotlight, And those are not the Droids you're looking for."

Atempdog

The aurhors' strike turned ugly today as striking authors started leaving one star reviews of work published by so called "scab" authors on Amazon.

Nikw211

By happy coincidence, the Nottingham Contemporary gallery in the UK is live-streaming (13:00-17:00 GMT) a symposium of "leading artists and academics” called Feeding off Contradiction: Self Managed Socialism in Focus

Apparently, it is about:

    self-management (autogestion), an economic and political system which was central to Yugoslav socialism, placing a certain amount of decision making in the hands of the workers themselves

You have to love that phrase "a certain amount of decision making”, don’t you? It’s exploring answers to this question that literally no-one else is asking:

    Can some of the working methods of self-management be applied to artistic practice today, in a different political system, in a different geography, over thirty years later?

Are they really actually mourning the loss of Tito’s Yugoslavia in a British art gallery?

mojo

The Agony of the Long-distance Artiste:
"Yeah on a level I can appreciate Shakespeare but you can't deny the laziness involved with the attachment to that canon. the incessant rehashing it at the expense new work is yet another trope of conservatism, void of innovation and once again, pitched at old people. I didn't claim that anyone was stopping me producing 'modern art' (the correct term here is contemporary but I'll let it slide this time gramps) however the ageism is going to catch up with this Government and cost them the seat of power. you guys on that bandwagon will be the losers. And yeah as Anna said grant or not I get tax dollars anyway from, you know, working. All in service of you kindly old bits of crust.

Posted by: Luke Devine | August 10, 2015 at 18:19"

Piss off, kid.

WTP

Damn, mojo, I was just looking that post up and thought of reposting a different comment from it myself. I often think of Mr. Devine whenever David has an addition to the "Classis Sentences" series. One where he describes interpretive dance as "hell fun". To this day whenever the subject of interpretive dance comes up I OCD on that sentence. It's like a Spice Girls chorus that way. God, do I need help.

Rafi

And we only just barely survived the attack of the art world Death Star.

Missed that one. Hysterical. :-)

Watcher In The Dark

Please let all "fairness and equality" authors go on strike, withdraw their books and threaten to never write another word. Please, please, please.

If they do then I might have a better chance of selling one or two more of my books. Also, they will have to stop wasting time dreaming and do something socially useful like sweeping the streets. Pretty much win-win for everyone, I'd think (though there would eventually be a surfeit of books on the Politics of Street Sweeping, or -- oh noes! -- Street Sweeper Pron. 'Fifty Shades Of Grime'?)

David

Missed that one. Hysterical. :-)

Yes, it’s still juicy. Setting aside the ludicrous vanity on display, it’s the realisation that Ms Connell and Mr Devine were presumably chosen by Vice magazine as exemplars of young talent. And their works – such as they are - are supposed to persuade readers that any reduction of taxpayer subsidy to such people endangers the future of culture.

And again, these clowns aren’t outliers. They are legion.

PiperPaul

Googling 'Students on strike' results in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Quebec_student_protests

It's not that people don't want students to "strike", it's that "strikers" disrupt the educations of people who are in university to actually learn something of value, not to make a political statement and posture for peers and handlers.

Cambias

I suspect this may be a disconnect between "commercial" authors (who make money by selling books) and "academic" authors (who write books to gain grants and academic positions). The commercial author sees FREE PUBLICITY! and is happy to go and participate, pass out some bookmarks, and deduct the whole thing from his taxes. But the academic author sees the conference as another academic event, for which they should be compensated. Where's the honorarium? Those cheap bastards!

R. Sherman

Ms. Craig hasn't quite grasped the nature of the "trade show." Normally, exhibitors pay the shows for the opportunity to display their wares.

Spiny Norman

All in service of you kindly old bits of crust.

Luke Devine, Professional Arrogant Twit.

banner

The use of 'unionise' is a poor choice of words but I don't see too much harm in authors coming to collective agreements about getting paid when so many do struggle to make a living when they're trying to get established. And it's far preferable to seek to get more money from paying customers than holding out the begging bowl to the likes of the Arts Council and blithering about holding mirrors to society etc.

But this bit had me face palming the most:

Craig pointed to a study carried out by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society last year that found the average earnings of a professional full-time author were only £11,000 per year. “Part of the poison of these festivals is that they’ve been paying big names more than little names. If it’s a literary festival, we are all performing, we all ought to be paid the same..”

So, nobody is ever at the top of the bill, eh?

wtp

So there's a flip side to this argument that I recently encountered...

+ Glen Wallace said, on January 13, 2016 at 2:18 pm An irony is that many of those that argue for a financial motive being necessary for productivity, put all sorts of effort into writing posts attempting to make their case without ever having any hope for remuneration for all that work.

++ Michael LaBossiere said, on January 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm
They secretly hope for a six figure book deal.

https://aphilosopher.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/inequality-incentives/#comment-119861
Rob

Has the Prime Minister called a meeting of COBRA over this threat?

One word: shrug.

Hal

The only power we have as authors is if we unionise and go on strike.

Well, after all, food and housing shouldn't be a problem:

jones

Are we to be denied the content of her mind?

Also, from the article,

“Part of the poison of these festivals is that they’ve been paying big names more than little names. If it’s a literary festival, we are all performing, we all ought to be paid the same..”

I'll scream and scream until I'm sick.........

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Let's see now, would I rather hear a talk by someone like Jim Butcher or JK Rowling, or someone like Amanda Craig? Hmmmmmmmmmm. So difficult to decide where to put my money....

And I have to say, I've gone to little festivals where I doubt any author got paid, and found these "little" authors' books, and ended up buying them and keeping track of when their latest will come out. I wouldn't do that if they hadn't shown up to show us their books.

JuliaM

Given the rise of self-publishing via e-book readers, they do sound a little like buggywhip-makers railing futilely, don't they?

David

I missed this line, from the director of the Hay festival:

Writers are offered fees in cash or wine.

Classy.

Thomas Fuller

Interesting outpouring of loathing and contempt for writers visible here. The fact is that professional novelists are badly paid. There are a few outliers, like Stephen King and Dan Brown, but most write fiction primarily from a compulsion to communicate. It's a disease, akin to vanity; the very same that causes our host to air his views in public.

No individual writer is entitled, merely by virtue of having written, to anything, whether it is being read or getting an appearance fee. But those who work for nothing queer the pitch for those trying to scrape a living, and those who mooch off an author's desire for exposure at any price are simply cheapskates. If a festival is a commercial enterprise, then surely the prime attraction deserves a cut of the profits.

Here is a nice rant on the subject by Harlan Ellison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

David

Interesting outpouring of loathing and contempt for writers visible here.

I don’t think the mockery is aimed at writers per se, but rather at a particular attitude, an unrealism, that’s not uncommon among writers and artists. The comment about striking being an example. That, and the general point of people choosing a line of work that is hugely speculative, of marginal and shrinking economic value, and in which it is notoriously difficult to make even the most basic living, and then complaining, as if surprised, that it is difficult to make even the most basic living.

The comparison that comes to mind is with teenagers’ dreams of being in a world-touring, stadium-filling pop band. And as anyone who’s ever been in a dodgy band can attest, aspiring stars will probably find themselves doing numerous gigs for free, or for expenses, or for a couple of drinks, in the (often vain) hope of exposure, name-building, networking, etc. And if little-known, unsuccessful bands started muttering about not being paid on a par with the headline act, and about the possibility of striking, I doubt there’d be an avalanche of public sympathy.

R. Sherman

The fact is that professional novelists are badly paid.

Actually, all novelists--actually all people who do work in exchange for money--are paid precisely what their work is worth. Not a penny more or less. Payment is simply a measurement of value to the payor. Concepts like "good" or "bad" which are moral concepts have nothing to do with it. Complaining that I only receive X for my output or that X is not "fair" is like complaining about the unfairness of the speed of light.

wtp

Found this comment at TF's YouTube link rather telling:

This man was one of my favorite authors for many years....then I met him personally. The snark that is so cogent and funny can be turned upon you in a heartbeat for the sake of personal meanness and you don't have to be doing anything wrong. He's right about this subject. He can also be a HUGE arsehole. That may be where the thumbs down are coming from.

From what little I have second hand knowledge of, this is quite common among writers. Artists in general, musicians and such, as well but especially with solo-artists such as writers, and I presume painters. Which is why they really NEED professional representation to front for them. Perhaps if they weren't such arseholes...or cheapskates...

Fruitbat44

It starts off as a not unreasonable point about authors giving their services for free at literary festivals which - in theory - make money from these authors being there, but sadly it then turns into a whinge about "Someone's getting paid more than me!" Oh dear.

JerryC

If a festival is a commercial enterprise, then surely the prime attraction deserves a cut of the profits.

That's part of their beef, though. That the authors who could reasonably be described as a festival's "prime attaction" get paid a lot more than the less popular writers. They feel like everyone should get paid the same, which is just not the way it works.

mojo

"Here is a nice rant on the subject by Harlan Ellison:"

IIRC, the little troll is not shy about refusing attempts to get him to write for free, as a "charitable donation" or some such. God love 'im.

But note that he can do this because 1) he's staggeringly talented and so b) much in demand.

These whiny little slugs, not so much.

mojo

PS: I highly recommend a docu on Harlan, "Dreams With Sharp Teeth"

pst314

"we all ought to be paid the same"

Reminiscent of the sh**-for-brains authors who pointed at the Soviet Union as a model: "Look how morally superior those socialists are: The government pays authors so they don't have to be wage slaves of the marketplace."

Thomas Fuller

@ R. Sherman

Actually, all novelists--actually all people who do work in exchange for money--are paid precisely what their work is worth

I would argue that most novelists do not work primarily for money, though like anyone a writer needs to pay the bills. The motivations are analysed by George Orwell here:

http://orwell.ru/library/essays/wiw/english/e_wiw

Speaking as someone with experience of the publishing industry, I can say that writers often get shafted. Agents tend to be lazy and moreover value their relationship with commissioning editors over their responsibilities to their clients; authors tend to be unworldly and unaware of what is being done to them contractually, and prefer to write rather than get involved in the business side of things.

The advent of computers has made the piracy of copyright work simple. Whatever one's views on the morality of copyrights, they do permit and encourage the creation of original work that is of value to society as a whole. Authors are now in a situation rather like many musicians', who nowadays make more money from live appearances than CD sales. If benefiting financially from live appearances is denied to authors, even more of them will have to give up. Mind you, there are probably quite enough books in the world as it is, leaving aside the torrent of self-published ebooks!

@ David: Point taken.

@ wtp: Yes, he's well known for general arseholery, but in this instance he's right.

David

Authors are now in a situation rather like many musicians’, who nowadays make more money from live appearances than CD sales. If benefiting financially from live appearances is denied to authors, even more of them will have to give up.

It’s certainly true, now more than ever, that many career musicians survive on live work, not album sales or downloads; though I’m not sure what the literary analogue of touring is, or how credible it is as a living. I suppose the problem, as with the art world, is one of massive oversupply. There simply aren’t enough galleries and art consumers to accommodate the number of people who wish to be artists. Last time I checked the figures, here in the UK we churn out somewhere in the region of 20,000 fine art students every year. Quite what those people expect to do for a living, and for a subsequent retirement, isn’t clear to me.

Theophrastus

Since Anthony Trollope wrote fiction while working for the Post Office, and T S Eliot wrote his magnificent poetry while working as a banker and (later) an editor, why do so many aspiring novelists imagine the tax-payer such subsidise their vocation?

JerryC

If benefiting financially from live appearances is denied to authors, even more of them will have to give up.

I don't think anything is being denied to anyone here. It's just that a live appearance by Author X has a very, very low market value (approaching zero in most cases) unless that author is Rowling or King or someone of that ilk. Unionizing isn't going to change that.

Theophrastus

Last time I checked the figures, here in the UK we churn out somewhere in the region of 20,000 fine art students every year. Quite what those people expect to do for a living, and for a subsequent retirement, isn’t clear to me.

Nor me. But doubtless some cynical tutors will see their 'teaching' of these 'students' as the incubation of socialist revolutionaries.

wtp

but in this instance he's right

No, I don't think so. He does have a point but to Sherman's argument above, no one is owed a living. I have a similar argument with a philosophy professor who constantly whines about students not coming to his class. I point out to him that this is an indication that the students are not interested in what he has to say. That they only register for the class because it's required, it's an easy pass, and/or someone else is paying for it. Then he gets mad, says I'm mean, and stops responding to me. Oh well.

As was stated elsewhere above, these festivals are very akin to trade shows. When I go to say, a home improvement trade show, I may see something I very much like by one contractor but don't get around to making a decision until months later and end up going with someone more local to my home to do a very similar job. Yet that trade show contractor actually paid out a good sum of money for that booth and addtionally spent his time there for free. Yet someone else benefitted by getting the work. Now as you say, things do get more complicated when dealing with ideas because ideas, songs, etc. are easy to replicate once they are out there. But we all have ideas, even us crazy people. And as you say there are quite enough books in the world as it is. For most of human history the time and effort required for a writer to support himself, or get support, to write then a publisher would have to weigh the then considerable cost of producing a large enough volume of books to meet a market in a society where illiteracy was very common and there was not much encouragement from society to that market to read books. Today the cost barriers to authoring a book are next to nil. The physical/time effort is next to nil (no paper, no heavy typewriter, no white-out or whatever, far less time editing the edits). Yet the fame/monetary expecations and perceptions have not changed. Demand has obviously increased, but supply is well beyond the need.

Of course, authors are not prohibited from organizing their own festivals or hiring an organization to organize one for them. Then they set their own rules on what the cost of admittance would be and how much the contributors would be paid. But then again, that's a lot of work...and we're back to the original problem.

wtp

Ah, something else I meant to add and Theophrastus essentially says similar in Trollope wrote fiction while working for the Post Office, and T S Eliot wrote his magnificent poetry while working as a banker and (later) an editor...Dickens, Twain, etc. etc. etc. held real jobs for some time, which had a positive effect on their work and perceptions and greatly informed their writing. They also lacked any "festivals" and such to promote their work. I'm guessing these modern festivals are to some extent taxpayer subsidized via the venue or ease of permitting or such. Writers of the past, the vast majority of them anyway, and I would say the vast majority of the good ones, did so with little else but their talent. I'm sure you can find exceptions, but I really don't see where "festivals" are needed to sell books. If so, the authors should fund themselves.

Theophrastus

Wtp
Agreed. I deeply admire Trollope for his dedication. Every morning, he arose early and wrote 800 words before going to work. No agonising, no special pleading, no public lending rights, no literary festivals: just hard work and talent.

Thomas Fuller

Today the cost barriers to authoring a book are next to nil. The physical/time effort is next to nil (no paper, no heavy typewriter, no white-out or whatever, far less time editing the edits).

Sorry, that is simply not true. Yes, the word-processor has relieved a lot of the physical labour (pounding rather than tapping keys, retyping pages, etc.), but the chief effort in writing a book has always been the time needed to compose and edit it. It varies wildly, but a 80,000 word novel by a readable author will take possibly six months or a year to finish. To get to that state of expertise, he/she will have put in an apprenticeship of a minimum of 1,000 hours at the keyboard, and probably much more.

Aside from the deadbeats accepting "writer in residence" gigs, and a few prostituting themselves to local government in other ways, authorship is one of the very few areas of the arts relatively untainted by state funding. I agree that the writers who inspired the foregoing debate are immature and didn't think their position through, but when all around them there are "artists" with their snouts in the trough – said trough often controlled by the sort of people staging literary festivals – they probably feel hard done by, especially given the dismal returns for their labours from traditional channels.

Dan

I have a job, quite a busy one, but have spent perhaps 2000 hours learning a language over several years. If I had the talent I could have easily devoted that time to writing a novel. Too many artists, like politicians, have no real-world experience or perspective and are in a parallel universe to the people they are trying to represent.

wtp

Yes, the word-processor has relieved a lot of the physical labour (pounding rather than tapping keys, retyping pages, etc.)

I wasn't clear there. I was speaking more metaphorically, if that's the right word. Obviously, I'm not a language guy. What I was getting at was not the physical labor involved in pressing keys nor the mass of the device per se, but the idea that a typewriter was an old, iron-age technology, relatively expensive in its day. A mid-20th century typewriter cost about $100 when the average salary was around $1400/yr. A base model computer today runs what, $150? And the average salary is well north of $2100/yr. Even the minimum wage in the US is about five times that. The research (heh) is right at your fingertips if you find a wi-fi hotspot, so theoretically quality of composition should be enormously better...kinda like I did just there to find out what a typewriter cost in 1940, what the average salary was, etc. And the editing to which you refer, as I said above is far simpler, easier done with today's tech. Pretty much all you need today is an idea (everyone has a few of those) and the desire to see the thing through. Resources are no longer a limitation for a far greater number of people. Thus the explosion in supply relative to Dickens' day.

wtp

Damn, i'm forgetful...So what I was driving at was that, taking your ballpark figure, the 1000 hours needed at the keyboard, or the 6 months to a year for the 80,000 word novel would have required far more than 1000 hours and more than 6 months to a year back in the day. All that retyping pages, etc. I'm sure took a good bit of time and paper that is no longer wasted. Hell, I'm sure even paper is much cheaper today than it was back then. Not that anyone needs it anymore.

Hal

So what I was driving at was that, taking your ballpark figure, . . . .

Jerry Pournelle, paraphrased from memory;

So one day I get this phone call from a friend of mine who's just seen one of the first home build your own computer kits. And he's jumping up and down and he's really excited and he's telling me that it's really great, and he absolutely insists that I have to get one, and I can do all sorts of things with it, put whatever I want on the display, modify whatever I want, it's wonderful.

I reply that I have absolutely zero interest. I am a science fiction writer. I write about computers, I do not use the damned things. I worked in the aerospace industry for many years and I know what computers are all about, they are a total pain in the . . . . . . . . .

Hang on.

. . . . . . . . . . Did you just say that I can put anything I like on a monitor? That I can type things, and see that on the monitor, that I can change what I have typed right there on the screen without having to retype every single page in the document?----GetMeOneOfThoseThingsRightNow!!!!

JuliaM

@Thomas Fuller: "...a few prostituting themselves to local government in other ways"

Like Anthony Trollope and TS Elliot did, as Theophrastus reminds us? It's called 'earning a living'.

David

I’m more familiar with the art world than the literary one, but there are, I think, some commonalities.

Among writers and artists, there’s often a belief that they should be financially rewarded regardless of whether there’s sufficient (or any) demand for what they do, regardless of oversupply, and regardless of whether what they do has any market value. In conversations on this subject there’s usually an emphasis on the time taken to produce a finished manuscript, a finished piece, typically many months, as if the financial reward should therefore, automatically, be commensurate. “But it took a year of my life,” etc. This is an almost Marxoid view of things. One might just as well decide, “Hm. A year spent working on a novel is highly unlikely to be financially supportive. I’d better do something else for a living and write on the side.”

It’s no coincidence that artists of little commercial appeal often pointedly refer to what they do as “the work,” as if they’re hoping to persuade us, or perhaps persuade themselves. But calling a thing ‘work’ doesn’t make it valuable to others.

Despite which, this kind of attitude is actively encouraged. For instance, the Observer’s Elizabeth Day acknowledges that the market for art is very limited and very few artists make a viable living as artists and that poverty and dependency are likely to result. She therefore concludes that life-long stipends are in order - at public expense, naturally – rather than a rethink of one’s vocation. Similar noises were made by the Guardian’s Laura Barnett, who claimed, rather indignantly, that “the British government makes no specific social provision for artists,” even though it does, to the tune of half a billion pounds a year. One Guardian reader suggested that free studios, free electricity and unending public subsidy should be provided so that people could “just be artists.”

JuliaM

In other 'real life intruding' news, luvvies shocked that massively larger country with many more production companies offers greater opportunities for employment:

https://t.co/AGsPJpcVKZ

Chester Draws

Oh noes! The Irish are in trouble: http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/culture-shock-why-it-s-time-for-irish-artists-to-go-on-strike-1.2053120

Oddly, it is possible for artists to strike successfully, as has been shown many times in Hollywood. The trick is that your product has to be wildly popular first.

David

The trick is that your product has to be wildly popular first.

Ah, a “national arts strike.” With the threat to “hold no poetry readings.” Well, I suppose those doing the striking might finally get some inkling of their actual value – as opposed to what they imagine and presume - though I’m not sure they’d enjoy the experience. And note the sly conflation of artists that leech at the taxpayer’s teat with viable, self-supporting businesses, as if they were interchangeable.

Nikw211

Actually, I’m starting to wonder whether we shouldn't actually be encouraging artists to go on strike if this is the kind of thing we’ll be spared from having to see.

Atempdog

if this is the kind of thing we’ll be spared from having to see.

Can you figure a way to exclude such things from public funding? A ban on performance art, for instance, would have to contain an exception for plays and music. And what's a play? If you include one man shows, virtually anything is a play and we're back to where we started.

Mind, I would like to visit the twelve foot walk in vagina.

Hal

As we're discussing assorted production issues, I wonder if I might ask a favor of the assorted and assembled.

Amongst the collection of things I do is research into relatively extremely inexpensive computer animation production, and what can be done with such, while noting One Definite Shortcoming.

The link leads to a just revised briefing paper on such possibilities, where I've been staring at the thing and editing here and there, where at this point I think everything is covered, commented, whatnot, but what do other sets of eyeballs see?

Thank you!

Joan

And until more wallets land on the bonfire of publicly funded art, the nation’s creative titans should “close the arts centres” and “hold no poetry readings.”

*trembles*

David

*trembles*

I’ve mentioned before one of the local arts centres bankrolled by the taxpayer, both nationally and locally, to the tune of over £200,000 a year, and which, judging by attendance, is of interest only to the handful of people who work there. If it were to close down in solidarity with our Irish cousins, I suspect it would be several years before even one tenth of one percent of the city’s population registered this fact. Before somehow, bravely, getting on with their lives.

jabrwok

“But it took a year of my life,” etc. This is an almost Marxoid view of things.

Very much so. I always enjoy reflecting on Heinlein's take-down of Marxism in _Starship Troopers_ (the book, there was no movie) when the Labor Theory of Value rears its ugly head.

I sneeze in threes

"Even within the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DAHG), arts funding has been hit harder than any other sector."

It sounds like they don't like Dahgs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQSnua3M2lo

Tim Newman

I read Starship Troopers on a flight and loved every damned word.

Spiny Norman

jabrwok,

(the book, there was no movie)

Exactly. Paul Verhoeven hated the book, its premise, and Heinlein's politics as well, so his movie based on it was intended to be an "anti-Heinlein" satire.

Apologies to Adam Baldwin, I know you're one of the "good guys", but that movie was a bottomless pit of suck.

Hal

jabrwok,

(the book, there was no movie)

Exactly. Paul Verhoeven . . .

Ah, yes, Paul Verhoeven Presents Bugs From Space!!!!

As far as far as paying attention to the original material, definitely grouped with David Lynch's Flying Worms In Space!!!

At some point someone will get Starship Troopers on screen . . . And Dune . . .

james

Oh noes! The Irish are in trouble

If, at some point, Laurie Pennie, various Grauniad columnists, and performing artists the world over ever fail to provide you with material for your posts, then rest assured that the Irish Times can fill that gap.

It is our little parochial version of the Grauniad.

And you can think of Fintan as a secular, socialist Fr Ted

TimP

@ Hal

> At some point someone will get Starship Troopers on screen . . . And Dune . . .

There is a Dune Miniseries which is apparently pretty close; I haven't seen it yet, but based on the SF Debris review (Night 1, 2, and 3), and the ~one third of the book I've finished, it seems relatively authentic beyond making young Paul into a whiny baby.

mojo

I keep waiting for some Hollyweird genius-du-jour to make a screenplay of "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" or "Stranger From A Strange Land". I foresee a long wait.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Nikw211, that video of that alleged act of art kinda makes me wish they'd all go on strike. For years.

Jonathan

Halfway through part one of the dune miniseries, there is a scene where Paul and Irulan are set up for a kiss a la Aladdin and Jasmine. I should have stopped right there, but suffered through the end of part one. Absolutely horrible.

Hal

Halfway through part one of the dune miniseries . . .

Haven't, ah, scene it, but I'll note that given part one and halfway through , the reference would be to rather early in what is shown on screen . . .

. . . there is a scene where Paul and Irulan are set up for a kiss . . .

Full stop.

It's been a few years since I read the book, and the rest of Herbert's series, but as I recall, that absolute first time that Paul and Irulan even just see each other only finally occurs at the absolute final scene at the absolute end of the two inch thick paperback book.

"The movie version (of The Hunt For Red October) is now in preproduction while the screenwriters try . . . to figure out how to put sex scenes into the resolutely all-male story."

. . . and that one got written rather a few years ago . . . .

Wildgoose

Just to defend the Dune mini-series, remember that it was done by the SF channel on an absolute shoe-string budget with unknown actors on bluescreen and filmed in Eastern Europe - and yet it is still miles better than the dreadful offering that Hollywood produced.

With the exception of the wooden buffoon they had "acting" as Gurney Halleck, I thought they did a superb job. The brief meeting with Princess Irulan was probably only introduced as a nod to her constant presence in the book's chapter headings.

Get the special edition of the first series, (there was no special edition for the second series), and just enjoy. In the absence of Jodorowsky's vision it is the only version we will ever have, and considering the pitiful amount of money spent on it, much better than is being suggested.

Hal

In the absence of Jodorowsky's vision it is the only version we will ever have . . . .

Hmmm? Oh, no, no, no.

You're ignoring that "Hollywood" isn't everything, there are very definite other options . . .

One of these moments, someone really needs to introduce Jodorowsky, Terry Gilliam, others, to what's being done with video game production software, particularly noting to just bloody ignore the part about software that makes games, and focus on the much larger bit of Software That Now Makes Movies . . . . . .

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