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Old 11-19-2017, 02:43 AM   #1701
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Predator Incursion
[The Rage War Book 1]

by Tim Lebbon
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Old 11-19-2017, 03:29 AM   #1702
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So my dad's birthday is Wednesday (Nov 22), and because I wanted him to have his present in time I decided to take it down. Told him he didn't have to open it, but he wanted to anyway. He was very pleased with his new copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and actually asked me to sign the front inside cover for him (guess the copy is worth a few thousand now instead of a measly $10).
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:33 PM   #1703
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I'm about halfway through The Return of Frankenstein. It's about the planned sequel to the movie Frankenstein (1931) that over a period of a few years morphed into Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

There are two rejected treatments in the book, one by Philip MacDonald and the other by L.G. Blochman. MacDonald's is very good and would have made a worthy sequel. The story's tone and content are quite similar to the first movie's. It could have been seamlessly appended to the first movie to create a longer film.

Blochman's treatment contains some elements that are visually striking, but I think his story was not nearly convincing enough to get audiences to suspend their disbelief.

A fellow named Philip J. Riley somehow collected these documents and got them published. He has been criticized online for sloppiness in what he writes. I support that judgement, given that he copied and pasted most of the book's introduction straight from Wikipedia without attribution!

The bulk of the book is taken up by a rejected script by John L. Balderston. Some of what he wrote made it into the movie, but mainly, his script lacks the character of Pretorius and his mini-human creations. They were added later by writers William J. Hurlbutt and Edmund Pearson.

I've always hated Pretorius and thought he ruined the movie, so I suspect that Balderston's script was much better than the one that got filmed. That's why I'm reading this book. So far, Balderston's script does seem better.

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Old 11-25-2017, 09:00 PM   #1704
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I've finished the book. Balderston's script has some faults, but yes, Bride of Frankenstein would have been a lot better if his version had been filmed. I can't abide the whimsical elements of the finished movie that so many people oddly praise, and their absence in this this script shows that their inclusion was a bad idea.

It's hard to say exactly what Balderston created. Tom Reed wrote the first script for the movie, which director James Whale rejected and claimed to have disliked very much. But later, after Philip MacDonald and L.G. Blochman's treatments were rejected, Whale seems to have told Balderston to go back and build on what Reed had originally written! The archaeology of the writing process is difficult because Reed's script apparently hasn't survived.

But it seems clear that the whimsy and the goofy prologue were Whale's bad ideas. If I had produced this movie, I'd have said to Whale, "And that's why you're not a writer."

At any rate, Balderston's script is very brutal in places, and heavy-handed in religious elements. (He later wrote Red Planet Mars, a religious sci-fi movie that critics trounced.) But with a good, competent rewrite, The Return of Frankenstein would have been Universal's best monster movie of the classic period. I'm in the minority of people who think that Bride of Frankenstein was far from being the best one.

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Old 11-25-2017, 09:39 PM   #1705
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...(He later wrote Red Planet Mars, a religious sci-fi movie that critics trounced.) . .
Yeah, but I think Red Planet's detractors mainly focus on its cheapness.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:42 PM   #1706
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Yeah, but I think Red Planet's detractors mainly focus on its cheapness.
These reviewers aren't complaining about the budget. A few people loved it, but the movie's overall rating at IMDB is just 4.9.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045073/reviews?ref_=tt_urv
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:15 PM   #1707
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We'll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife, of Hollywood's Most Beloved Movie

by Noah Isenberg

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These reviewers aren't complaining about the budget. A few people loved it, but the movie's overall rating at IMDB is just 4.9.
Just checked on Netflix and I apparently gave it 3/5 stars.
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:49 PM   #1708
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I'm a big fan of Balderston's writing on Berkeley Square and The Mummy. That and my dissatisfaction with the movie Bride of Frankenstein prompted me to read this book.
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:13 AM   #1709
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Since he's apparently getting hit with a new plagiarism lawsuit, here are some hilarious (and true!) articles I've discovered about Dan Brown:

Don't make fun of renowned author Dan Brown

Look out, kids! It's the return of the renowned Dan Brown
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:30 PM   #1710
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The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

by Philip K. Dick

Pretty good; very weird.

It's definitely looking like this will be my last complete book of the year, which is kind of pathetic since it's only the 20th I've read this year whereas I read 31 last year and 29 the year before (I started keeping track when I did the challenges and liked the idea). [I do a lot of other reading, but I'm talking cover-to-cover books.]
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:12 PM   #1711
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World War Z for the 3rd time. Really really wish the movie had just followed this book to a T. Would have been much better. They could have had the author/interviewer set up his interviews and begin talking with the person then have it cut to action/zombie scenes as they're being described.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:16 PM   #1712
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Alien: Invasion
[The Rage War Book 2]

by Tim Lebbon

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World War Z for the 3rd time. Really really wish the movie had just followed this book to a T. Would have been much better. They could have had the author/interviewer set up his interviews and begin talking with the person then have it cut to action/zombie scenes as they're being described.
I kind of liked that movie (like the street escape and the fall of Jerusalem), but I still haven't read the book (despite owning a copy) so I'm sure that's why.

But no movie can follow a book to a T. They're different media. Movies can't do thoughts (voice-over-narration is very unpopular nowadays and even when used is less extensive than written narration). Movies have to be done in shots, meaning you have to choose angles, timing, proximity, how many characters are in view, which sounds are dominant, etc. Things have to be shown that the author may have left purposely vague (whether a room is large, how it's decorated). Things that might have been accepted by readers often come across as unbelievable on screen. And an author can do things that are literally impossible on film. In a book you can set a scene and describe a chair over a page. In the movie, everything has to be conveyed about that chair in a shot.

That said, I have heard that movie in particular strayed far from the plot. But from what I've heard if they really tried to do it it would've been over 10 hours long and had a cast of hundreds. Maybe it should've been a mini-series on a premium cable network.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:15 AM   #1713
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Finally reading this one.

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Old 01-10-2018, 07:11 AM   #1714
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I loved it. Can't wait to see how Spielberg handles it. Don't think it'll be as good as the book, because its a lot to cram into 2hrs.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:15 AM   #1715
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The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee. The dialogue in this is soooo good. It's teen angst done perfectly, but the advanced technology part of it always feels like a reach to make the story special. It was optioned to be a television series but I haven't heard anything since then.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:41 PM   #1716
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11 Incredible Books by Writers from "Shithole" Countries
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:47 PM   #1717
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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.



It's a high fantasy novel, similar to '90s high fantasy series like The Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth. I'm about seven chapters in and it's pretty decent so far, though there have been things I don't like. I appreciate how much action there has been, and some of the battles have been really well written.

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Old 01-21-2018, 01:47 PM   #1718
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:58 AM   #1719
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So when I got home today, my prayers had been answered: two of the books I ordered had arrived!

1) Titanicus by Dan Abnett -- giant war machines defending a planet from an army of the same kind of huge mechs (other guys are traitors from older days). The listing for this was a tad bit unusual, but I just wanted a good-condition copy. Got super-lucky and received one in excellent condition, hardback with dust jacket!

2) Night Lords: The Omnibus by Aaron Dembski-Bowden -- warband of traitor space marines tries to recover from their losses in the war and causes all kinds of havoc along the way. When people ask for recommendations, this is one of the most highly-recommended readings fans suggest.

My mom saw them, wonders where the hell I even hear about this stuff, and how the hell I can even try to read something that's a thousand pages long.

Not going to start them just yet, since I'm still working through another omnibus, but they're high on my list for next readings.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:16 PM   #1720
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The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. LeGuin


Decided to try out one of her books (the only one I already owned) after hearing of her death. I may or may not have read some of her short stories before.
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Old 02-02-2018, 06:16 AM   #1721
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Star Wars: Thrawn (2017)



I loved Zahn when I was a teenager, and I still love him as a middle aged guy. Thrawn is the galaxy's answer to 007.

There is a sequel coming out in July of this year called Alliances which will extensively feature Darth Vader. I haven't been this psyched for a sequel since the last Meg entry, which was a bit of a let down.

Highly recommend this book.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:52 PM   #1722
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I loved Zahn when I was a teenager, and I still love him as a middle aged guy. Thrawn is the galaxy's answer to 007.
I remember reading the first two of the Thrawn trilogy but somehow never got around the finishing the third, I think I had some issues with my library and either forgot or got out of a Star Wars phase. I remember liking them quite a bit.

I also had another trilogy of his called Conquerors or something like that that I also really enjoyed. I actually found those while moving recently, but I was somehow missing the third one again, which I know I own and read, unlike the Star Wars one.

Funnily enough, I remember those first two Thrawn books pretty well so I could go for finishing up any time.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:10 AM   #1723
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Finished reading the Scythes of the Emperor anthology by L.J. Goulding, part of the Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Battles series.

It has a few short stories to accompany the lone novella, all of which focus on the creation of the Chapter, the devastating losses of its homeworld and recovery attempt, and further clashes against Hive Fleet Kraken.

As cool as these guys are, they are easily among the hardest-suffering Marines in the setting, and with some of the plot details hinted at in the included novella, Slaughter at Giant's Coffin, the worst threat isn't from without.

Overall I enjoyed this, but wish more material could have been put in. That's largely because of the fact that these guys just haven't featured much, so there isn't a whole lot about them. Maybe one day...
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:58 PM   #1724
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Went to see my dad last night. He finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and was very pleased with it.

Unrelated: Barnes & Noble is killing itself
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:26 PM   #1725
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Alien vs. Predator: Armageddon
[Rage War Book 3]

by Tim Lebbon

Finished the AvP trilogy. I think I liked it more in the end than when I started.

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I've definitely noticed a drop in quality of selection over the last several years; first in books and now in movies (they used to carry more obscure selections).
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