Bad Idea Jeans, er, I Mean, Screenwriting Books

June 20, 2007 · by The Urban Shockah · Permalink · Category: Original Version, books

Here's the title of a screenwriting book aimed at young people:

Re:[2] Reading List: Alfred Bester

February 03, 2006 · by Burley Grymz · Permalink · comment on this post in the forum · Category: Original Version, books

I am shocked that nobody has ever made these books that Shockah lent me into movies. But then again, neither was Neuromancer which always seemed like a shoe-in to me. The difference here is that Gibson wrote 20 years ago, and Bester was writing 60 years ago. Neuromancer, as prescient, important and influential as it was, will probably never be made now. The reality of the Internet trumps some of the concepts that were so mind blowing in the 1980s. By the same token, I suspect that books like Snow Crash will never be made for similar reasons (of technologies to come). But Bester's work is much less about specific technologies, and more about human conditions. Or, when there are technologies, they are either natural extensions of reasonable '50s technologies, or they are fantastical human technologies, such as teleportation (the conceit of this book), or telepathy (the conceit of The Demolished Man, and this book as well). Whether by plan or luck, Bester picked items that age gracefully.

Re: Reading List: Alfred Bester (The Demolished Man)

In 1951 The Catcher in the Rye was published. James Stewart, Spencer Tracey, William Holden and Louis Calhern lost out on the Best Actor Oscar to Jose Ferrer, winning for Cyarno de Bergerac [note: a story in the public domain]. Seoul fell to communists. The Rosenbergs were sentenced to death for treason. The first color television was introduced into the states, and the UNIVAC I mainframe computer was announced--the next year it became famous for successfully predicting the outcome of the US presidential election. Johnnie Ray released "Cry," possibly the first rock n' roll record. Leo Fender patented his Fender Esquire (later Telecaster) guitar, and Alfred Bester's novel The Demolished Man was published.

Why the history lesson? Whenever I look at a historical event--like the publishing of a book--I like to put it into context. All of the events I mentioned, when I think about them, firmly place me in the beginning of the 50s. You can see the decade unfurling in front of you--cold war, literature, music. But Bester kind of existed outside of time, it would seem. Reading this novel gives you very few clues to it's publishing date.

Reading List: Alfred Bester

"Reading List" is a new feature I just made up because I need to get my Spitball! quota out of the way. Whether or not it's a continuing feature is up to time and tide. Also, the link to the forum will take you to the "Books" section of the forum, because, well, that makes sense.

Alfred Bester (1913 - 1987) was a SF writer, best known for two seminal novels, The Demolished Man and The Stars, My Destination. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more info cuz the Shockah aint about no biographical sketches. Instead, Reading List is about how these books might inform The Screenplay.