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Maybe the Shrike can stop it!

Posted by Mick on January 17, 2010 – 5:40 pm

Alas, another dream crushed.  Hyperion is finally getting a film treatment, and it’s at the hands of Scott Derrickson.  The man behind the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still is going to make a movie out of one of my favorite books.  Not only will I get a suck movie, but the odds that anyone else will make one just decreased – exponentially.

First sign it’s going to be bad?  Scott Derrickson.  Second sign it’s going to be bad?  They’re taking two very long books and making one movie.  Third sign it’s going to be bad?  The plot summary on IMDB begins with this sentence: A space war looms over the planet of Hyperion.  A “space war”? Really?

Badass tattoo of The Shrike

Badass tattoo of The Shrike

150 billion citizens of a Galactic Empire spanning million of light years are facing Armageddon, galactic genocide at the hands of a mutant species of humans.  The story takes place in multiple timelines and deals with political, social, and spiritual issues arising from mankind’s dependence on Artificial Intelligence and his abuse of the very fabric of time and space itself.  A religion spawned around a being called the Shrike, who impales his victims alive upon a tree of eternal suffering in an effort to summon the human created god of empathy.  For the AI created god, the Ultimate Intelligence.

Telling the actual story would require a skilled hand with an artistic vision and an appreciation of the deeper meaning behind the “science fiction” trappings.  We’re getting a story about a “space war”.  I hope I’m wrong.

I’m not getting my hopes up.

I’m taking a break from working on Mastodon/Dethklok.  It’s been a good day.  I’m fleshing out much more of Mastodon’s backstory, which is turning into much more of a mythos for the movie to take place in.  It’s hard work, but it’s wonderfully satisfying.

It is making me a bit philosophical.  I’m sitting here, actually reveling in the wonders of Modern Technology that allow me to do what I’m doing.  Word processors, flash drives, the wealth of information and entertainment at our fingertips via the internet (wikipedia, imdb, Pandora), so many other things that I can plug in to for answers and inspiration.  In the world of Hyperion, the internet is literally at your fingertips. Anywhere you are, any time of day.  It’s a very real place, this cyberspace, populated and governed by a race of artificial intelligences.  These AI’s use cyberspace to provide us with all the wonders of the Net, and also operate the farcasters, hyperspace windows that allow instantaneous travel across the universe.  Let’s imagine all that vanishing.

Will we reach a point where our kids can’t function without a link to the Net?  Tara would probably say that I couldn’t, but there’s a difference.  I love being connected, and I will take full advantage of it when it’s available.  I have the skills to live without it.  I remember a life without it. There’s a difference between convenience and dependence.

And then we have another extreme.  Watching Fitzcarraldo yesterday, I became fascinated with the native tribe in the film, living in the jungles and violently protecting themselves from attempts to civilize them.  Trying to preserve a simpler life, in harmony with nature, fraught with hardship and danger.

Ignorant savages, or the smartest people on the planet?  It’s hard to say.

What I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that if we do return to a tribal society, I will be a shaman.  I teller of stories and a weaver of myths.  Hunters have to get up early.  When it’s cold.  The worst thing a shaman has to do?  Sweat Lodge.  He has to spend the day in the sauna.  Thinking about shit.

I’ve seen me do that.


This post is under “Books, Film, Herzog, Mastodon Dethklok, Scripts” and has 1 respond so far.
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