10/21/10

Plant one on me

Sam Raimi has nabbed the screen rights to John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids. John Carpenter made a melancholy Midwich Cuckoos once (a remake of Village of the Damned) but if I could do a Wyndham it would be The Kraken Wakes. Scary disaster SF with human harvesting, a deeply uneasy conclusion and, if I remember rightly, a classic Wyndham scientress. (White coat, crisp accent, chipper attitude, slow pulse rate, usually called Jean or Carol or something. There's always one in British SF - the "Oh, bother - radium" sort. Highly alluring.) Anyway. I can never work out why someone isn't making Kraken - or, for that matter, Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat. Period British SF is ripe for a Hammer-style comeback.

In the 1930s Wyndham wrote pulp, including crime novels. After the war (he worked on ciphers in the army) he changed his pen name and wrote Triffids, which made him famous. It had the line "When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere." Do people still write smart-ass science fiction like that? William Gibson does, I guess.

I've promised myself I'll finish this draft by the end of October, and then throw myself off a bridge* take a holiday. I'm staring at pages of handscrawl thinking I should really type them up, but it doesn't feel like the right time yet. This is doubtless something to do with energy levels. Why can't novels write themselves? Oh, wait...

Update: *Good news about feeling bad.

4 comments:

Mark Broatch said...

Yes, why has no one done the Rat? He's even got a love interest called Angelina, who's a bit nasty/tasty. Surely time given the current burps of future-think doing the rounds in Hollywood.

Chad Taylor said...

And you could probably pick up the rights for a dollar. It'd be like The Fifth Element meets Ocean's Eleven. I did once read that Spielberg was developing the Rat but that was long ago.

Mark Broatch said...

Like so many of the finests' finest ideas, it fell before the first muddle. My copies have gone west and south, so I can't even "remember" when it was "set". Wikipedia tells me HH is 85. I hope he's rich.

Chad Taylor said...

The novels were set in a needle-spaceship future. I think he did get paid - he churned them out. Certainly he did better than Philip K Dick.