Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
Do you have a favourite piece of literature? What is it and why is it your favourite?
It would have to be the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. I first read the original three books back in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager. I was initially attracted to them by the incredible covers, by Chris Foss, which made a large picture if all three were placed side by side.
They were the first adult Sci-fi that I had ever read and they launched an obsession that has remained ever since. Reading the series did something to my mind, expanded the way I thought in a way that no book had done before. I read and re-read them until I almost knew the story by heart. The wonderful thing about them was that every time, I would spot something that I hadn’t noticed or registered before.
They seemed so fresh and original, when I learned that the first parts of the story were published in 1942, it somehow made them even more special.
Although I cannot be sure, I suspect that they influenced the world-building in my first Dave Travise story, which I started writing in 1979. They certainly showed me how to construct a working universe and describe a planet in three lines. Even now, if I close my eyes, I can still see Trantor, Terminus and all the other locations in those books perfectly.
When I saw the first of the “new” parts of the series on sale, back in the early 1980s, I was so excited to know that the story would continue and read them all as they emerged. They fitted together so well with the originals, which by then were over 40 years old, in style and content.
Which is surely a testament to how well they had been written in the first place.
Now I see that there is a T.V. adaptation in production. I’ve seen the trailer and I’m slightly concerned that it will be a disappointment.
After all, the broadcast media have a history of turning incredible literature into formulaic series, introducing things that weren’t there, changing names and “adding” action/bloodshed/romance to “enhance” (make it more appealing to advertisers) the story.
My own view is that, if Asimov or indeed any author had wanted those things in their work, they would have inserted them in the first place!
Oh dear, I was getting into a rant there.
I know that the books are so incredibly detailed that it would be almost impossible to recreate them on screen, even so, it would be a travesty to produce something that is merely “based on” the stories, rather than a faithful retelling. That, while it might appeal to people, may well lead to disappointment when they read the books.
And that works both ways.
The trouble is, there will be only one way to find out if the vision lives up to the source.
Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.
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