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Sci Fi Channel Plans 'Earthsea' Miniseries

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the screed-to-screen dept.

Sci-Fi 308

Gumpy writes "The Sci-Fi Channel has started producing a TV miniseries based on the first two books of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series. The Earthsea miniseries is supposed to start on the Sci Fi Channel in December 2004."

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SciFi Channel is also airing GNFOS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588530)


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And.... (-1, Troll)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588532)

And I care because....

wtf? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588534)

fp?

yp yp yp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588538)

is this good or is it whack?

Re:yp yp yp (-1, Troll)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588576)

I think YP is pretty good, but NIS+ is better.

DragonLance (2, Insightful)

ruronikenshin83 (661704) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588539)

I'd personally rather see a DragonLance miniseries.

Re:DragonLance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588648)

DnD suxorz!! d20 is crap!!

What, you know you all were thinking the exact same thing... ;)

Re:DragonLance (5, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588681)

The Earthsea series is one of the defining series of fantasy. It is a classic in every sense of he word. The Dragonlance series is mildly entertaining escapist fiction with stock characters and a predictable plot. A Dragonlance movie or series might be amusing, but it wouldn't be near as significant an event.

Re:DragonLance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588805)

That's your personal opinion.

My personal opinion: You are an arrogant prick.

Almost... (2, Informative)

manonthemoon (537690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588821)

The setting is indeed stock, but at least the twins are not. Their interplay of dark/light was incredibly well done, giving the whole series texure and depth.

Re:DragonLance (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588730)

I would rather see David Eddings' Belgariad or Mallorean done. Those have some potential to be awesome in the theater.

Re:DragonLance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588817)

The Dragonlance series is mildly entertaining escapist fiction with stock characters and a predictable plot. A Dragonlance movie or series might be amusing, but it wouldn't be near as significant an event.

Just replace dragonlance with belgariad, I enjoyed these books as a teen only to reread them and realize that what I once thought was fantastic foreshadowing, was more along the lines of a plot summary, and the characters were written to be oblivious to it. Its as if the prophacy were as follows

A great hero will come, he is standing right beside you, he is that kid, you can't miss him, yes him, the one pointing to himself and shaking his head, yes he is the next great wizard and hero and is going to marry that chick over their, yeah her. He is going to defeat the big bad guy, yeah that one over there, yes you mr brooding arch type, the string bean kid is going to whip your butt. Just to make this more prophecy like, it will all happen after the sun rises in the east, your cat coughs up a fur ball that looks like jay leno, and the ground hog sees his shadow runs and hides but spring come early anyways because he is in fact just a ground hog and not soothsayer of doom and weather.

Re:DragonLance (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588859)

I thought there was a serious drop-off in quality between the Belgariad and the Mallorean. I would have said they'd have a hard time capturing the essence of the Belgariad on film, but I would have said the same thing about the Lord of the Rings, and I was proven wrong there.

Another series I'd love to see would be Patricia McKillip's "Riddlemaster of Hed" series. I think the plot would lend itself quite well to film.

Another series of a quite different sort that would make an excellent film or series is Zelazny's Amber books, particularly the first series. You could spend a few hours just talking about who to cast in the various roles there.

I'd rather see a Dragonlance game (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588804)

I think a t.v. show is quite unlikely considering the budget required to do it well. A movie's been talked about for years, but no movement has happened.

What's most likely is that we see a NeverwinterNights module based on Dragonlance. Think I'm kidding? Take a look at these folks [ign.com] .

Re:DragonLance (3, Insightful)

blancolioni (147353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588827)

I'd personally rather see a DragonLance miniseries.

What a bizarre non-sequitur.

Earthsea is widely regarded as a classic, and not just within the genre. Dragonlance is somebody's D&D campaign written up with pedestrian prose, shallow characterisation and a corny plot.

Though I admit Ged doesn't roll nearly as many natural 20s as whoever those PCs were.

Sci Fi Sucks! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588543)

Suck on it faggots!

Nice synopsis for Earthsea Trilogy newbies (4, Informative)

bcolflesh (710514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588548)

And a recent interview (4, Informative)

tiltowait (306189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588613)

from this Feb. here [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:And a recent interview (5, Interesting)

Pastey (577467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588720)

Favorite part of that interview:

Q: Do you have a favourite TV programme?


UKL: I used to watch Star Trek, until they went off the rails with Voyager, and when we were in England about two centuries ago we got hooked on Dr Who - the guy with the long scarf and the great nose, not the one after him who looked like he needed some vitamins. There isn't much to watch on American TV now unless you are into violence and/or canned laughter. Did you know that most of the laugh tracks they use are so old that the people you hear laughing at the sitcom are mostly dead? It seems appropriate.

Appropriate indeed. I always wondered why "Friends" left me feeling "unclean". Now I know it was the living dead laugh-track.

Or David Schwimmer's acting abilities....

Re:Nice synopsis for Earthsea Trilogy newbies (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588676)

Although one should note that there are five Earthsea novels in the series; the last two being relatively recent additions.

Five? (1)

JoeGee (85189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588778)

I've read four, unless something came after Tehanu.

Re:Five? (2, Informative)

Feathers McGraw (180980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588846)

I've read four, unless something came after Tehanu.

Yes, The Other Wind, which IIRC ties in to both Tehanu and The Farthest Shore.

There was also a collection of short stories called Tales from Earthsea, which is sitting on my shelf, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Re:Nice synopsis for Earthsea Trilogy newbies (3, Insightful)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588785)

"The hero, Ged, born with the name Duny, learns magic tricks from his aunt, the town witch, who sees in him the possibility of great power. When his home island of Gont is attacked by the vicious Kargs, Duny casts a simple fog spell which enshrouds the village, hiding the villagers from the enemies and saving the village from certain massacre. Word of this deed spreads to Ogion, the great mage of Re Albi"

Lordy! What a bucket of absolute toss.

Re:Nice synopsis for Earthsea Trilogy newbies (2, Informative)

BJH (11355) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588899)

Please don't think that summary is in any way representative of the novels.

In fact, I would recommend people not to read those summaries, because they give completely the wrong impression.

ummm k... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588549)

this is interesting, why?

HELP! I installed BSD! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588550)

and I have this window maker shit and this mosilla shit and I'm on the interweb.

NOW WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!?!?

Re:HELP! I installed BSD! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588762)

Get the hell out of my Internet, NOOOOOOOW

What about Riverworld?!? (4, Interesting)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588552)

Aren't SCI-Fi ever going to continue with the Riverworld books, or was the response to that too disapointing?

Re:What about Riverworld?!? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588611)

Yeh. That movie they did was pretty good.

I haven't read any of the books yet. But a friend of mine highly recommends it. I'll probably go out and register for a library card (haven't needed to do that since grade school).

Re:What about Riverworld?!? (1)

Dinosaur Neil (86204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588830)

I thought the movie felt more like a Hercules/Xena spin-off and found it, well, kinda disappointing. I was hoping for better; they did a good job with Dune (certainly better than Dino DeLaurentis did in the 80's). Maybe they'll do okay with EarthSea.

The books are worth reading, at least until they start explaining What It All Means four or five books in...

Re:What about Riverworld?!? (1)

frenchgates (531731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588629)

I am very curious about that myself. I thought they did a pretty good job with the pilot. The casting was superb.

Re:What about Riverworld?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588656)

Looking of the quickness they agreed to make B.G. into more shows my guess would be no.

But ofcoz they killed Farscape too and make shows like "Mad house" (can we get done with the "Reality" shows already!), so I'm sure they probably don't gives a rats-a.. about what we think anyway.

Re:What about Riverworld?!? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588672)

I did not know the Sci-Fi network even did a Riverworld series.

This gives me hope for a "word of tiers" series!

Re:What about Riverworld?!? (1)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588813)

They only did one and I am not sure what parts of the books it covers. I haven't seen it in whole either because when it was first on I was waiting for the cable to be turned back on from a move.

But it is exciting to see them dip their toe into works like Farmer and Herbert and the like... it sure goes against the current trend of film scifi-- just finding something that they can easily rape. I love Phillip K. Dick movies, but Hollywood is taking all the meat out of those stores and only using them because it's easy to throw action scenes around his main plot... really sad.

Woah... How was "The Lathe of Heaven"...? (3, Interesting)

Mitleid (734193) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588553)

I meant to watch The Lathe of Heaven when Sci-Fi aired that a few years back, but missed it, so I'm whether or not to have my hopes up or not. I was sort of impartial to their interpretation of Dune, but then again I only saw the first miniseries. A Wizard of Earthsea wasn't the most "dense" of LeGuinn's novels, so hopefully Sci-Fi won't be able to mangle it too bad. This should be sort of interesting to check out; I might be actually excited. Heh...

Re:Woah... How was "The Lathe of Heaven"...? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588591)

I haven't seen it since 79 (so take this with a grain of salt) but the original movie was good enough that I'd consider ordering it online, if need be. If you love the book, you'll like the movie.

If you mean the second movie, with Lisa Bonet...stay far, far, faaaaaarr away from it. It's total dogshit.

Re:Woah... How was "The Lathe of Heaven"...? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588729)

Agreed. The movie from the '70s was great! Especially for a low budget production with cheesy effects ;)

Very true to the book, which is wonderful.

Rather a shame the movie got hung up on the rights to the Beatles' song, ``I get by with a little help from my friends''.

William

Re:Woah... How was "The Lathe of Heaven"...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588680)

Actually... SciFi didn't air Lathe of Heaven... A&E did! I recall watching it just out of curiosity, and I must say I was mildly impressed. James Caan gave a superb performance and it was a pretty decent movie... if you still want to see it, it's availble on DVD.

But... any idea on getting the original 1984 (or 83?) release? AFIAK, it's not on video.

The original was better (3, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588764)

I think I preferred the low-budget version [geocities.com] on PBS they aired in the 70's. It seemed to have more heart, plus I missed the aliens at the end.

A tale of two lathes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588860)

The cheeseball PBS version with the Dr. Who class production values was a truly interesting and transcendent experience for me. The more recent production (which I believe was A&E), with the high production values and world-class actors was a boring mess.

Prepare for disappointment (4, Interesting)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588563)

More than most fantasy, the Earthsea books spend time on internal character development. They can make you think. Their plots, frankly, are nothing to write home about - in my opinion, at least. Unless this is going to be an "adaptation" along the lines of Starship Troopers, I can't see it doing very well. But, who knows - I'd love to be wrong about that...

Re:Prepare for disappointment (1)

abscondment (672321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588600)

Yeah, I really can't see it going anywhere--there's not enough day-by-day action to keep people watching, unless they twist the books a lot. Of course, if we got Peter Jackson to do it, it might turn out okay...

Re:Prepare for disappointment (3, Interesting)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588675)

[T]he Earthsea books spend time on internal character development.

The first one, especially, is a kind of Once and Future King with a touch of Harry Potter (though of course it predates H.P.). I'm thinking about the old wizard tutoring Ged a la Merlin, before sending him off to wizard school.

The whole way to make this successful would be to concentrate on character and philosophy. These were the most enjoyable parts of the book, as I recall.

I still remember being fascinated with the idea that Ged, having transformed himself into a bird to effect an escape, might lose himself in the bird's nature and not be able to transform himself back. (The old wizard eventually had to lend him a hand.)

Television might have a hard time carrying this off without a lot of boring exposition. (Of course, well-written dialog and charismatic casting would avoid all that.)

Re:Prepare for disappointment (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588709)

Certainly my tastes are a long way from standard sci-fi fan -- you couldn't pay me to read anything by Robert Heinlein except Starship Troopers and his older space opera-ish short stories. So take this with a large grain of salt:

I find Ursula LeGuin's books utterly painful, the most boring things this side of, well, Robert Heinlein. Even Left Hand of Darkness, pretty much a consensus all-time top ten, bored the hell out of me.

(As an aside, where's Connie Willis' rabid fan base? Her books range from excellent to mindblowing, but I've never heard people fawn over her like they do LeGuin or the other tedious female sci-fi authors. Is a general warmth towards tradition and religion too politically incorrect to be assigned in those classes that are always pushing LeGuin? It's not like she's Margaret Thatcher.)

Re:Prepare for disappointment (4, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588841)

I find Ursula LeGuin's books utterly painful, the most boring things this side of, well, Robert Heinlein. Even Left Hand of Darkness, pretty much a consensus all-time top ten, bored the hell out of me.

You should be aware that Ursula LeGuin has an evil twin, Skippy. Quite a lot of her books were in fact written by Skippy.

For example: the original Earthsea trilogy was written by Ursula LeGuin, and is wonderful. Tehanu, on the other hand, was written by Skippy.

Likewise, The Eye of the Heron is by Skippy, The Lathe of Heaven is by Ursula. The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness are collaborations, however.

Basically, while Skippy is not necessarily a bad writer, she's so concerned about pushing her message that the plot suffers immensely. Tehanu just doesn't fit in Earthsea: but instead of designing a new world were the message could fit comfortably, Earthsea got twisted until the message could be wedged in somehow. In my opinion I think the book's terrible. (The huge deus ex machina at the end is just clumsy, too.)

But when Ursula manages to keep Skippy under control, she can be fabulous. You didn't like The Left Hand of Darkness, but I love it. There's a message, but it fits so beautifully...

Re:Prepare for disappointment (1)

IceAgeComing (636874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588884)

LeGiun's stories are psychological/social, as opposed to outward/physical. For those who like action movies with lots of fighting and explosions (testosterone orgy), her stories are comparatively boring.

A common theme in her stories is the hero narrative: one person fights against all odds to change history. The internal struggles are often just as intense as the outward ones.

Many of us struggle internally with lots of difficult issues, like how to prevent the environmental devastation happening right now, or how to prevent radical extremists (and every society has them) from destroying all the good in the world. It's nice that LeGuin is around to help us realize we're not alone.

Re:Prepare for disappointment (1)

HeelToe (615905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588735)

I have to agree. I've read the trilogy 4 times in my life (starting at about 7th grade). I've read the newer three books twice each.

The books make me think about much different things each time I read them. They are definitely focused on character development and have a lot worthy of critical literary praise.

Read them before you see this miniseries.

Re:Prepare for enjoyment (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588752)

I would be skeptical too, but they did such an incredible job with Dune that I have *some* hope that they'll get this one right too.

Every time someone tells me that the reason Peter Jackson butchered Lord of the Rings is that "it's too hard to make a book like this into a movie", I point them to ScFi Channel's production of Dune -- which was done with a very small budget and with (excellect!) no-name actors.

Making a good movie is really about having a great script and great actors. The rest of the Hollywood crap is just eye candy for restless nine year olds.

I wonder if they'll use black or dark Polynesian actors like the books call for?

Re:Prepare for disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588890)

Starship Troopers the movie was horrid. Heinlein surely spun in his grave.

Rehash (2, Funny)

Captain_Amigo (717041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588567)

Oh, come on now...let's be honest. They're just re-airing Seaquest episodes.

This is good news... but I want to see the movie (1, Insightful)

myownkidney (761203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588577)

This is indeed good news. I am a big fan of Ursula K. Le Guin. Whilst a TV miniseries is better than nothing, I was really hoping for a film coming out soon.

Never really clicked for me (3, Interesting)

AnonymousKev (754127) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588580)

It's been a long time since I read the Earthsea trilogy. I remember enjoying the first book, but the other two just didn't click. The premise was really interesting and held a lot of promise, but I just couldn't get interested in the plot.

Not sure why. I like the Lathe of Heaven and think The Ones Who Walk Away from Oomlas is one of the best short stories ever written. If I had cable, I'd probably watch it out of curiosity. But since I don't ... oh well.

Re:Never really clicked for me (3, Insightful)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588655)

The premise was really interesting and held a lot of promise, but I just couldn't get interested in the plot.

That's rather the problem for a visual adaptation. They aren't really plot driven. The plot is just an excuse to watch the characters grow. The first three are little studies of three aspects of becoming adult (responsibility, identity, mortality).

The fourth never spoke to me, and I haven't yet read the fourth.

I can't imagine them manageing to recreate that when the temptation to jump at magic battles with dragons is there.

Re:Never really clicked for me (1)

AnonymousKev (754127) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588702)

Maybe I was too young to realize the character development (it was over twenty years ago). But I read Earthsea at the same time I read The Prydain Chronicles. I was more drawn to Taran's journey of maturity than Ged's.

Re:Never really clicked for me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588724)

That is the gayest sig evar.

"Look at me!! I've got a really high UID, but I've been here a really long time, honest! See, really, I'm cool, 'cause I knew about Slashdot 7 years ago. I'm not really a clueless newbie!!"

Fuck you #754127.

Re:Never really clicked for me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588823)

Proudly posting as AC since 1997
(Finally got a dang account in 2004)

Is this really something to brag about? All this says to me is that your a lazy ass who couldn't be bothered to register in all of seven years. Why'd you even bother now?

Re:Never really clicked for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588898)

The Ones Who Walk Away from Oomlas

Spelling and Reference Nitpick: It's actually "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas".

Ambivalence (0)

Peldor (639336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588583)

Should I quiver with anticipation or recoil in horror?

Either way, I'd feel better if LeGuin was mentioned in that press release as collaborating on this project.

this is not Slashdot worthy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588586)

why is this on slashdot? dont we have more interesting topics to discuss than some obscure book that has been made into some obscure TV thing for americans? lets find some tech issues to discuss.

Get an account and you can filter (1)

mrnick (108356) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588646)

You know, If you got an account here you could set your preferences to filter out articles that are on subjects that you don't care about.

Remember, one man's trash is another man's treausre.

Nick Powers

Re:this is not Slashdot worthy (1)

frenchgates (531731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588669)

Okay, AC, here's a tech issue for you:

Why don't some slashdot readers seem to know that they can use technology to filter categories they aren't interested in so they don't have to waste their precious time on them and can more quickly return to outsourcing/being outsourced?

Discuss...

Wow!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588590)

Look, a press releases! From a company! That shows TV!!! Commence masturbating!!!

Scifi (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588592)

Women can't write scifi or fantasy.

Been dreading this for years. (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588607)

Someone was bound to try. I wonder how much they are going to try and do.

I suppose they did relatively well with Dune (certainly better than the god awful movie), not so well with Children.

But Earthsea is subtle. I dread to think what they'll do with the dragons.

Earthsea Trilogy was great (0)

babylon93 (611333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588608)

I loved those books, and have been hoping someone would make a movie about them.

The story line is something like Harry Potter meets Pirates of the Carribean.

I thought the third book really tied it all together though, so I hope there are also plans to do that one as well. That one small book could fill an entire feature-length movie script though, so maybe that's why it's not on the list yet.

Yay.

Hate to be a Cassandra (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588615)

Time to put the asbestous suit.

Hate to say it. It is likely to be a flop. Compared to Earthsea the Lord of the Rings is simple. I(very biased)MO this is the second most impossible movie after the Lord of Light. The reason is that you have both an extremely complex, logical and well described world along with a complex story line and complex characters.

I love the rings, but the rings characters are like cartoons compared to the Earthsea (or nearly any Ursula Le Guin book).

Re:Hate to be a Cassandra (1)

!3ren (686818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588744)


I tend to agree with you unfortunately, subtlety has never been a strong suit for them.
On the other hand, introducing a new generation of readers to the world of Earthsea is a positive IMHO.

Re:Hate to be a Cassandra (1)

DoNotTauntHappyFunBa (592447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588783)

I(very biased)MO this is the second most impossible movie after the Lord of Light.

Are you referring to this [lordoflight.com] ?

Re:Hate to be a Cassandra (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588837)

Earthsea's characters are much better developed than LotR's. I think that's an opportunity for them, not a predicament. The script for LotR is tricky because the dialogue, which reads beautifully as an epic poem, sounds silly coming out of the mouths of actual characters. Additional plots were written in to give the characters some depth. They used distressingly little of the original dialogue.

If the writers, director, and actors of Earthsea can use this to their advantage, they have an opportunity to give strong, interesting performances.

The strength of LotR is the depth of its background material. That allowed them to create extraordinary visuals, and that's the real reason for the success of the films. Not that I have any particular faith in the Academy, but they roughly reflected its strengths: many awards for visual elements, zero for acting. Not that the actors were bad, but the roles don't give them many opportunities to really succeed.

Earthsea, on the other hand, was written more like a modern story and less like an ancient epic. They've got a real opportunity here, a great work by a master storyteller. I hope it works out.

Very cool (4, Informative)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588619)

The Wizard of Earthsea series is one of the most underread fantasy series I know of. It isn't the best fantasy out there (that's reserved for Paula Volsky -- try Illusion and see what you think), but it's very good, and very different from most fantasy.

I'd read the first book before anything else. I was kind of disappointed with The Tombs of Atuan book 2), which was very different from the first book. The third book was okay, but not as good as the first -- sort of the Dune syndrome.

The setting is different from most fantasy -- a bunch of islands, lots of emphasis on sailing around. There are not a lot of epic things going on -- there's lots of pragmatic, down-to-earth people.

Re:Very cool (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588893)

The Wizard of Earthsea series is one of the most underread fantasy series I know of.

Underread and underrated. If you've read the original series, Tales from Earthsea [amazon.com] is a fantastic read. I also recently picked up The Other Wind [amazon.com] and thought it was wonderful as well.

Great! (4, Informative)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588622)

This is great! Although I've read and enjoyed ALL of her books, the first two books are far better suited for this than the others (not being depressing or anti-men). They're short enough to translate OK into the mini series format. So far I'd give the Sci-Fi network good marks on their attempts to bring the Dune series to film.

Earthsea world is a fun world to game in despite the difficulties thrown in by the latter stories.

I wonder will they remake the lathe of heaven, and I'd love to see "The word for world is forest" or even "Rocannon's World"!

Re:Great! (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588868)

They already did:

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0290230/

Not too bad... they skipped a lot of the hard parts, quite frankly, to avoid the confusion.

Lisa Bonet (from the Cosby show) does a very good job in this movie, considering her lackluster career.

The first adapatation, which was a VERY formitive movie I saw on PBS when I was young, was much better.

Add to that the Ascent of Man (Think "Connections" with a brain) turned me into the twisted geek I am today...

Don't get too excited (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588624)

Considering the uhmmm, "quality" of most SciFi Channel productions, I'm not exactly jumping up and down over this one. The Earthsea books aren't likely to translate well to TV even in the best of hands.

I'd love to see a big-screen version, though. I think there would be a better chance of getting it right in the larger format. Not because of "action" scenes or dramatic landscapes or any of the usual things people want to see in a movie, but because to do these books justice, you really would need to immerse the audience in the film in a way that isn't possible on a typical 29" screen.

Fantasy, SciFi (1)

use_compress (627082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588637)

what's the difference?

Re:Fantasy, SciFi (1, Insightful)

Reverend Beaker (590517) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588718)

I remember reading a book on writing "Speculative Fiction" by Orson Scott Card, and he put it as, in the most basic of terms, in fantasy something happens because of magic, in science fiction something happens because of a machine. Obviously you can go into all sorts of variations and point out where that explaination is wrong, but, in my opinion, or sort of comes down to how the story feels to the reader.

Re:Fantasy, SciFi (1)

Eklypz (731361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588749)

Fantasy has magic and SciFI has technology. Both typically create new worlds for your mind to explore. I also have read in many philosophical ideals in many books that have had me thinking in new directions.

Re:Fantasy, SciFi (2, Interesting)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588755)

The bounds of probability, allusion to reallity and illusion of believability. One has them, the other does not.

Fantasy doesn't try to really have things make sense they just tell you that a thing works, they do not explain it.

Science Fiction often bases it's marvels on actual theory of the modern day, expanding upon it's fantastical possibilities.

Nanotechnological devices repairing a person's wounds are a little more believable than a man chanting a bunch of words than putting his hands on a would and it being healed.

Also, most Fantasy makes sides Black and White and Science Fiction uses more Grays.

This is not of course completely true with all books called Fantasy or Science Fiction, some think anything set in a almost medieval psudoeuropean setting is Fantasy and anything in the future Science Fiction.

Re:Fantasy, SciFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588796)

According to an old "What's New with Phil and Dixie" strip, from Dragon magazine, science fiction and fantasy are exactly the same except that everything in Science Fiction is electric. (You know, electric swords, electric horses... etc.)

Re:Fantasy, SciFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588856)

One is good, one is whack.

Re:Fantasy, SciFi (1)

use_compress (627082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588857)

I meant the above comment to refer to the odd fact that the Science Fiction channel was producing a fantasy movie.

HELP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588641)

I'm looking for some recipes and I don't know where to begin! Any ideas?

My Lord... (1)

bobej1977 (580278) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588642)

I just crapped my pants.

I loved those books growing up. The first book ranks with Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game in my esteem as the best 2 novels ever written.

I just hope they don't turn it into one of those special effects crap-fests they usually put on. I understand that a little CGI can go a long way towards shrinking the budgets of these smaller productions, but the Earthsea stories don't need fancy ornamentation, just a faithful portrayal of the characters. This is a prime example of how most good fantasy/sci-fi stories are NOT their settings.

SciFi Channel (1)

galtenberg (646020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588670)

Not wanting to post flamebait, but this is why capitalism shines (sometimes)...

It takes organizations or businesses like SciFi to grow to a point where projects like this can be undertaken.

This may not be a great project (see Dune miniseries), but it is a good project. I wish there were more of them.

Re:SciFi Channel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588722)

Not wanting to post flamebait, but this is why capitalism shines (sometimes)

Yeah, it has nothing to do with personal choice, freedom, pursuit of happiness, being allowed to chase the American Dream, not having to wait in bread lines and being able to buy as much toilet paper as you want. The real reason capitalism is great is because we get to watch shit on TV. BWHAHAHAA! What a fucknut.

Re:SciFi Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588727)

Uh, yeah. This is the worst argument for capitalism since Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Yeah, right. (0, Redundant)

aanand (705284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588686)

Like anyone can actually pronounce those names.

Earthsea's good (1)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588701)

But I want to see The Dispossessed

Read the books whilst you can... (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588705)

For anyone planning on watching this, now would be a good time to read (or re-read) the books.

I'm not suggesting that the books are about to disappear. Nor am I implying that the TV series will be terrible. I have no idea how well the product will turn out, and the books will be as available after as they are before.

No, what I'm saying is that pretty soon this series will influence your view of things, whether you want it to or not. I'm seeing this with my nephews, who are reading Lord of the Rings directly after seeing the films. They're seeing the book as much more action-packed than I did, and I'm sure that this is due to expectation after watching the films.

So read them now, and then watch with interest. You're going to be influenced - can't help but be, but at least you'll have your own ideas in place beforehand.

Cheers,
Ian

Sounds Good To Me (1)

kjeldor (146944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588728)

I don't see why so many people think this will fail. The series has great character development, very intense scenes, and one of the scariest villains I've ever read about. Plus with the popularity of Harry Potter, any wizard school-boy type miniseries is bound to get a good amount of viewers.

subjetc (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588738)

now this is a large ugly piece of stuff for us to live with this way linkwordhere [boston.com]

Please use mini-series (3, Funny)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588747)

Everytime I speed-read miniseries, it looks like miseries.

not really suited for SciFi (3, Insightful)

laura20 (21566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588795)

They are wonderful novels, and I'd love to see them adapted but... so completely not suited for the SciFi style of miniseries making. They need almost nothing in the way of special effects, and a proper adaption would depend on really strong actors who can bring out the inner development. This is especially true of Tombs of Atuan, where a large part of the story involves the main characters wandering around underground.

It's truly a pity that the BBC never picked up an option -- that have been a perfect combination.

What about a bit more science? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588811)

I find that the SciFi channel is always on the fantasy, sensational side, to the detriment of the scientific side. I wish they had more sci-fi shows where science plays a more important role. That is, more in the way of hard sci-fi shows.

Cautious optimism is called for (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8588816)

The three thin books of the Earthsea Trilogy are IMO the second best fantasy series ever written (LoTR being #1), and probably the most *original* fantasy series ever. How LeGuin was able to create an entrie world with such economy is totally beyond me.

If you haven't read it yet, I envy you.

The SciFi Channel did an amazing job with Dune, another very cerebral book, so there's hope that they'll take the same intelligent approach with Earthsea. That clown Peter Jackson could learn a lot from these people: respect the books, have a great script, and don't spend so much time wanking around with special effects.

When did miniseries become a cable thing? (2, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588832)

In general it seems like the major networks can't make miniseries float, ratings wise. The last network ones that made my radar were the Jesus one on CBS (long enough ago that Debra Messing played Mary Magdalene and it wasn't a weird casting) and the Dinotopia one that flopped badly.

Back in the day, Shogun and Roots and that kind of thing were big money makers for the three broadcast networks. Now it's the SciFi Channel and that kind of venue putting out new series, or first-time-in-the-US ones anyway. (A&E ran the [fantastic, literate, well-acted] BBC Pride and Prejudice, for example.)

How long ago did this happen? Personally I'm not so sure it's a bad thing. The production values are lower, okay, but CGI can fill in rough edges for this science fiction or fantasty stuff. A miniseries is much better, much much better, for most books, and for characters in general, than any film release. The Aubrey Maturin movie this spring was pretty good, really, but there's just no way to do that in two-plus hours.

Maybe in 25 years we'll get Harry Potter miniseries done by some sort of children's network, and the plots and characters won't feel like they're being crammed inside of three hours to cash in at the box office. That first HP movie in particular was way, way frenetic.

Otherworld (1)

jbsp39 (737284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588877)

For me, I'd really like to see a miniseries (or better still a film) based on Tad Williams' Otherworld.

Not a trilogy. (4, Informative)

flogger (524072) | more than 10 years ago | (#8588897)

OK, Maybe it was originally a trilogy:
Wizard of Earthsea
Tombs of Autan
The Farthest Shore

But in 2001 Leguin published Tehanu. [tinyurl.com] The earthsea trilogy is now called the Earthsea Cycle. Of all of The Earthsea cycle books, Tehanu really showcases LeGuin's political and feminist slants. (This is a good thing I believe). Tombs of Autan had some and the other two books required a little more digging to get into her philosophy.

If you want to read some great LeGuin I would reccomend: Always coming home [tinyurl.com] and The Dispossessed [tinyurl.com] . Both of these books are very thought provoking and well worth the time to read. There was an edition of Always coming home publihsed with a cassette tape of the music and poetry that was created by the societies described in the book. Wonderul stuff.

"Grain grows best in shit" Ursula K LeGuin

(Tinyurl links got to amazon Please use fewer 'junk' characters.
)
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