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Le Guin Peeved About Earthsea Miniseries

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the hack-job dept.

Sci-Fi 880

Several readers have written in with unhappy opinions on the Legend of Earthsea miniseries just aired on the Sci-Fi channel. Ursula Le Guin has also chimed in, with a short but highly critical blurb on her website, and now this dissection on Slate.com.

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yuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105831)


If it's bad enough to not even bother downloading you know it's gotta be lame.

ffffppp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105836)

fp bitches

Nothing like greed eh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105845)

rich peeps sux

great news! (0, Offtopic)

kjeldor (146944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105849)

Now I don't feel so guilty for skipping it to play World of Warcraft.

Re:great news! (-1, Offtopic)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105932)



NEED MORE RAGE!

Re:great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106041)

"That.. that doesn't work for me. I gotta have more cowbell!"

"Can I just say one thing? I'm standing here, staring at the hordes of Azeroth. And if the hordes of azeroth want more rage, we should probably give them more rage!"

Re:great news! (1)

Orclover (228413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106167)

Watch crappy butchering of a novel.....or get one step closer to my felsteed....

wasnt a hard choice.

Did you slashdot the nice lady's website? (5, Funny)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105856)

I'm guessing her next blog posting will be a complaint about Slashdot.

Google Cache link (1)

CharlieHedlin (102121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105928)

7 comments, and I had to use Google.

http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:BMsCMw5b1Wo J: www.ursulakleguin.com/UKL_info.html+&hl=en

Re:Google Cache link (4, Informative)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106162)

C'mon, Chuck! If you've going to post a URL to a high-bandwidth site, at least post it as a link... [64.233.179.104]

Re:Did you slashdot the nice lady's website? (4, Interesting)

Creepy (93888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105987)

complaining about slashdotting her blog before the first 5 posts were up?

I admit, I wasn't much of a fan of the book, but watched the miniseries anyway. I've seen worse adaptations, but I can certainly see why fans (and the author) are unhappy. I taped it for a good friend of mine who _worships_ Earthsea, so I really want to see the look of horror on his face when I show it to him (yes, I am that evil).

Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (1)

onegoodpenguin (764612) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105859)

Who exactly is Ursula Le Guin?

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (4, Informative)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105882)

Le Guin is the author of the books.

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105902)

Ursula Le Guin is the author of the books.

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (1)

noweat (717023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105921)

i only know of her from reading the "left hand of darkness", but i believe shes a well known sci fi author who has recieved a few hugo awards. noteworth enough to have a miniseries based on her works at any rate

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (5, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105941)

Yes, you should be more familiar. Ursula Le Guin is one of the greatest living authors of science fiction and fantasy, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. Her novels include The Left Hand of Darkness, The Lathe of Heaven, and the EarthSea series. She is also the author of a wonderful interpretation of the Tao Te Ching.

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (2, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106129)

The Lathe of Heaven

Not a lot of other posts even mentioned this story.

I figured I'd chime in to point out that The Lathe of Heaven was also converted to a Made-for-TV movie, and I thought the transition was quite well done. Even if not a literal copy of the book, it was still effective at conveying the core concepts and displaying the changes in the world and its people through the shifts in architecture, costumes, technology, etc.

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (4, Informative)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105950)

Ursula LeGuin wrote two absolutely classic SF novels:

The Dispossessed, about an anarcho-syndalicist society formed when the founders of their political movement were exiled to their planet's moon, and whose first visitor to the a couple of hundred years later is the most brilliant physicist in known space: a man who has figured out a very, very important issue in physics (which I will not reveal), and has numerous adventures that illustrate the homeworld's society (and also has contact with an alien ambassador from a very familiar planet).

The Left Hand of Darkness, about an alien ambassador visiting a planet whose inhabitants naturally change sex with each mating season, and so have a very fluid concept of "gender" - and who consider someone who sticks with one sex throughout life to be a pervert. There's some political intrigue, too, and a journey across an ice field.

She's probably most famous for A Wizard of Earthsea and its related books, which formed the basis of the miniseries being critiqued.

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105988)

Wow, that's a great typo: should be anarcho-syndicalist. Sorry.

BE QUIET! (I'm being repressed) (1)

Darth23 (720385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106086)

In the commune on the moon, does Supreme Power derive from a mandate from the masses? Are there and strange women lying in ponds, distibuting swords?

Re:Maybe I should be more familiar, but... (0, Flamebait)

Minter92 (148860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105968)

A fantasy/sci fi writer. I personally thought the earth sea books were terrible but there are some uber fanboys of it.

Turn your geek card in (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106042)

and absorb more reality tv, because it seems that in the fact that you don't know who she is, instead of doing a quick find on the web (not to point out a particular search engine) you show intellectual sloth by posting that question in the forum. And I'm posting AC because, indeed, I'm flaming you. Stupid git.

that teach her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105861)

website to go dis'ing the elements!

Okay (-1, Troll)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105868)

Could someone please explain, for the benefit of those of us who live outside the USA, what this story is about?

It's not news when someone I've never heard of doesn't like something I've never heard of.

Phil

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105894)

And it's not our fault that you don't recognize a quite famous author and have not read her works.

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105904)

Jesus. Are you helpless? Can you not grok the basics of doing a Google search?

Re:Okay (1, Troll)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105948)

Firstly: I am not Jesus, although it's a common mistake.

Secondly: I could do a google search, but I wanted to know if I cared at all before expending even that small effort.

Phil
(not Jesus).

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106088)

Funny points, and he didn't even use "but I've never even been to Mexico".

Re:Okay (1)

Neop2Lemus (683727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106173)

Earthsea books aren't limited to the USA. The trilogy is a story of a wizard Ged from childhood to old age (I can't remember if he dies in the end though). They take place in a world composed of islands and floating 'raft' cultures. There are also dragons. The earthsea books are excellent, at least volumes 1 and 3 (of 3) were.

The books are really quiet, almost spiritual, the characters' journey's being internal and not just external.

I really couldn't see how they could be filmed, and certainly not as action TV (which is what I got out of the trailer).

I gave A Wizard of Earthsea to a friend to read as they claimed that they read alot of sci-fi. They couldn't read it having been raised on shite like Battlefield Earth and Robert Jordan.

Re:Okay (1)

Drantin (569921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105933)

Ursula K. Le Guin happens to be a long time SF and Fantasy author who happened to write a series of fantasy called EarthSea...

I'm sorry I can't give more detailed info as it's been about 6-7 years since I've read any of her books...

For more information about the Author, click here [ursulakleguin.com] ...or wait until the slashdotting is over, or just google...

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106003)

If you've not read any of her books in 6-7 years, then you're probably not aware that she added a fifth novel to the Earthsea series back in 2001 or so (The Other Wind).

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105939)

OK, I'll try. Here in the USA, we have these things called "books". Le Guin writes some of these "books". A TV movie of her "books" was made, and it is not good, so she is not happy and wrote articles about it.

Re:Okay (5, Funny)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105982)

Here in the USA, we have these things called "books".

For real? You guys have books now?

Phil

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106099)

When I was your age, we used to call TV "books".

:)

Re:Okay (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106163)

When I was your age, we used to call TV "books".

yeah, there's nothing like sitting down for a nice relaxing night of book watching.

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106113)

Yes, Phil, and we brush our teeth here too!

Troll? (1, Offtopic)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106124)

Well, fuck you mods. Ask an honest question, get modded down. There is no justice.

Phil

Re:Okay (2, Informative)

YellowElf (445681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106140)

The Earthsea books are a series of short novels set in the fantasy world of Earthsea. There are five of them: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, and The Other Wind. The author has also penned a book of several short stories in the same setting.

Briefly, Earthsea is a world composed of hundreds of islands. The society is non-industrial, but magic is an integral component of everyday life. Women are seen as a lower class, and only men perform magic. Otherwise, the rest of the world is "normal" in our sense, except that dragons are a reality, though their presence is rare.

The books tell tales of a few recurring characters, most notably a wizard named Sparrowhawk (also known as Ged). If the producers of such a series went through all the trouble to proclaim this as based on Earthsea, you would think they would have been more faithful to the books. However, they seem to have written a completely different story, with some small number aspects of the original sprinkled throughout the shows. The end result is something that barely resembles the books and thus loses its uniqueness as a fantasy world.

It seems that the NY Times review (Registration required.) [nytimes.com] of the series is dead on: what is left is a mishmash of various fantasy stories, sort of Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings meets Hercules meets Star Wars.

Anyone hoping to see a film version of the beloved books is going to have his hopes dashed upon the thorny rocks. Instead a different story is presented, using people with the same names but completely different experiences. Anyone hoping to learn about the books by watching them will be misled into thinking they are shallow cookie-cutter versions of everything else. Imagine if Frodo had "lived happily ever after" when he kept the ring himself to bring peace to the world... even though Tolkien never envisioned such a world.

Undoubtedly, a film producer must change the story presented on screen in order to compensate for the differences between visual and printed media, but this is one of the sloppiest adaptations I have ever seen. Ms LeGuin's comments only underscore my own opinion (or is it the other way around??). Don't watch it, unless you don't care whether the Earthsea movies match the Earthsea books, then it won't matter anyway. --dv

Re:Okay (1)

mozkill (58658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106166)

The producers of the TV show have "no idea" of the mistake they have made by butchering these books. They could have made far far more money by following the story honestly.

Stargate!? (1)

Temfate (753891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105869)

I was just pissed that stargate wasn't on... How can you NOT AIR the series that makes your network famous!?!

Re:Stargate!? (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106081)

Well, they did cancel Farscape....

yeah but (-1, Offtopic)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105872)

how is this going to help me pick up chicks?

Gratitude (1)

rd_syringe (793064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105876)

It really makes me thankful that there are people like Peter Jackson who at least understand the basic themes of a source material and know how to reflect it in the film versions, even in the face of plot changes. When dealing with science fiction, fantasy, and other geek niche genres, it helps for Hollywood types to stop behaving like Hollywood types and treat it with the same passion a geek has for it.

Re:Gratitude (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106018)

Please, are you suggesting that the Lord of the Rings were good movies? Get your head out of your ass. I've never been more bored than when I watched that drivel. Maybe Peter Jackson did the best he could with an uninspired story, but none the less it certainly wasn't worth watching.

Mod me a troll if you want, but I hated these movies, and that's a fact.

She must be kidding (0, Flamebait)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105880)

" They said they had already secured Philippa Boyens (who wrote the scripts for The Fellowship of the Rings) as principal script writer. The script was, to me, all-important, so Boyens' presence was the key factor in my decision to sell this group the option to the film rights."

Given just how mangled Fellowship of the Ring was in terms of the original characters and meaning of the book, I can only assume that UKlG has never read Lord of the Rings. Boyens' presence was a guarantee that the characters would be unrecognisable and that the story would be reduced to a shallow and meaningless shadow of its former self.

TWW

it did appear (1)

doorbender (146144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105956)

that the fellowship of the rings screen play was written based on the animation lotr"fotr from a "few" years ago

Re:it did appear (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106037)

Which was in turn adapted from the thirteen one hour episodes created by Micheal Sibley (in fact, Ian Holmes did the voice acting for Bilbo)...

Re:She must be kidding (1)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105989)

Given just how mangled Fellowship of the Ring was in terms of the original characters and meaning of the book, I can only assume that UKlG has never read Lord of the Rings. Boyens' presence was a guarantee that the characters would be unrecognisable and that the story would be reduced to a shallow and meaningless shadow of its former self.

If you think FOTR was mangled, just wait until His Dark Materials [bridgetothestars.net] hits the big screen. (A BBC article about the changes can be found here [bbc.co.uk] ).

Legend of Earthsea (2)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105881)

Le Guin's work is one of the greatest in fantasy writing, comparable to Tolkien in my opinion. That said, expecting a TV/movie adaptation of any book to compare favorably to the written work itself is unrealistic. Peter Jackson's LOTR was a masterpiece and by definition masterpieces are rare. I am not going to watch this Earthsea product; I don't want to mess with my memories of reading the series.

"highly critical blurb" (4, Informative)

XCorvis (517027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105886)

Text from her website...

"Earthsea"
11/13/2004

"Miss Le Guin was not involved in the development of the material or the making of the film, but we've been very, very honest to the books," explains director Rob Lieberman. "We've tried to capture all the levels of spiritualism, emotional content and metaphorical messages. Throughout the whole piece, I saw it as having a great duality of spirituality versus paganism and wizardry, male and female duality. The final moments of the film culminate in the union of all that and represent two different belief systems in this world, and that's what Ursula intended to make a statement about. The only thing that saves this Earthsea universe is the union of those two beliefs."

Sci Fi Magazine
December 2004

I've tried very hard to keep from saying anything at all about this production, being well aware that movies must differ in many ways from the books they're based on, and feeling that I really had no business talking about it, since I was not included in planning it and was given no part in discussions or decisions.

That makes it particularly galling of the director to put words in my mouth.

Mr Lieberman has every right to say what his intentions were in making the film he directed, called "Earthsea." He has no right at all to state what I intended in writing the Earthsea books.

Had "Miss Le Guin" been honestly asked to be involved in the planning of the film, she might have discussed with the film-makers what the books are about.

When I tried to suggest the unwisdom of making radical changes to characters, events, and relationships which have been familiar to hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world for over thirty years, I was sent a copy of the script and informed that production was already under way.

So, for the record: there is no statement in the books, nor did I ever intend to make a statement, about "the union of two belief systems." There's nothing at all about the "duality of spirituality and paganism," whatever that means, either.

Earlier in the article, Robert Halmi is quoted as saying that Earthsea "has people who believe and people who do not believe." I can only admire Mr Halmi's imagination, but I wish he'd left mine alone.

In the books, the wizardry of the Archipelago and the ritualism of the Kargs are opposed and united, like the yang and yin. The rejoining of the broken arm-ring is a symbol of the restoration of an unresting, active balance, offering a risky chance of peace.

This has absolutely nothing to do with "people who believe and people who do not believe." That terrible division into Believers and Unbelievers (itself a matter not of reason but of belief) is one which bedevils Christianity and Islam and drives their wars.

But the wizards of Earthsea would look on such wars as madness, and the dragons of Earthsea would laugh at them and fly away...

Toto, something tells me Earthsea isn't Iraq.

I wonder if the people who made the film of The Lord of the Rings had ended it with Frodo putting on the Ring and ruling happily ever after, and then claimed that that was what Tolkien "intended..." would people think they'd been "very, very honest to the books"?

Ursula K. Le Guin
13 November 2004

SCI-FI is the most consistently disappointing TV (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105895)

Constant mediocrity, pedestrian intellect, and growing roster of pseudo-science crap.

Re:SCI-FI is the most consistently disappointing T (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105924)

Just wait until you get Battlestar Galactica in January.

That may change your mind. :)

Re:SCI-FI is the most consistently disappointing T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105966)

Ha ha ha! Sorry, but I include BG in my statement. Some nerds will watch anything.

Re:SCI-FI is the most consistently disappointing T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106050)

BG is good sci-fi, and has some non-nerd appeal because of the vague hope that they won't have strategically placed enough scenery to hide all the nipples this week.

And an incredible mishandling of .. (2)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106102)

Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Turkey Day was so lonely without Crow, Tom Servo, Gypsy, Cambot, Dr. F, TV's Frank, Mrs. Forrester, Brain Guy, Bobo and Joel and/or Mike. So very, very lonely.

Quityerbitchin (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105906)

At least it didn't have Will Smith in it!

(Name Withheld)

Re:Quityerbitchin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106008)

If it did, she'd have one less character's ethnicity to complain about.

"McMagic" (2, Funny)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105914)

I hereby dub the fantastic term "McMagic" to be the official description of any Hollywood attempts at fantasy. Freakin' great.

Since when (3, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105915)


Since when does the Authors opinion count!?

One of my sisters likes telling the store of how they had discussed a book in class in great detail. The teacher going to great depths about how the story originated, etc. Later the teacher was able to get the author of the story to appear before the class, where she dismissed every 'insight' into the story as being completely wrong and misinformed.

Re:Since when (3, Funny)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106023)

I had that same thing happen in my high school.

One author was invited to speak to my English class and he talked about how people will read things into his writing that he never considered and about how a reviewer once make a comparison between his story and and King Lear. He had never even read King Lear.

At that point one of the English teachers in the back, who had invited him to speak, yelled "Don't listen to him!"

Re:Since when (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106028)

This happened in the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back to School". Dangerfield's character hires Kurt Vonnegut to write an essay on one of Vonnegut's novels. The professor gives Dangerfield an "F", saying he (Dangerfield/Vonnegut) had no clue what Vonnegut was talking about.

Re:Since when (4, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106154)

This happened in the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back to School". Dangerfield's character hires Kurt Vonnegut to write an essay on one of Vonnegut's novels. The professor gives Dangerfield an "F", saying he (Dangerfield/Vonnegut) had no clue what Vonnegut was talking about.
OTOH, Isaac Asimov had essentially the same thing happen to him (slipped in to a lecture hall where his books were being discussed), and the conclusion he came to was that he probably didn't understand the meaning of his own work. Which, given his self-described arrogance, was a very interesting thing for him to say.

sPh

Well... (0)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105916)

You guys are going to love my new series I am pitching to the Sci-Fi Channel.

It's called 'Sky-Wind'.

++parent.funny (0, Offtopic)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106017)

Come on mods. Okay, so the other two elements would give Fire-Wind, but it's still a good joke.

Le Guin's Words (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105926)

"Earthsea"

11/13/2004

"Miss Le Guin was not involved in the development of the material or the making of the film, but we've been very, very honest to the books," explains director Rob Lieberman. "We've tried to capture all the levels of spiritualism, emotional content and metaphorical messages. Throughout the whole piece, I saw it as having a great duality of spirituality versus paganism and wizardry, male and female duality. The final moments of the film culminate in the union of all that and represent two different belief systems in this world, and that's what Ursula intended to make a statement about. The only thing that saves this Earthsea universe is the union of those two beliefs."

Sci Fi Magazine
December 2004

I've tried very hard to keep from saying anything at all about this production, being well aware that movies must differ in many ways from the books they're based on, and feeling that I really had no business talking about it, since I was not included in planning it and was given no part in discussions or decisions.

That makes it particularly galling of the director to put words in my mouth.

Mr Lieberman has every right to say what his intentions were in making the film he directed, called "Earthsea." He has no right at all to state what I intended in writing the Earthsea books.

Had "Miss Le Guin" been honestly asked to be involved in the planning of the film, she might have discussed with the film-makers what the books are about.

When I tried to suggest the unwisdom of making radical changes to characters, events, and relationships which have been familiar to hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world for over thirty years, I was sent a copy of the script and informed that production was already under way.

So, for the record: there is no statement in the books, nor did I ever intend to make a statement, about "the union of two belief systems." There's nothing at all about the "duality of spirituality and paganism," whatever that means, either.

Earlier in the article, Robert Halmi is quoted as saying that Earthsea "has people who believe and people who do not believe." I can only admire Mr Halmi's imagination, but I wish he'd left mine alone.

In the books, the wizardry of the Archipelago and the ritualism of the Kargs are opposed and united, like the yang and yin. The rejoining of the broken arm-ring is a symbol of the restoration of an unresting, active balance, offering a risky chance of peace.

This has absolutely nothing to do with "people who believe and people who do not believe." That terrible division into Believers and Unbelievers (itself a matter not of reason but of belief) is one which bedevils Christianity and Islam and drives their wars.

But the wizards of Earthsea would look on such wars as madness, and the dragons of Earthsea would laugh at them and fly away...

Toto, something tells me Earthsea isn't Iraq.

I wonder if the people who made the film of The Lord of the Rings had ended it with Frodo putting on the Ring and ruling happily ever after, and then claimed that that was what Tolkien "intended..." would people think they'd been "very, very honest to the books"?

Ursula K. Le Guin
13 November 2004

Sci fi "original series" (4, Interesting)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105927)

Does anyone think that the Sci Fi channel will ever get actual decent Sci Fi authors to do their scripts and come up with series for them?

It's one thing to be low-budget in production (the original Star Trek was about as low budget as Sci Fi comes), but they could at least make an attempt to get decent writers. Someone should explain to them that people who watch/read a lot of Science Fiction are more interested in a decent scientific plot instead of their writer's latest flavor-of-the-week politically-correct-philosophy with "futuristic" stuff tacked on. I can think of at least three recent "original series" that may have been a series, but were original in all the wrong ways.

USA has better "Sci Fi" original series than the Sci Fi channel. What's up with that?

Re:Sci fi "original series" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105996)

That's kinda funny you say that, since USA and Sci-Fi are owned by the same company.

Re:Sci fi "original series" (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106026)

That's kinda funny you say that, since USA and Sci-Fi are owned by the same company.

I think that was his/her point.

Re:Sci fi "original series" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106080)

I hate to burst your bubble, but in it's day Star Trek (T.O.S.) was one of - if not the - most expensive to produce shows on television. It looks low budget in retrospect, but at the time it was about as good as T.V. was gonna get in terms of production values.

Re:Sci fi "original series" (1)

bobbagum (556152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106144)

"Just because you wrote something doesn't mean that you understand it."

Re:Sci fi "original series" (2, Informative)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106149)

the original Star Trek was about as low budget as Sci Fi comes

You've obviously never seen British (BBC) SciFi. Blakes 7, Early Dr. Who, even Red Dwarf. Cheap, cheap, cheap (yet mostly really good stories).

Lathe of slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105931)

I had a dream where everyone, everywhere had infinite bandwidth, but the dream turned into a nightmare because you could only run IIS.

Since it's slashdotted... (0, Redundant)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105938)

"Earthsea" 11/13/2004
"Miss Le Guin was not involved in the development of the material or the making of the film, but we've been very, very honest to the books," explains director Rob Lieberman. "We've tried to capture all the levels of spiritualism, emotional content and metaphorical messages. Throughout the whole piece, I saw it as having a great duality of spirituality versus paganism and wizardry, male and female duality. The final moments of the film culminate in the union of all that and represent two different belief systems in this world, and that's what Ursula intended to make a statement about. The only thing that saves this Earthsea universe is the union of those two beliefs."

Sci Fi Magazine
December 2004

I've tried very hard to keep from saying anything at all about this production, being well aware that movies must differ in many ways from the books they're based on, and feeling that I really had no business talking about it, since I was not included in planning it and was given no part in discussions or decisions.

That makes it particularly galling of the director to put words in my mouth.

Mr Lieberman has every right to say what his intentions were in making the film he directed, called "Earthsea." He has no right at all to state what I intended in writing the Earthsea books [slashdot.org] .

Had "Miss Le Guin" been honestly asked to be involved in the planning of the film, she might have discussed with the film-makers what the books are about.

When I tried to suggest the unwisdom of making radical changes to characters, events, and relationships which have been familiar to hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world for over thirty years, I was sent a copy of the script and informed that production was already under way.

So, for the record: there is no statement in the books, nor did I ever intend to make a statement, about "the union of two belief systems." There's nothing at all about the "duality of spirituality and paganism," whatever that means, either.

Earlier in the article, Robert Halmi is quoted as saying that Earthsea "has people who believe and people who do not believe." I can only admire Mr Halmi's imagination, but I wish he'd left mine alone.

In the books, the wizardry of the Archipelago and the ritualism of the Kargs are opposed and united, like the yang and yin. The rejoining of the broken arm-ring is a symbol of the restoration of an unresting, active balance, offering a risky chance of peace.

This has absolutely nothing to do with "people who believe and people who do not believe." That terrible division into Believers and Unbelievers (itself a matter not of reason but of belief) is one which bedevils Christianity and Islam and drives their wars.

But the wizards of Earthsea would look on such wars as madness, and the dragons of Earthsea would laugh at them and fly away...

Toto, something tells me Earthsea isn't Iraq.

I wonder if the people who made the film of The Lord of the Rings had ended it with Frodo putting on the Ring and ruling happily ever after, and then claimed that that was what Tolkien "intended..." would people think they'd been "very, very honest to the books"? Ursula K. Le Guin
13 November 2004

Apolgies - bad link.... (1)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106012)

I cut and pasted source without correcting the local reference on her site. The link should be...

...to state what I intended in writing the Earthsea books [ursulakleguin.com] .

Oh,yeah, also insert the standard "I submitted this story Tuesday" rant here, too.

You want to see a worthy miniseries? (1)

ulatekh (775985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105949)

Why doesn't someone do Lucifer's Hammer [amazon.com] by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle? Now that would kick butt. I wanna see the surfer smack against the side of the skyscraper!

Also the special effects kind of sucked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11105961)

They made Xena: Warrior Princess look like a dignified aesthetic masterpiece by comparison.

I did find it funny though. I saw their featurette "making of" thing they were spamming the movie theaters with and they must have referenced "Lord of the Rings", like, every six seconds. "We wanted to do this [thematic style], like Lord of the Rings". "We thought this [costuming/set methodolgy we used] was a lot like Lord of the Rings." "We think this [story] is an epic that approaches Lord of the Rings." Gee, anyone have aspirations outside their reach, maybe?

Sci-Fi Mini-Series are Awful (0, Flamebait)

mothlos (832302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105962)

This is news? Did anybody see the Dune mini-series or countless other TV Movies they have made that just tear up the intent of the author?

Good Sci-Fi is a genre where authors play hypothetical sociologist to reflect on humanities strengths and weaknesses (albiet with often erotic consequences), but it doesn't translate very well from book form to screen form, particularly when done by a second-rate cable channel just trying to make a buck on the name recognition.

Re:Sci-Fi Mini-Series are Awful (1)

miryth (732380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106072)

Hm, but that Dune miniseries was pretty good, in my opinion :p I didn't bother comparing it to the books. What's the point? It's a movie, not the book; I therefore don't expect it to be anything like the book. The Dune one was a bit better than others, I think, since it at least captured the atmosphere of the books (again, in my opinion). (the lord of the rings movies were good for the exact opposite reason- they weren't in a long-winded epic style [which I don't think would fit a movie very well {whee, sub-parentheses(!)}])

Ursala's words on the sci-fi mini-series (0, Redundant)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105964)

From the soon to be inoperable website.... Ursala's very own words on the mini-series remake of her books.


"Earthsea"
11/13/2004
"Miss Le Guin was not involved in the development of the material or the making of the film, but we've been very, very honest to the books," explains director Rob Lieberman. "We've tried to capture all the levels of spiritualism, emotional content and metaphorical messages. Throughout the whole piece, I saw it as having a great duality of spirituality versus paganism and wizardry, male and female duality. The final moments of the film culminate in the union of all that and represent two different belief systems in this world, and that's what Ursula intended to make a statement about. The only thing that saves this Earthsea universe is the union of those two beliefs."
Sci Fi Magazine
December 2004

I've tried very hard to keep from saying anything at all about this production, being well aware that movies must differ in many ways from the books they're based on, and feeling that I really had no business talking about it, since I was not included in planning it and was given no part in discussions or decisions.

That makes it particularly galling of the director to put words in my mouth.

Mr Lieberman has every right to say what his intentions were in making the film he directed, called "Earthsea." He has no right at all to state what I intended in writing the Earthsea books.

Had "Miss Le Guin" been honestly asked to be involved in the planning of the film, she might have discussed with the film-makers what the books are about.

When I tried to suggest the unwisdom of making radical changes to characters, events, and relationships which have been familiar to hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world for over thirty years, I was sent a copy of the script and informed that production was already under way.

So, for the record: there is no statement in the books, nor did I ever intend to make a statement, about "the union of two belief systems." There's nothing at all about the "duality of spirituality and paganism," whatever that means, either.

Earlier in the article, Robert Halmi is quoted as saying that Earthsea "has people who believe and people who do not believe." I can only admire Mr Halmi's imagination, but I wish he'd left mine alone.

In the books, the wizardry of the Archipelago and the ritualism of the Kargs are opposed and united, like the yang and yin. The rejoining of the broken arm-ring is a symbol of the restoration of an unresting, active balance, offering a risky chance of peace.

This has absolutely nothing to do with "people who believe and people who do not believe." That terrible division into Believers and Unbelievers (itself a matter not of reason but of belief) is one which bedevils Christianity and Islam and drives their wars.

But the wizards of Earthsea would look on such wars as madness, and the dragons of Earthsea would laugh at them and fly away...

Toto, something tells me Earthsea isn't Iraq.

I wonder if the people who made the film of The Lord of the Rings had ended it with Frodo putting on the Ring and ruling happily ever after, and then claimed that that was what Tolkien "intended..." would people think they'd been "very, very honest to the books"?

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Dangers of Adaption (5, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105970)

Years ago, I went to a panel discussion at an SF convention about how books are adapted to film. The authors on the panel had all had their works adapted.

First up was Barry Longyear, whose novel Enemy Mine was turned into a "B" movie. He rattled off a good-natured Hollywood horror story.

Next was Gary Wolf, whose book Who Censored Roger Rabbit was turned into what I recall was a rather popular movie a few years back. He was wearing the fancy jacket provided to the cast. He got to go to the Hollywood premiere and got very rich.

When he described getting to sit with Kathleen Turner at a celebratory banquet, Longyear got up and pretended to strangle him.

My complaint so far... (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11105979)

So far, I've only watched the first episode, but I'm very unimpressed.

It is like watching "Harry Potter of the Rings", with some good old Dune mythology thrown in...

The plot thus far is old, forumlatic and clique.

The other tragedy is that CG isn't even that good. When they did the fly over of the city/village, it was very very VERY obviously CG...

Who knows, maybe it'll get better?

Authors who... (1, Interesting)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106020)

Complain about movies made from their books often have just cause. However one very rarely hears about them returning the money they received when they sold the rights.

Re:Authors who... (1)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106145)

"Hey, your movie sucked! Here's a couple hundred thousand dollars for the effort."
Yeah, that'll teach 'em.

Re:Authors who... (1)

787style (816008) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106146)

Amazingly enough, Stephen King hated Kubrik's version of "The Shining". Ergo, we had that cinematic piece of tripe mini-series back in '97 staring that scoob from "Wings".

What was she thinking? (1, Interesting)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106021)

Movie producers have been reducing SF and fantasy to mindless drivel at least since "The Wizard of Oz," with only a handful of glowing exceptions. If a writer is willing to sell screen rights without some defense written into the contract, one can only assume that they'd rather have their work defaced than do without the money.

rj

30 years ago? (-1, Troll)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106027)

She got paid, right? Who cares what they did to a 30 year old story? They could have just as easily found another assclown author's books to adapt without comment. Some people are happy that people still care about their old work. They could have waited until the copyright ran out. I seriously doubt it went too far from the book.

Best case scenario, she's lobbing grenades to get people to buy her books. I hope it works out in the end and she's not being ungrateful.

Re:30 years ago? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106114)

Considering they broke two central themes to the book in the first five minutes, and got the main character's names backwards, you may wish to reconsider your serious doubt there.

Google Cache and others (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106034)

A Google Cache is here: http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:BMsCMw5b1WoJ: www.ursulakleguin.com/UKL_info.html+&hl=en [64.233.161.104]

A list of general-purpose Slashdot-caches are here: http://slashdot.org/~davidwr/journal/92257 [slashdot.org]
Mirrordot is down, and archive.org doesn't have the latest version of the author's home page. The site is too heavily slashdotted for the Coral Cache to pick it up either, but hopefully that will end soon.

Next Ursula Le Guin movie- (2, Funny)

Japong (793982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106035)

I can just picture it now, the Left Hand of Darkness: The Movie.

A romantic comedy about men and women, trying to find love together in a tropical paridise. Starring Julia Roberts as Estraven and Hugh Grant as the Envoy.

another missive (1, Redundant)

X_Caffeine (451624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106036)

Le Guin has written another public apology, published at Slate [msn.com] .

I have mixed feelings about her reactions. She seems a lot more peeved with the skintones of her characters being changed than with the entire plot being gang-raped.

Five minutes was enough (3, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106063)

Within the first five minutes we had:

* People throwing around each other's true names (witness the girl talking to Ged).

* A hot-looking Kossil sleeping with some guy.

In the books, you *NEVER* spoke someone's true name out loud. And Kossil was a fat, dumpy, ugly woman who was high priestess of an order that shunned men.

Google Cache (1)

OctaneZ (73357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106068)

well the article is 503'ing, and it didn't get coralized, so here is a link to the google cache'd copy [tinyurl.com] .

who is this Ursula Le Guin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106074)

and why do we care what he has to say

poor, racist adaptation (1)

Optical Voodoo Man (611836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106098)

I thought her arguments were very valid. How could they change so much in a set of books that are so short? It's not like adapting Lord of the Rings, were the whole thing won't fit.

It's sad that color still plays such an enormous role in what sells on TV. I guess the sci-fi channel felt that they would get more advertising dollars without all of the red and brown cast members.

LOL wtf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106118)

Wow, what a racist. She sounds like the black version of Hitler.

Whitewashed Pointlessness and Artistic Abuse (2, Insightful)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106123)

I'm not a big Le Guin fan, and I looked at The Legend of Earthsea simply as a diversion.

The mini-series was not awful, but it certainly wasn't very good, either. The actors were so understated as to be boring; the only reason I cared about Tinar is because she was cute. ;) As for the main character, he was a stereotypical pretty boy; his sidekick Vetch was the traditional pudgy geek. The best character was a dragon, who figures in about three minutes of screen time.

Le Guin should be upset, but not surprised. Publishers, TV execs, and movie makers have always twisted ideas to their own ends; even examples such as Jackson's LOTR do not prevent "the powers that be" from dumbing down artistic vision for mass audiences.

So why do creative people let their worlds be perverted by publishers and movie makers? Because you can't make money if your work doesn't get printed and sold. It's a myth that people will pay artists through online contributions; it just doesn't happen.

Which demographic bought most of her books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11106134)

Hey, out of curiosity, I wonder which demographic bought most of le Guins books? Which demographic actually "awarded" her with the book awards she received? Do these questions matter?

Gone Hollywood (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106142)

FT(/.'d)A (via Slate):

"They [the filmmakers] replied that the TV audience is much larger, and entirely different, and would be unlikely to care about changes to the books' story and characters."

The entire story in a nutshell: the producers and the Sci-Fi Channel are so powerdrunk with their huge audience that they care about Earthsea only as a brand, not a story or a community. Maybe they're right, given their success with their mediocre oversimplification of the masterpiece, Dune, and their large audience for the low-grade crap that fills their schedule. They're the MTV of SF, worthwhile only for their interstitial station-identification, riding the wave of the coming-of-age of their audience with the lowest maintainble quality of exploitation. If only there were a spell strong enough to cure them.

bastardization of 'i robot' (1)

rcamera (517595) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106158)

at least asimov was already dead before 'i robot' was horribly basterdized. elija bailey did NOT exist in the book - those were the later books in the robot series (namely 'caves of steel', 'the naked sun', and 'the robots of dawn'). and the robots would NEVER have attacked a human (at least until 'robots and empire').

Some People Call Him "Dad" (2, Interesting)

TrueJim (107565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11106160)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_L._Kroeber [wikipedia.org]

Alfred Louis Kroeber (June 11, 1876-October 5, 1960) was one of the most influential figures in American anthropology in the first half of the twentieth century.

Kroeber was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He received his doctorate under Franz Boas at Columbia University in 1901, basing his dissertation on his field work among the Arapaho. He spent most of his career in California, primarily at the University of California, Berkeley. The anthropology department's headquarters building at the University of California is known as Kroeber Hall.

Although he is known primarily as a cultural anthropologist, he did significant work in archaeology, and he contributed to anthropology by making connections between archaeology and culture. He conducted excavations in New Mexico, Mexico, and Peru.

Kroeber and his students did important work collecting cultural data on western tribes of Native Americans. The work done in preserving California tribes appeared in Handbook of Indians of California (1925). These efforts to preserve remaining data on these tribes has been termed "Salvage Ethnography." He is credited with developing the concepts of Culture Area and Cultural Configuration (Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America, 1939).

His influence was so strong that many contemporaries adopted his style of beard and mustache as well as his views as a social scientist.

He is noted for working with Ishi, who was claimed (though not uncontroversially) to be the last California Yahi Indian. His second wife, Theodora Kroeber, wrote a well-known biography of Ishi, Ishi in Two Worlds.

His textbook, Anthropology (1923, 1948), was widely used for years.

Kroeber was the father of the academic Clifton Kroeber by his first wife and the fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin and academic Karl Kroeber by his second. He also adopted the two children of his second wife's first marriage. Clifton and Karl recently (2003) edited a book together on the Ishi case, Ishi in Three Centuries.

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