My notes on Mark Chadbourn’s excellent first novel in his Age of Misrule trilogy, World’s End, has been published on SFSignal.com.
There are almost as many end of world novels as there are authors (yes, guilty!) in both science fiction and fantasy. My last article on SFSignal talked about different types of technology changes that can be found in sci-fi novels; Chadbourn’s series features a gradual technology collapse in a fantasy novel, with technology slowly but surely being replaced by a sense of the Earth, nature and magic. Chadbourn handles this transition seamlessly, taking the characters (and the reader) from a modern London to using Stonehenge as a refuge from creatures so heinous they cannot look upon them without nausea. Even though it was originally released in the late 90s by Gollancz in the UK, World’s End has a very 2012ish “a new age is coming” feel to it.
Read the entire review here.
The movie The Lightning Thief, has excellent special effects (Hades in the fire and looking like an old rock musician is well done) and tells the story of Percy Jackson, half human, half Olympian God. Several easily recognized actors play Olympian roles (Uma Thurman is enjoyable as Medusa, Pierce Brosnan with a half-horse body at Chiron, Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord of the Rings and Odysseus in Try) plays Zeus), and, except for the likeness of Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) to my son’s friend Ryan and a few occasions of wooden acting, the kid’s parts (Percy, Annabeth, Grover) were well cast.
As with most, we noted several major differences in the movie versus Rick Riordan’s first novel in the Percy Jackson series. Since the movie was already two hours, one would assume they were cut for time. But there were also pieces that were left out that are needed if the next book in the series is turned into a movie. Without some of these vital scenes, those who have not read the books would surely struggle to make sense of subsequent films. Even the most academic audience member, who might usually achieve good results from many online colleges and universities, would struggle if they were tested on an adaptation of the second book, having not read the first. This is because, although the film does not come across as being unclear on its own, the changes and omissions to the plot are often details which are of particular significance. This is certainly true when looking at the details within the context of the Percy Jackson series as a whole. Below I have listed a number of examples which may lead to future difficulties in continuity. Slight spoilers below if you havenít read the book: