Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sad Realities and Doomsday Book

We all lived through the Millennium without the power grid collapsing or the internet imploding or turning into cannibals. And after the initial shock and horror of the terrorist attacks on the east coast on 9/11/01 and months, perhaps even a year, of expecting another assault but none came, we've fallen back into our sense of safety and dismissal. I fear we've become a little smug.

Still, I couldn't help think of Connie Willis' brilliant novel Doomsday Book when a Ship of Fools hell thread started about a deadly flu outbreak in Hong Kong.

Paula DiSante and I optioned Doomsday Book from Connie back in the mid-90s and spent three years trying to get the puppy greenlit (not sufficient Hollywood juice ~ sigh). Paula's adaptation was brilliant, even Connie liked it and authors never like the truncated script version of their baby (too much like taking someone's lithe, leggy dream teen and handing them back a dwarf and saying, "well, of course we had to make it shorter..."). But this is one time I'd be very happy for one of my favorite SF writers not to be prescient-- *whimper* --I'm not looking for a modern Tyhpoid Mary à la 12 Monkeys by Terry Gilliam; we've already demonstrated our hubris in that we're unwilling to call for quarantines.

Still, if you haven't read it, do--