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My dilemma, it has horns

I just discovered that in December, SyFy will be airing a tv miniseries version of Childhood's End, and I am sorely conflicted.

I love this book. It was one of the first science fiction novels I ever read. My mother introduced me to it when I was about twelve or so; it blew me away and set the bar for future reading very high indeed. I have re-read it many times since, always with great pleasure. It's a classic that turns up on every science fiction "best of" list: thought-provoking, complex, beautifully crafted, joyous and heartbreaking at the same time. The thought of seeing it brought to life fills me with unspeakable excitement.

But it's SyFy. Their record with adaptations fills me with equally unspeakable horror. If I watch the first episode and it's awful, I may never get it out of my head. Back when they were SciFi, they did a shamefully poor adaptatio of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea books. Fortunately I knew ahead of time that it stunk -- Le Guin herself disclaimed all connection with it -- so was able to avoid it, but it has left me highly distrustful of them. They're fine with Piranhaconda (after all, it isn't really possible to screw THAT up) and things of that ilk, but a Golden Age science fiction classic like this?

As I said, I'm on the horns of a dilemma :P


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Sep. 20th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)

But. Their miniseries tend to be EXCELLENT. Say what you want about the series and movies, I know they've gone downhill (though I have a soft spot for the movies, though there's not been a decent series since Star Gate went away). But the money they don't put into those, they put into the miniseries. So there's a good chance it's going to be good. I've never read it though, so I probably should.

Sep. 20th, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
Really? Oh good, that does make me feel better. Yes, read the book, it's wonderful!
Sep. 20th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
I've loved every one of the miniseries I've seen them do. Admittedly I've missed a few, but they put a lot of care into them rhat I've seen. I can't promise it'll be great, but it stands a better chance as a miniseries than a movie, likely.

*puts it on a list*
Sep. 20th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
Since I'm not American I have no idea what SyFy stands for. I know they've done a couple of scifi series, but that's about it.
That being said, I'm wary of seeing favourite books turned into visual adaptions too since all too often they turn out to be disappointing.
I've yet to watch a single adaptation of Frankenstein and I hesitated for a long time before I watched any of the Harry Potter films.
Sep. 21st, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
SyFy used to be the Sci Fi network, then they changed it (for reasons no one understands) to SyFy which everyone pronounces "Siffy."
Sep. 21st, 2015 12:43 am (UTC)
Okay, here's what you do: Record the series, then wait to read reviews of it to see if it was any good. If it was, watch it. If it wasn't, trash it.
Sep. 21st, 2015 06:43 am (UTC)
"Reviewing the miniseries, the book The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy claimed Legend of Earthsea "totally missed the point" of Le Guin's novels, "ripping out all the subtlety, nuance and beauty of the books and inserting boring cliches, painful stereotypes and a very unwelcome 'epic' war in their place".

Very sharp horns indeed.
Sep. 21st, 2015 07:56 am (UTC)
I never read the Earthsea books so I enjoyed the miniseries (mostly for Peter wingfield) but I sympathize with the fear of bad adaptations of books. If I've loved a book, chances are I won't like the show. I still rant about some stupid Oz movie that was supposed to be an adaptation of one of the later books and was so completely off.

On the other hand, I've enjoyed every syfy miniseries I've seen--there are a couple coming this winter I'm really looking forward to, this being one--and most of their tv shows. Why they make crap movies is beyond me.
Sep. 25th, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
I have to say after being back and forth about jumping back into Heroes with the new Reborn series 5 years since its cancellation with what that went through, I say give the show you're considering least the 1st episode or 2. It's better than wondering than having to perhaps go back to marathon/binge which is not the best thing I personally find.
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