Thursday, October 22, 2009

I think this illustrated version of Fahrenheit 451 is both outstanding in its own right and has made me love the original even more. The artwork uses noirish design to great effect and never overdetails its world, letting the words do their own work. Illustrator/adaptor Tim Hamilton has judiciously cut the text to give us, for the most part, the strongest and most evocative lines. Some scenes allow for silence. Fire has, as in the book, a life and presence that threaten the characters. This is excellent work.

Read some more of John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar. It is, unlike the last two science fiction novels of the New Wave that I read, a book for grownups.

Last night I read the first story in Nathan Englander's For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, "The Twenty-seventh Man." The story manages to have the quality of both a "tale" and an authentic occurrence, seeming strangely fantastic and realistic. Englander throws together 27 Jewish writers (all but one of whom are widely famous) all caught simultaneously in the net of Stalin's paranoia. We see their final hours as they await doom. Excellent story.

News about my own publication: My novella (at least, I think that's how it's being considered) "Helping Them Take the Old Man Down" will run in the March 2010 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, coming out mid-January.

Yesterday I received a rejection from The Greensboro Review. Three other stories of mine remain out for consideration.


Luke said...

Congratulations on the acceptance.

I've often seen classic works of literature available in graphic novel form, like THE TRIAL, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, CRIME & PUNISHMENT etc., and wondered how faithful they were to the original material.

William Preston said...

I don't know about the other graphic novelizations, which of course aren't burdened by having their living authors around to voice their complaints. I think, too, that the adapter for 451 was aware of the ironic potential of the project—Beatty mentions comic books as one way people were drawn away from "real" books—so he aimed to be faithful to the text. I found it an exciting story, even (overly) familiar as I am with the novel.

Thanks for the congratulations, too. I hope people enjoy my story.