Category Archives: fantasy

coming soon to a laptop near you

What makes me think 2008 will be a big year for the future of the book?
Last night in London we went to see the movie of The Golden Compass adapted from the excellent Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Imagine my surprise when all three trailers shown were about films about books – not just film adaptations but movies in which the book itself stars.
Number one: Inkheart. “Maggie and her father had a special gift when it came to reading stories… but there’s one book they should never have read… ” It’s based on the novels of Cornelia Funke.
Number two: Spiderwick, based on books by artist Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. ‘Their World is Closer Than You Think’.
A child reads: ‘Do not dare to read this book for if you do but take a look…”
The trailer ends with an evil monster growling, “Give me the book!”
And finally, for the adults, Nicholas Cage in National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
Quotes from the trailer: “I need to see the page – there’s a symbol… it’s the
President’s secret book, it contains all the conspiracies…The book exists!”
it’s the Search for the Code of the Bride of Harry Potter & Da Vinci.
Meanwhile I loved The Golden Compass, which has been less compromised by Hollywood e than I’d feared. When the movie was launched I was horrified to hear a radio debate in New York about the dangers of Pullman’s philosophy contaminating innocent children – nobody voiced the view that kids deserved more atheist messages not less.
But I thought the least successful element was the tricksy way they showed the all knowing althiometer at work: swirling dust revealing fuzzy orange images. Only in text can you convincingly describe what it would feel like to know the future.
Will this fascination with the secret world of reading lead to increased sales for conventional tomes or is this the beginning of the final battle between page and screen?! And will it lead to more interest in new ways of mixing literature and image to make networked works of staggering genius?
This Spring experience: IFBOOK! ‘It’s a novel, Bob..but not as we know it.’
Happy New Year