The Martian Child, by David Gerrold

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The Martian Child, by David Gerrold

Postby Omphalos » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:12 am

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Someone asked me recently why I only review SF books on my website when there are so many other better kinds of books out there to read. I will not bore you much with the details of how I corrected that person's outlook, but it got me to wondering if there was any non-SF books that I wanted to put up here. The short answer is "not many." But I did go out and pick up one that I have been meaning to read for a year or so, David Gerrold's The Martian Child. This review is of the novel, which was expanded from a Hugo, Locus, HOMer and Nebula Award winning novelette. John Cusack, one of my favorite actors, made a movie out of this thing recently and although I have not seen it, I will soon. It is about the birth of a new family, made up of a horribly troubled young boy named Dennis, his gay, middle aged adoptive father, David Gerrold himself, and their dog, named Somewhere. Obviously this piece is somewhat autobiographical. I think it is also one of the greatest examples out there of the most important theme in SF, transformation...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Postby SandChigger » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:47 am

Seems to be quite topical at the moment:

Some name-dropping whore hack wrote:For movies, we watched The Golden Compass, 21, The Cooler, American Gangster, Horton Hears a Who, and The Martian Child -- based on the short story, then novel, by David Gerrold ("The Trouble with Tribbles"), who as a single dad had himself adopted a troubled young boy and raised him; Rebecca and I have known David for years, and we watched him go through many of those experiences.

:roll: Watched...not helped or anything messy like that.

I'll probably pass on this one; gettin' a little bit of a Life is Beautiful vibe. :wink:
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

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Postby Omphalos » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:16 pm

Is it that stuff, or the EST stuff that turns you off?
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Postby SandChigger » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:56 pm

Hmmm. Well, the addition of the EST certainly doesn't help.

I don't know that much about it, but I've heard of it, know the name, of course.
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

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Postby Liege-Killer » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:32 pm

I've seen the movie, and it was very decent for that sort of thing. It reminded me a lot of K-Pax -- a troubled individual trying to cope with life by pretending to be an alien. Quite touching, although it's not the kind of movie I wanna watch all the time. And I like John Cusack too.

It is about the birth of a new family, made up of a horribly troubled young boy named Dennis, his gay, middle aged adoptive father, David Gerrold himself, and their dog, named Somewhere.


Apparently they deleted that "gay" part in the movie. As I recall, Cusack's character had a female love interest. I guess they had to make it more "family friendly." :roll:
"I'm being ironic. Don't interrupt a man in the midst of being ironic, it's not polite." -- Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:46 pm

Fuck Hollywood.


But thinking about that, how did it fly in the real world even? I'm surprised the guy got approved, that someone in the system didn't reject him to avoid possible controversy.

Or was the kid simply that much of a pain in the ass and them wanting to get rid of him so much that it didn't matter?
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

Arrakeen is an unawakened ghola.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:20 pm

To be perfectly frank, Gerrold is bi, though he mentioned that all of his relationships with women ended with, ahem, discord. And the big tragedy that he was getting over in his life was the senseless murder of his a man whom he was deeply in love with. He said that he was bi, but I read it all adding up to him being gay and strongly preferring men.

If they changed his orientation though, that would kind of fuck up the story. His being gay was not critical to the story, but three big elements would have been different if he was.

Were any other SF writers in the movie? David Barnes and one or two others appeared in the book.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Postby Liege-Killer » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:56 am

Omphalos wrote:Were any other SF writers in the movie? David Barnes and one or two others appeared in the book.


Not that I recall. Although my memory isn't necessarily proof of anything.
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Postby Omphalos » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:50 am

I just saw this movie last night, and I have to say that the adaptation is a complete hack job. That movie had a bright part or two, but there were so many parts where I threw my hands up in the air and yelled "this sucks!" that my wife was starting to defend picking the thing up by reminding me that I asked for it. To anyone who has seen the movie and found it decent at all, get the novelization, or find the novelette in Nebula Awards 30. It is by far, far, far better than this melodramatic piece of crap.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Postby SandChigger » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:31 am

That's my Hollywood! :)



:cry:
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

Arrakeen is an unawakened ghola.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:45 pm

When I saw the movie I had no idea it was based on a true story, and so I guess I wasn't too critical of it. Or maybe I was just in a mood for something sappy and emotional. :lol:
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