I love books. I love the smell of the paper, the sound the pages make as you turn them, how they feel as you slide your fingers down the pages. Even the weight and feel of the book in your hands while reading is comforting.
You can write in the margins or underline sections if you have a mind to, and you can pop it onto your bookshelf when you’ve done with it. That’s something an eBook lacks, but eBooks are so cheap. Other than the fact you have to buy some an electronic gadget to be able to read them. The pages don’t fall out of an old eBook, but then eBooks never get old. (I hate that with old paperbacks.) Though the battery goes flat and that must get really annoying if it happens when you’re close to the end of your eBook.
So, for the benefit of others who share my preferences for paper I made sure there was a paperback edition of Alternate Earth. It’s available from only one place on the planet – Amazon. But the eBook is available from almost everywhere eBooks are sold.
Another love, as you might gather, is science fiction. My first experience of 2001: A Space Odyssey was the film. I was so impressed I read the book not long after. It’s very similar to be sure, but so different in other ways, which is not really too unexpected. Do you recall all that coloured stuff in the film that was flashing past at one point? That made no sense to me. Not at all. I think that would have been Stanley Kubrick’s thing rather than Clarke’s idea. Though, by all accounts they worked on the film together. Clarke described the experience of a wormhole in the book. Of looking inside it for the first time, not knowing what it was, and it wasn’t much more than a hole in the ground. Although, it was a scary, huge, deep hole. Perhaps the two of them agreed that a dark hole in the ground doesn’t make for such good cinema. Anyway, no one has experienced a wormhole. So, no one can say whether the experience is like a lot of flashing colours or not, if in fact wormholes exist.
I’ve often wondered what the actors in films think. Star Trek is another favourite of mine. It kind of saddens me to think that the actors performing for my (our) benefit don’t ever get to experience the series. At least not as you or me experience it. They don’t get to be taken on a ride as the plot develops, and listen to the dialogue be it funny, dramatic, or whatever. They don’t experience the tension as the story builds to a climax. No, the actors are in a studio surrounded by lights, cameras, stage hands, and the Director. We get to see the story unfold in one seamless flow. But in the studio I can imagine the same scene being shot over and over again until the Director is happy with everything. I can just imagine the Director calling, “Cut” in the middle of a scene. “What is this crap,” might be shouted out. “You. Little boy. Yes, you with cut arm. You’re an extra. Get off the scene until I need you. And lighting guy. What do you think you’re doing? I can’t see anyone’s faces. I can’t tell who’s who in my own scene. And you. Sobbing person. Try to make it look like you’re crying and not laughing. Okay, places everyone. Let’s try this again. Quiet please.” Presumably, the actors see their work from a different perspective.
The actors have a challenge to interpret what their character is like. The Director has some leeway to transform the story to the screen, and that’s creative, but it’s also subjective. I’ve seen some films that have been so badly done compared to the books from which they have been based. There would be budget issues too. The real creative people are the writers. For them its only their own imagination that limits them, and there are no limits.
I think Alternate Earth is imaginative, and therefore creative.