Thursday, 13 November 2014


I saw Interstellar today. I enjoyed it --- it was beautiful and thought-provoking --- but about an hour in, it just stops making sense. I don't just mean the physics is bad, though it is, but the narrative fails to hold together on its own terms. Even so I think it's worth seeing on the big screen.

Apparently Jonathan Nolan wants to make one or more movies based on the Foundation series. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me; Foundation is an excellent series (at least the original trilogy; Asimov's later additions are embarrassing) but it's big ideas connected by threadbare narrative and could only make the barest bones of a watchable movie.

I can think of many science fiction stories more amenable to movie treatment. I've recently re-read (or more accurately re-skimmed) Marooned In Realtime by Vernor Vinge, and I think it's actually better than his more famous Hugo winners. It's packed full of big ideas but is genuinely moving in a way I don't get from his other books. Better still, from a movie point of view, there's a coherent narrative in the framework of a police procedural that makes it an easy story to tell. Plus exotic creatures and locations, robots, and space combat. What more could you want?

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