Two Hypothetical Books That Are Pretty Cool

1. Wikipedia as a printed book:

This came up at work the other day- wouldn’t it be great to own the complete, printed Wikipedia?  In reality, not so much.  You see, this bound beauty represents just 0.01% of everything on Wikipedia (as of June 2009..).  But it also reminds me of different times, when knowledge was nicely bound in finite volumes from A-Z, like snapshots of an era.  If you still own encyclopedias, never throw them away!  I would hate to lose that record of what Brittanica was thinking about the the World back in 1987.

2. The Complete Bound Ferengi 285 Rules of Acquisition

Somebody on Etsy reproduced the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, complete with a hand-carved wooden cover and all 285 rules printed in a Ferengi font (where does one obtain the Ferengi font?).  I’m deeply attracted to this item, yet economically repulsed by the $2500 price tag.  If you ask me, the seller doesn’t really want to sell.  And truth be told, I don’t blame her.    

Essential Reading for Steampunk Enthusiasts

Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel.

Boilerplate is the creation of graphic artist/writing team Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, who together have carefully revised history to include their beloved retro-modern steampunk robot.

The book is an ingenious work of historical fiction, styled after a traditional academic history text complete with graphs, maps, and brilliantly doctored photos depicting Boilerplate in a sundry of historically significant moments.

In one chapter, we see Boilerplate marching alongside suffragists in 1913, in the company of such luminaries as Lily Campion and Ida B. Wells.

While Boilerplate’s inclusion into such history is fictional (or as some would say, a hoax), the world Guinan and Bennett have chronicled for their robot’s journey through history is very much real.

You can read more about Boilerplate here (though be forewarned, the book’s site is a bit of a disorderly mess to comb through..).  If you want to see the book for yourself, Amazon has it listed for $17.96:

Upcoming scifi/fantasy film adaptations I’m hoping they don’t massacre…

As I’ve mentioned before, the entertainment industry is cashing in at the altar of scifi big time.  This is good news for people like me, who sit around wishing someone would turn Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman into 10 movies, or Bill Willingham’s Fables into a tv series.  That being said, adaptations sometimes come out all mangled and their inadequacies make us wish they’d never allowed the source material to be tainted in the first place (Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass…why?  why???)

Here’s my list of book-to-movie adaptations I’m hoping somehow, after being hacked at by movie studios, come out resembling something I can still love and enjoy:

1. William Gibson’s Neuromancer

I am very worried about this one.  Haydn Christiansen has been cast as Case.  Have we not learned our lesson movie-making peoples?  Do I need to send you a copy of Jumper?  On a scale from 1 to Massacre, this one gets a 9.

2. Brian K. Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man

I was just thinking the other day how Y would make a great feature film, if done right.  A quick search revealed that apparently I wasn’t the only one to think this.  Luckily, Shia LaBeouf turned down the chance to play Yorick.  The gods are smiling on this adaptation.  Who, I wonder, can step up to the plate and do justice to the role?  Massacre factor 5.

3. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

The Hobbit looks on track to satisfy even the most jaded viewer of venerated book adaptations.  Guillermo Del Toro directs, and Peter Jackson co-wrote the screenplay.  While there might be some tricky lawsuit ugliness to work out between the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and New Line Cinema over LOTR profits, the casting of Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving so far seems promising.  Massacre factor 3.