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10 May 2005 @ 10:03 pm
Books  

I just finished up listening to all three of the Earthsea trilogy books, prompted by watching the sci-fi channel show of it.

It seems like other than the race thing they were reasonably faithfull to the Wizard of Earthsea section of it, it was the Tombs of Atuan part that they really changed around. I do wonder why they didn't just do one movie per book rather than trying to combine them. In yet another weird bit of synchronicity about the time i was finishing up the Farthest Shore i happened to check my SFBC account and found that one of this month's special selections was an omnibus edition of the trilogy. I'm not going to be interested in reading it "again" really soon, but between the novelty and the fairly good dealness i decided to get it.

After finishing up the trilogy i moved on to "Have Spacesuit Will Travel." I liked the story but i wasn't so happy with the production. It's by some company called "Full Cast Audio" and apparently they decided they needed to justify their name. Instead of just doing a normal reading they decided to turn it into something halfway between an audio book and a radio drama. The only bit i didn't strongly disagree with was having a second, female, reader for the part of Peewee. Males seem to a do a crappy job of reading female parts more often than the inverse is true. However i didn't not appreciate the third, fourth, etc readers they had for bit parts. Nor the stupid sound effects and musical interludes they added. I especially didn't like the voice for the Mother-thing, which consisted of someone speaking while music was played over it. It may somewhat approximate what her voice was described as in the novel, but in practice it was annoying and made it hard to understand what she was saying at times. I still enjoyed the book, i just suffered through the presentation.

I'd also gotten "The Rollinng Stones" which Audible came out with at the same time so i stuck that next on the mp3 player, and when i finished "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" and started it up last night i was annoyed to find that my suspicion was correct, it's by the same company. So far it hasn't been quite as annoying, but i don't like this novel as much as the previous one. I'm very glad "The Puppet Masters" and "Double Star" weren't by the same company. Speaking of which, i wonder if they're going to come out with "The Door Into Summer," which i always considered to be from the same set as Puppet Masters and Double Star. I'd also be happy if they did some more of his jeuvenilles, particularly "Tunnel in the Sky," "Citizen of the Galaxy," "Red Planet," and "The Star Beast." Even if i had to suffer through more "Full Cast AUdio" productions to get them =P



Between the trip to and from the wedding and being sick last week and my normal reading progress i've gone through quite a lot of books recently. A Sharon Shinn book called "Wrapt in Crystal" which was pretty good (but still not quite as good as Summers at Castle Auborn =) Sheri S. Tepper's "The Visitor" (pretty average for one of her books, which is still pretty good) Nancy Kress' "Probability Sun" (which i didn't realize when i started was the second book in a series, damn it, but was still fairly good) "Empire of Bones" by someone named Liz Williams which wasn't bad but which didn't particularly impress me either, Charlaine Harris' "Club Dead" which was okay and Rebecca York's "Killing Moon" which was also okay but which i was hoping would be better since it featured werewolves rather than vampires. Oh, there was also Kim Harrison's "Dead Witch Walking" which had more of a SF/Fantasy universe to it so i enjoyed it more, even though it had less sex in it =) Hmmm, i wonder how long until the next Kelley Armstrong book comes out in paperback? And when am i going to be able to get "Dies the Fire" and "Radiant" damn it? =P

*checks amazon* Ooohh! May 31st for Kelley Armstrong it claims! Ack! September 6th for S.M. Stirling! And it doesn't even say for James Alan Gardner! *cries*


Okay, i think that's most of what i've been reading lately
 
 
Current Mood: geekygeeky
 
 
 
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate: reading - it's fundamentalakiko on May 11th, 2005 12:13 pm (UTC)
It seems like other than the race thing they were reasonably faithfull to the Wizard of Earthsea section of it, it was the Tombs of Atuan part that they really changed around.

Are you nuts? They got everything completely wrong. Ged is his True Name, first off, and Sparrowhawk is his usename. In that horrendous defamation of the books, they get it backwards. Ged is not a whiny brat. He's an arrogant shit, but not a whiny brat. I made it through the first half of the miniseries but only by going "NO THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!1!!1one!" every 30 seconds. They turned the temple of the Dead Gods into a fucking girls' boarding school. Utterly unforgivable. Tenar wasn't chosen at 14 because she was the best student. They took her and her name at age like 5 because she was the reincarnation of the previous priestess (much like the Dalai Lama, but a zillion times creepier because she wasn't allowed contact with her family ever again.) The name she uses means "the Eaten One," and by the time Ged meets up with her, she doesn't remember her birthname. Tenar is the name Ged gives her.

http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Index-EarthseaMiniseries.html has some fascinating commentary on the defamation of the books.
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 13th, 2005 03:40 am (UTC)
Are you nuts? They got everything completely wrong. Ged is his True Name, first off, and Sparrowhawk is his usename. In that horrendous defamation of the books, they get it backwards. Ged is not a whiny brat. He's an arrogant shit, but not a whiny brat. I made it through the first half of the miniseries but only by going "NO THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!1!!1one!" every 30 seconds.

I considered the name switching thing kind of like the abortion of the plans in the basement bit in H2G2, stupid and annoying but realistically not affecting the plot that much. I didn't notice him being _that_ whiney, but it's been awhile since i've seen it so i can't be sure.

Now everything else you mentioned was from the Tombs of Atuan, which i already said is the part they really screwed around with. And i just finished listening to the book so i'm well aware of all the plot differences you just mentioned :)

Also, there is no Kargish overlord plotting with the temple priestess, there is a Kargish god-king who never appears in the story and there are three high pristesess, Arha/Tenar, the one who runs the twin-gods temple who gets along with Arha and dies early on (presumably being the model for the head priestess in the movie,) and Kossil the head of the god-kings temple who feuds with Arha (and was presumably the model for the priestess who is plotting with the Kargish overlord in the movie.) The name Tenar isn't given to Arha by Ged, at least not the way it's explained in the book. Ged figures out what it is and reminds her. And of course Ged is much older in the book and already a dragon-lord.

And since there was no Kargish overlord there obviosuly was no stupid invasion of Roke, which i wasn't sure if i should could as a problem with Wizard of Earthsea or a problem with Tomb of Atuan. The same for where the final confrontation with the Gebbeth takes place.

The biggest plot-significant changes that i can think of specifically in the Wizard of Earthsea section is the Archmage not dying and Ged being kicked off the island. The skipped the bit with the fortress in Karo-At or whichever island it was that had the witch in it, but i'm not sure if that's really that significant. They skipped the bit with his first post since he was kicked out of Roke rather than graduating, but they worked in the dragon anyways.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on May 13th, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC)
The name-switching makes the entire system of magic, which is based on knowing a thing's true name, sort of absolutely nothing. Read Ms. LeGuin's commentary, as they're her books, and she knows what makes the story wrong. (I really love her "Oh god, they're going to have a honky Ged.")

Did you notice where I said I couldn't get through the first half of it? I think I saw about half or 3/4 of the first part before I decided it was shit and nonsense.

Tenar is her True Name. In Karg, they don't use magic, so they don't have True Names. Their parents name them as children, and that's what they go by. In the Archipelago, their parents name them, but when they're 13 or something, a wizard Names them and exhorts them never to share their Name with anyone, unless they truly trust that person, because Names are Power. Anyway, Ged is a wizard, and he can learn her True Name, so he gives it to her.

Ged in the miniseries really reminded me of Episode 2 Anakin. And I wanted to bitchslap his whiny arse. Maybe he got better in the second half. Couldn't say; didn't bother watching it.
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 13th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
The name-switching does not make the entire system of magic absolutly nothing. In the essays you pointed me at she says: "The funniest thing is that the scriptwriter even reversed Ged's true, secret name of power and his nickname — so that poor old Oh-jee-on has to solemnly baptize him as "Sparrowhawk"!"

He still has a usename and a true name. She complains that the magic system in the movie is screwed up because the importance of names is not emphasized. However the switching of names is not what screws things up. It's dorky that his true name is "sparrowhawk," but the fact that he has both names, regardless of which is common and which is secret, is one of the few things in the movie that actually supports the system of magic as presented in the books.

In the book they refer to her as Tenar at times from the begining, long before she meets Ged. When Ged calls her Tenar i'm pretty sure it says that she remembers it being her name and wonders how he knew it when she forgot. The impression i got is since the Kargs don't have the ritual of being given their true names when they reach maturity the name they're given at birth ends up being their true name, and the people of the inner lands think they're a pretty stupid for giving it away to anyone who asks.

Remember that although wizards are skilled at figuring out names they don't know it doesn't have to be a wizard that gives you your true name in the first place. It's only a coincidence that Ogion shows up in time to give Ged his true name.