Friday, 12 August 2011

SCIENCE FICTION FILM TIE IN REVIEW: Cowboys and Aliens - Joan D Vinge

Release Date: 05/08/11


1875, New Mexico Territory. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde. It's a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breath-taking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveller Ella, he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents - townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors - all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.


Whenever an author is asked to write the novelisation to a film, the reader is always left wondering if they’ll come up with something that will translate to the reading audience as well as it does to the movie viewer.

After all the whole thing is linear and whilst the author doesn’t have to worry about a small thing like budget when they create their own world in this they have to stick ridgedly to the arc with no real wriggle room as they’re constrained by the shackles of the script.

What Joan created in this title was a book that not only stood upon its own but one that flowed and was a real joy to read. The prose was crisp, the characters decent and above all else the pace kept you glued to the title as Joan’s writing brought real depth to the principle character of Jake Lonergan as the tale reached the conclusion of its quest. Great stuff.

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