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  • Community Survey

    I'd like to get a sample of people here at Multiverse.Org. For the time being I can't really explain why, but I would really appreciate it if you could all answer this poll for me.

    Thanks,

    Thanos

  • #2
    Hi, twenty-five years ago I read a lot of spy literature. Mainly John Le Carrأ© (also his early stuff like "The Looking Glas War", "Spy Who Came in from the Cold" and most Smiley books), some Ludlum, Graham Greene - and as a teenager a lot of Alistair MacLean (not all his books were spy-ware though), and some WW2 stuff if they weren't just "heroic fiction" on another with justr another backdrop.
    Being in Europe during the Cold War and meeting Nato and allied officers, diplomats, experts and the like from my early childhood on in our house (as my father was a political scientist and a diplomat for some time) all the mindset was familiar and you had a feeling for what was realistic or just entertaining fantasy. You distinguished between the more phantastic stuff in which dozens/hundreds get killed and which is lots of gadgetry - and the subtler things of Le Carrأ© and, for instance, Grady's SIX DAYS OF THE CONDOR (yes 6 days, the movie title was 3!) which all seemed closer to home (although the latter played in the US) and made you really wonder how close the author's got to the truth.
    BTW- there's even an early spy story by Joseph Conrad I can recommend, but can't think of the title right now.
    I always disqualified those books in which I knew too soon how they would end, I loved being misled to the very end. That was the main kick, I think, being outsmarted by a superior story teller.
    The later stuff with Palestinians, Guerrillas, Afghanistan, War for Oil etc I often found too annoying simplistic and based too much on of the biased misinterpretations of other cultures that even now obstruct intelligent decision making in the White House and other (Western) governments.

    Regards, L'Etranger
    Google ergo sum

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    • #3
      After taking part in the poll, I was thinking about spy films and desperately trying to think of spy I actually liked... but I couldn't come up with one. So I'm not sure if it's the genre I dislike, or just the main characters. I like watching detective stories unfold, and I like action films, but only if the central character (the one doing the sleuthing or leaping off of exploding buildings) is worth spending 90 minutes of my life with. I hope that helps!

      D...
      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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      • #4
        I sort of like the idea of espionage unfolding, but I, too, usually hate the spies who are main characters--especially if they're second-rate Bond knock-offs. I think the genre tends to be a one trick pony, but some people seem to do that trick really well.

        Good luck with whatever you're doing Thanos.

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        • #5
          I just finished reading Ian Flemming's James Bond series, which I quite liked. I'm not a big fan of the Bond movies, though, mainly because some deviate heavily from the books they're based on, which I find really annoying.

          Those are really the only "spy" books I've read, so far anyway.
          Madness is always the best armor against Reality

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          • #6
            Dee - what about Caine's take on Harry Palmer - anti-hero with NHS specs. John Steed and Emma Peel?? (Is that strictly spy, along with No.6?).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jules
              Dee - what about Caine's take on Harry Palmer - anti-hero with NHS specs. John Steed and Emma Peel?? (Is that strictly spy, along with No.6?).
              Aaargh! I'd forgotten 'The Avengers'!! I love 'The Avengers' (not 'The New Avengers' obviously, because that was shit, but the movie was okay). One John Steed is worth a thousand Bonds. I hadn't really thought of them as "spies", but you're right, that's exactly what they were. But yes, of course, No. 6 was a spy too, although technically retired. I suppose that's the key then, to bring something so fresh to the genre that people forget that it's even in genre! (well, stupid people like me, anyway)

              I'm afraid I haven't seen the Harry Palmer films. I'm not a huge Caine fan, really (although I did enjoy 'Alfie').

              D...
              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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              • #8
                The first two Palmer films are good - Ipcress File in particular - he was deliberately a bit of an anti-Bond - working class and insolent. Caine and Deighton also apparently had to fight the producers to have a man cooking for a woman on film!

                Ipcress and Funeral In Berlin are closer to Le Carre type 'spy' than Bond, but the third one is much more fantastic - location footage, glamourous women - almost shades of Jerry Cornelius in those secret arctic computer labs.

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                • #9
                  I know we have more than 19 people here! Please vote if you haven't already!

                  Thanks,

                  Thanos

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                  • #10
                    Are you planning to explain why you started this thread? Or was it just random curiosity? We're not being used as focus group are we? 8O

                    D...
                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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                    • #11
                      529, and now 530!

                      tee heehee ;)
                      \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                      Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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                      • #12
                        Hi Thanos. I already voted in this poll, just didn't reply in the thread. I used to read spy stuff in my late teens but just never went back to them afterwards - with the one exception of The Russian Intelligence.

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                        • #13
                          Well... I suppose I can let you all in on my idea.

                          Those of you who are familiar with RPGs probably know what a LARP (live action role playing) game is. The basic idea that I had was to provide an actual "spy game" for a fee. The over all goal is to provide a realistic James Bond-like experience where an individual (or team of individuals) is given a specific mission. Customers would be put in the position of a spy and would act against a scripted team of actors (although you could potentially set a team of spy-customers against another team of spy-customers). It would be a controlled environment of course. Measures would be taken in order to ensure the safety of the players (fake guns, possibly paintball, etc).

                          The possibilities are endless. The kid inside me thinks it's really cool but the businessman inside me thinks that people would pay an arm and a leg for a realistic spy experience.

                          But before I decided to go further with this idea I wanted to see just how many people are actually interested in spy-related materials.

                          Thanos

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                          • #14
                            Ah, well that's different. As I say my main problem with the spy genre was the stinky characters... but if I could be a spy myself... the possibilities!!

                            I think the success of games such as Metal Gear Solid would suggest that there's definitely a market out there for sneaking up on people and pretending to shoot them. Obviously there are elements of that in paint balling, but mainly my experience of that involves running across a field in camos with a foggy mask screaming my lungs out. Not too stealthy.

                            D...
                            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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