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HGTTG Sci-Fi And Farms...

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  • HGTTG Sci-Fi And Farms...

    Well i Saw 'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy' movie a few days ago and i'm sad to say to you fans that it sucked big time. And I never thought the book was any interesting either. Too many cheap shots and just confusing and unfunny 'ideas'. I think Dancers is almost Shakespeare compared to this "ha ha ho ho" story.

    And I read through Animal Farm today. ( I know! I know! It's almost a must read in schools but i never got around to it.)

    I found it a great work of contemporary litterature though. I wonder what Mikes position is on Orwell's work with political litterature?

  • #2
    I never cared for Hitchhikers neither, although I like douglas adam's work with Dr. Who, which some how suited his style. I never was one for joke parody scifi/fantasy - and I recall alot of nerdy friends praising it. I thought it was a lil' overated, I like my stories to take themselves seriously, if I want a comedy I'll watch Dumb and Dumber (which by the way is not a good example but the first thing that came to mind). :lol:

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Azariel
      I never cared for Hitchhikers neither, although I like douglas adam's work with Dr. Who, which some how suited his style. I never was one for joke parody scifi/fantasy - and I recall alot of nerdy friends praising it. I thought it was a lil' overated, I like my stories to take themselves seriously, if I want a comedy I'll watch Dumb and Dumber (which by the way is not a good example but the first thing that came to mind). :lol:
      It just so happens that it's too nerdy a thing. If there is such a thing as a "Nerd". It seems to me that nerds accept it fully just because it is nerdy in some way.

      Englishy dialects, ridiculous logic, cheesy characters.

      Catch 22 is also a book that nerds praise.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Azariel
        I never cared for Hitchhikers neither, although I like douglas adam's work with Dr. Who, which some how suited his style. I never was one for joke parody scifi/fantasy - and I recall alot of nerdy friends praising it. I thought it was a lil' overated, I like my stories to take themselves seriously, if I want a comedy I'll watch Dumb and Dumber (which by the way is not a good example but the first thing that came to mind). :lol:
        Adams' tenure as Script Editor on Dr Who is amongst the jokiest and silliest seasons of the show to be broadcast; certainly not a few fans thought that he, Graham Williams (the producer) and Tom Baker went OTT somewhat with the comic relief in Season 17 and breathed a sigh of relief when John Nathan-Turner and Christopher H. Bidmead injected a hefty does of 'real science' into the series the following year.

        Of course, comedy in many ways isn't really a genre as such. You can have comedy SF (i.e. Red Dwarf), comedy fantasy (Terry Pratchett's Discworld), comedy Westerns (Blazing Saddles), comedy horror (An American Werewolf in London), comedy histories (Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian), etc. And don't forget there are many different types of comedy from satire to slapstick, from screwball to the Commedia dell'arte, which Mike drew on for the Jerry Cornelius novels. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy)

        Originally posted by Theocrat
        It just so happens that it's too nerdy a thing. If there is such a thing as a "Nerd". It seems to me that nerds accept it fully just because it is nerdy in some way.
        It may have become 'nerdy' (an unfortunate malady of much SF for some odd reason) but HHGTTG when it first appeared in 1978/9 was really more of a 'Footlights' thing.*

        Adams' humour in many ways comes straight out of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', indeed he contributed to the final series and worked with Graham Chapman in the mid-70s on a number of projects (some abortive). No doubt it's all rather English and 'Oxbridge' orientated and perhaps doesn't 'translate' very well further afield?

        *Footlights refers to the 'Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club' from whence a great many British satirists, comics and writers emerged since the 1960s - Peter Cook, John Cleese, David Frost, Stephen Fry, Eric Idle, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Sacha Baron Cohen (aka 'Ali G'), and Douglas Adams. Simon Jones who played Arthur Dent in the original radio and tv series was also a Footlights alumni. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footlights)
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by demos99
          Of course, comedy in many ways isn't really a genre as such. You can have comedy SF (i.e. Red Dwarf), comedy fantasy (Terry Pratchett's Discworld), comedy Westerns (Blazing Saddles), comedy horror (An American Werewolf in London), comedy histories (Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian), etc.

          Ah, Red Dwarf was one of my favorites and to me far more hilarious than Hitchikers in my opinion, but it was serious in its own way. The things that happened were within the confines of their universe, the universe wasn't twisted to fit a pun or joke, the joke came already from the world around them.

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          • #6
            Red Dwarf is hilarious.

            Concerning Terry Pratchett's discworld. I always thought the humour, and the world, felt too constructed to be of any spontaneity.
            I had hard times explaining this to ardent fantasy fans.
            I got a mildly sectarian response as usual. Which is why I've become disinterested in conventional fantasy.

            I though Dancers was hilarious because of spontaneous humour.
            And a naivأ« love drama, although a complex one.
            And as always with Moorcock's stuff, a little depth.
            Although foggy sometimes.

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            • #7
              I've never read Discworld - the coveres never seemed to interesting to me, they seem jokey, which is hard to compare to a cover of brawny guy in combat - funny cover - macho cover hmmmm :D

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Azariel
                I've never read Discworld - the coveres never seemed to interesting to me, they seem jokey, which is hard to compare to a cover of brawny guy in combat - funny cover - macho cover hmmmm :D
                The original two Discworld novels were very much in the HHGTTG mode of comedy, so if you don't like that you probably won't 'get' The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. That said they do have some great jokes in them.

                From the third Discworld book (Equal Rites) Pratchett toned down the explicit jokes/pastiche and started crafting something a little more subtle. Really, most of the Discworld novels are about things that go on in the 'Real World'. Small Gods, which features Pratchett's take on Religion, is actually one that I think you'd enjoy, Azariel.

                As the novels progressed, Pratchett moved away from depicting a medieval/fantasy-type of world to more of a Renaissance-era one. This allows him to utilise a slightly higher level of technology than would otherwise by the case if he was doing straight Conan/Elric pastiches. For example, at the Unseen University some of the younger, more radical wizards, led by Ponder Stibbons, have developed a computer they call 'Hex':

                Currently, Hex is activated by initializing the GBL, which Stibbons reluctantly admits means "pulling the Great Big Lever". This releases millions of ants into a much more complex network of glass tubes that makes up the bulk of Hex, hence the sticker on Hex that reads Anthill inside, a pun on Intel’s ad slogan Intel Inside. Hex "thinks" by controlling which tubes the ants can crawl through, thus allowing it to perform increasingly complex computations if enough ants are provided (i.e. if there are enough bugs in the system). Hex can now be given input through a huge wooden keyboard, in analogue writing by means of a complicated mechanical eye designed by Hex itself, or vocally through an old hearing trumpet, and gives output by means of a quill on a hinged lever. It is all powered by a waterwheel covered in sheep skulls. That is, male sheep, in other words; ram. When it is particularly busy, an hourglass comes down on a spring - another sideways reference to Windows. Another and apparently important feature is an aquarium, so the operator has something to watch when Hex is working (screensaver). Hex's long-term memory storage is a massive beehive contained in the next room; the presence of the bees makes this secure memory, because attempting to tamper with it would result in being stung to death.

                There is also a mouse that has built its nest in the middle of Hex. It doesn't seem to do anything, but Hex stops working if it is removed. Hex also stops working (with the error message "Mine! Waah!") if the FTB (Fluffy Teddy Bear, a gift from the Hogfather*, whom Hex believes in having been instructed to do so) is removed. Stibbons is concerned by these signs that Hex might be alive, but insists that it only thinks it is.

                Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_%28Discworld%29
                * The Hogfather is the Discworld's version of Santa Claus (or Father Christmas).

                If I had to recommend just one Discworld novel to a newcomer to the series, I would probably plumb for Maskerade, which has echos of The Phantom of the Opera.
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bumping this thread because I rewatched the 6 part TV series of this this week and rather enjoyed it. Maybe it was the comparison in my mind with the excreble[sp?] Movie version is to blame, but I rather enjoyed it.

                  It's interesting to compare with the Bidmead season of Doctor Who which came out at the same time, esp in that the "worlds" in Hitchhikers just seem more believable, for all their silliness. But that may be because they only appear for about 10 minutes tops before being replaced by a new one, instead of one environment over 4 to 8 episodes. I also thought some of the effects were better, such as Arthur's trip into Magrathea in that bubble car with Slartibartfast.

                  This got me thinking about the politics of Doctor Who production vis a vis that if Hitchikers. Were the producers of the latter ever invited or interested in working for the latter? What was the deal?

                  But yeah I agree about Adams' Doctor Who season a bit OTT for me last time I watched (~5 years ago) but I often change my mind about these things.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris T View Post
                    This got me thinking about the politics of Doctor Who production vis a vis that if Hitchikers. Were the producers of the latter ever invited or interested in working for the latter? What was the deal?
                    In those days at the BBC (late '70s/early '80s) producers, directors, designers, etc. were assigned to whatever series or programme they were told to work on. For instance, the Doctor Who production office would recruit writers and commission scripts but then once a serial was approved and budgeted they would say 'We need a set designer/costume designer/whatever' and would be assigned whoever was available from the BBC staff pool at the time. That's why you'll hear directors say in interviews 'We were so lucky to get Barry Newbury (or Roger Murray-Leach)' because they knew they would do a great job with precious little resources. (Presumably there were other BBC staffers where they went 'Oh god, not him!'.) Likewise, you'll hear people say they were always pleased to be assigned Doctor Who because it was different from the usual costume drama/cop show/soap they were usually assigned to.

                    On the H2G2/DW front, Paddy Kingsland did radiophonic music/effects for both shows and Andrew Howe-Davies did production design for H2G2 and a Colin Baker episode but Alan JW Bell and John Lloyd (who directed and/or produced H2G2) both have more of a comedy background, with Bell working on Last of the Summer Wine from 1981-present, so I doubt they would have been interested in working on DW.
                    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Azariel View Post
                      I never cared for Hitchhikers neither
                      My god, all my life I've been saying this and I've been shunned, vilified, spat upon... (okay, I'm making that last one up) but at last there are others out there!

                      In fairness I'm only familiar with the TV series, the crappy film and a snippet of the radio series, so maybe I shouldn't judge the books too quickly, but still, how many mediums does one story need before it impresses! Same goes for Discworld, although I have no actually knowledge, just a pathological preconception that I'd hate it. I don't mind witty novels, but not if they are this chumpy.
                      forum

                      1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
                      2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
                      3. a public meeting place for open discussion

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                      • #12
                        Assassin, you aren't the only one. I've been a sf fan since my late high school days and somewhere in my college days acquired a copy of Hitchhiker's. It still sits on the not read pile unless my ex wife made off with it. (She was a big fan, should have taken that as a stop sign before the wedding <G>) One of these days I may try it again tho I have a lot more interesting books piling up. As for the movie I never saw it but the ex thought it was dreck.

                        herb
                        herb

                        Man spends his time on devising a more idiot proof computer. The universe spends its time devising bigger idiots. So far the universe is winning.

                        http://www.wolfshead.net/wolfshowl


                        http://www.wolfshead.net/books

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                        • #13
                          I love the Hitchhiker's series. And the BBCTV series. The movie ahd its moments, but . . . meh . . .

                          The soundtrack CD is good, though.

                          It's O.K. to not like it. Don't think Mike likes it, either.

                          That's why the stores have all those shelves: Don't likes something, ya finds something ya do like!
                          Madness is always the best armor against Reality

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                          • #14
                            I really loved the theme tune to the tv series.
                            Couldnt believe that it was The Eagles!!
                            Also there are 42 bars in the theme tune.
                            I dont get out much these days.
                            "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                            Hunter S Thompson

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                              In those days at the BBC (late '70s/early '80s) producers, directors, designers, etc. were assigned to whatever series or programme they were told to work on.
                              How's it work now?

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