Modernizing old favorites

The Warlock, the Warlock's Heirs, and the Rogue Wizard.
kf6eml
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Modernizing old favorites

Postby kf6eml » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:35 am

At heart, I am a purist; I like stories to be enjoyed the way the author wrote them, and I will always choose an unabridged version of a good book, if available. I even enjoyed the Canterbury Tales more in their original Middle English than I did in modern, though it took me a long time and more than a few readings to understand it.

But after re-reading The Warlock In Spite of Himself, I couldn't help but think that a technology update would be in order.
When it was written, I'm sure all of the technological details were beyond state-of-the-art, but today, most teenagers have no clue what metal oxide tape is or what to do with it. A relay is something in the Olympics, and it would never occur to them to put one into a computer.

99.9% of the book is great, but at the risk of offering grave insult to the author, would it be wrong to suggest some updating in the next release?
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Ortho the Frank
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Re: Modernizing old favorites

Postby Ortho the Frank » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:01 pm

Alas, this is always a problem with science fiction, especially in 40-year-old-novels like Warlock in Spite of Himself. Jules Verne and HG Wells, whose science fiction stories once seemed so cutting edge and visionary, now seem downright quaint.

I remember reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when I was a kid, and didn't get what the big deal was about--it was just a bunch of guys running around in a submarine, after all. My dad had to explain to me that, at the time it was written, submarines didn't exist.

At any rate, I've often thought modern day computer problems would translate well to Fess being epileptic. Instead of a faulty capacitor, perhaps his processor overheats, forcing a system shutdown to prevent further heat damage (like my #@$%& epileptic laptop does all the time).
kf6eml
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Re: Modernizing old favorites

Postby kf6eml » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:10 pm

Not a bad idea - There are a lot of things that can cause that: a broken or blocked cooling passage, a cold solder joint, a bad transistor on the overflow stack in the processor chip...

Mr. S's stories don't seem quaint, at all. They are about people and how they interact; the "futuristic" bits are really a side-show, when you get right down to it. The only thing that seems the least bit "quaint" is the description of obsolete technology as being state-of-the-art, and the only reason for that is because things did not progress in the directions anybody expected 40 years ago. After all, the characters in the book don't seem "quaint" at all, and their culture is from an even more distant past than the technology. Also, if the dear author could have predicted all of the technological innovations of the last 40 years accurately, he would most likely own his own island somewhere, and would be lying on a chaise lounge right now having pina coladas and peeled grapes fed to him by scantily clad island girls. We would not be having this conversation.

Mr. S is a good writer, and I wouldn't lose the original work. Even the minor changes I was thinking about would do little to hold a reader's interest - The story and the personalities of the characters need no help, there - It's just that those parts are distracting. Even mentioning increased efficiency of data storage and retrieval (in an era of the internet and Google) causes a strange pause in the story. In days when searching out information meant an hour-long trip to the library and data were stored on 8" floppy disks that couldn't even hold the whole text of the novel, it helped set a tone for the reader. Nowadays, the reader is left wondering what this has to do with the story.
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cstasheff
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Re: Modernizing old favorites

Postby cstasheff » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:44 pm

Thank you, K6eml -- and all others on this topic, especially Ortho who, true to his name,will probably keep me honest. When I published WARLOCK AND SON, a fan whole name I've lost, recognized the validity of the effects of Magnus's ttauma but also made a convincing case for his eventual healing by a woman who was as wounded as he was; they would heal one aonther. I didn't see how that could be done at the time, but some years later, I could understand it -- so I introduced Alia, and the next few ROHUE WIZARD novels showed their mutual regeneration. Unfortuantely, when I moved my study, I lost her letter, so have never been able to thank her. Simlarly, any ideas you readers come up with may eventually be used with my thanks -- if I can remember who sent them.

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