5 remakes I would like to see

So there was this Ghostbusters remake/reboot that caused a lot of angst among various peoples. Since I’ve yet to see it (I’ll probably wait until it’s on Netflix.) I don’t have an opinion on it one way or another. But the existence of the film has made me ponder the idea of remakes/reboots in general; why they work (Battlestar Galactica, Casino Royale), limp past the post (Star Trek, Miami Vice), or explode in an incandescent glory of fail (The Wicker Man, The Day The Earth Stood Still.)

One obvious thing is that decent quality source material doesn’t guarantee the quality of a remake. In fact, it often seems that there is an inverse relationship; the better the original, the worse subsequent attempts seem.  That may be simply a side effect of comparing the two.  After all, it’s easier to improve on a crappy movie than improve on a great one, and making any movie worse is the easiest task of all. It also seems to me that the best remakes take the existing property and do something new with it (counter-example and failure: Psycho). Much is made of “gritty reboots,” so much so that it’s now a cliché, but there’s also the “campy reboot” that can also work/not work just as well (see Dragnet or Dark Shadows), what matters is that the change in tone gives a reason for the remake to exist.  The gender flip in Ghostbusters obviously serves a similar meta-purpose, to change the story enough to justify the movie’s existence.

With that in mind, here are five stories I’d like to see getting remade.
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About 16 years ago we wanted a new cat…

So we went to the Geauga Humane Society to get a new friend for our cat Mu. Michelle wanted a fluffy white Persian, but she made the mistake of handing me a little black kitten before filling out paperwork. By the time she came back, I told her we found a cat. She was all, “no, that was not what I was looking for!” But what did she expect, handing me a kitten like that?

panzer 1
Not a white-haired Persian

She got her name, Panzer, because she was built like a tank and had a habit of running and plowing over poor Mu, even when Mu was twice her size. Though, that didn’t last as Panzer eventually grew bigger than Mu.

Mu didn't have any hard feelings though
Mu didn’t have any hard feelings though

Panzer grew to be a pretty large cat.

No more room in here, go away.
No more room, go away.

And she was probably the most playful.

What you hiding in here?
What you hiding in here?

While she was always closest to Mu, she did get along with all our subsequent animals.

This is what mommy was looking for?
This is what mommy was looking for?

Unfortunately, after a bout of illness, we had to say goodbye to her this week. All I can say is what we gained from having her this past decade-and-a-half outweighs what we lost on Monday.

File under "cat picture."
File under “cat picture.”

Game Update

forests4For those of you that don’t follow my Facebook page, or missed my announcement last month: I have been contracted by Choice of Games to write a “choose-your-own-adventure” style game based in my Moreau Universe. And, yes, one of the first choices you make in the game is choosing your species. And yes, you can play a genetically engineered capybara. You can thank one of the editors for that ;). The game is progressing well ahead of our deadline, about 1/3 written so far, and I’m finding it a nice change of pace from linear novel writing. I will keep everyone posted on my progress, but it seems on track to appear sometime next year.

For my writing friends: It is worth checking out these guys. They pay rates comparable to a genre mass-market paperback sale. Just bear in mind that you need to access a different skill set than straight novel writing. Any experience coding is helpful. Also any experience running a RPG is also helpful.


Libertycon 29

Me and head programming guy, Rich Groller, at the tail end of LibertyCon
Me and head programming guy, Rich Groller, at the tail end of LibertyCon

If you were following me on Facebook you know I attended Libertycon 29 this past weekend. I had a blast. Even though it was a bit outside my normal stomping grounds, I found no shortage of folks to talk with— no small thing for an introverted cave-dweller such as myself. Highlights:

  • The con staff was fantastic, everything I saw ran smoothly, from the con-suite to the banquet to the panels. (And buy a banquet ticket if you go, it’s well worth it.)
  • The venue is the most impressively strange setting for a con I’ve ever been to, it’s like having a con in an alternate steampunk universe.
  • My time in Author Alley was well spent, even though I only sold a handful of books, because of all the folks I met and talked to who said they were fans of my stuff. (Apparently there’s a big Venn Diagram overlap between fans of my work and Libertycon attendees.)
  • And I got a kick when Jonathan Maberry, the literary GoH came by my table, said he liked Hostile Takeover and bought a copy of Prophets. Had a nice chat with him then, and later in the con suite, and even later had him sign a copy of Patient Zero for me.
  • And even more of a kick attending the Baen dinner party, where I got to hear Larry Correia wax poetic on video game tanks, and spent most of the evening talking with David Weber.

All in all, a great time, will do it again.

And I am back again…

I have returned. (Not that I’ve actually gone anywhere.) My wife is cracking the social media whip at me, telling me I should stop ignoring the blog portion of my site. So I’m going to start posting here again so my little corner of the web doesn’t look so abandoned. Look for me to be posting stuff here Tuesdays and Thursdays…