Was the book better?

Usually I don’t pass judgement on movies based on books. For example, Lord of the Rings may not have been an awesome adaptation, but that’s partly what made it an awesome movie series. I mean, as much as I lament the change to Faramir’s characterization, the ending of Two Towers wouldn’t have been very suspenseful if he hadn’t gone ring-crazy and dragged Frodo and Sam through a war zone. (In the book, they all just hung out in his secret waterfall base for a while. Before the hobbits leave, Faramir reassures them that he wouldn’t even try to take the ring if it was the only way to save Gondor.)

Here are a few exceptions off the top of my head…

The book was better

Eragon had it’s moments as a movie, but the book was so much richer and more detailed.

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite books growing up. Especially with all the hype that’s surrounding the prequel, I encourage people to check out the original book. Did you know that the events in the movie only cover the first half of the book? Glinda doesn’t just show up after the wizard flies off in the balloon. Dorothy and her friends have to journey to her realm before she can reveal the secret of the ruby slippers.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was an awesome movie that tried to be just as awesome as the book, but failed.

(Speaking of Hitchiker’s Guide movie, anybody recognize Arthur Dent?

The movie was better

Speaking of Martin Freeman, I’m going to risk offending literature fans by admitting I’d rather watch an episode of BBC’s Sherlock than read one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories.

V for Vendetta. No offense to Alan Moore, but the movie left out the slow parts and boiled the original graphic novel down to all the good stuff.

Extra: There was a book?

In most cases, if a movie is based on a book, I have at least a casual interest in reading the book first. Or soon after seeing the movie. Or someday!

Because of this, I’ve noticed a lot of movies that were surprisingly based on books. “Day the Earth Stood Still” for example.  Sure the 2008 movie was based on the 1951 movie…but the 1951 movie was based on a short story called Farewell to the Master. (I liked the 1951 movie the best out of all of them.) Other movies based (or inspired) by books: Meet the Robinsons, How to Train your Dragon, and does anybody else remember The Last Mimzy?

Extra 2: There wasn’t a book?

Not all movies were inspired by the book they’re marketed with.

After years of being disgruntled with an I, Robot that didn’t seem to care much for the original collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov, I realized it started as an original screenplay called Hardwired, and not too many changes were made after they got the rights to call it I, Robot.  And of course it languished in development until Hollywood found something popular to market it with. I guess it all turned out better than their original plan, which was to edit it beyond recognition with an action plot and space marines.


So when was the book better, and when was the movie better? And when were they both equally good according to each unique art form?

Unconventional Fans 2: Fandoms don’t have expiration dates.

A few days ago I started watching Fullmetal Alchemist. (An anime about two crippled brothers who travel the world, trying to heal themselves after their attempt to ressurrect their mother went horribly wrong.)

It aired almost ten years ago.

Yesterday I was watching a hilarious YouTube video that combined “Trouble with Tribbles” with Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”. A commenter lamented the spoiler because they were in the middle of watching the original Star Trek for the first time and hadn’t gotten to that episode yet.

Star Trek aired almost fifty years ago.

I still haven’t read Game of Thrones or played Mass Effect, but I expect to adore both of them.

And I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of people…more than we usually realize. Which fandoms have you arrived “late” to? Did you manage to enjoy the fandom and still finish the story relatively spoiler-free? 

My biggest frustration about discovering “ancient” fandoms is that I usually have very few people to share it with. Plenty of people will acknowledge that it’s awesome, but they’ve already experienced it and moved on years ago.

Unconventional Fans 1: Fandom and the Imminent Unknown

I was on Netflix yesterday, and saw that Sherlock (BBC) was still on my instant queue…which of course gave me a strong pang of  “Geez I miss this show–hurry up and film season 3 already!”

After thinking about it for a while, I thought of all the shows/books/games/etc. I’m currently most interested in (Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Hobbit, Dragon Age) and then I realized that what they all have in common is that I haven’t experienced the end of the story yet.

Stories I like just as much but have “finished” already  (such as Firefly and Deep Space 9) just can’t seem to capture my imagination as vividly as they used to.

Is this because “ongoing” stories are more fresh in my mind? Or is it because a corner of my mind is just desperate to know what happens? Am I not really affected by either, but since the rest of the online community is, I’m more drawn to active fandoms?

What are your experiences watching/reading/playing the end of a favorite story? What happens when you become less interested in a favorite story? 

Do those questions answer each other?

Elements of Your Ideal Fantasy World

-Have you ever read (or watched) a story with various fantastic species, and suspended your disbelief for some more than others?

“Okay they’re teaming up with the elves….to negotiate with the goblins, and then…hey wait, there’s unicorns in this world? Why??”

-Have you ever been at odds with the various theories and workings of magic described?

“Since when do tears bring anybody back to life?? It would be much more interesting if she bought a DIY necromancy kit, or traveled to the celestial plane to bargain for his soul.”

-Or maybe your ideal fantasy world is more like the real world than a fantasy world, except for a few shy, ancient beings who dabble in minor nature magic.


I’m still in the process of discovering what my ideal world would be. My jewelry designs help with that a lot. (Or does my vague idea of what I like best in fantasy help me design jewelry better??) Some of my jewelry designs interest me more than others, or I’ll feel more connected with one backstory than another. I even think there are more kinds of worlds I like than just one. These designs are the closest to the style of the one I would call ideal:

Relic on the Writing Desk  ecium_earrings_by_starlit_sorceress-d566lz7  the_dreams_of_trees_unfold_by_starlit_sorceress-d574eaw

In fantasy worlds, I like advanced technology just short of gunpowder. Magic is advanced, and has clear rules.
Races would definitely include elves and dwarves, though I’m kind of neutral on the specifics of the guttural race of savage humanoids that’s always supposed to be making trouble. It’s more interesting when the details of their culture are developed enough that you can root for them or at least respect their side.  (Dragon Age did this really well with the Qunari.)
Speaking of dragons, I can’t decide whether I prefer them to be friendly or evil. I guess I just don’t like the extremes. Not singing with children and puppies, but not brutal animals either.

No anthropomorphic animals, and as you might have guessed by my earlier examples, I like unicorns, pixies, and fairies to be shy and rare. (And by “rare” I mean hard to find, not cooked medium-rare!!)

Slightly off-topic, but I’m not a fan of insect-based races in sci-fi….although I haven’t experienced Mass Effect, Starcraft, or any of the Ender’s Game sequels. (I only read the Ender’s Shadow series.)

What elements make up your ideal fantasy world?