Reading *Host* again

imagesSo I read Stephanie Meyer’s Host a few years ago. After I finished it I couldn’t understand why more people hadn’t read it or even heard about it. My exposure to science fiction has been mostly through Star Trek (Original, Academy and Voyager) and Asimov. So perhaps that’s the reason I’m not offended by a science fiction novel that isn’t gritty and technical and that doesn’t talk about black holes or particle accelerators. See, I love fantasy fiction too. I thrive on the fantastic new worlds authors of this genre build and explore. I love how they people these worlds and walk a fine edge between making this other world familiar as well as different enough to intrigue us. These worlds would be unimaginable without magic or at least a heavy suspension of disbelief. But the best of these stories are always character driven – where the people living in those worlds show the effects of the politics and warfare and culture through their interactions and through the many stories that stand on their shoulders.

To my mind, Host fulfilled the two things I want out of my fantasy fiction – great characters and a world building that unfolds and shows its effects through the actions of those characters. I don’t care that it was done under the aegis of science fiction.

I could sit down and tear the book up with criticisms. It’s flawed, of course it is. The whole story hovered between wanting to be serious and dark and wanting to be accessible to eleven year olds. But I got what I wanted out of this book and so I’ll save the hypocrisy.

I’m rereading it before the movie comes out. I hope the movie doesn’t mess with what appealed to me the most about the story – Wanda and Mel’s friendship. But just in case, I’m refreshing it in my head so that if the movie does disappoint, I’ll block it out of my mind with the original story in my head. =)


The Hobbit (1966) – a 12 minute short film

The (technically) first ever film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit! A 12-minute-long animated movie that is loosely (very loosely) based on our beloved story. The Warden’s Walk provides us access to this wonderful little piece as we await the grand cinematic experience of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The Warden's Walk

Ten years before the Rankin/Bass animated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit of 1977, American producer William L. Snyder commissioned this short movie version. He had acquired the film rights from the Tolkien estate when the novel wasn’t yet a phenomenon, but only on the condition that he could produce a “full-colour film” by June 30, 1966. Development Hell being what it is, this soon appeared unfeasible. Snyder failed to get backing from any major studio. And then the Tolkien craze did start, and Snyder realized he could probably still make some money off the material. He realized this somewhere around June 1 and promptly phoned his writer, Gene Dietch, who had been diligently working on a “magnificent” script for nearly two years. The loophole that would let Snyder keep the rights was this: the extreme leeway provided in the vague phrase “full-colour film.” Not feature length, not even fully…

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