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Howard Hughes Considers the Alternative.

Cause and effect. I was still up and online at 3 a.m., trying to figure out if King Kong is in the public domain, both the 1933 film and the basic scenario. That's cause. The effect is that I did not wake until 11 a.m. and am now very behind. But I believe that I managed to answer the question about Kong, via the case of Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. I am amused that first Universal argued that King Kong was public domain (Universal City Studios, Inc. v. RKO General Inc.) in order that De Laurentis could film his 1976 turkey of a remake, then turned around and argued the opposite to try and stop Nintendo from marketing Donkey Kong.

Anyway, the reason I was pondering this problem at 3 a.m. was that a story idea has occurred to me, a revisionist take on the story in which Ann Darrow is not rescued and remains on the island, though Kong has died. It might be something for Sirenia Digest 17, or maybe 18. I do not yet know.

The reason King Kong was on my mind in the first place was that last night we finally watched the extended version (and deleted scenes) of Peter Jackson's 2005 remake. The extended cut, 13 minutes longer than the theatrical release, is a much smoother film, the Skull Island portion of the story not so choppy and the series of events more comprehensible. Also, we get to see the search party attacked by a charging Ferrucutus cerastes (one of Skull Island's fictional Cenozoic ceratopsian dinosaurs), as well the deleted raft scene in which Driscoll and Co. battle first a hoard of "scorpio-pedes" (Nepapede harpagabdominus) and then an enormous predatory fish, Piranhadon titanus, and we also get a brief encounter with an unfortunate Brutornis (one of the island's fictional giant flightless birds).

We had a good walk yesterday, just before the storms began (heralding a spell of cooler weather). We headed down Sinclair and talked with Daisy the Dog and petted her, and then Spooky placed a four-leaf clover on the head of the Dinosaur of Sinclair Avenue. Shortly thereafter, though, I smacked my head on a dogwood limb and we found a dead brown snake in someone's driveway. Spooky moved it into the grass, and we both got kind of sad, wondering what's become of Drinker in a world where small snakes don't just have to worry about their natural predators, but also domestic cats, leaf blowers, and automobile tires.

I must go write. I've written nothing since March 28th, when I did a measly 575 words on an aborted beginning for The Dinosaurs of Mars, and nothing of consequence since March 12th, when I finished "In View of Nothing" for Sirenia Digest 16. Well, I did write the article for Locus on the 14th, but I'm not sure I should count that. First we had to proofread Silk, which we didn't finish until the 22nd, and then the iBook trouble began on the 29th, precipitating the Coming of the Unnamed iMac and all the distractions that has entailed. Between one thing and another, and with the help of a couple of bad days and Procrastination (one of the Nine Seven Deadly Sins of Writing, you'll recall)...well, that's how it's gotten to be April 4th with nothing of consequence written since mid-March. But it has to stop today. I have to deal with the digest, write a new short story for an upcoming anthology, and get to The Dinosaurs of Mars. And take time for Alabama Bound and then the Frank Woodward documentary at the end of the month. Argh. The platypus says stop typing and start writing, and I must heed hisherits demands forthwith.

Comments

( 11 comments — Have your say! )
rkbwrites
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
The idea is great, just need to replace Kong with a giant something else. Shouldn't be so hard, why not a giant platypus or another animal...
sclerotic_rings
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Or you could go with something even stranger. Nobody ever works with tritylodonts in fiction any more.
nykolus
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
i think the 'kong' idea is brilliant. i would love to see more in that regard.

and no offense, but your head/tree limb encounter made me chuckle aloud here at work.

and OT, i received my subterranean magazine #6 and can't wait to dive into 'zero summer'. the accompanying artwork to the story is awesome; the second piece with the print on it especially.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
and OT, i received my subterranean magazine #6 and can't wait to dive into 'zero summer'. the accompanying artwork to the story is awesome; the second piece with the print on it especially.


I've yet to see a copy for myself. Glad you like the illos. I'm always nervous with that sort of thing.
ladyeuthanasia
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)

Well, what I did with "Black Roses and Hail Marys" and then what Neil did two years later with "The Problem With Susan" might actually be an approach to consider for the "Ann Darrow" story. I have no idea if it would work for what you have in mind, but I've not been sued by Disney (I worked for them as a writer and they knew about the short story) and Neil's not been sued by whoever owns the rights to the Narnia crap (at least, not that I know of).

BTW, loving DoH so far. I'll write a review when I'm done.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
BTW, loving DoH so far. I'll write a review when I'm done.

Glad to hear that you're enjoying the book! I look forward to your comments.
sclerotic_rings
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Is it just me, or did anyone else start screaming toward the end, "Forget the New York crap! More Skull Island!" In my house, this usually ends with fevered dreams of trapping an adult Vastatosaurus, looking right at the video camera taping the whole event, and exclaiming "And now, I'm gonna take my thumb and put it up his butthole. This'll really piss him orf." This is the reason why I'm not encouraged to come back to the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
serizawa3000
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Whenever I see a convincing dinosaur (especially a carnivore) in a movie these days... all I can think is "Gimme a saddle!"
greygirlbeast
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
Is it just me, or did anyone else start screaming toward the end, "Forget the New York crap! More Skull Island!"

*raises hand*

Which is one thing that makes the extended version so cool. More Skull Island.
hangedwoman
Apr. 4th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
And this is another fine example of why I should stay off the web at work. Thankfully I was in mid-sip so I just spit back into the glass.
serizawa3000
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
One of the ideas I had knocked around a bit only to discard it due to copyright concern was a story from the point of view of one of the pilots who have to take out Kong... and how he had nightmares ever since...

I think John Varley's Wizard (book two of the Titan trilogy) had an anecdotal passage about "Kong," the giant ape creature created by Gaea on a whim (also on a whim, she created a giant sandworm)...
( 11 comments — Have your say! )