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stuck by this river

Not a bad day, yesterday. Even though the sun did a number on my head, still a good day. We made the 3:10 matinee of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at Midtown. I'll get back to that shortly.

I got word yesterday, from someone other than my editor at Penguin, that the page proofs for the new edition (fourth ed., mass-market paperback, due out December 2007) of Silk are on their way to me. I haven't even dealt with the Beowulf first-pass proofs yet. This stuff piles up, because new things have to be written. Increasingly, I'm allowing Spooky to deal with page proofs, to save precious writing time, but it means she loses doll-making time.

And the announcement I thought I would be making this week will likely be made next week, instead.

My thanks to spiritualmonkey for these cogent comments, written upon reading first Daughter of Hounds, then Low Red Moon, then Threshold, and thereby getting the narartive in reverse chronological order and an order that is the reverse of that it was written in. It is not often that reader comments (or reviewer comments) so delight me. Here's the thing: as I was writing these books, I had it in my mind that someone should be able to begin reading the story from any point along the "timeline." That said, I have also always acknowledged that the order in which the books are read determine which story you'll get. Usually, when someone asks, which book should I begin with, I say Low Red Moon, which, if you believe this is actually a "series" (it isn't, no more than your life is a series), means you're starting in the middle. Anyway, if you have a particular interest in my work, and especially how I handle the problem of time (which is, in fact, often central to my work), you should follow the link and read the entry. And again, my thanks to its author.

Now, onto Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If you're reading this on LJ, my comments are behind the cut. If you're reading this at MySpace, you'll just have to skip ahead to avoid "spoilers":



I loved it. A wonderful film, and, indeed, I would say that in at least one aspect it is a marked improvement over the novel. Last February. I commented that Order of the Phoenix was the best of Rowling's books thus far (I'd not yet read The Half Blood Prince). However, the climactic action sequence is a ridiculous, muddled mess in the book. The film fixes that, and fixes it marvelously. That said, yes, this is a different sort of Harry Potter film. Not only is the tone appropriately darker, but I honestly cannot say for sure if I would have been able to follow this film without having read the novel first. But then, here we have an 870-page novel distilled into a 138-minute film. By necessity, a lot was cut. I do wish that the film had been just a little longer, but I expect there were all sorts of decisions made based upon test audience comments and suchlike, so there you go. Perhaps the DVD release will be an extended version. A few quick highlights. Helena Bonham Carter is outstandingly demented as Bellatrix Lastrange. Likewise, Imelda Staunton manages, if anything, to make Dolores Umbridge even more vile a woman than she was in the novel (and that's saying something). One very pleasant surprise was Evanna Lynch's portrayal of Luna Lovegood; indeed, I now have a new pick for who I want to see play Dancy Flammarion. Natalia Tena was perfect as my beloved Nymphadora Tonks, though there was far too little of her. As I've said already, my only real complaint with the film is that there was far too little of a number of things, and I think it will certainly be felt by any audience members who haven't read the book. More Sirius, please. Snape's flashback to his boyhood humiliation at the hands of Harry's father should have been given more space. More Kreacher would have been nice. And so forth. But, still, I did love it and will likely be seeing it again in the theatre.



Afterwards, we met Byron for dinner at The Vortex, where we had a waiter named Moose. We were all three good and resisted asking him where Archie and Jughead were. Dinner turned into a long conversation that strayed to many topics, such as how our parents tried to poison us all with Mecurochrome; a number of upcoming films; Dr. Who; the Lord of the Rings MMORPG; and strippers, both real and virtual.

Somehow, it's already 1:17 here and I have to get back to "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resuurection." So, in closing, let me just say that I hope you will please have a look at our current eBay auctions, which include an ARC of the Subterranean Press edition of Low Red Moon; a copy of The Five of Cups (hardcover trade edition); and a copy of the Italian-language edition of Threshold (La Soglia). You may see all three auctions here. All books come signed and can be personalised at the buyer's request. I thank you, Spooky thanks you, and the platypus, hesheit thanks you, too.

Comments

( 8 comments — Have your say! )
curt_holman
Jul. 12th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
"However, the climactic action sequence is a ridiculous, muddled mess in the book."

Yes! Phoenix would be my favorite of the books if it weren't for the last 90 or so pages. The film could probably use more of the centaurs, but otherwise the last act pays off beautifully.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 12th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)

Yes! Phoenix would be my favorite of the books if it weren't for the last 90 or so pages.

Agreed.
sovay
Jul. 12th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
if you believe this is actually a "series" (it isn't, no more than your life is a series)

I like this very much.
serizawa3000
Jul. 12th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
A bit of me wanted to see Gigi Edgely as Tonks... but that's just me, I guess... :)
greygirlbeast
Jul. 12th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)

A bit of me wanted to see Gigi Edgely as Tonks... but that's just me, I guess... :)

On the one hand, yeah, I could almost see that. Though Gigi Edgely might be a little old at this point play Tonks (she was born in 1977, vs. Tena's 1984). Though, in point of fact, Nymphadora Tonks was, I think, supposedly born in 1976, but I don't know where I got that bit of information. This gets back to how the Potter books cannot be occurring the present, but in the very recent past.
spiritualmonkey
Jul. 12th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
That may sincerely be the first time anyone has ever described as series of English words I've strung together as "cogent".

:D
greygirlbeast
Jul. 12th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)

That may sincerely be the first time anyone has ever described a series of English words I've strung together as "cogent".

Ah, well. You have to begin someplace. :-)
unknownbinaries
Jul. 12th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
Dinner turned into a long conversation that strayed to many topics, such as how our parents tried to poison us all with Mecurochrome...

You know, I was always a little nervous about something red that held a green and metallic sheen...But it was the only disinfectant I would allow near me for a long time, if I fell and scraped something, because it didn't hurt.
( 8 comments — Have your say! )