Anyone who has read my books or my blog knows that I have a fascination with doppelgängers (doubles and lookalikes). Lately, I’ve been receiving some messages from friends and fans who wanted to let me know that Fair Coin now has its very own doppelgänger! What do you think?
I wonder if the people who designed the poster for the U.S. theatrical release of Mr. Nobody were perhaps influenced by the excellent book cover illustrated by Sam Weber. Oddly enough, back when Sam was brainstorming ideas for Fair Coin, I remember him noting that he wanted to go for a movie poster aesthetic. Well done!
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Nobody sounds like an amazing film — exactly the sort of thing I will like. Apparently it premiered in 2009 at some international festivals and has already been released (with different posters) with a cult following. It’s only now just hitting the U.S. Here’s the synopsis from the film’s Facebook page:
A young boy stands on a station platform. The train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? An infinity of possibilities rise from this decision. As long as he doesn’t choose, anything is possible.
Yeah, sign me up for that! Mr. Nobody will be released for iTunes and on demand next week and theatrically in November; now that it’s on my radar, I am definitely going to see it sooner than later. Hopefully it will do a doppelgängbusters box office, so one day there will really be a Fair Coin movie poster in our universe! :)
Part of Quantum Coin is set in Princeton, N.J., so I’m looking forward to bringing the book there this Friday for an event called Buzz Pop: Connecting Teens with Books, Pop Culture, and Young Adult Authors.
This program series at the West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library System is described as an informal discussion with teens and YA authors about books, music, movies, and TV shows — with snacks! I approve of all of these.
I’ll be joined by several other authors: Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist), Alissa Grosso (Shallow Pond, Ferocity Summer, Popular), and Evan Roskos (Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets). Books will be for sale! We will happily sign our names on things! Fun will be had!
I hope many teens in the area will be there. The event is free, but you should register here now to make sure there are enough snacks.
I’m pretty excited about finally getting to see Star Trek Into Darkness tomorrow night. I’ve been dodging internet spoilers like it’s my job, and I’m one of the devout Star Trek fans who really digs J.J. Abrams’ take on the franchise. It doesn’t take a lot to please me: Give me time travel, alternate timelines, and Leonard Nimoy, and I’m a happy geek. (Props to Abrams and Fringe for also delivering on all three!)
I just re-watched the 2009 Abrams film, which (spoiler!) I did like a hell of a lot, and I’m happy to say I still enjoy it. In honor of the release of the new film, here’s my non-spoilery review of Star Trek from way back in 2009, which launched me on my Star Trek Re-Watches at Tor.com and The Viewscreen. In the comments, let me know what you think of the Abrams’ films, but no spoilers on Into Darkness until 10:00 p.m. EST tomorrow night, please.
April 18 also marks the 75th anniversary (observed) of Superman, my favorite superhero. He first appeared in Action Comics #1, which bears the date June 1938 on its iconic cover. All these years, I’d thought that was the month the magazine was published, but that’s actually the “sell by” date–when it was supposed to be taken off the newsstands. Find out more about the history of it at Bleeding Cool.
Superman was such an important, formative part of my childhood, it’s very likely that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if he didn’t exist. Growing up without a father, I think Superman sort of became a role model for me and helped provide some of the moral guidance that I needed to become a decent human being.
I wrote about what Superman means to me in a very personal letter that originally appeared in a collection called Talking Back: Epistolary Fantasies (ed. L. Timmel Duchamp, Aqueduct Press, 2006). Writer/Editor Cat Rambo was kind enough to reprint it in Fantasy Magazine three years later, and it’s still online, so if you have a couple of minutes, please feel free to check out “Dear Superman.”
And to bring it all together, I snuck a quote from one of my favorite films, Superman: The Movie (1978), into Quantum Coin. I didn’t expect anyone to notice, but if you’re a fan of the film, see if you can spot it on pages 265-66!
The U.S. celebrated Groundhog Day a couple of weeks ago (is there an international, or even fictional equivalent, I wonder?), and as usual, it was an opportunity for geeks everywhere to show our appreciation for one of the greatest time travel films ever made: Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andy MacDowell. Like I need an excuse to re-watch it! But this year the occasion reminded me of another film that is not nearly as well known…
Before the Syfy Channel (née Sci-Fi Channel) built its reputation on making so-bad-they’re-good genre films, Fox was the champion of low-budget SF movies-of-the-week. The nostalgic and sometimes faulty part of my brain fondly remembers the 90s as the heyday of TV movies, and Fox gave us instant classics such as Generation X, W.E.I.R.D. World, and Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (starring David Hasselhoff in the titular role). Many of them were obviously backdoor pilots for new TV shows or cheap knockoffs of Hollywood blockbusters, but my favorite of the era was 12:01.
Starring Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s), Helen Slater (Supergirl), Jeremy Piven, and Martin Landau, on the surface it looks like a rehash of Groundhog Day. Whereas the latter film doesn’t really try to explain the cause of the 24-hour time loop, 12:01 attributes it to a science experiment that threatens to trap the entire world in the same day. Silverman is not quite as talented or entertaining as Bill Murray, but he got the job done. I remember liking him and Slater and in general appreciating the film on its own merits. And it turns out it may not be a ripoff of Groundhog Day at all–in fact, the creators maintained that Groundhog Day stole from them.
Could be. 12:01 was based on a 1990 short film directed by Jonathan Heap called 12:01 PM, which was in turn adapted from a short story of the same title by Richard Lupoff, published in the December 1973 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. (Lupoff followed up with “12:02 PM” and “12:03 PM” in issues from 2012 and 2013–I’ve gotta track these down.) In the short film, which aired on Showtime’s 30-Minute Movie series, Myron Castleman (played by Kurtwood Smith) repeats the same hour over and over again, from 12:01 to 1:00 p.m. At least it’s his lunch break.
Director Jack Sholder expanded on this premise for 12:01, which aired on Fox on July 5, 1993. Groundhog Day was released on Feb. 12, 1993. Suspiciously close timing, but I can understand the skepticism–at least as far as the film versions go. Whichever came first, it’s a shame because there’s no avoiding the similarities, and 12:01 actually compares pretty favorably. Good enough that even though I haven’t seen it in a while, I may just grab it on DVD instead of digging out my old VHS tape from storage.
If you’re curious about this time loopy alternative to a beloved film, here’s the trailer for the Fox film, 12:01:
And here is the rarely seen short film version, which I hadn’t even heard of until researching this post.
So here’s my question of the week: If you could re-do anything from the last 24 hours, what would it be?