Books Read in 2007
AT LONG LAST
17 October 2007
We weren't home to watch Desperate Housewives on Sunday, so we didn't see it until Monday afternoon (we're retired now; we can watch nighttime TV in the middle of the afternoon). The neat thing about watching a show you've DVR'd (is that a word?) is that you can zip through the commercials, and see a 60 minute show in about 40 minutes.
So as I was zipping through the commercials, I very nearly missed it.
Wait a minute.
Let me back up...
It was. It was a promo for the upcoming release of the new John Cusack movie, The Martian Child , being released on November 2.
We thought it might never happen. I remember when David Gerrold adopted his son, who was the inspiration for this book, and I remember when he wrote the story. I remember that he e-mailed a copy of the novelette to me and how I cried when I read it. I had read several of David's books by this time and this was by far the best thing he'd written. Well, maybe it wasn't the best, but I don't really like all the shoot-em-up sci fi books. The human interest story was definitely more my speed than his usual books.
I remember logging in to CompuServe and participating in an on-line conference from Scotland. A fan of David's was at the banquet where they announced the winner of the Hugo award, and all of us were watching our screens around the world as she typed the play-by-play from the event. How we cheered when the winner was David. He went on to win the "triple crown" (Hugo, Nebula, Locus Readership poll) for science fiction with the story.
Then there was talk of a movie. Serious talk. David talked about wanting Jonathan Lipinki (the kid from Jerry Maguire) to play the role of Dennis, the kid in the story who gets adopted by a science fiction writer and turns out to claim to be a Martian.
Suddenly the movie deal fell through.
Next I knew, the story had been expanded from novelette size to full length book size and was being published in hardback form. I bought the book. I remember standing in the Sacramento airport reading it, my jaw hanging open as I read how unbelievably candid David had been in this version.
The story tells of the unabashed love of the main character ("David") for his adopted son, and is a cry for all the unadoptable kids languishing in foster homes around the country. But this was also David's "coming out" book. He talked openly about being gay, about some of his relationships, especially the red-headed guy who pops up in different guises in most of David's books. He'd never done that publicly before.
I gave a copy of The Martian Child to many friends that Christmas.
Then there was more talk of a movie. This time it appeared it was really going to happen. With a stellar cast. John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt, and young Bobby Coleman playing Dennis (Jonathan Lipinsky was now far too old to play the role). The movie "David" is a widower but, as David points out, this is not a book about being gay, or a book promoting gay adoption. It's a book about a Dad's love for his son.
Each time I talked with David (which amounts to about once every 2 years, it seems) there were positive things to say about the movie. A release date was set. Then it was changed. Then it was changed again. Last I heard it was going to be released during the Christmas season...in 2006. I periodically checked IMDb and saw that the release date was still "pending." David mentioned that maybe it would be released to video rather than to the silver screen.
Finally a release date of October this year was set and it seemed like it might really happen. My editor, who is the movie reviewer, and an admirer of David, knew that David and I were friends and saw a chance for our paper to pull off an exclusive behind the scenes story.
Then the release date was moved to November to be released for the Christmas season audiences and the date seemed pretty set.
I finally interviewed David a week or so ago and am trying to get hold of his son Sean to get a bit of input. The article starts with my talking about when the Martian child mopped my kitchen floor many, many years ago.
The article is almost written, awaiting Sean's comments and David's sending us some photos to use, and it will run on November 1, the day before the movie opens in the local theatre houses.
The original novelette was published in 1993 and I've been waiting for this movie ever since that year. Fourteen years later, it's finally going to happen.
It's kind of cool to have been in on things from the very beginning!
(Check the videos of the day for more on The Martian Child)
PHOTO OF THE DAY