The Diamond Age comes to SciFi

It looks like The Diamond Age is coming to SciFi as a 6 hour mini-series, courtesy of George Clooney, and adapted by Stephenson himself. Color me happy with this news. I liked the book (even with the usual Stephenson ending) and loved the idea behind the “primer” as a way to educate, and teach basic logic and the building of systems from those basics. Yea, the nanotechnology was neat too…


I can’t say I liked the Diamond Age as much as Snow Crash. Oh well.

Clooney seems to have a general respect for the original material, even if it makes for a less-engaging movie experience (see Solaris), so I have high hopes for such a collaboration. Besides, I’m up for anything that gets Stephenson back into Cyberpunk.

Why was Snow Crash never made into a movie? It would have blown Matrix out of the water. That really would have been the prime time to do it too - right after the Matrix wave.

I wonder why people didn’t try and to a few Cyberpunkish kind of movies after The Matrix came out. Hollywood loves copy cat type movies, and it would have been an easy pitch back then - “Think “The Matrix” meets ____ (Fill in any movie here)” an you’d be greenlighted.

Maybe they all still remembered Johnny Mnemonic. I still shudder when I think of that movie, and wish I could get a good adaptation of Neuromancer.

For the first 80% of the book, Diamond Age was on track to be my favorite book EVAR. But the last 20% left me feeling WTF? It will be interesting to see how the miniseries turns out. Seems like it would need a pretty large effects budget to do right.

I just finished this book (finally after all these years) and I’m excited to see it adapted to a miniseries. I think I’ve finally gotten over Stephenson’s inability to write an ending, because this time around his “ending” didn’t bother me too much.

I definitely think Diamond Age will definitely be easier to adapt than Snow Crash. Snow Crash is awesome, but it doesn’t seem like it’d be able to compress down to a 2 hour movie (or a 6 hour miniseries). Heck, paring Diamond Age down to a 6 hour miniseries is still a tall order, but probably still easier than Snow Crash.

A lot of what made Diamond Age interested was the nano-science descriptions. I’m not really sure how that’s going to translate into film.

Of all the Gibson books I think the one best made into a movie might be his new one, Pattern Recognition. It isn’t really a cyberpunk adventure though, more of a near future drama with political intrigue, corporate warfare, and the Russian mob.

Johnny Mnemonic was a horrible short story anyway, whoever green lit a terrible script adaptation of a 10 page short story should have known better. Burning Chrome was a much better one, although equally short.

It was a terrible script, and they let an artist direct it. 'nuff said!

Hopefully with fancy schmancy 3d graphics overuse of zooming camera effects.

Hey, it works for CSI!

Yeah. That’s what I didn’t like. The ending was hard to follow.

Has Stephenson ever answered this criticism? It seems like a common one for his work – common enough that he would have at least gotten wind of it, if not realizing his own vulnerability beforehand.

He has addressed it. He says he likes his endings just fine.

edit: here’s the quote.

I’ve thought so too. And it’s funny you should mention that. I saw this little nugget in the A Song of Ice and Fire on HBO announcement:

Aside from writing the most recent draft of “Halo,” Weiss recently adapted the William Gibson novel “Pattern Recognition” for WB and director Peter Weir.

So we could be seeing it earlier than we thought.

Out of curiosity, does Cryptonomicon have what you consider a Stephenson “ending”? I’m reading it now but it’s slow going. Good but slow.

Yes it does. It isn’t as bad as the others since I find that by the ending, you’ve spent enough time with the characters to know where they will go from there, but it’s a Stephenson ending alright.

Yes. Yes.

Personally, yeah I think its alright. Cryptonomicon just seems to have an abrupt ending. Which is weird since all the story lines tie up, but it still seems abrupt in my opinion.

Maybe its because he’s so good with writing the middle parts of books, in such a way that you almost want there never to be an ending, it causes the ending feel forced and abrupt.