Monday, November 13, 2006

The Vulpine Vicissitudes Of Varos

Speaking of Doctor Who (as I do)... I've been reading a bunch of these old episode novelizations lately. They're kind of fun for when I want a break between "real" books, and some of them aren't bad. Then again, boy howdy, some of them are.

Currently I'm reading the novelization of "Vengeance on Varos", an episode of debatable quality to begin with, although I personally think it does some fairly decent satirical things. But man is the book version bad. A little while back, Fred over at Occasional Fish posted a quote from Jane Espenson about the value to writers of reading bad writing, if only for the sake of encouragement. I totally think Espenson should read this one. It certainly makes me feel pretty good about my own chances of getting published if, you know, I ever actually wrote anything publishable. (Man, I could novelize Doctor Who episodes! I totally could! I'd be way better than this guy!) It also makes me realize that scriptwriting and prose writing clearly do not involve exactly the same skill set, because the guy who wrote the novelization also did the original script.

Here, check this out. It is very possibly the most amusingly awful passage I've read in ages. The setup (which is goofy enough in its own right, although perhaps not unusually so for Doctor Who) is that a couple of women have been captured by a mad scientist who is using some kind of experimental ray to turn them into... Well, I have no idea what, actually, and neither does he. But, here:
'I just won't look!' Peri said, clenching her eyes shut but feeling the stiff vulpine feathers that had now emerged almost fully all over her arms. Peri began to bear less and less resemblance to the attractive girl who, despite all her vicissitudes, had always retained a physical bloom of health. Now she had begun to resemble an ugly vulture-like bird with glossy black feathers that grew longer and longer as she approached final disfigurement.

Areta was a trifle more fortunate than Peri for she retained much of her original body shape though the texture of her skin had turned completely into a lizard-like scale of apple-green.

Dude, if you posted that as fan fiction, people would mock you. And who knew foxes had feathers? They must be mutant space-foxes!

Can't... stop... giggling...

16 comments:

  1. Tell that to the two people it gave it positive reviews at Amazon. :)

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  2. I am constantly amazed by the things people will give positive reviews on Amazon. In this case, I'm inclined to suspect those people's average age is about twelve, and that they don't know what the word "vulpine" means, either. :)

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  3. But at least they can type unlike me :) Proofread darn you proofread!!!

    Where has Your Pop been lately. Have you seen him around

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  4. You know, I didn't notice your typo until you pointed it out...

    And I dunno where he's been. Possibly he just hasn't thought I've said anything interesting lately. Which he'd probably be completely right about, I think. :)

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  5. You mean they pay people to turn the TV show into books? If all it takes is copying the dialogue and describing the scene and actions, even *I* could do that! (Plus, I know what "vulpine" means, too.)

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  6. That's all Terrance Dicks did with his Doctor Who novelizations!

    Me, I'd feel compelled to add characters' emotions and stuff, but they may in many cases be optional. :)

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  7. Hey out there. I`m still here. Geting ready for the desert shortly. Ready or not here we come, Betty.
    Kathy: Guess you made it thru the floods and gully washers last week.

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  8. I'll attempt to be ready. :)

    Looking forward to seeing ya!

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  9. Yeah, we haven't floated away yet!

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  10. Ok ok I confess! I didn't know what Vulpine meant until it looked it up 30 seconds ago :) Hence I now understand your quote "and who knew foxes had feathers?"
    And I'm reasonably sure I'm over the age of 12 :)

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  11. Really, not knowing a word is one thing. Not knowing a word and thinking you do, and using it even though you don't... That's something else entirely.

    But perhaps we won't let you write any Doctor Who books until you've increased your word power. ;)

    By the way, did you get the e-mail I sent you the other day?

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  12. If you sent it to work not yet. They are transitioning our email and the email server is down until tomorrow. So I'll get it tomorrow :) Or if you still have a copy you can send it to my juno or comcast email, which might be better. No offense to any system admins that may be reading, but I don't trust you guys

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  13. LOL! All right, I'll re-send it to one of your other ones. It wasn't urgent or anything, though.

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  14. It bounced back from the Juno addy. Says the account's inactive. I sent it to the Comcast one.

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  15. You most likely didn't send it to the right juno address and probably sent it to Gary's comcast since we don't share anymore I have my own. I've sent emails to you I think from both, but I just sent you one with both emails listed.
    Love ya!

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  16. I have too damned many addresses for you guys! But I think I sent it to your comcast one. It had your initial on it.

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