Friday, April 8, 2011

Five Question Friday: Edward W. Robertson

Five questions with Edward W. Robertson...

Is the book always better than the movie?

Yes, with the exception of the Godfather Corollary. And the Jaws Exemption. And the Bladerunner "Not Exactly Better, But Probably as Good in Different Ways" Theorem (still under argument: The Lord of the Rings). Generally, though, even when a movie is extremely well adapted, it can't include all the dimensions that made a book great. Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly is remarkably faithful to its source and nails Dick's sensibility, but it's still not quite as satisfying as the book.

Never mind stuff like Never Let Me Go. The movie does its best to get Ishiguro across, but the book is so definitely a book that trying to translate it into the language of cinema is the act of a crazy person. It's like trying to transfer Jello to Tupperware via mallet.

If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any job on their planet, what would you choose?

Food critic. Assuming these aliens have discovered the eldritch secret of vodka--I'm no fool. I know there will be some dishes I can't swallow with an unaddled mind. But yeah, alien food. You'd never get bored.

Cats or dogs? Why?

I used to be a cat person. I like that they don't listen to anyone and will scratch you if you pet them in the wrong place. Cats have a good sense of identity. You have to respect that.

I still like cats, but lately, I've been warming up to small dogs--I just brought one home from the pound last week. He's baffling. Every morning, he drags his blankets out of his crate, then steals the bath mat from in front of the shower. So far, I am unable to deduce his motivations. He's not chewing on them. He's not using them as a depositing pad for substances that properly belong on the neighbor's lawn. He's just rearranging the room according to some internal mutty feng shui. I like that I can't understand him.

If you couldn't write, how would you spend the time you now use for writing?

Practicing more kung fu. And searching for a job. Possibly as a stuntman or a Jet Li-defeater, if I had that much time to practice.

If you couldn't drive a car, how would you get from place to place?

I don't like driving, actually. (Wisely, I just moved to the LA area.) I'll do it, but if I can walk, I will, whatever the weather. I was special buddies with the subway when I lived in New York. I've taken the bus/train in LA a few times and enjoyed it much more than driving: no worries about traffic or those dorks who apparently started driving before the invention of the turn signal.

I take a note pad with me and write. A 90-minute bus trip into the city proper isn't a pain when you arrive in Beverly Hills with a couple new pages in hand. Sometimes I'll wish the ride were still going.

Edward W. Robertson's books available on Kindle.



Tony said...

Great answers! I think I'd like to be an food critic on an alien planet as well. I just hope they have coffee.

Katey said...

Love the reasoning for both dogs and cats. That's what I like best about both of them!

The way you feel about the bus, I feel about the train. I will always travel via train given the option. I get so much done, and it's so peaceful.

Ed Robertson said...

The train: also great. My relationship with public transportation is definitely an open one.

Alien coffee would be nice, but given how infernal device-ish the Earth ones are, I imagine I would end up dying in an alien espresso machine-related accident.