Wednesday, June 04, 2003
KEANU WITH A MOHAWK?
posted 9:16 AM
INTO THE TURKISH NEUROMATRIX
"You ever been to 'Stambul?"
"Couple days, once."
"Never changes," she said. "Bad old town."
A concerned reader in Turkey posts the following:
I do appreciate your concern, thanks, and I hadn't yet seen this packaging, nor been consulted on the title-change, but a quick check with my literary agent confirms that this is indeed a licensed edition.
Publishers buying foreign rights actually do retain, I assume as a matter of course, the right to retitle the work for sale in their particular market. The German edition of ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES, for instance, is titled FUTUREMATIC, the phrase "all tomorrow's parties" in translation being, apparently, deeply uninteresting.
FUTUREMATIC is a unique example, for me, because as soon as they suggested it I wished that I had called the novel that over here. The Futurematic is a vintage Swiss watch that features in the text, and I've since decided that naming your novel after an old favorite song is one of those almost-universal impulses best avoided if you possibly can. (Another such impulse, according to Bruce Sterling, is the use of the word "song" in the title of any work of science fiction.) A less inspiring example would be MICROCHIPS, a German trade paper edition of COUNT ZERO. Actually, checking the shelves, I see that it isn't really that common a practice, most foreign publishers opting either for the original title in English or something akin to MONA LISA ACELERADA.
Be that as it may, my reaction to my Turkish publisher's evident intent is best described as one of considerable and enjoyably convoluted amusement.
Please do bring any further interesting foreign editions to my attention. I may never yet have been pirated in the old-fashioned sense, and somehow I find I feel the lack. (I'm not sure about a "Serbo-Croation" edition of NEUROMANCER that someone brought me, years ago, from Prague; aside from there being, as far as I know, no such language, it's definitely *the shortest* version of NEUROMANCER ever to see print.)
"There's a quality to a good translation that you just don't get in the original text." --Bruce Sterling
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
RAIDERS: THE ADAPTATION; PRODUCT PLACEMENT
posted 8:03 PM
A DIFFERENT KIND OF FETISH FOOTAGE
Check out the trailer. Amazing!
PRODUCT PLACEMENT IN PR?
Are you kidding? The Curta, *definitely*, *and* the Sinclair ZX-81!
Otherwise, alas, no. I am indeed an Apple user, and have been since switching from my once-tediously-notorious manual portable Hermes, but all I've ever been offered by Apple was, I think, once, a free upgrade to OS X. Amazing, really; if I were them, I'd deluge me with fab cutting-edge hardware. Nudge nudge. Viral marketing! Wink wink. No? O well. Fact is I wrote PR on a Cube, and wanted to describe it, and I felt it helped build Damien's character. But then my friend Steve Brown pointed out that it was already sort of long in the tooth, so I went back and explained why he still had it.
Full disclosure, though: I'm wearing a pair of Buzz Rickson's WWII Waist Overalls bluejeans, and *I didn't pay for them*. But these were part of a corporate care-package sent after the fact of the once-imaginary black BR MA-1 having appeared in PR. And they're making me a black MA-1 of my own...EXTRA LONG.