The Grey Area -
letters to The ZONE
Pigasus Press, 13 Hazely Combe, Arreton, Isle of Wight, PO30 3AJ, England
selected correspondence and comments received...
I'll second whatever your reviewer says, but for me the really stupid thing is when they
need a character's stereo amp to boost a communication signal. What the hell good would
an audio amplifier be for boosting a microwave signal? Wouldn't the shuttlecraft have
its own transceiver? Don't space installations have back-ups for back-ups,
especially vital communications equipment? Aren't space personnel supposed to be resourceful:
couldn't they improvise something out of radar, video circuits, computer clock circuits, etc?
With plenty of opportunity for explosive decompression, they don't even
make up for the stupidity with some good gore scenes. Genre film abounds with examples of
directors who have risen above the limitations, but this is not one of them.
Furthermore, with killers on the loose in a moonbase, why didn't the
good guys just put spacesuits on, depressurise the whole moonbase, and kill off all the
- Ron Demkiw
I thought the article on British 'zombie'
films was excellent. It didn't get too hung up on the shambling brain-eater idea, and
was very comprehensive. Best of all it was wittily written, covered many films I haven't
seen (but will now look out for!) and a genuinely enjoyable read.
- Patrick Hudson
Good thoughts on The Silmarillion
as a film; in fact there is a screenplay of the book being written right now. Though of
course it will be strangled through the scrutiny of Hollywood, as it is now it is a trilogy
(like Lord Of The Rings) and of quite long length. Instead of staying true to the book
the screenplay concentrates on the book's strengths, like the grand romance of Beren and Luthien
and the trials of Turin Turambar. True Tolkien fans will hate it, rest assured, but the average
moviegoer will doubtlessly herald it as the greatest epic of all time - and from the looks of
it, it may even surpass the grandeur of
The Lord Of The Rings films
achievements. Don't expect it in theaters any time soon, though; like Jackson's trilogy,
The Silmarillion will take years of production before it sees the big screen.
- Cody Oliver
Regarding the Debbie Moon review of the series
When did you get so powerful, because you must have lost your credibility
by the time you decided to review Firefly.
No wonder television sucks, because it appears that it is populated
by people with unimaginative minds like yours.
Firefly was almost the only reason to turn on television during
its one season... And frankly, I have had quite enough of vampires, thank you. And presently,
in spite of a great cast, the series Enterprise, I feel personally, sucks. It too,
started out bravely, but quickly threw its credibility down the drain to become another
'action' vehicle. Is it just me, or is tv running scared these days?
I am impressed that Whedon was brave enough to take some risks, and
in fact, I too, was shocked by many of the premises of Firefly. Shocked, and
quickly mesmerised. And eventually pleased to see that my mind had not gone to sleep,
that I could be seduced and amazed by this audacious but nevertheless seamless bit of
I can tell you that the most amazing works of art I have usually hated
and found irritating on sight... uncovering a blind spot I never knew that I had. Better
late than never I would say.
Whedon had found that blind spot and managed to present a form of
science fiction that has never made it from print to the visual medium. Those that
managed to catch the series before the plug was pulled, hopefully had enough time to
realise what they would be missing when Firefly was canceled. For me, I feel
lucky that the series was released as a DVD. It was so poorly publicised that I only
found it a few weeks before it was cancelled.
The only other programme I had liked in that season was Hack...
It's back, but it's clear that CBS was afraid it was not slick enough, not fast enough,
not pretty enough... not stupid enough? It has subtly been rigged to resemble any number
of antique programmes that limped through several seasons. Yep, I've probably watched
them myself. But I was blown away by the first season of Hack. So unlike
Is it necessary for every programme to seek the lowest common denominator to survive?
But reviews like yours encourage that point of view. It is the sort
of review that keeps Hollywood busy pumping out predictable pulp, and people less open
and more programmed to accept it.
I suppose reviewers are only human... but still, I can't believe how
badly you missed the mark, and I feel that as horribly clichéd as you felt Firefly
was, that you present yourself as a horribly clichéd excuse for a science fiction
reviewer, and a blind one at that.
- Dan Gonzalez, Kansas City
I enjoyed the interview with Jeff Noon,
and the accompanying review. I read Vurt and Pollen a few years back, but
kind of lost interest in Noon somewhere along the way. The interview, in particular, made
me want to go back and have another look, maybe at
FOOC, as the interviewer so
vividly abrreviated it.
- Patrick Hudson
Thank you for your glowing review of
Wrong Turn. I wrote the movie
and came upon your review by accident. I'm glad you enjoyed it and took away exactly what
I'd intended - a throwback to what horror is meant to be - unrelenting - posing the question
'what would I do if it were me?' Thank you again.
- Alan McElroy