Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Stuck It Out: "Cowboys and Aliens"

Stuck It Out: Cowboys and Aliens by Joan D. Vinge, 2011, downloaded from Wisconsin Digital Library.

Audio version of the tie-in novel from the film Cowboys and Aliens. I recall the film being a flop. Well, after hearing the book version I suppose the film was rotten. I forced myself to finish off the last three hours of this novel. The story went on f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

The basic story is that a guy wakes up in the New Mexico desert with no memory and a weird metal thing on his wrist. Soon, he has quickly killed three bounty hunters and rode into a former-now-failing gold town. Memory Guy finds out he is wanted, gets in a fight, has a rich guy after him, and everyone is attacked by aliens. Then there are some fights, some chases, a half-baked love affair, blah, blah, blah.

I suspect Vinge had jack all to work with here. I was trying to imagine the screenplay version and there seems to have been plenty that Vinge had to put into the novel about the characters, their histories, alien society and culture, and the desperado gang. How much could the author create on her own? How much was outlined already? There is minimal dialogue in first part of story. How was that shown in the film?

Anyhoo. There are a bunch of stock western characters. There is a desert. There are aliens capturing people and eating them - I guess - and the aliens are mining gold.

Don't read it.

1. Max Alan Collins has written how he wrote the tie-in novel for Road to Perdition. Collins received all sorts of revision notes from the film's producers even though Collins wrote the damn source material.
2. Other tie-in novels I have enjoyed: Christa Faust's work. Lee Goldberg's work.

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