Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sean Williams's "Crashland"

Sean Williams is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels for adults as well as the coauthor of the middle grade series Troubletwisters with Garth Nix. As a resident of South Australia—which he reports is a lovely place a long way away from the rest of the world—Williams has often dreamed of stepping into a booth and being somewhere else, instantly. This has led to a fascination with the social, psychological, and moral implications of such technology. When not pondering such weighty matters, he can generally be found eating chocolate (actually, he eats chocolate when pondering these matters, too).

Williams's newest book is Crashland, the sequel to Twinmaker.

Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of Crashland:
My usual response to this question is that my main character, Clair, would be played by Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in the first Hunger Games movie. I didn’t have her in mind, but as soon as I saw her I thought “Yes!” Clair is 17, so they’re almost exactly the same age right now. Hurry up, Hollywood!

But I thought this time I’d consider another character, that of Clair’s boyfriend’s father, Dylan Linwood. This would be a challenging role to play. In Twinmaker, he’s a prickly outsider artist who doesn’t get on with Clair at all. And then, um, something happens to him (trying to avoid spoilers here for those who haven’t read the book) and he seems to become a completely different person. He looks the same, if a bit more beaten up than he was before, but he sounds different, acts different, and has very different reasons to try to catch Clair. He’s trying to murder her, in fact. So he goes from boyfriend’s dad to psycho killer overnight, which is bad for everyone.

In Crashland, that tension is ramped up even higher, when Dylan is copied many times over (people can do that in this world, although they’re not supposed to) and his obsession with Clair becomes even more deadly. Then, in Hollowgirl (book three), he’s back to normal, but not necessarily on her side. In fact, you could say that he’s a terrorist. Hard to say if that’s an improvement or not.

So, anyway, an interesting role to play. Who could possibly pull it off?

I was a watching a completely unrelated movie the other night (Mystery Road) when the answer occurred to me: Hugo Weaving.

He’s had experience in this genre, and in The Matrix his character was copied many times, so he’s no stranger to that either. He can do grouchily sympathetic by eyebrow acting alone. And he can do grizzled outsider as well. In short, he’d be brilliant.

And I say this not just because I’m a fellow Australian. He didn’t get to play Elrond by calling in a favour. He’s the real deal, and from now on I’ll picture the character exactly like him.
Visit Sean Williams' website.

The Page 69 Test: Crashland.

Writers Read: Sean Williams.

--Marshal Zeringue