Thursday, July 10, 2014

A.M. Dellamonica's "Child of a Hidden Sea"

A.M. Dellamonica is the author of Indigo Springs, which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Sci-Fiction and Strange Horizons, and in numerous anthologies; her 2005 alternate-history Joan of Arc story, “A Key to the Illuminated Heretic,” was shortlisted for the Sideways Award and the Nebula Award. Dellamonica lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Here Dellamonica dreamcasts an adaptation of her new book, Child of a Hidden Sea:
Imagining a lavish big-budget multi-episode production of my latest novel is, of course, incredibly gratifying, and casting it in my imagination is just plain fun. I think it's a rare writer who doesn't occasionally imagine getting a full-scale Hollywood treatment of their work, who doesn't wonder which actors might be the right ones to bring their characters alive.

I will start with Clydon Banning, because he's easiest. Cly is Paul Gross. Not Paul Gross as he was in his twenties when he was playing the buttoned-down and thoroughly virtuous RCMP Constable Benton Fraser on Due South. No, Cly was inspired by the garrulous, naughty, fun-loving and possibly evil Paul Gross we see as Darryl Van Horne in Eastwick.

The book owes two debts to Gross. One of the things that fascinated me about the aforementioned Mountie show, Due South, was the way it objectified its lead, both as a jaw-droppingly beautiful young man and an unattainable icon in uniform. This is something we more frequently see with female characters in media: the camera lingers over their every plane and curve, and they're portrayed as untouchable, possibly even angelic. Other characters are visibly mesmerized; extras and walk-ons stare and try to lay hands on them. This kind of portrayal plays on the desire to possess something we aren't meant to have, and it's one we see less frequently applied to men. So that idea of a guy who is irresistibly beautiful--so much so that his other gifts are sometimes ignored--was one I wanted to experiment with. It's why Captain Parrish is so darned pretty.

With that in mind, here's a picture of Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor, my top choice for Parrish.

Sophie Hansa, the main character of Child of a Hidden Sea, was a tougher call. She has the big eyes of Zooey Deschanel, but Deschanel's persona is wrong, so wrong. Analeigh Tipton resembles my mind's image of Sophie, and she has the kind of frame that would look right in scuba gear... but I've never actually seen her act. I threw this question out to some people who've read the book, and they came back immediately with Tatiana Maslany, from Orphan Black. Of course! She's perfect: her look is right, and we know from the show that she's extremely versatile.

(Wow, this book has a big cast!)

Emile Hirsch has the right look for Bramwell Hansa, I think. Bram is a genius, the sort of person who finishes high school when he's thirteen and moves on to collecting degrees in physics and mechanical engineering the way most of us collect Facebook friends. He dresses casually but neatly, in a way that's meant to deflect attention from his huge intellect and his essential nerdiness: he wears contacts instead of glasses, and the one time he shows up in an Invader Zim t-shirt, rather than throwing on something from the Gap, Sophie takes it as a sign that he's stressed out.

As for the three matriarchs from Verdanni, Gale Feliachild would be Helen Mirren (Gale was always essentially meant to be a sort of seafaring, female Doctor Who), with Mira Furlan as her high-strung sister, Beatrice Vanko. Finally, Queen Latifah, in age make-up, would play Fleet politician and wheeler-dealer Annela Gracechild, the Winston Churchill of Stormwrack.
Visit A.M. Dellamonica's website.

The Page 69 Test: Child of a Hidden Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue