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QUESTION:

I was wondering if Mr. Card has ever considered writing a novel adaptation of "A Thousand Deaths". I'm suprised that it hasn't happened. I think it is a great story and I would definitely buy it. Has Mr. Card looked at it and decided against it or has he just never thought of it.

-- Submitted Anonymously

OSC REPLIES: - March 12, 2001

Actually, I did once attempt to sell a novel version of A Thousand Deaths. Back in 1979 I submitted (through my agent) a novel about the Russian takeover of America, with the events of A Thousand Deaths as a climactic section of the story. The funny thing is, it was rejected, not because it wouldn't have been a good read, but because of political correctness! You see, first of all "it could never happen because only right-wing paranoids think the Communists are trying to take over other countries" (apparently the Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, etc., really secretly wanted the Russians there) or -- and this one really amused me -- "we won't publish a book that shows such a sexist/racist society" (as if it didn't occur to them that if the Communists ran America they wouldn't be just as sexist and, yes, racist as they were in running Russia). The message I got was: If you're trying to write a near-future story, you run into politically correct ideas of what the world should be, and if your fiction is not utopian -- i.e., does not paint a rosy picture of the future in terms of what the politically correct believe should happen -- forget getting it published.

I moved on to other projects ... and other publishers.

Since then, of course, the Soviet Union has fallen apart, and while the premise of A Thousand Deaths (the multiple deaths to make a point) could still work, the story as is would not be plausible at all. What your question makes me ponder, however, is ... wouldn't this make a terrific independent film? <grin>

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