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The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113293
06/24/03 07:21 PM
06/24/03 07:21 PM
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Raj Offline OP
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Hey folks... Is anyone familiar with The Dig: A Novel by Alan Dean Foster?

I know the book is closely related to the game, but I don't know if it merely amounts to a grandiose walkthrough, or whether it's a novel in it's own right with a plot different from the game. . . and, either way, whether it's any good.

I believe Infocom used to publish novels for text games like Zork and Wishbringer. I just found out about these, but, from what I've gathered, these are novels that take place in the game universe, but they aren't walkthroughs.

I figure it's unlikely that anyone knows about those Infocom games, but Alan Dean Foster is, I understand, a fairly well know science fiction writer.

SO... Whassuppwidduhbooks?


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113294
06/24/03 08:26 PM
06/24/03 08:26 PM
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Raj

My game came with the novel. I haven't read it, but it seems to be the same story as the game.

The Dig

You can read some of the book at the Amazon site. Have you played the game?

Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113295
06/24/03 08:31 PM
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Raj,

Alan Dean Foster is a very reputable author in his own right. I've never read the Dig but Foster can write.

Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113296
06/25/03 09:46 AM
06/25/03 09:46 AM
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Raj Offline OP
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Thanks guys!

That settles that!

I had no idea the book was really promotional material. Since Foster is a well known writer and not someone in gaming, I had high hopes.

Really, Pokey... it came with the game!

Well... that makes the analogy pretty complete with Jane Jensen's "novel" of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father.

Too bad. If I recall correctly, someone around here (Jenny100?) reported a long list of novels written in the MYST universe.

It'd be nice to see a little more of that, in the cases where we aren't getting new games.

(oooh like... I dunno.... ooooh something, something... something detective-y... something... oooooh... I dunno... something... um... Texan...)

The old Infocom books, at least, don't seem to be walkthroughs.

Perhaps I'll ask around in the IF groups.

Anyhow, thanks guys.

And yes... The Dig is another of the games I've started but haven't finished and now I'll finish the game before reading the novel. laugh


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113297
06/25/03 04:38 PM
06/25/03 04:38 PM
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Didnt even know The Dig had a novel... only reason i really got into the game Rama was because it had 4 novels based on Rama, (game was based on the novel RamaII)

learn something everyday.. i shall keep an eye out for this smile

~Polo


Richard

Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113298
06/25/03 05:13 PM
06/25/03 05:13 PM
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Myst: Book of Ti'ana
Myst: Book of Atrus
Myst: Book of D'ni

...apparently there is a Myst: Book of Marrim - but they (either Cyan or the publisher) want to release it after Uru comes out...

I've just read another email that says there's a 5th book... but I don't know any detail about it...

Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113299
06/25/03 09:40 PM
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Foster has written alot of adaptations of movies. The Thing is one. Read it before the remake of the movie came out. Didn't see the remake but from what I heard the book is more like the remake than the original. Haven't read the book. He also did the first nine logs of the original Star Trek series and it reads like the show. You'll find him in the sci-fi/fantasy section. Has a neat sense of humor and a wild imagination.


Never resist a generous impulse.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113300
06/26/03 08:41 PM
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Raj Offline OP
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Hey Pollo! You say the game Rama was like Rama II? I know of only one Rama book and that was Rendezvous with Rama. Was that just the first one? I thought the game was going to be based on that one. Perhaps I better read the book before I see if I want to play the game? (I've heard it's hard for arithmaphobes like me.)

Usually, I would do anything to avoid having the plot of a game revealed to me ahead of time. But in this case... I feel differently because I'm unsure of the game. (I guess.)

Magician, who wrote those books? Any of the people who worked on the Myst games? Do they take into account the events of the games? ...and... the big question... who the heck is the protagonist?!?!?!?!

acornia, man! from what you said this whole... read the book first, no see the movie first, no play the game first, no see the remake first... no... uh... just play games like Harry Potter where it doesn't matter as long as you can jump... so who cares how it fits with the books or the movies because... it doesn't.

I'm still on the fence about this whole books from games/games from books thing. I mean... would we want to say Rick Barba has written novelizations of all those games through the Prima guides?


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113301
06/27/03 12:50 PM
06/27/03 12:50 PM
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Hey Raj! yep there are 4 books in the Rama Series!

Rendezvous With Rama
Rama II
The Garden Of Rama
Rama Revealed

got them all from Amazon.co.uk (apart from RamaII which came with the game)- i have read the first three books but i havent started Rama Revealed yet but i'll get round to it of course... ive enjoyed the books so far they are abit to take it but give it sometime...

~Polo


Richard

Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113302
06/28/03 02:05 AM
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I, too, read all four RAMA books, having played and enjoyed the game. I was a little surprised that it was "Rama II" rather than "Rendezvous With Rama" on which the game was based. John Saul wrote "The Blackstone Chronicles" upon which the game was based. I think it is interesting to read the book upon which an Adventure game was based. I haven't figured which to do first, though so far I have first played the game. In a certain sense this is the opposite of what I prefer to do in the Book/Movie sequence. I prefer to read the book first, since if I see a movie first, then in reading the book, my imagination is stunted by having a fixation on the characters as portrayed in the movie. I prefer to develop them myself and then, possibly, modify them upon seeing the movie.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113303
06/28/03 11:04 AM
06/28/03 11:04 AM
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Between Portsmouth and Southam...
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pokey:
Raj

My game came with the novel. I haven't read it, but it seems to be the same story as the game.

The Dig

You can read some of the book at the Amazon site. Have you played the game?
You would probably better reading the Flinx books than playing a game based on them.Alan Dean Foster,incidentally is the author of Alien.He's one of my favourite authors.

Incog


If you can't say something nice about someone,come sit by me and tell me all
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113304
06/28/03 03:30 PM
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Advpuzlov
Quote:
I haven't figured which to do first, though so far I have first played the game. In a certain sense this is the opposite of what I prefer to do in the Book/Movie sequence.
I have the same dilemma... to see Eldorado: Road to Gold and Glory first, or play the game first? I saw the movie first, and I think that was better because I knew the characters and wanted game play to match the characters and world I'd seen.

Harry Potter? Definitely the books and movies first because the games have pretty much nothing interesting in them... just jumping action stuff... Lara with a wand.

But then there are these books based on games that come off as elaborate walkthroughs, as I think The Dig is. The only one I've read is Jane Jensen's Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father.

NOW... for that one I did something different, and perhaps I could enjoy following this plan with The Dig, too. I would play the game and then, go and read the section of the book I'd just finished.

But of course I never got stuck and used the book as a walkthrough. No, not me. wink

Incognitas
Quote:
You would probably better reading the Flinx books than playing a game based on them. (emphasis mine)
What are the games??


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113305
06/28/03 05:35 PM
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I have the audio version of The Dig book. I've listened to it many times. I love it. I've also played the game many moons ago. bravo wave


Just do it.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113306
06/28/03 06:56 PM
06/28/03 06:56 PM
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Midge!! That sounds cool! Is that unabridged? Who reads it? Someone who did a voice in the game? laugh


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113307
06/28/03 08:39 PM
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I have read Gabriel Knight, Sins of the Fathers and Gabriel Knight, The Beast Within and The 7th Guest. All after I played the games. It helped me to understand anything I didn't quite follow in the game. I have the three Myst books to read soon. Oh, and I also found a copy of the novel Tender Loving Care that I will read soon. I found the movie Tender Loving Care and that was good--without all the questions. I wish I could get the Tex Murphy novels but I am not willing to pay the kind of prices those go for.

Now, about books before the movie or after, I get too irritated of the way things are changed and what they leave out so I guess I would rather see the movie first most of the time. Then the book just expands on the story.

Well, that's my two cents worth. Shelly

Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113308
06/28/03 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sccurrie:
I wish I could get the Tex Murphy novels but I am not willing to pay the kind of prices those go for.

Now, about books before the movie or after, I get too irritated of the way things are changed and what they leave out so I guess I would rather see the movie first most of the time. Then the book just expands on the story.
First of all I was on Amazon today and I saw Under A Killing Moon going for $1,100 (Yes, that's a paperback book for one thousand one hundred dollars!)! (Actually it was like $1,098, but close enough!).

Second, "the book just expands on the story.", just suddenly struck me as the most intelligent way I've ever heard of handling it.

Is there a problem, though, knowing which way will expand the best? I mean, surely if I played Harry Potter all the way through (I haven't), I would then enjoy the movie, and then the book... and I can see how that could be a continual progression in detail and enrichment.

But... when a book is based on a game... is it an expansion or reduction to go from interactive game to a... a... a... um... non-interactive book...

Hold it. I think I may have misplaced the emphasis. It's not about interactivity... is it?

It's about richness and detail of story.

It seems like going from a game to a book... or a movie (the only example I have is Tomb Raider) is always a reduction.

Right?


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113309
06/28/03 10:47 PM
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Depends on how big the game is. Betrayal in Krondor game was made based on the series and think takes place between first and second 'trilogies'. The book was written much later and many of the side quests were left out but the main parts were fleshed out more though wouldn't say that it was a walkthrough. Don't think there were any riddle chests in the books. Lot of the fighting was left out also. The second game is shorter and the third book of this trilogy covered the second game though much more in it. The second book was a filler between the two games. If you had read the series before doing the first game, could have answered a couple of riddles and these were not in the book based on the game. I would expect action and rpg games to have less fighting in the books and fewer riddles/puzzles in adventure games. Expect to have more character development. Probably just expect to see more of just the main plot line and a few fillers and twists.

The worst game/book combo have seen is Timeline. The book is about 1000% better than the game and wonder if they were even following the same story line.


Never resist a generous impulse.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113310
06/29/03 02:16 PM
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acornia... whoa!

I had no idea there was Timeline book! That looks worth looking into!

Your example of the Krondor books is very interesting because the there is a whole series of books that were before the games and are entirely independent of them. (By the way, I'm crazy about the Krondor games!)

Maybe that's like Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek (I'm thinking of Final Unity), or... and I'd really like to know about this because I have never played one... the Tom Clancy games. I believe Rainbow Six was a book. (Never read Tom Clancy either). Oh yeah! Then there's Nancy Drew and Law and Order and CSI and X-Files! All games made in a universe originally in another medium.

Taking the Nancy Drew and Law and Order and X-files, since I've read, seen, and played those... it seems to me that in Nancy Drew the game is less rich than the books (but the books weren't all that rich to begin with). Law and Order and X-files are harder to judge, but I think because the games have fewer characters the games are a reduction from the shows. I think there are other reasons too, but they are harder to name. It's fun to play in the same world and with the same conventions as the tv shows, but the tv shows seem to me to have more impact... or something.

Examples seem to be sprouting everywhere now... anyone think of any others?


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113311
06/29/03 02:58 PM
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Got the book with the game for Timeline. You mean other books and games related? Companion of Xanth came with the game and is based on the Xanth novels. These were made based on a book series but don't think a book was written for the game: Dragon Riders of Pern, can't remember title but one on Shanara books by Brooks, Lighthouse: The Dark Being based on the Rama books, and The Wheel of Time (Jordon). Amerzone is based on a comic strip if remember right.


Never resist a generous impulse.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113312
06/29/03 05:04 PM
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Thanks acornia. I knew that Benoit Sokal was/is a comic strip writer but I didn't know Amerzone itself was a comic strip.

Lighthouse (another of my faves) is based on the Arthur C. Clarke Rama series?! The same one that the Rama game is based on?

I surely misunderstand you on this one. There must be some other Rama books, yes?

I was thinking not only of books and games, but also movies and games and TV and games. I was probably seeking some sweeping generalization which, besides being useless and false, wouldn't even be interesting.

I suppose that the best way to navigate the territory of game-book-movie-tv sibling rivalry, when possible, is to guess, on a case by case basis, which is the most reduced version of the story and then move to more enriched ones.


HAHAHAHA!!! laugh
Just kidding! That's the silliest sweeping generalization I've ever made!
It's just games and stories and there's not enough time in life to worry too much about what order to do things in...

DO THEM... if they are enjoyable, great. If they're not... STOP... there are better things to do.


Er... well... wait...
That's actually too simplistic, too.
Okay... so... when you have a choice... and you can pick the order you want to do things in... and you have enough time...
Or... wait...
If you have a choice... but you can only do one and not the other...

... well then, in that case... Then, obviously, the order of choice is clear...

Unless... of course... one comes out before the other and the other, although it came out after, is actually the one you happen to come accross first...

On the other hand...

erm... i'll get back to you... rolleyes


"Learning to fly... and I'm trying to try..." Ritchie Havens (Tex Murphy: Overseer)
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113313
06/29/03 08:35 PM
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Same series, just haven't played the other Rama game so not sure how alike they are. On the back of the CD says based on the works of Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee.


Never resist a generous impulse.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113314
06/30/03 03:33 PM
06/30/03 03:33 PM
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Hi Raj,
Sorry I'm so late answering you. The audio book was read by John Shea. He did a brilliant job. I think the success of an audio book depends on how good the narrator is. The book is abridged....I don't know if there is an unabridged available. Anyway great book. thumbsup


Just do it.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113315
06/30/03 05:02 PM
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Acornia.. the Terry Brookes game is just called Shannara.. it is really good and works in the same vein as the novels, just with a new set of characters, all related to the originals. You hear comments about the older generation, but they don't really get involved apart from the Big Bad!!

Alan Dean Foster has written some superb pieces of fantasy.. his Spellsinger series is worth trying.. I got rid of mine a while back as I had outgrown them.. ok, so I needed shelfspace!! Worth a read, they have a Turtle as a magician.. go figure!!

I Have No Mouth and I must Scream is based on a Harlan Ellison short story, Dark Eye is based on short stories by Edgar Allen Poe.. they are both worth playing.

Famous 5 series inspired by the books as are Nancy Drew.

BUT then you get into the nasty question, do you read, play watch first???

Now I would imagine that many games are inspired by novels, Hmm anyone going to take up the ball and do the MZB Darkovers as adventures?? They would make Great games!!! OK, some would have to be action adventures, but bearing in mind just How many MZB fans there are out there, I bet they would sell!!

Hugs

Tig


A bounce a day keeps the doctor away!!
Playing Sims2, Sherlock, Phantom of Venice
Reading Storm Breaking
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113316
06/30/03 07:33 PM
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Got some of Foster's books. Like authors that write a variety of material to read. They're less likely to get stale. Am also MZB fan and glad found someone to finish the Ne? tower book. Her last couple of books were not as gloomy as the other darkover novels and was getting into it. Generally like her other works better.

If the book goes with the game, will do the game first and then read if needed.


Never resist a generous impulse.
Re: The Dig Novel - Alan Dean Foster opinions? #113317
07/01/03 08:55 AM
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If you haven't tried them (but you probably have) I like Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey and Julian May..

Tig


A bounce a day keeps the doctor away!!
Playing Sims2, Sherlock, Phantom of Venice
Reading Storm Breaking
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