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Slovenian novel adapted by Duncan Jones into low key, sci-fi ‘thing’ = better than most other shit we get

August 1, 2011


Slovenian literature isn’t really on the map yet…not the international, white, middle class, prize-giving map anyway…

But there’s one book there that got Duncan Jones’ attention. I can’t remember the name, but that doesn’t matter as it’s being given an American one…

The Space Markers.

Here’s the story:

A crew of fifty, all with shady, ‘not completely known’ pasts, pilots two spaceships on a 23 Light year journey to the next habitable star system. Every month the crew swaps ships to keep things fresh and people from going insane. Every light year they stop and build a small space station as a marker for those who will follow in the coming years.

But as the third station is built, two of the crew go missing. A few hours later their bodies are found. The Captain, who has a secret history of madness, launches an investigation, but only one thing is learnt. There is a killer on board.

So how similar is this plot to the Slovenian original?

A man sells his house and decides to build a tunnel under the main river running through the town. Everyone else thinks he’s mad, but he’s not, he’s had a vision. On the other side of that river, if approached from the mud of the Earth, is the solution to everything.

But where is the man’s workforce? Unable to find any local help, the man goes to the criminal community and picks out the worst of the worst. And they dig well at first, but then the killings start.

The concept seems to be the same. The idea of madman as pioneer/progressive…though there’s a little more purpose in the Space journey than there is in the tunnel under the river leading to spiritual enlightenment plot.

What else?

It’s hard to say. I’ve read the Slovenian novel and if the twist is the same in the Duncan Jones version then there’s a whole other theme…one that would suit the isolation of Space a lot better than a small town in Slovenia.

Can I say more?

Maybe. It’s to do with loneliness. And how far you’d go not to be alone.

One thing is for sure…it won’t be Hollywood fluff. Jones popped up on  last week, saying:

‘We won’t be going that direction…I hope. It’s more a low-key, almost claustrophobic affair. No real budget to speak of…lots of interiors, dark corridors, stock footage from the nearest planetarium, that kind of thing. Though we might need a few dollars for the space stations.’

The director of MOON and Source Code, taking on no budget sci-fi again…excited?

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