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charliedontsurf

The 90's novelisation of Doom

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Am I the only fan of these books? I know they were rather cheesy, but there was some very insightful comments that went beyond the game itself, and into the realm of social commentary. Not very prophetic or even intellectual as some of the great sci-fi/military minds, but these novels raised some very relevant topics, suchs as Jihad and the role of women and sexuality in modern (western) war, pre 9-11. Or am I just reaching? I read these books as they were released, and for some reason they left an indelible impression om me as the game itself, but for different reasons.

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charliedontsurf said:

Am I the only fan of these books?

Nope. Where do you think I got my nickname from (think of the fourth novel)?

I know they were rather cheesy, but there was some very insightful comments that went beyond the game itself, and into the realm of social commentary. Not very prophetic or even intellectual as some of the great sci-fi/military minds, but these novels raised some very relevant topics, suchs as Jihad and the role of women and sexuality in modern (western) war, pre 9-11. Or am I just reaching? I read these books as they were released, and for some reason they left an indelible impression om me as the game itself, but for different reasons.

I didn't get much out of the social commentaries that appeared in the second, or the weird metaphysical implications of the fourth; I mostly read them for entertainment purposes. Perhaps I'd get them if I re-read them now.

Anyway, like you, the Classic Doom novels (especially the first one) did leave quite an indelible impact on me. You see, I was 14 in 1996, new to Doom (I only had the shareware version at this time), and didn't read too many novels for pleasure. So at the time I read the first novel, it was damn good to me, and I blazed through it in two days. So for a long time, the Doom novelization (well, I liked the first one a heck of a lot better than the others) was THE Doom story to me, and Flynn Taggart was THE Doom guy. I eagerly began to anticipate the Doom movie being based on this book, and imagined it for years until that Columbine incident pretty much destroyed their plans, Doom 3 was made, and Dave Callaham was inexplicably given the task of ruining a great game franchise.

I can't really look at them objectively now either, and I've embarassed myself defending them at one point on these threads. I feel nostalgic when I re-read parts of it, and today it still makes a fun time-killer or weekend read.

Now that I look back at it I do find some fairly interesting literary allusions I didn't notice before, such as the fact that the Phobos base levels are described as an inverted cone digging into the ground (as Dante imagined the infernal regions), and that Fly's quest to rescue Arlene may loosely parallel the story of Orpheus and Euridice. I also liked the nostalgic references to old movies and science fiction novels throughout, and the fact that the authors loaded their book with humor, which I felt was mostly absent from the movie.

I now like to imagine what sort of movie could have been made from the outline laid forth in the first Doom novel, especially with more emphasis placed on the pseduo-mythic structure and less on the scientific explanations and whole "alien invasion" story. Perhaps such a movie could even start with that awesome line that H.P. Lovecraft used to open "Call of Cthulhu".

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Sorry 'bout this post guy's, didn't even think to do a search. And don't be embaressed about liking the Doom novels, if we all liked the same shite we would be a bunch of boring clones. Cool reply though. Yer, I saw some of the Dante references, but not H.P Lovecraft! Guess I'm gonna have to re-read 'em agin!

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