William F Nolan
Michael CERBERUS The observer from fringe and Jebediah Loeven from stake land and you're listening to sci-fi talk today's interview with Master Storyteller William F Nolan. Who has more than eighty three books in print he is known for Co Authoring. Logan's run with George Clayton Johnson. But his work is not solely confined. Sf pending thirteen horror novels and working briefly on culture the night stalker has a new collection of stories for paranormal investigator. David KINCAID ON ROCKET. Ride books but true legend. Sf and Har William F Nolan. It was It was great to to have the opportunity to speak to you about Your new project that you're working on King Kate Right and So you can talk about that. Was this something that you had an idea for recently or just something that you've been has been kind of with you for a while now can't goes way back to the seventy s when I was working with producer director. Dan Curtis on a On a movie the called enormous David New Orleans was the paranormal investigator. That was called to this woman's house because her husband was was Had RISEN FROM THE DEAD? She felt in with threatening her life and So that that developed under where we the week and then many years later I decided I would take the character of a paranormal investigator and do some stories about him. But I didn't want to didn't WANNA call him nor or less of the other. The other thing was called the New Orleans tapes. I called him David Kim and instead of David nothing but he was still basically the same character. Paranormal investigator who had strong doubts about the paranormal. And the and the and the supernatural investigated these things that they came up and I I wrote a original Novella for for Special Nolan issue of Weird Tales and the nineties. I think ninety one that was and And then I thought well that's the end of it. But no I I got another idea for Cam and wrote a second story. A dollar left call pirate's moon and then that seemed to end it but no I got an assignment novella for a small publishing house. Call cemetery dance. And so I wrote a novella starring Kim Kate for for them under the title of the Hard Winchester House and then when when The opportunity to camp came along to put them all together into one book. That's what I did and And that's that's the origin of cool. How did you and Anthony? Find each other well. He asked me to do He told me with doing who goes there. Oughta he'd heard that I'd done some work on. Who goes there and I said Yeah. I did a complete outline for for universal. They called me into allied before before they did the final version with another director and writer and I said I did earlier version and he said well you still have that and I said yes I sh- I still have it and I. He thought it was terrific and and printed along with a reprint of the story. Who goes there by Campbell and so we we've came associates at that point. That's cool. What's interesting is Assisting can cater kind of helping him. A little bit is is a cup friend. Mike Lucero his policeman so he kind of take places that maybe he wouldn't be able to go on his own. Yeah Well Sara is not based on any real person is based composite idea. I have of what a sheriff's station a sheriff's station officer might might might be like and I i. I gave him some kind of wild background by shopping character. I always like to create three dimensional characters not just flat cardboard territory so Michael Acerra became. I didn't think he would become as important as he did. Became Khaimah co Co Hero you might say along with nor Orleans. He's almost as important as New Orleans. He's in every adventure and He he enormous rick close friends and They help each other and I ended up writing a lot more about Mike. Massaro that I ever intended but that happens right as over. You never know what you're GonNa do with your characters until you start to develop them. It's cool actually. I do remember the tapes and If I remember correctly that was Roy Thinnest who played them into the investigator right. Yeah that's cool. That's really interesting. I realize you behind that at that was excellent. It was probably at that time just a little bit too much ahead of its time like culture. Was You know? Well it would've been a series Did a sequel call that the return the New Orleans return but let the problem was a minute. We had the thing on the air and I've got very good ratings and good credit to critical acclaim. But the minute gone here. The the writers guild of of California the WG a called a strike and the strike lasted for two or three months of title was over all the projects that they did different networks that had in the works were discarded and started up with a whole new line of work. Which is very typical. Hollywood and Orleans went the way of other than it would have been a series but the writers strike killed the idea as far as can que. Did you know if there is going to be an audio book done of this as well? I'd heard something about that. I don't I haven't seen it or I I really don't know much about it. I heard something about the fact that would be Since you wrote this screenplay for the thing how do you not a screenplay with it was a complete film outline? Yeah so what? What is your take on the On the story and the cinematic versions event story was quite different from the one that they finally went for They I had the idea of a of ancient spaceship. That crash on earth. Many millenniums go deep buried in the earth deep very under the ice on the Arctic and this ship lands there the carries the creature that from the movie. Think about other world that's simply scout ship set. Try to locate the mothership. And when they do locate the mothership they rebuild it underground and it I out of the ice returns to the stars at the end. None of that. None of ETA than they The final version. The final four. But I thought it worked really well. Oh cool cool now for kincaid as it's the casebook so about how many stories are in the case. I've only ridden three. And they're all in their cool who you know. There are some interesting things a headless corpse. That sounds cool Yup. I handled that rather well. I thought I had. I had the description of the two people swimming out into the ocean and and I said one went home with the other. The other ones he stayed and His body law back and forth in the ways and then and I created a kind of a moot piece and then I put a single and I said he wasn't returning home for one thing as head was missing that introduced the Carson the beginning. Yeah and you have a shape shifter Demon as well. That's right that's always a lot of fun. Yeah well I figure that if the whole story went through the The the idea of a of a of a woman being the the Villain Anna turns out that the shape shifting mail. I mean it's it's a shape shifting demon become. A woman are male desires. I've never seen that used before. I've heard of shape shifting demons but I've never read any stories about them and I thought boy this would make a nice little twists there. They've been seeking. The woman turns out to be a male demon. So that was fun. Okay and then There is Your well it's typical but there's a house horrors or perhaps haunted house housing there too. Well Yeah my wife and I visited the Winchester House which was Many years ago by thorough winchester she was the wife of the man who invented the Winchester rifle and she felt very guilty about all all the men and women and children have been killed over the years with winchester rival associate when she moved into winchester. How small farm. And she said that she's GonNa keep adding at building to it in reparation for all of the all of the harm. Her husband's a rifle 'cause and She felt that she was being haunted. By the ghost of all the people that have died under the under the winchester rifle. So I I visited winchester. How the IT's up in San Jose California with my wife and I asked that the caretaker there i. I'm sure there've been a lot of ghost stories written about this place and she said nope not a single one. I said you're kidding. I said well let all right one. And that's great so Mr Kincaid heads up there yes yes he's one of the character is still by him in part but it's also televised victims of the House. The Guy in the house. I switched the narrative around I the other two are totally narrated by him and first person with the winchester are I moved different narrative narrators around I. He never as part of it and he is a central core of it but he is the only one that tells the story the the the stories also told from other perspectives kind of a challenge to the writer to be able to pull something like that off but I think it works. We're kind of lead you in that direction. What was the idea behind that? Oh I just I got tired of doing the same thing. I every. Every time I write something I try to stretch the Vulcan going a slightly different direction and I thought it would be fun to chat to switch narrators and here which is seldom done and story and tell it from different perspectives. I it was just an idea I had. I think it's a very cool one. That's great. That sounds awesome. So is there Are we going to hear more from caney thing where people have asked me about a novel and and and I said well if it pops into my head to do something for him? I never thought ended up doing three things about him. I thought I'd only do one originally. I said so who knows that that might happen. At the moment. I have no plans for any further kincaid writing. But you never know. Would you ever consider maybe having him come to the big or small screen It would depend on some kind of film actress or somebody if If if the publisher can get people interested in the film Yeah sure I bring to the screen but if I ate. I'm way beyond their age where people write original screenplay are even adapted screenplay so it would have to be somebody in. Hollywood red got interested in it had contacted the The publisher but I don't expect that's going to happen. But if it is sure I'd be happy to make a crack at it. Now you know you're behind Logan's run certainly a really a really unique idea for fi novel that Your Life actually ends at thirty. I thought that was a really cool thing. The twenty one of the novel twenty right. Yeah and much more frightening out of your chains and suddenly you're under your twenties near dead at thirty The reason it's thirty in the movie and the remake of doing that Warner Brothers is the age of they moved up Asia thirty like MGM originally twenty five years ago but the reason. They did that they. They can't cast a whole motion picture of experienced actors under under the age of You know when they're fifteen or sixteen or Seventeen nineteen or twenty. They can't do that and they have to have older actress. So the The star Logan's run is his name Gosling. He's thirty years old so they they moved up to thirty which I don't think has nearly as effective. I can understand why they did it. Sure sure and you mean what's your thought on the original film that came out in nineteen seventy six with Michael York. I think I think it's a fun film. I think the that's are wonderful and other headquarters and they all Lincoln memorial so forth. I think that's great but I think the authorities rather silly but but Michael York Ungeni editor. We're so good at the British trained actors. They're both Shakespearean trained actor that they transcended the characters has written a screenplay they made the characters bigger than than the screenplay actually projected them And so I'm very pleased with what they did with the main characters. I'm not so happy with the last third of thing where they met Peter Youth off and he begins this whole thing about the cats and all I thought that slowed everything down to a crawl and it wasn't a book anyway But the first two-thirds thought we're pretty good. I enjoyed it now So how did the new version had today Today contact you about it. Is that how it started or no? They bought all rights. Mgm bought all rights to Logan's run not to the secret. I did Logan search longest world and journey. I've done three sequels but not they. They bought all the rights and once they buy all the rights. They don't have to consult a writer anymore. They just take the whole project over and give it to other writers. The new version of the more brothers has had eleven different writers on it over the last fifteen years and four different directors. They finally got a package together. Now that they're gonNA film and British Columbia and Vancouver in the fall and released next year. So it's going to happen. Finally but it's taken fifteen years. Hollywood moves very slowly on these things but when you figure they're spending a hundred and twenty five million dollars one one sale now. I guess you don't want to rush into something unless you're sure what you've got so that that's why. I think it's a long know that the original film was Was dated and also it lacks special effects. We can put into it. They really fantastic special effects that they didn't have back that day or talk to you at all about this in any way I might come in as a as a consultant at up in British Columbia as a as a film that I might come in but I haven't really discussed anything L. on that line and I they didn't have anything to do with the writing of it so I'm just I'm just a coffee. There is a novel and the that will that will be on the screen. Mike I got the credit on the screen and get a large amount of money out of it when they make it but No I don't creatively. I'm really not involved with it. What what's on What's on the table for you coming up? What are you working on anything else I go into? I'm working ten different books right now. Yeah okay got a full biography of Dashiell Hammett of nine hundred pages with an page. Ed Leo and a full blogger fee of Max brand. Who wrote to rise again? Dr Kill there. There's never been a real real biography of faust. Frederick Faust his real name. I just finished a collection of new short stories for Arkham House. The cold dead man walking and other shadow tales. That'll be out probably a year or two Working on three anthropology of of Fantastic supernatural material with another writer. And I and I'm working on a new logan novel with the same writer. Where two especial Logan Will Rogan falls in which he's killed but at the end we find out he's really not he's not dead. We're going to kill him off and then bring it back so plus a lot of assignments that I have on magazines at all I can. I keep busy all the time. I don't manage. They'll they'll ever be a time when I'm not working on several projects. What's that like for you to come back to Logan after all these years It's very familiar because I've been working with him. Ever since I created the character back in the sixty seven and sixty five I wrote at sixty seven. It became a book from Donald Press. And I've done a lot of I. I've worked on a television series. I did a story then. They didn't film it. But I wrote one I've I've written a lot of articles on him and and And I've written two sequel our that no three sequel novel so for the new one. I'm doing now I. I'm very comfortable with Logan. I I I understand him and I fit into his world and I. I'm able to to go back to it. Almost like one goes home again. It's very familiar territory now. How do you view science fiction these days? I mean you certainly have been a part of it and set your own part of history with it. But how where is it at in your mind? These days rather cynical about science fiction today to me such section today mostly about wizards and dragons and enchanted forest and they really high fantasy more science fiction. There is some science fiction being done. But I love the Golden Age of Arthur Clark. The MAC and Ray Bradbury and And I as a mom and Alfred Bester and Philip K Dick and those are the last six. I love the new writers. I really don't really care for I've tried a few of them as just not my cup of tea. I I guess I'm living in the past but I think the golden ages past and we're now into a kind of high fantasy version of science fiction which is just not my to my liking and what aboutism since you've your new dabbled in horror as well Certainly film wise. We've seen Kind of a rebirth of horror. You might say yeah. Well I have a new CD series called tales. From what if all dark universe that'll be a series of CD thirteen different episodes from the book Under the same title animals with bluewater comics here in Vancouver on on a comic book series based on the book I haven't been involved myself with with films or television on it yet but that that's the future. I it could happen but I've done a lot of horror writing. In fact I probably written or terrorists. Suspense Kinda stuff than than anything else. about a hundred and eighty short stories A great number of them are around that Chandra. Yeah it's a it's a very challenging field because you can just about do anything with it and I like the open of the open end. Feeling that I that I am powder when I get into into that kind of now for rocket riders. Are you going to happy doing anything else with him? At this point with rocket ride books and Anthony. I don't know we haven't discussed anything. It depends on how the new one selling and and how and how things develop. I haven't I've been so busy working with so many other books that I haven't really investigated it but I like him a lot and I like his books a lot and we made something together again in the future. Yeah says he I liked. I just liked the way he approached. you know who goes there and and really gave it its own You know No Novella and novel. It was just good to even notice a short story. It was good to kind of. It's been packaged and shoved into so many collections. It was nice to kind of put it spotlight on. Yeah Yeah I think it. Time to renew it. And it's good to have back in Trenton. They racial versus like John Campbell. Yeah absolutely well. It sounds like it sounds like retirement is not something you do well on my birthday. I slow down even retire after that. But I'm certainly not going to slow down and I and I'm more than twenty years away from that. I still got a lot riding today. Yeah that sounds great and and speaking of the special effects and and what we can do these days I mean that's look look at the difference even from the original low confronts what they can do today. I mean it kind of blindsided all of us a little bit. Well it's GonNa be I think Logan's run is going to be one of the big picture of next year. I think it I know. In in seventy five at ran for the entire summer Usually picture will run one or two months. And that's the end of it but Logan's run with the one of the big of the summer seventy five and I think the new version with special effects and everything if they if they get the story right if they get the love affair between Jessica and Logan which is the key to the whole thing even if they get that right and put in a special that we have today. I think it's going to be a major film. That'll that'll be running for several months and make a lot of money for the studio. What was your take on the TV series? That was done on love. Oh I didn't like that at all I. I came in on it and they wanted me to be story editor and they told me what they were going to do with it and I said this is terrible idea. You'RE GONNA send up around this rubber truck From one little telephone booths entry to another. They go underground solve some problems and then get back in the rubber truck again. That's terrible and they said well the only thing we could come up with. And how would you like to be story editor and I said no? I'd rather not join the crew of the titanic. If you don't so that that was the end of that I did write one outline for for one they never produced. But no they Gregory Harrison. Heather Menzies simply not suited to play logo. Just all had no chemistry between them. You never believed them all at the cared about her and and neither one of them really had nearly the stature the death of agriculture. And Michael Your so I think if you get the wrong cast for your main church or is your big trouble right away. And that's what killed US series. They just didn't have any chemistry between them whatsoever. Yes I totally agree. I totally agree with that. And that's why hasn't even seen the light on DVD. And probably never will probably the way I saw all the episodes that they came out one by one but I was not impressed. I felt that I've been writing my assessment of the other factors. The thing was going to go down the tubes it only lasted for thirteen episodes. I think only channel those were actually Tele Kathy United States at three more telecasts in English but I I know it was going to die at when that cast and that idea the rubber truck running around. I said this is gonNA. This is not going to work and the people that did it. Have Tim off A lot of other Charlie's angels and other things they they had no idea what size sexual about. They didn't know how to write it and they told me that We don't we don't know anything about science fiction but we're GONNA do Logan's run and I thought well there's that's death right there. That's that's a curse of death row. You know your field. If you're gonNA ride that general. I totally agree with that. I totally agree well. Qena Paranormal Casebook is the most recent thing and and and definitely will keep our ears to the grindstone. Hear what else is coming out from you but that sounds like a really cool idea. And I certainly loved the X. Files and the one that inspired culture check and I would love to say your take wrote. I wrote a check by the way it was. It was a third long-term long coal check. Follow the the first two. The Richard Method that I wrote the night killers in a week. I one hundred page script. I wrote it in a week and then Richard took it over and and we collaborated on it and it was. It was within a week of going. We're GONNA fill in Hawaii where the robots take over that Y and government one by one a coach. Find out about this but nobody will believe him and he. They're they're they're they're not real they're machines. You think that President of Hawaii the machine. That's right so that that would have been a lot of fun and again. It got canceled at the last moment when they when they sold a series of the monster of the week. A terrible idea. They told sold a series and Dan Curtis and myself and Richard Math and we all just abdicated. We all just okay. That's of that. We don't want anything to do with the series. Yeah but I did do a call check. Yeah that's great. That was a great show too so I love the character. Yeah the original movie I think is a classic really beautifully done and Darren just really found. He just found him you know he was perfect for coal check. Yeah something about. Him is absolutely perfectly cast. Richard Matheson was just the writer to do it and Dan with just the director producer to bring so are they definitely was a magic team and when I joined I thought we were GonNa do something with the third one and unfortunately we we cut the. Hey that something I definitely would have loved to have seen you know I as a shame. Shame well I really WanNa thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I've had a great time and I'm glad we had a chance to connect talk about.