In talking with Kitty about books to read, she produced a compilation of books written by Richard Bachman a.k.a. Stephen King. One book was "The Running Man" which someone had commented in an earlier post that it was nothing like the movie. So I knocked it out in a few days which is easy to do with King novels. I must say that I rather enjoyed it. The characters' names may be similar in the book and movie, but the plots are very much different. And that's a good thing! I think each can stand on their own on their own merits. The book portrays a dark and dismal dystopian future (although we're getting very close to the actual timeline!). The movie does that somewhat, but it's mainly just a star vehicle for Arnold. And that's fine! It was good campy fun! I was hoping that someone like the SyFy network might do a more true adaptation of the book. Since the climax of the book (SPOILER ALERT) involves crashing a commercial airliner into a skyscraper, I don't think anyone would touch that in this post-911 world. I think the same thing could be said about "Androids" and "Blade Runner." Both could stand alone on their own merits.
Finally, there seems to be this common thread about future dystopian society. Many of the stories deal with the gross differences between the "haves" and the "have nots." These books were written 30-50 years ago and we seem to be on a path of making science fiction a reality. When I read about futuristic slums where violence and drug use is rampant and hopelessness abounds, then I watch "The Wire" which takes place in the ghettos of present-day Baltimore, and I see that we have pretty much arrived at the future predicted decades ago. And while the world crumbles around us, we are all glued to our screens where we escape reality.