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Flash Gordon : a novel

by Arthur Byron Cover, Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (Screenplay)

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This was much better than I'd thought it would be. I don't remember the movie but I'm sure I must have seen it way back when. It's a great adventure in the heady realms of pulp sci fi, with all the ingredients that you would expect being present, and a few more that you might not. Turns out Dale is a bit of a swinger, or was until she split with her boyfreind because he was taking it a little too seriously, a little further than she was entirely comfortable with. Well, who'd have thought it. Dale, a swinger. Each to their own I suppose. It just came as bit of a surprise when I first read it is all.

So, you all know the story. Flash and Dale are taken at gunpoint to the planet Mongo by Dr Hans Zarkov where an evil dictator and all-round madman called Ming rules with an iron fist. They join forces with the locals and overthrow him. Oh, and Ming's daughter betrays him and helps them too, but I'm not spoiling it for anyone here of course because the story's so well known.

I loved the little extra details that really made this novel that bit more special. The description of Zarkov's rocket ship with it's fancy fins and little flashing bulbs on the control console for example were just a delight.

The moments of sarcasm from Dale, and the hints here and there regarding Ming and his daughter, Aura. These moments really added something special to this novel and make me want to track down the movie now so that I can re-live those moments on screen, although I doubt Dale's more intimate revelations are part of the movie version.

Anyway, a very enjoyable read. Some unexpected moments, and the tongue-in-cheek pulpiness is just priceless. Highly recomended.

( )
  SFGale | Mar 23, 2021 |
Is there any more an entertaining movie than 1980s "Flash Gordon"? From the cheesy colorful sets, corny dialogue, laughable special effects and fantastically beautiful women - the whole production is over-the-top. No surprise then that the novelization to accompany the movie is also great fun. I picked this up at my local newsagent when I was about 8-years old and then braved a frozen town hall (that once a month was converted into a movie theater) to see the movie on the big screen. The novelization is so much fun that when I moved to the United States I had to seek out another copy and now own one copy in the United Kingdom and one copy here in the U.S. ( )
1 vote DarrenHarrison | Jul 29, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Byron Coverprimary authorall editionscalculated
Semple, Lorenzo, Jr.Screenplaymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Underling, I am weary." (Prologue)
Flash Gordon would have gladly divided his thoughts and deeds of the world into two distinct and arbitrary categories, but like many young people of his age, he realized that throughout the course of history the distinction had never been an easy one.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the novelization of the 1980 film. It should not be combined with either the screenplay on which it is based nor with the film itself.
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