Based on a story by

18 07 2013

Way back in 2008, I edited my first issue of ASIM. I still regard ASIM 35 with solid affection, and I don’t think there’s anything I’d do differently if I was given the chance to go back and tinker. It’s a bunch of stories I’m still proud to have shepherded into publication, five-and-a-bit years on.


I mention the issue because I’ve just learned that the longest of those stories, ‘The Jackal’s Waltz’, by Kiwi author Doug Van Belle, is to be made into a movie, Orion 66, described by Doug as a ‘low-budget creature feature’. Doug’s original story (which was shortlisted for a Sir Julius Vogel award back in 2009) is a mil-SF piece about a crucial, ceremonial away mission by a small band of soldiers to a hostile, life-bearing moon: it’s both cerebral and visceral, and I’m very much hoping the movie captures both of those qualities. You can get a glimpse of the featured creatures (designed, it appears, by Greg Broadmore, who worked on District 9 and is also the originator of the Dr Grordbort range of gadgetry) on the teaser, right here:

And it would be remiss not to mention that the story also serves as an introduction to Doug’s excellent SF novel Barking Death Squirrels, set in the same universe. (The book’s published by Random Static, whose link for the title is here: I’ve noticed, just now, that they offer a free download, pdf only, of the book’s first chapter, as a sampler. If you’re intrigued by the video teaser, you could do worse than check out the sample chapter.)


The book itself would make a pretty compelling movie. (But that, I suspect, might be a consideration for another day.)




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