WOW. Today, the 22nd of February, marks the 1st Anniversary of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT. We’re growing up so fast, aren’t we? Why, this time last year the project barely came up to my knee, and now it’s somewhere at roughly hip level. Where did all the months go…
All joking aside, it’s hard to believe that a year ago today, I decided to finally take the plunge and launch this insane project. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. Not about the writing process, research, or the ridiculously time consuming commitment I was about to make (believe it or not, those things outright excited me!), but mostly about how such an undertaking would be received by potential readers. Would fans enjoy what I was writing, get excited about future updates, cheer me on as I worked, or find it in their hearts to support the endeavor?
Well, looking back on a whole year of pouring my heart, soul, and creative juices into this project, I’m overjoyed (and just the SLIGHTEST bit relieved) that the answer to all of these questions has been a resounding and enthusiastic YES! In the space of a mere twelve months, Godzilla lovers far and wide have jumped aboard the GNP bandwagon, humbling and inspiring me in the process. Fans have engaged with me on social media, providing feedback and suggestions for ongoing and future books while also taking the time to shoot the breeze with me on all things “kaiju”. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to appear on podcasts, write articles for magazines, and find a voice within the Godzilla community that I never thought was possible. I’ve received encouragement from some amazing sources, not the least of which is my growing group of AMAZING Patreon supporters who have seen fit to sacrifice their heard-earned money to help me realize this lifelong dream.
For a number of reasons, this last year has been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster for me. However, I can honestly say that nearly all of the high points that have come my way since February of 2018 have sprung from working on the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT. As always seems to happen in my life, the King of the Monsters was there for me exactly when I needed him, providing direction, motivation, and inspiration. A year later, to say I’m glad I bit the bullet and followed that direction is an understatement. In that time, it hasn’t just been my devotion to a fictional radioactive lizard that has kept me working… it’s been all of you. Whether you have been with the project since the beginning or are only just discovering it, whether you are a casual reader or an enthusiastic supporter, I’d like to take this moment to sincerely – and from the bottom of my heart – thank you. The many words of encouragement I’ve received, recommendations and positive reviews I’ve read, and opportunities to be a voice in the fandom I’ve been given through this project are truly, truly humbling, and I’ll never know just how to fully express my gratitude to each and every one of you who has joined me on this journey. There’s still a LONG road ahead for this project, but with the passion and support of wonderful readers like you by my side, it’s a road I very much look forward to continuing down.
That said, it’s time to move past the mushy stuff for a brief moment to bring you another installment of the GNP’s patented (and long winded) STATUS REPORT! It’s been a few months since the last one, so I figured the 1 year anniversary of the project would be as good a time as any to bring you up to speed on the progress made on the site’s various projects! Don’t worry, I’ll try to make this one shorter than the last one, I promise.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in:
GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Not much to say here, except to reiterate that crafting Chapter 3 has been a bit of a creative challenge! If you’ve read the already posted chapters and are familiar with the order of events in the film, then you know the next chapter will bring the action first to the panicked headquarters of the Nankai Steamship Company, and then to the Pacific to witness the sinking of the Bingo-Maru. I’ve continued to experiment with various perspectives these scenes could take in the prose since the last status report, and have spent several months continuing the process of writing and rewriting the various moments. While I still think I’ve found the angle that best captures the emotions of the scene, it might take a bit longer to iron out the rest of the kinks to create a chapter I’m proud of. That said, I’ll go out on a limb and say that you can expect Godzilla: Chapter 3 soon!
KING KONG VS. GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As I said in the last status report, the adaptation of this film (which is based on the legendary original Japanese cut of the film, unavailable in the United States) has been a unique and exciting opportunity for the GNP. To be able to present Honda and Sekizawa’s original, hilariously satirical vision to western readers is truly an honor, and it’s something I’m definitely taking my time on.
Only Chapter 1 has been completed and posted thus far, and my continuing research into the period (specifically the Japanese “Economic Miracle” and its effects on television, advertising, and big business) has prevented me from converting my outlines into further chapters. However, a recent uptick in web traffic for the first chapter has made continuing this novelization a priority, and Chapter 2 should be coming within the next month or so!
MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As I mentioned last time, this is another novelization that requires a surprising amount of research. How did politics on a local level work in 1964? What does the Kurata Beach disaster communicate in regard to the modernization, industrialization, and urban expansion of Japan during such a prosperous decade? How big a role did the press play at the time, and just what was the price of a chicken egg back then? Lots to discover, and lots to learn!
All that said, the next chapter has been outlined (along with more “in universe” newspaper articles penned by Akira Takarada’s character, Ichiro Sakai), and the writing process has been going on for quite some time. It shouldn’t be too much longer before that giant egg washes ashore…
ALL MONSTERS ATTACK: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Good news: the next chapter of this adaptation is pretty much completed! It still needs a bit of tweaking before I’m satisfied enough with it to reveal it to readers, but in all likelihood it will be published very soon.
GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As mentioned a few months ago, the process of writing this truly INSANE film as a book has been one of the most enjoyable creative experiences of my life. This is evident in the fact that Hedorah is, as of this writing, the longest novel on the site, currently sitting at five chapters (including the prologue)! The chance to take a film so infamous for is visuals and translate it into the written word is a thrill, and often times a serious challenge.
Chapter 5 is currently being polished and readied for publication, and further chapters are already outlined and awaiting conversion! As I said last time, with the previously published chapter leaving off right before Hedorah’s first venture to shore, things are about to get… psychedelic.
GODZILLA VS. GIGAN: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Talk about a fun novelization to write! I’ve always loved the characters in this film, and having the opportunity to explore them deeper is a true thrill. Chapter 2 is making excellent progress, and further chapters have been outlined, as well! It might take a month or so to get Chapter 2 up to snuff, but its definitely coming soon!
GODZILLA VS. MEGALON: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
This is another book I’ve hit a few roadblocks on. As I detailed in my last status report, one of Megalon’s biggest issues as a film is its cardboard cutout characters. Therefore, as I refuse to write for cardboard cutouts, it falls to me to provide them with the character they are lacking. It all boils down to this: I’ve committed to thinking harder and longer about Godzilla vs. Megalon than perhaps a human brain ought to.
And – perhaps predictably – I’m enjoying it immensely.
Chapter 2 is making excellent progress, with the conversion from outline/notes to actual chapter well underway. I’m not sure when to expect this one, but I’m shooting for publication sometime in March. Wish me luck!
GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Unfortunately, the status on this book remains the same as the last time progress was shared a few months ago. Much like Mothra vs. Godzilla, a surprising amount of research is required to make this novel authentic. Specifically, knowledge of the history of Okinawa, it’s past and then (1974) current relationship to Japan, and its unique religious background are all necessary in presenting an accurate portrayal of the setting of the story.
The good news is that research into these topics is going well, if slowly. Once I have acquired the necessary knowledge to accurately portray the setting of the film, then work on the next chapter will resume. Hopefully it doesn’t take too much longer!
GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
This is the most recent novelization begun on the site, and the latest book to receive a newly written chapter in quite a while. The reason behind the amount of time it took to finally nail down the approach to beginning this story boiled down to one thing: perspective. For the longest time, finding a point of view from which to witness the film’s incredible opening sequence eluded me, with the biggest issues being how to continue the story following those events in a way that didn’t undermine the approach I was leaning toward taking with said opening. In the end, I decided to pursue a somewhat unorthodox approach to telling the story of this particular Godzilla film, and one that I hope will intrigue viewers as much as it ultimately honors the film…
In short, the story will be told from MULTIPLE perspectives, including jumping between first-person accounts of the film’s events (such as the Prologue taking Akane’s perspective) and traditional third-person chapters. The final result should make for an interesting (and hopefully coherent) read that will be an exciting challenge to write!
All that said, the next chapter is being written as we speak, and will assume a new perspective as the events following Godzilla’s initial nighttime attack are seen through the eyes of the government, specifically Kumi Mizuno and Akira Nakao’s characters. Expect this chapter within the next few weeks!
AND YET ANOTHER?
If you read my last status report, then you’ll know that there’s a mystery Godzilla novelization that has been begun, yet remains unpublished. I’ve been sitting on it for various reasons, but the time is soon coming when I’ll run out of excuses as to why it’s just sitting on my computer, collecting digital dust…
Which film could it be adapting?
You’ll have to wait to find out…
I have to say, tackling this short story has been an absolute BLAST. Revealed as a special Halloween surprise on October 31st of last year, this unique retelling of Ishiro Honda’s metaphorical masterpiece has been growing in popularity over the last few months. The story – told as an “in-universe” testimony delivered by the film’s sole survivor upon his rescue – currently consists of five parts, plus an introduction. I estimate that the story is somewhere near halfway completed, so expect this short story to clock in at ten parts once it’s done! Part 6 is currently being outlined, and should be ready in a week or two!
THE SONY TIMELINE
Ever since launching the Timeline section of the site, I have been absolutely blown away by the amount of attention it has gotten. Even on days when the novelizations receive little web traffic, one or both of the currently begun timelines get an often shocking number of views. It’s been humbling to see that all the hard work that goes into researching, cataloguing, and writing the (sometimes obscure) facts in these timelines is being appreciated and enjoyed by fans!
Work on the Sony Timeline – the farthest along of the two timelines currently on the site – has slowed in recent months due to focus on other projects, but work is still being done behind the scenes on research for future updates. Look for events from several drafts of the shooting script for the 1998 film (which has led to some interesting discoveries!), several publications released to promote the film, both the adult and junior novelizations, episodes of the animated series, two Godzilla: The Series comics, and even the GameBoy game coming to the timeline very soon!
THE ANIME TIMELINE
Of all the pages created thus far for the GNP website, the Anime Timeline has proven – quite unexpectedly – to be the most popular of them all. Exceeding the number of views generated by any of the novelizations, this page has exploded in popularity, despite the fact that the info currently included on it is minimal, to say the least.
As of this update, the Anime Timeline is home to a chronicle of the “prequel” events that take place before Planet of the Monsters, and little to nothing else. But due to the popularity of the page, more info is being catalogued as we speak! With all three anime films now released in the states, its finally possible to look at the entire universe of the series and approach viewing these events with an eye toward how things eventually come to close in the third movie. Expect more additions to this timeline soon!
THE “MONSTER MUSINGS” BLOG
Despite strong response to the first blog, a second one (excluding the special blog I crafted exclusively for my Patrons a few months back) has yet to materialize. The good news is that I have two nearly completed, so if you’ve been waiting for more behind-the-scenes peeks into the inner workings of the GNP, I’d expect a new blog to hit the site within the next month!
Despite work slowing in recent months (due to personal responsibilities and the ever busy holiday season), I’m happy to report that things are picking back up again. Outlines and early writing for a handful of additional Godzilla novels are still underway, as well as plans for additional short stories and novellas set within various corners of the franchise. In addition, that third timeline – focusing on a new Godzilla universe – that I mentioned in the last status report is still being worked on, with a great deal of research already completed and several entries already written! The identity of this timeline will remain a mystery until it has been polished enough to be published, but feel free to let me know your guesses as to what universe it will tackle!
While on the subject on the novels, I wanted to bring up an important shift in direction that affects the way the GNP will operate going forward. In short, the decision has been made to begin a maximum of only one or two more Godzilla novels in the near future. After this, focus will switch to working on novels that have already begun on the site. The number of different Godzilla novelizations currently available to read stems from a desire on my part to give readers a variety of stories to choose from while also providing a sample of what I can do as a writer. The books currently on the site represent a wide array of genres, perspectives, and points-of-view for characters, meaning that the desired variety is now in place. With a total of nine novelizations in progress on the site, the time has finally come to make focusing on those novels a priority over beginning new ones. As I mentioned above, readers can expect at most two more novels to receive beginnings in the near future, but after this, no new novels will be started for quite some time. Of course, these plans could change, and if they do, you’ll be the first to know!
As for the website itself, performance/aesthetic improvements are an ongoing process, with the most recent addition being images of the book’s titles in Japanese katakana appearing in each novelization’s table of contents. I think they look pretty darn awesome, and provide some much needed color to their respective pages. In addition, the recently added Press/Appearances page is being regularly updated with articles and, most excitingly, a slew of recent appearances on Kaijuvision Radio, in which I join host Brian Scherschel for in-depth discussions on various Toho kaiju/tokusatsu films, most recently the Anime Godzilla Trilogy!
Speaking of podcasts, expect a couple of surprises in the near future! Cool things are brewing behind the scenes… but that’s all I’ll say about that right now.
And last but not least, there’s the subject of possible GNP merch (something I get asked about more often than I honestly thought I would!). As I mentioned in the last status update, several possibilities have begun to open up! Patreon supporters will be the first to benefit from possible swag, but if things like GNP shirts/apparel, buttons/pins, stickers, or other goodies interest you, let me know, and seeking avenues to get that stuff produced will become a priority! (But remember, making this stuff isn’t cheap, and most of my GNP budget goes to research materials. If this is something you want to see happen, donating even a dollar a month on Patreon REALLY helps! The more backers I get, the better merch I can offer!)
Well, that should just about do it! This was a long read, so congratulations if you made it this far down the preceding wall of text! I feel it’s important to keep you guys in the loop, so hopefully these status reports are appreciated.
That said, I’d like to end this 1St Anniversary post by, once again, thanking you all for your support, your encouragement, and your faith. Being able to pursue this dream is an incredible gift, and doing it without readers would be a difficult challenge, to say the least. It has been one heck of an amazing year, but I assure you, we are just getting started. There will be much more to read (and write!), more camaraderie to be enjoyed, and (hopefully!) more fun to be had. I hope you’ll all continue to come along for the ride.
Thanks to you all! Let Year 2 begin!