WOW. Today, the 22nd of February, marks the 2nd 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 time go…
All joking aside, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been at this for two years now. In some ways it feels like this project has been a part of my life for much longer than a mere 24 months, and in some ways it feels as though I’ve only just begun. I suppose there’s truth in both statements; the idea for the GNP has indeed been in my head since my teenage years, and I think it’s completely appropriate to say that this project is only getting started as we continue forward.
And make no mistake, readers… the key word here is most certainly “we”, as in both you and I. Reader and writer. Supporter and creator. After all, what are words if there’s no one there to read them?
I’ve talked about this before, but two years ago today, when I decided to launch this project and share my passion with the Godzilla fan base, 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 at two years 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! To this day, I’m still in awe at how quickly Godzilla lovers far and wide jumped aboard the GNP bandwagon, humbling and inspiring me in the process. Fans have engaged with me on social media (especially Twitter, which has grown into a community of nearly 2,000 followers as of this writing!), 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.
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 while since the last time I rounded up all the progress that’s been made on the site’s various projects, and I think it’s high time I provided a peek into how each novel, short story, timeline, blog, and other various sundry creative endeavors are developing. Also highlighted will be some aesthetic upgrades and other goodies. This might be a lengthy read, but feel free to skim the list below and check out the projects you’re most interested in!
So, without further ado, let’s get cracking:
GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
This is a novel I get asked about quite frequently, and it’s not heard to see why. This is, after all, the original classic that started it all, and perhaps the most universally beloved of all the films. It’s also the first Godzilla novelization I started on the site, and the wait for Chapter 3 has been a long one. 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 in order to best capture the emotions seen in the film. That said, I’m still not 100% on board with what I’ve tried so far, so it’s going to take a bit longer to iron out the rest of the kinks to create a chapter I’m proud of. The film deserves the best I can give it, and I hope to have Godzilla: Chapter 3 ready to read 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) 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.
That said, this adaptation has been far more research-heavy than I initially anticipated, and Chapter 1 is still the only chapter that has been completed and posted thus far. 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, progress on Chapter 2 is definitely being made (especially since it will deal almost entirely with the crew of the Seahawk submarine, and will be pretty much devoid of political/social commentary). I’ll estimate a publication date of March for this one!
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
Progress on this one has been surprisingly quick! The next chapter is currently shaping up quite nicely, and this particular novel has quite a bit already outlined. More should be coming soon from this adaptation, and I’ll even go as far as to dub this one a solid contender in the “Finish This Year” Challenge! More on that in a future update…
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.
Hedorah’s super psychedelic Chapter 5 has been on the back burner for a while, but with so much progress already done on this book, this might just be another possibility for finishing before the end of the year! Might…
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. The latest chapter was a big hit with readers, and the next one should be 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.
I’m not sure when to expect the next chapter for this one, but I’m shooting for publication sometime in March, perhaps to coincide with its anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day. 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 VS. SPACEGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
This is the most recent novel started on the site, and as of this writing, it is planned to be the last for some time. As mentioned elsewhere, the focus of the project is now squarely on crafting new chapters for already started books. The entire idea behind having multiple adaptations being worked on at the same time was to give the site some variety during its early days. Well, after two years, I felt that the variety I was looking for was finally in place.
That said, the adaptation of Spacegodzilla has been wonderful to work on, as it’s always been a personal favorite film of mine in the franchise, as well as a film that I feel is far better than its reputation. Chapter 2 is making progress, and I’m hoping to have it ready to publish before this year’s G-FEST.
GMK: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Without getting too much into the story here, this is a particularly special adaptation for the GNP. This book was a special request from a wonderful Godzilla fan named Josh, a young man whose bravery in the face of life-altering health issues continues to humble me. Nearly a year after #GodzillaforJosh started trending on social media, I couldn’t be more thrilled that Josh is thriving and remains both loved and supported by Godzilla fans far and wide.
First and foremost, this book is for him. The next chapter should be coming in the next few months, and I can’t wait for both Josh and all of you to read it.
GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As mentioned elsewhere, this story is a unique one for the project as it is being 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 continues to be an exciting challenge to write! 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 it soon!
AND YET ANOTHER?
If you read my last status report, then you’ll remember that there was a mystery project gathering dust on my laptop’s hard drive. Well, funny story… that particular project (the prologue to Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla) has finally been published, and has been replaced with ANOTHER mystery project! Which story could it be adapting? You’ll have to wait to find out…
Ain’t I a stinker?
THE SHORT STORIES
This one – no pun intended – has been an interesting case. 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. After dedicating a lot of time to writing what I estimate to be half the story (meaning that you can expect it to clock in at ten parts once it’s done), extenuating circumstances in my life caused me to stop for a while, and when work on the GNP resumed, I began working on another adaptation instead. Rest assured, however, that Part 6 has been fully outlined, and half written, so the story should be continuing soon…
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, all of the 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 timelines 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 Sony Timeline very soon!
The Anime Timeline continues to be one of the site’s most popular pages, even with a year having elapsed since the release of the final film in the trilogy. Expect additions pertaining to the events of Planet of the Monsters to be published to the timeline soon!
Work on the Monsterverse Timeline is an ever-evolving process, especially with the bevy of new lore that has come out in the wake of 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Info on the events of Kong: Skull Island is due to hit the timeline in the coming weeks!
THE “MONSTER MUSINGS” BLOG
This is another part of the site that has slowed down considerably. While I’m proud of the material published already, I really want the idea of behind-the-scenes blogs (and general pontifications on all things kaiju) to be a bigger part of not just the GNP, but of my overall writing contributions to the Godzilla fandom.
That said, I’m considering a radical shift in direction for the Monster Musings. It’s an exciting possibility, and I’ll be sure to share more with you as it develops…
As always, there’s a LOT more going on behind the scenes of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT than it might seem! There are a ton of chapters that have been outlined, and a number of concepts that have been documented for future use. Research on various aspects of the series continues on a daily basis, and new opportunities for collaboration and promotion are manifesting for the project! It’s an exciting time, and if the amount of growth I’ve seen over the last two years continues, well… year three of the GNP is going to be a wonderful one.
In terms of the updates you can see, it’s worth noting a couple of big changes/additions that I think have made the site a lot more appealing for readers! First up are the images that now appear at the tops of each novel/timeline/short story page. In an effort to give the site a bit more visual variety, I decided that each project needed an image to go along with it. After all, every book has its cover, right? From now on, every chapter/part of the GNP’s various projects will have a picture that accompanies it. It’s been a fun side project to tackle, and I hope it’s been appreciated!
Next up are the introductions I’ve recently been adding to the completed short stories. It has been my plan for a long time to include intros to each novel and story told on this site, but I made the decision upon launching the project that such intros should only be written and published when the story they are introducing was completed. In lieu of currently having completed novels to write intros for (although hopefully that’ll change soon!), I have instead begun writing them for the site’s finished short stories. Since the last status report, two new such stories have been both started and finished (those being The Cosmos Apocrypha and Sora no Daikaiju), both of which now have introductions that discuss the writing process behind them, as well as why the films they are adapting were selected. I’ve had a blast writing them, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them!
Now on to the subject of possible GNP merch (something I get asked about more often than I honestly thought I would!). As mentioned before, I’ve been approached by several parties that are interested in producing items for the project, which is definitely exciting! I’ve even crafted prototype images of a few of these items, which only Patreon supporters have seen thus far. If things like GNP shirts/apparel, buttons/pins, stickers, coffee mugs, or other goodies interest you, please 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. There is currently a goal on my Patreon page that states that, if the project starts making $50 a month from supporters, the production of merch can officially begin! 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 2nd 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 couple of years, 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 3 begin!