A God incarnate…
The Destroyer of Worlds…
An icon of global popular culture…
Dear reader, I’d like to thank you for coming, and welcome you to the official home of the GNP (a.k.a. the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT).
If you are reading these words, chances are you’re already a fan of the King of the Monsters. Godzilla has certainly been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure there are many of you who share that sentiment. We have marveled at his cinematic adventures (currently at an incredible 35 films and counting…), collected his likeness in action figure form, and digested any little bit of Godzilla storytelling we can get our hands on for over 65 years now. Thanks to a new generation of fans and filmmakers, both across the Pacific and here in America, the Big G is currently enjoying a resurgence in global popularity, which has seen everything from a return to Toho in 2016 and the emergence of a Hollywood “Cinematic Universe” of Kaiju films, to an anime feature film trilogy, countless comics published here and in Japan, and enough merchandise to spin your head while simultaneously emptying your wallet. It is, as they say, a good time to be a fan.
That is where I come in. My name is Daniel DiManna, but you may (or may not) have seen me lurking around the web as Danzilla93. My claims to “fame” within the kaiju fan community include guest-hosting appearances on several podcasts, voice acting in one of the ambitious Godzilla Unmade audio dramas, and having written several articles for the amazing G-FAN and Prehistoric magazines and for the website Scified, on which I also use to serve as an editor. (There’s also the matter of my nearly 700 figure-strong kaiju toy collection, but… yeah. I may have a problem.) All that said, I wouldn’t classify myself as some kind of “elite” member within the fan community, and I’m certainly no celebrity. I’m merely a young man with a sense of wonder who loves Godzilla more than practically anything. The opportunities afforded to me within the fan base have truly been a blessing, and the chance to create articles and editorials in particular has given me an outlet to combine two of my greatest passions: Godzilla, and writing.
I have been a passionate reader ever since I mastered potty training, and my love for books and reading is right up there with my love for film. Despite focusing on art in college (for a group of professors who considered my gaining inspiration from movies as some kind of immoral joke), my true passion has always been storytelling, and that tied directly into my artistic endeavors. Whether I received inspiration from a book I had just read, or from a film created by one of my heroes (like Eiji Tsuburaya, Ray Harryhausen, and Hayao Miyazaki, to name a few), it was always a desire to tell a story, or pay tribute, that fired my creative engine.
However, I must confess that it has always been the art of cinematic storytelling that has inspired me the most. Ever since my childhood, having my mind blown by films the likes of Godzilla 2000, Mothra vs Godzilla, Clash of the Titans, The Day the Earth Stood Still, the original Universal Monsters classics, the Planet of the Apes franchise, and the Star Wars films (again, to name only a few) caused my creative cogs to turn at full speed, and soon I was creating my own stories of faraway galaxies, time travel, alien invaders, mythological conflicts, and, of course, giant monsters.
More often than not, I tended to keep my little stories (which tended to be not so little at all, but complicated, in-depth worlds with dozens of characters and events to keep track of) to myself. But it didn’t take long for me to eventually start applying some of these stories to the practicalities of real life, such as school projects. For an incredibly detailed project in my Junior Year Astronomy Class in high school, for which we had to design a planet with five different, well thought-out organisms to inhabit it, I pulled out all the stops. The project terrified all of my peers, but I had taken the class specifically to tackle this project. As it turned out, I had a planet full of organisms all ready to go, one that I had begun designing way back in 4th grade! By my Junior year, it had become a complex world bursting with scientifically-plausible creatures, all of which were the basis for a story I had been crafting for nearly 7 years. I proudly presented that world (and an unnecessary but totally awesome accompanying solar system) to my class, complete with detailed cutaway diagrams of each creature, sculpted models of nearly all of them, and information on everything from each creature’s relationship to others in the food chain, to individual reproductive systems.
I’m still proud to this day that I was the only student in the class to get a 100% on the project, along with special kudos from my teacher, who told me he was certain I would be writing for the Discovery Channel one day.
Well, it has been over a decade since I presented that project, and while I haven’t written any nature documentaries yet, I have finally begun to transform my old ideas into full-fledged stories. What will come of these stories is anyone’s guess, but to finally be able to write them, and develop my skills as a writer is a joyful experience. I’ve found it to be creatively liberating, especially after five and a half oppressive years of art school. The simple act of creating something that resonates with you and your passions is a wonderful experience, and now, after all these years, it has finally led me back, full circle, to Godzilla.
Back during high school (a time before I had ever met another Godzilla fan face to face), I had, through sheer boredom during a study hall or two, begun writing synopses for hypothetical Godzilla novelizations. It had always frustrated me that no novelizations of the then 28 Japanese Godzilla films existed in English, and so, in a brief burst of excitement, I decided to experiment with the idea of just what a novel adaptation of a Godzilla movie might look like. How would it read, and how would the story be presented? What kind of tone would one novel (say, an adaptation of the original Gojira) have in relation to another (such as Godzilla’s Revenge)? What insights into the plot could it give readers/fans that the movies, for one reason or another, did not? Could continuity errors be amended, timelines smoothed out, and certain characters be better defined? Could these films, which have been presented in various different versions and in various different languages (and sometimes even with different subtitle translations) be adapted into a “definitive” presentation that, once and for all, encapsulates the essence of the original stories, as their Japanese creators always intended, for English speaking readers?
It was a lot to consider, especially for a 17-year-old kid still trying to survive high school. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot, and created “back cover” synopses for a half-dozen Godzilla films. This eventually expanded into actually beginning the writing process for the novelizations themselves, and I was able to complete the prologue to my adaptation of Godzilla vs Spacegodzilla (always one of my personal favorites) and get relatively far into the first chapter of Godzilla Raids Again. Sometime after that, the pressures of school caused me to shelve the project, and it became one of my many unfinished creative endeavors.
However, while the project was shelved, it was not forgotten. Over the years, my brother (one of the few people that I allowed to read the completed prologues) continually brought up “those Godzilla books you were writing”, always commenting on how much he had enjoyed them. As time passed, and he continued his insistence that the prologues were “one of the best things I have ever read”, I began to realize something: my brother, a highly critical, book and movie-digesting young man, whom is neither a Godzilla fan nor a person to sugar coat his opinions, didn’t just like these silly little things from high school, he truly enjoyed them. He thought they were something truly great, and a prime example of wasted potential in a brother he believed in. This, more than anything, made me think that there might be something to this project after all.
And so, we arrive in the present. The website you are now reading these words on is the culmination of a dream many years in the making, and the place where I hope to share that dream with all of you, my fellow fans.
The GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT is an initiative on my part to, eventually and over time, create full novelizations of EVERY Japanese Godzilla film, and share them, completely free, with you. Books will be uploaded one (or possibly more) chapter(s) at a time, and there will be multiple books being worked on at the same time. This site will be the archive for these books, as well as the place for updates regarding the project. Please feel free to leave me a comment here on the site; cheer me on, suggest possible story avenues or things to make the stories better, or just tell me your favorite Godzilla movie! I’ll happily chat with you any chance I get. However, I do ask that things be kept civil. Godzilla fans have a, shall we say… infamous tendency to get a little nasty online. This site will not be a place where negativity, trolling, or insulting will be tolerated. As kaiju fans, we have to stick together, regardless if differing opinions. So, if you want to comment, please be respectful and courteous. If you’re not, I’ll sick my horde of pet Shockirus’ on you, and I haven’t fed them in weeks…
Of course, this is something I could never make money doing; it is simply a passion project, not endorsed, approved, or (currently) on the radar of Toho Co. Ltd. No copyright infringement is intended, and no laws are being broken. These books could never be published in print without Toho’s approval, and therefore they will be presented online, free of charge, to any and every fan who wants to read them.
Please understand, however, that these things take time. This is a massive undertaking, and simply producing one novel will take many hours of work. A great deal of research will be required, as I will be studying the original Japanese versions of all of the movies, along with shooting scripts and behind-the-scenes material, so that I can produce a story as true to the original intent of the filmmakers as I can possibly make it. In order to tie the books together into a more concrete continuity between certain stories, I am also creating definitive timelines that pinpoint the specifics of the Godzilla universe (which are also available, as a work-in-progress, on this site).
In addition to all the logistics of actually crafting these books, I am a working young man with a job that sometimes requires up to 14 straight hours of work, which I must do to stay in my apartment and eat. I will need to write around a schedule that changes often, and in addition to other writing projects that might potentially be a secondary source of income. There may be stretches of time with no updates to the site, and in those instances I ask that you please be patient. I haven’t forgotten you, and for your support, you will get the content you deserve.
(While we are on the topic of money, at the top of this page you will find the “Support” tab that leads to my Patreon account. While I’ll never attempt to sell these novelizations for money, I have opened this account as an optional “creator support system”, so to speak. Money donated to this account by my readers will enable me to, for example, more easily procure necessary research materials used in the crafting of the novelizations (including scripts, Japanese books containing information on deleted scenes and behind the scenes details, promotional material with bits of ephemera to be included in the Timelines, etc.), hire/pay for the services of translators for material that I am unable to read/translate myself, and/or work less hours at my jobs on a given day or days, allowing me to write during that time and provide you with your content faster. If you enjoy what you read here and want to support this effort financially, donations of ANY amount are appreciated beyond words. It is a vote of confidence in my work, and a gift that allows me to put even more effort into this project, which means the world to me. To those of you who would consider donating, or those whom have done so already, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.)
And so, my friends, there remains nothing to do but, as they say, get this show on the road! I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to read this introduction, and for your support of this endeavor. It is truly exciting to be working on this, and I hope that the coming stories will remind you of just how much Godzilla means to you. No matter who you all are, we are all united by our common love and enjoyment of this incredible and awesome character, and while my novelizations might tell the stories you already know, I hope they will present them in a way that allows you to look at your favorite films with fresh eyes. Most of all, I hope you have fun.
So, let the fun begin! Long live the King, baby!
Cheers and thanks,