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Salman Rushdie Throws Down on Game of Thrones

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | October 18, 2011 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | October 18, 2011 |

Salman Rushdie, he of Satanic Verses fatwa fame, got involved with Showtime over the summer in order to create a television series called The Next People. The author himself describes it as “a sort of paranoid science fiction series, people disappearing and being replaced by other people,” which sounds exactly like a half dozen other science fiction stories, but then it is just a nutshell description. Word is that he has finished the pilot and is supposed to be writing the entire series.

But what is really getting the press in the genre blogs and such is the following quote:

“There was a series called Game of Thrones which was very popular here in the United States, a post-Tolkien kind of thing. It was garbage, yet very addictive garbage—because there’s lots of violence, all the women take their clothes off all the time, and it’s kind of fun. In the end, it’s well-produced trash, but there’s room for that, too.”

Generally, the write ups then crack an amazingly clever zinger about a geek fatwa, or that Islamic fundamentalists haven’t got anything on a legion of angry nerds. But someone panning something popular shouldn’t necessarily be condemnable, it is our business model here after all. And he does throw the series a bone after all. Really, he doesn’t sound much different than I did after getting to the end of A Dance with Dragons and realizing that there hadn’t been one iota of plot movement.

An extremely lengthy interview with Rushdie is up over at Haaretz, and it is quite fascinating, covering a range of topics and history. Here’s the relevant bit in which he is talking about television though, and you’ll notice that although Rushdie isn’t the biggest fan of Game of Thrones, he is quite taken with some other favorites of these parts, while utterly dismissive of others:

Everybody loves ‘The Wire’ and I think it’s okay, but in the end it’s just a police series. I love ‘The Sopranos.’ ‘Deadwood,’ which didn’t last long, was a series I liked a lot; it had more filthy language than I’ve ever heard on television anywhere in my life, but it was brilliantly written. I like some of what is on now, like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Dexter.’ … I watched all that because if I am going to work in this field, I need to know what it is going on. I have been making myself have whole-series marathons to get the point of how it goes. I will soon start writing my little series.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.