In case you hadn't heard, this morning brought news of an adaptation of a classic genre novel. Via Variety:
Syfy is adapting Philip K. Dick's book The Man in the High Castle into a four-part miniseries, with Ridley Scott attached to exec produce.
Dick's novel, set in 1962, depicts a world where Nazi Germany and Japan were the victors in WWII and occupy the U.S.
The X-Files vet Frank Spotnitz will serve as primary scribe and as exec producer. Scott will exec produce through his shingle Scott Free Prods., alongside Headline Pictures, Electric Shepherd Prods. and FremantleMedia Intl., which will also distribute the mini globally.
"Alternate history stories are part of an amazing and intricate genre of sci-fi," said Mark Stern, president of original content at Syfy and co-head of original content at Universal Cable Prods. "When done well, there's nothing better; and I can't think of better creative talent to bring Philip K. Dick's fascinating alternate-history thriller to life than Ridley Scott and Frank Spotnitz."
Well, I can.
Be that as it may, I'll probably watch Syfy's adaptation anyway. But the announcement puts me in a particular position: though I've had a copy on my shelves for many years indeed—in large part because I bought all the original SF Masterworks I could—I haven't read The Man in the High Castle, and with this miniseries on the near to far horizon, it's become a case of now or never.
Why is that?
As I've touched on here on The Speculative Scotsman, I value surprise very highly. So highly that, if I'm honest, whether Syfy's series is awful or awesome, I am entirely unlikely to invest precious time in a tale I've already been told.
Long story short, should I read The Man in the High Castle before Syfy's adaptation airs? Or should I make like nothing's changed?
Before you offer your opinions one way or the other, know that the only the only Philip K. Dick I can recall reading is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I was young at the time—perhaps too young—and I didn't entirely dig it; I only persisted because of my undying adoration of Blade Runner.
But maybe the time has come to re-evaluate my stance. Maybe I should read this book before Syfy's miniseries spoils the experience for me.
You tell me!