Around two years I had the worst idea possible. I decided to write a book about Blade Runner. After months of watching the film ad nauseum, reading up on its literature and history, gulping up the commentaries and essays and fandom, and everything else, I came to my finale. I didn’t expect anything to really happen. It’d be a bullet point on my writer’s portfolio, a bold one too but nothing to shout at. Around a few minutes after Tears In Rain launched and the tweets, fandom and little pieces of criticism started to flow in.
And then some sites picked it up.
Two little Blade Runner fansites and a slew of tweets flooded in. Some pretty big names RT’d my little fanwork around the internet and for a while I thought it was over. It was then that a great friend of mine, Adam Kelly, decided to post on a little website about something. A little website called ‘Ain’t It Cool News’.
- Ain’t It Cool News: Britgeek says celebrate 30 years of BLADE RUNNER with a free ebook by a 17-YEAR-OLD!!
It was after that post that the book exploded. To date I believe there’s over 15,000 views of the .PDF version. I don’t have any numbers of people who have downloaded it though. I’d estimate, given its circulation and the Twitterblogosphere erupting soon after, that around 17,000 at the least have read it or at least come across it.
I got a large amount of positive, encouraging feedback from folks through Twitter and the comments sections of various places. I also got a variety of insults and sneering remarks about my age, which is to be expected.
I have decided to be a man about things and correct my mistakes and improve whatever was there. You’ll find in the Books section that there’s now Kindle and ePub editions of Tears In Rain now available. They’re not final, temporary probably, you’ll see why in a little while. I have remastered and edited the main text though:
- Fixed the historiography of The Cold War. I wasn’t willing to argue with the internet, even as a history student, as to when the Cold War began and ended.
- Smoothed out the grammar and removed a few silly mistakes.
- Changed some formatting to make it a nicer read.
Apart from that it’s generally unchanged. It’s like Captain America after he gets out of the ice; still the same man but he’s got a new uniform and a wig. Probably.
It’s been a bit of a weird experience both researching, writing and editing this thing. Tears In Rain is probably the best work I’ve ever produced but I refuse to admit it has even an ounce of quality. A long time ago I happened to bump into someone over the internet, a Reddit AMA actually, and I sent them an email not too long ago.
For many years, Blade Runner was a work in progress rather than a ‘Final Cut’, and Hardisty’s new book on the film shares that raw, unfinished quality. It is not always polished, or slick. You may find gaps in it you want to fill, or parts you’d like to tweak – and you feel that the author would welcome your comments and suggestions as he builds this labour of love into a sleeker machine.
Hardisty discovered Blade Runner in 2010, the decade in which the film is actually set, and the results are astonishing. He brings a fresh – rough, but fresh – vision to the film and, while he’s well-read in the literature surrounding it, his perspective is clear enough to offer original new insights.
Scholars like Hardisty are keeping Blade Runner where it belongs, on the edge of modern culture.
Director of Research, Film and Television
Editor, The Blade Runner Experience (Wallflower, 2006)
Those are just some choice snippets of the full feedback I received from Will Brooker. It was kind of ‘cute’ to be called a ‘scholar’ for the first time in my life. It kind of fills me with, for the first time in my life, a little sense of pride. That I did indeed write a book on Blade Runner. Brooker’s final quotation will be appearing in both the Books section and on a new redesigned cover that will be releasing in a month or so from now.
Yeah. It’s been weird. I’m now writing another film theory book on American Psycho and finding myself retracing the same little paths of investigation. It’s fun. Tears In Rain, in retrospect, may have been the most important work of my life thus far. I expect to take it above and beyond with revisions and edits and new stuff soon to come.
I may be appearing at Thought Bubble with specially designed copies by a secret someone. Although that’s under wraps.
For now, however, thank you for taking the time to read my little book. It’s a tremendous pleasure to watch people say anything about my work, it’s what makes me writing life worthwhile.