During the Cold War, eight young men arrive in Greenland on a university expedition. Unwittingly, they become involved in a series of grotesque experiments. The body count rises, and when the survivors discover that they are due to be sacrificed "in the national interest" they decide not to co-operate.
The comments from nearly all of the readers of this book is that it will make a fantastic film -- an Arctic thriller which will be just as exciting and a great deal more realistic than your average James Bond movie. And a great deal cheaper to make too.......
The background of the Cold War is just right-- there is a lot of interest in the 1960's at the moment, and the endless jostling for power of the Soviet Union and the USA. With the melting of the polar sea ice, the North-west and North-east passages are both seen to present new commercial opportunities -- and there is strategic importance too. This came to the fore when, quite recently, President Trump suggested he might like to buy Greenland........
In the Cold War accusations and counter-accusations of spying and skulduggery abounded, and it may be a surprise to many people to discover that Greenland was not just a quiet backwater but a place where a great deal was going on. On our 1962 expedition we caught glimpses of it (especially American activity) but never really appreciated what was going on.
There are some good films about groups of men and the dynamics between them -- esecially wartime fims where saboteurs are tasked with destroying enemy installations! So this one will be rather different -- sabotage is not the objective, but the consequence of what happens before. Eight men is probably too many for effective characterisation across the board, but of course three of the team are killed, leaving just five to work together as the story reaches its climax. And in a film, of course Joe Horton would have to be flagged up more prominently than in the book as the central figure with a mysterious past.
As we are probably all aware, "Acts of God" is not a terribly good title for a thriller -- it sounds as if it might be a theological treatise! The meaning of the phrase is obvious enough when you read the book -- but first impressions are hugely important. The title "IceFall" is much better, we think, and can have several meanings, all of which are fine for the storyline.
Stephen Hanna (22), Jesus College, leader and geomorphologist.
Gwyn Hughes (27), Cambridge Scott Polar Research Institute, glaciologist.
Rowland Linney (23), Magdalen College, marine biologist.
Griff Mortimer (30), Sheffield University, zoologist and medic.
Andrew Petherton (35), Brisbane, Australia, and Imperial College London, geologist.
Joseph Horton (28), Merton College, botanist.
Lars Knudsen (23), Copenhagen University, ecologist and photographer.
Peregrin Whiteside (24), St John’s College, ornithologist.