Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede – update on the movie

I wrote back in 2009 about the wonderful news that Bradley Denton's world-beatingly awesome comic novel Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede was to be adapted as a big-budget science fiction movie. I hadn't heard much since then, but today Brad wrote to say "now there's a revamped website as well as the just-released teaser trailer. It was produced by Molly Mayeux for Dahlia Street Films, written & directed by Robert Rugan, and stars Jon Heder as Oliver Vale."

For those of you unfamiliar with the book, the premise is a simple one: Oliver Vale (whose recently deceased mother instilled in him a healthy respect for Buddy Holly) is about to watch a John Wayne movie pulled in by his satellite dish when the transmission is interrupted by a shot of a young Bully Holly, standing in a bubble on an airless rock, holding a guitar. Holly reads a sign hanging from the camera in front of him, and it says, "For assistance, contact Oliver Vale." And then he reads out Oliver's home address.

That's weird, but what's weirder is that the Buddy Holly transmission (which, it transpires, is originating from the Jovian moon of Ganymede) is playing on every terrestrial, cable and satellite TV and radio station in the world. And lots of people are very upset with Oliver.

So he does what any self-respecting satellite repairman/Buddy Holly fan would do: he gets on his vintage motorcycle and sets off to Lubbock, Texas, where he plans on exhuming Holly's grave to ensure that his body is still mouldering in Earth's soil, not playing guitar in orbit around Jupiter. On the way, Oliver is pursued by all manner of bad guys: evangelicals, aliens, G-men and local law. It's a road-trip novel like no other, and it remains one of my all-time favorite books.

The paperback is long out of print (though there are many reasonably priced used copies on Amazon), but Denton was generous enough to Creative Commons license the text and stick it online.

Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede