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The Last Human By Tom Slattery A Novel Derived From the 1826 Novel The Last Man, By Mary Shelley, Also Author of Frankenstein Author's Preface I began writing the screenplay adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel The Last Man in 1989, before the first Iraq War. I finished a first draft in 1990 and received a copyright certificate for it then. Since 1990 when I finished it there have been two Iraq Wars, and my story modernizations and alterations seem eerily prescient. In 1989 I had found a 1920s Royal typewriter thrown away at the curb for the weekly city rubbish collection. It was a quaint little piece of history, a typewriter manufactured with a small beveled glass window on each side. It had belonged to a retired English teacher who had just died and it had never been used. The rubber roller was pristine with not even the slightest indentation from a typewriter key striking it. Moreover, it had a 12-point typeface so necessary for screenplays. My old typewriter had a 10-point typeface. So I decided to write a screenplay. Never having adapted a novel to a screenplay, I first adapted my short science fiction to learn how to do it. Then I tackled Mary Shelley's difficult early nineteenth century Gothic novel. My intention in 1989, when there was no Internet as we now know it, was not to write a novel plagiarizing Mary Shelley's novel The Last Man. I was interested in expanding popular awareness of the story by writing a screenplay that would hopefully become a film. In 1989 I had just finished writing the initial version of my novel End of the Road. It would be two years before I would be discouraged by themes central to that novel appearing in the ABC-TV series "My Life and Times" and thus to some extent diminishing its value. This is not to say anyone "stole" my material. It just happened that the material was similar. Several years later I would find that the Dreamworks film "Evolution" was terribly similar to my short story and short screenplay "The Spore." At very least I was creating stories so timely and interesting that conspicuously similar ones were being produced for the small and big screens. No matter what the reasons for the similarity between the ABC-TV series "My Life and Times" and my novel and screenplay "End of the Road," it banished my compunctions about using other writers' material and ideas. Everything that I had written up until then had been wholly my own. Now I felt somewhat free of that. I thought that by adapting and modernizing Mary Shelley's 1826 novel The Last Man I might eventually allow a wide-ranging and large movie going audience to become

The Last Human (a novel)

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