Pixel Scroll 9/16/17 We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun, ‘Til Her Daddy Scrolls The Pixel Away.

(1) PROOF AND REPROOF. David Brin, after congratulating N.K. Jemisin for her latest Hugo win, asks readers to predict what’s coming next in the sff genre, in “Perspectives from Science Fiction: Hugos and other marvels”.

Oh and also, let’s celebrate that science fiction has always – and yes always, ever since it was founded by our revered grandmother of SF, Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) – been the genre of literature most welcoming to bold ideas about human and non-human diversity, and brashly exploratory authors. Yes, SF was always “better than its times” when it came to such things, though every decade deserved the reproof of later decades, for its own myopic misdeeds. Leaving our self-critical movement always looking for the next cause for self-improvement!

So what are we doing now, that will cause later generations of brave questioners and boundary-pushers to reprove? What terrible habit will reformers tell us to break next, when we get the upper hand on racism, sexism and cultural conformity? I think I know what it will be! (Hint: what is the most harmful and nasty thing that even good people now routinely do to each other, with barely a thought to fairness or consequences? And I include people as good as you envision yourself to be. Discuss in comments, below.)

(2) THE SHAPE OF YEARS TO COME. And at Examined Worlds, Ethan Mills wants to know “Where did all the far-future science fiction go?”

This is a question I’ve thought about a lot lately.  I recently re-read the last book in the Dune series and am working my way through the delightfully/impossibly difficult Book of the New Sun, which my Goodreads review describes as “like taking an acid trip through a thesaurus.”

These days far-future stuff is harder to find.  There’s even a popular genre of science fiction that takes place in the past: steampunk.  Contemporary readers will call a book “far future” if it takes place a mere few hundred years or even sooner. See this list of allegedly “far future” science fiction that puts Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 on the list, and even more weirdly, Charles Stross’s Accelerando.  One of the main complaints about Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves was that people didn’t care for the the part that takes place in thousands of years (which for the record was my favorite part — see my review for more).

(3) THE RONDO OF A LIFETIME. Steven J. Vertlieb recently found buried digital treasure:

Discovered these wonderful photographs for the first time recently on my brother’s cell phone while vacationing in Los Angeles just a couple of weeks ago. This marvelous shot was taken in Louisville, Kentucky during the prestigious annual Rondo Award ceremony in early June, 2016, after which actor, director, artist, writer, and old pal Mark Redfield and I were awarded these coveted Rondo “Hall of Fame” plaques in joyous recognition of a lifetime of creative productivity, and dedication to the arts.

(4) PUPPIES AND RACE.  In “Words Matter, Actions Matter and Race Definitely Matters” at Amazing Stories, Chris M. Barkley rebuts author Christopher Nuttall’s editorial, “A Character Who Happens To Be Black”.

When a writer, of any ethnicity, admits using characters of different ethnicities without even the slightest hint of any sort of context for doing so, it is the worst sort of cultural appropriation and is an insult to his readers as well. Using the “I don’t see color” explanation to pander his own world view about race may be satisfying to his bubble of readers ordering online, but I am quite willing to bet it would not pass muster at most publishing houses or with discerning and critical readers as well.

By erasing ethnicity, class or race as a factor in his characters, Mr. Nuttal is stating those centuries of history and culture, on which his future or fantasy worlds are built upon, don’t matter or worse, never happened. By homogenizing his black characters with his white male viewpoint, he is giving them the “gift” of being white and being as good as anyone else and calling for their heritage and culture is a bad thing and should essentially be swept under the rug. His attempt to do so does not make them equal, it diminishes them. It’s disingenuous at the very least and a patronizing example of white privilege at worse.

No person who is consciously aware of their ethnicity, culture and history would tolerate such a cleansing. By taking away their joy, you also take away their sorrow and their history. We are all human and that is the factor that should unites us, not divide us. By erasing our differences to make everyone the same, no one is special or an individual.

(5) APOLOGIZING. At Fast Company, Mike Su proffers “7 Lessons White People Can Learn From Bodega’s Apology”.

… Setting aside the idea of rebranding a mini-bar and putting it in apartment buildings and street corners and calling it disruption, there are some important lessons that can be learned from their poor apology that can be particularly important for well-meaning white people to understand when they unintentionally offend. Here are my key takeaways:

1. “I Didn’t Mean To” Doesn’t Matter

“Despite our best intentions and our admiration for traditional bodegas…”

Most of the post was focused on helping people understand what they were really trying to do. Why they weren’t super evil, and all the steps that they took, and basically, “I know we seemed like assholes, but we’re not! Or, at least, we didn’t mean to be!”

But here’s the thing?—?just cause you didn’t mean to hurt someone doesn’t mean you didn’t actually hurt them.

But if you spend all your time explaining what you meant to do?—?you’re spending all your effort on trying to make yourself look less bad, and make yourself feel less bad. That may do it for you, but then your apology is not about actually making the person you offended feel any better. Which leads me to…

(6) IN THE NEWS. Brookline, MA Town Meeting member (and noted sf writer) Michael A. Burstein isn’t kidding: “Town Leaders Seek to Make ‘Selectwoman’ the Official Title”.

“There’s been some recent interest in Massachusetts to change the name of board of selectmen to something that would be a bit more gender-neutral,” said Michael Burstein, a town meeting member.

Two warrants have been submitted to the Board of Selectmen and take aim at changing the governing body’s title and title of its members.

“One of them is kind of a straight forward and just wants to create gender-neutral language,” said Hamilton.

The other warrant filed by Burstein is very specific.

“I deliberately and specifically filed a warrant to change the name of Board of Selectmen to Board of Selectwomen,” he said.

The Boston NBC affiliate interviewed him for its September 14 news broadcast.

(7) ROMM OBIT. SF Site News reports the death of Minneapolis fan Baron Dave Romm.

Fan Dave E Romm (b.1955) died on September 14. Dave was active in Minneapolis fandom and was an avid photographer, taking pictures of various Minicons and other conventions he was able to get to. He traveled to Antarctic in 2005 and wrote about his experience in Argentus. He also hosted Shockwave Radio Theatre on KFAI-AM and archived the podcasts on his website. Romm became a baron of the micro-country of Ladonia in 2001.

(8) GOGOS OBIT. Bloody Disgusting bids farewell to “Legendary Monster Artist Basil Gogos” (1939-2017)  who died September 14.

Some of the most iconic pieces of classic monster art were found on the front covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine throughout the ’60s and ’70s, that art no doubt responsible for countless monster kids being bitten by the proverbial bug. Vibrant and eye-catching, the magazine’s cover art made horror stylish, beautiful and cool.

Those paintings were the work of illustrator Basil Gogos, who we’re sad to report is the latest in a long line of true horror legends who have recently left us….

Gogos also provided cover art for several other Warren magazines including Creepy, Eerie, Spaceman, Wildest Westerns and The Spirit.

(9) HANGDOG CHARACTER ACTOR. Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) died September 15 says The Hollywood Reporter.

Stanton, who also was memorable in Cool Hand Luke (1967), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), John Carpenter’s Escape From New York (1981) and John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink (1986) — in fact, what wasn’t he memorable in? — died Friday afternoon of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his agent, John Kelly, told The Hollywood Reporter.

(10) TODAY’S DAY

Play-Doh Day

Play-Doh Day is an opportunity for everyone, whether a child or simply young at heart, to celebrate this iconic modeling clay. Play-Doh was originally developed in the 1930’s, not as a toy but as a product for cleaning wallpaper! It was not until the 1950’s that it was marketed as a toy, in the trademark vibrant colors of red, blue, yellow and white.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 16, 1926 — Many people reported seeing lake monster Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.
  • September 16, 1963 The Outer Limits premiered on television.
  • September 16, 1977 — Returned television audiences to the world of Logan’s Run.
  • September 16, 1983 – The aptly-titled Strange Invaders was first screened.

(12) TODAY’S FORBIDDEN PLANET BIRTHDAYS

  • Born September 16, 1927 — Jack Kelly
  • Born September 16, 1930 — Anne Francis

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born September 16, 1917 – Art Widner

(14) JAY KAY KLEIN PHOTOS. Crowdsourced identification of Jay Kay Klein’s digitized fanhistorical photos is proceeding apace.

J.J. Jacobson, the Jay Kay and Doris Klein Science Fiction Librarian at the UC Riverside Library, says —

The first re-index of the Klein photos on Calisphere has loaded. We’ve harvested amazing amounts of amazing information, thanks to the generosity of the fan community.

She has been keeping an eye on the info form and as of September 11 there had been 448 entries, many of them containing multiple identifications.

(15) QUARRELING CURATORS. New Statesman says “Two museums are having a fight on Twitter and it’s gloriously informative”. They’ve collected the tweets.

2017 is undoubtedly the year of the feud. As celebrities and corporations alike take to Twitter to hash things out, two of the UK’s most respected scientific institutions, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum have got in on the action.

It all started with this rather innocous tweet, during The Natural History Museum’s Ask a Curator event on Twitter, where users could tweet in questions to The Natural History Museum’s twitter account. The resulting back and forth is both amusing and educational….

(16) THE TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN’S INTELLIGENCE… JC Carlton’s goodbye to Jerry Pournelle at The Arts Mechanical begins with a memory of the author’s opposition to the lowered expectations policy of the Seventies. That was one of the first things that came to my own mind when I heard he had died. And while Carlton was looking at another collection of his science essays, I was taking down That Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff from my own shelf.

At a time when technical optimists were as scarce as hen’s teeth, at least in the public eye, Jerry was unabashedly that technical optimist.  I did a post about  A Step Farther Out when I started this blog and how relevant it still remains today.

https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/stepping-farther-out/

At a time when the language of the day all across the media was how we were all DOOMED, DOOMED by the monsters of our own creation and that there was nothing that could be done to save us.  Even the best stuff in media, like the classic series Connections was mildly pessimistic. Contrast that with any column in A Step Farther Out. 

… He thought though that, that people wouldn’t just collapse into a series of unending ghettos and endless tyranny.  he thought that people would use the skill and minds, the technologies that humans had created to overcome the problems we had.  He never accepted that we would just surrender and mostly die. he was also optimistic that with a little more oomph people would reach for the stars and create wealth for all.

(17) THE BREWS THAT MADE SPEC FIC FAMOUS. Charles Payseur is back with another installment of his review column where he pairs short stories with the appropriate beer: “THE MONTHLY ROUND – A Taster’s Guide to Speculative Short Fiction, 08/2017”.

Welcome! Pull up a stool—let me tell you what’s on tap today. August represents the height of summer for some, and for others the first step toward Autumn. For my SFF reading, the month seems full of heat, decay, distance, and ghosts. Which makes a certain amount of sense, what with 2017 on its downward slope, having cleared the peak of June and July and entered into the fast descent toward the end of the year. And what a year…

The flavors are mostly heavy, alluding to the coming harvest with the sweet tones of apple and barley. Looming behind that, though, is the specter of winter, and scarcity, and cold. The bite of IPA stands as a resistance to going gentle in that good night, a fire to guide lonely travelers through the chilling dark. The stories are pulled from across SFF, with a lean toward fantasy, from contemporary to historical to second world, but there’s a hint of science fiction as well, a glimpse of the void and a voice calling out into the distance of space….

Tasting Flight – August 2017

“Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live” by Sacha Lamb (Book Smugglers)

Notes: Singing with notes of sweet romance complicated by the spices of trust, betrayal, and perception, its cloudy pour slowly resolves into a golden hue that shines with warmth.

Pairs with: Chai Spiced Ale…

 

(18) FAVORITE SON. Are you ready? In “Holy Adam West Day, Walla Walla!” the Union-Tribune tells everyone what’s laid on for the celebration happening Tuesday, September 19.

From before noon and into the evening, businesses around town will display Bat signal stickers and posters of West and offer special promotions. The city will also install a new sign commemorating West near his childhood home at the intersection of Clinton Street and Alvarado Terrace.

Other memorials to West can be found at the post office at 128 N. 2nd Ave and at the Marcus Whitman, both based around photos from the collection of Joe Drazan.

West will also be the focus of a series of events throughout the day. Here’s the itinerary, as listed by Grant:

11 a.m. — Opening ceremonies at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street. Mayor Alan Pomraning will present a key to the city to members of West’s family, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet Batman and pose for photos with an exact replica of the Batmobile that West drove as the Caped Crusader….

(19) ESTATE SALE. The LA Times reports “Debbie Reynolds’ family ranch and dance studio to hit the auction block in October”.

The ranch-estate in Creston, Calif., had been offered for sale before Reynolds’ death last year for $4.8 million but was taken off the market in June. The studio on Lankershim Boulevard is for sale, with an asking price of $6.15 million.

Both will hit the auction block Oct. 7-8 in Los Angeles as part of the Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds personal property collection, according to auction house Profiles in History.

Owned by Reynolds for more than two decades, the 44-acre ranch comprises a main house, a guesthouse, a caretaker’s cottage, an art studio and a barn. A 10,000-square-foot support building with metal and stage workshops and a 6,000-square-foot film and television production studio are among other structures on the estate.

(20) HOBBITS INHALE. Matt Wallace’s tweetstorm shows that where there’s smoke….there’s even more smoke.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Steven H Silver, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Andrew Porter, JJ Jacobson, and Steve Vertlieb for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

15th Annual Rondo Award Winners

This photo of Hatton in the 1946 film House of Horrors was an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

The voters’ choices for the 15th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were announced April 23. More than 3,200 fans and professionals participated in the voting.

The Rondo Awards Ceremony will be held at WonderFest Convention in Louisville on June 4.

BEST FILM OF 2016

  • THE WITCH

Runners-up: DEADPOOL Honorable mentions: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY; ARRIVAL; DOCTOR STRANGE

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • STRANGER THINGS 

Runner-up: ASH VS. EVIL DEAD;

Honorable mentions:THE WALKING DEAD;  PENNY DREADFUL; WESTWORLD

BEST CLASSIC DVD OF 2016

  • THE THING COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Shout!)

Runner-up: PHANTASM REMASTERED (Well Go USA)

Honorable mentions: CAT PEOPLE (Criterion); CARRIE (Shout); CARNIVAL OF SOULS (Criterion); IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE 3-D (Kino)

BEST COLLECTION

  • FRANKENSTEIN: Complete Legacy Collection (Universal)

Runner-up: VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION III (Scream Factory)

Honorable mentions: HAMMER HORROR 8-FILM COLLECTION (Universal); HELLRAISER: SCARLET BOX (Arrow); GUILLERMO DEL TORO TRILOGY (Criterion)

BEST RESTORATION

  • PHANTASM REMASTERED (WELL GO USA)

Runner-up: SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (Universal)

Honorable mentions: CARNIVAL OF SOULS (Criterion); CARRIE (Shout)

BEST COMMENTARY

  • WILLIAM PETER BLATTY (The Exorcist III)

Runner-up: STUART COHEN (The Thing, 1982)

Honorable mentions: TOM WEAVER (Undying Monster); DAVID DEL VALLE (Theater of Blood)

BEST DVD EXTRA

  • THE THING (Interviews with John Carpenter, Keith David, Wilfred Brimley, others)

Runner-up: EXORCIST III (‘Legion’ cut of the film);

Honorable mentions: CAT PEOPLE (French interview with director Jacques Tourneur); CARRIE (Interviews with Nancy Allen, others)

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • HUSH, directed by Mike Flanagan

Runner-up: I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE

Honorable mentions: THE MONSTER; MODEL HUNGER; THE DARK TAPES; WERESQUITO: NAZI HUNTER

BEST SHORT FILM

  • H.P. LOVECRAFT’S THE BEAST IN THE CAVE, directed by Cameron McCasland

Runner-up: EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Honorable mentions: WRAITH; THE STYLIST; THE PUPPET MAN; UFO DIARY

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK, directed by Adam Spock

Runner-up: KONG: LONG LIVE THE KING

Honorable mentions: FLESH AND BLOOD: THE HAMMER HERITAGE OF HORROR; JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF CREEPSHOW

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • SOMETHING IN THE BLOOD: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula, by David J. Skal

Runner-up: BELA LUGOSI IN PERSON by Bill Kaffenberger and Gary Don Rhodes

Honorable mentions: FANTASTIQUE: Interviews with Horror, Sci_fi and Fantasy Filmmakers, by Tony Earnshaw; BEWARE THE MOON: The Story of An American Werewolf in London; SCORED TO DEATH: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers, by J. Blake Fichera

BEST MAGAZINE

  • RUE MORGUE

Runners-up: HORRORHOUND; VIDEO WATCHDOG

BEST MAGAZINE (classic)

  • FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND

Runner-up: SCARY MONSTERS

Honorable mentions: LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS; CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES; FILMFAX; MONSTER

BEST ARTICLES (Two winners)

  1. ‘Dracula and the It Girl,’  by Andi Brooks, SCARY MONSTERS #100. (Lugosi and Clara Bow)
  2. ‘I Am the King of My Kind,’ by Constantine Nasr, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #36.

Runners-up: ‘The Great American Werewolf Reunion,’ by David Weiner, FAMOUS MONSTERS #284; ‘A HorrorHound’s Guide to Documentaries,’ by Nathan Hanneman, HORRORHOUND #60.

Honorable mentions: Madness, Myth and the Modern Prometheus,’ by Dejan Ognjanovic, RUE MORGUE #171; ‘The Witch of North Bennington,’ by April Snellings, RUE MORGUE #170; ‘Nosferatu the Vampyre: Variations and Version Bllod,’ by Tim Lucas, VIDEO WATCHDOG #182; ‘Uncle Forry: A Century of Inspiration,’ by Cliff Robertson, SCARY MONSTERS #102.

BEST INTERVIEW (Award goes to interviewer)

  • Jason Hignite interviews Cassandra Peterson, HORRORHOUND #61

Runner-up: Mark Mawston’s expanded interview with Ray Harryhausen, SCARY MONSTERS #100

Honorable mentions :John Bowen interviews Don Coscarelli and David Hartman, RUE MORGUE #166; Preston Fassel interviews H.G. Lewis, RUE MORGUE #173 Trevor Parker interviews Barbara Crampton, DELIRIUM #11;

BEST COLUMN

  • The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene (SCARY MONSTERS)

Runners-up: Larry Blamire’s Star Turn (VIDEO WATCHDOG); It Came from Bowen’s Basement, by John T. Bowen, RUE MORGUE

Honorable mentions: Rondo Remembers by Ron Adams (MONSTER BASH); They Came from the Crypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND

BEST COVER

  • FAMOUS MONSTERS #284 by Rick Baker

Runners-up: DIABOLIQUE #24 by Mark Spears

Honorable mentions: SCARY MONSTERS #102 by Scott Jackson; HORRORHOUND # 57 by Jason Edmiston

BEST WEBSITE

  • BLOODY DISGUSTING

Runners-up: Dread Central; Blumhouse

Honorable mentions: Collinsport Historical Society; Dr, Gangrene’s Mad Blog; Vampire Over London; Better Days, Benner Nights

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

  • TRAILERS FROM HELL

Runners-up: Shock Waves; The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price; Monster Kid Radio

Honorable mentions: Damn Dirty Geeks; Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Features; Between Light and Shadow: A Twilight Zone Podcast; Horror Happens

BEST CONVENTION

  • MONSTER BASH

Runners-up: Monsterpalooza; HorrorHound Weekend

Honorable mentions: WonderFest; Chiller; G-FEST; Texas Frightmare

BEST FAN EVENT

  • TRIBUTE TO BERNIE WRIGHTSON (Creature Features, Burbank)

Runner-up: Elvira inducted to Horror Host Hall of Fame (HorrorHound Weekend)

Honorable mentions: Guillermo Del Toro exhibit in L.A.; American Werewolves in Santa Rosa

FAVORITE HORROR HOST

  • SVENGOOLIE

Runner-up: Dr. Gangrene

Honorable mentions: ?Penny Dreadful; Count Gore De Vol; Lord Blood-Rah; Karlos Borloff

BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK

  • AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla)

Runners-up: John Carpenter’s Tales For a Halloween Night Vol. 2; Haunted Horrors

Honorable mentions: Creeps; Tales from the Acker-Mansion; Providence

BEST CD

  • STRANGER THINGS SOUNDTRACK VOLS. 1 AND 2

Runners-up: John Carpenter’s Lost Themes II; H.P. Lovecraft; Midnight Syndicate: Zombies!

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

WRITER OF THE YEAR

  • April Snellings

A true horror journalist, April Snellings has delved deeply intio the reality surrounding monsters and supernatural lore. from the secret history of opuija boards to a look at Shirley Jackson’s impact on horror, April is one of Rue Morgue’s most prolific staff writers. Recipient of a Society of Professional Journalists award, April also has ventured into radio drama with a well-received episode of Tales Beyond the Pale.

Runners-up: David Weiner, Nathan Hanneman, Larry Underwood, Tim Lucas, Tom Weaver, Tim Paxton

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Mark Maddox

When it comes to monsters we’ve known and loved, the work of Mark Maddox is everywhere. Whether reawakening the familiar (Dracula, Rodan), or the obscure (Doctor Who aliens, Carmilla), Mark is a fan favorite and an editor’s delight. No wonder his work is nominated for several covers each year.

Runners-up: Daniel Horne, Scott Jackson, Gary Pullin, Frank Dietz, Jason Edmiston, L.J. Dopp, Peter Von Sholly, Mike Hill, Ama Lea, George Chastain

LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (In memory of the late Linda Miller)

  • Malcolm Gittins

The art of Malcolm Gittins is raw and day-glo, taking observers back to the very essence of monster magazines, toys and fandom. Malcolm doesn’t go for hyper-realism but for the essence of what attracted kids, and Monster Kids, to the movies in the first place. In short, he paints what we used to see.

Runners-up: John Sargent, Jerrod Brown, Eric Swartz, Belle Dee.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

  • Forrest J Ackerman square

Monster fans in L.A. had a dream — naming a square near Forrest J Ackerman’s favorite haunt, the House of Pies, after FJA himself. With the help of Los Feliz Councilman David Ryu, fans Joe Moe, Sean Fernald, Paul Davids and others made it happen. (And yes, the period after J has been removed!)

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

  • Pierre Fournier, Return to ‘Frankenstein Lake’

Frankenstein scholar Pierre Fournier  spearheaded the idea to hold a remarkable reunion in the Malibou Mountains last spring. That’s when Sara Karloff met Don Watkins, son of Marilyn Harris who played  ‘Little Maria,’ at the exact same spot where the Monster threw Watkins’ mother into the lake in the 1931 Frankenstein. ‘All is forgiven,’ Watkins told Sara, but the moment was surprisingly emotional, even 75 years later.

MONSTER KIDS OF THE YEAR

  • Don and Vicki Smeraldi

During a time when print magazines face ever more obstacles, Don and Vicki Smeraldi took on the challenge of keeping SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE alive. After publisher Dennis Druktenis’ retirement, the Smeraldis took over with #101, ensuring the ‘Only Real Monster Magazine’ will live on!

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME

  • BOB FURMANEK

Bob Furmanek has spent a lifetime preserving, seeking and celebrating the lost classics, with a special eye to the third dimension. Bob founded the 3-D Film Archive in 1990, and helped restore films such as IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE and GOG to 3-D glory.

  • JOHN STANLEY

While he rarely dressed as a ghost, John Stanley was a true horror host, helming ‘Creature Features’ in San Francisco for six years after Bob Wilkins moved on. Erudite and playful, Stanley interviewed Vincent Price, Christopher Lee  and others. Now a writer, his movie guides recall the days before VHS, when monster movies ruled TV.

  • RICHARD HARLAND SMITH

Critic and writer Richard Harland Smith has the rare gift of being able to explain the nuances of horror movies to those who know little about the genre. Richard’s Movie Morlocks blog at TCM found new audiences for some of the channel’s cult films. A writer for VIDEO WATCHDOG, a founder of the Mobius Home Video Forum and a frequent DVD commentator, RHS always bring a fresh take on the odd, or the familiar.

  • VINCE ROTOLO

Podacsts often are hit-and-miss, odd schedules, flexible formats. Not so at B-Movie Cast, where the late Vince Rotolo, his wife and crew discussed B-movies every Sunday. The show influenced many, including Derek Koch of Monster Kid Radio who was a frequent  guest and called him a mentor.  Vince explained his passion this way: ‘Just because you grow old doesn’t mean you have to grow up.’

  • MARK MILLER

The late Mark Miller was a film historian who focused on British cinema and classic horror. His filmographies of  Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee,are the definitive references. A teacher for 30 years, he was a frequent contributor to monster magazines and books, and always a major presence at Cinevent in Ohio and the Fanex conventions in Maryland.

Pixel Scroll 4/10/17 The Phantom Scrollbooth

(1) OFF THE HOOK. Remember when she said she didn’t write sf? Now she is sf. Margaret Atwood makes a cameo in the game Zombies Run:

Hampus Eckerman adds, “I do recommend that game as a very good way of activating oneself for jogs or long walks. There is an additional game called Zombies, Run! 5k Training by the same creators for people who aren’t fit enough to jog as yet. It works as a prequel and lets you do basic exercises and gradually increased walk/runs for eight weeks to get fit enough to hit the main game. The main game works as a radio theatre, where your progress is checked by GPS and where (configurable) zombies sometimes attack you, forcing you to increase your pace.”

(2) MAYDAY. On Obscura Day, May 6, Atlas Obscura plans an international self-celebration.

Join us at an event.

We’re hosting over 170 events in 36 states and 25 countries.

A kayak exploration through the largest ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. A private tour of the world’s original nuclear power plant. A classical concert in an abandoned hilltop spy station outside Berlin. What discoveries await you?

There are a bunch of events in the LA area, including a walking tour of The Kitschy Culture of Los Feliz Village, not far from Forrest J Ackerman Square.

(3) AN UNORTHODOX MOVE. Michael A. Burstein helped his Facebook readers translate the Four Questions. But not the way you might assume….

Once again, for those of you celebrating Pesach (Passover) as it begins tonight, here are the Four Questions in Klingon:

(4) MORE ABOUT CHINESE SF. Another interview with the author of “Folding Beijing” — “Award-Winning Sci-Fi Writer Hao Jingfang Sets Her Sights Closer to Home”.

When you first posted Folding Beijing for free on a Tsinghua university server, was that also for pleasure?

Yes, when I was in school, I had lots of time.

I am very surprised that studying physics, especially quantum physics, gave you a lot of time?

Perhaps that’s why I didn’t become a scientist! I was a good student, but not one good enough to become a scientist. Probably 95% of the physics students entered other fields after graduation. Only 5% to 10% of the top students became real physicists.

Is sci-fi an effective tool for investigating social issues?

I think science fiction is perhaps the freest genre for me to set my characters and everything else according to my opinion. Because in pure literature, I need to make sure I have the whole background and the reality of the people. You cannot just change the reality, if you do that the readers will be like ‘oh no! Life isn’t like that’. In science fiction you’re free, you can set the stage and tell readers, life is this, and you can form other stories on that stage. In my longer novel, I created one society on Mars and another on Earth, and then I can compare different policies and methods in these two places. The two societies can mirror each other. This is the kind of freedom I cannot find anywhere else.

(5) COODE STREET ADDRESS. The April 2 edition of The Coode Street Podcast promotes “A New Theory of Science Fiction.” The podcast is looking at Robinson’s New York 2140 which Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan claim is more in keeping with the Heinlein thesis that capitalism can fix Big Problems without a change in political and social structures. And they believe it’s also critiquing the controversial usage of info dumps and the belief that they’re particular to SF.

They also cover the history of the Crawford Award, the ICFA and Gary’s new History of Science Fiction.

(6) FIRST ON THE LIST. Popsugar ranks this café as “The 1 Place in Scotland that All Harry Potter Fans Should Visit at Least Once”.

Scotland is a veritable mecca for Harry Potter fans, considering J.K. Rowling herself lives there and wrote a large majority of the series there. Everywhere you turn, you can see Rowling’s inspiration or something that could easily be found in one of the films. While our Harry Potter travel bucket list can take you all over the world, it’s important to make a stop at where it all began: the Elephant House Cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The cafe in the heart of Edinburgh touts itself as the birthplace of Harry Potter, because Rowling spent countless hours in this shop penning Harry Potter. She sat in the back of the restaurant, overlooking Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Kirkyard, where a grave for a man named Tom Riddell can be found.

(7) BROWN OBIT. Chelsea Brown (1942-2017), best remembered as a cast member on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the Sixties, passed away March 27 at the age of 74. She also had a genre credit — as Rosey Grier’s love interest in The Thing With Two Heads (1972). As the New York Times explains —

In that film, the head of an ailing bigot, played by Ray Milland, is grafted onto the body of a death-row inmate played by Mr. Grier, a former defensive lineman in the N.F.L. Car chases, gunfights and bickering ensue.

Mr. Grier and Mr. Milland eventually reach Ms. Brown. At first undaunted by Mr. Grier’s second head, she moves in for a kiss, then quickly withdraws and deadpans, “Honey, I know you don’t like to answer a lot of questions — but, but, how did that happen?”

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 10, 1981 The Howling was released in theaters.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born April 10 – David Langford

(10) TIME’S A-WASTIN’! There’s less than a week left to vote in the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards and Steve Vertlieb would like people to take a look at his nominated blog.

My blog, BETTER DAYS; BENNER NIGHTS, has been nominated for BEST BLOG OF 2016 in this year’s annual RONDO AWARDS competition. To vote for my series of articles, just send your selection (along with your name and E-Mail address) to David Colton whose voting address is taraco@aol.com prior to Sunday night, April 16th, 2017, at midnight.

Thanks sincerely for your consideration of my work. It’s an affectionate remembrance of the Saturday Matinee and 1950’s television when classic cliffhanger serials thrilled and excited “children of all ages”… when careening spaceships and thundering hooves echoed through the revered imaginations and hallowed corridors of time and memory…and when Buster Crabbe lovingly brought “Flash Gordon,” “Buck Rogers,” and “Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion” to life in darkened movie palaces all over the world. Return with us now to “those thrilling days of yesteryear” when Zorro, Hopalong Cassidy, “Space Patrol,” Ming, The Merciless, and Larry “Buster” Crabbe lit the early days of television, and Saturday afternoon motion picture screens, with magical imagery and unforgettable excitement.

(11) LIADEN UNIVERSE. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have posted their appearance calendar for the rest of the year.

We’ve had some queries about upcoming publications, and upcoming appearances, and, and — herewith an attempt to get them all in one place, for you, and for us.  Please note that the list is probably not complete; it’s only as complete as far as we know, as of Right Now.

(12) MAKE SCI-FI COME TRUE. GeekWire claims “NASA funds ideas from science fiction”. Well, if they’re smart they do.

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, also known as NIAC, has been backing far-out aerospace concepts for almost 20 years. It started out as the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, modeled after the Pentagon’s DARPA think tank.

NIAC’s latest crop of 22 tech projects was announced this week, and they include a few concepts that were virtually ripped from the headlines of science fiction’s pulp magazines. Here are our favorite five:

Flying airships of Mars: The idea of sending airships floating through the Red Planet’s skies dates back to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels of the early 20th century.

One big problem: Mars’ actual atmosphere is so thin that an airship would have to maintain a vacuum to become buoyant. That’s exactly what Georgia Tech’s John-Paul Clarke intends to do with an experimental double-shelled, reinforced vacuum airship….

(13) EVEN BETTER. The 2084 anthology of dystopian fiction hit its funding target and now is plowing through its stretch goals.

Stretch goals!

After an opening week like that there’s only one thing we can do… And what better way to make the anthology better than with more stories? We’ve got more great writers lined up – people who will bring a fresh angle to the theme, people whose writing we love – and they’re poised and ready to go, right now. The first target is nice and easy, as well…

£6,000 – we add another story – HIT!

£7,500 – we add a second bonus story – HIT!

£9,000 – we add a third extra story

(14) SOUND OF HUGOS. Camestros Felapton can’t believe his ears. (I really want to make this a Spock reference. I’m sure you do, too.) “Hugo 2017 Review: Splendor & Misery by Clipping”.

Experimental Hip Hop group, Clipping are not a stereotypical Hugo nominee but I’d be hard pressed to name an album that is so tightly linked to the Hugo tradition. Science fiction themes are not new to popular music from David Bowie to Janelle Monae but Splendor & Misery approaches science fiction from a different direction musically. Rather than reaching for the broader aesthetics of SF visuals, Splendor & Misery dives directly into science fiction as both a narrative and as a distinct historical genre.

(15) THOSE TRAD PUB JUNKIES. Claire Ryan (intentionally) revives the Sad Puppies favorite argument in “The Hugo Awards are irrelevant”.

I went to Amazon.com, and I took a look at the current bestsellers for sci-fi and fantasy in Kindle. I found a couple of self-published authors immediately. Let’s not hash out the same tired arguments that the indies are somehow less worthy or less talented, please. Clearly the readers don’t think so. Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking probably have more readers than all the current Hugo Best Novel finalists put together, and they’ve never even been nominated.

(16) LONDON CALLING. Shhh! Please remember, Jonathan McCalmont abhors attention.

(17) KAEDRIN BLOG. Mark Kaedrin says the novel category of the final Hugo ballot looks pretty good.

The novel ballot looks pretty good and indeed, I’ve already read three of the nominees, all of which were pretty good (and two of which were in my nominations). Ninefox Gambit is the clear front-runner for me, with its intricate worldbuilding and simple, pulpy plot. A Closed and Common Orbit ranks a distant second, but I liked its focus and positive attitude enough to throw it a nomination. All the Birds in the Sky has a great, whimsical tone to it, but of the novels I’ve read, it’s the one that could fall behind some of the things I haven’t read yet. Speaking of which, Cixin Liu returns to the ballot with Death’s End, the conclusion to the story begun in the Hugo-winning Three Body Problem and the one I’m most looking forward to catching up with (even if it requires me to read the second novel, which I never got to last year). Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning has been on my radar for a while, but I never pulled the trigger. It sounds like it has potential for me. N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate rounds out the nominees. A sequel to last year’s Hugo-winning The Fifth Season, a book that I have to admit that I did not enjoy at all. Well written and executed, but it felt a little too much like misery-porn for my liking, and thus I’m not particularly enthused about reading the sequel. I realize this puts me in the minority here, but it’s got me seriously considering not actually participating this year. I really don’t want to return to that gloomy world of suffering and despair, as well written as it may be…

He’s able to restrain his enthusiasm about some of the others.

(18) RED, WHITE AND BLUE. But somebody in their comments says they use Russian rockets – “Building on ULA’s Heritage, Setting the Pace for the Future of Space Launch.”

As a new era dawns, ULA continues to set the pace in space launch. Building on a heritage extending to the early days of American space launch, ULA is bringing future innovations to the table to support human launch from American soil and next-generation technology that will create transportation infrastructure to support a permanent human presence in space.

 

[Thanks to JJ, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, and David K.M. Klaus for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

Pixel Scroll 3/9/17 ‘Is There Anyone There?’ Said The Pixeler, Knocking On The Moonlit Scroll.

(1) DINOS DOUBLE DOWN. Jurassic Park 2, planned for release in 2018, is starting to crank up its publicity machinery 

(2) BLOGGERS STICK TOGETHER. Steve Vertlieb reminds me his blog Better Days, Benner Nights, is up for a Rondo Award as Best Blog of 2016.

It’s an affectionate remembrance of the Saturday Matinee and 1950’s television when classic cliffhanger serials thrilled and excited “children of all ages”… when careening spaceships and thundering hooves echoed through the revered imaginations and hallowed corridors of time and memory…and when Buster Crabbe lovingly brought “Flash Gordon,” “Buck Rogers,” and “Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion” to life in darkened movie palaces all over the world. Return with us now to “those thrilling days of yesteryear” when Zorro, “Space Patrol,” Ming, The Merciless, and Larry “Buster” Crabbe lit the early days of television, and Saturday afternoon motion picture screens, with magical imagery and unforgettable excitement.

Anyone can vote in the Rondos – see the nominees here —  just send your selection (along with your name and E-Mail address) to David Colton whose voting address is taraco@aol.com prior to Sunday night, April 16th, 2017, at midnight.

(3) TO THE MOON. A Business Insider writer says we’re getting close to having a Google Lunar XPrize winner.

A real lunar race that has been in the making for years is now in the final stretch.

The Google Lunar XPrize Foundation recently announced five final teams that will compete for the honor of being the first private group to land on the moon — and a $20 million prize.

The Google Lunar XPrize is more than pronouncements by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. It will prove the utility of commercial lunar exploration.

Sometime before the end of 2017, one or more of the final five groups will shoot for the moon. The Final Five are Moon Express, SpaceIl, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Team Hakuto.

All the winning team has to do to gain the prize is to cross a quarter of a million miles of space, soft land on the lunar surface, return high resolution videos and images to Earth, and move 500 meters from the landing site.

(4) UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Cat Rambo is grieving the loss of her cat Raven.

I record the notes of my grief: my eyes feeling as though filled with hot sand, the tired and lonely ache inside my heart, the way my throat hardens,  my vision blurring more at the bottom than the top when tears well. The wet tremble as they linger on my cheeks. It’s the only thing I can think to do.

(5) IT’S COMPLICATED. Paul La Farge writes about “The Complicated Friendship of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow, One of His Biggest Fans” in The New Yorker.

On June 18, 1931, a young man named Robert Barlow mailed a letter to the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft’s stories about monstrous beings from beyond the stars were appearing regularly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, and Barlow was a fan. He wanted to know when Lovecraft had started writing, what he was working on now, and whether the Necronomicon—a tome of forbidden knowledge that appears in several Lovecraft tales—was a real book. A week later, Lovecraft wrote back, as he nearly always did. It’s estimated that he wrote more than fifty thousand letters in his relatively short lifetime (he died at the age of forty-six). This particular letter was the beginning of a curious friendship, which changed the course of Barlow’s life, and Lovecraft’s, too—though almost no one who reads Lovecraft these days knows anything about it. Who keeps track of the lives of fans?

Raises hand.

(6) CARNEGIE AND GREENAWAY LONGLISTS. The longlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals have been announced.

The Carnegie Medal, established in 1936, is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The Kate Greenaway Medal has been given since 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children.

Locus Online identified the following as titles of genre interest:

Carnegie Medal

  • Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth, Frank Cottrell Boyce (Pan Macmillan)
  • Whisper to Me, Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
  • Beetle Boy, M.G. Leonard (Chicken House)
  • Beck, Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Walker)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)
  • Orbiting Jupiter, Gary D. Schmidt (Andersen)
  • Island, Nicky Singer (Caboodle)
  • Time Travelling with a Hamster, Ross Welford (HarperCollins)

Greenaway Medal

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay (Bloomsbury)

The shortlists will be announced on March 16, and winners will be announced June 19.

(7) ALETA JACKSON OBIT. Loretta Jackson Delong, known in fandom as Aleta Jackson, died December 4, 2016.

Aleta worked for Xerox for ten years as a repair technician and wrote both science fiction and non-fiction stories. She worked for the L-5 Society, both in Tucson and later in Washington DC. During her stay in DC, Aleta became an aide to General Daniel Graham and helped create the DC-X launch vehicle, later renamed the Clipper Graham. She also edited the Journal of Practical Applications of Space while with Graham’s Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.

As an indefatigable supporter of launch vehicle development, Aleta then became one of Rotary Rocket Company’s first employees, where she was general office manager. When the propulsion group was laid off from Rotary, Aleta was the person who told Jeff Greason, Dan DeLong, and Doug Jones that they had to stick with it, and founded XCOR Aerospace.

I first met her at NOLAcon II in 1988. Years later, when she was at XCOR and I was organizing Loscon program we crossed paths again.

(8) WELCOME ABOARD. “’Star Trek: Discovery’ Finds Its Captain In Jason Isaacs” reports Deadline Hollywood.

Former Awake and Dig star Jason Isaacs has been cast in Star Trek: Discovery for CBS All Access as Captain Lorca, Captain of the Starship Discovery. It is a major role opposite lead Sonequa Martin- Green in the series, which eyes a debut in late summer or fall….

Isaacs’ recently co-starred in the Netflix mystery drama series The OA and will next be seen in Weinstein Co.’s Hotel Mumbai and Armando Iannucci’s Death of Stalin.

(9) FACE THE TRUTH. Wesley Chu, the Edison of digital publishing, has invented a new service for authors.

(10) ANOTHER GAME OF THRONES CASUALTY? The Azure Window of Malta collapsed into the sea after a recent storm. The Azure Window was a backdrop for the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen, a recurring character played by Emilia Clarke, to Khal Drogo, portrayed by Jason Momoa, in the first episode in mid-2011.

(11) TRASH BECOMES TREASURE, AGAIN. Atlas Obscura says they were hidden in a circulation chamber in an old Chicago theater — “Found: A Treasure Trove of Candy Wrappers Dating Back to the Depression”. Pictures over there.

Eric Nordstrom of Urban Remains has been exploring Chicago’s Congress Theater, which was built in 1926 and is currently under renovation. Earlier this year, Nordstrom, whose business reclaims objects from old buildings, started working his way through the old theater, finding newspapers, pipes, tools, and blueprints left there since the 1920s.

Recently, he returned to the theater, and this time, as DNAInfo reports, he found a trove of candy wrappers and matchbooks that date back to the theater’s earliest years.

(12) WHEN MAN PURSUETH. Motherboard says the “Anti-Social ‘Shybot’ Rolls Around the Sonoran Desert, Running Away From Humans”.

We’re all afraid of our future robot overlords, but what if those robots were afraid of us, too?

Over the course of the last week, California’s Coachella Valley hosted a strange, anti-social visitor. Its name was Shybot, a six-wheeled rover whose only purpose in life is to roam the Sonoran desert avoiding humans at all costs.

(13) A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. In “This Land of Mine Revised” on Vimeo, Nina Paley updates the classic song from Exodus to show the bloody history of the Middle East.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Rambo, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]

Steve Vertlieb Recalls His 2016 Rondo Hall of Fame Award

David Colton and Steve Vertlieb

By Steve Vertlieb: David Colton has announced the nominations for this year’s slate of recipients for the prestigious Rondo Awards, honoring the very best in “fantastic” creativity, comprising imaginative cinema, television, books, magazines, and art.

I shall always remember with both pride and honor the very special moment less than a year ago when, on Saturday evening, June 4th, 2016, I was awarded Rondo’s highest honor…the Rondo “Hall of Fame” in recognition of a lifetime of journalism and publishing. That wondrous evening will always stand out as, perhaps, the most memorable night of my own seventy-one years.

With that thought in mind, I’d like to take a moment to wish all of this year’s worthy nominees the same fortune and good luck that made my own special night so memorable in 2016. Wishing each of this year’s worthy nominees God speed and sublime recognition of your work and inspiration.

 

2017 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 15th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 29 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 16.

As teaser, here are the Best Movie and Best Television Presentation finalists.

BEST MOVIE OF 2016

  • ARRIVAL
  • AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
  • THE CONJURING 2
  • DEADPOOL
  • DOCTOR STRANGE
  • DON’T BREATHE
  • FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
  • GHOSTBUSTERS
  • LEGEND OF TARZAN
  • THE NEON DEMON
  • OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
  • PASSENGERS
  • PHANTASM: RAVAGER
  • THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
  • ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
  • THE SHALLOWS
  • SHIN GODZILLA
  • SPLIT
  • STAR TREK BEYOND
  • SUICIDE SQUAD
  • 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
  • TRAIN TO BUSAN
  • THE VVITCH

BEST TELEVISION PRESENTATION OF 2016

  • BATES MOTEL, ‘Norman,’ 5.16.16, A/E. In season finale, Norman digs up the body of Norma. ‘Mother we’re home. We’re finally together.’
  • ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, ‘The Morgue,’ 10.9.16, STARZ. Ash goes where no VFX have gone before. ‘That is horrible. And also awesome.’
  • BLACK MIRROR, ‘San Junipero,’ 10.21.16, NETFLIX. Time and memory have little meaning at the Quagmire.  ‘I was like a frightened horse on a frozen lake back there.’
  • CHANNEL ZERO, ‘A Strange Vessel,’ 11.1.16, SYFY. Clues to murders on children’s show Candle Cove lead to Paris. ‘When you think about this, it’ll just seem like some nightmare you had.’
  • DOCTOR WHO, ‘The Return of Dr. Mysterio,’ 12.25.15, BBC America. Super hero Easter Eggs abound in this Christmas special. ‘I started it. They’re all based on me. Now everyone who wants to sound clever calls themselves Doctor.’
  • PENNY DREADFUL, ‘A Blade of Grass,’ 5.22.16, SHOWTIME. Vanessa, in a padded cell, encounters Lucifer and demons. ‘I should have died a virgin like Joan of Arc. Did you know she sang as she burned?’
  • STAN AGAINST EVIL, ‘Dig Me Up, Dig Me Down,’ 10.31.16, IFC. Can disgraced former sheriff survive a town crawling with demons? ‘Anniversary of witch trials brings mysterious screams, pie contest.’
  • STRANGER THINGS, ‘The Bathtub,’ 7.15.16, NETFLIX. El uses her powers to save her friends.  ‘Did you see what she did to that van?’
  • THE WALKING DEAD, ‘The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” 10.23.16 AMC. Nagen’s brutality shakes up survivors and viewers. ‘Not today. Not tomorrow. But I am gonna kill you.
  • WESTWORLD,  ‘The Bicameral Mind,’ 12.4.16, HBO.  Robert the park designer reveals his secret as one Host tries to leave. ‘How can you learn from your mistakes if you can’t remember them?

Remembering Jim Burns

Jim Burns and Steve Vertlieb.

Jim Burns and Steve Vertlieb.

By Steve Vertlieb: My win for the 2016 Rondo Hall Of Fame Award the other night was, is, and always will be tempered by the heartbreaking news and realization that my beloved friend and brother, Jim Burns, has tragically passed away at age fifty-four of an undisclosed illness. Jim was one of the best friends that it’s ever been my honor to have. He was a cherished pal, confidante, and brother. Jim and I would speak for hours on the telephone, catching up on the latest news, talking, and always, always laughing.

When I nearly died just six or so years ago during major open heart surgery, Jim was ever on the telephone, and always sending me supportive e-mails and love.

Jim pushed hard for my lifetime achievement award at the Rondo’s every year, and it was Jim who joyously announced my win for the Hall Of Fame by awaking me from a deep sleep just two months ago to inform me that I’d been elected to the Rondo Hall Of Fame.

My elation on Saturday morning in Louisville, Kentucky, was abruptly shattered when David Colton (the head ot the Rondo Awards, and former editor of U.S.A. TODAY) gave me the terrible, terrible news that Jim has passed away on Thursday, June 2nd.

Jim…I love you. I shall always love you. I cannot believe that I’ll never hear your voice, or your terrible jokes ever again. I cannot believe that I’ll never again know the happiness of reading your prolific commentary on the arts. Your work was sheer poetry. It was beautiful, haunting, and evocative. Your last years were tortured, and I hope that you found a degree of comfort in my love and respect for you, and in our profound bonding and friendship.

I dedicated my Rondo Award to you in my acceptance speech in Louisville Saturday evening. You always wanted to win a Rondo but never had an opportunity to do so. May it bring you a degree of solace to know that David Colton dedicated this year’s Rondo Awards ceremony to you. I love you, Jim. I miss you…and I cannot believe that I will never have an opportunity to speak with you again. God Bless you, my friend. God Bless you, my cherished brother. Sleep well, Prince Jim. Sleep throughout eternity in the knowledge that you shall always be loved….both by me, and by so many adoring friends and fans.

2016 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

ronlogo1The winners of the 14th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were announced April 14.

The Rondo Awards, explains organizer David Colton, are “named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s,” and “honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.”

This year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 21-year old online community, drew more than 3,400 ballots. The Rondo vote is the largest survey of the classic horror genre held each year.

Many of the Rondo winners will receive Rondo busts at the WonderFest convention in Louisville on June 4.

BEST FILM OF 2015

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

  • Runner-up: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
  • Honorable mentions: IT FOLLOWS; EX MACHINA; THE MARTIAN; JURASSIC WORLD

BEST TV PRESENTATION

ASH VS EVIL: DEAD: ‘Brujo’

  • Runner-up: THE WALKING DEAD
  • Honorable mentions: PENNY DREADFUL; DOCTOR WHO

BEST CLASSIC DVD OF 2015

ARMY OF DARKNESS: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Shout!)

  • Runner-up: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Kino)
  • Honorable mentions: BLACK SABBATH (Kino); DON’T LOOK NOW (Criterion)

BEST RESTORATION

ARMY OF DARKNESS: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Shout!)

  • Runners-up: BLACK SABBATH (Kino); JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (Twilight Time); BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (Arrow)

BEST COMMENTARY

TIM LUCAS for BLACK SABBATH and BLOOD AND BLACK LACE

  • Runner-up: Francis Ford Coppola (BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA)
  • Honorable mentions: Wes Craven (PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS); Tom Weaver, David Schechter (MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD)

BEST DVD EXTRA

MEDIEVAL TIMES: THE MAKING OF ARMY OF DARKNESS

  • Runners-up: ‘Cuadecuc, Vampir’ (COUNT DRACULA); Excerpts from sound version (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA); ‘The Host,’ Jack Hill, Sid Haig film (SPIDER BABY)

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

TALES OF HALLOWEEN, anthology film

  • Runners-up: TURBO KID; WE ARE STILL HERE
  • Honorable mention: DRACULA A.D. 2015

BEST SHORT FILM

TAILYPO, directed by Cameron McCasland

  • Runner-up: INNSMOUTH
  • Honorable mentions: CONVENTIONAL; HEIR; THEATRE FANTASTIQUE: A POEM OF POE; SEEKING VALENTINA

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

CREATURE FEATURE: 60 YEARS OF THE GILL-MAN, directed by Matt Crick

  • Runner-up: LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
  • Honorable mentions: THAT GUY DICK MILLER; IT WAS A COLOSSAL TEENAGE MOVIE MACHINE: THE AIP STORY; HAIL TO THE KING: 60 YEARS OF DESTRUCTION (Godzilla)

BOOK OF THE YEAR

MONSTER MASH: The Creepy, Kooky Monster Craze in America, 1957-1972, by Mark Voger

  • Runner-up: 70s MONSTER MEMORIES; THE ART OF HORROR, by Stephen Jones; TOD BROWNING’S DRACULA, by Gary Don Rhodes
  • Honorable mentions: ITALIAN GOTHIC HORROR FILMS, by Roberto Curti; SO DEADLY, SO PERVERSE: Fifty Years of Italian Giallo Films, by Troy Howarth; CURIOUS GOODS: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th (The Series), by Alyse Wax)

BEST MAGAZINE

RUE MORGUE

  • Runners-up:  FANGORIA, VIDEO WATCHDOG; HORRORHOUND

BEST MAGAZINE (classic)

FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND

  • Runner-up: SCARY MONSTERS
  • Honorable mentions: CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES; LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS; DIABOLIQUE; FILMFAX; SCREEM

BEST ARTICLES (two Christopher Lee articles)

1) ‘Christopher Lee: He May Not Have Been Who You Might Have Thought He Was,’ by Tom Johnson, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #35.

2) ‘Remembering Christopher Lee,’ by Justin Hamelin, RAVENOUS website.

  • Runner-up:  ‘Vincent Price: I Like What I see,’ by Tim Lucas, VIDEO WATCHDOG #179.
  • Honorable mentions: ‘Take Me to the Other Side/Ghost Writers,’ by April Snellings, RUE MORGUE #160; ‘The Greatest Old One,’ by Dejan Ognjanovic, RUE MORGUE #161; ‘Barbara Steele, The Beauty of Terror,’ by Daniel Riccuito, David Cairus and Jennifer Matsui, FANGORIA #342; ‘Forrest J Ackerman: The Wizard of Glendower Avenue,’ by Deborah Painter, CLASSIC IMAGES #480.

BEST INTERVIEW (Award goes to interviewer)

David Weiner interviews Mel Brooks about YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #277)

  • Runner-up: Chris Alexander interviews John Carpenter, FANGORIA #339
  • Honorable mentions: Max Weinstein interviews Alejandro Jodorowsky, DIABOLIQUE #24; Jessica Dwyer interviews Bruce Campbell, HORRORHOUND #54; Rod Labbe interviews Sharon Smythe, SCARY MONSTERS #95.

BEST COLUMN

Larry Blamire’s Star Turn, VIDEO WATCHDOG

  • Runners-up: They Came from the Crypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND; Diary of the Deb, Debbie Rochon, FANGORIA; The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
  • Honorable mentions: Fright Gallery by Gary Pullin, RUE MORGUE; Scare-News, by John Skerchock, SCARY MONSTERS

BEST COVER

FAMOUS MONSTERS #281 by Rick Baker

  • Runners-up: RUE MORGUE #161 by Jason Edmiston; WE BELONG DEAD #17 by Paul Watts
  • Honorable mentions: MAD SCIENTIST #30 by Mark Maddox; DIABOLIQUE #24 by Mark Spears; FANGORIA #342 by Marc Schoenbach; HORRORHOUND #52 by Mark Maddox

BEST WEBSITE

RAVENOUS MONSTER

  • Runners-up: Dread Central; Collinsport Historical Society Dr. Gangrene’s Mad Blog
  • Honorable mentions: Shock Til You Drop; Universal Monster Army

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

KILLER P.O.V.

  • Runners-up: Trailers from Hell; The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price; Monster Kid Radio
  • Honorable mentions: Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Features; Horror Happens Radio Show

BEST CONVENTION

MONSTER BASH (suburban Pittsburgh)

  • Runner-up: Monsterpalooza (Burbank)
  • Honorable mentions: HorrorHound Weekend (Cincinnati); WonderFest (Louisville); Chiller (Parsippany, NJ); G-FEST (Chicago)

BEST FAN EVENT

VINCENT PRICE LONDON LEGACY TOUR (Walking tour celebrating his films and love of art and food)

  • Runner-up: Tribute to Wes Craven at HorrorHound Weekend
  • Honorable mentions: Maskfest; Blob panic re-enactment at Blobfest; Swim with the Creature at Monsterama; Etheria Film Festival

FAVORITE HORROR HOST

SVENGOOLIE

  • Runner-up: Penny Dreadful
  • Honorable mentions: Count Gore De Vol; Dr. Gangrene; Son of Ghoul

BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK

JOHN CARPENTER’S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT

  • Runner-up: Haunted Horrors
  • Honorable mentions: Godzilla in Hell; Frankenstein Underground; Bloke’s Terrible Tome of Terror

INDIVIDUAL RONDO AWARDS

WRITER OF THE YEAR

Gary Don Rhodes

A leading scholar into the origins of the horror film, Rhodes’ fact-based approach has exploded myths surrounding some of the genre’s most beloved works. His books about Bela Lugosi have kept the complicated legacy of the horror icon alive.

  • Runners-up: April Snelling, Bruce Hallenbeck, Tim Lucas, Tom Weaver, Greg Mank, Max Weinstein, Kim Newman, Eric Shirey

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Mark Maddox

  • Runners-up: Daniel Horne, William Cope, Gary Pullin, Joel Robinson, Jason Edmiston

LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (In memory of the late Linda Miller)

JASON BROWER

  • Runner-up: Malcolm Gittins.
  • Honorable mentions: Jerrod Brown, John Sargent, Heather Paxton

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

‘The Only REAL Rondo Award’

Dennis Druktenis for the amazing achievement of SCARY MONSTERS #1-100

INTERNATIONAL FAN OF THE YEAR

PETER FULLER (England)

Peter Fuller, shown here [picture omitted] in a promotion for the November 2015 Vincent Price Festival, which included a walking tour of Price’s favorite London haunts, has been one of the world’s foremost researchers into Price’s life and legacy.

His work with Victoria Price and others in mounting the Price Festival was a landmark for the beloved actor’s legacy on both sides of the Atlantic.

MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR

VICTORIA PRICE

Victoria Price likes to joke that she never enjoyed seeing the films of her father, Vincent Price, because he was always getting killed in all kinds of ways. But after writing a biography of her famous dad, she realized that there was far more to the screen legend than his villainous roles. A regular at horror conventions, Price is now well-versed in Price’s horror films, but she prefers to talk about her father’s exquisite taste in art, in food, and in the cultural underpinnings of his work.

A true “monster kid,” Victoria Price helps remind new monster fans that chills and thrills began long ago, and will live on.

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME

Newest inductees are:

MARK REDFIELD

Keeping Poe’s legend alive

This Baltimore native knows Edgar Allan Poe better than most. He helped fight to preserve Poe’s Baltimore residence, portrayed the doomed writer in the film, THE DEATH OF POE, and has mounted stage and radio productions of the horror bard’s work at the Poe Forevermore Radio Theatre. An actor, a scholar, an editor, an activist, Redfield is responsible for much of the renewed interest in America’s most haunted poet.

STEVE VERTLIEB

Seeking the creators

One of the earliest genre enthusiasts and writers, Steve Vertlieb’s interest has always been in the creators behind the scenes — the men who animated King Kong, the composers like John Williams, Bernard Herrmann and Miklos Rozsa whose music stirred moviegoers, and the writers like Ray Bradbury whose words sparked a generation of dreamers.

Soon to be the subject of a documentary, Vertlieb’s gentle touch in his writing reminds readers why they loved many of the classic films in the first place.

DAVID DEL VALLE

Dishing with the horror stars

Few can match the energy and wide-ranging interests of David Del Valle, a cinema insider who knows just about everyone involved in films past and present. Whether drawing out little-known tales from horror icons such as Barabra Steele, moderating panels or enriching DVD commentaries, the outspoken Del Valle has spent a lifetime compiling the backstories, the insanity, and the joy of Hollywood and European horror factories.

BILL ‘CHILLY BILLY’ CARDILLE

The unforgettable horror host

There were many “Chiller Theatres,” but few like the one Bill “Chilly Billy” Cardille hosted in Pittsburgh from 1963 to 1982.

So “chilling” was his delivery that Second City’s Joe Flaherty says his horror host parody on SCTV was based on Cardille’s spooky character. Squeaking doors, howling wolves, a beating heart and a creepy organ signalled his pioneering, smart and influential horror show. A true horror original.

Pixel Scroll 4/2/16 Neither a Scroller nor a Pixel be; For Pixels Oft Loses Both Itself And Friend, And Scrolling Dulls The Edge of Filery

(1) SO SUE ME. TrekToday reports “Axanar Files Second Motion To Dismiss”.

For the second time, the lawyers working for Axanar have filed a motion to dismiss and they are again seeking clarification from Paramount Pictures and CBS Corporation regarding which copyrights the production has violated.

Axanar posted an official statement regarding the new motion, which was filed yesterday. “Yesterday, acting on behalf of both Axanar Productions and Producer Alec Peters, Winston & Strawn filed a Motion to Dismiss the first amended copyright complaint of CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures Corporation. The motion explains that in multiple respects, the deficiencies in CBS and Paramount‘s original complaint are still not sufficiently addressed in their amended filing, and that in some ways the amendments have created new defects.

“The motion provides examples as to how CBS and Paramount overreach in what they claim are elements protected under copyright, and fail to be specific as to exactly which copyrights have been infringed upon; and, in the case of the potential feature film Axanar claims of alleged copyright infringement cannot be made against a film that doesn’t yet exist….

The Axanar legal team has requested a May 9 hearing date on the motion to dismiss.

The full motion can be seen here.

(2) DIGGING DEEPER INTO GALAKTIKA. Anna Grace Carpenter documents “more bad behavior” by Galaktika Magazine, the Hungarian periodical charged with not paying a lot of people for their work.

This opened up a broader problem. By this point I was certain that the English-language stories were primarily being published without the consent or compensation of the original authors. (I have been able to confirm that work published as early as 2008 was done so without author knowledge or consent. Pintér spoke with an author whose work was published in 2006 without their consent. The full extent of the ongoing piracy is still uncertain.)

Tracking down the translators who were working for Galaktika during 2015 was a little more difficult than contacting the authors involved; all I had were the names in the bibliography and Google.

The first few I tried didn’t turn up anything immediately useful, but with a little more digging I was able to reach two of the translators who worked with Galaktika in 2015.  The first (who had translated nine stories over the course of the year) said simply that they were not responsible for the rights involved in the stories. They would receive a request from the publisher (likely Attila Németh – the fiction editor at Galaktika) to translate a specific story, and would return the work once they were done….

They told me the effort involved to get paid for their work simply became too much and they stopped working for Galaktika. (They also became aware, after the fact, that Polenth Blake’s short story – “Never the Same” (Strange Horizons Sep 8 2014) – had been taken without her permission because they contacted her about the translation.)

Another Hungarian author I spoke with said they had sold work to Galaktika in 2006 for which they had received pro-rates, but had since stopped working with the magazine due to (among other things) other authors they knew personally not being paid for their work. They said their feeling was that Hungarian authors and translators had a better chance of being paid because they could always go to the Galaktika offices to demand what was owed.

But the translator I spoke with said they had heard of other translators and Hungarian authors who had never been paid – a fact which was such common knowledge that when they told their friends about the work their first question was “And do they pay you?” They recounted calling István Burger “who was really cocky, like it was by his grace that I was allowed to work for them, because apparently it’s him who sends everyone their money. So after Back to the Future I had enough.”

It would seem that Galaktika’s bad behavior is not limited to the theft and piracy of English-language stories, but a deliberate and continuous pattern of behavior where they attempt to profit off the work of others while making as little compensation as possible to the authors and translators providing the material for the magazine.

(3) SAD BUNNIES. A British Board of Film Classification sachem says “Watership Down ‘would be rated PG today’”.

The U-rated 1978 film Watership Down would be classified PG were it released today, the new head of the British Board of Film Classification has said.

BBFC director David Austin told BBC Radio 5 live its violence was “arguably too strong” for it to be rated U now.

He added the film also contains language that would be “unacceptable” in a film rated U under 2016 criteria.

His comments followed complaints over the film’s content after it was aired on Channel 5 on Sunday.

“Well done to whoever at Channel 5 decided that Watership Down was a nice Easter Sunday afternoon film to show,” wrote one tweeter.

… The film – which features the voices of Sir John Hurt and the late Richard Briers – received a U rating on its initial release for its “very mild language, mild violence and threat”.

According to Austin, though, “standards were different then”. “The film has been a U for 38 years, but if it came in tomorrow it would not be,” he continued.

(4) PITY THE FOOL. The March 31 Scroll quoted a story about Gmail’s new “mic drop” feature. On April 1 the BBC reported, “Google April Fool Gmail button sparks backlash”.

Google has removed an April Fool’s Gmail button, which sent a comical animation to recipients, after reports of people getting into trouble at work.

The button appeared beside Gmail’s normal send button and allowed users to shut down an email thread by sending a gif of a Minion dropping a microphone.

However, a flurry of complaints about the button appeared on Google’s forums.

The firm has since withdrawn the feature and apologised.

Will R. swears, “For the record, I didn’t realize they were crazy enough to make this an actual button.” Well, if they did.

(5) MORE UNTIMELY FOOLISHNESS. Variety reported on April Fool’s Eve (or as you civilians say, March 31) that actor Tom Hiddleston delivered Chicago’s Fox32 weather report as Loki — “Tom Hiddleston Gives Weather Report, Blames Storm on Thor”.

Tom Hiddleston can add another credit to his resume: weatherman.

The “Night Manager” and “Avengers” actor dropped by a Chicago news station as Loki (though tragically not in costume) to update viewers on the terrible weather hitting the area this weekend. He blamed it all on his thunderous brother Thor, saying that his “brother from another mother’s been misbehaving.”

“The God of Thunder has brought his skill set to bare on the local weather,” Hiddleston added.

In other words, the storm-front means that “Chris Hemsworth has taken his hammer and smashed it on the surface of the sky and it’s going to rain a helluva lot,” the actor said….

Hiddleston and Hemsworth will reprise the feuding brothers onscreen again in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is set for Nov. 3, 2017.

 

(6) LINES AT ANIME BOSTON. Smofnews has the story

Anime Boston has posted a long statement detailing the causes of excessive lines at their con last weekend. Some of the causes are ordinary problems, like misallocated staff and the blocked shortcut. Others included a registration system provided by a third party which was found to have a serious bug right before the con started*, and a decision between the local police and the facility to use metal detectors, with the con being a bit out of the loop. It goes to show that being bigger doesn’t necessarily mean having more control of things.

(7) JAMES H. BURNS CLIPPING FILE. The Franklin Square Bulletin, which has no internet presence, but is a decades-old weekly on the South Shore of Long Island, published an item about a favorite son:

“Franklin Square Columnist Nominated For Rondo Award”

Franklin Square resident James H. Burns, a long time writer and actor, has been nominated as “Best Columnist for 2015” at the Classic Horror Film Board, the popular website administered for over twenty years by David Colton, the just-retired Page One editor of USA TODAY. Jim’s citation is for his columns at FILE 770, itself a multi-award winning website devoted to the worlds of the fantastic. It’s fun to note  many of Jim’s articles actually deal with lost elements of growing up in Franklin Square, and other unique facets of life in our community!

The columns range from “World War II and a Lexicon in Time” to man’s first landing on another world (“The Moon at Midnight”); a look at Irish folklore (“And a Moonbeam to Charm You”) to prehistoric worlds (in “My Father and the Brontosaurs” (including dinosaurs at Falaise, and the World’s Fair) and “Sons of a Mesozoic Age” (with memories of the Franklin Square Theatre!); and reflections on his friendships with some of the James Bond filmmakers (“The 007 In  My Mind”) and other theatrical personnel (“Back to Another Future”).

The best column may be a special look at our Christmas and Chanukah traditions, “The Geography of Eden.”

Burns says, “The whole idea behind some of the articles was to capture certain moments in time, experiences common to many of us who grew up in the area, but which might otherwise be forgotten.”

Burns writes about the small “farm” that used to behind Valley Caterers in “Clanky!”, and takes a look at a Franklin Square Independence Day evening, and the dawn of the Space Age, in “On This, The Fourth.”  (Some of his mainstream work for CBS-NY.COM and NEWSDAY is also reflected in the nomination, as the features were excerpted at the website.)

You can vote for “The Rondo Awards” until April 10th, by going online to:   http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/62030/s-ballot-Gasp-14th-Annual-Rondo-Hatton-Classic-Horror#.VvAfW-azkWp.

You can read some of  the articles by Googling, “James H. Burns,” File 770, or “James H. Burns,” CBS.

(8) ADRIENNE CORRI OBIT. BBC reports the death of actress Adrienne Corri on March 13, who played the rape victim in A Clockwork Orange, appeared in Hammer films, and featured in a Doctor Who (according to IMDB).

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 2, 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey has its world premiere in Washington D.C.

(10) TODAY IN CURRENT EVENTS

April 2 is the second annual Planet of the Apes day.

The second annual gathering (this time both virtual and actual!) to celebrate the classic 1968 film and all its sequels, remakes and re-imaginings. We’re hosting a fan meetup event at the Idle Hour Cafe in North Hollywood, CA beginning at 5pm on Saturday, April 2nd [NOTE THE NEW DATE FOR EVENT] For those who can’t attend in person, we encourage fans in other cities to join us via Skype and Facebook, of course. More details will follow soon, so RSVP now to and note if you’re attending in person to give us a human-count. Mark this date in your calendar now and prepare to GO APE with the Damn Dirty Geeks!

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • April 2, 1805 — Hans Christian Anderson.
  • April 2, 1908 — Buddy Ebsen. He missed appearing in the Wizard of Oz because the Tin Man’s makeup poisoned him. His Twilight Zone episode was written by Charles Beaumont.
  • April 2, 1914 — Sir Alec Guinness.

(12) FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. The Traveler at Galactic Odyssey thinks Rod Serling should be doing better — “[April 2, 1961] Uprooting Itself (The Twilight Zone, Season 2, Episodes 17, 19, 20, 21”.

Twenty years ago, even ten (and zero in some places), science fiction was all about the twist ending.  Aliens would seed a dead planet with life only for it to turn out…that planet was EARTH!  Or folks might spend a story in a struggle to stay alive, only to find out THEY WERE ALREADY DEAD!  And so on.  Stories would usually end with a shock sentence, often with copious slammers (!!!)

But the genre matured.  Characters, writing, and fully explored concepts appeared.  These days, the “gimmick” often takes the back seat, facilitating rather than dominating the story.

The Twilight Zone, the science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology created by Rod Serling, is generally a cut above anything else on TV.  This includes its pale competitors like One Step Beyond and Way Out.  Unfortunately, several times in the first season, and more frequently in this, the second season, the show has aped the gimmick stories of print sf.  The result is a run of predictable, sub-par episodes.  There is light at the end of this tunnel, however – the most recent episodes have returned the focus to interesting characters and genuine drama.

(13) PUPPY WAR GAMES.

(14) OUR POET CHERRIOT. Kip W. confessed in a comment here.

This is just to say
I have eaten the Hugos
That you were saving
From destruction
Forgive me
They were just sitting there
Such sweetness
Such noms

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, David K.M. Klaus, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

James H. Burns Added To Rondo Ballot

James H. Burns

James H. Burns

Stop the pixels! The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards ballot, released last week, has been amended to include File 770 columnist James H. Burns.

14. BEST COLUMNIST

— Diary of the Deb, by Debbie Rochon, FANGORIA
— The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
— File 770 columns, by James H. Burns, FILE 770 online
— Fright Gallery, curated by Gary Pullin, RUE MORGUE
— Grey Matters, by Richard Schellbach, MONDO CULT ONLINE
— It Came from Bowen’s Basement, by John W, Bowen, RUE MORGUE
— Larry Blamire’s Star Turn, VIDEO WATCHDOG
— Ralph’s One and Only Traveling Reviews, by Richard Klemensen, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS
— Rondo Remembers, by Ron Adams, MONSTER BASH MAGAZINE
— Scare-News, by John Skerchock, SCARY MONSTERS
— They Came from the Krypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND
— Or write in another choice:

Voting continues through April 10. Everyone is eligible to vote, and voting is done by email.

HOW TO VOTE:

All voting is by e-mail only.  Simply copy this ballot (cut-and-paste works fine) and send an e-mail with your picks to me, David Colton, at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight, April 10, 2016.

You can send a quick e-mail, or you can cut-and-paste the ballot and highlight your choices, or place an X next to your choices; or you can type your choices in an e-mail. And no, you do not have to vote in every category.

One vote per person, please. Every e-mail must include your name to be counted.  All votes are kept strictly confidential. No e-mail addresses or personal information will ever be shared with anyone.

Feel free to spread the word about the Rondo voting — go social on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; place Rondo banners on websites, urge friends and fans to vote. But please do not mass-produce or duplicate ballots; suspicious ballots will be rejected at the sole discretion of Rondo organizers. Let’s keep this a fun vote!

 

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