Pixel Scroll 5/12/19 Just Get Me To An Airport, Put Me In A Con, Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Before The Scroll Is Gone

(1) BABY GIFT. Disney UK created a short Winnie-the-Pooh video to welcome a royal baby.

The beginning of a grand adventure… Congratulations from Disney to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and The Royal Family on the arrival of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor!

(2) POP-UP KAIJU. Nerdist is witness to one of the biggest promos in Hollywood movie theater history: “GODZILLA’s Head Busts Out of the Hollywood Cinerama Dome”.

The historic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood unveiled a gigantic promotional item atop the dome. Emitting dazzling blue light, it catches the eyes of every passerby. Not to mention catching the eye of news helicopters, like those from the local CBS affiliate. It hearkens back to the days of classic movie studio showmanship, to say the least.

The giant Godzilla head is popping out of the iconic dome like he’s cracking the world’s biggest egg. He’s ready to stomp all over Los Angeles the way he used to stomp on Tokyo in the original movies. Michael Dougherty tweeted a picture of the unique promotion like a proud papa, which showcased the beloved kaiju with blue light coming out of his mouth, emulating his signature atomic breath.

(3) BOX OFFICE MONSTER. SYFY Wire rounds up the early response to the latest Godzilla movie — “Godzilla: King of the Monsters first reactions predict an American kaiju masterpiece “.

The film is already projecting a $50 million opening weekend when it storms into theaters on May 31, per Variety. Now the first round of reactions are calling King of the Monsters the perfect summer popcorn movie, as well as a masterpiece of American kaiju filmmaking that’ll win over new converts while pleasing lifelong fans.

(4) NUMBER, PLEASE. Camestros Felapton wants voters to be fully informed: “Cats, Dogs, Robots & Rockets: Hugo 2019 novels where they stand”.

I’ve reviewed and ranked the Hugo finalists for best novel by my subjective impressions but how about some more objective criteria. Specifically, how does each one feature in the key metrics of:

  • Does it have cats in it?
  • Does it have dogs in it?
  • Does it have robots in it?
  • Does it have rockets (or spacecraft) in it?

(5) WOMEN IN TV. Variety has a more serious set of numbers — “Pilot Season: Female Directors See More Representation Gains”. Additional details in the article.

For TV pilots, percentage of female directors increased somewhat this year over last year (8 percentage points). The total number of pilots ordered was down, but one more female director was represented this year than last.

(6) NERDS AHOY! A New York Times writers answers the question “What Happens When You Put 2,000 Nerds on a Boat?” A boat where John Scalzi is one of the nerds, no less.

It is the first concert of the JoCo Cruise 2019, and things are going so wrong. The musicians can’t hear themselves sing. Instruments drop out at random. One of the performers, Jim Boggia, has lost his voice.

Jonathan Coulton, the singer-songwriter for whom the cruise is named, grouses that it is a “train wreck on a boat.”

They carry on, trying to wrestle a show from the mess. Mr. Boggia starts playing “When You Wish Upon a Star” on his ukulele and raspily invites us all to sing along. The assembled hundreds join in a mass mumble, but one woman’s voice stands out and confidently rises, clear and lovely. Paul Sabourin, another of the performers, hops off the stage and hands her a microphone. The performers complete the song to rousing cheers.

I spot the singer. She is wearing extravagantly long elf ears.

Now in its ninth year, the JoCo Cruise is a grand annual gathering of the nerd tribe. You may not have heard of Mr. Coulton, who left his job writing software in 2005 to explore a music career, but he has built a fervid online community of fans….

(7) WELL, YEAH! Tough SF really lives up to its name with this post: “Actively Cooled Armor: from Helium to Liquid Tin”.

We have seen designs for long ranged particle beams and powerful lasers. Could they be the end-all, be-all of space warfare? Not if we fend off their destructive power with actively cooled armor…

Metal vapor cooled armor

Helium has high heat capacity but low density. We need a lot of pumping power to push enough volume through the heat exchanger to draw a decent amount of heat away.

The gases with the highest densities are metal vapours. The same volume brings a lot more mass throughput and therefore cooling capacity.

We want a metal that is dense but boils easily. Mercury is ideal. It boils at 630K, so we’ll set the minimum temperature to 750K to prevent it condensing back into a liquid. As before, we heat it up to 3500K.

(8) BOLGEO OBIT. Tim Bolgeo died May 12, surrounded by family, reports Marcia Kelly Illingworth. He was 70 years old. He was the founder and Chairman Emeritus of LibertyCon. He was a retired electrical engineer with over 30 years with the Tennessee Valley Authority, and had been in fandom since 1976.

(9) SARGENT OBIT. “Alvin Sargent, Spider-Man screenwriter, dies at 92” – BBC has the story.

Alvin Sargent, the American screenwriter who won two Oscars and penned scripts for the Spider-Man film trilogy, has died at the age of 92.

Sargent died of natural causes at his home in Seattle on Thursday.

He won Oscars for Julia, a 1977 Holocaust drama based on the personal writings of Lillian Hellman, and Ordinary People, a 1980 film about a family facing bereavement.

However, he will be equally remembered for his later work on Spider-Man.

Sargent wrote the screenplays for Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and Spider-Man 3 in 2007. He also did a rewrite for the 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 12, 1902 Philip Wylie. If I trust Wikipedia, he inspired everyone from Lester Dent to the creator of Superman.  No doubt he was a prolific pulp writer with quite a few of his novels adapted into films such as When Worlds Collide (co-written with George Balmer) by George Pal. This is the first I’ve heard of him, so I’m curious as to hear what y‘ all think of him. (Died 1971.)
  • Born May 12, 1907 Leslie Charteris. I really hadn’t thought of the Simon Templar aka The Saint series as being genre but both ISFDB and ESF list the series with the latter noting that “Several short stories featuring Templar are sf or fantasy, typically dealing with odd Inventions or Monsters (including the Loch Ness Monster and Caribbean Zombies.” (Died 1993.)
  • Born May 12, 1928 –Robert Coulson. Writer, well-known fan, filk songwriter and fanzine editor. He and his wife, writer and fellow filker Juanita Coulson, edited the fanzine Yandro which they produced on a mimeograph machine, and which was nominated for the Hugo Award ten years running right through 1968, and won in 1965. Yandro was particularly strong on reviewing other fanzines. Characters modelled on and named after him appear in two novels by Wilson Tucker, Resurrection Days and To the Tombaugh Station. (Died 1999.)
  • Born May 12, 1937 George Carlin. Rufus in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. He also showed up in Scary Movie 3 and Tarzan II. (Died 2008.)
  • Born May 12, 1938 David Pelham, 81. Artist and Art Director at Penguin Books from 1968 to 1979, who was responsible for some of the most recognizable cover art in genre books to date. He did the cog-eyed droog for Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange in 1972. There’s a great interview with him here.
  • Born May 12, 1942 Barry Longyear, 77. Best known for the Hugo- and Nebula Award–winning novella Enemy Mine, which became a film by that name as well. Gerrold would later novelize it. An expanded version of the original novella as well as two novels completing the trilogy, The Tomorrow Testament and The Last Enemy make up The Enemy Papers. I’m very fond of his Circus World series, less so of his Infinity Hold series.
  • Born May 12, 1950 Bruce Boxleitner, 69. His greatest genre role was obviously Captain John Sheridan on Babylon 5. (Yes, I loved the show.) Other genre appearances being Alan T. Bradley in Tron, Tron: Legacy, and voicing that character in the Tron: Uprising series. He has a recurring role on Supergirl as President Baker.
  • Born May 12, 1968 Catherine Tate, 51. Donna Noble, Companion to the Eleventh Doctor. She extended the role by doing the Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures on Big Finish. She also played Inquisitor Greyfax in Our Martyred Lady, aWarhammer 40,000 audio drama, something I did not know existed. 

(11) FULL LID. Alasdair Stuart’s new issue of The Full Lid (May 10, 2019) includes “a look at the excellent movie version of The Wandering Earth, Jonathan Snipes of Clipping’s latest album and the 2000AD All-Ages Special. This week’s Hugo spotlight is Bogi Takács and there’s the usual collection of interesting/fun/gravity defying interstitials too.”

There’s a moment in The Wandering Earth where one character is using his back-mounted minigun to blast through layers of permafrost while the others are frantically trying to haul a fusion core up the elevator shaft of a frozen skyscraper so they can take it to one of the several thousand engines powering Earth through space and turn it back on. It comes after an earthquake which turns into a car chase which turns into a rescue mission and is, in any way you’d expect, third act action.

It arrives at the one hour mark.

Are you getting that I really liked this? Are you picking up what I’m putting down here? Because The Wandering Earth is really good….

(12) STREET LEGAL John King Tarpinian forwarded an “unexpurgated” copy of Bradbury’s Mars drivers license. (I guess we don’t have to keep his address private anymore.)

(13) ALSO SPRACH TOM HANKS. If we were really in space, we wouldn’t hear this preview of Studio 360’s segment about 2001, which might not be a bad thing…

Read the post here — “American Icons: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — Part One”

A half-century after it was released, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still supplying light amid the darkness. It’s considered not just a great film but an important and influential work of modern art. An astonishing marriage of sound and image, man and machine, there’s nothing simple or obvious — nothing monolithic — about it.

With no help from cinematic CGI, its vision of the 21st century and beyond seems uncannily prescient and profound. Before we’d even landed on the moon, “2001” showed us how privately operated spacecraft would one day take us there.

(14) BEFORE DUNE. HorrorBabble presents an audio reading of a Frank Herbert story:

When Horror Meets Science Fiction: Volume II Episode 5: Old Rambling House “Old Rambling House” was written by American writer, Frank Herbert, and first published in 1958. The story tells of the Grahams – all they wanted was a home they could call their own … but what did the home want?

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Marcia Kelly Illingworth, Richard Howell, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, Alasdair Stuart, Daniel Dern, Cat Eldridge Andrew Porter, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton. (I think the title is longer than today’s Scroll.)]

36 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/12/19 Just Get Me To An Airport, Put Me In A Con, Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Before The Scroll Is Gone

  1. Based on the reviews I’ve read, I’m going to need to be inebriated to a point of jollity when I see The Wandering Earth, so that I’ll be laughing at the over-the-top ridiculousness of it all, instead of yelling at the screen and throwing things.

  2. (10) Longyear’s The House of If is a favorite of mine.

    The Charteris birthday note has ‘ska’ where ‘aka’ is meant.

    Nominees in my Packet like Grains of Sand…

  3. 10) In re Philip Wylie — I remember his name with fondness, and I remember some of the titles of novels he wrote (like When Worlds Collide), but oddly enough, I don’t remember actually READING any of his novels. Hmmm.

  4. (10) Philip Wylie — Besides When Worlds Collide (co-written with Edwin (not George) Balmer), Wylie wrote a fair amount of SF, including a Steven Spielberg-directed episode of The Name of the Game, but, more famously, the novel The Disappearance, in which women and men suddenly end up in separate universes. His novel Gladiator has been called a significant influence on Superman, but when looked at more closely that claim seems highly exaggerated.

    I wrote about Wylie’s novel Finnley Wren here. It’s a good novel, not really SF, but it includes a couple of SF stories supposedly written by the title character.

  5. Busily engaged in Hugo reading. Starting with the short fiction, as my attention span and energy level are still at a low ebb, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to actually finish reading things.

  6. @Rich Horton: The Disappearance was an influence on Sturgeon’s Venus Plus X which explicitly mentions the Wylie novel.

  7. @Lis —

    Busily engaged in Hugo reading.

    Me too. I’m in the middle of Tess of the Road right now. So far I’d say it’s pretty endearing, though I don’t have a final verdict yet.

  8. (10) Wylie wrote bunches of stuff. I love FINNLEY WREN, and respect the hell out of GLADIATOR, and gave THE DISAPPEARANCE a tip-of-hat (or shout-out?) in writing up King Pere & Fis’ SLEEPING BEAUTY in a scroll back in Sept 2017). Possibly my favorite Wylie is his Crunch & Des stories – a pair of charter fishing-boat buddies down in Florida. IIRC, there’s two book collections, or you can opt for the single volume BEST OF…

  9. One of the late Saint. Stories was particularly interesting to me in that, as my confused memory recalls, it was an exploration of the Maltese falcon theme appropriate for a Templar and if I’m not mistaken it was ghost written by a certain Mr. Sturgeon.

    …and it partook of a fantasy milieu in other ways, as I recall. I don’t want to be too specific, as some of you may not have read it yet. Also, I would probably get details wrong. I may already have.

  10. @10: I remember (cf @Rich Horton) Wylie’s Gladiator being cited as a basis for Superman, but the idea of a super-trained Earth human may be a better fit for Doc Savage, or (much later) The Watchmen‘s Ozymandias. The only work of his that I might have read is The Disappearance; I have a vague memory of a Big Idea used as a platform for ponderous ideas and leaden plotting, but am not sure from several decades away that I actually read more than bits of it.

    also @10: Buck Coulson did a couple of fannish genre novels about the 1974 and 1975 Worldcons (Tucker appears as himself in at least the latter); I remember being amused by them. ISFDB mentions a few Man from Uncle books that I didn’t know of, and 3 Laser Books. (I remembered 2 from doing MITSFS cataloging, but didn’t read them — Laser was a stigma for some authors who might have been publishable elsewhere.)

    also also @10: the one genre role I remember George Carlin for was in Dogma; it was just as in character as his mundane appearance in Outrageous Fortune

    also^3 @10: Longyear’s Circus World stories were moderate fun at the time, although I wonder whether any tent circus was still that old-timey even when he was writing. Longyear also cut the time between getting the best-new-writer Campbell and getting a Hugo, from Cherryh’s 2 years to ~15 minutes, and that wasn’t even the most fraught backstage issue at the 1980 Hugos.

  11. 10) — I remember reading When Worlds Collide/After Worlds Collide — there was an omnibus on the shelf at the public library when I was growing up. (Not sure if I read the books before or after seeing the film on TV.) Surely the science in Wandering Earth can’t be worse than the science in the Worlds Collide movie (when they launch the ship on a roller coaster track) …

  12. 10) — Not to mention that Catherine Tate has also been giving voice to Magica de Spell on the new DuckTales.

    Uh huh, she loves the pixel’s uncle, yeah yeah…

  13. Should the word “Gilmore” in the Longyear entry be “film”? It looks a likely autocorrect after a small typo. Otherwise I’m not getting it….

    Thanks for doing these, Cat and Mike!

  14. Yeah, I started trying to figure out “Gilmore” as Cockney Rhyming Slang. (Pearls? Twirls? Unfurls?) But Lenore Jones’s suggestion of autocorrect sounds a lot more plausible. (If less fun.) 🙂

    My reaction to the name Philip Wylie is a lot like Contrarius’s: I seem to have positive associations, but I cannot remember reading anything in particular, or what I liked about it.

    (14) I genuinely thought I’d read most of Frank Herbert’s works, but this one isn’t ringing any bells at all.

    Does it seem odd to anyone else that we’ve adopted the Japanese word “kaiju” into English, but still insist on referring to Gojira as “Godzilla”?

  15. Wylie’s GLADIATOR was a strong influence on Siegel’s prose story “The Reign of the Superman,” which he published in his own fanzine.

    That story evolved into SUPERMAN, going through a heck of a lot of changes along the way. But the chain of influence is discernible.

  16. 10) Wylie had a significant career as a cultural critic and commentator. His most famous book is probably “Generation of Vipers” (1942), a Mencken-esque assault on all of American society, but the book’s most pernicious but popular idea was “Momism”. Wylie argued America was mother-dominated: Mom has imposed on her sons and her husband and so America has suffered a decline in masculinity. Furthermore the national economy has been perverted because Mom has control of the household finances, so everything detestable about capitalism, commerce and advertising is also her fault. I’ve read a lot of American journalism and essays from the 50s and 60s and it was an idea that many held to be absolutely true.

  17. Gilmore should’ve been film but been my post-trauma brain doesn’t always notice such word substitution, so auto-correct got away with that blunder.

    Mike, please fix.

  18. Re: Longyear. It was from one of his essays that I learned about the “Schenectady” story as the origin of SF stories. I read that collection long before reading Enemy Mine.

    10) Recently re-read When Worlds Collide for the SFF Audio Podcast. Yeah, the science in Wandering Earth isn’t THAT much worse…and I wouldn’t mind someone tackling AFTER WORLDS COLLIDE someday. I gather that 2012 started it’s life as a remake of WWC…

    I didn’t realize Boxleitner was on Supergirl. Cool. Does Scarecrow and Mrs. King count as genre? I remember way back in the day, a friend of mine was excited when Boxleitner joined the B5 cast, because of his Scarecrow work.

  19. 10) Oh, and Boxleitner also reprised his role as Alan Bradley in the video game TRON 2.0, a circa-2003 shooter that for my money was a better sequel than TRON: Legacy.

  20. @Xtifr:

    Does it seem odd to anyone else that we’ve adopted the Japanese word “kaiju” into English, but still insist on referring to Gojira as “Godzilla”?

    No; we’re accustomed to the latter by long use. If news announcers were required to use the Japanese pronunciation we might have converted (cf Peking/Beijing), but there’s nothing omnipresent to change what we’re used to. I don’t know whether the ~English pronunciation was a slip, a reasoned decision, or an example of Jubal Harshaw’s saying that an editor likes the flavor of a submission better after pissing on it, but it has inertia in its corner.

    @Kurt Busiek: Interesting; I’ve seen suggestions that Siegel derived Superman from protective-force stories such as the Golem of Prague, but not that he personally had an early draft closer to Wylie.

  21. @Chip, @Xtifr

    Besides r/l being one sound in Japanese, the ‘ji’ syllable can also be transliterated ‘zi’ (which doesn’t reflect its pronunciation, but is more based on its position in the Japanese syllabary). So ‘Gozila’ is a possible alternate transliteration of ‘Gojira’, and from there to ‘Godzilla’ isn’t a large step.

    (Plus, the name just sounds more impressive with ‘God’ in it.)

  22. 10) One thing that threw me slightly when I read WHEN/AFTER WORLDS COLLIDE was that the protagonist is a heroic white South African, which seemed to me in the era of anti-apartheid to be a contradiction in terms. His THE DISAPPEARANCE, while full of antiquated gender ideas and assumptions, is not quite so horrible as might be expected from the author of GENERATION OF VIPERS.
    10) Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin was his full name; he was half-Chinese, but his dustjacket photos were pretty carefully picked to minimize perception of that fact. He was excluded from permanent residency in the United States because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law which prohibited immigration for persons of “50% or greater” Oriental blood, and had to continually renew his six-month temporary visitor’s visa. Eventually, a private act of Congress personally granted his daughter and him the right of permanent residence in the United States, with eligibility for naturalization, which he later completed.
    10) Buck Coulson, in collaboration with Gene DeWeese, made his first pro sales with the Man from U.N.C.L.E. novels they did as “Thomas Stratton” (a fan-writing pseudonym combining their respective middle names). Their two commercially-published but highly fannish novels “Now You See It/Him/Them…” and “Charles Fort Never Mentioned Wombats” are set at Worldcons, and replete with familiar names and sensitive fannish faces of the era [many, alas, no longer with us], carefully referred to by first-name-only unless permission was granted. Bob Tucker, creator of Tuckerization, allowed them to fictionalize him shamelessly to fit the needs of the plots.

  23. Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey says Buck Coulson, in collaboration with Gene DeWeese, made his first pro sales with the Man from U.N.C.L.E. novels they did as “Thomas Stratton” (a fan-writing pseudonym combining their respective middle names).

    The number of genre writers who wrote Man from U.N.C.L.E novels is damn infinite which is why I sometimes don’t note it in a Birthday note. There must be hundreds of those novels. I’ve never read any of them. Are they entertaining enough to be worth reading?

  24. @Chip Hitchcock: A minor quibble with your paraquote–Jubal Harshaw said editors liked the flavor better after they peed in it, not on it. To remember the difference, just think of the editorial process as a slightly perverse water sharing ceremony.

  25. Japanese monster names got standardized after Godzilla (Gojira). You take the name of an animal and add “ra” to the end to make it a monster. So Mothra is a giant moth, gamera is a giant turtle (kamera already means something else), ebira is a giant shrimp, etc.

    But gojira means “gorilla-whale.” Apparently the plans changed but they kept the name.

  26. (10) Its Barry B. Longyear. He was GOH at Windycon where his GOH speech was a long monologue on including his middle initial in his name, complete with visual aids such as a large fuzzy bee doll that he smacked with a mallet several times, wearing a yellow and black banded shirt, and finally having his wife enter, mincing, wearing a green sheath dress with a headdress looking like a sunflower, holding a leaf in each hand.

    (10) One of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. books that DeWeese and Coulson wrote was The Mind Twisters Affair. It was set in Munchie, Indiana, and involved a THRUSH experiment in mind control. The other novel, The Invisibility Affair, was set around Lake Michigan, so both were set in their literal “back yards.”

  27. Chip:

    Interesting; I’ve seen suggestions that Siegel derived Superman from protective-force stories such as the Golem of Prague, but not that he personally had an early draft closer to Wylie.

    I can’t say I see much of the Golem of Prague in Superman — Superman is in a lot of ways a Moses figure (a baby in the bulrushes who performs miracles) and in a lot of ways an adolescent wish-fulfillment figure full of the stuff Jerry Siegel wished he could do about what he saw in the world around him. But Clark, while a protector, is not a golem — he’s not manufactured, he’s not controlled by the community he’s protecting, and he very much has a mind and a personality.

    The villain in “Reign of the Superman” is given superpowers via injection, has a lot of hubris but can’t ultimately succeed, which has echoes of Hugo Danner, though the powers are different and the fate is different — it’s influenced by Wylie, but not anything like a carbon copy.

    From there, their second version of Superman had the same origin, but had, more or less, Hugo Danner’s powers; he’s become a sort of version of Wylie’s tragic hero without the tragedy; Siegel and Shuster just borrow the setup for a crimefighter.

    The third version of Superman is a traveler from the future — still with the Danner-derived powers, but now a strange visitor from a future-Earth where everyone has super-powers, who escapes the planet’s destruction to come to the past and fight crime.

    The fourth version turns that traveler from the future into a baby, sent by the last adult survivor to escape Earth’s fate.

    The fifth version is from Krypton, and that’s the one that sold.

    So by the time we hit ACTION COMICS 1, there’s not a lot left of the Wylie influence but the powers and the feats — which were still enough to make Wylie talk about suing, though he never did. The kind of thing Superman does in those early comics is very much the sort of thing Hugo Danner did.

    But along the way, Siegel borrowed first the origin and tragic arc of hubris and failure, then ditched the arc and added the powers, then ditched the origin. He was working with stuff inspired by Wylie, though he substituted other elements for most of it along the way, just ending up with the idea of a physical superman who could throw around tanks and have bullets bounce off him.

    But the rest of the Wylie influence is there in the developmental stages, so it can be pointed to as influence even if it got swapped out along the way.

    As far as I can tell, GLADIATOR came out in 1930, Siegel read it by 1931, wrote “Reign of the Superman” in 1932, worked through the first few two heroic versions of Superman in 1933, the third in 1934 and pitched the final version in 1935, but didn’t sell it until 1938. The Wylie stuff was a part of what shaped it, but not the only influence, and a lot of it got taken out as he went.

  28. This sounded familiar, so I did a lookup on Iron Munro from the Young Allstars and turns out he was written as the son of Hugo Danner(!). I had totally missed this reference to the book.

  29. But gojira means “gorilla-whale.” Apparently the plans changed but they kept the name.

    That, or he was meant to be a giant goji berry.

  30. 14) I don’t understand releasing an audio drama only on YouTube when there are a plethora of podcasting services available.

    In other news, I’m 66% the way through the Hugo novel nominees. 50% were mightily impressive. 25% were good with plot holes. 25% looking at the wrong side of Noah.

    Regards,
    Dann
    * <- After the Hair Club for Tribbles . <- Before hair club

  31. There were 23 MUNCLE novels, plus four kids’ books. They were often a bit more realistic than the show, but “Thomas Stratton” was clearly having a lot of fun, and I still enjoy them. In “The Invisibility Affair”, they include an incident where agents from the Milwaukee U.N.C.L.E. office are discovered smuggling a trunkload of colored oleomargarine (then illegal in the Dairy State) into Wisconsin. (One not by “Stratton” included anonymous appearances by The Saint, Miss Marple, John Steed, Emma Peel, Willie Garvin, Tommy Hambledon, Neddie Seagoon, Father Brown, Sherlock Holmes, and Fu Manchu.)

  32. I went on a Philip Wylie jag in my late teens/early 20’s, and would have mentioned his “Momism” thing here if no one else had. Looking back, as best I can recall, his nonfiction could be an odd mix of forward-thinking ideas and WTF crankiness, writing an absolute surety of his correctness even as he might come across as self-contradictory. Common descriptions of his nf style include “iconoclast”, “choleric”, “curmudgeonly”, etc. Stylistically, I’d put him on a spectrum somewhere between Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand (though pretty sure he would have despised Rand)..

    I always found the diction of his I read (never got into the Crunch & Des fishing stories) entertaining, if sometimes rather plodding. TOMORROW! and TRIUMPH are both nuclear war novels, respectively about the lead-up to and the immediate aftermath of such a war.

  33. Ah. I read the Readers’ Digest version of Tomorrow! when I was a kid (I had access to my grandparent’s collection of Readers Digest Condensed books at the time).

  34. … and finally having his wife enter, mincing, wearing a green sheath dress with a headdress looking like a sunflower, holding a leaf in each hand.

    Hubba hubba!

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