By Steve Vertlieb: It was fifty years ago this month that I interviewed William Shatner for the British magazine L’Incroyable Cinema in July1969 (later re-printed in The Monster Times in early 1972) at The Playhouse In The Park. Star Trek was still in the final days of its original network run on NBC.
My old friend Allan Asherman, who joined my little brother Erwin and I for this once in a lifetime meeting with Captain James Tiberius Kirk, astutely commented that I had now met all three of our legendary boyhood “Captains,” which included Jim Kirk (Bill Shatner), Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers (Larry “Buster” Crabbe), and Buzz Corry (Ed Kemmer). It’s funny how an often charmed life can include real life friendships with childhood heroes.
Issue 3 Centre Spread for what may have been the first fanzine interview
ever conducted with William Shatner while “Star Trek” was still
airing over the NBC Television Network.
L’Incroyable Cinema No. 3 Wrap round cover for their special Star Trek
Here is the cover for The Monster
Times 1972 “Star Trek issue featuring my published 1969
interview with William Shatner from L’Incroyable Cinema Magazine.
“BLOB FEST” THIS WEEKEND.[Item by Steve Vertlieb.] This weekend, fans from all over
the world will converge upon The Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
to commemorate the arrival upon our planet of a gelatinous intruder whose
ravenous appetite inspired the birth of girth, and shamed The Cookie Monster
into both seclusion and retirement. The historic theater, itself a performer in
the classic Paramount release, plays host each Summer to “Blob Fest,”
and will be the preferred destination for all self-respecting horror fans from
Friday to Sunday, July 12th, 13th, and 14th.
years ago, I was invited by my beloved friend, Wes Shank, to his home to meet
his nefarious tenant. Wes left us, sadly, a year ago … but his protege
continues to mystify, charm, and entertain millions of adoring fans.
follows is the link to a hopefully entertaining chronicle of one of my less
successful show business associations…with one of filmdom’s
“largest” screen personalities, and a creature that only Jenny Craig
could love. Celebrating the sixty first anniversary of “The Blob.” —
I Met… The Blob” at The Thunderchild.
(2) “HIGHLY CLASSIFIED” TV COMMERCIAL. Ad Astra comes
to theaters September 20.
Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
…The most interesting ad on July 21, 1969, came from Brillo steel-wool scrubbing pads. Brillo offered Times readers a poster-size color map of the Moon, from Rand McNally. The ad was a striking one-third of a page, showing the Moon, with a coupon. It was a typical late sixties promotion: Fill in your address and mail the coupon, with two “proofs of purchase” clipped from boxes of Brillo pads to get that map. “This map is only available from Brillo,” the ad touted. “Let Brillo send you the Moon. Free.”
Brillo, to be clear, had no connection to the Moon landings.
The advertising blossomed on the day after Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong successfully and safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. On that day, in fact, the ratio of news coverage to advertising in the New York Times completely reversed.
The paper itself was 88 pages that Friday, July 25, 1969. It contained 15 full-page ads about Apollo, and another half-dozen ads that were a half-page or bigger. In all, there were more than 22 pages of advertisements about the Moon landings. The coverage itself that day was only six pages.
(4) PREPPING FOR DUBLIN. The third in Anne-Louise Fortune’s series “What is
Worldcon” aims to enlighten the YouTube generation. “Three
Essential Elements” covers the business meeting and site selection, among
(5) I AM NO MAN. Nicole Rudick reviews The Future Is Female anthology in “A Universe of One’s Own” at The New York Review of Books.
“Write me a creature who thinks as well as a man, or better than a man, but not like a man.” This was the challenge the influential science-fiction editor John Campbell famously issued his authors in the 1940s. It was aimed at producing aliens as fully formed as the interstellar human travelers who encounter them. Isaac Asimov thought the best example was a creature named Tweel from Stanley Weinbaum’s “A Martian Odyssey,” a story from 1934 that preceded the dictum. But the instruction also has the feel of a riddle, and neither Campbell nor Asimov considered its most obvious answer: a woman.
Three years before Weinbaum’s Martian adventure, Leslie F. Stone published “The Conquest of Gola” in the April 1931 issue of the science-fiction pulp magazine Wonder Stories. This was not Stone’s first published story, but it became her best known. Gola is a planet ruled by a gentle civilization of telepathic nonhumanoid females with movable eyes and sensory functions available on all parts of their round, golden-fur-covered bodies. The males of the planet are docile pleasure-consorts. Into this edenic world plunges a cadre of Earth men who desire “exploration and exploitation.” The queen rejects their plea for trade and tourism. She isn’t just dismissive of what she feels are the Earthlings’ barbarian mentality and low-grade intelligence; she simply can’t be bothered to take them seriously. “To think of mere man-things daring to attempt to force themselves upon us,” she says. “What is the universe coming to?” Rebuffed, the Earth men launch a full invasion; the Golans (who narrate the tale) obliterate them. End of story. A case study in thinking better than men but not like men.
“The Conquest of Gola” is one of the twenty-five SF tales written by women that are collected in the enjoyable new anthology The Future Is Female, edited by Lisa Yaszek…
With the announcement of a prequel to Suzanne Collins’s popular young adult trilogy The Hunger Games, there has been a wealth of discourse on why it’s finally time to bring back dystopian YA. It’s a trend that dominated both the YA scene and the box office in the early 2010s, with the success of The Hunger Games seeing major film production companies competing in a fierce battle for the next big blockbuster hit.
…But what about the books? Is Suzanne Collins bringing back dystopian YA? Is the trend finally rising from the ashes, allowing us all to relive our best 2012 selves? Well, you can’t bring back something that never really left.
Despite the apparent decline of dystopian YA movies in Hollywood, a steady stream of young adult novels in recent years has kept the genre afloat for teens who still wanted to consume these stories outside of the adaptations.
Some of the most popular series, like An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, both written by authors of colour, were first published during the dystopian craze of the early 2010s, and subsequent books continue to be published without the marketing push that saw the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent driven to success.
July 12, 1969 — [Item by Steve Green.] Today marks
the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek‘s debut on British television,
where it occupied the Saturday afternoon slot on BBC1 traditionally occupied by
Doctor Who. Unlike NBC and its US affiliates, the BBC opened with ‘Where
No Man Has Gone Before’, the second pilot and the first to feature William
Shatner as James T Kirk. As one of those captivated viewers, this means July
12, 2019 is also the fiftieth anniversary of my becoming a Star Trek fan.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 12, 1895 — Buckminster Fuller. Genre adjacent and I don’t believe that he actually wrote any SF though one could argue that Tetrascroll: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, A Cosmic Fairy Tale is sort of genre. You will find his terminology used frequently in genre fiction. (Died 1983.)
Born July 12, 1912 — Joseph Mugnaini. An Italian born artist and illustrator. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Ray Bradbury, beginning in 1952. Through an amazing piece of serendipity, there’s an interview with him talking about working with Bradbury which you can listen to here. (Died 1992.)
Born July 12, 1923 — James E. Gunn, 96. H’h, what have I read by him? Well there’s The Joy Makers and Future Imperfect, not to mention The Magicians. I’m sure there’s more but those are the ones I fondly remember. Which ones do you recall reading?
Born July 12, 1933 — Donald E. Westlake. No, I didn’t know he did genre but ISFDB says he, hence this Birthday note. Transylvania Station by him and wife is based on Mohonk Mountain House-sponsored vampire hunting mystery role-playing weekend. (Died 2008.)
Born July 12, 1945 — James D. Allan, 74. A rather prolific writer and author on the subject of Tolkien linguistics. He is primarily known for his book, An Introduction to Elvish. His most recent contribution to the field is “Gandalf and the Merlin of the Arthurian Romances”, published in Tolkien Society’s Amon Hen number 251.
Born July 12, 1946 — Charles R. Saunders,73. African-American author and journalist currently living in Canada, much of his fiction is set in the fictional continent Nyumbani (which means “home” in Swahili). His main series is is the Imaro novels which he claims are the first sword and sorcery series by a black writer.
Born July 12, 1970 — Phil Jimenez, 49. Comics illustrator and writer. He was the main artist of Infinite Crisis, a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths. He also did the awesome first issue of Planetary/Authority: Ruling the World, and was responsible for the first six issues of Fables spin-off, Fairest.
Born July 12, 1976 — Anna Friel, 43. Her best remembered genre role is as played Charlotte “Chuck” Charles on Pushing Daisies, but she’s been Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Elizabeth Bonny in Neverland, not to mention Lady Claire in Timeline, an SF virtually no one has heard of.
Born July 12, 1976 — Gwenda Bond, 43. Her Blackwood novel won a Locus Award for Best First Novel. (Strange Alchemy is the sequel.) She written three novels featuring DC character Lois Lane, and her Cirque American series with its magic realism looks interesting. She also wrote the “Dear Aunt Gwenda” column in the Lady Churchill’s Robot* Wristlet chapbooks that Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link did for awhile over at Small Beer Press.
The Anaheim theme park had previously said the Rise of the Resistance ride would launch this year.
The ride is designed to put parkgoers in the middle of a fierce battle between resistance fighters and the evil forces of the First Order. An identical ride will open in December at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge , the largest expansion in the park’s history, opened May 31 with only one ride in operation, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run…
Bob Iger, chief executive of Walt Disney Co., had previously promised Disney fans that Rise of the Resistance would open in 2019.
Instead, Disney said on its website Thursday that the much-anticipated Rise of the Resistance will open first at the Florida park before the Christmas holiday vacation and then at Disneyland in January, when families will have returned to work and school after the winter break.
Disney’s website suggested that the California attraction would open later than the one in Florida because Disney engineers and ride developers can open only one ride at a time…
The novella (17,500-40,000 words) has had something of a resurgence in recent years, mainly due to Tor’s excellent novella line. (I know the ones I’ve bought are taking up nearly a full shelf in one of my bookcases.) This time around, five of the six nominees are from Tor; the only exception (Aliette de Bodard’s The Tea Master and the Detective) was published by Subterranean, a niche publisher that puts out lovely limited collectible editions. (Which also take up a not-inconsiderable amount of my own shelf space.) For a lot of stories, the novella is the perfect length, and I’m glad to see its growing popularity.
Over 300,000 people have signed on to a Facebook event pledging to raid Area 51 in Nevada in a quest to “see them aliens.”
The event, titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” is inviting users from around the world to join a “Naruto run” — a Japanese manga-inspired running style featuring arms outstretched backwards and heads forward — into the area.
“We can move faster than their bullets,” the event page, which is clearly written with tongue in cheek, promises those who RSVP for September 20.
(15) INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY. It only takes one.
(16) CRAWL VARMINT, CRAWL ON YOUR
BELLY LIKE A REPTILE. [Item by Mike
Kennedy.] Is this
movie—about oversized alligators terrorizing people trapped in a crawlspace
during a massive storm—genre? Well, it is horror of a sort, perhaps only one or two steps
removed from movies about shark-filled tornadoes.
Having seen a TV advert for Crawl, I absolutely knew I would never want to go see
the movie in a theater (though YMMV). On the other hand, the review
itself is a hoot: The Hollywood Reporter: “’Crawl’:
No sensible person goes to see a movie about killer alligators and then complains that it was silly and over the top. So it’s puzzling that Paramount would refuse to hold critics’ screenings for Alexandre Aja’s Crawl, a film that, despite some ludicrous action scenes and risible dialogue, might well have been helped more than harmed, on the whole, by reviews. After all, not every Snakes on a Flesh-Eating Sharknado delivers on its schlocky promises, and savvy consumers like to be told they won’t get burned this time. Consider this a measured endorsement for the kind of action-packed B picture where Serbia stands in for coastal Florida, and nobody notices, and they wouldn’t care if they did.
(17) KEEPING UP WITH THE
PHILISTINES. In Science Advances, “Ancient
DNA reveals the roots of the Biblical Philistines”. “The Philistines appear
repeatedly in the Bible, but their origins have long been mysterious. Now
genetic evidence suggests that this ancient people trace some of their ancestry
west all the way to Europe.”
The ancient Mediterranean port city of Ashkelon, identified as “Philistine” during the Iron Age, underwent a marked cultural change between the Late Bronze and the early Iron Age. It has been long debated whether this change was driven by a substantial movement of people, possibly linked to a larger migration of the so-called “Sea Peoples.” Here, we report genome-wide data of 10 Bronze and Iron Age individuals from Ashkelon. We find that the early Iron Age population was genetically distinct due to a European-related admixture. This genetic signal is no longer detectible in the later Iron Age population. Our results support that a migration event occurred during the Bronze to Iron Age transition in Ashkelon but did not leave a long-lasting genetic signature.
(18) ON STRIKES. For your
edification, ScreenRant screens the “Star
Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Pitch Meeting.”
Empire Strikes Back is known not only as one of the best Star Wars movies, but one of the best sequels of all time. Despite it’s amazing reputation it still raises a few questions. Like how did that Wampa freeze Luke’s feet to a cave ceiling? Why was Yoda making him do so many flips? What’s up with the AT-AT strategy on Hoth? Why did Leia kiss Luke? To answer all these questions and more, step inside the pitch meeting that led to The Empire Strikes Back!
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, John King
Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Dann, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan
Cowie, Michael Toman, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these
stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Doug.]
By Steve Vertlieb:
I met Tommy De Noble in
1967 when I was working as an announcer at WDVR Radio in the old Reynolds
Aluminum Building in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. Tommy was one of the most handsome men
I’d ever met. He was a singer, recording artist, and actor. He might have
passed for James Darren’s twin brother. Dick Clark wrote in his book that Tommy
was “the most popular dancer in the history of American Bandstand.”
Tommy had just returned from a stint in the Army on the West Coast, and was
looking for work in the Philadelphia area. Tommy and his brothers, Vince and
Lou, were all from Philadelphia, but Tommy had gone to Hollywood to make his
fortune. He had won a gold record for “Count Every Star,” and
appeared in several motion pictures and television shows but, after his
required stint in the military, gigs out West had somehow disappeared.
around 1975, Tommy landed a position as film director at WTAF TV 29 in
Philadelphia. We had become best friends and brothers in the ensuing years, and
Tommy offered me a job as a film editor at the television station. I accepted,
and there began the happiest employment that I’ve ever known. I was with WTAF
for twelve years, from 1976 until 1988. Fleshing out the remainder of the film
department were a very gifted artist named Bill Levers, and Tommy’s younger
brother, Vince. We soon became inseparable. We went everywhere together, and
laughed from morning until night. Bill was one of the funniest men I’ve ever
known, and Vince became like my own little brother. We were quite literally
“The Four Musketeers.” I’d grow excited each morning when I left for
work, and become depressed in the late afternoon when it came time to leave
work and return home.
happiness was not to last, however. After a dozen years with the station, Taft
Broadcasting sold us to a tiny, fly by night chain that set about cutting
corners, and eliminating personnel. I was laid off, and never again returned to
the field that I hoped would constitute my life’s career. Some years later,
Tommy had a stroke, and passed away. Vince asked me to read the scriptures at
his funeral service. At Tommy’s memorial, a group of us stood around, in
disbelief, talking and remembering our friend and co-worker. As we prepared to
leave, one by one, the room had grown silent. A CD of Tommy’s recordings had
been playing over the loudspeaker. Tommy’s voice sang ever so sweetly across
the room. The lyrics of that last song haunt me still … “For all we
know, we may never meet again.” Tommy was singing goodbye to his many
friends and loved ones.
a year or so ago, I received a telephone call from Vince’s wife, Patty. She
said that, like his older brother before him, Vince had suffered a stroke. I
wanted to come and visit my old friend and co-worker, but Patty was valiantly
protecting her beloved husband’s dignity. They wanted Vince to be remembered as
we had known him in happier times. Vince passed away earlier this past week,
joining Tommy in Heaven. As I left the funeral home and church this morning, I
got into my car, and turned on the radio. I drove along the lonely streets in
quiet disbelief, and softly cried. Nat King Cole was singing “For all we
know, we may never meet again.”
By Steve Vertlieb: It’s June 27, 2019!
Somewhere in Time Day, precisely, — the day Richard Collier met Elise McKenna
“There were a number of factors that led me to forming INSITE (International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts). High on that list was a SIT review I read in Cinemacabre magazine by writer Steve Vertlieb. It expressed my feelings exactly, but in words I would never be able to match. I call it “The Best Somewhere in Time Review” – Bill Shepard (filmblanc.info)
Somewhere In Time owes much to the tender, romantic fantasies of the forties … films such as Stairway to Heaven/A Matter of Life and Death, Between Two Worlds, Wuthering Heights, and, in particular, the aforementioned Portrait of Jennie and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir … and certainly to the directorial influence of Michael Powell, William Dieterle, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. While these debts must be acknowledged, Somewhere In Time remains a distinctly original creation with ample charm, grace, and warmth to sustain its own magical influence for years to come.
Christopher Reeve in the pivotal role of Richard Collier is superb, proving to his detractors that an actor lay beneath the cape of blue and red. The depth of Reeve’s performance builds gently and deliberately, culminating in an astonishingly moving signature to his work. Jane Seymour is a vision of haunting loveliness, capturing perfectly the eternal allure of the memorable Elise McKenna, her beauty endearing and enduring. Christopher Plummer, as ever suave, debonair and joyously eloquent … a formidable adversary in any respectable triangle.
Together with two of my life long favorite
writers, Robert Bloch and “Somewhere In Time” author Richard
Matheson. Bob Bloch was a cherished friend and mentor for twenty five years. I
was very excited about meeting Richard Matheson,
and he was delighted to share a moment posing with Robert who was HIS mentor.
It remains a cherished photograph and priceless moment.
(1) FOR MY
FATHER…AND FOR ALL OUR FATHERS. It’s a good day to reread Steve
Vertlieb’s Father’s Day tribute to his dad — “My Father/Myself” (from 2017).
Here is a very special Father’s Day tribute that I wrote for my beloved dad, Charles Vertlieb. I hope that you’ll find it moving. Happy Father’s Day in Heaven, Dad. I love you, and I miss you more and more with every passing day.
… The first dinosaurs we would have shared must have been at the New York World’s Fair in 1965, in Flushing Meadows, Queens (where the baseball Mets still play). In the second, and final year of that unparalleled spectacular’s existence, we saw Dinoland, Sinclair Oil’s famous “dinosaur garden.” (A small plastic stegosaurus soon became one of my prized possessions).
(2) NEW NEW NEW! Coca-Cola is the sponsor of today’s
practically daily Stranger Things tie-in
commercial. New Coke may go better with popcorn than on it.
… Here we go to the great one for his wise advice on writing. We’ll elaborate on some of his most famous quotes on the subject to showcase how screenwriters can apply the wisdom to their screenwriting art and craft….
4. “You see. No shock. No engulfment. No tearing asunder. What you feared would come like an explosion is like a whisper. What you thought was the end is the beginning.”
Screenwriters wait and wait for that big inspirational moment to come, often leading to endless months and months of waiting. Sometimes years. The best ideas come like a whisper in the night. It could be a single visual, a single line of dialogue, a single moment, a single character trait or arc, etc. Don’t wait for some big explosion of inspiration. Listen.
(4) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 16, 1894 — Mahlon Blaine. Illustrator whose largely of interest here for his work on the covers of the Canaveral Press editions in 1962 of some Edgar Rice Burroughs editions. He told Gershon Legman who would put together The Art of Mahlon Blaine “that he designed the 1925 film, The Thief of Bagdad, but Arrington says that his name doesn’t appear in any of the published credits.” He also claimed to have worked on Howard Hawks’ Scarface, but IMDB has no credits for him. (Died 1964.)
Born June 16, 1896 — Murray Leinster. It is said that he wrote and published more than fifteen hundred short stories and articles, fourteen movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays. Among those was his 1945 Hugo winning novella “First Contact” which is one of the first (if not the first) instances of a universal translator in science fiction. So naturally his heirs sued Paramount Pictures over Star Trek: First Contact, claiming that it infringed their trademark in the term. However, the suit was dismissed. I’m guessing they filed just a bit late. (Died 1975.)
Born June 16, 1920 — T.E. Dikty. In 1947, Dikty joined Shasta Publishers as managing editor. With E. F. Bleiler he started the first Best of the Year SF anthologies, called The Best Science Fiction, that ran from 1949 until 1957. He was posthumously named to the First Fandom Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the 71st World Science Fiction Convention. (Died 1991.)
Born June 16, 1939 — David McDaniel. He wrote but one non-media tie-in novel, The Arsenal Out of Time, but most of his work was writingThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. novels, six in total, with one, The Final Affair, which was supposed to wrap up the series but went unpublished due to declining sales but which circulated among fandom. He also wrote a Prisoner novel, Who is Number 2? (Died 1977.)
Born June 16, 1940 — Carole Ann Ford, 79. Best known for her roles as Susan Foreman in Doctor Who, and as Bettina in The Day of the Triffids. Ford appeared in the one-off 50th-anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
Born June 16, 1958 — Isobelle Carmody, 61. Australian writer best known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles which she began at age fourteen. She’s rather prolific with I count at least twenty four novel and three short story collections to date.
Born June 16, 1972 — Andy Weir, 47. His debut novel, The Martian, was later adapted into a film of the same name directed by Ridley Scott. He received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Artemis, his second novel, has been optioned as a film.
Like many Stephenson novels, Fall features a huge, multigenerational — and in this case, periodically reincarnated — cast of characters. But at its center is Richard “Dodge” Forthrast, an aging game company CEO and protagonist of Stephenson’s earlier novel Reamde.
The broad strokes of the story: Dodge dies during a routine medical procedure, and his consciousness is uploaded to a quantum computer. This digital Dodge (known as Egdod) slowly gains self-awareness and constructs a mystical space called Bitworld, presiding over a growing number of newly uploaded “souls.” But the wealthy transhumanist Elmo “El” Shepherd is furious that Dodge has seemingly recreated an old, regrettably human social system. He throws Dodge out of his own paradise, setting up a power struggle that will shake Bitworld’s very foundations.
The Child’s Play reboot is out in cinemas next week, and it’s already gotten the seal of approval from the one and only Snoop Dogg.
The rapper’s not one to mince his words, whether he’s reacting to the Game of Thrones finale or American president Donald Trump. So naturally, his quick-fire review of the new Chucky film, in a short clip for his Hot Box Office show on VH1, was filled with puns and quips.
Patricia Abbott: Landscape with Fragmented Figures by Jeff Vande Zande
Hepzibah Anderson and John O’Neill: Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Pritpaul Bains: The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Brian Bigelow: Journey through a Lighted Room by Margaret Parton
Les Blatt: A Knife for Harry Dodd by George Bellairs
Joachim Boaz: Seconds by David Ely; Daybreak on a Different Mountain by Colin Greenland
John Boston: Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories, July 1964, edited by Cele Goldsmith Lalli
Ben Boulden: A Talent for Killing (including Deadman’s Game) by Ralph Dennis
Brian Busby: The Black Donnellys by Thomas P. Kelley
Martin Edwards: Goodbye, Friend by Sébastien Japrisot (translated by Patricia Allen Dreyfus)
Peter Enfantino: Atlas (pre-Marvel) horror comics: June 1952
Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC war comics, February 1975
Will Errickson: In a Lonely Place and Why Not You and I? by Karl Edward Wagner
José Ignacio Escribano: Maigret in Vichy by Georges Simenon (translated by Ros Schwartz)
Curtis Evans: Who wrote which of the “Patrick Quentin”/”Q. Patrick”/”Jonathan Stagge” novels
Olman Feelyus: Horizon by Helen MacInnes
Paul Fraser: Famous Fantastic Mysteries, August 1946, edited by Mary Gnaedinger (The Twenty-Fifth Hour by Herbert Best and a short story by Bram Stoker); The Great SF Stories 11 (1949) edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg
John Grant: Summer of the Big Bachi by Naomi Hirahara; Silk by Alessandro Barrico (translated by Guido Waldman)
Aubrey Hamilton: The Cat Screams by Todd Downing
Rich Horton: Kate Wilhelm short fiction; The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
Jerry House: Three by Kuttner by Henry Kuttner (edited and introduced by Virgil Utter)
Kate Jackson: The Strange Case of Harriet Hall by “Moray Dalton” (Katherine Dalton Renoir)
Tracy K: The Dusty Bookcase by Brian Busby
Colman Keane: Snout by Tim Stevens
George Kelley: The Golden Age of Science Fiction by John Wade; Best Seller: A Century of America’s Favorite Books by Robert McParland
Joe Kenney: Hickey & Boggs by Philip Rock (from the script by Walter Hill); Revenge at Indy by “Larry Kenyon” (Lew Louderback)
Rob Kitchin: London Rules by Mick Herron
Kate Laity: “Rabbit in a Trap” by Sandra Seamans
B. V. Lawson: The Saint in Europe by Leslie Charteris; Exeunt Murderers: The Best Mystery Stories of Anthony Boucher by “Anthony Boucher” (William White)
Fritz Leiber: “Try and Change the Past” (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1958, edited by John W. Campbell, Jr.)
Evan Lewis: A Badge for a Badman by “Brian Wynne” (Brian Garfield)
Steve Lewis: The Dark Kiss by Donald Enefer; Joy Houseby “Day Keene” (Gunard Hjertstedt)
John F. Norris: The Sealed Room Murder by Michael Crombie
Matt Paust: The Everrumble by Michelle Elvy
James Reasoner: Tall, Dark and Dead by Kermit Jaediker
Richard Robinson: Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein
Janet Rudolph: Crime Fiction for Father’s Day
Gerard Saylor: Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Steven H Silver: Heavy Metal magazine, edited by Sean Kelly, Valerie Merchant, Ted White et al.
Kerrie Smith: A High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis
Duane Spurlock: Santa Fe Passage by “Clay Fisher” (Henry Wilson Allen)
Kevin Tipple: Oregon Hill by Howard Owen
“TomCat”: Damning Trifles by Maurice C. Johnson
Matthew Wurtz: Galaxy Science Fiction, August 1954, edited by H. L. Gold
(10) THAT’S CAT. ScreenRant invites you to step inside the pitch meeting that led to 2004’s
[Thanks to JJ, Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Liptak, John
King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, and Martin Morse
Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Ann Nimmhaus.]
By Steve Vertlieb: Just thinking about my dear friend and brother, James H. Burns, who left us on June 2nd, 2016. Jimmy was a wonderful writer, journalist, avid sports fan, and film historian. He was also my friend. No one could make me laugh like Jimmy could. He’d tell me endless stories about his interaction with actors and sports legends. We’d be on the phone for hours. Jimmy’s infinite joy for life was both passionate and infectious. I miss the sound of his voice, and the gift of his friendship every day. Rest well, Jimmy. Thank you for gracing my years with the sweet gift of you.
Steve Vertlieb: This
is the story of my twenty-five year friendship with acclaimed writer Robert
Bloch, the author of Psycho. It is a published, Rondo Award nominated
remembrance of a complex, remarkable man, and our affectionate relationship
over a quarter century.
Bloch was one of the founding fathers of classic horror, fantasy, and science
fiction whose prolific prose thrilled and influenced the popular genre, its
writers, and readers, for much of the twentieth century. An early member of
“The Lovecraft Circle,” a group of both aspiring and established
writers of “Weird Fiction” assembled by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
during the early 1930’s, Bloch became one of the most celebrated authors of
that popular literary genre during the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s, culminating
in the publication of his controversial novel concerning a boy, his mother, and
a particularly seedy motel.
Alfred Hitchcock purchased his novel and released Psycho with Anthony
Perkins and Janet Leigh in 1960, Bloch became one of the most sought after
authors and screen writers in Hollywood. His numerous contributions to the
acclaimed television anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents are
among the best of the director’s classic suspense series, while his legendary
scripts, adaptations and teleplays for Boris Karloff’s Thriller series for NBC
are among the most bone chilling, frightening, and horrifying screen
presentations in television history.
also famously penned several classic episodes of NBC’s original Star Trek
series for producer Gene Roddenberry. Writers Stephen King, Richard Matheson,
and Harlan Ellison have written lovingly and profusely of their own literary
debt to Robert Bloch. Bob was, for me, even more significantly, a profoundly
singular mentor and cherished personal friend for a quarter century. This is
the story of that unforgettable relationship.
The former business manager for Stan Lee has been charged with multiple counts of elder abuse related to the late Marvel icon.
Keya Morgan was charged with multiple counts related to elder abuse, including alleged false imprisonment, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court told The Hollywood Reporter.
…Last summer, legal representatives for Lee filed for a restraining order against Morgan, which was granted.
… Morgan, who has long been involved in the pop culture memorabilia scene, was one of the subjects of the investigation.
Last month, Morgan pleaded no contest to filing a false police report. He must stay away from Lee’s family and residence, along with completing 100 hours of community service, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.
(3) NYT BOOK REVIEW ON MCEWAN. The New York Times Book Review’s Tina Gordon
reluctantly reports on the speculative fiction
community’s response to Ian McEwan’s novel and his dismissal of the genre in
The sci-fi community began calling out McEwan’s genre snobbery on Twitter and in opinion pieces. ‘It is as absurd for McEwan to claim he’s not writing sci-fi as it is for him to imply that sci-fi is incapable of approaching these themes interestingly,” said one ‘Alternative history and nonhuman consciousness are established sci-fi motifs.’ Another wrote, ‘Anyone is entitled to try out ideas. What you can’t do is write a detective story and think ‘the butler did it’ is a world-first clever twist.’
As [NYT Book Review’s] Dwight Garner noted in his review of Machines Like Me ‘people are touchy about genre.’ Kurt Vonnegut famously complained that he was ‘a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled ‘science fiction’ … and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.’ And Harlan Ellison once said, ‘Call me a science fiction writer. I’ll come to your house and I’ll nail your pet’s head to a coffee table. I’ll hit you so hard your ancestors will die.’
…This immensely valuable and entertaining volume — purportedly the first of several — captures for posterity a chronologically delimited slice of the subculture of science-fiction fandom — currently dying or healthy; vanished or extant? — in such a manner that even those folks who have no prior inkling of the subculture — assuming they possess a modicum of curiosity and intelligence — should still be able to completely grok the subject matter and derive amusement and pleasure and wisdom from this richly annotated compilation….
… So just be aware that, for the most part, you will not get rehashed literary battles of the day as fought in the pages of these zines, but rather insights into the amateur press people and their publications themselves….
(5) TRAILER TIME. Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is in theaters
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is a fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora. The film continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
(6) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott
Edelman says, “Dare to eat donuts with a dozen horrific creators during the ’StokerCon
Donut Spooktacular’” on his Eating
the Fantastic podcast.
Regular listeners to Eating the Fantastic know that once a year, instead of serving up the usual well-researched one-on-one conversations which make up most of this podcast’s ear candy, I opt for total anarchy, plopping myself down in a heavily trafficked area of a con with a dozen donuts and chatting with anybody who’s game to trade talk for sugar and grease. It’s totally spontaneous, as I never know to whom I’ll speak until they pass by and their eyes light up at the sight of a free donut.
Late Saturday night, I sat down with an assorted dozen from The Donut Conspiracy in Grand Rapids accompanied by the usual sign explaining the setup, and found no shortage of willing guests.
Join us as Michael Bailey describes his novel inspired by a fire which turned his home to ashes in seven minutes, Geoffrey A. Landis shares about the Sherlock Holmes/Jack the Ripper horror story he published in the science fiction magazine Analog, Brian Keene explains why he chose last weekend to finally reappear at an HWA event, Wile E. Young tells why he thinks of the Road Runner whenever a story gets rejected, Anton Cancre reveals which guest that weekend earned most of his squee, and Wesley Southard offers his schtick for selling books when stuck behind a dealers table at a con.
Plus Erik T. Johnson gives an unexpected (but perfectly logical) answer when asked about one of the perks of StokerCon, Patrick Freivald looks back on how his horror career began via a collaboration with his twin brother, Josh Malerman recounts how he replaced readings with full blown Bird Box interactive performances and how an audience of 85-year-olds reacted, Asher Ellis shares how the Stonecoast MFA program made him a better writer, Kennikki Jones-Jones discusses her Final Frame award-winning short film Knock Knock, Eugene Johnson celebrates his Bram Stoker Award win that night for It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life, and much, much more!
(7) DAY OBIT. Her
recordings showed up in episodes of Quantum
Leap and The Simpsons. Steve
Vertlieb writes about “Remembering Doris Day, the ‘Girl Next Door’” who died
Remembering the wondrously youthful, eternally vivacious Doris Day whose infinite flirtation with joy, music, and film ended this morning with her passing at age 97. She will forever remain timeless in our hearts and memories. She was truly everyone’s favorite “girl next door.” While famously private in her personal life, I was fortunate enough to receive a beautiful response from her several years ago when I wrote her of my life long affection for her. It is reproduced here with love, reverence, and respect. Doris Day will forever remain an integral component of my precarious youth, and coming of age. Rest Well, Doris. I shall always love you.
While well-known to the Baby Boomer generation for his comedic work on McHale’s Navy and The Carol Burnett Show, Conway also endeared himself to Millennials and Generation Z, even if they don’t know him by sight. That’s because he voiced the character of Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob, the sailor’s uniform-wearing super-sidekick to Mermaid Man, who was played by Conway’s McHale’s Navy co-star, Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012).
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born May 14, 1933 — Siân Phillips, 86. Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in Dune, Cassiopeia in Clash of The Titans, and Red Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Born May 14, 1944 — George Lucas, 75. He created the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchise. (Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade are fine. Several Star Wars films are.) and let’s not forget THX 1138.
Born May 14, 1945 — Francesca Annis, 74. Lady Jessica in Dune, Lady Macbeth in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth.
Born May 14, 1945 — Rob Tapert, 74. I’d say he’s best known for co-creating Xena: Warrior Princess. He also produced and/or wrote several other television series including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, M.A.N.T.I.S. and American Gothic. Tapert also co-created the prequel series Young Hercules which I loved. He’s married to actress Lucy Lawless.
Born May 14, 1952 — Robert Zemeckis, 67. So he’s responsible for some of my favorite films including the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Death Becomes Her. What’s your favorite films that’s he had a hand In?
Born May 14, 1952 — Kathleen Ann Goonan, 67. Her Nanotech Quartet is most particularly the first novel, Queen City Jazz. She’s written an interesting essay on the relationship between sf and music, “Science Fiction and All That Jazz”.
Born May 14, 1961 — Tim Roth, 58. Guildenstern In Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Gary ‘Hutch’ Hutchens in Twin Peaks, plus several one-offs in such genre series as Tales from the Crypt and Theatre Night.
Born May 14, 1965 — Eoin Colfer, 54. He is best known for being the author of the Artemis Fowl series. He wrote the sixth novel of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, entitled And Another Thing…
(10) TONOPAH BID. Kevin
Standlee says his proposed 2021 Westercon won’t have guests of honor and will
have light programming, so he really needs to answer the question “Why Tonopah?”, which he does in this post on the SFSFC
Relaxed: We are currently planning a relatively light schedule of programming, giving our members an expanded opportunity to socialize and to explore the community. Rather than running the members off their feet rushing from item to item and constantly protesting that they seem to need to be in three places at once, we want our members to enjoy themselves without running themselves ragged.
(11) RELATED REVIEWS. Steve
J. Wright has completed his Best Related Work Hugo Finalist reviews
On the night of Jan. 16, Liz O’Sullivan sent a letter she’d been working on for weeks. It was directed at her boss, Matt Zeiler, the founder and CEO of Clarifai, a tech company. “The moment before I hit send and then afterwards, my heart, I could just feel it racing,” she says.
The letter asked: Is our technology going to be used to build weapons?
With little government oversight of the tech industry in the U.S., it’s tech workers themselves who increasingly are raising these ethical questions.
O’Sullivan often describes technology as magic. She’s 34 — from the generation that saw the birth of high-speed Internet, Facebook, Venmo and Uber. “There are companies out there doing things that really look like magic,” she says. “They feel like magic.”
Her story began two years ago, when she started working at Clarifai. She says one of her jobs was to explain the company’s product to customers. It’s visual recognition technology, used by websites to identify nudity and inappropriate content. And doctors use it to spot diseases.
Clarifai was a startup, founded by Zeiler, a young superstar of the tech world. But shortly after O’Sullivan joined, Clarifai got a big break — a government contract, reportedly for millions of dollars.
It was all very secretive. At first, the people assigned to work on the project were in a windowless room, with the glass doors covered.
O’Sullivan would walk by and wonder: What are they doing in there?
An American explorer has found plastic waste on the seafloor while breaking the record for the deepest ever dive.
Victor Vescovo descended nearly 11km (seven miles) to the deepest place in the ocean – the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.
He spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench in his submersible, built to withstand the immense pressure of the deep.
He found sea creatures, but also found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers.
It is the third time humans have reached the ocean’s extreme depths.
(15) GOOGLE U. During
an exchange about JDA’s lawsuit, Steve Davidson told Adam Rakunas “I went to
the same law school you did,” So Rakunas replied, “Remember
our school’s fight song?”
We’re gonna fill up those search boxes We’re gonna write out those search strings! We’re the Fightin’ Queries of Internet U And we look up all the things!
Oh, we don’t have accreditation And no one gets degrees But that doesn’t stop us from sounding off Go, go, go, Fightin’ Queries!
Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Rob Thornton, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Carl Slaughter,
Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these
stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel
…This handsome, earnest, yet overstuffed and poorly paced film deviates frequently from the historical record. Most seriously, it ignores Tolkien’s devout Christian faith: there is no indication that he served Mass daily as a boy or ever even entered a Catholic church. His punch-ups with Wiseman and drunken night-time profanities are, in comparison, unimportant inventions.
But departures from reality are inevitable in dramatisations, and enumerating them can quickly devolve into captiousness. What’s more relevant is whether the artistic licence results in a successful story. One expects a biopic to sit somewhat loose to the facts, yet one hopes it will also hold the attention and make one care about the characters, however far from real life they may diverge.
A helpful comparison is Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands, the story of CS Lewis’s late marriage. It’s worthless as an account of actual events, but works brilliantly as a movie: engaging, well-structured, powerful and poignant.
Here, with Lewis’s friend Tolkien, it’s a different story. Incidents come thick and fast, but are strangely uninvolving….
the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to CS Lewis.
(2) A MODEST PROPOSAL. Daniel Dern is
making an offer –
Our dead tree edition of the Sunday New York Times this week (here in the year 2019 – April 28) included a special 12-page section, consisting of (a version of) Ted Chiang’s story, “Better Versions of You,” adapted from his story “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” from Chiang’s new (coming out May 7) collection Exhalation. Illustrations by Daehyun Kim/Moonassi.
According to social media, “The piece is PRINT ONLY.” (My brief searches don’t show otherwise; I’d been looking for it before I found this tweet.)
Once we’re done reading the story, I don’t feel the need to keep it. So I’m happy to pass it along to the first Filer who asks for it, via a comment to this post. (We’ll sort out snail addresses, etc. off-list. If need be, I’ll ask OGH to be the email-address intermediary.)
Beyond possibly the minor cost of mailing it, I’m not asking any $ for it.
OTOH, I’m happy if the recipient will in turn, once it’s arrived, make a modest (say, $10-$25) donation to some sf/fan related fund/fundraiser or other Good Cause (of their choice, e.g., the Gahan Wilson GoFundMe, or some WorldCon-related fundraiser — your choice, I don’t need to know what/who, how much, or whether). But this is an optional follow-through.
(I don’t see Chiang listed in the current ReaderCon Guests list, so you’d be on your own for trying to get it autographed.)
Owner Alan Beatts, also the owner of Borderlands Books — which will remain open on Valencia Street at least for the next year — said that the decision to shutter the cafe was, by and large, voluntary. He attributed the move to a confluence of factors, including staff retention, slumping sales, and his personal desire to focus on the bookstore….
“It’s more of a full circle than you realize,” Starlin says. “I got the assignment to draw Invincible Iron Man #55-56 because the regular penciller on it, George Tuska, had to go in for some elective surgery. So I did the first issue, which I plotted out with Mike Friedrich, and then the second one I worked with this writer Steve Gerber. We did a funny Iron Man issue, and Stan Lee hated it so much he fired both of us.”
The Tonopah Westercon committee is a standing committee of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. answerable to the corporation’s Board of Directors. Our organizing committee consists of the following people, with others helping on an ad hoc basis.
Chair: Kevin Standlee (Co-chair, 2002 Worldcon, San José CA) Assistant to Chair/Hospitality Lead : Lisa Hayes Treasurer: Bruce Farr (Chair, Westercon 45 (1992), Phoenix AZ) Facilities: Mike Willmoth (Chair, Westercon 62 (2009), Tempe AZ) Website Planning: Cheryl Morgan Travel Coordinator: Sandra Childress
Other Committee Members Without Portfolio: David W. Clark (Chair, 1993 Worldcon, San Francisco CA) Lisa Detusch Harrigan (Chair, Westercon 40 (1987), Oakland CA) Kevin Roche (Co-Chair, Westercon 66 (2013), Sacramento CA and Chair, 2018 Worldcon, San José CA) Andy Trembley (Co-Chair, Westercon 66 (2013), Sacramento CA)
(7) IT’S HISTORY. “And she’s
not only merely dead, she’s really most
sincerely dead.” At Gizmodo/io9,
last Thursday’s Morning Spoilers
column drops the news that “At Least One of the Game of
Thrones Spinoff Series Is Truly Dead” and the creator is
done, at least for now, at HBO. Tidbits for a dozen or so shows are shared in
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Bryan Cogman confirmed that his time with the franchise is over for now—because the spinoff series he was attached to is officially scrubbed…
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born April 30, 1926 — Cloris Leachman, 93. I’ve got grist in the genre in Young Frankenstein as Frau Blücher. (Strange film.) she does her obligatory mouse role when she voices Euterpe in The Mouse and His Child. Next up is being The Lord’s Secretary in The Muppet Movie. (Always a fun time.) Hmmm… she’s Millie Crown in Shadow Play, a horror film that I don’t plan on seeing. Not my cup of tea. Lots of voice work from there out and I will only note her as Mrs. Tensedge in The Iron Giant, a great film indeed. She in the live action and I assume disgusting Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse as Ms. Fielder.
Born April 30, 1934 — Baird Searles. Best- known for his long running review columns in Asimov’s, Amazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. For a time, he managed a genre bookstore in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the Science Fiction Shop, which is no longer in business. With Brian Thomsen, he edited Halflings, Hobbits, Warrows & Weefolk: A Collection of Tales of Heroes Short in Stature, and among other publication that he wrote was the Cliff Notes on Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. (Died 1993.)
Born April 30, 1938 — Larry Niven, 81. One of my favourites author to read, be Ringworld, The Mote in God’s Eye with Jerry Pournelle, or the the Rainbow Mars stories, there’s always good reading there. What’s your favourite Niven story?
Born April 30, 1968 — Adam Stemple, 51. Son of Jane Yolen. One-time vocalist of Boiled in Lead. With Yolen, he’s written the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy Tales, Pay the Piper and Troll Bridge which are worth reading, plus the Seelie Wars trilogy which I’ve not read. He’s also written two Singer of Souls urban fantasies which I remember as engaging.
Born April 30, 1973 — Naomi Novik, 46. She wrote the Temeraire series which runs nine novels so far. Her first book, His Majesty’s Dragon, won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel in the science fiction and fantasy category. She most deservedly won the Nebula Award for Best Novel for Uprooted which is a most excellent read. I’ve not yet her Spinning Silver, so opinions are welcome.
Born April 30, 1982 — Kirsten Dunst, 37. Her first genre role was as Claudio in Interview with the Vampire. Later genre roles include Judy Shepherd in Jumanji, voicing Christy Fimple in Small Soldiers, voicing Becky Thatcher in The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man franchise, voicing Kaena in Kaena: The Prophecy, and showing up on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Hedrilin in the “Dark Page” episode. She would have been nine years old in that episode!
Born April 30, 1985 — Gal Gadot, 34. Wonder Woman, of course, in the DC film universe. Other genre work, well, other than voicing Shank on Ralph Breaks the Internet, there really isn’t any. She did play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle in the Kenneth Branagh of Murder on the Orient Express which is quite lovely but hardly genre…
(13) BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Look
at the gorgeous endpapers in the Russian edition of Goss’ novel:
(14) CELEBRATING THE RONDO
WINNERS. Steve Vertlieb sends his regards:
I want to take a moment this morning to wish hearty congratulations to all of this year’s most worthy Rondo Award winners. As always, the nominated films, television shows, writers, and artists were strong and worthy contenders, and each winner was deservedly voted the absolute best in his or her field of endeavor. In particular, however, I’d like to pay respect and homage to Veronica Carlson, Caroline Munro, and Martine Beswick whose long overdue recognition by The Rondo Hall of Fame was enthusiastically welcomed, and for my lifelong friend and brother, Wes Shank, whose loss late last Summer shattered us all, and whose entry last night into “The Monster Kid Hall of Fame” was a most fitting tribute to a beloved friend and fan. My personal remembrance of Wes was posted on File 770. Congratulations once again to all of this year’s most deserving Rondo Award winners.
A cat lover and space fan is about to make history by launching the remains of a cat named Pikachu into orbit around the Earth.
“Pikachu will have a final send-off like no cat has ever had before,” Steve Munt, Pikachu’s owner, wrote on a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds for Pikachu’s space memorial. Thanks to a company called Celestis — which also offers memorial spaceflights for humans — the orange tabby’s cremated remains will hitch a ride to space as a small secondary payload on a satellite launch sometime in the next 18 months, Munt told Space.com.
(16) MICE IN
SPACE. These mice, however, made it to orbit while still alive. Ben
Guarino in “Up
in space, mice found a new way to play” in the Washington Post, says a paper in Scientific Reports discusses what happened to mice that spent a
month in the International Space Station on the NASA Rodent Habitat.
After more than a week in space, young mice began to psrint and glide, as though they were zooming inside invisible hamster wheels. The scientists called this circling behavior, which they hadn’t seen before, ‘racetracking.’ Within a few days, other mice joined the fray. As a group, they ran laps around the habitats, reaching speeds of about a mile an hour. It’s strange to watch.
(17) HEDGEHOGGING THE ROAD. Sonic The Hedgehog is fast enough to create a blue shift.
He’s a whole new speed of hero. Watch the new trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog, in theatres this November
Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chip Hitchcock,
Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these
stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Hampus
Eckerman and/or Daniel Dern. It’s complicated.]
The awards 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 23-year old online community, drew
responses from a record 4,510 fans and pros around the world.
director Ari Aster’s Hereditary, an
unsettling look at a family haunted from within was voted Best Film of 2018.
the impact of streaming services, The
Haunting of Hill House, a Netflix adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959
novel, was voted Best TV Presentation; and in a new category Best Fantasy or
Action Film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
beat two other Marvel epics, Avengers:
Infinity War and Black Panther as
the best of 2018.
Don Glut’s film Tales
of Frankenstein won the Best Independent Film category, an
anthology-style film, inspired by the old Hammer Horror films from the 1950s.
Ed Green has a part in the final chapter. It’s also the last film Len Wein
acted in and is dedicated to his memory.
was again voted Favorite Horror Host, but his large vote total was challenged
this time by Joe Bob Briggs, Lamia, Queen of the Dark and Elvira, among others.
winners included Bloody Disgusting, a
two-time winner as Best Website (where File
770 was also a nominee).
return of Texas exploitation film personality Joe Bob Briggs, who brought his
“Drive-In” redneck movie critic character back to Shudder TV, another example
of the resurgence in horror enthusiasm, was named Monster Kid of the Year.
year’s Monster Kid Hall of Fame inductees include the late horror collector and
historian Wes Shank (remembered in
this post by Steve Vertlieb);
one of the genre’s founding horror historians, Lucy Chase Williams;
Cleveland horror hosts Big Chuck and Lil’ John; Ron Adams, creator
of the long-running Monster Bash
convention and magazine; Ricou Browning, who swam as the original Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954;
and three of Hammer’s original glamour heroines, Caroline Munro,
Martine Beswick and Veronica Carlson, all still active on the convention
circuit and in films.
annual Rondo Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday, June 1 at the Wonderfest
Convention in Louisville.
SUBISSATI: In addition to editing RUE
MORGUE magazine, Andrea contributes smart and timely essays, singular
interviews and sharp reporting on the sometimes forbidden sides of horror
MADDOX: Mark Maddox’ eye-catching covers
and dramatic use of color and shading has become the look of monsters in the 21st Century.
Mark is a multiple Rondo winner whose work appears on numerous magazines each
LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (In
memory of the late Linda Miller)
PUCKETT: The art of Eric Puckett is
bright and scary, capturing a monstrous world where deadly clowns and villains
lurk behind garish masks. A mainstay at conventions and exhibits, Eric’s work
is soaked with humor and danger.
OF THE YEAR
BOB BRIGGS: A smooth-talking Texan who made the most
deranged drive-in films somehow respectable, Joe Bob Briggs returned with both
car speakers blasting in 2018, heading up a new show on the Shudder streaming
service. In a world of safely digitized horror hosting, Joe Bob reminds us that
love of the films and old-fashioned showmanship always must come first. Welcome
back Joe Bob!
KID HALL OF FAME
SHANK: Yes, the late Wes Shank really did have The
Blob, and that was just the start. Wes was a master collector of monster and
science fiction memorabilia as well as a comforting and continuing presence at
conventions and educational events. Gone too soon, his enthusiasm and knowledge
will be missed but never forgotten.
CHASE WILLIAMS: The second wave of horror fandom
was still young in 1995 when Lucy Chase Williams released THE COMPLETE FILMS OF
VINCENT PRICE, still the definitive look at the master of horror’s cinema
output. Along the way she survived the ordeals of unwanted sexual harassment
in fandom, and bravely came forward, no matter the personal cost. A true hero
CHUCK AND LIL’ JOHN: Cleveland has always been a
magnet for horror hosts, and two of the most enduring are Charles “Big Chuck”
Schodowski and “Lil’ John” Rinaldi. Starting in 1966 with the original
Ghoulardi, Schadowski worked for many years with Bob “Hoollihan” Wells and
later Rinaldi. Featuring sketches, movies and more, Chuck and John are now a
part of horror hosting legend.
BROWNING: The Creature from the Black
Lagoon is more popular today than ever, thanks in large part to the underwater
swimming and elegant menace of Ricou Browning. Portraying the lovesick
prehistoric beastie was just the beginning for Browning, who helped create Flipper
and decades of film and TV work and has been a friendly and accessible presence
ADAMS: Much of what we take for granted in the world of horror would
not exist without the clear and monstrous vision of Ron Adams, one of the
genre’s original impresarios. Whether his groundbreaking Monster Bash
conventions, his ability to combine family-friendly weekends with wonderfully
obscure guests, his mail order catalog or his retro Monster Bash magazine, Ron
Adams is always on the forefro0nt of the hobby and what it stands for.
BESWICK, VERONICA CARLSON and CAROLINE MUNRO: It’s easy to throw
around terms like scream queens and Hammer glamour, but most horror film
actresses were far more. Witness these three wondrous inductees — Martine Beswick,
Veronica Carlson and Caroline Munro – all active during the Golden Age of
Hammer but still active today. Whether signing autographs at conventions around
the globe or offering memories of working with horror and fantasy greats, these
three icons remind us of why their films will always endure.