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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
Club Notice - 03/22/96 -- Vol. 14, No. 38
Table of Contents
Unless otherwise stated, all meetings are in the Middletown cafeteria Wednesdays at noon.
DATE TOPIC 06/25 JEOPARDY (starring our own Rob Mitchell) (check local TV listings)
The Science Fiction Association of Bergen County meets on the second Saturday of every month in Upper Saddle River; call 201-933-2724 for details. The New Jersey Science Fiction Society meets on the third Saturday of every month in Belleville; call 201-432-5965 for details.
MT Chair: Mark Leeper MT 3F-434 908-957-5619 email@example.com HO Chair: John Jetzt MT 2E-530 908-957-5087 firstname.lastname@example.org HO Librarian: Nick Sauer HO 4F-427 908-949-7076 email@example.com MT Librarian: Mark Leeper MT 3F-434 908-957-5619 firstname.lastname@example.org Distinguished Heinlein Apologist: Rob Mitchell MT 2D-536 908-957-6330 email@example.com Factotum: Evelyn Leeper MT 1F-337 908-957-2070 firstname.lastname@example.org Backissues available at http://www-gbcs.mt.lucent.com/~ecl/MTVOID/backissues.html or http://sf.www.lysator.liu.se/sf_archive/sf-texts/MT_Void/. All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted.
I watched the end of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN the other night and again the ending stuck a little bit in my craw. Long- time readers of this notice will remember that I have many gripes about the script of this, perhaps the most popular of the "Star Trek" films. I mean, it is just bad writing to in the middle of a battle suddenly announce without any preparation that the Enterprise has the ability to shut down any other Federation ship's shields. It just makes no sense and it is an author's act of desperation.... Well, I will resist the temptation to list all the problems I see in the script. But most are associated with problems in just this one story. What grinds me about the end of the film has to do with a continuing complaint I have with the series in general. It is that line at Spock's funeral that of all the souls that Kirk had encountered, Spock's was the most human. I mean that is a real slap in the face to a friend who was proud of his Vulcan heritage. It is like telling a Jew that some charitable act was "mighty Christian of you." The line just reeks of the attitude that runs through the entire "Star Trek" series that of life in all its infinite forms and infinite varieties in the Universe, the very best thing to be is human. It is disgustingly cloyingly smug. And through the whole series Kirk and McCoy held up to Spock an apparent superiority that being an emotional being had over being a purely logical one. The series gives us such stacked arguments as claiming that if there is only a chance in a million of surviving some crisis then a purely logical being gives up and an emotional being goes for the one shot in a million. Actually I would think that the emotional human might well be demoralized and give up while the rational being would take the path of greatest expectation. But time and again bad writing in the series contrived to make the emotional approach seem better than the rational one and then have the dim-witted humans gloat over Spock and enjoy his annoyance.
When "Star Trek: The Next Generation" began and they finally had an intellectual as captain of an Enterprise it seemed like at least now we could dump this conceit of universal human superiority. No way! Now Spock was replaced by Data, a robot. And what is his chief goal in life--or at least in activation? He wants to be just like a real human. Their logical character this time around is not even proud of his heritage. As much as possible he wanted to be a human. His great achievements are in episodes like the one in which Data learns to have and take care of a pussycat. Such human activities are what all beings in the universe either aspire to or would if they were smart enough. Human is where it is at. We humans are as good as it comes.
Then finally it happened. The Enterprise ran into another race more powerful than humans. The Borg were an alien race far superior in strength to humans. The first encounter with the Borg nearly destroyed the Enterprise. Hey, that's cool. The universe is big. Somewhere out there, there has to be something immensely better than the humans in something, even if it was only belligerence. And so it stood, or would have if it were allowed to stand. Nope. You can't leave things with anyone having bested the Enterprise at anything. Sooner or later the Enterprise had to take on the Borg and win. Hey, who out there could possibly be better than humans? Certainly not the Borg. And to nobody's surprise eventually there are episodes in which an individual Borg learns that it is better to be human than Borg. Gag me with a phaser.
So what really appeals to people about "Star Trek"? Is it the consideration of the infinite possibilities of the universe? I wish. I think what people like is the smug self-assurance that whatever is out there, even if it is purely logical, perfectly constructed, or totally implacable, it doesn't stand a chance in a fair fight with a human. The best thing to be in this universe is human. We are the best of all possible intelligent races. There is no reason to look outward at the universe; look inward at the glory that is us. No wonder the series is so popular. [-mrl]
1901 by Robert Conroy:
(a book review by Evelyn C. Leeper): (Lyford Books, ISBN 0-89141-537-8, 1995, 374pp, US$21.95) ( book review by Evelyn C. Leeper):
There are two kinds of alternate histories. The first is the kind that assumes some sort of change and then looks at what the world (or part of it) would be like years later. Examples of this are Philip K. Dick's MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, Ward Moore's BRING THE JUBILEE, and Robert Harris's FATHERLAND. The second assumes some sort of change and then starts following the affect of this change from that point. Examples of this are Harry Turtledove's GUNS OF THE SOUTH and Leo Frankowski's CROSS-TIME ENGINEER. I must admit to a preference for the first. In part, this is because while the second can be well done, it all too often is just a detailed description of how the author thinks some war would have gone after the change. 1901 is precisely this sort of book.
The premise is that Germany, jealous of the United States' overseas possessions, attacks us in June 1901. Most of the book is spent detailing the land and sea campaigns resulting from this, with scant time given to what things are like in the areas of the United States not directly involved, or indeed even in the war zones except for a few somewhat perfunctory descriptions of fleeing refugees. As far as I can tell, Conroy does a reasonable job at what he does, though things work out a little too conveniently and pat. His characters are fairly one-dimensional: militarily, they're okay, but the emotionally they are trite and predictable, not to mention incredibly stereotypical. For example, it is the lower-class girl who gets raped, and who starts having "noisy" sex first, while the upper-class girl gets rescued after being merely groped, and who waits longer and then has more discreet sex.
If you are looking for an alternate history that dwells on "what- if" battles and wars, then you will probably enjoy this. The battles have a very World War I feel to them, though they are also reminiscent of Gallipoli, and it is interesting to read Conroy's speculations on how a German-American war would have gone fifteen years earlier, and on the other side of the Atlantic. By positioning the war when he does, Conroy gets to compare the styles of the commanders who fought in the Civil War with those of the commanders who fought in World War I (in our timeline). But if you're looking for a detailed look at a changed society, 1901 doesn't even start to do this. [-ecl]
THE TWO GEORGES by Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove:
(Tor, ISBN 0-312-85969-4, 1996, 384pp, US$23.95) (a book review by Evelyn C. Leeper):
The cover describes Dreyfuss as an Oscar winner, and Turtledove as a Hugo winner. Of the two, the latter is perhaps more germane to the book--Dreyfuss won as an actor, not a writer. But Turtledove has said that Dreyfuss contributed heavily to the dialogue, so perhaps this is a more equal partnership than last year's team of Gingrich and Forstchen. However, this book does have the (apparently) obligatory sex scene. Mercifully, this one is shorter.
The premise of THE TWO GEORGES is that there was no American Revolution. The exact details of how this occurred (or perhaps more accurately, failed to occur) are not spelled out. This is actually a good touch, because too often the background is given as a sort of "lump," something like, "Fred mused how different the world would be if Queen Mary had died earlier and her bastard sister Elizabeth had become Queen of England." There's actually something refreshing about *not* getting all the details.
Of course, Dreyfuss and Turtledove don't entirely avoid this sort of thing. There are a fair number of references to what Washington or King George (the two Georges of the title) did and how that affected the present. Given that we rarely find ourselves thinking how different our world would be if there were no American Revolution, at least in our daily routine, this does feel a bit artificial. And the main character at one point is reading THE UNITED COLONIES TRIUMPHANT, an alternate history book about *our* world.
The book is alternate history but the plot is strictly mystery: the famous Gainsborough painting "The Two Georges" has been stolen while touring the North American colonies and just before King- Emperor Charles III was due to speak in front of it. The radical separatist group, the Sons of Liberty, has stolen it and is demanding a ransom for its return, and Colonel Thomas Bushnell and Samuel Stanley of the RAMP are assigned to recover the painting, which is a major cultural icon (sort of like the original Declaration of Independence).
Turtledove is good at research, so it's hard to find errors per se. One of my complaints is more a stylistic one: I find it difficult to believe that two hundred years after the break point we would have any of the same people as we have in our world, and in very similar positions. In particular, I find it difficult to explain how Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been as involved in politics in a society with far fewer racial problems that our own as he was in ours. I also question whether the Irish would be as prominent, since a change in politics preventing the American Revolution might very well have prevented the Irish Potato Famine as well. Other references that served more as stumbling blocks than stepping stones were Beethoven writing his Third Symphony to celebrate Napoleon's uprising against Louis XVI, and the use of "To Anacreon in Heaven" as the North American anthem. Language-wise Dreyfuss and Turtledove sick fairly closely to British English (with references to serviettes rather than napkins, for example), but do occasionally slip, calling trousers pants, or vests undershirts. (I am reminded of the recent report of the British MP who was found dead in "pants and suspenders." To most Americans, this doesn't sound too shocking; however, the American translation is that he was found in "undershorts and a garter belt.")
Unfortunately, the mystery part of this novel, which is the main plot, is not particularly well-constructed. Clues are telegraphed, and in general there is a lot of fairly standard stuff going on. There is also a fairly standard romance with Bushnell meeting a professional woman with whom he initially does not get along, and so on.
I liked the background of THE TWO GEORGES, even with my reservations, and would recommend it for that reason to alternate history fans. But it is the alternate history aspect that makes this book worthwhile. If that aspect doesn't appeal to you, you can skip it as a mystery. [-ecl]
Boskone 33: (Part 2)
Boskone 33 (A convention report by Evelyn C. Leeper with a section by Mark R. Leeper):
[Thanks to Mark for taking notes on this one, especially since as he noted, it is very difficult to take rapid notes on a lot of obscure heresies with unusual spellings and pronunciations.]
Flynn wasn't sure why he was on the panel, having never written any stories with alternate Christianities (though he has written an alternate history story), and Friesner suspected her inclusion was due to her latest, THE PSALMS OF HEROD, which is about a sort of alternate Christianity where Herod is a god-king and the Slaughter of the Innocents is a sacrament, but in the future. She also has an alternate history coming out soon with Venus saving Julius Caesar. I said I was a fan of alternate histories and particularly those based on religion. (I think I may have actually suggested this panel, in part because an alternate history panel needs to have some specific focus to avoid being too diffuse.)
Mayhew said that he came from a long line of ministers, and believes that if there is a God there is only one. He studied for the priesthood, and described the Catholic Church as an alternate Christianity. As far as his writing goes, he wrote a story in which aliens reproduce serially and the offspring literally inherit the beliefs of its parent. Friesner said this was sort of like the Mormon Church's system of having people baptize their ancestors, only in reverse. Mayhew agreed, and further said that so far as he could tell, no one should convert to the Mormon religion because one of your descendants can save you. (Of course, this supposes that one of them will. Also, I think that the baptism of ancestors may be limited to those who did not have an opportunity to convert in life. It does require the consent of the baptized in the afterlife, though.)
Flynn asked if there could be an alternate Christianity, to which Mayhew replied that there was. I noted that when this sort of question arose on the Internet, there was always someone who said, "But this is God's plan and couldn't have been any different." Regardless of one's beliefs, I said, the "game" of alternate history requires that you allow that history might have been different.
Flynn then asked, "What if the apostles came up with different gospels?" to which Mayhew again replied that they have (the Gnostic gospels, perhaps?).
Someone asked, "What if we were all Pelagians?" Someone asked, "What if Christianity had remained a Jewish sect?" A third person asked, "What about Mithraism?" to which Friesner replied that the reason Mithraism failed was that it left out women. (Given that many successful religions are accused of this, I would be curious about more details.) I said if people were interested in *that* alternate history, they should attend next year's Boskone, since Guest of Honor John M. Ford had written just such a book (THE DRAGON WAITING, winner of the World Fantasy Award).
Flynn said that in order to write an alternate Christianity which had a chance, you should just pick your heresy to succeed and see what changes. I held up the encyclopedia of heresies I had brought along for reference and suggested there were lots of starting points in it.
Friesner said she was fascinated by the Arians (at least as described in THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE WORLD). She described their beliefs as being that the Father and the Son (God and Jesus) were different beings. I said this sound a lot like the "homoiousian/homoousian" debate (about whether the Father and the Son are of like substance or the same substance). Mayhew compared it to monophytism (which says that the nature of Jesus is wholly divine), which I contrasted with adoptionism (where the nature of Jesus was wholly human until he was "adopted" by God). By now, the audience may well have been wondering what they had let themselves in for, much as the person who sat down at our table in the cafeteria one day only to hear one co-worker telling another, "The reason that you believe in transubstantiation is that you have bought into the Aristotelian idea of substance." Given that most cafeteria discussions seem to do with work, this was quite a departure, and this panel seemed perhaps equally odd at a science fiction convention.
I did, however, explain to the audience here that Arian was spelled with an "i", not a "y", as well as commenting that most heresies seem to arise from attempting to explain the Trinity.
Flynn said that the Arian heresy became popular with the Germanic tribes, and that Arianism saw the Goths as dominant, rather than the Romans. One possible branch point would be the Theodoric the Great.
Mayhew asked just what would be different in our society, and I suggested that there might be more variation in the belief system altogether. But Mayhew suggested a slightly different perspective. To orthodox Christians, beliefs are more important than appearances: you must profess a certain set of beliefs. To the Arians, public sin would be all that mattered, not private sin: one's beliefs were less important than one's actions. The early Christians were martyred not because of what they believed, but because they insulted the state.
[I realized afterward that this tied in with the Jewish concept that appearances count. That is based, however, on the idea that if you are known to be pious and appear to be doing something, people will assume it's allowed. For example, if a pious man is seen eating something that looks like a cheeseburger, people might think eating cheeseburgers are okay. He may know that the cheese is fake, but they don't.]
We got sidetracked briefly into the question of Messiahs, anointed and otherwise, and a discussion of who has how much power in various religions, before returning to the Arians. Mayhew said that unlike Jimmy Carter, an Arian could not "sin in his heart," because there was no such concept. Orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy was what was required. Mayhew later claimed that everything Garrison Keillor said about Lutherans was true, and that they are like the Arians in their emphasis on appearances. According to Mayhew, whether you mow your lawn is very important to Lutherans. However, since Mayhew made a lot of statements that I know were either hyperbole or wrong, I would take this with a grain of salt. Speaking of which, Friesner said that Lutheran cuisine consisted of removing all spices. I thought that was Jewish cuisine. (Actually, I should say "traditional European Jewish cuisine." I have developed my own Jewish cuisine which is considerably spicier. My Moroccan Fish could take the roof of your mouth off. And Chicken Tikka and Garlic Curry beats boiled chicken and potatoes any day. Send now for your Passover recipes! But I digress.)
But I will digress a bit more with the "white food" story that I told in response to Friesner's talking about Lutheran food as "white [bland] food." When Paul Robeson, the great black actor and singer first arrived at Rutgers University, he was one of the first (if not the first) black students there. His first day in the cafeteria, the woman behind the counter took one look at him and said, "We don't serve *colored* food here," to which he replied, "That's all right. I'll have the chicken--white meat only--the mashed potatoes--no gravy--the cauliflower, two slices of white bread, vanilla ice cream, and a glass of milk." His first night in the dorm, he heard students outside his door singing "Old Black Joe," a derogatory song. After two verses, Robeson (who had a marvelous bass voice) relates, he couldn't bear it, and joined in. After another couple of verses the students gave up and went away, but the next day he was approached and asked to join the chorus.
Boy, was that a digression!
In addition, it was suggested that if the Arians, rather than the Roman Catholics, had been the main group, law would have followed Germanic or Scandic law rather than Roman, although Mayhew thought that if the Romans had become Arians their legal system would have spread regardless.
With a different Christian group as the main group, there might not have been the Great Schism, or the Protestant Reformation. There would almost definitely have been a different attitude towards sex (in Celtic Christianity, for example, a woman caught in adultery was fined rather than stoned).
We discussed the variations seen within the Roman Catholic church even today, with Latin American Roman Catholicism (particularly Brazilian) showing a lot more influence from older religions than that of European Roman Catholicism. However, even there one sees traces of Zeus, Isis, and so on, and in the Russian Orthodox church one can find traces of Russian pre-Christian gods.
Mayhew also liked Pelagianism, which was *not* what Pelagius believed, and thought Jansenism was an ugly heresy. My understanding of Palagius was that he believed that people could choose between good and evil and were responsible for their choices, while the orthodox belief was that people were inherently sinners who needed God's help (through the Church) to be saved (i.e., original sin). (Augustine answered the question of why, if the orthodox position were true, people should be held for their evil acts by saying that people were free enough to be blamed for their sins, but not free enough to lead a good life unaided. Sounds like, "Head I win, tails you lose.") Jansenism went a step further then Pelagianism, saying that not only were people incapable of being good without God's help, but they when He grants it, they were incapable of doing evil.
Flynn thought the biggest turning point for an alternate Christianity was when the Emperor Justinian made it the state religion, even though he himself didn't convert until he was on his deathbed. It was pointed out, however, that at the time one was allowed only one confession, so many people waited until the last minute.
In addition to getting a couple of books autographed by McKillip, and one by Nielsen Hayden, I also got Maureen McHugh to autograph her CHINA MOUNTAIN ZHANG. Nielsen Hayden got into a discussion of whether the change to the Hugo Fan Writer category (counting works published in "generally available electronic media") was made because of her or because of me. I think it was because of her, but I'm willing to hear dissenting opinions (or supporting ones, of course).
For this panel, Leeper had a list of all 1950s science fiction films, which is included in this report as Appendix 1.
Leeper started by asking for the panelists' favorites. Eggleton said his was GOJIRA (GODZILLA) in its original version. (For its United States release, the Raymond Burr sequences were added and several changes made to the plot.) The effects are very crude by our standards, perhaps, with Godzilla obviously a man in a suit, but thinking that a negative aspect may be a cultural difference, just as most Americans find Indian films very different from what they expect from films. Eggleton also listed THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and THEM, and said that he had heard that someone is remaking FORBIDDEN PLANET, even though the original already had a certain "thing" to it.
Leeper commented that he doesn't like the use of the unicorn legend in FORBIDDEN PLANET, and would also change the editing, which is confusing in spots. As his favorite film, Leeper named QUATERMASS II.
Mann listed FORBIDDEN PLANET, GOJIRA, and THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (except for the last ten minutes), and said his "guilty pleasure" was THE CRAWLING EYE, which is good until you see the monsters.
Kimmel listed THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, INVADERS FROM MARS, and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. The last two, along with I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, were what Kimmel described as "50s paranoia films." (Director Don Siegel dismisses the notion that the pods in INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS are either Communists or McCarthyites, although the film is usually interpreted that way.)
Regarding THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, it has been suggested it was a science fiction film without horror. Leeper thought that there was certainly an element of horror in it. Kimmel said that one of the problems with the film is the casting of Frances Bavier, since viewers now see her almost entirely as Opie's Aunt Bea in "The Andy Griffith Show." (I have the same problem watching Leslie Nielsen in his pre-AIRPLANE! roles.) Leeper suggested he found the premise of "militant pacifists from outer space" in the film a bit peculiar. Kimmel said he thought the idea of Gort was supposed to be comforting to the 1950s, but that director Robert Wise intended the duality that Leeper noted. Leeper also said that in the story the robot was in control of the human, and that the film could be seen that way as well. Kimmel said that all this indicated that THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was a quality film, since it was one you can go back to for repeated viewings and discussion. Leeper said that Wise claimed he didn't realize the Christ symbolism until after the film was released and someone pointed them out to him. (This doesn't quite square with the report that the studio forced script changes to reaffirm the authority of God.)
Leeper asked the panelists what 1950s films produced a different reaction when viewed years later. Eggleton again mentioned GOJIRA, though the different reaction was in part because the version he saw later was also substantially different. The panelists discussed how GOJIRA made Gojira impressive because the camera was aimed *up* at him, and later films dropped this and shot on a level with him. Eggleton did say that the most recent series of films have gone back to the original shooting angle. The middle films, rather than being serious films or even reasonably straightforward science fiction films, were more comedies or children's films. Eggleton said that Ray Harryhausen has said he doesn't like the "man-in-a-suitasaurus," but that may be because Gojira was more popular than the "beast from 20,000 fathoms." Mann thought that this might be because Gojira has a name, and also has more movies about him (though whether this is cause or effect is not clear). Someone in the audience said that Gojira is a more attractive character. One of the panelists said that the name "Gojira" came from a studio hand's nickname, which in turn came from a combination of the words for "gorilla" ("gorira") and "whale" ("kajira"), and that there is a college course in Japan about Gojira.
Kimmel said that he had a different reaction to WAR OF THE WORLDS on watching it again, and also that THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN turned out to be more than it might have been. He also recommended YEUX SANS VISAGE (EYES WITHOUT A FACE), which Leeper said had a theme used in a lot of European horror films after that. Both Kimmel and Eggleton said that INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and INVADERS FROM MARS appear different now. Kimmel said that both are against blind thought processes, and against going with the group mind. Leeper talked about this being politics moving into the field of horror, and Kimmel said these were two of those paranoia films about how you can't trust the people around you.
Leeper said another recurring theme was whether science was getting out of hand, often involving a discussion of whether the atomic bomb scientists were wrong in what they did. Leeper said THE 27TH DAY is one of the few films that does not blame scientists; it lays more blame on politics. Leeper said this film was good up until the last third.
Someone in the audience claimed that written science fiction was out of step with filmed science fiction of the same period. I suspect he actually meant this the other way around, but in any case it's been true of just about every decade that I think about. Kimmel said that one reason was that in the 1950s Hollywood was depressed and paranoid because of McCarthy, and because of the competition from television, while the writers were all gung-ho for science and the future, although primarily right-wing and conservative.
Someone in the audience said that the main science fiction author known to the public today through films, Michael Crichton, is anti-science. The panelists noted that there were pro-science films in the 1950s, such as DESTINATION MOON and THE CONQUEST OF SPACE. Kimmel thought that while there was some discussion of limits to science in serious films, the films that showed the most fear of science were comedies: THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT and THE TWONKY.
Eggleton said that he likes that the science fiction films of the 1950s science fiction films "had stuff before we knew it was wrong," but that now we're constrained by what we know. To me, it seems this makes the 1950s science fiction films a sort of replacement for the "lost race" films. They were popular when there were still some parts of the world unexplored where there could be a lost race. As that became impossible, science fiction films took their place as being films that stirred the imagination of the viewer in exploring the unknown.
1950: Destination Moon; Flying Saucer, The; Rocketship XM
1951: Day the Earth Stood Still, The; Five; Flight to Mars; Lost Continent; Man From Planet X, The; Man in the White Suit, The; Mysterious Island; Superman and the Mole Men; Thing From Another World, The; Unknown World; When Worlds Collide
1952: Invasion U.S.A; Red Planet Mars
1953: Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The; Cat Women of the Moon; Donovan's Brain; Four-Sided Triangle; Invaders from Mars; It Came from Outer Space; Magnetic Monster, The; Neanderthal Man, The; Phantom from Space; Project Moonbase; Robot Monster; Spaceways; Twonky, The; War of the Worlds, The
1954: Atomic Kid, The; Creature from the Black Lagoon, The; Devil Girl From Mars; Gog; Gojira; Killers from Space; Manhunt in Space; Monster from the Ocean Floor; Stranger from Venus; Target Earth; Them!; Tobor the Great; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
1955: Conquest of Space; Gojira No Gyakushu; It Came from Beneath the Sea; King Dinosaur; Quatermass Xperiment, The; Revenge of the Creature; Tarantula; This Island Earth
1956: Attack of the Crab Monsters; Beast of Hollow Mountain, The; Beast with a Million Eyes, The; Creature Walks Among Us, The; Earth vs. the Flying Saucers; Fire Maidens From Outer Space; Forbidden Planet; Gamma People, The; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; It Conquered the World; Mole People, The; 1984; Not of this Earth; Phantom from 10,000 Leagues; Plan 9 from Outer Space; Satellite in the Sky; Timeslip (Atomic Man); Werewolf, The; World Without End; X the Unknown
1957: Amazing Colossal Man, The; Beginning of the End, The; Chikyu Boeigun (The Mysterians); Curse of Frankenstein, The; Deadly Mantis, The; Giant Claw, The; I Was a Teenage Werewolf; Incredible Shrinking Man, The; Invasion of the Saucer Men; Invisible Boy, The; Kronos; Land Unknown, The; Monolith Monsters, The; Monster That Challenged the World, The; Night the World Exploded, The; Quatermass II; Radon (Rodan); She Creature, The; She Devil; Strange World of Planet X (Cosmic Monsters); 20 Million Miles to Earth; 27th Day, The; Vampire, The
1958: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman; Attack of the Puppet People; Bijo to Ekitai Ningen (The H Man); Blob, The; Brain Eaters, The; Brain from Planet Arous, The; Colossus of New York, The; Earth vs. the Spider; Flame Barrier, The; Fly, The; Frankenstein 1970; From the Earth to the Moon; I Married a Monster from Outer Space; I Was a Teenage Frankenstein; It! The Terror from Beyond Space; Lost Missile, The; Missile to the Moon; Monster from Green Hell; Monster on the Campus; Queen of Outer Space; Revenge of Frankenstein; She Demons; Space Children, The; Space Master X-7; Trollenberg Terror, The (The Crawling Eye); Vynalex Zkazy (The Fabulous World of Jules Verne); War of the Colossal Beast; War of the Satellites
1959: Behemoth, the Sea Monster; Black Scorpion, The; Caltiki, il Monstro Immortale; Cosmic Man, The; First Man Into Space; 4D Man; Giant Gila Monster, The; Hideous Sun-Demon; Invisible Invaders; Journey to the Center of the Earth; Killer Shrews, The; On the Beach; Return of the Fly, The; Teenagers from Outer Space; 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The; World, the Flesh, and the Devil, The; Yeux Sans Visage, Les
This was not, as had been promised last year, KING LEAR. It also started so late that we gave up waiting for it and proceeded to the parties.
We dropped in on a few parties. At the Chicago in 2000, I got into a discussion with Robert Sacks about whether the "boat bid" was allowed under the WSFS constitution. He claimed it wasn't, on the basis of what I thought was the rather dubious argument that everyone who joins must be allowed to attend the business meeting without additional cost--except that he doesn't count transportation costs in this.
At the Readercon party, I got involved in a discussion about Hugo voting and the infamous Hugo scandal of 1989 (involving identical ballots arriving with membership applications with sequentially numbered money orders from a post office in Brooklyn).
At the Australia in 1999 party, I heard that they hadn't filed as an official bid yet, and had only a week left to do so. Since they appear to be the only viable bid for that year, this worried me a bit. (They did file in time. The only other official bid for 1999 is Zagreb.) And we dropped in briefly at the Boston in 2001 party as well.
[to be continued] [-ecl]
Mark Leeper MT 3F-434 908-957-5619 email@example.com
Quote of the Week:
Vodka corrupts. Absolut vodka corrupts absolutely. -- Mark Leeper