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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society 01/21/22 -- Vol. 40, No. 30, Whole Number 2207
Table of Contents
Bond Songs (Part 8) (CASINO ROYALE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, SKYFALL, SPECTRE ("Writing's on the Wall"), NO TIME TO DIE) (comments by Mark R. Leeper):
I have been taking a nostalgic walk through the lyrics of James Bond films, poking a little fun at the title songs. This will cover the final five, or the "Daniel Craig Quintet". I am going to give CASINO ROYALE a break. I am going to let it get by with only one jibe. My one complaint is that I associate only one melody and no lyrics. I associate this film with "The Nutcracker Suite". Pardon the vulgarity.
And the last four:
QUANTUM OF SOLACE ("'Another Way to Die")
SKYFALLIn the film this song started with a psychedelic montage of melodies, reminiscent of AUSTIN POWERS. Another blinger with the slick trigger finger for Her Majesty Another one, with the golden tongue, poisoning your fantasy Another bill from a killer turned a thrill into a tragedy A door left open A woman walking by A drop in the water A look in the eye A phone on the table A man on your side Someone that you think that you can trust Is just another way to die Just what we needed. Another tricky little gun giving solace to the one That will never see the sunshine Another inch of your life sacrificed for your brother in the nick of time Another dirty money heaven-sent honey turning on a dime Well, a door left open A woman walking by A drop in the water A look in the eye A phone on the table A man on your side Someone that you think that you can trust Is just another way to die Is just another (hey!) Is just another You got to d-d-die! Is just another (tell 'em, baby) Woah! Another girl with her finger on the world Singing to ya what you wanna hear Another gun thrown down and surrendered Took away your fear Hey! Another man that stands right behind you looking in the mirror Makes me yearn for the GOLDFINGER days. Well, a door left open A woman walking by A drop in the water A look in the eye A phone on the table A man on your side Oh, someone that you think that you can trust Is just another way to die Is just another, is just another Is just another way Shoot 'em up, bang, bang Hey! Hey! (Is just another) Yeah! Yeah! Is just another, is just another Is just another, just another It's just another way! Just another) Bang, bang, bang, bang But this is tiny compared to the deaths from corona-virus. I am not joking because it is no laughing matter.
SPECTRE ("Writing's on the Wall")This is the end Hold your breath and count to ten Feel the Earth move and then Hear my heart burst again For this is the end I've drowned and dreamt this moment So overdue, I owe them Swept away, I'm stolen Isn't that what is called "kidnapping"? Let the sky fall When it crumbles We will stand tall Face it all together Let the sky fall When it crumbles We will stand tall Face it all together At Skyfall At Skyfall Skyfall is where we start A thousand miles and poles apart I seem to remember that Bond drove it in just a few hours. Where worlds collide and days are dark You may have my number, you can take my name But you'll never have my heart Let the sky fall (let the sky fall) When it crumbles (when it crumbles) We will stand tall (we will stand tall) Face it all together. Let the sky fall (let the sky fall) The sky is falling. The sky is falling. When it crumbles (when it crumbles) We will stand tall (we will stand tall) Face it all together At Skyfall If the sky is falling you are in big trouble no matter who is facing it. Where you go, I go What you see, I see One of you is redundant. I know I'd never be me Without the security Keeping me from harm Put your hand in my hand And we'll stand Let the sky fall (let the sky fall) When it crumbles (when it crumbles) We will stand tall (we will stand tall) Face it all together Let the sky fall (let the sky fall) When it crumbles (when it crumbles) We will stand tall (we will stand tall) Face it all together At Skyfall Let the sky fall We'll stand tall At Skyfall Ooh
NO TIME TO DIEThe writing's on the wall. Craig does one more Bond film and he's out. I've been here before But always hit the floor Let's see. That would be with George Lazenby. I've spent a lifetime running And I always get away But with you I'm feeling something That makes me want to stay That would be for something like $30,000,000. I'm prepared for this I never shoot to miss But I feel like a storm is coming If I'm gonna make it through the day Then there's no more use in running This is something I got to face If I risk it all Could you break my fall? How do I live? How do I breathe? When you're not here, I'm suffocating I want to feel love run through my blood Tell me, is this where I give it all up? For you I have to risk it all 'Cause the writing's on the wal A million shards of glass That haunt me from my past As the stars begin to gather And the light begins to fade When all hope begins to shatter Know that I won't be afraid If I risk it all Could you break my fall? How do I live? How do I breathe? When you're not here, I'm suffocating I want to feel love run through my blood Tell me, is this where I give it all up? For you I have to risk it all 'Cause the writing's on the wall The writing's on the wall And my salary is on the ceiling How do I live? How do I breathe? When you're not here, I'm suffocating I want to feel love run through my blood Tell me is this where I give it all up? How do I live? How do I breathe? When you're not here I'm suffocating I want to feel love, run through my blood Tell me, is this where I give it all up? For you I have to risk it all 'Cause the writing's on the wall Just so the signature is on the check
[-mrl]I should've known I'd leave alone Just goes to show That the blood you bleed Is just the blood you owe We were a pair But I saw you there Too much to bear You were my life But life is far away from fair Was I stupid to love you? Was I reckless to help? Was it obvious to everybody else That I'd fallen for a lie? You were never on my side Fool me once, fool me twice Are you death or paradise? Now you'll never see me cry There's just no time to die I let it burn You're no longer my concern Faces from my past return Another lesson yet to learn That I'd fallen for a lie You were never on my side Fool me once, fool me twice Are you death or paradise? Now you'll never see me cry There's just no time to die No time to die No time to die Fool me once, fool me twice Are you death or paradise? Now you'll never see me cry There's just no time to die Have you tried a good time management course?
NO TIME TO DIE (film review by Mark R. Leeper and Evelyn C. Leeper):
The latest Bond film, NO TIME TO DIE, is also the longest, clocking in at 165 minutes, and what have they one with the extra time? They padded out the film with incoherent machine gun fights full of sound and fury, and fights in general. There is also more of Bond's personal life, but not as much as they could have used, and there is a discussion of the philosophy of being a James Bond or a Blofeld. And the Russian accents seem to come from the Ensign Chekov Institute of Languages. But for once the villain's super-weapon is not something Bond or anyone else has ever faced before. It isn't simply a rocket aimed at Washington or a decoder; it is something whose very existence is science fiction and beyond the power of existing science (though the idea seems to hearken back to Nathaniel Hawthorne).
Also, and this is just my opinion, Daniel Craig is the best James Bond. But I have to say he is the ugliest James Bond. He has a face like like a prizefighter who has lost more than once. There are times the script calls for him to be attractive. Maybe part of the reason he is interesting playing Bond is that he is different from the pack. It is like Jean-Paul Belmondo. Ever notice?
Released theatrically 10/08/21; available on various streaming platforms. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4), or 7/10.
Film Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2382320/reference
What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/no_time_to_die_2021
51 by Patrick O'Leary (copyright 2022, Tachyon Publications, $15.95, 296pp, paperback, ISBN-10 1616963484, ISBN-13 978-1616963484) (book review by Joe Karpierz):
There is no one good way to describe Patrick O'Leary's new novel, 51, just as there was no one good way for O'Leary to tell the story itself. Between Lavie Tidhar's THE ESCAPEMENT and this novel, I've had an interesting time getting my head around stories recently. 51 defies a reviewer to say "51 is this meets that". It's more like "51 is this meets that meets the other thing meets something else", and even that's simplifying the issue.
People have been fascinated for decades about Area 51. The U.S government runs an Air Force facility at Area 51, and its operations are not made public. From Wikipedia, "The base has never been declared a secret base, but all research and occurrences in Area 51 are Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information". This has led the general public to believe that the government is hiding the existence of aliens and UFOs there. Which brings us to the story of 51.
In 51, O'Leary posits that the story of aliens and UFOs is itself a cover up for something more sinister and frightening. Yes, there's a conspiracy going on there, something secret and foreboding. But it's something different that we've ever seen before--at least that I've ever seen before. And the cover up has been going on for decades.
The story starts off with Nuke (Adam Pagnucco) driving home from an AA meeting in a brutal winter snowstorm. He encounters an old homeless guy on the road, and, in an act of humanitarianism, pulls over to get him out of the cold. As they talk, Nuke realizes that it's his old college buddy Winston Koop. Nuke takes him home, cleans him up, and in return Koop begins to tell him the most bizarre story about Imaginary Friends. Imaginary Friends that came through a portal called the Door to Anywhere that opened up, most likely, at the site of the Trinity nuclear bomb test back in the neighborhood of World War II.
And that's just the start of it. Koop's story is woven back and forth through time, back to the 1940s, of course, through the present day across a number of varied locations. The story is told in a non-linear fashion, jumping around in a seemingly nonsensical way but which ends up supporting the weirdness of the tale itself.
And the tale is indeed strange. Koop is hired--more like selected--by the government to erase the memories of people who have encountered IFs (Imaginary Friends) by a process that apparently was taught to him by his own IF (see what I mean about this being strange?). Every U.S. President is told about the Door to Anywhere, of course, and Koop is present at every one of these meetings (it should be pointed out that an IF is along for the ride to actually make the revelation to the President) because, after all, he needs to make the President forget about it.
No, we're not done yet.
There's something else going on here, involving Koop, Nuke, and Koop's ex-wife and getting the IFs back to where they belong and closing the portal behind them. But of course there's more to it than that, and to say any more would be spoiling it (And no, what I've written here so far doesn't even scratch the surface of what's going on, so I'm not spoiling much of anything--trust me).
O'Leary packs a lot into this relatively short novel, but it doesn't feel rushed or cramped in anyway. He also finds time to make this a story of friendship and growing old, among other things. Koop and Nuke are in their 70s at the time of the story, and yet the two of them, loyal to each other, go on one last adventure together to save humanity. We all should have someone like Koop and Nuke have each other, to tell weird stories to and have adventures with. I'd like to think that those stories and adventures would be just as weird as the tale O'Leary tells us in 51. I think I would like to live that kind of life. [-jak]
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET (film review by Gregory Frederick):
This has to be one of the best nature films by Attenborough. It covers the changes on our planet just since Attenborough has been alive and what the future could be like if this continues. And that future is really bad. But Attenborough also talks about how we can fix it and have a much better future. [-gf]
Bibles (letter of comment by Paul Dormer):
In response to Jim Susky's comments on Bibles in the 01/14/22 issue of the MT VOID, Paul Dormer writes:
[Jim Susky writes,] "Anyway, the NIV New Testament was then newly published. Mr. Combs recommended it, and I got a copy. The difference between 1603 KJV and 1976 NIV was striking. Plain English--a blessed relief." [-gmg]
I wonder how that compares with the New English Bible, which came out in the Sixties. [-pd]
DON'T LOOK UP and THE EXPANSE (letter of comment by John Purcell):
In response to Mark and Evelyn's review of DON'T LOOK UP in the 01/14/22 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell writes:
Well, good deal: I am off and running on a bit of letter writing catch-up. It appears that the long-running zine from Mark and Evelyn Leeper is the kickoff loc for this binge. Let's see how long the return run lasts.
Tackling things in order--and to keep the football metaphor going--Valerie and I really enjoyed DON'T LOOK UP (2021) as a dark satire on the human condition these days, especially taking pot shots at mass media, politicians, and how society in general seems so uninterested in things that truly matter and is massively obsessed with itself. We think it's brilliant satire about how misinformation is the credo of the day, and that those who truly care about getting the truth out are stymied and frustrated as hell. The on-air meltdowns of Leonardo DeCaprio's character Dr. Mindy and his graduate assistant Kate Dibiasky, played perfectly by Jennifer Lawrence, recall Peter Finch's rant in NETWORK (1976), which was another brilliant commentary on broadcast media. I have read that the writer and director of DON'T LOOK UP have stated that their movie is an allegory about the climate change crisis and how politics, the media, and the public all ignore the scientists with their irretrievable facts about the long-range prospects for planet Earth. Yeah, I feel that this movie is spot on target: human civilization is doomed unless the aforementioned triad of terror--media, politicians/government, and society--can pull their collected heads out of their anal cavities and take action NOW. To me, the message of this movie is pretty clear.
Onward to commenting--and lamenting--on THE EXPANSE. Okay, so I'm riffing off of Joe Karpierz's review of the audiobook version of LEVIATHAN FALLS (2021) by James S. A. Corey (we know who he *really* is, though). I cannot disagree with Joe's review at all: this final book is wonderful and Joe hits all the main points well. My problem is that the television series, arguably the best science fiction tv show of all time so far, is ending way too soon. I mean, really: there are nine novels in all, and one season per novel means this show should run for a total of nine seasons. End of story. But, nooooo! I cry "foul" and throw down my yellow hanky penalty flag on this. Obviously an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty here, maybe even illegal use of hands, or encroachment across the neutral zone... Oops! that's a STAR TREK reference. Can't cross the media streams, y'know. Maybe what I need to do is have another cup of coffee and ignore this rumbling in my stomach, which feels as if something alien is about to burst out...
Too many stfnal references in that last paragraph, and deliberately running out of bounds to delay the game.
Those responsible have been sacked. [-jp]
This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
I have been re-reading BLACK WATER edited by Alberto Manguel (Picador, ISBN 978-0-330-28141-6), a fantastic anthology in more ways than one. First, it is subtitled "The Anthology of Fantastic Literature", and second, it is a fantastic anthology in the sense of being wonderful. I loved it in 1983 and I love it now, all marvelous 992 pages of it. I even gave a copy to my father, because it had a lot of Hispanic authors and the stories had a literary value.
Now, almost forty years later, there is the occasional "surprise." For example, in "Enoch Soames" by Max Beerbohm, Soames says of a hundred years in the future [of the story's events], "We shall not be here. No, ... but the [British] museum will still be just where it is. And the reading-room just where it is. And people will be able to go and read there."
So the devil overhears him, comes up to him, and says, "You wish ... to visit now--this afternoon as-ever-is--the reading-room of the British Museum, yes? But of a hundred years hence, yes? Parfaitement. Time--an illusion. Past and future--they are as ever present as the present, or at any rate only what you call 'just round the corner.' I switch you on to any date. I project you--pouf! You wish to be in the reading-room just as it will be on the afternoon of June 3, 1997? You wish to find yourself standing in that room, just past the swing-doors, this very minute, yes? And to stay there till closing-time? Am I right?"
So he does, and finds the reading room, though [SPOILER] not full of books by him and about him as he had hoped.
When Beerbohm wrote this, it sounded rock solid. In actuality, the British Library was moved from the British Museum to a separate location, and the Reading Room space was kept as an area for a display *about* the British Library, rather than as the Reading Room *of* the British Library. And this was ... checks notes ... in 1997. Ah, the irony! [-ecl]
Mark Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org Quote of the Week: That knowledge which stops at what it does not know, is the highest knowledge. --Chuang TzuTweet
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