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02/24/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 35, Whole Number 2264
Table of Contents
Correction to ORPHANS OF THE SKY (correction by Joe Karpierz):
Ugh. Rereading the Heinlein review before I post it to Goodreads and Amazon. In the review I said that the dwarf (Bobo) that captured Hugh Hoyland was two-headed. Bobo was not two-headed. Joe-Jim was, which I did state correctly.
Sorry about that. [-jak]
Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films, Lectures, etc. (NJ):
Meetings in Middletown are in-person; meetings in Old Bridge are Zoomed, at least through the winter season. The best way to get the latest information is to be on the mailing lists for them.
March 2, 2023 (MTPL): STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) & novel by Vonda N. McIntyre https://epdf.pub/wrath-of-khan.html March 23, 2023 (OBPL): ORLANDO by Virginia Woolf (Zoomed) April 6, 2023 (MTPL): ORLANDO (1992) & novel by Virginia Woolf May 25, 2023 (OBPL): ATTACK SURFACE by Cory Doctorow
My Picks for Turner Classic Movies for March (comments by Mark R. Leeper):
April may be the cruellest month, but March is the hardest to do a TCM pick for, because every year they do "31 Days of Oscar" and run pretty much all the same films every year. They're good films, but how many times can one recommend NETWORK? (Okay, the last time we did so was nine years ago.)
So here are a couple of worthy films which may have been recommended before, but are worth re-watching:
Back in my earliest days of film reviewing I was frequently asked what was the film I thought was the best film I could recommend. It was a Quatermass film. But that was hardly fair because I was such a fanatic on science fiction. What was my best non-SF film? I would choose A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Henry VIII insisted all his loyal lords endorse his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his royal marriage to Anne Boleyn. The acting is first rate.
[A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966), Sunday, March 27, 8:00 PM]
LOST HORIZON (1937) is one of Frank Capra's rare forays into fantasy. It is based on a James Hilton's novel. Four Americans, including a famous diplomat, in civil-war-torn China escape only to find they have been kidnapped. Expecting death at any moment they are taken by airplane high into the majestic mountains of Tibet to Shangri-La a mystical place where peace and consideration rule and removed from the stresses of the "civilized" world, people naturally live for hundreds of years. When first shown the film was hated by the audience. Capra made an instant decision to cut the credits from the first reel and splice them onto the second reel, and to throw out the first reel. It has never been found but instead of a slow start the viewer is immediately dropped onto a Chinese airfield in chaos. This was a radical change in style from a dignified slow start to a sudden drop into the middle of the plot. The story grabbed the audience and never let go. The film stars Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton, and Sam Jaffe.
[LOST HORIZON (1937), Wednesday, March 22, 11:45PM]
Other films of the fantastic of note in March:
03/02 4:30 AM Mighty Joe Young (1949) 03/07 6:00 AM Gulliver's Travels (1939) 03/07 2:15 PM 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T., The (1953) 03/07 4:00 PM Jungle Book (1942) 03/07 10:30 PM 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 03/11 1:15 AM The Time Machine (1960) 03/11 3:15 AM Destination Moon (1950) 03/11 5:00 AM Forbidden Planet (1956) 03/15 2:00 PM Seven Days in May (1964) 03/22 8:00 PM Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) 03/22 9:45 PM The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) 03/22 11:45 PM Lost Horizon (1937) 03/23 2:15 AM The Thief of Bagdad (1940) 03/23 4:15 AM tom thumb (1958) 03/23 6:00 AM A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) 03/23 8:30 AM Brigadoon (1954) 03/24 8:00 PM Dr. Strangelove (1964) 03/24 9:45 PM Network (1976) 03/25 12:00 AM The Great Dictator (1940) 03/31 10:00 PM Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) 04/01 12:00 AM Poltergeist (1982) 04/01 2:00 AM What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
"Lost in the Moment and Found" by Seanan McGuire (copyright 2023, Macmillan Audio, 4 hours and 53 minutes, ASIN: B0B1JPP4PB, narrated by Jesse Vilinsky) (audio book review by Joe Karpierz):
"Lost in the Moment and Found" is the eighth entry in Seanan McGuire's "Wayward Children" series. There is a danger that the story gets stale when you hit the eighth book, and that repetition can set in. I looked back at my review of the seventh book, "Where the Drowned Girls Go", and I saw that I made the same point, and went on from there, and I certainly wasn't very positive about the book or the series at that point I suppose that's a bit unfair, as the first few stories in the series were fresh and different, but as the series went on the message was burying the story.
And then along came "Lost in the Moment and Found". This entry is a standalone story in the series, and that fact alone breathes a bit of fresh air into the saga. Eleanor West's school barely has a mention in this story--and it comes at an appropriate time--but the rest of the premise is the same. Young child runs away from her situation, finds a door, walks through it, and finds herself in a mystical, magical place wherein she learns a lesson or three. What is different this time is that the message of a person being who they are and accepting who they are (and all the rest of the messages that come with that) is not the point of the story. Oh yes, there's a message, but it's a different kind of message, one that should make us all think about the things we want and the things we get.
Antoinette--Antsy, because she can never sit still--witnesses her father dying at Target on one of their daddy-daughter days out (this is not a spoiler as it happens right at the beginning of the story). It's a traumatic event, of course, and a little of her dies inside. She has, after all, lost her father. It is the first of many things that she will lose in the course of the story. Her mother remarries, and it doesn't take very long for Antsy to determine that he is not a good man, and he doesn't make any effort to hide it.
It is at this juncture that the crisis point occurs, the crisis that sends Antsy towards her door. McGuire warns us ahead of time of the disturbing act. While the act never occurs, it's pretty clear what the new husband intends. He certainly is a creepy individual, and Antsy is correct to run away. She finds her door, and ends up in a shop where lost things are found. Clearly, Antsy is lost herself, and lost any number of things, including her father, family, and childhood.
She is taken in the old woman that runs the shop and her talking magpie assistant. She learns to work in the shop, and throughout her time there gets to visit any number of worlds through the doors that are in the shop. She's very happy with her situation, but she does miss her mother. But one day she makes the discovery that everything comes with a price. The price is high, and it cost her something she can never get back.
"Lost in the Moment and Found" is a return to form in the "Wayward Children" series. While it's not the best in the series--my personal favorite is "Down Among the Sticks and Bones"--it's pretty close. It will be interesting to see how McGuire ends the series with the ninth and final entry in the series.
Jesse Vilinsky is a capable narrator. I don't know that I've heard her narrate anything prior to this book, and as usual I don't feel as if I'm capable of commenting on a narrator with any authority. The most I can say is that she did nothing to take me out of the story. I probably need to listen to her narrate a few more books before I can form a good opinion of her narrating abilities. [-jak]
FLESH GORDON (letters of comment by Hal Heydt and John Halpenny):
In response to Heath Row's comments on FLESH GORDON in the 02/17/23 issue of the MT VOID, Hal Heydt writes:
[Heath Row writes,] "The producers even edited the movie to avoid an X rating, in the end earning a rating of R." [-hr]
IIRC, it was originally released as X-rated and it was a later edit that got a version an R rating. [-hh]
John Halpenny adds:
Long ago, it was a midnight movie on Canadian television, and I'm pretty sure that version was X rated. [-jh]
The MT VOID (letter of comment by Guy Lillian III):
In response primarily to the 01/27/23 issue of the MT VOID, Guy Lillian III writes in THE ZINE DUMP #57:
MT Void Vol. 41, No. 31, Whole Number 2260:
Reviews and thoughts on SF in whatever form, books, films, cave carvings--you can expect almost anything from Evelyn and Mark, energetic and entertaining. This issue--latest as of the end of February; there will have been more--gives the results of the Online Critics Movie Awards, which--like many other critics' groups--went ape over EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. (I prefer TAR and the new version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, but who cares what I think?) More to the fannish point, Evelyn takes on problems she sees with the Chengdu Worldcon, and there are plenty, and they are not trivial. I commend her for voicing them, and recommend this weekly e-zine wholeheartedly. [-gl]
Most of these problems with Chengdu have been voiced by others; I merely collected them into one list (with my comments). The one about the Hugo packet was not one I had seen before, though. [-ecl]
This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
While I was searching the library catalog for books about bookstores, I found WEIRD THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSTORES by Jen Campbell (Harry N. Abrams, ISBN 978-1-468-30893-8), and decided to read it, or more specifically to read the Spanish translation, COSAS RARAS QUE SE OYEN EN LAS LIBRERIAS (translated by Bernardo Dominguez Reyes) (Malpaso, ISBN 978-8-415-99687-3), because the latter was available via Hoopla, while I would have to request an inter-library loan for the original. And as a bonus, the Spanish translation has an additional chapter of things heard in Spanish bookshops. The latter has an exchange that probably would not make sense (without a footnote) to non-Spanish audiences: a customer asks for EL LAZARILLO DE TORMES, but says not to ask him who the author is because he cannot remember. EL LAZARILLO DE TORMES is famously anonymous. (Someone else asks his companion who wrote the Bible, and is told "Jesus Christ.") Another customer is looking for THE CANTERVILLE GHIST--by Garcia Lorca. (No, it's by Oscar Wilde.) Of course, the person who said he looked through the entire Shakespear section but couldn't find OF MICE AND MEN was in a British bookstore (albeit a Welsh one).
There are the usual questions of "Do you sell X?" where X could be coffee, ice, screwdrivers, condoms, yarn, ... Well, the last one was asked of a bookshop called Ripping Yarns, so it is not an entirely unreasonable question. There are multiple instances of people wanting to drop off their (very young) children while they go elsewhere. And so on.
This is the sort of book best borrowed from the library--it's very "frivolous" and not something to be re-read. You could give it to your favorite bookseller, but they have probably seen it already. [-ecl]
Mark Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org Quote of the Week: A little learning is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance is just as bad. --Bob Edwards
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