@@@@@ @ @ @@@@@ @ @ @@@@@@@ @ @ @@@@@ @@@@@ @@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@@ @@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@@ @ @ @ @ @@@@@ @@@@@ @@@
Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society 09/24/21 -- Vol. 40, No. 13, Whole Number 2190
Table of Contents
Major Correction (and Apologies to Fred Lerner) (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
Well, I managed to type in what he said completely backward!
Fred Lerner writes:
I'm afraid that you misquoted me in this issue. You have me saying "However, Fred notes, 'neither the galleys ... nor the published book itself lay claim to be other than straight fiction.'"
What I actually wrote was "straight history". My article makes considerably more sense that way! [-fl]
[Paul Dormer also pointed out that what I typed made no sense.]
Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films, Lectures, etc. (NJ):
Both groups have returned to the B.C. (Before Covid) schedules, and the films will be shown as part of the Middletown meetings.
October 7 (MTPL), 5:30PM: ANNIHILATION (2018) & novel by Jeff VanderMeer (2014) https://readbooksnovel.com/annihilation/page-1-2885/ November 4 (MTPL), 5:30PM: Halloween Horror TBD November 18 (**NOTE DATE SHIFT**) (OBPL), 7:00PM: TBD
My Picks for Turner Classic Movies for October (comments by Mark R. Leeper):
THE FLY (1958) is a film with a premise that really should not work for 21st century viewers, but if one looks closely at it one sees it is built on a framework of Oedipus Rex. A scientist has everything he would want out of life. But, as Vincent Price tells us, for one moment he, the scientist, was careless. He is turned into a shocking monster. THE FLY was an unusual horror film with no villains, only victims. It also has well-defined characters and genuine pathos. 20th Century Fox expected THE FLY to be a summertime adventure for the kids. But they gave it high production values including beautiful color and script by James Clavell who later wrote the novel SHOGUN.
The film was directed by Kurt Neumann who counted among his films several low-budget Tarzan movies, ROCKETSHIP X-M, and more recently for Fox SHE DEVIL and KRONOS. With the possible exception of KRONOS, there is not much there to suggest that he could have been responsible for how well THE FLY resonated with audiences. More likely it is the mythic elements from the story. THE FLY is based on a short story by George Langelaan that appeared in Playboy magazine.
[THE FLY (1958), October 30, 6:15PM]
October is, as usual, a big month on TCM for horror films, and by extension, science fiction films as well. Some of these have horror elements (is CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN a science fiction film, or a horror film?), but many are also just straight science fiction. I'll also mention some non-fantastical films worth seeing.
There is a Fay Wray festival (with a few non-Fay-Wray films; the Fay Wray films are asterisked), with two of the films made at the same time:
10/01/2021 06:00 AM King Kong (1933)* 10/01/2021 08:00 AM The Most Dangerous Game (1932)* 10/01/2021 09:15 AM The Vampire Bat (1933)* 10/01/2021 10:30 AM The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) 10/01/2021 12:45 PM White Zombie (1932) 10/01/2021 02:00 PM Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) 10/01/2021 03:45 PM Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)* 10/01/2021 05:15 PM Doctor X (1932)* 10/01/2021 06:45 PM Freaks (1932)
There is an entire evening devoted to the centenary of Fleischer Brothers animation:
10/02/2021 08:00 PM Cartoon Carnival (2021) 10/02/2021 09:45 PM 100th Anniversary of Fleischer Animation Part 1: The Silent Era (2021) 10/02/2021 10:45 PM 100th Anniversary of Fleischer Animation Part 2: The Sound Era (2021)
There is a new documentary about Francis X. Bushman09/18/21 the star of the silent BEN-HUR, followed by the silent BEN-HUR, which in my opinion has a more exciting chariot race than the Charleton Heston version:
10/04/2021 12:30 AM This Is Francis X. Bushman (2021) 10/04/2021 02:00 AM Ben-Hur (1925)
There are all the Val Lewton horror films except THE LEOPARD MAN (which does show up twice later in the month):
10/04/2021 08:00 AM Bedlam (1946) 10/04/2021 09:30 AM The Body Snatcher (1945) 10/04/2021 11:00 AM Isle of the Dead (1945) 10/04/2021 12:30 PM The Curse of the Cat People (1944) 10/04/2021 02:00 PM The Ghost Ship (1943) 10/04/2021 03:15 PM I Walked with a Zombie (1943) 10/04/2021 04:30 PM The Seventh Victim (1943) 10/04/2021 06:00 PM Cat People (1942)
There is another evening of classic post-war Italian films:
10/05/2021 08:00 PM Open City (1946) 10/05/2021 10:00 PM La Strada (1954) (re-runs 10/25/2021 02:00 AM) 10/06/2021 12:00 AM The Sound of Trumpets (1961) 10/06/2021 01:45 AM Eclipse (1962) 10/06/2021 04:00 AM I Knew Her Well (1965) 10/06/2021 06:15 AM Mamma Roma (1962)
And later the French classic:
10/25/2021 06:00 PM The Rules of the Game (1939)
Another day of science fiction:
10/06/2021 08:15 AM 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 10/06/2021 10:45 AM 2010 (1984) 10/06/2021 12:45 PM Forbidden Planet (1956) 10/06/2021 02:30 PM The Invisible Boy (1957) 10/06/2021 04:15 PM The Terminal Man (1974) 10/06/2021 06:15 PM Deadly Friend (1986)
Then there is:
10/09/2021 08:00 PM Fantastic Voyage (1966) 10/09/2021 11:30 PM A Look at the World of "Soylent Green" (1973) but weirdly, they are not running the film SOYLENT GREEN.
An afternoon of horror films:
10/14/2021 11:00 AM M (1931) 10/14/2021 02:45 PM Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) 10/14/2021 04:45 PM Eyes Without a Face (1959) 10/14/2021 06:30 PM House of Wax (1953)
A vampire day:
10/21/2021 07:45 AM Dracula--Prince of Darkness (1965) 10/21/2021 09:30 AM Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) 10/21/2021 01:00 PM Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1970) 10/21/2021 02:45 PM Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) 10/21/2021 06:15 PM Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) 10/22/2021 04:45 PM The Bat (1959)
A "day of the animals":
10/26/2021 06:30 AM Razorback (1984) 10/26/2021 08:30 AM The Swarm (1978) 10/26/2021 11:15 AM The Pack (1977) 10/26/2021 01:00 PM Rattlers (1976) 10/26/2021 02:45 PM Night of the Lepus (1972) 10/26/2021 04:30 PM The Killer Shrews (1959) 10/26/2021 06:15 PM Them! (1954)
A tribute to Universal horror films:
10/27/2021 08:00 PM Carl Laemmle (2019) 10/27/2021 09:45 PM Dracula (1931) 10/28/2021 01:45 AM Carl Laemmle (2019) 10/28/2021 03:30 AM The Phantom of the Opera (1925) 10/28/2021 05:00 AM Frankenstein (1931)
And starting on October 29, an almost non-stop horror fest:
10/29/2021 08:00 PM The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) 10/29/2021 10:00 PM Night of the Living Dead (1968) 10/30/2021 12:00 AM Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) 10/30/2021 03:45 AM Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) 10/30/2021 05:45 AM Creature From the Haunted Sea (1961) 10/30/2021 06:45 AM The Hypnotic Eye (1960) 10/30/2021 08:15 AM Chamber of Horrors (1966) 10/30/2021 10:00 AM Spider Baby (1964) 10/30/2021 11:30 AM The Devil's Own (1966) 10/30/2021 01:15 PM The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) 10/30/2021 02:45 PM The Haunting (1963) 10/30/2021 04:45 PM The Tomb of Ligeia (1965) 10/30/2021 06:15 PM The Fly (1958) 10/30/2021 08:00 PM Frankenstein (1931) 10/30/2021 09:30 PM Young Frankenstein (1974) 10/31/2021 12:00 AM Cat People (1942) 10/31/2021 01:30 AM The Leopard Man (1943) 10/31/2021 04:30 AM Carnival of Souls (1962) 10/31/2021 06:00 AM Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954) 10/31/2021 07:30 AM Macabre (1958) 10/31/2021 08:45 AM White Zombie (1932) 10/31/2021 10:00 AM Cat People (1942) 10/31/2021 11:30 AM The Leopard Man (1943) 10/31/2021 12:45 PM Mad Love (1935) 10/31/2021 03:30 PM The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) 10/31/2021 05:00 PM Curse of the Demon (1958) 10/31/2021 06:30 PM Horror Hotel (1960) 11/01/2021 01:00 AM Metropolis (1926) 11/01/2021 03:45 AM Vampyr (1932) 11/01/2021 05:15 AM Haxan (1922)
And some miscellaneous offerings:
10/09/2021 04:45 AM Schizoid (1980) 10/09/2021 06:15 AM Dementia 13 (1963) 10/10/2021 08:00 PM The Bad Seed (1956) 10/10/2021 10:15 PM It's Alive (1974) 10/11/2021 06:00 PM Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) 10/15/2021 06:15 PM Carnival of Souls (1962) 10/16/2021 06:00 AM Ghosts--Italian Style (1969) 10/17/2021 08:00 PM Poltergeist (1982) 10/17/2021 10:00 PM Burnt Offerings (1976) 10/18/2021 02:30 AM Stalker (1979) 10/19/2021 03:45 PM The Crimson Pirate (1952) 10/19/2021 06:15 PM The Ice Pirates (1984) 10/20/2021 06:15 PM Blithe Spirit (1945) 10/21/2021 06:00 AM The Nanny (1965) 10/22/2021 06:15 PM House on Haunted Hill (1958) 10/22/2021 08:00 PM Jason And The Argonauts (1963) 10/23/2021 06:00 AM The Mummy's Shroud (1967) 10/23/2021 12:00 PM Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) 10/24/2021 08:00 PM What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) 10/25/2021 12:15 AM The Monster (1925)
Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
On 26 September 1983, Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov probably averted nuclear war. Shortly after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, the Soviet nuclear early-warning system reported that a missile had been launched from the United States. As Wikipedia describes it, "Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm, and his decision to disobey orders, against Soviet military protocol, is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in a large-scale nuclear war."
So on Sunday, raise a glass to Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov.
[See also Vasily Aleksandrovich Arkhipov and the Cuban Missile Crisis.]
CAPTAIN VIDEO (comments by Gregory Frederick):
I was surprised to find out that many famous SF writers wrote episodes of CAPTAIN VIDEO. That old SF television show even had one of my favorites, Jack Vance, writing for it. And he usually had very little to do with writing for television or any films. It's hard to even find any books written by Vance used as the basis for any films. BAD RONALD is one exception. CAPTAIN VIDEO was filmed in the film studio of a department store and their props sometimes were things they found in the store to use. Below is a list of the writers for CAPTAIN VIDEO. That show and other early 50's SF television were before my time so I never watched them. Writers include:
I was vaguely aware that some famous SF authors got their start writing for early SF television.
It had to be simple SF for the kiddoes to understand. Much was cowboy stuff with six-guns becoming blasters, etc. I think I liked it but I don't remember much. I would have been about two or three years old, but I think I remember bits. The "Star Trek" animated series also had several stories by popular authors. [-mrl]
MOONRAKER (letters of comment by Gary McGath, Scott Dorsey, Keith F. Lynch, Tim Merrigan, Dorothy J. Heydt, and John Kerr-Mudd):
In response to Mark's comments on MOONRAKER in the 09/17/21 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:
When the movie came out, there was a novelization of it. The movie was (however loosely) based on an Ian Fleming novel of the same title. Maybe they could make another movie of the novelization, and then novelize that? [-gmg]
Scott Dorsey asks:
Didn't Disney do that with THE JUNGLE BOOK? [-sd]
Keith F. Lynch replies:
They, or someone, certainly did with the 1967 version. I don't know about the remakes. I don't remember the author, not having read the book or seen the movie in 54 years, but I know it wasn't Kipling.
A search turns up a "novelization" of the 1994 version which is actually a ten-page children's book. It credits Kipling as a co- author, which I think compounds the crime. [-gmg]
Tim Merrigan notes:
I've read the original novel(*), and the only similarities to the movie, or, presumably, the mobilization, which I haven't read, was the title, and that James Bond was in it.
In the book, Moonraker is a V-2, or equivalent, being set up somewhere (I forget, it's been a while) in the west of England, targeted at London. (It really should have been an MI-5, rather than MI-6, problem.)
* One of the two James Bond books I've read, the other was CASINO ROYALE. [-tm]
And Dorothy J. Heydt writes:
Speaking of FORBIDDEN PLANET, which we were doing a week or so ago, that film got a novelization after the fact. (It stank. I think I've still got a copy, Cat knows why.) [-djh]
The novelization of FORBIDDEN PLANET was credited to W. J. Stuart, a pen name for Philip MacDonald, primarily known as a mystery writer (and not to be confused with John D. MacDonald). [-ecl]
And regarding the title, John Kerr-Mudd writes:
A Moonraker was a West Country smuggler (or bunch of them) who were recovering some smuggled goods that they'd stashed in a pond. When spotted doing so by the Revenue/local cops they claimed to be Moonraking - trying to catch the image of the moon reflected on the pond, so were left alone as a bunch of stupid yokels.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonrakers says it better than my attempt. [-jkm]
The "Foundation Trilogy" (letter of comment by Jim Susky):
In response to Evelyn's comments on THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES in the 09/17/21 issue of the MT VOID, Jim Susky writes:
In the 2021SEP17 MT VOID, Evelyn wrote (in the lead-up to a notice on THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES mini-series):
"THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES is not a novel. (Or maybe it is in the sense that we talk about a "fix-up novel"--after all, we talk about the "Foundation Trilogy" as three novels, but none of the books is a novel.)"
So now I have a "bone to pick" albeit a trivial one:
Fans of the Good Doctor, especially those who read his two-volume, 800,000-word auto-biography, are aware that the "Foundation" stories (all of them?) were first published, over a decade or so, in Campbell's rag, then in collections. Yet I suspect the vast majority of readers (well over 95% including the redoubtable Leepers) read them bound together as "novels".
(Another triviality--that "95%" could be validated with some counting of "editions" and estimates of Astounding subscription figures--with suitable overlaps and reader/issue multipliers.)
May I pose a rhetorical question? Is THE PICKWICK PAPERS "a novel"? What about OLIVER TWIST? NICHOLAS NICKELBY? All were serials--see the wiki entry for Charles Dickens:
You could say that these were rolled out in the same way that in- arguable "novels" have been for decades in ANALOG (what ASTOUNDING was called when I was a but mere whelp).
But NO! That Dickens entry states:
"The installment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback."
There may be more meat on this bone--I am confident others will weigh in. [-js]
The Dickens novels were serialized novels; a single chapter would not stand alone. The "Foundation" stories were eight individual stories, published over a span of nine years, and--while set in the same universe--had no real through-thread and could stand individually.
Similarly, ACCELERANDO by Charles Stross is (IMHO) a collection of stories, not a novel.
Or will you now say that (for example) the twenty-one volumes set in C. J. Cherryh's "Foreigner" universe are a single novel? [-ecl]
The Hugo Awards, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, and Complications (letter of comment by John Hertz):
In response to various items, John Hertz writes:
John Purcell in Issue 2179, 9 Jul 21, joins those who fold their arms while a body falls. then look where it struck and cry "What a mess the street is in this neighborhood!" The Hugo Awards are what we make them. When we fail to nominate, the ballot is the work of those who do nominate. If the result is that we think everything in a category is unworthy we are left with voting "No Award".
Mark's complaint (Issue 2181, 23 Jul) that the James Bond film YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE should have been entitled YOU LIVE ONLY TWICE disregards the poem Bond composes in the book (ch. 11). The poem says, not that a person has only two lives, but that there are only two moments when a person is really alive. In having Bond compose it the author well points to the ennui Bond is suffering from.
Thank you for ending that issue, in which you print my letter observing that the Marquis de Custine who said the circumstances of human society were too complicated lived millennia before Hari Seldon, by quoting John von Neumann's saying people who don't believe math is simple fail to realize the complications of life it expresses. [-jh]
This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
VERITAS: A HARVARD PROFESSOR, A CON MAN, AND THE GOSPEL OF JESUS'S WIFE by Ariel Sabar (Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-385-54258-6) is yet another book about forgery, which you have probably figured out is an interest of mine. In this case, the items in question are not paintings or even Mormon manuscripts, but Coptic papyri which appear to be previously unknown Gnostic gospels or other writings that would subvert the official accounts. (Originally it was only the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, but tracing its origins led to the belief that other, previously accept, papyri were also forged.)
The con man, Walter Fritz, seems to be somewhat sloppy in a number of ways in his forgery, and in the forging of the provenance of it, but the target of his forgeries, Professor Karen King, is also sloppy in that he desire for the works to be authentic makes her cut corners in testing the age of the papyri, the make-up of the ink, the style of the writing, or even the grammar of the Coptic. These details are what I found the most interesting. For example, the papyrus is a fragment from the center of a page and written in the style that has no spaces and ignores line breaks, yet there are no partial letters, but rather gaps at the ends of lines, as if the writer knew he did not have enough room to write the whole letter.
Unfortunately, Sabar spends a lot of time on irrelevant details, e.g., what the scenery looked like as he drove to talk to someone in Florida, or how the professor spent a year of high school with a Norwegian family. It's a convoluted enough tale without adding this, or backgrounds for the many peripheral characters. Eventually, I started doing what Mark has called "cheat-reading"-- reading just the first sentences of each paragraph. This was after the tangled tale of the background of the papyri had been revealed and all the details that indicated it was a forgery, and was mostly the part about the aftermath. Still, if you're willing to get through all the peripheral details, the detection part is definitely fascinating. [-ecl]
Mark Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org Quote of the Week: One picture is worth 1,000 denials. --Ronald ReaganTweet
Go to our home page