Saturday, June 25, 2016

Friday's Forgotten Books: the links to the reviews and more: more new links added

The weekly assembly of reviews and citations of books and related literature not yet or no longer given much attention, or at least usually less than they deserve. Hosted usually by founder Patti Abbott; this week and next hosted here. 

Patricia Abbott: Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

Sergio Angelini:  He Won't Need It Now and The Dead Stay Dumb by James Hadley Chase; The Madman's Room by Paul Halter

Mark Baker: Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

Yvette Banek: The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

Les Blatt: Silence in Court by Patricia Wentworth

Brian Busby: Return to Rainbow Country by William Davidson

Bill Crider: She Got What She Wanted by Orrie Hitt

Scott A. Cupp: The Lost Continent (aka Beyond 30) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

William F. Deeck: Too Many Doctors by Holly Roth

Martin Edwards: Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh; Robert Barnard reissues; Murder Intended by Francis Beeding; The Link by Anthony Gethryn

Barry Ergang (hosted by Kevin Tipple): The Twisted Ones by "Vin Packer" (Marijane Meaker)

Will Errickson: Annie, Come Home by "Barbara Michaels" (Barbara Mertz)

Curt Evans: Death Brings a Storke and Cradled in Fear by Anita Boutell; Murder in the Closet and other guides to LGBTQ+ crime fiction

Fred Fitch: The Grifters by Jim Thompson

Paul Fraser: Science Fantasy (#69, January-February 1965) edited by Kyril Bonfiglioli (with Keith Roberts)

Ed Gorman: Zigzag by Bill Pronzini

John Grant: Before the Poison by Peter Robinson

Rich Horton: The City of Lilies by Anthony Pryde and R. K. Weekes

Jerry House: Isaac Asimov Presents: The Best Science Fiction of the 19th Century edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh

Tracy K.: The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie

George Kelley: The Dying Earth by Jack Vance; Our Kind of Traitor by "John le Carré"

Margot Kinberg: Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie

Rob Kitchin: The Man from Beijing by Hanning Mankell

Richard Krauss: (Bestseller Mystery #40:) $106,000 Blood Money by Dashiell Hammett

B. V. Lawson: The Singing Spider by Angus MacVicar

Evan Lewis: The Earp Curse by Glenn G. Boyer

Jonathan Lewis: "The New Catacomb" by Arthur Conan Doyle; "Three Steps Back" by Robert Weinberg

Steve Lewis: Murder is My Business by "Brett Halliday"

Todd Mason: Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis, Helen Hoke, Hugh Lamb, Michael Parry, and other anthology editors of the '60s and '70s

John F. Norris: Death and the Professors by Kathleen Sproul; Here's Blood in Your Eye by Manning Long

John O'Neill: Lincoln's Dreams by Connie Willis

Mildred Perkins: Rise Again by Ben Tripp

James Reasoner: Pistol Passport by Eugene Cunningham

Richard Robinson: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction edited by Jeff Prucher 

Gerard Saylor: The Driftless Area by Tom Drury; A Sleeping Life by Ruth Rendell

Steve Scott: "Game for Blondes" by John D. MacDonald

Jack Seabrook: "Mrs. Herman and Mrs. Kenmore" by Donald Honig

Kerrie Smith: Treachery in Bordeaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

Prashant Trikannad: Killing Floor by Lee Child

David Vineyard: The Man from the Norlands by John Buchan

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Overlooked A/V: Films, Television, Radio and More: the links to reviews, interviews, and more

The weekly roundup of reviews, interviews, and other citations of (often, though not always) underappreciated examples of the dramatic and related arts. As always, please let me know if I've missed your or anyone else's contribution this week in comments... thanks. 
Layer Cake
Anne Billson: 10 Underrated Crime Drama Films from the 1990s

Anonymous: Speedy; Please Give; After the Wedding

Bhob Stewart: "22G"

The Big Broadcast: Juneteenth, 2016
  • 7 p.m. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
    “The Callicles Matter” Parts 1 and 2 (CBS, Original Airdates April 30th and May 1st, 1956)
  • 7:30 p.m. My Favorite Husband
    “Knitting Baby Booties” (CBS, Original airdate September 24, 1948)
  • 8 p.m. Gunsmoke
    “Man and Boy” (CBS, Original airdate October 27, 1957)
  • 8:30 p.m. The Great Gilder sleeve
    “Father's Day Chair” (NBC, Original airdate June 21, 1942)
  • 9 p.m. Dragnet
    "Red Light Bandit” (NBC, Original airdate July 14, 1949)
  • 9:30 p.m. The Adventures of Father Brown
    “The Three Tools of Death” (Mutual/MBS, Original airdate July 22, 1945)
  • 10 p.m. Lux Radio Theater
    “SORELL AND SON” (CBS, Original airdate January 01, 1940)
Bill Crider: Layer Cake [trailer]

B. V. Lawson: Media Murder

Colin McGulgan: Ice Cold in Alex

Comedy Film Nerds: Paul F. Tompkins

Cult TV: The Avengers: "Brought to Book" (mildly NSFW image at top of post)

Cynthia Fuchs: Human Rights Watch Film Festival: Starless Dreams; The Crossing

Dan Stumpf: The White Gorilla

David Cramner: Four Faces West; Monte Walsh; The Grave of Marcus Pauly
Person of Interest

Elizabeth Foxwell: Detective Kitty O'Day; Mike Chomko on PulpFest and Argosy artists/illustrators

Eric Hillis: Woman on the Run

George Kelley: Maggie's Plan

Gilbert Colon: Person of Interest

"Gilligan Newton-John": Satan's Blood; Nuda per Satana (NSFW imagery)

Iba Dawson: films v. the books they adapt

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Let Freedom Ring; Crime Classics

Jackie Kashian: Sarah Urling, private detective

Urling a Miss Fisher's fan...

Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin: The Jackie and Laurie Show

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Titanic (1953 film)
The Forbidden Kingdom

James Clark: Life (2015 film)

James Reasoner: The Forbidden Kingdom

Janet Varney: Gary Anthony Williams

Jerry House: The Trail Beyond

Joe Yanick: River's Edge and other underrated films of 1986

John Grant: The Phantom in the House; Key Largo; Salvare la faccia

Jonathan Lewis: Skyjacked

K. A. Laity: Much Ado About Nothing (Dundee Rep, stage)
Key Largo

Karen Hannsberry: Stalag 17

Ken Levine: Difficult People; multi-camera sitcoms; writer credits

Kliph Nesteroff: Rose Marie

Kristina Dijan: The Underworld Story; The Sound of Fury; The Rains Came

Laura G.: Prairie Law; Stage to Chino; James A. FitzPatrick TravelTalks shorts (Volume 1); Key Largo
Carnival of Souls

Lesley Gaspar: Laura

Lindsey: Carnival of Souls; A Woman's Secrets

Lucy Brown: Best of Men

Marty McKee: The Girl Next Door (1978 film); (The FBI:) Cosa Nostra: An Arch Enemy of the FBI

Mildred Perkins: The Jungle Book

Mitchell Hadley: The Rebel; TV Guide, 20 June 1959

Noel Vera: Heneral Luna; 100 Best Filipino Films

Patricia Abbott: Kate and Allie; Weiner

Patricia Nolan-Hall: Dreamboat; Woman's World; The Winslow Boy

Paul D. Brazill: Kes

Rachel Stecher: The Bride Walks Out

Rick: Pride and Prejudice (1940 film)

Rod Lott: The Last Slumber Party; Careful What You Wish For; Natural Born Pranksters (ugly sort of possibly NSFW image)

"Rupert Pupkin": SutureReturn of the Killer Tomatoes

Ruth Kerr: The Conquest of Everest; Reel Infatuation

Salome Wilde: She Couldn't Take It; Scarlet Street

Scott A. Cupp: Wild in the Streets

Sergio Angelini: Campion: "Police at the Funeral"

Stacia Jones: If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium; Gold

Stacie Ponder: The House That Dripped Blood; The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave

Stephen Bowie: Leonard Heideman, murderer, Mission: Impossible producer

Steve Lewis: Calling Dr. Death; Trancers [Bill Crider on Trancers]

Steve Scott: John D. MacDonald on the film industry, 1948 (courtesy Bill Crider)

Theresa Brown: Send Me No Flowers

TV Obscurities: The Mike Wallace Interview

Victoria Loomes: Boccaccio '70

Vienna: Finger of Guilt

Sunday, June 19, 2016

On Fathers Day...

My brother, Eric Mason, took this picture of our father, Robert Mason, as they got together today in San Mateo, CA, where Dad now lives. My brother lives nearby...I'm in the Philadelphia suburbs in New Jersey, so I called them both, rather than visited.

Friday, June 17, 2016

FFM: Silver Anniversary Issues of F&SF, edited by Edward Ferman (Mercury Press, October 1974) and FANTASTIC, edited by Ted White (Ultimate Publications, June 1977)

Aside from being magazines which shared the same rack spaces for almost three decades, and being the primary "openly" mixed fantasy and sf markets for short fiction in the US during most of those years (and with not a little interplay between their editorial staffs...for example, Ted White had served as assistant editor for Ed Ferman at F&SF in the 1960s; White's Fantastic predecessor Barry Malzberg would co-edit with Ferman three impressive anthologies of new fiction, including the famously-tampered-with, in the first edition, Final Stage), one of the more obvious differences between The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Fantastic Stories was in how they treated their anniversaries... F&SF was careful to note every anniversary with a special issue of one sort or another, while Fantastic all but resolutely ignored their anniversaries, at least officially (while Fantastic's older stablemate Amazing, perhaps because it was the first and oldest no-bones-about-it sf magazine in the world, careful to mark at least the five-year increments with some sort of note).  Even given the banner across the top of this issue of Fantastic, no mention is made anywhere in the issue that this marks 25 years of publication...but it did.

And it's somewhat telling to compare the lineups between the two issues...even given there was no official "special" status given to the Fantastic, the contributors are a not-atypical mix of relative up-and-comers (James Sallis, Lisa Tuttle, Brian Lumley), established writers as well known for their work at Fantastic and Amazing as anything else (Ted White, Robert F. Young), notable veterans with long relations with the magazine (Barry Malzberg, Lin Carter), and rather older veterans making some relatively rare appearances in the magazine (Marvin Kaye, Robert S. Richardson as "Philip Latham")...and the legend, columnist Fritz Leiber.  While the F&SF issue is filled with veteran writers, most at least verging on legendary status, and having long, close associations with the magazine; Gordon R. Dickson perhaps the least so...and perhaps more indulgence given to allow for the old friends to stop in, such as running an Asimov "Black Widowers" story with the weak justification that J. R. R. Tolkien was key to the unfantasticated mystery involved, and a prose-poem vignette by Judith Merril (given both magazines' reputation for fostering the work of women writers, if even moreso under respective earlier editors Anthony Boucher and Cele Goldsmith Lalli, interesting how they here have one woman contributor each).

R. Bretnor's Papa Schimmelhorn story was the first in F&SF since the early 1950s, and only the second published since then, and as such, it's relatively easy to take, not quite as imbued with the clumsy "good-natured" "satirical" misogyny as the next two stories published in the sequence...the apparently irresistible aging, married lecher was still somewhat improbably magnetic to young women, while essentially spurning those of his own age (whether Bretnor suffered from Hefner Syndrome himself is a good question, particularly given the blatant attitudes toward women in the next two stories). However, Bretnor's extension of the basic schtick of Henry Kuttner's "Gallagher" stories, only with Schimmelhorn not so much needing to be drunk to invent as to allow his subconscious to take over to create the magic-science, is still capable to inspiring some humorous incidents, in this story set primarily in the time of Genghis Khan's conquering of most of the world known to him. 

Also set in (albeit earlier) medieval times is probably the best-remembered story in the F&SF, the "posthumous collaboration" where Frederik Pohl completed a fragment from the papers of his old friend and writing partner C. M. Kornbluth, who'd died young in the late '50s...a story about a man with no sort of formal education, and of course before literacy was easily available to the peasantry, thinking in terms that anticipate science fiction and related speculation, but utterly unable to record them, or even share them with anyone who'd begin to understand...a story with built-in appeal to sf readers particularly back before social media could keep almost anyone from being less virtually lonely, at very least.  

Jack Vance's "The Seventeen Virgins" was incorporated much later into the novel Cugel's Saga, the second Cugel novel and the third in the Dying Earth sequence of somewhat episodic novels, "fixed up" from linked short stories that were in part published separately before each novel was presented to the public. The Ellison story is probably the next-best-remembered story in the book, one of the more intensely personally ones he was writing in the '70s; the Dick story one of those collected in his last great selection of short fiction published during his lifetime, The Golden Man. The F&SF has no book review column for this issue, but the regular film (Baird Searles) and popular science (Asimov) columns, and Gahan Wilson's cartoon, are joined by a relatively rare editorial from Ferman. 

In the Fantastic, the lead-off novella is the second of Marvin Kaye's "Incredible Umbrella" stories about the not quite hapless J. Adrian Fillmore, who with the magical bumbershoot finds himself passing through  various fictional "universes," often rather charmingly mixing characters from the likes of Dracula and the Sherlock Holmes stories. Modeled in part on the somewhat similar fantasies about Harold Shea by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp, they are a bit less subtle than their model at its best, but, like the Bretnor, the short novel makes for a reasonably diverting read. De Camp himself is profiled in this issue, in a pendant to the series of profiles of fantasy writers he himself had been contributing to Fantastic beginning in 1971, leading to, among other things, his somewhat controversial biographical and critical writing about H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Instead of the usual terrible Carter sword and sorcery story in the issue, Brian Lumley's brief, unreprinted series has its second entry; much more promising were the relatively early stories by Lisa Tuttle and James Sallis, and the well-populated if somewhat brief reviews by Fritz Leiber, often dealing with Lovecraftiana in one way or another (Leiber being one of the last as well as one of the most important writers to join the correspondents in the "Lovecraft Circle"); Ramsey Campbell was one of the great "discoveries" of Lovecraft's great acolyte, and publisher, August Derleth, and Frights one of the most important of the early all-original horror fiction anthologies.

  • Fantastic, June 1977
    (View All Issues) (View Issue Grid)
  • Editor: Ted White
  • Year: 1977-06-00
  • Publisher: Ultimate Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Price: $1.00
  • Pages: 134
  • Binding: digest
  • Cover: Steve Fabian
  • Notes: Vol 26, No 2. Page count includes a stiff-paper cigaret advertising insert. Page 66 precedes the ad and page 69 follows it. "Miracle Elixir" is listed as "The Miracle Elixir" in the table of contents. "The Earth Books" is not listed in the table of contents. The Circulation Statement on p. 55, filed 10/01/1976, gives an average total paid circulation of 19,630.
For today's books, and perhaps some more magazines and other sorts of literature, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

The oddly early 24th annish of Fantastic and the regularly scheduled F&SF  24th might've been Even Better, even given the unimpressive covers...

Yellow not always the best default color choice.

Note early James Lincoln Warren story at left.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tuesday's Overlooked A/V: Films, Television, Radio and More: the links to reviews, interviews and more: new links

*Le rayon vert (The Green Ray) aka Summer (1986)

The weekly roundup of reviews, interviews, and other citations of (often, though not always) underappreciated examples of the dramatic and related arts. As always, please let me know if I've missed your or anyone else's contribution this week in comments... thanks. 

Anne Billson: City of Angels (and contemporary 1998 releases/re-releases)

Anonymous: Greed; The Sessions; Private Hell 36 

Bhob Stewart: "Oktapodi"

The Big Broadcast: 12 June 2016
  • 7 p.m. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
    “The Stock-In-Trade Matter” (CBS, Original airdate June 4 1961)
  • 7:30 p.m. Tribute to Ed Walker and Remembering D-Day
  • 8 p.m. Gunsmoke
    “The Margin”, episode 272 (CBS, AFRS version, Original airdate September 15, 1957)
  • 8:30 p.m. Burns & Allen
    "George wants out of broadcasting” (NBC, Original airdate October 28, 1940)
  • 9 p.m. Dragnet
    “The Big Handsome Bandit", episode #265/268 (NBC, Original airdate October 5, 1954)
  • 9:30 p.m. Jack Benny Show
    “Beverly Hills Tour” (CBS origination, AFRTS rebroadcast, Original airdate September 11, 1949)
  • 10 p.m. Lux Radio Theater
    “All My Sons” (NBC, Original airdate May 1, 1950)
Bill Crider: Northmen: A Viking Saga [trailer]

B. V. Lawson: Media Murder

Col/Colman: April a/v capsule reviews

Comedy Film Nerds: Mike Schmidt; Pop Star "spoiler" discussion with Diana Rojek; Jensen Karp

Cullen Gallagher: Good Day for a Hanging

Cult TV: The Avengers: "Please Don't Feed the Animals"

Cynthia Fuchs: Presenting Princess Shaw; Me Before You

Dan Stumpf: Shack Out on 101; Devil and the Deep

David Cramner: Daredevil, season one

David Vineyard: Lisa; John Goldfarb, Please Come Home; You Know What Sailors Are?

Dean Treadway: underrated films of 1986*

Elgin Bleecker: The Big Combo and the end of film noir

Elizabeth Foxwell: Disney's Wonderful World: "The Kids Who Knew Too Much" (from Nicolas Blake's The Whisper in the Gloom); Journey's End and Velona Pilcher's The Searcher

Eric Hillis: The Girl King

George Kelley: High-Rise; A Bigger Splash

"Gilligan Newton-John": Fall Preview, 1989 US tv season; television news

How Did This Get Made?: The Boy Next Door

Iba Dawson: Kino's "educational" video packages

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Stations West; The Seas Beneath; Basil Rathbone on radio

Jack Seabrook: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "The Crocodile Case"

Jackie Kashian: Laura House

Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin: The Jackie and Laurie Show

Jacqueline T. Lynch: No Down Payment

Jake Hinkson: The Black Cat (1934 Karloff/Lugosi suspense film)

James Clark: Everybody Wants Some

James Reasoner: Club Havana

Janet Varney: Dave Hill

Jerry House: Back Stage (Buster Keaton short); Ellen Degeneres on procrastination

John Grant: The Letter (1929 film); Painted Faces; The List 

Jonathan Lewis: To Live and Die in L.A.; The Invisible Menace; Five Guns West

K. A. Laity: Upstart Crow

Karen Hannsberry: Desperate

Kelly Robinson: The Nail in the Boot

Ken Levine: UMatic and other VCRs

Kliph Nesteroff: Red Buttons

Kristina Dijan: The 400 Blows; Shoot the Piano Player; Jules et Jim; Les Cousins; Le Beau Serge; Stranger on the Third Floor; The True Story of Lynn Stuart 

Laura G.: This Way Please; My Foolish Heart; Father of the Bride (1950 film); Lady Gangster; I Was Framed; William Lundigan  

Lesley Gaspar: Joseph Cotten

Lindsey: Another Face; Slightly Dangerous; Music in My Heart

Lucy Brown: The Village

Martin Edwards: The Teckman Mystery; Bodies from the Library

Marty McKee: Unmasking the Idol; Heist; Made Men

Michael Shonk: George Sanders Mystery Theater (aka Mystery Writers Theater) (and the abortive Craig Rice Theater)

Mildred Perkins: Dance of the Dead

Mitchell Hadley: Sesame Street's "Monsterpiece Theater"; "A Short Vision";  TV Guide, 9 June 1956

Noel Vera: The Trial of Andres Bonifacio; The Witch

Patricia Abbott: Take Shelter

Patricia Nolan-Hall: The Winslow Boy

Paul D. Brazill: Television World Theatre: "The Government Inspector" (from the Gogol story)

Rachel Stecher: Period of Adjustment; Lady in Cement

Rick: Revenge of the Creature; The Creature from the Black Lagoon; The Ballad of Andy Crocker

Rod Lott: Director's Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein; The Funhouse Massacre; Fists of Steel; R.O.T.O.R.

Ruth Kerr: Reel Infatuation blogathon; Rio Bravo

Salome Wilde: Gilda

Sorority Babes...
Scott A. Cupp: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama

Sergio Angelini: The Clue of the Silver Key

Stacie Ponder: The Attic

Stacia Jones: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Stephen Bowie: The Invaders

Steve Lewis: Once a Thief (1965 film); Isle of Missing Men

Theresa Brown: The Paradine Case

TV Obscurities: The Loner (Rod Serling western series); Nielsen Bottom 10 tv shows, 30 November-6 December 1987

Victoria Loomes: Monster

Vienna: Ida Lupino, director; Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Yvette Banek: Grace and Frankie

The White Bus (review)