Thursday, April 30, 2015

April's Underappreciated Music: the links

Patti Abbott: Tommy Dorsey Orchestra: "Opus One" (the 1943 stereo recording);  Stan Kenton Orchestra: "Berlin, 1953"

Brian Arnold: Shaking the Money-Maker

Anne Billson: Recent Film Scores

Jayme Lynn Blaschke: Friday Night Videos

Jim C.: Groove Holmes: On Basie's Bandstand

Steve Coleman: Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson

David Cramner: The Carter Family: "Buddies in the Saddle"

Bill Crider: Forgotten Music; Song of the Day 

Jeff Gemmill: Nalani & Sarina;  Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet: World Cafe Live 2009

Jerry House: Dusty Springfield; Daily Music+; Hymn Time

Randy Johnson: (Music) Because I Like It...

Carmen McRae and Brubeck, Morello & Wright: "Ode to a Cowboy"


George Kelley: Ultimate Sinatra

Todd Mason: speculative-fictional jazz; trumpet and flugelhorn jazz; musical revisitation;  early music

Thelonious Monk Quartet featuring Gerry Mulligan: "Straight, No Chaser"


Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

Charlie Ricci: The Nat King Cole Trio: The Complete After Midnight Sessions

Richard Robinson: Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Complete Broadway Musicals

Ron Scheer: Geoff Dyer: But Beautiful; western movie and television themes
this month's list dedicated to the memory of Ron Scheer

Chet Baker Band: "Let's Get Lost"

Saturday Music Club on Thursday: some early music

Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI & La Capella Reial de Catalunya: "Dindiridin" (traditional)



Chartwell Dutiro: Mbira (traditional)



Min Xiao Fen: "Spring River, Flower Moon Night" (traditional)



Oxford Camerata: "Ave generosa" (Hildegard von Bingen)



Ensemble with Li Yi-Ming, guzheng-ist: "Meditating in the Buddhist Temple" (traditional)



Strath Haven HS (Penna) Silvertones (2009, in Florence): "Cucifixus" (Antonio Lotti)

***in better fidelity: The Cambridge Singers


Divna Ljubojevi et al.:"Aksion Estin"; "Kyrie Eleison" (traditional)



Nandini Rao Gujar and band: "Govinda ninna namave chenda" (Purandara Dasa)



Chumbawamba: "The Diggers' Song" (Gerrard Winstanley)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links

Safe
This week's selections of undeservedly (and a few deservedly) underappreciated audio/visual experiences...as always, thanks to all the contributors and you readers. 

Anne Billson: The Fate of Lee Khan; Top 10 King Arthur Movies

Bill Crider: Falling Down; underrated horror films poll; The Legend of Caleb York

Brian Arnold: The Incredible Hulk (tv) outtakes

Brian Busby: Double Negative aka Deadly Companion (featuring Count Floyd as the Beaver)

BV Lawson: Media Murder

McQueen, Ann-Margret, Weld in The Cincinnati Kid
Comedy Film Nerds: Dean Haglund

Dan Stumpf: Big Deal on Madonna Street

David Vineyard: Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star

Ed Lynskey: Chicago Syndicate

Elizabeth Foxwell: The Hitch-Hiker; Selected Shorts: "Expect the Unexpected" (Yolen, Thurber and Bradbury stories)

Evan Lewis: The Roy Rogers Show: pilot(s?)

George Kelley: Steve McQueen Collection


How Did This Get Made?: Double Team

Iba Dawson: Return of the Dream Machine; Rififi

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: The Reluctant Dragon

Jack Seabrook: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: "The Second Verdict"

Jackie Kashian: Brian Upton on gaming

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Babes on Swing Street; Bowery to Broadway

Jake Hinkson: Wicked Woman

Pepper Dennis
James Reasoner: Pepper Dennis

Jeff Flugel: 1963

Jerry House: Jungle Siren; Neil Gaiman on buttons

John Grant: Missing Girls; Seven Sinners

Ken Levine: Sing What Happens

Kliph Nesteroff: Billy Gray's Band Box (the first comedy club in Los Angeles)

Laura: Queen ChristinaThat Hagen Girl

Lucy Brown: From This Day Forward

Martin Edwards: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Among the women not to be trifled with: The Fate of Lee Khan

Marty McKee: The Bold Ones: The New Doctors: "In Dreams They Run"

Michael Daye: 9 disturbing early films (courtesy Bill Crider)

Michael Shonk: Mrs. Columbo aka Kate Loves a  Mystery

Mike Tooney: The Twilight Zone: "Once Upon a Time"

Mystery Dave: Sabotage

Texas Killing Fields
Patrick Murtha: Texas Killing Fields; Ann-Margret

Patti Abbott: Safe

Prashant Trikkanad: Sandokan

Randy Johnson: One After the Other (aka Uno doppo l'altro); Sales Pitch (by Philip K. Dick)

Rick: Robert Bloch: Thriller: "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper"; Star Trek: "Wolf in the Fold"; Dracula's Daughter
Apparently actually has a decent script.

Rod Lott: The Alphabet Murders

Sean McLachlan: Edison Company sf and fantasy films (courtesy Bill Crider)

Sergio Angelini: Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror

Stacia Jones: 24 jours (aka 24 Days)

Stephen Bowie: Kojak: "Cop in a Cage"

Steve Lewis: Fallguy; The Racketeer

Walker Martin: Windy City Pulp Convention
on set: Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror

Friday, April 24, 2015

FFB: GALAXY OF GHOULS (aka OFF THE BEATEN ORBIT) edited by Judith Merril (Lion Library 1955)

    A thoroughly enjoyable anthology of fantasy, sf, horror and Merril's then-favorite term for all fantastic fiction, "science-fantasy" (often in the specific sense of that which mixes fantasy and sf aspects, tropes and furniture, as well as Merril's more broad sense, which she would eventually trade for a broad definition of Robert Heinlein's "speculative fiction" suggestion of some years earlier). Mostly a collection of very recent stories (in those days when anthologists were often striving to avoid reprinting stories other editors had featured, at least when feasible), and as such a sort of run-up to her best of the year annual which would debut the next year as well as sequel to the similar mix in the previous year's anthology, Human?...and all her previous anthologies going back to the first, Shot in the Dark (1950). (She and then-husband Frederik Pohl also ghost-edited, for Heinlein, Tomorrow, the Stars [1952].)
    And, given that Merril apparently made sure the title of the book was changed for the two Pyramid reprints, after the collapse of Lion, perhaps suggests the kind of leaden touch that would help doom Lion Books in the paperback boom years.  I would've suggested Pure and Applied Sorcery, given the running theme of her headnotes.
    Galaxy of Ghouls ed. Judith Merril (Lion LL25, May ’55, 35¢, 192pp, pb) Also as Off the Beaten Orbit.
"Wolves Don't Cry" is the first of several shapeshifter stories here, not all about werewolves, and is notable for the degree of conviction Elliott invests in his portrait of a wolf which suddenly, one morning, finds himself having become a human. While his ability to pick up English, even in the very well-run mental hospital he finds himself in, seems a bit too facile, he is a magical creature, after all...one who's very interested in how his pregnant mate and incipient pups are doing (and the protagonist's one, um, date, with a human woman, is perhaps the most squirm-inducing passage in the book--Elliott, who briefly edited some Playboy imitators later on, was famously a bit of a rake, and one senses this).

"The Ambassadors" is a charming joke story about the discovery of an improbable (at the time) Mars populated by a range of animals similar to that of Earth, only with sentient wolfish creatures as the dominant manipulators of the environment. Happily, this leads to new acceptance and job opportunities for formerly underground werewolves, and eventually for corresponding wolf to ape shapeshifters from the Red Planet. Boucher makes blind reference to his early story "The Complete Werewolf" and to Jack Williamson's novel Darker than You Think; conviction and in-jokes would clearly catch Merril's eye at this point.

"Share Alike' by Jerome Bixby and Joe E. Dean (the latter utterly unknown in fantasy/sf/horror circles otherwise, and someone Bixby presumably met as managing editor of Jungle Stories as well as Planet Stories at the turn of the 1950s; Dean had at least two stories in the adventure pulp) is a reasonably straightforward, if revisionist, vampire story in form. However, as a coded male homosexual romance story, it's pretty strong stuff, and I remember well reading it and the other contents of the first issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction, H. L. Gold's 1953-1955 companion to Galaxy Science Fiction, and even as a 13yo in 1978 noting how barely sublimated the sexual content of nearly every story was, most less daring in their heterosexuality if also no more openly about sex, while obviously so. I didn't find another magazine of the era so obviously torn between wanting to let its flag fly and being afraid to be blatant about it till the first issue of Help! I'd see, from about seven or eight years later but acutely aware of the youth of an even larger segment of its audience.

"Blood" is an unusually minor if still charming example of a Fredric Brown joke-vignette; Damon Knight's "Eripmav" is a funnier variation on similar material, and if they didn't both help inspire James Howe to create Bunnicula, they could have.

"A Way of Thinking" remains the closest Theodore Sturgeon came to anticipating splatterpunk, in a story that he had to wait several years (until 1953) to see published, apparently (though there are some contemporary references within that suggest it was given another draft before Howard Browne bought it and apparently used this straightforward horror story to fill a sudden hole in an issue of Amazing rather than running it in the more natural home of Fantastic. Sturgeon's name was missing from the Amazing cover of that issue (at left); given the writer's status in 1953 and how much Browne loved his work, that seems unlikely given anything but last-minute placement.)  The first of two stories where the protagonist is an intentionally obvious analog of the writer himself. 

"Child's Play" is the first story in the book to have been multiply anthologized before Merril's use of it here (and since), but it's a natural fit in the book (and it's probably not all that germane that Merril had an affair with Philip "William Tenn" Klass, any more than that she had a longstanding crush on Sturgeon...both are brilliant stories). Given all the sinister doppelganger stories through the centuries, in looking at this one again I was thinking about all the nudges this one gave to another notable example, Harlan Ellison's "Shatterday"--that one a much more stripped down model. Conrad might've helped inspire both, and Poe all three.

The Wellman is the first-published and one of the most brilliant of the often-brilliant series of stories about John the Balladeer, incorporating as much of the folklore and folkways of the Southern Appalachians as possible (including songs) into the fantasy and horror (and occasionally borderline sf) stories. Often, this is the example used to introduce the series to newcomers, and not a bad choice at all.

"The Wheelbarrow  Boy" hasn't been too widely reprinted since its first US appearance in F&SF in 1953, but I certainly remember it from Robert Arthur's YA anthology Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum, where its point shone just as nakedly (and wittily) as it does here.

Leslie Charteris, who would consistently drop in on the margins of fantasy and sf, does so with "A Fish Story," the second story in the book to feature an analog of its author as protagonist...not-exactly-Charteris and his wife meet and learn from an eccentric man who Really Gets Fish, and Mermaids, and the like. A very deft ending.

"Desertion" is the Most Classic inclusion here, and probably the farthest from horror (except, perhaps, to Astounding editor John W. Campbell, who decided eventually he hated its message, being a human chauvinist and as proud of it as he was)...but, as Merril is quick to point out,  it is perhaps the most classic sf shapeshifter story...aside from the obvious examples by Stevenson and Wells.  This one I first read in a classroom textbook, though not one of the stories that was assigned in that 7th Grade class.

"The Triflin' Man" is, typically of a Walter Miller story, very readable as a Christian allegory, in large part; not atypically of a Fantastic Universe story, it's set among rural folks who might not completely understand what's going on around them, but that doesn't stop them from taking decisive action. Rather good as an example of either.

Leiber's parody of Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer is still pointed and funny, and, with Jean Kerr's similar if a bit broader lampoon, remains a lifelong favorite (I'm also more fond than many of Howard Browne's pastiche for an early and huge-selling issue of Fantastic, "The Veiled Woman").

"The Demon King" has a very thin plot--Satan appears in a small city's annual panto festival on Boxing Day, to play itself in a variation on the story of Jack and Jill--sustained by Priestley's wit, charm and eye for detail. The oldest story in the book, receiving its first US publication.

Meanwhile, the early Sheckley story which follows demonstrates how he was willing to tweak notions of fan-service in stories from the very beginning...something Alfred Bester was prone to as well, though Sheckley even from the start could be even more double-bottomed (Bester more pyrotechnic). Another fine ending, less vague that it might seem at first.

The Bradbury is the only story in the book to challenge the Simak in terms of widespread distribution (the Tenn tapered off some over the decades), though it might not've had quite the staying power of "Desertion"...I'd certainly suggest it doesn't hold up as well, even if one feel something of tug Bradbury is doing his best to yank from the reader at the conclusion. (I first read this one in a Robert Arthur "Hitchcock" antho, as well.) 

And Arthur Porges's final entry is a cheerful bit of nihilism, with the only dedicated ghoul in the pages, which somewhat improbably has the retribution of the other animals toward humans, and our offshoots such as witches and vampires, led by the rabbits. 

Good stuff, both the classic stories and the more obscure, or at worst good enough. 

For more of this week's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links

In a Lonely Place
This week's selection of (mostly) recommendations of (and a few warnings about) insufficiently-appreciated or simply obscure film, television, radio, audio recordings, and more...thanks, as always, to all the contributors and to you readers...


Anne Billson: Top Ten Film Sequels; Imagine Film Festival 2015

Bill Crider: The Ninth Gate [trailer]

BV Lawson: Media Murder

Comedy Film Nerds: Kevin Pollak

Two O'Clock Courage
Dan Stumpf: In a Lonely Place

Ed Lynskey: The Good Die Young; drive-ins

Elizabeth Foxwell: Two O'Clock Courage; The Buchan Tradition

Evan Lewis: The Thin Man: "Robot Client"

George Kelley: Gracepoint

How Did This Get Made?: Con Air

Iba Dawson: The Apartment; Limelight

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: local children's tv series; TCM films roundup

Jack Seabrook: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Man from the South" (by Roald Dahl)

Jackie Kashian: Kerry Jackson on comic book television and more...
Gotham


Jacqueline T. Lynch: Watch on the Rhine

Jake Hinkson: Jupiter Ascending

James Reasoner: Empire of the Sun

Jeff Flugel: Dracula A.D. 1972

Jerry House: Arch Oboler's Plays: "Big Ben"

John Grant: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: "Annabel"; I'd Give My Life (aka Noose)

Juri Numelin: Overlooked Film Weekend: Stake Land, Leonard Part 6, Angst, Samurai Cop etc.

The Hard Problem
Kate Laity: 3 Minutes of Terror; The Hard Problem (by Tom Stoppard)

Ken Levine: tv series On the Bubble

Kliph Nesteroff: The Mike Douglas Show: Leslie Gore, Totie Fields and Lee Berman (1965)

Laura: The 9th Guest; Let Us Live

Lucy Brown: The Red Pony
The Truth about Emanuel
Martin Edwards: The Truth about Emanuel

Marty McKee: Top Cop

Mike Tooney: Sherlock, Jr.

Mystery Dave: Winter's Tale

Patrick Murtha: World for Ransom; Robert Aldrich and actresses

Daybreak
Patti Abbott: Le jour se lève (aka Daybreak)

Randy Johnson: I Want Him Dead (aka Lo voglio morto)

Rick: Son of Frankenstein

Rod Lott: Dracula Untold

Ron Scheer: themes from western films and television

Sergio Angelini: Double Confession

Stacia Jones: Firewalker; That Guy Dick Miller

Stacy Alesi: Palm Beach Peril 2015

Stephen Bowie: Playhouse 90

Steve Lewis: Curtain at Eight: Get Christie Love!

Vince Keenan: Bob Hope

Yvette Banek: The Birds (1963 film) 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday Music Club on Sunday: revisitation

Womyn of Destruction: "If I Knew You Were Comin'"


Jawbox: "Static"


Autoclave: "Dr. Seuss"


FLiP: "Kagome, Kagome"


Fanny: "Blind Alley"


The All Mighty Senators: "Mary Mack"


Light in Babylon: "Hinech Yafa"


J. Robbins, Brooks Harlan & Gordon Withers: "Static"


L7: "Pretend We're Dead" (live and eventually NSFW)

Friday, April 17, 2015

FFB/S: "Super Whost" by Margaret St. Clair and why it matters...

Margaret St. Clair, despite admirers much better-known than myself including Ramsey Campbell and Martin H. Greenberg, remains stubbornly underappreciated.  I've finally read one of the gently satirical stories in her early series about a suburban married couple of the future, Oona and Jick, the second, "Super Whost," from the July 1947 issue of Startling Stories. As with most of the series, it's not yet been reprinted, despite being charming and funny and a cross between the kind of "comic inferno" writing that would be associated with Galaxy magazine a few years later, and the kind of surprisingly sharp domestic farce that Jean Kerr and Shirley Jackson would also be writing not long after, and echoed more popularly and broadly by I Love Lucy and eventually Erma Bombeck. (In a quotation from St. Clair in her rather good Wikipedia entry, she notes that the reader response to her stories in this never-collected series was less than warm, but one suspects the motivated writers were the same sort of fanboys who so usefully drive a lot of online conversation today.) The story is a deft account of Oona's attempt to win a vacation on Mars through a short essay/blurb contest requiring proofs of purchase from the packaging of a glutinous wheat product,  Super Whost, and the result of having entirely too much of the stuff in the house as a result of the extra expenditure, along with various further agglomeration of Super Whost as others' attempts to rid themselves of the product, after also gathering proofs of purchase for prizes, lead to Oona and Jick both "winning" even more of it. Unlike as in some of the "comic inferno" writing as Galaxy started to get lazy in the mid 1950s (where characters might've simply stuffed themselves sick with some similar product), it occurs to both Oona and her husband to simply throw the stuff away, but it's just expensive and useful enough to make that less easy to contemplate than attempting to palatably use it up, and it's in the little details of commercial exploitation (the contest) and social interaction (a friend, having made her own SW treats for what amounts to a bridge or mah jongg party, remarks a bit pointedly about Oona apparently not being too pleased with the dessert...Oona deflects this with a mention of needing to get in shape for the upcoming season with her new frontless bathing suit). Having been exposed to network radio advertising from the 1940s, its descendants through today but particularly those of the decades past from, say, Kraft and Jell-O, and generally aware of the long shadow of Depression and
July 1947...typical SS cover for 1947.
wartime privation 
over even the relatively comfortable middle class I was raised in, and the Feminine Mystique that Friedan was able to delineate, for those who hadn't quite let it set in, fifteen years later...it all resonates.

Looking at St. Clair's ISFDB citations, one sees that she, like her slightly later-arriving peers such as Algis Budrys and Robert Sheckley (or Ursula Le Guin and Michael Shaara...Kate Wilhelm and Richard McKenna...Philip K. Dick and...), generated a torrent of work from the latter 1940s through the end of the 1950s, when she slowed a bit...and, like those other (shall we call them "post-Futurian"?) writers, she was the product of a broad, rigorous college education in literature and writing, in a way that most of the auto-didacts who had been Futurians or associated with the Futurian magazines such as Astonishing Stories or Science Fiction were not, even if their interests and approaches (and educations) were similar--and those folks would be much of the core of writers who helped make Galaxy what it was, and so influential on sf and other literature which followed. While St. Clair was publishing these stories in Samuel Merwin's issues of Startling Stories, the odd (but influential and well-remembered) story such as William Tenn's "Child's Play" or T. L. Sherred's "E for Effort" was popping up in John Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction...even if Campbell eventually regretted publishing a few of them since he had some trouble with their perspective when it set in with him. Certainly, Judith Merril and Evelyn E. Smith and Kit Reed, as well as Theodore Sturgeon, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury and certainly Fritz Leiber, might've found themselves nudged in certain directions in their writing by that of St. Clair, who would do more forceful work than "Super Whost" while retaining this story's charm and wit...perhaps such other underappreciated geniuses as Wilma Shore were influenced as well.

Please see Patti Abbott's blog for more of today's books and/or stories...and a reminder of why the late Ron Scheer matters...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links

Devoted this week to the memory of Ron Scheer. 
Read the Book from Ron Scheer on Vimeo.

Anne Billson: Guilty Pleasures?

Bill Crider: Cellular [trailer] (Vince Keenan on Cellular)

BV Lawson: Media Murder

Comedy Film Nerds: Chris Gore

Ed Lynskey: The Boogie Man Will Get You

Elizabeth Foxwell: Murder is News; Stan Freberg

Evan Lewis: Satan Met a Lady

Gerge Kelley: Batman vs. Robin
Respire

How Did This Get Made?: Tango & Cash

Iba Dawson: Respire (aka Breathe)

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Bulldog Drummond on US radio and in film

Jack Seabrook: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: "Starring the Defense" (by Henry Slesar)

Jackie Kashian: M. Dickson

Jacqueline T. Lynch: The Helen Morgan Story

Jake Hinkson: Helen Holmes and early action heroines

James Reasoner: The Dovekeepers

Jerry Entract: The Drum
Q Planes

Jerry House: Dark Fantasy: "The Sea Phantom"

John Grant: Plump FIctionQ Planes

Jonathan Lewis: Four Flies on Grey Velvet (aka...); Iron Man (1951 film)

Juri Nummelin: Fear Over the City (aka...)

Kate Laity: It Came from Schenectady...

Kliph Nesteroff: Interview with Dick Cavett

Laura: Jeopardy (1953 film); Witness to Murder

Lucy Brown: An Inspector Calls

Martin Edwards: Arthur and George

Marty McKee: Scorpion (1986 film)

Mystery Dave: Poultrygeist

Patrick Murtha: Cambio de suerte (aka  Lucky Bastards--literally "Change of luck")

Cleo from 5 to 7
Patti Abbott: Cleo from Five to Seven

Prashant Trikannad: libraries in Southern India

Randy Johnson: Three Men from Texas; Stop the Slayings (aka....)

Rick: Joe 90; Jean Renoir

Rod Lott: The Naked Witch

Ron Scheer: The Sons of Katie Elder

Sergio Angelini: Slayground

Stacia Jones: That Guy Dick Miller

Stephen Bowie: Mannix

Steve Lewis: The Skull (by Robert Bloch)

Vince Keenan: Charles Brackett

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Music Club: some trumpet and flugelhorn jazz

The Frankie Trumbauer Orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke: "Singin' the Blues"


Louis Armstrong and the Mills Bros.: "My Walking Stick"


The Duke Ellington Orchestra featuring Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Ray Nance and Clark Terry: "El Gato"


The Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra: "Birks Works"


The Art Farmer/Jim Hall Quartet: "Sometime Ago"


Lee Morgan:  "Midtown Blues"


Carmell Jones: "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'"


Blue Note stars featuring Freddie Hubbard: "Cantaloupe Island"


Friday, April 10, 2015

FFB: SF HORIZONS, edited by Brian Aldiss and Harry Harrison (1964 and 1965 issues; facsimile reprint in boards 1975, Arno Press)

 Here's Brian Aldiss in 1964:

I avoid the usual term "mainstream" which erroneously suggests two things: a) that all sf writers are equal in aim, attitude and ability, and b) that all other writers are equal in aim, attitude and ability, and that all their works are homogenous.

That this line appears in a footnote to an essay about the literary difficulties in writing good sf, using an early novel by Jack Williamson as a jumping off point (while making copious note of the similarities of too much of the work still being written and published in the early-mid 1960s), leaves open the question of how formative reading that in 1979 might've been for the 15yo me, or even more likely, how much I would've found it utterly apropos, an excellent and all but thrown-away statement of a point most people (as it turns out) won't even argue with, so ingrained in their worldview that there's an Us and a Them and the demarcations are clear (except when they aren't). (Romance-fiction fans and writers these days might be the most disturbing example of accepting a ghetto mentality, as Judith Merril might've been the first to put it in re: fantasy and sf, inasmuch as so many of them buy into the writer's guideline commercial notion that it Isn't Really a Romance if it doesn't have a Happily Ever After, or potentially HEA, ending. Romeo and Juliet ain't no romance, you fool...just look at that ending.)

This was an excellent project that probably didn't sustain itself financially, while its editor/publishers were trying to make a living from writing...Damon Knight and Lester Del Rey similarly, in the late 1950s, produced two issues of a Science Fiction Forum that calls out for reprint or posting online, but hasn't seen any yet, as far as I know, even though Knight revived the title for one of the publications of the Science Fiction Writers of America when he co-founded it in the mid '60s. Before SF Horizons, there was PITFCS and Xero; since, we've certainly had Monad and SF Eye, and others that have had a similar ambitious remit (a few, such as Richard Geis's Science Fiction Review/The Alien Critic, Andrew Porter's Algol/Starship, and Douglas Fratz's Thrust/Quantum, which have occasionally approached the same adventurous feel). Maybe Inside SF/Riverside Quarterly as well...if your magazine lasts any length of time, it has to change names (SF Eye began as Science Fiction Eye). 

If you pick up the facsimile volume, or the original issues, today, you'll have access to some of  James Blish's criticism (collected since in volumes from Advent: Publishers), but in its natural environment, cheek by jowl with an excellent interview with C. S. Lewis and Kingsley Amis conducted by Brian Aldiss, and a good one with William Burroughs conducted anonymously (but by someone, I'm told possibly James Blish, who met Burroughs at a meeting of the New York City-based Hydra Club, a periodical gathering of writers and fans that flourished in the 1950s into the '60s); Burroughs is quick to note how much he admires the work of Theodore Sturgeon, Eric Frank Russell (rather unsurprisingly) and (perhaps more surprisingly) C. S. Lewis, in whose work Burroughs sees a strong kinship with his own. I'm not sure the Aldiss essays here (as by him and by "C. C. Shackleton," a regular pseudonym of his often for more satirical writing) have all been collected elsewhere, but one hopes so (the long take on three contemporary UK writers--Lan Wright, Donald Malcolm and J. G. Ballard--is utterly engaging); the editorial in the second issue, attributed to both Harrison and Aldiss, is a particularly acute brief analysis of the great appeal of what has come to be known as the technothriller, albeit ranging as far as Advise and Consent in the then-current crop, and tracing their roots through John Buchan's espionage novels as well as Ian Fleming's incidentally tech-obsessed entries. Harrison's close reading of an F. L. Wallace novel, and issue-taking with Blish's criticism of Aldiss's "Hothouse" stories in the first issue, seems unlikely to have been reprinted elsewhere so far, and that's a pity. Okuno Takeo and Francesco Biamonti's short surveys of sf in Japan and Italy are useful snapshots (Biamonte notes that Umberto Eco had devoted a chapter in a then recent book to how he felt Italian sf should be developed), the kind of coverage that Charles Brown was later keen to continue in Locus magazine, in dealing with international sf and fantasy worldwide. 

For those who seek out the Arno Press reprint: be aware that the text pages are on acid-free paper, but for some reason the endpapers are not. That atop not reprinting the magazine covers in the book, for no obvious reason, and slapping on what I suspect is a slightly expensively embossed and cutesy cover, perhaps one used on all the Arno SF line at the time; their books were clearly meant for the library trade, and before recently purchasing this copy, I'd first read a copy I borrowed and reasonably promptly returned to the Hawaii State Library's central branch, all those years ago.

Images and indices courtesy ISFDB:
Title: SF Horizons 
Authors: Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss 
Year: 1975 
Publisher: Arno Press
Notes: Photographic reprint of the two issues of the British journal/fanzine, originally published in 1964 and 1965.
Library binding on acid-free paper, less than five hundred copies printed.
No price or pub month in book.
Book cover artist not credited.



Please see a recollection of the first set of FFB links, and the rest of this week's ttiles, on this celebration of the first seven years of Friday Books at Patti Abbott's blog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V; the links

The MiddleMan
This week's selection of (mostly) recommendations of (and a few warnings about) insufficiently-appreciated or simply obscure film, television, radio, audio recordings, and more...thanks, as always, to all the contributors and to you readers; Patrick Murtha joins us for the first time, this week, and welcome!

Dedicated this week to the memory of Stan Freberg.

Anne Billson: The Three Musketeers in film and television

Bill Crider: Nadine [trailer]; The EQMM Podcast: "The Adventure of the 'Two-Headed Dog'"

Brian Arnold: Redux Deluxe
Mystery in Swing

Brian Greene: Black Rainbow

BV Lawson: Media Murder

Comedy Film Nerds: Matt Mira

"Crime HQ": Videogames: Training for Psychopaths...and Saints?

David Cramner: Ron Scheer: My West: The Sandhills of Nebraska

Ed Lynskey: Framed

Elizabeth Foxwell: Mystery in Swing; National Archives declassification hearings

Evan Lewis: The Big Trail

Francis M. Nevins: Danger and Suspense the tv series and John Dickson Carr

George Kelley: The MiddleMan

Mistress America
How Did This Get Made?: Lake Placid

Iba Dawson: Eden; Mistress America

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: The Sin of Nora Moran; TCM fare: The Sorcerers, et al.; Nero Wolfe on radio

Jack Seabrook: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Poison" (by Roald Dahl)

Jackie Kashian: Mike Olsen and Andy Ashcraft on game design...and children's television

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Dead Reckoning

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Jake Hinkson: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

James Reasoner: I'll Believe You

Jeff Flugel: The Girl Hunters

Jeff Gemmill: Pretty Little Liars

Jerry House: Stoopnagle and BuddThe Killer Shrews; TED Talks: "Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking"; Nude on the Moon

John Grant: Penny and the Pownall Case; A Passport to Hell

Jonathan Lewis: Race with the Devil

Juri Nummelin: The Killing of America; The Last Starfighter

Kate Laity: PCA 2015 and New Orleans; The Screaming Mimi

Kliph Nesteroff: Dick Gautier (Part 2)

Laura: The Hidden Room (1949 film); College Coach

The Hidden Room:


Lucy Brown: Lesbians coming to bad ends in UK tv drama (some series finale "spoilers" here)

Martin Edwards: Funeral in Berlin

Marty McKee: Doctor of Doom

Mystery Dave: The Opposite Sex and How to Live With Them

Romance de fieras (unfortunately, without English subtitles)


It Follows
Patrick Murtha: Romance de fieras

Patti Abbott: The Apartment as The 1960s film

Randy Johnson: Introspection IV (short fiction by Fredric Brown on LP reissued); The Dirty Fifteen (aka...)

Rick: The Girl in Black Stockings

Rod Lott: The Ghastly Ones; It Follows

Sergio Angelini: The Vicious Circle

Stacia Jones: The Barber

"St. George and the Dragonet" animated: