Sunday, June 29, 2014

Obligatory feline gallery (now visible in most browsers):

Niki (tan and white tuxedo female), Domino (large white and black tom), Emma (smaller white and black female)--Domino is economy-sized, Emma travel-sized.

Ninja (young tabby female) about to begin a mission.

Emma (almost) asleep in one of her favorite blankets.

Niki in her favorite toy/throne. ("I have a basket!")

Emma liked a lot of blankets, however.

Domino curled up with a fairly recently vet-shaved patch on his side.

Domino and Ninja, looking in the general direction of Niki...

Photos by Elizabeth Hoepfner, Alice Chang and Todd Mason

Friday, June 27, 2014

June's Underappreciated Music: the links

The monthly assembly of undervalued and often nearly "lost" music, or simply music the blogger in question wants to remind you reader/listeners of....or, in Bill's first example, to remind you why the past isn't solely a treasure-trove...

Judith Owen: "Let's Hear It for Love"

Patti Abbott: Tuesday Night Music; Saturday Night Music; Theme Music; Ennio Morricone Week+

Brian Arnold:  XTC: "Mayor of Simpleton"

Jayme Lynn Blaschke: Friday Night Videos

Lucy Brown: Judy Garland

(Mr.) Terry Gibbs Quartet featuring (Ms.) Terry Pollard: "Nutty Notes"

Jim C.: Terry Pollard

Sean Coleman:  Jimmy Nicol and his time with the Beatles

Bill Crider: Forgotten Music: The Ethel Merman Disco Album; Song of the Day 

Jeff Gemmill: First Aid Kit

Jerry House: Patrick Sky; Hymn Time; much else on a daily basis

Randy Johnson: Robert Cray: Strong Persuader

George Kelley: The Animals: the original band

The Animals: "Worried Life Blues"

Evan Lewis: Riders in the Sky: "The Ballad of Davy Crockett"

Todd Mason: Horace Silver; the biggest hits of the 3rd Stream; newish folk-rock/new music/adjacent; Indonesian dance

Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

Rainy Day (the album)

Charlie Ricci: Sterling Harrison: South of the Snooty Fox; Judith Owen

Ron Scheer: Family musicale, ca. 1870

Judith Owen, Richard Thompson, Debra Dobkin: "See My Friends"

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Emma the Cat, 2004?-2014

aka Emmy Chang

Reply to conversation [A]

Adopted in 2009 from the streets around the community health clinic where Alice, my best friend and housemate, worked, Emmy/Emma (depending on whether we speak of Emmy Noether or Emma Goldman as her namesake) had a wealth of health problems, though unlike her pair-bonded tomcat friend Otis, she didn't have feline AIDS, so they were separated (Otis, as Alice reminds me in comments, is still with his FIV+ household)...we already had Domino and Niki (aka Anna Nicole) and didn't want to risk their picking up the incurable disease...but as Emma got healthier, we discovered she had one lingering problem, with bad gums (which some cats suffer from congenitally)...but not until I found her hyperventilating under the backdoor deck stairs on Monday morning, and she eventually found herself in veterinary hospital, did we learn that she apparently had a congenitally enlarged heart, and was now losing a battle with the onset of congestive heart failure. Lasix and other drugs couldn't help enough before she threw a clot this morning. Alice already misses her computer buddy and videogaming companion terribly. We still have Domino, Niki and Ninja (formerly living with my parents--all four rescues in one way or another)...but I miss our ex-street cat, too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links (many delaying factors edition)

Ruby Dee
Below, the links to this week's reviews and citations. As always, please let me know in comments when I've missed yours or someone else's...and, as always, thanks to all our contributors and to you readers...

Anne Billson: Night on the Galactic Railroad

Bill Crider: Year of the Comet  [trailer]; Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine's Fiction Podcast: "No Flowers" by Martin Edwards

The Golden Spiders (see Budnik)
Brian Arnold: The Unfortunate History of the AMC Pacer

BV Lawson: Media Murder; ALA Las Vegas

Dan Budnik: Underrated Mysteries

Dan Stumpf: D.O.A. (1988 film)

Ed Lynskey: Beat the Devil

Elizabeth Foxwell: Modesty Blaise (radio); Suspense (the television series): "Post Mortem"

Evan Lewis: Hidden Gold (a Hopalong Cassidy film)

George Kelley: Fargo (tv); The Twilight Zone blu-ray set

Iba Dawson: Ruby Dee; Palo Alto; What's Your Number?

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Five Graves to Cairo; Bedazzled (1967)

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Ann Blyth on television, 1950s-60s

The Big Tease
Jackie Kashian: Wil Anderson on Batman films and Australian football

Jake Hinkson: Laura

James Reasoner: The Big Tease

Jeff Flugel: Underrated Detective/Mystery Films

Jerry House: Diagnosis: Unknown: "The Case of the Radiant Wine"

J. Kingston Pierce: Bullet Points: Tightrope, et al. (Ed Gorman recalls Tightrope magazine)

John Charles: The Blob; Beware! The Blob; Blobbermouth

John Grant: To Kill a Dead Man; On Dangerous Ground; Three Steps in the Dark 

On Dangerous Ground
Jonathan Lewis: British Intelligence; Albuquerque; The Time Travelers; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

Kate Laity: conning

Kliph Nesteroff: The Dating Game: Casey Kasem and Bill Dana

Laura: The Saint in London; Dust Be My Destiny; Blackwell's Island

Lucy Brown: Rooster Cogburn

Marty McKee: The Disembodied; Favorite Son; Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (aka  Las luchadoras contra la momia)

Picnic at Hanging Rock
Megan Abbott: Picnic at Hanging Rock 

Mystery Dave: Teen Beach Movie

Pilot Viruet: 10 Best Series that are Only Online

Prashant Trikannad: Superman (1978 film) and Superman II

Randy Johnson: Assault of the Sasquatch; Seven Pistols for a Massacre (aka Sette pistole per un masscro)

Gunsmoke radio cast in costume
Rick: I Spy complete series box

Rod Lott: Death Occurred Last Night (aka La morte risale a iera sera)

Ron Scheer: Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn; Gunsmoke (the radio series)

Sergio Angelini: Sapphire and Steel

Stacia Jones: The Sidekicks of Film Noir; A Woman Under the Influence

Stephen Bowie: The Gallant Men (television)

Steve Lewis: The Case of the Black Parrot; Special Agent K-7

Todd Mason: Robert Bloch: on his own, and in silly professional and amateur contexts

Yvette Banek: a collection of mugs

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Robert Bloch's "A Toy for Juliette", adapted as a high-school video drama by Hispanophone American kids from somewhere...and some more direct Blochiana

Because you know you need to see a Hispanic teenaged girl play Adolf Hitler.  And the final murder segue into the Singing Nun.

Robert Bloch gets to speak for himself:

And even without script approval from a studio:

Friday, June 20, 2014

FFB Redux: key anthologies: Fritz Leiber and Stuart Schiff: THE WORLD FANTASY AWARDS V.2; Terry Carr: NEW WORLDS OF FANTASY V.1-3; UNCOLLECTED CRIMES ed Pronzini, Greenberg; UNCOLLECTED STARS ed Malzberg, Anthony, Waugh, Greenberg; FINE FRIGHTS ed Campbell; THE HORROR HALL OF FAME edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin Harry Greenberg (Carroll & Graf 1991)

courtesy the Contento index:

The World Fantasy Awards Volume Two ed. Stuart David Schiff & Fritz Leiber (Doubleday 0-385-15380-5, 1980, $10.95, 224pp, hc) Cover painting by Roger Dean.

· Preface · Stuart David Schiff · pr
· Introduction: Terror, Mystery, Wonder · Fritz Leiber · in
· The Whimper of Whipped Dogs · Harlan Ellison · ss Bad Moon Rising, ed. Thomas M. Disch, Harper & Row, 1973
· Jerusalem’s Lot · Stephen King · nv Night Shift, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978
· The October Game · Ray Bradbury · ss Weird Tales Mar ’48; AHMM Jun ’57
· Smoke Ghost · Fritz Leiber · ss Unknown Oct ’41
· Belsen Express · Fritz Leiber · ss The Second Book of Fritz Leiber, DAW, 1975
· Special Award: Professional, Donald M. Grant · Misc. · bg
· The King’s Shadow Has No Limits [Dr. Eszterhazy] · Avram Davidson · ss Whispers Dec ’75
· The Ghastly Priest Doth Reign · Manly Wade Wellman · ss F&SF Mar ’75
· A Visitor from Egypt · Frank Belknap Long · ss Weird Tales Sep ’30
· It Only Comes Out at Night · Dennis Etchison · ss Frights, ed. Kirby McCauley, St. Martins, 1976
· The Barrow Troll · David Drake · ss Whispers Dec ’75
· Special Award: Non-Professional, Carcosa · Stuart David Schiff · bg
· Two Suns Setting [Kane] · Karl Edward Wagner · nv Fantastic May ’76
· The Companion · Ramsey Campbell · ss Frights, ed. Kirby McCauley, St. Martins, 1976
· Best Artist: Frank Frazetta · Roger Dean · bg
· There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding · Russell Kirk · nv Frights, ed. Kirby McCauley, St. Martins, 1976
· Appendix: World Fantasy Awards 1973-1976 · Misc. · bi

-between pages 106 and 107, two-sided plates of two illustrations each from Tim Kirk and Stephen Fabian are included.

Perhaps even more than the first volume, edited by Gahan Wilson who had also designed the Howard, or HP Lovecraft bust that was the actual physical World Fantasy Award statue, this book is an essential slice through the fantasy field in the 1970s, and reaching forward and backward...though the women are remarkably absent in this volume (Patricia McKillip and Betty Ballantine at least were presences in the first)...except in the not insignificant role of being some of the editors who shepherded the careers of these writers along, and in Jonquil Leiber's case taking the initiative to write first to H. P. Lovecraft, bringing her new husband and his writing partner Harry Fischer to HPL's attention, and all three into the corresponding "Lovecraft Circle." Leiber's introductory essay, which I've reread for the first time in thirty years, notes this in the course of its leisurely, but densely-packed, passage in response to Lovecraft's personal note, criticizing earlier major horror-fiction writers including Poe for not sufficiently engaging the cosmic (Leiber ultimately decides Lovecraft is too sweeping...I should say so). The essay, indeed about "Terror, Mystery, Wonder," also responds to and expands upon "Supernatural Horror in Literature," Lovecraft's hugely influential essay, and particularly adds the actor Leiber's love of fantasy film, particularly that of Ingmar Bergman and Jean Cocteau, to the discussion. I'm going to need to read the essay again, and it by itself would justify the book (or its purchase) even without the often brilliant fiction and fine examples of visual art (and useful reportage about the awards) also offered.

If anything, the fiction selections for this second volume, which was meant (on its oddly delayed basis) to collect and cover the second and third annual Howard awards honorees, are even better than those of the first, including a mix of the winning and nominated short fiction, Stephen King's pendant story to his second novel, and selections from the collections of those who won for those collections or for life achievement; if Whispers magazine, Schiff's baby, and the original anthology Frights, edited by Kirby McCauley, are overrepresented, that is not truly damaging to this book nor the experience of reading it, particularly three decades later (particularly given that Whispers was the best fantasy/horror-fiction magazine of the '70s, Frights one of the best original anthologies); it also doesn't hurt that F&SF, Fantastic and other contemporary sources are represented, as well, and it can probably be forgiven that "The October Game," Bradbury's entry, isn't a fantasy (though a hell of a story, reprinted in the Hitchcock magazine in part because AH wanted to, and was eventually able to, adapt it for his television series). Arguable Spoiler****: Jeff Segal reminds me that the good Drake story, which I haven't yet reread, is also not quite fantasticated as it plays out.

Inasmuch as my copy, just purchased last week for a few dollars (it turns out to have been signed by Bradbury, Etchison and Campbell, in 1988 to judge by Bradbury's signature), was obtained with far greater ease than adolescent I could've found it for sale in 1980 (when I borrowed a public library copy to read it), I'd recommend doing the same...there are worse gifts, as a nice mix of the epochal ("Smoke Ghost") and the utterly brilliant (the Davidson, the Wagner) and the Campbell story King called the best "postwar horror story I have read"...and nobody here not at least trying to swing for the fences.

How casually we can treat our treasures, which, of course, is what FFB and similar projects (such as continuing columns in the fiction magazines F&SF and Tin House) are all about...for more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

FFB: NEW WORLDS OF FANTASY (1967) and its sequels (1970, 1971), edited by Terry Carr

The first New Worlds of Fantasy was one of the first anthologies Terry Carr would edit on his own, having already become the junior editorial partner for fantastic literature (including gothics and, soon, the significant Ace Specials line) at Ace Books and been paired with boss Donald Wollheim on the World's Best Science Fiction annual; looking back at them now, I'd failed to realize when reading them in the late '70s how much they attempted at least a reasonably focused sampling of the current fantasy fiction, particularly of the kind that has since been tagged as "urban" or contemporary fantasy, which seemed to be flourishing alongside the new emphasis on literary ambition in science fiction in the latter '60s and early '70s. Every volume features a story by Carr himself, which isn't simply egomania, as he was a brilliant and unprolific fantasist, and usually in this mode...his one collection of short fiction missed essentially only one major short work, "Virra," that would be collected in a special convention anthology a few years later. Jorge Luis Borges is in each volume, as are R. A. Lafferty and Avram Davidson (though Davidson is not represented, I'd suggest, by the best possible selections, even stressing their contemporary status), and there's no one in the books who is clearly, utterly out of place, and several you'd be hard-pressed to find too many other places, at least in anthologies of fiction, such as the fannish writer Britt Schweitzer or chess humorist Victor Contoski...I've yet to seek out anything else by Alfred Gillespie, and I suspect that Carr read the Leonid Andreyev in its then-recent Magazine of Horror reprint...happily, there's been at least a little more translated from him. I think Carr might've been the first to reprint Peter Beagle in a fantasy-tagged context, to the benefit of all. And the second volume particularly featured new fiction...even if it's very strange that it took until the third volume for Carr to collect a Fritz Leiber story.

A fine trio of books, and indicative of how Carr would continue his valuable, too short career as an editor, and his too sparse career as a writer of fiction.

from the Contento indices:
New Worlds of Fantasy ed. Terry Carr (Ace A-12, 1967, 75¢, 253pp, pb); In England as Step Outside Your Mind (Dobson 1969).

8 · Introduction · Terry Carr · in
11 · Divine Madness · Roger Zelazny · ss Magazine of Horror Sum ’66
18 · Break the Door of Hell [Traveler in Black] · John Brunner · nv Impulse Apr ’66
52 · The Immortal · Jorge Luís Borges · ss Labyrinths, New Directions, 1962
66 · Narrow Valley · R. A. Lafferty · ss F&SF Sep ’66
80 · Comet Wine · Ray Russell · nv Playboy Mar ’67
97 · The Other · Katherine MacLean · ss New Worlds Jul ’66
101 · A Red Heart and Blue Roses · Mildred Clingerman · ss A Cupful of Space, Ballantine, 1961
118 · Stanley Toothbrush [as by Carl Brandon] · Terry Carr · ss F&SF Jul ’62
133 · The Squirrel Cage · Thomas M. Disch · ss New Worlds Oct ’66
147 · Come Lady Death · Peter S. Beagle · ss Atlantic Monthly Sep ’63
164 · Nackles [as by Curt Clark] · Donald Westlake· ss F&SF Jan ’64
172 · The Lost Leonardo · J. G. Ballard · ss F&SF Mar ’64
190 · Timothy [Anita] · Keith Roberts · ss sf Impulse Sep ’66
203 · Basilisk · Avram Davidson · nv *
228 · The Evil Eye · Alfred Gillespie · nv The Saturday Evening Post Jan 15 ’66

New Worlds of Fantasy No. 2 ed. Terry Carr (Ace 57271, 1970, 75¢, 254pp, pb)

9 · Introduction · Terry Carr · in
13 · The Petrified World · Robert Sheckley · ss If Feb ’68
23 · The Scarlet Lady [as by Alistair Bevan] · Keith Roberts · nv Impulse Aug ’66
63 · They Loved Me in Utica · Avram Davidson · ss *
67 · The Library of Babel [1941] · Jorge Luís Borges · ss Ficciones, Weidenfeld Nicolson, 1962
76 · The Ship of Disaster · Barrington J. Bayley · ss New Worlds Jun ’65
93 · Window Dressing · Joanna Russ · ss *
100 · By the Falls · Harry Harrison · ss If Jan ’70
108 · The Night of the Nickel Beer · Kris Neville · ss Escapade Dec ’67
118 · A Quiet Kind of Madness · David Redd · nv F&SF May ’68
148 · A Museum Piece · Roger Zelazny · ss Fantastic Jun ’63
158 · The Old Man of the Mountains · Terry Carr · ss F&SF Apr ’63
168 · En Passant · Britt Schweitzer · ss Habakkuk Dec ’60
175 · Backward, Turn Backward · Wilmar H. Shiras · nv *
196 · His Own Kind · Thomas M. Disch · ss *
206 · Perchance to Dream · Katherine MacLean · vi *
209 · Lazarus · Leonid Andreyev · ss, 1906; Weird Tales Mar ’27
229 · The Ugly Sea · R. A. Lafferty · ss The Literary Review Fll ’60
243 · The Movie People · Robert Bloch · ss F&SF Oct ’69

New Worlds of Fantasy No. 3 ed. Terry Carr (Ace 57272, 1971, 75¢, 253pp, pb)

9 · Introduction · Terry Carr · in
11 · Farrell and Lila the Werewolf [Sam Farrell] · Peter S. Beagle · nv guabi #1 ’69
39 · Adam Had Three Brothers · R. A. Lafferty · ss New Mexico Quarterly Review Fll ’60
53 · Big Sam · Avram Davidson · ss Alchemy & Academe, ed. Anne McCaffrey, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970
61 · Longtooth · Edgar Pangborn · nv F&SF Jan ’70
107 · The Inner Circles · Fritz Leiber · ss F&SF Oct ’67
125 · Von Goom’s Gambit · Victor Contoski · ss Chess Review Apr ’66; F&SF Dec ’66
133 · Through a Glass—Darkly · Zenna Henderson · nv F&SF Oct ’70
165 · The Stainless Steel Leech [as by Harrison Denmark] · Roger Zelazny · ss Amazing Apr ’63
173 · Sleeping Beauty · Terry Carr · ss F&SF May ’67
187 · The Plot Is the Thing · Robert Bloch · ss F&SF Jul ’66
197 · Funes the Memorious [1941] · Jorge Luís Borges · ss Ficciones, Weidenfeld Nicolson, 1962
207 · Say Goodbye to the Wind [Vermillion Sands] · J. G. Ballard · ss Fantastic Aug ’70
227 · A Message from Charity · William M. Lee · ss F&SF Nov ’67

FFB/"forgotten" stories: UNCOLLECTED CRIMES ed Pronzini, Greenberg; UNCOLLECTED STARS ed Malzberg, Anthony, Waugh, Greenberg; FINE FRIGHTS ed Campbell

from the Contento indices:
Fine Frights: Stories that Scared Me ed. Ramsey Campbell (Tor 0-812-51670-2, Aug ’88 [Jul ’88], $3.95, 309pp, pb) Anthology of 12 horror stories.
ix · Introduction · Ramsey Campbell · in
1 · Child’s Play · Villy Sørensen; trans. by Maureen Neiiendam · ss Strange Stories, 1956
15 · More Sinned Against · Karl Edward Wagner · ss In a Lonely Place, Scream/Press, 1984
43 · Lost Memory · Peter Phillips · ss Galaxy May ’52
67 · The Fifth Mask · Shamus Frazer · nv London Mystery Magazine #33 ’57
91 · The Horror at Chilton Castle · Joseph Payne Brennan · nv Scream at Midnight, New Haven, CT: Macabre Press, 1963
119 · The Clerks of Domesday · John Brunner · nv *
157 · Thurnley Abbey · Perceval Landon · ss Raw Edges, Heinemann, 1908
187 · Cutting Down · Bob Shaw · ss IASFM Dec ’82
219 · The Necromancer [as by Ingulphus] · Arthur Gray · ss The Cambridge Review Oct 17 ’12
235 · The Greater Festival of Masks · Thomas Ligotti · ss Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Silver Scarab Press, 1985
251 · The War Is Over · David Case · ss *
269 · Upon the Dull Earth · Philip K. Dick · nv Beyond Fantasy Fiction #9 ’54

Uncollected Stars ed. Piers Anthony, Martin H. Greenberg, Barry N. Malzberg & Charles G. Waugh (Avon 0-380-89596-X, Feb ’86 [Jan ’86], $3.50, 312pp, pb) Anthology of 16 previously uncollected stories, with a foreword by Anthony and an afterword by Malzberg.
1 · Introduction · Piers Anthony · in
6 · Time Enough · Lewis Padgett · ss Astounding Dec ’46
26 · The Soul-Empty Ones · Walter M. Miller, Jr. · nv Astounding Aug ’51
62 · Defender of the Faith · Alfred Coppel · ss Science Fiction Quarterly Nov ’52
76 · All of You · James V. McConnell · ss Beyond Fantasy Fiction Jul ’53
82 · The Holes · Michael Shaara · ss Fantastic Jun ’54
91 · Beast in the House · Michael Shaara · ss Orbit #4 ’54
102 · Little Boy [as by Harry Neal] · Jerome Bixby · ss If Oct ’54
116 · Unwillingly to School [Lizzie Lee] · Pauline Ashwell · nv Astounding Jan ’58
163 · Brother Robot · Henry Slesar · ss Amazing May ’58
178 · The Risk Profession · Donald E. Westlake · nv Amazing Mar ’61
205 · The Stuff · Henry Slesar · ss Galaxy Aug ’61
211 · Arcturus Times Three [Jerry Norcriss] · Jack Sharkey · nv Galaxy Oct ’61
244 · They Are Not Robbed · Richard M. McKenna · nv F&SF Jan ’68
275 · The Creatures of Man · Verge Foray · ss If May ’68
291 · Only Yesterday · Ted White · ss Amazing Jul ’69
301 · An Agent in Place · Laurence M. Janifer · ss Analog May ’73
311 · Afterword · Barry N. Malzberg · aw

from the Paperback Swap citation (which refers to "Manjunt" magazine)
Uncollected Crimes, edited by Bill Pronzini and Martin Harry Greenberg, fiction contents (w/o accounting the introduction, etc.)
Publisher: Berkley Pub Group
Book Type: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780425116135 - ISBN-10: 0425116131
Publication Date: 6/1/1989
Pages: 240
(after the Walker hardcover, 1987)
[original publication sources taken from Contento/Stephensen-Payne indices and The Thrilling Detective citations of the individual stories, for the most part, when I could find such citations.]

Two O'Clock Blonde -- James M. Cain (Manhunt, August 1953)
Riddle of the Marble Blade -- Stuart Palmer ([Hildegarde Withers], nv Mystery, Nov 1934; reprinted The Saint Detective Magazine [UK] Nov 1962)
The $5,000 Getaway -- Jack Ritchie (ss AHMM May '59)
Squealer -- John D. MacDonald (Manhunt, vol. 4 # 5, May 1956)
The Cackle Bladder -- William Campbell Gault (originally as “The Corpse and the Cackle-Bladder”, nv Detective Tales Mar 1950; reprinted Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine [Australia] Jan 1961)
Everybody Needs a Mink -- Dorothy B. Hughes (ss The Saint Mystery Magazine [UK] Jun 1965; The Saint Mystery Magazine [US] Jul 1965)
I Still See Sally -- John Jakes
Homecoming -- Michael Collins
The Deadly Mrs. Haversham -- Helen Nielsen (AHMM, Apr. 1958)
The Problem of the County Fair -- Edward D. Hoch ([Dr. Sam Hawthorne], ss EQMM Feb 1978)
The Tree on Execution Hill -- Loren D. Estleman (ss AHMM Aug 1977)
Bank Job -- Bill Pronzini (August 1978, EQMM)
Discount Fare -- John Lutz (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, April 1979)
Consolation -- Ed McBain (1976, Mystery Monthly)

While Ramsey Campbell was recalling the "lost" stories that had made the greatest impression on him, Martin Greenberg and his collaborators sought out the stories that had never been collected in book form (I could dig out online the magazine appearances for the Unollected Crimes stories faster than I could dig out my copy from storage and copy from the acknowledgements page, I suspect, though maybe not--the only one I'd read in its original magazine appearance was Pronzini's own "Bank Job," in one of the first Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazines I purchased off the newsstand) the average quality of the Campbell is greater, but all three books will amply reward the Forgotten Books reader's efforts in finding's almost but not quite an inevitable irony that all of these have fallen out of print, in their efforts to revive interest (Barry Malzberg, never one to let an irony slip away from him, has noted that this was the first book published under Piers Anthony's byline not to earn out its advance--I certainly picked up my copy from a huge remaindered stack in a bookstore, a relative rarity for a mass-market paperback...and, I note, nearly a quarter century later [time does fly] Anthony is now a less potent commercial force than he was in the '80s and has less presence in the marketplace than Greenberg, if still a fair amount in print).

The notion that these might be rare treasures or near-(enough-)treasures, often from writers whose careers (at least in the fields the anthologies collect) were unfairly and/or unfortunately brief, is perhaps just not a sufficient motivation to the casual readership, however much it might draw readers such as you or me. The supporting material is useful and interesting in each volume, if thinner than one would like in a few instances (and most amusingly the editors of Stars are not afraid to disagree with and correct each other in their notes.) All three, in the paperback editions (Crimes had a hardcover edition, too...from Pronzini's publisher Walker & Co. in 1987) were produced using acid-soaked paper, undistinguished at best covers (see above), and rather weak bindings (even for paperbacks of their era), so somewhat battered examples of the books are more likely than near-mint ones. But any books that will give you examples of solid work by good, and sometimes even continuingly famous, artists in the fields, and such bonuses in the Campbell as the best unfamous story by Joseph Payne Brennan I've read (and one of the best by him, better than such well-known items as "Gavagan's Back Yard") and Philip Dick's brilliant "Upon the Dull Earth" (I first read it here), are worth the quick search and reasonable expense online or at your favorite well-stocked second-hand store.

Friday's "Forgotten" Book: THE HORROR HALL OF FAME edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin Harry Greenberg (Carroll & Graf 1991)

The contents, courtesy of William Contento and LOCUS magazine:

The Horror Hall of Fame ed. Robert Silverberg & Martin H. Greenberg (Carroll & Graf 0-88184-692-9, Jul ’91, $21.95, 416pp, hc); Anthology of 18 classic horror stories. There is an uncredited introduction by Stefan Dziemianowicz.
9 · Introduction [by Stefan R. Dziemianowicz] · Anon. · in
17 · The Fall of the House of Usher · Edgar Allan Poe · ss Burton’s Gentlemen’s Magazine Sep, 1839
36 · Green Tea [Martin Hesselius] · Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu · nv All the Year Round Oct 23-Nov 13, 1869
69 · The Damned Thing · Ambrose Bierce · ss Tales from New York Town Topics Dec 7, 1893; Weird Tales Sep ’23
79 · The Yellow Sign · Robert W. Chambers · nv The King in Yellow, New York & Chicago: F. Tennyson Neely, 1895
101 · The Monkey’s Paw · W. W. Jacobs · ss Harper’s Monthly Sep ’02
113 · The White People · Arthur Machen · nv Horlick’s Magazine Jan ’04
152 · The Willows · Algernon Blackwood · na The Listener and Other Stories, London: Eveleigh Nash, 1907
202 · Casting the Runes · M. R. James · nv More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Arnold, 1911
224 · The Graveyard Rats · Henry Kuttner · ss Weird Tales Mar ’36
234 · Pigeons from Hell · Robert E. Howard · nv Weird Tales May ’38
263 · It · Theodore Sturgeon · nv Unknown Aug ’40
289 · Smoke Ghost · Fritz Leiber · ss Unknown Oct ’41
306 · Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper · Robert Bloch · ss Weird Tales Jul ’43
324 · The Small Assassin · Ray Bradbury · ss Dime Mystery Magazine Nov ’46
341 · The Whimper of Whipped Dogs · Harlan Ellison · ss Bad Moon Rising, ed. Thomas M. Disch, Harper & Row, 1973
360 · Calling Card · Ramsey Campbell · ss Dark Companions, Macmillan, 1982
367 · Coin of the Realm · Charles L. Grant · ss Tales from the Nightside, Arkham House, 1981
380 · The Reach [“Do the Dead Sing?”] · Stephen King · ss Yankee Nov ’81
402 · Biographical Notes · Misc. Material · bg

This book has been mentioned and detailed in this blog before, but now for a closer look (particularly after I finally obtained my own copy, and have passed one along to a friend who was bogging down after making the error of buying the B&N Lovecraft omnibus because she thought she was getting first-rate fiction conmensurate with HPL's rep). This was the third such volume that Robert Silverberg has put together, after similar volumes assembled from poll-winners among sf writers (the SF Writers of America's THE SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME, Volume 1) and fantasy fans (THE FANTASY HALL OF FAME, from a poll at a World Fantasy Convention). This one was shaped by ballots at two succeeding World Fantasy Conventions...and it's a solid set, slightly remarkable in that no Lovecraft story managed to make the final cut (not remarkable in artistic so much as populist terms).

It's a collection of chestnuts, as any such "Hall of Fame" volume is likely to be...and only in a few cases do we have a bit of electoral injustice, such as Robert Bloch represented by his most widely-plagiarized story (and one of the most widely-plagiarized stories ever written--only Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" comes to mind as one more widely aped), rather than his best, by any means. Ray Bradbury might be represented a bit more relevantly by a story either more believeable (say, "The October Game") or actually supernatural horror (say, "Skeleton"), but that's less unjust than passing over such Bloch wonders as "Sweets to the Sweet" or "The Weird Tailor" for Jack.

More troubling is the utter lack of women writers in the book...Shirley Jackson, Margaret St. Clair (aka Idris Seabright), Patricia Highsmith, Joan Aiken (among those active at mid-20th Century...Edith Wharton being an example of someone who might've inspired them) all come to mind as having obvious candidate-stories that probably should've made the ballot, if Silverberg and Greenberg provided suggestions to the voters or not. The absence of Manly Wade Wellman, Dennis Etchison, John Collier, Saki, E. F. Benson is made more obvious by the inclusion of Stephen King, however many people might or might not've picked up the book solely for his name.

That noted, this is an excellent collection for the most part, and an even better means of giving the curious reader a sense of the range of horror fiction over the last century and a half...the fiction gives a sense of that better than the uncredited introduction or the story headnotes, both of which have an unfortunate tendency to blow plot points of the stories collected here, so they are best read after reading the stories, or at least any stories that one hasn't read before.

And if you've not read any of these stories before, including the most influential of Fritz Leiber's short horror fictions and perhaps the best thing Robert Howard wrote, certainly the most famous stories that most of these talented men have written, or at least among their horror fiction (Sturgeon came close to "It" with "Shottle Bop" and several others...Bierce has at least a dozen that rival the selection here, and Poe a few other truly fantasticated horrors, not least "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"...)'s hard to go wrong here.

And the introduction is a much less unreliable guide to the field than, say, David Hartwell's attempt at a similar, if more ambitious, guide in his anthology The Dark Descent.

Good stuff. Pity that its publisher has given up the ghost, and it's out of print, though pretty easily available on the secondhand market, in both the original and Doubleday/SF Book Club edition.

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Horace Silver, 1928-2014

in 1989

Let’s Get to the Nitty Gritty : The Autobiography of Horace Silver (1986)

Horace Silver: Jazz Times; Downbeat

Horace Silver Quintet: "Song for My Father"'ve almost certainly heard a snatch of this one of late, between the holiday and Silver's passing yesterday.

The Jazz Messengers (essentially, in first form): A Night at Birdland, Volume 1

Horace Silver Quintet: "Nobody Knows" (from The United States of Mind)

Horace Silver Quintet: "The Gods of Yoruba," Part 1

Part 2

Horace Silver Quintet and Elvin Jones Trio: Jazz After Midnight (1968)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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

Below, the links to this week's reviews and citations, including a few "make-goods" for bad links last week. As always, please let me know in comments when I've missed yours or someone else's...and, as always, thanks to all our contributors and to you readers...a few more are likely to be added over the course of the day.

Anne Billson: Woman or Doll? How to Spot the Difference (Only God Forgives, et al.)

EQMM's Fiction Podcast 
Bill Crider: Ladyhawke [trailer]; Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine's Fiction Podcast

BV Lawson: Media Murder

David Vineyard: Keoma

Ed Lynskey: The Face Behind the Mask

Elizabeth Foxwell: Trifles

Evan Lewis: What's My Line?: "Dale Evans and Roy Rogers"

George Kelley: Kenneth Turan's Must List

How Did This Get Made?: Easy Rider 2: The Ride Back

Iba Dawson, et al.: Tribeca 2014
The Constant Gardener

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Pay Cable Weekends

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Wagon Train: "The Fort Pierce Story"

Jackie Kashian: Emo Philips and his documentarians

Jake Hinkson: Caged
Splendor in the Grass

James Reasoner: Splendor in the Grass

Jeff Flugel: Fathers in film

Jerry House: The Jack Benny Show: "Sherlock Holmes" (radio)

John Charles: Repo Man

John Grant: Murder is News; Moderato Cantabile (aka Seven Days...Seven Nights)

Jonathan Lewis: Naked City: "A Death of Princes"; The Giant Behemoth

Kate Laity: Dellani's Tea Time

Laura: The Mississippi Gambler; Strange Lady in Town

Lucy Brown: Annie Oakley (1935 film); They Won't Believe Me; Happy Valley

Son of Kong
Marty McKee: Firefox

Mystery Dave: Chisum

Patti Abbott: Louise Fletcher among the indelibly tagged...

Paul Brazil: Wild BillSightseersThe Angels’ ShareHarriganRedemption

Pilot Viruet: 10 Potentially Great TV Shows That Never Aired

Prashant Trikannad: Hour of the Gun; Three Men from TexasThe Five Man Army

Randy Johnson: Each Dawn I Die; Two Brothers, One Death (aka Dos hombres van a morir)

Rick: the Five Best Movie Robots
We Are the Best!

Rod Lott: I, Frankenstein

Ron Scheer: A Family Musicale

Sergio Angelini: Audio drama

Sharon Elizabeth Doyle: Cagney and Lacey

Stacia Jones: We Are the Best!; Supermensch

Stephen Bowie: Stanford Whitmore
Hold Your Breath

Steve Lewis: Horror Express; The Man They Could Not Hang

Todd Mason: The Thrilling Adventure Hour; Wits; Risk; Annabelle Gurwitch and Barbara Ehrenreich

Walter Albert: Hold Your Breath

Yvette Banek: 1930s Film Posters; Son of Kong