MOVIE TRAILER Update : STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS in IMAX

star_trek_into_darkness_ver2_xlg

The third and latest trailer for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is out, and while it still doesn’t make me as excited as the trailer to JJ Abram’s first STAR TREK movie, it however is far better than the earlier teaser trailers. There’s actually a story here that I’m intrigued to view and the visuals are, in a word, sublime.

For those of us who grew us with the Star Trek mythos, the trailer doesn’t particularly scream Star Trek. It feels like something decidedly different and I for one think that’s a good thing. With sequences shot in the 70mm IMAX format (not with the IMAX 3D cameras) it should be a great film to see on a REAL IMAX movie theater.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (would it have killed them to put a ‘The” in there?! :) ) hits theaters on May 17th.

startrekintodrk

Star Trek vs. Star Wars?!!

David W of BadAzz Mofo, the publisher of the FANTASTIC BadAzz Mofo Magazine of the same name, also runs a way cool blog, that I need to visit more often.

Why?

Here’s why:

Hilarious! Read his whole blog here!. And while there pick up his books and mags, they come recommended! And tell em HT sent ya!!!!

DVD REVIEW: DOCTOR WHO – THE HAND OF FEAR aka the SEXIEST DR WHO Villain?!!!?

Well that’s a strange heading for a blog post I admit, but I was re-watching the 1976 episode of DOCTOR WHO: THE HAND OF FEAR, and man is this a ‘rocking’ episode of Doctor Who!

Okay the following contains spoilers for the episode (as well as a smattering of risque adult themed humor :)), now you regular readers know I typically avoid spoilers like the plague, but there is no way to really sell this episode and not describe its reveals. And it is still a great episode, even when you know what is coming.

However, jump to the last paragraph if you want to avoid any spoilers (or avoid tasteless humor :)).

For the rest of you… into the mystery.

This 4 part episode works in large part because of the villain of Eldrad played by Judith Paris. A silicone rock based creature who is one of the first scifi gender-bending characters I’m aware of. This alien menace starts out off camera as a dude, becomes a dudette, and in the final episode returns to a dude form. It’s probably just as well that I didn’t see the whole serial as a kid, as my young mind may not have been able to compute all that. But as an adult I can appreciate the entire serial.

But yeah the first three episodes, and much of the fourth are just great, and again largely it’s because the villain of Eldrad is such a rich and complex character. Powerful, a bit violent, but also a bit vulnerable, it’s just a well written part, that Judith Paris I thought performed the heck out of.

It didn’t hurt at all that she was drop-dead gorgeous. Between her and Catwoman in the Adam West Batman reruns… I knew puberty had arrived. :)

Wait did I say that out loud?!!

What can I say that woman was frigging gorgeous. Okay there were slight problems, she was an alien menace, and she was made out of rock. Okay I see that being a minor hiccup, but hand me my ‘Ben Grimm’ condoms and cry ‘Clobbering Time!’, and I’m good.

(Heh, Heh! That joke is only for fans of the FF. Yes, I am evil! :) )

Okay getting my mind out of the gutter (I’m telling you, I’m going to find that costume and put my girlfriend in it— wait… did I say THAT out loud?!! DOH!!) it’s just a great 4 part storyline, right up till the last episode, when Judith Paris’ Eldrad gives way to a male version.

Now, I’m not a sexist, and I’m not going to hate on the rock dude villain, because he’s a dude, but I am going to hate on him because… he is effing rubbish! Eldrad turns from a complex, intriguing, nuanced character, to this blustering, shouting, scenery chewing, mustache twirling stock villain… yeah.. it is just disappointing; a glaring combination of bad writing, and horrendously bad over acting.

But thankfully the screen-time of the male Eldrad is brief, and the episode ends on one of the pivotal scenes between the Doctor and his companion, Sarah Jane Smith. It was a good four part-er that really showed how well these two work together and what they mean to each other, which made the ending all the more… bitter-sweet.

All in all it is not a perfect episode of Doctor Who, largely because of dropping the ball with the demise of Eldrad, but that aside it’s a beautifully directed, and well performed episode that comes highly recommended. Plus the DVD offers a commentary with the cast, so it’s worth getting for that alone. Grade: B/B+.

Doctor Who: The Hand of Fear (Story 87)

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Recommended Writers and their most celebrated work: HUGH HOLTON and his Larry Cole Series

Proof positive I do this blog to educate myself as much as entertain anyone else, is this post on Hugh Holton.

I knew Hugh Holton was a high ranking, highly decorated Chicago Police Officer.

I knew he was a fantastic writer from owning and reading three of his books.

I knew he had passed in 2001.

I did not know he had as many books, above and beyond the ones I own. Given his responsibilities as one of Chicago’s Top Cops, that he was able to be as prolific (and going by the novels I’ve read, as consistently good) as he was, is quite amazing.

So without further ado, today’s Recommended Writer is HUGH HOLTON:

Police Lieutenant Hugh Holton was a twenty-nine year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He authored several bestselling novels, including, Time of the Assassins, The Left Hand of God, and Violent Crimes. At the time of his death, at the age of only 54, Hugh Holton was the highest ranking active police officer writing novels in America.

1994. Presumed Dead
1995. Windy City
1996. Chicago Blues
1997. Violent Crimes
1998. Red Lightning

1999. Left Hand of God, The
2000. Time of the Assassins
2001. Devils Shadow, The

The following three titles were published posthumously, which is why they came as a surprise to me when researching this post. I’ve heard REVENGE was an early discarded rough draft of his, so it’s not up to Hugh Holton’s high standards. It’s something he would have tweaked/perfected had he known it was being published. So take that into consideration when reading it. It’s basically just an early draft, the publisher decided to put out there, so judge it as such, and not as representative of Hugh Holton’s usual great work.

2002. Criminal Element (Amazon – Alibris)
2005. Thin Black Line, The (Amazon – Alibris)
2009. Revenge (Amazon – Alibris)

I was turned onto Hugh Holton’s fantastic Larry Cole mystery series a while ago, and they are pulse-pounding procedurals and thrillers, grounded by the experience of someone who knows intimately the facts behind the fictions… he writes about.. My personal favorite of the three novels I’ve read so far is the juggernaut-like TIME OF THE ASSASSINS. In terms of pacing, and just keeping you racing till the end, it’s the strongest [the others I own are WINDY CITY, and VIOLENT CRIMES].

It was a great starting point for me to the excellent body of work Hugh Holton left us with, but I think I’ll now go back, pick up all the books I’m missing and read them all chronologically.

REVENGE, by all reports should not be considered part of the chronology, it’s something that (again according to reports) was not ready for publication, and was put out as a cash grab by the family and the publisher. It’s a curio, at best, and I would have less problem with it if the family had put their name on the novel(his Daughter I believe signed off on this version), rather than just Hugh Holton’s.

Being a writer, the idea of assigning sole responsibility to me, for something I didn’t have the chance to proof/edit… well that would bug me even in the grave. A writer’s books are his reputation.

And Hugh Holton has a well earned, and well deserved reputation as a great writer. Try the books for yourself at the links below! And tell’em HT sent ya!!!

The Thin Black Line: True Stories by Black Law Enforcement Officers Policing America’s Meanest Streets
Presumed Dead (Larry Cole)

Windy City

Chicago Blues (Mysteries & Horror)

Violent Crimes (A Larry Cole Mystery)

Red Lightning (A Larry Cole Mystery)

The Left Hand of God (Larry Cole Mystery)

Time of the Assassins

The Devil’s Shadow

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Pic courtesy Planet Preset

See more on this writer at SciFan.
As well as an informative interview with him, done shortly before his passing, here!

MONARCHS OF MAYHEM: AN INTERVIEW WITH DERRICK FERGUSON


“Fortune nodded pleasantly at those who acknowledged his presence. There were many who did not. A significant number of who had enjoyed the hospitality of Fortune’s gambling ship and had drunk champagne with him and laughed at his jokes. But here, they looked right through him as though he simply were not there.

Fortune wasn’t offended. Despite his wealth, his obvious culture and intelligence, he was still a Negro and therefore, even though his wealth afforded him access into company such as this, he would never be truly accepted by them.

And showing up at a function such as this, even though he was invited…well, most here would treat him as a novelty and others as a bounder. And as for having a white woman on his arm…there were some here in their finery and jewels and aristocratic bearing who cheerfully would have hung Fortune from the nearest tree for such an insult to their delicate sensibilities. But the bottom line was this: he was providing them a service. An outlet to indulge themselves at night but deny in the light of day. And providing that service discreetly was armor more protective than any forged by the finest of iron workers.”
The Adventures of Fortune McCall

Derrick Ferguson hails from Brooklyn, NY which as all right thinking people know is the true and proper Center Of The Universe. The son of Leroy and Corine Ferguson, he was introduced by them to movies and books which soon became the twin passions that ignited his desire to tell stories of his own. Inspired to become a rule-breaking writer, he dedicated himself to learning the rules so that he might break them more fully and artistically. Derrick’s manic obsessions are carefully monitored by his wife, Patricia.–Bio


What impresses me about Derrick Ferguson is just the broadness of his interests and passions, and how all of that informs his work.

With interests that range from old radio shows to classic pulps to comic books to science fiction to movies, as well as being a pioneer in the fields of pod-casting (as co-host of the fun film pod-cast BETTER IN THE DARK with Thomas Deja) and E-books, Derrick Ferguson is a writer and creator who combines the best of the old, with the sophistication of the new.

And I was honored to have him consent to the following. He is a wealth of knowledge, and it all comes across in the great answers provided below. Check the links as he gives a clinic on great writers, books, and films for you to search out and get. Enjoy!!

“Written in the fashion of the classic pulp novels made popular by characters such as Doc Savage and The Shadow, author Derrick Ferguson has created a new adventure hero whose toughness and bravado will be long remembered after you finish reading this book.”- GOOD READS on the Dillon Books

HT: What is your favorite genre or genres?
DF: Well, quite naturally, given the stuff I write my favorite genre is pulp action adventure. I’m also a lover of science fiction, western and detective/spy fiction.

HT: What is the favorite thing you’ve written?
DF: Right now I’d have to say that “Dillon and The Judas Chalice” which is in the anthology FOUR BULLETS FOR DILLON is my current favorite. I’m usually not entirely satisfied with my work but that story I point to with pride and say without any hesitation that it’s a damn good story.
Four Bullets for Dillon

HT: Name 5 classic or genre writers who inspire or impress or influence you?
DF: Lester Dent. Robert R. McCammon. Charles Saunders. George C. Chesbro. Robert E. Howard.

[Lester Dent created and wrote pulp hero DOC SAVAGE, some books by or about him are:

The Revised Complete Chronology of Bronze

Doc Savage Omnibus, Vol. 1: The All-White Elf / the Running Skeletons / the Angry Canary / The Swooning Lady

Honey in his Mouth (Hard Case Crime)

George C. Chesbro is known for:
Shadow of a Broken Man

And for more Charles Saunders greatness see our coverage here!-- HT]

HT: Name some current or new writers, whose work you’ve recently read or discovered that impressed you.
DF: Wayne Reinagle: He’s emerged as one of the truly distinctive voices of New Pulp. He writes truly epic stories spanning generations of adventure. He writes the New Pulp equivalent of “Gone With The Wind” and as good as the books he’s already written are, I believe that he’s got even better books ahead.

Paul Bishop and Mel Odom: These two gentlemen are singlehandedly bringing back the boxing pulp genre with the FIGHT CARD series. When most people think of Pulp, they think of characters such as Doc Savage, The Spider, Conan or The Phantom Detective. But a multitude of genres came under the umbrella of pulp adventure and boxing pulp was one of the most popular.

Milton Davis: a writer and editor of enormous drive, talent and passion who I feel is the natural successor to Charles Saunders in the field of Sword and Soul. For those of you who don’t know, Sword and Soul is heroic fantasy fiction based on African culture, history and mythology. In recent years Milton Davis has been tireless in expanding this genre and bringing it to mainstream attention.

Meji Book One
Meji Book Two
Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology

Valjeanne Jeffers: she’s an important voice that has brought me back to reading science fiction which I’ve been neglecting for some time now. But her work isn’t just science fiction. She blends fantasy and horror in a wonderful mixture of truly well-written and compelling prose.
Immortal

HT: Going along with the above name an author or authors (either new or old) who you think don’t get the attention they deserve, and everyone should be reading?

DF: Robert R. McCammon has never gotten the credit he deserves. He is quite simply one of the most amazing writers I’ve ever read. His SWAN SONG is easily just as good as Stephen King’s THE STAND. STINGER is a book I’d have sold a kidney to be able to write. And THE WOLF’S HOUR is one of the best pulp adventures written in the past fifty years.

Swan Song
Stinger
The Wolf’s Hour

George C. Chesbro is a writer who through his own work which blends the hardboiled detective/spy genre with mysticism, science fiction, mystery, martial arts and the supernatural taught me not to be afraid of mixing genres together.

Charles Saunders is a creative powerhouse that I frankly am in awe of. His IMARO series should be required reading for anybody who wants to write heroic fantasy/sword-and sorcery.

HT: Name 2 or 3 of your favorite horror short stories.
DF: Robert E. Howard’s “Pigeons From Hell”
Stephen King’s “The Jaunt”
Ray Bardbury’s “Mars Is Heaven”

HT:Name 5 Favorite films, horror or otherwise.
DF: I’ll give you my five favorite horror films first:
“House on Haunted Hill” (1959)
“The Haunting”
“Night of The Hunter”
“Angel Heart”
“Phantasm”

And here’s my five favorite films. At least for right now. Ask me the same question a couple of days from now and you’ll probably get a completely different list. Here goes:
“The Ten Commandments”
“Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”
“Once Upon a Time In The West”
“Blazing Saddles”
“Jackie Brown”

HT: What do you think can or should be done to get more writers producing genre fiction?
DF: First and foremost, writers should write whatever they feel compelled or driven to write. To do otherwise would not be true to the desire of their particular creative muse. And there is a considerable number of writers… who are producing genre fiction. It’s just that readers aren’t reading it. And that’s not an indictment against readers at all. Money is tight and times is even tighter. Writers… are struggling against other forms of entertainment such as video games, the Internet, cable/satellite TV with 500 channels, Netflix, Hulu… you get my point.

HT: And finally in closing with a little less than 11 months left in 2012, what are you looking forward to?
DF: Sleeping less and writing more.


I want to thank Derrick Ferguson for some excellent insight into the medium, and introducing myself and others to voices we might otherwise have missed. And please show your support as well, by using the links and treating yourself to some great films and books including the following:

Dillon and the Voice of Odin

The Adventures of Fortune McCall

Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: THOSE WHO WALK IN DARKNESS by John Ridley

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: THOSE WHO WALK IN DARKNESS by John Ridley, Read by Patricia R. Floyd

This is the first book in John Ridley’s SOLEDAD series. Set in an alternate world where superheroes aren’t just real, but have fallen from grace like pop stars or athletes, and are now considered terrorists and are hunted and killed if found in America.

Our protagonist, Soledad, is a member of the special LA unit that hunts and kills super powered beings. It’s capably read by Patricia R. Floyd, who gives the characters distinct voices. The issue isn’t the reading.

The problem is trying to do a super-hero pastiche/deconstruction is a bit of an uphill battle in any format, just because it has been done so well, by so many in comic-book/graphic novel form. From WATCHMEN to KINGDOM COME to MARVELS it’s this huge history of mankind dealing with beings they do not trust. And it has been done, exceptionally well, in the medium that is tailor-made for these types of stories… comics.

Now John Ridley brings this tale of a mutant hating cop into novel form, and it’s not badly told, even exciting in places, it’s just from scene one it feels dreadfully familiar and by the numbers. Bigoted cop and this tale of redemption, either because she sees the good some ‘mutants’ can do, or perhaps learns she’s part mutant. And if there’s no redemption, that’s even worse. That’s spending time with an unlikeable character that stays unlikeable, ie a David Ayer movie (Not a fan, hated his TRAINING DAY, didn’t like his HARSH TIMES any better).

I don’t know, point is by the third cassette, I just don’t care. I’m just not interested. It just feels like a chore to slog through. Cop shoots Angel, and tries to justify it. Yada, Yada, Yada. It’s just hundreds of words in and I don’t feel any fresh ideas.

Possibly someone who brings no superhero experience to the novel will get more out of it, though I find it hard to believe if you have no interest in previous superhero items you’ll for some reason find this of interest. And those who do bring a history with the concept, will just find it, like myself, marking time till it gets out of first gear.

I couldn’t tell you, because I just could not be bothered to go any further. Only the excellent reading by Patricia Floyd kept me going this far, reading the paperback I would have become severely disinterested quite a bit before.

My recommendation… stick to John Ridley’s earlier pure mystery/pulp fiction novels. He’s a good writer I just don’t think he brought enough engaging or captivating to this story. FINAL GRADE: Rent something else.

Favorite/Best Art Books of 2011

This was a relatively easy list to decide on. My 3 favorite artbook purchases of 2011 were:

3. Zdzislaw Beksinski- I’m putting this on the list even though this isn’t a 2011 publication. Finally managed to pick up this 1992 English Language House Arkady (love that name) printing of BEKSINSKI.


2. SPECTRUM 18- Every year this annual showcase of the best of fantastic art, is a welcome purchase. And this year continues their streak.



1. REBUS- My number one artbook of 2011 comes from Chronicle Books, and is the drop dead gorgeous James Jean’s
REBUS. Having had this for a month I do not get tired of flipping though those stunning red gilded pages. The book is a work of art just in terms of design, even before you get to the art within, which is masterful, and beautiful, and disturbing. Just simply gorgeous. Trust me, If you at all have an interest in artbooks, you need to own this one. Highest recommendation.

There you go. Come back next installment as I start looking at 2012 artbooks to put on your must buy list! Price your copies by clicking on the links below:

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art

Rebus

Frell! Frell! Frell! Thoughts on Season I – III of FARSCAPE Pt 2 of 2!

I just finished watching the season finale of FARSCAPE Season III, the episode entitled DOG WITH TWO BONES. In many ways the episode starts off with everything that has been wrong with season III, the meandering, unfocused, and often forced nature.

That said that ending of this particular episode is absolutely FANTASTIC! Much like the first season the creators draft this finale, not knowing if there would be a 4th season, and what an audacious, ballsy, and just absolutely merciless cliffhanger to end the season, and arguably the series on. Absolutely brilliant ending, that makes you shout at your tv!

Can you imagine how this hit people seeing this cliffhanger and not knowing if there would be a 4th season. Just takes a huge amount of gall, and balls to do something like that. And it helps an otherwise lackluster season go out with the audience definitely wanting more.

I just wish the writing could be strong throughout the episodes and the seasons, rather than just being impressive for cliffhangers.

But thankfully I have the whole series on DVD, so season 4 here I come!!

Ligotti vs Ligotti: Comparing Subterranean Press’ vs Carroll & Graf’s GRIMSCRIBE editions

Ligotti vs Ligotti: Comparing Subterranean Press’ vs Carroll & Graf’s GRIMSCRIBE editions

So I just received in the mail, the now Out of Print, Subterranean Press’ 2011 HC edition of GRIMSCRIBE. Now I own the original 1991 Carroll & Graf edition, but my interest was piqued by the sold out nature of previous Subterranean Press editions, the wonderful cover art as well as the description of their Grimscribe edition as being revised and definitive.

Here’s the description:

“Grimscribe
by Thomas Ligotti

Dust jacket by Aeron Alfrey.

Limited: (sold out)
Trade: (sold out)
ISBN: 978-1-59606-409-6

Grimscribe: His Lives and Works is the second volume in a series of revised, definitive editions of the horror story collections of Thomas Ligotti. First published in 1991 by Carroll & Graf in the United States and Robinson Publishing in England, Grimscribe garnered significantly more recognition than Ligotti’s first collection, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, which was issued two years earlier by the same publishers.”

So biting the bullet I picked up one of the sold out Subterranean editions (sold out in less than 3 months, which is pretty darn impressive), thankfully for not too much more than cover price (it’s now, in the brief 2 weeks since I purchased it, climbed to the 3 figure range) and having perused it today I have to say, my initial impression upon taking it out of the box is… I’m a bit dissapointed.

I mean I really am disposed to like imprints such as Centipede Press and Subterranean Press, that in this day of digital are trying to make the hardcopy something attractive and special. My problem is for the price, I’m not even talking the marked up reseller’s price, I’m talking Subterranean’s retail price, GRIMSCRIBE when finally seen is underwhelming.

I mean for the money I don’t think a slipcover done to quality, embossing on the cover, and maybe spot illustrations and a ribbon marker and gilded pages are too much to ask. Look at books such as Dark Horse’s FRANKENSTEIN illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, which sells for a fraction of the price of Subterranean’s books, but in terms of quality there is no comparison. Dark Horse’s FRANKENSTEIN is a work of art. Something you’re going to be treasuring and proud to have on your shelf for a long time.

Bernie Wrightsons Frankenstein

I can’t say that for Subterranean’s GRIMSCRIBE.

The first thing that strikes me is it’s a smaller, less imposing/less impressive book than what I was expecting. Just average HC trade dimensions. And the slipcover which boasts imaginative art by Aeron Alfrey, unfortunately undermines that art quite a bit with a muted, even muddy looking printing, and cropping/shrinking the image rather than allowing it to take up a respectable amount of the cover.

But getting beyond the slipcover the book itself is just an average brown coated HC, with blue type on the binding. The interior however does offer large, legible, and attractive type.

Now onto the heart of the matter, the “revised, definitive” nature of this new version. Is it or isn’t it, an improvement over the original?

Well comparing the two versions there are minor differences, what Ligotti described thusly:

“One thing I did not do is deliberately seek out changes. Of course there would be errors that needed corrections and phrases that needed to be polished. But I didn’t look to shorten or lengthen the stories or any part of them, or to make my prose leaner or more baroque, or to in any way alter the tone of a given story. I just read the books carefully from start to finish and keep on the lookout for additions and deletions that would enhance each story, at least to my mind.”—- see full article here.

Okay, a writer can change his work if he wants, I mean it’s his work. But sometimes you can’t go home, and sometimes a writer or a boxer or an actor’s best work is behind him rather than in front. Frank Miller’s great comics are all decades in the past, his current work a poor shadow of him in his prime. Bernie Wrightson is one of the most hailed and influential artists of the 70s and 80s, but his work in the 21st century (while still head and shoulders above most artists) for a variety of reasons, cannot compare to the artist he was. I’m saying the changes a 21st century Thomas Ligotti makes are perhaps not an improvement on the writing of a 20th century Thomas Ligotti.

Examples, changes are small, but they are I think telling, a tendency to the dumbed down, and often clumsy phrasing rather than the lyric poetry and embracing of the extremes of youth:

THE LAST FEAST OF HARLEQUIN

Original:

“At certain times I could almost dissolve entirely into this inner realm of awful purity and emptiness. I remember those invisible moments when in disguise I drifted through the streets of Mirocaw, untouched by the drunken, noisy forms around me: untouchable.”

Revised 2011 Subterranean version”

“At certain times I could almost dissolve entirely into this inner realm of purity and emptiness, the paradise of the unborn. I remember how I was momentarily overtaken by a feeling I had never known when in disguise I drifted through the streets of Mirocaw, untouched by the drunken, noisy forms around me: untouchable.”

Again the changes aren’t many and aren’t drastic, I just don’t think they improve on the original and for the most part I find them to be the clunky exposition of age, rather than the fertile and frenetic choices of a visionary.

I find his earlier word choices, in almost every case, to be the stronger, more poetic, more memorable. The mating of differences, terms like “awful purity” and “invisible moments” wonderful baroque phrasing of the original, that are missed in this revised edition.

THE SPECTACLES IN THE DRAWER

“Without an author whoever lived in this world, if you will recall what I told you about it.” that is a clunky, and unwieldy sentence in the revised version.

In the original it is:

“Without a living author, if you will recall what I told you about it.”

Original:
“Plomb had done nothing less than multiplied these visions into infinity, creating oceans of his own blood and enabling himself to see with countless eyes. Entranced by such aspiration, I gazed at the mirrors in speechless wonder. Among them was one I remembered looking into some days– or was it weeks? –before.”

Revized Suibterranean version:
“Plomb had done nothing less than multiplied these visions into infinity, creating oceans of his own blood and enabling himself to see with countless eyes. Entranced by such aspiration, I gazed at the mirrors in speechless wonder. Among them was that tilting mirror I remembered looking into not so long ago.”

Again, not a major change, a few words, but they tend to be poorly chosen, and a bit boring and pedestrian compared to the original.

And such ‘improvements’ run throughout the stories in the 2011 Subterranean collection.

The only thing the Subterranean version has going for it is the slightly flawed slipcover, which flaws and all is a 100 times better than the pathetic slipcover on the original 1991 HC. Unfortunately a slipcover is not enough. So my recommendation, save yourself the dough on Subterranean’s “revised, definitive” edition and get the original HC instead and have your own nice slipcover made for it(all of which can be done for less than the price the Subterranean books are going for).

Grimscribe: His Lives and Works

Grimscribe: His Life and Works

Humanity is a goal: On Science fiction, so-called Zombies, the Space Race and dreaming futures to make them


I don’t think Humanity is a birthright, I think it is a goal. And I think most people in this world, most Americans especially, fall short of that goal.

We have this ludicrous idea, particularly in this country which produces only one thing in quantity, mass murderers and television, that adult hood is something we reach in years. That we hit 18 or 21 and suddenly we are adults.

No. To repeat a trite phrase, but hopefully not tritely used here, ‘age is just a number’. Maturity is something else. And I think with just a quick scan of what passes for dialog in this connected age, what passes for conversation, you can see very few people… grow. While they may grow physically, mentally they stop maturing, in ways deep and dangerous they are immature children, with adult responsibilities.

Mayors, Governors, Police Chiefs, Generals, a whole world full of children in the roles of men, but lacking the conscience of men, the humanity of men.

I don’t think Humanity is a birthright, I think it is a goal. And I think most people in this world, most Americans especially, fall short of that goal.

There was a time when people went to the movies to cheer for the hero, to be inspired by heroism. Today people watch movies, or tv, or play video games to watch the other suffer. To play out vicarious games of aggression and an end to responsibility. It’s part of the reason so-called zombie movies are so popular, because subconsciously you have empty, aimless, driftless, purposeless population, that wants and needs and is angry, but is unsure of what they want, and what they need, and what they are angry about.

It’s just an irrational need, irrational hunger you may say, byproduct of an irrational leadership, an irrational age. Caused by at every path, the higher callings of their nature being sabotaged, by a leadership that relies on ruling ignorant, stupid, misinformed, desperate people.

So a rudderless people see in the myth of the ghoul (the proper name for what western cinema incorrectly misnames zombie), this engine of only hunger and no responsibility, something to identify with. To lose the burden and responsibility of higher humanity, of callings of honor and friend and family and duty, and sublimate it all to the joys of abandon and bestiality.

A consumer nation, a capitalist/tyrannical world, taken to its rudderless extreme.

It’s the reason I have no use for Ghoul ‘Zombie’ films, or torture porn flicks, or slasher flicks. Everything in moderation, but I see in this deluge of barbarity, that in our fictions, do we shape our facts.

The 50s and 60s, decades of science fiction fanaticsm, of the dreaming of stars, this obsession passed like cholera to every man, woman, and child of the age, and the dreaming culminating in man walking on the moon.

Shared idea space, as progenitor to our physical space. Our facts but late fortifications of our fictions. Heady concepts, but well trod ones.

So what becomes of a culture whose obsessions are death, war, serial killers, cannibalism and the crazed dead? God, whatever God you believe in, being always kind, he gives you what you dream of.

He gives you horror, if that is what you are intent on having.

So many have died aspiring to nobler ends for those who follow them, do not sacrifice all the virtues and the hopes they have bequeathed to you… in pursuit of petty dreams of barbarism. Dream larger. Save yourself, and save us all and… dream Nobler.

Dream of a world where wars may be ended, governments held accountable, forests replenished, aboriginal people saved, and lives bettered. Dream of a better world, and who knows, you may become a better man (or woman)… to build it.