Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Drops

October 22nd, 2014

Behold:

Is that mecha-Stark, or Ultron in Stark armor fighting Hulk?

I’m there.

Shoegazer Sunday: La Hell Gang’s “So High”

October 19th, 2014

You don’t have to be a fan of drug-references to enjoy Chilian band La Hell Gang’s echoey, spaced-out “So High”.

They’re evidently on tour in the U.S. right now…

Library Addition: Lord John Film Festival

October 17th, 2014

This is one of those cases of coming across something on eBay and going, “Yes, I do want that.”

Yellin, Herb. Lord John Film Festival. Lord John Press, 2006. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Signed by Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison and Janet Leigh.

Lord John Film

Lord John Film sig

Yellin was the owner of Lord John Press, and this book is a miscellanea of remembrances and appreciations of various films interspersed with examples from his large collection of signed movies photos, posters, lobby cards, etc.

I was briefly worried when I realized that Bloch died in 1994, and Janet Leigh in 2004, but the book has evidently been in production for quite a while. A copy up on Amazon is signed by the same five people, but the signatures look slightly different.

Lord John was an interesting, eclectic press, with both genre and mainstream books (along with signed Gerald R. Ford books). I have a significant fraction of their SF/F/H output, but don’t have Stephen King’s Dolan’s Cadillac.

Build Your Own Electric God!

October 16th, 2014

Not many people read Frankenstein and think “Hey, what a swell idea! I should try that!”

But John Murray Spear was not an ordinary man. Nor did he think so small as to merely attempt to create a living creature with electricity. No, Spear thought much bigger than that.

He wanted to use electricity to build his own God.

Spear was a former Unitarian minister who had been driven out of more than one church for his strange ideas (oh those straight-laced Unitarians and their rigid dogmas!) who took a turn toward spiritualism right after the Fox sisters started toe-tapping shenanigans. In 1853, supposedly following the instructions of a cadre of spirit guides (including Benjamin Franklin) he called the “Electricizers,” Spear and his followers began construction of his his electrical messiah, dubbed “New Motive Power,” on a hilltop in Lynn, Massachusetts.

“From the center of the table rose two metallic uprights connected at the top by a revolving steel shaft. The shaft supported a transverse steel arm from whose extremities were suspended two large steel spheres enclosing magnets. Beneath the spheres there appeared [..] a very curiously constructed fixture, a sort of oval platform, formed of a peculiar combination of magnets and metals. Directly above this were suspended a number of zinc and copper plates, alternately arranged, and said to correspond with the brain as an electric reservoir. These were supplied with lofty metallic conductors, or attractors, reaching upward to an elevated stratum of atmosphere said to draw power directly from the atmosphere. In combination with these principal parts were adjusted various metallic bars, plates, wires, magnets, insulating substances, peculiar chemical compounds, etc… At certain points around the circumference of these structures, and connected with the center, small steel balls enclosing magnets were suspended. A metallic connection with the earth, both positive and negative, corresponding with the two lower limbs, right and left, of the body, was also provided.

Once it was given life, New Motive Power was supposed to usher in a new era of heaven on earth.

After 9 months, they tried to give it life. Let me spoil the suspense for you: Didn’t work, though Spear claimed it did twitch feebly for a few minutes. Later it was supposedly torn apart by a mob of enraged townspeople.

Spear spent the rest of his life promoting spiritualism, free love, and socialism. (Speaking of gods that failed…)

I wonder if anyone has written the steampunk horror story where Spear succeeded, only to discover that building an electrical god based on instructions received from spirits turns out to be a really bad idea

Scary Post-It Notes

October 14th, 2014

Pat Cadigan posted this to her Facebook page and I instantly filed it away for a Halloween season post. It’s about a guy who does horror illustrations on Post-It notes.

Like this:

Or this:

He’s got a Hayao Miyazaki by way of Edward Gorey and Gahan Wilson thing going on there…

Library Addition: Rare Hardback Lafferty Chapbook

October 13th, 2014

I’m one step closer to having a complete R. A. Lafferty collection in hardback, having picked up this:

Lafferty, R. A. Horns On Their Heads. Pendragon Press, 1976. First edition hardback, #Q of 50 signed hardback copies, a Near Fine copy with 1/2″ inch of darkening around the top and outer edge of the rear panel, and darkening to spine, sans dust jacket, as issued.

Lafferty Horns

Supplements the signed wrappers edition, which I already had. The only Lafferty hardback I now lack is the Pendragon Press companion to this volume, Funnyfingers and Cabrito. (I’m excluding those POD hardbacks of two Lafferty stories that fell into the public domain.)

Shoegazer Sunday: The Stratford 4′s “Where The Ocean Meets The Eye”

October 12th, 2014

For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s The Stratford 4′s “Where The Ocean Meets The Eye,” which sounds a bit like The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Library Additions: Chapbooks By Swanwick, Mieville, Lovecraft

October 9th, 2014

A variety of interesting chapbooks came in, including two books about H. P. Lovecraft’s family and a few Swanwick chapbooks I hadn’t been able to pick up before:

  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Faig, Kenneth W. The Parents of Howard Philip Lovecraft. Necronomicon Press, 1990. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy, signed on the inside front cover by Faig. Non-fiction.
  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Squires, Richard D. Stern fathers ‘neath the mould: The Lovecraft Family in Rochester. Necronomicon Press, 1995. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy. Non-fiction. This and the above bought for $28.29 off eBay.
  • Mieville, China. The Apology Chapbook. China Mieville/World fantasy Convention, 2013. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Issued in lieu of Mieville being able to make his scheduled Guest of Honor appearance at the 2013 World fantasy Convention in Brighton.
  • Purdom, Tom. Reentry and other thoughts on Science Fiction. Dragonstair Press, 2014. First edition chapbook, a Fine- copy with slight crease to left edge. Non-fiction essays on science fiction.

    Purdom

  • Swanwick, Michael. American Cigarettes. Dragonstairs Press, 2011. First edition chapbook, a slender 8 pages (including self wrappers), #85 of 100 signed, numbered copies, Fine, with advert for Dancing With Bears laid in.
  • Swanwick, Michael. The Nature of Mirrors. Dragonstairs Press, 2011. First edition chapbook, a slender 12 pages (including self wrappers and two blanks), #67 of 100 signed, numbered copies, Fine.
  • Swanwick, Michael. Song of the Lorelei. Dragonstair Press, 2011. First edition chapbook, a slender 8 pages (including self wrappers), #88 of 100 signed, numbered copies, Fine.

    Swanwick Chapbooks 100814

  • Shoegazer Sunday: Slowdive’s “Sleep”

    October 5th, 2014

    What? Another obscure Slowdive song? Really, Lawrence? Really?

    Yep.

    Evidently this was originally an Eternal song, Eternal being the band Christian Savill was in before Slowidve.

    College Football Broadcast Or Conceptual Art Piece?

    October 4th, 2014

    You make the call!

    I mean, I wouldn’t put it past Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst to slip Katy Perry 10 grand…