I’ve seen some other videos of lanterns be floated over Poland as part of their midsummer festival, but I thought this was just too cool looking not to post.
Archive for June, 2011
Ever since the 70s Crime Film Festival I’ve been a bit on a crime film kick, having watched Get Carter, Mean Streets, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Casino and Scarface. Along the way I’ve found a few Best Crime Films lists that may be worthy of your attention:
While looking around for something else, I stumbled upon this this fairly extensive piece on the copyright status of H. P. Lovecraft’s work.
The impression I always had is that all of Lovecraft’s works that weren’t already in the public domain passed into in 2007, 70 years after Lovecraft’s death, under the terms of the Berne convention. But the story of who owned what before that point is quite tangled indeed…
And here’s the second part of my series on my reference library. The last installment dealt with the books I reach for most often. The reference works listed in this post share only size, being too big for most of my other shelves, which is why they’re filed here. Some of these (the Nevins, the first two Bleilers) get a lot of use, while others almost never get taken down (things that have been superseded by both the Internet and the two Clute encyclopedias).
(Click to embiggen.)
I’m not going to do a full run-down of publication dates, etc. for everything, but here’s a general overview of what’s here:
In the 1980s, two of my favorite albums were soundtracks David Byrne did as odd side projects: Music from The Knee Plays, Byrne’s linking music for the never-staged 9 1/2 hour Robert Wilson avant-garde musical spectacle the CIVIL warS: a tree is best measured when it is down, which was also supposed to have music by Philip Glass and Gavin Bryers. (The Glass music was eventually released, and which I also recommend; as far as I know the Bryers pieces haven’t been), and Sounds From True Stories, the soundtrack of incidental music from his quirky film True Stories, which shares some themes with the Talking Heads album of the same name.
And then both of them went out of print and, for the longest time, never came out on CD. This was deeply frustrating, because my old record player finally gave up the ghost, and besides The Forest and “Hanging Upside Down,” those two albums contain Byrne’s best solo work.
Finally, a few years ago, Knee Plays came out, and is well worth picking up for tracks like “Winter” and “In the Future.” (I saw The Dirty Dozen Brass Band perform live accompaniment to a sort of mime show at the Bass Concert Hall way back in the dim mists of time.)
But I still wait in vain for Sounds From True Stories to be released on CD or MP3.
Fortunately, someone has put up all the tracks on YouTube (complete with LP pops and hisses). So here are all the tracks in order. Consider this a chance to enjoy a great, lost David Byrne album (and provide a kick in the butt for Byrne and whoever owns the Sire back catalog to stop dicking around and release it to CD or iTunes).
The album contains a wild variety of styles, with Country and Western, Lounge Jazz and Tejano among them. if you don’t want to listen to all of them, try “Dinner Music,” “Mall Muzak,” and “Glass Operator.”
City of Steel:
Love Theme from True Stories:
Festa Para Um Rei Negro:
Soy De Tejas:
I ♥ Metal Buildings:
Including my story “The Dog Parade.”
Here’s the traycase the signed, limited edition comes in:
And here’s the book itself nestled snugly inside that traycase:
It was actually an unusually long journey for the anthology to be published, as one of the sets of signature sheets got lost in transit, which set back the publication timeline considerably.
Contents of Postscripts #24/25: The New and Perfect Man, edited by Peter Crowther & Nick Gevers, are as follows:
Sold wherever fine SF anthologies are sold…
I haven’t posted much the last week because I’ve been busy doing this and that, and one of the things I’ve been busy with is a long-overdue cleanup of my office, including doing something about those Nova Express review copies cluttering it up. Now that I’ve finally finished moving books around, and gotten a new camera (a Kodak Slice) to replace the one that died, I thought I would put up some long-overdue pictures of the books in my office, starting with the reference shelf right next to my computer, which contains the reference works I tend to reach for most often.
(Click to embiggen.)
Going left to right (left being the side closest to the computer, and thus the books I reach for most often) are:
One guideline I’d offer aspiring SF/F/H book collectors is: Don’t skimp on the reference works. Some of these books can be expensive, but all it takes is one real find (or one expensive dud avoided) for a good reference work to pay for itself.
More pictures of my reference library when I have the time…
Some nice turns of phrase (pathetic fallacy division) from the inimitable James Lileks:
At the center of every solar system, perhaps, there’s not a benevolent disc that paints the world with light and heat, but a raging devil shouting its hate wordlessly across the void….Every civilization that has ever, and will ever, exist in this galaxy or the millions of galaxies in the heavens, revolves around a suicide bomber.
I just thought that was a nifty turn of phrase and, being in a part of Texas suffering from one of the worst droughts ever, it struck a certain chord…
Today we come up on the 80th anniversary of an unsolved death that marked a major scandal for a prominent political figure. The badly bruised body of beautiful 25-year old girl washed up on the beach at Long Island, her liver showing traces of Veronal (the first commercially available barbiturate). The body turned out to be one Starr Faithfull, a “good time girl” well known on the Boston social scene.
That would be interesting enough. But it turned out that Starr Faithfull kept a diary, in which she described having an affair with a prominent political figure. The figure turned out to be Boston Mayor Andrew James Peters, who denied the affair, but who ended up paying $20,000 worth of hush money to Starr Faithfull’s father.
John O’Hara would later use elements of the story in his novel BUtterfield 8, though set in New York rather than Boston, which lead to Elizabeth Taylor’s Academy Award winning performance in the movie of the same name.
But the movie (I haven’t read the book) changes one very big detail: the first time she had sex with Peters, Starr Faithfull was eleven years old.
As to whether she was murdered or not, that remains unresolved to this very day…