Archive for May, 2014

A Nice Cover of Genesis’s “Entangled”

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Stumbled across this cover of Genesis’s “Entangled” off Trick of the Tail by a band called Hydria while looking for something else, and liked it enough to put it up.

It’s a crunchier, almost power ballad version, which actually works quite well for the song.

Book Auction Watch: Bonhams June 18 Book Auction

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Auction houses other than Heritage do occasionally offer up notable science fiction first editions. On June 18, Bonhams is offering up:

  • A first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in a tattered dust jacket. Copies in dust jacket are not unknown, but they do come on the market fairly infrequently, so even one (like this) with significant chips is likely to go for a pretty penny.
  • The first U.S. edition of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • However, the most expensive item in the auction is probably not SF, but one of the 150 signed oversized arches paper first editions (out of a total of 1,000 copies for all states) of James Joyce’s Ulysses, once owned by a friend of Vladamir Nabakov. These were rare enough to begin with, but the oversized paperback nature pretty much guarantees it’s designed to fall apart over time, so even remotely intact copies are very expensive when you find them. A comparable copy of this edition in a more common binding state sold for $35,000 at Heritage in 2012, and James Cummins has a copy of the arches paper edition that once belonged to composer Virgil Thomson listed for $75,000. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some collector of modernist highpoints go bonkers over this…
  • A Random Collection of Post-Dinner Links

    Monday, May 26th, 2014

    After dinner Saturday night, we finally watched the typeface geek movie Helvetica.

    Chances are pretty good that if Helvetica is the type of movie you enjoy seeing, you’ve already seen it. But if not, and you’re interested in fonts, it is indeed worth watching.

    A few random topics that came up during conversation at dinner and during the movie:

  • A primer on bad logo design in comic form. “Nazi Jim’s Panzerotti” cracks me up every time… (NSFW language.)
  • Crazy LARP-er high on acid attacks car with a sword. Quick thoughts: 1. Sadly, the article doesn’t specify just what type of sword was used. 2. The linked interview is pretty much a checklist of everything a defense attorney would tell you not to say when you’ve been arrested for a potential felony. 3. Silly high elf! You can’t possibly joust with Morgoth, since he’s still safely imprisoned beyond the Door of Night…
  • Once Patrick McGoohan (of The Prisoner fame) directed a movie called Catch My Soul, described as a hippie rock opera version of Othello starring Richie Havens in the title roll. It already sounded like an epic train wreck, but between completion and release, the producer got religion and added 18 minutes worth of religious material before release. It was not well received, and a version called Santa Fe Satan was also re-released to zero acclaim. For a while it was thought to be a lost film, but recently a copy showed up (under the Santa Fe Satan title) and evidently screened at a North Carolina film festival in April.
  • Want an example of something even I find thermonuclear-grade cute? Pet rats hugging tiny teddy bears. I’m even willing to extract the word “adorable” from its lead-lined vault for these…

  • Not quite in the same league, but still weapons-grade cute:

    (I saw it on Gail Carriger’s Facebook feed; not sure of the original source.)

  • Library Additions: Roger Zelazny’s A Rose for Ecclesiastes

    Monday, May 26th, 2014

    This is an upgrade book, replacing an Ex-Library copy:

    Zelazny, Roger. A Rose for Ecclesiastes. Rupert Hart-Davis, 1969. First edition thus and first hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with very slight spine fading. First hardback edition of Four For Tomorrow. Levack, 17b. Kovacs, V11c/V20. Zelazny’s first short story collection.

    Rose for Ecclesiastes

    Shoegazer Sunday: Civic’s “Innocent”

    Sunday, May 25th, 2014

    Here’s “Innocent,” another track of Japanese band Civic‘s debut album Toilet Monster.

    Civic gets compared to Supercar, and while I can hear the resemblance, Civic has a rawer sound, like a garage band who just started meshing a few weeks ago. I like that high energy rawness, and some have labeled Civic “Noise Pop,” if that’s a real thing.

    I’ve found and ordered Toilet Monster from a domestic source, and I hope to have a more detailed report if/when it comes in.

    Library Addition: Signed/Limited Edition of Jack Vance’s Son of the Tree

    Monday, May 19th, 2014

    Slowly but surely I’m closing in on my complete Jack Vance hardback collection:

    Vance, Jack. Son of the Tree. Underwood/Miller, 1983. First hardback edition, #183 of 200 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with just a tiny bit of wrinkling at head and heel. Hewett, A13g.

    Son of the Tree

    Shoegazer Sunday: Dead Mellotron’s “Weird Dreams”

    Sunday, May 18th, 2014

    Since I have a lot of weird dreams, and remember the Mellotron from Genesis, I was already inclined to like Dead Mellotron‘s “Weird Dreams.”

    How To Kill Godzilla

    Friday, May 16th, 2014

    Via Ace of Spades, comes War is Boring’s primer on how to kill Godzilla.

    The basic plan is:

  • Blind it with multiple gunships unloading white phosphorous into its eyes.
  • Hit it with a Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a “30,000-pound, precision-guided bunker-buster…filled with a deadly RDX explosive mix and designed to slice through solid rock.”
  • That would probably work in real life (where the square/cube law pretty much precludes 10-story monsters, much less ones breathing atomic fire). But in the world of the just released Godzilla movie (which, alas, I have not seen yet), given that our fire-breathing friend is reported to have survived Castle Bravo, America’s first dry-fuel thermonuclear bomb test on Bikini Atoll, well, color me skeptical that 30,000 pound JDAMs would do the trick…

    Reality TV Show Ideas: Daddy Was A Serial Killer Division

    Thursday, May 15th, 2014

    Someone needs to do a reality TV show featuring all the people claiming their father was the Zodiac killer living together in the same house. It would be like The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, except, you know, sleazy.

    For the season finale they could battle the people who claim their fathers were the Black Dahlia killer in some sort of trash sports obstacle course…

    H. R. Giger, RIP

    Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

    Pioneering artist H. R, Giger has died at age 74. Few other 20th century artists produced work so technically accomplished, pioneering, and disturbing (all at the same time) as his biomechanical paintings, which were mostly produced by airbrush. Even if Giger had never done the design for Alien, his work would still have been hugely influential. And few artists are able to open successful museums of their own work in their own lifetimes.