Stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen has died at age 92.
I’m pretty sure your average SF movie blogger can offer a more heartfelt and insightful obituary than I can, so instead, here’s a short documentary about how Harryhausen helped created the special effects in the underrated Valley of the Gwangi.
I managed to pick up three different Cheap Street Press books from a couple of different sources over the last week:
Benford, Greg. At the Double Solstice. Cheap Street, 1986. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy, in original mailing envelope. Chalker/Owings, page 108, which lists this copy (with publisher’s greetings on (unnumbered) page 23) as one of 60 copies thus, one of apparently four states.
Benford, Greg. Time’s Rub. Cheap Street, 1984. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy, in original mailing envelope. Chalker/Owings, page 107, which lists this copy (with publisher’s greetings on (unnumbered) page 19) as one of 73 copies thus, one of apparently four states.
Leiber, Fritz. In the Beginning. Cheap Street, 1983. First edition hardback, #67 of 128 copies of the “Collectors’ Edition” signed by both Leiber and illustrator Alicia Austin (there were also 10 lettered collector’s copies, and 7 lettered and 32 number publisher’s copies), a Fine copy, in full cloth with title labels pasted on front and spine, sans dust jacket, as issued. Chalker/Ownings, pages 106-107.
Also laid into this copy is the four page prospectus for the book:
I already had two other Benford Cheap Street books (the hardback Of Space/Time and the River and the chapbook of We Could Do Worse), which means I’m still missing:
I know it may come as a shock to some, given the painstaking technical accuracy evident in other SyFy films like Mansquito and Arachaquake, but Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo does, in fact, take certain liberties. As such, to avoid disappointment among those visiting San Antonio for the first time, and given that it’s Cinco de Mayo, which plays an important role in the film, I want to offer up some clarifications on errors made in the film.
The Mexican border is southwest of San Antonio, not southeast. Southeast is the Gulf of Mexico.
There are no green mountains near San Antonio. Unlike, say, Vancouver.
Many people in Texas ride motorcycles, but they do so on roads, not against badly-composited bluescreens.
DEA Agents in Texas do not typically ride motorcycles with unsecured shotguns.
DEA Agents generally drive to crime scenes in cars, not motorcycles.
Especially not riding on the back of another DEA agent’s motorcycle.
People do not typically need to wear jackets in San Antonio in May. Unlike, say, Vancouver. (Though this year may be an exception…)
Animals the size of a Scottish Terrier are not typically capable of dragging away 200 pound police offers in full SWAT gear.
As the seventh largest city in the United States, San Antonio has a large, modern police force. They would not need a random assortment of DEA agents and rogue gang members to take out a few hundred wild dogs.
While many San Antonians are bilingual in both English and Spanish, seldom do they pepper their English with the very most common Spanish words, as though to say “Look, ese, I speak Spanish!”
Police interrogation rooms do not generally look like small business conference rooms.
Most Hispanic gang members in San Antonio don’t look vaguely Asian, and don’t speak with a slight Brooklyn accent.
It is very doubtful that repeating long rifles can be found in display cases at the Alamo, as the Spencer Repeating Rifle was not invented until 1860.
Even if they were in said display cases, it is very unlikely that they would be stored with live ammunition, ready to be used by anyone who broke open the case.
Even if the gunpowder hadn’t gone bad after almost two centuries.
There is no secret escape tunnel underneath the Alamo. If there was, I’m pretty sure 177 years of urban infrastructure development would have found it.
Especially if it was wide enough for 10 people to walk abreast.
Especially if it lead to a giant metal hatch in a parking lot near the Alamo. (Or, more specifically, a stage in front of a bad bluescreen projection of a parking lot near the Alamo.)
Chupacabras or not, DEA agent or not, if you blow up the Alamo, expect to spend a lot of time in jail.
As the 7th largest city in the U.S., San Antonio also has a large, modern Fire Department, so if you did blow up the Alamo, it would not still be giving off a plume of digital smoke well into the next day.
I hope this has cleared up any confusion anyone might have about San Antonio or the Alamo. Happy con-going!
I continue to close in on my complete Jack Vance hardback first edition collection.
Vance, Jack. To Live Forever. Ballantine books, 1956. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy in a Near Fine- dust jacket with slight spine fading and tiny (1/32″) chipping at head and heel. Signed by Vance. Currey (1978), page 500, A1 (dark blue) binding. Hewett, A4ab.
Very nice copy of this early Jack Vance novel, and a middling difficult Ballantine hardcover.
From the “Distant Stations Heard From department, here’s something that might be hard to come by in the future:
Buekes, Lauren. The Shining Girls. Umuzi (South Africa), 2013. First edition hardback, #224 of 1000 copies signed and numbered by the author, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Precedes both UK and U.S. editions.
A few notes:
The front and rear boards have one color decorations.