Library Addition: Sam Moskowitz’s The Immortal Storm

June 23rd, 2014

Been meaning to pick this up for several years now, and finally found a decent copy at the right price:

Moskowitz, Sam. The Immortal Storm. The Atlanta Science Fiction Organization Press, 1954. First hardback edition, a very good+ copy with slight rubbing to spine ends, slight bump at top rear board, and slight crimping at head and heel, in very good dust jacket with shallow chipping at head, heel and top front, and slight age-darkening to white areas. His acclaimed book on the early history of science fiction fandom. This is the first hardback edition, having been preceded by a mimeographed edition. Currey (1978), page 380. Chalker/Ownings (1991), page 51. Interestingly, Currey and Chalker/Ownings disagree on the print run, with Currey citing 1000 copies printed, but Chalker/Owings saying only 500. Bought for $36 off a major SF book dealer.

Immortal Storm

Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda

June 22nd, 2014

The auteurs of The Asylum are Roger Cormen is at it again. Are you ready for Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda?

Coming August 2nd to (of course) The SyFy Channel.

At this point I’m thinking I ought to file a trademark for my Slothacconda idea…

Shoegazer Sunday: SPC ECO’s “Fallen Stars”

June 22nd, 2014

For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s another shot of SPC ECO with “Fallen Stars.”

This is off their new album Sirens and Satellites, which I liked enough to buy. The overall sound features very pretty, very spacey background synthesizer washes with poppy tunes and understated female vocals somewhere between Florence + The Machine, Sarah McLachlan, and Tori Amos, with a dash of Yoko Kanno. The emotional feel of the album is a lot like Malory’s Outerbeats.

Pixels…

June 18th, 2014

OK, this was moderately amusing, especially the chicken…

Shoegazer Sunday: Bertoia’s “Snow Slide”

June 15th, 2014

How long has it been since I featured an obscure Japanese Shoegazer band? Well that’s too long!

Here’s Bertoia‘s “Snow Slide,” which proves once again that low-rent costumes and dreamquest fantasies are a fine hook to hang a music video on…

Library Additions: Three Science Fiction Reference Works

June 13th, 2014

Additions to my non-fiction reference library continues apace. Here are three science fiction reference works I picked up recently:

  • Del Rey, Lester. The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of a Subculture. Garland, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight crimping at head and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. A history of science fiction fandom by someone who witnessed it.

    Del Rey World of SF

  • (Heinlein, Robert A.) Thorner, J. Lincoln. A Guide Through the Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein. Gryphon Books, 1989. First edition trade paperback chapbook original, a Fine- copy with touches of wear along the spine. 48 pages critical guide, including a small bibliography of reference works in the back.

    Worlds of Heinlein

  • (Wolfe, Gene) Borski, Robert. Solar Labyrinth: Exploring Gene Wolfe’s BOOK OF THE NEW SUN. iUniverse, 2004. First edition hardback (no additional printings listed, though I believe iUniverse is a POD outfit), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Critical guide to Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. Supplements a trade paperback edition in my library. Bought for $20 off an Internet bookseller.
  • Library Additions: Eight Hardback Starmont Reader’s Guides

    June 9th, 2014

    I recently picked up eight hardbacks in the Starmont Reader’s Guide line. For many authors, these were the only critical companions to their work ever published, and I get the impression that the hardback book runs for the critical titles were pretty miniscule (Chalker/Owings The Science Fantasy Publishers estimates 75-80 hardbacks) and mostly sold to libraries. Starmont was distributed by Borgo Press, and sometime you’ll see these titles listed under the Borgo imprint or with Borgo price stickers affixed.

    Some of these First Edition and some don’t, but I’m assuming these are first printings unless they state otherwise (the Silverberg states Second Printing). All are essentially Fine- copies with slight rubbing, sans dust jackets, as issued.

  • (Bester, Alfred) Wendell, Carolyn. Alfred Bester: Starmont Reader Guide 6. Starmont House, 1982. Signed by Wendell.
  • (Clement, Hal) Hassler, Donald M. Hal Clement: Starmont Reader Guide 11. Starmont House, 1982. Signed by Hassler.
  • (Delany, Samuel R.) Weedman, Jane Branham. Samuel R. Delany: Starmont Reader Guide 10. Starmont House, 1982. Signed by Delany: “Samuel R. Delany/Madison/2006″.
  • (Farmer, Philip Jose) Brizzi, Mary T. Philip Jose Farmer: Starmont Reader Guide 3. Starmont House, 1980.
  • (Haldeman, Joe) Gordon, Joan. Joe Haldeman: Starmont Reader Guide 4. Starmont House, 1980. Signed by Haldeman (and also an unreadable signature that I take to be either Gordon’s or the cover artist).
  • (Silverberg, Robert) Clareson, Thomas D. Robert Silverberg: Starmont Reader Guide 18. Starmont House, 1983. Signed by Silverberg. Second Printing.
  • (Pohl, Frederik) Clareson, Thomas D. Frederik Pohl: Starmont Reader Guide 39. Starmont House, 1987. Signed by Pohl. By this time the press had moved to what Chalker/Owings called the “Ditky-Newcomer” printing process (basically high quality Xerography) with the characteristic flocked edges that would appear on Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine a year later.
  • (Tiptree, Jr., James) Siegel, Mark. James Tiptree, Jr.: Starmont Reader Guide 22. Starmont House, 1986.
  • As the seller said: “They never bound any two books the same way.” As you can see from the picture, some have the trade paperback cover affixed to the front, while others are simply cloth with the title, author and series number printed on the spine.

    P1000156

    Paid a total of $246.40, which went to SF writer Julian May, who is: A.) Still alive, and B.) The widow of Starmont House founder Ted Ditky.

    Shoegazer Sunday: School of Seven Bells’ “Faded Hearts”

    June 8th, 2014

    Here’s “Faded Hearts,” another track from School of Seven Bells’ Put Your Sad Down EP. When I first listened to the EP, I kept skipping it because I didn’t like the sound of the first 15 seconds or so. But once you get past that it’s a really engaging song. And Alejandra Deheza still has a great voice.

    The music for both this and “Put Your Sad Down” are both sort of pop-electronica on the surface, but lyrically and emotionally, both are dealing with the same affecting subject matter: how to convince someone who’s dying to keep living.

    Bill Watterson Draws Pearls Before Swine

    June 7th, 2014

    This is pretty awesome.

    Basically, Stephan Pastis, the man behind the Pearls Before Swine comic strip, managed to strike up an email conversation with the Bill Waterston, the famously reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes.

    The end result was that Watterson secretly drew panels in Pearls Before Swine strips.

    Start here and keep scrolling forward through today.

    (Hat tip both Michael Swanwick and Ted Cruz, who each shared it on Facebook…)

    Today’s WTF Crime: Attempted Murder for Slenderman

    June 3rd, 2014

    From the annals of inexplicable crimes, here’s news that two 12-year old girls tried to murder a friend as a sacrifice for Slenderman.

    You know, the entirely made-up CreepyPasta horror character.

    It’s bad enough to be offered up as a human sacrifice to a real dark god, much less an Internet meme. It’s like a deranged bassist attempting to murder Harry Shearer so he can take Derek Smalls’ place in Spinal Tap…

    (First video yanked, replacement inserted.)