Shoegazer Sunday: Picnic’s “Stop the Fall”

January 31st, 2016

Here’s a find: A band from Estonia that sounds a bit like a cross between several of my favorite Shoegaze bands (Slowdive, Echodrone, Mazzy Star, School of Seven Bells, Malory) called Picnic that just about no one seems to have heard of. “Stop the Fall” has all of 17 views as I type this.

And they’re pretty good. Good enough that I picked up The Weather’s Fine, their debut album, which iTunes has at $7.99.

Library Addition: Jay Franklin’s The Rat Race

January 25th, 2016

Picked up another FPCI volume:

  • Franklin, Jay (AKA John Franklin Carter). The Rat Race. Fantasy Publishing Co. Inc., 1950. First edition hardback, one of 1,200 hardback copies (per Chalker/Owings), a Fine- copy in the second state (gray boards, red titling, per Kemp) binding, with slight bend at head and heel in a Near Fine+ second state (per Kemp) dust jacket that’s slightly misaligned (about 1/4″ more on rear than front flap), slight wear at extremities, and some indentations along rear spine gutter. Chalker/Owings, The Science-Fantasy Publishers (1991), page 171. Kemp, The Anthem Series, page 79. Bought for $19 (including dealer discount), plus a $5 show credit coupon, at the Austin Book and Paper Show.

    Franklin Rat Race

    I’m not actively targeting FPCI titles, per se, though I do pick them up as targets of opportunity. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the first state dust jacket offered for sale. I wonder what the story is behind the different jackets, but FPCI did a lot of odd things…

  • Sunday Shoegazer: Blackstone Rngrs’ “Frozen Echo”

    January 24th, 2016

    For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s Austin’s own Blackstone Rngrs (yes, they spell it that way), another Saint Marie Records band, with “Frozen Echo,” another entry in the “Hey, we have no video budget, so how many digital effects can we cram in” sweepstakes.

    RIP: David Hartwell, 1941-2016

    January 21st, 2016

    I’ve been holding off on this until I received final word that David Hartwell had indeed died, but Kathryn Cramer has now confirmed his death. He was reported as being at death’s door following a serious brain injury (whether from an aneurysm first, then a fall down stairs, or vice versa) Tuesday, but only passed yesterday.

    David was a friend, albeit one I only saw at science fiction conventions. He came to one of the pre-Armadillocon pizza lunches I used to throw, and we dined together at more than one Worldcon (where he usually picked up the bill, because That’s What Editors With Expense Accounts Do). I’ll miss his irreplaceable deep insights into the field.

    There’s plenty of testament to what a fine editor David Hartwell is (Gene Wolfe said he was the best editor he ever worked with), and he won (and deserved) his Hugo for Best Editor. Chris Brown’s Tropic of Kansas was one of the last novels he bought for Tor before his untimely death.

    His indefatigable work as Editor and Publisher of The New York Review of Science Fiction is well known, and he was very appreciative of what we were trying to do at Nova Express back in the day. He also ran Dragon Press and was editor of the Gregg Press science fiction line.

    David was a great creator of science fiction institutions: He had a hand in creating not just NYRSF, but also the World Fantasy Convention, Sercon, the Philip K. Dick Award, etc. Anyone could have come up with this ideas, but it took David Hartwell to actually create them and make them stick.

    David was also one of the field’s greatest science fiction first edition collectors, and we often talked about collecting first editions over dinner. He said the pride of his collection was the first American edition of Frankenstein (in two volumes), and he also owned a first of Symzonia. He also owned a bookstore in Westport, NY.

    David was deeply involved in just about every facet of literary science fiction except writing fiction. He was, more than anyone else, Mr. Science Fiction, and his death is a terrible blow to the field.

    Korean Girls Try American BBQ

    January 19th, 2016

    Here’s the sort of cross-cultural appreciation I can get behind:

    A tad long, but worth watching. Especially since they save the brisket and pork ribs until the end…

    Memorial Service for My Father on Friday

    January 18th, 2016

    The memorial service for my father, Murray Wayne Person, Jr., is set for this coming Friday:

    His family invites you to celebrate his life at Unity Houston, 2929 Unity Dr. Houston 77059 at 10:30am Friday January 22nd, 10:30 AM Friday, January 22nd, with a reception immediately following in the same building.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Under Electric Light’s “Waiting For The Rain To Fall”

    January 17th, 2016

    Under Electric Light‘s “Waiting For The Rain To Fall” starts off an awful lot like David Bowie’s “Heroes,” then goes off in its own direction.

    Interview With Spinal Tap Manager Ian Faith

    January 17th, 2016

    Here’s a modestly amusing link for a cold Sunday morning, a video interview with Spinal Tap manager Ian Faith on faking his own death, why “Big Bottom” is better than “Stonehenge,” and who he could make a lot of money off of were they to die.

    Keep you expectations modest…

    Alan Rickman, RIP

    January 14th, 2016

    British actor Alan Rickman has died at age 69.

    I’ve never seen the Harry Potter films, and while I enjoyed him as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and the Metatron in Dogma, my favorite of his roles was Galaxy Quest, as a British stage actor trapped into pretending he was an alien by the beliefs of other aliens.

    Alas, he shall not be avenged by Grabthar’s Hammer…

    Library Addition: Kuttner Times Three

    January 13th, 2016

    Though much of Kuttner is coming back into print thanks to Haffner Press, the following item dates from a period when most (if not all) of it was out of print:

    Kuttner, Henry. Kuttner Times Three. Virgil Utter, 1988. First edition chapbook original, one of 200 copies, a Fine- copy with a light crease at head and a thin line of fading along spine, with Erratum slip inserted before the introduction. Contains the stories “The Old Army Game,” “Bamboo Death” and “The Wolf of Aragon.” Bought off the Internet for $10.

    Kuttner 3