Archive for December, 2015

Library Addition: Limited Hardback of Precious Artifacts PKD Bibliography

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Here’s a Philip K. Dick bibliography I tried to order copies of for Lame Excuse Books when it came out back in 2012, but the publisher didn’t want to deal wholesale.

(Dick, Philip K.) Wintz, Henry and David Hyde. Precious Artifacts: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography: United States of America and United Kingdom Editions 1955-2012. Wide Books, 2012. First edition hardback, #77 of 100 signed, hardback copies, a Fine- copy with slight delamination lift along top front spine join gutter, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued, with errata slip and related postcards laid in. Bought off eBay for $26.

Precious Artifacts

This is not a review, since I haven’t read all of the book, but flipping through it, there’s been something to irritate me on almost every page:

  • The books are split into four categories (science fiction novels, mainstream novels, short story collections, and non-fiction) rather than (as with Levack’s PKD) including all the book-length fiction is one listing.
  • Within those sections they’re arranged alphabetically, but not the alphabetical order every single other bibliography in the world uses. Looking for A Maze of Death under M? Sorry, not there. It’s under A. Likewise every book that starts with The is found under T.
  • Within the listings for individual books, the various editions are not listed in a single list of chronological order, but broken up into U.S. and UK editions, making it harder to tell at a glance the true first edition, the first hardback edition, etc.
  • There’s an overall chronology of when books were written and published at the back, but it only covers books published during Dick’s lifetime.
  • The collector’s notes for individual titles are incomplete and infuriatingly random; the “Quick Guide to Collectable Editions of Philip K. Dick” by Frank Hollander is considerably better, but still a bit vague in places.
  • Etc.
  • That said, there’s still a lot of good information found nowhere else on various PKD editions, including thumbnail color pictures of editions (including one showing the different SFBC spine colors for The Man in the High Castle, covering the books published after Levack, etc. But organization is so poor that it makes it far more difficult to find anything than it should be…

    Library Addition: Henry Kuttner’s Murder of a Wife

    Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

    Picked up a not-particularly-common Henry Kuttner hardback:

    Kuttner, Henry. Murder of a Wife. Garland, 1983. First hardback edition (originally a PBO by Permabooks in 1958), a Fine- copy with slight bend at head and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. Number 26 of Garland’s 50 Classics of Crime Fiction: 1950—1975 series. I’m not sure what the print run was, but if they were anything like Garland’s 50 Classics of Science Fiction runs, it was probably quite small. Hubin, Crime Fiction, 1749—1980: A Comprehensive Bibliography, page 236 (for the PBO). Bought for $30 online.


    This Might Get Your Goat

    Monday, December 21st, 2015

    I blame Dwight.

    Evidently there’s a Swedish charity that’s trying to raise goat awareness or some damn thing, and to do so they’ve released a Christmas album.

    Sung by goats.

    And by “sung,” I mean “torturing you ears.”

    Yes, it’s Jingle Cats with goats. If you’re in dire need of finding a way to make guests leave at the end of a Christmas party, I think this will provide the answer…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Ultraviolet’s “Strawberry Echoes”

    Sunday, December 20th, 2015

    Ultraviolet is an Austin duo. Here’s “Strawberry Echoes” off their first EP.

    “A Great Artistic Endeavor”

    Friday, December 18th, 2015

    What’s a great artistic endeavor? Why that would be The Star Wars Holiday Special! Or at least the artistic challenge of same, in the eyes of one of the writers, namely the difficulty on writing for wookies to seal-honk inscrutably to each other for 20 minutes.

    Also: Suspicions confirmed!

    All right, so at this point, I’m going to quote The Onion’s A.V. Club, who wrote about the show — this is a quote — “I’m not convinced the special wasn’t ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine.”

    Is that what was going on with that scene?

    Bruce Vilanch: Well, there was a lot of that. Absolutely, yeah. I mean, it was 1977! I think after 40 years, probably the statute of limitations has run out, as well as the cocaine.

    Also this:

    “I know it’s one of the worst television shows of all time. And I’ve written… Listen, I wrote “Wayne Newton at Sea World.” So I know whereof I speak.”

    (More on The Star Wars Holiday Special.)

    Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend

    Thursday, December 17th, 2015

    Via Dwight comes word of this year’s additions to the National Film Registry. In addition to a bunch of “Hey, that wasn’t in there already?” selections The Shawshank Redemption, Ghostbusters, etc.), there is the usual list of obscure early films, one of which is “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend,” based on the Winsor McCay comic of the same name.

    Naturally it’s on YouTube:

    It features the sort of in-camera special effects Georges Méliès did better (and quicker). Welsh Rarebit, by the way, is a sort of cheese-on-toast dish (though given how quickly our fiend is quaffing potent potables, I don’t think the rarebit had that much to do with his dreams…).

    Also included in this year’s selections: “Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze” from 1894, the earliest copyrighted motion picture footage in America, and which I now present to you in its entirety:

    Library Addition: Signed First of Paul Williams’ PKD Bio

    Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

    Found this at a Half Price Books in Houston over Thanksgiving:

    (Dick, Philip K.) Williams, Paul. Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick. Arbor House, 1986. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine+ copy with some non-breaking indentations on the cover, as the book were used underneath a piece of paper someone wrote or scribbled on, otherwise apparently unread. Signed by Williams (the signature matches those found online for the limited edition of Ubik: A Screenplay). The biography of Dick by his close friend and designated literary executor. Supplements a Fine unsigned copy. Bought for $3.98.


    Shoegazer Sunday: The Secret Machines’ “Nowhere Again”

    Sunday, December 13th, 2015

    Honestly, this is more of a mainstream rock track than shoegaze. The connection here is that the Secret Machines was the main band the late Benjamin Curtis was in before School of Seven Bells.

    Bring Back MST3K Biggest Video Kickstarter Ever

    Saturday, December 12th, 2015

    The final fundraising tally was $5,764,229, plus $600,000 in “add-ons.”

    Bring Back MST3K “became the most successful crowdfunded video project of all time, surpassing the Veronica Mars movie, which previously held the title with $5.7 million.”

    Joel Hodgson and his team did a masterful job generating momentum over the course of the kickstarter (Felicia Day! Jerry Seinfeld!). Now they’re going to make 14 new episodes, which wasn’t even a stretch goal when the started out.

    Now all we have to do is wait until November 2016…

    MST3K Kickstarter Hits $5.5 Million/12 Episodes

    Friday, December 11th, 2015

    It looks like I need not have worried. The Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter has shattered the $5.5 million/12 episode barrier with less than an hour to go. The numbers keep flipping, but it was $5,697,311 when I checked just now. Add on the $425,000 add on funds, and it looks like they’ll do 13 episodes this season.

    And they still have 45 minutes to go…