Monday, January 31, 2011

Mystery Science Radio

Yes it is a Halloween episode. No it is not Halloween season right now. Deal with it.
There're some great songs in this episode, especially the obligatory cover of Stairway to Heaven at the end, which is awesome.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Adventures of Superman

0007 "The Atomic Beam Machine" (Feb 26, 1940)

The criminal mastermind behind the recent troubles, The Yellow Mask, steps on stage and brings with him a more sciencefictional modus operandi.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

MST3K: Monster A-Go-Go

This is the last episode available on-line starring Joel. Nothing against Mike, but it was Joel's languid, unpolished delivery that really made the show for me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Man or Astro-man?

Man or Astro-man?

Skidmark Bob presents a "compilation mix of the surf, rock, computer geek mainly instrumental 90's band known for their dedication to science fiction themes, audio samples, obscure electronic devices and high-energy live performances."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Motörhead plays Club Coco

Lemmy, the rock star most likely to thrive after the Apocalypse, made the Coco scene to promote the band's new album, The World is Yours.

Godzilla MEGA MIX

Godzilla MEGA MIX


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Runaway Star Plows Through Space

This sounds like the set-up for a cosmic disaster story along the lines of When Wolrds Collide or the back-story of No Night Without Stars. Good thing it's nowhere nearby.
A massive star flung away from its former companion is plowing through space dust. The result is a brilliant bow shock, seen here as a yellow arc in a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

The star, named Zeta Ophiuchi, is huge, with a mass of about 20 times that of our sun. In this image, in which infrared light has been translated into visible colors we see with our eyes, the star appears as the blue dot inside the bow shock.

Zeta Ophiuchi once orbited around an even heftier star. But when that star exploded in a supernova, Zeta Ophiuchi shot away like a bullet. It's traveling at a whopping 54,000 miles per hour (or 24 kilometers per second), and heading toward the upper left area of the picture.

As the star tears through space, its powerful winds push gas and dust out of its way and into what is called a bow shock. The material in the bow shock is so compressed that it glows with infrared light that WISE can see. The effect is similar to what happens when a boat speeds through water, pushing a wave in front of it.

This bow shock is completely hidden in visible light. Infrared images like this one from WISE are therefore important for shedding new light on the region.

[via Fortean Times]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Godzilla 2012 teaser

This is going to be another American version of ゴジラ, and they don't even have a script yet, so it could end up being a debacle. But then Final Wars wasn't all that great, so the bar is set pretty low.

[via Doc 40]

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mystery Science Radio

Theremin Radio

broadcast on shortwave back in 2003 ... archived "spinoff" of Mystery Science Radio's first incarnation.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mystery Science Radio

In which we join the crew of the Yellow Submarine on their strange adventures.
Torgo's favorite Hits 03
Mystery Science radio is a low tech homage to B Movies, obscure music, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Hal Warren cult film "Manos: The Hands of Fate".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Sex in the Future?

This thoughtful letter to the editor is from Planet Stories (Summer, 1949) of all places, which is kind of surprising given that it has the reputation of being the least serious of the old pulps.  It would be decades before the New Wave broke and this fans hopes were realized.

New Brunswick, N. J.

Dear Editor:

These letters squawking emotionally against the inclusion of sex in science-fiction stories leave me disappointed, disturbed and more than a little disgusted. They seem to be the work of inhibited, repressed personalities. I am not placing myself in the position of endorsing smut or pornography, but I believe the subject of sex deserves some straightforward, adult handling.

If science- fiction has anything to offer other than mere escapism, its value lies in promoting a receptive, questioning attitude and freeing the mind from the narrow, superstition-bound, taboo-ridden ruts of accustomed thought channels.

Nearly every science-fiction story is a glimpse into some writer's conception of a possible future, and as change is the one certainty in this universe, the future will be different from the present. How different? Our present-day patterns are neither perfect nor static. Some of our better brains have concluded that if we don't rapidly learn as much about our own psychology and social structures as we already know about the guts of a uranium atom, we are heading for disaster on a grand scale.

Anyone not entirely prejudice-blinded can see that the conventional standards of sex conduct of today are irrational, hypocritical, and simply are not working. The Kinsey report indicates clearly that a socially dangerous schizoid gap exists between "moral principles" and actual conduct.

Our self-appointed "moral leaders" have decreed certain rules, to which everyone is supposed to adhere unquestioningly on blind faith alone. And they insist in the face of contrary evidence that these rules are eternal and immutable and unchanging. They carefully ignore the fact that other civilizations have done as well or better than our own in promoting human welfare, using an entirely different set of standards of conduct.

Polygamy has been successful in many places, until our own civilization intervened with superior military and police forces. (And the present Hollywood concept of marriage is nothing but legalized serial polygamy.) Many cultures, those of Crete and Athens and Bali, for instance, accepted costumes which left female breasts fully exposed and yet have not lapsed into unbridled lewdness. Many civilizations have experimented, some quite successfully, with premarital and extra-marital sexual freedom.

And, if our own civilization doesn't radioactivate itself into oblivion or sterility, increasing biological knowledge will surely give us complete control of reproduction. Children will be born only when they are definitely desired. That too will alter the social patterns.

Sex will probably remain one of the basic human drives as long as homo sapiens is recognizable as such. So let's quit trying to hide that fact beneath a mound of taboos. Whether the authors see the future patterns as puritanism or libertinism, monogamy or polygamy or polyandry or eugenic mating controlled by bureaucrats, that
makes little difference. To each author his own dreams. But a writer can't very well depict the social structure of a hypothetical future world without including man-woman relationships — and in these sex will be a basic factor.

So I contend that discussions of sex have just as legitimate a place in science-fiction as nuclear physics and military technology and synthetic foods and the eternal struggle of dictatorship vs. freedom. If science-fiction can persuade people to look openmindedly at themselves and their emotion-dominated attitudes, it can do us all a great service.

So let's start jettisoning the taboos!


John Higgins

[via Gerard Arthus & The Internet Archive]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Perry Rhodan fan trailers

Here's a couple cool fan-made CGI Perry Rhodan trailers from Mr Relbok. They're in German, so  I have no idea what's going on, but they're fun to watch. And Gucky the mousebeaver, or "Pucky" as his name was translated back in the '70s, makes a brief appearance in the second short.



[via At the Mountains of Madness]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mystery Science Radio

In which we join the crew of the Yellow Submarine on their strange adventures.

Torgos Favorite Hits 02

Mystery Science radio is a low tech homage to B Movies, obscure music, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Hal Warren cult film "Manos: The Hands of Fate"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Adventures of Superman

0005 "Locomotive Crew Freed" (Feb 21, 1940)

Superman continues to thwart the plans of The Wolf in a story arc that will continue through episode 19, and which will see a new villain enter the scene soon. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

MST3K: The Giant Gila Monster

There are way too many commercials in this, but it's Joel and the 'bots so they're worth putting up with. And I could use some of those Renaissance festival punching bags.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Remembering Doc Savage

This episode of Changesurfer Radio isn't new, but it's so good I've listened to it thrice.

Those Who Cannot Remember Doc Savage Are Condemned to Repeat Him

It's a speech by Jess Nevins about the changing attitudes toward bodybuilders.
The general population went from idealizing and imitating the marquee bodybuilders to feeling unable to live up to their models and from there to hostility. In popular fiction, this backlash manifested itself in regulation and control of the superhumans through plot: superhuman heroes inevitably either lost their powers, had them fade away, or retired, vowing never to use their abilities again.
It's like a short cultural history of the early superheroes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Planet for Texans

The recent attempted assassination of a democratically elected official in Arizona has understandably elicited a great deal comment. There's been a lot of talk about heated political rhetoric and the influence it may have had on events. There's also been discussion of the accused assassin's reading list and the books it contains. What hasn't been mentioned yet is the Libertarian science fiction novel that imagines a society in which such killings are legal: H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire's A Planet for Texans (1957).

Also published under the title Lone Star Planet it is a trifling novella that imagines a planet colonized by Texans who heard giant cattle. However, it has become a favorite of Libertarians and militia groups because of its central premise that it should be legal to assassinate politicians. The idea is lifted from H. L. Mencken's satirical 1924 eassay, "The Malevolent Jobholder", which proposed killing "delinquent officials". (Whoever edited The Mencken Society online version of the essay comments, "I am more than even convinced that it embodied a good idea.")  It would be easy to dismiss this tale as a forgettable, farcical work by a minor sf author if not for the fact that in 1999 it was awarded the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, a prize given to "libertarian science fiction".

There's no evidence that the gunman who massacred all those innocent people ever read this book. I'm not suggesting it had any influence on that tragic crime. But rather than making vague statements about "the tone of political rhetoric" I think we should be asking hard questions of the political factions who in the past have looked favorably on fantasies about precisely such actions.

"Libertarianism" is just a euphemism for plutocracy. I'm sure most Libertarians deplore this horrible crime and just want to get back to making money by hook or by crook. But maybe in light of recent events they might want to rethink a thing or two.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Flaming C

On one of the multiple Earths, The Flaming C has replaced Superman in the Justice League and he chews out the Young Justice crew. (His name is Zatara, Conan.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mystery Science Radio

In which we join the crew of the Yellow Submarine on their strange adventures.
Mystery Science radio is a low tech homage to B Movies, obscure music, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Hal Warren cult film "Manos: The Hands of Fate"

Torgo's Favorite Hits 01

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Adventures of Superman

Another installment of Superman's adventures. It's fascinating to see how they took a character which originated in a visual medium and translated him to the "Theatre of the Mind". The most drastic change so far is that he emerged fully grown from his spaceship so that Ma & Pa Kent and also Superboy don't exist in this continuity. What other changes are to come?

"Kent Captured by the Wolfe" (Feb 19, 1940)

I've decided that this show's producers knew what they were doing when the made each episode as long as they did, so I'm only going to post one episode at a time, just as they originally aired. If you can't wait to hear more just head over to the Internet Archive and listen to your heart's content.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Purple Death From Outer Space

Happy 77th anniversary Flash Gordon (even if I am a day late).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mystery Science Radio 02

Mystery Science Radio 02
Low tech homage to B Movies, obscure music, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Hal Warren cult film Manos Hands of Fate

via A-Infos Radio Project

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mystery Science Radio

Mystery Science Radio
Low tech homage to B Movies, obscure music, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Hal Warren cult film Manos Hands of Fate.
A shortwave broadcast hosted by Cherokee Jack, Radio's Frank and Torgo (not to be confused with KOPN's Mystery Science Radio 3000). If you recognize the opening music you're a true MSTie.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lord of Rings in the Public Domain

At least it could have been if not for the 1976 Copyright Act. As the Center for the Study of the Public Domain explains,
Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1954 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2011.
So we could have seen both the The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) and the The Two Towers (1954) entering the Public Domain.
They go on to explain,
The 1950s were also the peak of popular science fiction writing. 1954 saw the publication of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (filmed three times in the last half century by Hollywood), Philip Wylie’s Tomorrow!, Arthur C. Clarke’s The Deep Range, Robert Heinlein’s The Star Beast, and the Hugo Award-winning They’d Rather Be Right by Frank Riley and Mark Clifton. Instead of seeing these enter the public domain in 2011, we will have to wait until 2050 – a date that, itself, seems the stuff of science fiction.

It's not just books, but films like Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Creature from the Black Lagoon that could be public domain.

Unless things change we'll have to wait a long time before these works finally enter the public domain.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I was going to post that trippy sync 2001: Echoes, but it just got yanked from the intertubes. So here's Shonen Knife playing "E.S.P" instead.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Adventures of Superman

pic via Comic Vine

Today I'm going to start something new which I'm calling Superman Sundays. This involve me posting all of the episodes of the old time radio program from the 1940's, The Adventures of Superman. They're very short, so I'm going to post them three at a time.

This series is memorable for several reasons. At one point Superman tackles the KKK, a rare example of the hero addressing a real social ill. There is also a guest appearance by Batman and Robin as he faces a new menace called "kryptonite." So sit back, fire up your imagination and experience the Golden Age adventures of the Man of Steel.

0001 The Baby From Krypton

0002 Clark Kent, Mild Mannered Reporter

0003 Keno's Landslide

via Internet Archive

Tales of the Wonder Club, Volume II

Tales of the Wonder Club, Volume II (1899) by Alexander Huth

The companion volume to his earlier book.

E-text prepared by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Buon anno!

Happy new year, Spaghetti Sci-fi style!