Friday, September 30, 2011

Pick and choose

There's nothing quite like going to a big used book sale. Weaving your way through the aisles, squinting at the crowded spines and dodging the (sometimes dodgy) other bibliophiles. Then there's that little thrill, that minor exultation, at finding a real treasure. This time there were a couple of gems wedged between the innumerable Star Trek and Dragonlance volumes.

I was pleased to find a copy of the The Best of Henry Kuttner (1975) and even more pleased to find it was in near-mint condition -- for just 50¢! Nice. I also picked up The Startling Worlds of Henry Kuttner, also in fine condition (though not quit as cheap).

I found a few others to add to my collection, like Aldiss' Cryptozoic!, Davidson's Peregrine: Secundus and Forrest J. Ackerman's collection of A. E. van Vogt stories, Monsters. I even grabbed Lin Carter's early study of hobbitry, Tolkien: A Look Behind "The Lord of the Rings". None of these were in the best of shape, but they weren't too tatty, and the Carter book is a first edition.

The real find of the day took me by surprise. It's so rare to find books by him. Even among the fancy-schmancy trade paperbacks they're as rare as hen's teeth. But there it was and in excellent condition. The Dell paperback edition of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s Breakfast of Champions.

Okay, so it's not a first edition, it's the seventh printing. But just finding a Vonnegut, let alone one in great shape is good enough for me. So it goes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dragon Spooker

Some gratuitous Slayers, just because Hajime Kanzaka's humorous take on the fantasy genre is one of the funniest there is. All of the TV series are available online, Slayers, Slayers NEXT, Slayers TRY, Slayers REVOLUTION, and Slayers EVOLUTION-R.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Great War in England in 1897

The Great War in England in 1897 (1894) by William Le Queux

Another reactionary future war story of the kind Michael Moorcock anthologized in Before Armageddon (1975) and England Invaded (1977). The author makes no bones about his intention.
"In writing this book it was my endeavour to bring vividly before the public the national dangers by which we are surrounded, and the absolute necessity which lies upon England to maintain her defences in an adequate state of efficiency."

He forgot to add "Harrumph"! Bleiler dryly comments, "Routine adventure, not remarkable for geographical accuracy or much else." 

I accidentally quoted Bleiler's comment on The Eye of Ishtar (1897) there. What he said about this book was that it is "By no means as significant as the author's later The Invasion of 1910."

Produced by Moti Ben-Ari and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tiger & Bunny 25

Episode 25, "Eternal immortality"

As the first season draws to a close, Maverick's evil schemes have been thwarted, but at what cost? What will become of our heroes now? Will they ever solve the mystery of Ouroboros?

Comet's Burial

Science Fiction Stories, #1 1953
Cover by Alex Schomburg

"Comet's Burial" by Raymond Z. Gallun

"A man may be a scoundrel, a crook, a high-phased confidence man, and still work toward a great dream which will be worth far more than the momentary damage his swindles cost."

Produced by Greg Weeks, Dianna Adair and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Need a Solid Year Removed From Solid Light

mr. atavist rocks us with another jamtastic installment of The Sunrise Ocean Bender featuring a few songs with sf overtones, like "Zombie Warfare" by Chrome, "Spice Melange Spectrum" by The Cosmic Dead, and "Moonjuice" by Radar Men From the Moon.

The Sunrise Ocean Bender 01
The Sunrise Ocean Bender 02

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Voyage Trekkers

There's no shortage of Star Trek parodies out there, but this one is funnier than most. Squishy Studios' Voyage Trekkers follows the misadventures of Capt. Jack T. Sunstrike and the crew of the G.S.V. Remarkable as they explore strange new worlds and all that. The first season is set to run for ten episodes, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a season two.

"Is it wrong that I can't tell them apart?"

"At least it's not another stupid Cowboy Planet."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tiger & Bunny 24

Episode 24, "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained." Can Kotetsu and Barnaby defeat the H-01 and save the other heroes, or have they met their match?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fukushima nuclear crisis, six months later

With the six-month anniversary of the natural disaster and subsequent triple meltdown that struck Japan approaching, Nature magazine has a special section covering the crises. There's lots of good information there, including important facts about Fukushima.

As NHK World has reported, there's no end in sight to the the nuclear crisis. Even if it is eventually brought under control there will be a Chernobyl-like exclusion zone.
"The bottom line here is that Fukushima and Chernobyl are comparable, and a comparison really helps underscore the differences. Fukushima's heavy containment vessels limited the spread of some dangerous isotopes, but the coastal location makes marine contamination a much bigger issue than it ever was for Chernobyl. The latest maps suggest that there will be a permanent exclusion zone to the northwest of Fukushima, but it will likely be quite a bit smaller than the one at Chernobyl."
I know the Japanese people are resilient enough to overcome this, but the crisis will linger for a long time to come.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

League of Space Pirates

League of Space Pirates "Constant Reminder"

All footage via from the public domain film Assignment Outer Space

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tiger & Bunny 23

Episode 23, "Misfortunes Never Come Singly"

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Having a Wonderful Time

I know I've already posted links to the Canadian radio drama series Vanishing Point adapting J.G. Ballard's stories, but "Having a Wonderful Time" seems so relevant to the current world financial situation that I can't resist posting it again.

Having A Wonderful Time