Archive for September 25th, 2016


With our very dear friend John Grant (realthog) at the Princton Book Festival on Saturday

by Sam Juliano

What a fabulous surprise was in store for Lucille, Danny and I went we walked down the rows between tables at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival on Saturday.  Lucille actually noticed that our venerated comrade John Grant (realthog) was posted behind one of the tables with his lovely wife Pam, promoting his new book Eureka, which we secured a copy of.  Grant, the ever prolific writer and blogger was quite the welcome site during the one hour or so we spent there before reversing direction for the two hour right north to Chappaqua, New York -the hometown of Bill and Hillary Clinton – for another children’s book festival of annual renown.

The science-fiction countdown is down to its final quarter, and it continues to offer up one superlative essay after another in what has become a sterling display of cinematic scholarship.  Thanks to all who have supported it by way of comments and page views.  It has been quite a ride, one sadly accompanied by our unconcionable tragedy.

Lucille and I saw one film in the theaters – the western remake of The Magnificent Seven.  With the season of horror upon us I also caught several genre films at home, with one a just-released blu ray of a cheesy sci-fi-horror flick from the 50’s that worked quite well after so many years. (more…)

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by Brandie Ashe

 In the final decade of the 21st century, men and women in rocket ships landed on the moon. By 2200 AD, they had reached the other planets of our solar system. Almost at once there followed the discovery of hyperdrive, through which the speed of light was first attained and later greatly surpassed. And so, at last, mankind began the conquest and colonization of deep space.” –Prologue

Humanity loves its technology almost as much as it fears its destructive capabilities. For every development that makes our lives easier and more enjoyable, there are those advancements that bring with them the possibility of calamity, whether on a minor or somewhat more global scale. Technology is both friend and foe. It is a helpmate and a hindrance. It is born of our ingenuity and our arrogance, of our desire to help ourselves and one another, and of our greed and avarice. And, if we’re honest with ourselves, on some level, we must admit that much of our technology arises from our desire to play God, to prolong our existence, to defy the natural order of things and fly in the face of mortality.


An ancient alien race, the Krell, discovered this to their detriment some 200,000 years ago. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I don’t think it would be stretching it to say that, right from the eerie opening strains of the before-its-time electronica soundtrack, 1956’sForbidden Planet changed the face of science-fiction cinema in the 1950s. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person to ever say that. To reiterate an overused term, it truly is a groundbreaking movie, and in many ways, it set the stage for the evolution of science-fiction film over the subsequent decades. In a decade that saw any number of over-the-top treatments of the genre, Planet was something quite special: it was a straightforward, A-level sci-fi flick that took its science-fiction elements seriously, and in the process delivered a film that is both endlessly entertaining and thoughtfully multilayered. (more…)

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