Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Pierce Arrow Stalled - Kim Newman

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One of those stories about what happens if you change one moment slightly - such as a car starting, or not. In this case, it changes the prudish self-censoring 30s Hollywood that presumably from the context was scared titless, to a far more erotic version that ends up with one movie having Mae West doing a sword swallowing act with Errol Flynn. The doing away of fig leaves came before this, of course. A lot of onscreen one upmanship happens until a director called Welles comes along, and wants to make Gone With the Wind. Not really that interesting, to me, but again, his style of thing.

3 out of 5

Tomorrow Town - Kim Newman

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This is another Diogenes club adventurers adventure : resplendent with see through plastic suits and floral print bikinis. Set in 1971, a renowned 50s SF writer has been murdered in a 'City of Tomorrow' community that has been set up. Beaten to death with a Hugo, no less! Amusing, but certainly not as good as some others by Newman.

3 out of 5

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Human Repetends - Marcus Clarke

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An interesting story about an impoverished pommie aristocrat who ends up working in Melbourne, but manages to hang on to one fancy painting, as the girl in it haunts him. He runs across her possibly dead doppelganger, and in the end theorises upon the mathematics of reincarnation.

4 out of 5

Monday, June 26, 2006

Coastal City - Kim Newman

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Another satire, this one to do with comics continuity and the fluid changeability, impossible-to-keep-straightness of living in a superbeing infested metropolis. Quite amusing indeed, especially if this is your thing.

4 out of 5

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Black Canaan - Robert E. Howard

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Creepy swamp monsters, of the female variety. Not too bad, the atmosphere is done fairly well.

3 out of 5

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Monster Mine - PGM PGM

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Interesting early work. Anyone else want a seat on the electrophonograph?

3 out of 5

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Metropolis - Thea Von Harbou

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This is rather didactic, more a book to read for interest rather than fun, as such. Obvious politics and propaganda abound. Some will like the style, and some won't. Obviously it is of academic interest. Politics, eugenics, how far will you go for control and other such themes are front and centre in this work by a German author and film maker.

3 out of 5

The Face In The Abyss - Abraham Merritt

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This is a really enjoyable romantic adventure type story. When the aliens, or lost race snake people or women, or whatever you want to call them are more human and nicer than the average blokes running around, the writer has a good thing going.

There is of course a young, attractive female to go with the young bloke good guy adventurer, and an evil Dark Lord, and a battle. Lots of fun if you like that sort of thing.

4 out of 5