Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix
A Boy and His Dog
The Whole Wide World
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix
A Boy and His Dog
The Whole Wide World
The Day The Earth Stood Still
We:74: Skye’s West: Sun River- Richard S. Wheeler
Th: 75: Blasphemy- Douglas Preston
Cr: 76: Parker: Dirty Money- Richard Stark(Donald Westlake)
Cr: 77: Severance Package- Duane Swiercznski
We:78: Blood Bond: Ride For Vengeance- William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
We:79: Rough Night In Jericho- Richard Meade(Ben Haas)
Ho:80: Jack: Secret histories- F. Paul Wilson
Sp: 81: Devil May Care- Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming
Th: 82: Day of The Moon- Bill Pronzini & Jeffery Wellmann
We: 83: Lassiter: A Hell of A Way To Die- Jack Slade(Ben Haas)
Cr: 84: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Nevada Rose- Jerome Preisler based on the series
Ad: 85: Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull-James Rollins based on the movie
We:86: Cutler- John Benteen(Ben Haas)
We: 87: Cutler: The Gunhawks- John Benteen(Ben Haas)
Cr: 88: No House Limit- Steve Fisher
Let me star off by saying this is not about the movie. I have yet to see it. This is about the novelization and its author, James Rollins.
He’s one of the best thriller writers to come along in the last ten years. I first became aware of him years ago while working parttime at Waldenbooks. An ARC of his first novel, Subterranean, came to the store. Reading it, I was instantly captivated and have been a fan ever since.
Mr. Rollins also publishes fantasies under the name James Clemens. Seven to date.
But it is his nine thrillers that I like best. He just had the tenth, The Last Oracle, published. That one I haven’t read yet, but I have no doubt it will be very good.
Now back to the Indiana Jones. I’ve seen other comments on the internet that it was boring. I dodn’t find it so. Rollins did a great job with what he had, no exactly a top script. He was bound by that in developing a novel. He’s said he was granted permission to extend some scenes and make up others. I couldn’t tell you what, as I mentioned earlier, Ihaven’t seen the movie.
It just seemed one long chase scene, individual ones piled on top of each other. One hair breadth escape after another. I know these four movies are supposed to be homages to the Saturday morning serials shown before the main feature during the thirties, forties, and so on.
That sort of thing works in fifteen or twenty minute chunks each week, but run together gets tiresome after awhile. We really needed a plot.
All that said, I personally liked the novelization. The next man might not. But as a long time fan of James Rollins, I thought he did a credible job. It will never rank with his own work. But he did more with it than anyone else I can think of might have done. When I first heard he was doing the novel, my thought was perfect choice.
Every day I wonder how Fox News(I use that term loosely) can continue to call themselves a professional organization. News is supposed to be unbiased. None of them really are. I’ll admit that. But Fox is so obviously a tool of the Republican party that I can’t imagine how any sane person can believe most of the BS coming out of their mouths.
They seem on a campaign to make Obama a racist, a Muslim, and a terrorist supporter. Those last two are different. Trust me. Blaming Muslims for the acts of terrorists would be analogous to blaming all Christians for the inquisition.
It’s just nuts.
Some of Fox’s commentators sem highly unqualified for their job. Michelle Malkin is a good example. The whole Rachel Ray/Dunkin Donuts thing was so stuoid as to defy reason. Not to mention the baby mama BS with Mrs. Obama. Has even common courtesy gone out the door? The third thing with Malkin was the “terrorist” fist bump.
Come on. Is she making this stuff up? Of course she is. I had to do a double take and see if Malkin was the stereotypical dumb blonde. I could think of no other reason she would believe this crap.
That’s when I realized she was smarter than I gave her credit for being. She’s what the internet terms a troll, making statments designed to get an emotional response. Never mind whether they’re true or not.
Like I said earlier, Fox is nothing but a tool for the Republican party.
The GOP has screwed this country for nearly eight years. Just like true politicians, they will say and do anything to hold onto power. Come on, America, grease yourself up. The Republicans aren’t through yet.
I don’t know whether the Democrats can do any better. But we should give them the chance to try. As it is, our children and grandchildren’s future is clouded at best.
In case anyone wonders, I’ve been a registered Republican for forty years. I think I’m this administration’s worst nightmare: a Republican with a brain that he’s been known to use now and again.
I just watched A Boy and His Dog again. One of my favorite films. It’s based on a novella by Harlan Ellison, probably the best filmed of his works. It was made back in the mid-seventies and I originally saw it in it’s first theater run.
Vic And Blood travel the wastelands of Phoenix after WW IV. Vic is seventeen and Blood is a genetically engineered dog that’s more intelligent than Vic. Not hard. The boy was born after the war and has had no formal education. Survival is hard enough.
The two speak telepathetically and Blood seems to have a scanning ability that enables him to do, among other things, locate women for the perpetually horny young teenager. It works out well because Blood lost the ability to hunt for sustenance with his intelligence.
In this strange world, Vic is enticed by a pretty young thing to follow her into the underground where the last remnants of civilization live. It’s a strange society, puritanical on some levels, ruthless on others.
It seems, living underground as they do, the males have all become sterile. Once each generation, after careful consideration, they find a clean subject and use him to impregnate the available young women.
Right up young Vic’s alley, right? Things don’t work out as he hopes.
Vic was played by a very young Don Johnson(twenty-five and looking even younger). Actor L.Q. Jones, more known as a western star, wrote the script and directed the film.
A Boy and His Dog is part of a larger story that Ellison plans. Several other parts have appeared over the years. We’ll see it one day when Mr. Ellison decides it’s ready. I look forward to that day. He’s earned our patience with his wonderful stories for forty+ years.
Patti Abbott wants to do something a little different for Forgotten Books on the holiday weekend. Books for kids. So here we go.
Eleanor Cameron’s Mushroom Planet series came out back in the fifties. It was science fiction for small children. I think the series would be the perfect way to introduce children to written SF as opposed to movies.
In THE WONDERFUL FLIGHT TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET, David and Chuck respond to a newspaper ad that read:
” Wanted: A small spaceship about eight feet long, built by a boy, or by two boys, between the ages of
eight and eleven….”
The ad goes on to promise an adventure and a chance to do a good deed. The two boys build from materials at hand and haul it to the address in the ad. There they meet a strange little man named Tyco Bass, a scientist.
He paints the inside and outside of their spaceship with a “special” liquid to seal it, installs engines, fuel tanks, and equipment of his design, and they are off to the Mushroom Planet, in invisible orbit fifty thousand miles from Earth.
There they meet a race of small green men, of which Mr. Bass is one, on a world of giant mushrooms. They help them with a great difficulty, become heroes, and return to Earth. Their spaceship gets dashed to pieces by tides on the beach and Mr. Bass reportedly blows away on the wind.
The end of their adventures? Hardly.
In STOWAWAY TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET, they encounter Mr. Bass’ cousin, Mr. Theodosius, who pours over notes left by his relative, and recreates everything. A new spaceship is built, slightly bigger, and plans are made to return to the little planet. Upon arriving, they discover Horatio, a young boarder, who hadn’t believed their tales, but now wants to exploit the planet and it’s people. They also find Tyco Bass alive and well.
Adventures ensue and they all return to Earth. Everything is fine. The planet is safe.
The first two books are readily available on used book sites at reasonable prices(one and two dollars, plus S&H). But the other three are a bit more expensive Twenty dollars for the third, forty odd for the fifth. The fourth is the breaker. I’ve seen prices, ninety on the low end and two hundred fifty on the high for used copies.
Local libraries may have them(our county system has three).
It would be nice if some publisher came out with affordable paperbacks of all five. I think small children would enjoy them.
I know this small “child” loved revisiting that long ago youth.
John Cutler was a lawman, a professional fighting man. He gave all that up when he married and bought a ranch. He lso became a hunter of rogue animals. He’d laid out a series of traps for a huge grizzly that was killing stock.
He made a mistake in not checking the traps regular as he’d been taught. The grizzly had gnawed one back leg off caught in the trap and was gone. While hunting the wounded bear, it came down to his ranch and attacked his pregnant wife. When Cutler found her, she was still alive, cut to ribbons, and died in his arms.
He’s been tracking the rogue grizzly for five years now, always one step behind.
Such is the back drop for this two book series(Cutler and The Gunhawks) by John Benteen. He earns a living by hiring out to hunt down other rogue beasts, having earned as big a reputation in that field as when he was a lawman.
He travels with a horse called Apache, a huge airedale named Big Red, and a wagon outfitted as home which holds all his weapons and the many traps he uses.
In Cutler, he’s hunting a very big wolf on a killing spree, grieving for its lost mate, who will attack a herd, killing a number of the cattle without eating, and move on. Throw in a less than ethical competitor,a group of desperate ranchers, and an uncooperative larger landowner who’s using this as an excuse to drive the others out, it all makes for a satisfying read.
In The Gunhawks, Cutler’s trying to help an old Mexican friend who’s assailed on two fronts, a manic jaguar and a gang of gunmen who’ve enslaved the town, forcing them to mine their own silver for them.The headman, a former preacher, has made the superstitious people believe Cutler’s friend is a witch, turning into the big jaguar at night to kill. He barely escapes with his life, going into hiding.
Add a young gunman sent by his father to avenge his older brother’s death, even though it was ruled Cutler acted in self defense, our hero has his hands full.
Two satisfying novels. I don’t know why Benteen didn’t write more in the series. The big grizzly is still at large, that subplot still to be resolved. The two books came out in 1972. Benteen( a pseudonym for Ben Haas) had two other long running series, Sundance(continued by others after Haas’ death in 1977) and Fargo. I enjoyed them both also.
Short and fast reads, they’re well worth searching out for anyone who likes this sort of fiction.
The film The Whole Wide World is based on the memoir One Who Walked Alone, the story of Novalyne Price’s relationship with Robert E. Howard. It stars Renee Zellweger and Vincent D’Onofrio in the lead roles.
It’s a good little movie. I was surprised, as I don’t usually like romances. But then I am a fan of Howard and his writing.
This is a man who in twelve short years of writing single-handedly invented the sword-and-sorcery genre with his tales of Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn. But he wrote so much more.Hundreds of poems, stories, a number of novels.
But he was a troubled man, devoted to his ailing mother, socially inept, living in a small Texas town whose inhabitants thought him odd because he wrote for a living instead of working. He had few friends and didn’t see them often. Then one introduced him to Novalyne Price, a teacher, who accepted him and enjoyed his company. She fell in love, but at the time, he was incapable of accepting another woman in his life.
She goes off to Louisiana to work on her Masters.
Three weeks later, Howard’s mother slips into a coma from which she’ll never recover. He types a brief poem, then goes out to the garage and commits suicide. He died eight hours later and his mother passed the next day.
Robert E. Howard was only thirty years old.
The movie is worth a look. As a love story, it fills in those last few years of Howard’s life, giving some insights into what drove the man some people, myself included, consider one of the greatest writers this country has produced. It’s a film and not being a big expert on Howard’s prtvate life, I can’t tell exactly what is real and what was made up for dramatic effect.
Check it out though.
I just learned that George Carlin passed away yesterday. He was 71. It seems he entered the hospital in the aftenoon complaining of chest pains, dying later in the evening. He’d had two previous heart attacks.
He will be missed.
I’m old enough to remember how straight he looked when I first became aware of him. He was on a variety show, John Davidson I think, in the early sixties. This must have been shortly after he broke up with his partner, Jack Burns.
He wanted to do comedy that was different, a little more edgy than he’d been doing for ten years. Boy, did he succeed.
The long hair and beard appeared, the dark dress, and for me, anyway, he became the voice of a generation. He wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. His seven words you can’t say on the radio became legendary. Rightly so.
For me, my favorite line was his, “This is your hippy-dippy weatherman with your hippy-dippy weather, man”
The day has started off miserably. It can only get better, I hope.
A Hell of a Way To Die is a western published back in the’70s. It was an entry in the Lassiter series, using the house name Jack Slade. The author was actually Ben Haas who used a variety of names himself. He had two successful western/adventure series, Fargo and Sundance, under the name John Benteen.
Lassiter is a man who makes his living with his fists and guns. In a running gun battle below the border, he ends up on the ranch of self styled “King” Jessup with only a handful of bullets. In short order, he finds a deputy brutally murdered, gets his horse shot out from under him, and talks his way out of being hanged by Jessup.
He makes a deal to collect taxes from a group in the lower part of the county. Jessup is so eat up with hatred of Silver Tappen, the woman leader of the area. Everything he collects he keeps. When he comes through, against odds, he ends up double-crossed by Jessup.
That’s one thing you don’t do with Lassiter. You stick to the deal, so will he. The battle is on.
It’s one of the better books in the Lassiter series, worth a look if you find it.